Imagine you are a chess player. You are in the middle of a hard battle with a smart opponent. You could take your opponent’s rook, but he’ll take your knight and put pressure on the position of your King. Will this work out for you? Can you look five, six moves ahead and make the right decision?
Imagine you are a ballerina. Yes, you’ve practiced the dance a thousand times, but this is not a rehearsal. The theater is packed, the pressure is on. What if you miss half a step, and stumble? Can you do that pirouette jump and land exactly where you are supposed to? Will your feet remember the moves?
This is the double life of a 3-cushion player: we are both ballerina and chess player. The mind needs to get it right, then the body needs to execute the plan. Pick the correct solution. Judge the line. Avoid the kiss. Place the object ball. Stand solidly, stroke fluently and straight. Use all that muscle memory you’ve built up over the years, so you’ll hit just enough of the first object ball, with the exact amount of English and perfect speed to make the point.
You know what? Those chess players and ballerinas have it easy. A rook is always a rook, a dance move can be rehearsed again and again. With the exception of the break shot, a 3-cushion player is confronted again and again with problems he sees for the first time in his life! Every position is a new challenge. Every shot has a new mix of demands. There are about eight variables in a shot. If you get seven of ‘m right, you’ve missed.
A chess board is always a chess board, a floor is a floor. A billiard table and billiard balls on the other hand, are as capricious as the weather in Scotland. They are subject to change. Humidity changes the roll of the ball; temperature changes the roll of the ball. In a game where, quite often, only perfection is good enough, these minute differences can make or break your match.
And then there’s our adversary! We’re playing a type of golf, where the opponent is allowed to put our ball in bunkers and rough on every other shot. We’re playing snooker, and half the time we’re snookered. We have no teammates to fall back on. We have no mechanics in our pit, no cut man in our corner, no coach in our box. All we have is a cue, our creativity, and our guts.
3-cushion billiards is the most difficult game known to man.
MAZIN SHOONI IS A FORMER U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPION, 3-CUSHION BILLIARDS PLAYER AND LONGTIME PROMOTOR OF THE SPORT. MAZIN ALSO ALSO SERVED AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATED BILLIARD ASSOCIATION FROM 2016-2019 AND IS THE OWNER OF THE ‘AMAZIN BILLIARDS’ VENUE IN MALDEN, MASSACHUSETTS. MAZIN PLAYS AN INTEGRAL ROLE IN SECURING VALUABLE SPONSORSHIP AND VENUE CONTRACTS, MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR 3-CUSHION USA EVENTS TO BE HELD ANNUALLY, ALL OF THE THE UNITED STATES. YOU CAN FIND HIM HERE http://3cushionusa.org/