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Tim "BigBaller" Walters Interview

Sept 1, 2009 by Scott Rodriguez

Tim's been at the forefront of Colorado foosball for a few years now. Not only does he have a strong game that challenges the best CO players, but he also runs the best Denver tournament at Eck's which has been home to the Front Range's best players.

First off, I want to say thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I know you're busy trying to add a jet engine to your GTO.

LOL

First off, how long have you been playing?

Well I have been playing foos for about 11 years total now. Started 1990 to 1992 then quit for a few years and started playing again in 2000.

Who got you into this crazy game?

Me and my friends would go to the pool hall on Friday and Saturday nights when we were in high school. We would mess around on the foosball tables with the other weakburgers that hung out there. On Fridays the pool hall had a tournament I think it was a semi pro & rookie draw at the time. I would watch those guys play and think to myself man I can't even see the ball! LOL Chris Lopez was the very first player to take some time with me on the table. He showed me how to hit the ball and some drills I should work on. I did that for a few weeks then entered my first tourney and I drew Chris Lopez (we won)! This inspired me to get good at foosball. So I started to go to the pool hall a lot more without my friends. These great players showed me the ropes: Gus T, Todd L, Rick L, Gary E, Chris L, Ray C to name a few. Oh yeah the name of the Pool Hall was the LampLighter, which was the hot bed for foos in the early 90's

Why are you still a semi pro biscuit? Lol

Man I'm a lifer by this point in my foos career! LOL I feel that my goalie game is at the pro level when I am not being a lazy bastard on the table.

Everyone knows about your 2 bar. You've developed one of the sickest 2 bars in the state � how did that happen?

This is the most important thing I think I can tell up and comers in foosball: Decide if you want to be a goalie or a forward! I decided to be a goalie, and tried to be the best goalie I could be. I started with a push shot and some other stuff, but when I learned the pull from the pits, that's what I wanted to shoot. So I made it my quest to have the best 2 bar around. This took some serious discipline on my part. To develop my 2 bar, I shot 100 to 200 shots a night for months on end. It really took some time to understand how to get the ball to do what I wanted it to, but in the end I figured it out.


Can you describe your grip and stroke? Also what's your shooting strategy back there?

My grip is very hard on the handle. This is the only way I am able to hit the tuck and the long pull shot. Plus it makes me hit the ball like a rock star. I have a very simple strategy for shooting out of the pits. Shoot where they aren't! LOL No really, this took some time to understand what to shoot for when the forward is in one position and the goalie is another. Plus you really need to understand the limits of your shot. Like Moose would say - stop trying shit you can't do! LOL I like to start with a long to see if the goalie is jumpy or not. If the goalie is jumpy, I'll start to work them inside out. Which means I'll go long a few times knowing that I'll be blocked, but then I'll start to shoot tucks and middles, mixing it up inside out!

Any two bar tips for beginners?

YES! I have showed 100's of players how to get their shot better from the pits. If you shoot a push, pull, tic tac or whatever. The key is to practice and have a firm understanding on your limitations with your shot. I am a believer that if you have seen something done on a table you can do it yourself! Maybe not as fast or as hard as you saw done, but you can it.

Is it true you won your first title passing backwards from the 5 row?

YEAH! It was the craziest thing ever. I was at Arizona State 2001. It was my first tourney that I ever traveled to. I won the winners bracket in rookie singles out of a shit load of players. Well it was time to play the finals and the first set I got my ass handed to me 2 straight 2-5 - 0-5 OUCH! The second set, he beat me first game 1-5 and the second game I was down 0-3. I decided at that point since I had no 5 bar & no 3 bar I was going to have win with my 2 bar. So I started to pass the ball backwards and I started destroying this guy. The 2nd game in the second set I won 5-3 still passing the ball backwards I beat him 5-0 with all 5 points from the pits!

Your front game can be pretty nasty. You used to be pure goalie how come you started playing front? Did you get tired of riding all the best forwards to titles?? Lol

Hahaha! Only the best goalies get the best forwards! You never get tired of winning! You know, I always thought I had a good 3 bar when I learned to shoot a pull well. Then I started messing with the roller (still working on it), and once I learned to shoot both sides pretty well I wanted to play more front.

You used to have an automatic deadrow pull why the switch to the roller? Which one do you think is easier to score with?

The pull shot that I was shooting was very hard on my hands and fingers as most of the players know around here. Plus for me to shoot the pull really nasty I would have to get angry. I didn't like to get angry to shoot a shot, so those are the main reasons I started shooting the roller. No one could shoot dead rows like me! LOL

What players locally do you hate playing against and why? What about nationally?

There are so many answers to this question. If I am playing front at a local tourney I hate shooting on Big City and FooserX because they both have the ability to take away the easy stuff. They both make you earn points the hard way (but the D they both give isn't very good if the person is just guessing). I really don't mind playing front against any other forward local or nationally. Now playing pits, I have players that just get me good! The first one is Sticky! When his shot is feeling good he just rapes me no matter what I do. I played with him a ton too, and every time he had the ball on his 3 I would look at the D. I would think �man, that middle is huge,� but he would shoot straight and score! So that's when I realized if I don't know what he's looking at how can block him? As for me shooting on him hahahaha it's a joke? His zone is retarded and talks me into doing stuff I really don't want to do. I would have to say that when I play him I rarely score from back and not at all if he has a good goalie. Robbie is another player that really gives me a hard time in the pits. I mean, even if you do block him, then you have to clear on him. I am not sure how many players here have played him when he is trying hard and wants to win, but I'll tell you what he is sick when he does! I have to throw Billy Pappas in here also. The kid is sick up front and I really hate blocking and shooting out of the back against him. I think I have played him more than any other Master at the state level and Major tourneys. For the last 7 years I have played him in at least 2 tourneys a year and have only beat him once! LOL

Who are some of your favorite players on tour?

