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DEADLINE: 25th of each Month CALL IF LATE

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Rackem Staff PUBLISHER/EDITOR Don “Cheese” Akerlow


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About Rackem

Don “Cheese” Akerlow

Rackem is a monthly publication, dedicated to the advancement of the sport of pool and to promoting enthusiasm and encouragement among the players at all levels, regardless of their league affiliation, in addition to recognizing those businesses who support them all. Covering the midwest. Look for Rackem by the 10th of each month. The opinions Publisher expressed are those of the author or advertiser and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rackem or its staff. We reserve the right to edit or reject any material submitted for publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher. © 2011 Rackem

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August 2011 - Rackem Magazine 3


A Day for Jimmy Caras

It was sometime in June of 1991 when Jimmy Caras approached me and said he had to get ready for a challenge match with Willie Mosconi The match had been planned for months and it was time to get serious about getting in stroke. So, we made a practice schedule and stuck to it. Every day was like watching a boxer train for the heavy weight world championship. We spared together day after day. Jimmy was 82 years old at the time but acted like a teenager that had just fell in love with the game of pool. Everyone could see Jimmy was up for this one and getting better with every stroke. There was really a buzz around the pool room. All our regulars would show up every day to watch Jimmy and I practice. I (Bob Maidhof) had met Jimmy about two years before and was fortunate to have acquired a wonderful friendship with one of the greatest players of all time and felt blessed to have been so lucky. Everyone at the pool room (Drexeline

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Billiard Club) was primed to go spectate this marvelous event. We bought about 30 tickets to this Dinner Show Exhibition and that was not enough. Probably 35 people plus attended from our pool room. Anyway, day after day of practice was paying off as Jimmy was running 50 balls plus every day, and that ain’t chopped liver at the age of 82 folks. Funny thing about when I first met Jimmy was that when my wife Susan and I had first opened The Drexeline Billiard Club early in 1989, Jimmy Caras had found his way to our pool room to check it out. He walked in and I immediately knew who he was (My Idol in the pool world) and ran up to introduce myself. I was very excited and said, “Mr. Caras, my name is Bob and it is so cool to have you here.” He looked at me funny, said hi, and walked out. I could not

figure out where I went wrong and if I had offended him. I asked my counter person, Marie, “What did I do wrong for him to walk out?” We could not figure it out other then Jimmy not wanting people to make a big thing over his presents. A few days went by and here came Jimmy Caras again, walking into the pool room. I decided to not pay him any mind. Did not want to shark him again. He stayed a while, just watching the hackers, had a cup of coffee, and chewing on a cigar then exited. He fell into that routine the rest of that week, with me not saying a peep to him. He kept to himself for the most part. The following week he was bringing his cue now and hitting balls around. Found out he was killing time while his wife Phyllis was at bowling league. This went on for about a month.

Then one day he was hanging out while I was hitting balls. I did not realize he was watching me. I was practicing straight pool. My patterns at the time were fair. As I ran a rack, right in the middle of my stroke Jimmy jumped out of his chair and yelled out, “NO, not that ball, shoot this ball”. He immediately came running over to show me the best pattern for the remains of that rack. I never saw a man of that age run so fast. He really had a passion for the game as it was clear to see. He came over and started schooling me and I thought I was in heaven. This went on almost every day and that is when Jimmy opened up to me and all of our customers. To this day I don’t know what held him back when he first started coming to our room. From then on we became very close and went everywhere together. My wife Susan, Jimmy’s wife Phyllis, Jimmy, and I were always going out together, and I was the luckiest guy alive to be in his company, let alone his good friend. One night we were in a French restaurant and next table over was Mike Schmidt from the Philly’s dining with a couple other guys. Jimmy leaned over and said to Mike Schmidt, “Hi, I am Jimmy Caras”, extending his hand to shake and Mike Schmidt said “Hi”, shook Jimmy’s hand and turned his back. Jimmy figured Schmidt should know that he was a Billiards Hall of Famer, but we all know pool is a different world. At least I thought Schmidt would mistake Jimmy for a fan looking for a

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autograph, but we know that was not the case. After the hand shake Jimmy turned to us and said that Mike Schmidt was not very nice to put it kindly. Had to be there. Was certainly a funny moment. Getting back to the challenge match, the time had come. Jimmy dressed to a tee in a Tuxedo with cue case in hand he was ready to go. We all showed up with approx. 40 people from the pool room to support Jimmy. Pat Fleming was there with his Accu-Stat crew , and Mike Massey came to entertain the guests before the match. Mike Massey put on a trick shot exhibition that was amazing. What a great way to begin. Finally the main event. All the hard work paid off. Jimmy won the challenge and also took high run. I had never seen him so happy. It was like he was 30 years old again. Never saw a man his age so alive. The next day we had a celebration party for Jimmy back at the pool room. What a great time in Jimmy’s life, and I was fortunate to be a part of it. I miss Jimmy and am thankful every day for the time I was lucky enough to be around him. He really helped my pool game as my high run is now 316 thanks to what I had learned from the great Jimmy Caras. I hope I get a chance to tell you the story of our trip to Key West, Florida. Jimmy , my wife Susan and I in Fla. Great Time. PS: Accu-Stats has Valley “Hall of Fame” Dinner Show Willie Mosconi vs Jimmy Caras. A collectors DVD. A great one to add to your collection.

