Banking lesson from Freddy “The Beard” Bentivegna

Today’s lesson comes to you from Freddy “The

Beard” Bentivegna’s website;

Banking With The Beard

His site is filled with great info and some great pool

stories. Freddy has been a professional pool player

for over 50 years and has been inducted into the

Bank Pool Legends Hall Of Fame. The Beard has

been a frequent stop for  road players going

through Chicago who dare to test their skill against

this bank pool and one pocket wizard. You can still

find him on most days at a pool hall in Chicago

called Red Shoes, firing in shots and taking on all

comers.

The following article and many others can be found at

Banking With The Beard

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The “Mysterious” 2 to 1 Bank angles.
Most every one knows that the basic bank angle to work from is the ubiquitous, 2 to 1 proportionate ratio. Everybody knows that. The problem arises when the shot angle falls into those gray areas when you run out of rail and cant do simple arithmetic, ie., divide the angle, etc. I have solved this by extending the table on graph paper and calculating precisely the 2 to 1 angles of those “mystery” areas.
The actual reference angles and the shooting options that will score the bank are described for posterity in these three diagrams.

Extended rail formulas:

Diagram #1 cross-side solutions:

From cushion point of diamond 1.6 to opposite diamond 2.5

Cue Ball Hit = center axis, ½ tip above or below center
Speed of stroke:
Easy or soft: 1 tip opposite, favoring english
Medium or firm: 1 tip opposite, favoring english (same as easy because of no “curl”)
Hard: no adjustment, hit full in face
From cushion point of diamond 2.6 to opposite diamond 3.0

Cue Ball Hit = center axis, ½ tip above or below center
Speed of stroke:
Easy or soft: 2 tips opposite, favoring english
Medium or firm: 2 tips opposite, favoring english
Hard: no adjustment, hit full in face

From cushion point of diamond 3.3 to opposite diamond 3.5

Cue Ball hit = center axis, ½ tip above or below center
Speed of stroke:
Easy or soft: 3 tips opposite, favoring english
Medium or firm: 3 tips opposite, favoring english
Hard: no adjustment, hit full in face

Diagram #2 Extended rail, long cross-corner solutions:

From cushion point of diamond 1.6 to opposite diamond 5

Cue ball hit = center axis, ½ tip above or below center
Speed of stroke:
Easy or soft: 1 tip opposite, favoring english
Medium or firm: no adjustment, hit full in face
Hard: no adjustment, hit full in face
From cushion point of diamond 2.6 to opposite diamond 6

Cue ball hit = center axis, ½ tip above or below center
Speed of stroke:
Easy or soft: 2 tips opposite, favoring english
Medium or firm: 1 tip opposite, favoring english
Hard: no adjustment, hit full in face
From cushion point of diamond 3.3 to opposite diamond 7

Cue ball hit = center axis, ½ tip above or below center
Speed of stroke:
Easy or soft: 3 tips opposite, favoring english
Medium or firm: 2 tips opposite, favoring english
Hard: no adjustment, hit full in face
Diagram # 3 Extended rail straight-back solutions:
(leave object balls at least ½ in.off rail to prevent kiss)

From cushion point of diamond 3.3 to opposite diamond 2.5

Cue ball hit = center axis, ½ tip above or below center
Speed of stroke:
Easy or soft: no adjustment, hit full in face
Medium or firm: 1 tip opposite, favoring english
Hard: no adjustment, hit full in face
From cushion point of diamond 5.4 to opposite diamond 3

Cue ball hit = center axis, ½ tip above or below center
Speed of stroke:
Easy or soft: no adjustment, hit full in face
Medium or firm: 1 tip opposite, favoring english
Hard: no adjustment, hit full in face
From cushion point of diamond 6.8 to opposite diamond 3.5

Cue ball hit = center axis, ½ tip above or below center
Speed of stroke:
Easy or soft: no adjustment, hit full in face
Medium or firm: 1 tip opposite, favoring english
Hard: no adjustment, hit full in face

If you like this article be sure to check out his  book

“Banking With The Beard”

It has a great mix of some of the best stories and

amazing lesson’s than can be found in print today.

This book is considered by most to be a must have

in your library of instructional material.

Monday Night Pool League 2/21/12

Ok so last week I said I don’t mind getting beat by a

better player but I HATE beating myself……well

guess what, I beat myself. Actually it was a

combination of things. First I hurt my back before I

even started playing, ( I have an ongoing back

issue) and I decided that I didn’t want to take my

pain medicine so I could think clearly. In hindsight

that may not have been the best decision.  Then one

of our problem players says something that puts me

into a foul mood (more on that later). And to top it

all off I am playing a guy that has a handicap of 4

and I am a 6. (I have to win 6 he only has to win 4)

and he can play pretty well.

So, long story short I lost. And I deserved to lose.

