Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Billiard Shirts and Gambling

Back in the mid 90s, I had gone through my closet one day and all the old t-shirts I didn't want anymore, I was going to donate to the Salvation Army.

Before I did that, though, I thought that my one of my good friends' son may want all the pool shirts I had.

You know, the ones from pool rooms, or pool tournaments, or big events (like BCAPL in Vegas).

I asked her, "Do you think John would want these shirts?"

She laughed so hard I could barely understand her.

"No, Melinda, are you serious?" still laughing.

"Uh, yea, he wouldn't want them?  We are the same size."



"No, Melinda.  He can't walk into a pool room with a billiard shirt on if he's trying to get a pool game."

"Oh, okay," I replied, not REALLY understanding what she meant completely.

He was a hustler.  He traveled all around.  If we was to walk in a pool room, trying to act like he doesn't play pool but has a POOL shirt on, well, that obviously gives it away.

I didn't realize what I was truly asking til many years later, and how important it was to really seem like you aren't a pool player.

I remember once he even dyed his hair blond to seem like he was a surfer or in the sun a lot or something.... just so he wouldn't seem like a pool player.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

High School Hall of Fame Inductee!

This is SO cool to me!

A professional pool player was inducted into their high school hall of fame!

From Shane Van Boening via Facebook:  "Tonight during half time at Stevens High School basketball game. I been inducted into the Hall of Fame at my high school in Rapid City, SD. Go raiders!!!"

How freaking cool is that?!??

Congrat's, Shane!  I think I can safely say that every pool player is happy to hear such news!

Here's what he posted on FB:


Monday, December 29, 2014

Beast Mode


Do you have what it takes to rise to the occasion?

If not, practice wont get you there.

I'm just going to be honest.  It wont.

What will?

Experience.

The more tournaments you play in, the more you learn.  Not about POOL, silly!  About competition.  About yourself.  About how to handle pressure.  Adversity.

You learn all sorts of things that will carry over into your NEXT performance at the pool table.

You learn how to stay down under pressure.
How to breathe under pressure.
How to not let distractions distract you.
How to not think ahead.
How to focus on your fundamentals ONLY.
How to make the winning shot.

This doesn't come from practicing by yourself or practicing with your friends.  This comes from the many tournaments you play in.  Or maybe the many gambling matches you play.

Think about it.  Practice only gets you so far.  COMPETITION gets you SO much further.

I'm living proof.

Once you master the fundamentals (which comes from competing!), once you figure out 3-ball shape and which side of the ball you should be on, and the better choices to make at the table - you still have your mind and breathing and pressure and distractions and missing balls to deal with.  Taming those only comes from experience after experience after experience in competition.

You can master your fundamentals (you think) but then put yourself in a pressure situation and see what happens.  Yep, you dog it.  Yep, we have ALL dogged it.  A LOT.  Do you know why some people don't dog it anymore?  Yep, EXPERIENCE.  They/we/I have dogged it enough not to do that any more.  They figured out from pressure situations to STAY down and stroke more.  Not stroke fast b/c you are nervous.

Only lots of competition can help with that.

My single best advice has always been:  Play more tournaments.  Compete more.

You will thank me, I promise!

(see my top ten tips from 2011 here.) 




Year 2014

2014 is coming to an end soon.  Only a few days left.

While I have accomplished a lot in pool (one title I've ALWAYS wanted to win (BCA Texas State singles), another I never thought I could win (a single Nationals title), how do I feel about my year?

You want the honest truth?

I don't feel any different.

I wish I had someone important by my side when I won those titles, instead my b/f at the time was always breaking up with me and not there for me.  I was alone for each win; for each title.  It was bitter sweet to win the ACS National 9-Ball Women's Single tourney on Mother's Day, though. 

One thing I don't like is everyone keeps telling me I'm a master player when I am not.  I'd like to earn that title, before being told I can't play in events.  It's upsetting me a lot b/c it's not true that I am a master player.  I'm advanced ONLY with ACS.  Open player with BCAPL.

Yet, you win titles and people assume you are "ranked" higher.  I suppose that comes with the territory, though, right?

I didn't play a lot of pool last year.  I mean, I played in big tournaments, yes, but I only played in two OB Cues Ladies Tour stops and that's only because they were in town, lol.  I quit two of my leagues and now only play in my ladies league.  I don't even play in weekly tournaments anymore, either.

I hope to play in more weekly tournaments next year, though!  Play against the guys and hopefully get even better!  That'd be fun to get even better!  Wow!  I can't even imagine how exciting that would be!

And then, someone in the billiards field said if there was an award for female amateur player of the year, he thought I should get it.  I never thought about that.  WOW, me, really?  That thought actually crossed someone's mind??  He said, "Seriously, it is probably one of the best season's that an amateur has ever had."

I don't really know about that, but it's sweet and awesome to even think that, really, of me and my pool year.  :)  Makes me look at the past year QUITE different!






Thursday, December 25, 2014

Party Pool

I went to my cousin's annual Christmas party Christmas Eve Eve (Tuesday night).  I didn't get to go last year and was very disappointed, so I made a point to go this year even thought I went alone.

My cousin's house is VERY cool.  They have a media room, rec room, TWO fire pits, gravity pool, trampoline, ya know, the works.

And they make all these amazing treats and food to serve at these small gatherings.  I was glad I went - needed to get out of the house.

Of course their rec room had a pool table in it.  I dare say it was an 8 foot! 

But alas, as at most parties, the true pool players don't play pool.  We just walk by the table, admire they have one, check out their cues, and keep going.  We might stop to see who is playing (if they aren't kids), and see how they measure up, but let's face it, us "regular/real" pool players hardly ever play pool at parties.  It's just wouldn't be proper to show off or hog the pool table all night, right?

Here are some pics from the party: (dessert area, fire pit, and the pool table)




Towards about 10pm, I was about to leave and one of the husband's (who I didn't know) says he was prolly the best player in the house and was going to shoot some pool upstairs.  I roll my eyes thinking to myself, "whatever, dude." 

My cousin's wife says, "You probably are.  Mike and the boys like to play but aren't too good.  I wonder if there is anyone here who would play you, though."

He was super cocky and I couldn't believe he was bragging how well he could play.  

He then leaves the room to go upstairs to the pool table and my cousin's wife is motioning at me to go play against this guy, lol. 

I was stunned!  I had no idea she knew I played pool or was good at it, and here she was trying to pimp me out to play pool!  If it wasn't at a party, I would have put him in his place, but it was close to 10pm and I needed to get home so I could rest for work the next day.

