Monday, December 28, 2009

Kickin it at Santa Clara Billiards

On Christmas Eve, I took some time to play pool with a friend at Santa Clara Billiards. It's a nice room with 30 9-foot pool tables. Most of them were Gandy Big G's, but there were a couple Olhausens too. Anyway, we just played a bunch of racks of 9 ball. I decided to kick at most balls when there was no direct route and made a couple of amazing shots, including the two below. I don't remember where the rest of the balls were scattered about, but each shot certainly required a kick. I had to review the two rail kick systems with him too. We played pretty even for most of the day, then decided to end it with a race to 5, which I ended up winning 5-1. But it was a great start to the holidays to spend some time with a friend I hadn't seen for a while.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New trick shot videos and tutorials

Finally got the production work done for my new shots. Check out how to hit a bank shot backwards or a nasty jump-fouette. Plus a few other tricky pool and billiard shots. Watch them and rate them!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shot updates

I filmed a few more shots earlier this week. Should have them up and ready to go over the weekend. I also just put up one new tricks shot leftover from the last batch because I didn't have the tutorial photos.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dr Cue's Artistic Cup III

Nick Nikolaidis defeated Jamey Gray to win the Artistic Cup III this weekend. Jason Lynch won the Cue Dean E competition over Rick Hawkinson, Florian Kohler, and Bill Meima. Awesome talents were on display the whole time. Check out the recorded footage.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Live stream of Dr Cue's Artistic Cup III

Check out the live stream from Dr Cue's Artistic Cup III. If you want to know what a trick shot tournament is like, now's your chance

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

League party

So we had our league party last night to wrap up the session. Next season starts January 4. It was nice to get out and see the guys again. I haven't played pool in a few weeks, as you can probably tell by my lack of posts. But we did collect our winnings which came out to $55 a piece, so that recouped about half the season's entry fees. Not too shabby.

Friday, October 30, 2009

2009 World Cup of Trick Shots Results and Recap

Check out the results from the 2009 World Cup of Trick Shots at Mohegan Sun:

Semifinal #1

Team USA: Tom Rossman / Mike Massey

d. 8-5

Team Europe: Stefano Pelinga / Lukasz Szywala

This matchup featured some of the best strokes in the game of pool. Team USA took an early lead taking advantage of Europe missing one of their own attempts. They opened it up on a teamwork Circular Draw-based shot and a Railroad shot. Europe couldn't get any closer than two points, and missed all but one of USA's challenges, and the USA finally sealed the victory as Mike Massey hit a masse jump shot.

Semifinal #2

Team Europe: Ralph Eckert / Nick Nikolaidis

d. 7-4

Team USA: Andy Segal / Bruce Barthelette

A nice contrast in styles developed with Team USA's power and speed versus Europe's finesse and stroke. Ralph Eckert gave Europe an early lead that they would never relinquish. Team USA did itself no favors only earning points on two of their seven challenges, virtually handing the match to the Europeans. Nick Nikolaidis finished it off with a series of alternating one-handed jump shots.


Team USA

d. 8-5

Team Europe

Team USA took the interesting strategy of going first after winning the lag. It paid dividends as they were able to get on the board first, putting pressure on the Europeans. They kept the pressure high, demonstrating their teamwork much more comfortably than their opponents and extending their lead to three points. Europe was only able to pick up one point on a USA challenge, and that on a solo shot, while missing four of their own shots. That would spell their demise as Team USA successfully defended their World Cup of Trick Shots title.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Not Safe Enough

My team ended up getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs this season. I had to play a lower ranked opponent who beat me 4-4 since I had to spot a game (and a ball). She took the first three games pretty quick before I ground out the next three. In the seventh game, we both missed the 8 ball a couple times, then she tried a thin cut with the bridge, made the 8, but scratched, sending it to hill-hill. She had the break in the case game and spread the balls pretty well. I probably should have just tried to tie up the 8 ball right away with an intentional foul because there were few safety options and my balls didn't look runnable. Well, I tried to safe, but it didn't quite work out and she took the last game. One of my better safes in one of the earlier games is below as I was on solids. I didn't get the right shape to get on the one ball and wasn't going to go for the combo, or back up and down the table for the other balls, so I played safe, she missed the kick, and then I ran out from the ball-in-hand.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rocking the caroms

