Magic City Jai-alai just completed its 4th Annual USNJAC Event this past weekend. Several amateurs, ex-pros and current pros all participated in the 3-day event in sunny, hot Miami Florida over a 3-day weekend festivities.
We have all the complete results and scores as compiled by Straymar of Say HiLi.com.
Puryear Parks star player Anthony Sutton, for some reason named the “Ant”, took home 1st Place in the Master’s Division, beating “Poppa” Douglas I, 7-2 on Sunday afternoon to take home the $1,000 prize.
In the Master Doubles division, the team of Rastock and Conrado beat DeCarlo and Lasa 7-5 to take home the $1,000 prize. Rastock is now a regular at the Puryear Park cancha, while DeCarlo and Lasa play a lot in Berlin Connecticut at Matt’s place.
This was the first time Connecticut amateur court owner Matt DiDomizio didn’t come home with a check from playing jai-alai, but he did come home with an extra $550 from winning at the slot machines, just feet away from the cancha.
The pro event on Saturday featured some great jai-alai action. The speed of that ball is hard to tell on TV vs being live, and I can tell you that ball was moving fast. Especially Goixerri, who beat Manu 9-7 in a thriller to collect first place money of $7,500 on Sunday afternoon. He also won the doubles championship with Aratz, for another cool $10,000! Not a bad day, to say the least.
We were also impressed with the play of “Alex” , DeCarlo, Tino, Joe P (Petco), and the man behind Jai-alai sports betting – Ari.
This year, players were allowed to practice for at least a two-hour session on Thursday. Players in the past had complained about the lack of practice time to get used to the court, which is quite different than any other. This practice session made a huge different in play the next day. A very large group from Matt’s Court in Connecticut made the long trip to play also.
Attendance was by far the biggest crowds the event has had. I liked the revised layout of the seating, and the chairs were comfortable. The only gripe we heard from players and spectators was the start times of the events, with 3 different times given out at the last moment for Saturdays start time. Nobody had an idea what time it started on Friday when arriving on Thursday. This information should be posted for everybody to know in advance. We also heard from several people that were confused as where to watch it at. Magic City’s website page on the event never changed at all and even included incorrect information on who won last years event. Information on where to watch it should be posted on the home page along with the hours. Otherwise, the overall event, broadcast like production and announcing should be commended.
Jai-alai will continue at the Magic City Casino at least thru 2025 and it appears there will be an event next year. Special kudos to Scott Savin for putting on the event again and all the hospitality.