When Jimmy Dingee and the rest of the five-man team from 21 Pool Room walked into Las Vegas’ Rio Hotel and Casino last month, he thought the group could fare well in the 2019 BCA Pool League World Championships. He just didn’t know how well.
His group graduated into a new skill division this year. The competition only got tougher.
Yet the crew from 21 didn’t stumble.
The group finished fourth overall in the mixed 8-ball team Platinum Division at the double-elimination tournament, held July 17-27 in Vegas.
“We knew we could compete, but didn’t know we could finish that high,” Dingee said. “When you’re taking on the world, you never know who you’re going against. The team that won last year went two and out this year.”
The team from 21 — Dingee, Jack Pritt, Eddie Chapman, Tony McCumbers and Brian Crist, along with scorekeeper Deanna Dingee — stumbled out of the gate, losing its first match, but ripped off seven straight wins to end up in the top four.
Competitions are round-robin, with each player on a team scheduled to face every player on the opposing team in a game of 8-ball. Whichever team wins 13 games first advanced to the next round.
“It’s very mentally tiring,” Dingee said. “It’s a lot of stress and you get worn out.”
The tournament was an international affair. Though most teams were based in the United States — as far north as Alaska, as far south as Florida and as far west as California — other competitors came from New Zealand, London and Hong Kong.
Twenty-nine teams participated in the Platinum Division bracket, competing for a $4,500 first prize.
Outside of the successful finish, Dingee said it was a great time to play pool with good friends in a high-profile city like Las Vegas. It was a new challenge, yet a fun challenge.
“You’ve just got to play,” he said. “You get a little lucky and get some good rolls.”