I was playing a lower-ranked player in league last night, giving up a ball and a game (so a 5-4 race). I had forgotten about the ball spot the first game, so I might have played it slightly differently if I had remembered and my opponent took an early lead. He could've gone up 2-0, except he scratched on the 8 ball in the second game. Then I started turning it on and took the next three games with some long runs, stranding 5 or 6 of his balls on the table in each of those games. The last game was a little closer, but I pulled it out after he fouled trying to jump one of my balls leaving me an easy three ball run.

In one of the middle games though, I was left with the layout below. He had a lot of balls strewn across the table, but it still looks like a tough position even if there weren't any! I caromed the 4 off the 1 into the corner which set me up perfectly for the rest of the run.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New shots posted

Just posted three new shots, two of which feature my giant 8 ball!. Check them out and tell me what you think!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I just did a show at Bentley University yesterday. Long day, but it went well. I ended up playing mostly challenge matches with the executive board of the Bentley Billiards Association. A few other guys came through though I think the expectation was for more. I tried to stretch out the trick shot exhibition, but ended up getting in to shots that were a little lower percentage than I would have liked. I did get to shoot Where'd Glenn Go? off of a courageous volunteer's mouth though! It was the second time I've tried it with a real person, this was after showing I could do it with just a pyramid of balls though.

Friday, October 9, 2009

2006 World Cup of Trick Shots Play by Play

I just finished up the full play-by-play of the inaugural 2006 World Cup of Trick Shots featuring Bogdan Wolkowski, Lukasz Szywala, Nick Nikolaidis, Stefano Pelinga, Andy Segal, Mike Massey, Tom Rossman, and Bruce Barthelette. It was the first major team trick shot event that opened the door for some amazing team shots. Andy and Bruce teamed up and mounted a stirring comeback over Bogdan and Nick and the first semifinal. Stefano and Lukasz countered for Europe though, winning the second semifinal over Mike and Tom. Team USA wound up victorious in the final though, earning the first World Cup of Trick Shot title!

The 2009 World Cup of Trick Shots is coming up on October 29 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT!

Shoulda Woulda Coulda

Lost my league match this week (back on Monday) going hill-hill in a straight 5 race. I missed a couple 8 balls and positioning for the last couple balls. It was a tight match, but I certainly know what I need to work on (like getting position off a ball hanging in the corner). Anyway, one of the more memorable sequences was the end of this game when I was on the 8 ball. He safetied me behind his 4 and 5 ball, so I hit a 3 rail kick. He tried to combo the 4 in the side (2nd page) and missed, leaving the cue ball in about the only spot I would've had a chance. It was still a difficult shot, but I was able to cut the 8 all the way up the long rail for the win.

In another game, I had the following shot on the 1 ball hanging in the corner. The 8 ball blocked the natural kick and one of his balls blocked the lower end kick, so I had to go above the 8 ball and stuck a bunch of left english on the cue ball in order to get it over to the corner pocket. Good thing I have an idea of the clock system.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Check out the article in The Tech about the Ultimate Trick Shot Challenge! I guess I should've tried to get it in there a little sooner, but oh well.

Monday, September 21, 2009

League night

I won my league match against a higher ranked opponent 5-4 tonight (it was a 6-5 race). Nothing too exciting, dropped the first game, took the next four, gave up the next three, and finally pulled off the last one. It was a good match all around, but my opponent got a couple bad rolls freezing the cue ball to object balls a few times.

