Joe Rogan has been a pool player for several decades and frequently visits the top local pool rooms in the towns where he appears for comedy shows. He’s a student of the game and I had the pleasure of working with him on his technique in the mid 2000s in LA.
He’s got a great podcast and just signed a 100M$ deal with Spotify to switch from YouTube over to their platform. Congrats to Joe and keep on shooting!
My brand new Audio Book (Physical CD Set) entitled “Play Pool In The Zone’ Systems, Strategies, Ideas, and Methods For How To Control The Cue Ball, Pocket Balls With Accuracy, Run More Racks, And Win More Tournaments, For Amateurs And Aspiring Professional Pool Players” is now available for you to order at http://playpoolinthezone.com with FREE World Wide Shipping including inside the USA and the Ebook version of the same book (Retail $19.95) is a FREE bonus during this Launch Special Sale, all for just $19.95!
http://playpoolinthezone.com is the link one more time and make sure you take advantage of the special offer while it lasts. It will be shipped to your house as a physical product, it will arrive in one package that contains three separate CD Jewel cases with disc one, two, and three of “Play Pool In The Zone” for your continued listening enjoyment for years to come.
My book Zen Pool is now available for free (plus shipping), shipped anywhere in the world for $19.95 and with it you get the 3 hour audio book mp3 files for FREE! Save and burn the mp3 files to audio CDs and listen to them while your drive to your next tournament or Starbucks in the morning.
This book has helped many players around the world improve their game and you could soon be the next one!
In pool there is an importance to not thinking any negative thoughts right before or during a shot that you want to make. All pool players have experienced missing right after thinking that they would miss. This negative thought could have crept in before they got down to shoot, or in the instant before they pulled the trigger.
As an exercise for your next time at the table in practice or even in competition, and especially on longer “tougher” shots, I want you to tell yourself “this ball is going in” at different times before your shot. You can even keep it going like a meditation mantra and don’t stop until the ball actually does go into the pocket.
Saying the entire phrase “this ball is going in” or “this shot is going in” could even be too long and distracting to say in your mind as you are about to shoot, so for that time right before and during your last stroke, you can just saying the single word “in” for simplicity.
This exercise can be used in a few different ways,
1. To replace actual negative thoughts or doubts that you may have noticed before some shots with a positive replacement.
2. To calm general anxiety that could cause you to move during your delivery stroke.
3. To proactively prevent negative thoughts or anxiety from appearing at all.
You can invent your own positive phrases as well that work better for you, or custom tailor them to specific shots or situations. It could be “I’m making this cut shot” or “I’m winning this match.”
You may find yourself pleasantly surprised when your body obeys your mind when it comes to these positive thoughts. The mind gives the body its instructions on how to behave so take the controls and steer it into winning actions.
Back in 2011 I wrote and article about utilizing the “Pool table driving range” which is the long straight in shot. Practicing it everyday for a while will help so many different aspects of your game from aim to body alignment. You can read the article here.
Long straight in shot
So the slight twist on old faithful, is to set the shot up just slightly off of straight in, and get used to the little adjustment in aim that it requires to make the shot. Doing this will also teach you how to make the straight in shot by default. Once you can cut slightly to the right and to the left, you’ll know that in between these is the straight in aiming line.
Long almost straight in shot, slight cut to the right
Long almost straight in shot, slight cut to the left
A slight edge is still an edge, and it’s the accumulation of countless slight edges that will keep your game on the rise constantly. Constant and never-ending improvement… CANI
Enjoy this powerful variation and I’ll see you soon, closer to the top!
PS:Check out all the cool stuff you get to help you get better at pool fast with a lifetime membership to ProPoolAcademyhere
This January 2015 I went to Yushan, China to play in the first annual China Billiard World Championship, the game is known as Chinese 8-Ball and its basically 8-Ball on a 9 foot snooker table. It was truly a world class event sponsored by STAR Tables out of Bejing. There were over 300 volunteers, mostly college kids from Yushan, to help run things smoothly and take care of all the visiting players needs.
I flew in to Shanghai from Seattle with my friends and top Canadian pros Stan Tarangau, Paul Potier, Simon Pickering, and Kevin Beskal and also my old friend american legend and former world champion Dan Louie, buy lamisil, all who arrived from Vancouver after practicing at our friend and guide, Michael Ma’s pool room named Top147 in Vancouver.
