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brickinpa Monday, April 26th, 2004
Period of
Field Use:
3 years
Last There: N/A
4 years
Other Fields
in the Area:
Cobra Command's old field - yuck
Skirmish - $$$$$
Review: Poco Loco Paintball.

Let’s play.
Tastes great. Less filling. Republican. Democrat. Too obscure?

You’re sitting in front of the TV watching the game. How easy it is to criticize when the QB slides right to the first down marker as opposed to going for more yardage.

In America we are so good at criticizing, so good at judging, so adept at being, hmmm, unmarried marriage counselors. How many of you own a business? How many of you own land? How many of you have overhead? How many of you have a staff? How many of you pay insurance for said business?

I’m a tough customer. I’m nice; don’t get me wrong, but I DEMAND service and courtesy. Especially if it is regarding an expensive hobby like paintball, and one of my most favorite things on the planet.

I play scenario ball. As a kid I always played some variation of army. Slithering through someone’s bushes, waiting ambush not moving for untold minutes in a tree, and the adrenaline rush of being one against six! But I was sick of, “Bang! I got you Tommy!” “No you did not!” in paintball, 99% of the time, if Tommy doesn’t wipe, I got him!

Did I join the army? No. You might only get to play in one game. Then along comes paintball. Wow. But why the heck didn’t I get into this sport 20 years ago when I first heard about it?

Have any of you critics checked the prices at Skirmish? Poco Loco charges the same, if not lower. And if you are an advent player and do live in the area or at least within the commutable vicinity, becoming a member is an incredibly financially intelligent thing to do! $150 for14 months of walk-ons. Hmmm. Play 5 days and it’s paid for! I can do that in less than 2 months!!

So you walk up a hill from the parking area. Hey! Keep my car away from the risk of being shot at? Love it! Let me guess: some of you are those people who fight to park as close to the doors at the mall so you don’t have to walk that much to walk around. Lazy.

And I have not heard of one car being broken into, thank you. And yeah, there are two CLEAN porta potties. And I’ve NEVER had to wait more than maybe two minutes for one, even on the busiest days.

When I get to the top of the hill my membership card gets me processed at the desk super fast (yup, I get called right to the front of the line), and <snap> I’m ready to play. HEY! Join any club or be a VIP at any restaurant and that’s the same service one receives. Ooohhhh, some of you have never had the juice to be VIPs, I get it!!

Jeff, Laurie, Mrs. H, and any of the people working the trailer have always treated me and mine with courtesy and respect. And I’ve witnessed them do the same for non-VIPs.

The refs. They do their jobs. When they don’t they get canned. Yeah, there was one, a real clod. He’s GONE. But Sarge? Mike? Barry? You do not know these guys – they are nice people, good men!

Law of averages, people. Take x amount of people and a y number of them are gonna need to go. Jeff has been overly fortunate on the quality of his staff. But what’s this stuff about ref’s standing over players giving their position away? Have any of you ever watched a professional game? The refs are RIGHT there. Otherwise you’d be complaining that the refs don’t see cheaters wipe paint or you’d complain that the refs take too long to get to someone, or yourself, for a paint-check.

But a few years of experience has shown me the refs only stand near the inexperienced players, mostly to keep them safe. Me and mine are known at the field – a ref might start to walk towards us but as soon as they recognize us, they head elsewhere.

The funny thing is that on two separate occasions I once overheard Jeff (occasion 1) and the maligned Sarge (occasion 2) talking to new refs when they did not know I was nearby. Safety, safety, safety. And guidance. Those were the first, foremost, and emphasized topics.

I’ve seen them corral fools who took their masks off on the field. It was like a shark feeding frenzy. Ok, that’s an exaggeration but the action was fast and the words loud! A paintball can shatter some of the goggles out there if it travels in excess of 300 fps. Think what that same paintball can do to a nice squishy eyeball. Think of the speed of arrival of the lawsuit our litigious, let’s-blame-someone-else-‘cause-we-we’re-not-too-bright-soci
ety, would clock at if Poco Loco was not known for being so rabid about safety.

Someone complained about someone not having their gun calibrated until after a few games. Um, EVERY person is told they must have their personal guns calibrated before play. So if someone breaks the honor code and breaks the rules and endangers other people’s safety, you’re supporting him? Yo ho, Matey, you sound like honest folk!

Skirmish charges a small fortune for paint. At Poco Loco I pay $65 for 2000 top quality paintballs. What I don’t use I “bank” for next time, no questions asked. Jeff and his staff have been very generous to me regarding lost or broken equipment. VERY. And think about it – I actually may NOT be a profit center for Jeff. My walk-on fees average $5 or less. I do shoot an average of 1,500 balls a day. And I’ve got a 4,000 O2 tank and a spare 20 oz and get free air for both. And of course my own gun and camo, etc. So the people who pay full price and rent everything present more of a profit margin to him. But I’m treated like, well, I’m a VIP, every time.

