On June 12, I played on the first stop of the California Pool Players Tour at California Billiard Club. During the warm-ups for the tournament, I ran into Ramon Mistica, a friend that I first met at Edgie’s Billiards in Milpitas, CA. Ramon showed me several cues made by a friend of his from the Philippines. They were really good looking cues, and he let me hit a few balls to try them out. I liked the way one of the cues hit and admired the detailed inlay work. He said if I wanted to buy one, he would make me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Well, I didn’t win the tournament, but I did leave with a very nice memento of the occasion.
The cue is 19.5 oz with a 13 mm shaft and black leather wrap, and was made by Tony Bautista, the main cue maker for Jazz cues. Tony Bautista is considered by many to be the top cue maker in the Philippines. Take a look at the detailed inlay work on the points: super sharp, 8 points in all. Also, check out the cool points at the end of the butt. Sweet!
Over the last few weeks I’ve been playing around with the cue, getting accustomed to the performance differences between it and my current cue. It’s amazing how small differences in cue construction can affect performance. The 13 mm shaft is much stiffer than my current 12.5mm, so the cue ball deflects a little further from the center line on off-center shots; however, I like the feel of the thicker shaft. Now I just need to recalibrate myself by spending some quality time revisiting the shots in my training program. Fun Fun!