The Fantastic Six! L to R: Kevin Beskal, Stan Tourangeau, Simon Pikering, Paul Potier, Max Eberle, Dan Louie
Traveling with cool friends like these made for a great trip. Michael Ma who speaks Chinese, with the help of Henry from the sponsor Star Tables, made sure we got to the location alright without getting lost in Shanghai or along the route there.
On the bus to the venue with Michael Ma and company.
The Chinese Billiard table is basically a 9 foot snooker table on which you play with regular size 2.25 inch diameter pool balls, in this case Cyclop brand. The rails are snooker rails and the pockets are small snooker pockets that fit about a ball and a half going straight into the opening, down the rail requires tremendous precision and is one of the things that make the game unpredictable and exciting, as even top ranked players are subject to miss a ball at any moment if they are slightly off or have a lapse in concentration.
The STAR brand Chinese Billiard table is incredibly beautiful and well constructed, and it’s surprising how true and level they roll.
STAR brand Chinese Billiard Table, the title sponsor, with the CYCLOP Ball set.
Tight Chinese Billiard pockets, photo courtesy Jeanette Lee
My long time friend “The Black Widow” aka Jeanette Lee and I after practicing some Chinese 8-Ball on the STAR tables in Yushan, China
At opening ceremony with my friend Paul Potier, veteran canadian pro and top world coach
So Shaw of London surveys the table in practice action.
The tournament consisted of stage one and two with maybe 16 players out of at least 64 qualifying from stage one to play with the invited players in the final stage 2 of 64 players.
I had to qualify which meant needing to win 4 matches in a single day with 3 chances or days to win a spot, each day starting fresh.
The final 64 would consist of about 48 invited players and 16 qualifiers who would have to battle it out over three days of qualifying rounds in which one would have to win 4 matches in one day to get in. All of us USA and Canadian players had to play in the qualifying rounds and most of us had little to zero experience on these super tough Chinese Billiard Tables.
My preparation for the tough pockets consisted of playing on tight Diamonds and the 12 foot regulation snooker table at Goodtimez Billiards in Las Vegas. Thanks to the owners Teddy Garrahan and Gary Onomura for giving me the chance to prepare.
The tightness of the Chinese Billiard tables when you are shooting a ball on or near the rail, literally makes all the tight tables in the USA seem like buckets in comparison. This adds an element of strategy to the game where pushing your opponents balls near the rails actually prevents them from running out much of the time.
However, after the break with the magic rack, many of the tables had great spreads without balls by the rails and this meant the ability to run out was paramount, and therefore the break is still a huge factor in who wins the most games and matches.
I won 4 matches during the 3 qualifying events but needed those all in one day to get in. Considering it was my first time playing these tables, I was happy with having several matches in which I performed very well, and the matches I lost were close. I know next time I’ll do better. I went one and one on the TV table they put me on, so it was cool getting some exposure there in China.
Here’s a few photos from Alison Chang, the top asian billiard photographer from Taiwan, and all around great person. Check out her site at alison-chang.com
American pro Corey Deuel, also a recent USA National Snooker Champion, qualified on his last day and won a match in the top 64. Canada’s Stan Tourangeau was the sole Canadian and guy from our group to qualify, where he barely lost a close match in the round of 64. Americans Oscar Dominguez and Greg Harada were also playing. Oscar looked like a favorite to qualify but barely missed getting in. Greg who now lives in Shanghai and knows all the spots was looking strong but missed qualifying as well. Corey Deuel practicing during practice time in one of the tournament rooms
Kevin Beskal, Jeanette Lee, BaiGe, Simon Pickering
Simon Pickering on TV in China!
Canadian pro and good friend Kevin Beskal and I at the opening ceremonies after taking so many photos with eager Chinese billiard fans in the lobby..
The eventually Champion was Darren Appleton who has played in 15 of these events and came close several times to winning, with this being his first title with his win over current Snooker World Champion Mark Selby in the finals, 21-19. Darren picked up nearly $100,000 US for his win, and yet another much coveted world title.
Men’s China Billiard 8-Ball World Champion 2015 Darren Appleton with Japanese lady pro “Leopard Woman” Akiko Kitayama and many of the friendly volunteers
On the women’s side, America’s “Black Widow” Jeanette Lee who was also new to the game, had her ups and downs while showing promise for the future. As always she was charming and fun to hang out with, and a usual fan favorite.
