brain twisters and billiard balls

MamboFats

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
39
From
Waregem, Belgium
This is nice ... a place to tell a story or 2 ...

In the beginning of my pool hobby, I was in a small club and knew about how a tournament was run, how a competition was to be organized, how to raise funds to accomplish that. After a few years in the club I got elected president ... big mistake !!! I changed my life completely.
Soon after I got in the regional federation, got president after a few years. Got a seat in the national federation, got president after a few years and got to be Belgian Team Captain on the European Championships.
I was club president for 18 years, regional president for ±10 years, national president for 2,5 years. I learned a lot about ... politics, envy, jealousy, helplessness ... but also who is your friend. In the past 20 years there are still a couple of guys and gals for whom I'll run into a burning building.

Over all those years I organised, hosted and ran club tournaments, regional competition and tournaments and national tournaments. But "I" means "WE" in this last sentence. I had good friends, colleagues and helpers on 99% of the events. Some years back, me and my best friend started counting the number of tournaments we were tournament director (a lot of times we worked together, to lighten the workload): we stopped counting at 800...

In the beginning, we used a pîece of paper and drew a simple Single KO chart, or a double KO chart. We got confused a lot of times, when we had to put a losing player in the winner's side to the correct place in het loser's side of the chart. Until we got our hands of the excel files used by the EPBF. From then on we were never confused anymore.
These xls-charts were to be filled in manually.
In 2011 I met Cakti Aswan, who was then the organiser and tournament director of the Longoni Benelux Open. I visited the tournament and saw him manually filling in a double KO chart in graphical program (I think it was Adobe Illustrator). I asked him: why? Because I do graphic design and that's the program I know. Every round he printed new sheets to put up ... I told him I could make his charts in Excel, easy to fill, nothing much to think about ...
And at that time I somewhat of math-lover and got into VBA programming for Excel. I started to automate the charts in Excel and over the course of 3 to 4 years I kinda perfected my charts and system. In just one xls-file I had player registration, the draw (with or without seeding), automatic start/stop and time registration of the match, automatic print-out of match sheet for the players to fill in. And in the last version I even had the headshots of the players on their match sheets.
In 2012 I was tournament director for the next edition of the Longoni Benelux Open and the year after we moved the tournament from Belgium to Rotterdam,the Netherlands in a venue with 20+ tables. We had 200+ participants, including all the greats of Europe: Niels Feijen and Nick Vandenbergh, Tony Drago, Daryl Peach, Stephan Cohen, Huidji See, Oliver Ortmann, Andreas Roshkovsky, Joshua Filler, Reda Belhaj, Ralf Souquet and many more.
This last version of my fully automated excel tournament chart I used in september 2015 at the Italy Open in Milan as part of the World Games 2015. That tournament was won by Eklent Kaci, I think it was his first international title in 9ball. Then, he was still a kid, but what a player.. I had the time to watch to final: a fabulous player who has proven himself by now.

In 2015 cuescore.com got online and has been a very fun tournament system to use, I saw no need for further use of my xls-files (except when there's no internet connection)
The fun part of that is : cuescore.com has almost the exact same layout as the dashboard on my xls-file.
 

MamboFats

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
39
From
Waregem, Belgium
I'm dreaming of my own pool table at home.
But I'm a little spoiled: I'm used to playing on good to excellent quality tables. And so I'm reluctant to accept anything less for myself.
One problem: I don't have the budget for that quality. Maybe second hand but there's not much to go around in my country.
So I decide to design and build it myself.
At this point I have already purchased 90% of the wood, bolts and nuts.

When I manage to put pictures, I will
 

MamboFats

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
39
From
Waregem, Belgium
Just a little update on my table ...
Since posting pictures is not working for me, I"ll paint a mental picture.
I get my inspiration of Diamond Pro-am and GC models.
I love the bulky look of the Pro-Am, but since I'm building with simple (hand)tools and with only wood and "Overkill" is my middle name: I'm starting with 6 legs supporting an all wood frame (similar to GC frame).
I glued all the sides of the legs last weekend.
These legs are about 16" high.
The sides are made of 28mm solid oak (outside) glued to 18mm rubberwood (inside) => total of just under 2 inches thick.
On the bottom these legs will be about 9,5" width, on the top 7,5".

The rails will be made with the same solid oak and I would like to finish it in a reddish tint.

This gets my heart pumping, I'm not in a hurry.
At this moment, It's all about the trip, not the destination
But never letting the destination out of sight.