Pretty funny, though!

I'm still amazed she knew I played pool well.  Wow. 

And here I am with my Aunt Faye "&" my Uncle Mike:




Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pool Ball Art Decorations (photos)

Found these on Pinterest.  Yep, I Pinterest.  Here are my boards, if you want to see my likes, humor, and thoughts. 

But in the meantime, check out these pool ball deco's (the last is my favorite one, I think):








 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pool Dancer, GaYoung Kim

GA-YOUNG KIM - Pool Champion AND Dancer Extraordinaire

Kim has many talents (complete pool game, singing, speaks several languages, etc.) and she can dance, too.

What separates those talents from others is that she was on the Korean version of Dancing With the Stars!!

As Phil Capelle stated, "the way she smoothly glides around the table planning and shooting reminds me of a dancer, and so she is!"

Can you IMAGINE the propulsion pool would get in the USA if a pool player was on our Dancing With the Stars?!?  Wow.  Just Wow.

Here are some clips of Ga-Young Kim from that show.  Impressive!










Friday, December 19, 2014

How to Not Think About Those Around You And Play POOL

A guy at the pool room was saying how he can't play good pool in front of the players that have known him for a long time, but in front of new players he plays good. 

Evidently, he had just started to come back around to play pool, so he felt like all the players he used to know were judging him about why he hadn't improved more.

He asked me if I knew why that was that he played so differently in front of different people? 

I told him, basically, that he's not thinking about pool.

I told him what I learned from Phil Capelle a long time ago:  Focus on your fundamentals and pre-shot routine, and also your 3-ball shape.  If you do that, then your mind will be busy focusing in playing your best pool, and you wont be thinking or worried about who is watching or around you!

Then he scooted off excited to play more pool. 



Women's International Pool Championship

The Women's International Pool Championship is going on right now in New York, December 16th-21st, 2014 at Steinway Cafe-Billiards.


I actually got an invite!

I could not believe it, really.  I was very honored they thought of me.

But I could not take a week off of work, could not afford the airfare, nor the entry fee (about $500 or so), plus all the NY expenses, lol.

Plus, and most importantly, I do not even care if I play with the pros or not.

I'm just not interested honestly.  

I don't put in any practice and I'm not even close to the pro level, so why spend all that money to go?

I found out I could save a smidgen of money b/c I could have stayed for free, but still - airfare and entry alone was over $1,000, plus losing 5 days of work. 

It just wasn't feasible to me.

I will say that I have played in a pro event (the WPBA Women's U.S. Open) and I LOVED the experience!  I even won a match  :)  lol.  But, it was within driving distance and I shared a room with another player.  And, I only had to take about two days off from work.

I will never forget that experience, ever.  

But the cost of playing/flying/staying in NY is not worth it for me.   

Ironically, I'm not even jealous of all the pics and posts from the event from my friends.  I'm just happy for them that they get to play the game we love in such an awesome setting!  And one of my friends, Debra, has never played in a pro event before and I am SO excited for her!  She will love reflecting like I have with my first pro event.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CoWorker Surprise

I mentioned in blog entry just last week that I don't normally share my pool life with my coworkers.  I have about one million reasons why, and here lists just a few:  LINK ONE, LINK TWO

So, I go to dinner with a few ladies from work last night, something they do for the Christmas season, and I finally said yes to the invitation.

As I sat there, eating my meal and mostly listening, one of my coworkers starts to ask me about pool.  They are aware I play pool, but no one really knows any details or how often I play.  I am hardly friends with any coworkers on facebook so they don't even see those posts about pool tourneys or anything.

Here's how the convo went:

Me:  (eating)

CoWorker:  "Hey Melinda, you played any pool lately?"

Me:   "Yea, last weekend, in Arlington."

CoWorker:  "Hey, uh, have you ever qualified to go to those nationals tournaments, I think in Vegas?"

Me:   (I reply softly), "Yea, I won last year."

CoWorker:  "What?  You are going this year?"

Me:  "No, I WON it last year."

CoWorker:  "Won what?"

Me:   "The tournament.  In Vegas.  Back in May."

CoWorker:  "You did??"

And then many of my other coworkers turn to look at me.

Me:   "Yea, I did."

CoWorker:  "What does that mean?"

Me:   "I'm a National Champion."

CoWorker:  "Wow, really?!  That's great.  Have you won others?"

Me:  "Yea, I won the state one in April."

CoWorker:  "You mean a Texas one?"

Me:   "Yea..."

CoWorker:  "Wow, I had no idea, that's wonderful!"

And then I continue to eat my food, feeling uncomfortable talking about myself.

It shows just how much I don't share my pool life with my coworkers.  I really try to keep them  separate.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Dilemmas in Pool

Last season on my Ladies Thursday League, there was a mix up with the dates.  While the secretary tried to avoid ALL tournaments that could affect the players, one of the OB Cues Ladies stops had to CHANGE their date!

Let me see if I can explain this well, lol.

The Best of the Rest tournament end of season ladies Thursday league tournament was the last weekend of October.  This was also the same weekend as the Jamaica Joe's tourney for the OB Cues Ladies Tour (b/c they had to change their date).

The Best of the Best end of season ladies league tourney was the first weekend of November.  If my team got in the top FOUR (4) of the league in the rankings, then we would automatically play in that tournament, and not have to play in the Best of the Rest.

So, a few months before the rankings would be finalized, we all played our little hearts out.  Why?  Because one team member is a aboard member of the OB Cues Ladies Tour and would have to go to that tournament at the end of October.  I *wanted* to go, but wasn't sure what I would do if we didn't get in the top 4.  Not go to the OB Stop in Oklahoma City and play in our league end of season tourney to play with my team?  Or play at the OB Cues Ladies Tour stop?

Either way, we could *potentially* lose two players for the Best of the Rest tourney if we didn't get in the top 4.

So, the last few months were stressful.  Each week we wondered where we stood.  How did we do compared to all the other teams?

Two teams were guaranteed to be ranked 1 and 2.  The 3rd and 4th spots were actually a pretty big fight and close call by FOUR teams!  Omgosh, so much stress!

Would we get in the top 4 or would we have to play in the Best of the Rest tourney without our top two players?  (If I decided not to play).

I recall last year that a player posted on FB what she should do about this very situation - but her conflicting tourney was an apa regional event that could possibly send her to Vegas.  At the time I still thought she should have played with her team (which is what she eventually did even though I think she bailed on them during the event or something?).

I thought - wow, what a tough dilemma!

And then I find myself in it.