Jeanette Lee’s friend Bai Ge from China took the women’s title down, her first after making four semi finals in the last four major events of Chinese Billiards. This may push her China #3 ranking up to number #1, congrats Bai Ge!
With BaiGe, 2015 China Billiard Women’s World 8-Ball Champion. At Hotice pool hall in Shanghai
Snooker and Pool Collide
It was very cool to meet several of the top snooker players and see their strict fundamentals, and hear how they enjoy the game of Chinese Billiards or Chinese 8-Ball. It’s very cool to have this game that brings together players of all cuesport disciplines to one field where they can all compete and have a chance. The future is very bright for Chinese Billiards.
Top snooker pros from L to R, John Higgins (four time world champion), Max Eberle, Niel Robertson (current world #1 snooker player), Graeme Dott (2007 World Snooker Champion)
John Higgins effortlessly runs racks of Chinese 8-Ball, a sight to behold.
Corey Deuel finally gets in gear and puts on a clinic while the Brits look on…
Corey Deuel, John Higgins, and Niel Robertson talking shop.
One of the things I’m most know for in teaching pool is fundamentals. I’ve been blessed receive many compliments from many top players and world champions on my own technique and I’m thankful to have helped players from dozens of countries improve their physical approach to the game and make them better players. This pleases me as I’ve put in a ton work on my form and in teaching it to others.
Today though, I want to discuss something even more important that will ultimately control how good of a player you become, and that is your philosophy. The first component of your philosophy is your intent on how good you decide that you will become. Not want or hope, but decide that you WILL become.
You’ve got to draw the line in the sand and declare to yourself where all this work on your game must and will ultimately take you, and then you must constantly remind yourself of this target until it becomes your underlying thought and belief in yourself and where you are headed as a player.
To decide means to “cut off from all other possibilities.”
Being crystal clear on your target skill level will animate your thoughts and actions way beyond being a normal ball banger in the pool hall who just wants to get away from his problems or in a somewhat wishy washy way wants to get better, someday, and hopes to one day be “good enough to compete against so and so…” Figure out exactly how good you want to be first, how far you are going to take this. And then trust you’ll find the way and resources to help you get there.
Another component of your philosophy is on how you plan to arrive at where you decide now to one day be. Even though you might now know exactly how you will get there, what I mean is do you plan on being dedicated to the cause and work on it in small increments every day, knowing and believing that it is the small increments compiled over time that will get to there. You don’t have to make some crazy improvement over night or in just a few days, take the slow and steady route of consistent work on your game.
Yes fundamentals are an aspect of your improvement, yet it’s the philosophy of incremental changes and course corrections over time that will turn you into the beast on the table you know that you can and will become. When you are focused on improving in small ways, your leaps in skill may actually show up as big jumps in level that magically appear one day. Most likely it was the daily small things you did that created that “quantum” leap.
Ultimately it was your philosophy of having an intention and of slow and steady improvement that pushed you through multiple “sound barriers” which inspire the awe of your comrades who will be wondering “what got into that boy, he got real good out of nowhere! Just a year ago I was spotting him the 8 and now he’s playing like a pro…” Be the guy who creeps up and past everyone http://hesca.net/adderall/ around you and runs racks like its nothing, like you were born to do it.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Happy Holidays and I’ll see you soon…
PS: To have the tools for steady and long lasting improvement at your beck and command join propoolacademy with a one time lifetime membership at a steal and start chipping away at the sculpture of greatness which is you. Click here to join…
Thanksgiving is a National holiday and special for everyone who enjoys time with their friends and family, a good feast and taking notice of all that we are fortunate have in our lives.
Today is also my birthday and because of this, Thanksgiving has always had a very special place in my heart. I love Thanksgiving. I am thankful for my life and all of the abundance and experiences I’ve been blessed to have…
Today’s email is dedicated to 7 reasons I’m grateful to have you as one of my PPA faithful.
I am thankful because you…
1. A rare and special person. The caliber of Pro Pool Academy Members and those receiving my ezine is truly amazing. Smart, cool, funny, willing and eager to learn, working to improve, & curious. I’ve been really lucky to meet many great people through publishing all of this…
2. Encourage Me To Be My Best. Because you expect the best (and should) instruction from me, this pushes me to constantly improve and deliver better content, programs and results.
3. Get it. Let’s face it, not everyone understands the obsession that comes with wanting badly to improve your pool game and doing what it takes to make it happen. We are a rare breed! 🙂
4. Said “yes” It takes a lot these days to put your trust in a person or coach especially when there is so much misinformation about how to play pool. I appreciate you putting your trust in me either as a subscriber or a member of PPA.
