Thursday, December 2, 2010

2011 WPA World Artistic Pool Championships

The 2011 WPA World Artistic Pool Championships were recently announced. It will be held Mar 10-13, 2011 at the Super Billiards Expo in Valley Forge, PA. Check out the full details.

Dr. Cue Artistic Cup IV

Dr. Cue Tom Rossman is hosting Artistic Cup IV in St. Charles, MO this weekend. Check out the stream Fri-Sun for all the action featuring some of the best trick shot artists in the world.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

APA Magazine Article

Check out the fall issue of the APA magazine! Great write up on my 2010 Ultimate Trick Shot Championship victory!

Friday, November 5, 2010

2009 World Cup of Trick Shots

Finally got around to finishing up the play-by-play for the 2009 World Cup of Trick Shots as seen on ESPN. I actually went to this in person, so I got to see every shot, unlike on TV. There are diagrams of every shot attempted, so check them out. The first semifinal pitted Mike Massey and Tom Rossman against Stefano Pelinga and Luke Szywala. In seminal number two, Andy Segal and Bruce Barthelette took on Ralph Eckert and Nick Nikolaidis. The final saw all eight competitors go at it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dr. Cue Tom Rossman in North Carolina

Dr Cue Tom Rossman will be giving a FREE exhibition at Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC on Oct 30 at 7pm. Check it out if you're in town!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2010 World Cup of Trick Shots results

As first reported on the Trick Shot Tim Forums:

Semifinal #1

Nick Nikolaidis and Luke Szywala

d. 8-7 (tiebreaker)

Tom Rossman and Andy Segal

Semifinal #2

Jamey Gray and Bruce Barthelette

d. 6-4

Gabi Visoiu and Stefano Pelinga


Team Europe

d. 7-4

Team USA

Look for the premiere broadcast on ESPN on January 9, 2011 from 4-7pm EST.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pool and Billiard Trick Shot Forums

I'm trying to get a forum up and running on my site. It's not linked from any of the main pages, so secret access is from here only. Come and join the discussions with some of the greatest trick shot artists in the world!

Friday, September 3, 2010

2010 Trick Shot Magic - Update 3

1st Semifinal: Jamey Gray defeats Nick Nikolaidis
2nd Semifinal: Andy Segal defeats Florian Kohler

Final: Andy Segal defeats Jamey Gray

Television broadcast scheduled for Nov 28, 4-7pm ET on ESPN, but, as always, check your local listings.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2010 Trick Shot Magic - Update 2

Semifinals are set:

Nick Nikolaidis v Jamey Gray

Florian Kohler v Andy Segal

Championship match to follow. It's all going down Thu Sep 2.

2010 Trick Shot Magic - Update 1

Nick Nikolaidis defeated Gabi Visoiu in the 1st quarterfinal and will play the winner of Tom Rossman and Jamey Gray.

Florian Kohler defeated Stefano Pelinga in the 2nd quarterfinal and will play the winner of Andy Segal and Dave Nangle.

Monday, August 30, 2010

There Can Only Be One

The 2010 APA Ultimate Trick Shot Tour Championships were last week in Las Vegas. Fourteen of the best trick shot artists in the world were there to vie for the title, including six that have been invited to ESPN's Trick Shot Magic or World Cup of Trick Shots this year - Andy Segal, Nick Nikolaidis, Bruce Barthelette, Jamey Gray, Tom Rossman, and Dave Nangle. The preliminary brackets looked like this: Flight A - Andy, Bruce, Tom, Tim Chin, Paul Danno, Dainius Stipinas, and Gordon Hedges; Flight B - Nick, Jamey, Dave, Jason Lynch, Jason Kane (a late replacement for Stefan Mendrick), Joe Bonge, and Matt MacPhail. On the surface, it looked like a race for fourth place and the final playoff spot in each group. Flight B turned out that way with Nick going undefeated followed by Jamey and Dave. The final preliminary round match between the two Jasons was essentially a play-in match which Jason Lynch won as he pulled away towards the end.

