Former Batavia resident Jeff "The Buddha" Van Buren has purchased the Gambler Pro Tour and is on the road following the pool-players circuit in order to visit billiard rooms and sign up players.
“The Gambler Pro Tour is positioned to elevate the sport of billiards to the next level," says Van Buren, in his press release.
The GPT has an ambitious plan for events to take place in Western New York, Northern Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
He says the tour will attract seasoned veterans and amateurs, as well as, reach out to those who are new to billiard competition. Coverage of the events will be taped and edited for local cable broadcasting.
The Gambler Pro Tour was formed last year by Dan Dennis. Two events were held in Florida and Georgia. Ten more were planned with 10K each in added money. In May of this year, Van Buren, with expansion on his mind, struck a deal with Dennis to purchase the tour. The transfer took place with Catherine Jenkins, of the Mt. Dora, Fla.,Chamber of Commerce, recording the transaction.
Room owners will not be required to add money for semi-pro events. Many events will have no added money. This will take the lure away for seasoned players and give amateurs a chance at cashing in on events.
According to Van Buren, Gambler Pro Tour is not seeking to compete with established pool tours and does its best not to enter markets where there is already a popular tour in place like the Lone Star Tour in Texas, Great Southern Billiards Tour, Joss Tour, Tiger SE Tour, and the newly formed Action Pool Tour.
Van Buren, who now resides in Fort Myers, Fla., is the commissioner of the Pool Hustler Series, and founder of the Shooters Tour that covered Upstate New York. In addition to owning a pool room, he operated the Shooters Tour for 10 years. It grew to 1,000 players holding 30 to 40 events per year with all sponsorships coming from outside of the industry. He was well-known for holding charity events, his favorite being the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
To find out more, phone Van Buren at 239-822-5255, email him at [email protected], visit online at www.GamblerProTour.com