I really like watching the younger guys on the table (Ryan, Tony, Billy) and just can't believe the control they have over the whole game. Some of the things they do are sick as hell! Todd is also fun to hang out with he always has a good story or two to tell. Other then that, I just keep to myself and hang with the Colorado boys & girls.

Eck's is one of the longest and best tournaments in CO for a while now � what do you attribute the success to? What keeps your tourney so popular while others keep fizzling out?

Well tourneys in Denver went to shit fast about 3 years ago. I really enjoy playing tourneys and wanted to start one that the players could enjoy with great action. I really watched the other promoters and how they ran things at weekly tourneys and found a huge list of do's and don'ts. So Steph and I decided to buy 4 tables and give it a go. Steph did all the leg work. She found the bar and worked a deal with them (now all we needed were the tables). The tourney started as a Saturday night open bring. I believe this was an easy tourney for me to start up. A lot of my foosball friends were higher rated players looking for a tourney like this one. At the BYP, they could team up with their tour partners and practice against other good players. Another thing was making it fun and cheap as possible for the players.

Do you think you will you run another warm up again?

Right now I don't see this happening due to other things that are going on in my personal life. But I will never say never!

Do you see yourself giving up running Eck's someday soon?

You never know what the future is going to bring to the table. As of right now and for see able future I will still be running the tourney.

How come you didn't belt Ditto when he cussed at your wife after a match? Lol

LOL Everyone knows that Ditto can be a hot head at times! Me and Ditto had words about his actions towards Steph, and it just went downhill FAST! So I had to walk away before things went to the next level. I have to keep the best interests of bar in mind when I am dealing with people.

You had tons of titles, including 3500 at worlds, which is your favorite title and why?

I have a few titles that stick out above the rest. 2001 AZ state rookie singles was great because I won it passing the ball backwards to my two bar for 10 straight points! Also, I came out of nowhere and took it down when all those Cali boys thought they had it in the bag. The one other one that really sticks with me was Semi Pro singles Colorado State 2002 vs. Moose. These were three of the hardest matches I ever played! On the winner's side, Moose and I met for king seat and it goes 5-4, 4-5, 5-4 me. Then, the finals 1st set 4-5, 5-4, 4-5 Moose. The second set I got him in two straight but it 5-4 1st game and really don't remember the 2nd game at all but I think I scored all 5 points from the 2 bar that game. I was frickin drained, and still to this day those three matches are still in top 10 hardest I have played and won. Other wins I liked 2001 Worlds 3500 with Gary Edgeworth & 3000 Limited at HOFC 2006 with Mark Madej.

Do you think if given the chance to play pits for someone like Billy or Robbie, you could go to the finals of an open event?

I would really like to answer yes to this, but I don't think I have that kind of will or game anymore. Don't get me wrong, I would really love to try a major with a top 5 player! It takes a lot of time and discipline to be able to win an open event or even go top 5 at a major.

Have you and Steph ever fought over a foosball match? Don't lie bro, I've seen lots of couples duking it out on a table.

LMAO! Yeah we have our moments at the foosball table in tourneys. Most of the time, we just keep it cool until after the match. Nothing really crazy has ever happened at the table before. Well, I remember once her telling me to get my ass in goal (pretty much sit back and shut the F up is how I took it), but I don't remember when or where that took place.

How come you never play designated mixed? I would think you'd be awesome at that since you block girlie shots best and have the 2 bar of pain.

I always thought that I could do very well in an event like that. Boy was I wrong! The matches are long as hell and you work your ass off the whole time. Steph and I played one a couple years ago and it just killed me! Ripping shots from the back for an hour at a time with these sides of beef was just crazy! Not one of my favorite events at all!

Along with Robbie and Ditto, you have some of the best loose ball catching ability I've seen here in CO how did that happen?

Well this question is a little answer because you really can't practice this. I would always tell myself to have soft hands on the bars while playing in matches and now it's just second nature for me to be loose on the bars. I also think that I have very fast reflexes with my left and right hands .which makes it much easier to get up on the ball when it's flying around table. These are just my thoughts. I really don't have any idea how I got good at gripping loose balls. It's just one of those things now deal with it!

It took you years to get a solid 5 bar passing series what took so long? Lol

Well this question is very easy to answer for me! I was a retard on the 5 bar all the way til 2006! Finally, I talked with Mark Madej and watched a ton of players. This showed me what was possible on the 5 bar. With what Mark showed me, I started working on a brush series. Then I learned to make it as simple as possible with a few options. Make it as simple as possible and get good at your passes. Once I started doing that I was getting the ball a lot more on the 3 bar! LOL I remember watching Scotty and thinking to myself I would to have a close wall pass like his. So I practiced that for a long time and found my signature pass. The steep brush up from the wall!