The other guy played very good pool and I didn’t,

plain and simple. I congratulated him and their

team and headed home to a nice warm bed and a

pain pill!

Now, as for the foul mood thing you will need a

little background on what has been going on with

our team. There is this guy on our team, I’ll call him

player “A”,  he is a very good shot but not really a

team guy. He only cares about winning and that

would be fine with one exception. We have 8

players on our team and only 5 play each night. 4

of our players are typically 5-6 handicap, 1 is

usually a 3-5 the others range from 2-4. Player “A”

only cares about points and just wants to play the

top 5 players every week. So much so that 2 of our

players only got to play once last session. The

whole thing left me feeling guilty, I didn’t like

playing every week while others sat out every week.

They didn’t join league to sit and watch.

So Player “A” starts complaining about one of our

lower handicap players because he is loosing his

match. I told him not to worry about it, he is just

nervous and he’s still new to league. Player “A” says

“Well, it’s his third session and he ain’t got no

better yet.”  This pissed me off a bit so I snapped

back “Well, he’s only got to play 3 times in the

entire time he has been on the team, how do you

expect him to get better if he doesn’t get any

matches?”

I had to walk away after that, if I talked to him any

longer I would have said something I would have

regretted.  So between that argument and my back

throwing a fit I wasn’t to effective in my match. I’m

not really making excuses for my loss, I should

have still been able to put it all aside and play well

but my heart just wasn’t in it last night. 

 

I decided that I will have to start my own team next

session. I don’t care if we are first place or last as

long as we are having fun playing the game. And in

case you were wondering, I wont be accepting any

“A” holes on my team!

 

Monday Night League 2/15/12

I decided to post a little something each week or so about the league I am in. We just finished our 4th week and so far I haven’t lost a match. In fact our whole team has done well so far. We got 5 points for each of the first 3 weeks and 6 points this week. (6 is the best you can do).  We still have some of the tougher teams to face but right now we are in either 1st or 2nd depending on how the 1st place team did last week.

With all that said if you know me you probably know that I care less about winning and more about everyone getting to play. My personal goal for playing league is to stay at the top of my game and maintain a good attitude win or loose. That’s easy to say when your winning! I don’t mind getting beat by someone that played better, but I HATE beating myself.

I also have found that letting go of the outcome allows me to be happier while I play. When I was too concerned about winning I wasn’t really enjoying myself. Now I am able to have fun while I am playing and it shows in my game. I enjoy the game again. When you develop that attitude everything else just falls into place. Even loosing can be a good experience, if you have the right frame of mind you will use that loss as a learning tool and make use of it.

See you next week…..

Interview with Florian “VENOM” Kohler 2/8/12

When did you start doing trick shots?

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I started  about 5 years ago now when I received an old 6 ft

table for my 18th birthday…

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How did you get the name “Venom”?

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Because I’m poisonous for the table (well especially the felt)

Thanks god I don’t have to pay my cloth anymore since I’m

sponsored by the Simonis cloth.

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How many hours a day on average do you practice?

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2hours of cuesport a day, pool, billiard, artistic or trick

shots. One of these .

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One of the things  I have always liked about your videos is

your originality.  How do you manage to keep coming up

with new ideas for trick shots?

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No idea, it just keeps flashing in my head every time I’m

practicing. Sometimes I even wake up the night, write

down a possible shot idea and get back to sleep. I also

always carry a paper book  so every time I got an idea I

can write it down and not forget it.

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Who has been your biggest influence in artistic pool?


Definitely Mike Massey and especially Semih Sayginer.

What was your favorite part of making the “Venom

Trickshots” DVD ? (besides working with the model!)


The partner shots done with Nick King were definitely tons

of fun.  But generally the whole filming was very fun, I don’t

even call that work haha

What do you feel has been your proudest moment so far in

your pool career?


Being featured in Korea’s main sport channel in different

matches with Semih Sayginer and getting the perfect score

to win the trick shot contest. Being a part of the next pool

movie is also really really exciting.

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Do you have any plans to make a instructional DVD or book?


Not for now…But I can already give you the info that a

venom Trickshots II is in our mind for the future…

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How do you like preforming in the US? Any good stories?

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This is just great. I travel and meet interesting people

everywhere, get new friends and do crazy things. I liked all

the places I’ve been but  recently I’ve done a show in the

66th floor of the Sears tower in Chicago. As for the greatest

shows I enjoyed, I had  recently an insane one in Iowa but

Wisconsin and California were also tons of fun.

I remember using the maximum I could on that diamond 7

foot table for the Christmas party of Riverside TAP. Instead

of 1h I ended up doing a 3h show, beating the highest jump

world record (not official yet, but recorded) and doing

some of my craziest stuff… Actually there are so many

stories it would be unfair to quote only one!

