Jerry Forsyth Remembers Tokyo and Just How Good Was Efren
Welcome back to american billiard radio. Today is friday november twenty seventh and on this week's show. I talked to gerry forsythe. Jerry's been around the game of pool as a as a reporter for longer than as e billiards has been around man. There's days feels like billiards has been around forever. But i took an opportunity to talk to jerry about the tokyo open. Abc events that took place twenty years ago and from there as things typically tend to do when i talked to jerry things kind of went off on a different tangent and we got to talking about efren reyes and and just how strong effort was when he was at the peak of his game. But before we get to that we do have news this week. The biggest tournament result news. Certainly not the biggest but the biggest tournament result news was jeff to luna winning the nine ball and ten ball divisions at the first annual mutual classic had racks in sanford florida. Now ambi estevez from new york when out to florida to run this event and you know i'll be honest prior to the tournament. I looked at Fifty some player division a hundred and fifty player division also running a pay per view stream. One man. i don't care how many people you got on your team. I thought you know. I've i've done. I've ran tournaments. We've all ran tournaments before. And i've handled a stream. I thought he was. He was definitely taking on more than he could. And in the beginning the first night of the tournament looking at all the complaints online. Yeah it it seems that way but to ami's credits. There weren't completes complaints. Went away for the most part. As far as the pay per view goes on friday and everything seemed to run smoothly after that he committed to skip the a billiards writer. Who you've probably allred hundreds of articles from that there were going to be brackets online and there were going to be scores on them. Lord knows brackets online and scores. You get you. Don't think you're asking too much but there's an awful lot of tournaments out there that don't do that. So he he lived up to his commitments with skip. He was great working with skip From everything i understand. He ran to great tournaments so I was really you know for my feelings. That ambi was taking on too much. I was wrong and he. He did an exemplary job. With jeff to luna winning both divisions he won a close to ten thousand. I understand three thousand of those winnings are going back to the philippines for the typhoon. Relief effort dennis or koyo also raffled off his personal q. Case raised almost two thousand dollars doing that. I had a chance to talk to mike wang over at omega and he said that as soon as that tournament in florida was over that dennis was going back to texas and was going to work with mike to get a new case made and that they were going to work on some other relief efforts so i would expect to hear more on that one fairly soon. Liz taylor won the northeast women's tour. Season finale nice caroline pao to take a break and let the other ladies have a chance to win lizards on a bit of hot streak down. That's too too big wins for her. In two weeks. Tony chauhan three days with scott frost plane a little one pocket. That's a match that a lot of people had been waiting for and it was a shame that it didn't happen. You know what. It's my podcast. So i can say That it didn't happen when both of them were in their one pocket prime. No i'm not jumping up to gamble with either one of them. So let's not go down that road but you know let's face it. One of them is playing under a bit more heat out there while the other has backed off a little bit you know life comes in and becomes a priority but but either way you know no matter when they played it. Scott came out on fire day. One took a ten to four lead. There were playing race two thirty over three days so ten four scott after one day. Tony played like tony was expected to play on day two and caught up and then took the lead at twenty two seventeen. It all came down to the day. Three scott made a comeback. They were tied at twenty six. Tony one three went to the hill. Twenty nine twenty six ended up winning it thirty to twenty seven so tony chauhan won that challenge match. Paul drechsler was inducted into the international. Cue makers hall of fame for twenty twenty. I'm going to work on trying to get some more information about about paul and honestly as far as all of the media projects that i'm involved with them being this show the billiard buzz magazine of course easy billiards. There are a number of things that i would like to do to better support the billiards community. And better cover everything. That's going on and billiards and q. Making is one of them. I've talked to mike capone a couple of times. I've talked to. Mike capone a handful of times and and it always comes back down to me. It comes down to having the time to to actually do it. And i i keep saying. I'm going to but i going off on a tangent again. Congratulations to paul drechsler. And and hopefully we'll have an opportunity to talk to him on the show the other tournament results. Were you remember the texas open. Nine ball championship. That happened two or three weeks ago. Well they were able to do the one pocket they were able to do the nine ball. They were not able to do the ladies division. So so skinny. Bob's was able to open back up. After the little coves scare. They scheduled the women's event last weekend. That was won by the same player. Who won it last year and the year before. Empress ming ing. Not a player that anyone who has followed the game for very long would be surprised at her. Getting the win has been playing professionally for longer than i've been covering the game and there aren't a whole lot of players out there who've been playing professionally longer than