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IDE T F I G AY HOLID PRESE

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DAZ-LING APPLETON WINS U.S. OPEN

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CONTENTS

Vol. 33, No. 1 D E C E M B E R

2 0 1 0

Features 28 DYNAMIC DAZ Taking the U.S. Open crown in an absolute thrilling final, Darren Appleton made sure to enjoy his championship run in Chesapeake. by Nicholas Leider

36 WAIT NO MORE Overdue for a world title at 24 years old? Jasmin Ouschan can check that goal off her list after topping the Women’s World 10-Ball Championship.

28

36

WEBB, KJORSVIK, FISHER: C. BONNER; APPLETON: T. SLUSSER; OUSCHAN: R. GUERRERO

40

by Ted Lerner

40 SANTA’S HELPERS If you can believe it, the holiday shopping season is around the corner. Check out the Holiday Gift Guide for the latest and greatest for your favorite player. by BD Staf f

Columns 10 FROM THE PUBLISHER R-E-S-P-E-C-T Mike Panozzo

64 TIPS & SHAFTS Poolrooms & Schoolrooms George Fels

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On the Cover Dreaming of a stocking full of pool gear? Maybe a cue or two under the tree? Jennifer Barretta and the stars of the WPBA are here to show you the best gift ideas this holiday season. Photo by Carla Bonner

December 2010

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CONTENTS

D E C E M B E R

Vol. 33, No. 1 2 0 1 0

Departments

BD

The Premier Billiards Magazine since 1978

FOUNDER

PUBLISHER

MORT LUBY JR.

MIKE PANOZ ZO

MANAGING EDITOR

NICHOL AS LEIDER

8 YESTERYEAR

ART DIRECTOR

Efren Reyes climbs atop the International Pool Tour’s King of the Hill.

JENNY BR ADLE Y PRODUCTION MANAGER

L AUR A VINCI

10 AD INDEX

CONSULTING EDITOR

GEORGE F ELS

Your guide to BD’s advertisers.

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

ROBERT BYRNE MIK E SHAMOS

12 WINGSHOTS A look at Q-Master Billiards, host of the U.S. Open’s after-hours. Also, check out this month’s You Make the Call and Pool on TV.

SENIOR WRITER

MIK E GEF F NER CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

15 STROKE OF GENIUS Danny Medina hugs the rail in preparation for next month’s thriller.

50 CHRONICLES by Mike Shamos Examining the 1916 study of high school billiardists in Columbus, Ohio.

DAVID ALCIATORE R. A . DYER JAY HELF ERT BOB JE WE T T SK IP MALONE Y L ARRY SCHWART Z ANDY SEG AL NICK VARNER MARK WILSON N AT ION A L A DV E R T ISING RE P.

CARL A BONNER

54 TOURNAMENTS Ortmann nabs an emotional win at the World Tournament of 14.1. Also, Van Boening drubs Immonen in Big Apple challenge match.

58 TOUR SPOTTING Cuemaker and semipro Dan Heidrich takes a crack at a career

PRESIDENT KEITH HAMILTON BUSINESS MANAGER

ACCOUNTING ASSOCIATE

NANCY DUDZINSK I

QUIAN A MAYS

in pool. Plus, Nicole Keeney and Jesse Bowman roll to Midwest titles.

63 MARKETPLACE Check out some great offers.

STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION (ACT OF 1970: SEC. 3685, TITLE 39, UNITED STATES CODE) 1. TITLE OF PUBLICATION: BILLIARDS DIGEST. 2. PUBLICATION NO.: 0164761X. 3. DATE OF FILING; OCT. 29, 2010. 4. FREQUENCY OF ISSUE: MONTHLY . 5. NUMBER OF ISSUES PUBLISHED ANNUALLY: TWELVE. 6. ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION PRICE: $48.00. 7. LOCATION OF KNOW OFFICE OF PUBLICATION: 122 S. MICHIGAN AVE., SUITE 1506, CHICAGO, IL 60603. 8. LOCATION OF THE HEADQUARTERS OR GENERAL BUSINESS OFFICE OF THE PUBLISHERS: 122 S. MICHIGAN AVE., SUITE 1506, CHICAGO, IL 60603. 9. NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF PUBLISHER, EDITOR AND MANAGING EDITOR: PUBLISHER, MICHAEL E. PANOZZO., 122 S. MICHIGAN AVE., SUITE 1506, CHICAGO, IL 60603. EDITOR, NICHOLAS LEIDER, 122 S. MICHIGAN AVE., SUITE 1506, CHICAGO, IL 60603. 10. THE OWNER IS LUBY PUBLISHING INC., 122 S. MICHIGAN AVE., SUITE 1506, CHICAGO, IL 60603. KEITH C. HAMILTON, 122 S. MICHIGAN AVE., SUITE 1506, CHICAGO, IL 60603. MICHAEL E. PANOZZO, 122 S. MICHIGAN AVE., SUITE 1506, CHICAGO, IL 60603. 11. KNOWN BONDHOLDERS, MORTGAGES AND OTHER SECURITY HOLDERS OWNING OR HOLDING 1 PERCENT OR MORE OF TOTAL AMOUNT OF BONDS, MORTGAGES OR OTHER SECURITIES: NONE. 12. THE CORPORATION STATUS FOR INCOME TAX PURPOSES HAS NOT CHANGED IN PAST TWELVE MONTHS. 13. PUBLICATION NAME: BILLIARDS DIGEST. 14. ISSUE DATE FOR CIRCULATION DATA BELOW: OCTOBER 2010. 15. EXTENT AND NATURE OF CIRCULATION. AVERAGE NO. COPIES EACH ISSUE DURING PRECEDING TWELVE MONTHS. A. AVERAGE NUMBER OF COPIES PRINTED: 6,429. B. PAID CIRCULATION: 1. PAID/REQUESTED OUTSIDE-COUNTY MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS: 5,420. 2. PAID IN-COUNTY SUBSCRIPTIONS: 0. 3. SALES THROUGH DEALERS AND CARRIERS, STREET VENDORS: 424. 4. OTHER CLASSES MAILED THROUGH USPS: 291. C. TOTAL PAID SUBSCRIPTION: 6,135. D. FREE DISTRIBUTION: 1. FREE DISTRIBUTION BY MAIL: 0. 4. FREE DISTRIBUTION OUTSIDE THE MAIL: 0. E. TOTAL FREE DISTRIBUTION: 108. F. TOTAL DISTRIBUTION: 6,243. G. COPIES NOT DISTRIBUTED: 186. H. TOTAL: 6,429. I. PERCENT PAID: 95%. ACTUAL NUMBER OF COPIES OF SINGLE ISSUE PUBLISHED NEAREST TO FILING DATE: A. TOTAL NUMBER OF COPIES: 6,500. B. PAID CIRCULATION: 1. PAID/ REQUESTED OUSIDE-COUNTY MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS: 5,115. 2. PAID IN-COUNTY SUBSCRIPTIONS: 0. 3. SALES THROUGH DEALERS AND CARRIERS, STREET VENDORS: 387. 4. OTHER CLASSES MAILED THROUGH USPS: 322. C. TOTAL PAID SUBSCRIPTION: 5,824. D. FREE DISTRIBUTION: 1. FREE DISTRIBUTION BY MAIL CARRIER: 0. 4. FREE DISTRIBUTION OUTSIDE THE MAIL: 400. E. TOTAL FREE DISTRIBUTION: 400. F. TOTAL DISTRIBUTION: 6,224. G. COPIES NOT DISTRIBUTED: 276. H. TOTAL 6,500. I. PERCENT PAID: 90%. 16. THIS STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP IS PRINTED IN THE DECEMBER 2010 ISSUE. 17. I CERTIFY THAT THE STATEMENTS MADE BY ME ABOVE ARE CORRECT AND COMPLETE. KEITH HAMILTON, PRESIDENT.

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LUBY PUBLISHING INC. 122 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1506 Chicago, IL 60603 (312) 341-1110 FA X : (312) 341-1469 w w w.billiardsdigest.com email @ billiardsdigest.com BILLIARDS DIGEST (ISSN 0164-761X) is published monthly by Luby Publishing, Inc., 122 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 1506, Chicago, IL 60603 USA. Telephone 312-341-1110, Fax 312-341-1469. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL and additional offices. SUBSCRIPTION RATES in the U.S. and possessions, one year (12 issues) for $48; two years, $80; three years, $115. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Send new as well as old address. If possible, furnish label from recent issue. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to Billiards Digest, 122 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 1506, Chicago, IL 60603.

December 2010

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YESTERYEAR

It’s Good to Be King + 5 YEARS AGO +

+ 20 YEARS AGO +

December’s International Pool Tour’s King of the Hill event, at the time the richest tournament in the history of pool, pitted two players of considerably different personalities against one another for a first prize of $200,000. Efren Reyes outlasted 42 other competitors to earn a shot at Mike Sigel, annointed King of the IPT Hill by tour founder Kevin Trudeau. In the final, a best-of-three races to 8 in 8-ball, the quiet Filipino did his talking on the table, while Mike “The Mouth” was left speechless. Reyes won the first 12 games en route to a rather drama-free two-set victory (8-0 and 8-4). While Reyes walked away with the big check, Sigel soothed his bruised ego with a cool $100,000.

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BILLIARDS DIGEST

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The question is asked time and time again: “Who is the best all-around player in pool?” Well, in 1990, promoter Karl Kantrowitz organized an event to get to the bottom of the matter. Gathering top pros Nick Varner, Allen Hopkins, Mike Sigel and Jimmy Fusco, the West End All-Around competition matched players in a round-robin event mixing 14.1, 9-ball and one-pocket. If two players were tied, a single set of 10-ball would decide who pocketed the $10,000 winner-take-all prize. In the end, Hopkins and Varner tied for the top spot with 11-7 records. In the deciding race to 9, Hopkins was the first to the hill, 8-6. But the Kentucky Colonel took the next three to swipe the crown.

REYES (RIGHT) TOPPED SIGEL TO BECOME THE IPT’S $200K KING OF THE HILL.

+ 25 YEARS AGO + Eleven months into 2010, no one player has yet distanced himself from the crowd in this year’s race for Player of the Year honors. In all likelihood, the eventual winner will be a tough choice over a small group of possibilities — just like the 1985 Player of the Year race. A quarter-century ago, Earl Strickland, Efren Reyes, Mike Sigel and Wade Crane all had strong cases for the honor. Crane had the most money; Reyes was the electrifying newcomer; and Sigel had a pair of major titles. But in the end, Strickland edged the pack to win his second consecutive Player of the Year. The Pearl took three major titles, finished second in overall money and cashed in all 13 major events.

December 2010

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Mike Panozzo

HERE’S SOMETHING I just don’t get about professional pool players. From the day they go “legit,” and trophies and titles become meaningful validation of their years of apprenticeship in the sport, they begin to quantify their legacy. Their resumes become lists of the titles they’ve won and honors they’ve earned. That’s evident at the sport’s largest tournaments, when the tournament director introduces each competitor prior to a match. The game’s longtime stars get the royal treatment (as well they should). The newcomers and lifetime “B” players, usually identified only by their current city of residence, always seem to look on enviously. Overall, there seems to be universal respect for the game’s top players and elder statesmen. But is it genuine respect, or just window dressing? I ask this on the heels of the 2010 Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame induction ceremony, staged during the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships in Chesapeake, Va., in October. The 2010 ceremony featured the induction of Francisco Bustamante, as well as American Poolplayers Association founders Terry Bell and Larry Hubbart. The ballroom of the Chesapeake Marriott teemed with just more than 200 attendees. As could be expected, a large contingent of family and friends made the trip to see Bell and Hubbart inducted. And a good number of hardcore pool fans purchased tickets to see the three greats honored. Players? Not so much. Aside from eight previously inducted Hall of Famers who attended the banquet, the number of current players in attendance could be counted on two hands. What a shame. Opportunity? There was plenty of opportunity. U.S. Open promoter Barry Behrman halted matches for a threeand-a-half hour period so that anyone who wanted to attend the banquet could do so. And a special price was

T

offered to any player entered in the 256player field. Additionally, the Marriott is spitting distance from the Chesapeake Convention Center, where the Open was being contested. Yet only a few of Bustamante’s contemporaries, like John Schmidt, Raj Hundal, Rodney Morris, Charlie Williams and lady star Belinda Calhoun were witness to what is the pinnacle of any player’s career. There is no greater validation of a player’s legacy than the permanence that comes with his or her enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. If a player truly respects not only the game, but the greatest players in that game, wouldn’t he or she honor the players they so admire by sharing their special night? What was so pressing that fewer than 10 players could make the time to attend? It’s interesting how many players keep one eye on the Hall of Fame as their victories pile up. They start measuring themselves against those who have been inducted. Surely, players like Morris and Williams, and Mika Immonen and Ralf Souquet, and perhaps even younger players like Corey Deuel and Shane Van Boening, secretly wonder if or when they will stand at the podium and accept that honor. I’ll bet they’ve thought of what they’d say, who they’d thank. To me, it’s an honor just to stand in a room with Hall of Famers past, like Nick Varner, Johnny Archer, Mike Sigel, Ewa Laurance, Pat Fleming, Efren Reyes and Loree Jon Hasson, and now Bustamante, Hubbart and Bell. I think players who aspire to greatness would gain a lot just from being in that company. So why, then, wouldn’t more players show that respect for their brothers in arms by standing and cheering them as they’re inducted? A room full of family, friends and fans is great. But I would think that there could be no greater compliment, no higher praise, than to have a room full of your contemporaries cheering your induction. I wish the players felt the same way.

December 2010

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+ QUOTABLE+

“At that point, the only way I was going to miss was if my hand fell off.” DARREN APPLETON, ON THE RATHER SIMPLE U.S. OPEN TITLE-CLINCHING 9 BALL (PG. 28).

Dear

JeDaenaetrte

OPEN AFTER CLOSE

Behrman’s Q-Master Billiards hosts the all-night U.S. Open crowd. TMOSPHERE,” IT says, right on the local and visiting spectators on hand to door as you walk in, “is the name be a part of it all. Q-Master Billiards, all of the game.” And true to its words, 25,000 square feet and 75 tables, is the Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, sport’s Mecca, and for its pilgrims, the Va., about eight miles from the site of occasion of the annual U.S. Open 9-Ball this year’s 35th Annual U.S. Open (see Championships is Holy Week. story, pg. 28), is full of it. Its owner, Atmosphere, indeed. Barry Behrman, is the founder and proTony Erickson and Brian Godfrey moter of the U.S. Open. It hosted the have driven three and half hours from event for its first eight years and four more times in the mid-’80s. And in case you’d forgotten this, or perhaps didn’t know it when you walked through the door, you are instantly reminded of the fact by more signs and photos depicting that storied event’s history than you can possibly absorb in a single visit. Q-Master’s action is almost nonstop throughout U.S. Open week. At some point, amidst the noise, crowd and constant Raleigh, N.C., to be here, and as they click of balls, as you rub elbows with stand amidst the clang and the clatter, many of the pre-eminent pool playthey’re clear about motivation. ers of both the 20th and 21st centuries “I come to party,” says Godfrey, noting (try getting a drink without having to that at least part of the fun is reflected squeeze by at least one of them), you in a casual conversation he was able to begin to realize that the U.S. Open is hold with Nick Varner in the restroom. more than a collection of a few hun“You don’t get to do [stuff] like this anydred pro matches. With the addition where else.” of nightly gatherings at Q-Master Bil“You can talk to the top 10 players in liards after the conference center closes the world,” said Erickson. its doors, it’s a week-long celebration of For Mark Dancel, a local appliance the sport’s storied past, attended by a repairman, a night out at Q-Master Bilmotley crew of its historic participants, liards is business as usual, albeit with current champions and, in the majority, longer hours. In 1999, Behrman 14

A

THOMAS SLUSSER

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THE BLACK WIDOW ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT POOL LIFE, LOVE AND ETIQUETTE.

(Q)

What’s the best way to stop getting so angry when I miss some easy shots? Dustin; Fargo, N.D.

(A)

It’s easy to get frustrated when you have bad days. We all go through it. I’ve had the privilege of seeing some of the best players in the world, such as Efren Reyes, miss easy balls — and he just laughs and lets it go. I think to myself, “Here’s an all-time great, who has much more reason to be upset when he misses, yet he can let it go. Who am I to flip out?” I realize I’ll be a lot happier if I can play pool from the standpoint that I’m on a journey, and every part, even a bad one, is essential. Understand that you’re playing because you love it. You’re in it for the long haul; it’s not just about the results of one day or the next. This will give you the chance to keep growing. If we’re so vain to think that we should never miss, we lose opportunities. I know many think I’m a bit cocky at the table, but confidence in who you are and what you can do should not be mistaken for arrogance. We all miss; the better players just miss less often. Instead of getting angry, tell yourself to focus and work harder!

SEE THE BLACK WIDOW AT JEANETTELEE.COM

December 2010

11/16/10 2:33:36 PM


numbers

BD IN BRIEF ROSTERS SET FOR MOSCONI CUP In the days following the U.S. Open, Matchroom Sport announced the remaining representatives for the European and American squads at this month’s Mosconi Cup, set for Dec. 9-12 at York Hall in London. U.S. Open champ Darren Appleton was the no-doubt selection for Team Europe. Joining previously announced members Ralf Souquet, Karl Boyes and Mika Immonen, the Brit will be making his second appearance, after a disappointing loss in his 2009 debut. The final spot went to Nick van den Berg, who is the second-ranked player on the EuroTour. Winner of the 2009 World Pool Masters (another Matchroom event), van den Berg has made four appearances in the U.S.-Euro battle, with this his first berth since 2006. The Americans, meanwhile, already

# G A M E #

15-13 had two slots filled, with national No. 1 and 13-time veteran Johnny Archer and last year’s MVP Dennis Hatch already selected. After strong performances at October’s U.S, Open, Corey Deuel (second), Rodney Morris (seventh) and Shane Van Boening (ninth) will round out an American squad packed with experience. Both Deuel and Morris will represent the U.S. for a seventh time, while Van Boening has been a part of the last three American squads.