In Flight A though, I had other plans. I started out well against Paul and almost stumbled against Dainius, but strung together enough shots in the end for the win. A tougher match awaited against Bruce, who I defeated last year in the quarterfinals. This year's match was a little closer, but I took advantage of a couple of misses from him to prevail 9-7, his only loss in the preliminary round. It didn't get any easier against Tom who just came off an incredible tie against Andy. In the end, I just played for the tie instead of going for a bigger shot and we drew 9-9. Against Andy, the shots got a little stranger, but we also tied 7-7. I rounded it off with a late win against Gordon on Thu night to cap off first place in the group, followed by Tom, Andy, and Bruce (fourth place with just one loss, ouch).

That stuck me in the quarterfinals against Jason Lynch and his intimidating stroke. I kept to my plan and managed to capitalize on a couple misses from him, sealing the match with one of Nick's shots which I'll try to post in the near future. My semifinal match against Jamey took a similar route, as he missed one of his challenges that I was able to make, and I kept the pressure on by making most of mine. In the end, he conceded when I had the last shot and a one point lead. Against Nick in the final, we went back and forth in the beginning before he took a lead toward the middle of the match at 4-3 and 5-4. I pulled the point back with a frozen masse shot, squeezing the cue ball out between two frozen balls and getting it to masse back to make a hanger. We each missed a couple shots after that and I made my last challenge which looked like it confused Nick to take a 7-6 lead. He tried an audacious jump-fouette shot, narrowly nicking the rack on his last two attempts to give me the victory. It was quite an amazing run for me, especially to beat some of the biggest names in the game in the same tournament.

Check out this video clip and American Poolplayers Association news brief about my win!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

WPA Artistic Pool World Championships

I recently found out there will be no 2010 WPA-APD (Artistic Pool Division) World Championships. The 2011 Worlds will be held at Valley Forge in March 2011, taking over for the usual slot for the Masters. The winner will be guaranteed an invitation to 2011 Trick Shot Magic.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Trick Shot Magic 2010 schedule

Here's the quarterfinal schedule for Trick Shot Magic 2010 on September 1 at Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas, NV.

10am: Nick Nikolaidis vs. Gabi Visoiu
11am: Stefano Pelinga vs. Florian Kohler
1pm: Jamey Gray vs. Tom Rossman
2pm: Andy Segal vs. Dave Nangle

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Trick Shot Calendar

Busy stretch coming up in the trick shot calendar. Lot's of entertaining pool action to be had, coast to coast and even in between. Get to one in your area!

2010 APA Ultimate Trick Shot Championships
August 24-27, 2010
Riviera Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV

2010 ESPN Trick Shot Magic
September 1-2, 2010
Green Valley Ranch Resort
Las Vegas, NV

2010 APA Southeast Classic
September 30 - October 3, 2010
Atlanta Billiard Show - Gwinnett Center
Duluth, GA

2010 World Cup of Trick Shots
October 7, 2010
Mohegan Sun
Uncasville, CT

2010 Dr. Cue Artistic Cup IV
December 2-5, 2010
Side Pockets
Saint Charles, MO

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ultimate Trick Shot Tour Championship Draw - Las Vegas, NV

I just got the draws for the Ultimate Trick Shot Tour Championships to be held Aug 24-27 at the Riviera in Las Vegas, NV. I'm grouped with Andy Segal (again), Bruce Barthelette, Tom Rossman, Paul Danno, Dainius Stipinas, and Gordon Hedges. The other group is Nick Nikolaidis, Jamey Gray, Dave Nangle, Joe Bonge, Stefan Mendrick and Jason Lynch. My schedule's a bit tough as I only have one match on Tue, two on Wed, and then three on Thu, the final two with only a one match rest in between.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ultimate Trick Shot Tour Stop #4: Willow Billiards, Hoboken, NJ Recap

Back on July 10, I competed in the Ultimate Trick Shot Tour Stop #4 at Willow Billiards in Hoboken, NJ. It's a nice little pool room with 11 9-ft Gold Crowns, mostly with Simonis, and a couple other tables out front. The tournament itself had a healthy 13 player turn out. We split up in to 3 groups and were guaranteed four matches each. I ended up playing Paul Danno, Dainius Stipinas, Jamey Gray, and Steve Markle.

