Derby CIty Classic 2009
Horseshoe Casino and Hotel, a new venue for the DCC, hosted the eleventh Annual Derby City Classic. The annual convention has been in existence since 1997. Diamond Billiard Products, manufacturer of Diamond-brand pool tables, the official table of the US Open Nine-ball Championship, is the title sponsor, and the lead tournament promoter is Greg Sullivan. Over $100,000 is added to the tournament payouts. During the eight-day-long convention, competition is held in three major disciplines, bank pool, nine-ball, and one-pocket. A Master of the Table title is awarded each year to an individual player who participates in all three disciplines, and is determined by an ascending point scale and high quality of play, with a prize of $25,000.
The late “St. Louis” Louie Roberts, a legendary player known for his entertaining style of play and high-stakes gambling action, is memorialized by the annual Louie Roberts A&E Award, which stands for “action and entertainment”. This is a contest attendees of the event vote, and the pool player who displays the most action and entertainment a la Roberts wins this award and is granted lifetime free entry to the DCC. Pool industry members bring their wares to the DCC and set up vendor booths, providing a billiard expo for attendees. The vendor booths display a large variety of cue sticks, pool paraphernalia, billiard clothing, books, and instructional DVDs.
The Woodstock of Pool
by Tom Simpson
Ah, January again! The Derby! Peace, love, and action for the sweaters. Woofing and warfare for the players.
The Derby City Classic, now just through its 11th year, has something for everybody, and too much for anybody.
Through its first 10 years, the Derby evolved as a wonderful gathering of the pool faithful. Everyone was there and everything was on the table. No one knew when to sleep. What amazing shots and exciting match-ups would you miss? Which future legends are playing downstairs in the action room right now? Large money matches were not uncommon. We’ve seen $10,000 coin flips (with odds!), sweaters trolling for action, waving wads of cash, and people who never leave the action room. We’ve seen the greatest players in the world, and those brave enough or foolhardy enough to come try themselves against the best. As spectators, we’ve had many opportunities to witness billiard history in the making. Across all these years, the Derby became the major event in pool culture. It wasn’t just for the players, like other large events. But then in 2009 the Derby moved to a new facility – the Horseshoe Casino. After a year of speculation about whether the Derby could move and still retain its unique charm, my verdict is in, and it’s a YES. The
I just spent a very enjoyable week at the Derby, and I’d say we’ve upgraded the image of pool a bit. The venue is very nice, much more upscale, and has lots of terrific seating. Like any complex event, there were a few things that could have been better. But a thousand things went right. What helped make the new space work well is that it’s spread out more. There were two floors, and lots of places to bump into old friends or meet new ones. We had friendly vendors with marvelous cues, products, and services. There was the ongoing capture of excellence and history in the Accu-stats TV
Arena. We could always just hang out and watch the billiard world’s famous – and infamous – personalities, at large in
their element. Rumors, gossip, and stories were everywhere. Of course, we still don’t know when to sleep, but that’s
part of the fun and the magic that is still The Derby.