Tag Archives: PoolSynergy

PoolSynergy December 2011

How do you recharge your batteries?

Welcome to the 26th edition of PoolSynergy, a collection of some of the best writing the pool world has to offer.  For the December edition of PoolSynergy, it was my privilege to select a topic for discussion, and with the holiday season approaching I knew exactly what I wanted to write about.  It is well known that playing great pool requires a lot of time and dedication.  I absolutely love the game; however, based on my personal experience I know there are times when I overload on pool and need to take a break from the table.

This is especially true during the holiday season.  This is the time of year when we serious pool junkies begin to notice the non-pool playing parts of our lives are jockeying for our attention and we lose mental focus.  There are holiday parties with friends that we are expected to attend, work related gatherings that we need to survive, family reunions we need to endure (and enjoy), holiday shopping to be done, religious celebrations to attend, etc.  With the holiday season approaching, I began to wonder:  (1) what should I do with my time if I take a break from the table, (2) what do other pool players do when they are away from the table, and (3) how do we recharge our emotional and/or physical batteries so that we can come back to the table feeling physically and mentally refreshed and ready to play?  This month, the PoolSynergy writers accepted the arduous task of addressing the topic: How do you recharge your batteries? 

Our first contributor is John Risner.  John is a first time contributor to PoolSynergy and we are very happy to welcome him to the community.  John is a pool player and blogger from Tennessee who has challenged himself to train for and win the Men’s U.S. Amateur Championship Title.  John’s article first provides a humorous yet frighteningly accurate description of how otherwise ordinary human beings get hooked on the game, then he provides some insight into how he handles himself in situations where most players get discouraged and get burned out.  Check out John’s article here.

Next up is Suzanne Smith, a pool player and blogger from Washington.  Suzanne is now a two time contributor to PoolSynergy and we are very happy to have her back.  You may recognize her name…she is the 2011 U.S. Amateur Women’s Champion!!!  This month, Suzanne gives us a look at some of her off season activities, which includes spending time with her family, taking lessons, watching live streaming matches, and planning her pool tournament schedule for the upcoming year.  Check out Suzanne’s article here.

Melinda, aka Trigger, is an avid pool player and award winning blogger who hails from the great state of Texas.  Melinda provides us with some very sound advice: when life throws us curveballs and we get mentally derailed from our game, one method for getting back on track is to set goals and hold ourselves accountable.  You can read Melinda’s article here.

Mike Fieldhammer is a professional pool player and frequent blogger from Minnesota.  This month Mike provides us with some fantastic advice on how to avoid burnout.  Playing pool is Mike’s full time job, so he certainly has a vested interest in making sure he keeps his game sharp.  Whether he’s involved in summertime activities, traveling on the road to big tournaments, or enduring the normal day to day pool grind, Mike has lots of experience and advice on keeping your mental game up and avoiding burnout.  Read Mike’s article here.

John Biddle is a dedicated player from Florida who is also the father of the entire PoolSynergy effort.  John decided to turn this month’s PoolSynergy topic on its head and describe how he uses the game of pool itself as a tool to recharge his batteries so he can deal with life away from the table.  You can read all about John’s thoughts here.

Our 6th PoolSynergy contributor for the month of December is Johnny, a dedicated pool player and blogger from Missouri.  This month, Johnny provides some insight and advice on how to handle ourselves “when the balls seem to blur and the cue seems infinitely curved… ”.  You can check out Johnny’s article here.

And rounding out this month’s collection of articles is my very own contribution.  I have decided to take a few months off from pool.  Unfortunately, I’ve reached that burnout point and now I need some time away from the table to rebalance my life and try to rediscover that inner fire that has fueled the last two years of my pool journey.  Fear not, my pool playing days are not over…I just need a break.  I expect to return to the table in April of 2012.  Until then, you will continue to see periodic updates and musings on my blog.  You can read more about my vacation from pool in my article here.


Taking a Break to Recharge

As the host of this month’s pool synergy forum, I wanted to write about a topic that I was familiar with and was also relevant for me.  Over the last two years, I’ve been laser focused on improving my pool game and I believe the prolonged intensity caught up with me this fall about a month before the preliminary round of the 2011 U.S. Amateur Championships.  I was beginning to lose my desire to compete and was mentally exhausted.  In October I somehow managed to pull myself together and was able to win the preliminary round of the U.S. Amateur Championships held in Northern California, but then I immediately reverted back to my mental/emotional slump and couldn’t motivate myself to do any additional training.  After traveling to Florida in November and competing in the finals of the U.S. Amateur Championships, I finally admitted to myself that I was having trouble focusing and I needed to take a break from the game. 