Paul is a cagey veteran whose results don't justify his skills and our matches are always tight. This one was no different. I had a 4-2 lead heading in to the last three shots, but he persevered and pushed me to the limit. His final pick was a center spot, two diamond draw shot, which made me nervous as soon as he picked it. He made it on his third attempt to bring the score to 4-4. On my turn, I took a few warm up strokes, closed my eyes, and was as surprised as anyone as the cue ball drew back straight to the corner pocket and letting me escape with a victory.

My match against Dainius was only slightly more comfortable. The creativity in some of his shots was bewildering and I only made one of his challenges. Luckily, I made four of mine and rode those to a 5-3 win with one shot remaining.

I figured my match against reigning world champion Jamey Gray was going to be tough. Surprisingly, he only made one of his challenges and looked out of sorts as I thrashed him 6-1 with four shots left. I'm sure he'll use that motivation the next time I have to face him though.

My final match was against an impressive Steve Markle, fresh off a tie with Andy Segal. I didn't quite carry the momentum over from my previous match and had to gut it out at the end for a 5-3 victory on the final shot. Perhaps I got a bit fortunate as Steve missed a couple shots I'm sure he'd usually make 90% of the time.

That preliminary round left me undefeated and atop of my group, getting a quarterfinal matchup against Gil Olsen. He was hosting me for the weekend and we had driven down together, so it was a friendly affair. He shot well making five of his six challenges and I showed my lack of practice with the APTSA book shots. We were tied going in to the final shot, which was my choice, and I picked a double one-handed jump shot (jumping two balls with two cues in one hand simultaneously). I squeezed that one in and his unfamiliarity with even how to hold the cues was evident as I took a 7-6 victory.

That set up a semifinal showdown with Andy Segal, the reigning ESPN Trick Shot Magic champion. The first shot he pulled out against me was an extension of the double one-handed jump, except using both left and right hands and executing it twice with each hand. That was too much for me. He ended up making 5 of his 6 challenges while I made 3 of 5, neither of us making the other persons shots. There was no 3rd place match, so I shared the position with Bruce Barthelette.

All in all I thought it was a pretty good showing from me. I've never placed higher than 3rd though, so I'm still looking to crack the ceiling. Perhaps my downfall was choosing shots against Andy that I hadn't even attempted earlier in the tournament. I caved in to the pressure of picking shots I didn't think my opponent could make rather than just making my own. The next tournament will be the season ending Ultimate Trick Shot Tour Championships in Las Vegas in a few weeks!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Like Butter....

on a roll. Won my league match last night 5-1 in a straight up race. No real extravagant or audacious pool shots to diagram. It was nice and easy most of the way with some smart safes laid out by both of us and a couple of pattern mistakes here and there. I guess the match started rather ominously for my opponent when I broke dry and he ended up using the one ball as the cue ball. I took off fast with a 3-0 lead before he won his first match. Then I took the next two to seal the win. We also won as a team 4-1 for our first team victory this season as well.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

All I Do Is Win Win Win

OK, it was just one match, but it was good to get another win in my 8 ball league last night, finally. It was a grueling match lasting over 2 hours. I was actually going to have one of my other teammates play instead, but she was showing up late and couldn't stay too long. I was giving up a ball per game in a 5-4 race, but quickly found myself down 2-0. I pulled one back luckily after finding myself in the horrible position on the 8 ball below. My opponent had a couple other stripes strewn across the table, but this was the gist of it. The 8 and 10 weren't quite frozen and I honestly didn't think it was lined up well into the side, but when you're on the 8 ball, you have nothing to lose by calling a pocket. So I made the call and the kick and was surprised as anyone that it actually went, especially from such an acute angle (see page 2).

