3B in Mexico

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
No, that wasn’t a mistake — “tres bandas” is “three cushion” in Spanish, so it’s 3B.

Gail and I were down in Puerto Vallarta and there’s a pool room there called Los Molcajetes where I try and play 3C a few times whenever we're down there. It’s the only time all year that I play billiards. So I wander in one day with my three-piece travel cue to play some 3B and see on the board that a few days later, on Sunday, they’re having a handicapped tournament on their six billiard tables

What are the odds?

Well, when it comes to 3B I’m about as handicapped as they come. So after I practice I ask Thomas, the desk man, what the deal is and I learn that it’ll be RR groups of three, 150 pesos entry and the house adds another 1000 pesos. So I tell him I want to play and he says to come in again and play one of the guys so I can get a handicap.

Saturday I go in and play Jaime, who is one of the better players in the room. He beats me like 25-16. No one says anything and I leave, and that is that until Sunday night for the tournament when go in and I learn I am rated an 18.

There are about 15 guys, including a crew from another room downtown, and in my flight I get two of these guys who are both rated at 22. So my first match I play Marco. Marco comes up to me to introduce himself and says in Spanish, “Hola, I’m Marco. They call me ‘Tank’ but I don’t know why.” Well, Marco is built like an NFL linebacker and I tell him, “I don’t see it” and we have a good laugh.

So Tank tells me that we’re going to 22 because that’s his handicap and he’s giving me 4 points on the wire because I'm an 18. To make a long story short, I beat Tank like 22-12. And though I’m sure Tank wanted to: A, throttle my sandbagging ass after he; B, called the Mexican Billiard Federation to file a protest, what really happened was that I completely and totally shat-out during the first few innings of our match. I run four my first inning, then a three, making some ridiculous billiards that I might shoot at all night and never make again like a five-rail bank and another shot where the first ball twice threaded itself back and forth across the table between the end rail and the red, while my CB goes around the table to come back and score.

For the rest of the match I settle down but I think Tank was so shocked by what the “Americano” was doing, a supposed 18, that he never recovered. The second guy I played was also a 22 and the universe properly realigned itself and I received a proper drubbing, losing 22-17. So I escaped being taken out back and having my thumbs broken or whatever the Mexican equivalent is for hustling the locals.

All in all it was a lot of fun and everyone, including Tank, was extremely nice and friendly and Tank told me about his home room and invited me to come by for their weekly tournament but I never made it. Gail, who sweated my matches, enjoyed it all and took a couple of photos.

A couple of interesting things for the 3C fans here:

While there’s a lag in tournament play, for casual play, the first shot is determined by one guy raking all three balls around the table and, depending who has claimed which CB, the CB that ends up closest to the foot rail gets the first shot from where they stop.

At this particular room there are no spots on the tables. So while an attempt is made at properly spotting the red and your opponent's CB for the break, I was surprised to learn you could basically position your CB anywhere behind the line.

Guys will ask if you want to play a game to 25 or 30 with the automatic assumption that the loser pays time.

If two ball end up frozen, the shooter will drop a piece of chalk on the frozen balls to separate them, kind of like a golfer taking a drop.

Lastly, while the pool tables in this particular room are not the best, the billiard tables are kept up and heated and the balls are in great shape, always polished. In fact, if you’re practicing and get a game you get a freshly polished set brought to your table.

I played several pick-up games while I was there and won all my games except to Jamie and "El Maestro." El Maestro is probably their best player and he gives formal billiard lessons. My informal lesson came in during a 30 point match which he won 30-7. At 50 pesos an hour for time, it was a great 100 peso lesson.

Lou Figueroa
 

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Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That's definitely a cool thing about playing billiards when you already know how to play pool...that you know where whitey is going.

Sounds like a great time.
 

Brookeland Bill

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
No, that wasn’t a mistake — “tres bandas” is “three cushion” in Spanish, so it’s 3B.

Gail and I were down in Puerto Vallarta and there’s a pool room there called Los Molcajetes where I try and play 3C at a few times whenever we're down there. It’s the only time all year that I play billiards. So I wander in one day with my three-piece travel cue to play some 3B and see on the board that a few days later, on Sunday, they’re having a handicapped tournament on their six billiard tables

What are the odds?

