By Vern Hee
Behind the bar sits a Japanese rifle from World War II with the name of a soldier on it. Pictures of veterans, patches and shadow boxes line the walls from military outfits from all over. This atmosphere makes for a unique experience while playing in a pool tournament.
In addition to the Hideaway Bar, 4760 Pahrump Valley Blvd., which has a nine-ball tournament on Saturday, Everyone’s NCO Club at 1330 E. Calvada Blvd, now has a nine-ball tournament as well on Saturday and an eight-ball tournament on Monday night.
Irish Smith, bartender at the NCO Club, organizes the pool tournaments and said the tournaments are quite popular and are here to stay.
“When we first started over a year ago, we had only 8-9 people. Now we have well over 20 for some tournaments. New Year’s Eve, people thought we would not have one and over ten still showed up. A gentleman named Red asked us one day to start the tournaments down here and we just have had this every Monday since,” said Smith.
The nine ball tournament on Saturday is called the “Second Chance Nine Ball Tournament” and is for those that lose at the Hideaway.
“I am working with the Hideaway on this tournament. If you get beat out of the tournament at the Hideaway you can come here and get beat in ours,” he said.
Smith said the buy-in for the tournaments is $5 and it is double elimination. This means you are guaranteed two games. The sign up is at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays for the eight ball tournaments. The nine ball tourney on Saturday is at 8 p.m. First place wins two-thirds of the pot.
There is usually free bar food, and $1 beers and margaritas. At the moment, Jordan Piper, a Pahrump resident and pool lover, has been tearing up the table for the guys and Melissa Curtis, a Pahrump resident, for the women has come close.
“Most people do not know about us or think that the NCO Club is a members only place. We started this to have a place for veterans but it does not mean you have to be a veteran to come in,” said Smith.
Smith himself is a veteran marine and served in the marines for four years and then served in the army reserve for four years. After his military service, Smith went on to get a history degree and this probably is the reason why he loves working at the NCO Club.
Smith has played a major role in decorating the walls of the Club with military memorabilia from all over the world. He said most of the memorabilia has been donated to the NCO Club and he said any veteran can come in and put their picture up on their wall.