Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hunter Tourney in Corpus

Well, it was going to be a low turn out, we knew that, but little did we know it would be the lowest yet. 19 women. I almost didn't make it myself. Tropical Storm Erin caused a lot of rain the week before, but by Friday, the weather was great for the drive down there for everyone.

However, my Dad was admitted into the hospital on Thursday, August 16th. I came down to San Antonio the night before to visit and help my parents before I went to the tournament in Corpus (only about 2 hours away) and instead I found myself trying to figure out what to do with this new situation, including, do I stay with my Dad overnight in the hospital or do I stay with my Mom who needs help as well? Her advanced emphysema has worsened, and it was tough for her to visit him in the hospital. I tried to get things done during the day and also visit him, but I stayed with my Mom at night. My Dad had complications with his advanced diabetes and the hospital stay was not a life or death situation, more that he needed help to get healed.

He said I could go to the tournament and although I was apprehensive, I went and the break was good. I stayed with Monica and used ear plugs for the first time and actually really like them! The tournament started off very well and things were running somewhat smoothly.

I played a new lady first, Elvi, who is very nice and sweet and if I hadn't paid more attention, I would have lost even though I should easily win. I then played Monica. Last time we played I lost and so I admit I was nervous. At the beginning of the match I was not playing well and it donned on me to be assertive (X games to win) instead of nervous. It was so comforting and almost exciting to know I could do that so early in the match (usually these things don't dawn on me until AFTER the match is over and I've lost, LOL). I guess thinking about how and why I mentally didn't do well at the tournament in Grapevine the week after the event (Aug 3-5) really did help out! So, I played better and next thing you know, when I am on 5 games, I run out from the 1, and then break and run the next game to win the match 7-3 or 7-4.

I then played Heather Lloyd and wasn't nervous. There was someone watching that was going to bother me, but ended up having to play so it worked out. I was running out the first match and missed an 8 ball and she got out. Then I missed a 5 ball and she got out. I finally got a game and then she won again. I don't recall what happened in the middle of the match but when I deliberately set up shape for a 3-9 combo, I got bad on it and decided to run out. I ended up having to play safe on the 5 ball and I didn't hide it enough and she hit it good and combo-ed the 9 ball in with a good shot. By this time, I was PISSED. I said out loud to her, in a snappy voice, "I should have made the 3-9 combo." I felt bad and realized I said that because I was upset, so I apologized to her before the next rack. She said it was okay and understood. What I was also going through was trying to get over my misses. I missed that 8 and 5 and was just sick. I tried to get it out of my head. I was going through a roller coaster ride during the match! Hehe. But, I overcame it and while I was running out one game, I saw the shape so well for the whole rack and instead of baby-ing for shape on the 5 ball, I hit the 4 ball with authority, honestly taking a risk, but knew the shape was perfect to make the out and I nailed it. Even after the run, Heather said, "nice out!" I then caught a gear and all of a sudden the match is tied 5-5. Wow!

I needed to wash my hands so the break she took at 5-5 was good for me, too. Then we got back to the table and I was running out and barely, I mean barely, missed the 8 ball after a fine run. I was even thinking at one point I was playing good, but I missed the 8 and she got out. I didn't sweat it and was running out the next rack when I saw ahead of time I'd have to set up a straight in draw shot on the 8 ball. I shook my head, but was confident in the practice I had put in for this exact situation. Well, I nailed the 8 ball!! I didn't miss it and even drew it back, but I over drew it and missed shape by almost a foot. LOL. I was excited I drew it back and also made the ball, but missed the tough back cut on the nine and lost 7-5. It's heartbreaking to know I had chances and should have been playing for the hot seat the next day, but everything happens for a reason. I did wonder why I missed late in the rack. Then I saw this thread on AZB and there are some pondering points in it that may help me for the future. That, and obviously I cared more about shape than making some of those last key balls?

I had to wait a little while and then played Terry Petrosino. I wanted to win so bad for the points, but had 5th/6th locked. But, I didn't play as well as my previous matches and she really nailed some tough nineball shots and I missed too many times or didn't play good enough safes. I'm not sure what happened that match (why I didn't play well), but I lost 4-7. Not too bad, 5th/6th $160. I felt overall okay, but knew I could have done better in the tournament.

