IYS-How long have you been playing pool?
AF-I’ve been playing pool for nearly as long as I can remember, but I first started practicing on a regular basis when I was thirteen. My parents played in leagues and tournaments in the area where I grew up in central Wisconsin, and my first competitors were my parents, my stepbrothers, and their friends. In the home of my mother and stepfather, we had a Brunswick Gold Crown table, and at my father and stepmother’s home we had a Valley table, so I played both on the nine foot and seven foot tables. I entered my first local tournament when I was 15, thirteen years ago.
IYS-What influenced you to pursue this more avidly?
AF-My parents were very supportive of my competing in pool, so I give them a lot of credit. One of the first tournament I won was a local partners tournament I played in with my dad. While I was in college at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, I also received a lot of encouragement from women players based in my nearby hometown of Wausau, WI, and they invited me to travel to tournaments with them around the state, region, and eventually to the BCAPL Nationals in Las Vegas. They helped give me confidence to get out of my comfort zone and compete in tougher events.
IYS-How often do you practice?
AF-Not as much as I’d like to! On average, I practice about three times a week. My main focus is my work as editor and contributor for the pool website www.NYCgrind.com, so playing and competing isn’t my biggest priority…although I play in tournaments as often as I can.
IYS-What game do you prefer and why? 8-ball? 9-ball? 10-ball?
AF-I think ten ball is really the ideal rotation game for serious competitors, since it does reduce a lot of the luck factors in 9-ball. Currently, I mainly play 9-ball, but I do enjoy 8-ball as well.
IYS-What type of equipment do you use? cue stick? glove? chalk?
AF-I play with a Jacoby cue, and I’m proud to be a player representative for the company, which is based in Nekoosa, WI, not far from where I grew up. For a glove, I play with the Sir Joseph brand.
IYS-What else would you like to share with our viewers–whether it be pool related or not?
AF-Pool is a wonderfully dynamic, interesting, and dramatic sport that I feel has not truly reached it’s potential yet…and many people debate what the best ways to advance pool are. My ‘two cents’ on this topic would be that each player can have an impact on building a better overall image for pool by focusing on the many positive things pool has to offer. By having conversations with people who haven’t been exposed to the benefits and offerings of competitive pool, it will bring about more understanding and interest.
IYS-Do you have any advice or words of wisdom to someone wanting to take their pool playing to the next level?
AF-The first thing I would recommend doing to take your game to the next level is seek out lessons with a local pro or instructor. Making sure you have your fundamentals in order will help kickstart your progress. Challenging yourself through competing with more advanced players is what I think is the next step to improving.
IYS-List your accomplishments–in billiards. Which one are you most proud of?
- 2013 Predator Pro/Am Tour #3 in the Year-End Rankings for the ‘C’ Class
- 2012 Wisconsin BCAPL Masters 8-Ball State Championship - 4th Place
- 2009 1st Place BCAPL National Women’s Open Team Championships – I’m most proud of this accomplishment, as we really pulled together as a team and overcame some tough challenges. I came through in some key situations under pressure in the finals.
- 2008 1st Place BCAPL Wisconsin State Team Championships
- 2007 Fortune Bay Casino Women’s Open Champion,
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