i've been covering the game. I took a chance to to speak to ming. And i asked her how exactly she is able to keep playing at the level that she's playing at for as long as she has well. I think over time you know like i said like as we get older you know we have different priority. So i think toll is like wine. That's how i always describe it. Because i think as you get older you get a little bit wiser and you're you don't necessarily have to be at the table all the time to really excelled that i think The mental side of the game. More than anything just like any sport and Quite frankly i don't really play much poor. Pardon none at all Due to a couple of circumstances now. Number one i have rheumatoid arthritis of all my joints and my fingers and you know on my body. You know that. I'm even on medication these days and it's swells up so badly that if i play so much a just I can't even bend my finger the next day. So what i do. I really keep that to minimal even with the medication however Doing the time of hold that I did take in Students for the first time in my life. And i'm extremely proud of and and i think with him. They helped me a lot. Because i don't necessarily have to like you're not sure. Shot here and there for him but but to really explain you know the knowledge of the game to him so it kinda helped me to remember certain things that i forgot to myself. You know as far as the fundamental by ever and you know from time to time you know so it's up to teach only one if you can execute the shot right mike So i think that helps me also a little bit Doing helped me to prepare. You know for the texas open a little bit. I would say definitely. I have contributed to it and then of course it was only right. I had to ask ming you know. How long has she actually been playing. The game started playing through when i was sixteen to Think about twenty one. Then i stopped playing for a few years. Then i started again when i was like twenty five because i knew it took you know money to go to tournaments or what i did was When i was younger. I saved them. Let me for three years in a row. And i was able to put myself into you. Know the traveling in the time to play. And then when i start playing I won the rookie of the year. Nineteen ninety seven my first year on the wpa and And then i stopped playing around two thousand two When i got an accident dislocated my shoulder. And i have to have surgery and then that was another you know. Five year off with a four year like continuously Strength in my shoulder again. You know to have you know you know without like slipping out but it looks off from time to time but but you know it is what it is so. That's why i knew the after that you know you know. Of course you know picked up bad habits like my fans my my stroke. I just don't feel connected. You know would from time to time and the only thing they have really saved me just like my fundamental and logically considering how long she's been playing i. I asked ming how long she still sees herself playing and playing at the level in which she's playing well i think in You know like. I say i mean i don't know how long last but i think there are four is I don't think you should put a time limit on it at all. I mean whatever your capability and how you carry yourself you know where You know physically. So i think he has a you know as time goes by what you know. Our our body you know muscles is eight for times size. So you know i. I don't know how much time i wanna say. I wanna give myself. But i do know like i want. There's many more things that i wanna do you know and it's not who is definitely not on that list. You know 'cause poor for me now. It's become a enjoyment as a hobby. It's not a job for me. You know. I don't have to check in and check out. You know as a hobby. I just want to enjoy and what i want to in the near future as Be able to travel. I wanna travel in different parts of the world that i haven't been to. I wanna see different things and explore. And i want to do that when i'm feel can in that time frame. I don't wanna do all that. When i'm in my sixty so every opportunity that i feel like i'm gonna be able to get to do that. I would do that. That would be definitely my top priority so that brings us up to speed on tournament results. Now the big news. Justin bergman is out of the mosconi cup. Roughly a week before heading over to reiko arena. It was announced that justin had tested positive for covid. nineteen corey. dole takes his place. There was some talk about lie. Tyler didn't take his place. And i certainly don't know the reasoning behind that. I suspect there's more to it than just somebody didn't wanna play or invited or anything like that. But who knows when we'll know that but either way it's corey and not justin. I don't know what that changes for team. Usa a real steep mountain to climb this year. But i thought they had a steep mountain to climb last year. And i was completely wrong. So we'll see what happens Corey definitely brings experience to the game or to the team and he's been under fire quite a bit. The last couple of months. He's been out playing. He was playing at the texas open. He did not play in florida because he was getting ready to go overseas for the event. But i know he's been in vegas playing quite a bit so there's no question that he's he's ready to play at that level. You know something. I wanted to talk about when it comes to mosconi cup. I see they're doing this thing now. This last couple of days They're kind of trying to take the ufc approach and and trash talking each other. You know my first thought was i. Don't care for trash talk. You know i've done it. I've i've been a part of it on easy. Billiards in the past. The thing with me is. I was told when i was very young. There's a fine line between good humor and bad taste now. Don't get