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By BETH ZUMWALT
When the Bar Box Bandits, a team from Rack Daddy’s in Quincy won the Billiard Congress Association World Champions earlier this month in Las Vegas, Pike County was well represented. Mike and Bruce Baker of Barry and Jeff Lippincott, a Pleasant Hill native, now of Alexander, were three of the team members.
“If I had to describe it in one word, it would be, ‘awesome,’” Mike Baker said of the honor.
The team qualified for the world event by being a member of a participating BCA sanctioned league.
“There were 6,000 players there from all over the world,” Baker said. “Mexico, British Columbia, Canada, it was amazing.”
Baker’s team joined 115 other teams in the Gold Division, in a double elimination bracket that featured five men on a team, all playing individually.
“There were women’s teams, doubles, but we played individually as a team,” Baker said. “Each of our players played one of the opponent’s players, then we rotated until everyone had played everyone on the other team. First team to win 13 games advanced.”
Baker’s team never lost in the eight games they played over three days, giving them the title in the Gold Division and the $5,000 prize.
“It was really special for me to get to do it with my dad,” Baker said. “After it was over, my dad said that had been his goal in the making for 32 years.”
Baker said he plays pool about three nights a week in different leagues in Quincy, Pike County and some in Jacksonville.
“I usually play September through May,” he said. “The outdoor stuff I like to do in the summer.”
The team will return to Las Vegas at the end of May for another tournament, this one sponsored by the Valley National 8-Ball League Association, one of the world’s largest amateur pool leagues.
“That tournament will be just as big,’ Baker said.