B-Town Sharp Shooters Take On Thanksgiving 9-Ball Pool Classic

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by Gina Bourdage

After the food coma has worn off and the shopping madness subsides, 96 players from across the northwest and beyond are tossing in their hats to compete for a shot at $6,500 purse in the Thanksgiving 9-Ball Classic in Tacoma.

Two of B-Towns’ own stepped up to the plate for their slice of the pie, Devin King and Jack Tucci. I sat down with each competitor to find out just what drew them to the challenge.

Devin King

Devin King is more than your average novice on a pool table. Playing since “…I could see over the pool table,” he regularly can be found helping new players improve their game, lose or identify bad habits and will flat-out run the table if you give him the chance. The last considerable cash tournament King competed in was at City Lights three or four years ago (ironically now the same location as Malarkeys and where the current tournament is being held).

“Large tournaments are good for stepping up your game against tougher competition.” said Devin. “If it’s easier money your looking to win, you can find smaller local tournaments all over the place.” Devin started taking his game more seriously in his second year of college when he said it became something of an addiction. While he finds less time to play these days his love of the game has not diminished one bit. When asked what advice he would give to people just starting out in pool he said; “Join a league and find a higher level player or coach that can help you improve your game through lessons”.

Jack Tucci

On any given night of the week you can find Jack Tucci on the breaking end of a pool table. Jack has been playing competitively off and on for the last ten years. In 2006 he decided it was time to step up his game and improve his skills. Since then he joined numerous leagues teams in a variety of formats including 8 and 9 ball as well as an array of local tournaments, always seeking “…competitive skill levels and serious players.” In the last three years Jack has seen an improvement in his game that he credits to lots of practice and learning One Pocket and 14-1, both difficult strategy billiard formats. Playing pool takes an immense level of mental concentration combined with a great deal of knowledge and skill.

“The best player are the ones with a strong mastery of the mind and ability,” said Jack.

Saturday’s match will be streamed live online by On The Break News TV, hosted by the ever witty and entertaining Don “Cheese” Akerlow (publisher/founder/editor of On The Break News) along with an assortment of co-hosts that viewers can interact with live via web chat and have their questions, comments and advice addressed live. Through a great relationship with UStream and a dense following of pool enthusiasts, Cheese was able to reach over 103,000 viewers during the Seattle Open that was held Nov. 13th and 14th at Uncle Jack’s Billiards in Lynnwood, which was an impressive turn out in viewership for players who aren’t professional.

For Facebook fanatics, you can find On The Break News at their fan page. On The Break News has been bringing readers information on tournaments, results, pictures, videos, stories, advice, advertiser deals and more for the last decade. There will be a Video Magazine available online at www.otbntv.com after the tournament so that anyone who missed watching it live can click on the video of their favorite player and watch it at any time.

Be sure to take a minute to tune in and root for these local B-Town Billiard Boys!

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