And the fields!! You people are really taking up a lot of my time here. Open your eyes. It’s scenario ball. It’s woods ball. There are rocks and trees and gullies and swamps and sandbags and structures and tanks and the mail truck. So what? It’s perfect. I can slither through bushes getting the drop on people. I can hide in a bramble or dive behind a rock. The more bruised I am, the harder I played!

But wait, some of the other people posting said that some of the structures have holes. Uh oh. Let’s see, let’s give someone a place to barricade themselves where they can’t shoot out and I can’t shoot in. wow, what fun. YEAH, there are holes. Be sharp, be aware. Know your 360 and defend it.

Oy vey!

And some of you want perimeter fencing throughout the ACRES of fields he’s got out there? Why? Your precious Skirmish doesn’t have them but I didn’t see you complain about that. I guess you’ve never been to Poco Loco when the whole place was one huge field! Wow? You bet!

But let’s not forget to mention the YELLOW and ORANGE “tape” (it’s not tape, it’s heavy duty bands of nylon stuff) that delineate each and every field. If you can’t tell where one field ends and another begins, drop the red cane and have the dog lead you home.

But you gotta see the new castle! Whoa! The old one was nice but this is amazing!

And someone else complained about having to walk from base to field to base. You know to me golf is a waste of real estate as well as a waste of good paintball property. But they ay the exercise of this “sport” is in the walking around. Welcome to paintball where you RUN around. How close did you park to the mall? Have you ever been to Skirmish as opposed to heard stories? You do NOT play as much as you do at Poco Loco and you pay more. Oh, and that’s after a VERY long drive off the turnpike after a long drive ON the turnpike. And I’m a FAST driver.

And there was the complaint about time between games. Look Sparky, a good host considers all of his guests. A good host that charges money takes even better care. Not everyone can gogogogogogo. Some need to rest, most need to re-equip (paint, air, clean underwear), but usually the downtime comes from the hotshot under 18 year olds for whom daddy bought an Angel and they dropped it and can’t figure out where this little tube goes. Or the rules need reviewing because of wiping or mask violations or otherwise. I would say that the average game is 20 minutes followed by a ten minute break and then another game. You know when it seems like longer? When you get shot in the first minute and sit on your can for 19 while the rest of us were smart enough to seek cover.

Like I said, me and mine are known there. More often then not we’re placed with groups needing some more of an edge or to just round out counts. So we meet a LOT of people. Some are individuals or small groups, and others are large youth groups or company outings. Ya know what? In three years, no one has complained!! Well, no one except the rule breakers.

I’m a manager, certified at that. Process improvement is my forte and the most important guiding principle we look for is what’s known as, “the voice of the people.” I watch people, some very closely (ok, I also used to be an investigator and surveillance specialist with – truly – hundreds of arrests to my credit), and I think Jeff Hass’ Poco Loco team does a great job of listening and serving their customers.

But please don’t forget – he is in it to make money. He’s entitled to a profit and in return we’re given a safe place to play a great sport. There are no perfect companies out there because you cannot please all of the people. But I really think Jeff and his team not only try, but I feel they earn my money. I feel his pricing is fair, his staff competent (human, at that), and I consider myself very lucky to be able to play there. Poco Loco is a great field!

Review Comments
kruelness Sunday, January 23rd, 2005 | 5:03 pm PST
I enjoy your lengthly review with great pleasure and curiosity. I agree with 95% of you comments about peoples complaints and how they are portrayed in the wrong way. I also found for the most part, complaints, are generally something wronfg on the somsumers end. Unless, there is a fair amount of reoccurance in these complaints. I do not live where this field or niether do I live in the US. I live in canada, your friendly neighbour to the north who does not live in a igloo :), and I know that If I ever travel that way, I am going to that field.I came accross this review because I was reading a comment on the flatline you made and I whole heartedly agree with that too. I want oto buy a flatline and I already have a RT, among MANY other mods that I have done and wish to do. I would like to thank you again for how thorough your post was and how every aspect was addressed, especially from the bussiness standpoint, I might have to use some of your sayings and ideas to use on one of my previous reviews. As they say Plagiarism is a great form of flatery. Nice talking to you and happy paintballing.

brickinpa Sunday, March 6th, 2005 | 6:27 pm PST
Kruelness, if you are EVER in this area, please let me know and you shall be my guest! Thank you for your comments.

HOWEVER, to throw a fly in the ointment, don't overlook the Freak System for your 98. I LOVE my flatline, but it is a tempermental mistress. The Freak gives you amazing results in ANY condition.

I don't want to mislead you: the flatline gives you a little more accuracy and distance, BUT, do not overlook the Freak.

LOL - I have both so I have the best of both worlds!!