SCRATCH: TOURNEY REPORT In November’s Tournaments section, we mistakenly reported that Mika Immonen defeated Darren Appleton in the final of the 2010 International Challenge of Champions. In fact, Francisco Bustamante was Immonen’s opponent in the final. We apologize for any confusion as a result of this error.

Scoreline of Darren Appleton’s U.S. Open title-clinching victory over Corey Deuel in the win-by-two race to 13 (pg. 28).

$20,000

Amount Jasmin Ouschan earned by winning the Women’s World 10-Ball Championship, her first WPA-sanctioned world title (pg. 36).

39

Items to browse in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide (pg. 40).

YOU MAKE THE CALL: TWO-POCKET With Mike Shamos

QUESTION: You’re the referee in a handicap game of one-pocket under World Standardized Rules. Each player needs one to win, and there are two balls left on the table. Player A shoots the 7 into his pocket (pocket A), but before it falls the 9 goes in his opponent’s pocket after a carom. Player A claims victory, but the opponent, Player B, says, “My ball went first. I win.” Player A gets worried and says, “I think it’s a tie under these conditions.” How do you rule? (This problem was a suggestion from BCA Master Instructor Tom Simpson.) ANSWER: This is a trick question. There are no World Standardized Rules for one-pocket. The BCA website claims that there are, but none can be found on the website of the World Pool-Billiard Association. The unofficial BCA rules state, “Balls pocketed by a shooter in an opponent’s target pocket are scored for the opponent. … If a shooter pockets a ball that brings the opponent’s score to the number opponent needed to win the game, the shooter has lost unless the cue ball scratches or jumps off the table.” The problem is that this rule doesn’t tell what happens if the shooter also make his own game ball on the same stroke. Rule 3.2 from onepocket. org produces the opposite result: “In the event that a player pockets both their own game-winning ball and their opponent’s game winning ball, both on the same legal stroke, then the shooting player wins. There are no ‘ties,’ and it does not matter which ball drops first, as long as they both drop as a result of the same stroke.” The moral: Be sure which set of rules you are playing under before risking any money.

B

A

December 2010

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BILLIARDS DIGEST

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THE OPEN AFTER CLOSE

CUE CRITIQUE: MIKE SIGEL

- continued from pg. 12 -

Built by a legendary player, this cue leaves tradition at the wayside. Mike Sigel, one of the best pool players of all time, decided to take his knowledge and experience to cuemaking late in his playing career. This cue represents a clear departure from tradition. The base wood is cocobolo, which is inlaid with ivory points and solid gold dots on the butt. In a traditional cue, the short ivory points in the butt are complimented by long ivory points in the forearm. Sigel ignored this convention and placed even shorter ivory points in the forearm above the wrap, also inlaid with gold dots. Sigel played on the long-andshort point theme by reversing them, so they emanate from the joint. At first glance, the cocobolo appears oddly spliced with long points, an illusion supported by reversed points of curly satinwood.

DENO ANDREWS: I appreciate where Sigel was going with this cue. At the time, it was a serious departure from the norm, and I believe the risk paid off. The cue is fresh, interesting and thoughtprovoking. Sigel’s choice of materials and color scheme work. The rings don’t match the cue, and a brown leather wrap might look better. Not a monster, but close. DICK ABBOTT: This cue is somewhat a departure from the majority of Mike’s cues. The one design element prevalent in most cues is the point. How can you create another cue with points that’s as easily identifiable? Look at the photos, Sigel has succeeded. Nice cue, but not a monster. JIM STADUM: Being a great pool player doesn’t make one a great cuemaker (though it can help with marketing). The design is different — and I appreciate that. But I don’t think the cue flows. The rings don’t match the design. The ivory inlays above the wrap seem to be too short and fat and disproportionate. I’d rather watch Mike run racks than look at this cue. CONCLUSION: Sigel’s cue is a mere mortal. CueZilla.com offers expert critique of custom cues from the perspectives of the cuemaker, historian, collector and dealer. The goal is to determine whether or not a cue is a “monster.” V Visit CueZilla.com join the discussion.

DEC. & JAN.

POOL ON TV

FOR COMPLETE LISTINGS, SEE THE TV SCHEDULE AT WWW.BILLIARDSDIGEST.COM

All times EST; check local listings

2010 WPBA ATLANTA CLASSIC

ON ESPN CLASSIC ...

Dec. 19: 3:30 p.m. ........................................... ESPN

Dec. 19: ’00 BCA Champs. ............................ 8 Dec. 22: ’00 WPBA Tour Champ. ................. 9 Dec. 26: ’00 Challeng of Champs. ............... 7 Dec. 29: ’00 WPBA Great Lakes. ................. 7 Jan. 2: ’00 Tourney of Champs. .................... 8 Jan. 9: ’01 BCA Champs. ............................... 8 Jan. 12: ’01 WPBA Spring Classic................ 9 Jan. 19: ’01 WPBA Charlotte. ....................... 9 Jan. 30: ’01 Trick Shot Magicv. ..................... 8

2010 TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPS. Dec. 19: 4-7 p.m. .............................................. ESPN

2010 WORLD CUP OF TRICK SHOTS Jan. 9: 4-7 p.m. ................................................. ESPN

2010 WPBA TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP Jan. 16: 2:30-5:30 p.m. ................................... ESPN

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a.m. a.m. a.m. a.m. a.m. a.m. a.m. a.m. a.m.

received permission, during the week of the U.S. Open, to keep the place open 24/7. “That’s the only difference, really,” said Dancel of the room’s round-the-clock operations during Open week. “That, and the amount of people here.” Dancel and Anthony D’Amico, from Baltimore, are in what’s known as the Green Room, with 23 tables and a small bar of its own. They propose a race to 3 for $20, which gets negotiated down to $10 before they start. It’s a scene being played out all over the place, especially in the invitation-only, dimly lit tournament room, where the pros and semi-pros negotiate for considerably higher sums. For Dave Carr, 63, whose name is among those adorning a sign just inside the front door listing QMaster Billiards’ Hall of Fame Club, the U.S. Open Week is an annual vacation. He lives locally, has been a part of Q-Master Billiards house leagues for years (which earned him his spot on the Hall of Fame board), and wouldn’t miss it. “I’ve always called it my Super Bowl,” he said. “The Super Bowl of pool.” Like Erickson and Godfrey, Carr thinks it’s great that you can stand shoulder to shoulder with the top pool players in the world in a unique room. “I’ve been to a number of places all over the country,” said Carr. “I’m so used to the niceties of QMaster Billiards that I take it for granted. I mean, you’re playing on the same tables that they play on at the Open.” “My goal is to make as many people as happy as possible,” said Behrman. “We aim to please.” Like the champions who’ve been and the champions to come, the aim and atmosphere of Q-Master Billiards is true, and as much a part of this premier event as the tournament itself. — Skip Maloney

December 2010

11/16/10 2:33:56 PM


STROKE OF GENIUS Recounting the greatest shots in pool history V ide o pr ov ide d by Ac cu - St at s

PLAYER: Danny Medina EVENT: Sands Regency Open XIV DATE: December 12, 1991

M

AYBE NOT in itself up to the lofty

standards of previous entries into Stroke of Genius, this shot from Danny Medina is more of a cliffhanger — with the thrilling conclusion coming in next month’s issue. When a player is feeling it — or in the zone or in dead stroke or any other term for that enigmatic mental state where missing is impossible — he’s likely to err on the side of aggression when it comes to shot selection. Take this rack, for example. In what appeared to be an unremarkable race to 13 against Billy Incardona in early rounds of the Sands Regency Open XIV, Medina trudged through the opening racks and took a 2-1 lead in rather sloppy fashion. But after clearing an open table after an error from Incardona, the Denver pro unleashed a remarkable display of firepower. He

Watch Medina hug the foot rail at BILLIARDSDIGEST.COM

ran six consecutive racks to push his lead to 9-1. Medina then opened the 11th rack by pocketing the 1 ball in the top left corner to end up in the position shown. The 2 ball was deep in the bottom left pocket, with the 3 ball hiding behind the 6 and 9. Loading up on topspin, Medina sent the cue ball off the long rail before tipping the 2 ball home. The cue ball then scooted along the bottom rail, making contact with it twice before breaking up the cluster. The 6 shoved the 3 in the corner, clipped the 9 ball and then went off the long rail before stopping near the 9. In the end, Medina wasn’t necessarily in the best shape, with the 8 ball stuck right in line with cue ball the 4. But he hit an absolute stunner to stay alive and keep his run going. Any ideas how he got out of this tough spot? Let your imagination run wild — and we’ll have an answer for you next month!

Diagram Diagram 1 2

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CUE & EH?

DAVID THOMSON DAVID THOMSON IS TOURING EAST ASIA REPRESENTING ACCUSTATS VIDEO PRODUCTIONS AND MEETING WITH LOCAL TV NETWORKS TO BOOST INTEREST IN U.S. POOL PROGRAMMING. To what extent has American pool saturated the Asian market? Soccer has saturation. Pool could be considered in it’s infancy. [ESPN Star] is, absolutely, looking for more pro pool content, especially if it includes local talent doing well. They are also open to airing portions of the upcoming Accu-Stats’ productions of the Derby City Classic and CueSport International’s U.S. Open 10-Ball Championship. That’s progress. What could deals with Asian TV networks mean for players and promoters in the U.S.? For the players, it means more recognition as the viewers can put a face to the name. When a player is armed with sponsors’ logos, they, too, benefit from that exposure. For promoters, it gives their underwriters the opportunity to market their wares in 26 countries. The Asian economy is expanding and the demand for Western products is huge. What’s the potential for the pool TV programming in East Asia? Pool was America’s sport. Now, it’s the world’s. It started with the Filipino invasion. Then came the Europeans. Now, look how good the Chinese players have gotten — and how quickly. In one generation, they’re winning world titles. That, their fans want to watch on TV.

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CALENDAR BILL. CONGRESS OF WIS.

J. PECHAUER SE OPEN

NEW ENGLAND 9-BALL

Claws Billiards

Pockets Billiards

The Fanclub

Dec. 11-12 Kenosha, Wis. (262) 948-8260

Feb. 19-20 Dohan, Ala. (334) 793-9644

Dec. 12 E. Wareham, Mass. (508) 295-6773

JOSS NORTHEAST TOUR

Legends Billiards

Turning Stone Classic XV

Dec. 19 Portsmouth, N.H. (603) 433-1154

Legends Billiards Jan 15-16 Waukegan, Ill. (847) 599-7710

CUESPORTS INT’L Jay Swanson Memorial

Dec. 16-19 Turning Stone Resort & Casino Verona, N.Y. (518) 356-7163

Legends Billiards Jan. 9 Portsmouth, N.H. (603) 433-1154

Feb. 12-13 Hard Times Billiards Bellflower, Calif. www.playcsi.com

Cue Nine

U.S. Bar Table Champs.

Diamond Eight Billiards

Feb. 21-27 Sands Regency Hotel & Casino Reno, Nev. www.playcsi.com

Jan. 29-30 Latham, N.Y. (518) 786-8048

EUROTOUR

Feb. 19-20 Amsterdam, N.Y. (518) 705-1173

Feb. 13 Lewiston, Maine (207) 777-1155

Trick Shot Billiards

PREDATOR 9-BALL

Dynamic Costa Blanca Open Dec. 1-5 Benidorm, Spain www.eurotouronline.eu

INDEPENDENT EVENTS Derby City Classic Jan. 21-29 Horseshoe Casino & Hotel Elizabeth, Ind. www.dcctickets.com

Jan. 8-9 Levittown, N.Y. (516) 796-4600

Main Street Billiards

March 19-20 Clifton Park, N.Y. (518) 383-8771

Salt City Billiards March 26-27 Syracuse, N.Y. (315) 454-8643

Snookers Billiards Jan. 23 Providence, R.I. (401) 351-7665

Schemengees Billiards

Season Finale Dec. 11-12 Raxx Pool Room West Hempstead, N.Y. (516) 538-9896

TRI-STATE TOUR

Professional Players Champ.

LONE STAR TOUR

Edison Billiards

March 10-13 Valley Forge Convention Center King of Prussia, Pa. www.superbilliardsexpo.com

Q Stix Billiards

Dec. 11 Edison, N.J. (732) 572-7665

INDUSTRY EVENTS

Bogies Billiards

Dec. 11-12 Houston, Texas www.lonestarbilliardstour.com

Castle Billiards

Jan. 22 Houston, Texas www.lonestarbilliardstour.com

Dec. 18 East Rutherford, N.J. (201) 933-6007

Crazy 8’s Pool Hall

Gotham City Billiards

INTERNATIONAL EVENTS

Feb. 12 Port Arthur, Texas www.lonestarbilliardstour.com

Dec. 26 Brooklyn, N.Y. (718) 714-1002

Mosconi Cup

Houston’s Billiards

Super Billiards Expo March 10-13 Valley Forge Convention Center King of Prussia, Pa. www.superbilliardsexpo.com

Dec. 9-12 York Hall London, England www.matchroomsport.com

WPA World 8-Ball Championship Feb. 16-19 Fujairah, U.A.E. www.wpa-pool.com

March 12 Houston, Texas www.lonestarbilliardstour.com

Q-Stix Billiards April 9 Houston, Texas www.lonestarbilliardstour.com

MEZZ PRO-AM TOUR

Amway Cup

Primetime Billiards

March 6-13 Taipei, Taiwan www.wpa-pool.com

Dec. 12 South Amboy, N.J. (732) 721-6555

Philippine Open

Hot Shot Billiards

April 4-10 Manila, Philippines www.wpa-pool.com

Dec. 19 Deptford, N.J. (856) 385-5727

SOUTHEAST OPEN Sharpshooters Billiards Dec. 5 Miami, Fla. (305) 596-0588

Pockets Feb. 19-20 Dothan, Ala. (334) 793-9644

WPBA CLASSIC TOUR WPBA Tour Championship Dec. 1-5 Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel Niagara Falls, N.Y. www.wpba.com

December 2010

11/16/10 10:35:33 AM


I NSST TRRUUCCT TI O I ONNAAL LSS IN

Practice EYE A CHANCE TO GAIN THE EDGE (PG. 22).

Table

INSIDE 18 QUICK HITS + Bite-sized bits to upgrade your game. By BD STAFF

20 STRATEGIES + Know when you can kill the cue ball along the long rail. By NICK VARNER

22 SOLIDS & STRIPES + Always look for a chance to turn the tables on your foe. By LARRY SCHWARTZ

24 ILLUSTRATED PRINCIPLES + A benchmark for the Corner-5 System. By DAVID ALCIATORE

26 TECH TALK + Multi-player games are great to learn from and with others. By BOB JEWETT

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INSTRUCTIONALS

Bite-sized bits of top-notch instruction

BD HOUSE PRO: TONY ROBLES

OpeningShot Q)

I’ve always had trouble with cutting balls to the right. I’m much better when I am looking at cut shots going to the left. Any idea what could be the problem? Bill G.; Louisville, Ky.

SHOOT THE LIGHTS OUT LAWRENCE LUSTIG

with Mark Wilson

A)

Everybody seems to have a stronger side for cut shots. The majority of problems in playing great pool are related to the stroke delivery. First of all, make sure that the cue tip is finishing straight — exactly straight! — when your cue comes to a stop after your followthrough. When we feel threatened or uncertain about a cut shot, we unknowingly try to steer the cue tip through the cue ball. This leads to a loss in accuracy. When you have little confidence in your stroke, you’ll be more likely use your cue to steer the cue ball. I have even been assaulted by the unknowing player, who was shooting a cut shot while I was standing to the left side of the table. He was so caught up in the shot that, as he slashed extremely left and watched the ball, his cue tip nearly impaled me. His friend looked up, saw what had happened and said, “Nobody stands on Charlie’s left.” Train yourself not to move your cue like Charlie.

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ACK WHEN I was an aspiring pro, I was starving for ways to improve and learn as much as possible about the game. My coach, Harvey Mason, was a great influence on me during this time in my career. I can still remember the day I showed up for practice a little late. Not even my father screamed at me like that. But it was great for me; I knew he really cared about me and truly believed in me. In addition to teaching me a lesson on the importance of punctuality, Harvey showed me this drill, which is great to hone your shot-making abilities. As you can see in Diagram 1, the cue ball is placed on the center spot. Spread four balls out on the right side of the table and four balls on the left. They can be anywhere on one side of the table, as long as each ball has a direct path to the corner pocket. Start by pocketing all four solids into pocket A using only draw. Don’t worry about where the cue ball goes; this is a Diagram 1 drill specifically targeted at pocketing balls. Next, go to work on the four stripes going into pocket B. When you can consistently pocket all eight balls without missing, repeat the drill — but this time using stun. Hit each shot so that the cue ball arrives at the object ball with no spin (which means your

B

contact point will depend on the shot speed and the distance between cue ball and object ball). When you have mastered this exercise using stun (mastered meaning a success rate of 90 percent or so), now it’s time to use follow. Again, pocket each group of balls in its respective pocket. If you can handle these three sets of shots, move the cue ball one diamond back from the center spot (keeping it on the center string). The extra distance and tougher angle on thin cuts (the 3 and 12 balls, for example) will further refine your shot-making skills. Many players tend to become one-dimensional, because they are strong with draw but weak with follow (or vice-versa). Think of a basketball player who can only go to his right. That’s a pretty big limitation. Well, the same can be true in pool. This simple practice technique will help make you a multi-dimensional threat. You’ll be confident and comfortable, no matter where you have to hit the cue ball on its vertical axis.