Although I LOVE playing at Jamaica Joe's b/c they have diamond bar tables and it's only about 3 1/2 hours away, I already knew in my heart I would play with the team.  But I never told them that!  lol.

We were in 5th place I think for many weeks and then we all of a sudden with only 2 weeks left got in the top 4!  And then we made the cut by like only a few points!  So, Monica and I were able to play at Jamaica Joe's and THEN play with the team in the Best of the Best the following weekend!  (where we took second, baby!).

Tough choices when it comes to league, whew!

We want to be a team member at all times.  But sometimes choices and decisions are tough.  Luckily this worked out for everyone!

And next time I would pick playing with my team again!



Saturday, December 13, 2014

"Easy Trigger"

So I mentioned I watched football on a Sunday with a few friends at a local place that happened to have two pool tables.  Well, one of the girls there I had never met before, but my friend Teri talked about her all the time.

We watched the football games for about 4 hours or so and her friend would say every once in a while "Easy Trigger."

I kept thinking, "did Teri tell her my nickname?  Heck, does Teri even know I have a nickname?"

After the 3rd or 4th time, I finally asked her, "Why do you keep saying 'Easy Trigger'?"

She replies, "I don't know, just something I've always said."

"Do you say it because of Roy Rogers and his horse?" I asked.

"Nope, just a saying I say a lot," she shared.

Then she would drink more and say it louder, "Easy Trigger!"

And I would turn and look at her every time, thinking she was saying it to me, lol.

Kinda freaked me out hearing my nickname all afternoon because I hardly ever hear it, honestly, lol.

Fun times!


Friday, December 12, 2014

The Pool Niece

My Aunt Carol texted me the other day.

(btw, she hardly EVER texts me)

Aunt:  "What is your pool title?"

I was confused.

Me:  "You mean my nickname?"

Aunt:  "No, like Women's Champion.  I know Trigger."

OMG!  She knows my nickname!  How cool is that?

Me:  "LMAO.  You know my nickname?  I am the ACS National Women's 9-Ball Champion."

Aunt:  "I'm so effin proud of you!"

Me:  "Aww.  Thank you!"

(here is a screenshot of our convo - click photo to enlarge)


A few hours later, I wondered, why did she all of a sudden asked me that?  I mean, I won that title back in May.

So I asked her why she asked and then she called to explain:

She told me, "I got this new job and there is a girl here who keeps saying how good she is in pool.  Like, all the time, she's constantly telling everyone about it.  I told her "my niece plays pool, too," but she just keeps bragging about herself.  It drives us crazy."

(I was laughing.)

She continued, "I told her I might go to Vegas in May and she asked me what for.  I said, to visit Vegas and to see my niece play pool.  I told you she played.  "

(I'm still laughing.)

"She asked me what tournament you played in and I said I didn't know but you won it this year.  That's why I textetd you - to find out what tourney you won, what title it was.  So, I passed on to her you what you said, what title you won, and she could only say "Oh" and FINALLY SHUT UP!"

OMG!  My Aunt Carol is a hoot!

Glad I could help you, Aunt Carol!  :)



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Co-Worker Love

I went to Silver Spring, Maryland for a work meeting back in September (I live and work back in Texas).

I visited a couple of my colleagues at their office before we headed out for lunch one day and walked up to their cubicles and saw this:

(click photo to enlarge)

I was like, "HEY"!

It was a print-out of my blog entry from May, that stated I was an ACS National Champion!

It was SO cute how proud they were - that they printed it out and hung it up for the coworkers to see.  And that made ME proud.  :)

I don't normally share my pool journey with people I work with, but these two (Fran and Pete), I do happen to share (and Pete reads my blogs because he likes pool, too).  

What a surprise!  Thank you, Fran and Pete! 


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Concussion and Pool

Not many people know this, but I was in a one car accident on the way to work back in late June.

I ran over something in the road and it caused me to veer into a ditch.  My airbag came on, my car needed to be towed, and I was obviously late to work. I got a burn on my right hand from the airbag, and while I will have a scar, it could have been much worse and I'm very lucky.



What I didn't know right away, but figured out a few weeks later, was I got a concussion.

I was forgetting even the smallest of things and could not remember emails I sent at work, the correct words were hard to locate in my brain, names would evade me, etc.

It finally hit me (sorry for the pun) that maybe I got a concussion.

So, I looked up the symptoms and most importantly, what can I do if I have one.

The only "symptom" I had of all the ones listed, was memory loss.

And what can one do if you have a concussion?  OMG, it said to rest!  Am I suppose to rest for weeks on end?  I have to work and live!

You might be thinking to yourself maybe I'm just getting old(er) but this was a SUBSTANTIAL memory difference.

I wondered how I would do at BCAPL Nationals less than a month later after the accident.  Would I "forget" how to run out?  Forget certain aspects of playing pool?

Sure enough, a couple of instances I wasn't thinking clear or made really stupid choices and decisions.  It hindered me a little, but I admit not enough to lose matches (just games).

Then my friend Teri had a car accident (about a month ago) and her air bag deployed, also.  And she too is now suffering short term memory loss and having a difficult time remembering which words to use or saying the wrong words, just like I was.


While we will both be okay, it's still very scary.

I can tell my memory has improved from that scary day in June, but every once in a while I will still struggle with the right word to say or use.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Did I Play Well?

Sometimes, you just know you played well in a tournament.

Sometimes, you know you didn't.

But what if you thought you did, but turns out you didn't?

I recall several "tests" where lets say a guy runs up to a woman and grabs her purse and runs off.  Several people are interviewed, they all have a different description.  Turns out it was staged, and they were all shown the footage and shown just how bad their recollections really were.

Well, this is what I am wondering about my ACS State singles play.

Did I "really" play as well as I think I did, or am I reflecting incorrectly?

I remember telling my friend Michelle, "Damn I'm playing good."  But, is that what got me to 4th place?  Or was it me taking advantage of my opponents' mistakes?

Sure, I was playing exceptionally well.  But, I honestly don't think I won because I played all that perfect.

I was more knowledgeable than my opponents and it helped in safety battles.

I took advantage of their mistakes and ran out after they missed.

But I didn't break and run a lot.  I didn't even rack and run a lot.

I had GREAT shots.  GREAT shot selections, yes.

But as I reflect back, maybe I was only winning because of my opponents, not because of myself.

I DO realize that some tournaments/matches are won b/c our opponents make mistakes.  We pick up the pieces and win from there.  Even then - we still have to come with it - even if we have 3 balls left on the table - it's still up to us.

