Thorsten “The Hitman” Hohmann is regarded by his peers and one of the best all-around pocket billiard players on the planet.
His resume is padded with win after win of world, international and United State wide titles; it’s nothing short of stellar. The nickname “The Hitman” suits him quite well.
Our first encounter was in 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the at the Straight Pool Challenge, one of the side events for the Billiards Congress of Americas main event: the BCA Pro 10-ball Event and the BCA Nationals. I was fortunate to have won the men’s division of the Straight Pool Challenge with a high run of 100 balls that set me next to last on the seeded eight man tournament list. I believe Thorston had a high run that was close to 200 balls that seeded us together in the final eight man, 100 point tournament. This was a steller field with the likes of Mad Max Eberle with his high run of 257, Tony Robles and Ralph “The Surgeon” Souquet.
I lost the lag so I won the break. When playing straight pool, it’s to the breaker’s disadvantage, unlike most other pocket billiard games.
I answered with a well-executed break, not breaking the rack out too much; bringing the cue ball back to the lower cushion. We traded points back and forth until I got a break, with The Hitman missing a shot at 44 points and myself at 20 points. I’m in the middle of a 24-ball run, when out of no where I send the cue ball into one of those funny tick-tick-ticky caroms off three balls and scratch in the side, trying to spread the pack open for a better layout.
“That was all,” she wrote. I never saw the table again. The Hitman ran 66 and out. “Thank you, come again, and see you later…” I smiled, shook his hand. Game over.
Fast forward: It’s one year later at the 2014 Derby City Classic 9-Ball Division. It’s the 6th round and I’m still hanging on.
As luck of the draw would have it, here comes The Hitman again.
I thought to myself, “Okay, maybe I can get a little payback from the terror he caused me in last year…” Right out of the gate, I came with some heat with the winner-break format and with a lead of four games to two, but a botched safety on my behalf and a great safety from The Hitman led to ball in hand and a two game swing. Now it’s tied up, four games apiece.
A dry break from The Hitman and a break-and-run propelled me to take the lead again by two games, with a score of six games to four. We battled back in forth, the whole set with dry breaks doing the most damage to the both of us.
I, myself, had multiple chances to put The Hitman on ice. I just wasn’t able to get it done.
With score tied up hill hill and The Hitman breaking, I couldn’t believe it when he came up dry again, leaving me a shot on the one and the two ball. Only the 3 was on the other end of the table in a low percentage position, tied up with the 5. I went ahead and pocketed both the 1 and 2, play safe on the clustered up 3 and 5. That’s what led to an honest-to-goodness timed 18 minute safety battle, confirmed by Oklahoma pro John Gabriel.
The Hitman would eventually become victorious and force me to give up an open shot, leading to The Hitman completing the 19th and final game, sticking me to a 30th place finish in Derby City 9-ball and a long bus ride back to Oklahoma.
Great game, Thorston! You’re a true gentleman that aspiring players can look up to and learn from. Hope we see each other again soon.
Tell next time, go play some pool and be sure to stay silky smooth…