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Seniors play in pool tournament

BIG CYPRESS — Seniors from several reservations came together for camaraderie, laughter and healthy competition at the Senior Pool Tournament held at the Big Cypress Billiards Center on Aug. 22.

As it usually is with old friends, the atmosphere was warm and comfortable. Seniors bantered easily as they made or missed their shots on the tables.

“I’ve been playing forever,” said Esther Buster, of Big Cypress. “It’s a hobby. It’s nice to get together with old friends from different reservations.”

Buster and Louise Osceola also participate in a pool league in Immokalee and play on a team every week.

“I love winning,” Osceola, of Big Cypress, said. “I grew up playing pool; it’s a lot of fun.”

Texas Billie, who has played since he was a teenager, still enjoys the challenges of the game.

“The most fun is making the bank shots; they are more entertaining than straight shots all the time,” said Billie, of Big Cypress. “If you miss the shot, it’s no fun; you have to make it. Even if you lose, you still enjoy the game. Playing is the most important thing.”

Big Cypress Tribal senior David Cypress plays pool often and enjoys the game.

“I’m the best there is – just kidding,” Cypress said. “Any pool player will tell you that, whether they are or not. I’m always ready for competition.”

The tournament featured four games: 8-ball, scotch doubles, 9-ball and men vs. women 7-ball.

The winners were as follows: men’s 8-ball – David Cypress; women’s 8-ball – Linda Tommie; scotch doubles – team of Linda Tommie and David Cypress; men’s 9-ball – David Cypress; women’s 9-ball – Louise Osceola; and men vs. women 7-ball– Louise Osceola.

The following Tribal seniors participated: Esther Buster, Beulah Gopher, Louise Osceola, Linda Tommie, Joe Billie, Texas Billie, David Cypress, Mitchell Cypress, Ricky Doctor, Daniel Gopher, Joe J. Osceola, Rudy Osceola and Roy Snow.

Tournaments are held every few months, but there are plans to increase the frequency.

Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at

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