I recall feeling like I was playing very well in that ACS tournament in October, but I lost because someone finally took advantage of my mistakes.

If I was really playing well, I would have beat my last opponent, right?

Does any of this make sense, lol.



Sunday, November 30, 2014

Surprises at ACS Texas State

I mentioned already that my singles results was a huge surprise to me.

But there were a few other surprises that trip I wanted to share. 

First, I got sick (a cold/sore throat type thing) at the tourney.  And this is what I found near me after I returned to my chair after shooting in a match:



I have such great friends!  They all know I'm all alone and they treat me like their kids, and I really do need that at times as I don't take care of myself enough.

And then, I was thoroughly surprised when I received a THANK YOU note from a maid!  It might seem weird, but I have left tips at most all the hotels I stay (even for work) and have never, ever received a thank you before.  It really made my day!

(yes, I know she misspelled it, but still!):


And then another surprise was FOR someone.

One of the refs has seen me through triumph and failure for many years. The time I won ACS State, it was about 2am in the morning and there was only about 5 people in the whole place, and that included Shannon.  She has been so cool and nice and a GREAT ref all these years for us.

At one point in the singles match at 9am on Friday, I needed a ref.  I raised my stick in the air and waved it, and then I saw Shannon walking over to call the shot.  For some reason, I decided I would mess with her.

This is the layout of the table:



I am standing near the cueball, and I need to hit the 12 ball clean (click photo to enlarge).  She walks up and she says, "what are you trying to shoot?" as she surveys the table looking near the cueball.

I reply, looking down at the cueball area, too, "I'm trying to hit the 7 ball."

She looks up at me, and I start laughing right away!  She busts out laughing too and I finally confide, "Just the 12 ball."  LOL.

It was a really great moment.  It showed I was in a good mood, it put HER in a good mood, and it started our morning off well since it was so early for us all.

:)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Practice / Drills? Or Something else?

I was walking through the aisles at the ACS Texas State tourney inbetween all the pool tables, as I had just come washing my hands before my 9am match. 

I then saw out of the corner of my eye two friends shooting the same shot over and over.

I walked my a$$ over and interrupted, "What's going on over here?"

"I'm showing B how to shoot this shot," C said.

B shot the shot and missed it badly, AND the shape (which is what they were going for).

I said, "well, that way makes it a REALLY tough shot.  If you want to get down and around the table, you should do this instead."

And I shot the shot with top left English and the cueball smoothly sailed around for shape at the bottom end of the table.

C and B both tried it and couldn't really do the shot.  I told them even THAT shot is a tough shot and you just have to hit it over and over again to get used to it.  I added, "eventually, you will get the hang of the shot and really enjoy it."

I apologized for interrupting them (I really did fell bad) and I skedaddled on my way to my match.

A few hours later I saw B and I apologized again.  "Sorry I bothered you two, I was just trying to help."

"Oh you didn't bother us at all!  We leanred from what you showed us and we actually want to spend more time on shots with you."

"Oh really?  Cool.  Yes, let's do that."

She then confided with me.  "My significant other always want me to shoot shots over and over and over again and she wants me to practice shots I don't know yet or miss a lot and do drills.  I really don't like to do that.  But they insist, and then even get upset when I push back on practicing."

I told her, "well, honestly, I don't like to practice.  And I don't do drills.  So, I look at it as just shooting a shot til I feel comfortable with it.  If you look at it as NOT practice or NOT drills, but something that is fun to do - like learning a new shot - then you will be more apt to shoot a shot over and over til you love it/learn it."

"That's a really good point," she said.

"They are just trying ti help, but if you are already dreading it, then it wont be helpful at all.  Just look at it as improving, not drills or practice.  Those are "dry" words and not very positive to many people.  "Learning" and "excelling," are.  I do "practice" shots but I don't consider a full blown practice session."

Basically I was trying to tell her that practicing (or shooting) a shot over and over is good, but not if you are dreading "practicing."  Just call it something more fun!  Look at it from a different point of view.

She then gave me a hug and then she skedaddled to her next match!




Friday, November 28, 2014

Old Habits Die Hard

It's true, ya know.  Old habits are hard to break

I saw this clear as day my last two outings away from the pool room.

I went to a karaoke place with my friends one night of the OB Cues Ladies Tour stop in Oklahoma City.  While all my friends were trying to figure out what to sing, I was too busy focused on two bar tables and wondered if anyone else in the place would want to play for a couple of twenty dollar bills, lol.

A month later, I go to a local bar to watch football with my friend Teri and while she was yelling at the 49ers (her favorite team) I was eyeballing the cute little pool table that some idiots were trying to play pool on, wondering (again to myself) if they would want to play for money.

Here was my view:


However, my boyfriend was the one who always initiated the conversation and got us a game, and since he wasn't around, I didn't approach any of the players at either of those places I just mentioned above. 

Although in one full year my boyfriend and I only gambled about 8 whole times in small bars with lonely pool tables, it was still weird to me how I was already used to wondering if the weekend warriors would want to gamble... and if I could get a game, lol.

I know that urge to gamble like that will pass; I'm not around it anymore.  Still, it was funny to me how fast I was curious about gambling, and wanted to share that with you!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Contract Signed

A few months ago I was at an Omega tourney and a guy walked in who always barks at me wanting to play/gamble.

I asked him how much and what game?  Let's get this figured out right now.

He told me what his idea was, and I agreed with it.

Since I was running the tournament and could not play that day, I got a crazy idea to write it down!  Then we each signed it, lol. 

I didn't want him to forget and I wanted to hold him accountable, lol.

Here is the contract:


Six ahead for $300, 9-ball on a 9-foot table.

I haven't played him yet and this was signed back in early October, but one of these days, I will play him like this!

(to be continued....)


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Priceless Convo

My good friend Courtney and I don't see each other very much anymore.  We aren't on the same team anymore and I don't go out much, but she still texts me often to keep in touch.

Case in point, last Sunday she had league and she texted me about some great shot she made. 

Then, omg... she drew me a diagram!!

Yes, she sure did.

I thought it was hysterical she did that, so I wanted to share it!  Here is our phone convo:


She really drew me a diagram, lol!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Complimenting Opponents, Part Two

I wrote yesterday about a teammate that IMHO should not have complimented an opposing teammate during a team event.

Today I'd like to write about something I learned over 20 years ago from my friend and good player, June Hager Walter, about complimenting opponents during individual matches.

She taught me NEVER to compliment my opponent during a match.

I did this one time during a match she watched me play in, and afterwards she told me not to ever do that again.

