Sunday, May 1, 2011

US Open 10 Ball Championship !

The month of May is my favorite time of the year. Why do you ask, It's Riviera time in Las Vegas. This is the pool lovers dream. I really look forward to the US Open 10 Ball Championship, May 16th to the 21st.. One of the players I want to see is Johnny Archer, Johnny was player of the year I don't know how many times,and also player of the decade. His game never seizes to amaze me. He is known as the Scorpion and you can go to his web site to learn more about him.

 He hasn't been playing as much lately, because he went partners with Kim Davenport in their own billiard room in Marietta Ga. The name of their billiard room is the Marietta Billiard Club.
Anyway back to the US Open, Click on this link Playcsipool to get a list of all the players this year and prices for seating at the daily matches. They will also have a One Pocket Tournament going May 12th thur the 15th. There are alot of players that enjoy watching one pocket, I find it interesting but for me it's like watching grass grow. I have some fellow Bloggers that I want to meet this year at the Riviera and look forward to nothing but pool,pool, pool.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One of my Favorite people in Las Vegas !!!!

One of my favorite people in Las Vegas is Amy Encinias. I feel that Amy has done more for pool in Vegas than anyone else I can think of.  She has a web site called the vegas billiard buzz and continues to keep it updated on a regular bases. It has all the information you need to know in regards to pool in Vegas.
Every time  I turn around Amy is playing in some tournament or league around town.
Amy just came back from the Arizona Women’s Billiards Tour Stop @ Bullshooters and this is what she had to say.
Pam, Sondra and I didn’t get too far in the main tournament on Saturday. But that qualified us to play in the 2nd Chance Tournament on Sunday. Sondra and I drew each other in the first round and she beat me 4-0. She went on all the way to the hot seat and I came back from the one-loss side and defeated her in the finals. And Rebecca Wagner, our fourth travel buddy won the main tournament…so us Vegas Girls did very well overall!

I asked Amy some questions to satisfy my curiosities and this is what she had to say.

1) Where are you from ? I was born in Las Vegas and have lived here my entire life.

2) What got you started in pool? Regardless of my being too shy, my boyfriend Rob didn’t give me much choice and added me to his APA roster in September 2005 where I began as a skill level 2.

3) I remember when you couldn't make a ball, and now you play with some of the best in town. What do you contribute this to?. Initially, Rob taught me a lot to where I went up 2 skill levels in APA league. He also encouraged us to play frequently in Mark Estes’ Diamond Tour Stops in 2007 to learn tournament pressure. Around that time I became good friends with Greg Kuhl while Rob and I played in Greg’s Cue Club In-House BCAPL league. I contribute most of my improvement to Greg. I’ve learned a lot on my own and get in as many practice hours as my life allows. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by many great players that give helpful tips as well. I’m now an APA skill level 6 in 8-ball and 7 in 9-ball. Greg says I’ve improved quickly with all the knowledge that I’ve obtained, now I just have to let my physical and mental experience catch up!

4) I see you playing in almost everything around town, what is your most memorable match? I competed in the ACS Nationals Women’s Standard 8-Ball Singles Division in 2009 at the Riviera. It was the last match of the night (on the first day) about 1:00 am, there were approximately 3 other people in the entire tournament room, one being a referee cleaning a nearby table. I was all by myself (Rob went home hours earlier to feed dogs). This was one of my first big tournaments, I was tired from playing all day and my opponent was up 3-0 in a race to 4. I remember beginning to just focus on the music that was still playing overhead. I really don’t remember any specific shots after that, but I won the match 4-3. That was truly one of the best lessons I’ve learned, it’s not over till it’s over. I won a couple more matches the next day and took 1st place in that tournament. 

5) I know you won big at the APA nationals how does it feel to win such a major tournament? Well I didn’t win the tournament, but I did win big. 2010 APA Singles Nationals 8-Ball at the Riviera – Skill Level 5 bracket. I took 2nd place for $9,000.00. It still feels wonderful (not quite as wonderful as placing 1st), but I’m proud of how far I made it considering I lost my very first match in the single-modified elimination format. It taught me a lot for future tournaments and a lot about myself. There was one shot I made in the quarter-finals: hill-hill, my opponent played defense, I kicked at my ball and hit it, then the cue ball rolled behind one of the only other balls on the table snookering him (I was a 5, didn’t do that on purpose). Had that not happened, I wouldn’t have moved on. It taught me how much luck plays a part too.

