Forumghost516's Blog

Another Awesome Edition of Pool Synergy.

Hey Guys as you know tournaments are a vital piece of the puzzle for amateur and professional players alike. Take the Super Billiards Expo for example that just ended this past weekend where amateur and professional players fought hard to win their respective events. In this month’s issue we are going to find out what kind of preparation goes into winning these matches. When I offered to host for this month I gave a wide open topic of tournament preparation. I also opened up the idea to league play as well as important matches etc. What goes into making a great tournament experience for you as a player. Let’s find out !!! I want to apologize for the lack of Pizazz on the page for this month’s Pool Synergy but I just got back from Valley Forge and have not had a chance to do anything but sleep a little go to work go to class and cover the event at Amsterdam Billiards for NYCGRIND.COM.

First up this month is Jake Dyer. The link to his article titled “17 Expert Tourney Tips” can be found here at
http://untoldstoriesbilliardshistory.blogspot.com/2011/03/poolsynergy-17-expert-tourney-tips.html

I look forward myself to reading some of these tips and hope you all enjoy them as much as I know I am going to.

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Second of course is Mr. Poolriah himself and you can see his article here at http://wp.me/pzxjZ-Lq

summary:

each person has a way to prepare for a tournament.  my version involves seven steps.

1. define your mission parameters ASAP

2. plan your trip e~a~r~l~y

3. do advanced scouting

4. get plenty of rest throughout the tournament

5. eat lean to stay mean

6. stay loose

7. focus on the task

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Up next is Mr. John Biddle our fearless leader with his take on Tournament Prep !

You can of course view his article here at http://www.poolstudent.com/2011/03/15/preparing-for-tournaments-league-matches/

The summary is that I’m only a league player, not a tournament regular, but these tips will help anyone to give themselves the best chance to play well.

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Next up is the lovely and talented Melinda AKATRIGGER !!!

You can view her article here at http://pooljourney.blogspot.com/2011/03/poolsynergy-tourney-prep.html

In this article Melinda outlines how she creates her own “pool checklist” and sticks to it ! A great article by someone who has great insight to the topic at hand.

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Mike Fieldhammer in his article explains how he ties up any loose ends that may be a nagging concern before a big trip and of course tidies up the house before leaving.

You can view his article here http://bit.ly/gRKl2z

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In John Barton’s article he breaks down his tournament prep into 11 sections. View in detail each breakdown here at

http://jbcases.com/caseblog/?p=310

1. Equipment

2. Dress

3. Psychology

4. Food

5. Drugs (as in NO drugs)

6. Goals

7. Rules

8. Travel

9. Travel

10. Registration

11. Accomodation

12. Money

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Last but certainly not least is the ever radiant Gail Glazebrook who exudes a warmth and caring that you rarely see in people and in my opinion is one of her best qualities!! That and somehow she manages to put up with Tony lol (Sorry Tony jk brother)

Here is the link to Gail’s post

http://gailglazebrook.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/before-a-tournament-i/

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March 15, 2011 Posted by | Pool Synergy | 2 Comments

December Pool Synergy “Favorites” Great Topic From Melinda

December Pool Synergy

This month the wonderful Melinda “AKATRIGGER” has given us a topic that is in my opinion overlooked by many players and it involves the media side of things. From the written word to the moving picture these captured ideas, matches, stories, etc. can be some of the greatest tools in your arsenal and when push comes to shove it could mean the difference between a win and a loss. We were asked to pick our favorites which for me with a collection of well over 150-200 pool matches on dvd was like choosing which child I love more. No I don’t have any kids as of yet but you can understand my apprehension at choosing just one. I mean who can forget the 2007 Turning Stone Event where Dennis Hatch put the smack down on Mika Immonen and shot around a .990 Accu Stat Rating, or more importantly when Mika won the US Open back to back. So I had to look at my game as a whole, where it started, where it is now, and as many of you know I have become obsessed with the game of straight pool for so many reasons. That is why I chose the DVD that I chose. That DVD is John Schmidt on Straight Pool where he runs well over 100 balls and then proceeds to walk you through the run.

