Pool Junkie – 2007 Derby City Classic, Louisville

listening to
Gary Allan
“…don’t tell Mama I been drinking, Lord knows, her soul would never rest… “

all I can afford after Derby City, but it was SO worth it

obsessed with
Derby City Classic 2008
already creating excuses to get out of work (10-day alien abduction sound credible?)

Greg Sullivan of the Derby City Classic
I want you to plan my next par-tay

Hermund of Billiard Pulse
glad you like my writing, I enjoy reading your blog as well

the guy from White Plains, NY
thank you yet again 🙂

My apologies for not having posted sooner. I think I’m finally matching the productivity of my government job in the non-work aspects of my life… I’m out of commission again for the rest of this week and some of the next, so see y’all next Thursday!

The Executive West is just a Smurf-step away from the airport, which is wonderfully convenient–if you like hanging out at airports. It’s also plunk in the middle of nowhere, if you’re looking for anything besides billiards-related activities during the time of the season of the Derby City Classic. Of course, if you’re at Derby City, you’re a hardcore pool nut and you shouldn’t be thinking of anything besides pool until you’re dragged screaming and delirious from the action room by your significant other, family, or truant officers–the people that know what’s best for you.

As a bland Californian, I was charmed by all the people who pronounced words like “pool” and “hat” and “heat” as two syllables, while the pronoun “I” was dreamily drawn out to magnificent proportions (“Well, ahhhhheeeiiieee think he cain’t shoot his way outta a wet piiieeepuuurrr beeeaaaahhhg.”). And there was something oddly appropriate to hear “rain” (of which there was far too much) rhyme with “whine”.

Anyhow, here is my show-and-tell on the Derby City Classic of Louisville, Kentucky, for the few days I was there. Get yourself some vittles, cuz it’s a doozy!

Requisite Slide Show

Hey, I’m Asian and I went to some semi-famous place. I had to take pictures. With a camera-phone. Deal with it.

Neat! Holy cow!
Dude! A beer cave! Sweet!
“No beer sold on Sundays or after hours.”
I s— you not, fellow Californians.
Gas really is cheap everywhere else.

Yuck. Pickled.
Bad idea.
Chocolate milk and Frosted Flakes together is not nearly as good as it sounds.
Worse idea.
Alcohol doesn’t solve the chocolate-milk-Frosted-Flakes problem.

My kind of church. Wanna play some?
Church of the Good Hustler.
The chapel at the Executive West converted to a tournament room. Great reason to go to church.

Open 24 Hours.
The Action Room, a nicely laid out space for everyone with anything to bet. There are separate niches with a single pool table if you need the extra room for you, your backers, and your Hefty bags full of cash.

Grand, isn't it?

So special.
Main tournament room. TV table.

Fine, sit on the tables. See if I care. He's alive!!!
Rafael vs. Corey action spectators.


I can’t really do a fashion review of the Derby City Classic because it’s not the kind of tournament that requires “nice” clothing. Also, there are just WAY too many people–and definitely not enough time. All the same, let’s see what I managed to squirrel away in my scrawny sleeve.

Billy “Insert One Of His Many Debonair Nicknames Here” Incardona, you did a nice job channeling James Dean with your blue jeans, white t-shirt, and black leather jacket. I gotta dock you a point for those unlaced black and white mystery hightops, though. I just don’t picture someone that cool wearing floppy shoes. Motorcycle boots next time, capisce?

Substandard footwear aside, I was thoroughly enjoying your ensemble (one of my favorite outfits on a guy, might I add), until you put on a kidney belt. I’m sure you had legit reasons for wearing one, but it dumped a bucket of ice water over my glimmering image of a pool playing James Dean strutting in slow motion whilst being filmed in hazy Dream-O-Vision, complete with windchimes and orchestral background music. The more I looked at you, the more I saw James Dean–in a corset/girdle/gut-bustier.

Jimmy “Pretty Boy Floyd” Mataya. You are neither pretty, a boy, nor are you named Floyd (like Mr. Denver Barger). You are, however, still loud, still dressing like a used-car salesman, and still stringing ladies along (although the ones you were sporting at Derby City definitely had their odometers turned over a few times–really, what has happened to Quality Control?). I give you kudos for not pulling a Corey Hart as you so often do by wearing your sunglasses at night–indoors.

