Monday, September 28, 2009

Non-Tourney Pool Weekend

Wow! What a wonderful pool weekend I had! And yet, I wasn't out of town for a big tournament. What did I do all weekend with no big out-of-town tourney? Well here is a time line:

Thursday night:
It started out Thursday night. I was honored to meet up with a friend of mine, Zaid, at a weekly tourney (at Pockets in Euless, Texas) to catch up with him and also to watch him play. It felt great to get out of the house for a weekly tourney - hadn't done that in a long time (yes, I tend to be a homebody a lot, lol). I saw some fantastic matches and also noticed some new key patterns while I watched the top players of the Fort Worth-area duke it out for the guaranteed first place prize of $200. Chen and Coy Lee would split it. Chase got 3rd and Zaid placed 4th.

Friday night:
I started to watch some of the The Action Report 16 - Oscar Dominguez versus John Morra - on PPV on my laptop at the house. My Internet connection was sucking big time tho and I was getting super frustrated. Argh! Luckily I received a timely call from my friend Ashley (who I refer to as 'Ash' in print) and I asked her, "what time does your tourney start" and she replied, "8pm." It was only 730pm and I had time to get there so I threw a better shirt on and off I went to the Volcanoes Friday night 9-ball tourney.

I played Chase first in the tourney - I missed two shots (one was a push out) and two safes and he won 6-1. Man - that's pretty tough to watch your opponent run and run like that. I saw the same thing the previous night - one miss and the other guy would run out. Chase would end up splitting this tourney with Coy Lee.

I then played Ash next and I was down 3-1 in a race to 4 and realized I wasn't focusing and was thinking of the outcome and so I started to focus on staying down and somehow won. Then I played Todd next. He ran two racks, but a miscue allowed me to the table and I got out. It eventually went hill-hill (3-3) but the fast table gobbled up my cueball before the 9ball, but I felt very good for how well I played and for how well I stayed down. Woo-hoo!

I found out Friday night there was a top straight pool match to be played on Sunday, so I switched my practice day from Sunday to Saturday. I drove up at noon to Rusty's Billiards in Fort Worth and luckily there was one good 9foot left open. Whew! I hit balls by myself for about 2 hours and I was playing well and staying down well. I felt good!

I then missed a straight-in draw shot, so I started to practice my draw shots. I was failing. :( One of the guys at the pool room, Mike, was watching me struggle for a little bit and eventually came over and told me my backhand was gripping super tight when I drew. I told him I could feel that, too. He said he recognized also in his game he did that and the key is to grip loose. We talked about it for a while and then he set up shots for me and I would practice the shots as he watched my stroke, my arm, and my grip. I also sometimes lifted my arm up toward the end of the shot. In my mind, I feel like I need SUPER POWER STRENGTH to draw, lol. I know I don't need that, but couldn't get my body to realize that, lol. I didn't realize how effective a loose grip was for drawing until this day. I know you would think I would already know how to draw - after all these years of playing.. but I couldn't really draw consistently. But I have no problem admitting I have struggled and struggled with my draw shots for years. While I have learned different tips for many years on how to draw effectively, I think this is the key tip for it to all come together. I was able to draw so much better after we spent some time on the loose grip. Obviously this is something I still need to practice, but I was very thankful for his advice. I had just recently been thinking of my desire to learn how to draw well and so the timing was perfect!

Then my good friend Steve and I played ten games of 1 pocket. Oh, how I love 1 pocket! I was able to ask questions and he shared some tips, all the while I'm getting 11-5, lol! It was great learning more about this wonderful game. Then we had an hour left of the "daily weekend pool special" that lasted until 6pm and so we played 10 ball for an hour. We talked about shots during 10 ball, also, and that was awesome.

I felt great! Six hours of fantastic pool! I hadn't done that in ages because of either hospital visits, I had the flu, or was out of town.

Saturday Night:
Got home in time to watch some more of the Oscar John match online. This time my Internet was being cooperative and I was able to watch a lot more.

Met up with my straight pool buddy, Robert, and we watched Paul Guernsey and Mike Grosso duke it out in a race to 150. These top two players in their division were awesome to watch. Robert and I talked about the key balls and break out balls and options while they fought for the 150 balls. Paul was ahead in the beginning about 28 to 17 or so then Mike got a great lead and was up 81 to 51. Then the tides turned and Paul had a 47 run and won 150 to 87 in the end.

What I noticed was these two top players did not get perfect on their break shots every time. It was refreshing to see because I get down on myself for that a lot in my straight pool matches. We also saw some really great safes! These are the best players in town so it was a joy to get to watch them play.

It was a fun-filled pool weekend! And tonight (Monday) I have a straight pool match of my own and so the pool weekend just keeps going and going.

Until next time....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

loose grip works. looser the grip, easier the draw. works good on follow shots too. or just about any shot except the power break. soft break works really well too with a loose grip.

i hold my cue as light as i would with a raw egg. lots of draw with just a medium stroke.