Passing the Torch: The Game Found Us. ~ Justin Cutting

This story is about my daughter Tatum.

She “found” the game through me as a way to spend time and bond with her father. From the time she was born (2002) till 2008 I was an alcoholic (not ashamed to admit it). People always ask me how long Tatum has been playing for and how she got into the game. I tell them she picked it up because that was a way for her to spend time with me since I “wasn’t there” (emotionally) for her the first part of her life due to the alcohol.

In 2008 I quit drinking and found the game of pool. It was a hobby—a challenge since I had never played prior to that and so as my interest grew so did hers. In late ’10 early ’11 she decided to play instead of just watch me.

She learned very quick.

Some of this was from me, like the basics: Bridge, stroke and stance. Other than that using YouTube to help from some upper level players in our area and also she had  basic natural ability!

I would take her to local “adult” tourneys and she was always watching the better players and asking questions. Most were happy to show her the “how’s & why’s” of particular shots but some were put off by a kid bugging them. But for her putting the table time in, playing against upper level players (who didn’t take it easy on her) has developed her game leaps and bounds the past year.

When she goes back to her league to play with the other kids, you can see the advancement in her abilities versus the other “skill levels” she plays against.

With her wanting to pla