5. Stay around I have a lot of subscribers and members who have been with me for years and this means a lot to me, and means that I can continue to do what I do.
6. Share your success stories with me and the world Every day I receive emails about what is working and hear success stories on how something I’ve shared has helped a member’s game, and many have let me use these stories in my marketing so other players can see what is possible
7. Spread the word I can’t say how many times people come to me because a friend referred them to me and for this I’m grateful.
This past September, 2014 in the days following the Pacman Cup 10-Ball Championship, I finally negotiated a few minutes with super busy Manny to sit down and discuss the sport and what the future holds for billiards/pool. This was after he got spa treatment following an intense early training camp session for his upcoming fight against Chris Algiri on November 22, 2014 in Macau.
Emmanuel “Manny” Dapidran Pacquiao, PLH (/?pæki.a?/ pak-ee-ow; Tagalog: [p?k?ja?]; born December 17, 1978) is a Filipino professional boxer, politician, actor, and singer. He is the first and only eight-division world champion, in which he has won ten world titles, as well as the first to win the lineal championship in four different weight classes.According to Forbes, he was the 14th highest paid athlete in the world as of 2013.
He was named “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s (decade) by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA),World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO). He is also a three-time The Ring and BWAA “Fighter of the Year,” winning the award in 2006, 2008 and 2009, and the Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2009 and 2011.
He is the current WBO welterweight champion and is currently ranked number four on The Ring pound-for-pound list.
He was long rated as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world by some sporting news and boxing websites, including ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Sporting Life, Yahoo! Sports, About.com, BoxRec and The Ring from his climb toLightweight until his losses in 2012.
Beyond boxing, Pacquiao has participated in basketball, business, acting, music recording and politics. In May 2010, Pacquiao was elected to the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress of the Philippines, representing the province of Sarangani. He was re-elected in 2013 to the 16th Congress of the Philippines.,
Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao
Pac-Man, Ang Pambansang Kamao (The Nation’s Fist), The Mexicutioner
Fighting Pride of the Philippines, Pambansang Ninong (National Godfather),
The Fighting Congressman
The Filipino Slugger
5 ft 6 1?2 in (169 cm)
67 in (170 cm)
December 17, 1978 (age 35)
Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines
Wins by KO
Pacquiao, while mostly focussed on being a boxer and a congressman, is listed as the head coach of the basketball team Kia Sorentos. At 36, he also played 7 minutes of one of the team’s games and is thus a professional basketball player. He was drafted onto the team that he coaches as 11th overall on the first round of the 2014 PBA draft by theKia Sorentos, making him as the oldest rookie drafted, as well as the shortest player and the first dual-sport athlete in the Philippine Basketball Association. Pacquiao also owns a team in the PBA Developmental League (PBA D-League), the MP Hotel Warriors.
Reyes was born in Pampanga in 1954. He moved to Manila with his family at the age of 5. In Manila, he worked as a billiards attendant at his uncle’s billiards hall, where he started learning the various cue sports. Because he was not tall enough to reach the pool table, he played while standing on Coca-cola cases that he moved around. At night, while he was dreaming of playing pool, the pool table was his bed.
He is called Bata, which is Tagalog for “Kid”, because there was another older pool player named Efren when he was young. To distinguish between the two, he was referred to as Efren Bata. He was also called Efrey Bata by his colleagues as a shortcut for Efren Reyes (Ef from Efren and rey from Reyes).
Gambling from a young age, Reyes played three cushion billiards in the 1960s and 1970s. After establishing himself as a winner, he was discovered by promoters. This gave him the opportunity to compete in big time tournaments.
During the 1980s, when Reyes was considered a top-class player in his homeland but not yet internationally recognized, he went to the U.S. to hustle. Popular legend claims that Reyes earned US$80,000 in a week; this feat made him a folk hero back home.
Reyes began winning a number of tournaments in the U.S., Europe and parts of Asia. Thus, he started to gain attention and recognition worldwide. At the start of his career, he used aliases to hide his identity so he would be allowed to compete. By the mid-1990s, he had become one of the elite players of the Philippines, alongside Jose Parica and Francisco Bustamante.
Reyes’ fame began when he won the US Open Nine Ball Championship in 1994 by defeating Nick Varner in the finals. He was the first non-American to win the event.
