Students who participate in the University Student Union’s (USU) billiards tournament will have double the chance of winning after they are entered in a raffle for participating.
The tournament begins Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 4 p.m. and will run weekly until April 27 in the Games Room.
“It is just like an extended program for our CSUN students that are down there hanging out,” said Jeremy Hamlett, USU commercial services manager. “We are just trying to find a way to get CSUN students more engaged.”
Hamlett said this is the first time the USU will be giving students who win the raffle prizes like an XBox, an iPod nano and a Game Stop gift certificate.
CSUN student Ronald Villar, 19, a mechanical engineering major, who will not be able to attend the tournament because of a class, said he likes the idea of a raffle for those that do participate.
“I think it is pretty nice for the people that are playing,” he said.
Villar said he began playing billiards two semesters ago and has played in the Games Room a couple of times.
The billiards tournament is part of a three-tournament series the USU offers every spring and fall semester.
For 10 weeks, not including this week or the championship game, CSUN students that participate will compete with each other in table tennis, poker and billiards tournaments.
Hamlett said it is an avenue for students to have fun in something that is free and recreational but also offers some competition.
Christian Llerena, 18, who has not declared his major, said he has been playing billiards for three months and is considering participating in the tournament regardless of the raffle opportunity.
“I play (sometimes) when my friends come down (to the Games Room),” he said.
Llerena will be among other participants. Hamlett said about 16 students are expected to participate in this semester’s billiards tournament although the maximum capacity is 32.
He said the tournament has never reached its highest capacity but it could go up to that number if it had that many players.
He said this is mainly because of the brackets used to see who plays who, if the tournament had the next highest number which is 64, it would take eight hours to complete and they only do two to four hour tournaments.
Hamlett said since 2006, the first, second and third place winners of the tournament have received a plaque with their names that is displayed in the Games Room.
The winner is determined by the number of points earned throughout the tournament, which also led to the idea of having a raffle.
“We figured instead of it being so much on points, lets just do raffle tickets,” Hamlett said.
The raffle tickets reward students for participating, he said.
“So even if you are not really that good or if you are just going to have fun and hang out with your friends, you still get a raffle ticket for participating,” he added.
“Students can obtain raffle tickets at other USU events like concerts and comedy nights,” he said.
“Students can get as many raffle tickets as possible,” Hamlett said. “The more things they do, the more raffle tickets they get.”