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Interview with Florian Kohler(Venom) ~ by Brian Pauley

When people think of trick shot artists, a few names come to mind. Mike Massey and Tom Rossman are names that people immediately think of. Now, you can add the name Florian Kohler to those names that players automatically think of when you talk about trick shot artists.

Known as Venom, Florian has the most viewed trick shot videos on social media. Over a Billion views! Florian got his nickname because he is “poison on felt” due to his love of the masse shot. Florian has innovated the artistic pool movement like no other with his creativity and production quality of the videos he does. Many players now attempt shots that Florian created. Florian also competes in the artistic pool tournaments and has finished in the top four in the last four world artistic pool championships. Florian is an amazing ambassador of the sport of pool, especially for artistic pool.

You are the most in demand trick shot performer. How crazy is your travel schedule? My travel schedule is absolute madness usually. I took 115 flights last year for example, fun at start but traveling definitely gets old after a while! You are known for having models on the table. How did you come to do that?

We took inspiration from magicians where a pretty assistant is pretty much part of the routine. To add flair to the video but it is always a challenge to create a shot around a person. It definitely added some spice to the videos while also adding a touch of interactivity. Of all the shots you perform, classic and new creations, do you have a couple of shots that are your favorite or that you are known for?

Absolutely. My all time favorite is the Satellite masse, I believe I was the first one to have the courage to include it in a show. My other favorite are the sting shot where I hit the ball in the air, then the long rail masse and to finish probably Mike Massey’s boot shot! You started off doing trick shots instead of starting playing regular pool. How have you dealt with people always asking about if you can play regular pool and how is your regular pool game? Story of my life haha Contrary to many people I definitely started off playing trick shots so I did a bit of the reverse thing. Decided to learn what i call ‘real pool’ afterward when I realized I had to play challenge matches etc. My level is definitely good now. I am no pro in pool but have a 14.1 high run of 73 balls and 5 racks run in 9 ball so I am satisfied with that. Lately I have been focusing on my 3 cushion game a lot and probably average 0.7 at this point.

What has been your favorite pool room to perform at? Tough question as there was so many great pool halls! Without naming any I would say sometimes the coolest shows are in the most unexpected hole in the wall. I do have to admit I love my local pool room in Vegas, Gorilla Cafe. Immaculate heated 3 cushion tables, pool tables, electronic scoreboards with cameras included for replays, great Korean food and action at any time of the day. Pretty hard to beat.

You use your home table for most of your videos and you masse a lot. How often do you change the felt on your home table? Depends a lot on how much I am home but I would say 3 to 6 months in general. I do love slick felt so after it gets too old I usually will change it anyway.

The bigger videos you do are very well made. Can you give us an idea on how long those take to film and do you have to change the felt during shooting?

Usually about 2 to 3 days for those expensive videos simply because the amount of people working and the logistic and camera preparation. We never changed the felt, usually its in decent condition because really there is not as any attempts per shot than during my home ones where I truly experiment. You have started playing a lot of 3 cushion billiards. What got you started and do you see yourself one day playing in a 3 cushion tournament? I actually took most of my inspiration for trick shots from 3 cushion. As far as I recall I have always been fascinated by 3 cushion and the moment I saw Semih Sayginer Trickshots on a carom table I knew one day I will do those. My standard game is a work in progress for sure but in a year i gained probably like 0.2 on my average to my current one close to 0.7. My ultimate goal is to reach 1.00 within the next few years. As for tournaments I might start as early as this year at the Summer Shootout in Arizona organized by Mazin Shooni.

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