A

B

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Drill Bits-

COWBOY UP + WHY DO IT + If you want to improve your cue-ball control (and who doesn’t?), this is a great competitive drill to measure progress. + HOW TO DO IT + With ball in hand behind the head string, try to pocket a ball while sending the cue ball into another object ball. Spot pocketed balls and play the cue ball where it lies. You can keep score by adding the value of pocketed balls and those involved in the carom. (So if you pocket the 3 ball and send the cue ball into the 1, you score four points.)

GEORGE FELS knows a thing or two about having it bad for pool. Here are a few of his red flags that the game’s consumed you: • When you’re in an empty room and visualize how to use the surrounding walls to score a three-cushion billiard into your forehead; • When the house announces lights-out in the middle of your game, you try to sell your opponent on diagramming the balls so you can continue some other time; • When you consistently try to steer any conversation about any aspect of the Asian continent toward the terrifying pool contingent from the Philippines; • When the ultimatum “You can have me or you can have pool” paralyzes you with indecision.

Pulling the

TRIGGER

WHEN IT comes to instructors, Bob Jewett is about as analytical and scientifically grounded as you’ll fi nd. So it’s worth noting that even our esteemed columnist (see pg. 26) readily preaches that feel has an important place in your game. He says that physics and systems are very useful for understanding and planning shots, but when it’s time to pull the trigger, you have to trust your instincts. A careful, analytical approach is great for practice, when you can work out the kinks in your game. But once you’re in a match, intense analysis must be put aside. Use what you’ve learned in practice. Feel the shot and then make it happen!

LAWRENCE LUSTIG

The Pool Bug

Pool is very addictive. I just found it too hard to give up.

On the Spot

— George SanSouci

STRAIGHT

TALK

GURU GEORGE FELS HELPS YOU RUN 100 PLAN YOUR bank shots, and their aiming, to the extent of deciding what side you’d prefer to miss the shot on if you must miss at all. Long diagonal cross-corner banks, for example, should be missed on the short side rather than the long, for defensive purposes. Similarly, when playing a combination shot on a hanger, try to keep the first object ball from grazing the rail on the way in. It greatly increases your chances of leaving the first ball in front of the same pocket, and enhances cue-ball control.

VAN BOENING LOST HIS FIRST U.S. OPEN MATCH, THEN WON THE NEXT NINE + What was amiss in your opener? In that first match [an 11-5 loss to Mike Dechaine], I just wasn’t very comfortable. It just didn’t feel right. I don’t know if I was tired. I’ve been traveling a lot lately. I played in Nicaragua. And last week I played Mike [Immonen] in New York (see Tournaments, pg. 55). + Is it easier to get in stroke on the left side, having to play so much? In some ways, I prefer playing on the losers side than the winners side because you are playing all the time. ... But really, it doesn’t matter who you play. It’s about how much time you put into your game. You’ve just got to work hard. + How do you get comfortable knowing every match is do-or-die? I don’t think about losing. You can’t when you get to playing some of the best. Just take it a game at a time and one match at a time.

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+ S TR ATEG IE S + BY Nick Varner

HOW FAR IS TOO FAR?

Know your limits when you need to kill the cue ball on the rail. URING ONE of my recent instruc(see cue-ball position *3). This posigo off both long rails, leaving you with a tional clinics at the Obelisk Biltion leaves you in a tough spot for the 8. good shot on the 8 ball. liard Club in Newport News, Va., From this angle, your ability to pocket In addition to the 7 ball’s being more one player asked a question about the the 8 ball will be reduced. Your pockdifficult, scratching in side pocket F is shot on the 7 ball in Diagram 1. The eting percentage will be much higher a possibility if you contact the cue ball player asked, “How do you know when from position *1 and *2. That is why, too far below center. But at the same you can stop the cue ball time, hitting too high for position on the 8 ball on the cue ball can creC B D off one rail and when do ate a much longer shot Diagram 1 you have to go across the on the 8 ball. C-2 C-3 table and back?” But getting back to the Well, there’s no easy original question, the Fig. 1 answer. It depends on answer is in Diagram *3 how thin the angle is 1. From cue-ball posion the 7 ball. From cuetions C-1 and C-2, you C-1 ball position C-1, you can stop the cue ball in *2 can stop the cue ball off time for position on the the rail at cue-ball posi8 ball. But if the cue ball *1 tion *1. By contacting gets over to C-3, you the cue ball with low left will need to go back and A E F English (see Fig. 1), the forth for position. The cue ball will stop faster. thinner the angle on the This stroke is a kill shot 7 ball, the more likely C B D because you shoot at you will have to go off Diagram 2 a speed where the cue both long rails. You can ball starts off with low always experiment to reverse English, but befind how thinly you can Fig. 2 fore it gets to the object hit the 7 ball, while still ball the reverse English stopping the cue ball for turns into follow English position on the 8 ball by and dies not too much just coming off the side later. By using the low rail. As long as you end English, it allows you to up at *1 or *2, you have shoot firmer, which helps great position on the 8. the cue ball hold the line However, if the cue ball A E better on the way to the 7 gets over to *3, it has F ball. At the faster speed, gone too far. the cue ball won’t be affected as much. It Another way to stop the cue ball fastDiagram 3 helps you to be more consistent on your er is by hitting the object ball on the pocketing. thicker side, so you can still pocket the From position C-2, you can still stop 7 ball in the left part of pocket A. The the cue ball in time to get good posi7 may catch a little part of the side rail tion on the 8 ball. Because this angle (as shown in Diagram 3), but it will fall is thinner, you may come off the rail a from cue-ball position C-3, you need to unless you overdo it by contacting too little farther to position *2, but you still go off the top long rail for position (see much of the object ball. have position on the 8 ball. At C-2, you Diagram 2). This shot makes pocketing Good luck with this shot. And if you are almost at the limit to play the shot the 7 ball much more difficult, because are not sure how thin the angle can be, off one rail. To the right, though, at C-3, you need to shoot much harder. As you practice from the different cue-ball locayou’re too thin on the 7 ball. If you try can see in Fig. 2, you want to contact the tions so you will have a better idea. See to kill the cue ball, it will go a lot farther cue ball in its exact center. The goal is to you in the winner’s circle.

D

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+ SOLIDS

&

STRIPES

+ BY Larry Schwartz

TURNING THE TABLES

Look for a way to take the advantage away from your opponent.

N EVERY situation in 8-ball, the odds are either with you or against you. Sometimes the deck is stacked worse than other times. However, if you know what you’re doing, you can take a situation that is seemingly more advantageous for your opponent and turn it into one where you have the edge. Over my many years of playing, one of the mistakes I’ve seen time and time again is a player not thinking through all of the possible outcomes of a given strategy. If you miss a particular shot, you need to know where you’ll stand because of that error. For some failed shots, you will pay a bigger price than you will for others. If all your opponent has left is an object ball hanging in a pocket and the 8 ball, the odds are very much in his favor. In the shots presented here, I’m going to show you some less obvious options that will allow you to turn the tables on your opponent rather than set him up for the win. If you attempt a more difficult shot in either of the situations because you are going for the immediate win, any error would be disastrous. The odds are exceedingly stacked against you winning in one turn. At the same time, there’s absolutely no room for error because of how well your opponent’s balls are set up. You are stripes in Diagram 1, and your competitor’s last ball is hanging in the pocket. It’s also blocking the 8 ball. You have a very simple shot on your last ball in the side pocket. The only problem is that you won’t have a reasonable shot on the 8 after you sink the 10 because of your opponent’s ball. Trying to merely knock the 8 ball loose while you pocket the 10 is far too risky. If you don’t succeed, your competitor will still have an easy runout to win the game. If you do succeed in moving the 8, you run the risk of scratching. Secondly, it will be difficult to know exactly where the 8 ball will go, so you wouldn’t know what kind of shot, if any, you will leave

I

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Diagram 1

Diagram 2

yourself on the 8. The correct shot here is to cut your ball into your opponent’s 3 ball, pocketing it and leaving your ball hanging in the corner pocket. It’s crucial that you hit the shot just hard enough so that your ball remains hanging in the corner. You are trying to leave your opponent with the nasty shot on the 8 ball. If you also pocket the stripe on your shot, however, then you leave yourself in that awful position. You’re going to want to hit the cue ball with low English and make it come back to the rail, as shown

in the diagram. If for some reason, you don’t leave the 10 ball hanging in the corner, your opponent will not have an easy cut shot on the 8 ball from the cue ball position on the long rail below the side pocket. In Diagram 2, you are again confronted with a situation in which your opponent has only a ball hanging in a pocket and the 8 ball with an open pocket. The main difference in this situation is that you don’t have any easy shot on your last stripe (the 9). Cutting your ball into your opponent’s ball is not a good option, because the cue ball will get loose and you will sell out the game. Accordingly, the correct shot here is to carom the cue ball off of the right side of the 9 ball and into your opponent’s 5. You will pocket your opponent’s last ball and leave the cue ball hanging in the pocket. The key to using this strategy is to move your stripe as little as possible, so that it ends up between the cue ball and the 8, snookering your opponent. From this position, your opponent will have very limited options, and he will be forced to try to kick the 8 ball in. If he doesn’t do so successfully, he will most likely leave you with an easy runout for the win. Both of these situations require good execution to obtain the best results. I recommend setting up both of these shots (and any similar ones you can think of) to help you control how the cue ball or your object ball will interact with your opponent’s hanging ball. This way, you’ll develop a good feel for this type of shot, and you’ll be able to execute when you are confronted with such a shot. Recognizing these situations and knowing that pocketing your ball isn’t always the best strategy will help you develop the necessary patience and skill to turn the tables on your opponent. It will also serve to fundamentally change a situation where you appear to be an underdog into one where you’re the favorite to win. Good luck.

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+ I L L U S T R AT E D P R I N C I P L E S + BY David Alciatore Ph.D.

FOR YOUR REFERENCE

This benchmark will help you understand the Corner-5 System.

[Note: Supporting narrated video (NV) demonstrations, high-speed video (HSV) clips, and technical proofs (TP) can be accessed and viewed online at billiards.colostate.edu. The reference numbers used in the article help you locate the resources on the Web site. You might want to view the resources on a CD-ROM or DVD. Details can be found at dr-dave-billiards.com.] HIS IS my 12th article based on “The Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots (VEPS),” an instructional DVD series I recently created with past BD columnist and good friend Tom Ross. Last month, I introduced the Corner-5 System that is used to aim two-, threeand four-rail kicks off a long rail. If you don’t remember the details of the Corner-5 System, please review last month’s article and NV B.85. To summarize, for a rolling cue ball (CB) with running English, the Corner-5 System predicts a third-rail target (T) from the CB’s origination-direction number (D) and the first-rail number (F) using the simple formula: T = D – F. Last month, we saw examples of how to use this system to aim two- and three-rail kick shots in different game situations. This month, we’ll look at an additional example and discuss an important benchmark shot for the system. Our example is illustrated in Diagram 1. With this layout, we don’t have a direct shot at the 3 ball, but the 9 ball hanger offers us a carom opportunity. Here, we can use the Corner-5 System to aim a two-rail kick to the bottom side of the 3 ball to deflect the CB into the 9 ball. This shot isn’t easy, especially if you haven’t practiced with the system, but a good hit results in a win. The first step to aim this shot is to visualize the desired ghost-ball position against the 3 ball. We then need to visualize the angle at which the CB will come off the second rail. As we saw last month, if you don’t have a good feel for judging this angle, 45 degrees is a good estimate for

Diagram 1

T

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a wide range of Corner-5 System shots. Next, as demonstrated in shot No. 518 of NV B.85, you align your cue through the center of the ghost-ball target along the just-visualized angle to determine the required third-rail number target (T). For this shot, T is 3.2. Now we need

to find a track through the CB that takes us to 3.2 on the third rail. A good approach is to first locate a whole-number track that passes close to the CB and the third-rail target, and make adjustments relative to that. Here, the 5-2-3 track (see the red line in the diagram) will Diagram 2

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suffice. Then, as described last month, you shift and pivot the cue slightly to align with the CB, and adjust as necessary such that the CB origination-direction-number (D) minus the first-rail number (F) yields the desired third-rail target (D – F = T = 3.2). For this shot, shooting from 5.1 to 1.9 yields the desired CB track (5.1 – 1.9 = 3.2). Diagram 2 illustrates an important benchmark for using the Corner-5 system for three- and four-rail kick shots. It consists of a three-rail kick from the corner pocket to the cross-corner pocket on the same short rail. For a billiard table that plays “on system,” the 5-to-3 track (D=5, F=3) goes through 2 on the third rail (T = 5 – 3 = 2) and proceeds to the target corner pocket, per the blue path. On most pool tables, however, a track closer to 5-to-2 heads to the same corner pocket off the third rail (see shot No. 519 in NV B.85). It is useful to know which particular third-rail target results in a path to the corner on the table you happen to be playing on. On my table, the target is 3 (5 – 2 = 3), but on yours it might be slightly different. To find the benchmark third-rail target on your table, start with the 5-to-2 track and make adjustments, if necessary. If the CB comes up short of the pocket (on the long-rail side), decrease the firstrail number a little; and if the CB goes long (on the short-rail side), increase the first-rail number. Even though the path off the third rail will vary with the type of table and conditions, the Corner-5 System’s formula should still be fairly accurate and consistent. For example, in Diagram 2, even though the two tracks to the corner are quite different, the formula still holds for both: 5 - 3 = 2 and 5 - 2 = 3. Again, the system generally does a good job of predicting the third-rail target. Knowing which third-rail diamond sends the CB to the corner pocket allows us to target the corner pocket from different positions on the table. As shown in Diagram 3, the tracks from 6 to 3 (in yellow), 5 to 2 (black), 4.5 to 1.5 (blue), and 4 to 1 (red) all go through our benchmark reference (3) on the third rail and continue to the corner pocket. These tracks and several related examples are demonstrated in shots Nos. 520 and 522 of NV B.85. Again, any track through our third-rail reference is predicted to head to the corner. Now that we know how to get to the

Diagram 3

Diagram 4

corner pocket, let’s look at how we can execute shifts relative to the benchmark to target balls on either side of it. For example, to pocket the 2 ball in Diagram 4, while shooting from 5, we need to decrease the third-rail number by one to send the CB a diamond short of the pocket. This is accomplished simply by increasing the first-rail number by one, relative to our benchmark. That is, our third rail target is now 2, thus we aim at 3 on the first rail (5 – 3 = 2). To pocket the 4 ball instead, we need to increase the third-rail number by one to send the CB a diamond long of the pocket. This is accomplished by decreasing the first-rail number by one, relative to our benchmark. Therefore, we aim at 1 on

the first rail to target 4 on the third rail (5 – 1 = 4). I hope you’re enjoying my series of articles featuring shots from the “Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots (VEPS).” Have you been practicing the Corner-5 System? If so, you may have noticed that the system does not work equally well over a full range of CB positions and shot angles. Next month, we’ll look at how to improve the effectiveness of the system. David Alciatore is author of the book, DVD and CD-ROM, “The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Billiards;” the DVD Series, “The Video Encyclopedia of Pool Shots;” and the DVD, “High-speed Video Magic.”

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+ TECH TALK + BY Bob Jewett

MORE THE MERRIER

Multi-player games can really freshen up the poolroom. OME OF my fondest memories of learning to play pool are of the variety of multi-player games that were common at the rec center. Those games allowed the beginners to compete on a reasonable basis with the old hands and were as much social as instructional activities. I was reminded of the great fun of ring games on a recent visit to Mike Page’s amazing Fargo (N.D.) Billiards, where I got to play with four to six other players at a time in a very entertaining format that I had not seen before. It was a great evening of shifting alliances, remarkable shots and some small profits. There are at least a dozen games for three or more players. In this column, I’ll go over some of the most common, as well as considerations that are special to ring games. If you have a favorite game that a group can play, please send in a description (the more complete, the better), and I’ll pass on any gems in future columns. The standard ring game at the rec center was 9-ball. Once you get the gang together, draw for order. A shake bottle with numbered “peas” is traditional (an example is shown in the photo). You will also need a shake bottle for some other games I will describe later. If you have a small chalkboard near the table, use it to keep track of the order and the scores as necessary. Except as specified, assume that the rules are the same as the world standardized 9-ball rules (available at www.wpa-pool.com, the website of the World Pool-Billiard Association). The game is different from two-player tournament 9-ball in several important ways: You never get ball in hand for a foul. That would be a huge advantage for the incoming player, so the cue ball is played from where it lies. If the cue ball scratches, the incoming player gets ball in hand in the kitchen (where you break from). If the lowest object ball is behind

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the line after a scratch, the shooter can have the ball spotted on the foot spot or can shoot out of the kitchen to come back and hit it. All balls spot. That means that if a ball is pocketed on a foul or driven off the table, it is spotted on the foot spot. If several balls need to be spotted, they are spotted in numerical order on or behind the foot spot. A common alternative to this, which makes the game go faster, is to spot only “one before the money” which is usually the 8 ball, but see below about additional money balls. Personally, I used to practice spot shots, so I preferred to spot everything.

An example of a shake bottle and peas.

