• Can Virtual Reality Help Grow the Popularity of 3-Cushion Billiards?

    Virtual reality has become a fairly well-known technology. A few years ago we were hearing some buzz about its potential emergence, but it wasn’t until about midway through 2016 that most people really started to see what it was capable of. Now there are countless VR experiences for consumers to enjoy, on a full range of headsets at different prices, and through any number of games. What’s been a little bit slower to develop is any kind of meaningful VR sports market.

  • The Verhoeven Open: The Premier International Event in the USA

    The Verhoeven Open Tournament, formerly the Sang Lee International Open, is the premier three cushion billiard tournament held in the United States. The event takes place each summer at Carom Cafe Billiards in Flushing, New York and attracts the very top of 3-cushion billiard talent from around the world. Originally conceived in 2005 to posthumously honor twelve-time USBA National Champion Sang Chun Lee the tournament was renamed the Verhoeven Open when the table manufacturer agreed to begin sponsoring the event in 2012. The 2018 event, to be held July 23rd through 29th is already shaping up to be one of the best installments ever.

  • Carom Billiards in Houston, Texas - A New Era

    The sport of carom billiards is a relative newcomer to Houston, Texas. A decidedly pocket billiards / pool-player's town since the 1940’s, the city was famous for rooms such as Big Tyme Billiards, Legends Billiards, and Bogey’s Billiards. When I moved to Houston in 1979 I played pool at LeCue Billiards and later at The Cushion & Cue - both long since shuttered. But beginning with the turn of the millennium the carom games have arrived or - depending on whom you ask - have been re-discovered. Carom billiards rooms seem to be sprouting up like mushrooms, leading to a resurgence of interest in the sport here in Houston.

  • The Mystery of the Medal

    Three cushion billiards has a long history of championship events and a celebrated list of the players who emerged victorious. Modern records for the World Championship usually begin in 1928 with the UMB as the listed governing body and Mr. Edmond Soussa of Egypt as the first winner in the event held in Reims, France. It is there that we start our hunt to solve the Mystery of the Medal.

  • The Things We Say

    A compendium of laments, explanations, excited utterances, alibis and excuses

    There are sighs, monosyllabic grunts and groans, breathless mutterings. There are references to God. There are curses, of course, and sometimes long vituperative whisperings, best said in a foreign language, questioning the heritage of the table or the balls, or questioning why fate has turned cruel or why we ever took up this infernal game. The vernacular of the billiard world is rich in the things we say when we miss or when others miss.

  • The Feel Of It

    Cross-Over Billiard Players Through the Years

    If you are a carom billiards player, you cherish a five-minute scene in the middle of the 1961 movie, The Hustler. Fast Eddie Felson’s manager, Bert Gordon, has set up a high stakes game at a Louisville mansion owned by Findley. Anxious to start the match, Fast Eddie removes the table cover and is confused by the absence of pockets. “Thought we came here to play pool?” Felson says. "I don’t play pool, Mr. Felson,” Findley says. He sips from his drink, a cigarette wedged between his middle and ring fingers. “I play billiards. My house, my game. You don’t have to play if you don’t want to.”

  • The Belgians use a chess clock, and so should we all

    As Hitchcock said, the length of a movie must not be in conflict with the capacity of the human bladder. Two hours is a good limit for a 3-cushion match; upping the pace around the table will benefit us all. The senior citizen image of the sport is one of our main problems. Swift, spectacular, attacking 3-cushion in the top leagues and in the World Cups will appeal to the younger generation and bring in more spectators, possibly even new sponsors. We can’t inject our players with a dose of fast & furious, but at least our rules and formats should contain pepper, not valium.

  • Why is the cloth green, the chalk blue?

    Green has been the traditional color of billiard cloth for over four centuries. Blue has been the traditional color for billiard chalk for about 100 years. Today, chalk and cloth both come in literally dozens of colors, but green cloth and blue chalk remain the most popular choices.

  • Three-Cushion Billiards - A Poem by Jack Litewka
    It seemed so simple
    at first glance
    40 years ago. Three balls –
    today, a white, a red, a yellow –
    unnumbered, each larger
    than a pocket-pool ball, and heavier.
     
    Back then I gazed across
    a huge green field of tightly-woven wool
    stretched tight across a table
    that was pocketless.
  • Of Flukes, Clucks, Chimbas and Puppies

    The beauty and bane of the lucky shot

    Every room has this guy, the player who habitually scores the inadvertent shot. Usually a banger, sometimes a beginner, this guy specializes in the kiss, the double kiss, the long back up, the wrong rail that somehow turns out right. He plays a shot one way that misses and scores coming back. He plays a two-way shot that misses both ways and someway scores a third way. At West End Arcade and Billiards in Elizabeth, New Jersey, a room that is now closed, that guy was Mike D’Martino. And after years of torment, the 3-C players named a lucky shot after him, a “Mikey D.,” they would say. As in, “We were hill-hill, and then he made a Mikey D.”