Pictured from left to right: Albert Tucker, George Stallsworth, John Post-Arkansas State Champion, Johnny Barham-District 8 Champion, Joe McDaniel and Quint Hodges.
By Tammy Moore Teague
Most everyone has a memory of playing a hot game of checkers with a family member or friend. For some it brings back a host of childhood memories. But for some, it means competition–tough competition! That competition is what local resident Quint Hodges is set for at an upcoming checkers tournament.
Hodges has competed in the tournament before and is looking forward to doing it again this year. The state tournament is set to take place on August 24-25 in Fort Smith. Contenders will gather at the Guesthouse off Hwy. 71 S., across from Planters. “These men don’t play checkers like we did as a child,” said Hodges. “They get serious and are very hard to beat.”
At last years tournament, players competed for $450 in prize money. First place took home $154, second place $133, third place $77, fourth place $51, fifth place $39 and last place $26. Participants came from three other states to compete. Three from Arkansas including Hodges, one from Louisiana, one from Oklahoma and one from Missouri.
The competition this year promises to be equally substantial with the Arkansas State Champion John Post, and District Champion Johnny Barham, who is also from Arkansas, participating. The district winner took overall in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Kansas.
The prize money for this year’s tournament is already at $500. “Joe McDaniel from Tulsa, Oklahoma donates money to checker tournaments all over the United States, said Hodges. “This year he is donating $500 dollars to the Arkansas tournament.”
This years national tournament will take place in Las Vegas. Players will compete at three levels for a combined total of $25,000 in prize money.
If you are interested in participating in the state tournament, you can sign up that day. The registration fee is $25. Players must be a member of the American Checkers Federation. Additionally, Hodges is planning to organize a local group of players. You can contact him at 479-806-6321 for more information.