She explained if I compliment my opponent during a match ("good shot" or "nice out") it kinda makes my opponent feel better about themselves.  We have just helped THEM in their OWN match.

Now, I am a very soft-hearted person so it actually pains me not to give a compliment of a good shot or out, because it goes completely against my nature.  I actually WANT to acknowledge them.

I sit there thinking, "wow that was a nice, tough shot."  But I keep my mouth shut and don't say it to the player.  I *may* say something about their play after the match, but not during.

If we want the killer instinct and to give OUR best playing pool, then we should not be HELPING our opponents.

Right?

Right.

Imagine, you are playing in a really tough match.  You make a HECK of a shot!  Then your opponent acknowledges it, "That was a really nice shot."

How does that make you feel?

GREAT, right?

You knew it was great, and even your opponent was impressed.  And now you are pumped up even more!

See what just happened there?  Yep, your opponent helped YOU by giving YOU kudos.

Don't do that to your opponent.  Don't pump them up.  You are there to defeat them, not help them.

And, it actually pains my heart to even write all of this out because it goes against my nature.  I provide positive words of encouragement or kudos to people all the time in my daily life.  But as my friends Lisa Marr and Jennifer Kraber shared, "friends off the table."

I admit if I see something spectacular, I *might* compliment them.  But even after a really nice / tough run of the table, I normally keep my mouth shut and refrain from telling them because of what I learned so long ago from June.

However, it's actually a very tough balance.

Some good players/friends will still say, "nice shot" as a courtesy to their fellow player.  This happens a lot between good regional players who appreciate a good shot or recognize a tough shot.

Or, like one time at ACS State, I was playing a VERY new player and gave her compliments because I knew my compliments were helping her as a person who was nervous, but not in any way would my words help her defeat me (if that makes sense).  I know, I know, I should not be supportive at all to my opponents, ever, but it was tough not to be super kind to her because she was so new and nervous.

But, if I think back to that one time I played at a WPBA Pro event, there was not ONE single pro player saying "nice shot" to their opponent.  It was very serious and cut throat, quite honesty, and you were there to win, not compliment you opponent during a match.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Complimenting Opponents

During our women's league team playoffs, you'll have to picture that most of the women on the league all like each other and are good friends.  Like 95% of us are all friends!

So, it makes it difficult sometimes to play against each other.

I have learned, like my friend Lisa Marr says, "friends away from the table" because otherwise I use to have too soft of a heart when I played pool and that gets in the way of a killer instinct to want to win.

Anyway, so during our women's league team playoffs we are playing against some friends from an opposing team and one of the players is really struggling.  Turns out she was coming down with the flu, but she didn't know it at the time.

She's on her second match and struggling and she says out loud, "man, I can't make a ball today."

Well, one of my teammates immediately tells her something like, "You'll be fine, dont' think that way."

And I just REACTED.

I felt so bad I did this, but I said right away to my teammate out loud kinda snappy, "Don't tell her that!  She's our opponent.  Don't pump her up."

I realize they are friends and she was just helping her "as" a friend, but against each others teams we aren't suppose to be friends.

I know it was very natural for her to want to offer her support and kind words because she was struggling, but that was not the time nor place for it.

But... *I* could have handled that better and whispered in my teammates ear, instead of saying it out loud, kinda getting on to her.  I think our friend (yes, she was my friend, also) might have heard me say that, which is rude when you are trying to play.

I realize my teammate prolly took my words as advice eventually, but it prolly came across as getting on to her right then, not helping.  :(


Monday, November 17, 2014

Timing of Kudos

At the ACS Texas State tourney, a fellow female player had just won a spot in the hotseat match!

I didn't know who she was, or where she was from and honestly I had never seen her before. 

But, I could tell she was new and in unfamiliar territory.

She would lose that match, tho, even though you could tell she was fighting with nerves.

She would then lose her very next match, which meant she placed 3rd overall in the singles. 

After the match, I went up to her.

I leaned down (she was sitting down) and I told her that she played well and how happy I was for her.

She was very upset, though, and I was not helping.  But I thought it was important to tell her how well she did in the tourney and how good she played.  But I admit my timing wasn't good at all.

I gave her a quick hug and went on my way.  I knew if I hugged her any longer, the tears would be greater and I didn't want her to show her upsetness any more than she had to.

The next day during teams, she sees me and stops me.

"HEY!"

"Hi there," I said

"I want you to know how much it meant to me that you said all those nice things to me yesterday.  I'm sorry I wasn't more receptive, I was just upset," she shared

"I know, I could tell, that's why I didn't hug you longer," I giggled.

"Although I could barely speak yesterday, I want you to know it really meant a lot to me.  And, thank you."

"Oh, you are very welcome.  You deserved it - you played well!"

She smiled with happiness and I think it meant a lot to her to finally be able to speak and say thank you.

:)


Friday, November 14, 2014

See-Through Cue

Here is an amazing, very original cue made by Marty Wallace, local custom cue-maker in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

It was a specifically ordered cue, made of Zircon, aluminum, copper, with an optical clear tube.  He only had a month to make it!

Pics do not do it justice so I captured it via video:






Thursday, November 13, 2014

Compliments About Playing Well

At my ladies league playoffs, I got some really good compliments that I wanted to share.

One of my teammates' husbands pulled me aside and said that he has been noticing my game.  

He said he's been silently watching from the sidelines and has noticed how much my game has really improved over the years.  He guessed what it was, but I told him it was something else.

I told him I dated a pro for about a year about 4-5 years ago, and even though we only played pool one time together in that full year, I watched him play a lot of pool during that year.  His motto was a "smooth stroke."  And I was able to see for an entire year, just how important a smooth stroke was for the first time in my pool journey.  From there, a smooth stroke (i.e., not whacking at the ball) led to me staying down more and following through more, which led me to FINALLY not jump up on my shots AND taking my time.

I had a REAL bad habit of shooting too fast, which led to jumping up on my shots, which led to a lot of misses.

And since my fundamentals started to get solid, I improved as a player, which led me to be chosen for clutch positions, which has led to more pressure situations, and therefore good finishes personally, also.

He also said it was a joy to watch me play.

It really meant a lot, because I really have improved and it feels just as good to play well, as those players who have watched me mature as a good player.

And then later on that night I got this message in FB from another male pool player:

"Melinda, I love watching you play pool. I think your patience and your mental game is something great. It's not just aiming and shooting. I know after watching you play, I got a long way to go with my game. Keep doing what you do. Enjoyed watching your games today."

WOW!  That meant so much, too!

I have noticed that people watch me and I think the solidness of my pool game and mental game are helping many people around me!  Friends, teammates, heck even opponents.  