me wrong. None of the guys who are doing the trash talking so far have crossed over that line. I mean it's all. I've got more titles than you play better than you go back to fishing. That sort of thing and none of that is is personal. Hand really over the line but it's so easy to go over the line hands. May i remind people we do have a. Let's say loose cannon on team europe who really hasn't completely made himself comfortable in his. I can trash talk with the best players in the world stance so you probably don't want him getting too involved with this but you know mosconi. Cup is not a tournament edition. It's five of the top players for america five of the top players from europe. I remember years and years ago. When things blew up with earl and diana hoppy was with him at the time everyone knows diana and she took him aside. Said you're not playing in a tournament. This is an exhibition so again it's trash talk. You know what some people like it. Some people don't i fall in the don't category but pay on one person. One person with a podcast so either way that is what's what's been happening As far as what is going to be happening this weekend. Starting tomorrow the maryland state table. Ten ball. Championship at bruise cues. That is going to be another on the hill production. So i expect we'll have full coverage of that next week and then of course after that. Come tuesday we have the mosconi cup. So that's what's coming up as far as my interview for this week. Like i said i spoke to gerry. Forsythe we went We started off talking about the tokyo open. And then we went off to to talking about in which all pull fans really should spend time talking about effort so here we go without further. Ado i give you gerry. Forsythe joined now by the keeper of all billiards information. Gerry forsythe gerry. How're you doing. I'm doing good mike about you. Can't complain that good. The reason that i wanted to talk this week is november fourteenth. Two thousand one. Tokyo nine ball. Remember that one. Oh yeah yes. That was a political football very interesting tournament now for for those listeners. Like myself who don't know much about this event by efren a hundred and sixty thousand dollars in prize money. There's got to be a story behind that well that that was just his prize money. That was just first place. I don't remember what the total prize money was but it was huge. It was the richest tournament to that. Date that had ever been held and I can't remember the gentleman's name who owns this company. It was either takashi or something similar like that yeah his names just not gonna come to me but he just come out with a brand new table the nagato pool table and it was a copy of the goal groundfloor and or go ground before it and come out yet. I don't think And held this huge tournament And formed organization called the international billiard council which was a competitor to j. bef japanese pocket billiard federation and they were having political war and they were banning players from playing in each other's events and all that but at any rate this tournament did come off and Like you say efren one and he went over a hundred and six hundred sixty three thousand was the actual amount plus some change but it was twenty million yen first prize. That check held up at the end. Said twenty million yen on it. That was the richest person anyone had ever wanted that to that date. And who would break it three years later three or four years later ephron One two hundred thousand dollars at the ipt. Right now if i if i search on a we've got information from ole one two zero three of an international billiard council tour. That would be it. I didn't i didn't remember him. Having other events though. Did he have any in. The united states does it say does does is see Saupiquet second straight. ibc title with a six one. Six one victory over johnny archer in the finals of the i. B c u s championship Billiards and that would have been september of two. Wow and that had seventy nine thousand. That was seventy nine thousand first prize. No that was total prize. Money for the event looks like it was based on paying way down in the field. They were paying a thousand dollars to thirty third place. Okay and then. In tokyo they paid. I believe two thousand down to thirty third choice. I did not go to the tournament. J. o. b.'s. Okay but you were at the events in tokyo. Oh yeah. I mean really. This event is more proof. Positive that the old adage is true that you can have as many organizations as you want in pool and we have more than enough three letter abbreviations in pool. But it's still really comes down to. Who has the biggest checkbook exactly exactly At least on the pro tour seen that's true ever has the money is going to get the player so so tell me about this event. it ran. What four days to corey about this event the other day and he said he remembered vendors there but that was about all he remembered he said the rest of it was just you know he just played every played and and moved on well. The tournament itself was like any other tournament. But this was my first time to ever go to tokyo and we had a day before the tournament started to tour or tokyo and so a bunch of us went into town because we knew we been given the name of a street where there were To really nice pool room and so we get to that street and walking down the street looking for the pool rooms and there there is a fella from tokyo with us. I'm not sure if it was takahashi player or someone else but what what amazed us was. The highways were four and five highways tall because they had run out of space in tokyo to build new roads so they were building roads above one another they. They went up with their roads instead of out and the same thing was true with they had a housing shortage. Because there's just no place to build