Friday, March 26, 2010

Pool in Costa Rica: The Spirit of Pichitas

It's been nearly 25 years ago now, but way back when I used to live in San Jose, Costa Rica. I spent a ton of time in various pool halls there, including a place called Center Pool. I wrote a piece earlier about a hustler I met in San Jose, a man by the name of Luis Calderon -- better known as "Pichitas." He was something of a legend in the pool halls then. I eventually went back to Costa Rica and produced a short documentary about Pichitas. A couple of months ago I dusted off that old documentary and posted it up on the Internet.

Lo and behold, one of my old buddies from Costa Rica, Hernan Aguilar, saw the video and has sent me video of his own trick-shooting prowess. It seems that the legend of Pichitas lives on in Costa Rica. I've posted up one of Hernan's videos, above, but there are tons more at his YouTube channel. I can't tell where Hernan is shooting in these videos, but it looks about like what I remembered of the now-closed Center Pool. The only difference is that with Center Pool, you had to go up a flight of stairs. With this pool hall, you have to go down. (I will note, however, that either up or down, all the best pool halls involve a flight of stairs.)

Thanks to Hernan for sending along this video. He looks like someone you'd want to steer clear from if you're ever in San Jose, looking to make a game.

-- R.A. Dyer

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