Thursday, March 24, 2011 selfish!

As I mentioned in previous posts, this past weekend was the largest, most looked forward to, ‘B’ player tournament in town. Players practice all year for this tournament. There are some mad bragging rights that come along with this tournament. Format is 9-ball, limited to 64 players, race to 6, and involves a LOT of $$$.

I spent my entire Friday night there (after working my first full week at my new full time job). There was some great pool and some not so great pool. I love watching how different I see so many people play in tournaments. The player who can kick your ass on a regular basis suddenly freezes. And players you watch fire around a table seem to have a whole new calm dimension to them. A few of my closer friends did really well and moved on to Saturday. I spent another 10 hours there on Saturday (before I ventured off to my own little local Saturday night tournament of course). As the night moved on a long (through modern technology) we find out who else is eliminated and that two of our friends (the closer ones I mentioned) have now made it to Sunday.

It’s getting down to the nitty gritty and the best of the best is slowly weeding out the “not-so-best”!

Well Sunday was going to be an interesting day for me. I had already pre-registered for a local qualifier for a local league here. Winner takes a spot in Singles for Nationals in November. This particular qualifier is cut-off at a certain skill level and I squeeze in at the limit. It was going to be a bit rough as I’m giving up a game to almost every player I play…..considering who I play of course and there are 2 others at my handicap. On top of that, I was dying to get back to the location where the main event was going on.

Well yeah – Sunday was rough. I gave up a game the ENTIRE day! In EVERY match. I took it for what it was worth and focused. I played hard. I took my shots to a new level and it was working. It was probably some of the best pool I had ever played!

Fast forward and I’m in the hot seat. Not only am I in the hot seat, but this 16 player tournament is taking FOREVER!!!!!!!! Mind you, I had been there since 9am (my day really began at 7am – so that I could enjoy a hearty Sunday breakfast with my girl beforehand, because I have an extremely hard time eating anything while I’m in tourney mode). I figured on a good 7 hours for this tournament to be completed – being generous with the handicaps in this particular qualifier and double elimination and two tables. This calculation meant I would be back at the main event in plenty of time for the finals. Think again captain!

One of my super-duper good friends had made it to the final round over there and I was sitting in another bar WAITING to play. All focus had been lost.  My phone was blowing up like I was a freakin’ pimp! “Where are you”? “You’re missing all the action”. “Did you know that he made it to the finals”? I was ready to immediately take my hard earned cash and bail. But that little voice inside me said – are f’n crazy…..YOU GOT THIS!

Well I didn’t. That’s rite….all my hard work paid off to a nice 2nd place, a few cold beers, and a bus ride home! A ride which consisted of more texts….”He won”! “How could you miss this”? It went two sets and almost double hill”. “Where are you”?

I (or the beers) debated if this made me selfish. A friend, who not only is an amazing player, but taught me SO much about the game I just lost, had won his biggest title in a long time. And I, mad at myself for missing all the action, was angrier at me for losing my match. For losing my focus. For losing my mind over how I could’ve played so well and been taken so out of my element. Ugh!!!

Live and learn………I and the beers are still debating that one.

Now that I’m all worked up again – I’m ending this post here. There’s dinner to be had and practice to be played. I’m sure I’ll have more to say after this weekend when the big boys come out to show their stuff in the open player tournament.

That is all…….miSsioN fail.

Monday, March 14, 2011

....whirlwind kinda week

It’s been quite a week…..and I need a break. It started off with a job offer which I couldn’t say no to! For background information, I’ve been freelancing for over a year – and I’m scared to death to go back to a real, full-time job. I like the idea of being my own boss, but the position (and money) was something I really couldn’t turn down. I REALLY contemplated this and call me crazy, but I like the challenge. All this really means is I’ll be working more hours, trying to keep up with our website (and all that goes with it), playing less, sleeping less, and letting the laundry get even more out of control. Well see how long it is before I’m in need of a major vacation.

