Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I am a dumbass - did a stupid mistake in one-pocket

Well, I am here at the Derby City Classic 2009, have been travelling for 24 hours from Norway just to get here to play my favourit game of One Pocket in the worlds biggest One Pocket tournament, and then I do the most stupid mistake ever!

"I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me" is the tune that keeps playing in my head right now...

I played the One Pocket tournament this morning, and the luck of the draw made me play John Brumback, the 2009 Bank Pool Champion. I started out good on my break, and made him do two fouls, and at one time he needed 10 balls and I only like 4, I think.

I had an open table, but dogged it, and he ended up winning the first rack. The next rack lasted very long, with many safeties, but John grabbed that rack too, so now I was down 2-0.

I kept on doing the stuff JoeyA from AZBilliards.com teached me last night, and I played smarter than before, but aggressive when I finally got a chance, and I took the next rack to make it 2-1 to John.

In the next rack I found a four ball combination in the pack and hit it with solid draw, and got a wide open table. I ran 8 and out on him, with position to keep on running 10-11-12 balls.I racked the balls, and when I had finished racking we noticed that I owed a ball, and should have ran 9 balls.

Tournament director made me lose the game on forfeit, and then lose the match 3-1 instead of 2-2 and my break.

I have done many tournaments myself, and would probably have made the same call myself. There is only one person to blame here, and that's me...

But it still sucks, especially since I have used my buyback...Despite this completely idiotic, stupid, dumbass thing, Derby City Classic is still awesome. I wished John good luck in the all-around and asked him to buy me a beer tonight...

Now I just feel very, very pity for the guy I will meet in the 9-ball. Someone's gonna be punished for this!

Draw will be done very shortly.

Monday, January 26, 2009

DCC - One Pocket round 2

Played against Stevie Dronkley (or something like that).

I played very good in the first game, won it 8-2, after some great moving and banking. In the next game I played just ok, but still enough to make it 2-0 in the match.

I started to feel pretty comfortable about winning the match, and tried dumb things. Lost two racks in a row, being very nervous in the last rack which I lost 8-7.

Took a deep breath before the last rack, broke the ball and got a good result after the break. Moved well from there, and put him in a trap and forced him to commit a foul, so now he was on -1, and after a few innings I had won 8 - -1 in the last rack to win the match 3-2.

Still in, undefeated, and round 3 will start tomorrow.

Quick update from DCC

Ok, a quick update from DCC.

I travelled for 24 hours before I got the the Horseshoe Hotel, then I went straight to the Action Room and was in cheap action for almost 12 hours. Slept for 4 hours, played some cheap one-pocket for 3-4 hours before I played my first match in the One-Pocket tournament. Slept only 4 hours this night too, so hopefully I will be able to get some sleep during the day today. Crossing my fingers for a late match for me.

Played a guy called Aaron Toth in the tournament, and he played some very solid bankshots, winning the first rack 8-3. I decided to play very aggressive instead of "only" defense, which looks like being the standard here, and it paid out. I had some very nice runs to win the games, and it was a confidence boost having Niels Feijen cheering on me ringside. Won my first ever DCC match 3-1, and I am right now waiting for the draw for round 2.

Derby City Classic is not like other tournaments with double elimination, groups etc. Here it is a random draw of all the players, and once you lost two matches you are out. You can basically ending up with playing the same player twice, because there is no loser or winner brackets.

Chris played just an hour ago, against an old guy, but Chris got totally outmoved and lost 3-0, but is still in.

Yesterday I challenged WPBA-pro Sarah Rousey, who finished 3rd in one of the last WPBA tournaments, and we decided to play for a $ 100 a set in 10-ball, race to 9. I beat her 9-5 and 9-6, but she was obviously not too happy with her performance so it looks like we will play some more sets during the week.

Tonight it looks like Efren Reyes will play Shane Van Boening a race to 21 in 10-ball, live on www.theactionreport.com

Other possible match-ups during the week are Efren Reyes - Gabe Owen in one-pocket. Efren said he will give anyone at DCC 9-7 in hcp in one-pocket, and Gabe wants to play him. Will probably be tomorrow, also on The Action Report.

Rumour has it that Marcus Chamat will play an ahead set against Chris Bartram tonight, and Niels Feijen might play John Schmidt a race to 300 in 14-1. John Schmidt ran 154 in the Straight Pool Challenge, and has the high run so far, with Corey Deuel second with a 153.

Sarah Rousey has agreed to play some cheap sets with Niels Feijen's girlfriend, the danish poolplayer Katrine Jensen. They will also probably play on TAR, with Sarah giving up the 8 in 10-ball.