Enjoy pool ...
 

MamboFats

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
39
From
Waregem, Belgium
with some good advice I managed to upload some foto's:

Anatomy of a corner leg


the basic idea of legs and frame

the side view

 

MamboFats

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
39
From
Waregem, Belgium
So I did some glueing last weekend.
Every 2 board were tight with 10 woodscrews for a full day. Unscrewing these took over an hour.

I now have a stack of 24 sides of 28mm solid oak with 18mm rubberwood.

Next I have to figure out how to route the slots for 3 horizontal planes.
I already decided to stick all 4 sides of 1 leg to a custom made jig (I have an old and scratched flat door available for that purpose), so I can route every component of 1 leg at once. If there would be inconsistencies when routing, the sides of each leg will always stay compatible to each other.
Just have to figure out the angle of this slot because of the tapered legs.


 

MamboFats

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
39
From
Waregem, Belgium
Today I made a hug step forward in building my pooltable.
I got to use some professional equipment, so I got ahead of things.

clamping my 10' long oak and rubberwood


And using the table saw to cut all the slots and ends in a 4.5° angle to suit the tapered leg to be.


I handled 4 pieces to one leg at a time and labeled them. Legs 1 to 6, sides A to D. All sides to leg have equal and aligned ends and slots.


Next will be the scary part: cutting the taper.
This has to be perfect.
First I'll have to design some sled to make that perfect 45° cut, with a 4.5° taper angle.

Just having fun.
 

MamboFats

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
39
From
Waregem, Belgium
Just read the last post from vapros' "Unpaid Bill" and I have to set some things straigth

Since reply does not work in these threads: vapros wrote
In addition there is brisk interest in the upcoming tournaments, including the ones for members only. The one in Belgium will be a ground-breaker for European one-pocket players and could be the start of something big. Lots of pool players over there, and how could they fail to fall for our favorite game? Why play anything else? I must note that Mambo Fats has posted some basic language phrases to help those tourists who don’t speak Flemish. Notably conspicuous by its absence is the local lingo for ‘froze ball’ and ‘no rail!!’ Maybe he can add those. Exclamation mark in Dutch?

Yes, I am from Belgium, but Belgium can not take credit for the MOT in Den Hague.
Den Hague is in the Netherlands and the MOT is organised by Mosconi Cup European Team Captain Alex Lely (Eengat on this forum) , a true Dutchman.
In the Netherlands they speak dutch and in Belgium we speak Dutch/Flemish and French. Flemish is close to the Dutch language.
I like the Dutch language since it has so many layers of interpretation even with the simplest of sentences.
Looking forward to hearing you all talk the talk in Den Hague.

@vapros : no harm done.
Just giving credit to Alex Lely for the MOT in Den Hague

Enjoy pool...
 

MamboFats

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
39
From
Waregem, Belgium
Ode to a friend.

March of 2020, Belgium goes in COVID lockdown ... and I'm somewhat the happiest guy in the world :unsure:
My friend Luc has a very bad health since years, keeping him from working and doing anything outside the house. End of 2019 he decides to get a pooltable in his garage, so he has something to pass the time. He has only played snooker 30 years before, has no experience on a pooltable but got infected by the poolvirus by watching matches on youtube. He asks me for advice and through my connections, I find him a nice Clash Steel 9' pooltable in very good condition at my other friend's billardsshop ESPA.

He chose a new set of Cyclops Hyperion pool balls

This table gets installed in february of 2020 and 1 month later Belgium goes in lockdown. At that point, I get to stay home and I'm only allowed (fysical) contacts in a bubble of 5 persons. So Luc gets a spot in my bubble and I in his.
The next months his place becomes my favourite hangout for 3 times a week. He has dialysis treatment 3 times a week which makes him uncapable of doing anything the day of his treatments. The day after I'm always welcome to play some pool.
Luc has a typical snooker stance and technique, but is also fysically limited with some tubes connected to his chest. Playing powerfull shots is not his style.
In the beginning we played some 9ball and 8ball. I introduced him to 10ball later that year. But, his level of play is a few steps down from my level and he got online searching for different games on the pooltable. We tried rotation (Filipino and American) and onepocket. Filipino rotation is his preferred game of choice with another friend who comes to play him. Onepocket has become our preference.

