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Predator Cues And Their Impact On Pool -- By Patrick Sampey

Updated: Apr 30, 2022

Wednesday, April 6th, 2022 – Predator Cues is one of the premier, industry leaders in billiards. And Predator Cues has invested a lot of money back into the sport of pocket billiards. Furthermore, I have been informed by one individual on Facebook that Predator Cues sponsors a whopping 70% of the professional players in pool. Below is a small reading about how Predator began as a company early on, as quoted from their website: "...HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED Out of all the billiards shafts, cues and components that Predator Group has been associated with over the last 25 years, none may be more important than the tip that was on Allan McCarty’s cue in the early 1990s. A frequent player who had dabbled in developing inventions, McCarty was leading his opponent during a billiards match when his tip loosened and popped off of the ferrule. He switched out that shaft for his reserve and immediately struggled to make balls. McCarty lost the match, walking away from the experience lighter in the wallet and questioning how these two seemingly identical shafts could play so differently. McCarty teamed up with Steve Titus, a self-made engineer he’d met at a tournament a couple of years before. Together, the two constructed a mechanical arm for testing billiard cues named Iron Willie. This helped them to develop a product which would deliver more consistency and accuracy. They toiled away in their Clawson, Michigan shop for about a year and a half, ultimately creating a six-piece spliced wooden shaft.