Stay tuned, more updates later :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

DCC - Here I come!

It's now less than 30 hours till I will be walking into the plane, heading for Frankfurt, then Chicago before reaching Louisville, Kentucky at 18:07 pm on Saturday.

My final destionation is the Horseshoe Hotel & Casino in Louisville and the 11th Derby City Classic. The worlds biggest pool-tournament, or call it a pool-festival if you like. The previous years more than 400 players have joined the 3 main-tournaments. Read more about Derby City Classic here,
http://www.dcctickets.com/.

During the 9 days of competition players will be able to compete in the following diciplines:

Short rack bank pool (Starting 22nd, max 500 players)
10-ball Challenge (Starting 24th, max 16 players, $ 1,000 entry)
One-pocket (Starting 25th, max 500 players)
Straight pool challenge (Starting 25th)
One-pocket challenge (Starting 27th)
9-ball (Starting 27th, max 500 players)

The tournament will be played on more than 50 Diamondtables, and every evening when the tournament ends the tables will be available for players and spectators to play on, till a few hours before the morningmatches starts.

The Action Report (TAR) will have their TAR-Pit, the "action room", with 5 Diamondtables + 1 Diamond barbox, and they will broadcast live 24 hours a day from this room at
http://www.theactionreport.com/. At this room there is one rule for playing on the tables, and that's "No no gambling allowed".

I will compete in the One-pocket tournament and the 9-ball tournament, and will most likely also try my luck in the One-pocket challenge. In the One-pocket challenge you pay $ 50 for 3 x 5 tries. You break, and then play from where the cueball ends, and see how many balls you are able to pocket in your cornerpocket without missing. After 5 tries you get your total score. Maximum is 75, and last year Gabe Owen won with an amazing 60 balls. Below you can see me running 13 balls in one inning.




Because of DCC I am not able to compete in the Norwegian 8-ball Championship, which will be played at Strommen Storsenter, a shopping mall just outside Oslo. Almost 100 players will compete there, and I am guessing that Ronny Oldervik from Trondheim will win this tournament.

I'll try to keep you updated about DCC here on the blog, and I believe that you will be able to find updates from each round on
http://www.azbilliards.com/.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Teaching my nephew (8)

My nephew, Kristian, age 8 (soon 9), loves to play pool, and asks me all the time to come play with me. He has joined me a couple of times before, with his brother Arve (age 10), but when they are both it's impossible to teach them anything.

Have done some easy drills together with them, tried to show them how to hold the cue etc., but it's not easy when they are both there. Too much talk :)

Today Kristian went with me alone, and he is very interested to learn. At school they have a 6-fot table with wooden slate, and he plays with some friends there as often as possible, and last time he set up a drill for them :)

At first today I refreshed his memory of how to hold the cue, and how to stand, and they we practised on drawing the ball.

Then I set up this drill for him, where he has to use follow on every shot. On the video below you can see him finishing this drill. (I forgot to press tape when he made ball 1...) He has made a lot of progress since last time we played.



In between the drills we played some 8-ball, with me needing to bank or kick each ball, but he preferred doing drills. I will try to bring him and his brother with me every now and then, and I have told them they can play the Norwegian 8-ball Championship for Youth, which will be played sometimes during Summer in Stavanger.

Here you can see him shooting:



Friday, January 16, 2009

Back at the practice table

I haven't been practising much the last days, since I have been waiting for my OB-1 shaft to arrive. Something went wrong with the tip/ferrule just before Christmas, and I sent it to be repaired.

Have been playing with a z-shaft the last weeks, but the tip is so worn out now that I couldn't play with it anymore, and I figured out I could just take a break and wait for my shaft. The last days I have instead spent doing non-pool related stuff, like spending some time with my family, played football (soccer) both in real life and on XBox 360 (FIFA09), relaxed and watched the first season of Cheers.

I remember when I was a young kid, around 10-12 years old, I loved to watch Cheers and my parents always allowed me to stay up late on Thursdays so I could be able to watch it :) Cheers has always got a special place in my heart, and is the main-reason why I have always wanted to own a bar myself.

My favourite line has to be when Norm walks into the bar, and one of the guests ask him "What's up, Norm?" and he replies: "My nipples, it's freezing out there". Classic Norm.

Anyway, I got my OB-1's today, and I spent a couple of hours playing some one-pocket ghost and 10-ball ghost. It felt great playing pool again, after some days off, and I started with running 33 balls against the One Pocket Ghost in 5 tries, with a high run of 12.

