Friday, February 27, 2009

What's up?

In 30 minutes the Norwegian 9-ball Championship 2009 kicks off, without me.

I am not able to play pool because of the injury in my arms, and I am still on sickleave. I can't even play playstation, so the last couple of days I have only been glued to the computer watching pool. Haven't happened much pool-related in my real-life, so I'll do a quick update from those tournaments.

In the weekend it was the Turning Stone, which Ralf Souquet ended up winning, and now it is the US Open Bar Box Championships in 10-ball, 9-ball and 8-ball.

Darren Appleton won the 10-ball and is now in the final of the 9-ball event. He is playing superb at the moment, and I suspect he will win the 8-ball event too, which IS his strongest game.

These events are being streamed at
http://www.theactionreport.com/, and today's stream is PPV (pay-per-view), and cost $ 15. Tomorrow it is free, and Sunday it costs another $ 15.

I do hope that the Norwegian 9-ball Championship will be streamed too, but as of now there is no such information. I will post the link here if it will be streamed.

The draw has been done, and of the 90 players in the tournament I predict that Vegar Kristiansen will end up as the Norwegian 9-ball Champion this year.


Line Kjorsvik will most likely end up som winner of the Women Championship.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Turning Stone - Watching it live

Here you can watch the final matches from the Turning Stone tournament:
http://www.mogulus.com/azbtv

Here's the final brackets:
http://www.azbilliards.com/brackets/show128final.cfm?tourneynum=3189

Right now they are broadcasting Shane Van Boening vs Ralf Souquet

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Time to laugh

Since pool and my arms ain't making me smile these days, I figured out I could post a video that made me laugh.

It is the ultimate proof why women should take the bus ;)


Monday, February 16, 2009

My arms still hurts...

Went to see the doctor again today, but still no answer on the tests they took las Monday. Will get the results on Wednesday.

But the doctor put me on sick leave for one week, since I am struggling with using my hands and arms at work. Hope some rest will do good for my arms, and that I will be back at work by next week, and fit for fight for the Norwegian 9-ball Championship next weekend...

After some beers...

I had about 45 minutes to kill before the bus home, after been to the cinema watching Frost/Nixon. I really liked the movie, but that could be because of my background as a former politician though :)

Anyway, I went to buy a beer at Ovenpaa, a pub in Stavanger. Here they have liveband, 2 pooltables, jukebox and lots of people every night. I went there to have a beer before taking the bus, but I knew a lot of the people in the bar so one beer would obviously not be enough :D

After a couple of beers I decided to try my luck at one of the pooltables, and there I got
to challenge one of Norway's best boxer's ever, Ole Klemetsen.

He actually has a pooltable at home, and I could see that he knew some good shots, but before we got to play eachother a friend of us told him I was the best player in town. So then Ole told me that "ok, then I will only play you $ 50 per game instead of $ 250" :D

When we played pool, after a while boxing became the subject of our conversation, and I told him that a former Norwegian Champion in boxing had teached me some boxing when I was like 12 years old. (I walked his dog every day, and in return he teached me boxing). Ole confirmed that he had been taught boxing by the same guy himself when he was 14-15 years old :)

After that, I told Ole that instead of gambling all night I could give him some pool-lessons, and we decided to give it a try later, and he got my phonenumber and we agreed on some lessons later this month.

Then we went for a nightclub, "Backstage", and at the bar Ole said that no one had ever beaten him in drinking a pint faster than him before.

Well, I beat him twice in a row... Haha...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Norwegian 9-ball Championship coming up

It's now less than 2 weeks till the Norwegian 9-ball Championship. This year it will be played in the city of Trondheim, and aproximately 100 players will enter.

Hopefully I will be able to compete in this tournament, but as of today it doesn't look good. I have some problems with my arms and hands, and it sometimes hurts even when brushing my teeth. I tried to play some pool on Friday, but had to quit after about 40 minutes. Some days I can't feel any pain at all, other day's it hurts like hell.

