Archive for 'Pool Rooms'

Brand New Pool Tournament Format

Posted on 08. Sep, 2014 by .


Saturday Action Challenge

Presented by

Billiard Coach and Jimmy’s Pro Billiards

(Flyer verbiage)

20 pool players matching up in the same pool room over eight hours. At minimum, 40 sets for at least $50/set. Spectators, have you ever seen action on ten tables and five different games? Get involved in the Saturday Action Challenge. Bring cash — In God We Trust, All Others: Post Up!

(End flyer verbiage)

Rules Draft 2

Twenty invited players will randomly match up in four $25 sets in five varieties of pool.

At 11:00 a.m. on Saturday October 11, 2014 at Jimmy’s Pro Billiards, twenty players will pay $100 entry plus the $10 daily special to participate in this groundbreaking action packed event. The first round of matches will be determined by a random draw. One player from each of the ten matches will pull a scrabble tile out of a bag to determine the game format of their match. Tiles distribution and resulting game format is as follows:

Letter Drawn Number Tiles in Bag Game
T 3 Ten Ball on 9 Foot Table — Winner Break, Race to 9
E 3 Eight Ball on 7 Foot Table — Alternate Break, Race to 7
O 2 One Pocket on 9 Foot Table — Alternate Break, Race to 3
B 1 Banks (short rack) on 9 Foot Table — Winner Break, Race to 4
S 1 Straight Pool on 9 Foot Table — Race to 80 points


Winning players must report the match score and collect their $50 winnings immediately. Players will be placed on an overall standings board ranked by points earned, then secondly as fewest points given up as tie breakers.

Points awarded for games won/lost in 8-ball and 10-ball will be given to exactly reflect the final match score. For example, a match ends with Chuck beating Buck 7-4 in 8-ball. Chuck gets 7 points with 4 points as a tie break while Buck gets 4 points with 7 points as a tie break. Louie beats Dewey 9-7 in 10-ball. The standings board looks like this after these matches:

Overall Standing Player Win Points Tie-Break Points
1 Louie 9 7
2 Chuck 7 4
3 Dewey 7 9
4 Buck 4 7




One-Pocket points will be awarded by games multiplied by 2 and bank pool scores multiplied by 1.5. Straight pool points in a game will be divided by 10. For example, Will edges out Bill in banks 4-3, Don crushes John 80-27 in straight pool, and Jack beats Mack 3-1 in one-pocket.

Adding these three matches to the overall standings results in this:

Overall Standing Player Win Points Tie-Break Points
1 Louie 9 7
2 Don 8 2.7
3 Chuck 7 4
4 Dewey 7 9
5 Will 6 4.5
6 Jack 6 2
7 Bill 4.5 6
8 Buck 4 7
9 John 2.7 8
10 Mack 2 6


After all ten first round matches are completed, pairings for the next round will be by standings. 1 vs. 2, 3 vs. 4, etc. and player with the odd ranking will draw the tile to determine the game. Player with the even rating will be given the option for the first break in the match.

Side bets are encouraged between players, spectators, or anyone within shouting distance. Racking procedures (e.g. rack your own, magic rack, 10 on the break, etc.) are to be negotiated between players before their match begins. If negotiations fail, the tournament director (a.k.a. stake holder) will step in and dictate terms.

Each round should take a maximum of two hours. Rounds three and four will commence just as round two. In the unlikely event of an exact tie in win points and tie-break points, a coin toss will determine the player’s positions in the chart.

In the event of an emergency, a player may leave between rounds but before the game has been drawn given that he/she finds a replacement player and notifies the tournament director. Entry money will not be refunded, but the player may make a deal with their substitute.

This event is sure to fill and pre-registration/posting up is required. Please let me know if you’d like to reserve a spot and pay (post up) Jimmy or me to lock in your spot as soon as possible. I’ll list the confirmed players in the next message in this thread.

Mike Fieldhammer


Updated player list will be in the forums here:

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Tip #4: How much room do I need for a pool table?

Posted on 04. Jan, 2012 by .


Tip #4/31 for January. What size pool table should I buy for my home?

This one is a great tip suggested by June Maiers. Props to June! She’s a great player of all games and runs an excellent junior league program. She wrote to me, “How big does your room need to be if you are trying to fit a 7-foot, 8-foot or 9-foot table? I saw a few Craig’s List adds where the person said they bought the table, have it and now need to get rid of it because it didn’t fit.”

