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Pool Shark Trickery

By Adrienne McGee
The Lima News

Rack ‘em, Stand back and learn. Scott Lee’s pool-shooting students were banking on it.

Lee, a billiards instructor from Bozeman, Mont., was at Galvin Hall at Ohio State University/Lima on Wednesday demonstrating practical methods and fancy tricks.

Needless to say, he dropped more balls than a one-arm juggler. The expressions in the student crowd ranged from disbelief to admiration, with many staying for Lee’s two sessions.

There is no impossible shot, Lee said again and again. Indeed, he ruled as possible quite a few shots that students scoffed at. The cue ball leapt over, arced around and banked past other balls with slick technical skill. But Lee wasn’t there just to show off.

“ For me, I’m a teacher. I much more enjoy helping a person beat me,” Lee said with a quick smile. “If you are a nice person, I’ll do everything I can to help you win!”

Lee has been playing pool for 28 years, ever since he was a college freshman and saw a traveling billiards player in a presentation not unlike what he puts on now at more than 100 colleges nationwide.

When he saw plenty of billiards players vying for a view at his table, Lee skipped a bit of the basics and went straight to technique. Lesson number one: know how to hit the cue ball.

To stop the ball, be sure to follow through, he said. Hit the bottom of the cue ball to spin it back toward you, and aim toward the top to make it roll forward.

Simple enough.

Lesson number two: diamonds aren't just a girl’s best friend. Those little diamonds along the edge of the table can really come in handy for bank shots, Lee said. And then he demonstrated, dropping five rail shots and explaining how he did it the whole time.

Responding to a question posed by a student, Lee denied ever hustling. He will, however, enter a bar or pool hall and announce he is the best billiards player in the world, and work from there.

Some of the trick shots he pulled off got the better of the audience. This is lesson number three.

“ The moral of the story is if somebody wants to bet you that they can make a particular shot, don’t bet,” Lee said, “because there’s usually a scam involved.”

Lee showed off a bit with such tricks as the Triple Whammy, Soccer Shot and the Handkerchief Shot, which had the eight ball surrounded by others in a square beneath a handkerchief. Everyone thought the eight ball was “snookered” for sure, a word he was found of using.

Lee shot the cue ball into the veiled subject matter and out popped the eight ball and made the side pocket.

“ It’s the greatest game there is because everybody can play it,” Lee said. “IT’s a sport that anybody can learn and play their entire life.”

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