I potted a husband at the pool table
Kat Wilson picked up her first pool cue at university. She was getting over a break up and it was a fun way to get out and meet people.
She was playing under much more serious conditions when she met her husband, Karl.
The pair were competing in Las Vegas. She was representing Australia and he was representing Bermuda at the Valley National 8-Ball League Association’s annual match.
“It’s not for the money, it’s the love of the game,” she said.
Fifteen years later, they are at Queen’s Club on Victoria Street every Thursday night to play.
The pool season runs from September to April. He’s a King; she’s a Dragon, an all-ladies team.
“It was always just a guy thing. I thought, I could be all right at this if I practise. It turns out I wasn’t too bad at it,” the 44-year-old laughed.
“Also, it was just fun going out and playing — and going to nightclubs and having guys think that they could beat you off the table.
“We’re always encouraging more pool players, especially ladies that want to play.”
Bermuda’s pool league has just under 100 players and 16 teams, with tables at BAA, Mariners Club, BPSU and Devonshire Rec among others. At the end of the season, the top five players are sent to Las Vegas to compete.
America has one of the world’s largest amateur pool leagues and countries around the world, including Bermuda, pay to compete in the Valley National.
The Bermuda International Pool League pays for the top five players to attend.
Only a few points off being sponsored, Mrs Wilson explained that you are not placed based on your average score but must play every week to be considered.
It is a commitment for the Australian, who has suffered migraines and neck pain since she got run over by a forklift 16 years ago.
“When I say run over, I was dragged underneath it for about 40 metres. It tore all my nerve endings,” she said.
Massage helps, as does seeing the chiropractor weekly. “What has helped is Botox,” she said.
“They inject along the forehead, along the temples and all down the neck and shoulders. That took the migraines away. Before the Botox procedure I had to try the nerve ending procedure where they go in and burn all the nerve endings along your spine.”
Nonetheless, she is not disappointed to fail to qualify for sponsorship; she and her husband go because they love participating and they’ve had a great season.
The pair won the BILL 8-ball mixed scotch doubles tournament at BAA on February 17; Mr Wilson won the BILL Gosling’s open 8-ball tournament at Mariners and Queen’s Club on March 3 and the BIPL open 9-ball tournament at Queen’s Club on April 7.
Meanwhile, his wife took home the BIPL ladies’ 8-ball tournament in St George’s on March 24.
“This makes a total clean sweep of all the pool tournaments held this year in Bermuda for the Wilson family,” she said.
“First time this has ever happened by a husband and wife combination.”
They will be part of a group representing the island next month in the 38th annual VNEA championships in Las Vegas — the tournament where they met 15 years ago.
“We’re building a bigger league this year and hopefully more next year. It’s growing and developing,” she said.
“The league is run out of love. It’s the players supporting it. They don’t get paid for it. Players with the love of the game just keeping it running, supported.”
Goslings, MarketPlace and Keen have been sponsors in the past.
“There’s not that much money in pool,” Mrs Wilson laughed. “It does rely on things like that to keep it afloat.
“When I won the ladies’ tournament it was six hours of play and I got a huge $75 — I’d paid $15 entry.”
She is just happy to see a ladies’ team head to Vegas for the second time.
“It’s a good to see more ladies coming into the league. It’s good to see more come on and give it a try,” she said.
“A lot of them just need encouraging. When you first start off, you’re not going to be that good and you’re going to be beaten a lot before you start winning games. It’s all a part of practising and getting out there and getting over the initial fear of being beaten every week.
“You can lose the game but don’t lose the lesson, as they say.”
To join the Bermuda International Pool League contact Pamela Quadroy on 536-8955 or Trevor Mouchette on 703-2784
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