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January 20, 2011
Racking Balls

In the history of pool, it seems that more creative energy has been given to ways to rack the balls consistently tight than any other aspect of the game. Remember the Sardo rack? Now there was a Rube Goldberg contraption if ever there was one. And what about the Laser Rack? That attempted to solve the problem with getting the rack straight, but didn't do anything about getting a tight rack. And of course the Delta-13 aluminum rack is a great product; it produces a more consistently tight rack than anything else I've used so far.

January 19, 2011

Mike Sigel, aka "Captain Hook", when he was hot--was the winningest pool shooter of all time, period. Like any pool player, after just a few weeks away from competition comes a rebuilding period to gain "feel" and get back to 100%. But Sigel has been working to rehabilitate a neck and left arm that have been giving him fits.

Look at his record, especially through the 80's into the 90's, and against very stern competition and a game revitalized by The Color of Money, a film Sigel helped guide, and his titles will stack against Reyes, Bustamente, even Mosconi--anyone you'd care to name.

No one could beat him when he got a hot hand, no one. I had the privilege of playing him--and sitting and watching him--shoot 9-Ball, where for over an hour while he chatted with passerby he ran rack after rack with the cue ball perfectly in alignment for the next shot, time after time, than dead straight on the nine. After a while, I made a game of calculating where I'd want the cue ball for the next shot only to watch sail there, and off two and three rails or more as needed. Outrageous!

In 1999, a panel of experts at Billiards Digest magazine rated the top 50 pool players of the past century, and named Sigel as the greatest living player. Sigel has played against and beaten other great pool legends such as Irving "The Deacon" Crane, Luther "Wimpy" Lassiter, Joe "The Meatman" Balsis and Steve Mizerak, as well as many of the younger professionals such as Johnny Archer and Ralph Soquet, who are winning professional tournaments today.

You have a chance to catch the Captain in action as well as learn from him at Champion Billiards in Maryland, where Sigel has signed on to be the pro in residence.

Established in 2003, Champion Billiards Sports Café provides its guests with a unique experience in dining and entertainment. During the day, guests can enjoy a meal in the large dining area, inside or outside in the covered private patio. Champions boasts a full bar, fourteen 9-foot and four 7-foot high-caliber pool tables, darts, karaoke, poker, games, a number of large screen TV's, a D.J. on Thursdays and live bands on Fridays and Saturdays.

Gary Allen, co-owner of Champion Billiards Sports Café, Frederick, Md. said, "We are truly fortunate to have a pool legend of Mike Sigel's stature working with us to help promote pocket billiards at Champion Billiards Sports Café and throughout the Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. metro area."

Gary, I agree. Congratulations! And pool world, if Sigel's arm gets to 100%, watch out and hold onto your cash!

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