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The Art of Teaching By The Monk

Tim Miller

You can go to my web site and read over seventy important instructional articles at no cost to you. www. has video clips to show you how to hit the shots. My special three-day workshop is limited to four students. I do not allow my students to get lost in a large class. I am here to help you at a reasonable price. It is about skill development. May all the rolls go your way, The Monk

I have two students who have joined my “mentor program”. One is a professional player who seems to be stuck in the middle of the pack. The other is a young man who has dreams of a world championship. They both desire to be world class. The valley between the desire to reach high skill level and the reality of reaching high skill level is found in how you prepare. It is not in how much time you put on the table. It is how you train. Your training must be deliberate and specific. As you travel through the training material you must be aware that there are pitfalls at every turn, ways to stray from the path without knowing what is happening. After a while, ten years have passed and you have not experienced the progress you expected when you took up this game. There are four stages each player must pass through to reach the top. The first stage is the Shot making stage. Here we simply make balls. While in this stage we find ourselves hooked behind balls and not able to complete our run out. It is at this point many players move on to play position. Moving from the Shot making to position play is fatal for most players. The second stage is the Four Strokes of Pool. The stroke determines the track line of the cue ball. The stroke determines the speed of the cue ball. Without mastery of the Four Strokes you will always be guessing on your position play. The third stage is Cue Ball Speed. Here we master speed and position play. The fourth stage is Mastering Self. In this final stage we learn to control our emotions and are able to deliver one hundred per cent effort on each shot. SEE THE SHOT, KNOW THE STROKE, SHOOT THE SHOT. If you have a mentor who can guide you through all

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four phases you will pass through the valley and become a master. Lets suppose you are faced with a safety shot. You could go for the bank but this would be low percentage. In the Mastering Self stage you realize that you would be playing a bank only to get another bank shot. The right shot would be to play a safety. Bank the ball back to the bottom rail and send the cue ball down table. This way you put your opponent at a disadvantage. In this shot you must be able to hit the precise edge of the object ball. That comes from the Shot Making stage. Then you must spin the ball down table. This comes form the Four Strokes of Pool stage. Then you must land at the bottom rail. Here you are using the Cue Ball speed stage. As you can see, all four stages come into play on a shot like this. Don’t trust your game to a “pool player.” Go to a professional teacher. Read books from those who have done the research and have the experience to help you. Studies have shown that the best teachers are at ages sixty-five and over. Take advantage of these wise instructors while they are still in the game. Experience is vital to teaching all phases of this complicated game. Success is found in skill development. Knowledge applied is skill developed. You can acquire all the knowledge in the world but until you develop your skills you will never reach world class. Open Everyday 10 am - 3 am

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August 2011 - Rackem Magazine 7



#8 “The Road Dogs”

Well, somewhere along the long road of life, I’ve finally found time to do more follow-up on the U.S. Bar Table Championships. But first, I have to say, Lucky and I had been crossing our fingers, hoping to find a smoke-free environment, for apparent reasons – Lucky has a nonchalant attitude about life, but me, I’d like him to be around for a while longer and his health is an everyday concern. But Reno…wow. The smoke at the Sands was atrocious. It sucked into the playing room like a fast-flowing creek. If the smokers were fortunate enough to draw a front table, they really didn’t need to worry about nicotine withdrawal. The majority of us, however, were just unable to breathe at all. And worse, the event officials just looked the other way, not enforcing any real non-smoking restrictions for the betterment of such a great event. The lowly signs were supposed to be enough. Anyway, Lucky started hacking every time he went into the tournament room, and of course that had me completely freaked out and I just had to urge him to get out. I tried to get him to pop in when the smoke was low, but it was nearly impossible, so he just stayed away, which really sucked – yeah, that was a pun. He was completely bummed out. His old beat up face looked like he’d lost his best friend. He commented to me how sad it was to see so many young kids addicted to tobacco. He mentioned a conversation with Stevie Moore where he found out that Stevie quit several months ago and said it was one of the best decisions of his life. Ok, I’ll get off this, but I have to say, my sense of right and wrong is that there should be no smoking on the floor. We’re talking about the reason Lucky quit playing after all those years! It was the smoke and it affected his health! I know, I know, those of you who smoke are heaving big sighs of smoke and disgust reading this, but thankfully, more and more of you have been able to actually quit and know the joy of breathing again. But outside of that, the tournament seemed like it was run well. Bad Boys Productions has a pretty good crew and they got on it. So, while the smoke kept Lucky away from one of his favorite pool events in the country and sulking in his room most of the time, flipping channels and trying to find old westerns to watch, it didn’t keep us from going down to the Pneumatic Diner. This is a very cool out-of-the-way vegetarian eatery he turned me on to. Who would have thought that old cowboy could rub shoulders with the long hairs? Oh, wait, he likes me. Well, it was real food and it tasted great -- and only blocks from the Sands. Best damn food on the whole trip. So I was left to my own devices at the event. I got to see the young crop of good new players showing some metal… like John Morra, Mitch Ellerman, and Adam Smith… and I wasn’t disappointed watching established players like Steve Moore, Stan Tourangeau and Glenn Atwell, though Glenn’s

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patina seemed a little worn this time around. Maybe it was the altitude and snow. Reno is up there in elevation about 4400 ft. And, it was cold and never over 33 degrees. Vivian Villarreal played great. Lucky has been keeping one eye on the women... playing, that is. He says some of them are getting consistently closer to the men’s skill levels these days. Pretty amazing to hear that old backroads gentleman say with confidence that someday soon the gender barrier could just disappear into the sunset. Lucky said he snuck in and watched Washington’s Ivan Doty play some. I had to chew him out, but I understood. Ivan, it turned out, did not have any expectation, just came to play vacation-style pool. He said he surprised himself in the 8-ball event, ending up beating several top players. Even with his nerves over the top, he crushed Stevie Moore, one of the favorites to win the event. Lucky shared with me how impressed he was with this future grand master. “You’re never too old to play good pool,” Lucky said he told Ivan. Oh, and he said they drink the same beer, too. Great minds, great taste. Pat Schumacher played well, considering his lack of swing time after coming back from a bad motorcycle accident a couple years ago that had him in the hospital for two months, wondering if he’d ever play pool again, His ‘second coming’ was a bright light for him, All he needed to complete his long-mustached Yosemite Sam look was a Hoss Cartwright Hat. Lucky may have felt some kinship with Pat, because once again, he’d slipped in unbeknownst to me and had been watching him play. He’d even offered him some breaking tips -- lucky for Pat, who immediately put them into practice and got some instant gratification. He was breaking great and making a ball every time. Back in Lucky’s room after the event, we were sitting around eating Diner leftovers, and he told me if Pat could have matched that with some run outs a few more times at the end like he did in the beginning, he would have won the whole thing. In between slices of pesto spinach and feta pizza and cranberry-pistachio yogurt salad (unbelievably delicious), Lucky revealed more about who else he saw when he snuck in behind my back. He mentioned Barbara McDonald -- said in his opinion she was one of the best tournament direction helpers Jay Helfert or Reno’s events had ever seen – said he would be hard pressed to remember anyone over the years so pleasant and professional. He said he saw Henry Dorsey, who was a great pool hustler in the 80’s. He’d played “Walt” -- as he was called in those days -- and said Walt was always good for a few dollars every time. Every time. He was trying to be known as one-pocket Dorsey and lost a few bucks to the Monk down at the pool room. I told him “The Lion Slayer” Kings Santy beat Alex Pagulayan and had progressed into a pretty good player. I think I’ll


