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A Chicago resident is $15,000 richer after a recent visit to Sin City. But his good fortune didn't happen in the casino. Benjamin Almazan won the 2017 APA 8-Ball Classic Pool Championship earlier this month in Las Vegas.
Almazan was amongst nearly 6,000 pool players throughout North America who attempted to qualify for the American Poolplayer Association's 8-Ball Classic. He was one of only 582 who advanced to the national finals at the Westgate Resort & Casino.
Almazan competed in the Yellow Tier of the 8-Ball Classic and received a prize package worth $15,000 and ultimate bragging rights upon returning home to his local poolroom. The 8-Ball Classic featured five individual tiers all based on skill level.
Almazan is a member of the South Chicagoland APA that includes more than 500 players and nearly 150 teams.
The 8-Ball Classic, held May 5-7, was part of the APA's Poolplayer Championships which featured five divisions of individual and doubles competition, nearly 2,300 total players and more than $650,000 in prize money.
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world's largest amateur pool league, known as the APA Pool League throughout the United States, and as the Canadian Pool League in Canada. Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9‑Ball League play. The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
The APA produces three major tournaments each year - the APA World Pool Championships, the APA Poolplayer Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship - that, together, pay out nearly $2 million in cash and prizes annually.
Another local winner: Taplia Renfrow of Atlanta, Illinois.
Also: Michelle Templeton of Carbondale.
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