Corey Harper

Corey Harper

Corey Harper

Corey Harper grew up in Los Angeles poolrooms amidst the likes of Keith McCready, Efren Reyes, and Jose Parica. “I didn’t give myself enough credit when I was a kid. I didn’t think I was playing good, but I was surrounded by all those amazing players. It takes time growing up in that environment to feel like you can achieve just as well.” And Harper, who has been shooting for 17 years and is sponsored by Ariel Carmeli Cues, Tiger Products, and Instroke Cases, is well o­n his way.

The last two years have been a dream come true for Harper, who up until then was o­nly shooting in Southern California. “Traveling was something I didn’t think I’d be able to do until last year. I haven’t really had too much exposure nationally or too many opportunities yet to win some stuff.”

But Harper’s performance as a new touring pro is impressive. “My goal for this year is to get a top-sixteen ranking. Last year was my first year out o­n the pro tour, and my goal was top sixty-four, and I finished up twenty-fourth. That was beyond my wildest dreams to do that. Of course, the ultimate goal with playing is to win a world championship. I don’t know if that’ll be possible this year because I probably won’t be going. I’m also very close with my family. I’m dedicated to traveling about twelve weeks a year, but beyond that it’s pretty tough.”

Harper got married to his longtime girlfriend a year and a half ago. “She is an awesome, incredibly understanding woman. For so many years she would listen to me talk about wanting to go out and travel and go play in the big tournaments … that ‘I knew I would do well’ … and she said, ‘Stop your whining and go do it.’ So I did, and I’m having an awesome time and gaining so much experience and knowledge-it’s unbelievable. Being immersed in this environment can do nothing but make your game better.”

Harper serves as the Director of Marketing o­n the UPA board, and at the ripe age of 31 is indeed looking forward to more tournament play. “The greatest thing about traveling is that it’s given me a lot of perspective in the last couple years … it’s just incredible and I wouldn’t give that up for anything.”

Playing Cue: Ariel Carmeli Custom Cue. “He made it for me about five months ago. He’s got another o­ne coming for me pretty soon.” –www.accues.com

Weight: “That’s a good question. I think it’s in the neighborhood of twenty ounces, because it feels a little heavy.”

Shaft: Tiger X shaft. “The newest shaft out o­n the market, and this thing is so awesome, with so much consistency.” –www.tigerproducts.com

Shaft Diameter: 13 millimeters

Shaft Taper: Pro taper. “I prefer a very long taper. It’s probably a good twenty-inch long taper. I like a nice long follow through, and I don’t want the cue stick getting too fat too soon, so that it feels like I have to restrict my stroke.”

Tip: Tiger Everest Tip. “I play with Tiger tips exclusively.” –www.tigerproducts.com

Tip Radius: “I prefer a nickel radius.”

Wrap: Tiger Stack Leather. “Another awesome thing that Tiger Products has got going o­n. It’s got a nice tack to it. Because usually in the tournaments, with the air conditioning o­n, your wrap can feel a little cold, and when it gets that way it kind of gets slippery. So this stacked leather wrap is gorgeous, it’s tacky … it never slips.”

Preferred Hit: Medium

Preferred Joint: Wood to wood. “By far is the best.”

Advice to Others o­n Buying a Cue: “Get as much experience playing as you can before you buy something. The first thing you need to do is figure out a price range. o­nce you figure out a price range, get out there and hit balls and find something you like. But o­nce you find it, stick with it.”

Case: Instroke; leather; 3 butts, 7 shafts. –www.instroke.com

Shaft Maintenance: Slick papers. “But these things, I swear I’ve had these for fifteen years and I use o­ne every six months. I just play with dirty shafts … I’m just used to it.”

Other Tools or Techniques: Tiger Paw cue holder. “So I can rest my cue o­n any table. They keep your equipment from falling over.”

Extras: Extra Tiger tips; Tiger jump tip for breaking and jumping the balls. “Tiger takes real good care of me.”

Tip Tools: “This is the primary thing I use-it’s a half of a PVC pipe with just sandpaper in it to scuff it up if I need to. And I use a Tip Pik. I certainly prefer not to use it, because it means I’m doing everything right if I’m not using it.”

Break Cue: “Right now I don’t have o­ne. Right now I’m breaking with my playing cue, it’s not so much a matter of preference.  I’ve got Ariel Carmeli building me a break cue, and I don’t have it yet.”

Jump Cue: Stealth jump cue built by Ned Morris. “By far the greatest jump cue there is.”

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