have to drive Lucky to Boise sometime so he can play him some. I mentioned Phil Boucher from Montana as the gentleman of the tournament. Sure enough, Lucky said he knew Phil’s brother and played him at Four Bears in North Dakota. Speaking of action – outside of Lucky beating that kid from the east coast (last issue), during the week-long event, there usually is a ton of action in the practice room, but for some reason, not this year. Lucky was “flabbergasted,” as he called it, by the lack of action and lack of stake horses. He said he saw only a few 5/20 dollar games, “Hardly enough to spit at,” he said. But, he said, the local pool room had drawn most of the action – how he knew that I didn’t even ask. Said Boy George was stiffing everyone who didn’t know better and rumor had it that after a visit from a couple of guys to give him a “tune up,” Boy George paid off. So anyway, Lucky had marked Warren Kiamco, the all-around winner, to play him after the tournament. I was with him when he corralled him and his road buddy during 9-ball and asked him if he wanted to play. Warren and his Filipino buddy had a short discussion in Tagalog and then Warren said, “Ok! Play for $500 a set.” Lucky later told me they were saying they should be able to get about five or six sets out of him before he gave up. (He never fails to surprise me.) Lucky, of course, shoving his old hands into his worn pants pockets, said, “Well, I reckon that’ll be ok, but I just want to play you. You’re a mighty fine player.” Warren looked at his road partner and laughed. “Ok, we will play,” he said. So Lucky thought he had a second bit of action to look forward to at the end of the tournament. It turned out he hunted for Warren after 8-ball finals, but came up empty. Kiamco had disappeared without a word. Maybe he thought the old man Lucky couldn’t possibly be serious. Or, maybe Warren didn’t have the money to play. Lucky said, whatever, it happens… but he just might show up one day where Warren plays to see if he’d still like to knock balls around. We threw all our junk in the trunk and left Reno the next morning. It was 9 degrees. That would be c-c-cold. Next month: I brought Lucky back to Oregon, since I was headed over to the biggest amateur regional event in the country right after the Reno event. Lucky thought he’d like to take a look at some of the Northwest players and see who was coming out of that bunch. On the drive up, we munched on chili relleno casserole we got to go from the Pneumatic Diner. Good stuff. I got him an adjoining room at Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City where the Western BCA event is held twice a year, and we turned in for a good night’s sleep before the action began the next day.


CROWNED Olson, Miller, Thorpe and Reynolds reign

The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) crowned four winners in the 2011 BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships. Over 100 junior pocket billiard players gathered in the Huskies Den at Northern Illinois University on July 6-10 to compete for the title in 4 divisions. In the 18-and-under boys’ division, Danny Olson of Broomfield, CO, prevailed, while Briana Miller of Allentown, PA, steam-rolled through the18-and-under girls’ division. Billy Thorpe of Dayton, OH, thrived in the 14-and-under boys’ division and Taylor Reynolds of Waterville, ME, won her first title in the 14-andunder girls’ division. Junior billiard players travelled from 26 states to attend the 23rd Annual BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships in hopes of winning a title, scholarships, prizes, an entry into the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World Junior 9-Ball Championships, to connect with friends and to make new friends. In the 18-and-under boys’ division, the top finishers were no strangers to junior billiards. Danny Olson, determined to better his 4th place finish in 2010 and finishing a respectable 7th place in the 2010 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships, proved to be a tough contender this year. Olson steadily proceeded through the winner’s bracket with wins over Jeremy Johnson 9-2, J.C. Torres 9-1, Kevin Sun 9-7, Zachary Leonard 9-3, and Tyler Styer 9-3 before losing to Brendan Crocket 6-9. Crockett, 2009 champion of the 14-and-under boys’ division, smoothly sailed through the winner’s bracket without a loss. Crockett defeated Refugio Vara 9-0, Edwin Gomez 9-4, Chris Byers 9-3, Chad Behnke 9-4 and Danny Olson 9-6 to claim the seat as the only undefeated contestant in the 39 player division.

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Olson faced Tyler Styer on the one-loss side in a match that almost sealed any chance of him winning his last opportunity, because of age eligibility, for a Junior National title. But a well executed safety by Olson when the score was 8-8 found Styer’s three-rail kick only inches short of hitting his target, giving Olson ball-in-hand on the 5-ball. Olson ran out for the win and a chance for a rematch with Crockett in the one set finals. Olson kept his winning momentum, capturing the match 11 games to 6 and his first title as the Junior National 9-Ball Champion. In the 18-and-under girls’ division, Briana Miller zipped through the tournament losing only a hand-full of games. The fierce and determined 15 year old bulldozed her way through matches over Kendra Britt 7-0, Caitlyn Shuping 7-0, Kendra Russell 7-2 and Brooke Zimmermann 7-3 before taking charge in the final match against Zimmermann, 9-0 and seizing her fifth title as Junior National Champion in the girls’ division. Billy Thorpe won his second consecutive title in the 14-and-under boys’ division by breezing through several matches including wins over Marcus Abney 7-2, Nathan Bourque 7-1, Sergio Rivas 7-3, Austen Russell 7-1, Joey Torrez 7-2 and Shawn Begay 7-0 before claiming the honors of being the only undefeated player in the 49 player field. Also moving forward through the winner’s bracket was Shawn Begay of Gallup, New Mexico. Begay inched his way with victories over Nick Evans 7-6, Justin St. Andrews 7-5, JonMichael Monegato 7-4, Tyler Brandom 7-6 and Ricky Evans 7-3 before facing the reigning champion, Billy Thorpe, for the winner’s bracket seat. Thorpe sent Begay to the one-loss side to battle with Austen Russell. Begay prevailed with a 7-6 win over Russell and earned a chance to

