Freddy and Eddie: The Dutch Voice, April 2018

Freddy and Eddie

It was somewhere during May  1999 when I first walked in the dark and smoky poolroom called Hague 5. As a nine-year-old I couldn’t  reach the table and had to stand on an empty Coca-Cola crate turned upside down. I played every Wednesday afternoon, when school would always finish early, for my weekly training. It all escalated rather quickly when I got asked to play in a league. Before I knew I was playing pool almost every day the following years. Pool became my sport. At 18 the joy disappeared for a while. I decided this wasn’t going to be my sport anymore and went to University to study cultural anthropology. Best choice so far. It was not until I discovered the complex dramatics at the heart of one pocket and banks that I started enjoying to play pool again. The two obviously go hand in hand. I’m always interested in new challenges and that’s what these games offered. By playing these games I was confronted with the fact that I lacked knowledge, I still do, and what do you do when you’re in need of knowledge? You start reading. I started reading ‘Banking with the Beard’ by Freddy the Beard and ‘Winning One Pocket’ by Eddie Robin. Reading these theories, visualizing the execution, and especially the hustler stories going with the shots is what I enjoyed the most. Freddy had that rare storytelling talent with which he could make you long for different times. I´ve always had this romantic idea of American pool hustling and Freddy was able to make it a vivid part of my experience of and perspective on the game. It were Freddy and Eddie who brought back the joy. Pepijn de Wit