On another highlight, Caitlin, our waitress, turned me on to a barbecue bacon burger. In and of itself, I'm sure it was really good, but she told me the trick was to put the onion rings inside the burger! It adds a nice extra crispy crunch to go along with the bacon and was outstanding! Try it next time you get the chance. Thanks Caitlin!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Just started a Twitter account! Come follow me!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

2009 Trick Shot Magic results

Here are the quarterfinal results:

Nick Nikolaidis d Bruce Barthelette, 9-8
Andy Segal d Jamey Gray, 9-7
Eric Yow d Stefano Pelinga, 11-8
Sebastian Giumelli d Tom Rossman, 11-8


Andy Segal d Nick Nikolaidis, 7-6
Sebastian Giumelli d Eric Yow, 7-5


Andy Segal d Sebastian Giumelli, 9-4

Check out the full bracket!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Alive and Kicking

Finally back into league action after about a month off. We don't play during Red Sox home games since the pool hall is close proximity (as in across the street) from Fenway and it's too big of an issue to find parking for most people and overall busy. Then we also had a bye week thrown in and maybe a forfeit as well at one point. Anyway, I was spotting my opponent a game and a ball. I took the hill at 4-1, but he took the next two games, moving it to hill-hill. I got down to my last stripe ball and couldn't do much with it, eventually leaving me locked behind the 8. Then I made a miraculous kick (I mean, I had to call something), but that still left a bad angle on the 8. I tried banking the 8 but ran into his 2 ball. Anyway, he ran two more of his balls then scratched trying to bank the 7 cross side leaving me ball in hand for the 8 ball. I wasn't going to miss that. The team did well too, with everyone winning their matches and the ball count battle. That puts us near the top of the table.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Trick Shot Magic 2009 Matchups

I've been busy with other stuff so I haven't played much since I got back from Las Vegas. And my investigative reporting isn't quite up to snuff, but I can tell you two of the opening round matchups at this years Trick Shot Magic. Eric Yow will be facing Stefano Pelinga (again), as they did in 2008 which Eric won. Jamey Gray and Andy Segal will also be facing each other. That should be a good matchup as they were the finalists in the Ultimate Trick Shot Challenge. That leaves Sebastian Giumelli, Tom Rossman, Mike Massey (maybe Bruce Barthelette as a sub), and Nick Nikolaidis. I'm sure someone out there has the whole bracket, but I haven't gotten a hold of it. I'll update if I do though.

Here are the first round matches:

Bruce Barthelette v Nick Nikolaidis - Power vs speed
Eric Yow v Stefano Pelinga - Two masse masters
Andy Segal v Jamey Gray - The past two World Champions
Tom Rossman v Sebastian Giumelli - No emotions here ;^)

***UPDATE 2***
The matchups are still correct, but the winner of Eric Yow v Stefano Pelinga plays the winner of Tom Rossman v Sebastian Giumelli.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New (old) media!

I got a mention in Amtrak's Arrive magazine! Scroll through to page 12!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ultimate Trick Shot Challenge Recap

Here's my article fully recapping the Ultimate Trick Shot Challenge:

Twelve of the top trick shot artists in the world descended on Las Vegas from August 24-28, 2009 for the Ultimate Trick Shot Challenge. Their talents were on full display for this freestyle trick shot tournament held at the APA National Team Championships, providing free entertainment to the APA players between their matches. The preliminary rounds consisted of round-robin play in two groups of six, with the top four in each group advancing to the playoffs. One point was awarded for a win and one half point for a tie. Group one was headlined by Tom "Dr. Cue" Rossman and Bruce Barthelette, perennial Trick Shot Magic and World Cup of Trick Shots contenders. Also in the group was Sal Conti, Gordon Hedges, Jason Lynch, and Stefan Mendrick. Group two saw the past two World Champions together, Andy Segal (2007) and Jamey Gray (2008), along with Tim Chin, Paul Danno, Mark Dimick, and Dave Nangle.

