I have been playing pool since 1983. I started performing trick shots in college, back in the late 80's, but I have been competing in trick shot competitions since October of 2002. I was invited to ESPN's Trick Shot Magic for the first time in October of 2003, when a good friend of mine Bogdan Wolkowski from Poland dropped out at the last minute due to an arm injury. Once I started competing in the trick shot tournaments, I stopped playing 9-ball and never looked back.
I have worked as the technical advisor of Sweet & Lowdown, a Woody Allen film starring Sean Penn. I have also filmed a couple of commercials, one for All Detergent and one for AT&T, both obviously involving pool and trick shots. I also did a 12 week segment for Spike TV called Bikini Pool Shark. I have also worked with Ewa Laurence and helped her prepare for the 2004 and 2005 Women's ESPN Trick Shot Magic tournament. Ewa's excellent talent, along with coaching from myself and Bruce Barthelette, helped her achieve a second place finish in 2004 and a win in 2005.
In addition to pool, I am an amateur magician. I play Go once a week in a club near my house, and online a few times a week. I enjoy playing poker, both live and online. I am also in the computer business. I own and operate a website company Magic Man Web Services LLC, which currently hosts www.artisticpoolplayers.com.
I am the reigning 2007 World Trick Shot champion.
Andy Segal: Hi, I am Andy Segal. Today we are doing some masse pool shots. These shots are probably the most enjoyable shots when you are watching trick shots. The cue ball does sweeping curves, changes direction, it's very nice. Anyway, this shot here is one of the first masse pool trick shots that I have learned. It was made famous by the movie, The Hustler. We are going to pocket the one ball on this corner pocket. The cue ball is going to come up, around, come back and pocket the two in the same pocket.
Before we get into that, let me explain a little bit about masse pool shots. This is the masse cue. It's a little bit shorter and a little bit fatter up here. It gives you more power into the cue ball. When you shoot a masse shot, you are going to come straight down on the cue ball like this. You want to keep your bridge hand steady so a lot of times you put your bridge hands right on to your side like this or sometimes for a shot like this, you may get up on the table and rest your hand on your leg. This is what I like, I like to do if possible.
Anyway, I am going to aim at this diamond. Now, when you are aiming like this, how you really aim at a diamond. Well, what happens is, I put the cue stick this way and I just kind of come straight down as if I am looking right up the diamond and then as I am coming down on the cue ball, I am going to be hitting it with Bottom Left-hand English. Now, Bottom left-Hand English is bottom and a little bit of Left English but now you have to trans like that to a vertical hit. So, here is the top center of the cue ball. I am going to aiming right up the third diamond like this. You ride along this line of aim and then back towards me so here and then a little bit of left English so that I move it over this way and come here. Well, I am hitting it right there.
Now, masse pool shots are very difficult. Do not expect to get them on your first try. When you are trying this, you want to make sure that you are going straight down into the cue ball. You don't want to angle your cue stick because if you do that you may hit the felt and it could tear. If you go straight down into the felt, there is nothing for it to tear. The other thing is you are just going to have to practice these masse pool shots, they are very difficult and it's not that easy to get used to stroking this way. Most people stroke this way. Not a lot of people stroke way.
So, now one option you have and a lot of European players shoot this way. Instead of holding the cue stick like this they hold it like this and they shoot it this way and this style doesn't work for me but you know what give it a try, see if it works for you. If not you can go back to the standard American grip, this way. I think if you try these masse pool shots, you will have a lot of fun. Don't forget, we got a couple of more masse pool trick shots coming up so don't go away.