Kramer plays pool in a tight home room.

Well, I say having a pool table in your home is great but if you have to resort to a short cue too often, it can take some of the joy out of playing the game. Many homes have rooms large enough for a table but have one trouble area. You know, maybe there’s one wall that’s a little too close and if the cue ball is frozen on that rail you’ve got to shoot with a cue that’s a foot shorter than the standard 57″ one piece pool cue. Some rooms are a little better and only have a post that hampers that one shot out of 500. Lucky you! Jacking up or using a short cue rarely is a fine trade off. If your table is really too big for the spot, playing can be maddening. Try to get a table as large as you can handle that won’t make you crazy. Remember, it’s nice to have a little breathing room around for spectator chairs and for the non playing shooter to hang out without having to lean on the table.

I have a great relationship with one of my sponsors Peters Billiards in Minneapolis. They’re a great retailer that sells Brunswick and Olhausen pool tables. I’m attaching a pdf file that has their recommendations on what size room will accommodate what size pool tables. And if you’re ever in the area of 35W and Crosstown, please stop into the store. Tell ’em the Billiard Coach sent ya.


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PoolSynergy: Picking up the cue again

Posted on 15. Jul, 2011 by .


6 Things You Should Know Before Coming Back to the Game of Pool

So you’re thinking of making a comeback, huh? Do yourself a favor and read up before you enter the shark’s den. Brushing up on this knowledge can make your return to the ring much easier, more enjoyable, and less stressful. For PoolBum’s introduction to this topic and for links to all the PoolSynergy writers, visit PoolBum’s blog here.

Review pool room etiquette. Don’t be the bad guy by unknowingly offending players. Review my past article about proper behavior here.

Please help keep our tables clean.

Read and know the current game rules. Things may have changed since you last picked up a cue. Last pocket 8-ball is a gambling gimmick. 1 and 15 in the side pockets is strictly for the old guys at the retirement home. Now there’s ball in hand anywhere and anytime. Racking rules (where certain balls must be placed in the triangle) are pervasive.

Check your equipment. Nowadays, 19 ounce and lighter are the standard. Especially for break cues. Faster cloth, livelier cushions and tighter pockets call for precision and touch. Those heavy hunks of lumber you used to push the balls around are antiques. It’d be like a reincarnated Bobby Jones trying to play a 7,500 yard US Open golf course with his Niblick, Mashie, and Spoon.

Gambling is more dangerous. Years ago if you played just a little bit, you’d have a good chance at winning several dollars in casual games for money at the pool room or bar. Today, if you gamble, you’d better be ready for a tough game! The level of play these days is miles ahead of the standard of 40 or 50 years ago. This is the most important thing I can tell you about gambling: Post Up! This means both players shall place take their wager and agree to put it on top of the light or have a houseman hold the dough. This is for everybody’s protection. The winner will get paid and hopefully sour feelings or words won’t get in the way of the debt being paid off. Much more could be written about matching up, but this will have to suffice for now.

Know if you’ll practice alone or want to play against someone else. The days of showing up and having many opponents to choose from are gone. Leagues might take up all the tables. Call a friend first. Call the pool room first and make sure you can get a pool table.

Don’t be forced into a game you don’t care for. Keep an open mind about playing various games, but remember that if you picked up pool for your love of One-Pocket, Banks, or Straight Pool by all means play those games. Younger guys will pester you to play 9-ball, 10-ball, or 8-ball. Give them a try if you like, but don’t be afraid to ask them to play your game. You may pick up some great ideas from their fresh approach to your classic game. Likewise, trying their game might teach you a few new shots.

Nearly four years ago, I wrote an article on this same topic. Check that old piece out for a couple of other ideas. The 2007 article is located here.

Welcome back and enjoy your time at the pool table. Consider them golden.

Enjoy pool and avoid Trouble.



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Another Great Fargo Tournament

Posted on 28. Jun, 2011 by .


I just returned from another great event at Fargo Billiards & Gastropub.

Archived matches that Dave and I streamed are at:

I’ll provide more details very soon, but here are a few photos from the event. The following write up is from Mike Page.

