Recaps are prolly boring for anyone but me, but I like to remember my matches through my blog (even tho my friend Dane always wonders how I remember all these details, lol).
Out of 51 players in this 8-ball tourney, only 3 were women, with 8 beautiful Diamond bar tables held at a semi-new place called Open Table.
I didn't get a bye my first round and played a guy I didn't know. He seemed pretty timid at first - wasn't sure if he was more worried he was playing a chick or what. He would make a few balls and then miss, but as I jumped to a 2-0 lead, he then couldn't make more than 1 ball in a row. Actually felt bad for him as he was clearly not handling the current situation well. I then win the 3rd game in a race to 4 and he shakes my hand. I remind him it's a race to 4 and he seems pretty dang deflated he has at least one more game to sweat through and play. He misses in the next game and says, "please take me out of my misery." It's always funny people say that at the worst times - when there is NO way I can run out and have several balls tied up. Poor guy will have several innings before I finally let him loose 4-0.
I then play a friend next. I haven't really ever seen him play pool before, but he's been around the pool room for many, many years. He played real good against me - great safes and shots. I felt like maybe I was the better player between the two of us, but he kept coming with these good shots and safes that made if difficult to capitalize, lol. I ended up barely winning 4-2, while all the while I have really no idea if I could beat the guy. He would tell me later that he played above his head because he was trying to impress me (whatever that means). Well, he should always play that way as he was a tough opponent to get through!
My next match was against a good player. However, I am the first to admit I have doubted his game in the past. NO MORE will I ever do that ever again.
He has played on team events with my ex, but I never really seen him play a whole set against someone - just one game against dif players in playoffs or team events, so I didn't fully appreciate his game til this day. The dude played freaking good!
He won the first game by playing super smart and tight. I had a chance the next game but I missed shape and couldn't get out. I then played a good safety on the 8-ball, but he actually long-railed kicked-safed against me and blocked me right back. I was impressed! I lost that game, too.
I was running out the next game and again I got bad shape and couldn't get out. He would play great safes if he couldn't get out and I was pretty bummed I was losing, trying desperately not to be upset the score should be different because of those 2-3 mistakes I made. But I'm not taking anything away from his game. He played tight, he played smart, he took his time on shots and on his decisions. I had no idea he played that well.
He won the 3rd game and I'm now down 0-3 in a race to 4. I am trying to figure out what is going on with myself, instead of being down about my errors. I realize I am thinking while down on my shots and not looking at where I do NOT want to be. In other words, sometimes it's better to go past your reference point instead of short of it. I needed to be aware of that, and decide before I get down on my shots.
The next game I actually get a shot after a mis-fired safe by him! I run out and I state out loud proudly with A LOT of relief, "I won a game!" I even think to myself, "oooh, I should be nice and not sat that if I win another." Don't want to be rude to the guy by jabbering inappropriately.
The next game, score 1-3 him, he breaks but makes the 8 ball. He sets the 8 ball on the spot and studies the table for a while. Neither stripes nor solids are run-able and he finally decides to re-rack. He re-racks, doesn't make anything on the subsequent break and I RUN OUT!
The next game is a cluster fvck. Almost literally - it seriously has so many clusters it's a pretty tough little table; tough run for either stripes or solids. I find myself at the table after a few innings between the two of us and I want to play safe immediately. But oh crap - I actually have the opportunity to break out the 8 ball and my solid. I decided WTH and go for it. I get the 8 ball out, but not my solid. Next shot actually allows me to draw back long rail and break out the solid/stripe cluster. I do that, too. (wow.) I am EXTREMELY cognizant that I am doing all the risky break outs - sometimes we want our opponent to do it, but I had the perfect opportunities and was just hoping I wouldn't miss to give him back a now-open table. But, I ran out :) Probably one of the toughest and best runs of my life!
Neither one of us get out the next match at our turns at the table. Then my opponent has a chance to run out and my only chance left is a tricky shot he under-hit for shape. He studies it for a long time, seeing how he needs to hit it and he misses! I have 3 balls before the 8 ball and my heart is beating out of my chest. I have a hanger, a long rail shot, and a ball I can't see from my position. I go for the long rail shot praying I make it (by that I mean, I focus on taking my time, smooth stroke, and staying down on the tough shot). If I went for the hanger, there's no guarantee I'd have shape on either ball left so the long rail shot was THE shot I had to shoot for the run. I MADE IT!
Then made my other two balls and the 8 ball to win the match! After being down 0-3, it was quite the little come back. He walked away in utter disbelief. He HAD that match. He wasn't sure what happened or how that happened. I was in shock, too, trust me.
I then had to play my friend Anthony. I felt confident the whole time because my knowledge is deeper in 8ball than his, but he is a good shot-maker and we found ourselves hill-hill. A lot of people were watching and I just tried hard not to look at the crowd. He breaks hill-hill and makes a few balls and ALSO the cueball. I get ball in hand on a fairly easy run, except since it's hill-hill, it's not easy. I take my time ensuring I get on the correct side of the balls and I run out for the win. :)
OMG I'm seriously on the winner's side til Sunday?!
I came back the next day pretty refreshed (even after finding out I need a new roof from all the recent hailstorms), and I was ready to play. I hit a few racks to get warmed up and we started.
The first guy I played that day was super nervous and I told myself to just take advantage of any mistakes he made. I was playing good, so felt good. At this point in your pool life, sometimes you just don't want to DOG IT when you make it until Sunday. Luckily though, I have a lot of experience now and so I have learned to be confident in my ablity and to simply focus on my fundamentals and the table. Not be upset at any errors that can snowball your thoughts into barely allowing your arms to play pool anymore.
I win the first game. But I make an 8-ball out of turn the next game. 1-1. He then scratches on the 8-ball the next game. He was so nervous, I knew had the upper hand. 2-1, me. He then wins the next game, so score 2-2. In the next game, I play a safe and make the 8-ball AGAIN out of turn. This time, I completely disappoint myself and declare out loud, "G Dammit!" (I can't even spell it out - that's how much I despise that phrase). But, the words spit right out of my mouth uncontrolled because I was so shocked.
He's now on the hill, 2-3.
He plays safe late in the match and I am running out. And then I hook myself on the 8ball. I am in disbelief. Seriously. I stand there disappointed - I can already see the writing on the wall (and so could the crowd when I heard them gasp when I hooked myself, lol). I made contact with the 8ball but didn't come close to making it. So, he gets out with his 2 balls left.
I lost 2-4.
And I was NOT playing for the hotseat next match as should have been. Instead, I found myself playing for 5th place on the one-loss side. Now it's a race to 3. Yikes!
This is the match I talked about before where the guy clapped when I missed a ball hill-hill. You can read the tough, sob, brutal story here.
So, I lose that match hill-hill and place 5th out of 51 players! Not too shabby! Even though I know in my heart I should have been at least in the top 3 if that first Sunday match wasn't full of errors.
Here are the payouts (and YES, I did get that 50 cents with the $102):
click to enlarge