QUINCY (WGEM) – The 25th annual Illinois State Pocket Billiard Championships kicked off Wednesday morning at Quincy’s Oakley Lindsay Center.
Organizers said over the next five days, about 700 players from all across Illinois will compete on 90 tables to see who will walk away with the top spot.
Illinois State Pool Association Board member Patrick McMullan said participants play in leagues all year for a chance to compete in this tournament.
“In leagues we have 30 to 40 players that play in a league and maybe you see other people as you travel,” he said. “Here you play a bunch of players you’ve never played before from all over the state.”
Local economic development officials said all the new faces in town is good news for businesses.
Those from the Quincy Area Visitors and Convention Bureau said even though Wednesday is one of the tournament’s lowest attended days, Quincy’s hospitality quarter was still full.
See Quincy Executive Director Holly Cain said with the tournament attracting about 1,000 people to the city, hotels, restaurants and bars are set to see a big windfall over the next five days.
“We estimate that it is over a $1 million economic impact when you figure over 700 participants, plus their fans and families coming in this week, plus the set up that took place beforehand,” she said.
Cain said they’re working with attendees to make them aware of all there is to do in Quincy and beyond when they’re not competing.
“We’re hopeful that they’ll take day trips in between tournaments to Nauvoo and Hannibal and reach further out and see our entire area,” she said. “We’re inviting them over to our offices over at the Villa Kathrine, we’re telling them about the Lincoln-Douglass debate a block away and really encouraging them to visit one of our over 100 restaurants.”
Cain said there is a chance that the event could return to Quincy in the coming years. McMullan said it’s something he’d like to see happen.
“The facility here is unbelievable,” he said. “Absolutely the best, in my opinion the best we’ve ever had and I’ve been running this event or helping run it for 22 years.”
The tournament is free and open to the public.
A schedule of events is below:
- Wednesday April 13: 9 am Scotch Doubles, Seniors, | 3 pm Open 9-Ball
- Thursday April 14: 9 am Scotch, Seniors, and 9-ball continues | Noon 8-Ball Singles begins
- Friday April 15: 9 am Singles continue | 3 pm Team play begins thru Sunday
- Saturday April 16: 9 am Teams continue | 5 pm Junior 9-Ball singles
- Sunday April 17: 9 am Junior 8-Ball, along with Team Finals
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