He took the next game putting him on the hill at 3-1 while I needed to reel off 4 in a row. So I kind of turned to strategy over shotmaking for a while. One of the games presented me with this situation while I was on stripes. The 10 ball didn't really have a pocket so I needed to get it off the end rail. Both of his solids presented tough cuts from distance, so I caromed the cue ball off the 10 and brought it back down table for a pretty good safe, even if the 10 wouldn't have gotten partially in the way of his 5 on the next shot (page 2).

The match ended up dragging on for a bit, and later I was left with the following layout after he tried a safe. Again, there were a couple safety options but I opted for shotmaking this time. I couldn't cut the 10 ball straight, so I played the cue ball off the rail and spun it in to the 10 ball to make it in the corner, knowing the 7 ball would block the scratch (page 2). I didn't really have a plan for the following shot, but it left a decent cross side bank which I drilled for the win.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


So quick recap of the last few weeks. League started up again and I lost my first match. Didn't play the second week, so we'll see how things go on Monday. In the meantime, I went through my doctoral hooding ceremony and got married on June 3. In between everything, I've been trying to figure out how to make a proper stacking ball, so I can balance one pool ball on top of another. Once I get it down, I'll try to post a video tutorial of it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Prop and Pinball Shots

I just updated my website with a few new prop and pinball pool shots. The first one is the Circular Follow Pinball shot. It's an adaptation of the regular Circular Follow shot, but it gets the object ball to do just as much work as the cue ball. Pinball Wizard is another similar shot, with action going on all around the table. I first saw both of these through Andy 'The Magic Man' Segal. Gordon's Gauntlet is a nifty shot I picked up from Gordon 'The Wolf' Hedges. Finally, I put up a video of Ride The Bridge, a not-as-easy-as-it-looks shot that's been around for a while. These are some of the most creative pool and billiard shots you'll see!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Trick Shots in Billiards Digest

Check out the feature article in the May 2010 Billiards Digest! Trick shot tutorials featuring Mike Massey, Andy Segal, Stefano Pelinga, Nick Nikolaidis, and Tom Rossman!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Spent a lot of time this weekend working on some shots that I couldn't get during the last Ultimate Trick Shot tour stop. There's a double juggling speed shot which is still a work in progress. It works every now and again. Then there's a couple pinball type shots which I hoped to film yesterday before a loud party commenced in the room. And also some two-cues-in-one-hand jump shots, which aren't too bad. Finally, there's this neat shot I found posted on Samm Diep's blog, which I should take to some other tables to make sure the banks still work.

Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 World Cup of Trick Shots Team Selection

I'm getting word that the 2010 World cup of Trick Shots teams will look like this:

USA: Andy Segal, Bruce Barthelette, Tom Rossman, and Jamey Gray (unless Dave Nangle wins Trick Shot Magic in which case he would replace Jamey.

Europe: Nick Nikolaidis, Luke Szywala, Stefano Pelinga, and a player to be named, likely between Gabi Visoiu and Florian Kohler, again, pending performances at Trick Shot Magic.

2009 ESPN Trick Shot Magic Recap and Analysis

I just finished updating the 2009 Trick Shot Magic matches. Yeah, I'm a bit late, but no one else online is doing it ;) The semifinal matches featured Nick Nikolaidis versus Andy Segal and Eric Yow versus Sebastian Giumelli. The final pitted Andy Segal versus Sebastian Giumelli. Check out the selected shots as televised by ESPN. I have online videos of some of the shots too.

Ultimate Trick Shot Tour Stop #3 at Shooter's Billiards

The third tour stop of the Ultimate Trick Shot Tour was this last Sunday. We had a pretty good turn out of 13 players, which made the brackets a bit tricky, but everyone was guaranteed four matches. I got grouped with Gil Olsen, Andy Segal, Bruce Barthelette, Jason Kane, Gordon Hedges, and Paul Danno. Matt MacPhail, Dave Nangle, Jamey Gray, Peyton Thomas, Dainius Stipinas, and Joe Bonge were in the other group.

