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Jose "Amang" Parica
April 18, 1949 |
La Puente, California, USA
|Occupation||Professional pool player|
Jose Parica (born April 18, 1949 in La Puente, California, USA) is a Filipino professional pool player from Manila, nicknamed "Amang" (Tagalog for "father") and "the Giant Killer." As a Philippine Hall of Famer, he pioneered the "Filipino invasion" in the United States, especially in the game of nine-ball.
Also known as "the King" and "the Legend" in Philippine pool, Parica became the World Player of the Year[who?] in 1997. He is the only player to achieve a perfect game of nine ball in a (race to 11) match. He was the only Filipino to win all major final titles against his Filipino counterparts.[clarification needed]
Jose "Amang" Parica had to pull a stool every time it was his turn to make a shot when he first played billiards at his father’s billiard hall in Blumentritt back in the Philippines. He was just seven years old when he first struck a cue ball with a cue that was much longer than he was, on a billiard table that was just as high as he was. Parica literally grew up with a cue in his hands.
Parica sharpened his skills in the billiard halls his father owned in Blumentritt and in Sta. Cruz in Manila. Soon, he was beating much older people. He had won all the tournaments that had to be won in the Philippines, but he felt he still did not earn the recognition he felt he deserve. Finally, in 1975, he got his break.
A Japanese billiard player and promoter was looking for a Filipino player to compete in a tournament in Japan, and went looking for a guy known only as "Amang." Word got around fast, and soon Parica was on his way to Japan for his first major tournament outside the Philippines. By then, Parica was already 25. He bagged fourth place in the Tokyo International Open that year, and got invited to the tournament every year.
In 1976, Parica, hoping to get a better deal for Filipino billiard players, organized the Philippine Pocket Billiards Association and he became its first president.
In 1978, he got enough sponsors to compete in his first-ever tournament in the United States, the World Open Straight Pool Championship which was dominated by Ray Martin. He was the only Filipino in the tournament, and got the attention of the billiard world by placing in a tie for 9th to 12th places.
In 1979, Parica was the Philippine's National 3-Cushion Champion, Rotation Champion, and Snooker Champion.
Parica competed under the Men’s Professional Billiards Association for years, but did not win a U.S. title until 1986, when he won the World Open 9 Ball Child Cypress in Lexington. He followed it up with a victory in the World Classic Cup title in Aurora, Illinois.
In 1987, Parica went back to the Philippines to display new skills he had learned from the world’s best players, and to encourage Filipino players to compete in the prestigious and financially rewarding U.S. billiard circuit. Parica had blazed the trail, and had actually paved the way with gold by gaining respect from the Filipino players. He wanted other Filipinos to follow his trail to world success.
Soon, Filipino players Efren "Bata" Reyes and Francisco "Django" Bustamante joined Parica in lording over the American circuit. Without realizing it, Parica had led what American billiard aficionados call the "Filipino Invasion."
Parica had won close to one hundred tournaments in the U.S., thirteen in Japan, and three in the Philippines (the 1980, 1989 and 1992 Philippine Nine-ball Open Championships). In 1988, Parica dominated the Japanese circuit, winning eight of the nine tournaments he competed in, and placing 2nd in the other. That same year, he won the World Pro Tournament, the biggest and richest tournament in that time, by beating arch-rival Reyes 9-3 in the finals. The tournament was played in Tokyo and had 900 players. Parica earned the first prize of ¥5M. That year, Parica had total winnings of $289K.
Parica achieved one of the most revered records in pool, and was the only player to win a perfect run out match of nine-ball under race-to-11 format without misses or fouls.
He won three more tournaments in 1989, but the star of Reyes was beginning to shine, and that of Parica to fade. In 1994, Parica married Aurora and retired from active competition. He had a lot of savings from his billiard earnings, and he decided he did not want to travel constantly anymore.
Parica was content with playing billiards privately and wading in the pool of his 5-bedroom house in West Covina, until one day, while they were in Las Vegas, his wife Aurora overheard a Filipino say that Efren Reyes was the best Filipino player ever, and that Reyes could beat any Filipino, including Parica. Reyes had been named Player of the Year[who?] in 1995. Aurora told Parica what she heard, and convinced him to play competitively again, just to prove that he is not yet over the hill. Parica took it as a challenge and as a go-signal from his wife to resume his suspended billiards career.
In late 1996, Parica resumed playing in the U.S. circuit. He lost twice to Reyes that year, and also lost to American ace Johnny Archer, who emerged Player of the Year in 1996.[who?] But Parica still managed to win four tournaments that year, against Reyes’ three.
Parica showed his fighting heart by coming back in 1997 to beat Reyes six in a row, and Archer seven times. Parica won five tournaments that year and emerged No. 1 in world ratings. Parica even won the Camel Overall Bonus of $50K. He proved he was still among the best in the world by being chosen Player of the Year in 1997 by three award-giving bodies — Billiards magazine, Billiards Digest magazine, and the Camel Pro Billiards Series (the richest and most prestigious circuit in the US at that time).
