Touching Base with Mike Dechaine

Mike Dechaine

The fans of our game are always excited about the hot young guns as they come along. The buzz these days centers a lot around the name Mike Dechaine. He was an up and coming player until spring of 2011. Then he won the Ultimate Ten Ball championship in Dallas after taking 4th place at the Masters Ten Ball championship in Chesapeake and these two rapid-fire results catapulted him into the realm of those who are always a threat to win.
His fan base expanded when he became the rookie for Team America on the Mosconi Cup team. Mike Dechaine is fan-friendly and his personality is open and extroverted. He makes friends easily. All of these factors led to the new status he enjoys with the Northeast Massachusetts APA operation.
Sal Conte, the league operator with whom Mr. Dechaine is working, said: "When it became apparent that Mike Dechaine and I might have mutually beneficial business needs I jumped at the chance for us to work together at the Northeast Mass APA Pool League.  Mike's role as League Development Director will focus on division, team and player development.   Mike Dechaine is arguably one of the best players in the world and is coming off of a great year.   He has brought a sense of electricity to our league with his willingness to share his experiences, knowledge and stories from the pro tour.   We feel lucky to have him and all he offers as part of our APA team.  There simply has never been a better time to play APA pool.  Find us and contact Mike Dechaine on our facebook page"
Dechaine is elated at the opportunity. "It is really exciting. People are excited about having a professional player on board and the work is challenging and fun. I get to go into new locations and introduce myself and tell them all about what the APA has to offer them. And I get to interact with the players there and have some fun showing them some shots and stuff. This really is a great blending of skills. Of course, I want to build teams in the area. That is one of my primary goals. It is marvelous being around people who are all about pool 100% of the time."
We asked how all this came about. It turns out that Dechaine met Bruce Barthelette, the APA League Operator for Connecticut, when he was out doing his exhibitions and clinics at area poolrooms. Mr. Barthelette made the proper introductions and everything evolved quickly from there. Mr. Barthelette speaks of the advantages of having a skilled and personable player on board: "Mike Dechaine has come up to our Connecticut APA Tri Cup events and also to our Las Vegas sendoff party. Mike spent time with the players answering questions along with giving the players some very useful pool lessons. The APA players were thrilled to have a player of Mike's ability and popularity at these events. We look forward to working with Mike in the future."
We asked if this position would cause any conflicts on Mike's time for pro events. He replied: "Absolutely not. The better I do professionally the better it is for the job." Baystate APA League Operator Steve Blaney echoed that sentiment: "It is so exiting to work with one of the top players in the world and to have the benefit of him being a local New Englander is an added bonus.  Our players look forward to the opportunity to see Mike in exhibitions, take group lessons and to track his progress as he takes the pool world by storm.  Those players that already follow professional billiards know his name; soon enough, everyone will know who he is!  We look forward to seeing him soon whether on the professional circuit or appearing at one of our local tournaments."
Dechaine seems to have caught on quickly. He told us: "This is all about building relationships. It's all about adding value to the experience of the APA players and keeping them happily involved in the league so that the league can expand and I can grow with the league.  There are over 15,000 pool players in this area so there is a lot of potential out there."
Pretty sharp. The pro circuit has gone from a dozen events last year to less than half that amount this year and so it is not always the most reliable income source. Having a degree of financial security in the up and down world of pro pool can only be a plus and help relieve some of the stress felt at the table.