Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sept '08 OB Ladies Tour Stop

This particular OB Cues Ladies 9Ball Tour stop was less than 15 minutes from my house - WHAT A TREAT!

The night before, I meet up with friends for dinner. Didn't like the food too much but the company was great. While others went back to the pool room to watch some challenge matches, I headed home to sit in my comfy chair in front of the tv in my own abode. I got some slack for leaving, but I take tournaments seriously and sleep is more important than sitting in a smokey pool room. I also knew I was high in the ranks and a good finish in this tournament would help my standings so I didn't want to take things for granted and instead wanted to prepare wisely for my tournament.

Rusty's Billiards!

I got to the 24-hour pool room, Rusty's, in Arlington, Texas on time Saturday morning ready to set up the tournament brackets, take pictures and run the Player's Meeting. I seemed to run this Player's Meeting without much thought or preparations and made some jokes for the regulars and some 10 new members to the tour. I always try to make it enjoyable, but it's tough to keep everyone's attention when they just want to play pool! lol. But, I enjoyed running the meeting and then it was down to competing!

Wouldn't be a tournament without an "arm-reached-photo"!
Spetty, Amanda and Me

I got a bye my first match but heard my future opponent say, "I have to play Melinda next." I stood a little taller overhearing that and when we finally played, a few mistakes on her part and good control of the cueball on my part led to a 7-2 win in my favor. My next match would ironically be with another teammate, just like in my first match. She played very well and I got quite worried as she ran a few racks after my mistakes. I found myself trying to catch up to her score but I capitalized on her mistakes toward the end of the match and won 7-5. It was a really good match for both us and she played beautifully and I was proud for her shooting so well because I know that had to feel good to her.

I then had to play a good friend of mine who usually walks all over me - has no fear against me and just free strokes against me. It's nice to see someone running racks, but tough when it's against you. LOL. I just accepted that was gonna happen again today. But for some reason on this day, though, she was timid, tired and not playing like herself. I didn't quite capitalize on her mistakes in the first two racks but managed to still tie the match 1-1. But I then saw more and more opportunities and next thing you know I am up 5-1! I was shocked. I prolly got a little comfy with my lead but still wanted to finish it off but kept making mistakes! I messed up a 1-9 combo to get on the hill and she gets to 2. I then miss an out because I am too worried about shape for the 8ball and she gets out. 5-3. I then worry too much about scratching on the 8ball in the next game and miss. 5-4. I miss another 7 trying to get shape and it's tied 5-5. She takes a bathroom break and so do I.

As I wait my turn in the bathroom, I have a little minor confrontation in the bathroom and have words with someone, with my opponent overhearing. I know part of my remarks are b/c I'm so pissed I haven't sealed the damn set yet, but I think I still would have had words either way. I walk to the table and try and force myself to not worry about the confrontation that is now eating at me nor that my opponent may be wondering what the hell that was all about in the bathroom. LOL. I win the next game by getting out well but she returns the favor to tie it and now it's hill-hill. I have to roll out and she decides not to take the shot. I play safe and it executes much better than I even imagined. She didn't hit the 1ball and I get ball in hand. Before I run out I see the 4ball can't go in too many pockets and the 9ball is near it. I get on the wrong side of the 3ball but decide instead of playing a risky shot for "hopeful" shape, to instead just set up for the 4-9combo. I study it for a while and decide in my mind, "if I miss, I miss... you will be okay, now just bear down on the shot." Ironically, my opponent is the one that has told me in the past to bear down on combos. I shoot the shot and make it! I can't believe it! I am on the winner's side until Sunday AND helping my rankings in the standings for being guaranteed 5th. :)

I pick up Whataburger on the way home and eat in front of the tv and am quite happy to again be at home.

I run a little late Sunday morning and am disappointed I am ten minutes late to help the other board members - my nice breakfast wasn't worth the guilt I felt for running a little behind.

A couple of friends showed up to watch me in the winner's side match and I got extremely nervous! I hadn't been that nervous in a long time and then became very embarrassed b/c I was playing so badly in front of them. I tried to shake the feeling, tried to breathe right, think positive, all the tricks I knew. However, knowing this win would mean it would be my highest finish yet on the tour (guaranteed 3rd) really screwed with my head all the while I didn't focus on the game in front of me and instead I had wobbly arms because I was so nervous. Too many thoughts in my head EXCEPT pool! Ugh! I made a 9ball on the break (luckily) and won one game that led to a 2-7 score/loss. My opponent, Cristina De La Garza, played really well and although I had chances in the beginning, I just didn't show up and she played better as the match went on. I am glad she played well and was proud of her - she won her next match, too, to win the hotseat and the WPBA Qualifier!!

Samm Diep (Second Chance winner), Me, and Cristina De La Garza (WPBA Qualifier winner) on Saturday

I then play Tour veteran and great player Lisa Marr for 5th. She handily outplayed me as I still was trying to shake the nerves. I did break and run and also made a 9ball on the break to only lose 2-7 but really fell on my face again.

But, I did get 5th, the tournament overall ran smoothly (we had 51 players!), and I remained high in the standings on the tour. But because I was so nervous which resulted in embarrassment and bad play, it took me a while to write this recap. I don't even know how to describe the weekend in one word. Happy about Saturday, yet disappointed about Sunday. I suppose: challenged?

Also, all 280 photos were online with captions within days of the tournament: Click here.

Me, watching the finals and getting caught by the camera. :)

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