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JAM 08-06-2006 05:27 AM

JAM's Picture Page from Vegas
 
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Here's my first picture page of some of the happenings at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas: http://www.hometown.aol.com/jamalloy/IPTVenetian.html

The tournament schedule made for some very long days at this event, but I had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel cross country and see America. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life, and I couldn't have done it if it weren't for the winnings Keith received as an IPT member. Some of my fondest sights were the beautifully landscaped corn fields of Iowa, the scenic Rocky Mountains in Colorado, the colorful but desolate deserts of Utah, the endless blue skies with incredible cloud formations in Arizona, and the Oklahoma horse and cattle ranches. Best of all for me was connecting with my Native American roots, and I bought enough Indian crafts, jewelry, and gifts to last me a lifetime. What a trip it was for me and mine.

The IPT has united players from around the world and from all walks of life. I had always likened Keith McCready in previous times to a white buffalo on the American tournament trail who had always been recognized as a man of action, but he then transformed himself to be a tournament soldier. With the advent of the IPT, Keith and players like him have gained a sense of pride, and over the coming months, I think we all will see pool as a sport like we've never seen it before.

JAM

JAM 08-06-2006 05:39 AM

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Simon says Keith will practice hard before going to Reno on September 2nd! :p

A wax figure of Simon Cowell at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. ;)

JAM

JAM 08-06-2006 05:45 AM

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Dave Matlock and his lovely lady who is a news reporter in Dave's hometown.

Dave competed in this event via winning a qualifier, and he really had a fantastic tournament, pocketing $30,000. This will come in quite handy for the couple as they are building a new house, and let me be the first to congratulate them on an upcoming engagement.

Dave purchased the Gorina cloth before departing Vegas. I imagine he'll be back in Reno, as I have no doubt that he'll win his next qualifier. Make no mistake about it, Dave Matlock is on fire and will do well on the IPT tournament trail.

JAM

JAM 08-06-2006 05:52 AM

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I absolutely love this guy, Brian Saleh of England. He arrived in America well in advance of the IPT tournament in Vegas, studying with the legendary player and renown author "Freddy the Beard."

We arrived in Vegas a couple of days ahead of time, and the very first IPT member I set my eyes on was Brian who recognized me from AzBilliards. Keith, Brian, a friend of Brian's, and myself partied until 4:00 a.m. in our exquisite suite at The Venetian. It turned out that Brian was in Keith's very first round, but it didn't make a bit of difference when it came to forming friendships. Brian has two young children and a wife back home in England. He lost his dad recently, but didn't let it stop him from coming to America and competing on the IPT. IPT member Brian Saleh is a charming fellow, a gentleman player, and I can't wait to see him again.

Here he is getting his cue stick worked on by Joe Blackburn who was on site at the event.

JAM

JAM 08-06-2006 05:59 AM

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Here's young Austin Murphy from California sparring with Hall of Famer Ewa Mataya Laurence, the blond who's racking the balls in this snapshot, on the players' meeting night. I think he's grown a foot or more since I saw him last December in Orlando.

Austin's double-hill match with Danny "Kid Delicious" Basavich was a nail-biter. All eyes were on their table, and Austin put on a grand performance and gave it his best. I expect him to do well in Reno. This first IPT event opened a lot of players' eyes, and they'll all be gearing up over the next month for the World Open.

JAM

JAM 08-06-2006 06:03 AM

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Whenever we run into Sandor Tot, it's always a pleasure. Sandor has a great sense of humor, and Keith really enjoys his company. I had thought Sandor was from Hungary, but according to the IPT website, he hails from Croatia. Sandor advanced to the third round and will be a formidable opponent at all upcoming IPT events. He's a jolly fellow and always has a smile on his face!

JAM

JAM 08-06-2006 06:56 AM

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Daryl Peach joined Corey Deuel, Johnny Archer, Mika Immonen, Jose Parica, and Keith McCready on the well-known Fremont Street in Las Vegas for a photo shoot. I saw these three in conversation on the last day of the tournament and politely requested a snapshot, to which they all three complied. Daryl is standing next to Scotland's Pat Holtz and Robert McKenna of United Kingdom.

JAM

Timberly 08-06-2006 07:08 AM

I've been waiting for these, thanks Jennie! :)

ShootingArts 08-06-2006 07:30 AM

nice work!
 
Jam,

As usual you are doing a great job with the camera and I always enjoy your commentary. I'll have to see if I can give you some more rep, not that you seem in danger of going red! :D

Hu

JAM 08-06-2006 07:31 AM

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There were quite a few Californians and West Coast folk who traveled to the convenient location in Vegas of the North American 8-Ball Championship.