In my first match, I played Gil. He had some really creative shots including a jump-masse railroad shot. He didn't convert too many of his shots though and I ended up winning 5-1. I played Andy in my second match and lost 7-3. I got close on a few shots, rocking hanging balls, so maybe it should have been closer. After a bye, I played Paul in my third match. We both didn't do so well although I again nudged a couple hanging balls without pocketing them. The final score was 3-2. In my last group match, I went up against Gordon, getting to try out some of his crazy shots, including a splitting triple jump which I failed miserably at. I ended up winning in the end though, 4-3.

That was good enough for third place in my flight and a trip to the playoffs against Matt. The match was tense all the way through as we each made the same shots. He missed my last challenge, but I missed his as well leading to a tie breaker, a five rail kick and lag to a ball on the spot. We both shot it pretty horribly, but after some deliberation and fine measurements, I was declared the winner by less than an inch. That gave me a semifinal date with Andy again. He made most of his challenges and I wasn't able to take advantage when he missed and ended up losing 6-3. Dave lost his semifinal to Jamey, so I had to face him in the third place match. He got off to a poor start and I was able to take a three point lead and held it for the rest of the match, winning 7-4 to take third place. Andy ended up beating Jamey in the final for his second win on the tour.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

ESPN 2010 Trick Shot Magic Players

This is an update to the ESPN 2010 Trick Shot Magic initial roster. It looks like the final player will be none other than Florian "Venom" Kohler from France! Should be a great show!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Season Wrap Up

Our team lost in the playoffs this week, finishing our season. I lost my match after scratching on the 8 ball. My opponent played well for his handicap level. We were tied 2-2 after the matches so we went to a tiebreaker match. They put up the guy I played and I decided to match him up against one of my other teammates. Perhaps the highlight was when she was using the mechanical bridge to help with a shot on the 8 ball and, after making the shot, tried to remove the bridge from the table and flung it straight up into to one of the lights shattering the bulb and spraying glass all over the table. Oh, well, guess there's always next session.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

2010 Trick Shot Magic Update

ESPN's Trick Shot Magic for 2010 is scheduled for Sep 1 and 2, 2010 in Las Vegas! The field is almost set with one spot left to be determined. The current invitees are Andy Segal (defending champion), Jamey Gray, Gabi Visoiu, Nick Nikolaidis, Stefano Pelinga, Tom Rossman, and Dave Nangle. If the past is any indication, look for it to be on TV in December.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


After returning from the Super Billiards Expo late Sunday night, I had to return to league play on Monday. We had locked up last place already for the season (thankfully, the playoffs are a random draw), so we were just playing the role of spoilers trying to knock the other team out of the money spots. I played a lower handicap, so it was a 5-4 race and I was also giving up a ball each game. The guy wasn't great, but I made a few mistakes which kept him in the match. I think it was the fourth rack where I tried to jump a ball, but didn't clear it and ended up pocketing the 8 instead. I did have a few flashes of brilliance making some bank shots. I actually banked the 8 ball in on two different occasions and might have actually ended up making more banks than I missed. In another game, the 8 was dead set on a kiss from one of his object balls and I was able to make that. Eventually though, the match got to hill-hill. I missed a long bank, but my opponent failed to get good position on the 8. He played as good of a safety as you could (see diagram), leaving me with one option shown on page 2. He failed to make the long shot off the rail and the balls fortuitously left me straight in on the 8 for the win. Hopefully this momentum gets carried over in to the playoffs!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2010 Masters Artistic Pool Championship

The 2010 Masters was a lot of fun, as it always is. Here were some of the highlights of the trip.

1. Players reunion. It's just always fun being amongst all of the trick shot artists and getting to mess around on the pool table. Unfortunately, there wasn't a practice table so there was less of that, but we took over some of the vendor booths to compensate. Actually it was mostly my sponsors booth, Crown Cues.

