Champion pool player Mike Massey dazzled spectators with his billiard trick shots this weekend when he performed his exhibition in Modesto.
Massey has won 17 national and international billiard championships, but he's best known for his trick shot artistry in the game of pool.
He's toured throughout the United States and 44 countries, and he brought his show to Modesto's Break Time Billiards and a crowd of more than 100.
In his performances, he makes seemingly impossible trick shots, such as prop shots, mystery shots, jump shots and hustler's specials.
"It's good to see the reaction in their faces, especially when I set up the shots for them," Massey said.
After the crowd circled around Massey, he called up children and adults to hit shots they didn't think they had any chance of making. Yet, they all walked away amazed they had made such tough shots — with Massey's help.
Massey started playing pool when he was 13 and began mastering the art of trick shots when he was 25. He takes his show around the globe to increase awareness of the sport.
"The amateur players like the trick shots, and the pros like seeing the shots that come up in the game," Massey said.
He's performed on ESPN and at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. He was named ESPN's Trick Shot Magic Champion of 2004 and voted best in the history of the game by Billiards Digest.
Massey has taught or played pool with countless celebrities, including Johnny Cash, Sugar Ray Leonard, Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Sorvino, Danny Aiello and David Arquette.
Joe Gonzales, owner of Break Time Billiards, said he brought Massey to Modesto as a kickoff for his monthly tournaments. About 80 amateur and professional players participated in Saturday's tournament, but they all took a break to watch Massey perform.
"We've been open here for three months, and this is our first event," Gonzales said. "A lot of people around here like pool, and I don't think they've ever seen a celebrity from pool before."
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2394.