“Play pool. Have fun. Enjoy your life.” This is the credo of Bobby Pickle, a constant in the Nashville pool scene and a never-ending source of entertainment for true fans of the game.
Born in the early sixties, Pickle first picked up a cue at the age of five and was making money with it two years later. “My father was a pool player-I’m a natural at it,” he relays in his pleasantly accented voice. “Right now my eyes are going a little bad, which at this age is ordinary, so I’ve really got to get Lasik Surgery or glasses or contacts. I probably should have had this done a little while ago.”
Explaining how he got drawn more into the game, Pickle relates, “The only mentor really I ever had was Charlie James, and he died in seventy-six. He sort of looked out for me after my father died-he died of cancer when I was seven-he [James] owned about four or five poolrooms in the Nashville area. He looked out for me.”
Whether it was James or his own sense of fair play that molded him, Pickle exudes a strong conviction of good sportsmanship. He is the first to compliment an opponent on a good shot, the first to shake a victorious adversary’s hand, and the first to ask the question, “if you’re not having fun, why keep doing it?” It’s this attitude that makes
Bobby one of the circuit’s most well-liked players. His infectious laugh and gentlemanly ways win him fans and friends wherever he goes. But his game is never one that should be taken lightly under any circumstances.
“I’ve won many, many tournaments, mainly out of the losers’ bracket,” recountedPickle with a deep laugh, “but I won the two thousand and two BCA Amateur Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. There were seventeen hundred and ninety-five players in it, and I went undefeated. I’ve won the Tennessee State Championship three times in the past, I’ve won the Florida State Championship in the past, I’ve won the Southeast Regional Division in eight-ball, I’ve won eighth place in the world in eight-ball in nineteen eighty-six.
“I’ve enjoyed it. It’s a game that I enjoy, and it’s a game that when I stop enjoying it, I will quit. I have a good time when I play pool. I enjoy the company, the people that I meet are great. I travel everywhere-it’s a beautiful country, the United States of America.”
Break Cue: 20 ounce South East Custom Cue www.southeastcues.com
Break Cue Shaft: 13.5 millimeter shaft
Break Cue Tip: Phenolic
Break Cue Wrap: Irish linen
Playing Cue: South East Pickle Cue www.southeastcues.com
Playing Cue Weight: 19.5 ounces
Shaft Diameter: 13.5 millimeters
Shaft Taper: 13 inch pro taper
Tip Radius: Nickel
Wrap: Irish linen
Playing Cue Hit: “It’s solid-it’s a very solid hit.”
Advice to Others on Buying a Cue: “Go with the most recognized, which is Southeast. Go with the cue maker. If something feels good to you, stick with it. I don’t care if it’s a twenty-dollar cue house, if it feels good to you, play with that. But if you’re going to buy a higher-priced cue, check them out. Check them out on the Internet, magazines, whatever. Either check with Southeast or Southwest. I prefer Southeast.”
Tools: “I use the Tip Tapper, I use the Porcupine, I use sandpaper, too.”
Shaft Maintenance: “I use Joe Blackburn.
Pro Shop Joe!” www.jobbilliards.com
Other Items: “I carry chalk, my own chalk-Master, which I prefer-I carryJohnson’s Baby Powder, which I prefer. I carry a towel, usually, in my case. And my jumpers, Jumping Pickles, and my own case, which will be out in about a month.www.billiardwarehouse.com, www.southeastcues.com
Case: “We’re having them custom made by Southeast Cues.”