Al Shelton finishes 5th nationally in pool

Al Shelton with award check in hand

Al Shelton with his winnings.

I qualified to compete in the 2014 NAPA (North America Poolshooters Association) National Tournament in Atlanta this year. It was held from June 13 through June 21 at the Atlanta Hilton. There were around 1200 people from all over the US and Canada competing in 5 classes.

For the 10-Ball tournament I was in the ‘B’ class and placed 5th over all. Which was high enough to be in the money. I think I played anywhere from 200 to 300 games of 8-Ball, 9-Ball and 10-Ball during the 9 days. I competed in all 3 events but we won’t talk about where I finished in the 8 & 9-Ball tournament.

One of the rules I like about the NAPA league, verses rules in other leagues, is that for 8-Ball and 10-Ball you have to call every shot; slop does not get you another shot. For 9-Ball you only have to call the pocket on the 9 ball.

Al Shelton playing pool

Al is a cool customer on the felt.

Some background: I shot a lot of pool in my younger days but had not played for almost 30 years. Then in January of 2013 my son asked me to be an alternate on his team. For the first few weeks it was really embarrassing to have others watching as I sent balls flying all around the table while missing every pocket.

As I improved and started enjoying it again, I’ve since joined 2 other leagues and bought my own table. Now I play 3 nights a week plus local tournaments every month or two. I’m still chasing a first place win in a local tournament, although my team, in two of the leagues, has won first place in 3 out of the last 4 sessions.

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