Domino tournament draws 88 teams from across the state

Kenneth Curtis, left, and Charlie Hernandez, both of Victoria, play a game of dominoes at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Hallettsville.
  • 2012 DOMINO HALL OF FAME

  • Harvey Joseph Janak, 71, of Hallettsville

    Janak has played in the Knights of Columbus Hall Domino Tournament since the 1960s.

    He has played domino tournaments in Hallettsville, Sweet Home and Ganado.

    In 2008, Janak and partner Paul Bludau placed ...

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  • 2012 DOMINO HALL OF FAME

    Harvey Joseph Janak, 71, of Hallettsville

    Janak has played in the Knights of Columbus Hall Domino Tournament since the 1960s.

    He has played domino tournaments in Hallettsville, Sweet Home and Ganado.

    In 2008, Janak and partner Paul Bludau placed second in Sweet Home; in 1997 the partners placed second in Ganado, and won third place in Hallettsville in 2008.

    Louis Kuntschik, 63, of Gonzales

    Kuntschik has competed in the Knights of Columbus Hall Domino Tournament for more than 40 years.

    Kuntschik has played in every area domino tournament, and competed in the World Championship Tournament in Andalusia, Ala.

    Kuntschik competes in the KC tournament every year with Irvin Windwehen.

    Kuntschik and Windwehen previously won second place at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Go Texan Tournament

    He won a second time at the Go Texan Tournament with partner Joseph Kridler.

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.