Well, when it comes to 3B I’m about as handicapped as they come. So after I practice I ask Thomas, the desk man, what the deal is and I learn that it’ll be RR groups of three, 150 pesos entry and the house adds another 1000 pesos. So I tell him I want to play an he says to come in again and play one of the guys so I can get a handicap.

Saturday I go in and play Jaime who is one of the better players in the room. He beats me like 25-16. No one says anything and I leave, and that is that until Sunday night for the tournament when go in and I learn I am rated as an 18.

There are about 15 guys, including a crew from another room downtown, and in my flight I get two of these guys, who are both rated at 22. So my first match I play Marco. Marco comes up to me introduces himself and says in Spanish, “Hola, I’m Marco. They call me ‘Tank’ but I don’t know why.” Well Marco is built like an NFL linebacker and I tell him, “I don’t see it” and we have a good laugh.

So Tank tells me that we’re going to 22 because that’s his handicap and he’s giving me 4 points on the wire because I'm an 18. To make a long story short, I beat Tank like 22-12. And though I’m sure Tank wanted to: A throttle my sandbagging ass after he; B called the Mexican Billiard Federation, what really happened was that I completely and totally shat-out during the first few innings of our match. I run four my first inning, then three, making some ridiculous billiards that I might shoot at all night and never make again like a five-rail bank and another shot where the first ball twice threaded itself back and forth across the table between the end rail and the red while my CB goes around the table to come back and score.

For the rest of the match I settle down but I think Tank was so shocked at what the “Americano,” a supposed 18 was doing, that he never recovered. The second guy I played was also a 22 and the universe properly realigned itself and I received a proper drubbing losing 22-17, so I escaped being taken out back and having my thumbs broken or whatever the Mexican equivalent is for hustling the locals.

All in all it was a lot of fun and everyone, including Tank, was extremely nice and friendly and Tank told me about his home room and invited me to come by for their weekly tournament but I never made it. Gail, who sweated my matches, enjoyed it all and took a couple of photos.

A couple of interesting things for the 3C fans here:

While there’s a lag in tournament play, for casual play, the first shot is determined by one guy raking all three balls around the table and depending who has claimed which CB, the CB that ends up closest to the foot rail gets the first shot from where they stop.

At this particular room there are no spots on the tables. So while an attempt is made at properly spotting the red and your opponent's CB for the break, I was surprised to learn you could basically position your CB anywhere behind the line.

Guys will ask if you want to play a game to 25 or 30 with the automatic assumption that the loser pays time.

If two ball end up frozen, the shooter will drop a piece of chalk on the frozen balls to separate them, kind of like a golfer will taking a drop.

Lastly, while the pool tables in this particular room are not the best, the billiard tables are kept up and heated and the balls are in great shape, always polished. In fact, if you’re practicing and get a game you get a freshly polished set brought to your table.

I played several pick-up games while I was there and won all my games except to Jamie and El Maestro. El Maestro is probably their best player and he gives formal billiard lessons. My informal lesson came in the form of a 30 point game which he won 30-7. At 50 pesos an hour for time, it was a great 100 peso lesson.

Lou Figueroa

I’ve been playing there for years. There are a couple other rooms.

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Cuebuddy

Mini cues
Silver Member
Lou, you and I got to play 3C years ago at the MOsconi cup. SJM and My good friend John were also in that match. I had a blast and will never forget it. I do enjoy your writing skills, thanks for the stories. If I can find the picture of us I will add it later. :cool:
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That's definitely a cool thing about playing billiards when you already know how to play pool...that you know where whitey is going.

Sounds like a great time.


It was.

Now the thing about pool to billiards is that at pool, yes you know where the CB is heading but you're usually only sending it a little thisaway or a little thataway. At billiards you're sending he CB *way* further on every shot, so some physics that you usually don't see playing pool come into play.