When you first started doing trick shot videos on you tube

you started by doing shots that were created by Mike

Massey, Tom Rossman and others. Now people are

imitating your shots, how does that make you feel?

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This is always surprising and a great feeling. I’m so glad

being a part of the pool history already it’s a dream coming

true. No later than Sunday someone told me that the new

wave I put in Trick shots will surely be a thing that people

are going to remind for the century just like Mike Massey

did. I guess this was one of the best compliment I could

have got…

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What would be your advice to someone wanting to start

a career in artistic pool?


Just enjoying what you are trying. Have fun. Compared to

regular pool which is , past a point, only pure work, trick

shot can remain fun when you’re creating. It’s only boring if

you practice the same shots over and over. Be creative and

that will start everything!!

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What is your favorite part of preforming live?

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I guess this is the people’s reaction when I succeed a crazy

shot.  When you can see this ‘light’ in people’s eyes and if

you see this light even in very good player’s eyes, well, that’s

totally priceless!! What I like too, is the challenge part of my

shows. Usually I have some people asking for a crazy shot

they have seen in a video and contrary to many of

professional, well I try to execute it. If it does work, you

have no idea how cool it is for people and for me!

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What is the best way to order your video or book you

for a show?

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My dvd is available on runoutmedia.com, the website of the

producer Nathan DuMoulin who also sells his new amazing

instructional sets of DVD break and run.

For shows and signed DVD, you can reach me through

my website: venomtrickshots.com. For direct contact, my

email address is venom68@hotmail.com

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Thanks for giving me the chance of that interview and best of luck to the

viewers and the aspiring trick shots artists 😉



Interview with Lenny “FAST LENNY” Marshal 2/7/2012

For those who might not know, Lenny Marshall aka Fast Lenny runs a pool streaming site called On The Rail TV.

How long have you been running this site Lenny?

For 4 Years since April of 2008.

How did you get started streaming pool matches?

Efren Reyes and Scott Frost were scheduled to play an exhibition match for $5000 at the pool room I play out of, Kolby’s Corner Pocket in Tempe Arizona. I decided as a pool fan that others might enjoy watching it so a couple days before Earl Strickland was there for a trick shot show so I did a test stream and it worked well.

What type of equipment are you using?

I use a very simple set up actually, takes me less than 30 minutes to set up but works very well for what I am doing. I have a Canon HD camera and heavy duty Ravelli tripod, USB mixer and 2 XLR mics, and a Dell Studio laptop.

Streaming pool matches have really taken off in the last few years since TV has not been covering many matches in the USA. Where do you see yourself going with this?

For me it is just a hobby and an interest as I love pool but it really has grown into something more than I expected with a good solid following with thousands of viewers who tune in to watch.

For me your site offers so much more than TV ever can, for instance TV wont show money games, what other advantages do you feel you have over National Television?

I like that we can show raw pool, amateurs and guys who play short stop speed who you might not ever see, some with talent and others who are just average players. We have no censors either so we can talk just like guys hanging out in the pool hall, although I do try and keep the chat and audio clean for people out there who might have young kids watching too.

What has been the best match that you feel you have had on your site?

I would have to say Scott and Efren was the best but at the time my stream quality was nowhere near what it is now and wish I could do it again one day. I have streamed other good matches like Hillbilly Charlie Bryant vs Earl and doing the California Billiard Club tournament which had many pro players there. CBC was my favorite stream to do, Scott and Efren were my favorite single match though.

How do the players feel about playing for the OTR audience?

Most really enjoy it and want to see themselves later on the recorded video as it is a tool to help improve their games and see what others are seeing, it can be enlightening to see what you do wrong and right. I have had one or two players who did not want to play on the stream or thought it was hurting their action but sneaking up on people and hustling is pretty dead really with the internet in place. If you make one good score or beat one good player its very possible everyone will know about it including people in other countries.

Some of our readers might not know how to access and view your streamed matches, could you explain the process to them?

You can go to www.ontherailtv.comto view the live stream. I recommend signing up for the OTR newsletter on my site so when there is a stream we will send you an email. I stream roughly 2-3 times a month, mainly one pocket but do other games as well.

How are you able to provide this service free of charge to the public?

Mainly with support from the fans I have been able to do equipment upgrades and bring live pool to the masses. The biggest cost is my time, I have two young kids so I have to give up some family and personal time to do the streams. People assume when you have all the equipment that your good to go but the site itself cost around $500 a year to run and also equipment needs to be replaced or upgraded like my laptop which is over 2 years old now. So since my stream is always free I have to count on people to help out which many do or buy products I have for purchase on the site. The sponsors I do have are listed on my site and at the moment I am looking for a cue maker and case builder to sponsor OTR along with a billiard supplier.

What advice would you have for someone that wants to start streaming matches in their area?

