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Domino tournament draws 88 teams from across the state

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Jan. 22, 2012 at 8:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 21, 2012 at 7:22 p.m.

Kenneth Curtis, left, and Charlie Hernandez, both of Victoria, play a game of dominoes at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Hallettsville.

HALLETTSVILLE - The clatter of ivory bones shuffling on Knights of Columbus Hall game tables Sunday indicated the 59th annual State Dominoes Tournament was in full swing.

Eighty-eight two-person teams entered the Hallettsville-based game, which kicked off at 9:30 a.m. and continued throughout the day, Tournament Chairman Daniel Rother, said.

"They'll go to midnight, or until the last set of partners beat everyone else," Rother, 78, said.

Rother, who was eliminated in the fourth round of Sunday's competition, has served as chairman for the past five years.

A dominoes enthusiast since he was in his late 30s, Rother said he's competed in the high-stakes game for the past 24 years.

"I learned from my parents and uncles and brother," Rother said. "I was even in a dominoes club that played every third Thursday for about 40 years."

Rother's Thursday night domino game drew a loyal crowd each week, and even offered cash rewards for the winner.

"It wasn't enough money to make you crazy about winning," Rother jested.

Sunday's tournament competitors came from all over the state to compete for one of five top placements, cash prizes and bragging rights.

Some of the cities represented at the tournament included Katy, Pflugerville, Richmond and Lake Jackson, Shiner, Ganado, Victoria, Gonzales and Yoakum. One domino competitor even drove in from Louisiana, Rother said.

Each year a long-time tournament player is inducted into the Hall of Fame. This year, Harvey Joseph Janak, of Hallettsville, and Louis Kuntschik, of Gonzales, were named the 2012 Domino Hall of Famers.

At the end of the tournament Sunday night, cash rewards ranging from $300 to $100 were given out to the top five teams.

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