Stevie/Steve “I Beat Efren At Banks, What Have You Ever Done?” Moore, I had ample time to observe you and your wardrobe in your natural habitat, and I must say, you are definitely on par with the stylish young men I see in the trendy upscale clubs of Beverly Hills. If we ever play a set for $239 + tax, I’ll post the cash and you just post up your pants. Wait a minute. That didn’t come out right.

Regardless, I have mucho respect for your attention to trends and style. Oh, and you play pretty sporty, too.

Evgeny “The Russian” Stalev, your grey-and-beige sweater with the wide horizontal stripes has so much potential. I immediately saw that you were going for the Slouchy Sailor look. Alternatively, you could put on a beret, grow a thin moustache and be a Disaffected Angsty French Teenager.

In case you’re wondering, yes, you will be featured as much as possible in my blog. Just your measly lot in life, I guess. 🙂

Avast ye, matey!

There is a problem with men’s butts at the DCC (guys, you look at ours, and we look at yours). Quite a few players suffer from “Diminished Gluteal Syndrome“, or, the lack of butt cheeks. This terrible disease strikes amateurs and professionals alike, leaving pants fighting against the horrible pull of gravity in its wake.

The condition is made worse/more comical when the sufferer has a princely beer gut paired with absolutely no a–. How the hell did all the mass gravitate to the front? Mother Nature needs to distribute the goods more evenly. When you lack back, pants tend to fall down, no matter how tightly you belt yourself. Spare us the eye-cancer of the Canyon Betwixt Your Cheeks and get yourself some suspenders.

Please consider superglue. We all fall down if your pants fall down.

And now, a word to all the young men who would have the world believe they are gangsters of some sort.

I know faded jeans are in style, but the trend of extremely distressed jeans NEEDS TO DIE. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Those jeans that are artificially faded to the extreme point where all you see on the wearer is a white stripe on each leg, front and back. It’s like someone threw the wearer down in the snow, hitched their ankles to a team of huskies and rode them all the way down the Iditarod. MUSH!

Guys Wearing Hats With Price Tags: It’s great that you could front the whole $17.99 for your headgear, but no one gives a rat’s a– about its pedigree. It’s a hat. Glad you bought it and supported our economy. Please be an adult and cut the tag off prior to wearing.

Guys Wearing Pants Down At The Knees: Why are you intentionally handicapping yourselves? If you want to wear something that will only allow you to take itty-bitty baby-steps without falling over, you can borrow some of my shoes. Thanks for wearing something underneath, and, as a wisewoman once queried, “What’s the belt for?”

Guys Over 65 Wearing Shirts Emblazoned With “G-Unit” or “Sean John”: Do you know what you’re wearing? Is the AARP mobilizing its own urban street gang complete with bling, Cristal, and various automatic weapons to spice up the life of retirees everywhere?


Forgiveness, please.
I’d blur the photo to protect
the innocent, but I think everyone already knows
who you are.


Mullets are cool. They are the rare plumage often found on the heads of beer-swilling, fiberglass-cue-wielding, claw-bridge-brandishing bar-billiards champions the world over. Oftentimes, these rising stars of the pool world keep their mullets in pristine condition with a variety of shampoos, conditioners, gels, mousses, resin-based products, aerosol everything, serums, combs, picks, brushes, snips, snails, and puppy-dog tails.

Yes, the mullet. A wonderful, ingenious, multitasking hairstyle for men and women, thoroughly embracing and espousing the philosophy of “business in the front, party in the back”.

However, what the hell is this (to the left)?

You must understand, gentle reader, the stray locks at the back looked like vestigial tentacle appendages. It defied classification as a hairstyle of any sort (although it did provide me with an hour of thoughtfulness as I waited in line).

This mullet is severly malnourished and suffering needlessly. It does not show the pride and care of its owner.

Sir, it is time to euthanize your mullet and put it out of its misery.

It is the only humane thing to do.

Finally, all hail the Might Filipinos. Efren Reyes, Rodolfo Luat, and Francisco Bustamante swept the top three Master Of The Table prizes.