For the entire month of December and probably the first three months of 2012, I’ve decided to take a break from playing pool.  I just need some time to recharge my batteries, reorganize my life, and get refocused on what my goals are in pool and life.  For the time being, here’s my plan for refreshing and recharging myself:

(1) I’m totally revamping my diet.  I’ve gotten rid of all of my junk food, kicked my diet coke addiction, started eating more raw vegetables like carrots, celery, broccoli, etc., drastically reduced my intake of useless starchy carbs and began eating only when hungry, not when the clock tells me it’s time to eat.

(2) I’ve transitioned from being a semi-professional couch potato to adopting a new (and sustainable) exercise program which includes 3 or 4 days of running per week, plus 3 or 4 days of gym work.  The exercise is making a big difference in my energy level and is also a good stress reliever and mental gunk cleanser.

(3) I’m spending a lot of time with friends and family.  I’m flying back east to see my family during the holidays and also plan to take a trip to see some snow in late December.  I think spending a few days at Lake Tahoe or Yosemite will do wonders for me.  My main focus will be resting and relaxation, and maybe I’ll enjoy a little hot cocoa while snuggling up to a cozy fire.  🙂

My intention in making these changes is to be a healthier person both physically and mentally, allow myself to get some rest, rebalance my life, and come back to the pool world next year with a fresh new focus and attitude.  So that’s about it for me.  I plan to periodically provide updates to this blog on my thoughts and musings on pool, so stay tuned.  After all, although I’m taking a short break from the table, I’m still an incorrigible pool player at heart.

Shark Attack!

For this month’s PoolSynergy topic, Gary wanted each of the PoolSynergy writers to share experiences we’ve had with sharking and offer some ideas on how to deal with it.  First things first:  What is sharking?  A quick look at the glossary of cue sports provides the following definitions: 


  1. Verb: To perform some act or make some utterance with the intent to distract, irritate or intimidate the opponent so that they do not perform well, miss a shot, etc.  Most league and tournament rules forbid blatant sharking, as a form of unsportsmanlike conduct, but it is very common in bar pool.
  2. Noun: Another term for hustler.
  3. Noun: A very good player. This usage is common among non-players who often intend it as a compliment and are not aware of its derogatory senses (above).

Through the years I have had several experiences with players who attempted to shark me.  In almost all cases, the sharking incidences took place in a local bar, not a pool hall.  I’m not exactly sure why this is the case, but in my experience, players who frequent pool halls tend to be more highly skilled and respectful of the game than players who shoot pool in local bars.  What follows is a short list of sharking incidences that I’ve personally experienced. 

  • The Hot Head – I was recently playing a guy in a large tournament who had a bit of a temper problem and a somewhat overinflated opinion of his skills.  After I tied the match at 2-2, my opponent blew his top and yelled in my direction, “I can’t believe you are hanging with me.  I’m a much better player than you.”  Wow.  Really?   
  • The Talker – I was watching a match once, and every time one player left the table, he would sit in his chair and strike up a conversation with folks standing nearby.  It was very disrespectful and distracting for the other player, and quite frankly, to many of the other observers. 
  • The Bag of Nerves – I once played a guy who was super twitchy.  Every time he sat down between innings, he would fiddle with his fingers, pop his knuckles, clear his throat, and pick at his fingernails.  Was he sharking?  Who knows?  I actually don’t think he was; I think he was just a very nervous guy, but geeze, he was distracting!
  • The Classless Coach – A dozen years ago I was playing a guy in a bar league, and several times when my opponent missed a shot, the opposing team’s coach would attempt to console my opponent by telling him loudly, “Don’t worry, he’s not very good.  You’ll get another chance to shoot.”  Talk about no class!

How should you deal with sharks?  Here are some common techniques that can be used effectively, depending on your personality and how you like to handle adversity:

  • Ignore it:  If your opponent is trying to shark you, they must feel it necessary to shark you, and that’s a compliment.
  • Take the high road:  If your opponent is intentionally sharking you, that means they are exhibiting bad behavior and trying to gain an unfair advantage.  Make him/her pay by slowing down, focusing and concentrating more than you were before, and make the shot.
  • Openly discuss the sharking:  Stop your play and calmly and nicely explain to the offender that their behavior is bothering you.  Ask them to stop and/or move away from your line of sight.  If someone is doing something that really bothers you and is distracting, it could be an innocent error.  Just explain the situation to your opponent.
  • Quit:  When I’m practicing with friends, we jokingly shark each other just for fun.  However, if I am playing a serious match and someone starts sharking me and refuses to stop, I may just stop shooting and walk away.  In my opinion, life is too short to deal with this type of juvenile behavior.   Just move on.
  • No matter what you do, don’t lose your cool.  If you get upset, the shark has won the battle, you will not play well, and most likely you will not have a good time.