Then I played the 10-ball Ghost, race to 7. Since I tightened the pockets I haven't beaten the 10-ball ghost yet, but I felt good today, so I gave it a try. I had some pretty nice textbook outs, and some real creative shots in other games, and I was up 6-5. Then I REALLY dogged it. I just started to laugh out loud, because I missed two straight in 10-balls in the next two games, to lose 6-7. Very easy balls. But I dogged them bad!

I felt so stupid, but I think it did me good, because I am now even more motivated to "kill" that Ghost.

Tomorrow I will be more focused than ever!


Only 1 week and 6 hours to my flight to Derby City Classic. Can't wait ;)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some more one-pocket practise

Here's another good one-pocket drill that I just found. Will give it a try tomorrow!



The last couple of days I have been practising the drill I mentioned the other day + tried around 50 times against the One-pocket Ghost.

When playing the One-pocket Ghost the goal is to pocket as many balls as possible in one of the corner pockets, picked before your break. You have to start shooting from where your cueball ends up after the break.

I have not succeeded in running all 15 yet, but have run 13, 12 and 11 the last 2 days. Here's a video of those runs.





I've figured out a break that I think works ok. I hit the third ball with low inside, so the cueball wll go two rails and bump into balls kicking them into the table again away from the other pocket.

Shimmed the pockets the other day. Didn't use the proper equipment, since I didn't want to change the cloth on the rails yet. I just used hard rubber, cut it with knife to fit next to the rail and then glued some cloth on to prevent the balls from getting dirty/black when hitting the rubber before dropping into the pocket.

It works perfectly well, and now the pockets are much tighter but still reacts like they should.

When I recloth the table sometimes after the Summer I will shim the pockets with original equipment, but this was an easy solution right now.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

What to practise, week 2, January 09

It's getting closer to the Derby City Classic, the worlds biggest one-pocket event, and I will practise some one-pocket the following weeks.

This is a drill that I saw on onepocket.org, and I will give it a try. If you have any other one-pocket related drills, please let me know!

The rules are to pocket as many balls possible in the upper left corner, starting with ball in hand behind the headstring. Don't bump into other balls while playing!





Monday, January 05, 2009

Preperations for DCC

It's now less than 3 weeks till the Derby City Classic kicks off, and I have started my preparations. I am practising many hours every day, and later this week I will get my table shimmed, to reduce the pocketsize.


For the first time in about a month I hit em good, and today I destroyed the 9-ball Ghost in practise. The rules when playing the Ghost are quite simple: Ball in hand after the break, you don't need to pocket balls on the break and it doesn't matter if you scratch. Then it's all about offense. If you fail to pocket a ball, the Ghost wins the rack. You have to run-out, or make the 9 on a legal shot, to win the rack. I played a race to 9 today, and it's available in the slideshow-menu on the UStream-screen in the bottom of this page.

Another part of my preparations for the DCC was to get myself a new passport. My old one is not accepted in the US, so I needed a new. I headed down to the police station today to deliver my old one and order a new.

The lady in the desk politely asked me after I gave her my passport; "where are your emergency passport?".

"Huh?" I replied, before I remembered that I had got an emergency passport, valid for six months only, when I couldn't find my passport in 2003 when going to Warzawa, Poland. Back then I was in panic the day before departure because I couldn't find my passport, so I headed to the policestation and got an emergency passport.

When I arrived in Poland and opened up my suitcase I found my original passport :)

Back home, after a few months, I moved from my apartment, and since the passport wasn't valid anymore I threw it in the garbage instead of hand it to the police. Not too smart...

A few weeks later the Norgwegian Directorate of Immigration called me at work, and asked me if I had lost my passport. I hadn't, so I said no, and asked why, and then they could tell me that in the airport in Oslo they had caught a Bulgarian claiming he was me, using my passport!

I had to admit to them that I had threw it away, and they believed me and since then I haven't heard more about it.

But the lady in the desk today wanted the old emergency passport... So I told her that a Bulgarian guy used it. She just said "pardon?". And I told her once again that there is a Bulgarian guy who used that passport, I don't have it anymore. She looked around as to see if there was a hidden camera or something, and when she looked at me again she didn't say anything. Just looked at me.

