Sunday, May 3, 2015
posted by dave at 10:14 AM in category equipment, movies, practice, whatever

Brief update on equipment plus an average game of practice one-pocket.

Saturday, November 15, 2014
posted by dave at 7:14 PM in category equipment, movies, whatever

This is from a little over a year ago, but it's still extremely accurate. I've, once again, decided to shoot with my ugly Predator, at least until after the DCC.

One thing that I don't think I mentioned in the video is that all that crap about effortless and such was about banks. For regular shots, I don't think there's much of a differences between my cues.

Friday, April 19, 2013
posted by dave at 9:05 AM in category equipment

It's been less than three weeks since I got my Schon H4 back. It seems longer than that.

Initially, I was extremely happy with the cue. In fact, I shot well and didn't lose a game (one-pocket, 9-ball, 8-ball, or banks) out of the first thirty or so games I played with it. I still haven't lost too many, but a problem remains.

It's hard to describe. The cue makes me work too hard. It's not very relaxing. My Predator sneaky is relaxing. The balls just go in, and the cue ball just goes where I want. I don't have to try as hard.

The Predator, despite having the same Kamui medium tip as the Schon, has a softer hit. I'm thinking that maybe that's what I need. So today I'm going to take the Schon in and get an Ultraskin soft put on it. I think I'm also going to try to get another 1/2 ounce of weight on the cue.

Maybe this will all help. If it doesn't, then I guess I'll have to go back to using the Predator as my regular cue. That would piss me off, because it's my least favorite cue.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
posted by dave at 2:41 PM in category equipment

I've recently purchased two new cues, so an update is in order. Way overdue, actually.

These are the good cues that I currently own. There are others - not pictured - that are crappy. Click the image for a larger version, if you want.

From top to bottom, which is also oldest to newest:

Schon SL-6 I've had this cue since 1999, so it's pretty much my oldest possession, and one of my favorites. In the Fall of 2012, the finish was looking a little rough, and the Irish linen wrap was looking even rougher, so I had it shipped off to Richard Phillippi for some work. He refinished it and put on a black water buffalo leather wrap. The thing looks better than new now, and I'm quite proud of it.

Schon STL-4 I bought this in 2001 or so, as a break cue, and I've used it as such for most of its life. For a while I was taking it to stupid Jack's and using it as my primary cue, mainly because I felt safer leaving it in my truck that I did with my SL-6.

Predator 9-6 I picked this one up at the Super Billiards Expo in Valley Forge, PA, probably around 2002. This remains one of the most beautiful cues I've ever owned, but I almost never shoot with it. It's a little back-heavy - maybe that's why I don't shoot with it very often.

Cuetec Strickland Signature Cue I bought this one on one of my trips to Seattle, when I just needed a cue to shoot with. For a while, I used it for a break cue, but then in 2005 I talked The Pearl himself into signing it, so I never even take it down from the rack anymore. The ferrule is kinda scratched. I'd like to have that fixed someday.

Predator SPWU I got this cue in Omaha in 2004, just to have something to shoot with. I gave it to my friend Mike for safe-keeping, then I forgot about it until 2010. This is, as of this writing, my main shooting cue. I'm not entirely sure why, but I'm shooting better with this cue than with any of my others - even better than with my Schon that I've had for over 20 years. This pisses me off because I don't particularly care for how the cue looks. I wish I'd got one of the steel-jointed Predator sneakies instead.

Elite Heavy This is a 26 oz. break cue I picked up in January 2013. I've only used it a couple of times, so far, because I either didn't have it with me, or because I was playing one-pocket.

Schon H4 This is a Willie Hoppe tribute from Schon. I fell totally in love with how this cue looks and, after a week or so of pretending that I had some willpower, I bought the thing. Soon it will be shipped off to Richard Phillippi, so that he can try to add a little weight to it, and remove a small ding near the butt end. Once I get it back, I expect that this will become my new daily shooter. (Update 03/27: My cue has had weight added, and now there's a small ding that Mr. Phillippi wants to remove. I should get it back next week! Yay!) (Update 04/03: I got the cue back! It's heavier, the ding is gone, and Mr. Phillippi even put a nice rubber bumper on it. I've very happy with it.)

Joss 10-08 In February 2013, I was bored and looking around eBay, and this cue caught my eye. It caught my eye so much that I bought it - it was my birthday present to myself. I love the "stitching" around the joint, and I love the overall simplicity of the design. As of this writing, I'm waiting for Seybert's to make me a Predator 314 shaft with matching joint stitching. I'll probably shoot with this cue every now and then, especially if I can take an ounce or so off the weight. (Update: I've got my new 314 shaft, and Bryan at Rack 66 was able to take an ounce off the weight of the butt. I should be good to go now.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
posted by dave at 10:39 PM in category equipment

So, one of my new year's resolutions was to write in this blog. That didn't work out too well. Then one of my I-just-turned-48 resolutions was to write in this blog. We'll see how that goes. It's already been a week and this is the only entry so far.

I bought a cue today. But that's not what this is about. I also bought a cue a couple of weeks ago. I keep buying cues. It's like a disease or something.

Anyway, this is the cue I bought a couple of weeks ago. It's a Schon in the Hoppe style.

I'm totally in love with the way this cue looks.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005
posted by dave at 12:09 AM in category equipment

I just need to get something off my chest.

People are pissing me off.

People piss me off all the time I suppose, but in this particular case they're pissing me off about break cues. Specifically the heavy vs. light debate.

As the argument goes, a lighter break cue will allow you to generate more speed with the cue, and that increased speed more than makes up for the fact that there's less mass hitting the cueball.

Well, lah dee dah.

