Mike Jones of Champaign, Ill., joined the APA in 2004. He’s a skill level 5 in both 8-Ball and 9-Ball. He went to Las Vegas for the National Team Championships 8-Ball Division in 2004, returned for the 9-Ball Division in 2012, and competed in the National Singles Championship 9-Ball Shootout in 2013. He went to Vegas for the National Team Championships this year for the 9-Ball Division on two different teams.
“Pool has been a great joy for me, especially because of the many friendships I have made,” Mike said. “I can count friends I have made playing pool all the way from the lowest skill levels on up to Nick Varner, who stays at my house when he is in the area. The competition is great, but the friendships are greater.”
Mike grew up in Alton, Ill. He spent a year in Vietnam in the U.S. Army as a prisoner of war interrogator and Vietnamese linguist and then went to law school at the University of Illinois. He’s been a Circuit Court judge since 1996.
Being a judge, Mike has performed marriage ceremonies for many players who met through pool in the Central Illinois APA. Some of them are pictured with him in the photo and each of them has a unique story, which is outlined below.
“Mike’s an asset to our organization,” said Central Illinois APA League Operator Kim Jones. “He doesn’t lack stories about his pool and professional adventures. He never fails to put a smile on my face. His outlook on life is an inspiration.”
Left to right in the picture:
Mike Howie & MaryAnn Royse
Pool History: (Team JTS Brown’s) Mike & Mary Ann have been members since 1999.
Tony & Michelle Mongkolsmai
Married: April 16, 2011
Pool History: (Team Double Trouble and It Could Happen) Tony has been an APA member since 2004 and Michelle since 2012.
David & Kristina Norris
Married: October 4, 2013 – They were married in the rain and Mike was playing in the Singles event that day. He hurried and married them, then rushed back to play in the event.
Pool History: (Team 2011 Chalk N Awe and 2012 Judge & Jury) David and Kristina have been APA members since 2008.
Steve Sargent & Inga Hoffman
Married: On their 20th anniversary—they were dating for 20 years and met at Pockets in Bement, Ill.
Pool History: Steve has been an APA member since 1994.
Ronnie & Michelle Peterson
Married: April 30, 2014
Pool History: Ronnie played in the 9-Ball Shootout National Singles Championship in 2013. Ronnie has been an APA member since 2012 and Michelle joined in 2014.
Judge Mike Jones