The table is bigger at 10' and the balls are larger and the table and rails much faster. So all the angles, while they look deceptively similar, are not. It takes me several hours to get a hold of what I want the CB to do and actually making it go where I want it. And even then, I often choose poorly.

Lou Figueroa
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I’ve been playing there for years. There are a couple other rooms.

https://forums.azbilliards.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=543555&stc=1&d=1583984543


Yes, that's it.

So when do you play there? I saw a group of American guys one afternoon, whom I'm guessing live down there, holding a little pool tournament.

Also, do you know the name of the other big room Tank was referring to? I think it's out past the Malecon heading towards the airport but I'm not sure.

Lou Figueroa
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Lou, you and I got to play 3C years ago at the MOsconi cup. SJM and My good friend John were also in that match. I had a blast and will never forget it. I do enjoy your writing skills, thanks for the stories. If I can find the picture of us I will add it later. :cool:


I remember, CB.

And thanks for the compliment. Would love to see a picture.

Lou Figueroa
 

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Definitely somewhat mind-blowing to see the difference in a thinly hit given shot, using hi/ low/ center.

On a pool table, the cb rarely 'turns over'. On that billiard table very different.

I haven't been able to play in months and miss it. Of course, the more I play, the madder it makes me! Not sure why they made that game so hard.

It was.

Now the thing about pool to billiards is that at pool, yes you know where the CB is heading but you're usually only sending it a little thisaway or a little thataway. At billiards you're sending he CB *way* further on every shot, so some physics that you usually don't see playing pool come into play.

The table is bigger at 10' and the balls are larger and the table and rails much faster. So all the angles, while they look deceptively similar, are not. It takes me several hours to get a hold of what I want the CB to do and actually making it go where I want it. And even then, I often choose poorly.

Lou Figueroa
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Great read lou
I wish i had somewhere to play 3 bandas
Its a beautiful game
 

DynoDan

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It was.

Now the thing about pool to billiards is that at pool, yes you know where the CB is heading but you're usually only sending it a little thisaway or a little thataway. At billiards you're sending he CB *way* further on every shot, so some physics that you usually don't see playing pool come into play.

The table is bigger at 10' and the balls are larger and the table and rails much faster. So all the angles, while they look deceptively similar, are not. It takes me several hours to get a hold of what I want the CB to do and actually making it go where I want it. And even then, I often choose poorly.

Lou Figueroa

Go figure, I always considered 3C so difficult, it had never even occurred to me until recently that experienced/skilled players could actually score & still manage to ‘play position’ for the next shot!
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Go figure, I always considered 3C so difficult, it had never even occurred to me until recently that experienced/skilled players could actually score & still manage to ‘play position’ for the next shot!


Yes, there's that.

I'm not really good enough to play position but I am good enough to play safe and go soft to the red and send my opponent's ball to the other end the world.

It's not good enough to win but it will slow down most average players.

Lou Figueroa
 

Brookeland Bill

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yes, that's it.

So when do you play there? I saw a group of American guys one afternoon, whom I'm guessing live down there, holding a little pool tournament.

Also, do you know the name of the other big room Tank was referring to? I think it's out past the Malecon heading towards the airport but I'm not sure.

Lou Figueroa

Lou, I have been going down there since 1972 when it was a fishing village with a few decent hotels. I had some money from my student loan that I took out when I was in law school and I took my girlfriend down there and stayed in a small hotel on the beach by the marina. All the streets were cobblestone at the time. Since my first visit I have been to PV about every year or every other year. I've stayed in PV for 2 months at a time. The town has changed and not for the better. It is full of low rise condos and has lost a lot of its charm. My favorite pool room is no longer open. It was an upstairs venue in the middle of Old Town. There is another room on the way to the airport close to the plaza. You can Google it. No carom tables and its not as open and active as the one in the photos. I bought a 3 piece cue to take with me so I could pack it in my bag. Yes, everyday there are a group of Americans and Canadians that meet in the room pictured to play a mini 8 ball tournament. A great group of guys that thrown in some pesos for the winner and the table time. If you want to see some first rate players go to Mexico City. There is one room that I have visited that has some fantastic players and a lot of railbirds.
 
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