Does Your Pool Cue Matter? The Truth About Modern High Technology Pool Cues

I began taking part in pool on the younger age of seven years previous, throughout the winters rising up in northern Maine when the temperature reached 50 under zero and it was too chilly to ski. The rec room at Loring AFB had a few pool tables, and as a really athletic child I had a pure curiosity in regards to the recreation, and after watching just a few video games I used to be invited by one of many airmen to play a recreation with him. He confirmed me the right way to maintain the cue stick and make a bridge, and bought me a little bit wood field to face on so I might attain the desk. It did not take lengthy for me to develop into hooked on the sport, and shortly invited my pals to play. We spent many a chilly winter day inside that rec room, taking part in for hours, making up our personal guidelines and video games, and finally even betting nickel sweet bars on the end result. Yeah, we had been massive spenders!

When summer season hit, we put the cues away and performed baseball all day lengthy. My dream, since I used to be 5 and noticed the Dodgers play in Los Angeles a number of occasions earlier than my dad was transferred to Loring, was to be a professional baseball participant, and I finally bought a baseball scholarship to school in Texas, the place my dad retired in 1966. Via the years, each spare hour not spent training baseball was spent in a pool corridor, and after my baseball profession ended with a torn pitching shoulder, pool turned my #1 curiosity. I gained my first match once I was 17, at a bar that my sister labored at, and gained a cue stick as first prize. I used to be thrilled past perception, till I screwed the stick collectively and rolled it throughout the desk. To my horror, it rolled like a corkscrew, being so warped as to be unplayable! Again to taking part in with a bar stick!

For the following 20 years, I hustled pool the place ever I used to be working on the time. I drilled oil wells everywhere in the nation, and made as a lot cash hustling the roughnecks after their shift as I did from my wage. As a mud engineer, I used to be liable for checking many alternative rigs day by day, and bought to know, and play towards, tons of of various pool gamers annually. Transferring across the nation to completely different areas on a yearly foundation, I used to be in a position to maintain beneath the radar and stay a relative unknown, so it was by no means any bother to get a cash recreation going. I do not assume I ever met a roughneck who did not play pool, and most of them had a fairly excessive opinion of their recreation. That normally modified when it got here time to pay up!

In 1989 I met the Alexander brothers on a golf course in Dallas. Nick, a lawyer, had based Clicks Billiards a few years earlier than, and now had a complete of 20 pool halls from Phoenix to Florida, together with his unique pool corridor proper there in Dallas at Abrams Rd. and Northwest Freeway. Greg, his brother, was the Common Supervisor, and liable for hiring managers for all 20 of their pool halls. By this time I had retired from the oil enterprise, and made my residing on the golf course and pool halls on daily basis. Greg and Nick had been each members of Sleepy Hole Nation Membership in south Dallas, the place I hustled golf on daily basis. Greg was a 3 handicap, and after I had performed with him 3 or 4 days every week for a number of months ( and took fairly a bit of cash from him), he requested me if I performed pool. Heh heh heh. “Just a little bit”, I stated, and he took me that night time to the unique Clicks Billiards, to attempt to win a little bit of his a reimbursement.

After he paid up the hundred I beat him out of that night time, he provided me a job, as assistant supervisor of the unique Clicks. He knew I had by no means bar tended earlier than, however assured me I might decide it up rapidly, and would match proper in with the pool gamers who made up their core buyer base. Was he ever proper! I took to it like a duck to water, and ended up assembly a lot of the greatest pool gamers in Dallas, and a number of the greatest within the nation. Clicks had a number of exhibitions, together with one by Grady Matthews, and one by Ewa Mataya, the Placing Viking. Clicks was additionally the place I met CJ Wiley, the street participant who gained the ESPN Final 9 Ball Problem in 1995 or 96. There have been many, many high notch skilled gamers at Clicks, with many a $1,000 recreation of 1 pocket happening day and night time, with plenty of main Dallas bookies bankrolling lots of the motion, and sweaters on the rail by the handfuls, simply watching…or praying, lol.

CJ rolled into Clicks in 1990, and proceeded to terrorize the native execs. He was an on the spot legend, steamrolling each main participant on the town. Guys who scared the dickens out of me wouldn’t even contact CJ when he provided them the 5 and out. His rep grew, and his rating did too, finally reaching #4 or 5 on this planet of Pool. Working there, I turned quick pals with CJ, and when he opened up his personal room in Dallas, CJ’s Billiard Palace, I finally give up Clicks and went over to handle CJ’s place. When he opened up, 90% of the motion, and professional gamers, went with him. He had 12 Gold Crowns, versus the 4 at Clicks, a kitchen, and was open 24 hours. The motion by no means stopped.

