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"BCA-in-Vegas 50-tips!”

 Billiard’s Digest, a great magazine of this sport, recently published their article of a similar title as above.  Now I don’t want to be accused of stealing their article’s name nor using their title so I‘ll just claim the name first and let Ken Starr subpoena my derriere.  I feel safe in that Ken, baby, has a long list to run through before Carlo hits the top of the list.  Besides, I’m not going to use their wonderful advice, just part of BD's danged title which has been used someplace before, I’m sure.  I’ll add Carlo’s on top, that ought to avoid a $3M judgment or pool impeachment.

 What I’m going to offer is 50 REAL ways to improve your pool, well, maybe your enjoyment of pool or at least attempt to extend your life span.

 BD had cool graphics and itty-bitty pictures of the authors (it took 5 authors, so 5 itty-bitty-pics) and I intend to compete with all the fire power I can muster.


Carlo at work

 Feel free to print off this article, have it laminated, and keep it handy for constant reference.  If you cut it up small, like Formica countertop samples, with a little keychain running through them, it will be even more convenient. 

 1.  Even when you are shooting like a minor god, it is not good business to wander into the BCA National tournament room shouting like a presidential candidate, “Get your easy money!  Get your easy money!” because there are about a hundred planeloads of shooters awaiting your arrival.

2.  Even if a shooter is old, drunk, ugly, short, squat, chubby, bald-on-top-with-long-hair-in-the-back, wearing assorted earrings, a tattoo of a gargoyle, a ball cap on backwards and a rock group T-shirt doesn’t mean he’ll miss a shot any time before mid or late September.

3.  See 2 above, substituting tall.

4.  See 2 above, substituting handsome.

5.  See 2 above, substituting lean.


A teammate about to sell me out

 6.  See 2 above, substituting female.

7.  See 2 above, substituting gorgeous.

8.  See 2 above, substituting hairy.

9.  See 2 above, substituting groomed.

10. See 2 above, substituting polo shirt.

11.  See 2 above, substituting REAL young.

12.  See 2 above, substituting preppy.

13.  See 2 above, substituting sober.

14.  See 2 above, substituting cowboy hat.

15.  See 2 above, substituting yada-yada-yada.

16.  Any game on a table without pockets but with numbered cubes you roll on the cloth and the cue-stick has a hook on the end is to be avoided.  Round numbered objects are tough to control, cube shaped ones are even more contrary than that cue ball weighted off center after you've consumed a quart of Gentleman Jack.

17.  Don’t gamble on less than 4 barrels, preferably 1000 barrels.  So if your stake is $2000, don’t bet more than $2.  Boring, but at least you won’t personally buy Las Vegas another crap table, like it really needs it, or find out you jumped the Canadian National Snooker Champ and Master’s BCA Champ at 9-ball on a bar-box and single-handedly financed his trip.

18.  Immediately kill anyone in your group who offers any advice sounding like “Let’s go to the ___ casino, or ___ pool hall because everyone is raking it in down there!”  Bang-o.  Dead-o.

19.  That All-Women’s team from Canada will probably accept a round of drinks but will not go back to your room with you.  And on the outside chance they did, you probably will scratch in your side pocket for months.  PS: 1 of them, guess which, violates that All-Women clause.  Probably it is the one that was actually voting to join you in your room.


My team warming up

 20.  Don’t ever say “He’s out” about a teammate, for verily I say onto you that lightening will strike before your sound waves hit the wall or your teammate hits hit head on the light fixture on the table.

21.  Don’t ever say “He’s trapped” about an opponent for verily I say onto you he will kick-carom-jump and call a desperation shot.  Or the unknown clown from the next table will stumble over, hit his head on the light fixture, mess up the table and result in a re-rack.

22.  If you have your loved one accompanying you, never, never, even once ogle a cute derriere stretching out for a shot for I guarantee you that aforementioned loved one will scope your scope at 90-yards and sabotage your chalk, team be damned.

23.  Take time to pee.  You can make incredibly stupid shot selections when viewing the table through yellow eyes.  Never mind how well you think you’ll execute it.  Pee!

24.  A beer might calm you down for that 9AM match, but man you’ll be a wreck by the 5PM one.  Your teammates will, in fact, steal your ticket, wallet and luggage and return to Maine leaving you standing there with your stick in your hands and looking for another beer.

25.  Bring spare glasses.  When that screw falls out of your glasses before a match, of course you can get them repaired someplace.  But the ensuing panic can be avoided just knowing you have a spare pair in your room and will not be forced to shoot at balls of colored cotton until the savior repairman is found.  Unexpected panic is not, I repeat, not, your friend.  Teammates are highly sensitive to it, too.

26.  Everyone there (that I know) dogs some shots during the tourney.  Please, no excuses.  You dogged it; we saw it; we know why you missed; you’ll only make matters worse with an excuse unless it makes us laugh and that will give you 90-seconds head start before we cut your heart out.

27.  I, personally, and I alone, am exempt from (26) for it is imperative that I inform you of why I am not to blame for that dog.

28.  Only buy cue raffle tickets from cute, smiling, slinky things.  You know, the ones put on this earth for someone else's touch.  The $10 you spent on the raffle tickets got you closer to slinky-thing than you’d ever get any other legal way and is your total entertainment.  God only knows you’ll never see the cue.

29.  Be happy for anyone who does well in the Casino, until they are out of sight.  Doctor their chalk at first opportunity and spread false rumors about them and that raffle ticket wench, especially if they won the cue.

30.  Bring exactly 5 players, unless one gets sick, in which case it would have been better to bring a spare 6th player, and better yet to leave that sick one home and just come with 5, unless one folds up in which case a spare 6th would be good and even better to leave the fold-up-artist at home with the sick one and bring 5.  Go figger.

31.  A player whose spouse or love-interest knows how to keep score is worth more than one who buys lotsa beer, at least until you’re blown out of the tourney.  If you have a beer-buying-spouse-scorer, don’t tell anyone, but send me his or her name for safekeeping, a future award and 1st round draft.  Include a picture if he/she is a she and would also be good at raffling off cues and/or believes in free love.

32.  If you insist on wearing the same synthetic team shirt for 4 days, nobody will remotely care if you can string 5 racks.  Consider yourself dead for you indeed will smell like it and, honestly, the cue ball will roll off more often for you.  Even the cue ball can smell you and tries to hide down below.  Shower at least once during BCA.  I thank you, along with 9000 other players.

33.  This concludes my list of 50 tips.  I ran out of energy just as I was getting to the really useful stuff about the casinos, how-to-beat a superior player even when you are down 4-0 (a modern technique very similar to voodoo,) team motivational magic (turning losers into killers,) and a trick to play those coin-gobbling tables for FREE in Las Vegas (it works every time.) 

I hate Las Vegas.  I hate the crush of players, the dearth of bad rolls, the lack of good rolls, the eye-bag inducing fatigue, @#$%& craps and any cretin who shoots better than I shoot, even one measly game. 

I can’t wait ‘til next year!


Nobody paid me any money to put these links here, I just thought they deserved it.  Tell them Carlo sent you, maybe they'll buy me a beer.

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