Monday, December 17, 2012

Dr. Cue Classic Artistic Cup VI

From November 29 to December 2, 2012, I played in the Artistic Cup 6 event held at the Marriott East in Indianapolis, IN. The event was held in conjunction with the Indiana APA state invitation tournament, so there were lots of pool players around. I got grouped up with Dave Nangle and Gordon Hedges for the first 3 rounds. I guess we were a little speedy as we tended to finish 30-45 minutes ahead of the other groups we were shooting with. After the trick/fancy and special arts disciplines, I was barely gripping on to a top 10 spot, even though I scored enough points to take the special arts medal. I was able to make a move in the draw and follow disciplines up to 6th place though. The jump may sound small, but with a program of easier shots, you can't take anything for granted. After bank/kick and stroke, I was in fourth place, actually tied for 3rd but Tom Kinzel beat me on the tiebreaker. I was actually surprised at that considering that I missed a shot in each of those disciplines. For the final day, the groups were shuffled up based on position, so I was matched with Florian 'Venom' Kohler, Curtis Robertson, and Kinzel as the top four players. In the jump discipline, I made the first three shots on my second attempt and the last two shots on my first attempt. However, the other guys scored zero on the second jump shot, while Robertson and Kinzel faltered on at least one more each, leaving me in 2nd place heading in to the masse discipline, down by 3 points to Kohler. Oddly, we took a 'halftime' break between the jump and masse disciplines which threw things off a little bit. We cruised through the first masse shot and I made the second masse shot on my first attempt. Kohler missed his first two attempts, finally making it on his third attempt but his lead had shrunk to one point. We kept pace with each other for the next two shots. On the final masse shot, I went first, missing my first attempt by not putting enough spin on the ball. I made my second attempt though, but left Kohler with some breathing room. He needed it too as he clipped the wall of balls on his first attempt, gathered himself, and nailed it on his second attempt to preserve his one point victory! It was exciting all the way down to the last shot.

So second place, special arts medal, and a nice weekend hanging out with the guys again. It was a fun time and I'm certainly looking forward to the next one.

Friday, August 3, 2012

World Class Artistic Pool Masters Cup, Shenyang, China

The China tournament was quite the spectacle. I got picked up at the airport and taken to the hotel where they were getting the arena ready. All the other guys were milling around the lobby getting checked in as well. The first night had a big reception with dignitaries and press. A rep from the US Embassy was even there. Nice spread, but they didn't reload the food, so I only got one round. We were all anxious for the practice tables, but they were getting set up that evening. We finally got on one and rotated through for a while. The second one opened up a couple hours later. The opening ceremony was the next morning, again filled with dignitaries. My first round was on the TV table with searing lights, but our group shot well and finished in decent time. We had a bit of a break before our second round that afternoon. That was also on the TV table and I managed to keep myself in it. The third round that evening killed me. My group was on the other tournament table which was super slick, making some of the shots pretty difficult, especially after we had broken in the practice tables already. That's pretty much where I crashed out of contention, but it left me in 8th place that evening. The Sat morning round, we were re-grouped based on our rankings. The 9-12 guys went first, so I knew what I had to do to beat them. There wasn't a ton of motivation after that since 5-8 took home the same prize money and it would've taken catastrophe's from other players to make it to 4th. So I managed to squeeze into 8th while securing the follow discipline medal and putting myself in position for the masse medal as well. Gabi had a perfect masse discipline going into the final round, so I didn't hold out much hope. He shot in the next round and teased me by missing the shot twice before nailing the 3rd attempt.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Masse's in Walnut Creek

Had a fun session with Juan who contacted me last week and wanted to get together. Man, my 8 ball and 9 ball game have gone to crap. We went out to Masse's in Walnut Creek. We played a few games and I showed him some shots. I had him hit a few too and he seems really excited to learn more. Maybe I can get him up to speed to play in one of the tournaments later. Masse's was ok. It's a sports bar but was pretty quiet for a Monday night. The tables are mostly 9-ft Olhausens with skinny rails. The cloth was quality except for all of the stains from spilled drinks, food, and who knows what else. And I think there was only one bridge in the whole place, so maybe we were lucky not many other people were playing. Anyway, should be a fun time to show Juan some more stuff.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

World Rankings

The WPA world rankings have been updated to include the recently concluded 2012 WPA World Artistic Pool Championship. The first public release of these rankings is posted at the URL below:

The official WPA site hasn't even been updated, so we're ahead of the curve here, even if the event happened more than two weeks ago. Oh, yes, the high tech world of trick shots.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2012 WPA World Artistic Pool Championships

The 2012 WPA World Artistic Pool Championships were held this past weekend at the annual Super Billiards Expo. It brought together some of the best trick shot pros in the world along with some new faces, including 14 year old Iulian Cernatischi and 15 year old Ignacio Block from Argentina. It was also one of the largest fields we've had in recent years with 36 players.

I started off pretty hot with a total score of 70 after trick/fancy and special arts, winning the special arts medal along the way. That was good enough for 1st place, but things quickly went downhill from there. I wound up in 8th place after the preliminary round and had to face 9th place Jamie Moody in the playoffs. It went back and forth, but I pulled out the victory in the end which earned me a shot at Andy Segal in the next round. I kept it close but threw away a few points here and there and ended up losing by nine. My final position was 7th, which is solid but not spectacular. Andy went on to win the tournament for the 2nd year in a row, beating Nick Nikolaidis in the final.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Star Wars

I find it amusing that someone with an Iranian IP address thought it was worth their while to visit my pool trick shots page and give the first page of shots a 1-star rating!