I started playing pool at the age of 6 on my Dad's old Valley Pool Table. By the time I was 16, I was practicing every spare minute I had and dreaming about being a professional pool player. Around that time my focus changed to more mainstream high school sports like Football and girls. In my free time I still managed to wear out the cloth on that old Valley.
I graduated from John Glenn High School in Bay City, Michigan in 1993 and went on to S.V.S.U.
In 1995 I started to play in the local leagues like the VNEA (Valley National Eight Ball Association), the APA (American Poolplayers Association) and the BCA (Billiard Congress of America) where I learned the game in a whole new way from a Pinconning, Michigan local, Ed Kopka Sr. This man took my game from ball maker to a player that could play a little strategy. A lot of players in Michigan owe a lot to that man. His sons are now carrying the torch for the next generation of Kopka's who can blister a rack. We lost Ed to Cancer a few years ago. Bless his soul.
Ironically, the disease that claimed Ed would also give me the opportunity to take my game to the next level. Before Ed was even diagnosed, I saw Dave "The Ginger Wizard" Pearson at the V.N.E.A. Michigan State Pool Tournament shooting speed pool and I thought it would be a great way to raise funds for the Relay For Life in Arenac County where I live. The Bentley Community of Christ members helped to find pledges and after sinking 11,100 balls, around $1200.00 was raised in the fight against Cancer.
I had discovered Tom "Dr.Cue" Rossman's website and dropped him a line about the record attempt (Dave is a very close friend of Tom's) and asked about potential pool tournaments that were out of the norm. After talking on the phone with Tom, which was humbling in the least, he invited me to my first tournament and the rest is history.