Hope to meet you!


kruelness Tuesday, March 8th, 2005 | 2:34 am PST
I will take your advice under consideration. I am not currently looking at upgrading from my J&J ceramic because I will be heading more into the area of bush/ scenario ball. I will probably only use my J&J for the rare time that I play speed ball(the winter) or if my flatline give me trouble. Once I have gotten everything I want and have extra cash to blow, not sayin that is it a bad invesment, then I will get the freak. I have source it out and its about a 38hr. trip from edmonton AB to collegeville PA. But I did want to take a trip through parts of Canada and the US and check out some great paintball fields. I have always wanted to go to Camp Blanding, Starke Fl. Because I have seen and read about their x-army base online. Its about 18hrs. south from where you live. I want to take a road trip with my friends this summer for 1.5-2weeks. I think it would be fun or maybe in the fall when it gets colder and I want the warmth back again. I will stay in touch and hey, if you want to drive for fly to edmonton, the same offer apllies, you may also be my guest or whoever you decide to drag along.

See you sometime.

Wing Wednesday, June 29th, 2005 | 7:09 pm PST
Clap, clap, clap. I am truly moved by your tear-jerking review. Tell it how it is! Put the negative SOB's on their asses!

brickinpa Monday, March 20th, 2006 | 9:28 am PST
I wonder if y'all will see this 'cause it's a sub to my main-post and a NEW TOPIC, maybe.

What’s your favorite of the five senses?

Hearing? I LOVE music, classic rock rules! The electric guitar climax in Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb…. Man! I’ve got to have music on every second possible and I would definitely miss it!

Taste? I have my local Chinese restaurant making their diced chicken with cashew now with hoisin sauce for me (plum-based), and I can’t get enough!! I still dig a great ginger ale and this Propel stuff ain’t that bad!

Touch? [censored – wink wink] I love my wife! [censored]

Smell? Ok, I could do without smelling the Boy fart ever again in my life. But when the cat leaves a stinker in the litter box in the office…. Ok, that I wouldn’t miss either.

That leaves sight. Being able to drive, see a sunset, movie, amazing female body, or play paintball – now that would indeed be the GREATEST lost sense in my opinion.

Poco is hyper on safety and for that I can’t thank them enough!!

Last week I played at Stalingrad at Skirmish and you STILL can walk along their “trails”, their muddy, dangerous, ill-kept trails, right between LIVE firing, without your mask on. You can hang at the tables and fire your gun as much as you want and not be accosted by Skirmish staff.

I played at EMR last fall and I can’t beat this example: a ref was on the field near a firefight with his goggles off, cleaning it. Another was on his cell phone.

Yesterday I was at On-Target. In the dead zone were lots of guys, masks off, and lots of guys with guns with no barrel covers. And yeah, refs were in there too.

Each of those three places will put your eyes at risk. No ifs and or buts, you cannot defend those actions. If your barrel cover is off, you can launch a paintball. If your hopper is on and your tank is on, you can shoot.

At Poco you try that crap, not only will a ref be all over you, us members will be all over you. Why? ‘Cause none of us want to risk loosing an eyeball. I’ve had great games and bad games. Won, lost, and tied. But without my vision, it all ends.

And this should scare all of you: I have an ION. I’ve had it for over a year, now, so all you Johnny-come-latelies, listen up (this includes YOU, Mary, you whining coyote), with my tank off, and my hopper off, if there is air in the regulator and my gun is on, if there is a ball in the chamber, I can FIRE it. AND, sometimes if I jiggle the marker just right --- it WILL fire.

And the ONLY place I’ve been to that seems to acknowledge that is Poco Loco.

Hyperactive vigilance, people. Please. Wipers are not the biggest threat to this sport: each of us are the biggest threat TO EACH OTHER’S SIGHT and it is up to us to police each other. So if you’re in a “safe” zone with me and I see your marker has its hopper and gas on but no cover – if you’re in proximity to me I will grab your barrel and hold it towards the ground and ask you to cover it. If you’re not within reach I will shout at you, most likely in a gruff voice – courtesy might not be present.

To do a slight repeat: if you are in a safe zone and you have to cover your barrel, please point it at the ground as opposed to pointing at upwards. That should be a “duh,” but if I had a dollar for every time I saw that happen . . .

So thank you Poco, thank you Jeff, for providing me and mine the safest paintball field I’ve been to, to date!!! Thank you to Poco’s refs for caring about me and your jobs. And I thank in advance for anyone who’s still reading this tirade to incorporate into every minute of their paintball day the vigilance to help keep, me, you, and the people we play with, SAFE, our sight intact.

Disney may be the happiest place but Poco is the safest!

Note to self: find a classification for Hooters.

elliott_benner@ Sunday, April 8th, 2007 | 5:45 pm PST
do you want to write a novel about it? sheesh CUT IT DOWN

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