Dave Matlock

sixpack

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks for the reply. Agreed 100% about 8-ball on the barbox, where congestion is a significant issue.

Playing nine ball patterns perfectly doesn't qualify as clever, just technically sound, and some do it better than others. There are extremely few breakouts in nine ball and most players go about the few that arise in the exact same way as anyone else would. Nineball runouts rarely come down to difficult problem solving, although I'm not sure I have ever played nine ball on a bar table, so perhaps it's different on the small tables. On the big tables, the really difficult problem solving in nine ball tends to come in the tactical aspects of play, not the runout portion of the game, and yes, some are very clever when it comes to tactical conceptualization.

All that said, it may just depend on which definition of clever is in play. If it merely means well-considered or intelligent, that's one thing. Clever tends to be a stronger word, though, something closer in meaning to ingenious.
I want to update my answer a little bit.

I just spent some time watching Matlock play in the Olathe tournament and another tournament that was recently streamed. Padgett's I think. Anyway, it brought back to me his style of play far more vividly than memory alone.

I think what the author referred to in the OP called clever patterns were very clever at the time Matlock was dominating the bar box. In those days bar boxes were seen by top players as a necessary evil you had to put up with to gamble on the road or play in many tournaments in the south and midwest. Most pros and top players played them like a smaller big table.

In those days cameras were rare and video was rarer. Seeing a top bar table specialist use the quirks of a big or heavy cue ball, using dead rails to hold seemingly impossible bank shots and shooting fearlessly on long shots had to be eye opening for people who followed professional pool.

It's not that his bar table game is not clever compared to what all the top players now are doing on the bar table.

They all play that way now on the bar box. It's that he was one of the first top players that did it in the light of day.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I want to update my answer a little bit.

I just spent some time watching Matlock play in the Olathe tournament and another tournament that was recently streamed. Padgett's I think. Anyway, it brought back to me his style of play far more vividly than memory alone.

I think what the author referred to in the OP called clever patterns were very clever at the time Matlock was dominating the bar box. In those days bar boxes were seen by top players as a necessary evil you had to put up with to gamble on the road or play in many tournaments in the south and midwest. Most pros and top players played them like a smaller big table.

In those days cameras were rare and video was rarer. Seeing a top bar table specialist use the quirks of a big or heavy cue ball, using dead rails to hold seemingly impossible bank shots and shooting fearlessly on long shots had to be eye opening for people who followed professional pool.

It's not that his bar table game is not clever compared to what all the top players now are doing on the bar table.

They all play that way now on the bar box. It's that he was one of the first top players that did it in the light of day.


This that I bolded was indeed the big deal. I started out cursing all the various bar table cue balls and the crappy rails just like most big table players. When I recognized that they weren't just scaled down big tables things changed a lot!

One thing, most guys recovering bar tables were doing it under contract to somebody that was splitting the coins fifty-fifty with the bar owners. Pretty common for the vending machine company to be owned by the good hands people in this neck of the woods. They didn't want to pay much and they didn't want the tables down long. Cloth was likely to be inferior and mechanics learned the trick of trading out cushions instead of recovering them on the spot to get in and out fast. They would have a garbage can full of already recovered cushions and quickly recover the bed of the table and swap out the cushions. Of course this meant that all six sections of cushion might be of different ages and conditions and some almost certainly were! A barbox player that was going to do any kicking or banking had to learn the cushions and often loose rails in a hurry along with the cue balls. Definitely gave a little home field advantage to the local boys!

Hu
 

Sometimes

New member
I want to update my answer a little bit.

I just spent some time watching Matlock play in the Olathe tournament and another tournament that was recently streamed. Padgett's I think. Anyway, it brought back to me his style of play far more vividly than memory alone.

I think what the author referred to in the OP called clever patterns were very clever at the time Matlock was dominating the bar box. In those days bar boxes were seen by top players as a necessary evil you had to put up with to gamble on the road or play in many tournaments in the south and midwest. Most pros and top players played them like a smaller big table.

In those days cameras were rare and video was rarer. Seeing a top bar table specialist use the quirks of a big or heavy cue ball, using dead rails to hold seemingly impossible bank shots and shooting fearlessly on long shots had to be eye opening for people who followed professional pool.

It's not that his bar table game is not clever compared to what all the top players now are doing on the bar table.

They all play that way now on the bar box. It's that he was one of the first top players that did it in the light of day.
I live in the Kansas City area. Other than Raytown Recreation, I know of no other pool halls. It's all places are like Side Pockets. They all have food and drinks. Bar tables (3.5 x 7) are the norm. Pool leagues dominate.
 

sixpack

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I live in the Kansas City area. Other than Raytown Recreation, I know of no other pool halls. It's all places are like Side Pockets. They all have food and drinks. Bar tables (3.5 x 7) are the norm. Pool leagues dominate.
Yep. I lived in Wichita for a few years. Loved the pool scene there, always action, tournaments every night. But almost all on bar tables. A bar I went to a lot, Shooters on S. Hydraulic, would have tournaments anytime they had enough players that wanted to play. It was awesome! If they were busy on a league night they would run a mini tournament after leagues. Sometimes on non-league nights there might be 3 or 4 tournaments before the night was over. Each with 8-16 players in it. They had "industry" drink specials starting at 11 pm for people who worked restaurants and second shift so it would stay hopping until closing time. I don't even remember when that was. But pretty late.

A good night at Shooters was like a good week anywhere else as far as action goes. Matlock was there sometimes. Also had Coy Lee, Jr Brown, Gabe Owen, other players from Tulsa like James Walden occasionally. Usually someone passing through like Jamie Bowman or Chad Vilmont. Even saw Danny Medina there a couple of times.
 

ibuycues

I Love Box Cues
Silver Member
One time Efren was at Shooters Olathe for a big tournament. Loads of top players entered. Just under 200 players in the 9-ball event, less entered in the 1-pocket. With such a large entry in 9-ball there was quite a wait between matches, particularly on the winners’ side. Several players, wanting to stay active, would play billiards on table #1.

Efren, as many know, has quite a background playing billiards when he was young, even entering several tournaments with world class billiard players. Well, Dave grew up playing billiards also when he was young, absolutely loved the game. And he got very, very good, known to string some very sporty runs at the table. (Still does).

Wouldn’t you know it, they struck up a friendly game of billiards on table #1 between matches. Not for big stakes, for the fun of the game. Don’t worry, although it was a friendly, talk-a-lot game, both quickly dialed into serious concentration. Both are known far and wide for their killer instincts and concentration, as Garczar said earlier.
Well, after several hours they were dead even, and Efren made a point to come over to shake Dave’s hand. Then he said to Dave that Dave was the best player that played BOTH games that he had ever played in all his years. I watched it, it was something else. Per Garczar’s comments earlier, you can imagine how this background helped Dave’s kicking prowess on a pool table. (And Efren)! By the way, this could be another skill in Dave’s arsenal that has allowed him to approach table layouts just a bit different from the norm.

Will Prout
 

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