There is no safety play. You are expected to try to make a ball. This is also usually good strategy, because your good safety will force the next player to sell out to the player after that — and that lucky recipient is not you. In a six-player game, you need to make the most of your chances, however slim they are. Of course, this is a gray area when you play a two-way shot that incorporates both offense and defense, but the strategic interplay will give you some insight to the character of your opponents — and them into yours. A fouler shoots again... maybe. After a foul, the incoming player can hand the shot back to the fouler, and make

him shoot again from the new position. This includes after a scratch, when the only shot might be a near-impossible spot shot. Sometimes this rule can lead to “earnest discussion” between the players when a fouler is told to shoot again by his best friend in a pretty makeable position. If that situation is frequent, you can implement the “pass around” rule: After a foul, each player can pass the shot to the next player, but the fouler has to shoot it if it comes back to him. That way, all the players have to agree that the shot is not worth shooting. A typical difficult situation is shown in Diagram 1. By normal rules, you’re in trouble, since there is no easy way to hit the 1 ball. And even if you do manage to make a legal hit, there is no obvious hope for a safe. In ring 9-ball, you have a chance to win. Do you see the shot? Using the corner-5 kicking system I’ve covered in recent months, play the cue off cushions A, B and C to hit the 1 ball. The cue ball should then proceed to cushions D and E for a hit on the 9 ball toward — and, hopefully, into — the top right corner pocket. This is not a shot to play like you’re sewing doilies; instead, picture killing snakes with a machete. Poisonous snakes. Gusto pays. Give chance a chance. The 1-6-4 combination might go to the corner if you miss the 9 ball. Which corner? Who cares? And remember that if you fail to hit the 1 ball entirely, you might be rewarded with a second chance to shoot the shot. Just try to keep the cue ball on the table. Change the order from time to time. It can be depressing and expensive to follow a player who has mastered twoway shots and you rarely see a shot any better than in the diagram. Any player may ask to shake for a new order, but a full game must be played after the request, and the winner of that game still gets to break. Also, at least a minimum number of games must be played

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in each order, say five. For three-player 9-ball, we used to change the order each game: If you sell out (shot before the winner), you rack and shoot second. If a player runs out from the break, you change rackers. When a new player wants to join the fun, you don’t need to change the order. If the players already in the game agree that he should be allowed in, he racks for the next game and shoots last. If a runout is very rare for the players in your get-togethers, you can make the game more interesting by promoting the 5 ball to be worth half of the value of the 9 ball. Then you might refer to the game as “dollar-two” if a spectator, or potential revenue source, inquires about the stakes. Some groups go as far as to play “odd ball,” in which half the balls are valuable. There are many variations of rules for ring 9-ball. If you have a favorite rule set, please forward it to me, or at least note the differences from the rules above. One variation that used to be popular

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Diagram 1

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with the top players at Cochran’s in San Francisco was “pink ball,” which was played on a 6-by-12-foot snooker table. It was 6-ball rather than 9-ball, played with the red, yellow, green, brown, blue and pink balls (snooker values 1 through 6, respectively). Due to the difficulty of each shot, every ball was a pay ball, with double payment for the

pink. In addition, any runout paid double. The stakes could get quite high because, with seven players at just $10 per point, a runout would be worth $840 to the winner. (Six balls times seven players times $10 per point is $420, which is then doubled for a runout.) Next time I’ll cover some other good games for more than two.

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THE AMAZING

RACE

In what might have been the greatest final in the U.S. Open’s 35-year history, Darren Appleton went into extra time to edge tough-luck loser Corey Deuel. Story by Nicholas Leider

F YOU had told Corey Deuel, who was fresh off a dominant performance in the U.S. Open semifinal where he thrashed two-time defending champ Mika Immonen, that he’d win 13 games — in the extended race-to-13 final — he would’ve had a hard time being upset.

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But, thanks to a slight tweak of the rules, calling for the final day’s four matches to be win-by-two, Deuel got his baker’s dozen — but it still wasn’t good enough to upend Darren Appleton.

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Instead, in a unique version of extended time, the two split the first 26 racks of the match with neither able to grab the necessary two-rack advantage by the time the race to 13 had reached its apparent finish line. Appleton then won a safety battle with a gutsy jump shot on the 4 ball for a 14-13 lead to get within a game of victory. Breaking for the match, he opened the 28th rack and watched as both wing balls, all week the most reliable candidates to drop, continued

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2 010 U . S . O P E N 9 - B A L L C H A M P I O N S H I P Appleton cautiously worked his way through the rack, pausing only to settle his nerves on the 7 ball in the side pocket. He cleared that last hurdle to put him in perfect line with the clinching 9 ball. “At that point, the only way I was going to miss was if my hand fell off,” he said. It didn’t, and Appleton fell onto his back, celebrating with feet and fists in the air. The title match — the first in the U.S. Open’s 34-year history abiding by the win-by-two rule — instantly joined the pantheon of all-time great championship matches in Chesapeake. While not an all-out track meet, with each player stringing together rack after rack, the slugfest relied on numerous momentum swings and gutsy exchanges to build drama. “I’ve got to rate it up there as one of the best, if not the best,” said Barry Behrman, U.S. Open founder and promoter. “There’s been plenty of good finals, but, honestly, I just think it was a promoter’s dream — and a fan’s dream.” A dream that takes its place alongside the notable matchups of years ago. The hill-hill thriller where Buddy Hall ousted young gun Dennis Hatch in 1991. The thrilling upset of Tommy Kennedy over Johnny Archer in 1992. The unbelievable one-side victory in 2001 when Deuel polished off one of the most controversial U.S. Opens with an 11-0 win over recently redeemed Immonen. UT BEFORE a new champion could be crowned, the old had to be knocked from his throne. And that proved to be the story for the 2010 U.S. Open — held Oct. 16-23 at the Chesapeake (Va.) Conference Center — at least from its opening through to the beginning of its final day. Only the second player to win backto-back U.S. Open titles, Immonen looked to one-up Nick Varner’s feat from 20 years earlier by taking a previously unimaginable third straight title. The man with a target on his back in a full field of 256 players, Immonen had no difficulties dealing with the constant chatter early on. He cruised through his first four matches, not facing much of a challenge without an opponent getting past five games on the wire in the race-to-11 format.

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sprinting around table. Appleton stood there, searching for any hope of a ball with enough legs to reach a pocket — and the 8 ball obliged, as it crept across the center string and dropped in the side pocket. The remaining eight balls sat in perfect shape for Appleton, leaving the 32-year-old Brit a game of connect-the-dots to finish off his third major championship. “When I saw [the layout], I knew it was rather simple,” he said. “But in that situation, anything is missable.”

He then survived an 11-10 scare against 2005 champ Gabe Owen and a tough 11-7 set against Lo Li-Wen, Taiwan’s latest impressive arrival on the international scene. Into the winnersside final four, Immonen was at home in this venue, which serves as a constant reminder of his success over the past two years. “I feel confident and my stroke is coming along. It feels like last year,” Immonen said of his triumph in 2009, which included 13 matches on the oneloss side. “But, really, it’s a lot better than last year. Now I get to rest.” But with every win, Immonen acknowledged thoughts of a third U.S. Open title were beginning to creep into his head. “Anybody who talks to me, everybody is mentioning the three-peat,” he said. “It’s not like I’m not thinking about it; it’s obviously on my mind. I’ve just got to focus on the task at hand and see how far it’s going to take me. “The dream is still alive.” In the semifinal of the winners bracket, Immonen faced Jason Klatt, who up to that point had been the lone surprise in what proved to be an event free of any true Cinderallas. Klatt emerged as an unlikely title threat. But the lanky shooter from the Toronto area wasn’t exactly the darkest of dark horses. For a number of years he’s been considered a developing player, who lurked on the periphery of the international scene, cashing in a few major events but never advancing within shouting distance of a title. In the past 18 months, though, Klatt has focused on playing more worldclass events, including a ninth-place finish at the 2010 World 9-Ball Championship. “I’ve been traveling a lot and playing these guys a lot,” he said. “I’m definitely looking to get that seasoning and get more experience. I’m more comfortable now.” The experience showed, as Klatt rolled through a hellish draw with wins over Karl Boyes, 11-9; Mike Davis, 11-7; and Charlie Williams, 11-8. He then proved his recent maturation with an impressive moment against last year’s runnerup, Ralf Souquet. On the hill, 10-9, Klatt watched as Souquet cleared the 20th rack from the break. But in the case game, the steely

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German scratched on his break. Surviving a difficult layout that included a thinly sliced 9 ball for the win, Klatt advanced to face Immonen on the TV table. And it was there that Immonen’s dream proved to be Klatt’s nightmare. The 37-year-old Finn won the lag and cleared the first six racks from the break to get more than halfway home before Klatt even put cue to ball. Immonen, though, broke dry and allowed Klatt to get on the board after the two exchanged safes on the 6 ball. He then put together three break-and-runs to get within a pair of games, 6-4. But a dry break in the 11th rack was it for the young gun. Immonen cleaned up that open table and the next four to run out the set. Bounced to the one-loss side, Klatt then ran into Deuel, who rebounded from an earlier loss to Darren Appleton to eliminate former titlists Johnny Archer and Shane Van Boening. Facing Klatt for a spot among the four players to advance to the final day, Deuel had his medium-hard cut break working perfectly, routinely dropping a wing ball. He buried his young oppo-

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2 010 U . S . O P E N 9 - B A L L C H A M P I O N S H I P happens again, it’s something I can tell people — that I finished fifth in the U.S. Open.” Immonen was stumped on the final day.

nent from the start. When Klatt eventually saw an opportunity, he couldn’t capitalize, leading to an unceremonious 11-1 defeat that dropped him into fifth place. “I am happy with what I did,” he said. “It’s hard, because you never know if you’ll get back there. But if it never

MMONEN PROVED to be the story throughout the first seven days of the event, as Appleton entered the final day without much fanfare. While it’s impossible to advance through the winners bracket and into the hot-seat match without making a little noise, the former World 10-Ball winner chugged along in Chesapeake with a workmanlike effort. He kept rolling with comfortable, if not dominant, victories over top-tier players such as Filipinos Ronnie Alcano and Efren Reyes and Spaniard David Alcaide. When Appleton met Immonen for the hot-seat, the Finn, who professed to being at home in the arena, looked more like the most uncomfortable man in the arena by Saturday afternoon. On the TV table against Appleton, Immonen dug himself into an early hole by dropping seven of the first nine racks. Needing to put together racks to erase the five-rack deficit, the reigning champ couldn’t find his rhythm on the break

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DIANA HOPPE PPE

that had carried him up to this point. This year’s U.S. Open was the first since 2007 that called for players to rack for themselves. But on the final day, the referees then racked for the last four matches. In the hot-seat match, this meant both players poured over racks offered from refs Ken Shuman and Jay Helfert, with Immonen repeatedly asking for second and third attempts. Still, Immonen inched back into the set, clearing a dry break from Appleton and taking the next from his break to inch within a game at 9-8. The two split the next pair of racks, with Appleton on the hill, 10-9. Immonen then speared a long cut on the 4 ball to take control of the table, and appeared on his way out to join Appleton on the hill (which, thanks to the win-by-two rule, would’ve extended the race past the usual 11 games). But facing a 7 ball up against the foot rail, Immonen erred on the very makeable cut shot, rattling the ball in the jaws of the corner pocket. Appleton took the gift and polished off the final three balls for a shocking 11-9 victory that put him in the final. “I’m where I want to be,” Appleton said. “He came back at me from 7-2 and put a lot of pressure on me, so I’m just happy that he missed that 7 ball.” Just in time for fans to meander from the TV table, the fourth-place match between Deuel and Warren Kiamco hit its crescendo. Deuel was the first on the hill, but the Filipino put the win-bytwo rule into play by knotting the set, 10-10. Kiamco twice nudged within a rack of advancing, taking leads of 11-10 and 12-11. But both times, Deuel outmaneuvered the 40-year-old journeyman to win safety battles. Deuel then forced Kiamco into fouling and cleared for a 13-12 lead. Dropping the wing ball on the break, Deuel saw an opportunity too good to pass up. With a backward cut on the 1, he had a natural angle directly to the 9, which was a diamond away from the other corner pocket. He drilled the cue ball off the 1 and squarely into the 9, which fell for the win. “I just wanted to hurry up and hit it,” he said. “I probably should’ve thought about it, but I just decided to go for it.” Deuel rode his wave of momentum into the penultimate set, while Immonen limped into the semifinal hav-

U.S. OPEN: NEWS & NOTES The excitement of the U.S. Open wasn’t limited to the on-table performances. Here are a few tidbits: >> DESPITE PREVIOUSLY promising to pay all players in cash before they left town, Barry Behrman reached an agreement with Darren Appleton to wire the U.S. Open champ four payments of $10,000 on successive Fridays in November. “Could I have made it happen? Yes,” Behrman said. “Did I say it was going to happen? Yes. But the bottom line is that everybody left happy.” In an open letter to fans earlier in the year, the U.S. Open founder and promoter had promised to have $75,000 in cash on display during the final day of the tournament. But, citing a hectic week that kept him and his staff from making appropriate arrangements, Behrman reiterated that players who finished third through 96th were paid in cash on the spot, with arrangements made to pay Appleton and runner-up Corey Deuel, who was still owed a small portion of his $15,000 prize, in November. >> A HOT topic of discussion leading up to this year’s U.S. Open was the inclusion of women in the 256-player field. More than 20 women entered the event (out of 256 total entries), though many of the world’s best women were not present. The Women’s World 10-Ball Championship, which began Oct. 24 in Manila, Philippines, the day after the U.S. Open, caused a number of top women to forego a visit to Chesapeake. Still, Gerda Hofstatter and a number of WPBA regulars (such as Sarah Rousey and Ewa Laurance) entered the event. Hoftstatter, currently

ranked sixth on the WPBA Classic Tour and winner of this year’s San Diego Classic, took the $1,000 bonus for finishing the highest of the 20plus female entrants. Hofstatter won her first match before losing to Daryl Peach, 11-4. She then edged JoAnn Mason Parker, 11-4, and John Timmermans, 11-10. She was then eliminated by Adam Smith, 11-9, to finish in a tie for 96th, good for $500 in prize money. >> ELECTED INTO the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in July, Francisco Bustamante was formally inducted into the sport’s most prestigious club on the Thursday, Oct. 21. The Filipino legend — along with American Poolplayers Association founders Terry Bell and Larry Hubbart, who were elected to the BCA Hall’s Meritorious Service wing — was honored in front of more than 230 fans the ballroom of the Marriott Chesapeake (Va.) Hotel. Introduced by longtime mentor and friend Efren Reyes (with Alex Pagulayan loosely interpreting), Bustamante was the first to speak. In a brief statement, the 46-year-old gave thanks to his longtime sponsor Aristeo Puyat, while repeatedly mentioning that such an honor was always beyond his wildest dreams. “It has always been my dream to win a world championship and be in the Hall of Fame and be alongside my childhood heroes and the great players who came before me,” Bustamante said. “Today all of my hopes and dreams have come true.”

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ESTINED FOR a thrilling conclusion, the Deuel-Appleton final began with plenty of false starts and halting runs. Both players took the first few racks to deal with early nerves that made accurate position play troublesome. But by the time the pair had split the first eight games, Appleton settled into his usual routine of incomparable shot-making mixed with sufficient safety play. Clearing only one rack from the break, Appleton swiped the next four for what had the appearances of an insurmountable 8-4 lead. But Deuel showed plenty of grit, winning a number of safety exchanges to get back to within a rack at 9-8. Appleton replied and took two of the next three to edge within a pair of games of the title at 11-9. But again showing the ability to stick around, Deuel responded. After clearing the table after an Appleton miss on the 3 ball in the next rack, he took the next two without letting his opponent to the table. Deuel dropped the 9 on a carom

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ing to quickly erase the memory of his late-match blunder that could have cost him the hot-seat. After the two split the first six racks, the one-time “Prince of Pool” ended Immonen’s two-year reign. Deuel took the next four racks for a 7-3 lead that seemed to fill the Chesapeake Conference Center filled with a sense of. He then cleared the table after a loose safety by Immonen, and broke and ran the final three to clinch his spot in the final. “I feel so lucky that I survived the match [with Kiamco],” he said. “I was able to hit Mika with a barrage there. I just think I played my best match at the right time.” Immonen, meanwhile, was inconsolable after his elimination. The dream of a third consecutive title, which appeared very much a reality just a few hours before his elimination, ended with back-to-back losses. “I had no control in the first match today with the rack and things being inconsistent,” he said. “Corey figured it out, and as goofy as his break is, he was getting results. He played great. Almost every time I got a shot, it was some diagonal, back cut, long ball.”

Deuel (above) had trouble finding consistency on the break, leaving Appleton to celebrate a 15-13 championship victory.

off the 4 ball, and then ran out the next rack from the break for a 12-11 lead. Just a game from the title and with the break, Deuel couldn’t coax anything to drop. Appleton cleared for the tie — which then enacted the win-by-two stipulation. Appleton took the next rack from the break to hold the advantage, but a missed combination in the next game allowed Deuel to even the count, 13-13. But the Brit got on the hill in the next rack by escaping a Deuel safety with a tricky jump on the 4 ball. He then broke open the last rack, which sent the 8 ball slowly tumbling into the side pocket. On his way to the clinching 9, Appleton traded victory howls with the contingent of British players who were watching the final standing on chair to peer over the VIP seating area. When the final ball finally dropped, his countrymen kick-started the celebration — a celebration Appleton was sure to soak in. “It’s definitely way up there with the World 10-Ball Championship in 2008,” he said. “It’s difficult to compare the two because every one has it’s own emotions. “The World 10-Ball was a burden, because I waited for a long time for that. This one, I feel as though I’m just going to enjoy this more. It’s just another dream come true.”

For Deuel, on the wrong side of the proverbial match that somebody had to lose, the 2010 final stands in stark contrast to his first appearance in the final when he topped Immonen, 11-0. The American, who was subsequently named to this year’s Mosconi Cup, may now have the distinction of being on the right side of the most one-sided U.S. Open final and the wrong end of the most competitive championship match. But Deuel couldn’t find one fault or one mistake that cost him the title. It was a strong effort that just wasn’t strong enough. “I know I hit my breaks bad, but I still could’ve got lucky,” he said. “I don’t think I dogged it. I came back a little and played well, so it’s not a total disappointment, but obviously at the same time, it’s a huge disappointment.” As founder and promoter Behrman closed the doors on the 35th U.S. Open, he offered praise for both competitors. “I can’t say enough about Corey Deuel,” Behrman said. “The way he conducted himself in defeat, that showed real class. “Any of those guys could’ve won, but Darren was the last man standing and he was the only one to go undefeated. He deserved it.” Appleton, then readying himself for the all-night party that accompanies a win in Chesapeake, briefly summed up his thoughts. “I’m chuffed to bits.” That means he enjoyed this one.