dethrone Thorpe. Thorpe secured his title as reigning champion with a 9-5 win over Begay. In the 14-and-under girls’ division, it was former runner-up Taylor Reynolds who eagerly made it through the winner’s bracket defeating April Larson 7-3 and 7-1 wins over both Katilyn Hall and Julianna Poutry before the finals match. Poutry made her way on the winner’s bracket with wins over Katelin Ballou 7-1 and Karsyn Terry 7-6 before losing to Taylor Reynolds 1-7. Poutry faced Larson on the one-loss side, finishing in 3rd place. April Larson, a newcomer from Bloomington, Minnesota, steered her way through the one-loss side for another chance to play Reynolds. Larson, a well poised eleven year old, calmly, but quickly dashed ahead in the race to 9 games in the finals. Reynolds sprinted to tie the score at 7 games each and continued to thrust forward to win the next 2 games, winning the race and her first Junior Nationals title. In addition to trophies and prizes, the winners of the four divisions were awarded $1,000 in academic scholarships and earned an opportunity to represent the U.S. in the upcoming World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World Junior 9-Ball Championships, which will be held in Kielce, Poland, August 31st – September 4th. Second-place finishers in all four divisions received $500 in academic scholarships, trophies and prizes. Additionally, second and third-place finishers in (BEF continued on page 16)

PHOTO 2011 BEF Junior National finalists, L-R: Kendra Russell, Brooke Zimmermann, Billy Thorpe, April Larson, Danny Olson, Briana Miller, Tyler Styer, Taylor Reynolds, Brendan Crockett, Shawn Begay, Austen Russell

Midwest 9-Ball Tour Tournament results for Shooters, Olathe, KS July 7-10, 2011

OPEN 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5-6 7-8 9-12 13-16 17-24 25-32

ONE-POCKET - 63 players - $1000 Added 1st John Gabriel, Talala, Ok 2nd Glen Atwell, Clay Center, KS 3rd Will Freeman, Centralia, IL 4th Chip Compton, OKC 5-6 Shane McMinn, Tulsa, OK Scott Kitto, Troy Mills, IA 7-8 Mike Banks, Jr., Blue Springs, MO Joey Gray, OKC 9-12 Mickey Brandt, KC, MO Taylor Anderson, Olathe, KS Beau Runningen, Falcon Heights, MN Gary Lutman, Collinsville, IL 13-16 Richard Harris, Winchester, OH Whitey Walker, Burlington, IA Anthony Garcia, Cedar Rapids, IA Bobby Dickerson, Terre Haute, IN

- 124 players - $3250 Added Scott Kitto, Troy Mills, IA David Matlock, Olathe, KS Jesse Bowman, Moline, IL James Baraks, Humble, TX Beau Runningen, Falcon Heights, MN Whitey Walker, Burlington, IA Bobby McGrath, Washington, IL Chuck Raulston, Poplar Bluff, MO Glen Atwell, Clay Center, KS Tommy Hernandez, Glendale Heights, IL C.J. Wiley, Dallas, TX Donnie Devers, Baldwin City, KS Mike Dunklin, Duquoin, Il Brian Wilson, Indianapolis, IN Gabe Owen, Tulsa, OK John Gabriel, Talala, OK Jordan Davis, Lee’s Summit, MO Shannon Schroeder, Streamwood, IL Michael Perron, Jr., St. Paul, MN LADIES - 22- $750 Added Dustin Gunia, Omaha, NE 1st Jessica Frideres, Ft. Dodge, IA Mike Henderson, Des Moines, IA 2nd Jacqui Schroeder, Streamwood, IL Shane McMinn, Tulsa, OK 3rd Sharon Rinkert, Winterset, IA Chip Compton, OKC 4th Dee McGrath, Washington, IL Rich Tefertiller, Greenfield, MO 5-6 Cassandra Hernandez, Glendale Heights, IL Robert Frost, Campbellsville, KY Apryl McGill, Lenex, KS Brian Steele, Galconda, IL Jesse James, Bartlesville, OK Mike Banks, Jr., Blue Springs, MO Jeff Montgomery, Olathe, KS Chris Lawson, Indianapolis, IN David Caron, Olathe, KS Jacob White, Maplewood, MO





