Archer Hopes For First Win In Japan

Archer has never won in Japan

Johnny “The Scorpion” Archer says he hopes to keep his amazing winning run going when he competes in the Tokyo 9-ball tournament from November 7-9 at the Skip City venue in Saitama with a top prize of $15,000.

In an exclusive interview with Viva Sports which has staged several major international tournaments in Manila, Archer who is coming off a smashing 13-11 win over local favorite Francisco “Django” Bustamante, the defending Tokyo 9-ball champion said “ I am playing really well and hope I can win my first tournament in Japan, just like I did in Manila.”

Archer's victory over Bustamante in the LG Flatron “On Cue 2” 9-ball tournament was the first in several tournaments in Manila where he had previously failed to win even one match. The victory was Archer's fourth successive triumph following wins in Sudden Death 7-Ball, the Fury championships, the Atlanta Open and the LG Flatron in Manila.

Archer said his game has “really gotten quicker” and that has helped turn his fortunes around. Archer credited his lovely wife Melanie for the change saying they were discussing his game one night and trying to “decide on what to do” when the idea of picking up the pace came about.

Archer said his wife who is expecting their first child next March “knows the game” and has been a major boost to his career. He has so far won seven tournaments this year and is one of the top money winners. The likeable Archer who turns 35 on November 12 said “playing quicker is better for me since when I played slower it gave me time to think and that put a lot of pressure. You consider all the options unlike now when I quickly decide on what to do and then play the shot.”

Archer said he expects to have a tough time in Tokyo against the Filipino contingent of Bustamante, Efren “Bata” Reyes and Canada-based Alex Pagulayan not to mention Ralf “The Kaiser” Souquet and Charlie “The Korean Dragon” Williams among others.

Earl “The Pearl” Strickland one of the greatest players of all-time but also one of the most temperamental returned to the US shortly after being eliminated in the Manila tournament and will not compete in Japan due to what Archer said was “politics.” Strickland had an unfortunate run-in with soft-spoken Japanese player Kunihiko Takahashi over the use of a “jump cue” and then decided to skip playing in Tokyo.

Archer himself will travel to China with some of his sponsors after the Tokyo tournament to promote his Scorpion line of cues and indicated he may put on a trick shot exhibition.

The favorite of fans in his hometown of Georgia, Archer said if the Chinese decide to really take up pool, then they could truly pose a major challenge because of their huge population.

Photo courtesy of Mark Whiteside