Well, that about summarizes my experiences with sharking.  To read other articles written about sharking, visit Gary’s website here.

PoolSynergy Advice For Older Players

For this month’s PoolSynergy topic, Poolbum wants to know what advice we would give to an older player who is taking up the game or coming back to it after a long hiatus.  This is a rather timely topic for me because not only have I met an older gentleman who is just getting back into the game, but also I’ve begun mentoring a younger player who is very new to the game.  I thought about these recent experiences and came up with some advice primarily intended for an older player who is taking up the game, but these items could also prove useful for an over-zealous younger player:

1.  Do some simple stretching before you start shooting.  This simple activity can help prevent tightness and aches and pains later.  Occasionally I do some very simple exercise before I shoot, such as arm circles, shoulder stretches, torso twists, and back bends.  Stretching increases blood flow to the body’s extremities, and prepares your brain and limbs for the activity to come.

Suggested Light Stretching Before Shooting

2. Practice alone to make fast improvements, but keep it simple.  Don’t try to tackle too much too fast.  Just throw some balls out on the table and start pocketing them in any order you choose.  When you find a shot that gives you trouble, just set it up and shoot it 10-15 times in a row, then move on and continue with your random ball pocketing.  Making mistakes is okay, in fact, mistakes are required in order for you to learn and improve.  Slow, thoughtful, purposeful practice is much more efficient in developing your skills than simply knocking balls into pockets willy nilly.

Vertical Axis

3. Keep your style of play simple.  When you hit the cue ball, just make contact on its vertical axis.  In other words, just hit the ball in the center for stop shots, slightly above center for follow shots, and slight below center for draw shots.  Avoid hitting the cue ball on the left or right side.  This puts spin on the cue ball and drastically affects the accuracy of your shots.  Don’t try to get fancy, you can do almost everything you need to do just by stroking through the vertical axis of the cue ball and using good speed control.

The Cure All

4. Take Motrin for aches and pains in the back, neck, shoulders, and arms.  Let’s face it – we’re not getting any younger, and I’m finding that I can’t shoot pool for hours and hours continuously like I used to.  Playing a game that requires you to hold your body in certain positions for extended periods of time will eventually take its toll.  Use Motrin as needed.

Have FUN!

5. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!  The pool hall is a great societal melting pot.  Use this time to meet new people who share your passion for the game.  You could also meet up with your non-pool playing friends and introduce them to the game that you are beginning to love.  Pool can be a great social activity if you are in the right frame of mind.

Happy shooting!  To read articles written by other PoolSynergy bloggers, visit Poolbum’s website here.

PoolSynergy: What Makes A Great Tournament?

For this month’s PoolSynergy topic, Mike Fieldhammer wants our opinion on what makes a pool tournament experience great.  I’m sure some people will say it’s the size of the tournament, the venue itself, or the amount of money paid out.  Not me.  What I find most interesting and enjoyable is being a witness to the human element – the interactions between the personalities involved.  Have you ever seen Alex Pagulayan in person?  How did God fit so much personality into such a small frame?  Looking for a truck load of witticisms and one-liners?  Sit next to Earl Strickland while he’s shooting in a match and you’ll get all you can handle.

