My trip to Oklahoma last month to play a challenge match with Oklahoma City super star Chip Compton was fun and entertaining, to say the least.
And the ride with Mr. Breaking Vegas himself, Tommy Carmichael, was one I won’t soon forget. The complete 90 mile trip to Oklahoma City from Tulsa was spent with Tommy telling me stories about himself, Vegas, the tool he invented to win at game machines, the people, and all the money he collected. He had me hanging on the edge of my seat with every word.
If you watch the discovery channel special on him, you will understand what I’m talking about. Tommy is an interesting fella.
When we finally got to Chester’s Billiards, the roles switched up. Chip Compton, myself and $4000 cash became the stars of this show. With Carmichael hunkered down at my side, we flipped the coin and got started in what turned out to be quite a lopsided match. For a minute, I was thinking it was going to be super tough, like Chip might be the greatest one-handed player of all time, but even for the greatest of all time, this game was tough.
That’s just me looking at the worse case scenario.
I will give Chip credit: he did win the first game and two more strung along the way. In the end, the one-handed game was just too much for the young super star to handle.
A week before he played a challenge match against local Oklhoma City player, Jay Rucker. Even one pocket, Chip played one-handed and Jay played with both hands. Chip won the 5 ahead challenge match for $2000. I guess that’s what inspired our game, me giving him 10-8, with him playing one-handed and me playing two.
For those of you that don’t know, one-handed and jacked-up one-handed is the toughest discipline of pocket billiards I can think of. Even when you get to use the rail as your bridge, there still isn’t any stabilizer to keep the stroke swing straight. The bridge is quite important. When you put the cue ball in the stack and jacked-up over balls, one-handed jacked in the air is iron tough.
Not to take anything away from Chip’s game, but the only way I will play this young super star in his home town is to get him way far out of line like that. The young man plays world class with both of his hands. To top it all off, I played about as well as I’ve played in a while, not making many mistakes and pocketing balls well on a tight diamond with 4 1/8th inch pockets.
This table is bulldog tough!!! One pocket can be a long and intense mind game, and Chip is one of the best at it…but the one-handed game is what got him overall.
We arrived at Chester’s at noon, got started at one, and finished up at nine. Even with me playing well, it still took eight full hours and one dinner break for me to get the cash. That shows that even one-handed, Chip is super star tough.
I would like to thank Chip Compton and Chester’s Billiards for having Tommy and myself up to play.
And just to let you know, when you want to play some more one-handed, Chip, give us a call….
Greg Hogue is a part-time traveling pro from Tulsa, Oklahoma and has been a student of the sport of pocket billiards for 33 years. Greg has several tourney wins and high finishes in events like the US Bartable Championships and the International Pool Tour. Greg has a huge heart and passion for the sport. He wants to see it step out of the dark ages and get the respect it deserves.
Editor: Marcee Murray King Photo: Christopher Octa/Flickr