I highly recommend they do it, I have met many good people all over the place because of it. Contact someone like myself who will give you advice on the equipment needed to get a nice stream going at low cost. I have helped probably a dozen streamers with information to help them get going, some are still doing it today and others got burnt out or realized its not Hollywood.

Interview with Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman 2/2/12

This is a Q&A session I did with Dr. Cue, I am very happy he took the time to share with us his experiences. For those of you who may not know Tom Rossman here is a little bit of history on him and his accomplishments.

A few of  Tom’s titles;

  • 2009 ESPN World Cup of Trick Shots Champion (Team USA)
  • 2008 ESPN World Cup of Trick Shots Champion (Team USA)
  • 2008 ESPN Trick Shot Magic Champion
  • 2007 US Open Artistic Pool Champion
  • 2006 WPA World Artistic Pool Champion
  • 2006 ESPN World Cup of Trick Shots Champion (Team USA)
  • 2002 ESPN Trick Shot Magic Champion
  • 1998 World TASA Champion
  • 1982 World Masters Trick Shot Champion

Tom was also the author of Rack Up A Victory training book, videos, and DVDs.
Creator of Banks, Tricks, & “Kicks” training products for “artistic pool” worldwide
Considered “founding father” of modern day “artistic pool” movement and The Foundation of R.A.C.K.

And so much more…..

In short Tom Rossman has done allot to advance the sport of artistic pool as well as other aspects of the game. He is a truly an  ambassador for pool.

INTERVIEW WITH        TOM “DR. CUE” ROSSMAN

Q: When did you realize that you had a talent for pool?

I grew up working as a “rack boy” at a little pool room at Elsies in Minonk, IL. I was 10 years old at that time, but within a few years I knew I loved the game and could shoot pretty well.

Q: Did you have a mentor, someone that took a special interest in developing your skill? If so, who?

I studied Willie Mosconi’s book Winning Pocket Billiards and that really helped, along with a young player as my mentor by the name of Jack Eden, who was the nephew of the owner.

Q:  You have been an innovator of Artistic Pool for some time. Where do you see the sports future heading now?

I see only the greatest future for Artistic Pool with its beauty, promise, and vision for all ages.


Q:  After over 4000 shows and clinics do you ever get nervous preforming on live TV or in front of large audiences? Any funny stories about certain experiences?

I always have a little apprehension before a show, but that is part of being a performer. Without that, I don’t believe you can be focused and entertain with the humor I often interject. One of the funniest stories is when my wife returned to the show arena early to help me put things away. A woman next to Marty commented that she couldn’t figure out who Marty was, but then realized she must have been my wife since she wasn’t laughing at anything I was saying. Marty said that was the funniest thing she had heard in months. After 4000+ shows, I can understand Marty’s sense of humor as well.

Q:   What do you consider your best accomplishment in the world of pool?

I think the 1st ESPN Trick Shot Magic would be close to the top of the list from the event side of things. The greatest skill demo I connect with was when I ran 55 wing shots in a row on the pool table in Yucapai, CA several years ago. I really like those type of shots!

Q:    You have a very successful artistic pool tournament called the Dr. Cue Classic Artistic Cup, what prompted you to start this tournament?

Marty and I started this magnetic event to bring together all players with high percentage make rate challenges, guaranteed prize money to all positions, and a reunion style atmosphere for all ages of players. We just completed the Cup V in a very successful manner once again and encourage anyone interested in future Cup events to contact me — drcue@artisticpool.org

Q:    Sites like You Tube show numerous people trying their hand at trick shots. How do you feel about the younger generation of trick shot enthusiasts?

They are totally awesome and are creating new “artistic pool” shots at a fever pace. I believe the surface has just been scratched in this social medium. We are sure to see new champions of our sport from these talented new hearts of skill, image, and demeanor.

Q:  What would be your advice for someone that wants to take their game to the next level?

This is simple — Develop solid fundamentals, learn the mathematical side of the game with “diamond systems”, study the mental game for burning focus and other key elements of game approach, and most importantly, implant the concept of “enjoying the roll” over everything else. I recommend all players and fans to view segment #40 on the APA Channel via You Tube . This was a special instructional segment I did for the APA several years ago that always makes a connection for the best game and victory in one’s game and life.

Q:   Looking back over your career, is there anything you would have done different? Any regrets?

No regrets on the actual game as I know it has been an equipping for a higher purpose. I believe we are just “watching over things” for God and we must always share the blessings we receive from our sport with others, so that they might share them with others. I recommend starting as early as possible with “spreading the real meaning” of the game and life from a spiritual perspective. The joys our game and life can offer are immense if we really understand what it is all about. To Rack Up A Victory In your game and life is one of the greatest joys one will ever experience.

Thank You Dr. Cue for everything that you have done for pool.

Would you like to see more interviews with the pro’s? Post a comment below about who you would like to see next.