In addition to their dominance in billiards, the Filipino players always give me hope that, at a hair over five feet, I can still be a champion. For every Archer, there’s a Parica.


photo by Diana Hoppe of Pool Pics by Hoppe

Best Dressed

Eric Hughes of the three-cushion tournament, you are hereby declared to be Best Dressed.

Although the dress code for Derby City and its affiliated tournaments were quite relaxed, you were dressed like you meant serious business. I noted in particular your three-piece grey suit, worn with a French-cuffed shirt and cufflinks. You also had very nice black leather loafers, which had stylish buckles as an alternative to the stodgier, traditional tassels.

You were dressed well even outside of the tournament room.

I’m glad that, given the option to dress up or dress down, you chose to dress up for this sport we all love.



Danny Harriman, I am once again a fan of your hair. For whatever that’s worth.

David Rowell, I somehow made the rookie mistake of thinking you were Mike “The Mouth” Sigel. I tailed you hoping you would say something self-aggrandizing and stupid. I figured it out after 60 seconds. Mr. Sigel could never go that long without tooting his own horn.

Linda “Wonder Woman” Carter… *PSYCH*! Muhahaha! Had ya skeered thar fer a moment, didn’t I?! I know you weren’t there, but don’t worry, one day, you shall grace these pages…

Ms. Timberly Pike, red is definitely your color. Thanks for letting me shoot around on your tables. 😉

Richard Chan of X-Breaker, I saw you in that pink-striped shirt! And you were wearing grey pants. Excellent work, cadet. Your X-Breaker is quite awesome, as well.

To The Guy Playing Pool Topless In The Action Room (name withheld), you’ve got it all. Your tan gives mine the 7, and your, ahem, curves, give mine the 6. Go easy on the oil next time–or maybe you were using it as a high-gloss shark tactic?

Strangely Familiar

Mr. Matlock Mr. Skerritt
Dave Matlock, top player. Tom Skerritt, Top Gun.


“Excuse me, top player coming through.”
— Scott “The Freezer” Frost

“Oh yeah? Well, I know *EFREN REYES*. Does that name mean anything to you? He’s a close personal friend of mine. Do you know what that means?”
— a woman (name withheld out of pity) pool player attempting to intimidate another woman pool player

After I was done laughing up an intestine, I contemplated selling her a used tissue graced with Efren’s magical snot. I think she would have bought it. Seriously.

“I’m telling you, just give me the six-ball, and I’ll shove it up your a–.”
— unknown Action Room woofer

“Woo, that was a tough shot to make. I dogged that one from my chair.”
— unknown Action Room spectator

“You want to play some? I’m 70 years old and I can’t play at all.”
— “The Mailman” from Las Vegas (yah, I dun heard that hustlin’ line befo’, too)

“I think you need to give me more weight.”
“Why? If you’d stop missing we’d play about even.”

— standard Action Room conversation

“…I went back to school for a while, and I quit playing. I got a job. I got married. I came running back to pool hall so damn fast…”
— someone in the elevator

“I was a bunny for Halloween.”
— another elevator rider

“I ate a June bug for $75. God, that thing was huge. I had to take two bites. It was all crunchy and gooey.”
— your standard pool player, talking at dinner

In Parting

Go to the Derby City Classic before you die.
The Executive West’s restaurant sucks some serious a–.
A lenient dress code doesn’t give you license to look ridiculous.

5 Replies to “Pool Junkie – 2007 Derby City Classic, Louisville”

  1. You take better pics with your cell than I do with my camera. 🙁

    I do, however, make nice movies with my blender. 🙂

    Anyway, it’s nice to know what really was going on up there. BTW, I’m going to post a link to you on my Pool Blog.

  2. Just wanted to say I enjoyed the whole story of the DCC. I go every year and the way some of the people dress always amazes me. It’s just like Vegas, all sorts of styles and personalities. Thanks again for the smiles. Sam

  3. Had to give you my favorite overheard – two railbirds about to bet on a match…”I tell you what, I’ve been beating you all day, so I’ll take the guy in the turtleneck, and let you have the other guy, nobody wearing a turtle neck could possibly win…anyone know who that guy is anyway?” He was speaking of Thorsten Hohman before one of the bank matches – Thorsten’s opponent showed up in a turtle neck too!

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