Breaking News Bar
posted: 5/26/2014 8:00 AM

Elgin club keeps domino tradition alive

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Members of La Nueva Generacion Elgin Domino Club play in Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia's garage in Elgin on a recent Friday. The group has organized a regional domino tournament June 7 in South Elgin.

       Members of La Nueva Generacion Elgin Domino Club play in Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia's garage in Elgin on a recent Friday. The group has organized a regional domino tournament June 7 in South Elgin.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Luis Acevedo of Elgin gets a congratulatory handshake after a win while playing domino at Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia's home in Elgin.

       Luis Acevedo of Elgin gets a congratulatory handshake after a win while playing domino at Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia's home in Elgin.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia, left, and Celestino Hernandez, both of Elgin, have been domino partners for about 20 years.

       Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia, left, and Celestino Hernandez, both of Elgin, have been domino partners for about 20 years.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Members of the Nueva Generacion Elgin Domino Club play in Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia's garage in Elgin.

       Members of the Nueva Generacion Elgin Domino Club play in Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia's garage in Elgin.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Fabian Lopez of Elgin fist-bumps his cousin and partner, Donato Lopez, while playing domino at Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia's Elgin home.

       Fabian Lopez of Elgin fist-bumps his cousin and partner, Donato Lopez, while playing domino at Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia's Elgin home.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia of Elgin owns handcrafted domino tables from Puerto Rico.

       Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia of Elgin owns handcrafted domino tables from Puerto Rico.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

Tell Alfredo "Bruce" Garcia that domino is a game for kids, and get ready for a look like you just came from Mars.

"There is a lot of thinking involved," the Elgin resident said. "There is a lot of numbers, a lot of math. It's a really serious game."

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Garcia is president of the newly created La Nueva Generacion Elgin Domino Club (The New Generation Elgin Domino Club), which consists of about 40 players, all from Elgin and mostly Puerto Rican.

Many of them have been playing together for decades, participating in tournaments across the suburbs, Garcia said.

"People that really established the club are the old-timers, about eight of them are the pioneers. We are now trying to establish it as something bigger to keep the tradition alive," he said.

The club's first major regional tournament is 2 p.m. June 7 at Rumbas Mexican Restaurant, 1101 N. La Fox St., in South Elgin. Registration will take place on-site at 1 p.m. the day of the tournament.

Domino is a game commonly -- and competitively -- played throughout Puerto Rico, a tradition that has been kept alive in Elgin over the decades, said Garcia's sister, Yessenia.

"I am a player, my mom is a player. We don't have too many ladies, though," she pointed out.

"In Chicago you'll have more ladies play because they've been around for a long time and they have four domino leagues."

Among the pioneers are Garcia's father, Alfredo "Cuco" Garcia, and Celestino Hernandez, who have been playing as a team most weekends for about 20 years.

Both started playing while growing up in their native Puerto Rico and finally won their first tournament last year.

"We understand each other very well, but when we play, we don't say a word to each other," Cuco Garcia said.

Hernandez said games can get extremely intense. "I get really mad. I don't want to lose," he said.

Club Vice President Jose Villanueva said his vision is to incorporate a youth initiative, perhaps consisting of weekly domino classes for kids.

"I would like to teach the smaller kids so they can follow the spirit of the game," he said. "It's a sport. It's educational, they learn how to count -- there is a lot involved."

Villanueva's domino partner is his uncle, Carmelo Villanueva. The two boast they've won four tournaments in their seven years as a team.

"There are three strategies: repeat, block and match," Jose Villanueva said. "That's what you need to know."

Still, it's all for naught if one doesn't concentrate, his uncle said.

"You've got to be focused," Carmelo Villanueva said. "If you're not focused on your game, you might as well hang it up."

La Nueva Generacion has a Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/La-Nueva-Generacion-Elgin-Domino-Club/755777237767704.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.