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.