Ray "Cool Cat" Martin
New Brunswick, New Jersey - Three time World 14.1 Champion Ray "Cool Cat" Martin and 14.1 Continuous inventor Jerome Keogh will be the very first inductees into the 1st Annual Straight Pool Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place August 31,2011 at 5pm during a dinner banquet at the Hyatt Regency Hotel during the 71st World Tournament of 14.1. Keogh will be inducted posthumously while Martin will be there live to accept his award and speak. Even better than that, Martin will participate in the World Tournament as a competitor at age 76.
"Its a great honor to be inducted. Its nice that people still alive will be inducted as well in the future . That's really the way it should be. Get them in before they die! Let them enjoy it!" said Martin. Ray won the World Tournament in 1971, 1974, and 1978. Martin also won numerous 9-Ball titles as well and was the author of the famed 99 Critical Shots instructional pool book.
"There were many factors on why we decided to start this inaugural Straight Pool Hall of Fame. We wanted to honor not only obvious choices, but to remember great players that are still alive and remind them that they are not forgotten. They are living treasures of the sport. Also, we wanted to recognize those who may not receive recognition elsewhere, but were huge parts of 14.1 history. In the future we plan on inducting several people at once. But this year having Ray Martin and Jerome Keogh will be a great start", said Charlie Williams, Founder of Dragon Promotions.
Jerome Keogh invented 14.1 in 1910. Previous to that, players would break the balls open but sometimes nothing went in, which many felt was too big a luck factor. Keogh decided the game should be played with the final ball remaining out. Thus 14 balls plus 1, which became known as 14.1 . The very first World 14.1 Tournament was held in 1911 and won by Alfredo DeOro. Keogh had prior to that won multiple World Championships, but despite inventing the game that changed the sport, he would never win the World 14.1 title. But today, a hundred years later, the Straight Pool Hall of Fame honors him fittingly as the founder of the game.
"Over the last six years, the fans, players, and sponsors have really made us feel like the caretakers of straight pool. I'm not a pool player, but I've learned to really come to enjoy and respect this elegant game. We want to continue keeping this game alive and make it prosper. Honoring the people who did it before us is a big part of that," explains Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions.
Guest speakers at the dinner banquet on August 31 will include former World Champions and veteran peers of Ray's such as Allen Hopkins, Mike Sigel, and Earl Herring. The 14.1 Hall of Fame events will also include video presentations by NYCGrind.com's Jerry Tarantola and funded by Dr.Louis Pannullo. Charlie Williams will MC the evening's festivities. Inside Pool Magazine will also be covering the events live on site.
Tickets must be purchased by August 27th and can be done live at the event or at Amsterdam Billiards in NYC or Sandcastle Billiards in NJ. Week passes to the World Tournament include one banquet ticket. Online purchases for the dinner and also tickets can be purchased at www.DragonPromotions.com . Get the event special 40% discounted room at the Hyatt Regency by calling 732-873-1234 ask for "US Pool Players" Group and receive the tournament rate of $105 per night.
Ray Martin looking very "cool" and dapper in his prime
The 2011 World Tournament is proudly co-sponsored by Olhausen Tables, Amsterdam Billiards, Inside Pool Magazine, Andy Cloth, Aramith Balls, Kamui, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Sandcastle Billiards and straight pool aficionados Bill Austin of UT, Dr.Louis Pannullo of NY, Ralph Rubin of MD. Co-contributors Dennis Walsh, Dr.James Heller, Charles Eames, Mark Snodgrass, and Bill Marapolous. For more information on player registration, sponsorship, or if you would like to submit a comment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Dragon Promotions at 1-407-782-4978.
Ray Martin, originally from Patterson,New Jersey, now resides in Largo,Florida. He still plays pool and continues to teach players today. The renowned instructor and world champion can be reached for lessons at email@example.com or 1-727-798-5561
What has Ray been doing since informed of his possible induction? A quick Q&A; with the World Champ.
"I've been practicing daily for two hours everyday ever since being informed over three weeks ago of my possible induction", explains Martin. ""I ran a 117 and 60's and 70's many times. I used to run over a hundred daily with ease (he laughs)". Martin has two 300+ runs including a high run of 382. "You need alot of rolls to run over 300" , Ray states as a matter of fact.
How many runs over 200 have you had? "I cant keep track of that one. Alot!" says Martin.
Who else should be inducted into The 14.1 Hall of Fame? "I think Danny Diliberto should also get in the 14.1 Hall of Fame. We are almost the same age, just one week apart. WOuldn't it be cool if he got to play in this,too? I'm glad he already made it into the BCA Hall of Fame this year. "
Advice to upcoming 14.1 players: "I respect all my opponents. If they have a cue in their hand, they got my respect already. So my goal is to not let them shoot."
Ray Martin's daughter Robyn Martin Wilson says her dad isn't displeased with his overall game, but feels nervous. After all this time, he is still a perfectionist even at 76 years old.
Your chances of winning this year? "Well, I'm 76 years old. But I can still pocket balls. I just like to get through the round robin and then let's see!"
Good luck to Ray Martin going for his 4th World Tournament title at the prime age of 76!