:)

Took me 20 years to get here.  I like where I'm sitting.  Even long journeys have a rainbow at the end.  And nothing comes easy.  So, I'm fine it has taken this long - means I wasn't ready before. But I sure am ready now!




Monday, November 10, 2014

Am I Helping?

I wrote before that I joined a new team on my ladies league b/c they asked me to join b/c they wanted pointers and to improve their games.

At my league playoffs (where we placed SECOND!), one of my ex teammates who I hadn't seen in many, many months came up to me and we gave each other a great big hug!  I have really missed her.

We chatted just a little bit and before we each had to play in our matches, but she asked me, "Why did you join that team?"

I replied, "Because they wanted me to help them with their game."

"Well, are you?"

But then she was whisked away for a team meeting.

Hmm... good question.

WAS I helping my teammates?

"I have no idea!" I thought to myself.

I mean, I have shown them shots after league, but only a handful of times.  And they have asked me, "how would you have shot that?" kinda questions after they played, but was I really helping them?

The next day, while we are still in the playoffs, my teammate walks by our table after a great out!  And she says to the captain, "I knew I could make that ball because I have seen Melinda make it before."

My ears perk up.  Omg really?

Then after a few more games, my captain tells me, "Laurie is really focused on you when you play."

"She is?"  I ask.

"Yea, she said she loves to watch you play because you play so calm and have such a cool demeanor about you.  And, she sees you stay down well and take your time."

I was thinking, "wow, really?"

Then another teammate jumps in on the convo - "Yes, we love to watch you play - we learn so much from your choices and how you handle yourself during the matches.  Plus, you come with some really awesome shots sometimes!"

So, I guess I got my answer.  I really HAVE helped my teammates!

:)

And not by just showing them a few shots after their matches, but by them watching me play my matches.

How freaking cool!



Friday, November 7, 2014

Pink Bridge

Isn't this cool??




Yep - a pink bridge!

This was at Jamaica Joe's, for October for Breast Cancer Awareness month, because they also had a pink felted pool table!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gambling In Another State

While out camping and sightseeing one long weekend over the Summer, my boyfriend and I one night stopped at a small little bar for some drinks.  They even had a couple of pool tables in it!

We were in Virginia I think, maybe North Carolina.  I don't recall the exact state where this occurred. 

A couple of guys were playing pool on the pool table near the front door.  As we sat at the bar and drank for a couple of hours, no one played on the second table.  I was watching the locals dance on the dance floor, my boyfriend was talking to the other guys at the bar.

At one point, I looked around and saw a guy and a girl playing on the second pool table.

And, they were using a magic rack - not one I had seen before though.

I told my boyfriend, who wasn't even looking at the tables, "Hey, a guy and girl are now playing on that pool table." 

"Oh?"  He replies.

"Yeah, and they are using a funky magic rack or something."

"Oh really?" He says intrigued as he turns around to see what's up.

He grabs his beer and walks over and goes to talk to the guy racking.

They talk and chat it up for a little while.  Then he comes back to the bar and asks me, "want to play scotch doubles with me?"

I had had a few drinks and wasn't sure if I was the best partner for him, but at $20 a person, I figured it couldn't hurt to try.

After they played a few games, they finally said they were warmed up.

Warmed up!?  We had had a few more drinks at the bar area while they "warmed up," lol.  

I didn't think this was going to end up pretty at all.

We start to play and it's not scotch doubles, but doubles. 

But, I honestly didn't know what to do.  Am I suppose to run out?  If I do that, will they want to play again?

I asked my boyfriend before I stepped up each time to the table to shoot, "What do I do?"

He would say, "make a few balls then miss."

Okay.

I did that a few times and then he would say, "Okay, now run out."

He wasn't playing too well but he gave me great advice because I honestly wasn't sure what to do!

After several sets, we ended up winning 5, I think, and lost 1 (because of a bad safety by me).

It was getting later and later and then somehow my boyfriend got in a game for a race to 7 (I think) for $100.  It's pretty late now in the night, but a several people were still left in the place.

My boyfriend was about to break and then all of a sudden he stopped!

He stood up, put his arms in the air and said, "Before I start, does anyone wanna play my girl for hundred?!?"

CRICKETS.

No one said anything!


He looked around the room and asked again, "Seriously.  Anyone wanna play my girl for a hundred?"

Then some guy says from the corner, "your girl plays better than you."

And with that, my boyfriend broke and proceeded to win that set, AND the next set!

I asked him the next morning while we ate breakfast, "Babe.  Did it upset you that that guy said I played better than you?"

He looked up from his coffee and smiled, "Nope, that's what we wanted."

LOL!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Clutch

I wrote before how being in the clutch position comes with it some pretty tough responsibilities.

Being the hill-hill person means you either win it for the team, or lose it for the team.

Can you handle both?

Winning hill-hill is easy.  Or is it?

Sure, AFTER you win it's fun and hugs and high fives and smiles.

During the match, your heart is beating, you feel the pressure, you know it ALL lies in your hands.

And what about if you lose?  Can you handle that horrible situation?

I was the hill-hill person for our team this past weekend in the finals, it went hill-hill.  I felt very comfortable in that position.  I have been here for the last 3-4 years for my women's teams events, so I'm used to it.

And, as I have stated before, *I* would rather be the person who dogs it for the team than anyone else on the team!

PLEASE let me be that person!

Why?

Because I can handle losses now.

I really can.

Would I be upset?

Sure; of course.

I have a couple of hill-hills I didn't win.  And each time I knew I gave it my best (even tho I felt bad, but I also knew it wasn't the end of the world.

Last weekend, I had to play safe and instead of the soft safe I envisioned, I did not hit the ball and rail.  That gave my opponent ball-in-hand and she ran out the 3 balls to win for her team in the finales of this hill-hill game.

My team was still SO very happy we were even in the finals.  SO very happy we even got hill-hill!

While I felt deflated, I knew I would be alright. And sure enough, my captain came up to me and said, "I'm so glad that was you.  Any other teammate would be crying their eyes out right now."

And she is right.  All these years of experience - I WOULD rather be the player that lets us down.  I can handle it.  In my 20s to mid 30s - I KNOW I couldn't have.  I sat at home weeping over missed shots for days back then.

Not anymore.

I think the coolest part (besides my teammates fighting to the end and getting second in our women's league playoffs) was that my captain recognized how important it was that I was handling the loss well for the team.  And that I was the right person for that position.








Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Team Spirit in Play Offs

I wrote recently about giving a teammate a high-five after she lost a game in our team event because she was new to pool and competing, and I could tell she could use some encouragement.

I also stated how helpful it has been for me personally after I lose to get confirmation from any teammate that (1) they were watching, (2), they still luv me, or (3) that it's okay that I lost a game.

Any recognition:

A high five,
A fist bump,
Verbal acknowledgement,
ANYTHING.

It's VERY helpful because let's face it we are embarrassed after we lose a game for our team and any encouragement keeps us pumped up.

So, I was pleasantly surprised during my women's team playoffs this past weekend when I noticed everyone started to do this!

I think it was because they saw me fist bump every time someone lost a game.  Next thing you know, they are telling me "good try" or giving me a fist bump, too.

It was amazing how everyone on the team started to acknowledge every win OR loss by EACH player.

And, it just happened naturally after only one person started to do it!

BTW, we placed an impressive 2nd place in the playoffs!  And the first set in the finals even went hill-hill.  I don't think anyone expected us to do so well in the tourney or in the finals!

Go team go!

"8 Ball Heat"  (I'm pointing to the 9-9 score, lol)



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Personally Handicapped

Oh the irony!

As many of you know, I run the Omega Billiards Tour, which is a handicapped tour.

Running a handicapped tour comes with headaches because so many people complain about either their handicap or the handicap of others. 

  • I should be moved down
  • Why am I this rank?
  • Why hasn't "so and so" been moved up yet?
  • You moved me up, they should be moved up.  We play even!
  • I don't even play pool anymore, I should be moved down.
  • If I have to give that person a game, I wont play.
  •  etc....

Although it's part of the job, it can lead to many upset days for myself as people vent and bitch to me a lot.  But, I know it comes with the territory and I deal with it as best I can.

I love running the tour and I love that there is a tour in the Dallas-Fort worth area for the players to play in!  So, handicap bitching is just part of the package deal, and I am up for it.  But like I told someone via text recently, although I am trying to have thicker skin, I'm still a girl!  I.e. Please still be kind.  :)

So, imagine my surprise when I played in the ACS Texas State tourney and I complained about my handicap!

Yep, I sure did.

Here's the deal:

I am listed as an Advanced Player in ACS.  But for some reason ACS has Advanced AND Master Players in the same 8-ball category.  So, for all the Advanced players, we had to go +2 games in the ACS Texas State tourney.  AND, so did the Master players. 

So, Open players in the women's division raced to 4, and I raced to 6.  (men was 5/7)

This year a Grand Master entered the tourney.  She had to go +3.

So, it was 4/6/7. 

When it would make more sense to go 4/5/7.  Right?

I truly felt like Advanced male and female players should only go ONE game more, Master players should go 2 games more, and Grand Master players go 3 games more.

Instead, I'm playing tough Open players and having to go 2 + games extra.  And so did the men Advanced players (and yes they complained, too).  Actually, we have been complaining for a couple of years about it.

The other two Advanced female players thought that the Grand Master should at least go 2 + games when playing Advanced players (which I hadn't thought of), but were told no.

I actually felt bad I voiced my concerns over the handicap.  But I also felt it was justified.  I did this mostly via email and did not come across as rude, and if I did speak in person I never raised my voice and I always expressed my appreciation for their hard work.  (and trust me, I understand!)

Just the irony of it all!

I have to say I am very thankful they even allow Advanced and Master players to play in the singles event.  There isn't enough of those players to have separate events so at least we can still play.  (Click here to read how I did in the tourney).





Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Team Shirts - Texas ACS

During league State tournaments, your team has to wear matching shirts.

So, every single year we buy new shirts.  On previous teams, we would get these collared shirts embroidered, which cost additional monies from our pockets.

One of these days I'll take a pic of all the league shirts I have stuffed away in one of my not-used closets.  But I know all you league players are in the same situation.

For those that are not, at state and regional and national tourneys you have to wear collared shirts.  T-shirts are not allowed. 

UNLESS - you buy the event t-shirt at the state events.

So, you can't where t-shirts, but if you buy one of their t-shirts, you can wear it in the events.

And, this is the same for the team event.

While I'm not really 100% sold on this, I guess it makes sense b/c they are promoting their event AND making money.

Let's face it - it's easier to buy 5 or 6 state event shirts for a team, rather than running around trying to find a cool collared shirt that every team member is okay with.

Here I am at the ACS Texas State tourney with the event t-shirt on while we played in teams:


I don't usually wear t-shirts.  But more so, I don't normally tuck my shirt in, but am trying to do that more.

What is really weird to me about the team event t-shirts is you can wear ANY color option available of the t-shirts.  So, on my team we had black, red, and blue shirts!  Even though they all looked the same, they were all different colors.

The collared team shirts have to be the same color, yet the event team t-shirts do not.  I do not understand!

Anyway, there is your State team shirt update, lol.  BTW, this is the same for ACS and BCAPL Texas State tourneys.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Video Tour of Jamaica Joe's

Didn't come out too great, but hopefully you can see how awesome Jamaica Joe's in Oklahoma City is:




Monday, October 27, 2014

OB in OKC

I played in the OB Cues Ladies Tour stop at Jamaica Joe's in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma this past weekend.

My road partner and I, Jenny Pav, went to Jamaica Joe's last year together.  And, we made the trek together up there again.  And ironically, we finished the exact same as last year!  I placed 9th, and she placed 7th again.

I didn't play too well and was disappointed, but that's okay, I'm not going to play well in every tourney I enter.  I do love me some diamond bar tables though - WOW!

My first match, I run out to the 8 and scratch.  I also missed a tough 9-ball later and a tough combo on the 9.  That's three games right there and a brutal scratch on the 7 ball cost me the match and I lost 5-7.  :(

I then won my next two matches but they were newbies and timid.  And my third opponent was very drunk.  She even left her cues at the pool room (but took her cue case!).  Unfortunately for her she lives about 6 hours away from Oklahoma City. 

I then played a determined, Lisa Marr.  I just wasn't playing well enough to beat her, and she ended up placing second, so that shows how well she was playing all weekend.  It was really good to see her though - she's always a treasure to be around.

The highlight of my trip was when my friend Bobbi came to visit me for about an hour or two.  I've written about her before.

Here we are posing:


As I reflect back, maybe I just thought I would magically play well.  I prolly should not have gone to this tourney.  I had a great event just the previous weekend, but still having this dreaded sore throat and a cold makes for a not very comfy feeling when trying to compete.  I also had some pains in my right forearm.  Hoping that goes away and doesn't affect my pool playing career in the future.

