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Charles Eames and J. Pechauer Custom Cues Join Forces

Well the search has ended and I have officially become J. Pechauer Custom Cues newest player representative. I am very excited and look forward to a long lasting relationship. Their craftsmanship and quality is unmatched and their name signifies excellence and reliability within our industry.

J. Pechauer Custom Cues had this to say when asked about Charles Eames. ” We are very pleased to have Charles join the team, we feel that he will represent us in a positive and professional way to the best of his abilities and look forward to the future. We just felt that it was a great fit as Charles’s multi faceted approach to pool whether it be playing, writing, or taking photos fits with our company design extremely well” Scott Douglas – J. Pechauer Custom Cues.

I look forward to playing with their new line of Pro Series cues and look even more forward to the results they will bring in the upcoming 2010 World Straight Pool Championships, 2010 Us Open Amatuer Championships, and of course the 2010 US Open Nine Ball Championships as well as in my multiple league endeavors which include first and foremost the Amsterdam Billiards Straight Pool League headed of course by good friend Danny Barouti and the APA as well.

You can see all of J. Pechauer Custom Cues at their website at http://www.pechauer.com/

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July 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 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

Women in the US Open Nine Ball Championships

Women In The US Open

By : Charles Eames

Once again the US Open is slowly coming upon us and once again there is much debate over the event. This year however I find this debate to be quite favorable as it involves a very interesting topic. The quintessential battle of the sexes so to speak will play out in October on a nine foot Diamond table to the sound of over two hundred entrants male and female alike. The reason why this is so controversial is a simple one. It is the first year the women are being allowed to compete. In a bold move by tournament promoter and founder Barry Behrman, he has opened the doors of the event wide open to both sexes and has changed the landscape of the tournament in my opinion for the better.

Let’s look at it from a purely monetary standpoint for a moment. How is opening up the field to more players a bad thing?  More players equal bigger prize pools which equals more players in the end which equals more exposure and so on and so forth down the line. How is it possible that this is a bad idea? There are those who would disagree with me and I would not begrudge them their opinion, however I am forced to ask why they would form said opinion. Could it be fear based? Is it the fact that the women of the WPBA have had their own open event in the past and the men have not been allowed to play? Once again I find myself asking this question over and over in my mind when I think about the topic at hand.

Now, take the fear factor for instance. While I understand that people like Mika, Johnny Archer, and Shane may not be quaking in their boots, the top men in the event make up only a small percentage of the event. These “house hold names of pool” so to speak. The others are people who are not top echelon pros. They are people like you and I simply playing in a top tier event for experience, exposure, and to test their skills against players from far and wide. Now take me for instance I don’t consider myself to be an incredible player like Shane or Mika so if I draw Jasmin Ouschan, or Allison Fisher first round I will smile and shake their hands with trepidation and fear knowing that these two women are some of the finest cueists in the world. Not to mention the number of other very qualified candidates like Sarah Rousey, Jeanette Lee, Karen Corr, Ga Young Kim, Xiao Ting Pan, and so many more. There have been statements made online saying that the top women of our sport can’t stand up to the men. Whether or not that is true I know not but I like many others are itching to find out. Mark my words I have a feeling quite a few of the men will be sitting in their chairs down something to the tune of 7-1 wondering how it is they came to that point in time. Being beaten, but much to their dismay, not only being beaten but beaten by a “girl”. Perhaps then it will dawn on them.

In truth I feel the women deserve it. Not just the right to play in the event as it is an open but the chance to show that they are just as skilled, just as powerful, and of course just as determined and disciplined as the men. I personally don’t think this argument will ever find an end but I do think that this is a step in the right direction for professional pool as a whole to show a united front. That the gender line is not just being blurred but rubbed out completely. I know it is the fantasy of most pool players that the powers that be will come together and we as players will be under one governing body. That men and women alike can play in events side by side with one another and that the prize pools will be massive. Well one out of three so far isn’t bad and I applaud Barry Behrman for this decision whatever his reasoning was behind it.

To the incredible women of this sport I salute you. You have taken the initiative and have had your own tour for a number of years in the WPBA as well as quite a number of independent tours. You have tried to step up with the men at every pass and although some tours are men only it has not deterred you. I wish you all the best of luck in the US Open not because you will need it (although we all will in that field) but as one competitor and equal to another. I extend this to you as a sign of friendship and the hope of more events like this to come where we can stand together not as men and women but as pool players united in a common goal.

May 7, 2010 Posted by | Articles and News !! | 3 Comments

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 !!

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