Wednesday, October 28, 2009

so the story goes.....

This past Sunday, a league here in town held an "open" 8ball tournament which held 3 different handicapped brackets. "Open" meant that even if you didn't play in that particular league, you could pay the same entry and play in one of the brackets so long you had an updated score or handicapped sheet to say where you ranked. Since this tournament brought out a lot of different skilled players who had to merge in to the particular "league rules" and handicaps, races were shortened. Overall it made for a nice day of Sunday of pool.

My bracket was one of the smaller filled ones, which I didn't mind so much. I didn't play as well as I know I could have (or maybe my game is less than what I think it is). Here's the quick run down, I have a race to 2:

match 1
I won 2-0

match 2
I won 2-0

match 3
I came across someone who I had seen play before.....a new player in the league but he's a good shot. I missed an easy safe and gave up my first game of the day. (0-1) So now he's on the hill. UGH! He gets a good break, and drops two balls. As he's bearing down to win....I'm thinking I'm going to the one-loss side. I got a lucky break when he rattled a ball in the side. With only two clear shots for position I end up playing safe to leave him bad instead of going for it. And it worked. I got ball in hand and ran the table. Hill - hill and I take it.

match 4
I take game one. In a really bad second rack I get up to shoot after he misses and realize I'm lined up for a 2 ball and the 8. As I walk to the table, I notice the score sheet says I have to to go to 3 games, my opponent to 2. Um, I'm sorry?!?!?! WHAT???? So I ask before I shoot and sure as hell, this guy is one skill lower. The race is 3-2. I'm gonna have to play another rack. I'm not sure if I let this get to me or if I just played really poor. I let him get this game and I'm pissed. Score is 2-1 and hill-hill. I decide to not let it bother me. I play fierce and capitalized on each mistake he made. I think this frustrated him because he started missing - bad. Really bad. I'not sure if he was nervous or what, but his game changed, not for the better.
I won 3-1

Now, I still haven't looked at the board all day, but I'm figuring I've gotten pretty far. As they announce the next match for my bracket, I hear them call my last opponent to play for 2nd and 3rd....and I know I've made it to the hot seat!!!

match 5
In true double elimination, my opponent must beat me twice....race to 2 each match. He breaks and begins to run out the table. Hhhhmmmm - not fun. As I watch him shoot, I get the impression he's not "focused to win", but has the attitude of "Oh, I got this"........... He's shooting quickly, not paying attention to the layout of the table, and pretty much firing away. With two balls left and the 8, he calls a kick shot to move the 14 ball 3 rails. Wow! Okay! Now I'm not your smartest player, or the most talented, but this ball does NOT go. Maybe he knows something I don't.....but with all my balls near the 14 I can't imagine what he's gonna do. He fires away - It doesn't go.

I immediately look at all of my balls. No real good shot, I've got most of them up near the top rail, so I take the open shot and play safe. He has to kick and misses. I play safe. H goes for a cut and misses. I play safe. He's no longer firing away (what a concept!). Through out all this I slowly clear my balls since I've gotten them in front of pockets with all my safes. I have the 1 and 8 left. I have a pretty steep cut down the rail and the 8 is hanging. I f'n hang the one. HANG the one!!!!!!!!! I could've sneezed and it would've fell. UGH. He wins 1-0

He breaks and scratches. I continue my play, in not such a slow play, but focused, concentrated, and smart. As a group of his friends near the table to watch, he gets into conversation. Annoyed at the laughing hyenas, I stay focused. I'm down to 2 balls and the 8 and say SAFE, this gets his attention and he realizes if he doesn't make his next ball, I'm out. He cannot play safe and he stares at me. Hmph!. I end up winning and we're 1-1.

I'm on the hill...he needs this to stay in. I break, two balls fall, and I begin to layout my path. He has now moved away from his friends, and is watching closely. We go back and forth and he's on the 8. He has to cut and misses. I have two balls near the top rail, one I can cut, but one on the rail. I'm gonna have to slow roll the hell outta the cue ball because I can't hold it at that angle. He smirks, mumbles to his friends, and my horn come out. It's ON!!!!! I execute perfectly and I'm out! 2-1 and a few dollars richer!!! ;)

miSsoN complete!

Just for laughs.........3 days later.........

My bf had league so I tag along. We're get there a little early so we're practicing on our own tables. The other team starts to trickle in. I start to over here two guys talking:

Guy A: "How was that tournament?"

Guy B: "Oh, good! I took 2nd. I should've had the last one too, but some chick beat me. She got so lucky. I played so good and she was just firing away make balls fall. I felt bad for her, she really didn't know what she was doing so I'm okay that I let her win"

LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????????????????????????????

I seriously wanted to laugh out loud.....but didn't. I did however have a HUGE smile on my face. Just as he was about to break, he looked over at my table. I smiled bigger than I think I ever have. He looked at me with such a blank stare, you would've thought he'd seen a ghost.

