Gold Crown IV

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

Friday, December 28, 2012

What a pain in the neck!

I got a pain in the neck, full time, and it comes on real bad, it seems, after I shoot a little bit of pool. This has been going on for a couple of years, maybe 4 years.  About 2 years ago I had an MRI of my entire spine, and one of the notes in the 4-page printout was "broad disc bulge with bilateral foraminal stenosis" on five of the vertebra in my neck.

That's medical-speak for it's not likely to get better and shooting pool is gonna irritate things.  So I haven't been shooting much pool, and now on the last two occasions of hitting only a few balls, the pain in my neck has been severe for days at a time, and recovers only after extensive icing and Advil and rest.  I'm beginning to think that having a pool table here at the Fun House is a health hazard.

My trusty cue lays unused.  So tempting to pick it up,  so easy to just move a few balls around the table for a while, to feel the speed of the table, the action off the cushions, to feel for the stroke and the cue tip and the cue ball, to take the long way around for position... because I can!  So much fun.

I wanna play, but I know it's gonna hurt real bad.

I read that last line and it reminds me of a few ex-girlfriends.
I love you baby, but I gotta go.

And so it seems with pool.

FastMikie has left the game.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Just a little bit rusty

Tried my hand at a pool tournament today.  Last time I played in this tournament (or *any* pool tournament) was 21 months ago.  I won it back then, as I had won it twice before.

This time, I went undefeated in the two warm-up matches, and undefeated in the 6 matches to get into the finals, and then missed two shots to lose and come in second.  Bummer, of course, but I really wasn't figuring I was going to win it all this time as I had done zero serious practice in almost two years!

I also noticed that I was nervous before the tournament and for several of the first matches.  It's really important to play in tournaments and match-ups to get "tournament tough".

The next tournament is in 3 months.  I should practice...


Friday, July 27, 2012


It sure has been a long time since I've had any real competition.  

Don't get me wrong... there are players out there who could offer real competition, but I just haven't gone looking for it.  And that's because my game is off, and that's because I haven't been practicing, and that's because I have been doing other stuff.  

It's not just that I haven't been practicing... I haven't even picked up a cue in weeks!  


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Johnny Archer and Nick Varner hanging out at the Fun House

Two of the greatest pool players in the history of the game just happened to be hanging out at FastMikie's Fun House, and here we see them in a lighter moment, just foolin' around with a trick shot that involves both of them shooting at the same time. Third time's a charm!

Kamui chalk version 1.21 is awesome!

Kamui has just released a new chalk compound, version 1.21, which is a follow-on product to the previous release, the introductory version 0.98, and the one I tested about a year ago.

Disclaimer:  I am not getting anything for my review except the one piece of chalk they sent me in the mail. 

Review:  The best chalk just got better.  Worth the price if you value your game.  It feels right going on, and the hit is better, with or without extreme english.  It all comes down to being able to deliver a confident stroke when you need it.  That's priceless.  You could use cheaper chalk, but why?


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

San Diego Area Pool Tournaments

Power is striking true

I ran across this great quote and thought of my lesson with Johnny Archer on how to execute the best break in 9-ball (video link:

"Power is not revealed by striking hard or often,
 but by striking true." 

Honore de Balzac


Monday, January 30, 2012

Best practice drill.

I haven't been competing much lately, and that means that I sure haven't been practicing much either.  So I would have to admit that my skills tend to deteriorate.  

But then, all I need to do to get back into stroke quickly is to focus on this practice drill.  It is, beyond any doubt, the best all round exercise.

The rules are simple enough:
1.  All balls must go directly into the corner pocket. 
2.  The cue ball must touch the bottom rail, but not any other rail or other ball.
3.  Start with ball in hand. 
4.  Pocket all balls in sequence 1-9.

This video was shot a few years ago when I was just starting to get the hang of it.  I was shooting slow and very deliberately, learning how the most minute differences in where and how the cue ball is hit can make big differences in position.  

Try it!  If I can do it, so can you.  It just takes practice...