Pool tournament hopes to keep memory alive - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pool tournament hopes to keep memory alive


By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Friends of coast murder victim honored his memory Saturday by doing something he loved to do, play pool. Fifty-four year old Mike Surber, a nationally ranked billiards player, was found murdered in his Ocean Springs home late last year. Jerry Parylak loves to shoot pool and so did his good friend Mike Surber.

"Mike was the kind of guy that everybody liked and admired for his ability no matter what he did. He'd give you the shirt off his back. He didn't deserve what happened to him," Parylak said.

Friends tried to turn their grief over Surber's murder into a celebration of his life with a two-day pool tournament at Skeeter's Billiards in Gulfport.

Thirty-two contestants must try to win their games with each player only allowed to shoot his balls into one designated hole. Organizers say it's called One Pocket and Surber loved it.

Tournament Organizer Art Tripp said, "He was one of the top players in the United States, so it just so happens the game of One Pocket was Mike's favorite game. And he was a very excellent player at it. So it was a natural to use the game of One Pocket to honor the memory of Mike Surber."

So far, no one has been charged with Surber's murder, but friends said they don't doubt one day there will be justice.

"We're all just praying that they catch this guy that killed him," Tripp said. "My best guess, and I'm not in the authorities, is that they'll catch him for something else and then match his DNA and that's the way they'll get him."

Organizers say they hope to make the Mike Surber Memorial Pool tournament an annual event.

The quest to catch Surber's killer continues. Ocean Springs Police say the man you see here is their primary suspect.

But at this point they don't know who he is because they say he used an alias when he was in our area. Police say the man is in his late 40's to mid 50's, about six-feet tall, and 185 pounds.

If you have any information please contact the Ocean Springs Police Department at 228-875-2211.

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