I managed to keep my face deadly serious, and she must have thought that I was either mad or stupid, or both. In the end I started to laugh, and told her the story, and she laughed nervous. I don't think she quite believed me, but she didn't ask anymore questions about the old passport :D

Another funny passportstory is from 2002, when I had been in Copenhagen, Denmark. Scandinavians don't need passport when crossing the Scandinavian borders, but after 2001 9/11 we do need ID when travelling with aircrafts. Well, I lost my ID in Denmark after too many beers, and at the airport they refused to let me into the plane, and I was sent to the airport-police. I explained them the situation, but they couldn't help me, and adviced me to take train through Sweden and half of Norway to get home...

Out of desperation I got a crazy idea, and asked them to call the police in Stavanger, my hometown. There I told them that I was stucked in Copenhagen without ID, and asked them to fax a copy of my passport to the police at the airport Kastrup in Copenhagen. To my surprise a friendly man there said he could try, and minutes later my passport got faxed to Denmark :D

It was impossible to see the picture, because it was all black after being faxed, but another surprise happened. The police in Copenhagen obviously felt pity for me, and wrote a note that I could show to the guards when entering the plane. The guards just barely looked at it and said "welcome aboard", and I was on my way home as scheduled.

It can only happen in the peaceful countries of Scandinavia, I guess :)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

World Snooker investigate Jamie Burnett betting suspension

From The Telegraph:

"World Snooker has launched an investigation after Stephen Maguire’s UK Championship win over Jamie Burnett on Monday was overshadowed by reports of irregular betting patterns. Bookmakers suspended activity on the first-round match in Telford after a flurry of bets were placed on a 9-3 scoreline in Maguire’s favour. That did eventually prove the final score after world No 45 Burnett missed a black in the 12th frame that would have made it 8-4."

Several days before the match, lots of new betting accounts opened in Scotland, and they all made one bet, and one bet only, that the score in this match would end 9-3...

Here's the last frame from that match





Please read the full article in the Telegraph:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/snooker/3777998/World-Snooker-investigate-Jamie-Burnett-betting-suspension.html


This insident made me remember the European Pool Championships from 2006, in Brandenburg. The event was sponsored by betandwin.com, now bwin.com, and this was the first time (as far as I know) that online betting was offered to fans and spectators of European pool.


What I am going to tell is not about someone losing on purpose. I saw nothing of that, and the max amount people could bet on these matches were less than $ 500, so it would not be worth it for anyone to even consider doing such a thing.

It was during the 8-ball divison on the European Championship that I decided to watch a match outside the tv-arena, between Goran Mladenovic from Serbia and another player I can't remember right now. Goran is a well-known gambler, and during Eurotour's you can easily find him in action during nights either playing one-handed 8-ball or his famous 2-ball game.

Since I had played him some during an Eurotour in Belgium, I thought I would just check and see if he used his same tactic in tournaments. One of his tactics are the ultra soft-break in 8-ball to frustrate his opponent. And he sure did use it. On several occasions the opponent asked the ref to watch Goran's break to see if 4 balls or more hit the rail after the breakshot :) Goran won that match because the opponent got so frustrated and couldn't keep his head calm when he got oppurtunites.

Later that day Goran was scheduled to play in the tv-arena, and then it was possible to bet on his match, on each and every game. It's possible to bet on winner of lag, how many balls pocketed on break, who will win, how long will the match last etc.

A friend of mine called me when he saw that Goran was put on the tv-table, and asked me immidiately if I had watch Goran play. I said yes, and he asked "how did he break?". I laughed and said he broke so soft that he nearly fouled on each break because barely 4 balls hit the rail. My friend thanked me for the information and said he was going all-in on the option dry break on Goran's first break, meaning he would bet like $ 500 that no balls would be pocketed.

Once again I sat down to watch Goran's match, and after he won the lag he prepared to break. To my big surprise he fired of like I had never seen him before. The balls were flying everywhere, all over the table.

I was shocked by the change of tactic, but was immidiately checking my phone for the text-message I knew I would receive in short time. When the last ball stopped rolling, it luckily didn't find a pocket to drop into, and it DID end up with a dry break!

The text-message came in, and it said: "Oh my god, I think my heart stopped beating. All bets are off :)"

A funny little story about my first experience with betting on pool :)

Regarding the snooker investigation I will keep you updated as soon as more information will be published. It's real sad if they can prove that Burnett was cheating, and it will perhaps make it even harder for snooker and pool to maintain the good relationships with different betting sites.

