My Favorite Game

This month's PoolSynergy topic is about your favorite game.  This is a good question that I haven't really thought about lately since I mainly play in bar leagues now and thus am relegated to mostly 8ball and 9ball.  After reading this post, be sure to check out the rest of the April 15th Edition over at Johnny101's blog.

I love both one-pocket and 8ball carom, and have had the chance to play each a few times recently.  Playing both of these games on a serious level is not only fun but it will greatly help your strategy in any other game you play.  If we had been asked to choose our top three favorite games, those two would easily be next in line.

Golf Pool

That being said, my all time favorite game in terms of the pure fun factor has to be playing golf on the 12' snooker table.  Golf can be played with 2-9 players at once.  Everyone has one numbered ball that is their own which they shoot at in order, similar to a 9ball ring game.  You start off with the cue ball in the D (similar to behind the line) and your ball on the foot spot.  You have to bank it back to your back right corner pocket, which is called the "one hole."  Like in the "other version" of golf, you can't move on to the next closest corner pocket, the "two hole," until you sink your ball into the first pocket.  You continue around the table until you end up on the right side pocket which is the sixth and final hole.  If you scratch while on the six hole, you go back to the five, but this doesn't apply on earlier holes.  There are some variants on the rules, but Wikipedia's Golf Rules are similar to how we used to play.

The strategy is normally to try "putting" your ball close to your pocket, because in the event of a miss, you would like it to ideally end up very close for when your next turn comes around.  Beware though, because it is also everyone's responsibility to shoot other players' balls away if it is sitting near their pocket and you have a shot at it.  For instance, if you're on the three hole and someone is near their own five hole and you have an opportunity to hit your ball into theirs to kick it out, you really should do so instead of soft banking your ball back near your own hole.  Everyone is gunning for everyone else while at the same time trying to leave themselves in a good position.  It's awesome!

We used to play golf for hours upon hours at Hall's Billiards back in the greater Detroit area.  I was just a youngster with a sharp shot who made a small living between gambling and tournaments but couldn't really hold his own in an unweighted set against the best in the area.  Back in the corner playing golf would usually be me, a couple guys twice my age, and a few more 4-5x my senior.  I don't know if they took it easy on me at first which gave me confidence to play well, or if it was simply the fact that the game was so much fun, but what I do know is that when it came to golf, I was able to play well above my pay grade and come out on top more than my fair share.