That desire to design and develop a superior performing product led to Predator’s initial product creation – a multi-splice shaft introduced as the original 314 shaft in 1994. Predator’s cutting-edge shaft technology reduced the error factor called “cue ball deflection”, where the mass of the shaft pushes the cue ball off the aiming line when using English or side spin. Put simply, this new technology made it easier to pocket balls using English and helped players progress faster…" – Predator has been producing top notch billiards cues ever since 1994, and when I began APA league play in around 1998, Predator was already widely known and respected as the most consistent equipment, specifically their 314 shaft – on the market. The impact of Predator upon the industry as a whole is gargantuan, as is the company's influence over some aspects of the game, such as the introduction of two races to four in tournaments, with a "shootout," skill shot showdown to decide the winner, should they split the two sets to 4 at one a piece. For some that I've heard give their input on this type of format, is like the equivalent of a professional basketball tournament coming down to a one quarter game, ending in a free throw shootout to determine the winner in the event of a tie, with no overtime. Predator is even involved in the manufacture of pool balls as well; check the quote and link to the article below for more information about this: "Predator, the world's most innovative and trusted cue manufacturer, has teamed up with legendary ball maker Aramith to unleash the all-new, highly accurate and durable Predator Arcos II billiard balls. By applying the signature Predator style to Aramith’s flawless technology and production, they’ve created balls like no other. The higher phenolic resin composition and meticulous curing and inspection processes make Predator Arcos II more accurate, more responsive, more consistent and more durable…" – "PREDATOR CUES TO TITLE SPONSOR PREDATOR CUES PREMIER LEAGUE POOL NEWS February 8th, 2022 Matchroom Multi Sport is delighted to announce Predator Cues as the official title sponsor of the inaugural Predator Cues Premier League Pool from Monday, 14 February to Monday, 21 February at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes live on DAZN in the USA and Germany as well as networks worldwide…" – As highlighted yet again, Predator as a company is heavily ingrained in so many aspects of the sport; Predator could be considered the largest company within pool, and having the biggest impact as a whole, but should the Company that profits off the sport be involved in the tournament format, rules, etcetera? Is this a conflict of interest? Some may say "yes." Personally, I never owned a Predator cue for long, because I'd buy and sell cues regularly, really enjoyed trying them all, or all I could – and a good way to do that was by buying and selling them. The Predator Cues were always in high demand, very reliable playing equipment, and touted as the best shafts in the industry. Now, there are many cue and equipment options, and for me personally, I feel that the Predator Cues are overpriced a bit, yet they do really appear to support billiards and the professional players in the game that make the sport so dynamic, colorful, and diverse. All in all, Predator Cues appears to be a strong positive force in pool, however, I personally feel the players and tournament directors, and the governing body in pool should be some kind of committee of players, that they should create the format and rules for billiards tournaments, and not companies such as Predator that profit off the game. The continued evolution of Predator Cues is explained from website cited below – check that out for the full article: "...Today, at their Boston R&D facility, Predator continues to improve their game as well. In their own words, 'Predator REVO shafts stand at the apex of accuracy and performance.' It all revolves around 'a composite carbon fiber build and ferrule-less construction,' which allows for an ever smooth shaft that will never warp. But there's more to it than that. These shafts, owing to advances in carbon-fiber technology and recent developments in construction techniques, have moved beyond the standard woven-fiber construction. Utilizing 'new aerospace grade carbon fiber tow construction methods' and incorporating 'new fiber placement theories,' Predator has been able to implement a revolutionary design approach. This new approach allows them to 'tune the shaft by orienting the carbon fiber tow in the directions most suitable for a particular location in the shaft.' When asked about his switch to the REVO shaft tour Pro Darren Appleton said this: 'Swapping from 314-2 to REVO was a mental challenge because of the difference in material and color, but once I made the adjustment, the benefits of playing with REVO massively outweigh playing with a wood shaft. It’s so accurate, reliable and powerful, and coupled with the durability, playing with REVO is a no brainer. That is what we all look for - something we can trust because we know it is going to deliver…'" – So all this is to say, Predator provides some of the best pool cues, tables, balls, tips, etcetera in pocket billiards – but is it okay for companies such as Predator to legislate the format and rules of professional billiards events? Has Predator influenced pool too much, just enough, or not enough? Many people feel that Predator is great for the game, but it does appear that there are detractors, and they would like to remain off the record at this time. Why? Because Predator nearly controls the Industry presently, and no one wants a monopoly there I don't think myself. Note: This article in no way reflects the opinions or beliefs of Sneaky Pete Mafia magazine, however, they may allow it to be published as an OP-ED (Opinions and Editorials) piece reflecting the views and/or opinions of Patrick Sampey, the Tallahassee Squirrel, in as objective a manner as I could muster. From an article titled, 'The Cues They Use,' from Billiards Digest: "...Joshua and Pia Filler Resume: Joshua is the 2019 U.S. Open 9-Ball champion, 2017 China Open winner and three-time Mosconi Cup competitor. His wife, Pia, has a handful of top-five finishes on the EuroTour’s women’s division. Playing cue: JF: 17-ounce, 58-inch Predator Panthera 5-2 with a lizard skin wrap. The cue has a low rise, professional taper Predator Z-3 shaft equipped with an 11.75 mm HOW tip. PF: 17-ounce, 58-inch Predator Panthera 5-2 with a lizard skin wrap. Pia uses the Predator Revo 12.4 carbon fiber shaft equipped with a HOW tip. Break cue: JF: 19-ounce Predator BK Rush Redline with sports wrap equipped with BK Hybrid tip. PF: 19-ounce Predator BK Rush Redline with sports wrap equipped with BK Hybrid tip. BD: Have you made any major changes to your equipment lately? PF: The only equipment change that we’ve made in the last two years is switching from the BK Rush black to the red model. BD: What characteristics do you look for in a cue? PF: The most important for what we are looking for in our cues is weight of the cue and also the deflection of the shaft…" – Joshua Filler is a Fargo ranked 832, and the world number one player, standing atop the heap, and plays with Predator, as specified above. They are quality products. I can definitely attest to that from first hand experience, playing with Predator myself through the years. I've played with the original 314 shaft, the Z shaft, the 314^2, but not with the carbon fiber of recent times – although many players stand by them, rely on them, and take the game to record levels of play. Predator Cues are also a status symbol in pool halls, their coveted shafts and playing cues like billiards gold – and everyone is buying.


Predator better watch out though. JFlowers cues is the fastest-growing cue brand in north-America now! Let the fight begin!

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