Reporters surrounded the new champion. No, $12,500 wasn't his biggest score; he had taken $15,000 out of Carbondale, Ill. one night last summer. Linda Mizerak raced toward her husband. He slung an arm over her shoulder. "I'm exasperated," he whispered. "My stick feels like a 50-pound board."
About 400 fans still were in their seats at the end. Twelve hundred had attended the final, adding $5,000 to the gate and bringing the PPPA purse money to within $3,000 of its advertised $50,000. Margo announced that the PPPA would sponsor another straight pool gig in Manhattan in January. The association had survived its tournament. As Mizerak and Lisciotti departed, the dawn was breaking.