The past two days was a long weekend of pool. We had our third stop of the tour, handicapped 9-ball over two days (since the location we held it at only has 5 tables). I finally placed in my own tournament – geez! It’s about freakin’ time! (Just for the record, playing – and trying to play well - AND putting up with players when trying to run a tourney is not exactly the easiest to do). I took 5th – 6th so yes, I’m still pissed at myself for losing but I’m okay with where I ended up because I know I played well. I had some great matches and I was happy that my composure stayed intact. It’s something I’ve been trying to work on – not getting upset after missed shots, staying in the zone, not getting excited if I reach the hill first, playing each shot one at a time.

Another thing I’m trying work on is not taking my opponent for granted or think that I’m the underdog when I play someone of a higher skill level. It’s such a mental distraction that it actually affects my game with a dimension I need to eliminate. I’m trying hard to play the table not the player. One day all these things will fall into place…..together.

I also have been watching some great pool streaming from Valley Forge. It always amazes me how effortless the big boys make their matches seem. I wonder sometimes, if their heart is pounding away on the last ball for a match! AND – what I love the most, is that even when they miss the winning ball, even if it’s hanging in the pocket, they NEVER give it away. They will ALWAYS make their opponent shoot. I respect that. In my eyes they’re not saying to their opponent “ you might miss – go ahead and shoot”. They are saying “you’re are one of the best – you won’t miss”. I look at that as RESPECT.

My bf is actually there this year for Rally in the Valley and is getting to watch some of these live - PUNK :) One day I’ll make it there.

First big tourney of the year for our hometown happens next weekend……I can’t wait to sweat some matches. As I mentioned in my last post this is the first of three coming up back to back – so I’ll be posting updates as they come!

Friday, March 4, 2011

.......i'm here, i'm here!

Yes!  SLACKER I am!  Don’t hate…..  (I actually wonder how many posts this year will start off with me being a slacker).

Life as we know it has taken over as usual, and I can’t seem to catch a break.  I’ve been working my ass off on some freelance projects and have been proposed to take a full time position.  With a few different companies .  Because I kick ass at what I do.  ;) Oh – what to do, what to do?!?!?!  Let’s just add more things to my plate and see if can still breathe…..yep – that sounds fun!

On the pool front, I really haven’t been playing as much as usual.  I will say though, that the times I am playing, I’ve been very happy with my game.  It’s not always all there, but in the scheme of things I’ve been playing a hell of a lot better – I’m just hoping it stays that way.  Since my last post, our Vegas Billiards Tour had another stop with our largest field yet.  It was handicapped 10-Ball and an amazing tournament with some GREAT action.  We’re already gearing up for our next stop which happens in next weekend.  Updates will follow…..

On top of that, March is filled with some amazing pool here in town.  Two of our largest tournaments happen near the end of the month.  First being a ‘B’ player tournament, 9-Ball, limited to 64 players which is always a great tournament.  I still don’t have the confidence to turn myself in for this one, but every year I watch as some our friends battle it out for the title (bragging rights are pretty big here - lol).   Second up will be the ‘A’ player tournament, 9- Ball, limited to 64 players.  This tournament has to be my favorite of the year to watch! The big boys (ahem - and girls) in town, and from nearby, plus a few pros come out and it is one of the best weekends in pool here!  I’m so excited for both of these. 

On top of these two, there will be a women’s tournament (which started last year) and I WILL be competing in that one.  Another 9-Ball tourney which is a charity event to benefit a women’s shelter here in town.  This one is handicapped, so I feel I have a bit of an edge to compete.  (Now, let’s just hope my game keeps up with me until this tourney rolls around).

On the home front, I’ve been cooking up a storm - another favorite of mine, besides just eating :)  Just for kicks, here's our famous homemade hamburgers that me and the bf cooked up last week.....

And yes - they were delicious!

So all in all, I've been working more and playing less.....but damn it - at least I'm eating well! And to a certain someone, I promise to try to be here more!  Yes, just for you ;)  It is now my miSsion....