I then played in the second chance tournament on Sunday and played fairly well overall (even a 5-2 win over Helen Hayes), but some key mistakes cost me a hill-hill loss to Monica who has been playing well. But, I felt pretty good. I then forfeited because my Dad called and they needed me back home. I was actually very upset at the call because of the miscommunication between my Mom, Dad and myself, but I shouldn't have played in the Second Chance tournament anyway. I left in a hurry, and looked more upset than I wanted anyone to see. But, sometimes I can't hide those emotions when I am upset with 'family' things. After the event, it was clear some things upset Monica and I, but we survived another tournament and hopefully everyone had a good time. We did hear the room owner wants us back and was impressed with our tour! What a compliment!

My Dad ended up getting out of the hospital on Wed and that was the most stressful day the whole week. I broke down several times that day, all the while trying to be there for my parents and trying to help them out.

I left Saturday and got home around 10pm.

Then on Sunday, to de-stress and to get ready for my tournament this weekend coming up, I played golf with Tony. I love to be outdoors, sweat, get exercise, feel the sun on my skin, absorb nature, and also playing golf helps my pool stroke.

Until Next Time.... hopefully I will have good news from Austin. Let's see, what should my goal be? Focus, stay down, don't move, be mentally strong, hmm.... I'll have to think about it. I haven't played in the Texas Open in a few years, but I am playing okay - but there may not be a lot of player's and the ones that play will be good. I am playing in it to test my mental game.

Weekly tournament 1

My friend Ryan convinced me to play in a weekly tournament that if I play enough in on Monday nights, I will qualify for a bi-yearly $$ tournament. Evidently, there is a lot of money in these biannual tournaments so I figured I try my hand at the weekly tournament.

I had played the day before at Rusty's and played REALLY good against Ryan. I had helped run a tournament the morning of and it was a great event, I thought, and really enjoyed helping my teammate Tracie out. I decided I HATED the way I let my mental game get to me at the Grapevine tournament so I had thought about it and when I practiced on Sunday, I really beared down and concentrated and honestly outplayed Ryan, which I should never do.

Also, the darn straight-in draw shot had killed a few chances to win again and one day I spent 2.5 hours straight on the straight-in draw shot and although guys at the pool room gave me hints, Curt helped me the most and although I wouldn't know how it would affect me in the future, I did feel more comfortable. I lowered the back end of my cue at the same time I shortened my bridge.

Anyhow, anytime I show up at a tournament I hardly know anyone I get nervous and I was. I knew three people, Ryan, Dennis, and Ashley. Ashley is so sweet and cute. But, I initially felt uncomfortable and was glad when Ryan FINALLY showed up. They had a calcutta and I went for $100! Did I hear that right? OMG. CRAZY.

I won my first match 2-1. Whew. Squeaked by that one. Then felt more confident and knew I could win the next one and the guy beat me 0-2! I should have won, but in 8 ball, race tot 2, anything can happen and he made some shots to get out. It was then a race to 1! Last lady was looking bleak as there were two other ladies still left in the tournament. But, somehow, I won one, then two, then three, then four and five races to 1 to meet Ashley in the finals. I won the first set 2-0 and was playing really well. Going down one game, race to 1, I felt I was about to win and didn't play as well and missed three balls while she made two great shots to get out and placed 2nd. I ended up getting last lady because I beat her the first set, didn't buy half myself in the calcutta and ladies don't pay an entry fee. The guy that bought me, and nicknamed me Trigger and would yell it out as I would win my matches, gave me part of the calcutta money and 2nd place money and all of a sudden I had $90! A few more Monday nights and I should qualify for that tournament Nov 6th.

I play tomorrow night... I wonder how I will do. Will I overproject myself? Will I stay down, remain solid? I hope so and I also hope to have fun. It's a great test!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

TOT August '07, Grapevine

Tony and I played Scotch Doubles and although we breezed through the first match 4-1, I played terrible against players we should beat and we lost 2-4 the next match. We won a few more matches after that but lost against what I consider good players 4-3 or 4-2. I missed some shape and left Tony bad on several shots and lost the match for us. We placed 13th and got one-out-of the money.

But, I knew this would get me ready for the singles and I was right. I love 8ball and the 7 foot diamond tables.

I played Kathy Knuth first and was playing well and won 5-2. then I played Ashley next, a local girl that has been wanting to play against other females. I was nervous at first which caused the score to be lopsided in her favor. I tied it up 4-4 and she missed an out under the pressure but after I safely made the 8ball, I didn't consider the side pocket scratch and she won. She would end up winning the tournament and it was definitely her time to win. I was very proud and happy for her!