2. Getting an 8 ball cut in to my hair. Check out my previous post. It surprised a lot of people and ended up being a good talking point.

3. Nick Nikolaidis winning the tournament over Andy Segal. It came down to the final shot which Andy got to choose and had to make within two attempts.

4. Selling four giant 8 balls. One of them even went to a random fan who was there! Oddly, he asked a lot of people to sign it except for me (and Gordon Hedges). I guess I should start pre-signing them.

5. Beating Steve Lillis in a game of Bobble Ball.

6. Making people smile. Whether it was showing off a trick shot, teaching how to masse, or just with my hair cut, the fun and entertainment takes away all the stress of a tournament.

7. Abram Diaz getting his thumb stuck in a Delta rack. No joke. Stacy had to take him to the women's restroom to soap it up so he could get his thumb out. I heard part of it was caught on the live stream too.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Debuting my new haircut by Str-8-Edge Barbershop. Just in time for the Masters.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oh and n

Still not doing any better in league play. Lost a match where I was giving up a ball and a game, 4-2. But one of the games I won I finished out nicely. I had the layout below. I snuck the 15 in and drew back to play the carom off the 1 ball. I got a lucky bump from the 7, but it set me up just well enough. I had to throw the 12 with a lot of left which also helped for position on the 8. Other than that, the guy made a great bank on the 8 at 2-2 and then finished it with a long back cut. I should have just kept the table closed a little more as he was a good shot maker.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Like Butter ...

... on a roll. Lost a hill-hill heartbreaker in league last night. I got a little hesitant with a long draw shot and came up too short for position on the 8 ball that would have clinched it. My opponent came up with a great cut shot though to seal the match.

One of my memorable shots was in the second rack where he pinned me behind a couple of his balls. He had all seven of his balls scattered about, but I'm only showing the two pertinent ones. The cue ball - 8 ball had the slightest of angles to it, but I managed to nail the jump shot for the win.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2nd Place in PotShot Pool Tournament

I got second place in the PotShot Pool Tournament today at Big City in Allston. It's a slight improvement from the fourth place I got last time, but the field was a little smaller. There were a couple good shooters there though (especially since I dragged a couple friends along), so it might have been slightly more difficult overall. Nothing too dramatic to report, but the first two rounds ended up going to a spot shot shootout. So with an object ball on one spot and the cue ball on the other, you had to sink the object ball without scratching. There are two primary ways to play the shot, as a cut into one of the corners by the object ball or as a long bank to one of the corners by the cue ball. Cutting it is tricky because there's a tendency to scratch unless you can get enough draw or follow to get the cue ball on a different line. I saw a couple players scratch on another table since they couldn't compensate. I chose to bank. I got a little lucky in the first round as everyone missed their initial attempt. For the second attempt, the cue ball could be placed anywhere in the kitchen, but I elected to go right back to the spot and bank again. I thought I made an adjustment, but it wasn't big enough. Luckily I hit hard enough to give myself a chance at the up and down and it managed to fall. In the second round, I went first and fired the bank right in, putting the pressure on everyone else. Even my friend who I told the shot to and who made it in his first round match missed. To the victory goes the spoils.

Dr Cue Tom Rossman at the Osage Prairie YMCA in Nevada, Missouri

Pool trick shot champion Tom 'Dr. Cue' Rossman will put on a exhibition at the Osage Prairie YMCA in Nevada, Missouri on March 2, 2010. Tom Rossman won the 2002 Trick Shot Magic, 2008 Trick Shot Magic, as well as the 2006, 2008, and 2009 World Cup of Trick Shots. Cheaper tickets are available if you buy them in advance so make your plans now!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mike Massey and Ewa Laurance Appearances

Mike Massey will be performing in Vancleave, MS on Fri Feb 19th. He will also be holding a 3 hour clinic on Thursday.

