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One on One with Phil Washum
page 1 March 21, 2002
Phil playing semi-finals at
2001 Rapids Challenge
How long have you been playing? When did you start?
Playing since 1989, but stopped for about 6 years.

What got you hooked on foosball?
I first got hooked on foosball in California. I met a guy from Utah that played really well and got interested. When I moved, I sought out the foosball scene here and found it at an Aurora Pinke’s - that was about 1991.

What was the first tournament you ever entered?
The first tournament I ever entered was an Aurora Pinke’s Thursday night DYP.

How did you do in that?
I don’t even remember. I just remember that was the first tournament I ever played. I had no 5 row when I first moved out here from California. I served the ball and it would roll away from my 5.

Do you remember anybody that played in that tournament?
Dave Council, Todd Loffredo, Gus Trevino, Gary Edgeworth.

Who were your heroes when you were starting out? Mentors? Influences?
Todd Loffredo. He was still living here in Colorado at the time. I talked with him and worked with him a lot on my game. Dave Aragon. Gus Trevino. Those were the main people that I learned from. Gary Edgeworth also help me out a lot when I first started.

Who are your heroes or players that you look up to now?
Some of the players that I look up to now, Tom Spear, definitely. I like the control of his game and the way he thinks about foosball. Also Trevor Park, because I used to run around with him as a semi pro on tour, and now he made the transition of being a semi-pro to pro master without being in the limbo of being a know- "The little fish in the big pond syndrome!"

How long did it take you to turn semi-pro? When do you think you will turn pro?
I turned semi pro back 1993, back then known as Novice. I turned Novice for a little while and I kind of went back and forth between Novice and Amateur. But then I dropped out and when I came back into the scene sometime around 1996 or 1997 I was a rookie, but that was short lived because I took 4th in SP doubles, and 3rd in Rookie doubles at Worlds in 1999, so I became a Semi-Pro pretty fast.

I think I will turn pro in Vegas 2002. I am at 1700 points now, so it wont take much.

How do you think living in Colorado has influenced your game?
I think CO has influenced my game greatly, because CO is known for a state that has great players, and there are really nasty 5 rows in CO. Even when I’m on tour people like Terry Moore, or Todd, who used to live here, would talk about the people from CO with the nasty 5’s. My foosball game growing up in CO has definitely been influenced just because of the caliber of players that I have been playing with.

Give us an example of one of your typical practice sessions.
When I’m by myself, my practice sessions consists of practicing my 5 a lot. I try to figure out how to make my passes look different from week to week. I try to come up with new hitches, new fakes, new speeds to do the passes at, new lateral speeds. Lately I have been working a great deal on my rollover shot. I shoot anywhere from 100 to 150 rollovers a day. But the way my practice session works is I drop the ball on my 5 row, I setup a defense for a lane pass, and I do 2 to 3 lane passes. I have to complete the pass before I can shoot. So I do 2 or 3 lane passes and then on the third pass I set it up for the roller. The defense in goal is setup so I can hit the long push, the long pull or the split.

I will practice shooting out of the back, as well as the 2 to the 5 row passing out of the back. It’s not as rigorous as my roller over practicing, but I don’t leave it behind because any rod you forget about or neglect won’t be as crispy.

How often do you practice?
Usually twice a day, sometimes once a day. Usually I’ll practice in my basement, I’ll do shooting drills and 5 row passing drills, and then I’ll go to Jason’s Billiards and practice against players, and practice my transition game some.

You 5 bar is pretty unique as far as Denver's got every type of pass involved. Did you learn this from any certain players, or did you just make it up by yourself?
I taught myself certain passes from watching certain players along the way. And since I’m left handed I accumulated more passes just for that reason. It’s mostly a conglomeration of all my previous passing series in to one series.

How many tournaments do play a week?
Average, I play 2 to 3 tournaments a week. It’s usually Tuesday night, Thursday night and Sunday night.

I know people who have been playing for a long time have lost the love for the game, how do you keep yourself motivated and excited about the game?
I think in order to stay motivated about your foosball game you need to advance yourself. It’s hard to stay stagnate and still have the addiction or motivation to play all the time. It’s a matter of self-improvement. For me that’s how I stay self-motivated, the better I get, the more I start winning, the better my play is on the table, the more excited I get about it and that’s what keeps me in it.

Continue to the One On One (page 2)