Went to the doctor on Monday, got some pills and took a bloodtest. Will be back tomorrow, and hopefully things will be sorted out very quickly. If it keeps on hurting like this, it isn't worth the trouble of travelling and competing.

I hope that I will be able to play the Norwegian 9-ball Championship. I finished 5th last year, and I feel that I am capable of atleast repeating that performance. Of course I need to play my very best, but it isn't impossible to win it all, and that's my goal.

Now I am crossing my fingers and hoping that I will be fit for fight...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eurotour French Open, day 1

The Eurotour French Open is underway, and in the time of writing some players are about to be eliminated. I am not present at this Eurotour, just following the draw through the website http://www.eurotour.nu/.

At that website you can find brackets, results, hall of fame, schedule, ranking etc. It's a very informal website, with the results of EVERY SINGLE MATCH played on each of the Eurotour's 7 yearly stops from many previous years. During the tournament you can get live updates from each of the 24 tables, each 10th second.

If you want to bet a little, you can watch the tv-table on http://www.bwin.com/, and bet on who will win the match, the next rack, how many balls made on the break etc. When betting it can be extremely worthful checking out results from previous tournaments, which players have this guy beaten etc, before making your final bet on the match.

235 players entered this tournament, including ALL the best European players. Wish I could have been there myself... :( I will try to play in atleast one of the other 6 stops during the year.

I won't try to predict any winner of the event, but I will predict an interesting match :) In round 2 on the winnerside, played at 10:30 tomorrow European time (France, Paris), Ralf Souquet will play Jasmin Ouschan.

Most probably that match will be played on the tv-table, I can't see a more interesting match-up :)

I am sorry Ralf, but I hope you get your ass kicked badly in that match!

Other interesting matches in the winners bracket, round 2:
Oliver Ortmann - Sandor Tot
Dominic Jentsch - Dimitri Jungo
Niels Feijen - Bahram Lotfy 

Bahram Lotfy hasn't won his round 1 match yet against Kozaric, the score is 8-6 to Bahram race to 9, but I assume he will win. I find that match interesting because Bahram is a very solid player, and he is used to practice together with Niels every now and then. He is from Denmark, like Niels' girlfriend Kat, so when Niels go to Denmark they often practice together. Can be an interesting match, and even though Niels is clearly the favourite I wouldn't be surpriced if Bahram can manage to make it a close match, and perhaps also snap off a hill-hill victory ;)

Dimitri Jungo is one of the best European players, and he will play one of most promising European youth players, German player Dominic Jentsch. I have a feeling that Dominic will win. 

In the classic battle between Oliver Ortmann and Sandor Tot I believe Ortmann will be the strongest player, but it is hard to tell. Sandor Tot is playing as good as anyone when he is on fire, and it is nice to see that he has chosen to start playing on the Eurotour again. Will be an exciting match, and perhaps a possible tv-match if they don't broadcast Jasmin-Ralf. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An impossible cutshot

I had an hour to kill today before watching the friendly footballmatch (soccer) between Germany-Norway, and decided to play the 9-ball Ghost a race to 7.

In this particular situation the score was 3-6, but I hadn't given up. Because I am lazy, the table and balls haven't been cleaned for quite some time, so in this match against the 9-ball Ghost I hit the balls a little harder than normal, to prevent the balls from skidding.

And in the tenth rack I once again overhit a ball, and I got too far when playing position on the 6-ball. I thought over the different options, and because of the position on the 9-ball I couldn't bank the 6-ball in the corner. I considered kicking and attempting to make the 6 in the side, but then I got a crazy idea.

What if I raised my cue a little, and cut the 6-ball in the corner, trying to make the cueball bounce in the back of the sidepocket and jump out on the table again?