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THE WAIT OF THE WORLD After a number of close calls, Jasmin Ouschan grabs her first world title with a dominating performance at the Women’s World 10-Ball Championship. Story by Ted Lerner

Photos by Roberto Guerrero

N HER way to winning her first world title, 24-year-old Jasmin Ouschan learned some key tenets of life that not just pool players, but successful people everywhere, have come to understand throughout the ages: Success never happens in a vacuum. More often than not, winners have tasted boatloads of failure. But it’s in those dark times, when bitterness courses through your veins and you doubt your ability to reach your dream, that winners are also born. And so as she sank the final 10 ball for a convincing 10-6 victory over Korea’s Ga Young Kim to capture the Women’s World 10-Ball Championship in Manila, Ouschan’s shouts of joy were not

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solely directed toward her impressive victory. “What makes this so special is the experience of losing, the defeats in the past,” she said. “I’ve learned to accept it. ... Maybe I need to fail in order to win. Where before I would have given it away, now I know how to deal with it. You need to be there, to lose, because that’s what makes it so special when you win.” Although most fans don’t often put “defeat” and “Jasmin Ouschan” in the same sentence, the Austrian demands nothing short of victory. That’s why the stinging memories of a string of thirdplace finishes in majors — twice in the World 9-Ball Championship, once in the (predominantly male) World Straight-

Pool Championship, and last year in this event — came flooding back. She had let the negatives wear her down, to get to her mentally. Now, however, she had remained calm in the midst of the storm, kept a positive attitude and had finally conquered her demons. “I always want to win, of course,” Ouschan said, “but this time I just took it game to game. I stayed calm throughout the tournament. I was focused and kept it together. I made the same mistakes as before, but this time I stayed calm. I didn’t let it get to me — that was the key.” Her mental state and solid decisionmaking are things that Ouschan has exhibited a lot of lately. Earlier in the year, she captured four gold medals at the European Championships, the first person to ever accomplish such a feat. And she’s now undefeated in two straight tournaments, going back to her victory at the WPBA Atlanta Classic in early October. It was after that impressive win that

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she decided to skip the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship, which was open to women for the first time in its 35-year run. Normally, Ouschan takes every opportunity to play against the men — and has done quite well. But with the Women’s World 10-Ball the week after the U.S. Open, she realized she would probably be in no condition to win in Manila. So Ouschan and longtime coach and manager Michael Neumann returned to Austria. “We went back to Austria for [a few] days of training,” Neumann said. “We practiced lots of easy things. If there’s an open table, make sure to run out. Keep in rhythm. We also worked on the break shot.” It was a decision the rest of the field probably hoped she hadn’t made. The Dragon Promotions event didn’t boast the complete powerhouse lineup of women’s pool, as many of the big-name players from China and Taiwan didn’t show. Absentees included Taiwan’s great Shin Mei Lui and China’s growing legion of talent, including China Open champ Chen Siming and past World 9-Ball winners Liu Shasha and Fu Xiaofang. Still, the assembled field of 48 players featured enough firepower to guarantee some heavyweight action. Things went pretty much according to script for the top seeds in each group, except for world No. 1 Allison Fisher. Fisher expected to go deep, if

Kim (right) ousted reigning champ Amit, but was left watching in the final.

victory over Taiwan’s rising star Tsai Pei Chen in the round of 16. In the quarterfinals, though, Park learned who’s boss in Korea when she faced off against Ga Young Kim, who crushed the upstart 8-1. Kim then drew a difficult opponent in the semifinal in Rubilen Amit. The diminutive Filipino had won the inaugural Women’s World 10-Ball title in 2009

But Kim stamped her class on the match from the opening rack, winning the first five frames, including three straight break-and-runs. Just as she had done last year, however, Amit displayed steely nerves and plenty of heart that allowed her to crawl back into the match. Down 6-1, Amit played a series of clever safeties to cut the lead to 6-3, then cleared off a Kim mistake to take

“I WAS FOCUSED AND KEPT IT TOGETHER. I MADE THE SAME MISTAKES AS BEFORE, BUT THIS TIME I STAYED CALM. I DIDN’T LET IT GET TO ME — THAT WAS THE KEY.” - JASM IN OUSC HAN not win her fifth world title, as she had recently played well in Asia, particularly in Shanghai, taking second place in the China Open in September and the Women’s World 9-Ball in August. But the Hall of Famer never made it out of the round-robin group stage. With two wins and two losses, Fisher played a do-or-die TV match with relative unknown qualifier Eun Ji Park of Korea. Park was able to withstand the pressure of the large crowd at Robinson’s Galleria Mall, and a live TV audience, and ran the final rack for a 6-5 win. Park was so pumped that she then won her first two matches of the knockout stage, including an impressive 8-6

in Manila, a miraculous victory that put her up there with male counterparts like Efren Reyes, Ronnie Alcano and Alex Pagulayan as Filipinos who have won world titles. Amit rarely competes outside the country, but her Philippine pedigree is clearly evident. This year, Amit picked up where she left off in 2009, only losing to Taiwan’s red-hot Tsai late in the group stages. In the round of 32, just like last year, she caught a higher gear, winning three straight on the penultimate day of the tournament. Going into her semifinal with Kim, the 29-year-old appeared to have the same sense of destiny that carried her last year.

the score to 6-4. The two then traded racks but, down 7-5 and still very much in the match, Amit scratched on the break, allowing Kim to run out and get on the hill. Kim took advantage of bad position by Amit in the next frame and cleared what was left for a spot in the final. “My break shot was good,” Kim, who suffered only one dry break, said afterward. “Overall I played good and had good shot-making throughout the match.” The second semifinal pitted two players who hadn’t been touched all week long. England’s Kelly Fisher was coming off a third-place finish at the WPBA

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2 010 W PA W O M E N ’ S W O R L D 10 - B A L L C H A M P I O N S H I P Atlanta Classic and looked strong, going unbeaten en route to the final four. There she faced Ouschan, who was playing with equal confidence. After plowing through the group stages, the Austrian star came up against Irish great Karen Corr in the quarterfinals. Corr has a reputation for playing very well in Asia, but this time she had little chance as Ouschan routed her, 8-2. “I played very well against Karen, and overall I’m very pleased with the way I’m playing right now,” Ouschan said. The first half of the match against Fisher gave the Austrian no reason to change her sunny disposition as she conquered some early nerves. No matter what Fisher threw at her, Ouschan had an answer — and she steamrolled to a 7-2 lead. But as Ouschan had bitterly discovered plenty of times before, defeat in professional pool can so easily be snatched from the jaws of victory. And it’s how you react when under that unique pressure that makes or breaks a winner. Threatening a rout and breaking for the hill, Ouschan came up dry. Fisher cleared to make it 7-3. She then made Ouschan pay for a poor safety in the next rack and ran out to move within three. Fisher took the next rack by inflicting three straight fouls. Completely reborn in the course of 30 minutes, Fisher then notched two straight breakand-runs to tie the match at 7-7. Ouschan, however, sat calmly in her chair and never flinched. Sure enough, she drilled a 4-10 combination in rack 15 to go on the hill. Then an untimely scratch by Fisher gave Ouschan ball in hand on the 10 ball for the 9-7 win — and a spot in her first world championship final. “I handled it well,” a relieved Ouschan said of Fisher’s furious comeback. “That was a difficult match.” Although the highly partisan Filipino crowd was disappointed that one of its own would not win, the final shouted “marquee” all the way, pitting perhaps the two top women in the game today — Kim, the second-ranked player on the WPBA Classic Tour with a world 9-ball title (2004), versus Ouschan, WPBA No. 1 but still without a world crown. With Ouschan only having five minutes to catch her breath before the final race to 10, the setup seemed to favor Kim as she raced out to a 4-0 lead.

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Ouschan overcame an early 4-0 deficit in her first world championship final.

“I ALWAYS GET BETTER THE LONGER THE TOURNAMENT LASTS. WHEN I’M ON THE TV TABLE, THE PEOPLE, THE CAMERAS, IT’S AN ADRENALINE KICK. I LOVE IT. I’M COMFORTABLE IN THIS SITUATION.” - JASM IN OUSC HAN Ouschan, however, bided her time and waited for her chance to perform. Once she got a clear shot at a ball, she never looked back. That open door came in the fifth rack after Kim executed a poor safety. Ouschan ran out to get on the scoreboard, then cleared the next two racks from the break. She tied up the match with some confident shot-making in rack eight, then, in the next frame, won a safety battle to grab her first lead of the match, 5-4. Although only holding a slim lead, Ouschan exuded self-belief while Kim

seemed to be wondering if she’d be able to respond. She wouldn’t. Down 7-4, Kim ran out after Ouschan miscued, but the Austrian continued to turn the screws at every chance. Superb potting moved Ouschan to the hill at 9-5, while Kim took the next. In the final rack, Ouschan held her nerve and tackled a difficult 5-6 combination, then emptied the table for the title. As the final 10 ball fell, she looked skyward and shouted with pure joy as confetti rained down upon the arena. Having finally conquered the proverbial hills of defeat, Ouschan seemed to realize that this victory could quickly open up the floodgates for more. “I always get better the longer the tournament lasts,” she said. “When I’m on the TV table, the people, the cameras, playing the last rounds against tough opponents, it’s an adrenaline kick. I love it. I’m comfortable in this type of situation. Something kicks in. “I’ve always had a list of big goals. I wanted to win gold medals and world titles. Now I can check these goals off. I want to achieve more, win the world 9-ball, get No. 1 in the women’s world ranking.” For the moment, however, it was time to savor the sweetness of success, born out of years of near misses. “I’m just enjoying this. I can’t believe it.“

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HOL I DAY

Allison Fisher and her little elf, Pierson

Guide Th stars The t off the th WPBA WPBA present the season’s hottest gifts in billiards.

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Monica Webb

Accu-Stats Video Productions Brought to you by BCA Hall of Famer Pat Fleming, Accu-Stats DVDs feature the world’s greatest pool players locked in competition. Learn from the legends in a classic match or spy Darren Appleton’s run to this year’s U.S. Open title. Retails: $9.95 & Up www.accu-stats.com

Brunswick Billiards The Brunswick Dartboard Cabinet features antiqued bronze hinges and doorknobs. Suitable for regulation-sized dartboards, this piece opens to double scoreboards, magnetic catches, a routed chalk groove and dart holders for storage. Retails: $399 www.brunswickbilliards.com

Cue & Case Don’t sacrifice style or quality for price. Rage cues are geared toward players of all ages and skill levels who want a quality cue that won’t break the bank. With 28 models under $60, Rage cues make a great holiday gift. Also, for a limited time, get a free case with the purchase of any Rage cue. Retails: $43.99 & Up www.cueandcase.com

Deer Park Distributing A nice addition to any gameroom, the Crosley iJuke Premier brings back the simpler times rockin’ around the jukebox in an easy-to-use tabletop version. Simply dock and listen to your iPod and CDs with the jukebox’s dynamic fullrange stereo speakers. Retails: $299.95 www.deerparkinfo.com

Diamond The Diamond Pro-Am, available in 7-, 8and 9-foot models, features one-inch, onepiece slate with a state-of-the-art leveling system. Every Pro-Am also comes with bilevel pockets and Simonis 860 cloth. Retails: $3,900 www.diamondbilliardproducts.com

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Karen Corr Bebob Publishing “French Quarter Danny” is an actionpacked tale about a talented young pool player in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The 314-page novel includes colorful characters and true-to-life events sure to capture your interest. Retails: $19.95 www.bebobpublishing.com

Mr. Billiard The new 8-foot Princeton has solid oak legs, rails and skirts. The 2-by-6-foot solid wood beam frame assures stability, while mother-of-pearl inlays top the rails. Retails: $2,495 www.mrbilliard.com

Cue Cube The Cue Cube, a two-sided tool that both shapes and scuffs your cue tip, is a great way to ensure 2011 is a year free of miscues. Retails: $10.95 www.cuecube.com

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Mosconi Cups Celebrate pool’s greatest team event with these coffee mugs, dubbed “Mosconi Cups.” Saluting the annual epic that pits the U.S. against Europe, these products offer you a keepsake, customized specifically for your side of the Atlantic. Retails: $24 • www.theproshop.biz

Cuestix International These Scorpion cases attract attention, while the sturdy construction and handy shoulder strap make for a great combo. Retails: $45 • www.cuestix.com

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J&J America For competitive pool players and professionals, each cue in this new line from J&J America features selected hard-rock maple or other high quality wood, Uniloc joint and Irish linen wrap. Each cue comes with an OB-XL shaft, with Tiger or Predator shafts also available. Retails: $300 & Up • www.jjcue.com

Rock-Ola

Seybert’s Billiard Supply

The Peacock is an elegant jukebox from Rock-Ola’s Nostalgic series. A complete music center, the Peacock can hold 100 CDs and features a sparkling and colorfully illuminated cabinet panel flanked by two additional bubble tubes in the lotus motif grille. Retails: $8,495 • www.rock-ola.com

From highly regarded case-maker John Barton, the J. Flowers line was created with saddle tooling, using actual saddle leather, every case is built by hand. Retails: $375 • www.seyberts.com

Don’t just watch the game from the kitchen table, enjoy your treats in front of the TV with this four-piece NFL tray set from Imperial. Each one can fold up and is decorated with the team logo. A storage rack is also included. Retails: $199 • www.imperialusa.com

Human Kinetics With over 250 illustrations and photos, “Pool Player’s Edge” is a full-color book that gives you what you need to advance your pool skills. With author tips alongside photos of former and current pros, you’ll receive an inside look at the game. Retails: $19.95 • www.humankinetics.com

Line Kjorsvik and Monica Webb

Imperial International

Cue & Case Hit the open road with the Biker Series from Players! Every cue purchase before Christmas comes with a free case and a lifetime guarantee, even against warpage. MSRP: $76-$98 • www.cueandcase. com December 2010

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Vivian Villarreal Poison Billiards The Nitro line of cues come in six aggressive-looking styles, each with an eight-sided grip that provides plenty of control and accuracy. Make Nitro a bold holiday gift for your favorite player. Retails: $234 • www.poisonbilliards.com

P&B For Dummies Jammed full of info on the fundamentals of the stroke, strategy and secrets to improvement, “Pool & Billiards for Dummies” is a great resource for beginner and intermediate players that’s designed for readers to jump from section to section, mastering different aspects of the game as they go. Retails: $21.99 www.dummies.com

Brunswick Billiards

Ga Young Kim

Tiger Products

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The Andover shuffleboard from Brunswick is constructed of North American maple, featuring a quarter-inch polymer resin surface and six climate adjusters for durability and performance. The table cabinet, with a chestnut finish, is built on a regulation 32-inch platform on six adjustable leg levelers. Retails: $3,699 • www.brunswickbilliards.com

Each Impact break cue is equipped with a Tiger IB high performance shaft, phenolic ferrule, all-leather jump/break tip, radial Tiger joint protectors and a soft velvet case. Tiger’s unique weight and balance control gives the Impact the ability to adapt to any power with total control. Retails: $399 • www.tigerproducts.com December 2010

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Billiard Dynamics

r tte

Gerda

Hofst a

Endorsed by Gerda Hofstatter, CueTrack aims to perfect your stroke and alignment. Learn to identify the correct line of aim and develop muscle memory for a perfectly straight pool stroke. Retails: $189 www.cuetrack.com

Legacy Billiards If tradition is what you want, then the classic dartboard cabinet is for you. The clean lines will blend with any gameroom. Plus, the high quality bristle board with staple-free razor wire deflects darts into the scoring zones and prevents them from bouncing out. Retails: $179 • www.legacybilliards.com

Tiger Products The new Ultra LD-X shaft provides greater control and less squirt when using extreme English. This shaft comes standard with a 15-inch pro taper, quarter-inch Saber-T ferrule and 12.75mm Sniper tip. Retails: $249 • www.tigerproducts.com

Iwan Simonis Looking for something unique for the pool player on your holiday list? The new Simonis X-1 cloth conditioner and chalk removal tool is the perfect gift. Its patent-pending design is like nothing else. Retails: $89.95 www.simoniscloth.com

Wave 7 Unite two passions with these NASCAR-licensed billiard balls featuring the sport’s hottest drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne. Comforming to BCA standards, these balls will not crack, peel or fade — even under the most demanding playing conditions. Retails: $199 www.wave7.com

Mezz USA The new EC7, an exotic wood series with inlay designs from Mezz USA, highlight the natural look of beautiful woods such as Purpleheart, cocobolo, bocote and curly maple. Each EC7 cue also comes with the high performance, low-deflection WD700 shaft. Retails: $410 • www.mezzusa.com December 2010

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Toltec From Toltec Lighting’s Eleganté Collection, this light features a dark granite finish with 16-inch chocolate icing glass. Measuring 56 inches long, this fixture is perfect to illuminate your bar area or game table. Retails: $530.20 • www.toltecltg.com

Kelly Fisher

Cue & Case Lucasi Custom Cues brings you beauty and distinction by combining fine craftsmanship with high performance. With over 40 designs to choose from, Lucasi Custom has a cue for every player. Each Lucasi Custom cue is backed by a lifetime warranty, even against warpage. Retails: $185 & Up www.cueandcase.com

McDermott Diana Hoppe From noted photographer Diana Hoppe, these three DVDs give you the inside story from some of the greatest road players of all time. Choose from “Earl the Pearl,” “Danny D” and “The Road Scholars.” Retails: $22 • www.dianahoppe.com

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Give the gift of accuracy and performance this year. McDermott G-Core and I-Shafts fit all major joint styles and are the perfect gifts for players looking to take their game to the next level. Retails: $149 & Up www.mcdermottcue.com

CJ Wiley Former ESPN World 9-Ball champ CJ Wiley teaches you his unique pre-shot routine, fundamentals of the game and proven mental game. This DVD also includes actual footage from ESPN matches to show you how to win. Retails: $29.99 • www.cjwiley.com

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McDermott Great gifts for your up-and-comers, Prodigy Cues are designed especially for children. The 32-, 42- and 52-inch two-piece cues are perfect for kids of all ages and heights.