There are so many reasons I chose this dvd. Number one first and foremost is that I watch and rewatch it to try and pick up something different that he may have done to get better position or to nudge a possible break ball or key ball. The second reason is because John isn’t afraid to admit that he got out of line. He just kicks himself for it for a minute and then gets right back to the task at hand showing that even the best players in the world have to adapt from time to time. John’s game has been a massive inspiration to me and I am sure a lot of other people and this dvd is no exception. If I know I am going to be playing straight pool that day or that night for league or a tournament, or even just a practice session with a friend, this is my go to dvd to get me ready.

The main reason however why I choose this DVD is because John has become a personal friend of mine and I speak from experience as to just how personable he is and how much he loves this sport. I remember at Valley Forge last year during the inaugural 14.1 Challenge he ran a 204 on an unforgiving nine foot diamond pro am. The run in itself did not shock me as I had seen John post some massive numbers before (hence the moniker of Mr. 400) but the fact that he was talking to members of the crowd that had amassed just to watch him play. Rack after rack he would literally talk to people in the crowd, talk to me, talk to Bill Maropoulis who was on retainer for the week to rack for John. It was incredible. He would answer questions before and after innings and talk to anyone who he came in contact with. This to me is the definition of a professional. Someone who can balance not only playing at the level he does but manages to be so charismatic while doing it. Someone who can not only run 100 balls but acknowledge his fans with the utmost respect and regard no matter the situation.

I have so many other favorite pool dvds, way too many to list however I will give a shout out to two amazing players who I love to watch. Tony Robles and Mika Immonen. Tony has built an incredible reputation as the nicest guy in pool and I couldn’t agree more. Whether it be in his Predator Nine Ball Tour Events or his new Pool League Tony is nothing short of gracious and a class act. His demeanor is always professional and positive and he exudes an energy that people around him can definitely pick up. He also plays a very mean game and one match in particular that sticks out in my head is when he played Rafael Martinez who as well all know is no slouch. Tony was on fire and it looked as though it would take a Mack Truck driven by Mosconi himself to stop him.

Photo Courtesy of Charles Eames (CME-IMAGES)

Mika Immonen. Need I say more? The man is a living icon in our sport. Back to back US Open titles with a 13 match streak from the loser’s side to win the 2009 US Open. Mika is a champion in every sense of the word and it’s quite easy to see how he gained his nickname “The Iceman”. With a cold stare that seems to go right through you he attacks the table with the calm and collected demeanor of a ninja just waiting for his moment to strike. I had the honor of playing against Mika in the World Straight Pool Championships last year and although I have played with some of the biggest names in our sport I was very intimidated playing him. Knowing that I was up against the number one ranked player in the world and knowing that he was examining every shot I took was extremely nerve racking. Amazingly enough though through all of that off the table Mika is a very friendly person and is down right funny when he wants to be. As I said earlier Mika is a champion and I know of no better way to say it.

To finish this article I would like to thank the world of professional pool, not just the amazing players but people like Pat Fleming and Justin Collett from TAR who produce incredible dvd’s and pool related products. I would like to thank the people who live stream events as it truly is the future. Most importantly I would like to thank all those who support and sponsor our sport because without most of us would be terrible bowlers !!!

Happy Holidays from the Forumghost !!!

December 15, 2010 Posted by | Pool Synergy | 2 Comments

Pool Synergy Volume 11 “Gear”

Pool Synergy Volume 11

“Gear”

I happen to think that this month’s topic is a fantastic one. It’s something that no matter what we can all relate to in one way or another and binds as a sub culture of a sport. Thousands of people will come to the Super Billiards Expo every march and descend upon each booth that contains cues, cases, and any number of billiard related products and services. One of the biggest questions you will hear asked in a pool hall is what type of cue do you shoot with? This question for me now has a huge meaning as I now am representing the incredible company of J. Pechauer Custom Cues as well as Cue Nine Billiards Bar and Restaurant where I am the Tournament Director, League Operator, and of course House Pro. Both of these incredible companies have provided me with amazing opportunities to better not only my pool game but myself as well. After a few great correspondences with Scott Douglas of Pechauer it was decided that we would be a great fit. I try my hardest to represent myself, these companies, and our sport with honor, integrity, and of course respect not only for my opponents, my sponsors, and of course all fans of billiards. I am very lucky to have the support system I have whether it be Pechauer Custom Cues, Cue Nine Billiards Bar and Restaurant, my friends and family and of course my beautiful loving girlfriend Elizabeth. She gives me the time and space I need to practice seriously for events that I have upcoming and understands the long hours I put in to practice and better my game. She is beyond understanding of my love of the game and pushes me to keep getting better and I can’t thank her enough.