You don’t have to be at a national class tournament to have a great time.  You can have some really great experiences in smaller local tournaments.  Smaller tournaments tend to give you more opportunities to meet really interesting people.  For example, last weekend I played in the Chico Chaisson Memorial tournament at the Broken Rack in Emeryville, California.  It was a relatively small One Pocket tournament (about 30 players) held in honor of a Chico Chaisson, a gentleman who practically lived at the Broken Rack for years and who recently passed away.  Although the tournament was small, it drew some high caliber players, including Rafael Martinez, George Michaels, Baby Frank, and Billy Palmer.  Being brand new to the One Pocket scene, and since this was my first entry into a One Pocket tournament ever, I was just there to learn the game.  The players that I spoke to were very helpful and willing to give me some pointers before the tournament started.  I continue to be amazed at how open and friendly most pool players are.  In my first match, I played a guy named John Henderson.  Being new to One Pocket, I’d never heard of him.  He introduced himself and we shook hands.  I immediately apologized to him because I didn’t know all the rules, but John said that was fine and he was willing to answer any questions that I had.  I asked a couple clarifying questions about scoring and what to do on scratches, and then we started our match.  My approach to the game was very simple:  I just shot safeties every chance I got, and then tried my best to bank any ball I could see.  When the smoke finally cleared, I had somehow managed to score more points than John, and win my very first One Pocket match.  John was a very gracious opponent, and I wished him the best of luck in the rest of the tournament.  I ended up with a 2-2 record and I was very happy with that result.  It wasn’t until two hours AFTER leaving the tournament and driving home that I discovered that John Henderson was a world class One Pocket player who placed 7th in the US Open One Pocket tournament in May 2011!  And I had no idea who he was!  I guess ignorance is bliss.

The highlight of the tournament, in my opinion, came later that night after I had left.  Richard Cook, a.k.a. Bucktooth, had been watching One Pocket matches all day long, and finally had to get in on some of the action himself.  He negotiated a One Pocket match with Hugo, a local player, with the following restriction: if Hugo would play one-handed, Bucktooth would play him using a broom stick.  I don’t know what the bet was, or who won the match, but that’s not really important to me.  I just hate that I missed such a classic matchup.  Here’s a picture of the match taken by a friend of mine Reid Stensrud.

So, to sum it up:  What makes a great tournament experience?  Meeting interesting people and watching their personalities interact.  It’s almost like reality TV, except, it really IS real!  To read articles from the other PoolSynergy authors, visit Mike Fieldhammer’s blog here.

PoolSynergy: My Favorite Games

PoolSynergy is a monthly collection of some of the best writing in pool.  The host of this month’s PoolSynergy topic is Johnny, a pool player who lives in St. Louis, MO.  This month he asked each of the PoolSynergy writers to discuss the game that we like the most.  I decided to write about playing against the ghost.  If you want to read articles from the other PoolSynergy authors, visit Johnny’s blog here.  Hope you enjoy!

Playing Against the Ghost

“I have met the enemy, and the enemy is me!” – Walt Kelly (paraphrased)

To improve your game, you need some competitive experience… you need to find someone who can challenge you, someone who can push you to the edge of your abilities, expose your weaknesses, and make you yearn to improve.  I’ve found that player…and it is me.  When I get serious about working on my game, I often get a table in a quiet corner of the pool room, and play against myself… and take notes.  Playing against yourself is often referred to as “playing the ghost.”  There are many ways to play the ghost.  The most extreme version goes like this:  you choose a game to play, like 8 Ball or 9 Ball, and play against yourself in a race to 7.  Typically, you break the rack, take ball in hand after the break, and try to run the table out.  If you run out successfully in your first turn, you win.  If you don’t run out for any reason, the ghost wins.  You can take notes on why you lost position during the run, or what shots you missed, and work on these aspects of the game in a later practice session.

That is the traditional view of “playing the ghost,” but that version is only successful as a training and motivational tool if you already have the capability of running racks.  What if you don’t yet have the skills needed to run the whole table?  There are other versions of “playing the ghost” that ARE within your reach, regardless of your skill level, and I present two versions here.  Each of these games does not require any specific skill level, and can be enjoyed by all players.  An added benefit of these games is that they can be used to measure your current playing ability and monitor your progress as you continue to improve your game.  I’ve also provided a scale for each so that you can compare your scores with other players whom have played these games.  This can help you get a sense of where you are today, and where your performance could be in the future.  I hope you enjoy! 

Game:  “Equal Offense”

Rack all 15 balls and break from anywhere in the kitchen.  After the break, spot any balls that are pocketed.  Take ball in hand in the kitchen on your first shot and pocket balls in any order you choose.  This is a call shot game, slop doesn’t count, and each ball pocketed earns you 1 point.  Assuming you don’t scratch or miss a shot, keep shooting until you get to the last ball, then stop and rack the 14 balls already pocketed.  Now try to continue your run by pocketing the 15th ball and simultaneously using the cue ball to break open the rack, just like in 14.1 straight pool.  If you manage to pocket the 20th ball, the inning is over.  If you miss a shot or scratch at any time, the inning is over. 