Crazy, but since I was down 3-6 I thought it was worth a try. This is how it went:



Couldn't ask for a better position on the 9-ball? ;)

I lost 5-7 in the end, but it was a fun shot, so thought I could share it with you. What is your favourite "crazy" shot?

If you don't believe me, here's the shot on youtube:




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGeigN485mE



PS: Norway won 1-0 against Germany, "our" first win in almost 1,5 years. Haha

I couldn't help myself sending some texts to some few Germans after the match. Some of the comments:
"Losing to Norway is not as bad as losing to Holland" - Ralf Souquet
"I thought Norwegians could only fish salmon and make snowmen. This is worse than losing for a team of women!" - Thorsten Hohmann

Monday, February 09, 2009

Sponsors

After I moved back home to Kvitsoy and the Stavanger-region, I have tried to get myself some sponsors. In the last couple of years one of the local newspapers here in Stavanger, Rogalands Avis, have been writing quite a few articles about pool, and they have been following some of the tournaments played around in Norway.


I happen to be one of the players that they have written a lot about, and combined with my improvement in results last year (3rd in Norwegian Team Championship and 5th in Norwegian 9-ball Championship), I figured out I could make a serious effort in trying to get a partnership with some companies who wanted to help me achieve my goal of becoming a Norwegian Champion.

I wrote a resume of what I have done, included parts of my practice-diary telling how much I practice, on what and how, a budget and I also set up a list of tournaments I planned to attend in 2009.


As of today I have sent emails/visited maybe 15 companies only, but I have already got positive feedback from 3. The Commitee of Sports and Culture in Kvitsøy Kommune (the municipality (sp?) where I live), Norkring (telenor) and Kendocues (OB Cues) are all contributing in helping me, one way or another.

In total I have got a travel fund for tournaments, some new equipment, cuerepair, access 24/7 to a gym with wardrobe for free, and in this room I have put up my pooltable so I have lots of space around the table, access to internet, possible to record my practice etc.
I can't thank them enough, and I hope that I will make them proud by getting some good results this year, and by being a good ambassador for this sport.
I will continue my search for more sponsors, and if you know someone that I should contact, please tell me.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Time to focus on practicing again!

The Derby City Classic adventure is gone, and the experiences I made there have been used to set up a practice schedule for the upcoming Norwegian 9-ball Championship.

I will post the schedule during one of the next days, but it includes many different drills. During DCC I had problems with overcutting many shots, especially when sending them up the longrail.

After my matches I did some notes on what I need to improve, and in my match against Jeanette Lee (Picture copied from www.jeanettelee.com), at score 6-6, I did 2 bad mistakes. One was a position error, and the other one a miss. I missed the 5-ball by overcutting it, and I should have lost the match there. Luckily for me, JL missed position when pocketing the 8-ball, so I won the deciding rack with her hanging the 9 in the corner on a very difficult cutshot.

I played poor position from the 2-ball to the 3-ball, I believe it was. It was supposed to be a stun-shot with follow. I wanted to make the cueball follow just an inch or two, but I didn't want to softroll the shot. I was straight-in, and I didn't want to see the 2-ball curve away from the pocket because of skid, bad contact or simply a not levelled table, so I wanted to hit it firm. I made the ball, but I didn't get any follow, and the cueball simply stopped.

So the next days I will practice on those stun-shots + cutshots.

Here's a cuetable-layout of parts of the last rack against Jeanette.

As you can see, I would have got a much better position on the 3-ball going to the 5-ball if I could simply move the cueball from A to B while pocketing the 2-ball. Instead it stopped, and I got wrong angle. I have also showed how I missed the 5-ball.
(The 5-ball was not makeable in the upper right corner, that's why I needed position to make it in the upper left corner)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My sleep-schedule is all messed up...

I guess I am having jet-lag...

I didn't sleep too much at the Derby City Classic, and had problems sleeping at the long flight back home, and thought I would sleep for 12 hours or more when I finally got a chance to sleep.

