Pool Synergy

This month’s issue of Pool Synergy is taken directly from Samm Diep’s What’s in the Case series of interviews.  Here’s what you’ll find in J&J 3×6 case:

    – Lucasi LE-7 Playing Cue (Kamui black soft tip)
    – Action Break Cue
    – Predator Air Jump Cue (just picked up last week)

    – Cue Cube
    – Q-Whiz
    – Tip File with various sandpapers
    – Kamui Gator Grip
    – Magic Eraser bits
    – Shaft Slicker

    – Hand towel (by hook)
    – Q-Claw (holds 3)
    – Pocket Chalker
    – Extra chalk (PoolDawg master)
    – Moose-head Bridge attachment
    – Aramith Measel Ball
    – Hole Reinforcements

Food: (only stocked before I leave the house for a known long session)
    – Cliff Bars
    – Cliff Shot Roks – I call them Power Pellets
    – Gum

Some notes about the food.  I generally try to have at least one Cliff Bar with me all the time anyway, since I would much rather eat a tasty protein bar than a Snickers.  The “power pellets” may not always be the Cliff Shot Roks – sometimes they’re the Powerbar – Energy Bites variety.  I actually prefer these ‘snacks’ to the bars.  I can open a bag of those bites and just snack on them over the course of an hour or so.  Each one has just a little pick me up so I’m not eating a large amount all at once. Each one provides a small amount of protein so I never let my tank get down to empty while also never filling up so I feel “full”.  A serving size is based on your body weight, but you’ll generally take in about 5 grams of protein over the course of an hour; which isn’t a lot – but it’s just about right for me while playing pool.

You might be wondering about the hole reinforcements… well, if you haven’t figured out from this blog, I enjoy doing drills – and they require accurate relocation of the object and cue balls for repetitiveness.  Also, if I’m practicing with someone and we stop the game to try a shot or a variety of shots, we will need to remember the location of the balls on the table.  The hole reinforcements allow us to do that, without getting chalk all over the table.  They’re thin enough to not affect the ball’s path and they peel right up when you’re done.  Obviously, you dont need (nor want) to really press them into the cloth or they can, depending on the cloth, be a real pain to remove.  I’ve been using them for a little over a month now and I like them so much more than the old “mark a spot with the chalk” way.  No more ghost chalk spots, no more extra chalk on the table, cleaner hands, cleaner table.

I have a variety of tip tools in my case – mostly because I’m a pack-rat and never throw anything away.  I started off using the cue cube, but then graduated to the file.  However, now I have that Kamui Gator grip and it’s by far my favorite tip tool so far.  I can agitate the tip’s surface without sanding or grinding off the top layer.  In this way, I can extend the life of this tip far beyond what I could possible imagine using the other two tools.  I nearly bought a Tip-Pik once, but then realized it’s not designed for layered tips; which I use.  I might get one anyway, just to have it.  Lots of people really like the Willard Tip shaper (the one that looks like a flattened silver coin with a half-bubble in the middle); I’ve never used one though; I expect someday I will, and will probably like it better than the cue-cube.  The cube is a little too rough, especially when it’s new, though it gets the job done decently.

The same goes for why I have that velcro-lined shaft slicker, a towel and a q-whiz.  I recently (as in last week) decided to try a q-whiz for burnishing; which I had never done before; not like that.  I had always done the shaft slicker and towel; while frequently washing my hands to keep everything extra dry. I didn’t full understand how people could put wax on their shafts and have it be smooth.  I kept comparing it to when I got my first cue and how awful the shaft would stick against my skin… that is until I found the slicker.  It was so smooth, I just loved it.  I think it’s because I used the slicker soooo much that my stock shaft is thinner than most other shafts; just by shaving it down accidentally.  I’m okay with that – I prefer a thinner shaft anyway.

The Magic Eraser is a great, great tool for cleaning your shaft/ferrule.  I keep small pieces in the case for the ferrule usually, but if the environment is really dirty, or I happen to just feel like it, I’ll use them to clean the shaft.  They get all the chalk out, as well as unwanted dirt and hand oil.  Afterwards, use the Q-Whiz to burnish and seal the shaft to help keep it cleaner, longer.

I’ll be taking a video, ala Samm Diep, of my case and it’s contents the next time I get to a table with some time to kill.