I'm not a world class player or even anything remotely resembling any such animal. But I do know how to play and I'm willing to butt heads with anyone on the table. I know what happens and why, I know where the cue ball is going on every shot, I know what my strengths are, and I know where my weaknesses are and play my game accordingly. I'd say that today I'm a B player in my area. I can live with that,
Over the years I have had my ass handed to me by a boatload of people. It never fazed me cause I guess I'm either too stupid, or too stubborn. And then again over the years I have handed a loss to boatloads of people as well.
One of the best (worst?) beatings I ever got, (and certainly the most memorable) was handed to me by none other than Mr. Mike Page of internet RSB/ASP, AZB. CCB, YouTube fame.
Oh, and he has a snazzy Billiards-Gastropub in North Dakota called Fargo Billiards http://www.fargobilliards.com/.
Mike, if you happen to come upon this...thank you Sensei..I mean it. You inspired me to want to play like you.
Another guy who beat the snot out of me was one of the nicest, wittiest, and funniest guys on the web..some of you may have known him as Smorgasbord (rest in peace brother). He too made me want to play better, plus he also had me laughing so hard with his jokes and cracks that I almost peed my pants!
Over the years, in my quest to learn and improve I amassed a library of over 125 books on pool, billiards, and snooker. I have dozens of instructional DVD's and over 50 VHS tapes. I paid for lessons from BCA instructors including Scott Lee (who did more for my game than anybody else). I am a player and a shotmaker and I'm just as comfortable on a bar box as a nine footer. I can and will run an eightball or nineball table if it's runable and I will duck and cover when it's in my best interests. Give me slack and you seriously run the risk of losing.
One of the things I really love about the game is the opportunities it gives me to get creative, to see a way to play a shot that no one else sees, that offensive kick coming reverse off the rail to make the shot and set up for the win, that carom no one else sees, the impossible bank (gotta give props to Freddie Bentivegna and his DVD's & books), the three railer thru traffic, and so many other beautiful shots. It's one of the reasons why pool has been a truly fascinating part of my life for the past 20 years.
But the best thing about pool are the friends I've made and the people I've met. Pool players get a bad rap and perhaps in some areas deservedly so, but I have met a whole lot of good and decent pool players. Yes, I've met some douchebags too, but hey..that's life.