Dominic Pyka, 9-Ball Champ. ~ Dakotah Schmidtknecht

12 year-old Dominic Pyka is a new youth shooter to the world of pool. Together — I as his adult partner — won the WAPPA Jr/Sr 9-Ball Open on August 8th, 2015.

The morning started early and Dominic could barely keep his eyes open, but he knew exactly where his cue was. The tournament was being held at 4 Stools Short in Wisconsin Rapids, WI — a two hour ride and our second attempt at winning this particular tournament.

The place was so huge it had nine Valley bar boxes. The format was round robin, and we had big names like Brandon Jacoby against us. For every match the youths were supposed to lag for break, and let me tell you this kid was unreal. I gave him my break cue because the adults weren’t allowed to break. We got the first break almost every time.

The first break of the day was an instant 9-Ball break. I was shocked. Dominic, being a natural on the 9-Ball break, continued this throughout the day. The only time the nine didn’t drop was if another ball stopped it, otherwise he sent it to the right corner each time. This was unheard of. I hear of players that have to train and practice nonstop to do what he can do on the break, and yet it’s like this kid was built to play 9-Ball.

Towards the end of the day, we had only lost two games and were doing well. After a long break between matches though, we lost our groove and had to play the Jacobys. They tore us to shreds and we only won one game.

Now, with the pressure on us, we had to buckle down and get serious. Our next two matches were a struggle and our final score was 18 win to six losses. Cutting it close when the final scores came, we tied with the Jacobys.

We were in a sudden death game now, winner takes all, and we had to go on a table we hadn’t played at all that day. Our opponents had, so they had the advantage.

They bro