Well, I was wrong.

Having major problems getting into a normal routine now, and yesterday I fell asleep immidiately after work, slept for 5 hours, then couldn't get any more sleep untill the middle of the night. After a few hours, I woke up at 5 in the morning, and now I am here at 6:30 typing this.

The night before I slept 3 x 2 hours, and was awake for atleast 1 hour in between those sessions without being possible to fall asleep.

Guess I will have to force myself to not sleep after work today, and wait till late in the evening trying to get into a normal sleep-schedule again...

Monday, February 02, 2009

My DCC adventure

Once again I am at Chicago O’Hare Airport, but this time I am having three hours to kill waiting for my flight back home to Europe. I am just sitting here at the gate, putting my thoughts about the previous week down on paper.

One week ago, at this airport, I entered the United States of America for the first time. I was very excited, since I have always wanted to visit America. I didn’t have so many expectations, though, since I have been to lots of pool tournaments before, and I knew that I would probably not leave the hotel during my weekly stay. And I was almost correct. I went outside the hotel for 2 minutes, twice, to get some fresh air…

When I arrived at Chicago O’Hare I had to re-check in my luggage, and when talking to the guy at the desk he asked me what my purpose of the trip was, and I told him I was going to the worlds biggest pool tournament. His immediately response was that he watched women’s pool on ESPN all the time, and was wondering if this tournament would be broadcasted too. I said that I didn’t know if it would be broadcasted live or not, but that he could check AZBilliards.com for more information.

When walking into the terminal I was surprised that the first American I talked to watched pool on tv, and thought that the people posting on AZ saying that pool in America is dying slowly might not be correct. Where I come from I would probably think I was on “hidden camera” if someone told me that they watched pool on tv.

Anyway, I walked to Chili’s Bar to get a beer while waiting, and at the bar I met Jo. Just like I have expected from Americans, she started a friendly conversation. That never happens in Europe, Europeans seldom talk to strangers. She was quite surprised when I told her that I was going to Louisville to shoot pool, and she asked me if I was the new Minnesota Fats. She even forced me to write my autograph on a napkin, even though I tried to tell her that I was just an amateur using parts of my holiday trying my luck in a pro-tournament.

Well, Jo had to leave for her flight, and a new person sat down at the bar. I can’t remember his name, but just like Jo he started a friendly conversation. He was going to Louisville too, to promote his company who worked with laser-aiming on guns. When he heard that I was going to play in a pool tournament he asked me if that woman in black will play, you know, the woman on ESPN. He meant Jeanette Lee, and I told him that he should visit the Horseshoe Hotel & Casino if he wanted to see her play in person.

So, the first three regular Americans I talked to, they all knew something about pool. Perhaps having that women’s tour running on ESPN all the time might be worth something after all?

Anyway, in Louisville, the friendly taxi-driver Papa from Senegal talked about America and how excited he was, because soon he would get his American Citizenship. He had lived in America for 10 (or was it 12) years now, and he was looking forward to finally becoming an American Citizen.

When I entered the venue, Horseshoe Hotel & Casino, I was shocked with how huge it was. After walking around for an hour watching some bank-pool, saying hi to people in the Action Room and in the AZ-room, I was impressed with the setup, and was really looking forward to a great week with just pool.


AZ-room, One-Pocket Challenge and One-Pocket mini-tournament.


I spent a lot of time in the AZ-room the first couple of days, and even though the room was quite small it served my purpose. I used it to practice during the day, and to say hi to people, putting faces and real names on peoples screen-names from the online-forum. Unfortunately I am real bad on remembering names, so I won’t even try to mention all of the people I met. I can only say that I enjoyed meeting all of you, and would love to see you all again and hopefully also meet even more of the guys and girls posting here.