Two years later, Efren Reyes and Earl Strickland were chosen to face each other in an event called the Color of Money, named after the movie. The event was a three-day race-to-120 challenge match of 9-ball. It was held in Hong Kong, with a winner-take-all prize of US$100,000. Reyes won the match 120-117. This was the largest single-winning purse in a pool event.
Although Strickland was the first to win the WPA World 9-ball Championship, Reyes, in 1999, became the first to win while it was broadcast on television. This tournament was not recognized at the time by the WPA, but Reyes was later retrospectively acknowledged as the winner of one of two world championships held in 1999. Nick Varner won the “official” world title. The two tournaments were merged for the following year, with both men listed as the champion for 1999. At the time, the Matchroom Sport-organised event in Cardiff, Wales, was called the World Professional Pool Championship (despite the entry of many non-professional players).
Efren Reyes posing with fan after he won a historic US$200,000 at the 2005 IPT King of the Hill Shootout
In 2001, Reyes won the International Billiard Tournament. The event was held in Tokyo, with over 700 players and a total purse of ¥100M ($850K). Reyes dominated the event and beat Niels Feijen in the finals 15-7 and earned the ¥20M($170K) first prize. At the time, this was the biggest first prize in a pool tournament.
Near the end of 2004, Reyes beat Marlon Manalo to become the first-ever WPA World Eight Ball Champion. With the win, he became the first player in WPA history to win world championships in two different disciplines.
In December 2005, Reyes won the IPT King of the Hill 8-Ball Shootout. Reyes won a record-breaking $200K for first place by beating fellow Hall of Fame member Mike “the Mouth” Sigel two sets to none (8-0 and 8-5).
That same year, Reyes won the IPT World Open Eight-ball Championship over Rodney Morris 8-6. He earned $500K which was the largest prize money tournament in the history of pocket billiards. Unfortunately, due to IPT’s financial problems, he has not been able to claim much of this money as of 2007.
In 2009, the Filipino tandem of Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante beat the German pair of Ralf Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann by a grueling 11-9 score to take their second championship title. This, together with the semifinal finish of the other Filipino team of Ronato Alcano andDennis Orcollo, was the best performance by a host nation in the tournament’s history.
In 2010, Reyes clinched his fifth title in the 12th annual Derby City Classic as the overall champion, making him the most successful player in the tournament’s history.
He has topped the AZ Billiards Money List five times: in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2006, he set a record by earning $646K in a single year.
He is married to Susan Reyes. They have three children. His son, Frennie Reyes, once competed in the Asian Nine-ball Tour.
Numerous fellow professional players have credited Reyes with being the greatest living player in the world. During ESPN television commentary on a semi-finals match between Reyes and Mika Immonen at the 2000 Billiard Congress of America Open 9-Ball Championship, veteran professional Billy Incardona stated that Reyes was “indisputably the best player in the world—especially when you consider all games—he can play any game as well as anyone, maybe better than anyone…. In my opinion we’re watching probably the greatest player in my lifetime and I’ve been watching pool for the better part of forty years.”
In 1995 Billiards Digest Magazine named Reyes the Player of the Year. The following year, when Reyes was ranked number one on the U.S.’s Pro Billiards Tour, the June 1996 issue of the magazine featured a poll of “billiard cognoscenti”—pro players, billiards writers, industry insiders and the like—to pick the best in billiards in various categories. Billiards’ own elite named Reyes the best one-pocket player of all time. The magazine wrote, “While a bevy of one-pocket geniuses abound, Efren Reyes, whose prowess in one-pocket is sometimes obscured by his 9-ball stardom, was the popular pick. Is there anything Bata can’t do?”
In 2003, Reyes was featured in the Filipino movie Pakners with the late actor Fernando Poe, Jr.. Reyes also appeared in the 2007 short film Nineball.
In one episode of the TV series Magpakailanman, the story follows a young Efren Reyes (portrayed by actor Anjo Yllana) in his early pool-playing days as he progresses from a money player to a tournament contender.
Nicknames and aliases
Reyes is often called by his nickname “Bata” (Filipino for “Kid”), given to him by friends at his regular pool hall to distinguish him from an older Efren.
Reyes, along with the other “Filipino invasion” players revolutionized the way pool is played by their introduction to the sport of pinpoint precision kicking (going into a rail with the cue ball and then hitting an object ball). Reyes’ ability to “kick safe” and to kick balls into intended pockets is legendary. This ability, coupled with his superb skill at other aspects of the game, led U.S. professionals to give him the appellation “The Magician.” Before Reyes and his compatriots came over to the U.S., no one there had seen anything like their kicking skill set.
