The Duke Cooks Rice Twice

Louisville 9-Ball Tournament / Bank Shot Billiards
by Tom Fryer
Tournament action returned to Louisville’s Bank Shot Billiards on April 19-20 thanks to promoter Truman Hogue and owners Tracy Vogan and Brian Phillips. This time it was a 9-ball event on 9-foot Diamond tables, with Duke Laha double-dipping David Rice in the finals for the win.
The winners’ semifinals found Laha, fresh off his recent Kentucky State Championship win, jumping on Gary Gentry by 7-2. Rice thumped on Kenny Tran 7-3, but Kenny was not through. Tran matched up with Russ Edwards in one of the weekend’s best matches. Edwards hung on to win at hill-hill in a match that turned on the last rack’s 8 ball. Gentry then ended a strong run by Louisvillian Kevin Nichols at 7-2.
The quarterfinals saw Edwards leave Gentry in a solid fourth place by 7-3, while the hot seat match saw Rice dissect Laha 7-1. The semifinal pitted Laha and Edwards in a barnburner. Laha prevailed at 6-6 by banking an 8 ball on which he appeared to be hooked to make the finals where he would need to win twice for the top money, sending Edwards home with third.
Rice had played beautifully all day, but he may have run out of gas by the final match. The tournament did not end until around 3 a.m., and it was all Laha by then. He won the needed two sets, each by 7-3.
Results:
1st Duke Laha
2nd David Rice
3rd Russ Edwards
4th Gary Gentry