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P O O L    S H O O T E R

The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Happy Birthday, Rob!

Rob Clark
Student #5-14-05

Rob Clark is a genius (research chemist) and pool addict. I owe him a special debt of gratitude because he is the guy who accepted me on to his 9 ball team when I was a completely unknown quantity of a pool shooter. It was about a year and a half ago, when I decided to venture out into the world to see how good a shooter I was. I hadn't played serious pool for 40 years (college days).

It was that very team ("Dead Weight") which I lucked onto, which went on to win the city championships and gave me the opportunity to compete in Las Vegas. If Rob hadn't taken me on to his team, I might not have had the chance to know El Maestro, who has taught me so much about the game.

Thank you, Rob. And thank you for teaching me so much about pool. The rules, mostly. Rob knows all the rules. And team strategy. He's a good chess player, you can tell.

Anyway, Rob was on his way back from the Nine Ball Blast, where he captained his team but didn't play, so he was really itching to shoot some pool. On his way home, he stopped here at Mikie's Fun House to try his luck on the green. Rob has won a few games from me in the past, but I'm feeling that I have moved on up from those days.

He did not get the birthday present he might have hoped for. The score was 5-3, Fast Mikie. I made some nice shots. One was a wide-angle cut using inside english draw-follow
to go three cushions to perfect position. It was the first time I used such a shot successfully in competition. Another beauty was a draw-follow going two rails through close traffic, for perfect position. I'll remember those sweet shots for a long time.

Happy Birthday, Rob.

And thank you for the lesson I learned: to always mark my own score. And, when in doubt about the score, don't ask, just announce the score I think it is, and let the other guy challenge it if it's wrong.

El Maestro Tony Sorto, who witnessed the match, had this post-event advice for me: "Don't let people get to you. Just smile and let it go."

I love this game. There's always something to learn!


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