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Kiss Of Death Web Series Sponsored By Poison Billiard Products is Internet Sensation!

By : Charles Eames

At first glance you would think that the team of Kiss Of Death the BCAPL Team Champions are just six pretty faces that are easily marketable for Poison but I am here to tell you that they are some of the hardest working women in pool amateur and professional alike. If you dont believe me I am sure you could head over to one of the team’s stomping grounds like Amsterdam Billiards or Skyline Billiards and they would be more than happy to play you a few sets. The team is made up of six diverse women whose team dynamic is inspiring to see and something I am sure a lot of other APA, CSI, and other league teams should strive to emulate. They truly care for each other and I think that is the big difference in what makes them both popular with fans and successful in the pool industry as well.

Kiss Of Death Team (Emily Duddy, Michele Li, Borana Andoni, Gail Glazebrook, Olga Gashkova, Alison Fischer)

Gail Glazebrook – Team Captain

Emily Duddy

Alison Fischer (the other Alison Fischer and in this writer’s opinion the better one) Sorry Cuetec

Michele Li

Olga Gashkova

and of course the “Queen B” herself Borana Andoni

The web series follows them as they get ready for Vegas Nationals once again and serves that purpose in showing all of us a little insight into their lives as a team. We see them in competition and in life as friends. The web series is produced by Jerry Tarantola and is extremely well filmed and edited. The music selections are hip, melodic and seem to fit the team’s fresh young approach to the game. In episode 3 we get to hear what is seemingly the team’s new anthem “Raise it Up” by Florence and the Machine. Video for the song can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nxO-yPQesA.

If you are interested in seeing what can be called the future of pool and the face and voice of a new generation with in it then look no further than Kiss of Death. They have recently been contacted by Olhausen Billiards as we learn in episode 5 for a possible sponsorship of the entire team which is to say the least incredible. Emily can be quoted as saying “the new meeting the old” in the episode and it truly seems to echo the team as a whole. A new young team of women taking on all comers including and especially the men in a sport that thrives on solitary success. These women truly break the mold and I am proud to call their team friends. Enough good things cant be said about them and if you are a pool fan you owe it to yourself to check these videos out.

Feel free to view the entire series at http://nycgrind.com/?cat=2748

ENJOY !!

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April 23, 2010 Posted by | Articles and News !! | 2 Comments

Good Luck to Heather Kurtz aka HAKurtz Tonight !!

A strong good luck goes out to Heather Kurtz tonight who will be braving the men of Mr. Cues in Lindenhurst NY. This is her first nine ball tournament since committing to pool whole heartedly. Heather has recently with the help of her husband broken her high run in straight pool and has been hitting the tables harder than ever in the hopes of ever improving her game. You may all know her as the bubbly personality at the Super Billiards Expo but this time she is on the other side of the camera looking for the win.

You can view all of her exploits on the table right here at her very own page on facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=700249285#!/pages/Heathers-quest-to-be-a-great-pool-player/109579439071872?ref=ts

Good luck tonight Heather I am sure I speak for everyone when I say we are rooting for you !!!

Heather Kurtz

April 22, 2010 Posted by | Articles and News !! | Leave a comment

Some Photos From the Expo !!

Hey guys a big thanks goes out to Heather Kurtz for taking a lot of the photos while we were there. Will definitely be adding more. Feel free to click on the slideshow to go to a larger view. Enjoy and thanks for viewing !!

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Articles and News !! | Leave a comment

Pool Synergy Volume 6 “The Most Important Thing”

Hey guys before we get to my post I want to just take a moment to thank John Biddle for the honor of being invited to write for such an incredible movement. A collection of billiard talents that has come together for one sole purpose to write about the game we love and various topics regarding it. I hope my first article is up to snuff and I can’t wait to read all the author’s articles as well.

So without further ado my first official post to Pool Synergy.

The Most Important Thing

By Charles Eames

In my view the most important thing for me as an aspiring cue sport and industry professional is the sense of wonderment that I still feel after ten plus years within this incredible world. The simple fact that I still look at each session as a new beginning amazes me in ways I can’t describe. I work in a pool hall in NY and when I open in the morning I watch as the light from the windows and doors cascades across each table one by one. I can smell the coffee brewing and it reminds me of the regulars and their constant story telling that entertains everyone and the fact that these are the characters that help thread the quilt of our small microcosm. I sit there in amazement and I wonder to myself what will happen today. Will two friends enjoy a casual game of eight ball? Will some action players break thunderously into set after set as bits of green paper cross hands? Will a small child look at his father or grandfather in awe as he sinks a ball into a pocket a green felt mile away with the greatest of ease? The possibilities are endless and I think that is what I find so appealing about the game. That is what I find to be the most important thing in pool.

When a professional walks into a tournament aside from the normal happenings he or she cannot predict what’s going to happen. When a player breaks into a rack of nine ball while I understand that the idea is the one ball in the side and the wing ball in the corner, we all know what happens to the best laid plans of mice and men. I think the main point of what I am trying to say is that this mystery of what’s to come is almost seductive in nature and it draws us in. I would imagine it is comparative to golf or tennis in that respect. There is a saying that I’m not too sure who wrote that basically states that you can hit terrible shots all day long and have a horrible time doing what you are doing but once you hit that one solid shot it will keep you coming back for a lifetime. I find this to be so incredibly true more and more as each day as a pool player, writer, event organizer, and a tournament director passes.

