RICO DIKS is a three-time European Pool Champion. He has played on the International pool circuit for over twenty years. Rico is also a trick-shot master and has showcased his amazing repertoire of trick-shots all over the world. Apart from pool his other love is music and he fronts a rock band called The Pressure Room.
How did you first getting into playing pool, was it a stereotypical misspent youth?
Probably the way many kids do. Head to a pool hall with some neighbourhood friends for a bit of fun when I was 11. I can’t really say if I was any good right from the beginning but we did go back and got into a league that was held there. From there on I was playing with the local hot shots and beat them fairly soon. I just know that I really had a lot fun playing the game and probably also enjoyed the comments/recognition from fellow players as a beginner/teenager.
It’s a very well spent youth really. Learnt so much at a young age.
You have toured the world for 20 years winning major pool tournaments did you have a favourite destination?
I always liked the Baltimore/Washington area as I have good friends there. Besides this I toured 6 Indonesian Islands in 6 days a few years ago to do trick shot exhibitions and play gigs after (my other love.. fronting a band called The Pressure Room )
You were part of a ‘golden generation’ of players coming out of the Netherlands is pool a popular game in the country?
Not really. Not as much as primarily snooker and pool seems to be imbedded in youth culture here because of the huge popularity in the 80’s snooker on the BBC and the snooker halls that sprung from this. We (Alex Lely, Niels Feijen, Nick van den Berg) had talent but also very good training from current undefeated “Mosconi Cup Captain” Johan Ruijsink and support from our Dutch Olympic Committee because pool is recognised by the IOC. We were able to win a lot of tournaments featuring the best players in the world which is pretty cool for a country with 16 million people.
Do you have a favourite pool place in the world?
Club 8”, Amsterdam
You are known to be a mean hustler, have you ever pretended to not be that good only to grab a ‘fish’?
This has occurred yes in the US. Although word spreads pretty quickly. After that you’re just squaring off against fellow good players that know your level but you just want to beat them heads up. These days I could go to pubs in the UK with a pool table. There’s always a hot shot in any spot. And even if you beat them, pride get’s in their way and they don’t want to lose face in front of their friends. Although this would involve hanging out in these places for long boring periods, indeed waiting for a “fish”. I don’t fancy that and when there’s a lot of money/hustling involved it may get dangerous which I’d rather avoid being on my own.
Is it true that you taught pool to a number of Bond girls, if so, who were they and what was that like?
I have taught one Bond girl and she is British. I’d rather not say her name out of respect for her as she came to me just as a pool enthusiast not as a celebrity and I only recognised her after a while. I don’t think she even knows I “know” her. It was fun, she is very fanatical and was keen to learn so we had a good time.
Current World Snooker Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan also asked for your advice on pool, what advice did you give him?
He came to my “Rileys”, Victoria when we were all scheduled to play the “IPT International 8-Ball Championships”. Still the tournament with the most prize money ever and a 1st prize of $500.000. I advised him on how to best play patterns in 8-Ball and the opening break, which is a special shot in itself. This was something even he, being probably the most talented person ever to hold a cue, didn’t master so we worked on this.
If you had to give one tip to an amateur pool player what would it be?
1 tip would be a disservice.
-Stand still during your shot
-Stroke the white ball in the centre
-Roll more often than shoot
You are known for your amazing trick shots, do you have a favourite?
There is the first shot in the “ninja pool” trick shot video but then shot with 2 players at the same time in a mirror version. So eventually 16 balls disappear in about 4 seconds. That’s my favourite but I don’t usually have pro with me during shows so can’t really shoot that one all the time