Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Clapper

I wrote the other day that I played in an 8-ball tournament. And I eluded to the fact that something bad happened so I'm going to talk about that now. If you don’t have time to read a long post, I apologize in advance lol.

51 players, Diamond bar tables, couldn’t play if your Fargo rating was below 640, and it was 8ball. Almost the perfect storm for me.  After fighting pretty tough on Saturday, I find myself on the winner’s side on Sunday!  I’m guaranteed 5th place.  :)   

I felt like I'm fighting for my life out there being the only girl left on Sunday, and everyone was talking about my game all weekend, too.  People I didn't even know were telling me they heard how well I played, or heard I was a champion, or people I hadn’t seen in a while were telling me how impressed they were.  As I drove 35 minutes on Sunday morning for Day Two to the location (near the beautiful Eagle Mountain Lake where I’ve hiked before), I thought about how the words of others and their expectations could be unnecessary pressure.  But, I know from experience to have NO expectations and to simply focus one ball, one game, one match at a time.  But, again, I was fighting for my life out there.  Playing with so much heart.  I was trying so hard and had the opportunity to finish high in this event, so it's just interestingly unfortunate that this crappy situation happened at the end.

I lose my first match on Sunday because of some brutal things that happened. I made the 8 ball TWICE out of turn (and this is a race to 4) and when the score was 3 to 2 him, I hooked myself on the 8-ball and didn’t tie it up - instead he won 4-2.  Those three things pretty much cost me the match, and so I lost.  Heart breaker - I would have been playing for the hotseat, dammit.

But now I'm on the one-loss side and as we start, there's another match going on right next to us, but they finish pretty quickly.  And so in a room full of 8 tables and lots of people watching, we are the /only/ match for the crowd and patrons to watch on the center stage.  And, this time it's a race to 3 so that makes it a little bit more intense on the mind because there's not a lot of chances in a race to 3. 

During this match at one point, I missed a shot and I heard someone say from the crowd, “come on Scott,” as I walked to my seat. I kind of looked toward the area of where the words came from because I thought the timing was kind of weird, but I told myself it was no big deal and that they were just rooting for their friend, not against me (I’ve written about this before how crucial that frame of mind is so it doesn’t become negative).

I make a couple of mistakes that match and he plays really good safeties, but I also capitalized well on some of his errors, and the match goes hill-hill!  

At hill-hill, I find myself at the table and after taking some time to survey the layout, I see which way I'm going to go with my patterns and I see a run.  I take my time and I'm playing really good, but I can tell my heart is racing as I can see the finish line (i.e, my run pattern is working out).  With only two balls left before the 8-ball, I shoot a long shot on the 3-ball to set up perfectly for the 1-ball.  I shoot it, and think I made it, but I missed the shot!

I'm pretty devastated at this point but devastation turned into bewilderment with a touch of appall.

Right after I missed this crucial 3 ball, someone clapped after I missed the shot. Yes they were clapping because I missed and because their friend was about to get to the table.

So at this point I'm pretty pissed off and my emotions took over.  I saw who it was and I stood there and I said to him from across the room, “Really?”

And he replies, “Yep. Really. “

I admit I was not happy at this point. Usually when this happens, someone might say hey I'm sorry you're right, or raise their hand as an apology.  But he was very defiant. He could give two s**** that he just clapped.  As I'm walking back to my chair, I'm still looking at him and I proclaim, "I would never do that to you.  I would never to that to anybody.  That's just not right."  And he's just looking at me smiling, cocky, and could care less what I was saying.

While this exchange was happening, one of my friends was standing near him (this is difficult to describe), and as soon as I said “Really?” to him, my friend got caught completely off-guard that I was calling him out. He kinda bent over with that “oh shit!” kinda movement and bolted out the door out of the line of the fire.  He could not believe that I was saying something to this guy and his reaction was actually priceless. (only funny part to this story)

So I sit down in my chair and I see my opponent running out. I see he's going to get out, and I see I'm not going to get another chance at the table. I shook his hand after his run, and congratulated him. Hardly anyone clapped at this point, everyone could feel the tension in the air. He said he was real sorry what the guy did.  I told him his friend was rude and he agreed.  

So then I had to go get my money and I walked over to the tournament director and he and his helper both told me that that wasn't right and apologized.  In the midst of being angry, I made some stupid comment like, “yea, I may not ever play here again.”  But I didn’t mean it - I was just pissed.

But, it was a local player rooting for their local friend.  It was just tough being an outsider already coming in there playing and people rooting against you like that. I know that people root for their friends and I understand that, but to clap when someone misses while you're playing your heart out, just was really brutal and bad etiquette.

Of course wrestling with my emotions, I share this on Facebook, and told a few friends about it who aren't on Facebook. Many people told me "lucky I wasn't there," or that they wouldn't have blamed me if i called him names, and many wanted to know who it was and suggested I should blast his name and photo on Facebook.  lol.

But, I have learned never to call people names, even in the heat of arguments I wont do it.  I just kinda learned that name-calling just leads to unfortunate situations and more anger.  And that was last thing I wanted to do was make this guy angry.  And I would never put this guy on blast and publish his name or anything - that's just not who I am. I mean, I feel bad it happened.  But I’m actually glad it happened to me because I can handle it, even though I was pissed about it at the time.  But, it’s not the end of the world and I know he probably didn't really even mean to do that.  It was just a reaction (I hope that he would not do that deliberately, because if that's the case then I'll completely re-write the theme of this blog entry LOL.).
People also kept talking about karma.  Well, I don't really don't believe in karma.  I just hope he learns from this and I don’t wish no ill will on anybody.
The only thing I’m disappointed about is I was upset afterwards when I should have been elated I finished 5th. There’s a lot of emotions that go into playing pool hard. I should be happy I placed 5th out of 51 players in this tough tourney!  But it ended this way within 2 minutes of me being put out, and that really puts a sour note on to what should be a fabulous weekend for me. But, in the end, and after some time of reflection, I am pretty stinking proud of myself for doing so well. :) I surprised myself!

But again, I’d rather it happen to me than someone else; anyone else actually.

This does make for a very interesting blog entry tho, doesn't it? 

No comments: