The Hatchet Man. ~ Patrick Sampey

Today I had the privilege to interview Dennis “The Hatchet Man” Hatch. Hatch is a man with a passion for pool; he has a seemingly indomitable heart for the competition, and his favorite color is red which may indicate the hue of that passion, the timbre of his moxie, and the fiery, all-guns-blazing way he attacks the game with the force of a hurricane.

I was curious about the psychology of what it means when red is your favorite color, and I found that “Having red as your favorite color identifies you as extroverted and optimistic, courageous and confident.”

I’d say that from what I’ve seen, having reviewed a few of his matches on Youtube prior to speaking with him today, his game reflects that sentiment above, and the unflinching spirit of a true competitor right down to the marrow.

Hatch says that his girlfriend, Jaymi Levenhagen, not only supports him in his game but plays pretty well herself, having won two state championships: Michigan, and then the team state championships for Illinois.

Hatch was introduced to the game of pool at the age of two by his father—shooting pool balls on the floor with a cue shaft—played his first major event at the young age of nine, ran 124 balls in straight pool and became a pro at the age of fifteen. By the time he was twenty was a seasoned professional, having played for five years against some of the best in the game. At that time, “The Hatchet Man” made his way into the finals of the US Open against none other than Hall Of Famer Buddy Hall, also one of the games greats. The match was at 8-8 (hill-hill), with Hatch breaking; then, he broke, didn’t make a ball, and Hall ran out for the win. At 22 Hatch beat Reyes in the finals of a major tournament.

“I was in the newspaper for the youngest player to ever play in a state tournament at nine years old…I just picked up the game and loved it,” Dennis explains of his early ability in pool.

The pool world is abuzz with talk of “The Hatchet Man” currently. He’s working in conjunction with InsidePool and Sneaky Pete Mafia, two up and coming shakers and movers in the game. InsidePool is hosting exhibition matches between Earl Strickland and himself at various locations around the States. Also, I’m on assignme