Northwoods Billiards The Barnwood table is made from freshly sawn timbers with mission-style legs. The sites are black iron doornails, giving this table a Western feel. Additionally, every Barnwood pool table is finished with a catalyzed lacquer to protect it for years to come. Retails: $4,999 • www.northwoodsbilliards.com

CueStix

American Poolplayers Association Get the pool player in your life the gift of competition. A yearly membership in the American Poolplayers Association is good for all APA leagues, making this the perfect gift for friends and family. Retails: $25 • www.poolplayers.com

New from CueStix International, Blade cues have razor-clean designs conveying the ultimate purpose of Blade cues — cutting your foes to pieces with the cold, calculating precision of steel. Retails: $165 • www.cuestix.com

Line Kjorsvik

Retails: $39 • www.mcdermottcue.com

Championship Want to add a personalized touch to your table? Championship can embroider your rail cloth with any customized message. Retails: $19.95 per rail www.champbilliards.com December 2010

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wishes you happiness, health and good rolls in 2011! Billiards Digest Long the place to go for top-flight instruction, insightful features and tournament recaps, Billiards Digest is bringing you more in 2011. Check out BD’s Vault, a subscriber-only website that brings you back issues, classic photos and exclusive content you can’t find anywhere else. Retails: $48 • www.billiardsdigest.com

Ewa Laurence CueSports International Placed directly on the cloth below the balls, the Magic Ball Rack provides a consistently great rack each and every time. The Magic Rack has been engineered to be thin enough to hold the balls in place, while minimally interfering with balls that roll over the rack during the break. Retails: $20 • www.playcsipool.com

Nick Varner Nick Varner Cues & Cases now feature a line of more than 20 jump/break, quickrelease three-piece cues. With woods such as cherry, zebra and bird’s-eye maple, these cues are sure to be a perfect match for your favorite shooter. Retails: $135 • www.nickvarner.com

Confessions Robert LeBlanc’s personal memoir, “Confessions of a Pool Hustler,” contains thrilling stories from three decades spent on the road. Retails: $19.95 www.confessionsof apoolhustler.com

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Predator Cues Give the gift of protection to the heavy hitter on your list with Predator’s new Blak and Sport 4-by-8 Soft Cases. Soft but durable, these cases offer premium safekeeping for your arsenal of cues. Retails: $149 • www.predatorcues.com

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CHRONICLES

WHEN BOYS WERE BOYS

AN EXAMINATION OF COLUMBUS, OHIO, A TOWN ONCE RICH IN POOLROOMS.

A

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Fig. 1: This 1916 survey provided a look at pool playing by high school boys.

ous sociological work based on statistics and survey evidence. It provides an unparalleled snapshot of metropolitan poolrooms at the time. The population of Columbus in 1916 was about 200,000. It had 243 active poolrooms, or one for every 823 people, an astounding density. If New York City were to match that percentage today, it would need more than 9,000 rooms, three times its historical maximum of 3,000, achieved during the 1930s. (By coincidence, the number of rooms in New York today is about the same as the number in Columbus in 1916.) The greatest concentration of poolrooms among major cities of the world is in Seoul, South Korea, which doesn’t have nearly the proportion of rooms that Columbus did in 1916. To learn about the Columbus rooms, a team of 26 students from the Ohio State University was recruited to visit each room and fill out a survey form. They were required to visit at night and stay in each room for at least an hour.

The final report admitted that “it was not possible in all cases to carry out these instructions. This was especially true where the saloon was located in a bar, or where the poolhall was of the type frequented by immigrants and negroes.” It was apparently permissible to make statements like that at the time. The teams also collected information about boys’ pool playing habits by distributing questionnaires to 875 high school students whose principals had given permission. Most of the rooms in Columbus were small. The total number of tables in all of them was 795, of which 44 were carom tables. This meant that the average room had only 3.3 tables. About half of the rooms were located in bars. A fascinating set of statistics was assembled, some of a type I had never seen before. For example, 221 rooms were on the ground floor, 14 were in basements and 8 were on upper floors. The basement and upper-floor rooms had large numbers of tables. Despite the number of rooms on the ground floor, only 82 offered an unobstructed view from the street. The study even considered sanitary conditions, such as general cleanliness, lighting and ventilation. The results were not encouraging. The toilet situation was even worse. In that category, 46 rooms (only about 19 percent) were rated good, 78 medium and 92 (38 percent) bad. Thirteen rooms had no toilet at all, which is truly puzzling. It’s tough to play 10-ahead at any type of pool without a bathroom break. On the other hand, just because there might be a toilet in a room doesn’t mean you’d want to use it. The report continued, “The condition in many instances was filthy beyond the power of words to describe. … In one back room I found a filthy toilet. If disease germs require filth for their reproduction (and it is confirmed

IMAGES COURTESY OF THE BILLIARD ARCHIVE.

ND ALL week long, your River City youth’ll be fritter’n away, I say your young men’ll be fritter’n! Fritter’n away their noontime, suppertime, choretime too! Get the ball in the pocket.” So goes part of the song “Ya Got Trouble,” from Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man.” Fear that pool would send the youth (and men) of America to eternal damnation has been a repetitive theme in this country since poolhalls began to spring up in the early 1800s. Towns passed laws to keep boys out of them, mothers demonstrated and ministers preached of their evil. Billiards was one of the most highly regulated activities in the United States. There were restrictions on age, operating hours and alcohol. In many communities, the police were free to enter a poolhall at any time, even after hours, to be sure that nothing illegal was going on. Buzzers that might be used to alert patrons that the police were coming were outlawed. In 1908, Groveport, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, passed an ordinance prohibiting “the use of screens, blinds or other device or thing obstructing a full, free and complete view of the interior of places from the outside thereof, when any game of pool or billiards is played therein.” It was thought, probably correctly, that criminal activity would be discouraged if anyone passing by could gaze into a room. In 1916, the Central Philanthropic Council of Columbus published a pamphlet, now very rare, entitled, “Columbus Poolrooms: a study of poolhalls, their uses by high school boys, and summary of public billiard and poolroom regulations of the largest cities in the United States” (Fig. 1). The Council was formed in 1910 and quickly became a prominent force for social improvement in the city. The pamphlet is not a tract or diatribe against pool, but a seri-

By Mike Shamos

December 2010

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that they do) this toilet would certainly have been a palace for them. The floor in this toilet was slimy, the odor almost unbearable, and the equipment was thoroughly covered with filth.” In case you didn’t get the idea, the word “filth” occurs in four sentences out of four. The study committee was obsessed with toilets, since the report went on to note that a third of the bathrooms in Columbus poolhalls sported advertisements for venereal disease remedies. The irony is that it seems to have been much easier to catch such an affliction in one of these bathrooms than to be cured of it. The report warned that there was no evidence that patent medicines were effective in such cases and it was dangerous not to seek treatment from a doctor. It was estimated that between 15,000 and 20,000 people played in poolrooms every day in Columbus, for an annual total of five to seven million. The pamphlet includes a map showing the location of every room in the city (Fig. 2). The main north-south street of Columbus, then and now, is High Street. The main east-west road is Broad Street. The largest room was Bott Bros., in the Larimer Building at 161 N. High Street (Fig. 3) — an upstairs room established by William Bott (Fig. 4) and his brother Joseph in 1883. The electric sign outside had more than 1,000 light bulbs. Part of the interior can be seen in Fig. 5. Note the line of six brass spittoons at the left. These were probably necessary because Bott’s cigar counter was one of the most extensive in the city. Also, observe the lighted ceiling fans, which undoubtedly made the room one of the best-ventilated in town. As the Music Man sang, “An’ the next thing ya know, your son is playin’ for money in a pinch-back suit.” (A “pinchback suit” is a cheap one made of inferior cloth.) The students were asked numerous questions about gambling, and 63 percent reported having seen people playing for money. I can only conclude that the remainder were lying or blind. The observers reported gambling in 101 out of the 243 rooms. The report recognized, though, that “probably the number of places where gambling is not openly carried on could be counted on the fingers of one hand.” That seems like too high an estimate to me. The

Fig. 2: Each dot on the map indicates a pool room in Columbus, Ohio.

Fig. 3 (left): Bott Bros. was the largest room in Columbus, with 40 tables. Fig. 4 (Above): William Bott founded his room in 1883.

Chief of Police stated that his men had to watch for gambling in 100 percent of the rooms. Pea pool and 8-ball were the most common betting games. (9-Ball had not yet been invented.) The high school questionnaire revealed an immense amount about the pool-playing habits of teenagers. The subjects were extremely cooperative. Only about 1 percent of the forms returned had to be discarded as frivolous or flip. The report concluded that “this fact is high testimony to the attitude of the high school youth toward a problem that vitally concerns him and to his willingness to cooperate in a movement for improving conditions.” I suppose

that not being able to breathe in the restroom could be classified as a vital concern. The report illustrated its statistical findings with amusing stick figures. Three out of four high school boys knew how to play pool (Fig. 6). Not every one who knew how actually did play, however, since some had tables at home, or had given up playing. One student made an accurate prediction of the ratio, writing on his form that “75 percent of boys play, 25 percent have the fever.” For boys 18 and over, 87 percent knew how to play, 57 percent frequented poolrooms and 40 percent actually played. That raises the question what

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CHRONICLES

Fig. 5: Bott Bros. had enough spittoons — and probably excelled in the toilet department.

the 17 percent who went to poolrooms but didn’t play were up to. The study provided the answer to that one also — they seem to have been “fritter’n.” For a full week the teams observed the poolrooms. Their findings are summarized in Fig. 7. “Loafing” was common activity among the boys — how little things have changed in 94 years. The boys were asked to make suggestions on how conditions in poolrooms could be improved. This resulted in 69 separate ideas, many of which were repeated by a large number of respondents. The most common request was to prohibit profanity, which was requested by 138 students. The boys themselves seem not to have been greatly troubled by the toilet conditions — only 21 asked for better sanitation. One pupil, whose thoughts may not have been confined to billiards, proposed that the rooms would be much better if they had “lady proprietors.” Not everyone got with the program. About 4 percent thought that poolrooms should be eliminated completely. It wasn’t reported how many of these didn’t know how to play, but the suspicion is that the proportion was high. On the brighter side, five students felt that Columbus didn’t have enough poolrooms, an incredible complaint given the city’s huge number. Maybe these guys didn’t live close enough to a room to patronize it. Apparently the school boys didn’t encounter any difficulty in learning how to play. Only two students suggested that instruction should be provided. The researchers spent considerable effort to determine where and at what age the boys took up the game. Fig. 8 shows a bar chart indicating the ages at which the boys started playing. The re-

52

BILLIARDS DIGEST

Dec10 Chronicles.indd 52

port notes that “14, 15, 16 are the ages at when the ‘craze for pool’ is strongest.” It offers an interesting explanation for this phenomenon: “Fourteen years is recognized by anthropologists to be the year of greatest body growth for the boy, after which the rate of increase rapidly decreases from year to year. Before 14 we would, therefore, expect a game requiring the cruder motor adjustments and the use of the larger muscles to be the most popular game with boys. So we find everywhere that the small boy takes to baseball. After 14 years, with the increasing rate of body growth, we

come to the physiological period favorable to the development of the finer coordinations of hand and eye. … There is no game that involves such delicate, precise, accurate coordination of hand and eye as billiards.” The team also looked at where the boys learned to play. According to Fig. 9, the most common classroom was the poolhall, followed by a friend’s house. More than twice as many kids learned the game at someone else’s house rather than their own. This makes sense if not everyone has a pool table at home. The lucky boy who had one could host multiple friends, which accounts for the statistic. Four boys took up pool in church, which sounds like an impossibility given the general attitude of the clergy toward the game. At some point, though, it was believed better to attract the boys to a church basement where they could be watched rather than a poolhall, so churches began to buy pool tables. The Columbus study was a serious work that earned respect in academic circles because it emphasized data over theory. It was under the general direction of Ernest W. Burgess, a 30-year-old

Fig. 6: The Columbus study made use of stick-figure diagrams.

Fig. 7: The report analyzed boys’ pool room habits.

December 2010

11/16/10 2:36:04 PM


Fig. 10: Burgess supervised the Columbus report.

Fig. 8: How old were you when you learned to play?

Fig. 9: Where did you first learn to play?

scientist who received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1913 (Fig. 10). He was one of the first sociologists who didn’t come to the field from another discipline, and was a true pioneer. The Columbus research helped

Dec10 Chronicles.indd 53

him land an appointment as professor at the University of Chicago in 1916. He spent his entire career there and eventually became president of the American Sociological Society. He lived for 50 more years after the Columbus project.

Over-regulation of pool continues up to the present. Ordinance 870.04 of the town of Northfield, Ohio, provides that “minors shall not be permitted within a poolroom or billiard hall on school days between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. unless their presence is specifically related to a school function.” They also can’t be there after 10 at night on any day. In Urbana, Ohio, minors are not allowed in poolrooms at all. Berea, Ohio, makes it illegal for an adult video store to be within 500 feet of a poolroom, although it’s not clear which influence is regarded as the more corrupting. “Oh, we’ve got trouble. We’re in terrible, terrible trouble. That game with the fifteen numbered balls is the devil’s tool!” Mike Shamos is Curator of The Billiard Archive, a non-profit foundation set up to preserve billiard history.

11/16/10 2:36:09 PM


TOURNAMENTS

THE MAN & THE MACHINE

Ortmann takes World Tournament of 14.1; Van Boening bags cash in New York.

JP PARMENTIER

World Tournament of 14.1 Breaker Billiards Oct. 6-11; Clifton, N.J.

WITH A nickname like “The Machine” (or Der Maschine for those back home in Germany), Oliver Ortmann isn’t an overly emotional player chock-full of histrionics. With a trademark chickenwing stroke, he’s the embodiment of mechanical precision, someone who runs through racks of 14.1 without the slightest glitch or malfunction or short circuit. But at the World Tournament of 14.1 — held October 6-11 at Breakers Billiards in Clifton, N.J. — Ortmann showed that his longtime moniker speaks nothing about his demeanor away from the table. Following his 200-66 dismantling of Mika Immonen in the final, the 43year-old broke down in tears, overcome by emotion by a victory that hit close to home for the well-traveled veteran. “The world championship is very special to me,” he said. “My mother is fighting cancer, but we all have mothers and we know sometimes this is part of life.” Undoubtedly playing with a heavy heart, Ortmann was nonetheless flawless in the opening round. The 48 players were first divided into eight groups of six, with round-robin play determining which 24 players then advanced. Ortmann was one of eight unbeaten players through the group stage, with other notables such as Mike Sigel, Johnny Archer and Jasmin Ouschan also unscathed. The remaining half of the field then began a double-elimination round, with the top 16 advancing to a final singleelimination bracket. While only a few big names fell (including Ouschan and 2008 semifinalist Nick van den Berg), Ortmann was unexpectedly pushed to the left side. Facing Charlie Williams, whose Dragon Promotions firm also organized and promoted the event, Ortmann jumped out to an early 110-14 lead in the 150-point

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BILLIARDS DIGEST

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Ortmann established an early lead with two big runs en route to a 200-66 victory.

match. But Williams struck back with his own run of 118 he was forced to play safe. Ortmann then missed and Williams cleared the final 18 balls for an improbable 150-110 comeback victory. One match from elimination, Ortmann responded on the one-loss side with a commanding 150-69 victory over Steve Lipsky to earn his spot in the oneand-done bracket. He then ousted Dan Heidrich of Rochester, N.Y., in the round of 16, 200-55, for a quarterfinal date with Johnny Archer. A semifinalist in last year’s event, Archer was previously unbeaten entering his match with Ortmann. Not only that, the American had a total of four runs of 100-plus balls, including the event high of 174. But with a spot in the final four at stake, Archer couldn’t stick with his more ac-

complished (at least in straight pool) contemporary. Neither player managed to string together a long run, but Ortmann proved more capable, advancing by a count of 200-151. Unsurprisingly, Ortmann was joined by his European colleagues in the final four. Since Dragon Promotions revived the world straight-pool event in 2006, Europe has never had fewer than three semifinalists. But this year was the first that the dominant continent in 14.1 took all four spots, with Ortmann joined by Holland’s Huidjie See, Finland’s Mika Immonen and fellow German Thorsten Hohmann. In what was a rematch of the 2007 final, Ortmann took on See in the first semifinal. And much like his crowning match three years ago, Ortmann trudged

December 2010

11/17/10 2:33:40 PM


WPBA RANKINGS

TOTAL POINTS

WPBA ATLANTA CLASSIC

WPBA U.S. OPEN

SAN DIEGO CLASSIC

DULUTH, GA. Oct. 2010 $75,720

NORMAN, OKLA. Aug. 2010 $89,100

ALPINE, CALIF. March 2010 $89,100

WPBA TOUR PACIFIC COAST CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIC

COLORADO CLASSIC

TOTAL MONEY 2010

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. Nov. 2009 $98,000

LINCOLN CITY, ORE. Oct. 2009 $89,100

IGNACIO, COLO. Sept. 2009 $89,100

1 (20000)

1 (20000)

9 (8000)

$15,800

1

Jasmin Ouschan

86000

1 (20000)

5 (10000)

2

Ga Young Kim

75000

5 (10000)

1 (20000)

5 (9000)

9 (7000)

5 (9000)

1 (20000)

$18,230

3

Xiaoting Pan

70000

9 (8000)

9 (8000)

3 (12000)

2 (15000)

2 (15000)

3 (12000)

$8,875

2 (15000)

3 (12000)

5 (10000)

3 (12000)

9 (8000)

$15,430

9 (8000)

4

Karen Corr

67000

5 (10000)

5

Kelly Fisher

63000

3 (11000)

9 (8000)

5 (10000)