August 2011 - Rackem Magazine 11


I Never Tried to Hustle


It was some 40 years ago that I won probably the most from someone playing pool for money From my first days of learning and playing pool in a in Cincinnati” his twin, in the way he dressed, basement pool hall in a small town in Southwestern would have been Herb Tarlic. Now don’t get me Pennsylvania, where I watched some of the best wrong I sort of liked Al because he was a good players I’ve ever seen. I never played to their level, salesman and didn’t like him because ... let’s face it, even at my best and I never tried he was an A-hole to hustle pool more than for a when it came to night out of drinking and playing personality. for a dollar and a shot in some out Al wanted me to of the way bar. I never had any come over to the inspiration to take pool to any office and see the level in my early years. Bison, so I did. Yet back in 1972 in Savannah, He talked me into Georgia, I found myself in a going to work situation that I could win a lot. for him for a two I had been working for almost week trial basis. If 2 years as a salesman. I worked I liked it, I’d quit for the Kirby Vacuum Cleaner Kirby, if not, I’d DON Company and I worked by go back to Kirby. AL knocking doors. I would work mostly in the Every morning for about ten days evenings selling to military personnel (Army) in a I would ride back and forth to Buford and sell. small town called Hinesville at Fort Stewart. My We knocked them dead! Between us we sold 25 second choice was Paris Island selling to Marine units in the first 10 days. I was getting a better Drill Instructors and their wives. Both bases would commission and we were making a lot of money. net me some $200-$300 per week in sales at a time As with most salesmen we needed a break, so for when minimum wage was $1.25 per hour. I was the next couple of days we would travel to Buford working 4-5 hours a day, 2-3 days a week. Needless later and later each morning. We would stop in to say, I had a lot of time on my hands. the diner on the way into town for breakfast. We’d I found myself playing 8 ball in a bar for $2-$3 a have a big ol’ breakfast of eggs, hash browns, bacon game, sometimes $10 or $20, most of the time I and always grits and of course sat for half an hour won, sometimes I lost. Losing was a good thing just drinking coffee. In the back room, by the depending on the crowd and the personality of bathroom, sat a pinball machine. We would always who I was playing. It was more important to play for breakfast. Whoever lost paid and left the have a good time and always leave your opponent tip. I played pinball most everyday as a kid and got wanting for more. Sometimes losing the last 3 or 4 pretty good at it. Al was about 10 or 15 years older games, buying a round of drinks and interesting my than me and just didn’t have the reflexes but mostly opponent into chasing some young skirt. But what couldn’t shake the machine without the “tilt” happened next, I couldn’t have written a script any light coming on. Well, this day things were a little better. different. I think the gambling fever got to both of I was in Buford, South Carolina at a diner when us. We played for breakfast, then a dollar, then $2, Al Curtis walked in. He was the Area Distributor then $5. I never lost! Believe me, it wasn’t that I was working under the same boss I had but he had an that good, it was, he wasn’t. Remember that ego I office and got a better price on the Kirby’s than I mentioned before? did. Al never had any friends, maybe it was because If you have a big ego and you like to gamble you he always considered everybody a “sucker” because take it personally. Well, that day, Al did more than he would always try to get the better of you. Most I had expected. Al was the type that thought he door to door salesmen had to have a similar attitude was ten foot tall and bullet proof. On most mights to survive and an ego to match. You get the door on the way back to Savannah, he would be half slammed in your face a few hundred times and toasted from the Scotch, with a Falstaff beer in one you’ll understand what I mean. hand and cigarette in another, bragging he had one Al told me he had quit Walter at Kirby and started glass eye and couldn’t see out of the other. At first selling Bison’s. Now Al, looked like a used car this made me nervous, being I was his passenger. I salesman, if you could picture that. A massive didn’t drink a lot in those days but maybe I should receding hairline, an eyebrow that curved upwards, have. a glass eye, a white shirt and tie and a red pair of Let me get back to that last day after we left the slacks. If you ever watched the TV show “WKRP diner. As we drove out of the parking lot, Al said,

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“Let’s take the day off, go have a few and play some pool.” I said, “Let’s go!” Most nights before we left Buford and headed back we would stop, have a few and play partners at one of the local bars. Maybe I should back up a couple of days before, when I bought a 4 door ’67 Chevy from Al. He wanted $800 for the car. I gave him $500 and a note for $300 to be paid within a month. Now we got to the bar, ordered a couple beers, got a dollar in quarters and started playing 8 ball on an 8’ table. Starting out as I remember, at $2 a game. After half a dozen or so games Al was down about $20 and we were up to $5 a game. We were still having fun, joking, yelling for more beers and just having a good time. Al wanted to play for $20 a game, so we did. He won two in a row and then said, “Let’s play rotation for $1 a point.” Now I thought to myself, there’s 120 points that are on the balls. If he would break and run, I would owe him $120. But having played rotation when we used to get tired of practicing in the pool hall on 9’ tables, I had learned the game pretty well. Of course, we played slop. I outscored Al to the tune of about $275. I asked him when should we pay up. He looked at me with what I thought was his glass eye and his eyebrow curled upward and said, “You owe me $300 more for the car. If you get to that I’ll sign the title over. But, we have to play for $2 a point.” I thought to myself, “Could he be setting me up? In one game he could take it real close to breaking even.” I told Al I had to hit the head real bad and we’ll talk when I come back. In sales we had learned the Ben Franklin Method, you weigh the positives and negatives. I was shooting good - he wasn’t. On the negative, was he coning me? He had been drinking all this time and I was the one who hadn’t been drinking so much. When I got back to the table Al had ordered a round for both of us and had racked the balls. I decided to see if I could find a “tell” like in poker. Is he bluffing? Is he playing me? I told him I didn’t want to play for $2 a point, I wanted to play for $5 a point! He agreed - game on! For the first couple of games, it wasn’t very much diference in the points 55-65 and so on. Then I nailed a game 90-30, that’s 60 points times $5 a point - that’s $300 right there. Now he owed me $575. He signed the title over to me and gave me three $100 bills. I gave him back a five and two (Hustle continued on page 14)






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Trick Shots by Sarge


This month’s Artistic Pool Shot is from the Follow Discipline and has a Degree of Difficulty (DOD) of 9

Ken “Sarge” Aylesworth

One of the top trick shot artists in the world, Sarge now calls Las Vegas his home. He is looking to resume his trick shot exhibitions which made him famous throughout the Northwest. ... look for him in a pool room near you.


This follow shot requires great accuracy in the amount of ball hit on object ball one. Let’s look at the set up. Object ball 1 and 2 are set up frozen to the cushion at the diamond segments shown. The C ball is one diamond from pocket C and approximately one eigth of an inch off of the rail. The cue ball is in hand behind the X line. The object of this shot is to shoot the cue ball into object ball one. Object ball 1 will contact object ball 2 clearing both balls. The cue ball will then travel along the cushion pocketing the C ball. Here are a couple of hints to help you execute this shot. I place my cue ball between one third and one half of a diamond away from the long tail. I aim at object ball one 3/4 th’s full as if I were cutting the ball to the right. I use as much follow as I can on the cue ball with a medium hard stroke. Getting the correct

hit on the first ball to clear the second is the key. You should be able to adjust hit and speed for the direction of the cue ball. You also may need to adjust how far the cue is off the rail. It is a tricky shot, but I’m sure you will get it with pratice. Have fun with this shot.