I suppose, if I were so inclined, I could grab myself a light break cue and wind myself up like a softball pitcher, maybe even get a running start like Happy Gilmore, and really *WHACK* the damn ball. I might even be able to get an accurate hit every now and then.

Allow me to hit the cueball with less speed, however, and I'll hit the damn thing accurately every time I break. There are two components to a power break, and I'm going to list them in the order of importance. Pay attention here:

1. Accuracy.

2. Speed.

This shouldn't be news to any of you. If you know enough about pool to be reading this 'blog then you know I'm right. All the speed in the world does you no good if you can't hit the head ball correctly.

The point I'm trying to make here is that a slightly slower speed, combined with a more accurate hit, can result in a better break than an inaccurate hit at 100 miles per hour.

Just because somebody (I bet it was Sigel) said years ago that he preferred a lighter break cue because he felt it improved his break, that doesn't mean that every other self-professed expert else has to start parroting his words until the end of time.

Some people lose too much accuracy when they try to break at full speed. Some people are better off with a slower speed.

And those people are probably better off with a heavier break cue if their goal is to break the balls the hardest.

Don't argue. You know I'm right.

Thursday, December 23, 2004
posted by dave at 10:53 PM in category equipment

Okay, so I guess I'm switching cues.

I'm banking so much better with my Predator than I am with my Schon - I just can't ignore it any longer.

I don't know if it's the weight, or the balance, or the thinner shaft, or what the hell it is.

All I know is that banks with the Predator, whether they go or not, feel completely effortless. With the Schon, I feel like I'm having to really work at each and every shot.

Now, if I could only transfer some of the Predator ease to my 9-ball game.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004
posted by dave at 10:30 PM in category equipment

A short while ago a friend of mine from my old RSB days posted in that group about a wonderful new product for cleaning shafts.

Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser is, as Fred suggested, one of the best things for shaft cleaning EVER!

Of course, as is usual with RSB, the blowhards had to start ripping at the concept before they'd even tried it.

Well the blowhards are wrong, Fred is right. I made my 15-year-old shaft look like new in about 15 minutes - and I did not raise the grain at all.

Thanks, Fred.

Sunday, April 11, 2004
posted by dave at 7:42 PM in category equipment

In Omaha I bought a cue.

I'd spent Thursday night playing with either my friend Mike's old Predator or Awesome Larry's Meucci.

Believe it or not I liked the Meucci better. It delivered a very solid hit and very little squirt.

On Friday I found myself at Alkar's and bought myself a Predator Sneaky Pete, hoping that it would help my 8-ball suckiness.

It didn't.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004
posted by dave at 11:39 PM in category equipment

I've noticed a big difference in the way I play when I shoot with my Schon and when I shoot with my Predator.

I still plan to cover that subject, but a big part of that was going to rely on my experiences with this X-10 anti-vibration thingy I ordered for my Predator last week.

The thing was ordered on Tuesday, and now it's Tuesday again, and the thingy has not arrived.

I called today to see what was up and they told me that it should ship by the end of the week.

This type of thing is exactly why I hate ordering things. I hate waiting. I especially hate waiting for pool gimcracks.

Monday, December 29, 2003
posted by dave at 12:56 PM in category equipment

I took my good shaft to Bryan Roberts for a new Moori tip today. My old tip wasn't really that worn, but I almost always get my tips replaced sooner than most people would.

After Bryan replaced the tip, I had him buff out a small ding and clean the shaft up really well.

So anyway, seeing my nice clean shaft, and knowing that it would quickly get dirty again, made me do something I thought I'd never do.

I bought one of those dorky pool gloves.

I figure that if I only wear the glove in the privacy of my own home my shaft will stay cleaner longer. I doubt that I'll ever get up the nerve to wear the thing in public.

At least I hope not.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
posted by dave at 10:00 PM in category equipment

I shipped my cues to Gene in Seattle today so I don't get hassled by any airport security this weekend.

I guess I'm a little worried about them getting lost or damaged. It's happened before. I did insure them for quite a bit though.

So anyway, for the next couple of days I'm stuck with playing with my Predator cue. Not that I hate it or anything - it's just not the same. Tha balance is all wrong and it's too light. I was originally going to ship it to Seattle instead of my regular cue but at the last minute decided that to have the best chance of doing well there I'd need my most familiar equipment.

Saturday, September 27, 2003
posted by dave at 5:41 PM in category equipment

Today, to go with my nice new cloth and retightened pockets, I cleaned and polished my set of Aramith Super Pros with some Karseal polish. I also cleaned my cue's shaft with Larry's cleaner and finished it off with some CueSilk.

While waiting for the polish on the balls to dry I went ahead and drew my standard lines on the table. First I used string to very accurately determine the footspot and drew a 3-inch "+" at that point. I drew a line across the headstring, another from the footspot straight to the end rail, and another set of lines around where a rack would be placed. For the footspot itself I used a hole-reinforcement sticker like I used in the connect the dots practice.

After taking a towel and buffing the balls off I was finally ready to play on the best equipment available.

Friday, September 26, 2003
posted by dave at 6:25 PM in category equipment

I got my table back today as promised!

Actually all I "got back" was the rails with the new-improved tightened pockets and some new 860 cloth.

I can't wait to get down there and miss for a week because of the slick cloth and tight pockets.

Monday, September 22, 2003
posted by dave at 4:43 PM in category equipment

The pool table has been dismantled so the cloth can be replaced and the pockets tightened. I have to wait until Friday to play again. Woe is me.

posted by dave at 3:55 PM in category equipment

For a year and a half I've been saying that the pockets on my table got wider when I had the Artemis rubber installed.

I was right.

The pocket facings that were installed were 1/8" and the old ones were 1/4" facings.

So there.