So what, you ask, does all this must do with the title matter? I purchased my first cue, a Thomas Wayne mannequin, in 91, and whereas it was stunning, with plenty of beautiful inlays, and really responsive, it actually did nothing to enhance my recreation. I performed with it for 3 years till it was stolen, and I cherished the cue, however I might play simply as effectively with a bar cue, offering it was the proper weight and had a great tip. I spent 700 {dollars} for the cue, however I actually did not have to. It didn’t give me any benefit over a home cue.

I had a extreme again damage in 1994, that made me give up taking part in golf and pool. I did not wish to threat an operation, and it wasn’t till 2008 that I bought some non-narcotic medicine from the V.A. that allow me bend over the desk once more with out excruciating ache. By this time, Predator Cues had come out with a ten piece shaft that was hole on the tip, considerably decreasing cue ball deflection at influence…or so that they claimed. Having been away from the sport for 14 years, I had learn little about these cues, and was intrigued, to say the least.

For these of you studying this who do not know what cue ball deflection is, right here it’s in a nut shell: When a cue ball is struck to both aspect of the vertical axis…the middle line….the cue ball will deflect, or “squirt” in the wrong way. So should you hit the cue ball utilizing proper ‘english’…hitting the cue ball proper of the vertical heart line…the cue ball will deflect to the left, and vice versa.. The quantity of deflection varies, relying on velocity of the stroke, the gap from the middle line (or tip offset) the cue ball is struck, and the mass of the tip. In different phrases, the extra english you apply, the tougher the stroke, and the larger the mass of the tip…..these elements will all enhance the quantity of deflection, or squirt. This squirt have to be compensated for when aiming, or you’ll miss the shot very often.

That is the place the Predator know-how comes into play. With a small hole area on the finish of the tip, the lowered mass drastically lowered the quantity of deflection by permitting the cue ball to push the shaft out of the way in which at influence, as a substitute of the shaft pushing the cue ball out of the way in which. The 314 shaft turned very talked-about instantly with professionals, and the Z shaft lowered deflection much more by decreasing the tip measurement from 12.75mm to 11.75mm. A shorter ferrule additionally helped cut back mass, and subsequently cut back deflection much more. Unbiased testing has the Z² shaft and the 314² shaft from Predator as being the #1 and #2 shafts on this planet in inflicting the least quantity of deflection. Predator cues and shafts are utilized by over half of the highest 40 professionals, 3 of the highest 5 ladies professionals, and over 35,000 gamers worldwide, in accordance with the Predator website. These professionals usually are not paid to play these cues. They play them as a result of their residing will depend on their taking part in skill, which is enhanced with this high-tech gear.

Since Predator led the way in which within the mid 90’s, many firms have now joined the know-how revolution. Lucasi Hybrid Cues affords the Zero Flex Level shaft on all their hybrid fashions. This shaft has know-how just like the Predator shafts to drastically cut back deflection. They provide these shafts with many joint sorts to suit most cues made at present. World Champion Thorsten Hohmann from Germany now performs Lucasi Hybrid.

The OB-1 and OB-2 shafts additionally provide low deflection know-how, and John Schmidt lately modified to the OB cue. He stated he ran over 400 balls taking part in straight pool, the second day he used the OB shaft.

I needed to check out one among these cues myself, and I have to say: I like the brand new high-tech pool cues. I play with a Predator 5K3, and regardless of not having performed in 14 years, my recreation has ascended to a degree approach larger than I ever performed earlier than. The lowered deflection makes the exhausting pictures utilizing english a lot easier, by decreasing the quantity of compensation for squirt.

In summation, the advance of know-how has shortened the educational curve for starting and intermediate gamers by decreasing cue ball deflection, and requiring a lot much less compensation for the squirt impact. And the professionals, who make their residing with a cue? Practically all of them play a low-deflection shaft of some sort. Why would not they? If they do not, their opponents (who all do) will take the cash.

Whereas Predator stays the benchmark for low deflection, they’re additionally not low cost. The retail value for a Z² shaft is almost $300, however the brand new Lucasi Hybrid Cues, with related know-how (and in addition new grip know-how to scale back influence vibration) are a great decrease priced various. For lower than the worth of a Predator Z² shaft alone, your can get an impressive Lucasi Hybrid [] that has superior low-deflection know-how and performs fantastically effectively. If a World Champion like Thorsten Hohmann is taking part in a Lucasi Hybrid, you KNOW it’s an impressive cue.

So assume lengthy and exhausting when buying a brand new cue stick. If you happen to do not use a cue with fashionable low-deflection know-how, likelihood is your opponent can be. The whole lot else being equal, a contemporary low-deflection cue, or an older cue with a brand new low-deflection shaft, goes to win the overwhelming majority of the time. Enormously improved accuracy will make it so.

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