The most important part of my point is that this sense of wonder happens to everyone and it joins us all as one singular mind. You can take Johnny Archer and your local APA 5 and that sense of wonder is still the same. You can take Thorsten Hohmann and a thirteen year old who just picked up a cue for the first time and the amazement is still there when they learn something new. I have seen the eyes of pros and amateurs alike light up in happiness as one of those colored balls in the words of Jimmy Wych “finds gravity”. The light that flicks on from the deep recess of our brain once we learn something and know we have it locked into place and the realization that we are going to and more importantly want to do it again and again. In my opinion the most important thing about pool and this sense of wonder is that is the single most unifying fact of our game  and that is what our game needs most of all a unifying factor that can bring us all together to support a common goal.

On that note friends shoot well and keep up the great work.

April 15, 2010 Posted by | Pool Synergy | 3 Comments

NYCGrind at it again with more coverage of the SBE 14.1 Challenge!!

Hey guys here is the link to the story, try to check out NYCGrind.com as much as possible as they really are incredibly talented and just overall some great people !!! Thanks to Jerry Alison and everyone else involved.      http://nycgrind.com/?p=10076

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Articles and News !! | Leave a comment

Finals of the Super Billiards Expo 14.1 Challenge with some great commentary!!

Here is the link to a great match with some awesome commentary done by yours truly and Steve Kurtz !!

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/5628010

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Articles and News !! | Leave a comment

Death of the Houseman – as written on AZBilliards Forums

Death of the House Man

Perhaps it’s just me, perhaps it’s my generation that is starting the resurgence of pool in America. The internet telecasts, live streaming, information traveling at the speed of thought. With all of this new technology dawning on us every day we must also look back to our roots as pool players. Whether it’s playing in our family’s basement, going to the local pool hall with friends, or knowing someone who played professionally our past really is important maybe more important than we realize.
One of the things I most fondly remember when I first decided to take our game seriously was the kind and knowledgeable houseman. Always good for a couple of games or a piece of advice, a bastion of knowledge and respect, maybe not the strongest player in the joint but everyone knew his name and took him seriously.

As pool continues on more and more I am finding that these once highly regarded watchmen of the felt are slowly fading away as if time itself is replacing them with younger less experienced counter help. Believe me friends there is a very large difference between being a counter person and being a house man.

In my own local pool room the lack of a house man’s presence is quite noticeable. The current regime if you will is gruff and has grown bitter over the years. What once was a sprawling utopia of billiards is now simply just another pool hall. Tournaments used to bring in competitors from all over the country vying each for over ten thousand dollars and that was just the Calcutta money. Now tournaments bring in the same eight to ten regulars playing on the same tables every day for their ten dollars. Now there is nothing wrong with catering to these individuals because let’s face it they help pay the bills and any business is good business but what happened to the good old days?

Tables are no longer vacuumed the way they should be, rails not wiped, trash not removed, and the bathrooms well let’s just say the bathrooms are an acquired odor. Not one I would personally like to acquire but to each their own. Advice not given, games not played etc. etc. etc. the list goes on and on.

I hope dear reader that in your pool hall you at least have someone who takes pride in their work and does find it an honor to be the all important house man. Someone who makes you feel welcome and part of a club. I miss that feeling in our pool hall. I miss that feeling that what we were doing was somehow bigger than ourselves as kitchy as that sounds and Im sure it does.

I miss that feeling that when we were shooting and we had action that there was nothing else in the world going on. Time could literally stop outside and our own private party was going on strong inside. Hootin and hollerin, woofin, and of course some gentle trash talking. “Ill give you the six ball anytime for anything” for example. Nothing too serious and nothing too expensive. Don’t get me wrong we had action big action with one event coming to mind. A foot race between two portly gentleman from one end of the block to the other for five thousand dollars. I remember laughing as these two rotund gentleman waddled up the block huffing and puffing as my new found family and I laughed for hours after. This whole event started because of the house man. Stirring the pot and finding something anything to do, to bet on, to play for.

It wasn’t always about money. It was for the pride of the room. Our room. Now unfortunately we solemnly await the final nail in our coffin, that fateful wind to blow the doors of our little piece of the billiard world closed as it has done so many others. Will the housemen of years past fade into memory like pool halls of yesterday or will they too in pool rise again. Will they take their rightful place as the historians, the wise ones, the voices of reason? Time will only tell and as the clock ticks on so do I in the hope that one day we will see the phenomena of the house men once again come into the light.

Charles M Eames

April 8, 2010 Posted by | Portfolio Writing | 1 Comment

Something I wrote a very long time ago.

Call it a first entry if you will into the world of billiards writing. Hope you enjoy.

