Sunday, July 1, 2007

Vegas, Baby

Well, it's the first day of July... 'bout time I update my blog... especially since my favorite tournament is now over (since mid-May!).

I LOVE Las Vegas and LOVE the BCA 8 Ball Championships even more. After reading Phil Capelle's Play Your Best Pool, I have appreciated the game of 8Ball so much more. After reading his Play Your Best 8 Ball book this year, I appreciate the game even MORE! So, to say the least, I was very excited going into this tournament.

I ended up with a scotch doubles partner that was not my husband. His name is Royce Bunnell and he is the co-owner of the OB-1 Cue Shaft. I happen to be his webmaster, but we found ourselves scotch doubles partner really by accident. Tony couldn't go at the last minute and I scrambled to find someone and there we were - each without a partner willing to give it a shot. I went into the tournament knowing I knew 8ball and didn't have any expectations. Turns out he knows 8ball, too! Boy, did we ever mesh! We sailed through the day Friday, playing 8 matches - from 9am until about 1030pm. I was exhausted, but knew ahead of time the day would be like that (the Friday of this tournament is VERY long if you remain in the tournament - back to back matches all day long).

Here are our scores:


I played brilliantly more than not and so did Royce. We made an exceptional team! The last game, we lost because of stupid errors on my part. I think I was getting tired and maybe embarrassed by the way I was playing? All I know is is it wasn't the same feeling as the whole day... and we ended up losing and we shouldn't have! But, we were guaranteed 5th place and $1,400. WOW!

When we finally played again on Tuesday evening (yes, count 'em, 4 days later), after waiting all day to find out when we played, we were up 1-0 in a race to only THREE (ugh) when the girl on the other team knocked the 8ball in out of turn. We ran out the next rack to go up 2-0 but Royce missed the 8ball - but, we ran out SO well! Royce felt so bad he missed the ball... and unfortunately they ran out and tied it 1-1. Then the next game, we each missed a shot... one I shouldn't have shot (wrong shot selection) and instead should have gone with my instincts (it was a tough shot for me, to top it off), then they got out. Then Royce accidentally scratched on the break (cueball off the table) and they ran out. They won 1-3.

I was SO nervous before the match and Royce calmed me down by saying for us to JUST HAVE FUN! I have to admit I was afraid I was gonna fall on my face, but I played good and was happy with how I played. Not many people knew we were playing because they kept moving our match time, so there wasn't a huge audience, even though I know everyone wanted to watch us. Several times throughout the day Friday many of our friends saw us play many matches well and that was really cool - we have great friends and it was awesome to talk about shots after the matches.

I am fearful of playing with him again - how do you do this well again? But, some friends have told me that we meshed so well together, that we should play again. And, Royce says his goal would be to have fun again and that keeps me calm, so maybe I will consider playing with him again.

In my singles, I went out in two. It was just plain embarrassing. I played terrible. I played like a newbie. It was like I hadn't played pool before. Even in the second chance tournament, I fell apart. I know what it is and I will work on it.... but I simply didn't play pool and let the mental game get to me. I played poker on one of the last nights in Vegas and Mr. Paul Pottier was sitting next to me and I asked him about the problem I was having. He said it was a problem many of his players have (he's a big-time instructor) and offered some advice. Afterwards, he joked, "that'll be $600... $1,000 if you use the advice." He's actually very funny and oh so knowledgeable... I wish he didn't have to go to dinner so soon that night. Someone else at the table made a comment and it was also helpful. Although I'm not being specific about my problem and the advice Paul gave me (I'm embarrassed, what can I say?)... but this girl did say that sometimes she looks at each shot as a confidence booster. I hadn't heard that before... not like that. She said, when she is struggling, she pumps herself up with little shots, little successes. A stop shot, following through, etc. Just little steps that she uses to build back her confidence. I appreciated her candor - it's not easy to talk about this stuff at a poker table in front of ten other people!

In the team event, the pressure to do well was lifted as I was not the top player on our team (Tara was the Master player) and that allowed me to just play pool. I won 14 out of 18 games... and that included two 8 balls out of turn. Wow! I was impressed when I saw those stats after we got home.

I have played a few team events before in Vegas and the experiences were horrible. This time around, it was phenomenal. My teammates were so awesome and played pool and had fun. There was no drama, no negativity, just having fun... and it made all the difference in the world and I hope to experience this again because it was such an amazing time that I will never forget. It is now a beautiful, cherished memory.

We placed 25th. :)

My dear teammates were Monica Anderson, Susan Petty, Tracie Voelkering, Kathy Knuth, Tara McCracken, Snowy Belt and myself.

So, overall, the trip was AWESOME! I was able to get to know better some new friends, had a great roommate (Heather Lloyd), spent time with dear friends, and had a fabulous time getting away from the real world for ten days. My parents didn't call too many times with issues I had to help with and it was a much needed break from everything.

This trip to Vegas will be hard to beat in the future - it was very memorable.

I LOVE 8 BALL!!! OMG, it's such an amazing game that has truly mesmerized me. I absolutely love playing it. Thanks to Phil for helping me love this amazing, intricate game.

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