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Johnny Archer talks exclusively to Pro9 about Bad Blood
 Posted on Tuesday, March 29 2011 @ 01:05:22 UTCby admin
General Legends and Champions "Bad Blood" Challenge: Archer vs Strickland
Drifters Pool Room
3223 Cornhusker Hwy

Saturday/Sunday 2-3 April 2011

Johnny Archer talks about practice, money matches, and Earl's ear muffs!

Pro9 Hi Johhny, thanks for taking time to talk to us at Pro9... You've got a lot of fans in Europe and we're all very interested in the "Bad Blood 1" event coming in April between you and Earl Strickland, can you tell us how this tournament came about? Who's idea was it, is there really some bad feeling between you two, or are you actually the best of friends? How important is it to you to win this match?

Johnny "Mark (Cantrill) and I were talking one day and we were talking about putting on a Challenge match and who we would like to play each other. Earl's name came to mind because him and I have played against each other a long time in professional events but never a long challenge match."

"Over the last few years there has been some significant tension between us going back to the Mosconi Cup when, in my opinion, he broke off the team and played on his own team, which brought tension to all players and their ability to focus as a team on winning in a positive environment. Although I've always looked up to Earl since I started playing back in the 80's, I really watched his style of play, but never his behavior. I feel like over the years Earl has become angry with fans and other players including myself and it has really upset me because I have always liked Earl and stood up for him against everybody."

"It is very important to me to win because I hate to lose but mostly it's not about the money; maybe more of a challenge to myself to beat once again one of the World's all time Greatest players."

"Read More..." for the details.

Pro9 What is your form like at the moment, have you been playing well recently? How do you prepare for these events, do you have a practice partner, or do you work out alone - is it even possible to prepare for an event like this?

Johnny "I'm in a transition stage and feel like I am playing much better than last year because I am healthier and training more and I have a lot of support."

"I practice alot at home and at Marietta Billiards Club with Shawn Putnam. I play straight pool for good ball positioning and it helps my rhythm and I practice my break continuously because that's my strongest asset."

"I don't think it's possible to prepare for an event like this because with Earl, you never know what you're going to get. Then again, I am the Scorpion and you never know when I will sting you!!!"

Pro9 I know you've won more World Championship titles that I've had hot dinners, but they do say there are tournament players and then there are players who are just good when playing for cash, and I've never seen you playing in such an intimate one-on-one environment before - are you a big money player?

Johnny "I have played big money matches before against some big players back in the day, but if you want to play professionally, you have to get away from that at some point to focus on your game. Playing money matches can drain you a lot, hurt your ego and break down your confidence in your real skill. I love the competitiveness of pool in general, but really I enjoy playing for the fans and on TV and earning a title. I can still play for money if needed too."

Pro9 I'll tell you, I'm really looking forward to watching two masters playing 8 Ball, then 9 Ball and then possibly 14.1 - I'm hoping to learn a lot about tactics and shot selection - Which discipline do you think is your strongest, and which is your weakest. Do you feel particularly confident about winning any of the disciplines, or do you think your opponent might be weaker in any one these disciplines?

Johnny "I cannot give out my secrets because if Earl finds out, then I will lose my advantage. Plus, that makes for a much more exciting match and you have to be there watching don't you??"

Pro9 There's going to be a tonne of pressure on you in this event - not only is it being live streamed to a knowledgeable worldwide audience, but to add to the pressure, every decision you make will be analysed by the two commentators (legends Nick Varner and Buddy Hall) - do you have any secrets you can share about staying cool under the lights?

Johnny "I will be excited to have the famous Buddy Hall and Nick Varner (also my pool heroes) commentating on the match because they really give a good voice to the the plays from a player's point of view, which in return lets the audience know more about the game."

Pro9 I'll tell you, I'm really looking forward to watching two masters playing 8 Ball, then 9 Ball and then possibly 14.1 - I'm hoping to learn a lot about tactics and shot selection - Which discipline do you think is your strongest, and which is your weakest. Do you feel particularly confident about winning any of the disciplines, or do you think your opponent might be weaker in any one these disciplines?

Johnny "I feel I am a favorite in straight pool because I use this as my practice on a daily basis. I also like eight ball too because my pattern play is better than Earl's. In nine ball, I feel we are a toss up because my break is better, but his shot making is better."

Pro9 Did you see your opponent's recent performance against Shane van Boening? Do you think Earl will be a major distraction in this match, and will you be able to remain composed if he gets up to his "antics" like he did recently? Do you have any special plan on what you will do to remain focused on the job at hand?

Johnny "I watched the whole match of Shane vs. Earl. I think the way Earl acts now is just comical because I have learned to not let some things bother me... Thanks to my children. I find his tactics goofy and weird. But that's Earl with the earmuffs, finger extensions, weights, wraps, tape and magnifying glass (because we are getting older)."

"And, most of all his Big Mouth!"

Pro9 Can you tell us a bit about your equipment? What make and model cues are you using... Which chalk do you prefer, would you pay $25 for a single cube of Kamui chalk? Will you be bringing a 10 foot long cue to this event to psych out Earl?

Johnny "I play with a Scorpion Break and playing Cue and Kamui Tips. I love Masters Chalk, that's all I play with. I will not disclose what I will bring with me because it's a surprise!"

Pro9 What's next on your pool schedule? How do you handle all the traveling and time zones. Which countries do you enjoy playing in most, and do you have any favourite tournaments?

Johnny "I will be playing in Dallas, TX, Beijing, World 10-Ball, US Open 10-Ball."

"I don't think I could ever get to where I can handle all the travel and time zones now because of the family. I really love being home now and spending time with them, but pool has a new meaning to me which means take care of them. I still love the game more than ever and want to keep winning as much as possible and stay on the top."

"I enjoy all tournaments in America because I am very patriotic and I love making the Mosconi Cup USA Team, that's my favorite of all because you have the best players against each other and on your team. Go USA!"

Pro9 Johnny, thank you very much for taking time out to speak to us at Pro9 - I can't wait to see you in action, and I'm sure I speak for many Pro9'ers when I wish you all the best of luck in this Bad Blood challenge.

Johnny Archer was talking to Big Dave Knight, 29th March 2011.

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