Some people I met deserve to be mentioned though, and I would start to thank SJM for his 14-1 lesson with me, and I would like to say that I wish I could have spent more time with both Williebetmore and John Henderson. Sir Williebetmore visited DCC late, and disappeared just as quickly, so we managed barely to say hi to each other. John Henderson is a kind man, with more classic lines than any other I have met. It would be fun to play some one-pocket with him, but unfortunately I asked him too late, and he was already hooked up with a guy playing 100-200 $ a game. “I haven’t known you long enough to spot you” is just one of many fine lines from John, and I certainly hope that I will get a chance to play him some one-pocket in the future.

I am real glad that Joey Aguzin changed his mind about not going to DCC 09. It was a pleasure meeting him, and he was just as friendly, funny and nice as I had thought. We had a lot of fun together, and sometimes it felt like we had been friends for years. I think that he doesn’t regret his decision about going to Derby, especially since he once again won the one-pocket mini-tournament at DCC.

We had been drinking some beers together with “pooladdict” and “T” when we remembered that it was the night of the one-pocket mini, and Joey wanted to not compete in the one-pocket mini-tournament because he had been drinking a few beers to many. Efren Reyes was out of the 9-ball tournament at this time, and I called him over to our table, and to Joey’s big surprise Efren agreed to take the spot in the mini.

We sweated most of Efren’s matches in the mini, and it was obvious to everyone that Efren really enjoyed playing that tournament. In between his matches he gambled with a guy, for $ 20 a game. I asked Efren what the handicap was, and Efren turned around to me and smiled with all his face when saying “the handicap is great”. Efren had only given up the break. Efren ran out from everywhere, putting up one hell of an exhibition for us to see. He made 300 $ in a very short time, but the guy that lost was more than happy just to play Efren, so it was a win-win for both.

I also got a chance to play a small set against Efren, and it was Efren who decided that we should play for $ 20, with our normal handicap. As I normally do when we play I lost, but when I tried to pay him he refused to accept my money. “No, no, you don’t pay. When we play in Philippines again, you can pay if you lose, but not here.” I was a little surprised that he didn’t want the winnings, and bought him a Budweiser instead. He seemed satisfied with that.

The mini lasted from midnight till almost 7:30 in the morning, so in between I also got a chance to play some friendly $ 20 a game of one-pocket with Freddie the Beard. I lost 8-4 in games, and learned some lessons from him. “You won’t get arrested if you play safe every now and then” was just one of the few sentences that I’ll try to remember.

After Efren won the tournament and the $ 800, the three of us, Joey, Efren and I, went for the breakfast buffet. A guy came to our table telling Efren that he thought it was so nice of Efren agreeing to play with his friend, and that the friend was already in the mainroom hitting some balls. Efren smiled and said no problem, and when the guy walked away Efren just laughed and told us that he had completely forgot about agreeing on playing a guy at 9 in the morning.

So when I went to my room to sleep, Efren went on to play a race to 10 for $ 200 with a fan…

Earlier that week I was in the AZ-room watching the One Pocket Challenge. Mika Immonen had just ran a 53, and Jay Helfert said that no one would beat that run. I then made a $ 50 bet with him that the winning run would be higher.

I then asked him if he had asked Efren to play, and he said that he had tried for 2 years, but Efren didn’t want to. I told him that I would back Efren, and went downstairs to talk to him. After a few minutes telling him about the $ 1000 added + that I have made a bet with Jay Helfert, I told him that I wanted to be his backer in the Challenge. ($ 50). He laughed and said ok, and the people in the AZ-room was thrilled to watch Efren entering the room to compete.

Darren Appleton had just ran a 42, but immediately gave up the table despite having one more try, and he sat down watching Efren play. Efren started out with a perfect 15 on his first try, then a 12, before he got some smaller runs. He ended on a 47 and a 44 in total, but he entertained the whole room with his jokes, laugths and just by being Efren playing pool and having fun.