I know of onepocket for about 10 years and was really intrigued by its level of sofistication. Being a bankpool lover this game appealed to me. Playing Luc is good practice and we have lots of fun spending those hours at the table.
By now we have been playing onepocket for over a year and Luc is becoming better at pool and onepocket in particular. He already won two nights playing me.

But, the last months Luc is having a hard time with his health. He suffers heavily under his dialysis treatments and experiencing higher-than-normal temperatures, his body is not upto playing. Still, I call and visit and then we talk pool, movies, TV shows, computers, music and so on.
But the last 2 months has been without onepocket with Luc.

Thanks, Luc
For being such a good friend
For being a worthy opponent
For being you

I wish you well and hope your health gets better soon.
 

MamboFats

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
39
From
Waregem, Belgium
Since playing onepocket was not on the menu for 2 months, I visited my old club on sunday.

On sunday morning, the club opens at 09:30 and by 10:00, there are 6 - 7 snooker tables occupied and 4 - 5 carom tables.
I like playing 3cushion and there are some really good players in my club. Over the past 20 years I have met and watched almost all big European and World Champions: Raymond Ceulemans, Ludo Dielis, Frederic Caudron, Eddy Merckx, Torbjorn Blomdahl, Dick Jaspers, Daniel Sanchez, Richard Bitalis, Eddy Leppens and many others.
Watching them play, I called it "stealing with my eyes". Frequently I watched them play and drew on a piece of paper the shot they played so I could reproduce in practice. I like to think I got to a nice level of play over time.

I played a guy named Roger, 80 years old in 2 months, and has been playing for close to 70 years. Since he was young, he was always a very good player and has an enormous wealth of wisdom to share.
I like listening to him, playing him, learning from him.
We played 3cushion for about 2 hours and for the first time ever I won against Roger.
I won 15-11 in 19 innings and 15-9 in 20 innings. That makes an average of 0.750, which is very good for me (I'm usually around 0.550).
Roger said it was because of being a good listener when he explained a shot.

Thank you
I hope we get to play a lot more in the future.
 

MamboFats

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
39
From
Waregem, Belgium
The early years of the internet

In the early years of my poolroom (est. 1998) a local carom club was looking for a new room. An agreement was reached very fast and a grandstand was built around 2 matchtables and 2 small tables.
In 1999 (or maybe it was the year 2000) the carom club KKBC (Koninklijke Kortrijkse Biljart Club - Royal Kortrijk Billiards Club) was organizing the VES Super Prestige, an invitational tournament for the best 16 players in Belgium. Keep in mind: half of these are top 100 in the world, half of that: top 25 with multiple world champions.
The tournament was all week long and being a fan of 3cushion, and new friend to most of the club members, I suggested covering the tournament through the internet. We are talking 1999.
I moved my complete computer kit into the venue: desktop PC with 20" CRT, matrix printer, laser printer, portable PC. I built a website (it doesn't exist anymore) with the schedule of play and scores. The scoresheets of each match, I digitalized and programmed it as a webpage. I transferred the html-files to my laptop, walked to the counter on the other side of the building, connected to the telephone line an uploaded through a 56k dial-in modem.
The deepest respect to mr Raymond Ceulemans: he was the oldest of the participants, but was also the person who showed most interest in what I was doing. He asked me to mail a friend of his in the US, so that guy could stay up to date with the tournament (I don't remember the guy's name, but learned afterwards he was well known in the US 3cushion world - I remember, it was Deno Andrews). I remember a reply complementing the coverage.
I have no photo's of this event, no data of files left.
It happened, I had a blast.
Long live 3cushion
Long live my poolroom: the Mambo
 

MamboFats

Active Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
39
From
Waregem, Belgium
November 11th
In Belgium this is a national holiday as a remembrance of the end of WWI.
In the US it is know as Veterans Day.

A lot of the battles were fought around the town of Ypres, only 30 miles away of my hometown Waregem.
But my town also has something unique to you guys in the States.

We have Flanders Fields American Cemetery, the only US WWI-cemetery in Belgium.
It's not very big, but very nice and well kept.
Every year on the last sunday of the month of May, there is a big remembrance ceremony.
The kids from the elementary school are singing the Star spangled Banner (they practiced for a month, almost daily - I know because 40 years ago I was one of those kids) and high officials of the town, of Belgium and of the US (military) give speeches.
Usually we have a fly-over of some military planes.
Some years ago, when Obama was in Europe, he visited the cemetery.

We can only hope man and mankind will learn that in war there are only losers, never winners.

In honor of all and everyone...
 
Top