Guy A: "What's up man? Break already"

Guy B: "That's her. And, uh, she plays a good game........mumble, studder, muble......

Not only did I have no clue who my bf's team played that night, I was more than happy I came. Overhearing that, was probably sweeter than my victory as I got to sit quiet, smile, and know that I KICKED HIS ASS!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

slow and steady

Well it's been a few interesting weeks of HORRIBLE pool play and a shit load of hours to try and correct it all. I'm FINALLY back to playing well (well, decent at least) and it feels good.

Over the course of all this bad play, I knew what I was doing wrong (for the most part). And the more I tried to correct it all, the worse it got. The question became: Why was I doing it? I would get down, see the shot, line up correctly, and change at the last minute. The bf and I had endless arguments about what I was doing, why and how. I could've ripped his head off on many occasions, but I really don't have time for jail right now.

I already have a hell of a time listening to unwanted advice. There are times (most all the time actually) I really just want to hit balls, be left alone, and talk to no one! Please just let me be!!! I mean can't we just play and you not criticize my every shot. I'll figure it out - and when I can't, I'll ask. And I know he really is just trying to help.....i just don't need to be talked to like I'm 5 and don't understand you. Thanks for your understanding!!!

I took a little time off....a little. But those days really did make a difference. Last Sunday, the bf and I went to practice (which we do often on Sundays, because we can play our little hearts out with no interruptions). I finally felt like I was back to my old ways. Hitting what I knew, practicing what I didn't, making good shot selection, and getting out of not so great table layouts. I 100% think, that because I was getting good outs, I felt confident in my play again and automatically didn't think of all the negative thoughts I was having. I didn't once focus on the "what if's' and 'maybe's" and just PLAYED. It was a good feeling again. And now he was the quiet frustrated one, as I silently kicked his ass ;)

moving on...

I got a new tip put on last night!!! I play so much that my tip actually gets down to about the width of a dime sometimes before I actually decide to fork out the effort to change it. I know it sounds crazy, but I do think half the time I don't even realize it and have become so used to it that even shaping it some changes my game. Crazy - i know!

Anyhow, I put a LePro on for the first time. When I first started playing (really playing) I had Triangles. It's all I knew and I could've cared less and not known the difference if it was anything else. Then of course, the more I learned about pool - and all the equipment to go with - I was told to find what works for me. Liking the medium-hard tip I was used to, my last change was to a hard. (Water Buffalo, I believe). Just to see if I liked something new........... For the first two or threes weeks I wasn't comfortable. It was like hitting rocks across a parking with a bat. Then with slight adjustments, I got used to it and was fine. I decided to change again, to maybe just see what else was out there - and the fact I was playing so bad (event though I got back on track) I was looking for anything to fix my game - and that didn't help my mental decision. So I went LePro on ya! Now I've heard there isn't anything different between this tip than a Triangle, the LePro could actually be worse. One person told me it's the worst out there. But I've heard good things as well and so we shall see. I mean seriously it's just a tip and can always be replaced. Are there any suggestions for any other good tips for your average, run-of-the-mill, player???

Thursday, October 8, 2009

yes - i'm still around......

I know, I's been over a month since I've touched this blog - but hey, I've been busy okay?!?!

It has been a crazy few weeks in my world. CRAZY! But I'm still here - hangin' on by a thread. As work and life keep moving along, my pool world has - okay. I seem to be kind of just trucking along. Playing when I have to, practicing when I's all just been so-so. THIS HAS TO CHANGE.

I got asked to play in a three-man tournament. Handicap 9-Ball. Two out of three matches wins. I'm honored that these two individuals would consider me to play, they both are slightly above my level. Needless to say, I have to get some serious practice in. The tournament is 1 month away. Lately, when I do jump on a table for practice, I find myself hitting solid shots too softly, and light shots with way too much stroke. I know I'm doing this and as I try to compensate for it, I'm over or under hitting on the wrong stroke. I've also been finding myself getting some decent runs.....and then I'm on the last ball. I STARE at this ball FOREVER. Even when its dead in the whole. I have no clue why, but I have this fear lately of "what if it doesn't go? What if I over do this or that? Why I'm scared?" A hundred and sixty-nine things start running through my head and I can't control it. And if it's league night, I then have a whole team staring at me saying "What are you doing?" Its all really frustrating. Really, really, frustrating. So I definitely need to figure out what in the hell is going on with that.

On a lighter, happy, much less depressing, whoa is me note - I'm taking on a new task with a good friend of mine. We've decided to start a website for our local players. We cover our local tournaments, have a calendar that you can view weekly tournaments around town and upcoming larger events, photos, stories, feature local players, some miscellaneous all around pool news, and more. You can also sign up for a weekly e-newsletter to get your "quick" news which is sent out every Thursday. It's been a LOT of work. But as both of our passions are pool, it has all been worth it. We've got great support from friends and players around town. We want to promote and support this game we love so much.

If you get the time, check it out