Efren finished 4th in the Challenge, and Jay payed me $ 200. When I ran into Efren again, I gave him $ 150, and he then wanted to give me $ 75 back. I told him that I just wanted my entry back, and I had already taken it out of the price, and that the money was his. He told me that I was his backer, and we split 50/50, so he put $ 50 in my pocket. Then he said that I should have told him to try the Challenge one more time, because he said he was sure he could do better. I said why didn’t you just do it, but he then smiled and said he didn’t want to try without his backer approving, before saying “next year you back me also, then we will win. I think 61 I can do”.

Gotta love that guy! I am so thankful for being able to watch him play, and once again Efren Reyes has increased the quality of my life just by being himself. I enjoyed spending so much time with him here at the Derby City Classic, and it looked like he had some fun too.


The tournaments.

I played in the one-pocket and 9-ball tournament, and I started good with winning my first two matches in one-pocket. Then I played Tom Neil, a fellow AZ’er. I started out with running 7 on him, and winning 8 - -1 in the first game. After that I don’t think I got a chance to shoot at my pocket, and he told me after he won the match that after the first game he realised he needed to play tight to win. He simply outmoved me, and totally deserved the win.

In my fourth round match I got the privilege to play John Brumback, the newly crowned Bank Pool Champion at DCC 09. I started out real good, focused on playing real tight and not giving him a shot. When I finally got a chance, I played aggressive trying to run out. I dogged it the first game, had an open table, and had 4 balls to his -2, but failed to run out, and in the end I lost that game and the next.

At 2-0 I got 2 chances to run the balls I needed, and in the fourth rack I found a four ball combination in the pack. I think very few players would have tried that combination, but I went all-in, and hit it with solid draw. The 3-ball rolled very slowly heading for my pocket, with balls crossing its path in front of it, but none of them collided and the ball went down.

I then ran 8 and out on him, and racked the balls, getting ready for a hill-hill battle and my break. When finished racking, we both noticed that there was a coin next to my pocket, and we realized that I owed a ball and should have ran 9 balls. To make the story short, the tourmament director forfeited me since I had racked the balls before the game was finished… I wrote more about that in another thread, called “DCC sucks bigtime right now…”

In the 9-ball tournament I played terrible in my first match, and lost 7-4. In my next match I had to play Jeanette Lee, in front of many spectators in the mainroom. I managed to keep my head calm, and even though none of us played great, I had the necessary luck on my side and two terrible mistakes from Jeanette helped me seize the 7-6 victory which sent her out of the tournament.

In my next match I played Oscar Dominguez, and my first shot was an attempt on the 3-ball in rack 4. The ball skidded. My next attempt was at 4-0 to Oscar, and it was a two rail kick. I kicked the ball in and ran out that rack to make it 4-1. At 6-5 to Oscar he touched so badly when pocketing the 6-ball that the 9-ball moved 3 feet. Well, it’s cue ball fouls only at DCC, so I had to watch him run the remaining three balls for the 7-5 victory.

I was now out of both the 9-ball and one-pocket tournament, but I wasn’t too sad. It was a great experience, and I enjoyed playing in both events. Hopefully I will do better next time.

Gambling & The Action Room.

It’s not easy to travel half the world to join a pool tournament, especially not if you want to gamble also, not only play tournament matches. It was hard getting matches, because people thought I had to be real good since I travelled so far to compete at the DCC. They don’t believe you when saying that you are just an amateur on holiday.

I ended up playing some cheap one-pocket action with several people, most of them AZ’ers, and I also beat Sarah Rousey in 10-ball 2 sets. Sarah was obviously off her game, and we both wanted a rematch, but for some reason it didn’t happen. I am pretty sure we will meet in the future, so I’ll start practising for our rematch as soon as possible.

After calling JoeyA a nit for three days my strategy worked, and he finally agreed to play me a set of 9-ball. I managed to win the set, but neither of us was too proud of the game we brought to the table. Anyway, I managed to get some of my money back, after he had literally hustled me in one-pocket some days before.