I had always heard many extraordinary tales about the adventures of "Bucktooth." I couldn't even tell you his real name as I only know of him as "Bucktooth," a man who enjoys games of stake and isn't afraid to bet it up. :cool:

I got a chuckle when I overheard Keith and Bucktooth chatting. Bucktooth apparently thought Keith sent Young Gun Pooky of Virginia out to play him some in California a few years ago, a back-and-forth which left poor Bucktooth a few sandbags lighter. But actually, Keith only heard about the game after the fact, upon Pooky's return back to the East Coast. I forget what the spot was, but the way I heard it, Pooky had the best of it. :o

Speaking of robberies (LOL), There's a feature on one of the crime shows on A&E cable when Bucktooth was actually robbed at a jewelry store he owned. However, after listening to him a spell, I think he's a shrewd businessman who knows how to make things happen, resulting in quite a comfortable lifestyle during the autumn of his life! :)

JAM

JAM 08-06-2006 07:56 AM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ShootingArts
...As usual you are doing a great job with the camera and I always enjoy your commentary....

Hu, I was wondering the other day if German Champion Thorsten Hohmann's great win would be noteworthy to American TV. ESPN mentioned a snippet of it, which is better than nothing at all considering pool coverage in the States. Here in AzBilliards Land, he can be referred to as "Thorsten," a one-name designation given to champions who are distinguishable from all the rest.

On the other side of the tracks of the tournament trail, there exists another form of a pool champion, those players and/or road agents whose speciality was not so much excelling in a race-to-8. Their expertise was gambling, playing a variety of games, hopefully for high stakes. I saw Jack Cooney and his wife in Vegas, but I didn't get a picture of them. Cooney was friendly and seemed like he was having a great time.

Cooney and James Walden of Oklahoma (depicted on the right) have a room at the DCC in Louisville named after them. It is to commemorate one match in which they both provided action and entertainment before a packed house of spectators. [Does anybody know who won and, more importantly, how much? :o ]

Canadian Ronnie Wiseman won a qualifier on the very last weekend of qualifer tournaments for this event. I've seen Ronnie play some of his BEST pool in a non-tournament setting. He's an old-school player who practices old-school etiquette when it comes to gambling, a trait only a few champions still practice today, win or lose.

I'll bet Walden and Wiseman will both win another qualifier in the coming month for the Reno World Open, beginning September 2nd.

JAM

JAM 08-06-2006 08:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timberly
I've been waiting for these, thanks Jennie! :)

Hey, are you over at Valley Forge? What's going on? Who's winning? Is there an action table? Inquiring minds want to know this kind of stuff! :D

JAM

JAM 08-06-2006 08:31 AM

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Charlie "Hillbilly" Bryant of Texas on the first night of the event, practicing with the others. All of the players, ladies and gents, were dressed in their Sunday's best on opening night. :)

JAM

JAM 08-06-2006 09:15 AM

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Here's a shot of Mike Sigel, Executive Producer Jon Denny, along with Denny's camera man in discussion. This camera man, who always seems to be by Denny's side, and the other production crew on site were in the background at the tournament, recording and gathering data for an upcoming broadcast of this event.

Denny is intelligent and has a great presence. I saw him filming several video clips, and it was very interesting watching the whole IPT production team at work.

One evening, they did a shoot at Fremont Street in Vegas. Six players rode over to Fremont Street from The Venetian in a limo with Denny and his camera man, but the rest of the production crew rode over an hour and a half earlier to set up. I was lucky enough to ride over to the site with them in another limo and enjoyed the Fremont Street activities, which included a unique light show and live music. People in Vegas walk around openly with alcoholic beverages in their hand as opposed to covering them up with paper bags like they do it here on the East Coast. It reminded me of Mardi Gras in a New York City backdrop. :D

JAM

JAM 08-06-2006 09:32 AM

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Paradise Billiards in Denver, Colorado, has been around since the '60s, and it's been a stopping place for many a player in times gone by. Before I began this trip, AzBilliard's "Regas" advised that we stop at Paradise along the way and, if Melody was working, to get me a paddy melt.

Well, they were out of paddy melts the night we stopped by, but Melody was still working there. She said she hadn't seen Regas in 20-plus years, but wanted me to send this picture his way, right here on this forum.

When I showed Melody the post on AzBilliards of Regas mentioning her, her face lit up like a Christmas tree. So for you, Regas, here's an Internet kiss from Melody of Paradise Billiards in Denver! :p

JAM


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