Monday, December 25, 2006

Dec 9-10 in Houston

The HOTT Tour had 22 women at their December 9-10 event at Bogies Billiards in Houston, Texas. I got a bye then played Courtney Peters and won 9-2. yikes! I was playing good - getting out when she missed. I noticed her game has a new arsenal - safeties. She already plays good, so now her game will go up even more.

So I have to play Belinda Campos Calhoun next (one of two pros in the tournament). I scratched on the break first game (I haven't scratch on a break in a long time). She wins with a 3-9 combo, after making the 1 and 2. She's breaks next, comes up dry. I have to roll out. She runs out the entire rack. Down 0-2. I thought, to myself, "oh shit." I do win the next rack with a tricky 2-9 combo. Then it's 3-3 somehow. I'm not playing bad at all! Then it's 4-4, then 5-5.

On one rack I run the from the 1 out. It was beautiful! Then it's 5-7 her. She's running out and gets really bad on the 8, but she didn't have a choice because of bad shape from the 7ball, but she just nails the long shot on the 8 ball! But, she has a trickier 9 ball shot... and she misses! Leaves me right in front of the side pocket. ;) So now it's 6-7 her. That was a big game. Instead of 8-5 it was 6-7.

So... I'm running out and get out of line, but still making balls and great shots in the next game. I make a thin cut on the 7 and have to take a tough shot on the 8 to get back on the 9. And I dogged it! I hit it too hard (whacked at it, instead of finessing it). ugh! She gets out so she's up on me 8-6 in a race to 9. I turn to my dear friend Natalie who is watching me play and I mouth to her (as I'm standing at the head of the table) "nine on the snap" and I make the 9 on the break. :)

8-7 her. The Belinda and I trade shots but she gets final control of the table. Easy out with only 4 balls left, but I still thought it would go hill hill, somehow. So, she's running out - EASY run. and she makes the ball before the 9 (i think the 6) and then all of a sudden she gets right on top of the 9 ball! So the cue and 9ball are like less than an inch apart! I grab my cue. I know I am gonna have a shot again.

We discuss if we need a ref and she says she's just going to thin it. The cue is to the left of the 9ball kind of near the spot on the table, but they are less than an inch apart. She puts right on the cue ball so it will go around to the top of the table and that would leave the 9 ball at the bottom of the table... so it leaves a lot of distance between the two balls. She hits it real hard and the cueball hits the 9 as it moves around the bottom rail and it KICKs the 9 IN!

Ugh!!!! It would have been hill-hill!!!!!

I was like, what the hell? I was behind her and couldn't see it. But Kyu and Helen moaned and Natalie was shocked, so I knew something weird had happened. Belinda turned to me and was disgusted herself that it ended that way.

So I played Kyu next. The winner would last until Sunday. It was for 9th place. I was up 2-0. and took a break at 2-1 and went pee. I was so relaxed after that, next thing you know, it's 5-2 HER.

I did miss a tricky 9 in the side and a really, really tough 7 ball and a tough 8 ball. So, that's three games there and I lost 5-9.

So.... second chance tournament. The room said on Sunday they would add $200 additional if 12 or more players played in it. Well, we only had 22 in the tournament and they brought back 8 for the main event. Anne Mayes said she would add $100 if they got 12 or more also. So, we were begging people to show up. Terry and Jillian were calling people Sunday morning. Terry said she would even have her daughter play! Hehe. Lisa Brannen convinced her friend to play and we had 11 girls. But, we only had 11 girls. ELEVEN. The room owner said, on the intercom, "I'll add $100 even if you don't get 12." Then Anne said, "and I'll still add $100, also." So, we all clapped and cheered and the ladies in the main event wanted to play in our little tournament. :)

But, I didn't know if that meant 100 from Anne AND 100 from the tour. Or was the 100 from Anne THE 100 from the tour? I didn't ask. Figured I'd asked later. I get a bye and play Annie Doyle first. Damn, i played good. I won 5-1. Although, the whole weekend I noticed it's the best I've seen her play – she was playing real good! Then I played Terry Petrosino. I had to wait for three matches to finally get to play her. So... as I'm hitting balls, I tell Annie she's beaten me the the last two times we played. She said, "well, you are playing well, just trust that. Trust yourself." So I play Terry and I make some mistakes and she's up like 2-0.

I then tell myself to "just play well" (because that's all I want to do and it helps me to focus again). "Trust yourself, Melinda." So I run the next two racks beautifully. But get relaxed again, like... "okay, I've played good now. Whew." So I try and bare down again. Somehow it's 3-3. I miss a shot on the next game and she started running out but misses a 6 ball. I get out from there and I'm up 4-3 in a race to 5. I get ball in hand on a tricky out with the 5 through 9 left in the next game, and I scratch to get shape on the 6 ball (with ball in hand!). Damnit. I am just exasperated! Not happy. She gets ball in hand, but she's not thinking ahead about the tricky out and she ends up real tough on the 8 and misses it. She doesn't make me the shoot the 8 or 9 (they were both hanging in the pocket). Final score, 5-3 me.

