Rack ’em up!
There are some players in our league that have improved their pool playing game since we shut down the League.
Huh? How could that be? It is because they have their own pool table and have been spending so much time isolating that they have spent more hours playing pool. I spoke to one such person the other day and was told, “I have gotten quite a bit better over the last few months.”
I was at first surprised but after some thinking decided I was more dismayed than anything. (I could barely win a game against “Captain Dan” before the shelter-in-place order was instituted.)
Now, after a few days of just moping around the house, I decided that this is really a good thing. Why? Well, we all have heard that if you are playing someone better your game generally improves. Conversely, most of us have also heard, that when playing someone not as good our game will decline. I can’t wait to play pool with himand improve my game.
Captain Ed Smith and his son Chris, who resides in Southern California, reported those bars have been open for weeks and the pool tables had no restrictions. Now, unfortunately, they have an increase in illnesses and closed many of those same businesses again. We have so many fewer people I was upset we couldn’t play. Once again I have gone full circle. Happy, now, they were being more careful with our population.
Local pool player feedback about last week’s column for ideas to return for pool play: “Don’t do it unless we have the Pandemic licked,” seems to be the main theme. Another trend was: “We have way too many players that are old or unhealthy to risk an early return for pool playing.”
I agree; we have a ways to go before we have an unrestricted play, but if a mask and gloves were worn, would that work?
One list for playing pool during the pandemic said to not use bleach on the balls but rather use a 65 percent solution of alcohol, and then a commercial ball cleaner after. They also recommend gloves for racking, and a mask while playing. Carry your own chalk and keep it to yourself is a great idea for players. Sharing chalk is an easy way to spread disease. Wiping rails and washing hands often also made the list.
Greg Puderbaugh asked me if I knew about Venom. I at first thought about snakes, then spiders, answering, “of course I know about venom.” When he started talking about his Masse shot I realized he was talking about a different kind of venom.
He was instead talking about Florian “Venom” Kohler. He is that young guy featured in this month’s Billiard”s Digest. He is 31 years old and has been making pool videos for Youtube since 2007, his videos have been viewed more than a billion times. He is as they say, “quite a phenomenon” when it comes to trick shots on a pool table. Look him up and you will see for yourself, some of his tricks look impossible to perform, but he does it effortlessly.
Greg, of course, loves trick shots on a pool table and has a few of his own. I don’ think much of trick shots, but they still look cool when they are successful. It is like when Will “The Tooth” Niemeyer blasts a half- dozen balls in with one shot. It is cool but it still doesn’t encourage me to play a trick shot. I prefer a bank or kick shot.
A bank shot is when you shoot an object ball into an opposite rail and it bounces back to go in a pocket on the opposite side. A kick shot is when you play the cue ball off an opposing rail to make or hit a ball on the opposite rail or pocket. It is even more fun to kick two, three, or even four rails to make a ball.