Pool players of Kampong Cham beware, there’s a new prince at the pool table and he’s only six years old.
When school’s out, he can be found at the Lazy Mekong Daze restaurant, ready to play anyone brave enough to challenge him. Armed with a cue that is taller than he is (he still has a few growth spurts to go), Ly Bonna has been shooting and winning at pool since he was four years old. But don’t worry, he doesn’t play for money... yet.
His size, youth and Spongebob Squarepants t-shirt have effectively disarmed many an opponent.
“Many customers underestimate him of course, so he wins a lot,” said Sunny Franck, Bonna’s uncle and owner of the Lazy Mekong Daze restaurant. “In the beginning I let him win to make him happy, but now I want to teach him that he can lose also. But even still, he can win pretty often.” Sunny has been teaching the boy how to play pool since he moved into his restaurant a year and a half ago.
Bonna has been refining his skills ever since he arrived at the restaurant. Under the supervision of his Aunt Dary and Uncle Sunny, on his days off he passes the time in the restaurant playing his favourite game. “He did not have many friends when he first moved here, so he spent a lot of time in the restaurant playing pool,” said Sunny.
But now that he is in school, winning pool games will just have to wait. Despite Bonna’s natural talent, his family isn’t letting him off the hook. When asked about his future at the pool table, Sunny simply replied, “He is too young to think about that and school is more important for his future.”
The Lazy Mekong Daze restaurant can be found along the riverside at Kampong Cham.