6) What is your favorite game to play? I only play 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball currently and I don’t prefer any one over the other. It’s all the same to me. I do want to play more games like One-Pocket, Billiards and Straight Pool to learn more shots.

7) What is your playing cue, and break cue, and also what type of case do you use. Rob bought me a Schon Ltd. for our 1st anniversary in 2006 and I have no desire to play with anything else, however, I’ve seen some gorgeous Ariel Carmeli cues! I break with a Predator BK2. I’ve had a 2x4 J&J hard case with wheels for a couple of years. It can be so heavy at times! I’d like to get a lightweight soft case.

8) Who do you look up to as a player here in Vegas?
Oh my goodness, there is no way I can name any one. The list is too long, and I’d hate to leave anyone out. I look up to players above my skill level as much as below. Any player that enjoys playing the game, contributing to the game, striving to improve by playing in leagues and tournaments and plays with integrity and good sportsmanship. I also appreciate road players and gamblers….wow….so intriguing.

9) Who are some of your favorite Pro Players? Shane is hot.

10) What would be your advice for new players starting out? Don’t try to skip ahead and learn too fast, fundamentals are key.

11) Now for the question about the one thing that has changed the way people find out about what's going on in Vegas when it comes to pool. How did you come up with the idea to start Vegas
Billiards Buzz? In 2006, there was no APA website and that was the only league we played in then. I would email my friends info on tournament dates and what not. I kept adding email addresses to my database and began calling it the Pocket Billards Buzz. Within a year, I had over 200 email addresses from people that wanted to be on my list. Having a background in web design & development, I decided to create a website anyone could visit at any time for local league info, tournaments, photos, tournament results, etc. as well as still receive a weekly e-newsletter of what’s happening in Vegas. I asked Nicole Civetz to be my partner and we launched . With Nicole’s event planning background, we make a fantastic team. We also began the Vegas Billiards Tour in Jan. 2010 which has been a huge success. We have over 500 email subscribers, are marketing managers for most leagues and many pool taverns and we are averaging 52 players at Tour Stops. We have so many more ideas and are anxious to implement them in the near future!

12) You also own and operate Solar
Screens & More here in town, my question is where do you find time to do all this? In July 2006, Rob and I started our business that offers energy saving solar screens for windows & doors, screened patio enclosures, drop shades and much more. The website I developed generates 1st page Google results. We are both very proud of what we’ve accomplished. Is there enough time for everything? NO WAY! I’m not exactly sure how I manage it. I take one day at a time and have exceptional help from everyone I work with.

It’s challenging to still love playing pool just for me and balance it with what’s become of Vegas Billiards Buzz. I’ve played on many different teams with sensational teammates, many scotch doubles partners and I’ve played (and will always mix it up) TAP League, S.N.9.B.T.O.A., USAPL, many in-house leagues and am a new member of Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour. I will continue to do everything I can to promote pool and try to get more players to enjoy it as much as I do. My goals for the future? Generate more time for playing pool and less time for day jobs. ;-)

I want to Thank Amy for her time and wish her the best of luck in the future.  Anyone that goes to Amy's web site appreciates  what she is doing. Amy keeps so many of us motivated and wanting to do better with not only are pool game but with our lives as well.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Billiard Eyeglasses

One of the problems with getting older is your eye sight begins to go. I kept telling myself I don't need glasses even when the balls became fuzzy. I know for a fact I was guessing at the long shots and even though I made a majority of them I still missed when I needed it the most. There has been times when I was playing in Tournaments and my eyes would become tired and I would see 3 balls and end up shooting the middle one. 
I finally broke down and got some glasses. The only problem with the glasses I got was I wasn't able to see over the rims. Bummer. I did some research and found a company up in Canada. You can go to Billiard and see what Dr Harrison has to offer.
 These are NOT ordinary eyeglasses but are specially designed to allow you to follow your line of sight, along the pool cue and to the target, and still be able to look clearly through the lens that rise above your eye brows.
I sent Dr. Harrison my prescription and received my glasses within 10 days. I have to tell ya, I can see the balls so clear and was really excited about playing again . I needed to adjust on my long shots, but it is so nice to be able to see the table layout again.
I have had several people ask me were I got my glasses,so I know their is more of you that has considered on getting a pair. Don't hesitate go to Billiard You won't regret it.

