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This Is Only The Beginning -- APA Shout Out -- Patrick Sampey

Sunday,Sep 12, 2021-- Pool balls roll around in my mind, so sublime, so many spheres of reverberation’s last refrain...maintain, rearranged, unchained! Into uncharted territory we ride the scions of dissonance -- run, gun, stun -- coming to you live from Florida, this is the Tallahassee Squirrel, and I say...I say there to you old chap or young buck, pool ain’t no fad game man! Pool is here alive, well, and here to stay. Matter of fact, from the way things are looking at this angle, pool is thriving, doing very well indeed, agreed.

I’ve written articles about SVB (Shane Van Boening), Charlie Williams, Mark Wilson, Efren Reyes, Joshua Filler, Earl Strickland, Dennis Hatch -- Icons in the game -- Varner, so many endless champions to cover, the task barely just begun, so many wonderful articles to cover: player profiles, interviews, tournament coverage, product reviews, cue stick reviews, chalk, tips, shafts, cases, tables, cloth, whatever -- all billiards, all day, every day; Get in the box!

I play pool, write pool, watch pool. Pool is a way of life for me and so many others called “pool hall junkies,” like the movie based on my friend Robert Leblanc’s life. And I feel fortunate to know Leblanc and others around the world, as I continue to network in the game to bring you coverage of everything billiards related.

And I don’t know if you are like I am, but I bleed that green felt or blue, and I feel like I belong when I have that cue in my hand, and I’ve played at the top amatuer APA skill level 7 in eight ball since around 2000 -- so I’ve been playing top level amatuer pool for well over 20 years now, and that is one achievement that I’m proud of, although so many people may say, “that’s a lot of wasted time.” No time is wasted that you gain personal enjoyment from. Life is short. We all are going to die, but few have lived to play this dynamic game of 9 ball like myself and perhaps you the reader.

Sure, I’m no pro, don’t play like Strickland, don’t claim to. I play fine. I’m a writer first and pool player second, and sure I still read, still like to listen to various types of music, love my son and my girl, love/hate life -- but man! My pool life is as great as I never would have imagined when I first began to play APA as a skill level 4 then 3 then back to a 4 early in around 1998 -- just getting into billiards at about age 26 or so, still not used to civilian life (probably a run-on sentence...this may not be my most popular article...oh well, keep on banging keys…)

So, yeah, I’m not a pro pool player, or on that level, but I can beat most random amatuer players, unless they are like a 700+ Fargo or something, essentially pro speed as far as I’m aware of that system. Shane Van Boening’s Fargo rate is 828, which is one of the highest in the world I believe, so 700+ is a really top level of play I would imagine -- probably like a 9+ skill level APA player, so there are so many levels of game above an APA SL9. I once beat an APA 9 in 9 ball on the 9ft table 9-0. Truth. Nine ball is a fickle game sometimes though. Total offense is mainly what 9 ball is to me, and you need a jump cue and jump and run out these days. It’s shark infested waters everywhere, and players know the game and equipment.

(My ink bleeds black upon the page, but the striped 9 ball is of a yellow hue, as I grab my cue, aim at the object ball, call to fall, light up the stage, rats in a cage, onward I rage!!!)

But this article is about pool, as are all my articles. This one is different though. This one covers my little 23 or so year run in the amatuer side of pocket billiards, since 2014 writing billiards articles, covering so many awesome pros in the game, custom cases, cues, players, champions, movers, shakers...I’m so thankful for all of this. I don’t ever want to stop. I want to take this moment, hold on, never let it go.

And I’m playing the best pool of my life. I turn 50 this coming October 27th, 2021. I ain’t done yet. This is the beginning of a 20 year run before my little light begins to fade if things go well.

To the game eternal: I salute you all that play on always. Keep on hitting them balls!

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