The Big Tuna Surfaces in Louisville
bank pool Tournament / Louisville, KY
by Tom Fryer
Frank Wilson, widely known as “The Big Tuna,” dominated a field of 64 players at Louisville, KY’s, bank shot Billiards November 28-29. Once again promoter Truman Hogue filled the field for this event a week in advance. The players were anxious to pay the $30 entry fee for the event, which featured a race to 3 on the winners’ side, a race to 2 on the one-loss side, and a $300-added pot.
Nine-foot Diamond tables were used in the 9-ball banks event. An optional $5 entry to the high-run pool gathered another $240 in this side pot. Entries were limited to players that Hogue ranks as “B” skill. Most of the players who cashed were undefeated Saturday, but Gary Dewitt went to the left side early and still managed to battle back to a fifth-place tie with Campbellsville’s Eric Elliott, who had played strong Saturday before two losses Sunday.
Fourth place went to Jerry Sauer Jr., who took Wilson to a fifth rack in the quarterfinals only to see Tuna run five and out to advance. The Tuna went on to run his first three shots in his next match, totaling eight straight banks to win the $240 high-run pot.
Paul Arnold took third place and $300 by winning his first five matches before being derailed. The crafty veteran of 69, who once took a 20-year sabbatical from the game, was not even the oldest player to cash: 76-year-old Glen Greenwell not only took an early loss but scrapped all the way to final and forced a true double-elimination decider with a 3-1 victory over Tuna.
The Big Tuna took Greenwell out by a 3-0 count in the decider for the $850 first prize. He was solid all weekend and was death on the straight backs—the perfect formula to win in banks.
1st Frank Wilson $850
2nd Glen Greenwell $450
3rd Paul Arnold $300
4th Jerry Sauer Jr. $150
5th Gary Dewitt $100
7th Dan Gregoire $75