Skill and creativity ran rampant throughout the tournament with the unveiling of some ridiculous shots, including a quadruple jump, massive fouettes, lighting speed shots, and no-look wing shots. Racks, ball trays, chalks, and cues also found some incredible uses, from building pyramids to creating obstacles for the balls. When the chalk dust settled, Bruce Barthelette and Andy Segal found themselves undefeated in group play. Tom Rossman, Stefan Mendrick, and Jason Lynch followed Bruce into the playoffs from the first group, rounded out by Gordon Hedges and Sal Conti. Jamey Gray, Mark Dimick, and Tim Chin squeezed into the playoffs from the second group, trailed by Dave Nangle and Paul Danno. Tim narrowly beat out Dave on a tiebreaker to decide the fourth playoff spot as they tied on points and in their head-to-head match up. Tim won out based on overall shot make percentage, earning him a shot at Bruce Barthelette in the quarterfinals. The other matchups included Jamey Gray vs Stefan Mendrick, Mark Dimick vs Tom Rossman, and Andy Segal vs Jason Lynch.

Tim Chin managed to overcome Bruce Barthelette in their quarterfinal match, while Jamey Gray held off Stefan Mendrick. Mark Dimickand Tom Rossman's semifinal went the distance to a tiebreaker shot - a five rail lag to a target ball on the spot, closest ball wins. Each player had promising practice attempts, landing inches from the target. Mark went first for the real thing though and came up about a diamond short. Tom didn't fare much better, but his cue ball crawled just a couple inches closer letting tournament referee Gil Olsen easily declare him the victor. In the last quarterfinal, Andy Segal defeated Jason Lynch. In the semifinals, Jamey and Tim couldn't quite replicate their spectacular preliminary round match as Jamey pulled away for the victory. Andy and Tom battled neck-and-neck through their semifinal match, but Andy won it at the end as Tom missed some key shots. The final between Jamey and Andy looked to be a great matchup as Andy barely won their preliminary round match on the final shot. The match stayed close towards the end, but Andy took a late lead. Needing to make his remaining shots (and hope that Andy missed them), Jamey pulled out a high jump, trying to jump the cue ball out of stack of two racks and two balls. He was unable to connect though and Andy came out victorious, surviving the entire tournament undefeated.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ultimate Trick Shot Challenge

Just got back from Vegas where I took 3rd place at the Ultimate Trick Shot Challenge held at the APA National Team Championships! I started out on fire beating reigning world champion Jamey Gray 13-12 while hitting all of my challenges. It might have been the most exciting match of the whole tournament. I couldn't sustain the momentum though, losing to Mark Dimick. On the second day, I ended up tying Paul Danno and Dave Nangle. In my final preliminary round match, I lost to Andy Segal. I finished fourth in our group based on a tiebreaker, beating out Dave for a spot in the playoffs. In the quarterfinals, I met the top seed from the other flight, Bruce Barthelette. He was undefeated at the time, but I managed to pull out a victory 9-4, hitting the vaunted Triple Jump along the way. I met Jamey again in the semifinal, but couldn't replicate my initial performance, finishing tied with "Dr. Cue" Tom Rossman in 3rd. Jamey ended up taking 2nd with Andy finishing 1st. So I was the only person to beat Bruce and only one of two to beat Jamey and finished behind the last two World Champions. Not too bad...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

League night

I ended up having to play two matches in league last night, against different opponents, both races to 5. I got smashed in the first game 5-1, but rebounded to win the second one 5-2.

My first opponent played really well. At 1-1, I broke dry and he ran out, then proceeded to break and run the following rack. I had a chance to win a couple more games, but I slow rolled a thin cut on the 8 and hung it in the center of the pocket. I still left my opponent with a tough bank on the 6 ball, which he made, and then took the rack. Then, I missed a long shot on the 8 after having run my seven balls giving him the hill.

