Parking my tiny Miata rental up in front of Skinny Bob’s on Wednesday evening August 25, 2021, a familiar face comes into view, Chris McDaniel. With a million-dollar smile and a soft-spoken voice saying hello, this reporter is suddenly set at ease before walking into a room filled with some of the biggest names in the billiard industry. McDaniel grabs a table then pulls out his Ernie Martinez Custom cue fixed with a 314 shaft from his case to practice with Louis Demarco. True to form, Chris is textbook with each ball he pockets, then suddenly feeling confident that this venue will be one memorable event here in Round Rock Texas. As we both settle into our perspective seats, the opportunity arises to pick the mind of this amazing player out of Denver Colorado. Who is Chris McDaniel? Let’s find out, shall we?
Chris McDaniel -Denver Colorado
This forty-five-year-old Denver Colorado man has been playing pool since the age of twelve, being one of four children, it makes sense to see him on a table. Most of us who have siblings look for an outlet that is only ours, billiards has a way of giving us that. When asked if pool was a calling his reply was simple, “I wouldn’t describe it as a calling, the more time I invested into the game the more I craved to play.” Chris has been an instructor or coach in his hometown and holding clinics in various areas having a set regime for his clients he refers to as “Laws” which he explains as, “The 7 jobs of a pool player. Everyone that wants to excel needs to know them but, more importantly, do them. Well and consistently. The regimen will completely depend on where they fit on the scale of doing each of the 7 jobs.” It seems to work well for his clientele who have given McDaniel glowing reviews. Chris mentioned that he felt he was out of competition shape since the standstill from the shutdown but needed to “re-learn” that he could still hold at the level he needed to, it showed during the tournament. This game we all love will never cease for McDaniel, to him “it’s one glorious tournament with unlimited eliminations.” This humble player isn’t going anywhere, we will see him in many more tournaments soon. Before calling it a night, I had one more question for him, his answer was fitting to his character and charisma. Do you have any advice to the up-and-coming players for their futures in billiards? Chris answers with a smile, “My advice would be to keep things about a process and maintain balance in life. I believe your best chance to win is to remind yourself that you really WANT to win, and that’s a good thing. But you don’t HAVE to win. And if you do have to win then that will become a problem. Necessity breeds desperation and that breeds mistakes.”
It was a pleasure speaking with Chris this weekend; knowing a player is knowing the game he sees and not just from my perspective. What’s next for this exceptional player? Looks like we will need to follow his progress and see where it takes him. So, who is Chris McDaniel? He is a man of many talents, one of them being a billiard enthusiast whether instructing or playing one thing is for sure, pool is on the list of future accomplishments.