Pool tournament set to open this weekend in Craig

8 teams will compete for chance at national tournament

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— Eight American Poolplayers Association teams from Steamboat Springs and Craig will compete in a local qualifying tournament Saturday at Mather’s Club in Craig.

Winners advance to the APA National Team Championships from Aug. 21 to 27 at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The teams competing won their division in one of three sessions this year that generally run 10 to 16 weeks.

Play is expected to begin at 11 a.m. and continue through Sunday.

“The nice thing about the APA, with the handicap system we have, it really sets it up for anyone to play,” said Michelle Reed, local APA league operator. “We have players from a two to seven skill level, but Saturday I can say everyone will bring their A game.

“This is pretty important for some of the players to get to Las Vegas and compete in the national tournament.”

Reed said in the past four years, no team from this tournament has placed in the money, but in years past winners have.

She said this tournament is mostly about trying to advance to the one in Las Vegas, which serves as one of the larger ones the APA sanctions.

“You walk in and there is like 200 pool tables in this room,” she said. “Everywhere you look, people are carrying a pool stick.”

Although it’s too late to play in Saturday’s tournament, Reed said organizers are trying to fill spots for a summer session. The summer session will take place Tuesdays at the VFW. If Reed gets enough interest, she said, she will add another night.

For more information or to sign up with the APA, call Reed at 970-826-2783 or email yvapa@msn.com. People also can visit www.yampavalley.apaleagues.com or call the VFW at 970-879-9959.

— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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