Saturday, August 16

Soft Break VS hard break

Well it was another episode of the soft break . I was playing Corey Deuel.

I was up 5-2, left him a window for a short bank, lag speed. He made it and ran out. After that I had two shots in which both times I was hooked. So I lost. All because he was allowed to break soft. Ok, he played within the rules of this event. Corey is a great player but I can't agree with his choice of break.

Statistically, when we played in a tournament where we had to break hard, I beat Corey outright. Every loss I had to Corey is due to the soft break he used against me. Its just disheartening. Its a dangerous path for our sport. Ok I have used it myself but I didn't feel good about it. But if the other players use against me, I simply cannot throw the match away, I have to try to win the best way I can.

If you take away the hard break its like taking the drive shot away from golf. You think Tiger Woods would be happy with that?

some other tours are enforcing the hard break. Dragon Promotions events are all using the hard break. The Florida tour is cathing on to that. Predator tour is using the hard break. What this means is that if the tournament director thinks you are breaking soft, you loose that game.

In the end, the break is the single most athletic part of the game. If you take this away, its really undermining our legitimacy as a sport. I don't like the sound of that.

Lets keep our game challenging, we were raised to learn how to break hard. Times chance, but some traditions should be kept. The Power break is one of them. When a players moves his body towards the cueball on the break in a lunge, You hear the explosion of the rack as the balls separate. balls flying everywhere, cue ball in the best case is parked near the middle of the table. There is a gracefulness to it that is beautiful to watch. The contrast is the break where you just play an ordinary stop shot, even regular stance, no body momentum required. balls just trickling a little while some slop in. Way too predictable.

You tell me, I would like to have a poll: Does the soft break help or hurt the game?

Also, there is a problem like this in the European tour. Euro-Tour. They tap the balls in the slate which make the rack "perfect".
This also allows for anybody to break the the wingball in and have a position for the one. on top of that they do not have tight pockets. Its like asking Tiger Woods to play PGA Tour stop on a minigolf course. Of course he might win sometimes, but even the less talented players can win. Is that really what EPBF considers a professional standard?

Thankfully in Europe there is a new players organisation that are asking the IPB(EPBF) to tighten the pockets at least. Thats just a portion of the battle. There are many things that has to be changed to protect the sport and doing so keep it more professional.

Yours Truly,

Mika Immonen

Friday, August 15


Hi readers / pool junkies,

Its been a good build-up for what I see as a very busy fall.

I did pretty decent in the Jacksonville invitational finishing 2nd in the straight pool averaging very high in runs. I did about runs of 80-120 almost every game.
In the 10-ball division I finished 5th but i could have been better. I lost a couple of games by a narrow margin.

In New York in won the Blaze tournament at Raxx's Billiards, Long Island, the past weekend. It was a field of 40+players. I beat Manny Chow in the Finals 13-7.

Also I have been tormenting the tuesday night tournament in Skyline Billiards, Brooklyn. I won 3 out of the last 4. Its definitely a good way to stay in stroke. The tables are in good condition there, nice and tight. Rob&Co, thanks for putting up with me.

Right now I am playing the Turning Stone Classic. I avenged my loss from last Turning Stone tournament by beating Ray McNamara in my first round. Then I hit a wall called Jose Parica. He was simply in a form that reminds me that you can't beat anybody from the Chair. I was basically racking and sitting down the whole match. I felt I should hire someone to rack for me. Man it can be frustrating to watch. Just watch. Hats off to Parica, we can still watch the artistry of the genius.

So I am in it for the long haul now. I have to fight hard to stay in. One match tonight. If I win, I have to stay in to win 6 matches tomorrow. Its a little ridicilous, like a marathon

Next week I will start warming up at Amsterdam Billiards for the World Straight Pool Championships. The event itself will be held in East Brunswick hotel Hilton. Starts 25th August.

Thursday, August 7

Bankshots tournament

Here I am getting ready to deliver some "packages" at the 10-ball
event in Jacksonville.