The Maryland 14.1 Straight Pool Championship began in 2005 at Bill & Billie’s Cue Club near Annapolis, Maryland with it's genesis being a love of 14.1 by some of the old time patrons. Under the guidance of Peter B. a small league was started, appropriately named Willie Mosconi Straight Pool League of course! The old fogies encouraged the youngsters and after a couple of sessions the league gained a strong following. We held the first Maryland Straight Pool Championship Aug 5-7, 2005 with an entry fee of $60, Prize Fund $2,100. What a cast of top locals! Peter B., Michael Frank, Andy Lincoln, Kenny Holstrom and a host of other twenty ball runners. Actually, that first year Jerry Slivka, Bo Newport, Eddie Deska & Ryan McCreesh were the big draws, with Ryan taking the winner’s trophy and a whopping $780.
Well word got out and shortly after Danny Barouty, God bless him, brought down a gang of his NYC 14.1 pals - Ed Hodan, Steve Lipsky, a young Zion, to steal some easy money from the Maryland boys. And they did. Soon down from the Big Apple came Thorsten, Mika hot off two back to back US Open wins, exquisite Jeanette Lee and cohorts. Danny Harriman from far away Missouri, Grady Matthews from SC, Warren Kiamco, Jose Parica,, Corey Deuel, Johnny Archer, and John Schmidt on his motorcycle looking to cash, which of course they did. Word continued to spread, “there's a pretty nice Straight Pool tournament down in Maryland.” And, yes, there was. Then Ivan Lee stepped up to lend the strong and ever after loyal support of Iwan Simonis & Aramith Balls. As all know, where would our industry and this beautiful game be today without the backing of these two century old companies? Seriously. Their support was key in those early years and remains even more so today in these trying times.
In the ensuing years the Maryland Straight Pool Championship sought new and stronger venues. We settled at Thomas Dorsey’s, Midlothian, VA. Diamond Billiards for a very successful four-year run. No longer based in Maryland we changed our name to the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship and growth continued. Our 2018 tournament was held at Carom Café in Queens, NY, hosted by room owner Michael Kang, and last year we moved to the late Barry Behrman’s historic room, Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach managed by Gary Ornoff.
Now in our 16th year, following a Covid sebbatical, the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship has evolved into a highly regarded world class event thanks to very positive support by virtually every top player in the USA and many from Asia and Europe. Our thanks to each and every player, sponsor, and fan who has enabled our ever-increasing Prize fund while maintaining a minimum entry fee. Next year we return to Q-Master and the Norfolk area, a long time a hot spot for top pool events & players. We are thrilled to be going back and look forward to celebrating our tournament revival in 2021!
As a youth Peter played with Willie Mosconi in Chicago, and later in a college exhibition with the great Mosconi. Following graduation from the University of Colorado where he was 3 times winner of the CU 14.1 tournament, and after a decade of travel playing pool as far away as Johnson City, in 1968 Peter hung up his old Rambow cue and followed his beautiful bride, Pam, from Chicago to Maryland. Times along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay have been good and today Peter is still active and President of Severn Insurance Ltd. He was Director of the 2006 14.1 World Championship Tournament and founder and Director of Maryland 14.1 Open which now enters its 16th year as the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship. Peter played as an ‘honorary’ in many past World 14.1 Championships and the Sang Lee Three Cushion Billiard Invitational. A lover of opera, golf and bridge, Peter & his wife Pam have three daughters & six grandchildren. High run 81 and still trying for that mythical 100! There is no other game but 14.1 . . . just ask him.
Michael Frank, Ph.D