Learning the art of pool

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Sam Masingi

Sam Masingi, a Kovsie alumni who represents the Free State in cue sport, is working on a research paper that focuses on pool as a sport.

Masingi started playing pool in
the taverns of a small town called Mokopane in Limpopo when he was in high school and has now been doing so professionally for the past five years. He said at first it was a casual pursuit since he was more serious about cricket, which at that time, he was better at. “I stopped playing cricket in my second year of varsity (2012). Unfortunately, I did not really see pool as a sport, which is why I only took it up seriously in 2016/7.”

Since Masingi is a sport researcher at heart, he has identified a massive gap in pool research, which is, according
to him, “pretty much non-existent”. His research, which is still in the preliminary stages, focuses on gambling/hustling trends in pool. He has been conducting his research at various pool clubs and
taverns in South Africa and Zambia, specifically in Lusaka.

Masingi’s findings show that ‘the professional side of the game is well- established. It is interesting to find provincial, national, and even world champions engaged in the gambling side of the game. It is also not uncommon to find gambling games between knockout matches at provincial championships’ (an extract from his research).

When asked if his research has upped his game, Masingi said, “Because I got to interact with top players, I understand how they approach the game and I can implement some of the insight in my own game.”

Masingi will be representing the Free State for the third consecutive year and will partake in the 2020/2021 South African Blackball Championships at
Gold Reef City in Johannesburg from July 12 to 17. He came first in the 2021 Free State Social Blackball trials, thus qualifying for the Nationals as the top player in the team (the Social category is open to men and women).

Justine Fortuin

justine@mahareng.co.za