“It’s a mental game:” Frank Kincl brings pool world championship back to Montana

EAST HELENA — There are few sports that combine geometry, physics and focus quite like pool. Right now, there are even fewer people better at the game than Frank Kincl.

The Montana City resident along with his Oregon partner Elizabeth Jensen proved that, by winning the 8-Ball Scotch Doubles World Championship in Las Vegas.

“I’ve been a state champion, I’ve been a regional champion. I’ve never been a world champion,” said Kincl. “This takes the cake.”

What makes this even more impressive is, this tournament was the first time the two had ever met.

“About 10 years ago I played with her husband, and she posted something on social media, on Facebook saying she needed a partner,” said Kincl. “We meet at our table the first match and we went through the whole tournament undefeated until the finals and we ended up losing one set, but then winning the second one and winning the whole thing.”

They did it like they had been playing together for years.

“It didn’t matter what happened,” Kincl said. “If we completely screwed each other over it didn’t matter. We just walked up to the table with a smile and made the best of it. She hooked me, I made a jump shot. I hooked her, she made an incredible 8-ball. We just fed off each other and stayed positive no matter what happened.”

With the skill that Kincl has at reading the table, having that positive attitude wasn’t hard to do.

“I like to consider it moving backwards,” he said. “If you can’t make the last one, why make the fist one? So I am always thinking of my last three balls, but I’m always thinking about the next three, too. You’ve always got to weigh out your odds. You know you’re looking at the percentages of your odds and if you’re going to win that game or not. It’s all about what’s up here. It’s a mental game.”

If you want to learn more about the sweet science of pool or find a league to join, check out this link and the Capital City BCAPL, 8 Ball League Facebook page.

Andrew Curtis

Andrew Curtis

The Sports Director at KTVH in Helena.
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