I did a lot of sidebets during the tournament, and also some in the action room, and in total during the week I was in profit, till the last few hours. Then I decided to play Jason Klatt some 10-ball, and my poor performance in those two sets made me a $ 100 loser during the week on gambling and sidebets.

I spent some time in the Action Room the first couple of days, and it was fun meeting people like JCIN, Bignasty, Beav and Sarah Rousey. Sarah Rousey will perhaps be one of the very few American players that I will root for in the future, but only if she promises not to beat any Europeans.

Sarah and I were in the TAR-booth chatting a little, and after I had talked Sarah and Katrine Jensen, Niels Feijen’s girlfriend, into doing a 10-ball match together, I brought Niels into the booth so the 500 people watching Sarah and Kat also could chat together with Niels.

Niels really enjoyed doing a live-interview with the people on the chat, and he will perhaps also play some matches on TAR later. He is interested in playing all-around matches, and also straight pool matches only.

I would love to spend more time in the Action Room, but it was too filled with smoke there for me. I would have stayed there for the Efren-Shane match, but I went for a little nap and overslept and lost the whole match. Good for me, it saved me at least $ 200, since I would have been betting on The Magician.

Chris (pooladdict) and I walked to the lunch buffet one of the days, and when we were about to pay at the desk, a guy we had never seen before stopped us before we paid and told the girl in the counter that we were his guests. He was a big gambler at the Casino, and was allowed to bring guests for free for lunch. That’s another thing that would never happen in Europe. In Europe people don’t interact too much with strangers, but here we got a free lunch from an unknown guy. We offered to pay him instead, but he declined, and we invited him to join us at our table. As mentioned he was gambling high at the Casino, and he told us that last year he made $ 180 000 profit. I asked him about blackjack, and then he told us a funny story that happened to him just days before.

A guy wanted to play behind him on the blackjack table for $ 1000 a hand, and our guy asked what was in it for him. The player behind said that why should he give something away, since our guy was already betting several thousands per hand. Well, he turned around again facing the dealer, and on the very first hand the dealer gave him 20. Then he turned around facing the player playing behind on his hand, smiled, the player behind gave a smile in return, then he turned to the dealer again and said “hit me”, and the player behind screamed “no, what are you doing”. He said “hit me” again, and got one more card. Of course he didn’t get an Ace, and he lost the hand. It was the best hand he had ever lost in his whole life.

Summary

I really enjoyed my stay at the Derby City Classic. I met a lot of nice, friendly and funny people, and it was definitely worth going. It’s expensive to travel all the way from Norway just for a pool tournament, but I can’t figure out a better way to spend a holiday-week so I will probably join the DCC more than once in the future.

As for the organizing of the tournament I can’t understand why there are so many problems with scheduling matches, but I know they are working on it, so I will leave that for now. Another thing I do not understand is why the tournament director doesn’t provide the players and spectators information during the tournaments, like brackets and results.

If they had printed out the draw for each round, and the results, and put them up on a wall for everyone to see, that would probably have been one of the most visited places at the venue. Players and fans would love to check results.

For example, I watched Adam Smith warming up before one of his one-pocket matches and I really liked his attitude, way of behaving, shots etc, and I would love to be able to walk downstairs, look at the results from the previous rounds to see he whom he had played. Now I could only get that information by either asking him or ask the tournament director. That is bad service for the other players, and especially to the fans that pays money to watch this tournament. They should be able to get that information very easily.

Anyway, it was all a great experience for me, I loved being in America for the first time, and even though the Europeans failed to win the prestigious 9-ball title for the first time in 3 years, they put up a good fight. Shane Van Boening keeps on with impressing me with his game, and the scary part is that the best is probably yet to come from this young man.

Luckily the Team USA doesn’t consist of 5 Shane’s, but only 1, so I am not afraid that Team Europe will lose in the Mosconi Cup in 2009 either.

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