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Featured Picklers: Armando Cajuso and Paula Rives

Tournament split into two counties

Armando Cajuso and Paula Rives, a married couple, pose for a photo.
Armando Cajuso and Paula Rives, a married couple, run Suncoast Pickleball Club tournaments.

Concerned that inclement weather would result in the cancellation of a Suncoast Pickleball Club tournament, organizer Armando Cajuso found a solution. 2023’s mid-December Christmas Classic was split into two locations.

All of the club’s tourneys in 2023 took place at the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis Center in Zephyrhills, but with rain in the forecast, Cajuso teamed up with the owner of the Dink House, a recently opened facility in Largo. The first day of the tourney was played at the Dink House with the second-day action moved to SVB.

“These pickleball addicts, they just want to play pickleball,” Cajuso said. “Everybody loved it and ended up going (to both places).”

The connection to the Largo facility can be attributed to Cajuso’s wife, Paula Rives, a talented player who plays doubles and trains with Brandon Anandan, a highly ranked

professional player who owns the Dink House.

“Paula’s good. She’s got a lot of potential,” said Anandan, a longtime tennis player with numerous titles on the junior and pro circuits who switched over to pickleball last


As for co-hosting Suncoast Pickleball Club’s most recent tourney, Anandan said, “It’s cool. They want to start holding them all here.”

Anandan plans to hold several professional tourneys at the Dink House this year and said he is working on the logistics of including Suncoast Pickleball Club events on the schedule.

Photo by Steve Lee

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