Friday, October 21, 2016

Hearing About Good Sportmanship

The U.S. Open 9-ball Championships is going on in Norfolk, VA.  People are talking about Earl Strickland and Darren Appleton who forfeited in the middle of their matches.  You know, we are hearing about all the bad antics, which leads to players saying that's what's wrong with our sport, and why we aren't mainstream.... (I despise this way of thinking by the way)

And then I read this on Facebook from the USA Mosconi Cup Team Captain who is in person at the US Championship:
"Adrenaline is still going on here with the entire U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship. These players have raised the bar of excellence once again with the Republic of China leading the way. I find so much inspiration and respect for their approach to the sport.

Ko Pin Yi has so much class, professionalism, and style, that I am more impressed with him than if he had won against Shaw.

He single-handedly displayed the character of a true champion and quiet professional, after a stinging loss in which he did nothing wrong... no excuses or lame Facebook posts, he played his heart out, he knows it, and he has my profound respect for his courageous display. 

Ko Pin Yi did more for the sport last night by his example and leadership, than he is aware of or recognizes. He motivates me to try much harder to improve our sport...I will forever be a Ko Pin Yi fan."

I have no idea what happened.  It's evident that Ko Pin Yi lost a heart breaker match and didn't act like a child, tho, huh? 

It think it's VERY refreshing to read about how a player handled themselves WELL after a match and how it impressed someone, rather than hearing how bad players acted. 

This is so wonderful!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Dog Ate My Homework

I was promised my friend Ann that I would give her my Play Your Best Straight Pool book by Phil Capelle.  I left it out upstairs a week or so ago so I wouldn't forget it for the Omega tourney this weekend.

I came home Monday night to this:

So, I had my dog, Lily, write a note to Ann publicly via Facebook:

Dear Ann.

My Mom told me I need to write you an apology letter. I'm really, really sorry I chewed the book she was going to give you. She shouldn't have left it out where I could get to it! I didn't know it was for you, I just saw easy access to something new! But, I was mad at her for leaving me for a few days and saw my opportunity to get back at her. It's really her fault.

Sincerely, Lily.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Help During Matches with Paper

There was recently an article on poker about a player that pulled out instructions on what to do during certain situations.

It kind of reminds me of when you're at a blackjack table at a casino, you're allowed to pull out the little card that tells you what you should do in certain situations (take a card, split, double down, etc.).

However, this was at a table full of poker players for a lot more money at stake than just playing a couple hands of blackjack.

A lot of people have pool mantra's or a pool prayer that they read before matches.  I actually have a list of tips I've written down on a piece of paper and I read them before a match because I needed to remind myself of things and maybe calm myself down.  

We aren't allowed to use cell phones during matches because you can technically text for someone for advice or get some comfort which is considered cheating and illegal, but what about pieces of paper during a pool match?  What is the rule on that?  I guess it's considered getting advice/help.

And how would you feel if you saw your opponent sitting next to you at the poker table pulling out sheets of paper or your pool opponent pulling out a sheet of paper to pump himself up or calm himself down?

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Reactions When Bothered

Last month two players were having a verbal altercation during their match.

As the Tournament Director, I intervened and told them to stop talking, only play pool, no more breaks and to not do ANYTHING (move or talk) while their opponent is at the table.

Turns out one of the players was bothering the other player by mumbling while his opponent was trying to shoot, moving, and going to the bathroom more than once.  So, it got under the players' skin.  By the time he finally spoke up, he was pretty vocal and it became an argument.

Afterwards, I overheard someone say that the player should have told his opponent right away that he was bothering him, and then he wouldn't have reacted as he did (upset at the guy).

I told the guys talking that while I agree, sometimes that's very tough to do.  You don't know until it's too late that a culmination of things have bothered you to the point you have to speak up rudely.

Or, maybe the first bathroom break was no big deal.  Maybe the first movement was no big deal.  Maybe by the time he heard the mumbling, it was already too late to bring up his concerns "early."

And while they thought he shouldn't have reacted so upset, in my opinion while I agree, sometimes we can't control it as our emotions are swirling and we feel like a poked bear.  And when we finally do speak up, it isn't pretty.

Not everyone handles their upsetness with calmness.  Especially when competition is on the line. 

I don't necessarily mean that raising your voice is "right" or "correct" but I will defend that fact that everyone handles being upset differently under different situations.

BTW, after the match they talked and the one player apologized for bothering the other player.  He admitted he had no idea and felt bad about it.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Do I Miss Playing?

A lot of people ask me if I miss playing pool.


I am still around pool, but I do not miss playing.

I even went to BCAPL Nationals in Vegas in July and visited a few friends the first day I got there (Friday).  I was apprehensive at first trying to locate them at their tables, thinking I might get the pool bug and the tug of wishing I had signed up and was playing. 


I felt nothing.

Not even one smidgen of myself was envious or had feelings of regret that I didn't play.  It was actually really weird.

Sometimes when I spar with a friend and play good I think about maybe going to State, but then by the time I even get back in my car the feeling goes away.

However, I thought it was REAL weird last month when the feeling of playing overcame me.

I happened to catch my scotch doubles partner from the last 2 years play in a match during the Omega tournament when I was walking around taking photos.  I watched him play a rack and for the first time, the desire to play tugged at my heart.

That was such a weird feeling... first time I felt such an urge to play.

I'm still not playing, tho, lol.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Teaching Me My Own Lesson

One of the things that gives me the most happiness in life is to be able to talk to others about pool.  It gives me the biggest high in life.  I feel the joy deep in soul - my heart actually flutters in the middle of talking to others about pool because I get so happy about it lol.

I think I mentioned that I met up with a whole ladies team one night for about 3 hours and we just played pool and talked about pool. We didn't just talk about shots, we also talked about confidence, nerves, etc.  Because as you know, pool is mental as well as ability and shot making.

I've helped a few friends throughout the years with some sessions and they have always been grateful.  I recently started to meet up with a friend to spar with.  She and I thought it might be good to get some good sparring in before a big tourney she has coming up.

If we do talk, we mostly talk about strategy.  We play 8-ball.  So we might talk about why certain shots are better, when to not make balls, when to go for break outs, how to play better safes.  We are learning from each other, it's pretty cool.  Her safes are jam up - I hate them lol.

We've only met up a few times and now.... I've come to the point where I actually hate our sessions.  Omg... she learns too quickly and she has turned the table on me!  Now I have to step up my game and try to play smarter, tougher.  She gets my mind working overtime because I have to think even more strategic than usual because she catches on too fast.

It's killing me!

I LOVE IT.  :)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Different Thoughts of Playing Better Players

I think it's very interesting what goes through people's minds when they see someone with high talent walk into the pool room during a weekly tournament.

What are YOU thinking?

A girlfriend of mine and I were talking last weekend about this very topic.

She said it must be tough for local Pros to walk in to play in local tournaments because they have a target on their head.

I looked at her very curious because that's not the way I look at them.  My thinking is completely opposite.

My thinking is more like, "shit, I hope I don't have to play them tonight."  lol.  I get nervous I might have to play them.  Instead, she is of the mind set that she HOPES to play them so she can try to beat "de-throne" them. 

I wonder why people have such different reactions and thinking when it comes to wanting to play better players? 

Confidence?  Mental toughness?  Killer Instinct?  Hmmm....