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.