The State of Pool and Billiards
In the Mainstream Sports World
By: Charles Eames

Pool and billiards for years was known as a sport of kings and gentleman. Dating back to its inception in the fifteenth century there have been three main variants of the game. Pocket Billiards, Carom Billiards, and of course Snooker. All cue sports are generally regarded to have evolved into indoor games from outdoor stick-and-ball lawn games such as croquet or golf. Since then the game has evolved greatly into various sub-divisions of each game including nine ball, 14 and 1 Straight Pool, 8 Ball and many many more.

Since those days the game we love has been morphed into a sport of hustlers, degenerate gamblers, and thieves in the eyes of the mainstream sports world. We have been relegated to the idea that pool rooms are dark and dingy places smoke filled with the scum of the earth roaming around searching for their next mark or target. They are places that parents are afraid to let their children go to and a place that laws pertaining to the distance from a school or religious property (church, temple, religious school, etc.) are currently in effect in some states. These are laws that also pertain to strip clubs and we know what so called polite society?s view of those are. Basically its just a different kind of hustler.

Now dear reader you might be saying to yourself that they can?t all be that bad. You yourself may have been inside of a pool room recently with friends or family and are now thinking to yourself hey it was nothing like you are describing now. Well believe me I have been in my fair share of dank dark pool rooms and they deserve the reputation they have gotten. However I have also been in some of the most elaborate, and upscale rooms in the country. Full restaraunts with great food, nice people, and a great ambience all around.

Next is the topic of gambling. Of all of the stereotypes of the game, gambling is by far the largest. That players are gambling away money that would be better used for personal gains such as rent, food, bills and the like. Now herein lies the rub dear reader. One of the newest phenomenons sweeping our nation is poker. It is on television constantly whether on ESPN or the Travel Channel. Even NBC one of the largest broadcasting networks has gotten in on the action. Poker is a game in which gambling is a must. It is the largest staple of the game that you are basing your betting on the quality of your own poker hand or the weakness of your opponent?s. The worlds top players have gained a celebrity the likes of which Tiger Woods would be jealous of. Golf, Football, Baseball, even Soccer all have betting lines in Las Vegas but that is considered to be a legitimate venture. Im not even going to mention horse racing or boxing and the gambling that goes on there. You might be asking yourself how this pertains to pool and billiards but think about it. There is an old joke that more money changes hands on the golf course than the entire New York Stock Exchange. Basically the point of this is that gambling is ok so long as its on the sports that society deems fit.

Pool in general it would appear is going through a renaiscannce. Professional tours with prize money in the tens of thousands, sponsors putting up money for newer and better quipment. Social leagues are also coming into play more than ever with memberships in the hundreds of thousands. Television coverage and fans across the country. Pool rooms popping up in family oriented places such as Dave and Buster?s and Jillians. Much like the Vegas we now know to be a family oriented place, pool is slowly creeping its way back into the minds of people as a sport that can be recognized as a friendly competition between friends, family, and of course a resected opponent.

The point of this little essay while I am sure it could have been written better and thoughts organized more, is that there are those of us who play as gentleman and of course gentlewomen. That we are sportsman and while we may enjoy the occasional gamble on a friendly game with friends or in tournaments, we play for the game. Although it sounds clich? I truly feel that we do it becaseue we love it. We strive to be great, we strive for excellence like in any sport. There are those of us who play with the etiquette and respect our opponents and the game deserve. There are those of us who dream of the bright lights of the final table (and no not poker) and the cameras rolling as our families watch on ESPN.

Just so everyone knows the idea of this was conceived while browsing through the magazine section of my local Barnes and Nobles. While they carry instructional books regarding the game on how to play and the rules. There is not one magazine dedicated to the subject. From my own research I have found there are over ten publications about pool and or billiards. Magazines following current events and trends in the game and what not. When I asked the manager about this travesty he said that the corporation deemed pool an unfit topic to have a magazine about stocked in their store. This of course was said while we were standing in front of every handgun, shotgun, hunting rifle, and knife magazine known to man.

While browsing I came across five different magazines about poker or gambling one of which entitled Slot Player. I guess slot machines are ok for our children to learn about in Barnes and Nobles. Perhaps it has something to do with the math aspect. Learning win loss ratios or statistics and number variances.

Now I know I didn?t articulate all of the issues and opinions regarding this topic. I know that what was said here today could have been better said and better laid out but it has gotten to the point that I simply could not take it anymore.

I look forward to any and all opinions and responses.

April 4, 2010 Posted by | Pool Synergy, Portfolio Writing | 1 Comment

Currently in the Process of Looking for a Player Rep or Sponsor

Well right now as I enter this world of professional pool I am currently looking for a company to player rep for or be sponsored by etc. Being part of a team in pool I think is pivotal to your career and finding that level of support is hard. Right now I want to focus on entering more events and playing to the best of my ability and letting the results speak for themselves.

April 4, 2010 Posted by | Pool Synergy | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Well folks the time has come to start a blog. There has been a lot going on in the pool world for me  and I am trying to keep my friends and family updated via this blog. I hope you enjoy and I will try to update as often as I possibly can.

Thanks

April 4, 2010 Posted by | Pool Synergy | 3 Comments