SAN BENITO — Venis Hall was pushed into the kitchen three times during his first match at the 22nd annual National Shuffle Board competition yesterday.
The kitchen is the area of the shuffle board that deducts 10 points from a player’s score when their puck is bumped or slides into it.
Hall, 94 said he turned his game around after losing his first match and stayed out of the kitchen the rest of the afternoon.
It was win or go home for Hall and many of the competitors in the two-game elimination tournament at the Fun n Sun Resort shuffle board tournament.
The tournament drew a total of 92 men and 58 women from across the country.
Shufflers traveled as far as California and northern Canada to participate in the three-day event.
The tournament is the Cadillac of Texas shuffle board tournaments held every year.
The Fun n Sun Resort has an air conditioned indoor shuffle board area fitted with 20 playing lanes. `
“We have 22 tournaments every year and this is our grand finale, so this is a big deal for us.” said Brian Sullivan, board member of the Texas Shuffle Board Association. “All the best of the best are here.”
Sullivan said practice, practice, practice, was the key to success.
“Every one of us shuffles six days a week,” Sullivan said. “Some of these guys have been shuffling 30-plus years now.”
Wayne Mingee is the defending consolation 2015 national champion.
Yesterday Mingee cruised through the winner’s bracket shuffling his way to Friday’s championship rounds.
“We got some of the best shufflers in the world here and we look forward to shuffling with them,” said Mingee, 79.
Mingee said Fun n Sun has three residents who have won the national tournament before.
“This is really exciting and we look forward to this every year,” Mingee said. “We got some good shufflers here,”
The winners move on to the World Championship tournament in Florida scheduled for June.
Women shot Tuesday and men shot yesterday. The finals for the men’s and women’s divisions will be held today.
Most of the players in the tournament were from 19 Winter Texan parks from around the Valley.
“These guys are really top-notch shooters,” said Joe Jackson, the event coordinator and 2007 shuffle board national champion. “We have quite a wonderful group of people here who shoot all over the world.”