houses and so many generations of a family. We're living in the same small home or apartment. Now that's turns out. That's a japanese custom that that family stays together through multiple generations. But it was. It was forced on them at that time. Because there was no place they could go and The to pool rooms were right across the street from one another on this busy street and one of them had like one hundred twenty tables and the other one had ninety some tables. They were both Three to five stories tall with boo tables on every level and nice restaurants nightclubs on the bottom level And both of them had wait lists for tables twenty four hours a day because tables always busy and the of an average wait time for a table was a couple of hours so pu was huge in tokyo in two thousand one. And i'm sure you're the one who told me the story years ago. Was it tokyo. Where there were high end cues up on the rack with like a piece of yarn over them to let people know that they were not house cues yes yeah they. The people didn't bother locking their cues up. They just put them on the wall with you know a piece of string or something to say they were and people left them alone not to say anything negative about any particular q. Company but are we talking about schmucky is they're talking about mcdermott's mu cheese predators. I mean th predator at the time but you know what kind of cues talking about well. The most popular q. Back then was Meiji so there were a lot of mutual around Palmer's sure mcdermott's germany was really hot Especially overseas they love. Mcdermott us over there. It was all the cues that were popular at the time I don't remember seeing any bills. Strahl or richard blacks but Wouldn't it wouldn't surprise me to have seen them up there. And that was i mean. That was another huge year for ephron. Oh one he was the number one money winner which of course you would expect him to be you know. But but without that tournament he was still seventy thousand and winnings in your recollection just how dominant was ephron back when he was at the top of his game Unbelievable dominant he. He just he just seemed to win. Every big event and especially if it was the very fact after he won this event He told the interviewer that he always liked to win. The first event of a new series that he really always tried harder to win that very first event But he you know. He won the first Open event in the ipt as well. You know you had that first. Showdown between Mike and Laura john but then when they had a real tournament he was the first winner. You think he just dug deep when when he knew he had to. You know i. I never saw efren looking like he was concentrating. Hard core or putting out an extra effort or anything he he always seemed to be so easy going and everything seemed to be so natural for him now. That did fall apart in the finals of this event When he was leading he was playing neal's fan and they were racing to fifteen and he was leading like ten to five or eleven to five something like that and both of their games suddenly left them and they were missing. Both of them were missing. Shots that they would never miss in the same rack. Both of them gave up ball in hand missing very easy one rail kick. They missed the whole ball. And that's the only I've seen weakness in ephron at all but at the same time he was getting very close to winning the most money anybody ever won and boo And he he wasn't the only one to go week. 'cause neal's went week as well He wound up winning fifteen to seven. But the last few racks were not Beautiful ephron run out racks. It's interesting that you mention missing kicks corey when we talked to the other day referenced. Ephron was the first one who who brought kicking safe into the game. As as a reporter. At the time i mean. Was there a time when you were watching him. Play and had that realization. Oh my god. He's he's kicking safe. He's not just hitting the ball and hoping for something. Good to happen actually. I didn't make that realization myself. A player made for me. I believe it was johnny archer and effort had just finished a match and this was not at this event. This was another event. And johnny sat down next to me and said that guy is changing the game and i said how do you mean. He said he's kicking to make shots not to hit a ball. And yeah you also kicked to play a safety and make it work so he was not just trying to hit the ball. He was trying to hit an aiming point on the ball and that really did change the game. That's when folks like judge and corey orel and all. Those guys started practicing their kicking game because they realized how powerful tool that was to have in their arsenal. If someone played them a safety they need to be able to kick their way out of it and they all got pretty good at it pretty fast. So in in the time that you've reported on the game you've had ephron revolutionize the kicking game. You've had corey revolutionized the break would you consider the jump. Cue revolutionizing things. Yeah it's it's it's not a revolution that i care for Frankly i don't like jump queues. I think if you play a safe the other person. I'd have to kick their way out of it rather than pull out. Shorts trick stick but most people disagree with me on that but Yeah the junkie was def definitely changed the game. I won't say it changed for the better but it sure did change it and there are guys who who specialize in the jump but would you consider them as individuals revolutionizing the game or more the equipment moving forward and them taking advantage of that chain equipment or i think the equipment. Yeah when they they. I you know i. People were jumping with just a shaft. They just unscrew the stick and jump with the shaft and then that was made illegal You couldn't jump with something shorter than i believe. Forty four