John Bertone: The Voice of Kamui USA. ~ Barbara Lee

I had the honor today (and I do mean honor) to interview Mr. John Bertone, the American and Canadian rep for Kamui Tips and products.

Let me start by stating that I have known John personally for a number of years, commentated streaming matches with him, been to his house and dined on cuisine lovingly prepared to perfection by him and his beautiful wife, Elisa! And oh boy, can he cook!

But today’s interview gave me an even greater respect and admiration for him as we dug deep into the world of pool and the Kamui mindset.

Barb: So John, how did you become a rep for Kamui?

John: Masato Hiraoka, the Japan manufacturer contacted my local cue maker and friend of mine, Kerry Zeiler and wanted him to be the Kamui Rep here in the U.S. Kerry said no, but told him “I know who you should have—John Bertone.” Since I was wrapping up a prior business selling billiards supplies, the timing just worked. After meeting with Masato and realizing our vision for the industry was the same, and seeing his high quality products, I jumped on board. One of the great things about the Kamui family is that Masato is a pool player as is EVERYONE at the factory!

Barb: So you were there early on then, yes?

John: Yes. They had first created some hard tips, then started experimenting and testing because the consistency is what they were going for—to give the players a consistent tip that they will KNOW already how it’s going to hit. One of my favorite things about them is that they are never satisfied with their products. They constantly want to improve. We now have four browns, four blacks, and the newest “clear” line. My personal favorites are the Black Super Soft and Brown Soft, depending on my mood of course lol!