Byers racking up the wins
On most Monday nights, if you go to the Dublin Underground in Iowa City, you will see Molly Byers of Riverside playing billiards. Byers has been playing billiards for the past 23 years and has become good enough to be considered one of the best in the state.
The Iowa City native has lived in Riverside since 2010 and worked as a graphic designer at Riverside Casino since August 2007.But the story of billiards and Byers goes way back before those times.
Byers started playing at the age of 17 at Colonial Lanes in Iowa City. What was a casual way to enjoy time with friends became enough of a passion that she became determined to improve at the game.
Opportunities expanded for Byers when the Iowa City Women’s Pool League started in 1993. At the time it was considered to be the first and only billiards league for women in the area. Byers improved with experience and practice over the years and has now been to three national BCA championships in Las Vegas in her time in the sport.
Byers has been going to state tournaments annually and claimed first place in the Iowa State Poolplayers’ Association tournament in 2011. In 2013 she placed ninth in the level one division and the Iowa City team placed 14th. So far this season she has won 40 of the 56 games she has played in league.
“It’s been a fun hobby for me. I’ve been able to win some money doing it and that’s been nice, but I do it for the enjoyment. The opportunities for women’s billiards players have really expanded over the past 25 years and that’s exciting to see,” Byers commented.
The 2014 ISPA state tournament is quickly approaching for Byers, as it will begin on Wednesday, April 2 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. It is the largest state-level amateur pool in the country with over 4,000 participants on 160 tables.
“I’m hoping to at least do as well as I did last season, maybe do a little better. There will be a lot of talented players there,” Byers added.
Based on Byers’ experience and talent, there is no reason to believe that she won’t place in the top 10 in her division again this year.