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.