“[The] first time I came over to the states, I used an alias of Cesar Morales. Pool players in the US already knew Efren Reyes as a great shooter from the Philippines, but they [hadn’t]…seen…[me]…in person.” — Efren Reyes
BCA Hall of Famer Francisco Bustamante aka “Django,” sit’s down with me at breakfast September 20th, 2014 and discusses his life in billiards, 15-Ball Rotation, and the future of pool in the Philippines with Manny Pacquiao becoming involved…
His friend and fellow legend Efren “Bata” Reyes aka “The Magician” sits by and listens before their ride to the airport before going back to Manila after a top 4 finish as doubles partners in the PACMAN CUP doubles event…
Soon to be launched, the PPBA “Philippine Pool & Billiard Academy” will be a way for them to continue building their legacy and pass on their wealth of knowledge to the next and future generations of billiard players and superstars….
Bustamante is the youngest of eight siblings. People in his vicinity nicknamed him “Django” because of his scrappy nature and the way he often appeared with a cigarette in his mouth reminded them of the movie character of that name. The character was portrayed by an Italian actor. Their father made a living through building toilets and planting rice, and Bustamante engaged himself in the activities also. His life in pool began when he worked in his sister’s pool hall, racking and spotting balls on the tables. When the patrons leave and the place closes for the night, the young Bustamante would grab a stick and practice alone.
He never completed high school and has been concentrating in pocket billiards from 10 years of age. He quoted:
“Magaling ako noon pa at 1975 pa halos hindi nanatatalo sa aming lugar kaya naglibot ako, una sa buong Luzon tapos sa buong bansa na para lamang kumita ng pera.” (“I was great before and in 1975 I mostly don’t lose in my hometown thus I started travelling, first in the entire Luzon then the entire country just to make some money.”)
After some success in the Philippines, Bustamante moved to Germany where stayed for more than a decade, competing in a number of tournaments in Europe.
Bustamante has been playing since the age of ten, and has won titles such as the Munich Masters, The German Nine-ball Championship, and the Japan Nine-ball Championship, making him one of billiard’s greatest international stars.
With his win in Tulsa, Bustamante locked up the 1998 Camel Pro Billiards Series year-long point fund’s top spot. He then finished the season in record breaking style, winning the Columbus 10-Ball Open and becoming the first player to win three Camel titles in one season. His Columbus 10-Ball title also completed the first ever Camel trifecta, with titles in each of the three games contested on the Camel Pro Billiards Series: eight-ball, nine-ball and ten-ball. Known for his style at the table and behind-the-back shots, Bustamante is one of the best Filipino players of the game along with fellow Kapampangan Efren Reyes, Marlon Manalo andRonato Alcano. He also holds the world record for having the most powerful break shot.
The next year, Bustamante won the Motolite 9-ball Tournament, an event held in the Philippines, at the expense of Antonio Lining. The victory earned him $30K which was the largest first prize offered in a Philippine-held tournament at that time (this was later surpassed when Alcano won $100K in the 2006 WPA World Nine-ball Championship which was held in that country).
The year 2002 was probably the coldest year for Bustamante, especially considering his experience at the World Pool Championships. While the tournament was still going on, Bustamante was most shocked when he received a phone call from his wife informing him that his daughter, who was less than a year old, had died. Devastated by this, Bustamante strongly considered forfeiting his contention at the tournament to return to the Philippines but some people around convinced him to go on.
On his way to the final, Bustamante bested Antonio Lining in the last 16, Efren Reyes in the quarter finals and Ching Shun Yang in semis. In the final, he met Earl Strickland, the 2-time winner of the tournament. Bustamante was leading most of the time and could have won the title. At one point, he went for a jump shot but missed. Strickland returned to the table and won three racks in a row to win the match 17-15.
His loss in the finals of the World Championship was most definitely a big blow to him due to the fact that his lack of focus on the match cost him the tournament. Later on, however, Bustamante regained momentum and began winning more tournaments.
Bustamante won the Peninsula Nine-ball Open, Gabriel’s Las Vegas International Nine-ball tournament, the IBC Tokyo Nine-ball International and the All Japan Nine-ball Championship. He even won the Sudden Death Seven-ball tournament and dedicated the victory to his daughter, whom he had tragically lost. With such a string of victories, he became the AZBilliards 2002 Player of the Year.