Jean Balukas at age 6

From YouTube:

In this 1966 episode, 6 1/2 year old Jean Balukas demonstrates her skills at pocket billiards, more commonly known as pool. She is later joined by her 5 year old sister Laura. Information on Jean's fascinating career can easily be found online. For example, from Wikipedia: "At just 9 years old she placed 5th in the 1969 U.S. Open straight pool championship, and placed 4th and 3rd respectively in the following two U.S. Opens. From that early start, Balukas completely dominated women's professional pool during the 1970s and 1980s." And there's much more.

Please read more about legendary American pool-player, now retired, Jean Balukas at this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Balukas

Eurotour schedule 2009

The most prestigous 9-ball tour in Europe, the Eurotour, hosted by IBP and EPBF, is now running for the 17th year.


In 2009 the 100th Eurotour-tournament will be played. During the 95 tournaments played now, Ralf Souquet and Oliver Ortmann are the two most successful players with 15 and 13 wins each.
Only 5 times have players outside Europe managed to win an Eurotour, and that's Johnny Archer (2), Francisco Bustamante (2) and Ismael Paez.

Top 5 on the ranking, (total of 675 players in the 2008 season):

1. Ralf Souquet
2. Niels Feijen
3. Nick van den Berg
4. Tony Drago
5. Christian Reimering

Schedule for 2009:

11 - 14 Feb, 2009
Diamond Nine / Dynamic French Open
Paris, France

25 - 28 Mar, 2009
Diamond Nine / Dynamic Italy Open
Castel Volturno, Italy

20 - 23 May, 2009
Diamond Nine / Dynamic German Open
Sindelfingen, Germany

19 - 22 Aug, 2009
Diamond Nine / Dynamic Austrian Open
Rankweil, Austria

16 - 19 Sep, 2009
Diamond Nine / Dynamic Netherlands Open
Weert, Netherlands

14 - 17 Oct, 2009
Diamond Nine / Dynamic Swiss Open
Payerne, Switzerland

02 - 05 Dec, 2009
Diamond Nine / Dynamic Costa del Sol Open
Malaga, Spain

Please visit http://www.eurotour.nu/ for information about players, schedule, pricemoney, how to join, rankings, photo's etc.

Hall of Fame
Winners:

Ralf Souquet, 15 times
Oliver Ortmann, 13 times
Thomas Engert, 9 times
Tom Storm, 5 times
Nick van den Berg, 4 times
Niels Feijen, 4 times
Alex Lely, 3 times
Marcus Chamat, 3 times
Mika Immonen, 3 times
Imran Majid, 2 times
Christian Reimering, 2 times
Fabio Petroni, 2 times
Sandor Tot, 2 times
Nicklas Bergendorff, 2 times
Francisco Bustamante, 2 times
Johnny Archer, 2 times


Darren Appleton, Tony Drago, Bruno Muratore, Mark Gray, John Vassalos, Daryl Peach, Wojciech Trajdos, Jonni Fulcher, Harald Stolka, Markus Juva, Kaddur Samir, Thorsten Hohmann, Erik Weiselius, Vegar Kristiansen, Dimitri Jungo, Ralph Eckert, Ismael Paez, Evgeny Stalev, Herbert Friedemann, Samuel Clemann, Thomas Hasch, Bengt Pedersen and Bernd Jahnke all has 1 win each.
Most consecutive wins:

1994 - Oliver Ortmann 4 consecutive wins
2008 - Ralf Souquet 2 consecutive wins
1999 - Johnny Archer 2 consecutive wins
1996 - Ralf Souquet 2 consecutive wins
1993/1994 - Ralf Souquet 2 consecutive wins
1992 - Thomas Engert 2 consecutive wins

Thursday, January 01, 2009

World Ten Ball, Chia Ching Wu and the WPA

For the first time ever a WPA World Ten Ball Championship was going to be arranged, and the WPA had given Raya Sports in the Philippines the 5-year contract of hosting it.

Yen Makabenta, Billiards Digest "Man of the Year" in 2006 after successfully bringing the World 9-ball Championship "home" where it belongs, in Manila, Philippines, was the organiser and promoter of the World Ten Ball Championship.

The World 9-ball Championship in 2006 and 2007 was major success, atleast for the regular fans and players, and it brought lots of spectators from around the world, broadcasted live in Asia and Europe, lots of attention in the national media and commercials on national tv months before the tournaments.

A couple of weeks prior the World Ten Ball Championship, many people, myself included, started to ask questions on poolforums about why there was no sponsors listed on the official website, and why there were absolutely no press releases or articles in the local newspapers about this upcoming happening, the biggest tournament in 2008. In fact, the organizer had no posters around in Manila, and there were no information about how to buy tickets for this event and no commercials about it all, less than 2 weeks before the first match was set to start.