Now on to the good stuff THE GEAR !!!!!

First and foremost I am currently shooting with two incredible Pechauer Cues. I am shooting with a P23 pro line shooting cue that is wrapless and has a stainless steel joint. I have always shot with a piloted stainless steel joint and though I have tried ivory phenolic and wood I always always go back to my stainless steel. I currently use a Le-Pro Tip and I have my shafts tapered down a smidge as I prefer a thinner shaft. The second is a beautiful rosewood power break cue that has helped to transform my break into the powerhouse that it is now. I am averaging one to two balls on the break every time in both nine and ten ball. My Case of course is none other than a 4×8 Joe Whitten Black and White Model purchased at Valley Forge this year as a treat for myself.

Two Christmases ago my beautiful girlfriend  bought me a custom cue from cue maker Bob Frey and I will always love that cue and it will never leave my case. No matter what sponsors I have (who I will always represent to the fullest of my abilities and energies) this cue will always hold a special place in my heart. It is a simple cue but it was exactly what I wanted.

In my case I also have a few tip tools, picks etc. Nothing extravagant or too in depth. I don’t like to work on my tips that much as I am not very good at it lol. I’m a terrible tip shaper. I also currently have a few shaft slickers etc. One problem that I have when I play is that I tend to get very hot and I will like anyone else sweat. My hands tend to get a little hydrated and will stick to the shaft sometimes. I have debated on wearing a glove over the last year but I can’t seem to get the feel for it.

One of the most important things I carry in my case aside from my cues is a measle ball. Its level of consistency and play always get me through some tough matches. There is nothing worse than playing on bad cloth with terrible table conditions and the last thing you want to be worrying about is the cue ball. I have played with some that are way too big (aka Bar Balls) I have played with some that are too light and too heavy. It is nice to know that at any point I can take that ball out and know that I am playing with at least one thing that is constant and more importantly familiar.

Recently I have had a few patches to add to my case. I hate to say this like this but I am a total whore for patches. I love them lol. If i find a company or something that I can get behind and that I believe in I love to show my support. NYCGrind.com’s Jerry Tarantola and Alison Fischer are very good friends of mine and I have to say that is the patch I think I am looking forward to most. Jerry has assured me that there is a shirt with my name on it waiting for me lol. To this shirt I will attach a Pechauer Patch, a Cue Nine patch, and of course the quintessential TAR patch because as we all know they are the nuts and produce some of the sickest videos going in the pool world.

As an aspiring professional player equipment is very important to me. Finding that right balance between style and function is a massive undertaking and I truly believe I have found it in my new cues. My gear is my fall back. I have to be able to rely on my equipment at all times. In the words of Super Mario Brothers you take care of your tools your tools will take care of you (Bob Hoskins not Nintendo).

September 15, 2010 Posted by | Pool Synergy | 4 Comments

POOL SYNERGY VOLUME 7 WHAT IS YOUR POOLOSOPHY?

PoolSynergy Vol: 7

My “Poolosophy” or Approach to Pool

By: Charles Eames

I wish I could say my approach to pool was something slick and intimidating like “I Must Break You” made famous of course by Dolph Lundren in Rocky but that simply is not the case. My approach to pool is a simple one “Never Stop Learning”. I am an eternal student of the game and would never choose another path. In my experience those that stop learning within our sport stop excelling. The best players in the world never stop learning or trying to perfect what they already know and there has to be a reason for that. In this instance I look at the variation from American players to European players one of which who comes to mind is Jasmin Ouschan. From what I have learned she has had a coach now for some years as well as other Euro Pro’s. Again there must be a reason for this. They (European Professionals) are regarded as having some of the best mechanics within the whole of cue sports and I don’t think this is a coincidence, unless they put some sort of pool stroke chemical in the water. Hey you never know!!

