Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Checking Racks of Friends

I had a very interesting conversation with a player the other day.  He was basically saying there are two people he plays regularly that he completely respects their game and never checks their rack.  However, as much as he respects their game, he has noticed that he doesn't quite make as many balls against one of them anymore and he's wondering what is going on.

He shared that he felt like if he checked the rack of this one particular person who he deeply respected (mutual respect, too), that it would actually come across as disrespectful.  And he wasn't quite sure what to do about it.

I took in all of his words and concerns and I expressed my thoughts:  I told him that he needs to do what he needs to do to win his matches.  And if looking at the rack for a split-second will make him feel better about the rack or see if something's going on (like balls aren't touching or crooked rack), that he needs to that. 

I also shared with him that I don't think the other player would consider it disrespectful or even notice anything different.  The player I was talking to looks at everybody's rack anyway.  And he doesn't take a long time doing it - he probably looks at the rack for less than 2 seconds.  He kinda walks by briskly and peers into the rack and then walks quickly away to break.  I think if he studied the rack and was down their deciphering it to death, then yea, the guy would notice all of a sudden.

I'll let you know after they play or match-up against each other if he did indeed check the guys rack quickly or not and how he felt about finally doing that.

But you gotta do what you gotta do and sometimes think of yourself, even if your opponent might feel disrespected.  But I can tell you that I honestly feel this guy won't even care that his rack is being checked.  He knows it's part of the game.

What's also interesting about this is not only that he feels he might make the opponent feel disrespect, but what that makes HIM feel.  It's a fact that affecting someone else's emotions can have a personal effect in you.  And when competing, we need to not be distracted how the other person is feeling because it takes away from our own focus.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Giving 9-Balls in Return?

I was taught a long time ago never to give up the 9-ball (or 8-ball), even if it's straight in, even if it's easy.  It was instilled in me over and over again by June Hager Walter back in the mid 90s, so I just don't give the final shot away in my matches.  I always make my opponent shoot the money ball, even if it's an easy shot.

I've actually stuck by this "personal rule" my whole life.  The few times that I didn't, which I can count on one hand in the last 20 years, was because I was super pissed and gave them the shot lol.  Otherwise, it can be straight and you can be up 6-0 on me and I'll still make you shoot it.

I played in a match in the last Omega Tour stop and my opponent was not making me shoot the easy 9-ball shots.  But when he got perfect position for an easy 9-ball, I sat in my chair, and still made him shoot it.

It got me thinking.... does a player all the sudden feel that because they're not getting the same respect in return that maybe they won't give away 9-balls to that opponent anymore?   Or do they still give the easy 9-ball shots anyway?  Because that's the type of person they are?

I've actually seen someone miscue on a short and straight in 9-ball.   I've also seen where someone shoots the money ball so hard it flies off the table.  


I'll take it!

But, again, I wonder when I don't give them the same mutual admiration as they are doing to me on easy 9-ball shots, what do they feel about it?

Seriously.  Do they think, "well F her, then, I'm gonna make her shoot ALL the easy 9-balls from here on out!"  Or, do they not even care, and still don't make me shoot the easy 9-balls?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Age and Muscle Memory

It's always interesting to hear from players why they think they don't play like they used to.  

One of the Omega Tour players shared with me his take, and I was quite taken aback by his comment.

He asked me, "I wonder if I'm just too old?"

I was surprised he said that.  Most people don't really share those type of inside thoughts.  Especially to someone who isn't a good friend lol.

If I had to guess, he's prolly in his late 50s or early 60s.  

And then he added, "I used to play 20 years ago and I played pretty good.  And now I'm back at it for the last couple years and I really think my muscle memory is just not as good as it used to be."

That is a very interesting concept he had, and I'm glad he explained further his thoughts about age.  

And I wonder if indeed it is true.  

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Silver Investment

How much to do you like silver?

Well, Tiffany and Co thinks somebody does/will:

If you have close to $1,000 to spend, this could be yours!  Even saw a matching silver chalk holder.

Pretty neat with the Roman Numerals, too. 

Go ahead - put it on your wish list and maybe Santa will see it.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire - Pool Q

$100,000 question!? 


While this comes naturally on the table to make a run in 9-ball, I had to stop and visualize the color of the balls for this.  What about you?  Okay, maybe it's just me, lol. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Why Ask Me?