Parica and Reyes faded again in 1998, as the rising Francisco Bustamante dominated the circuit, by winning three of the Camel Circuit’s eight legs, and placing second in two. Bustamante won the Player of the Year honors that year.[who?]
After three tournaments in the Camel Circuit, Parica ranked 9th place with 130 points, with Bustamante at 6th and 170 points. Reyes, who missed one tournament when he represented the Philippines in Brunei, was considerably behind, with only 80 points. Reyes won the World Nine-ball Open in London in early August.
Parica finished in a tie for 7th and 8th in the first leg of the tour, in Kansas; 13th in Atlanta; and 32nd in Las Vegas, which Reyes did not compete in.
With his convincing victory in the Compton event, where six of the seven Filipinos who competed finished in the money list, Parica advanced to the next leg, at Nashville, Tennessee starting 14 September, and later at the prestigious U.S. Open in Houston, Texas on September 25–26.
At age 50, having played billiards for 43 years, and having more than 100 titles under his belt, Parica has not announced any plans to retire. In 2006, he won the $40K First Western Open Nine-ball Championship at the Crystal Park Casino and Hotel in Compton, beating Francisco Bustamante in the finals, 15-12.[clarification needed] However, when he participated in the 2006 IPT North American Open Eight-ball Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, he was eliminated in the first round, winning only $2,000.00 for his effort. He fared better at the IPT World Open Eight-ball Championship in Reno, Nevada, where he reached the 4th round and won $22,322.00.
Heightened rivalry toward Reyes
Years before,[clarification needed] Parica has been known to have bested Efren Reyes countless times, especially in money matches. During his prime, from the 1970s to the mid-1990s, Parica wasn't just a dominant player but a well-admired figure of the Philippine public.
After Reyes won the World Nine-ball Championship in 1999 and numerous events later, Reyes was enshrined in the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 2003. Parica has expressed dismay at this honor, feeling that his great achievements have been forgotten because of Reyes, and that he, too, should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
- 2009 Winnings: $12,650.00
- 2008 Winnings: $23,165.00
- 2007 Winnings: $19,495.00
- 2006 Winnings: $33,597.00
- 2005 Winnings: $40,994.00
- 2004 Winnings: $25,926.00
- 2003 Winnings: $75,670.00
- 2002 Winnings: $53,695.00
- 2001 Winnings: $43,690.00
- 2000 Winnings: $16,050.00
Charges on assault
In the early 1990s, Parica attacked a man whom he said was troubling his wife. But the battered man had a different story and told that Parica robbed him of his belongings. Parica was imprisoned for one day. After paying fines and testifying in court, Parica won the case and was released.
- "2003 Player Profiles: Jose 'Amang' Parica", AZBilliards.com, 2003; accessed February 10, 2007
- The Snap, April/May 1990, p. 64
- What About Parica?
- "2004 Player Profiles: Jose 'Amang' Parica", AZBilliards.com, 2004; accessed February 10, 2007
- "2002 Player Profiles: Jose 'Amang' Parica", AZBilliards.com, 2002; accessed February 10, 2007
- "2003 Joss Northeast Tour Stop 2, September 21-22, 2002, Break Time Billiards, Salisbury, MD", AZBilliards.com, 2002; accessed February 10, 2007. Event was held in 2002, but was part of the "2003 Tour"; it is listed as a 2003 event for purposes of this article.
- "2003 Joss Northeast Tour Stop 4, October 12-13, 2002, Eight Bill Billiard Parlor, Quincy, MA", AZBilliards.com, 2002; accessed February 10, 2007. Event was held in 2002, but was part of the "2003 Tour"; it is listed as a 2003 event for purposes of this article.
- "2003 Joss Northeast Tour Stop 5, October 19–20, 2002, Bristol Billiards, Bristol, CT", AZBilliards.com, 2002; accessed February 10, 2007. Event was held in 2002, but was part of the "2003 Tour"; it is listed as a 2003 event for purposes of this article.
- "2002 Joss Northeast Tour Stop 24, April 20-21, 2002, Country Club Billiards, Chelmsford, MA", AZBilliards.com, 2002; accessed February 10, 2007
- "2001 Player Profiles: Jose 'Amang' Parica", AZBilliards.com, 2001; accessed February 10, 2007
- "2000 Player Profiles: Jose 'Amang' Parica", AZBilliards.com, 2000; accessed February 10, 2007
- "2000 Joss Northeast Tour Stop 11, January 6-7, 2001, Pockets Billiards, Bradford, MA", AZBilliards.com, 2001; accessed February 10, 2007. Event was held in 2001, but was part of the "2000 Tour"; it is listed as a 2000 event for purposes of this article.
- "2000 Joss Northeast Tour Stop 13, January 20-21, 2001, Rhode Island Billiard Club, North Providence, RI"], AZBilliards.com, 2001; accessed February 10, 2007. Event was held in 2001, but was part of the "2000 Tour"; it is listed as a 2000 event for purposes of this article.
- "2004 Player Profiles: Jose 'Amang' Parica: Previous Titles", AZBilliards.com, 2004; accessed February 10, 2007; stats originate with Billiards Digest magazine
- "What About Parica?". Billiards Digest. Retrieved May 2, 2010.