as much as i’m trying to improve my skills with a cue, i find that i’m still affected by it.
a while ago i tried some light practice with a house cue. i just can’t do it. something about the profile of a house cue just doesn’t work for me. i can’t seem to generate a good stroke when the profile of the cue feels like a baseball bat. come to think of it, i tend to have problems when the cue’s taper changes abruptly; i do better when the taper gradually increases. have you ever seen the type of taper that’s nice and even from the tip to about 12-15 inches of the shaft, and all of a sudden changes drastically after that? that’s the kind of taper i struggle with.
so what is it, i wonder? do i need a particular type of stroke? different bridge? do i need different techniques when using a house cue? things i’ve not figured out yet.
i don’t know how the pros do it. they go pick up a house cue, make sure the tip is in decent shape, and then start running racks with it. i just can’t do the same.
not all the pros can pick up a house cue and run racks with it, of course. i remember reading an article in billiards digest years ago where bd interviewed cj wiley as part of some writeup. cj recounted his practice with allison fisher in his own pool hall. cj first grabbed a house cue and started to practice with fisher. fisher got a start and put a few racks on him, and wiley couldn’t seem to get going. so cj finally got his playing cue from the office, and was able to trade racks with fisher after he started playing with his own cue. apparently, wiley didn’t figure out how to play with a house cue. i guess i shouldn’t feel bad, but it’s one of the skills i’d love to acquire in the future. in my warped mind, being able to play with a house cue signals a true independence as a player. for me, this means that a player is no longer confined to any particular equipment; the player can go into any room, pick up a house cue, and play his maximum game. that’s something i’d love to duplicate.
i’m a long ways off from that. one can dream though.