I then had a little while to wait and I was EXHAUSTED. Stayed up too late, got up too early the two nights before and it had an effect on me for sure. It caught up to me BAD. I played Snowy Belt and was down 3-1 and then won 5-3. I started off slow but caught a gear and somehow won, even with being so tired I could barely breathe. Then played Tara ? next and again found myself down 3-1 and won 5-3. She started to finally miss late in the rack, where at the beginning of the match her confidence was more evident. I knew if I won I could finally go to sleep and knew I could sleep close by, too, which was an incentive.

The next morning, I am running late and come flying down the hill, running with purse, banana, pool cue as I fly into the room. I swiftly walked to my table and ask my opponent if I can go to the bathroom. She graciously said yes and I was able to catch my breath. I was SO nervous I was gonna be forfeited. I got there a little after 9am.

I ran into two people that told me I could beat my opponent, Nina Stillwell. Well, the first game she played F!@#$%ing GOOD! She was, honestly, the smartest 8ball player I ran into. She won the first game and was about to be up 3-1 when she missed a shot and I got out (finally had a shot on the 5 ball) and tied it 2-2. Crucial game/miss. I was actually playing very well and was very confident and playing good. I ended up winning 5-3 I think. She had a great, contagious laugh and fun attitude and I'll never forget her. Although she played VERY smart, I just happened to be playing well.

I then played Gerry Gooden and played well again and won 5-1.

I then played Camille Madison. I think I am the better player but the better player that match was her. She told many people before the match I used to be a master player, so she brought her A-game against me and she played so well. Smart. Getting out methodically, etc. I lost my pep, and noticed I wasn't thinking so clear and my head was clogged with "exhaustion." The lack of sleep was getting to me again. Maybe I should have run down the hill before THIS match to wake up again! lol I was disappointed, but not too much because I wasn't into the match.

I placed 5th out of 44. Doesn't sound bad, really. But, pissed the mental game got me. Didn't play pool on Saturday and it cost me that crucial loss.

I practiced 2.5 hours of straight-in draw shots on Tuesday. I want to work on that part of my game. Straight in shots and draw shots are killing me and costing me. I got some tips from many at the pool room, but think the last "helper" might have found what will help me.

I'm actually very frustrated right now and need to read some mental tips from the AZB forums I have printed out and from Phil Capelle to get me ready for future matches.

I am concerned about the next tournament. I'll be going to my parent's house two/three days before the tournament and hope things go well so I will be mentally strong to be a competitor. LOL.

Until next time....

Hunter in Tulsa, July 2007

Wow. What a weekend! This is one of the events I run, so it's a busy time but I love going to Tulsa.

Took Fri and Mon off and Julie and I (another board member) headed out a little late Friday afternoon as we got in town in time (about a 5 hour drive) to meet up with a lot of friends to have dinner at the Japanese Steak House. We had to wait so long and I don't eat a lot anymore, so I was able to have leftovers for breakfast and it was PERFECT! It's probably my favorite Jap Steak House, but it really did take WAY too long and kind if ruined the whole effect.

I just got my hair done.... here is Samm and I at the JST... see how our hair is the same?

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And here we are at the table... they had to split us up:
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On Saturday morning, 36 ladies would come to compete. Here are the brackets:

I would get a bye and then play Kelly Stanley first. I won 7-1, but I wasn't playing up to par. Before I played Helen Hayes next, I became nervous. Even though I won against her in June, I thought she was playing good and finished well two weeks earlier in Austin. I psyched myself before I even played her and play SO BADLY. I couldn't even get out correctly with ball in hand TWO times with only 3 balls left. I wasn't playing pool again. I also missed an out hill-hill because I didn't draw the 5 ball back enough, which left a straight in shot on the six ball, which I didn't make or draw back. I was sick. S I C K.

I then was called to play Jennifer Kraber right away and was just not playing well. Again, the loss of my match with Helen was still on my shoulders, consumed in my mind, and my whole face was tight with disgusted emotions. I was down 6-2 and at that point, I was finally, for whatever reason, able to let go of the previous match. Little to my surprise, I came back and won 7-6. Wow! I did miss badly on the last game and accidentally combo'd a ball, but still won.

I then had to play Monica Anderson next and really wanted to win because I would last until Sunday and gain more points for the rankings. But, I didn't try hard enough, was still jumping up, and even missed two 9-balls. She did play VERY well and deserved the win. I didn't let the loss get to me ... I just didn't play well... and I was actually very happy for Monica because she played so good and it was nice to see.