So I play Jillian next right away. She's cutting everything like a maniac! She's up 3-0. Then 3-1. It didn't help I missed a 9-ball when the cue was on the rail. I don't let it get to me - remembering Heather told me about her "heart" game after missing a 9-ball against Kim White. that really helped me.

So, then Jillian's up 4-2. I tell myself, "just play good. just focus on your preshot routine. “feel” playing good”… This is for the hot seat, too! I get out on a tough rack. 3-4 her. She tries for a cheap combo and doesn't get it (I would have gone for it, too) and I run out after a few more chances at the table. 4-4. We trade some shots and I get my opportunity and I run out. I won 5-4! Boy, that was a hard win!

So, I check the chart and...I have FOUR matches to wait on. It's like 430! I don't know what's going on - there's only a dozen people in the tournament! So, Annie beats a new girl. Annie gets beat by Anne Mayes. Anne Mayes gets beat by Jillian. Jillian gets beat by Kim Pierce. I had to wait so long, Jillian, Carter, and Julie and I went to Starbucks. So, I play Kim Pierce for the finals. It's a double elimination tournament so she needs to beat me two sets. Tony tells me, "just win the first set and get it over with - don't let it go two sets." It was the weirdest match ever! So, check this out:

We trade some shots in the first game and she scratches and leaves me the 7, 8, 9. I get out. A three ball run. Woo Hoo! I could tell I was very confident and playing good, but running three whole balls didn't really prove anything. ha!

Next game, she misses the 8, I get out.
Next game she misses the 8, I get out.

I shot a few times early in the rack of those two games, but didn't have a lot of opportunities at the beginning of the rack to run out.

Next game she's trying to get on the two ball for a 2-9 combo, but hooks herself and I get ball in had. The 7/8 are tied up, so I went for the combo and made it. I'm up 4-0. Ii break next, and I make the 9 on the break. 5-0! In like record time! It was SO weird.

At Starbucks, Jillian told me that they forgot to add Terry to the brackets so we really did have 12 girls! So I got $180 for 1st place!

My travelmate, Julie Stephenson, got 5th/6th and lasted on the winner's side until Sunday. On the way there, Julie is driving this time and she runs over a bucket right outside Houston (no damage). And she says, "this is maybe 100 yards from where we almost got hit by an 18 wheeler when we came down to Bogies in November." So we check in to the same hotel. We got the SAME room! So, I told her, "maybe I'll be in til Sunday again!" She says, "I hope I don't do the same as last time, I was out on Sunday." I said, "yeah, but you won the second chance tournament." So, Julie got 5th/6th the EXACT same way I did at Bogies last time and I won the second chance tournament just like she did last time. It was so weird!

I had a great tournament - it was fun all around!

Fast Eddies Tour in Nov

Well, this post is long overdue.

I hadn't practice like I wanted, so I went to the tournament on Saturday and practiced for hours on the nine foot table in the middle of the room. Tony played in the main event (men's division) and so did my friend, Cristina.

Here is the story:

Suffice it to say, I didn't place well. I got a bye and then played Terry Petrosino. I was running out beautifully the first game and didn't want to get on the rail for the 8ball. Well, I didn't get on the rail! Instead, I got straight in and needed to be on the other end of the table soon for the 9 ball. I completely hit it WAY too hard (instead of a smooth stroke) and missed the 8-ball. She ran out. After that, I remember just being frustrated that I wasn't playing well. I was very frustrated - upset my safes weren't good and also not making balls and pretty much selling out to someone who was capitalizing on all my mistakes. Terry did play very good. I lost 4-7.

My dear friend Sharon Davis played and I watched her next two matches. She's a doll!

I then played Michelle Ram. She had just lost a heartbreaker hill-hill match to Kyu Yi and then defeated my friend Sharon. ;( Michelle broke and ran the first rack on me! She was playing good. I don't know what happened after that, though, but I told myself to just play good. I wanted to play good. Then I won 5-1. I took my time more in that match, and I guess that helped.

I also played Michelle Abernathy. She was playing better than I've seen her play, but I was playing good and won 5-3, I think.

I then played Helen Hayes and she was capitalizing on my mistakes, and it felt like the first match with Terry - I was rushing, selling out, and not playing good, and extremely frustrated. Helen was playing good, though - she ended up in 3rd place. I think I got 9th? Out of 24 women maybe?