I fared better in the second match, but my opponent appeared hurried, having just arrived and left immediately after the match was over. I definitely need to work on some of my kick shots as I missed a few giving him ball-in-hand which led to the games he won.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vegas practice

I got some practice in for the Ultimate Trick Shot tournament in Vegas next month. I found an 8 foot table to try to work on, but it wasn't quite level. The cushions were good at least. I was also testing out a new jump shaft from Chilton Cue, but it was difficult to gauge as the slate was a lot thinner than what I'm used to. I picked up at least one more shot for my playbook and refined a couple others. I'll really have to find a good 7-footer to practice on before heading down though.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Trick Shot Magic Recaps

If you can't recall all the trick shots you've seen on TV, I've been working on a section of my website to document the events. I just finished the 2007 Trick Shot Magic match recaps. You can see all the creative shots that the players came up with. The semifinals featured Sal Conti vs Tom Rossman and Nick Nikolaidis vs Stefano Pelinga. This joins my recaps of the 2008 Trick Shot Magic and the 2007 and 2008 World Cup of Trick Shots. I'll be getting the older events up at a later date. I also have a preview of the 2009 Trick Shot Magic.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ultimate Trick Shot Championships

I got invited to the Ultimate Trick Shot Championships in Las Vegas the week of Aug 24! It's part of the APA National Team Championships at the Riviera. Andy Segal called me up a few days ago to confirm since Ewa Laurance (the Striking Viking) dropped out. I'm gonna have to practice hard for this one. It's freestyle, so I can make stuff up too. But it's also on 7 foot tables. I haven't found many of those around here to practice on, so it could be tricky.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Role Reversal

Had a rough night at league. Giving up a game and a ball, I lost 4-3. I gave my opponent the hill at 3-1 after some inconsistent play, but clawed back the next two games with some ridiculous defense and purposely missing shots. In the last game, my opponent broke, sinking a ball, then made another before missing. The balls were wide open so I decided to go for the run, which was going well. I got down to my last two solids with the position below. Unfortunately, I over-hit the 7 ball leaving me a funny angle for the 2. I feared a scratch if I tried to cut it in the side, so I went for the corner and managed to swing the cue ball between his balls going three rails and a little long. I totally dogged trying to bank the 8 and he ran out for the win. Luckily, my teammates all won their matches though, so we should still be near the top of the table. We were in 3rd place coming into the week.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Herbert's Billiards Ultimate Trick Shot Mini

I got back late last night after finishing in the 5th/6th slot with Gordon Hedges from Herbert's Billiards Ultimate Trick Shot mini-tournament. Andy Segal won defeating Dave Nangle in the final. Jamey Gray and Nick Nikolaidis took 3rd/4th. I started off slow in the opening rounds, tying newcomer Joe Bonge 2-2. I took Nick down to the final shot, but he ended up winning 3-2. I finally got some shots to go against reigning world champion Jamey Gray, but couldn't hold on to my lead and lost 7-5, again on the last shot. I took that momentum into my last group match against Danius Stipinas and won 5-2. Playing four matches in a row was brutal though. I got into the playoffs by finishing 3rd in the flight and faced Dave Nangle in the "quarter finals" (the top seeds had a bye). I lost 6-3, I think.

Being a freestyle tournament made it interesting. I guess my main go-to shot ended up being the Jump Rainbow Masse. Dave actually made it against me to seal his victory. I couldn't get Just Showing Off Extreme to fall, unfortunately, barely hanging one ball on a couple of my attempts. Out Of My Way proved too easy. I still got a few things to work on though, especially some of the other players' shots.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Friendly league