Ewa Laurance, the Striking Viking, will be talking and giving an exhibition at the Business Club of the Triangle meeting also on Fri Feb 19th in Raleigh, NC.

Check them out if you're in the area!

Five and counting

My loss streak in league has hit five games now. This one was a little better with some flashed of brilliance. I fell behind early, but at some point, ran out after my opponent scratched on the break and then broke and ran to the 8 ball in the next game. I couldn't avoid the traffic and ended up getting in a bad spot for the 8, but my opponent let me back to the table. I had a nice straight back bank which rattled out of the pocket. Inexplicably, my opponent ended up missing the 8 too, leaving me a hanger. It was a bit downhill after that though, but it got to hill-hill before he won.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In Stroke Magazine

Check out the article that Crown Cues put together on Jamey Gray and me. It's in Stroke Magazine!

Four on the floor

Well, my losing streak in league has hit four games, but I'm getting closer. At least the last match went hill-hill. The last two matches have been against higher ranked opponents, but I still felt like I matched up well. Mentally, it doesn't feel like I'm there though and I end up dogging it and giving away games.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

PotShot Pool Tournament at Big City

Today, I competed in a PotShot pool tournament at Big City in Allston. It's a modified Kelly pool (or pea pool) rotation game with five players and a 10 ball rack. We played with pool cash and had to ante up each game. Each player selects a pea (or pill) from a shaker before the game starts and the objective is for you to sink the ball corresponding to the number on your pea, but you have to contact the lowest numbered ball first. If you sink someone else's ball, they owe you pool cash and vice versa. Being essentially a ring game, there was little (purposeful) defense. The game ends when someone sinks their pill. If all ten balls get pocketed without anyone sinking their own pill, the pot remains and the ante for the next game is added.

OK, logistically it may sound a bit confusing, but that wasn't the worst part. Many players there didn't even know the rules or even some of the more general pool rules. I had decided not to bring my own cue and out of the twelve people I played against, I think only two had their own. Everyone else was playing with Wallabushkas. There were 20 players all together. Sometime during the first match, there was a mix up on how much we were supposed to ante up, so we had to reverse calculate everything to even it all up. The overall skill level wasn't that great, but the game ends up evening out the handicaps with some luck. First of all, there's five players, so there's no guarantee a good defensive shot will get you back to the table. Second, if you draw a low number pill, you'll have a higher chance of winning strictly because there weren't many people there that were running more than two balls at a time, so you were likely to get a shot on your game ball. Third, slop counts.

Anyway, I managed to win two games out of five in the first round where the antes were $200 pool cash. On one of them, I lucked in my 7 ball trying to bank the 2 cross corner. I also won two games the second round with $300 antes, one off the break and one off a double pot. That was enough to earn a spot on the final table with $500 antes. My kick shots were ridiculously off and I jawed a carom which would have kept me at the table for at least another shot and didn't win a game. I don't really know where I started, but ended up finishing 4th place, enough to win back my entry fee and then some. But not enough to cover the food...

Big City's not my favorite place to play. Certain tables get some glaring sunlight depending on the time of day which makes it difficult. Most of the tables seem to play pretty slow too and the rails are inconsistent. I met some nice folks though and the tournament might be worth another whirl. Next one's up on Feb 21.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jacoby Jump Daddy jump cue review

I recently acquired a Jump Daddy jump cue, made by Jacoby specially for a certain distributor. The shaft is about 4 oz while the butt is slightly over 3 oz, making it on the lighter side with a 3/8 x 10 joint. The shaft is laminated with a 13.65 mm tip and a real stiff taper. You can see the laminate layers in the picture below. When I first started jumping with it, I wasn't blown away impressed. It wasn't until I figured out I could easily jump from one ball width away, almost easier than the Dr. Popper. Sure the cue ball doesn't come down quite as quick as with an ultralight jump cue, but it was impressive for the beast that it is and it has reasonable control. One handed jumping wasn't bad either. Because it's so light, it's a little more difficult to control on longer jump shots since you have to put in a little more force. I'd hesitate to say the Jump Daddy is my new favorite jump cue, but it certainly earns a spot in the rotation for certain shots.