Fargo Summer Shootout, June 24-26 2011              — Results

Eighty one players from eight US states and three Canadian provinces converged on Fargo North Dakota June 24-26 for the second annual Fargo Summer Shootout.  The tournaments were held at Fargo Billiards & Gastropub, on its 35 Diamond 7’ tables with Simonis cloth and red circle cueballs.  In the end it would be the player from Illinois, St. Louis area’s Justin Bergman, who would prevail in both the $500 added 9-ball event and the $2500 added 8-ball event.

The race-to-7 winner breaks 9-ball tournament began Friday evening at 6 pm.  Bergman finished that event undefeated, getting through Bill Beaman (Bismarck, ND), Dean Flanders (Fargo, ND), Daryl Phillips (Aberdeen, SD), Dave Coon (Minneapolis, MN), Shane Jackson (Minneapolis, MN), Berry McClean (Winnipeg, MB), and Lee Heuwagen (Minneapolis, MN).

Play in the 8-ball race-to-5 main event started around noon on Saturday, but the day had already been hopping for a couple hours by that time.  The Gastropub provided a complimentary breakfast spread for the players and their guests at 9:30 am.  Two of the thirteen Gabriels 9-foot tables at Fargo Billiards were opened up for the weekend as challenge tables, and both had been going for a while before the 11 am full-field Calcutta that would grow to $9,300.

When a family emergency precluded OTBNtv from streaming the events as scheduled, Dave Coon & Mike Fieldhammer from Minneapolis stepped in to provide an excellent stream with dual commentators.  Archived matched can be found at

The tough 72-player 8-ball field was played down the first day to four on the no-loss side and eight on the one-loss side.  Some of the top 8-ball players who failed to make the second day include  Marc Oelslager (Fargo) ,  Mario Parayno (Minneapolis), and Ryan Solleveld (Winnipeg).   In the two winner’s side matches Sunday at noon, Rory Hendrickson (Fargo) beat Felix Beardy (Winnipeg) by a score of 5-3, and Justin Bergman (St. Louis) beat Jamie Pluta (Minneapolis) by a score of 5-2.   Bergman then beat Hendrickson by a score of 5-1 to win the driver’s seat position.  On the B-side, Pluta beat Beardy 5-2 for the chance to face Hendrickson.  Hendrickson won the match 5-2.

In the finals of the tournament, Fargo Billiards & General Manager & House Pro Rory Hendrickson would need to beat the young Justin Bergman twice.  Hendrickson won the first match 5-2, setting the stage for an exciting final set of the tournament.  Bergman, the runner-up finisher in the January Fargo Midwinter Shootout, evidently returned to Fargo to close the deal, as he won the final set by a score of 5-3.

Plans are underway for the next Fargo Midwinter Shootout, January 27-29, 2012.

2nd Annual Fargo Summer Shootout – June 24-26, 2011

8-Ball Results

1.                           Justin Bergman                                 $1800  (+3270)
2.                            Rory Hendrickson                            $1100  (+2330)
3.                            Jamie Pluta                                        $700    (+1680)
4.                            Felix Beardy                                       $500    (+1120)
5-6.                        Michael Perron Jr.                           $300    (+470)
Lee Heuwagon                                 $300    (+470)
7-8.                        Vince Chambers                               $200
Jesse Engel                                         $200
9-12.                      Ryan Liebl                                           $100
Justin Volk
Jeff Sakellson
Dwight Boucher
13-16.                    Demetrius Jelatis                            $70
Darcy Gilkes
Craig  Stainbrook
Austin Sissel
17-24.                    Ryan Sollevold                                  $40
John Thorson
Dean Flanders
Shane Jackson
Ben Hill
Joshua Morigeau
Nick Jones
Dave Coon

9-Ball Results

1.                            Justin Bergman                                 $600
2.                            Lee Heuwagon                                 $400
3.                            Berry McClain                                   $300
4.                            Ryan Sollevold                                  $200
5-6.                        Shane Jackson                                   $110
Dwight Boucher
7-8.                        Rory Hendrickson                            $80
Vince Chambers
9-12.                      Dave Coon                                          $60
Mario Paranyo
Jesse Engel
Craig Stainbrook
13-16.                    Keith Malcolm                                  $30
Austin Sissel
Darcy Gilkes
Ryan Liebl

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