Then a group of us went to Carrabbas before heading to the casino. Dinner was a bust. People complaining and I was getting so frustrated. Life is so short, my friends! Too much bitching in life and not enough "experiencing." Also, the food was blah. Not like any other Carrabbas and that was dissapointing. I lost only $100 at the casino and was proud of myself for not playing more. :) Ran into Tara and Helen but missed Jennifer. :(

After Julie and I left, Monica hit $1,000 jackpot! Hey, I gave her a ride, where's my cut?

Second chance tournament.... defeated Debbie Watson 5-0, lost to Snowy Belt 3-5 and then lost to a Samm Diep 3-5. Snowy played very well against me. I under estimated her and/but I again wasn't playing well. Samm played GREAT. I hadn't played her before and I really like her game. She plays good and it was a joy to watch.

Julie and I then hung around until the tournament almost ended and I was able to work on some websites and was very content to get things done. Very happy! Then, Shayla graciously let us leave while she stayed for the finals and thank goodness!

So, although there were some downer moments (hypocrisies, complaining, miscommunications, etc), it was a nice mini-me vacation and I don't think I realized just how much it was needed.

Some tips from the tournament. This guy told me a very interesting story while I was walking out of the pool room on Saturday night. He told me this story of Roger Staubach (a famous quarterback for us ladies who may not know) and when a reporter asked him why he thought he was a great quarterback he paused and then replied, "I think it's because I have horrible short term memory."

OMG! Isn't that amazing?! And so true. Wouldn't we all do so much better if we could forget what just happened and therefore move on quicker?!

Another learning experience... Julia Gabriel gave me some GREAT advice when I sought her out for help. She told me to be cognizant of how I felt IN my chair because when I got to the table, I would want to be in a good frame of mind to be able to play well. GREAT advice.

Until Next Time....

Fast Eddies Tour in Austin July 2007

Went into this weekend thinking I was playing good. By Saturday night, watching so many people miss, my confidence went down. LOL. Before my first match on Sunday, I spoke with a guy , Tom, who I am sure I have seen but hadn't spoke to before. We started to talk about the mental game of pool and we shared experiences. He was talking about how we think about "status" when we play pool and we need to stay in the moment to not let that get to us.

He also said how he likes to have an opponent that plays well. Welcomes it in his mind and wants that competition.

I play my first match against Cristina Dela Garza and even though she hasn't been playing, she ran the first rack beautifully! I wasn't nervous at all, though, and knew in my heart, based on past experience, that running racks would not continue for 7 more games. I didn't really play all that good, but she missed a couple of nineballs or scratched/missed late in the rack and I was able to capitalize. However, I decided before this event I would wear my ipod, because I wanted to try it and because some of the other tours don't allow it. Instead of meshing with the music, though, I instead found myself thinking that other people were thinking I had to use it to focus. By the 3rd game, I took it off and just played pool.

I then played Heather Lloyd next. I saw in the stand a person who *I think* judges me so when I played Heather, I wasn't playing pool. Heather was missing late in the rack and playing unlike herself - thinking a lot and playing slower than I was used to. She gathered some strength and tied it 3-3 after giving me the first three games. Then she missed a nineball and although I was straight in I was thinking too much about, "I don't want to win this way." I missed the ball; probably didn't stay down, hit it too hard, etc. I have a tough time with straight in shots anyway, but I wasn't thinking about pool anyway. She was then up on me and then led the way in the match. At 6-5 or 6-4, she missed a nineball and although it was a tough leave (deliberate tough leave from a missed bank - good shot, Heather!), I missed it even though I breathed deeply as I stroked and "thought" I was thinking positive. I missed it, and left her an easy shot and she won.

I get called immediately to play my next match and I'm still affected by the previous match. I play Jennifer Kraber and I know she hasn't been playing much but she's still a threat. She is wearing an ipod, so I grab mine and we are both just zoning. I miss an out the first game and she gets out. I can feel the last match still on my shoulders - pissed I let the mental game get to me. I win the next game and in the short race to 5, I am starting to play well and take advantage of opportunities. I am up 4-2 but she gets two more games and we are hill-hill. Several misses by both of us leave me with a tricky shot on the 7 ball and I am down on the shot still trying to decide what is best to do when I pull the trigger and shoot, and don't hit a rail. LOL! She gets ball in hand and gets out. 17th place out of 34 or so.

The drive home was terrible. I was sick I let the mental game get to me in my match with Heather. Just simply sick.

However, Shayla played in the men's event and lasted a round on Sunday in the men's event!