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.