Inaugural Virginia State 14.1 Championships a Hit
Virginia State 14.1 Championships / Newport News, VA
by Brian Keller
As a lifetime student of the game, tournament director Joshua Dickerson has always had an interest in straight pool. After successfully running the Virginia State 9-Ball Championships for the past six years, he decided it was time to add something new. Thus, the Virginia State 14.1 Championships were born.
The inaugural event took place February 27-28 in Newport News at the Obelisk Billiards Club, a room with a rich straight pool culture that includes a 20-year-old league and annual room championship. When Dickerson looked for a venue, he didn’t have to go far to find it.
The event began Saturday morning with 25 players vying for a first-place prize of $1,280, part of which was paid entry into the Predator World Straight Pool Championship. Obelisk also supplied a gorgeous, solid crystal trophy for the winner. The high run during the event would net the winner a Nick Varner Signature cue and case.
Play began shortly after 10 a.m. and the players immediately could see that the room’s nine tables with tight pockets were going to play tough. By the end of the first day, six players remained with a high run of only 40 in the races to 100.
The six finalists included John Elvidge, Greg Ferguson, Ozzy Reynolds, Dave Perry, Eric Moore, and Bobby Chamberlain.
In the hot seat match against Dave Perry, Chamberlain laid down the one of the tournament’s long run of 40 to help move him towards the finals. He also had the longest run of 72 in the prior match. While he waited, Eric Moore defeated Ozzy Reynolds and then moved on to play Perry in the semifinals, where he won 100-48, setting up the final race to 150 for the title.In the title match, Eric Moore started things off with a run of 38 to take the early lead. Chamberlain battled back as the players traded off medium-length runs. Finally, with both players over the century mark, Chamberlain with his very aggressive break shot, was able to string some racks together and get out to win 150-108.
After the event Dickerson noted that the field had been 80% full, an excellent showing for a first time. He feels confident that this event is in for a long run. Every participant was very excited to be there and play the grand old game; as players were knocked out of the tournament, to a man, they were already looking forward to next year’s version. Straight pool is alive and well in the Old Dominion.