This week, we ended up playing some good friend of ours. In fact, the guy I was matched up against was the team captain of the first team I landed on when I started in this league. It made for a much friendlier, relaxed atmosphere (not that the other teams aren't friendly). I quickly pulled ahead 3-0, then 4-1. He took the next game and then I prematurely sank the 8 ball in the 7th game, putting the score at 4-3. It was on a breakout shot and I looked to see if the 8 would go. I thought the combination was set to the side rail, but I must have thrown it just enough to find the side pocket. In the 8th game, he got down to the 8 ball and left himself with a tough cut. His teammate called a time out and convinced him to play a safety (he claimed it was the first safety he's ever played, which can't be too far from the truth), leaving the 8 ball blocking my direct path to the object ball, as shown below. I tried a jump shot (page 2), missing the cut, but sending the 12 ball back up table blocking the 8 ball's path to the corner. He tried some wild shot (I'm not even sure I diagrammed it accurately on page 3; there was too much action going on), leaving me with a not-so-easy cut on the 12 in the side with a friendly bump on the 8, putting it a bit closer to the pocket (page 4). I had to pull out the bridge to make it, but it fell, giving me the 5-3 win.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I've gotten some decent practice in over the last few days trying to warm up for the Ultimate Trick Shot mini tournament coming up in a couple weeks. It's freestyle, so the shot selection is wide open. I've been trying to figure out how to re-do some of the shots on my website, but it hasn't been easy. I was hoping to pull off Follow It Up and Hustler Bank Plus 3 Rails. My practice tonight got cut short because some other guys needed it. I guess that's the downside of playing in a dorm.

Otherwise, I've been focusing on jump shots some more too. One-handed, left-handed, two-handed, and everything in between. It's probably one of my more glaring weaknesses. Not to mention Dave Nangle's Triple Jump scares the snot out of me! Hope I don't have to match up against him.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fisher Jump Cue Review

The most recent acquisition to my arsenal is a Fisher jump cue. It has a unique butt with three notches to aid in gripping and I used them for both the dart stroke and pendulum stroke. It's on the lighter side of standard jump cues, weighing 7.5 oz. It also has a G10 tip and pin (3/8 x 10). The G10 tip holds chalk pretty well, although I didn't try any extreme jump-masse's. I'll update this post later if I test that out.

To me, the Fisher jump cue plays very similar to the Jacoby jump cue, which has a single-notched butt. It was pretty easy to get the cue ball up and down pretty quick, within two diamonds. This is nice because if the object ball is farther away, the cue ball should be rolling when it hits it. Due to its lighter weight, it took a little more speed to get the same results as with the jump portion of my X-breaker. It is possible to jump up to half a table length, but it takes some effort. On the short end, it can jump a full ball easily at one ball width and even 3/4 ball width. Anything closer than that gets trickier and probably isn't worth risking; might as well go with an ultralight jump cue at that point. One-handed jumping again was doable, but seems easier with a slightly heavier cue. The Fisher jump cue is probably best for shorter to medium range jump shots, as well as shots where your target ball is not too far from the blocking ball.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Win without making the 8

The new league session started up again today. I didn't quite play brilliantly but it was good enough to win. Oddly though, I'm not sure if I really ever made the 8 ball. I'd get down to the 8, choke, and then my opponent would end up scratching which would give me ball-in-hand, but he would just concede at that point. Anyway, I took the first two games. I should have taken the third except I slow rolled the 8 and it stopped on the shelf and nothing hit a rail. That foul ended up costing me the game. We swapped the next couple of games too, then I took the next two for a 5-2 victory. The teams ended up splitting the four matches, but we ended up winning the match on ball count. Nothing memorable to diagram. Next league match is in two weeks though. Hopefully I'll find something for another entry before then though.

Monday, June 22, 2009

League party

Had the end-of-the-session league party tonight. Good thing the season's over too because I played like crap. Maybe it was because it was all just friendly matches and no competition. Maybe it was because I was distracted by all the free food (pizza, pasta, wings, and chips). Anyway, the payout for our 2nd place finish in the playoffs came out to $172 per person, so we covered our league costs for the season. We have a shorter summer session starting next week though, so I guess I better get some practice in before then.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Table time

I got in some practice last night. It's been a while since I've just been able to play around. I've been working on a couple new shots that I hope to video tape soon. Keep checking back because I'll post them here first. There's a couple prop/novelty shots and some setup shots. Creating new setup shots is difficult, but very rewarding. Anyone can invent a shot with a random prop they picked out of there basement because no one else has access to it. But inventing a shot within the confines of the table and keeping it simple? Anyone could have done it at any time, but you're the first!