inches. So they had to put these. They invented these little bitty lightweight q. Butts that when you unscrewed the shaft. You're playing queue this little would screw on there and then you could jump with it because that made it the right length But yeah it's i mean to jump. Cue certainly changed the game as much as any piece of equipment over. Has i wish i'd have been in tokyo. Sounds like it was a great event. It was the the the finals was in is was in a separate room off from the main room. That only had this one table and it is up is i remember and it was just jam. Packed with people especially The sporting press of japan all the major newspapers were there the tv networks. Were there All filming this thing and It was really impressive. V very impressive. event I would like to have had the opportunity to go to more events over there because they though the officials were were spot on and Everything ran on time. It was spirit. Bringing nice in the money was great. You made a comment more than a few years ago that you thought china was the future of the game did it. Did it feel like that in japan. At that time you know with all the undercurrent of war between the federation's it didn't it it. It felt like something was gonna happen. But you didn't know what and as it turned out i just sort of died and went away. Sounds like a lot of things that have happened in the sport Yeah yeah we've seen a lot of swan songs in this game. Speaking of swan songs. I one of the things they were using in this in this event was the Oh what was the name of that. Rack dogs. When you pray. Yeah the star. They're using sato rack and One of the referees. It was the charred iraq where you had to put the balls in press on a lever on top. Remember that oh yeah and he he could not get that to work and the one ball kept rolling off the front of the spot and at one point nobody saw it but the one ball was probably a quarter of an inch away from the balls in the and in the row. I row of two and it was neal's fe break and i was sitting there going. Oh this is going to be muddy. ugly break. neal's roared back and hit those ball so hard that he sank two balls on the break and got a great spreading around the table. I couldn't believe it but he but you have to remember back then kneels. He was in danger of breaking the cue ball every time he he Hit a break shot. He was one powerful guy. I mean he's still is back back then. He was twenty years younger. And if there were any weakness in efforts game it was always his break. Wasn't it yeah but you know he never saw. That is a weakness. He just said it's not a strength but it sure didn't keep him away from the table very much people that would normally run rack after rack. After rack. after rack would get up and play. Efren and their boots were shaking they. They could not play as well against effort as they did against anybody else. 'cause they were scared i mean they should. They should have been scared of him. The guy was a magician. Well the game is definitely weaker without his presence in it. Yeah it's it's missing. Something without effort goes well. He was just so magical to watch and he was always so different from all the other players. He didn't have a big ego He was very down to earth When he had spare time he wanted to spend playing chess. You know he's different breed of cat and who's the closest think we have to him right now. Alex well certainly not in personality I think maybe Shane van boning because he has the same kind of quiet attitude. He's understated you know you don't you. Don't see shane. Running around pool rooms bragging. He's very quiet. Just let us stick to his talking and hopefully. We haven't seen the best of shane in his career. Well probably not. He's still maturing aright. Well that's what i was curious about. You know the event came up as something that had happened on this day in billiards. And i thought god you know. There's there's the story of this tournament. But i don't know anything about it. It was fun except the flight over and the flight back were miserable. Abdul like flying. Were you working for. Pnb at the time. Yeah yeah so then. There's an old early two thousand two pool and billiard magazine out there with a write up on this. Because i couldn't find an answer news and probably a billiards digest as well. Because a lot of times where. I went overseas. I've worked for both of them Assume a different name for one of them right to totally different articles But that but that way they got to split my expense money and it didn't cost them hardly anything well. Fortunately nobody listens to this so they won't know well. I think anyone who would care already knew all right. Well then that gives us a goal to track down an older oa-to billiards digest pool builder magazine and learn more. About this event. It would be either december of two thousand and one or january of two thousand two. And i've got all these old pool and billiard magazine's somewhere but they're not in any order but if i can find him i'll i'll see you packing find it see if we can come up with anything new. All right sounds good. I will let you get back to it. Thank you sorry you have a good one. Thanks you too. Okay bye bye all right. That was jerry and that was that was talking about effort. I don't know exactly what. I don't know exactly who i'll have for the show next week. I don't have anything lined up. It's it's mosconi cup week. So i'm not really sure. I think i may be doing a post day. Show with nate over at hughhewitt up just talking about one of the days of the event. I don't know which day but everyone's going to be watching that. So there's a possibility i won't even have a show next week but who knows either way i appreciate everybody taking the time out of their day to listen this week and once again dave. We are all thinking about you.