I tried out the shaft with one my friend's jump/break butt. The extra weight really helps pop the cue ball up. I wasn't even going full force because I was on a league table, but high jumping shouldn't be a problem.

Learn more about jump cues and my thoughts on them.


Free Falling

Lost my league match last Monday, 5-3, I think. I had a 2-0 lead that I probably didn't deserve, then dropped four straight before claiming another. I should've sent it to hill-hill except I dogged an 8 ball in the side pocket. I don't know, just not playing so well overall. I'll have to refocus for this week. I'm going to try a Kelly pool tournament on Sunday though for some variety.

I did get in some good trick shot practice this afternoon and evening, just running over the program for the 2010 Masters, assuming I'll be going.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ultimate Trick Shot Tour - Big Shot Billiards

Andy Segal won the Ultimate Trick Shot Tour stop at Big Shot Billiards on January 24, beating out Jamey Gray in the final and Dave Nangle in the semifinals. Jamey Gray made it in by beating Matt MacPhail. The tournament had a strong showing of 12 of the most creative trick shot artists in the region. After the preliminary rounds, Dave bested Joe Bonge in the first quarterfinal while Jamey ousted Danius Stipanis. The rest of the players included Bruce Barthelette, Tim Chin, Gerry Woodlief, Gordon Hedges, Gil Olsen, and Paul Danno.


I finished with one victory and five losses, having been paired with Andy, Dave, Bruce, Jamey, and Gerry. Talk about your group of death. The tournament was on Valley bar boxes, which I didn't quite get the hang of like I did in Vegas. I actually went down to Gil's place on Friday night and spent the weekend there practicing on his 9-ft Brunswick Gold Crown 3. Much of our time was focused on the program though preparing for the Masters. It was a fun time at least and I got to see a lot of new shots in the rapidly evolving world of trick shots.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bruce Barthelette in The Republican

Check out this news story on Bruce Barthelette in The Republican. They talk about Team USA's preparation for winning the 2009 World Cup of Trick Shots.

New league season

A new league season kicked off on Monday. Somehow, I was nominated to be team captain. Well, it was a slow start to the season as we lost all of the individual matches, but managed to win the ball count. I lost my match 5-3, giving away a couple games by not finishing off the 8 ball. My shot making wasn't bad though, but cue ball control was atrocious. I did win the ball count, something like 7-3 though. My opponent was really temperamental, slamming his cue stick into the table after missing shots, yelling at himself, and fist-pumping after easy outs. He's the kind of guy I love to beat, but didn't pull it off. Maybe next time....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ultimate Trick Shot mini tournament - Big Shot Billiards

Around the inner email circles, another Ultimate Trick Shot mini tournament has been announced for Sunday, January 24 at Big Shot Billiards in East Windsor, CT. Come watch some of the creativity of some of the best trick shot artists on display! Or forget about watching and join in yourself! Players meeting starts at 10am at the pool hall.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hit Us With Your Best Shot

Check out my entry for the Hit Us With Your Best Shot contest being promoted by Jeanette Lee. It should be open to fan voting in a few days, so I'll post again when that comes up. I invented this trick shot, the Swinging Tray, for the Ultimate Trick Shot Challenge in Las Vegas last year. I made it every match. I think only Andy Segal and Mark Dimick figured it out.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mike Massey at Break Time Billiards in Modesto, CA

Check out this well-produced video of Mike Massey at Break Time Billiards. He was there to put on a show for one of their first tournaments.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Six ball trick shot (Butterfly)

I was checking out some of the statistics on my website, and some people have been looking for a six ball trick shot. I presume they mean the Butterfly trick shot. I guess I should try to make it easier to find if you don't know the name of it. Any ideas? Oh, and here are instructions for pocketing six balls in one shot.