Jennifer Barretta Interview

Jennifer Barretta is one of the most interesting professional pool players in the world! She was nice enough to answer some questions for us here on 21ace. Enjoy...

21ace
1. The November 2005 Playboy article at jenniferbarretta.com/playboy_november2005.pdf talks a lot about trick shots. How much time do you spend practicing trick shots compared to other parts of your game?

Jennifer Barretta
Only about 5-10% of my practice time is spent on trick shots. Just enough to know the basics for my exhibitions.

21ace
2. When did you get the nickname "Nine Millimeter"? Who gave it to you?

Jennifer Barretta
I'm not sure who gave it to me, but one day I came into the pool hall and someone said "Watch out...it's the 9mm Barretta coming to shoot the place down...". Everybody laughed and it just stuck.

21ace - fattyonadiet
3. Have your looks been an advantage or a disadvantage in a bid to become the best?

Jennifer Barretta
It's definitely been an advantage. First of all, no one on the pro tour took me seriously, so I snuck up on a lot of people. Second, it has allowed me to make a living with appearances and magazines so I don't need to work any other job. I have more time to devote to my game.

21ace - fattyonadiet
4. What made you decide to change from tennis to billiards?

Jennifer Barretta
Money. Where I grew up there were public courts everywhere so tennis was relatively cheap. When I moved to NYC public court time was difficult to get and the private places were very expensive. When I discovered pool, table time was about $5 an hour and it was something I could do alone.

21ace - fattyonadiet
5. Is the psychology behind tennis and billiards the same? if not, how do they differ?

Jennifer Barretta
The psychology in every sport is basically the same. Calm, focused energy is where you want to be.

21ace - BaZ
6. Is it difficult to deal with the issues that arise from being a female in a sport dominated mainly by men?

Jennifer Barretta
Not really. Most of the men are very supportive, but there are a few men who are mad that I get more attention and more money than them even though they play better. It's like that in every sport. That's why there are separate women's tours.

21ace
7. Six months after your first lesson you won your first match in your first official tournament. How did you get to be that good in such a short amount of time? What advice would you give other folks who want to take their pool game to the next level?

Jennifer Barretta
I got good quickly because I hired a coach right away. In other sports everyone has coaches, but for some reason in pool, players are reluctant to do that. I hear a lot of players bragging about being self-taught. That's great, but what's the shame in learning from someone who's been there?

21ace
8. Who is your favorite pro pool player to watch? Who is your favorite pro player to go up against? Which players give you the most trouble?

Jennifer Barretta
I love watching Ralf Souquet for his mechanics and pattern play. Just watching him for 30 minutes puts me in stroke. I also love watching Efren Reyes for his creativity at the table. Without naming names I will say that I'd rather be the underdog in a match. For some reason I feel more pressure when I play people ranked below me.

21ace
9. Many athletes say home field advantage makes a big difference. Do you find that you play better when the crowd is behind you or do you completely tune out everything outside of the pool table?

Jennifer Barretta
It's nice to have the crowd with you, but in general I don't notice. If my opponent has a really rowdy crowd cheering for them sometimes it will motivate me to play well and shut them up.

21ace - Chumpchange0001
10. How did you get started with pool? Did you pick it up from someone in your family?

Jennifer Barretta
I used to go snowboarding with my husband, and like everything else we started together, he was just naturally better. When summer came we decided to go play pool and of course, he won. I was so annoyed that I decided to take secret lessons. After the first lesson I was so excited that I ran home and told him that I was going to go pro!

21ace - Chumpchange0001
11. What is your favorite type of person to beat at pool? (ie someone that thinks they're invincible)

Jennifer Barretta
I love to beat the big talkers. It's great to beat them into submission, where they start saying things like, "I suck" or "I can't win".

21ace - Chumpchange0001
12. How much time a day do you spend playing pool on average?

Jennifer Barretta
6-8 hours a day.

21ace
13. Favorite pool hall? favorite restaurant, favorite song, anything else you want to share with us?

Jennifer Barretta
Favorite pool hall in NY: Amsterdam Billiard Club. Favorite pool hall in NJ: Qball Billiards Favorite song: Anything by Weezer Favorite restaurant: Nobu...mmmmmmm! One thing I'd like to add...I'm a huge animal lover! If you're looking for a pet, don't buy it, go to Petfinder.com and adopt. There are thousands of great pets in your area that need homes!

21ace thanks Jennifer for taking time from her busy schedule to answer our questions. We really appreciate it and we'll be cheering for Jennifer in her upcoming pool matches! Be sure to check out jenniferbarretta.com for all the latest on Jennifer.

Jennifer Barretta Pictures