The tournament didn’t have many players, but the 17 or so that did come out to Starcade Billiards last night for the weekly Thursday night 9 ball tournament came to play. I held my own and finished a respectable 4th or 5th — something like that, but I played well, except for one match on the winners side against Dave Proctor, Starcade manager and top notch pool player — rated practically pro level, at a 150 in the ranking — which is the top rank. I’m a 117 I believe; He beat me towards the top of the winners bracket 4-0. I feel like I should be ranked better than that, but I’ve not played well in that particular event in a while; mental block.
So, it was good to go out and compete well, even though I slipped off a bit and dropped my game on one match; other than that, I played well the entire tournament I felt. Got a little unlucky, but that happens. The two people that beat me split the tournament I believe.
But back to the main focus of this article, which is to review my new cues I’ve been playing with, as supplied by my cue sponsor, Champion Sports. They have been gracious enough to send me an awesome playing cue — the Gemni, no wrap, inlay cue, with a quick release joint, and a low deflection shaft with the 10 piece laminate spliced wood called the EX-II, which makes it play much like a Predator shaft — and it plays perfect; if I miss a shot, I know it’s me and not the cue. Additionally, it plays as good as any thousand dollar cue I maintain, as I’ve played with a few that people have let me hit with. This cue is rock solid.
I’ve been playing with these cues for about the last 6 weeks, and have gone 5 wins and 1 losses in that time, so that’s a 83% win record, and I’ve finished out the session at a 9 win and 3 loss record, or 75% win record over the session.
Championcue.com and Champion Sports are great to me. I have ordered many cues from them over the years, as I’ve said before, and have always loved their cue selection. You can get a cue with a ⅜ x 10 pin like a McDermott, or the 5/16 x 18 pin like the Viking, or the radial, like many custom cues, and they have their own custom pins. My playing cue has some type of quick release joint that is easy to assemble or disassemble, which is great for tournaments like last night; I just broke down and cased my cues in between matches — easy peasy. And now, having that nice jump/break cue Champion got me, I jumped and ran out 3 times in the tournament, and feel like players can’t hook me with that cue. So, that is to say, with these cues, I now have all the fire power I need; now all I need to do is continue to work on improving my performance in the game.
These past 3 weeks, my team voted me in as captain about 4 weeks ago, so the last 3 weeks, I’ve been using my “Steve Spurrier Strategy” pool tactics in the league, and we’ve won the past 3 straight weeks; so, we’ve completed the session strong, even though we are still just 3rd place. Only the first place team and the wild card draw of the next 3 teams play in the playoffs though, because I live in a small town — therefore, we have a 1 in 3 chance of making it to the playoffs. We just formed the team this session, however, so we will do much better this next season I believe starting January. And Champion Sports is sending our team shirts, so that will be nice to have shirts we can have to show our team unity. Over all, we have come together great; we have Phil Blanton, D Boy (Daylon) Phelps, Richard Sampey, Patrick Sampey, and Chris Merritt right now to complete our motley crue. Also, we will add on two or three more players for next session.
Everyone that’s seen my playing cue, the Gemini, says they love it. It plays great, has the Tiger Everest Tip that provides great cue control, draw, and english on shots. And the jump/break has been great — as I’m breaking stronger than ever, and have had several break and run outs since playing with them.
As I become more familiar with my cue, I will get even better, and as a 7 in the 8 ball APA I’m maxed out as far as the rank is concerned — so that is to say, I’ve had cues with regular wood shafts before this of late, therefore I’m still adjusting to the change in deflection, playing with a truer shaft such as this. Every week I’m getting better though. Once I make some more minor adjustments to my game, I will be in top form. As it is, I’m playing at about 85% of my game. The goal is always to give 110% of course, so there’s always room for improvement.
These cues are excellent! And I have a nice leather case with them as well! I like these Champion cues so much, if I could I’d have one with a ⅜ x 10 pin cue, one radial cue, my other playing cue now, my jump/break, and a nice 4 x 8 case — and entering every tournament rocking my Champion Sports gear.
Am I biased? Perhaps a little, but at the same time, I’ve played with all the major cue manufacturers and I feel that while they all have great products — Joss, McDermott, Player’s, Viking, Predator, Meucci — but Champion Sports has cues of equivalent quality for much less, and shows that you don’t need to pay a lot to get a lot of cue.
And they tell me all their future cues will come stock with Kamui Tips, which will be a great addition. These Tiger Everest tips play great to me though, but I would like to eventually get a Kamui Medium tip installed, as I’ve heard so many good reviews of them by players I know in the game and people I know online. Charlie Williams suggested I get the Kamui tip on my playing cue long ago now I think.
Christmas came early this year, and I’m so happy with my new cues and cool black and white leather case Champion sent me. They look and play great! Check out Champion cues if you like to be selective about the specs on your cue. Some companies offer only one pin style and with Champion cues you can choose from many. They are serious about the wood, and I don’t know all the technical terminology, but they have some really great wood, and that’s what you want at the end of the day — a solid piece of wood; got wood?
To sum up, my playing cue is a 19 oz, has an XTC ferrule, quick release joint, maple wood, 58”, 10 piece maple laminate shaft — straight as an arrow — and plays like a dream. My jump/break has a quick release joint, phenolic ferrule/tip, and is a cool looking neon-yellow color that really stands out in the pool room. My black and white case stand out. My playing cue has real pearl inlays that look beautiful, and it feels great to go to the table now playing and looking sharp.
Merry Christmas to all, and Happy New Years! Thanks again to Champion Sports. It’s easy to endorse you guys, because your products are top notch and your prices rock!
I call my playing cue “Striker” and my break/jump “Stinger”. It’s so nice to have good, reliable, nice, cool looking equipment. I go to the pool hall now, and I’m so glad to take my cue out of my case. It gets me pumped up to play.
Author: Patrick Sampey
Editor: Shaylyn Troop