Oh, and I delaminated a Talisman tip that I had stuck on one of my masse shafts. I think I'll put on a Sniper. It was also my first session with the Ginger Wizard Easy Jumper jump cue endorsed by Dave Pearson. It's pretty good value. I'll post more detailed thoughts on it later.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Boston Herald

Got a mention in the Boston Herald Inside Track blog for my Boldfacers/Barbershop Lounge show. Also check out my picture with the gorgeous Lisa Pierpont!
tim chin, lisa pierpont

Monday, June 15, 2009

Barbershop Lounge show

I did a show at the Barbershop Lounge tonight for the one year anniversary party. I had a great time. The first hour or so was mostly challenge matches. Then I started shooting some trick shots and letting some of the guests shoot as well. I had people shooting the basic coin wrapper shot, Just Showing Off, and The Blooming Flower, among others. Everybody loved it, especially the ladies who wanted to show up their dates!

People also loved the Railroad Shot, the Slinky shot (similar to the Chain Reaction Jump, except using a kick shot instead), and Where'd Glenn Go.

The highlight of the night was when I was trying to get Lenny to shoot a shot and he kept missing the coin wrapper shot. One of the ladies I had shown it to earlier then made it. So then I set up Just Showing Off for him and he nailed it on his first try putting some swagger back in his step. He happened to be the car dealer that was showing off the Ferrari and Maserati and handed me one of the keys saying "just for that, I'm giving you the Maserati!" OK, so I really didn't get it, but since I had been at the table all night, I didn't get a chance to see the cars so he took me out and let me start the Maserati up. Yeah, I could see myself driving one of those.....

Easy Street Billiards in Monterey, CA

I went on vacation this weekend and made it down to Monterey, CA for a friend's wedding. I looked up Easy Street Billiards as a great place to play and boy was it. I went on Thu night and they run a handicapped 9-ball tournament, a single elimination 32 bracket field with buy backs if there's still spots open. Everyone there was really friendly and the atmosphere was fantastic. The table's were fast and the balls were clean and the house cue I used was just fine.

In my first match, I played Butch who was giving me a 6-3 spot. I was actually watching him warm up beforehand (not knowing I was going to play him) and thought he was pretty good. He took the first game with a solid run out. I was doing well in the second game before undercutting the 9 ball in the side pocket. But he re-gifted it to me and I took that one evening the score. In the next game, I made a great kick and kiss 1-9 for the win after he scratched (see below), and also took the following game for the 3-1 win.

My next opponent was Franci and I was spotting her in a 5-3 race. I quickly won the first two and then we traded games getting to hill-hill. I was able to keep it together for the victory though. I guess my best shot in that match would have been the following sequence. I got a funny angle for the 7 ball and decided to bank it, which then set me up for the rest of the way.

So Butch had bought back in and I faced him again in my third match. The tournament director decided to bump my handicap though so the race was only 5-3. It got to 2-2 when I had the chance for the win with the shot below, but I blew it. He managed to take the next two games after that for the win.

But my finish was good enough to earn my entry fee back and I had a great time shooting down there. I'll definitely go back if I'm in town again!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New shots

I put some new shots up on my website. One is a moving jump shot which I based on a shot that Chris Woodrum and I came up with at the Masters this year. The other one is an extended version of a classic follow shot. Check them out:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Check out the story and video on me at Boldfacers!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Finals

We played the semifinal and final matches to finish out our league season. In our first match, I played against a lower ranked player who I had lost 4-0 to around a month ago. I was spotting him a ball and a game, so I had to get to 5. He took a 3-1 lead to get on the hill and it was looking dire for me. Then I snapped off two games where he only got one shot. I continued to fight and was able to get the next two games to take the match, but only after he hung an easy 8 ball. That ended up being the clincher as two of the matches had already finished, so we won 3-0.

