I decided to play in the Amateur Division to get some time in on the tables and I'm SO glad I did! I need that pressure and experience of playing in big tourneys. And I do get very nervous against guys. Plus, the crowds are very large there. Great learning experiences to be had!
I played a guy first who was super, super nice. I found myself very nervous and very aware of my surroundings; nervous; eyes on our match; etc. I played pretty good and he seemed more nervous than I. I tried to tell myself he is the guy and should have more pressure than I because he might get beat by a girl. I somehow managed through my nerves and got ahead 6-1. I then relaxed way too much and let him get three more games before I finally bear down and won 7-4. I was pretty stoked, tho! I couldn't believe it!
After a small wait, my next opponent was a fellow female player/friend. She won the first two games GREAT! She played really, really well. I never got nervous though and told myself to wait my turn - not everyone can play great for 7 straight games, I tried to reassure myself. Sure enough, I got some chances and started to play REALLY good myself and went ahead 4-2. I had a pretty tough out in front of me and decided I should duck but then saw I could get good shape on the tough 6 ball. So, I went for the run, played, SO freaking good! I hit all the balls good but then got too cocky on the 8 ball. I think I was so impressed with myself with the tough run, that I thought while down on my shot on the 8ball to try and get shape on the 9, and I missed it! omg... :( I was playing SO good, but got too confident, like a rooster with their proud chest sticking out who then trips on a twig. Ugh.
She then starts to play good again and she goes ahead of me 6-5! The guy sitting next to us kept making comments and it was very annoying as he as obviously only noticing her shots and cheering for her, but *I* had to hear them while she was at the table. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but since pressure started to build, it became annoying.
I ran out well to get on the hill but got bad on the 9ball. I had to bank it with a bridge and accidentally two railed it, but it was a hill-hill match!
We both played our little hearts out on the final / deciding game, but we both missed balls. I finally missed the final 7 ball last (a backwards cut that I usually can make) and she ran out. I was very happy for her, but I was very distraught. To have played SO well and yet lose because I missed some key shots because of too much confidence, and then miss because of nerves was heartbreaking.
I kinda sulked around for a little bit after that. Bummed.
However, it dawned on me I was really there for the women's event, and because I lost, I was able to get out of the pool room at a decent hour and go back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep. Had I won that match, I would have played after 2am. I would rather get shut eye and be rested for the women's division. So, I watched my boyfriend play some matches, then forfeited my one-loss side match (which would have also been after 2am) to get some sleep. I was able to fall asleep by 1:30am or so, whereas my b/f didn't get in til 4am because of his winner side matches. So, my loss was a blessing in disguise!
Amanda and I
I felt REALLY good Sunday morning and was ready to play some good pool!
I got a bye in the first round of the Ladies Division of the LoneStar Tourney and then faced a formidable opponent who has defeated me the last 5 times we have played there. So, yes, I was intimidated. The races for us had to be shortened as well and we raced to 4/4.
I made several mistakes the first game and was pretty upset at myself. I noticed how effortless she made it look. Further, she was following through really well. I decided to do that too!
I won the next game with really good shooting and some safeties, then had a combo, and another one (that was pretty tough) to go up 3-1. I was happy! The last combo was not easy at all. I broke dry and then she ran out! Eeek! In the next game, in a race to 4, with me on the hill, I needed the win so it wouldn't go hill-hill. We both missed the 4 ball. When she missed it again I told myself, "that's it" and ran out nicely.
I was SO happy to have beat such a great opponent! I couldn't believe it!
My next match wasn't easier, lol, only tougher. But, I played SO great! I can't begin to describe how wonderful it was to play good on these 9foot tables that play fast, against really good players.
I went up 2-0 right away with GREAT play! But then, I relaxed again. Ugh! :( I definitely wasn't as focused as I was during the first two games.. :( I played a careless safe, she got out. I then missed a 7ball with a bridge and got upset, and that was pretty much it. I felt the momentum shift and even though I still tried, I wasn't playing as well and she started to play REAL good, and I lost 2-4. :(
Devastation hit again. :( I was bummed. I was frustrated; sad. I felt like I had that match, and really was playing well. So, it hurt more. But, I didn't keep my focus, was too confident, eased up, and also thought ahead. Too many mental errors, basically. But, my opponent played really, really good at the end and made some tough outs. She ended up winning the tourney, btw.
I started my one-loss side match pretty slow and nonchalantly. I didn't really care to be there, but then decided to crank it up and won 4-2 with more good play.
I started my 7th place match with more great play. I was staying down well and VERY confident. Then, the tides turned again for some reason, adding to the fact my opponent start to play REALLY well, I lost 4-2. Somehow.
I placed 7th out of 18 and was pretty bummed. I am playing really, really well. Even my friend Amanda video taped one of my runs to show me later how well I'm staying down (which I didn't realize, I just knew I was playing well).
I'm just confused. I don't know if it was the race to 4, or me losing focus, or getting too comfortable and confident or what. All I know is, the girls are getting tougher and tougher and one miss against certain players, and they are getting out.
And doesn't really matter how well I'm playing during an entire game and feeling great, if I am not finishing. :(
Still, glad I went to get time on the tables for the Texas Open coming up in two weeks. I feel prepared, but then again, I felt that way Sunday. I am also glad I went because my b/f placed an awesome 5th in the Amateur division and 9th in the Open division! He played the best I've seen him play, even though he has been playing well, he stepped up his play and beat a lot of good players. It was a joy to see and I was very proud!