3 (12000)

9 (8000)

2 (14000)

$9,355

6

Gerda Hofstatter

57000

9 (7000)

5 (10000)

1 (20000)

17 (5000)

5 (10000)

17 (5000)

$17,425

7

Allison Fisher

56000

5 (10000)

9 (8000)

9 (8000)

5 (10000)

3 (12000)

9 (8000)

$6,630

8

Vivian Villarreal

49000

17 (5000)

3 (12000)

17 (5000)

5 (10000)

9 (7000)

5 (10000)

$7,860

9

Kim Shaw

45000

3 (12000)

5 (9000)

25 (3000)

17 (5000)

9 (7000)

5 (9000)

$8,355

10

Kyoko Sone

43000

9 (8000)

5 (9000)

9 (7000)

9 (8000)

25 (3000)

9 (8000)

$6,775

11

Monica Webb

42000

2 (15000)

9 (7000)

9 (7000)

17 (5000)

25 (3000)

17 (5000)

$10,700

Line Kjorsvik

40000

5 (9000)

25 (3000)

9 (8000)

9 (7000)

5 (10000)

25 (3000)

$5,630

13

Melissa Little

38000

17 (5000)

9 (7000)

9 (7000)

9 (7000)

17 (5000)

9 (7000)

$5,360

14

Tracie Majors

32000

25 (3000)

17 (5000)

17 (5000)

5 (10000)

33 (2000)

9 (7000)

$3,880

15

Jeanette Lee

31000

-

-

5 (9000)

3 (11000)

-

3 (11000)

$3,000

16

Julie Kelly

31000

17 (5000)

3 (11000)

33 (2000)

25 (3000)

17 (5000)

17 (5000)

$6,960

17

Liz Ford

29000

9 (7000)

25 (3000)

9 (7000)

17 (5000)

17 (5000)

33 (2000)

$4,825

18

Sarah Rousey

26500

-

33 (2000)

5 (9000)

49 (500)

9 (7000)

9 (8000)

$3,600

19

Helena Thornfeldt

26000

9 (7000)

33 (2000)

17 (5000)

33 (2000)

17 (5000)

17 (5000)

$3,825

20

Tamara Rademakers

23500

9 (7000)

17 (5000)

33 (2000)

9 (7000)

33 (2000)

49 (500)

$3,825

JP PARMENTIER

WPBA RANKINGS REFLECT A CONTINUOUS SIX-TOURNAMENT CYCLE.

the semifinal, 200-65. Advancing to the championship match for the second straight year, Immonen eyed a chance to atone for the 2009 final. Last year, he raced out to a 14514 lead against France’s Stephan Cohen. While his lead dwindled, Immonen, nonetheless, stood within 19 balls of the world title, until a miss gave control to his opponent. Cohen then ran 51-and-out to Immonen finished second for the second consecutive year. end the title hopes of to a 200-126 victory that saw both playthe two-time Player of the Year. ers struggling to connect racks. In the The 2010 final, however, followed a other semifinal, Immonen quickly put very different script — but one that Hohmann in a big hole by racing to a still didn’t include a happy ending for 97-15 advantage. Immonen extended his Immonen. He scratched following the lead, erring just four balls from victory, break, and Ortmann responded with leading 196-29. Hohmann put together a an 82-ball run. Another miss from Im36-ball run, before Immonen closed out monen and Ortmann again made him

pay, this time running 102 to inch within a little more than a rack of the title. While Immonen responded with a 67ball run, he ceded control of the table for the last time. Ortmann cleared the next 15 before Immonen tossed in the towel, ending an emotional event for the German, whose thoughts immediately turned toward his mother. “My mom’s a real fighter. I guess that’s where my killer instinct comes from,” he said. “She told me, ‘You’ve done your job, now I will do mine.’ “I really wanted to win for her this week, to give her positive energy and hope.”

VAN BOENING THUMPS IMMONEN IN BIG APPLE Amsterdam Billiards Oct. 12-14; New York, N.Y.

SINCE HOLDING its first event in 2007, The Action Report has carved out quite a niche for itself in the pool universe.

December 2010

Dec10 Tourneys.indd 55

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POWER INDEX BD

WORLD 10-BALL CHAMPS.

TOTAL POINTS

OCTOBER 2008 TOURNAMENT FACTOR: 1.20 PLACE (POINTS)

U.S. OPEN 9-BALL OCTOBER 2008 TOURNAMENT FACTOR: 1.14 PLACE (POINTS)

PREDATOR INT’L 10-BALL

GALVESTON WORLD 10-BALL

MAY 2009 TOURNAMENT FACTOR: 1.10 PLACE (POINTS)

SEPTEMBER 2009 TOURNAMENT FACTOR: 1.01 PLACE (POINTS)

U.S. OPEN 9-BALL OCTOBER 2009 TOURNAMENT FACTOR: 1.12 PLACE (POINTS)

1

Mika Immonen

991

5 (78)

1 (160)

17 (36)

1 (141)

1 (157)

2

Darren Appleton

607

1 (168)

25 (34)

17 (36)

-

25 (34)

3

Ralf Souquet

606

9 (54)

17 (40)

2 (132)

-

2 (134)

4

Lee Vann Corteza

592

-

7 (68)

33 (28)

25 (30)

4 (90)

5

Johnny Archer

560

65 (15)

4 (91)

5 (72)

5 (71)

9 (56)

6

Warren Kiamco

547

-

3 (103)

3 (99)

2 (121)

-

7

Charlie Williams

491

5 (78)

25 (34)

5 (72)

33 (25)

13 (45)

8

Franc. Bustamante

487

-

9 (51)

-

4 (80)

-

9

Shane Van Boening

486

9 (54)

17 (40)

33 (28)

5 (71)

9 (56)

10

Corey Deuel

480

33 (27)

5 (74)

9 (50)

9 (51)

17 (39)

11

Dennis Orcollo

475

-

-

1 (154)

25 (30)

-

12

Rodney Morris

442

-

5 (74)

9 (50)

25 (30)

5 (78)

13

Ronnie Alcano

387

-

2 (137)

-

13 (40)

65 (17)

14

Thorsten Hohmann

339

65 (15)

7 (68)

17 (36)

-

49 (22)

15

David Alcaide

330

17 (42)

-

9 (50)

-

-

16

Daryl Peach

297

17 (42)

9 (51)

17 (36)

-

65 (17)

17

Imran Majid

293

33 (27)

25 (34)

5 (72)

-

9 (56)

18

Niels Feijen

273

3 (120)

65 (17)

49 (22)

-

25 (34)

19

Stevie Moore

273

33 (27)

33 (29)

17 (36)

17 (35)

7 (67)

20

Kuo Po-Cheng

265

65 (15)

-

-

-

-

21

Karl Boyes

260

-

-

5 (72)

-

7 (67)

22

Mike Dechaine

259

-

25 (34)

-

3 (101)

13 (45)

23

Antonion Lining

245

-

-

-

-

-

24

Oliver Ortmann

244

33 (27)

-

9 (50)

-

129 (0)

JOE RATKE

Specializing in arranging one-onin the same breed as Van Boening, one challenge matches between handle the long format? The home high-profile players for live streamcourt advantage (and the pressure ing over the Internet, TAR, for short, of being the local favorite)? has effectively mixed the backroom For all the chatter, Van Boening with the broadcast. quickly established control of the But rarely does TAR attract a match once the action got underway. match-up like it did in October. A The 27-year-old used his powerful week before the U.S. Open, twobreak to establish an early lead. He time reigning Billiards Digest Player built a 13-9 advantage, then 15-10 of the Year Mika Immonen squared and eventually closed out the first off against 2007 Player of the Year night’s play with a 10-game lead, Shane Van Boening. The format? 35-25. A three-day winner-takes-all race The second night proved to leave to 100 in 10-ball. Each player puts both players in a bit of a holding up $10,000, with one walking away pattern. Immonen kept pace with with all of it. Van Boening, but never threatened Sounds interesting. to completely erase the deficit. He Just scratch the surface of this inched within seven games at one proposition and you’ll see dozens point, but Van Boening eventually of subplots ripe for the railbirds to wrapped up Night Two with his discuss. For example, Van Boening, same 10-rack lead, 70-60. owner of perhaps the best 10-ball The final day proved anticlimacbreak in the world, was fresh off a Van Boening broke his way to a 100-80 win in NYC. tic, as Van Boening extended his win at the Nicaragua Open. Would lead early on, moving ahead by as the victory help him, or would the long Meanwhile, Immonen was coming many as 25 games. He eventually closed flights to and from Central America off a second-place finish at the World out the set, 100-80, to take the $20,000 keep him from maintaining top form Tournament of 14.1. How would Imin cash, while adding yet another highover three nights of action? Discuss. monen, not known as an action hound profile victim to his TAR hit list.

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December 2010

11/16/10 10:33:52 AM


WORLD 10-BALL CHAMPS.

WORLD POOL MASTERS

OCTOBER 2009 TOURNAMENT FACTOR: 1.2 PLACE (POINTS)

MAY 2010 TOURNAMENT FACTOR: 1.05 PLACE (POINTS)

U.S. OPEN 10-BALL MAY 2010 TOURNAMENT FACTOR: 1.1 PLACE (POINTS)

WORLD 9-BALL CHMPS. JULY 2010 TOURNAMENT FACTOR: 1.25 PLACE (POINTS)

TOP

U.S. OPEN 9-BALL OCTOBER 2010 TOURNAMENT FACTOR: 1.2 PLACE (POINTS)

Finishers

1 (168)

33 (26)

5 (77)

33 (28)

3 (120)

5 (78)

17 (34)

9 (55)

97 (0)

1 (168)

17 (39)

5 (68)

17 (39)

33 (28)

7 (72)

2 (144)

33 (26)

1 (140)

33 (28)

49 (24)

33 (27)

17 (34)

25 (33)

3 (113)

13 (48)

5 (78)

-

17 (39)

-

4 (96)

33 (27)

5 (68)

7 (66)

33 (28)

13 (48)

U.S. OPEN 9-BALL CHAMP.

-

33 (26)

4 (88)

1 (175)

9 (60)

97 (0)

33 (26)

3 (110)

17 (41)

9 (60)

33 (27)

49 (21)

49 (22)

65 (19)

2 (144)

9 (54)

1 (147)

13 (44)

33 (28)

65 (18)

-

9 (47)

7 (66)

65 (19)

7 (72)

33 (27)

49 (21)

33 (28)

5 (81)

25 (36)

17 (39)

9 (47)

25 (33)

65 (19)

9 (60)

3 (108)

49 (21)

97 (0)

33 (28)

5 (84)

9 (54)

9 (47)

65 (17)

97 (0)

33 (30)

17 (39)

33 (26)

33 (28)

97 (0)

97 (0)

33 (27)

17 (34)

-

65 (19)

-

65 (15)

17 (34)

-

-

33 (30)

Chesapeake, Va. + Oct. 17-23 1. Darren Appleton $40,000 2. Corey Deuel $15,000 3. Mika Immonen $10,000 4. Warren Kiamco $8,000 5. (tie) Jason Klatt, David Alcaide $6,000 7. (tie) Ralf Souquet, Rodney Morris $4,500 9. (tie) Shane Van Boening, Thorsten Hohmann, Francisco Bustamante, Lo Li-Wen $3,000 13. (tie) Efren Reyes, Chris Melling, Charlie Williams, Johnny Archer $2,000 17. (tie) Tommy Kennedy, Nick Varner, Jesse Engel, Robb Saez, Jayson Shaw, Huidjie See, Gabe Owen, Roman Hybler $1,500 25. (tie) Mike Davis, Ramil Gallego, Dan Heidrich, Ronnie Alcano, Rory Hendrickson, Erik Hjorleifson, Keith Bennett, Demitrius Jelatis $1,250

33 (27)

17 (34)

17 (39)

2 (150)

-

33 (27)

17 (34)

65 (17)

65 (19)

49 (24)

-

-

9 (55)

-

49 (24)

3 (108)

-

-

3 (113)

49 (24)

33 (27)

3 (95)

65 (17)

33 (28)

-

WOMEN’S WORLD 10-BALL

ROAD WARRIOR: SOUQUET SUPREME IN SARAJEVO Dynamic Sarajevo 10-Ball Open Coloseum Club Oct. 8-10; Sarajevo, Bosnia

WITH EUROPE’S top talent returning home after a long late summer hopping across the globe for events in Asia and the U.S., October didn’t offer much of rest for the weary. Two weeks before the U.S. Open, which gathered its usual world-class field, the European Pocket Billiard Federation-sanctioned Dynamic Sarajevo 10-Ball Open — held Oct. 8-10 at the Coloseum Club — attracted a handful of the Europe’s elite. The field was headlined by the British contingent, which has quickly assumed the role of dominant force on the EuroTour. The U.K. boasts four of the top five (and six of the top 12) players on tour, with U.S. Open champ Darren Appleton clocking in at No. 12. But the Continent also offered a few well-qualified title hopefuls in Ralf Souquet and David Alcaide.

Alcaide and Souquet easily advanced to the single-elimination round of 32, where they were joined by five Brits (including Raj Hundal, who officially plays for India). In the round of 16, though, Alcaide was bounced out in ninth place by Hungary’s Gabor Solymosi. Solymosi then appeared set to eliminate Souquet in the quarterfinal round, but the German squeezed past the upstart, 10-9, for a spot in the final four. In the semifinals, Souquet faced Appleton in the headline match, while Hundal took on Karlo Dalmatin of Croatia. Souquet had a surprisingly easy time with Appleton, advancing by a count of 10-6, while Hundal edged Dalmatin, 10-7. Souquet entered the final as the clear favorite, but Hundal, winner of the 2005 World Pool Masters, had been in excellent form entering the championship. In the final race to 10, Souquet put an end to any discussion of an upset from the get-go. The methodical German pulled out to an early lead, eventually clinching the title by a 10-4 scoreline.

Quezon City, Philippines + Oct. 23-29 1. Jasmin Ouschan $20,000 2. Ga Young Kim $9,000 3. (tie) Rubilen Amit, Kelly Fisher $5,000 5. (tie) Li Jia, Karen Corr, Line Kjorsvik, Eun Ji Park $3,000 9. (tie) Tsai Pei-Chen, Yu Ram Cha, Yun Tan Ho, Han Yu, Ina Jentschura, Wu Jing, Akimi Kajitani, Miyuki Fuke $1,500

WORLD TOURNAMENT OF 14.1 Clifton, N.J. + Oct. 6-11 1. Oliver Ortmann $11,000 2. Mika Immonen $5,500 3. (tie) Huidjie See, Thorsten Hohmann $3,400 5. (tie) Dave Daya, Charlie Williams, Stephen Cohen, Johnny Archer $2,000

THE ACTION REPORT 19 New York, N.Y. + Oct. 12-14 1. Shane Van Boening $20,000 2. Mika Immonen

SARAJEVO OPEN Sarajevo, Bosnia + Oct. 8-10 1. Ralf Souquet $5,622 2. Raj Hundal $2,811 3. (tie) Carlo Dalmatin, Darren Appleton $1,405

December 2010

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11/16/10 10:33:59 AM


BD’S MONTHLY WRAP OF REGIONAL TOUR ACTION

Keeney, Bowman Tops in Shootout

RHOSE ISLAND’S Snookers, featured in last month’s Architecture & Design Awards, didn’t waste much time attracting New England’s top players. Its first OnePocket Fall Classic boasted 24 players from across the region. With $1,000 added, the double-elimination event came down to a rematch of the hot-seat contestants, Steve Booth and Joey Dupuis. Because of the hour, the two agreed to play a single game for the championship. Dupuis won the toss and gained the advantage off the opening break. After some defensive maneuvering, Booth knocked a couple of balls to his side and left the cue ball very close to Dupuis’ pocket, which allowed Booth to work his way back into the match. The championship eventually boiled down to a classic end-game battle over just two balls, and finally just one ball. But with Booth shooting at what would be the game ball, he scratched, with Dupuis burying a nerve-testing spot shot for the win.

ANNE CRAIG

Dupuis Prevails

Independent One-Pocket Snookers Nov. 6 + Providence, R.I. 1st: Joey Dupuis $728 2nd: Steve Booth $520 3rd: Shayne Cote $312 4th: Joe Tucker $208

Midwest 9-Ball Tour Shooter’s Oct. 28-31 + Olathe, Kan. Open Division 1st: Jesse Bowman $2,000 2nd: Beau Runningen $1,500 3rd: Shane McMinn $900 4th: David Matlock $600

Women’s Division 1st: Nicole Keeney $425 2nd: Karen Lincoln $300 3rd: Jessica Frideres $200 4th: Apryl McGill $100

Keeney breezed through the field at Shooter’s. PUTTING UP $3,500 in added money, the Midwest 9-Ball Tour attracted a strong 98-player field to an open 9-ball event at the familiar site of Shooter’s in Olathe, Kan. Rolling into town for the Halloween weekend event, Jesse Bowman has been in prime shape this year, which includes a victory at Shooter’s back in July. One of the most feared barbox players in the country, Bowman had no trouble advancing through the first few rounds in the bulky field. Alongside him, Minnesotan Beau Runningen kept pace on the other half of the bracket. The two eventually met in the hot-seat match with Bowman topping Eric Obermier, 9-4, and Runningen edging David Mat-

lock, 9-4. Bowman then earned his spot in the final with a 9-6 win. On the left-side, Shane McMinn rebounded from an earlier loss to Runningen. McGinn eliminated Justin Gunia, 9-4; Chip Compton, 9-5; and Obermier, 9-7. With a 9-5 win over Matlock, McMinn then faced Running for a spot in the final. But the result remained the same, with Runningen advancing by a count of 9-7. In the final, Bowman repeated his earlier dominance of his junior competitor, taking the title by a 9-4 score. Meanwhile, in the women’s division, aspiring pro Nicole Keeney outlasted a field of 15 for the $500-added title. She trounced Karen Lincoln in the single-set final to capture the $425 first prize.

