The secret to what makes Bill Mitchell a strong pool player will remain a mystery.
When asked, Mitchell’s teammate on the Stix N Stones, Dan Moran, said it’s something everyone would like to know.
Having played since he was 17, Mitchell has played at a high level and has won gold at the Senior Games twice and has a room filled with trophies and plaques. Moran described his teammate of four years as someone who possesses nerves of steel. In a match during the B.C. 8 Ball Championship at the Lakeside Resort, Mitchell didn’t look concerned as his opponent left him with an uphill battle. Frustration didn’t show on the 81-year-old that Saturday morning until he lost, despite making it close.
“He has a great, smooth stroke. He is tough to beat,” said Moran. “The best players in the (Penticton) league hate playing him.”
While Mitchell had a slow start before winning his first game, Moran said that Mitchell has the ability to make shots look easy.
“He will step up and make a shot that a lot of guys wouldn’t think about,” said Moran.
Mitchell began learning the game in the late 40s at Albert’s Recreational Emporium in Vancouver. Two years after playing on the back tables, Mitchell worked his way to the front.
“It was only snooker in those days or rotation,” he said. “You never started playing pool and moved to the front table. Have to accumulate some talent.
“When you end up playing 8-ball you enjoy 8-ball just as much as snooker,” he continued. “You can invent shots and it’s sort of a different atmosphere.”
While Mitchell earned plenty of recognition for his play, what he enjoys is the people he meets. He has developed life-long friendships.
As the championship wrapped up on Sunday, Mitchell helped Stix N Stones finish first in the B division and said they couldn’t have done any better.
“I was not a force in the match, but I brought others up,” said Mitchell, who plays snooker twice a week and 9-ball three times. “Everybody played extremely well and myself in some situations.”