Players break at ACUI competition
By Nona Tepper
His game was taekwondo, and his fame earned him a gold medal at the 2001 National Championships in Singapore.
But his knee injuries were serious.
He decided to take up a more non-contact sport instead: billiards.
“When I started playing billiards, I trained for about 10 hours a day, consistently for about two years,” Myung said in an email. “It is a really intriguing game, which not only tests the mental toughness of a player but also one’s stamina.”
This weekend tested Myung’s pool hall endurance at the Association of College Unions International combined Collegiate 9-Ball and Table Tennis Championships at IU.
More than 65 athletes participated in the 9-ball championships, and more than 20 individuals competed for the table tennis title.
“For some, this will prepare them for the next level of competition,” said Elizabeth Beltramin, ACUI director of communications. “For others, it’s a great leisure activity.”
Competitors played rounds Friday and Saturday for about 13 hours straight each day.
Winners from the weekend’s events earned a $1,000 scholarship.
“The standard of the players in the ACIU is outstanding,” Myung said. “I know it will be close to impossible to win this title, given that some of these participants actually rank pretty high in the billiards industry.”
More than 50 universities were represented at the tournament. Competitors came from as far as Hong Kong to play and pocket the 9-ball prize.
Seniors Chad Roahrig and Myung represented IU.
Roahrig took up billiards last year, under Myung’s tutelage and estimated he
practices two hours a day.
The two said they capitalize on their performance by playing “the mental game.”
“Players have different play styles,” Roahrig said. “Everyone has their own rhythm and how they like to play. The mental game is when you’re playing the opposite of your opponent.”
Myung said this frustrates the opponent and throws off their game.
He has been captain of the IU Billiards Team for the past two years.
During his time at IU, he estimates he has invested about $1,500 into the club.
“So far, I feel that my investment in this club has been paying off,” Myung said. “I’m seeing great improvements from my players, and I am hopeful that we will bring Indiana University more pride and glory in the coming years.”
Myung placed ninth overall, and Roahrig placed in the top 32.
Next year, the billiards team hopes to have more players qualify to aim, break and try to pocket the 9 ball at the ACUI Championships.
“I think it’s always important for students to step out of their college or university community,” Beltramin said. “We hope students will come together ... to build a national network of billiards and table tennis enthusiasts.”