       This is what they look like. Very light weight and they come with there own case.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Player Profile James Murphy!

I had the chance on League night to seat down and talk with Murphy. Everyone knows Murphy but really don't know anything about him. He started running a 9 Ball Tournament on Friday nights at Dealer's Choice.
His Tournament has been very successful with an average of 14 players per week and the bar adding money.
I meet Murphy in 2005 when we played on the same team that took Neveda State Runner up only losing 1st place by 1 game.
Where did you grow up and start playing pool?  I grew up in Virginia Beach, When I was around 14, I would mess around at the local  Rec. Center. I started playing at  Q-Masters Billiards. when I got older and took some lessons from the house pro Dave Bollman, and then I was hooked.
What is your Favorite game to play?  I would say 9 Ball is my favorite.
Who would you say is your favorite Pro player? Tony Robles, and Steve Moore. I used to practice with Tommy Kennedy who was the youngest player to ever win the US Open.
What is your playing cue? I currently play with a Nitti Custom Cue which I have up for sale.

Nitti Custom Cue
Nitti Custom Cue
Nitti Custom Cue
Nitti Custom Cue

I just purchased a Joss West that I look forward to playing with.

Joss West

Joss West

Joss West

What type of Break cue do you use ? I have a Steve Lomax Break-Jump cue.

I notice you have a case with your name on it. Yes I do , it is a custom case I had made by John Barton.

What advise do you have for the newer players ? I would have to say concentrate on your fundamentals and get lessons from a  much better player than yourself. It doesn't matter how good you get, you need to always work on your fundamentals.
Tell us a story of something that you remember from your past ?  I remember when I was much younger I went to North Carolina with a friend. My friend was playing a money match with one of the guys from the pool hall. I was pitching quarters into a jar and won $300 and my friend won about $800. We decided to leave before we got into trouble. As we were leaving the bar tender called us over and gave us each a baseball cap. Not only that but the guy my friend beat out of $800 invited us to his house to hang out.

I want to Thank Murphy for giving me the time to do an interview with him. If you happen to see Murphy around go say hi, I'm sure he would like to hear from you.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Efren Reyes

Everyone in the pool world knows the name Efren Reyes. I was reading an article from Untold Stories: Billiards History,about Efren not playing in the Derby City Classic this year. He is even thinking of retiring from pool. What a loss this would be to all of us in the pool world. Efren stated to the Manila Bulletin that his back was bothering him and he won't be playing in the Derby City Classic.
I don't know about you guys but the Billiard world without Efren would be the biggest loss in years. He still wins his share of Tournaments all over the world.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Busy working on my game!

I have been playing a lot of pool lately and decided to join several leagues during the week, and play in some kind of tournament on the weekend. You can go to the Vegas billiard buzz for more info as to whats coming up if your looking for a league or tournament. I would like to play in the TV4U Putters tournament coming up on January 21st but I need a partner. I already have a partner for the Vegas billiard buzz's first tournament of the year coming up Jan, 29th. Both tournament are scotch doubles.
I have been going to Michael Reddicks Blog and using some of his practice routines. These routines are simple  and I feel they have helped me. Mike has a great Blog with a lot of information, check it out. Anyway I'll  let you know how I did in both Tournaments.

Friday, December 31, 2010


Those of you that don't know it I have a 9 Ball collection. I have around 60 balls. Each one is signed by a Pro Player. In the beginning it was easy to get Pro's to sign, but as I collected more and more it became harder to find someone that hasn't already signed one of my 9 Ball's. I decided to start a collection of Hall of Famers and one of my favorite is Lou Butera. I was able to get him to sign a ball for me last year at the Riviera.
Those of you  pool players that have lived long enough in Vegas knew Lou when he owned Pool Sharks.
 Lou was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania in 1937. His nickname " Machine Gun Lou" derived from stunning the crowd and fellow competitors by running 150 and out in straight pool in 21 minutes against Allen Hopkins in 1973. He was referred to as the man who may be the fastest pool player the game has ever known.
Lou also appeared in several movies as an actor and technical advisor. He had a cameo appearance as himself in the movie Baltimore Bullet, and as a pool player in Police Academy 6. He was also the technical advisor on the 1984 film Racing to the Moon.
 Lou has had a wonderful career, and is someone I will always look up to. If you ever get the chance to meet or talk to Lou take it. He is a down to earth guy that has influenced my life.