(continued from page 12)

tens. I said, “Are we gonna go?” He said “No, let’s play. Your rack.” I won over $200 the next rack. Now I have gotten my money back for the car and paid the money I owed for the car. I had won $800 give or take. As I thought to myself, really I was only even. I had gotten my money back for the $500 and $300 I had owed for the car. Not bad for a day’s work of goofing off and playing pool. But the day wasn’t over yet. Al wanted to play more. To make a long story short I walked out of there with over $1200 plus a car! Not bad for a door-to-door salesman. Al never really was mad that I could tell, he kept

on joking as we sat down to have a steak dinner before we headed back to Savannah. And of course, I paid for the steak. I didn’t work for Al after that, I went back to Kirby for a while and never did hear from Al again. I never knew if he kept the office and made a ton of money with Bison or what ... ? I’ve always said, it wasn’t that I was that great at playing pool, it was that Al, just wasn’t. If anybody has a story they would like to share email us at: 6149 E 31st St Tulsa, OK


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The 14.1 Straight Pool Hall of Fame New Brunswick, New Jersey- Pool fans are invited to join dinner with the world’s greatest players at the 1st Annual 14.1 Straight Pool Hall of Fame. The special event takes place on August 31, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel during the 71st Annual World Tournament of Straight Pool which will feature the likes of Oliver Ortmann, Johnny Archer, Thorsten Hohmann, Niels Feijen, Allen Hopkins, Stefan Cohen and many more straight pool stars. This year’s nominees on the ballot include Ray Martin, Ray Martin, Dallas West,Nick Varner, Jerome Keough, Alfredo DeOro, and Willie Mosconi. To vote, please send in your choice at “We wanted to recognize and honor those who are not just obvious choices, but unsung heroes in straight pool history that might not have been noticed on other ballots. There are many legendary players whose names have only been made known to me in the past few years from our resurrection of the World 14.1 Tournament”, said Charlie Williams, Founder of Dragon Promotions. One of the goals of the event is to honor the champions of 14.1 that have passed and honor those who are still living. The Straight Pool Hall of Fame goals are also to cover all the expenses of the living inductee to the event and the Hall of Famer’s costs in playing in the event. In partnership with the support of Dr.Michael Fedak, Dragon Promotions will produce The World Tournament for the sixth straight year. This year’s event will have the biggest payout in men’s straight pool history with $20,000 going to the champion. The event is $35,000 added , boasting a total $70,000 in the prize fund for one prestigious straight pool tournament . Predator Cues will also be sponsoring the event for the sixth straight year and the luxurious Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ will host this year’s event starting August 28 through September 2, 2011. All the greatest straight pool players from around the world will arrive at the birthplace of 14.1 to play for this coveted title and becoming the #1 Straight Pool Player on Earth. The World Tournament is the oldest tournament in history that still exists today. Invented by Jerome Keough and shortly after recognized as the official game of billiards. The first World Tournament of 14.1 was held in 1911 and won by Alfredo DeOro. In its history due to war and economics, the World Tournament had 29 tournaments that did not take place including a 15 year gap between 1990-2005 until Dragon Promotions revived the game and the World Tournament in 2006. It has taken place every year since.

BEGINNING TO TURN HEADS It started as an idea less than a year and a half ago. The first Behind The Rock Tour tournament attracted four players to a small pool room in Bremerton in the winter of 2010. Since then, the tour organizers have been actively recruiting members and today, their weekly tournament claims 195 members playing in four rooms across the state of Washington. The intention of the BTRT is to attract tens of thousands of participants across the country in

was underappreciated for its deceptive difficulty. The offensive-based scoring games have been developed for all the standard pool room games such as 8-Ball, 9-Ball, 10-Ball, One Pocket, 14.1 and others. The games certainly teach pocketing skills, but also cue ball control, sometimes a key skill overlooked when playing in games that reward defense in traditional league or tournament play. The bottom line, according to many players, is that

hundreds of pool rooms each week playing a variety of games vying for big purses. Sound ambitious? According to the president of BTRT, Deby Welfinger, it is the tip of the iceberg. “Our goal is to elevate the sport of pool to a level that is on par with any of the current televised sports,” she says, “including televising interesting matches.” She continues, “We want novices through pros to be playing in any one of our divisions, in any of our scored games, whether in handicapped play or open competitions. We believe that with our format and with the technology offered by the internet, we will change the sport of billiards for everyone.” Currently, the matches played are a scored match called “211” which is based on 10-Ball vs. The Ghost. Essentially, players play eleven games using a score sheet. Each game consists of a break, scoring a point for each ball dropped, then a second chance for players, starting with ball in hand, to attempt to run out the remaining rack also scoring a point for each pocketed ball. Bonus points are available from the subsequent game if a rack is run-out. It is pure, challenging, unadulterated offensive play that teaches position and control. BTRT got its start with the realization that the current business for professional players is not sustainable. Between travel, lodging, meals, and fees, working the tournament circuit only made money for a small handful of players. With a tag of “Play locally, Compete nationally” the BTRT offers weekly competition for any ability of player in certified rooms. And with purses paid out to the top third of the field each week, players need to have their “A-Game” to earn some cash. BTRT contends that properly managed and with the appropriate sponsorship, pro players can make a fair living playing in this format. The tour developers also believed that the sport

