APA member Jim Adams from Howell, N.J., is a member of the United States Marine Corps. He’s currently stationed in New Orleans for 18 months. During his nine years in the military, Jim has been stationed in New Jersey and Tampa. He’s also been deployed to combat in Iraq and Djibouti and has visited many other countries in the process. While deployed, Jim very much enjoys being able to play pool.
“During a deployment to Africa, we had the luxury of a pool table in one of the tents,” Adams said. “It was a great way to spend some time after coming back from patrol or from standing guard and just meet up with everyone and relax a little when we could.”
At the young age of 7 Jim began playing pool. He joined APA four years ago when a member noticed his cue case in the back of his Wrangler—he invited Jim to play in the League and the rest is history. When having to leave his wife and two daughters for an extended period of time, Jim says one of the first things he does is search for an APA Pool League. He says that no matter where he goes, he finds that just being an APA member has a very strong aura of camaraderie that is very similar to the military—despite different backgrounds, APA players across the country already share very similar experiences and it’s always helpful to go some place different and find that you already know everyone there. To Jim, APA isn’t just about getting to Vegas, it’s also about the journey!
“Of all the things that I enjoy about the APA, I would have to say the other members are the best,” Adams said. “Everyone is out to have a good time and I’ve made a lot of friends in the divisions that I’ve played in. Even when the competition heats up, it’s still easy to just break away from the everyday norm and spend some time having fun with everyone.”
Jim also enjoys getting others involved in pool. Last Thanksgiving, Jim was in Bethesda, Md., and visited a friend at the Wounded Warrior Regiment (WWR). He was given a Marine Corps themed “Semper Fidelis” pool cue the year before as a gift that he always carried in his cue case as a spare. The WWR had a recreation room with a pool table, but received little attention when he was there. Jim used a shaper and a punch to fix up the tips on the sticks—he also gave the counter attendant his “Semper Fidelis” cue stick and Masters chalk to keep for the table.
“Visiting those guys and their families, especially around the holidays, really introduces you to new emotions—as a fellow service member you just wish you could do more to change things,” Adams said. “Pool delivers such a universal form of competition that watching a wounded veteran ignore their physical limitations to shoot a game is nothing short of inspiring to those of us more fortunate who sometimes take our own abilities for granted.”