I placed 9th.  Only 25 ladies showed up, so I didn't even get in the money.  Ugher.




Sunday, October 26, 2014

Just Give Me Some Water!

One of the things I have learned that really helps me is to drink water when I play pool.

Diet sodas only dehydrate me, and water keeps me hydrated best (obviously).  And as most people know, hydration is key for thinking clear and being able to compete well. 

So, right before my scotch doubles match at ACS with my partner Marty Jones, I tell him I need to go get some water, "I'll be right back."

I take a $20 bill from my purse and walk to the concession stand.  As I walked down the hall, I see a vending machine.  It has water in it, for a $1.

I still go up to the concession stand, to see how much their bottled water is.  Since I only had a $20 dollar bill, I couldn't put that in the vending machine.

The sweet, kind lady says their bottled water is $2.  Dang, I read it wrong.

I respond as nice as I could as I whisk away (we were about to start our match), "well, at the vending machine water is only a $1.  Sorry!"

Hey, saving a dollar all weekend for each bottled water would be smart, right?

I walk all the way around and get to our table.  As I replace the $20 with a $1 bill from my purse, I explain to Marty proudly that I'm saving a whole dollar, lol.  I walk away quickly and get to the vending machine and put in the dollar.

No water.

What?

OH CRAP!  The soda is $1, but the water is $2!

Well, I've already invested a $1.  So, I walk BACK to our table, get another dollar, and Marty is looking at me funny.  "Sorry, I'll be right back, it's really $2 in the vending machine."

I get to the vending machine quickly, put in the other dollar, and... STILL NO WATER!

OMG, it's OUT of water!

Sh!t.

So, I go BACK to my purse.  Get BACK OUT the $20 (now I'm out of one dollar bills), run quickly around the hall to the concession stand and ask for water.  LOL.

The lady looks at me funny and I give in, "It's really $2 for the bottled water, and they are out of water.  So, what was suppose to be a one dollar bottle of water has now cost me FOUR dollars."

OMG......

The things we do for water!  lol.






Saturday, October 25, 2014

Team Love for Texas

Some teams are true die-hards (like sports fans!) and love strongly for what they stand for.  And some have been this way for years.

I saw this awesome team at ACS.  I have seen their "Texas" shirts for many years, but this was the first year I noticed they had a table cloth!

They each collect armadillos, so there are little armadillos on the table cloth.  And they are supportive of the many ribbon causes, which they proudly (I don't blame them!) display on their shirt sleeves.

Check out the pics of this Texas Team!  Talk about spirit!  I loved it.








Friday, October 24, 2014

ACS Singles Results - Surprising

As I mentioned several times all week, I played in the ACS Texas State championship last week/weekend.  Scotch (placed 17th out of about 45 teams), singles (placed 4th out of about 45 teams) and Women's Team event (placed 5 out of 16 teams).

It wasn't the most successful week of pool for me, but what I'm most proud of most is my singles performance.

I am listed as an Advanced player with ACS, so at the ACS Texas State singles event, I go to 6, and the open players go to 4.

The last few years I've had to give that spot, I have not come anywhere NEAR placing well or even remotely in the money, lol.  It's extremely difficult, imo, to give a two spot game in 8-ball.  I'm not even listed as a Master, but still have to give the same handicap as a Master player (2 games).

So, I wasn't expecting much, lol.

I won my first match against a new player and she was the sweetest thing.  She was SO excited she got two games and I complimented her a lot as she was so giddy about it. 

I then play a friend of mine who plays well.  I knew it would be tough.  I was up 3-2, but I missed a tricky 8-ball.  And that's pretty much all it took.  She ran the next rack and defeated me 4-3.  I still had 3 more games to win to win the match, but she only needed two and after that miss, it was too crucial and she won.

I felt like I was playing well and she even said something to me about it.  She told me she noticed how well I'm playing and how much I have improved.  She said I am moving the cueball really well and getting great shape.  It REALLY meant a lot that she said that and even noticed, as I felt like I had but not many people can see such improvements if they haven't really played me in the last several years like she has.  It was very sweet for her to even say what she saw.


I was done for the day (singles started at 7pm). 

I woke up the next morning with a sore throat and I therefore was starting to get a cold. 

And, I still had to give two games on the one-loss side.  That, along with lack of sleep, made for a very short day coming up.  I even told my friends Teri and Michelle to get ready to go to Olive Garden for lunch because I didn't expect to win my 10am match.  Too much weight and too much against me, lol (sick and no sleep).

I felt fairly food though as I walked in.  Teri got me some orange juice and I had my water, also.  I hit a few balls.... and I could tell.  Can you tell sometimes?  Yep, I could tell I was going to play well.

As I reflect back, I can see that I had NO EXPECTATIONS at all and that's prolly why my expected short day turned into a 10-hour day!

I won that match.


Played a teammate next and while she played excellent safes, I prevailed because I was playing so well.

Then I played my good friend Courtney.  I knew it would be the toughest match of the day because it was more about status and emotions than pool, really.  After playing my little heart out and staying in the match, I won hill-hill!  I couldn't believe it really.  A few dif shots and the match could have gone the other way.

I then won another match.

And then another.

And then another.

OMGosh I was playing SO SO well.


I then find myself playing for 4th place.

I was still playing well, but my opponent got out if I made a mistake and also ran out one game, so since she only had to go to 4, she defeated me.  She would end up getting 2nd in the tourney and she played really well.  I was impressed.

I figured out I had played for TEN hours, 7 matches.  Wow. And I didn't get to Olive Garden until 11pm that night, lol!  Teri and Michelle, and Alixx and her husband Nathan all went together.  They also watched my matches ALL day long.  They were for sure amazing support and I appreciated them SO much for hanging in there and watching every single match!

Even at one point, Michelle, Teri and Alixx went to play in the Second Chance tourney and they all left.  But Nathan stayed back to finish watching my hill-hill match.  It was really sweet.  Alixx would tell me later, well, someone had to stay for us all!

I can't explain why I played so well this day except I had no expectations.  But to be able to play THAT well for THAT long for ALL those matches really, truly gave me some insight into my own game.  That I AM capable of playing many matches in a row well. 

I really am playing some top notch eight ball right now.  Still not sure how or why with NO practice and only one league a week I play in now.

I have a 9-ball tourney this weekend and already the expectations are making me nervous and I'm not even on the road yet to the event!  Not good for me.... I need to feel numb and not care!

Thank you to everyone who gave my kind words of support during and after my ACS State singles play.  REALLY meant a lot!

I admit it felt SO good to play well!