Monday, January 18, 2010

Pichitas: A Documentary Film About Costa Rican Pool Players

OK, here's a YouTube playlist that includes all three parts of my documentary film Pichitas, in sequence. I reference this movie in an earlier "PoolSynergy" post. It's really quite annoying that YouTube only allows videos that are 10 minutes long or shorter. Neither does is offer any convenient way to link these shorter films together. I'm going to research this further and see if I can find some better way to upload this film.

Be that as that may, Pichitas was created (by me) in 1992. It was shot on Super8 film in San Jose, Costa Rica. I lived there for about three years during the late 1980s. The pool hall featured in the film is known as "Center Pool." Like all great rooms, it was upstairs. It had about 30 tables -- including some 10 footers. At the time it was about the coolest place I had ever seen. I pretty much lived there between 1986 and 1988. Sadly, it's changed locations and I'm not sure it even exists any more.

-- R.A. Dyer

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pichitas: A Costa Rican Pool Documentary

This is the third in a series of posts submitted in coordination with other online pool writers. It's part of the Pool Synergy project hosted this month by Look for more installments in the future.

As usual, I'm taking great liberties with my homework. Our PoolSynergy assignment this month was to write about "some activity, training, or experience outside of the world of billiards and how that could be applied to help a person's pool game." Well, first off--I'm not really going to write about anything. Instead I'm submitting the first part of a documentary, the one you see attached to the top of this post. It's called "Pichitas" and it's about Costa Rican pool players. And as for it describing an "activity, training, or experience that could help a person's game" -- well, you can be the judge.

The documentary is something I put together about 18 years ago. It ran briefly on cable access TV in Houston and then pretty much has been sitting in my closet ever since. I got my son to create an electronic file of the film that would be appropriate for use on my blog -- and viola -- here it is.

And so how, you may ask, does this film illustrate some activity outside the world of pool that can help a person's game? Well, the fact of the matter is that I came to pool largely because of my willingness to go exploring. I lived for several years in Costa Rica, spent much of that time wondering around the streets of San Jose, and finally ventured up the steps of "Center Pool," which is the pool hall featured in this film. There I met a wonderful cast of characters, some of whom were vaguely disreputable. I watched them play pool and I fell in love with the game.

So, that's it. Go exploring. Take risks. Learn about other people. That's the activity outside the pool world that led me to improve my game.

OK, I know it's a stretch -- but whatever. I was never much good at homework anyway.

And be sure to come back to the pool history blog to watch parts 2 and 3 of Pichitas. I'll post them up soon.

-- R.A. Dyer

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fats vs. Mosconi: The Great Pool Shoot-Out

You read it about it The Hustler & The Champ. Here's the video proof of the most watched pool match in U.S. history. Picture and sound quality is pretty lousy, but it's the only copy out there that I have come across. You can read about the pool match in detail in my book (that's it there to the right). The famous televised pool match was put together by pool promoter Charles Ursitti and the guys from Wide World of Sports.