Amateur’s Hour: Duggan Rockets to All American Title a $500-added event to let the amateurs chase a few hundred bucks. Playing on 7-foot barboxes, 25 players entered the 9-ball event at Inland Reef. Among the local crowd, Bill Duggan of Norfolk marched to the hotseat without much difficulty. In the winners-side semifinal, he outlasted Jamie Smith, 5-3, before taking a case-game win against Vern Steinke for Duggan (center) took home the cash in Virginia Beach. a spot in the hot-seat. JUST TWO weeks before the pros inOn the one-loss side, Dave Perry was vaded the Norfolk-Virginia Beach (Va.) in high gear after an earlier loss. He sent area to chase the U.S. Open title, the LuCurt Stevenson into seventh place, 5-3, casi Hybrid All American Tour put together and then eliminated Smith in fifth place,

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Lucasi All American Tour Inland Reef Oct. 9 + Virginia Beach, Va. 1st: Bill Duggan $400 2nd: Dave Perry $250 3rd: Vern Steinke $150 4th: Bill Mason $100

5-4. Perry continued to roll, sending Dave Mason out in fourth, 5-0, before earning a spot in the final with a strong 5-2 win over Steinke. But knowing he needed to top Duggan in two sets for the title proved too much for Perry. In the first race to 5, Duggan cleared the case rack for a 5-4 win.

December 2010

11/16/10 10:33:11 AM


PRESENTED BY

Heidrich Hits Stride in Chesapeake, With Career

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losing confidence at the table, and I’d start missing balls.” He won his first Joss event in 2007, with another title following in 2008. Last year, he got talking to Mike Sigel at a room in Rochester, and learned that the Hall of Famer was looking to get out of the cuemaking business. With a background in hands-on skills (construction, wood-working), Heidrich had thought about pursuing the craft. Thoughts turned into action when Sigel sold him two CNC (computer numerical controlled) machines — one for inlays and tapering, one for shafts — and worked with him for a couple of weeks. Dan Heidrich Custom Cues was the result — and for the first time in three years, his yearly pool earnings declined as he honed his cuemaking skills. As he continues to make cues (including one ordered by Ralf Souquet for his collection), he’s back on the road shooting. He’s cashed in a number of top-tier events, including the U.S. Open 10-Ball Championships (25th), the World Tournament of 14.1 (ninth) and his most recent run at October’s U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships (25th), where he defeated top Americans John Schmidt and Stevie Moore. With that strong performance, Heidrich raised a few eyebrows among one of the more discerning crowds in professional pool — a trend he has every confidence will continue. “Definitely,” he said. “I’ve beaten a lot of good players, and it’s just a matter of time.” — Skip Maloney

Heidrich has had a string of high finishes in 2010.

ing out to a room to shoot pool.” In 2004, having moved on from the construction work to do “a lot of waitering,” he found himself with more free time on his hands. He bought a pool table, installed it in a family-owned rental apartment, and started practicing. By 2006, he started showing up on the Joss Tour. “He’s a very good young player,” said Mike Zuglan, founder and owner of the Joss circuit. “He’s one of the very few, well-behaved players; a gentleman at the table. I’d like to have a tournament full of Dan Heidrichs.” At about this time, he met and married Tamiko Kumatori, a database administrator he met at a pool tournament, with whom he eventually partnered in the field of property management, which continues to be a mainstay of his earnings. “She started working with me on the mental aspects of my game, just on being positive, playing hard and not giving up,” he said. “She could see when I was

ASHI FACHLER

IT WAS an odd way to be introduced to the sport, though it does contain a recognizable germ of inspiration in the form of one notable personality: Jackie Gleason. Dan Heidrich, frequent competitor and occasional winner on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, and among the top 32 at October’s U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships, discovered pool while watching episodes of “The Honeymooners” with his grandparents. “I was fascinated,” Heidrich recalled. “I’d tried just about everything — baseball, tennis, basketball. I even tried wrestling, but I just loved the game [of pool].” Born and raised in Corning, N.Y., he became a frequent patron of Danny’s Billiards as a teenager. In his junior year in high school, Heidrich drove across the Canadian border to finish in a tie for ninth in his first major tournament. He migrated to Rochester, a couple of hours away, to take advantage of better job opportunities — and more and better pool players. By 1998, though, his life had become focused on gainful employment in a variety of fields, including construction work. He moved back to Rochester, settled into a job that had him traveling a lot, and quit pool altogether for six years. “I needed a break, I guess,” he said. “Believe me, I was still going out with friends every once in a while, but basically, I didn’t have the time. I was traveling to places like Pennsylvania, Maryland and even to the Virgin Islands. And with the construction work I was doing, when I got home, I just didn’t feel like go-

11/16/10 10:33:01 AM


TOUR RANKINGS (AS OF 11/6/10) Bay Area Amateur Tour AREA: Tampa Bay, Fla. TOUR DIRECTOR:

Stephanie Mitchell CONTACT: baat@live.com WEB: www.baattour.com

1. Niki Rasmussen 950 2. Jessica Barnes 815 3. Kelly Cavanaugh 745 4. Stephanie Mitchell 605 5. Rachel Delaney 595 6. Sabra MacArthur Beahn 490 7. Kim Caso 470 8. Chris Fields 440 9. Valerie Dukick 430 10. Jamie Toennies 425

1. Kelly Fisher 1,700 2. Allison Fisher 1,275 3. Amy Chen 1,020 4. Gerda Hofstatter 850 5. Holly Sholes 680 6. Kim Shaw 680 7. Belinda Calhoun 510 8. Christi Steele 510 9. Kate Cowan 425 10. Dana Aft 425

Lone Star Tour AREA: Texas DIRECTOR: Kim White WEB: www.lonestar

billiardstour.com MEN’S DIVISION

Desert Classic Tour AREA: Ariz. DIRECTOR: Dennis Orender CONTACT: info@desertclassic

tour.com WEB: www.desertclassic

tour.com 1. Tony Confalone 550 2. Nick Deleon 510 3. Dennis Orender 485 4. Gus Briseno 455 5. Pete Lhotka 440 6. Tres Kane 425 7. Chris Paradowski 395 8. Scott Frost 300 9. Brett Huth 255 10. Bernie Pettipiece 250

EuroTour AREA: Europe TOUR DIRECTOR: Gre Leenders CONTACT: info@eurotour.nu WEB: www.eurotour.nu

1. Karl Boyes 2,620 2. Daryl Peach 2,430 3. Nick van den Berg 2,330 4. Niels Feijen 2,200 5. Mark Gray 2,115 6. Chris Melling 2,025 7. Stephan Cohen 2,020 8. Ralf Souquet 1,990 9. Craig Osbourne 1,980 10. Roman Hybler 1,970

Flamingo Billiards Tour AREA: Fla. DIRECTOR: Mimi McAndrews WEB: www.flamingobilliards

tour.com 1. Helene Caukin 830 2. Stephanie Mitchell 645 3. Niki Rasmussen 600 4. Jessica Barnes 590 5. Melissa Durkin 510 6. Kelly Cavanaugh 510 7. Mimi McAndrews 485 8. Barbara Ellis 420 9. Christie Cloke 395 10. Margie Soash 310

1. Charlie Bryant 1,850 2. Sylver Ochoa 1,225 3. Ernesto Bayaua 1,050 4. David Gutierrez 1,025 5. James Davis Jr. 850 6. Andy Jethwa 675 7. Derek Fontenot 525 8. John Newsome 525 9. Jeremy Jones 500 10. Doug Young 450 WOMEN’S DIVISION

1. Ming Ng 1,925 2. Kyu Yi 1,500 3. Terry Petrosino 1,425 4. Loretta Lundgren 1,135 5. Courtney Peters 1,075 6. Ricky Casper 1,010 7. Belinda Lee 1,000 8. Deanna Kniola 800 9. Robyn Petrosino 750 10. Teresa Garland 750

Mezz Pro-Am Tour AREA: Pa., N.Y., N.J. TOUR DIRECTOR: Jose Burgos WEB: www.mezztour.com OPEN DIVISION

1. Josh Brothers 4,425 2. Matt Krah 4,150 3. Adam Kielar 2,890 4. Eddie Abraham 2,875 5. Shaun Wilkie 2,550 6. Joey Testa 2,235 7. Joe Hong 1,740 8. Dominic Noe 1,695 9. Victor Nau 1,410 10. Shaun Dobson 1,380 WOMEN’S DIVISION

1. Caroline Pao 390 2. My-Hanh Lac 300 3. Megan Smith 300 4. Pam Cimarelli 240 5. Dawn Hopkins 240 6. Denise Reeve 180 7. Briana Miller 180 8. Kim Jones 150 9. Gina Kim 150 10. Linda Cheung 150

NW Women’s Pool Assn. KwikFire Tour AREA: N.C. TOUR DIRECTOR: Kim Shaw WEB: www.kwikfiretour.com

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Briana Miller has moved into the Mezz Tour Top 10.

AREA: Ore., Wash. TOUR DIRECTOR: Tamré Geené-

Rogers WEB: www.nwpatour.com

1. Jana Montour 860 2. June Maiers 720 3. Liz Cole 610 4. Kimberly Kirk 470 5. Shelby Locati 455 6. Jackie Karol 425 7. Cindy Sliva 375 8. Andrea Saenz-Maes 340 9. Mary Hopkin 340 10. Suwanna Kroll 295

OB Cues Ladies 9-Ball AREA: Texas, Okla. TOUR DIRECTOR: Julie Stephenson CONTACT: julies@hartnett

group.com WEB: www.obcuestour.com

1. Lisa Marr 1,105 2. Jennifer Kraber 955 3. Amanda Lampert 775 4. Tara Williams 670 5. Ashley Nandrasy 655 6. Orietta Strickland 595 7. Melinda Bailey 430 8. Michelle Cortez 420 9. Julie Stephenson 360 10. Lisa Henderson-Major 350

Poison Pool Tour AREA: Fla. TOUR DIRECTOR: Natalie Crosby WEB: www.uspoisontour.com AMATEUR DIVISION

1. Mike Delawder 575 2. George Saunders 505 3. Bill Stoll 480 4. Eddie Wheat 460 5. Wesley White 430 6. Jimmy Sandaler 400 7. Chip Dickerson 385 8. Dan Dennis 385 9. Louis Altes 385 10. Lincoln Seiffert 355 OPEN DIVISION

1. Tony Crosby 870 2. Mike Davis 720 3. Tommy Kennedy 700 4. Justin Hall 570 5. Louis Altes 470 6. Mike Delawder 440 7. Julio Aquino 355 8. Wesley White 340 9. Han Berber 330 10. Dave Ross 320

Seminole Pro Tour AREA: Fla., N.C., Ga., N.Y.

TOUR DIRECTOR: Gerry Mayen WEB: www.seminolesports

management.com CONTACT: (954) 985-5700

1. Corey Deuel 730 2. Stevie Moore 550 3. Rodney Morris 505 4. Mike Davis 440 5. Hunter Lombardo 360 6. Donny Mills 360 7. Johnny Archer 355 8. Tommy Kennedy 350 9. Mike Dechaine 315 10. Charlie Williams 310

Tri-State Tour AREA: N.Y., N.J., Conn. TOUR DIRECTOR: John Leyman WEB: www.thetristatetour.com A DIVISION

1. Daniel Dagotbot 300 2. Geoffrey Bauer 185 3. Scott Simonetti 180 4. Daniel Cintron 130 5. Mike Panzarella 115 6. Wilson Cruz 95 7. Peter Ziemak 70 8. Adam Kosmin 60 9. Stewart Warnock 45 10. John Alicea 30 A DIVISION

1. Yomaylin Feliz 275 2. Sandie Patarino 165 3. Rhio Anne Flores 90 4. Gail Glazebrook 85 5. Tran Tran 75 6. Debra Prichett 30 7. Neslihan Gurel 25 8. Gina Kim-Lipsky 25 9. Karen Freire 20 10. Borana Andoni 15

USBA AREA: United States TOUR DIRECTOR: Jim Shovak CONTACT: jimshovak@usba.net WEB: www.usba.net

1. Pedro Piedrabuena 487 2. Jae Hyung Cho 373 3. Sonny Cho 354 4. Mazin Shooni 294 5. Luis Aliva 264 6. Hugo Patino 200 7. Miguel Torres 177 8. Michael Kang 164 9. Javier Teran 155 10. Min Jae Pak 138

December 2010

11/16/10 10:32:35 AM


560104md086.indd 61

11/17/10 11:05:15 AM


MARKETPLACE

BRUNSWICK Pool Table Sale Open to the public and dealers New in the box, discounted models with prices too low to print. 8’ Prestige in Mahogany or Oak 9’ Prestige in Mahogany 8/9’ Esqurie in Honey or Maple 8’ Marquette 8/9’ Orleans in Mahogany 8/9’ Windsor in Dark Walnut

Call 1-800-940-2837

FOR SALE 1 Gus Szamboti Cue

1 Ginaque (In good condition) FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL

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11/16/10 2:34:44 PM


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11/17/10 11:19:42 AM


From Publisher Mike Panozzo Tips &the Shafts George Fels

SCHOOLROOMS & POOLROOMS B

Y AND large, they go together just about

like shipwrecks and sharks. Here at this publication, though, my editorial-staff colleagues include a physicist (Bob Jewett), two engineers (Bob Byrne and Dave Alciatore), and an attorney/college professor (Mike Shamos). As I can hardly mention my measly English degree without suppressing a giggle, that leaves me as way low man on that particular totem pole. But none of us ever depended on the cue games for his sustenance. When I was in high school, nimbly dodging Tyrannosaurus Rex on my way to class, dropping out for any reason was just about unheard of. To do so for the sake of pool, especially in my part of town and in that era, would have been little short of psychosis; $2 already represented serious action, and it wasn’t easy to find either. (Just about the only reason anybody left school early back then was pregnancy, and I never knew any of those cases personally. It was, after all, the time of the girdle, and how many young men even wanted to work that hard?) My folks pushed education at me the way most middle-class parents would, but there were limits as to how strenuously my father could object to my being smitten with pool without becoming hypocritical; he had spent plenty of time in poolrooms himself when younger, and even played decently. I understood why he tried so hard to steer me into journalism: he had his own advanced degree in it from Northwestern, and a highly promising career that was thwarted only by his having graduated college into the Depression. What I never did figure out was why he stumped so hard on behalf of physics, of which he knew next to nothing. He brought everything back to that. Let him hear a tire squealing half a block away, and he’d point out, “See, if you took physics, you’d know why that tire squeals that way.” Ditto with a door slamming, or lifting a bag of groceries, or any other damn thing that involved motion or energy. “And why would I want to have that information?” ran my typical if somewhat irreverent response. Then he’d put his palms toward heaven, as though searching for relief, and play his trump card. “If you understood physics,” he’d say with forced patience, “you’d be a better pool player.” “So you’re saying that Pittsburgh Joe,” I’d answer, inventing a name and trying to sound thoughtful, “out there in his Skid Row flophouse, with a laundry rope holding up his pants, he’s secretly some kind of fine physicist?” “I can’t talk to him,” my father would sigh to my mom. “He knows everything.” Chicago’s famous room Bensinger’s was the first place I ever met anyone who actually dropped out of school to hustle pool, and there I also learned that that seemed to be way closer to the rule than the exception. Even back in Willie

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Mosconi’s champion days, it was only Irving Crane, among the top players, who had as much as a year of college (at tiny Hobart, in upstate N.Y.). And Crane’s family was relatively well off, with a Cadillac dealership at which the great player himself worked on and off. Most of his peers, though, including Mosconi, saw their teen years take them smack into the middle of the same Depression my old man faced; their families could not have afforded to send them to college even had they been inclined to go. Back in what I call “the 711 era,” when pool was probably played better by more people in New York and New Jersey than at any time in its history, a high school diploma would have had you pretty much at the top of the educated pack. The two hustlers with the pseudo-first name “Brooklyn,” the late Johnny Ervolino and Jimmy Kassas, had one grade school diploma between them (Jimmy’s). Jack “Jersey Red” Breit never finished 10th grade. Future billiards champ and author-to-be Eddie Robin didn’t finish, either, but earned his General Equivalency Diploma in the Army. Robin’s buddy the late shortstop “Pancho” Furio/Corelli/Strauss actually graduated from a prestigious military academy, which seems an unusual choice by him until one understands that that choice was made for him by the New York system of justice for juvenile offenders. Education hasn’t fared all that much better among today’s pool experts. Hall of Fame players Nick Varner (Purdue) and the late Steve Mizerak (three schools) each had four years of college. Add to that Max Eberle (James Madison), Richard Lane and Jay Helfert (both Oklahoma), and Dan Louie (Washington State), and what you have is one mighty skimpy list. High school dropout status is a lot closer to the norm. The women, on balance, do better than that when it comes to school; virtually every visible female player today has at least finished high school. Palmer Byrd Vallaincourt, cofounder of what is today the WPBA, received an M.B.A. from Hartford (Conn.) University while a corner-office executive at United Technologies. Master Instructor Fran Crimi has a bachelor’s in accounting from N.Y.’s Queens College; there she was a year behind one Jerry Seinfeld, who shunned pool yet still seems to have done OK. And Nesli O’Hare, yet another pool player expatriate now playing poker, sported two separate master’s degrees, in applied math (what on earth is math that doesn’t get applied, anyhow, and why would you bother to learn it?) and computer science. But the very peak of the educational hierarchy in the cue games today has to be British snooker/straight-pool player Jonni Fulcher. He has over 50 perfect frames at snooker, and competed well in the 14.1 World Championships held last October. Still, what I like best about Fulcher (besides his disadvantaged hairline) is that he holds a Ph.D. in, of all subjects, nuclear physics. Boy, am I ever glad he wasn’t around for my father to see. I’d never have heard the end of it.

December 2010

11/16/10 10:31:59 AM


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December 2010  

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