A local eight-player co-ed billiards team is headed to Las Vegas for a nine-ball national team tournament.
The Pool Room, a group of men and women who play together once a week, from Labor Day through Memorial Day, qualified for the APA Nationals Aug. 19-24 at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas.
The team is sponsored by The Pool Room, located on Main Street in East Toledo. The establishment is owned by Steve and Ria McCinich.
Dan Katschke, 59, a retired bricklayer for Rudolph Libbe, is the captain of The Pool Room billiards team.
The other seven team members are Katschke's daughter, Danielle Joss, her husband, Tim, Jenny and Bob Nowak; Ed Adkins, Jared Deblaere and Todd Zittsman.
"My daughter and I shot in a league for 15-20 years, and my son-in-law, Tim Joss, joined us," Katschke said. "My daughter is 35 and she started shooting when she was 21."
In 2006, Danielle Joss qualified to an eight-ball national tournament, where her team finished in the top 20 out of more than 800 teams.
The Pool Room squad competes in the Apples, Pears and Apples (APA), a national amateur league.
"Cities around the country have champions and they all go out to the nationals to compete against each other," Katschke said. "I have a nine-ball team and an eight-ball team. This is my nine-ball team."
Zittsman, from East Toledo, has competed in a national billiards event four previous times. He also qualified for nationals with an eight-ball team, with a Scotch doubles team, with a Jack and Jill doubles team and in a singles event, where he tied for third place.
The Pool Room qualified for the upcoming APA event on June 21 by beating three other teams at a tournament at 21 West, located on Alexis Road in Sylvania.
"We finished up about 1 o'clock Sunday morning," Katschke said. "We were jumping up and down. I don't drink anymore, but we celebrated with a round and I drank diet pop. We're going to leave Aug. 18. The league pays for our hotel and our flight."
Katschke said The Pool Room will head to Las Vegas with an expectation of advancing far into the tournament.
"When you get out there," he said, "they have mini-tournaments you can get into so there are a lot of tournaments you can get into besides just the main tournament. Vegas itself is awesome. We're looking forward to it."