Miami, Fla. – Aug. 31, 2021 – The greatest jai-alai players in the U.S. faced off Aug. 27-29 at the second annual United States National Jai-Alai Championship at Magic City Jai-Alai. The fully booked, three-day tournament took place on Magic City Jai-Alai’s state-of-the-art glass-walled court with more than $25,000 in prize money at stake and featuring 100 athletes from across the U.S., including professional players from all four of South Florida’s frontons.
Magic City Jai-Alai player Matt Langhans (known courtside as Douglas) seized the Singles Champion title in the Professionals Division. Dania Jai-Alai player Iñaki Goitiandia (known courtside as Goitia) won second place in that category. Doubles team Matt Langhans and his younger brother Ben Langhans (known courtside as Benny) wowed the jai-alai community with their impressive win against the Dania Jai-Alai powerhouse duo Erik Mendizabal (known courtside as Erik) and Emmanuel Laduche (known courtside as Ladutxe), considered some of the best players in the country. In the Masters Division, which was dedicated to amateurs, Matt Didomizio (known courtside as Goya) took the Singles Champion title. The Doubles team of Leo Beach (known courtside as Beach) and Matt Didomizio won the Doubles Champion title in that division.
“We could not be happier with the way things turned out at this Championship. The caliber of talent over those three days was fierce. We are proud to host this event and to be at the epicenter of 21st century jai-alai in the U.S.,” said Scott Savin, Chief Operating Officer at Magic City Casino, home to Magic City Jai-Alai. “We congratulate Douglas and Benny, truly underdogs in this event, for their momentous wins against some of the sport’s mightiest players and to all the participants who competed.”
The Jai-Alai Channel (www.jaialaichannel.com) on YouTube livestreamed the multi-day tournament. Florida is the only state in the U.S. in which professional jai-alai is still played.
The tournament kicked off on Friday, Aug. 27 with amateur participants in the Masters Division. Saturday, Aug. 28 and Sunday, Aug. 29 was dedicated to the Professionals Division. The tournament was sponsored by BetRivers online gaming. The BetRivers Sportsbook & Casino service is operated by Rush Street Interactive, an affiliate of Rush Street Gaming, a U.S.-based casino group that owns and operates several leading land-based casinos in the northeast and midwestern portions of the country.