NEW NORTHERN VIRGINIA AMATEUR POOL TOUR LAUNCHES WITH A TWIST VIA TWITCH
SPRINGFIELD VA — A new amateur billiards tour launches this weekend (January 19-20) from Hard Times Cafe in Springfield VA. The Northern Virginia Amateur Tour, or simply NVAT, was created by Christopher Wilburn and will broadcast on Twitch for international audiences.
Wilburn isn’t a newcomer to billiards. His play recently earned him sponsorships from Baltimore City Cues, Breakers (Herndon VA), and Rayman’s Pro Shop (Richmond VA). He has worked for the Action Pool Tour (Virginia Beach VA) and organized minis at Super Billiards Expo (a.k.a. Valley Forge or Rally in the Valley PA). In 2017, Wilburn founded the innovative Nova Action to stream head-to-head matches on Facebook between amateurs looking to advance a local top 10 list. In 2018, Wilburn’s promotional efforts were recognized by NOVA BCA with their crystal Founder’s Circle award (one of just five awarded over the last decade).
NVAT’s mission is to attract more amateur pool players to tournament play. The Northern Virginia area already enjoys a growing reputation as one of the epicenters for cue sports in the United States. This new series will build on that momentum. The tour also promotes camaraderie. To underscore this, a sportsmanship award will be named by player vote at each event, with the first going to NOVA BCA’s Donnie Rogan for his long-time support of pool in the Northern Virginia area.
“We’ve made some interesting decisions with NVAT, and we’ve done it with direct input from the players,” shared Wilburn. “For example, a Facebook poll revealed a majority interest in restricting entry to players rated 650 Fargo or lower. We even polled players for what game they wanted. 62% chose 10 Ball for the inaugural event.”
But Wilburn isn’t the only one backing the new concept. NOVA BCA Pool league co-founders Brian Cheung and Eric Townsend also see its potential. “I’m a big proponent off Twitch. It’s an exciting promotional avenue that pool has yet to explore,” said Cheung. Townsend added, “We’re excited to expose more Northern Virginia pool players to BCA regulation 8, 9, and 10 Ball through this tour.”
NVAT is set to hit five of the top pool venues in Northern Virginia and Maryland this year. Events will be modified double-elimination, with points awarded for results. An invite-only finale will feature the top 16 players by points. Each event will include a full calcutta and a free entry awarded via stream. The field could exceed 100 players, with 80 pre-registered at time of this publication. Players pay a one-time tour fee ($30 annual or $10 for one event) in addition to each $40 entry.
The 2019 NVAT schedule is as follows:
Jan 19-20 @ Hard Times, Springfield VA (10 Ball)
Mar 23-24 @ Hard Times (8 Ball)
Apr 20-21 @ Breakers, Herndon VA (9 Ball)
May 18-19 @ First Break, Sterling VA (8B)
June 29-30 @ Brews & Cues, Glen Burnie MD (9B)
July 20-21 @ 7 Billiards, Gaithersburg MD (8B)
Aug 24-25 @ Breakers (9B)
Oct 26-27 @ Brews & Cues (8B)
Nov 9-10 @ 7 Billiards (9B)
Dec 21-22 @ First Break (8B)