Rack 'em: pool tourney a success

“Billiard balls were racked and cracked as students competed for $1,000 in the Student Union game room Saturday. The 10th Barry Lefkowitz scholarship 9-ball tournament convened on Saturday in the Barry Lefkowitz Billiard Parlor. The tournament began at 8 a.”

Billiard balls were racked and cracked as students competed for $1,000 in the Student Union game room Saturday.

The 10th Barry Lefkowitz scholarship 9-ball tournament convened on Saturday in the Barry Lefkowitz Billiard Parlor.

The tournament began at 8 a.m. with approximately 80 of the 140 entrants present to enjoy breakfast and participate in warm up matches while waiting for Lefkowitz to arrive.

At 10 a.m., Lefkowitz entered the room and the 140 players erupted in applause as a sign of appreciation for his unique generosity.

Lefkowitz, an Akron alumnus, has loved pocket billiards all his life. He remembers the financial struggle that students endured, prompting him to do something fun for students.

In 2002, Lefkowitz donated the funds to create the Barry Lefkowitz Billiard Parlor. He also began a foundation that would award students $1,000, $500 and $250 scholarships for competing in his 8-ball and 9-ball tournaments.

The tournament format is a race to one, with a double-elimination bracket. Any pool player will tell you that this type of tournament produces extreme pressure.

As the tournament moved along Saturday, the room grew quieter with anticipation. Spectators gathered around a table as the two top competitors met in the tournament.

Mike Shrum and Dan McGuire met each other in the winners bracket. Neither of the two are strangers to the tournament.

Shrum won the tournament in 2005, and McGuire has previously won the 8-ball division of the tournament.

Shrum defeated McGuire and continued on to defeat Justin Pelletier in the winners bracket semi finals.

Pelletier took third place in the tournament, finishing with a 7-2 record.

After defeating Pelletier, only one player stood between Shrum and the scholarship.

Matt Lynch is another veteran of the tournament, a former third place winner.

The final match between Shrum and Lynch was filled with pressure, aggressive shooting and strategic caution.

Although Lynch gave it his all, he fell one opportunity short of first place. Lynch finished the tournament with a record of 10-1.

Both Shrum and Lynch demonstrated good sportsmanship, congratulating each another at the end of the match.

The record-setting 140-player tournament lasted approximately six hours.