Monday, April 18, 2011

Kolby's Corner Pocket - Tempe, Arizona

Today's post : the best layover of all time!
I had been in Europe almost since the beginning of the year. I had long planned on being back in Pennsylvania to hang with my brother this week, but it turned out he had to take a business trip out to Santa Cruz. Luckily, my company has an office in San Francisco, and I had a standing invite to go out there for several business reasons - so I arranged to fly to SF with my brother (awesome!)
The flight plan was Philadelphia->Phoenix->San Francisco. We landed in Phoenix a half hour ahead of schedule,  and were promptly notified that our next flight would be delayed two and a half hours - DAMN!
Then I remembered that we were in Phoenix, and that there was quite a pool scene, especially in one-pocket . I quickly turned on the GPS on my phone, and found out that Kolby's Corner Pocket (home of Scott Frost, one of the best, if not the best one-pocket players in the world at the moment) was actually just 4 miles away. So naturally me and my bro hopped into a cab and headed out there in between flights.
After watching so many On The Rail TV live streams out of this pool hall, it was quite cool to be there in person. Preacher Ron (author of one of the best one-pocket shots ever recorded on camera - was there and wanted to shoot some cheap one-hole, so I obliged. He gave me 10-8 the first rack, and proceeded to easily destroy me. Then we adjusted to 13-8 and I took the second game, it was awesome. I was playing a bit over my speed and had some good rolls. The freshly re-felted 9-foot diamond was an absolute pleasure to shoot on, and everyone at Kolby's was super nice. Unfortunately we had to roll and after a rack or two with other players we packed up and left (with an order of hot wings that we ate in the cab :D)
Me with Preacher Ron
Tomorrow, I will meet with Mike from the Angle of Reflection blog in San Jose, on my way back up to San Francisco from Santa Cruz where I am at the moment with my brother.
So far, this California trip has been just perfect! Talk to you all soon...

Santa Cruz, California


Since it seems to be the latest fashion to talk about ones favorite games, we (Gabe and I) would like to join in. Those of you who happened to read my first post can probably guess where this is going.
Exactly. Pins. And to help you appreciate my favorite game more, I want to share this link with you: LINK. This is the website of the italian Rai-Sport-TV-channel.
Just scroll down a little and click on "bilardo". Its on the left. They have entire matches between the best players there, and you should definitly check it out.
But enough of that. The Poolsynergy authors did a good job explaining their favorite games, and I don't think I have to state the obvious here. I'm a pinhall-junkie :)
This said, Gabe and I came up with a novelty game we would like to share here. We have literally taken one pocket to the next level by inventing the awesome game of no pocket.

What you need is a 3-cushion table and two pins. Oh, and also fifteen red, yellow, or blue balls and a white cue ball. Put a ball in each of the two corners by the footrail. It must touch both rails. Now place a pin exactly in front of each ball. Take the balls away carefully and rack a full rack like you would for one pocket (as in the picture above - you can see the red and white pin in each "pocket").
Each player is assigned a pin to shoot at (their "no-pocket"). Points are scored by knocking over that pin with any red, yellow or blue ball. The ball that hit the pin is then removed from the game.
Knocking over any pin with the white ball will result in ball in hand in the kitchen.
'Inventing' this was obviously a sad attempt to play one pocket with no pool table available at the time, but it shows that there is more to this concept of game than one would think. That is because balls that knock over a pin have to roll to a complete stop before they are taken off of the table. If you shoot too hard, they will most likely hit the remaining stack and move more balls to your opponents side. Or they might attack your cue ball, ruining your position.
So you need to be even more careful with your speed-control, using only pin-speed unless you are sure to control the object ball after it returns.
Sometimes it is also possible to utilize this to break up positions that favor your opponent or to move other balls around.
The game has many similarities to one-pocket, but using big 'ol billiard balls and a heated 10-foot slate. I can assume with a reasonable certainty that you didnt know it before.
If you ever get to play some no-hole (haha), tell us in the comments!
We have also invented a particularly interesting 3-player variant using only one pin, but with assigned ball colors - maybe for a future post...
Wishing you all the best rolls,
Jan and Gabe