these games significantly improve any player’s ability. For players who want to compete equally with others, a handicapping system is employed for every player regardless of their level. Because the handicaps are based on actual scores averaged out, direct comparisons of ability can be made yielding a ranking of players. No assessment of ability is needed as compared to league play. We talked to a number of current members of the tour and all of them expressed a real affection for the tour in spite of the evident challenge. Says Tacoma’s Justin McCrory playing out of the Malarkeys room, “My goal is to improve enough to make a living at this sport. I’m not sure I would have advanced toward this dream as fast as I have without this format. It’s just that challenging and so addicting!” The BTRT has applied for a patent on the unique tournament system and with a fully developed website, they seem to be on a track to capture a big part of the pool-playing market with their tournament system. According to them dozens of rooms in at least twenty states are waiting for enough players to get involved with the Tour. Their website at provides a solid basis for understanding the tour, the games, rankings, and so on. Any interested player should start there. The BTR tour may have started small, but according to their feisty founder, Ms. Welfringer, “The interest in the BTRT is growing. Our growth rate is such that we expect to have a thousand players in another six months, and by this time next year, we hope to have almost three thousand members participating. We’re ready for them and we’re going to turn this sport around!” Hmmm. According to their website, 10,000 players means a weekly payout pot of $80,000. Can you imagine when BTRT goes worldwide. You might want to check them out.

August 2011 - Rackem Magazine 15

COLUMNIST San Francisco Billiard Academy

Bob Jewett

San Francisco Billiard Academy is a BCA Certified Master Academy. The academy offers: Private Instruction Basics Clinic Eight Ball Clinic Nine Ball Clinic Introduction to Billiard Instruction BCA Recognized Instructor Course BCA Certified Instructor Course

The Game of Three Ball

Three ball is a great game for group play. It is fast action, pure offense, and suitable for small stakes among players who are not perfectly matched. Everyone has a chance to win even if the better player will edge ahead in the long run. The basic idea is for each player to break and run three balls off the table in as few shots as possible in any order and in any pocket. The player who takes the fewest shots wins the pot. If there is a tie for lowest score between any two players, everyone antes again and gets another turn until there is an untied best score in a round. Any number may play, but four or more is best. I’ve heard of 15 in a game. There are many regional variations in the detailed rules; I’ll try to cover the ones that seem the most common. The standard rack for the break is in a triangle as shown. Among experienced players this rack is sometimes considered too easy as the two back balls often go along the route shown for the four ball -four cushions around the table and back to its home corner. I think this break is fine as long as the players in the game rarely score a “two” which would be like an eagle at golf, with four strokes being par. Placing the three balls in line for the “pro” break removes any really standard break. Order is decided by any standard method, such a pulling peas from a shake bottle. Since the order is important towards the end of a round, I favor having whoever shoots last in a round shoot first in the next round. If you foul, it is a one-stroke penalty, and any ball made on


the foul shot spots back up. That pretty much guarantees you won’t win that round. The recommended break is hard, nearly straight at the head ball and from the center of the table. Try to control the cue ball to bring it back to the middle. This break gives the best chance to make the two four-railers on the corner balls. An alternative suggested in an on-line forum looks a lot like a one-pocket break: shoot softly from the side and just clip the head ball. That repositions the farthest ball a little which is then struck by the third ball and it is redirected to the pocket. Even if the ball doesn’t go in, you should have at least one good shot after the break. If a player has no chance to tie -- he has already taken 4 strokes with 2 balls still up and a 4 has already been scored -- he should concede and the next player will start. This helps a lot on coin-op tables where balls in play are precious. If you shoot last in the round, modify your strategy accordingly. For example, if the best score so far is a tie at four strokes, you have to go all-out for a three, even if that means playing a fourcushion carom or a 5-foot combination. If you don’t get all the balls moving on your third shot, there is no way to score a 3. On the other hand, if there is a single score of four leading and you shoot last, the other players are likely to expect you to take a “conservative” four to tie and get everyone into the next round. For other variations, check out the article in Wikipedia, which includes a 3-ball tourney format.

BEF JUNIORS (continued from page 10) the 18-and-under boys’ division also received an entry into the 2011 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships. As well as enjoying all the excitement of the main event, players, families and fans were mesmerized by the sweet venom of “The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee. Lee was available during the event for challenge matches, clinics and shared her personal story of adversity and inspirational words to over 250 attendees at the BEF Junior National banquet. Other excitement included the Junior National “Artistic Pool” Championship, facilitated by none other than World Trick Shot Champion, Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman with wife Marty “Ms. Cue.” Also available was BCA Master Instructor, Jerry Briesath, who tirelessly worked with eager youth who were interested in perfecting their game. Much appreciation goes out to all who diligently worked to help produce a first class event, including: tournament director Earl Munson for keeping the event running smoothly and for his volunteer work throughout the year; volunteer referees: Rick Doner, Justin Ballou and Jamie Strait; Melvin and Tammy Leonard for their assistance with the mini-tournaments, parent/child partner tournament and assistance throughout the week; to Christian Riddle, Huskies Den manager and all his staff; and BEF personnel Dawn Hopkins and Laura Smith. A special “thank you” to all of the event sponsors who made the 2011 Junior National 9-Ball Championships possible: Simonis Cloth, Billiard Congress of America (BCA), Aramith Billiard Balls, Dr. Cue Promotions, Northern Illinois University (NIU) /Holmes Student Center/ Huskies Den and the BEF. Also, thanks to all the product donors who contributed to the

16 Rackem Magazine - August 2011

junior prizes. A list of donors can be viewed on the BEF website at www.Billiard 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS: 18 & Under Boys’ Division 1st Danny Olson- Broomfield, CO 2nd Brendan Crockett - Bell Canyon, CA 3rd Tyler Styer - Brookfield, WI 4th Chad Behnke - Farley, IA 18 & Under Girls’ Division 1st Briana Miller - Allentown, PA 2nd Brooke Zimmermann - Gloversville, NY 3rd Ashley Fisher - Ocala, FL 4th Kendra Russell - Salem, OR 14 & Under Boys’ Division 1st Billy Thorpe - Dayton, OH 2nd Shawn Begay - Gallup, NM 3rd Austen Russell - Cherryville, NC 4th Joey Torres - Tomball, TX 14 & Under Girls’ Division 1st Taylor Reynolds - Waterville, ME 2nd April Larson - Bloomington, MN 3rd Julianna Poutry - Ayer, MA 4th Morgan Chesla - Mantua, OH

