After playing for only a year and a half, Austin Le now has a national title at the age of 15.
Le says he spends a lot of time shooting pool. “I’m here almost every day,” he said.
Racking up at Break Time Billiards is part of his daily routine now, but his passion for the sport spawned not that long ago.
“About a year and a half ago, we would go to Buffalo Wild Wings every Friday night and then just come up here to shoot pool just for fun for how ever long we could,” Le said.
What started out as just fun led him to compete in local tournaments, then regional competitions, then eventually to the American Poolplayers Association (APA) National Championships last week.
“To be my first year, I definitely wasn’t expecting it, but it was very exciting,” Le said.
The tournament spanned three days over the course of the weekend in Davenport, Iowa. With more than 250 players entered, Le said he made it through with hardly a scratch
Le said, “Some people thought they could, but I didn’t let that happen.”
His friend Jamison Hart competed in Iowa too but his luck ended early.
“That was awesome seeing him win,” Hart said. “It still was really fun because even if you weren’t in the tournament you could still go play on a table. I would be like ‘Hey, do you want to play a game?’
Hart says he enjoys playing nine ball with kids just like him.
“It’s just cool to see all the people who share the same love for the game that you do around your age,” Hart said.
The two teens are looking forward to what the next year holds.
“Hopefully we can go back next year and one of us can win,” Hart said.
With a trophy in hand, Le wonders maybe one day he could be the best in the world.
Le said, “Well I’d love to and I’m going to try, but I don’t know.”
Le said more than 250 players entered the national championships. He said he played nine rounds and beat about 70 players himself to win the title.