A trip to Las Vegas typically is on the bucket list of many. And a trip earned to the "entertainment capital of the world" always is more rewarding than a trip planned.

That is exactly what a quintet of billiard players — led by a trio from Waldo County — found out after a successful run on the felted tables Saturday, June 23.

The Captain Crushers, comprised of Jenn Fogg, Dana Ouellette, Rich Bagley, Jason Neptune and Melissa Neptune, will compete in the American Poolplayers Association (APA) Team Captains Championships Saturday through Tuesday, Aug. 11-14, at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino.

The winning team will collect a cool $10,000.

The Captain Crushers qualified for the tournament by winning a qualifier on Saturday, June 23 at TJ’s Billiards in Waterville.

Ouellette and Bagley play out of the Belfast League, Fogg the Bangor League and Neptunes out of the Portland League.

Fogg’s husband, Howard, was a member of the five-player team that qualified for the event, but had to be replaced due to his commitment to the local summer soccer program as the Belfast girls varsity coach. Bagley replaced Howard on the team.

“Howie and I went to Vegas for a 9-ball tournament two years ago and ever since we went we have had in itch to go back,” said Fogg, assistant librarian at Mount View High School in Thorndike. “When we heard about this captains tournament we thought that would be another way to get there.”

The APA is the world’s largest amateur pool league with more than 265,000 members competing in 8-ball and 9-ball Leagues throughout North America.

The Maine APA has nearly 2,000 active players on more than 230 teams playing weekly (year round) in more than 50 host locations in the state.

The captains' tournament is new to the APA format this year, which has an alternating 8-ball and 9-ball format. Five-player teams are formed, with the only stipulation being that each player is a captain of a league team in the state.

Each team match begins with the lowest skill-ranked player facing the opposition’s lowest skill-ranked player in a game of 8-ball, as the winner earns one point for his/her team. The next ranked player then plays against the opponent’s next ranked player in a game of 9-ball. The rotation continues until one team earns five points to win the match.

Ouellette has the highest ranked skill level on the team at 7, while Bagley (6), Jason Neptune (5), Melissa Neptune (4) and Fogg (3) round out the team.

Three of the five players on each team compete in each match, though the combined skill level number of the three players cannot exceed 15.

Fogg formerly resided in Knox, but now lives in Monmouth, while Ouellette lives in Belfast and Bagley in Swanville. Jason Neptune and Melissa Neptune reside in Cumberland.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.