Cole takes ninth place in Vegas pool tourney

Posted: Friday, June 02, 2000

It was a nice thought, but no, Margo Cole is not that good of a pool player.

Cole placed ninth out of 525 pool sharks from around the world at the Billiards Congress of America-World League North American Championships at the Riviera Casino in Las Vegas last month.

Now word on the street is that she's one of the best pool players in the world.

``The consensus is I'm ninth in the world,'' Cole said. ``But that's not true.''

But Cole, a local bartender at the Rendezvous, knows her way around a pool table. She began playing pool when she was 10, and was once president of a league in Ketchikan. She was the only woman among 15 players from the 250-plus member Juneau Billiards Association to make the trip.

Cole competed in the women's open singles class, and advanced far enough to make the ``Big Board'' - a large bracket displayed in the casino that highlights the matchups.

``I lost to the number one player and the number three player,'' Cole said. ``So I didn't feel bad at all.''

Cole wasn't the only Juneau player to make the Big Board. Rick Paulo, who won the 8-ball championship at the Capital City Classic Billiards Tourney in Juneau last March, placed 97rd out of 1,700 players in the men's open singles class, Cole said.

The other Juneau players to make the trip were Dix Mazon, Rich Eaton, Ed Adams, Jerry Carrillo, Harry Robinson, Burt Lair, Tyson Brooks, Darcy Robinson, John Renton, Bryon Gutschmidt, Alf Fletten and Rolando Rodriguez. All had their way paid by the Juneau Billiards Association after qualifying during local billiards play. Tom Kitka, the Capital City Classic 9-ball champ, also traveled to the tourney.

Cole might not be the ninth best player in the world, but she brushed elbows with some of best. Allison Fisher, one of the topranked players in the world, was at the Riviera playing in a 9-ball tourney filmed by ESPN. The highlight, said Cole, was getting the autograph of Vivian Villarreal ``The Texas Tornado'' - currently the fourth-ranked women's player in the world and a popular personality on ESPN's billiards broadcasts.

Villarreal watched Cole's match against a top player from Spain, and came back to see the final outcome.

``She's a very gracious lady,'' Cole said of feisty Villarreal. ``She touched me on the shoulder and I about fainted.''

Cole placed third in 9-ball and Scotch doubles at the Capital City Classic.

League registration for the Juneau Billiards Association is the first week in October. Interested players can call 586-9700 for information.

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