WEEKLY TOURNAMENTS Call First - All Tournaments are subject to change without notice







Mondays Wednesdays Thursdays Fridays Saturdays

Burnsville, MN Burnsville, MN Oshkosh, WI Muscatine, IA Oshkosh, WI Muscatine, IA Tulsa, OK Oshkosh, WI Tulsa, OK

Shooters Billiard Club Shooters Billiard Club Varsity Club Krug’z Pool Hall Varsity Club Krug’z Pool Hall Q-Spot Billiards Varsity Club Q-Spot Billiards

(952) 894-1100 (952) 894-1100 (920) 651-0806 (563) 263-7665 (920) 651-0806 (563) 263-7665 (918) 779-6204 (920) 651-0806 (918) 779-6204

9-Ball Open 9-Ball Handicap 9-Ball Beginners Pool/Darts (2nd Shift) SE 9-Ball Intermediate 9-Ball Race to 4 or 5 8-Ball 7 & under 9-Ball Open - Break Pot 9-Ball 7 & under

Call Call $8 $5 $10 $5 $5 $15 $5/player Guar. $10 (incl. g.f.)

THE VARSITY CLUB Full results from Saturday's A/B $500 added 8-Ball 43 players - $1720 in tournament $$$$ and $1460 in calcutta $$$$. Congrats to all the top finishers! (payout includes calcutta): 1st Jason Blom $1025 2nd Jay Beale $775 3rd Tim Clark $550 4th James Clemente $325 5/6 Ernie Stadler, Larry Bezotte $170 7/8 Bill Grosbier, Jeff Martin $60 9/12 Mike Burns, Jim Dugan $30 Carl Schmidt, Dave Poepping $30 Priya Nataraj - $50 top female (5 total)


TIME 7PM 7PM Call 1AM Call 8PM 9 PM Call 9 PM


Thanks to every one of the 48 players and all the supportive spectators that showed up today. Thanks also to the great staff at Jimmy’s Pro Billiards for hosting us. 1st Josh Burbul $500.00 2nd Lee Heuwagen $300.00 3rd Jesse Engel $220.00 4th Tony Hilla $175.00 5-6 Ross K. $125.00 Dave Coon $125.00 7-8 Michael Perron, Jr. $75.00 Scott Tollefson $75.00

August 2011 - Rackem Magazine 17

Call First - All Tournaments are subject to change without notice DATE Aug 5 Aug 5-7 Aug 6 Aug 6-7 Aug 6-7 Aug 13-14 Aug 20 Aug 27 Aug 27-28 Sep 1-5 Sep 2-4 Sep 3 Sep 10-11 Sep 10-11 Sep 17 Oct 1 Oct 8-9 Oct 29-30 Oct 29 Nov 5

CITY LOCATION PHONE Mole Lake, WI Mole Lake Casino (920-206-6355 Mole Lake, WI Mole Lake Casino (920-206-6355 Kansas City, MO Side Pockets (816) 455-9900 Houston, TX Slick Willie’s (281) 679-5510 Tulsa, OK Magoo’s (918) 663-3364 Round Rock, TX Skinny Bob’s Billiards (512) 733-1111 Muscatine, IA Krug’z Pool Hall (563) 263-7665 Sioux Falls, SD Dakota Cue Club (605) 275-7665 Houston, TX Bogie’s Billiards (281) 821-4544 Scottsdale, AZ BCAPL/CSI (702) 719-7665 Round Rock, TX Skinny Bob’s (512) 733-1111 Lees Summit, MO Side Pockets (816) 524-2400 Oklahoma City, OK Jamaica Joe’s (405) 736-0590 Alvin, TX Deep Pockets (281) 585-5068 Shawnee, KS Sharks (913) 268-4006 Kansas City, MO Side Pockets (816) 455-9900 Cahokia, IL Break Billiards (618) 332-0330 Indianapolis, IN Brickyard Billiards (317) 248-0555 Houston, TX Bogie’s Billiards (281) 821-4544 Lees Summit, MO Side Pockets (816) 524-2400

EVENT / RULES 9-Ball Singles 8-Ball Singles Main Event KC Rated 9-Ball Tiger Amateur Tour OK State 8-Ball Lone Star Billiard Tour Broom Stick Warm-up 8-Ball Summer Shootout Lone Star Billiard Tour SW Regional Championships Texas Open KC Rated 9-Ball Oklahoma 10-Ball Open Tiger Amateur Tour 9-Ball KC Rated 9-Ball Bar Table 9-Ball 9-Ball Classic Lone Star Billiard Tour KC Rated 9-Ball

ENTRY ADDED TIME $20 $400 Guar 12:30PM $30 dep. $5400 purse 7PM $15 $800 12:30PM $40 $750 1 PM $65/$55 $2,000 11AM Call $1350 Call $5 8 PM $20+$10 g.f. $500 w/32 Noon Call $1000 Call Varies $6,000 Call $125 $4,000 Call $15 $800 12:30PM $45 $1,500 Call $40 $1,000 1PM $30 (incl g.f.) $500 Guar Noon $15 $800 12:30PM $35 $2,500 11AM Call $1,500 Call Call $3,000 Call $15 $800 12:30PM

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18 Rackem Magazine - August 2011

March 2011 - Rackem Magazine 15

Profile for Rackem Magazine

Rackem Magazine August Issue 2011  

The Pool Players Best Source of Information features Danny Olson on the cover winner of the BEF Junior Nationals. We welcome a new columnist...

Rackem Magazine August Issue 2011  

The Pool Players Best Source of Information features Danny Olson on the cover winner of the BEF Junior Nationals. We welcome a new columnist...