Gold Crown IV

Gold Crown IV
FastMikie's Fun House, Del Mar, California

Friday, December 30, 2005

Multi-Match Day

It was a busy day at the Fun House!

In the afternoon Mike R. came by
for a couple of 9 ball races to 7.
And our hero (me) won 7-4 and 7-3.
It was probably because I had the home field advantage.
My Gold Crown has tighter pockets than his Olhausen.

Later in the day Dan S. made the trip
all the way from Orange County.
I got lucky and won two out of 3 races to 7,
the last one by 7-3.
Dan has a very intimidating game.
Deadly accurate shot maker.
Snooker stance.
And, as a Brit, a heritage of 1000 years
of Irish oppression.

Flag of Ireland, click to learn more

In 9-ball, there's a lot of luck involved.
On his last visit here, we played some straight pool,
and I only won by one ball,
so I think we are very closely matched.

All in all, a very satisfying day at the table.
A couple of break and runs,
a couple of runouts from the 1 ball,
and my break is working better all the time.

Onward and upward...

(blog top)

Thursday, December 29, 2005


This clever shot is called a "ticky",
and because it's so tight,
I call it a mini-ticky.
When the combination 3-9 is not "on",
and the 3 has no pocket,
hit rail first with high inside english,
and the cue ball will rebound into the 3 ball
and forward into the nine for the win.
There are a ton of variations on this theme
waiting for you to discover them
during your next match.
(blog top)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Sweet Shot #2005-12-26

Tony and I shot pool today for 6 hours.
A couple of sets of 9 ball,
and a game of straight to 100.
Of course he whupped me good,
but I was leading by a ball when we
hit the halfway point in straight pool.
(I think he was laying back.)

Look at the image above.
I could never make this shot.
And I saw it recently on a Bert Kinister video,
and I tried and tried to make the shot
as he said, with left english and draw...
but I couldn't get it to work.
I asked El Maestro today,
and of course he said
"It's the easiest shot it pool."
The secret is that
the cue ball must hit the rail before it hits the object ball
to get maximum action.

They don't call him El Maestro for nothing!

(blog top)

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Cue

I have been lusting after this cue for some time,
and unrequited lust is unhealthy,
so I let myself go and ordered
this one of a kind Samsara cue.

It just arrived a few hours ago,
just in time for Christmas.
What a beauty! What balance! What feel!

Here's the official description,
right from the Samsara website:

Ebony forearm with 6 cocobolo points
outlined with holly veneers.

Triple diamond holly and cocobolo rings
above and below the chocolate brown lizard skin wrap.
Single diamond joint and butt cap rings.
The butt sleeve is a reverse of the forearm.

The feel of the lizard wrap is excellent.
This has just become my new playing cue.
Watch out Mosconi... I feel 527+ coming soon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Racking Secrets With Joe Tucker

Joe Tucker is a pro player who has specialized
in learning the secrets of breaking the rack
in the games of 8-ball, 9-ball, 10-ball,
straight pool, rotation and one-pocket.
And he puts (almost) everything he has learned
on a new double DVD package that has very high
"production values".

If it only gets you an edge of one game per match,
it has got to be worth a lot more than the price.

See for more info.

(blog top)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Snug and Level

After about six months of living with it,
I finally coudln't take it any more.
People have called me a picky bastard before
(many times)
but hey, I figure that a brand new Gold Crown IV
should fit together more like a new Toyota
rather than a 48 Ford, am I right?

When it was installed, about 6 months ago,
the metal trim around the pockets
didn't fit right with the rails,
leaving gaps, and showing bare wood.

I called the installer back and showed him the gaps,
so he colored the bare wood with a Quickie pen,
so it wouldn't look so obvious,
but still left the gaps.
He said the pockets and rails couldn't fit perfectly
because if they did, then there would be a rough edge
which would snag players' clothes and tear them.
I tried to settle down to accepting substandard
manufacturing techniques and tolerances,
but after months of looking at those damn gaps,
I just couldn't take it any more and called back
and asked them to take one more crack at it.
I called the store owner this time, and sent him
photos of the ugly gaps, and admitted to him that
maybe I was being too picky, and that maybe
Brunswick really made tables that didn't fit right.
He said he wanted happy customers and that they
would send his best guy out to make it right, if possible.

Today, Terry and a helper came out on schedule,
and took the rails apart and refitted the pockets.
And it looks a LOT better. Not perfect, but better.

And while he was here, he re-leveled the table.

I guess they really do want happy customers.
You just have to show them what "happy" means to you!

It will be a lot easier to run 100 balls now that
I'm not whining about my ugly, tilted table.

(blog top)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Vision Test

Today I finally tried out my new high tech pool glasses.
(See post)

After several adjustments, they seemed worth taking home
to give them a real world try on the field of green.
First thing I noticed is that I get a sense of
rounded edges, as in a wide angle fish-eye camera lens,
but only at the extreme sides of peripheral vision.
I figured it would not effect my pool shooting,
but maybe I was wrong...

Warming up with the straight/rotation exercise
for about 10 racks, I was not at all happy with my performance,
so I decided to take a break for some yoga stretching
and rest my eyes before continuing.
But that didn't seem to help much.

Next, during 2-3 hours of straight pool racks,
my best run was only 15 balls, with a couple of 13 ball runs.
I'm not sure I can blame it on the glasses
because I felt as if I was rushing,
not taking enough time with each shot.

I'll need more experiments...

(blog top)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

McGoorty: A Pool Room Hustler

This book is slow getting around to the subject of pool.
(or in this case, mostly billiards)
The first half deals almost exclusively with his addictions
to drinking, womanizing, and not working.
I was getting real tired of the same old story
and ready to put put the book on the shelf,
but then it started picking up in the second half.
The story of Danny McGoorty covers 50 years
of shooting world class billiards, and some pool,
playing against the legends of his era.

Certainly one of the more unique characters in the game,
and written from notes taken by his friend and writer
Robert Byrne (author of many books on pool)
in conversations just before McGoorty's death from cancer.
And the first person narrative is done in McGoorty's
brilliantly colorful (off-colorful?) way of talking.

A great read if you flip through the first hundred pages.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Marathon Match

I played for 9 hours yesterday
in competition with one of my "regulars"
(a good "B" player) here at the Fun House.

We played:
20 racks each of that straight/rotation exercise, and
straight to 100, which I won by about 30 balls
and had a run of 21 balls, and
several 9 ball matches, I had a couple of runouts.

It was amazing how easy 9 ball seemed
after playing for so many racks with all 15 balls.
The table looked wide open!

After 6-7 hours, my back was killing me,
but I kept playing anyway.

I won every match.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Willie's Game

Willie's Game is the autobiography of Willie Mosconi,
generally acknowledged to be the best pool player ever.

I've been wanting to read this book, but it's no longer in print,
so I finally searched it out on which brokers
used/rare books for other sellers.

At this writing, there are 10 sellers of this book on Amazon.
Prices range from $44 to over $300.
I paid 56 bucks for mine, in excellent condition.

It arrived yesterday,
and I sat down immediately after opening the package,

and read it cover to cover without a break.

What a guy! What a life! What a shooter!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Playing Off The Rail

Excellent book follows road player Tony Annigoni
on a trip around the USA with David McCumber,
a professional writer who is also Tony's financial backer.

Well written inside look at the players, the games,
the sharking, and the lifestyle of life on the road.

Worth reading!