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Money in the Corner Pocket

RIVERSIDE, IA (CBS2/FOX28) While Mother Nature covered every outdoor surface with white snow, the only surface that roughly 600 of the nations best amateur pool players were worried about was made of green felt. At tournaments like this one, players can make money at a hobby they love.

"We're here at the Riverside Casino in Riverside, Iowa for the 2014 Universal Cues ACS Midwest 8-ball championships, said the Executive Director of the American Cue Sports Alliance John Lewis.

The battle for the piece of the roughly $25,000 in prize money starts in local leagues. Most of the players started playing just for fun.

"My parents own a bar and I've played pool since I was in high school, said Tanya Blazevich, who traveled from Lemont, Illinois.

"We owned a pool hall and a bar so I started playing when I was young, said Kyle Boers, who plays back at home in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

By being in an ACS-sanctioned league, players are eligible for these regional tournaments and national ones, where there is more money to win. Boers was on a team that took home a national championship.

"Of course you can lose too, but it's fun knowing that when you spend all that time practicing and then you go and you actually win something, said Boers.

What makes it even better for some players is that no one here is a pro.

"I love it. I have a lot of friends who hear about me winning a tournament and they always say, "I need to find a hobby that pays me," instead of having to pay to have a hobby, said Boers.

A hobby that can also have a nice payday.

"We're taking time away from work or our kids or our family  and we come here to win. But have fun, said Blazevich.

For tournaments like this one, there are different divisions based on skill, so even players who arent as advanced still have a chance to take home some of that $25,000.
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