This topic and my approach to pool most recently remind me of a small story that I will share with you now that just goes to show you how learning can be pivotal to your game. I recently played in a small local tournament where I drew a strong opponent in the first round. As the match progressed I realized that I was ready and focused on the task at hand. He on the other hand was not, putting his jump stick together, going to the bathroom, fiddling with clothing, etc. More and more things just started piling up against him. Now these things were little distractions that in my opinion gave me a slight edge. The reason why I feel this is relevant is because I had just watched one of the “Drill Instructor’s” DVDs about practice secrets from the pros where this exact subject matter was covered. It dawned on me then that I had learned something and surprisingly enough it actually stuck. Now take that scenario and apply it to something even larger. Something like using draw on a shot with a touch of left hand English as opposed to follow with a lot of right, learning different patterns in straight pool, the “cut break” as used in the US Open regularly. The opportunities are limitless as to the knowledge you can gain and that is one of the greatest weapons a player can have in his or her arsenal.

Over the last year of my career, I have had one main teacher. He has taught me patience, speed control, and we analyze racks with each other to find the paths of least resistance. How shots could have been played differently to avoid trouble spots, things of this nature. Steve Kurtz is a very close friend and I consider myself lucky to have him as a mentor and brother in arms in this small microcosm that is our sport. Without him I do not know where my game and new found skills at the table would be as well as the burning desire to better myself on the table all the time, to never stop learning. Also to kick his butt for the years of tournament beatings I took from him. (Sorry Steve!!)  Take a moment while you are reading this to think of someone who has coached you, as I am sure like me you have someone in your life that is, or was, there to help you learn the ins and outs of this game. Another person who has taught me tremendously and worked on my game with me has been Mike “Fingers” Badstuebner. His tireless efforts have been monumental in taking my game to the next level. He is a close friend and a phenomenal teacher. He has the experience that I am lacking and he shares it without question at every pass and I am extremely grateful for his tutelage. I guess I consider myself lucky as my incredible girlfriend Elizabeth has been pushing me as well to better myself on and off the table in the best ways possible. It really helps you realize your dreams when you have an amazing support system like that. She has been there for over four years now pushing me to learn and play and never complains when I practice for long hours (well not too much anyway) and for that I can’t thank her enough. I have learned so much from so many people about our incredible industry in the last year to two years. Charlie Williams from Dragon Promotions / Predator has been a wealth of information which he has shared with me willingly at every turn. From tournament formats to monetary breakdowns his logistical knowledge is incredible and I hear he plays a pretty good game of 14.1 as well. Alison Fischer, Jerry Tarantola, Cristina De La Garza, Angel Levine, and of course Sarah Rousey have also been great friends in showing me the ins and outs of the professional world from both an industry and player standpoint and I cant thank them enough. Facebook really is an incredible tool for keeping people in touch across a country.

There was a post recently on the AZBilliards Forums asking if you would take advice from a lesser player. In my honest opinion yes I would take their advice. What is the harm in listening to someone who wants to help you? My suggestion for this is simple. Listen whole heartedly to what this person has to say, analyze it and glean from it what you can. If you learn nothing than you have made a lesser player’s day that much better because he or she feels that she helped you the better player in your ever increasing game. Now on the other hand if you learn something of value that you may not have seen before then think of the repercussions of this. A glitch in your stroke, jumping up on shots, anything that can help you I refuse to believe can be bad for your game.  In the words of my team mates on my Wednesday night pool league Kenan, Don, and Tommy “It’s only advice”. This of course translates to our team’s time outs. They very much enjoy talking over shots and deciding which is the path of least resistance etc. All three of these player’s games have increased since I have known them, especially Tommy who in my opinion the truest student of us all. His desire to learn is contagious and it makes me want to be a better student myself. Kenan’s and Don’s competitive spirit keeps me in the fight when I want to slam my cue on the ground after a bad roll on an even worse bar table.

Never stop learning. There are pool schools and instructors you can go to for help. Books, magazines, and of course DVD’s dedicated to Pool are readily available to people via the internet and book stores. You would be amazed at the information that is found within them. Watch DVD’s, study players movements, which shots they take and why. Listen to the commentary if there is some and learn from that too.

I guess overall what I am trying to say is keep your eyes and ears open. Information is power the more you have the more powerful you are and the only way to gain it is to learn. Be a student yourself and see what you come up with. In my opinion the results will speak for themselves. In the words of the immortal GI Joe cartoon series “Knowing is half the battle”!

Shoot Well And Keep Up The Great Work Guys !!!!!!!!!

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Pool Synergy | 4 Comments

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

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