While being slightly offended (in a funny way) during one of my matches last weekend during the Omega Tour, nothing really compares to what happened with another opponent.

I swear I can't even make this stuff up.

Yet, it does give me blog material, lol.

In my second match over the weekend, I look at the charts and see I have to play a guy I defeated during the Omega stop just last month.  I was very happy I beat him last month as he is a tough cookie.

However, this time was a completely different outcome.  He kicked my ass!  I think I only got 1 game.  He played GREAT!  I missed only a few balls, but he got out every time.  If I played safe early in the game, he would simply find a way to make that ball and then he ran out.  I didn't have many chances at all this match-up.  He played really good!

However, after the match he says, "now we are 1-1."

I admit I didn't think that was too friendly.  Why even say that after you beat me?  I didn't get upset over it, just thought it was kinda weird to say it out loud to me.  However, nothing would compare to what he would say to me the following day.  NOTHING.

As Tournament Director of the Omega Tour, I figured out early from its inception that it's best to play the final 24 players on Sunday.  They are all "in-the-money" and it works out best for a 2-day tournament with 80-100 players.

The guy who defeated me the previous day loses his first match Sunday morning.  Then he wins his next, but falters after that.  He still did great, though, placing 13th out of 83 players.

After he loses, almost 30 minutes later or more I would guess, he comes up to me.

So, let me set the stage here.  There are about 40 people in the pool room at this moment.  And he comes up to me.  ME.  And says this:

"How can I play almost perfect against you yesterday and today I can barely play well.  Does that happen to anyone else?"

I sat there dumbfounded.  The guy sitting next to me turns away and starts laughing he's so shocked.

I look down, and try to compose my thoughts.  I then look up at him fairly quickly and say, "why in the world would you ask the one person you played so well against and beat down yesterday that question?"

He stammers and doesn't know what to say.

I then stop thinking of the way I'm feeling and be a good steward and add, "yes, we all go through that.  We all do that."  I share, trying to reassure him.

And then he seems surprised, "Really?  It's not just me?"

I am taken aback by his reaction.  Does he REALLY seriously think he's the only person that happens to?  The man is like, I dunno, 60 years old or something.  He HAS to have experienced this before.  He HAS to know he isn't the only one who doesn't play well consistently from match to match.

The guy next to me also shares that it happens to him, too. 

I added, "yes, it happens to everyone."

He seems relieved and then he says shyly, "I'm sorry if I came across wrong, I didn't mean anything by it."

You don't mean anything by it?  There are TONS more people in this room you are friends with and yet you come up to me to ask that question?


I just told him, "it's okay."

I am trying to indicate, obviously, that I'm not really the right person to ask that after you kicked my ass the previous day, lol, but in all honesty, I really didn't mind.  It was simply confusing he would ask me of all people.

But, I think he just needed to vent his disappointment that he felt bad about how he played that day.  I told him, "at least you won one match and defeated Phillip - that's a tough opponent."  Trying to point out he shouldn't feel all that deflated and he did have some really good moments today.

Still funny, though.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Aren't You a Five?

During my first match of the Omega tournament last weekend at Pucketts in south Fort Worth, Texas, I'm playing against a friend of mine, who is a really good player.

As I mentioned, I played really sporty in this match!

The Omega Billiards Tour is handicapped and the rankings range from 5 to 9.  If you are a 6, for example, then you race to 6.

I am a 6 in this tournament and my opponent is a 7.  I race to 6, he races to 7.

I find myself up 4-2 and as I make the 9-ball he comes up to me to shake my hand.  I look at him funny and he says, "Isn't it over?"

I looked at the score and move my coin to 5, which puts me on the hill and I so needed one more game.

"No, it's not over yet."

He asks me gently but seriously, "aren't you a 5?"


Uh, NO I'm not 5!  OMG he thought I was a 5?  Don't I play better than a 5?  I thought he knew me!  lol.

I replied nicely, "No, Imma 6."

He says, "Oh, I thought you were a 5.  When did you move up to a 6?"  And he's serious!

OMG.... lol

"I've always been a 6....." I share with him, in disbelief.

At this point I'm seriously trying not to be offended and just trying to focus solely on the fact I need only one more game to win the match.

Luckily, I do in fact win the next game and yet still shocked and funny he thought I was a 5.  I swear I don't play that bad!

I told this story several times to friends over the weekend and they all laughed at me.   lol!