It ended with WPA publishing an official statement, "WPA quells rumours", saying that players and fans had nothing to worry about, the pricemoney was no problem, not only would there be 400 000 $ in pricemoney as stated, perhaps the sponsors would add a bonus also.

The tournament started as planned, with 128 of the very best players in the world, except the best Filipinos, who decided not to join this event because disputes with Yen Makabenta and his Raya Sports. No surprise, the event was not a popular event in the pool-loving country Philippines, because of lack of advertising and the missing top-players, and the attendance was very low.

The tournament ended, and after 2 weeks no players were paid a dime. The Filipino-surprise D. Pulpul, who finished 4th, was then told by Raya that he would be paid the 24th of October, 3 weeks after the tournament. Nothing happened, and no communication from Raya (or the WPA) was made to either players or federations about why no payment was still made.

Darren Appleton, who won the tournament and was owed 100 000 $, was very frustrated about the situation, and "everyone" asked him about what's going on, day after day. This clearly affected his focus and concentration, and after playing some of his best pool ever when winning the tournament he had a poor show in the US Open.

During the US Open Raya Sports finally communicated with some/all of the players, saying that they would get paid the 30th/31st of October.

All the American players got paid that date, and Raya quickly sent a press-release saying that now all Americans was paid. Some American billiardsites published this information, and the regular fans now thought everything was ok.

It was clearly not, and the European players was paid first sometimes during the middle of November, and everyone now thought that all players got paid. The reasons Raya used for the late payment were Filipino-law regarding bank-transfers, saying that they could only pay a certain amount to few persons every day...

It has been very quiet about World Ten Ball and Yen Makabenta the last month, but all of a sudden I have been told that Chia Ching Wu, runner-up in the World Ten Ball, is still owed his 40 000 $, and that some of the other Taiwanese players first got paid 87 days after the tournament ended.

It is now 3 months since the tournament ended, we are in 2009, and the runner-up is still unpaid.

WPA sent an official statement telling players and federations that THERE WAS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.

Well, what do WPA has to say about this situation now? What will WPA do to protect the players in the future, and how can the players trust future statements from the WPA?

I thought WPA's main purpose was to protect the players, not the promoters. What will WPA do if Chia Ching Wu will NOT get paid. Will they pay him? After all, the tournament is sanctioned by WPA, and they said there was nothing to worry about, didn't they?

WPA wanted the IPT to put their pricemoney in escrow, to secure the players. Why didn't they demand that from Raya Sports?

Why did WPA say that there might be an added bonus from the sponsors of the event, when they didn't even know if there was enough money to pay the players?

I am now hoping that Chia Ching Wu will get paid very quickly, and with interest, and I hope that WPA will start to focus more on the players.

I first saw Chia Ching Wu live when watching him play a moneygame against Lee Van Corteza in Manila, Philippines, in July, 2008. They played 9-ball at Pool Fusion in Mabini Street, Malate, and I sat at the bar sweating this match.

It was a pleasure watching him play, and one of the shots he performed, a very high-risk long shot demanding lots of follow and spin on a very tight table with slow cloth, was executed so perfectly. The about 30 "railbirds" sweating the match went from being a noisy crowd to not say a word. You could hear a pin drop when he ran out that rack. It was a moment where the railbirds didn't believe what they saw, and in lack of words everyone just stood there watching.

I am very happy that I got a chance to see him in action, live. Wish Wu would travel around the world more, he is without a doubt one of the very, very best players in the world right now, and more fans deserve to see him play.

As a start, the organiser of tournaments could pay him his winnings when he is travelling abroad and honoring the tournament with his presence and performances.

How I practice

Most of the time I practice by playing the Ghost in 9-ball or 10-ball. Sometimes I line up difficult shots or safeties that I have been struggling with, and the rest of the time I am normally using on the system called PAT.

I am using PAT (Playing Ability Test) to test my skills and to see progress, and it is really working great for me.

I have bought the books and DVD's on Amazon, and I recommend it to all players who wants to raise their game to another level.

PAT consists of 4 different levels, from amateurs to professionals. As a side-note, top-players such as Jasmin Ouschan and Thorsten Hohmann uses PAT on a regular basis.

The best part of PAT is that the majority of drills in the books/videos are situations that you often will face in a match. Nothing pleases me more than be in such a situation knowing that I have practiced this and fires it in with confidence.

Check out my Billiard Store and buy the books/dvd's that suits your level!

Streaming from tournaments & challenge-matches, LIVE & recorded