Bustamante also won the tournament called the World Pool League in 2004 where he defeated the then world nine-ball champion Alex Pagulayan. He reached the finals of that event in 2001 but was bested by Steve Knight of Great Britain.
In 2010, Bustamante again reached the finals of the World Nine-ball Championship. Unlike his first final eight years ago, fate did not deny him. Bustamante won the match and the title against Taiwan’s Kuo Po-cheng, a second-placer in the 2005 event.
On July 27, 2010, Francisco Bustamante, along with Terry Bell and Larry Hubbart who are founders of the American Pool Players Association (APA), were elected to the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame. In this, Bustamante would become the second player from the Philippines after Efren Reyes to be added. The three were inducted on October 21, 2010.
on June 15, 2008, Efren Reyes, Francisco “Django” Bustamante and 2007 Women’s Amway World Pool Championships finalist, Rubilen “Bingkay” Amit, will begin photography and had been cast to star with American Jennifer Barretta in and independent film, 9-Ball, at Universal Studios. This movie will be directed and produced by Main Street Production’s Anthony Palma, with Ralph Clemente as executive producer.
Now I know why growing up I never heard a Filipino pool player complain about table conditions, it’s because the billiard table conditions in the Philippines can be so difficult that even “bad” conditions on a pool table in the States is like a well manicured PGA Tour golf course compared to the normal conditions over there.
A week ago I returned to the USA from my trip to play in the PACMAN Cup in General Santos at the southern end of the Philippines. It was my first time traveling there in the summer time hot, wet, and muggy season, and wow how extreme the conditions were. Not only were the tables playing tougher than in Fall, Winter, and Spring… The humidity was making my hands a even face sweat while I was busy trying to adjust to the different tables.
Actually the best conditions were in the tournament arena at the PACMAN Stadium and even better in the air conditioned SM Mall in “Gensan.” All the other tables away from the venues were in outside venues and so directly affected by the humidity and pollution in the air from nearby trikes and jeepneys… Needless to say it was a crash course in adjusting to extreme conditions, and it was a lot of fun!
Great local kids in Gensan up for a game 🙂 Ken, a local 16 year old talent!
at the PACMAN STADIUM for the singles event
Of course there is the talcum powder. Most players in the Philippines use it, and even dump a big pile of it on the side rail near one of the side pockets for easy access. I asked my doubles partner Darwin Bernadaz from Davao what to do if the pile of powder is in the way of your shot and he said “just swipe the pile over to the side,” so I did LOL. I learned to take obstacles like a wooden beam over the head section of the table in stride and just duck out of the way when I was up there, of course I learned after hitting my head a few times haha… so did my friend Brad Simpson (author of the Blue Book of Cues) who flew in for a few days after his team from Bangkok won the Expat Challenge in Manila.
In my first round match in the singles event, I played one of the best matches of my life in terms of running out and cue ball control. This was after my morning 3 hour practice sessions on local table pictured above. The conditions on the tournament table were so good in comparison to that table, everything just seemed so easy.
I ended up going 3-2 in the singles and one out of the money. Ronny Alcano beat me 9-3 and Lee Van Corteza knocked me out 9-7 in a great match after I won one on the one loss side. Thorsten Hohmann won the event with a remarkable 13-12 win in the finals vs Roberto Gomez after trailing 12-7.
The doubles event was won by Jeffrey de “The Bull” Luna and Jeffrey “The Street Fighter” Ignacio over the early-favorite duo of 3-time world champion Thorsten Hohmann of Germany and John Morra of Canada.
I got a lot of video from the events and from my trip. I’ll be posting some shortly so stay tuned including interviews with Efren, Django, and even Pacman on why he is holding these billiards events.
So embrace the “tough” conditions you may find on tables here in the states, and remember that it is probably not that tough in reality when compared to what exists in the Philippines.
I recommend seeking out a bad table once in a while to hone your ability to adapt to poor conditions. It’s easy to get accustomed to perfect conditions here in the states and fall into a lull of thinking all pool tables will be so easy. Keep your senses on alert and your game will improve.
One tip is keep a pool glove for your bridge hand just in case, and keep a towel handy just in case it gets hot and muggy.
All my best and see you soon…
PS: Join ProPoolAcademy while I have it at a crazy low price and learn the tricks of the running out trade 😉