After 10 innings, add up your scores and compare your performance with the following chart provided by Tarl Roger Kudrick at the Internet Equal Offense site.  You can use this chart to get a general idea of how you stack up against the rest of the pool world.  Good luck, and have fun!

If your typical score is You’re probably better than THIS percentage of pool players      If your typical score is You’re probably better than THIS percentage of pool players   
25 5%   76 55%
35 10%   80 60%
41 15%   85 65%
47 20%   91 70%
51 25%   98 75%
55 30%   106 80%
59 35%   114 85%
64 40%   125 90%
68 45%   136 95%
71 50%   160 99%


Game: “10 Ball Rating Game”

Rack up 10 balls and break from anywhere in the kitchen.  Any balls made on the break count as one point.  If you scratch on the break, pocketed balls are spotted.  After the break, start with ball in hand anywhere on the table on your first shot, and run the balls in rotation.  All balls made are one point.  If you miss a shot, the rack is over.  Shoot 10 racks and count the total number of balls made. After 10 racks, take your total and compare it to the chart below.  This is a good game because it takes several skills into account (shotmaking, position play, cluster breaking, break shot skills, etc.)  The only downside is that it doesn’t cover safety play, which is a critical in the upper echelons of play. 

Rating Scores
30-35       D+
36-40       C
41-45       C+
46-50       B
51-55       B+
56-60       A
61-65       A+
66-70      A++
71-up       Pro

So, those are my favorite two games.   If you want to read articles from the other PoolSynergy authors, visit Johnny’s blog here.  Good luck, and happy shooting!

Poolsynergy Gift Ideas

Welcome to PoolSynergy, a monthly collection of some of the best writing in pool.  This month our host Melinda asked each of us pool bloggers to recommend one book and one DVD for the holiday season.  I found it very difficult to pick just one book, so I’ll be presenting two.  Also, I’ll mention a DVD that has given me the inspiration to keep going even when I had bad days and felt like giving up.  Ok, drum roll please…here we go! 

The Talent Code

Book Recommendation # 1:  The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle.  Without a doubt, this book has made the biggest contribution to my development as a pool player…and the book has nothing to do with pool.  In fact, it never even mentions pool.  However, if you are serious about improving your game, I highly recommend you buy and read it.  You see, a few years ago I decided to ‘retire’ from pool…I was very frustrated with my lack progress as an APA level 6 player.  No matter how much I read, studied, and practiced the game, I just couldn’t break through to a higher level of play.  I gave up.  I had fallen for two misconceptions:  (1) “I’m an old geezer and I’m over the hill.  In order to get really good at pool, you have to be a child prodigy…right?”  WRONG!  (2) “Playing at a very high level requires that you spend at least 5-10 hours a day at the practice table, right?”  WRONG!  These are just a couple misconceptions addressed by the book.  In the book, Daniel reviews some of the latest research into the fundamental characteristics that all world class performers share regardless of their chosen specialty:  tennis player, soccer player, singer, actor, violinist, pianist, chess master…it doesn’t matter what field these people operate in…all share many of the same traits.  The book also reviews the latest discoveries in neurological science that describe the physiological and neurological basis for talent development.  Talent is actually a biological process, i.e. anyone can develop world class talent…you just have to go about it in the right way and approach it intelligently.  Now you can learn their secrets.  This book is a must read!

The Pro Book

Book Recommendation # 2 – The Pro Book by Bob Henning.  This is the best pool book I’ve ever read.  It introduced me to the concept of ‘reference shots.’  Here’s Bob’s approach:  Learn to execute the basic shots in this book extremely well.  There are about 16 basic shots, and some variations of these, which bring the grand total to around 45 shots.  During actual game play these shots come up quite often, but more importantly, almost every other shot that you encounter will be a simple variation of one of these reference shots.  When I bought the book earlier this year, I spent about 1.5 to 2.0 hours every day for two months on the standard position routes and drilled and drilled and drilled on them until I ‘owned’ them.  I also incorporated several concepts from The Talent Code into my practice routine…and the results were unbelievable!  My ball pocketing, position play, and route planning abilities skyrocketed.  Whereas I once operated at an APA skill level of 6, in just a few months I was able to progress to being one of the top skill level 7 players in APA system that I play in.  Yes, I still occasionally have a bad day, but those days have become more and more infrequent.  I’ve also taken the concept of ‘reference shots’ and applied it to many different aspects of the game.  If you can only buy one pool book, this is the one I recommend.

