The National Hockey League has its Lord Stanley Cup.
Porky’s Last Stand Restaurant has its Lord Porky’s Cup.
But its billiards, not hockey, played almost every Wednesday during the “winter” on Marco.
Tom Bower is the “Commissioner,” taking office shortly after Joe “Doc” Gratkowski.
A popular competition that has been going nearly 12 years, it often draws “outsiders” to Macro to see how they match up.
Bower has updated the technical record-keeping aspect. Meaning he uses a computer to automatically record
There is a winner each week, recorded on the Lord Porky’s Cup. There are now 547 winners on the massive trophy. An almost weekly player, Jim Erb, has added onto the trophy to place more names.
Charter Captain Mike Krezner of Pro-Fish-In-Sea provides seafood from the Gulf as a treat for the players. There is an entry fee, $10, that goes back to the players.
Registration on Wednesday is 7 p.m. Matches start around 7:30 p.m. and go until the double-elimination tourney
“Since I run the event it’s not good to get knocked out early because I’m still there at the end,” Bower said. Bower couldn’t participate in the early days while he was Porky’s bar manager. His name is on the trophy three times.
Gratkoswki sees his name on the trophy more than 25 times.
He began playing pool at age 14 in Scranton, Pa. He went on to win local, county and state titles in the 1980s, “but it turned into a hobby as there wasn’t enough money to be made,” he said. “I got married and you couldn’t feed a family on pool.”
However, he was good enough to “spar” with Jimmy Rempe, who was ranked No. 1 in the world at the time. He also played against the world’s No. 1 ranked Steve Mizerak.
Asked about his interest in pool he said, “It was the demographics of the Northeast. In the winter time you played pool.”
He has stuck with pool since coming to Florida, “because I stink at golf.”
Jack “The Man” Bucknell, 83, grew up in Plymouth, Mich., competing in high school football and wrestling. He started playing pool with high school friends.
When he got a job working in the afternoon at Daisy Air Rifle Co. he knew the owner of the pool room and the owner would let him play in the mornings.
Living in a mobile home park off the island, at one time he had 10 or more mobile home parks playing in a league.
Age caught up with a number of the players and mobile home park competition dwindled. He enjoys playing at Porky’s. His name appears on the trophy five times.
“I don’t know when I will put down my stick,” he said. “Guess when I run out of breath.”
Amy Lypen enjoys competing with
She started playing pool with friends in her college days in 1991.
“My cousins and uncles always had a table,” she recalls. “It was one way to get the boys.”
Amy has won the weekly challenge
“I like challenging the men, because no man wants to lose to a girl,” she said. “There is a lot of sportsmanship, but I deal it out and then take it too.”
She became a celebrity of sorts when world renowned billiards player Jeanette Lee, “The Black Widow,” put on a demonstration and played the local pool sharks at Porky’s.
The Black Widow beat all the men, but “lost” to Lypen.
“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to play her,” Lypen said. “She was really nice and I had a lot of fun.”
Sounds like they have fun most every Wednesday night at Porky’s.