In the finals, I matched up against someone my speed. I took a 3-1 lead, then dropped two after some mis-strategized shots. At 3-3 though, I was able to grab the next two games for the win. We were already down 2-0 at that point, so that put pressure on the last player. Unfortunately, he ended up losing so we ended up in 2nd place. Overall, it's not a bad finish considering the way the season went. Hopefully we can improve on that finish in the next session.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Closer

Whew! Playoffs started for our league last night, win or go home. Luckily, our team managed to pull out two victories to stay alive for next week and we're in the final four. Our two matches had some eerie similarities though. Player A, our highest ranked player, lost his match quickly. Player B would let his opponent get on the hill, before reeling off three straight games to take the match. And Player C won her matches quite handily. So that left me to close things out. Win my game and our team wins 3-1, lose my game and it's headed to a tiebreaker. I ended up winning both of my matches. The first one was 5-1 and I felt in control most of the match.

In my second match, I fell behind 2-0 early after pocketing the 8 ball early and a nice run by my opponent. But I came back with 5 straight to take it. The table was horrible though, with a slight roll affecting any slow shots. In one of the first racks, I tried a table length cut shot and the cue ball veered off missing my object ball altogether. My opponent had a table length shot on the 8 ball a few games later and did the same thing. Eventually, I got to a point where I just stopped aiming those shots and just tried to get a hit. It dragged the game on for a bit and we didn't finish up until just before 2 am.

Anyway, here was the clinching run for my first match. I was on stripes with ball in hand. I was quite proud of how I handled it because I have been working on controlling my draw stroke, especially for these shorter shots.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

League shot

Before our league match on Monday, we learned that the playoffs were going to be conducted by a random draw and I was not in contention for Top Gun due my numerous losses. Anyway, that kind of dampened the competitiveness of the match, but let us relax and have a little more fun. I won my race to 5 match 5-1. One of the more curious situations I got in to was while I was up 3-0 after my opponent missed an easy 8 ball and left me like this:

Instead of playing the easy safety on page 2, I tried to kick off the far side rail, but couldn't execute the narrow angle catching the point of the far corner pocket and giving my opponent ball-in-hand. In retrospect, I probably should have just tried to masse the 8 ball in just to show off. What's funny is that this situation was almost identical to one posted on a message board recently where I recommended the safety. It ran through my head quite a bit before I tried being more offensive than defensive. I felt I had the match pretty well in hand though.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Masse Cues

I love my sponsor Crown Cues. My masse cue has allowed to perform shots I certainly couldn't hit with a regular pool cue. Recently, I wrote an article for ezinearticles about what the advantages of a masse cue are. I also have a few other articles up, so give them a read!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Banking on

League night on Monday was fun. I took a straight race to five 5-1. I guess I kind of set the tone in the opening game with the following run:

I had ball in hand and needed to take care of the 9 ball. I didn't want to follow too much, but ended up getting a slight bit of draw on the cue ball (even through I froze it to the rail) to hide the edge of it behind the 4 ball. That forces a slight masse to hit the 14 which I managed to make and left me no choice but to hit two consecutive banks to complete the run. I probably should have won 5-0 but I missed a long straight in shot on the 8 in the game I lost.

Scotch gig

I had a nice gig outing tonight at a Balvenie Scotch tasting event at the Barbershop Lounge. It's quite an upscale barbershop with a small bar and pool table towards the back. The table was pretty new and in great condition, especially for a 7 foot table. They had shorter cues around so I was able to do a proper railroad shot. I even got to show off a couple simple masse shots.

I got a couple people interested and they were trying out a few shots. I even had someone hitting the Tower Shot where the rack is propped up on a few balls and the cue ball pockets one of them and replaces it as the support. People also liked trying out the coin wrapper shot and Just Showing Off.