Predator 14.1 World Championships

DVD Recommendation – I don’t have very many pool DVDs.  I’ve watched and enjoyed some TAR matches, but I think the most inspirational DVD that I’ve seen was the 2009 Predator World 14.1 Championship match between Mika Immonen and Thorsten Hohmann.  Why?  Straight pool is, in my humble opinion, the ultimate test of a player’s skill.  It requires great ball pocketing, position play, route management, cluster breaking, and safety skills.  It’s really exciting to watch a player run ball after ball, rack after rack.  I’m not sure what it is, but there’s just something about the 14.1 break shot and the transition from rack to rack that amazes me.  It’s like the players can control something that inherently seems completely random.  Ahhhhh…real magic!

Well, that’s all for my recommendations.  If you want to read about the books and DVDs recommended by other PoolSynergy authors, visit Melinda’s blog here.

GEAR: What’s in my case and why

Samm Diep is the host of this month’s PoolSynergy topic.  Samm is a pool player, writer, instructor, reporter, competitor, entrepreneur, and ambassador who lives and breathes pool in Denver, Colorado.  This month, Samm wants to know what’s in everyone’s cue case.  I’ve decided to provide a photographic tour of the items found in my cue case, and also provide a little information about each piece.  If you want to see what’s in the cue cases of other PoolSynergy authors, visit Samm’s blog here.  Hope you enjoy!

Items found in Michael Reddick’s cue case:

  1. Whitten Cue Case.  Ok, I know a cue case cannot be located inside itself, but this is where the story begins.  My case holds 2 butts and 4 shafts.  It has a black leather exterior with 1 small pouch.  I bought the cue case several years ago.  I think I bought it at the Chattanooga Billiard Club, but I’m not sure.

    Exterior and Interior Views

  2. Playing Cue – McDermott model D7 cue made with Birdseye maple, red/black nylon wrap, and 12.5mm shaft.  I bought it at a billiard supply store in Norcross, Georgia over 20 years ago, and it still has the original factory tip!  It retailed for $135 brand new back then, but I got a great deal on it for $80 since it had been a floor model and the butt had some dirt, plaster, chalk, etc. ground into the wrap.  I was nearly broke and in college at the time, but I scraped together the money and bought the cue.  After spending the next three hours picking ‘trash’ out of the wrap with a needle, it was just like new!
  3. Break Cue – Hand made by Tony Bautista from the Philippines.  The shaft was 13.5mm with a medium hardness tip.  The butt has a leather wrap and 8 hand spliced sharp points.  I recently had Ken Mendoza turn the shaft and reduce it to 12.5mm to more closely mimic the playing characteristics of my McDermott.  The shaft is still very stiff and deflects the cue ball a little more than I like on shots with english, but I love the cue, so I decided to use it as my breaking cue.

    Top Cue: McDermott. Bottom Cue: Bautista.

  4. I found a set of cue stick joint protectors in my cue case pouch.  These should be protecting my cues, but alas, I found them living in my pouch.  I always wondered where they went!
  5. A Tip Pik tip tool which is “missing” its protective cap.  One day I just got tired of pulling off the cap, so out it went!
  6. A Cue Cube tip shaper tool – Several years old, but still works like new.
  7. A stack of personal cards to stay in touch with people
  8. A bottle of 5 Hour Energy drink for those long playing sessions or late night games.  Otherwise, I would probably fall asleep around 9pm.
  9. A small tin of Altoids – with mints inside.  Usually needed after eating bar food.
  10. A large tin of Altoids – No mints.  This tin contains red dot stickers to mark ball locations when I’m doing drills.  Also contains a set of earphones for use with my iPhone.  When I’m in serious practice mode, I put on the earphones and listen to music.  It tells everyone: “Don’t interrupt me!”  I learned this trick from Samm Diep.
  11. A Sure Shot three fingered nylon glove.  No, I normally don’t use one, but in certain situations like buildings with no A/C coupled with high heat and high humidity, it’s just easier to wear a glove rather than constantly reach for chalk.  Some people say if you wear a glove it means you probably can’t shoot a good game of pool.  I say, if you believe that, great!  Rack’em up!
  12. 1 nylon and leather shaft cleaning/abrasion pad.  I probably should use it more often, but I rarely do.  My jeans are so much easier and more convenient to use!
  13. 1 hand powder bag – I purchased this hand powder bag over 20 years ago when I first played in the APA.  I got it from the Chattanooga Billiard Club in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  I never use it anymore, but I just can’t get rid of it.  It has so many fantastic memories!

    Contents of my case pouch