Thursday, July 27, 2006

Round Rock, TX Hunter July Tournament

Well, my goal in this tournament was to focus again; it seemed to work last time. :) This is one of the tournaments I help run and it was a great event. No major hiccups... well there were a few, but for some reason I'm not letting upsetting things stay in my system as long as they used to... but I thought it really did go well. 45 ladies showed up. Always love it when more than 40 come to compete.

My Stats:

I played my friend and league teammate Tracie Voelkering first. I was a little worried- she has been playing better lately. I was up 3-1 and then it was tied 5-5. I tried so hard to focus and I really wanted to win. I finally did win 7-5 after going for a 1-ball combo on the 9-ball and made it.

Then I had to play my friend Audra Carter from San Antonio. She was struggling a little bit, but seemed to enjoy the match. I think I won 7-2.

I played Terry Petrosino from Houston next. She had just beaten two of the top ladies and then I had to play her. I commented to her about her entering the pro qualifier at the beginning of the match and next thing you know, I'm up 5-0. She seemed to be playing timid, but I tried to focus (even though my friend Monica was playing next to me and I would occasionally peer over at her and we would make faces to each other). Terry started to come back as I made a few crucial errors. I think I finally won 7-5. I couldn't believe it! I was nervous again and fighting that while trying to focus and bare down on my shots. I did make some major mistakes, but pool is all about learning.

I then played Cristina De La Garza from Austin. She is playing well and she was having a good tournament. No matter what happened in this match, we were both going to be playing on Sunday. I wanted to be on the winner's side, but my play didn't indicate that. She missed two 9-balls, but so did I. I also wasn't playing safe when I had long cut shots (seemed like the tough cuts were always on the 6-ball for some reason). I was proud of all the good shots I made; loved how good it felt to make them instead of miss so many like I had been the last 6 months. I also loved the 9-foot tables! We were tied at 5, but she prevailed 7-5. Finished for the night, but had a few matches I needed stay for since I help run these events.

Then I went to eat at Carrabbas in Austin for dinner. Even tho it was honestly too late to eat, I woke up rested Sunday morning, but something upset me before and at the beginning of my match with my friend Heather Lloyd. I tried so hard to get over it, and the only way was for me to spout off at my friend Monica during our match. It was the medicine I needed, but I felt bad for venting to her, and apologized afterwards. When this happened, I down like 5-1. I was happy I was able to start focusing after the vent, and even won a few more games, but Heather was playing way to good and she won 7-4. I really did enjoy our match after I was able to calm down and I even shot some really good shots again. The thing that upset me had to do with running the tournament, nothing related to my match. Figures.

I placed 9th-12th out of 45 ladies. I was very pleased! I am playing well again. And I lasted until Sunday, which is always so nice. Heather ended up winning the tournament -her first time to ever win on this tour. I was so happy for her, I cried.

I practiced straight pool a week later but I wasn't feeling well and knew I shouldn't have gone. I could only run 10 balls (twice) and was missing the shots I have a tendency to miss. I should have not gone to the pool room, but alas.... I thought it was best I at least try to practice.

'Til next time.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Austin,Texas Fast Eddies Tournament July 2006

As I wrote in my previous blog, I noted/noticed I needed to work on focusing in my matches. Well, I had a tournament in Austin, Texas July 9th at Fast Eddie's Billiards. I had one goal for the tournament: focus in my matches. As I was walking to my first match, I ran into a friend of mine. I know that it's good to say goals out loud, so I took advantage of seeing him and told him of my goal to focus in my match. He said without batting an eye, skipping a beat, or even looking at me, "that's tough to do."

Then he told me what he does. He said he focuses in his matches by looking at on an object on the table, like a piece of chalk or a ball or a spot, etc. It sounded like a great suggestion! As I reflect back now, I realized I had a goal but hadn't thought through in my mind how I would try to accomplish that goal - which I forgot is a key part of setting goals! Well, my friend was able to help me out in that department and he also helped me remember to not only set goals, but to plan how I can reach those goals. So, off I went to my first match. I had no expectations - I hadn't practiced since my last tournament because I have been out of town a lot for work. But, I was extremely well rested, very happy and content about everything in my life for the first time in a long, long time, and was smiling, happy, and feeling good.

My stats:

Shayla Neris 7-2. I felt like I played pretty good, but still made some mental errors and also some shot selections were not the best (almost embarrassing). I did focus fairly well, but it is a lot of work and my mind did wander a few times instead of concentrating on the very ball I was suppose to be shooting. Shayla's game is beautiful... so it was a tough match for me.

Connie 7-3. I wasn't focused as much but then got back into the game and played well. She was listening to an ipod while we played and if I made a good shot, she would say "good shot," but because she had earphones on, she didn't know how loud she was saying things. It was kind of funny.

Helen Hayes 7-3. I was nervous in the beginning playing my friend Helen, but I really tried to focus and capitalized most of the time. When it was 5-2, I started to get nervous again. I told myself to stop being nervous and tried to just "play pool" and focus. I was already thinking ahead and couldn't believe I was about to win 3 matches in a row - and all on the winner's side! I was thinking to myself who could I hug? I felt the excitement building inside of me. It had been so long since I played well, placed well, or even had desire to play pool. It felt like a beautiful sunrise.

Amanda Lampert 3-7. I think I made her nervous at first because I played good in the beginning, but she plays really good and I made a few mistakes, which you can't do against her. I scratched on a safety, and lost my wind for some reason after that and she won 5 games in a row to put me on the one-loss side. Her game is so awesome!

Teedaa Clarke 4-5. I played good and really, really enjoyed the match with her. I made a few crucial errors (hit a 9-ball too hard and didn't even make contact with a 6-ball in the final game), but overall I felt good and it was a very memorable match for me that I will learn from.

I placed 5th/6th and earned $75, out of 26 women. I have another tournament in Austin this weekend coming up. My goal will be to focus again. It will be on 9-foot tables and today I practiced straight pool after work for about 2 hours on a 9-foot table. My highest run was 15 today. I didn't feel like I played well, but straight pool isn't an easy game for me right now.

'Til next time.