Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Women in the U.S. Open

Well, since the Pool Cues News and Review blog has left the internet universe, I guess I can give my two cents about what I read today.

I read today that Barry Berhman has opened up the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships to women. In October, it will be the 35th year this event has taken place and this will be the first year women will be allowed to play.

I am one of the few people who probably does not agree that the women should play in this event. I don't mind women competing in open events, but imo not the U.S. Open. The women have their own U.S. Open and the men are not allowed to play in their event. That event will never be open to men - it's a WPBA, women's event.

The only reason why I wont bitch and moan more about this recent decision is because there are only two stops on the WPBA calendar, so this will give the ladies another tournament they can compete in. I also fully admit that it will be exciting for the fans to follow the tournament play more this year if any of the women do enter the tournament.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Gotta Hand it to Them

So, I considered trying out a glove a while back. I thought to myself, "hey, what's them all about? I should give them a try." I searched comments on the internet and then bought two recommended gloves to try.

My friend Tony has tried a lot of gloves and also Fingerslides and so he gave me a lot of great, very helpful information to help me in my decision of what to buy/try. :)

He did not like the Fingerslides for him because they were too thick. He said if I didn't mind my fingertips being covered, he highly recommend the Pooldawg brand (with the Pooldawg logo) as they are inexpensive, durable, tight-fitting, and very comfortable. The only drawback I found was that they don't come in more than one size. :( The Sir Joseph gloves come in many sizes and play well, but he thought their durability wasn't like the PoolDawg glove. I actually preferred the Sir Joseph glove when I tried it though. The Spandex on the Pooldawg glove is tight and durable - IF it fits; since it only comes in one size...that hurt my chances.

The best bet to getting a glove is for it to fit your hand tightly/snugly with a good material. Sure Shot glove is another glove with great material but the Sure Shot doesn't come reversible or for a right hand. Since I am left handed, another frown from me. :(

Tony wanted to "size up" my pool glove experience because I bought the PoolDawg and Sir Joseph gloves to try and he gave me all the above advice (which was VERY nice of him, btw!). He wrote to me and said:

"Do they suit your needs as you had hoped? If you don't mind, I'd like to hear your opinions of both the gloves you purchased and your overall opinion on the subject of wearing a pool glove in general. Personally, I have never understood why the pool glove is so reviled in the pool shooting community. In no other sport (baseball, football, golf, water skiing, cycling, weightlifting, etc.) are players/competitors condemned for the wearing of a glove/gloves as they are in pool/billiards. "

Well, 7 months later I can finally report back! Yes, it took me that long to try them. Right after they arrived in the mail, my Mom went in the hospital for 6 weeks and I lost track of the package. I searched for it just last week to try them out at my tournament over the weekend.

I pulled them both out Sunday morning to hit a few balls before the tournament began and one of my friends said a few times, "I'm going to make fun of you if you wear that." Well, I didn't care. If it helped the cue shaft in my hand, who was I to care? I admit, though, the tanned one was less obvious than the black one, lol.

A practice table was open and I tried the PoolDawg one on first and it "bunched" a little on top of my hand - it was too big. :( I still tried it out though on a few shots and the material felt good, but I couldn't really feel the cue in my hand because the glove was too big. Then I tried the Sir Joseph glove and it also bunched! :( I preferred the material better at that point because it "seemed" a tad thinner. But, because it was too large also, it just didn't feel right against the shaft when I stroked. When I switched back and forth both gloves, I found I actually liked the material of both of them, but because they were too large, it just wasn't helpful to me at all. :(

I would also have to cut the finger tips off because of my nails, but I wouldn't have cared, lol.

While I had them on, I also noticed I "tightened" my the butt and shaft of my cue out of habit a few times during a game but the cloth material of the glove got in the way of that. :(

Well, I tried them out, even though I didn't wear either during the tournament. However, I am happy I finally did test them out, though. I was willing to risk any snickers I might hear. :) I doubt I would use one even if they were the right size, but if I run across someone who has a smaller size, I will definitely ask to try theirs.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lost Again

Had my third straight pool match of the week last night. Suffice it to say I shouldn't have played. I played BAD. B. A. D. I got embarrassed again, too, but this time I didn't try as hard to get over it, I just kept playing bad. It was a sick, sick, sick feeling.

Okay, let me give you the play by play (not that you care, but there are a few interesting tid bits to the night):

I will call my opponent Tape Measure. I consider him a friend of mine, now that I got to know him better the last few seasons of this straight pool league. So, he's not just an "opponent" I don't know (like new members of the league) and he's is a really great guy.

Before we started the match at 630pm, Tape Measure told me that an 8ball league may start their new season this night, and the league director would want our particular table at 8pm. I looked at him in all dead seriousness, "Are you kidding me?" There are TEN tables and WE would have to move at 8pm if we weren't done because of a league? I told him, "well, I don't see a sign that says I have to be off this table at 8pm." He said the league director would ask us to move. He shared this info with me because (1) he knew she would ask us to move and (2) was letting me know because maybe we should move to another table, now, before we begin. I dug my heels and said, "Can I take her? I mean, really, how big is she?" He laughed and then I quickly added, "I'm just kidding. But really, I will tell her I'm not going to move because I was never told this before."

We start our match and things are fine. At inning 9, it's 24-27 him. One of the older gents that watched me play on Monday came over and I heard him say, "I wanna watch this girl." Tape Measure says, "one of your fan clubs is here." Well, isn't that great? lol. The gent is actually very quiet but I was "aware" he was watching. Shortly there after, one of the league members comes in who I don't know and sits with the gent and they talk a little about our game and the guy is watching intensely, also. Let me give a little background now - by inning 17, I have fouled FIVE times already. Yes, 5. WOW! A few were scratches and others I believe were because I was too scared of the close hit and barely hit the ball and fouled that way. So, yea, I'm a little ticked! I also start missing shots in the side and some long rail shots. Other league members come in, including one guy who beat me a couple of months ago this season in straight pool. He sits down and watches with the other two guys.

On inning 20, I am running out on a ten ball run and when I make the last ball, I also almost scratch! But instead, the cueball hits the side titty, then abruptly changes course. However, it doesn't just bounce off the tit - the cueball goes toward my break-out ball, and the then the break-out ball goes into the side! The gent and the other guy gasp and can't believe it! Wow. I am thinking, "at least I didn't scratch" lol. I of course then have to play safe because the ball is spotted with the rack. It was a decent safe.

However, after a few more innings, I get embarrassed because I'm missing more shots (I'm not staying down or taking my time at all), and a few more close hits and scratches lead to more fouls. :( By the time the match is done, I have added 4 more fouls to the score. FOUR! OMG, we finished at inning 39 and I foul 9 times, wth? I mean, WTH?!

I also started to continually miss the left side pocket shot - over and over. It was SO embarrassing. I tried to breathe a little, but I admit I wasn't really trying to get out of the feeling of embarrassment like I tried Monday night, I just kind kept going in a downward spiral even though I fully admit I wanted to play better in front of all these players who were watching and walking in. I know, you aren't suppose to care about that. I KNOW! But, this shows you that I wasn't mentally focused in the match.

I even had chances throughout the entire match. But, I was just playing too bad. I HATE playing bad. HATE it. :(

So, many more league players show up and all of a sudden around 810pm or so this little lady walks by and tells Tape Measure that she needs the table. She never tells me, never talks to me, and walks away and I never see her again to talk to her about it. This isn't like 9 ball where you can just rack on another table. I am running a few balls and AGAIN miss the side pocket. Ugh.
It was brutal. Tape Measure gets to the table and says to the league players watching, "we didn't know if you would have a league tonight. We will stop after this rack is finished." I was livid we had to move! I fully admit if I wasn't ticked and embarrassed at my play, I wouldn't have whined but I definitely stated out loud I thought it was stupid we had to move. I wasn't upset at Tape Measure at all, but some of league members of the league knew I was b1thcin.

I looked around at the TEN tables and there were only two open - and one was for the league! She made other people move to the inner tables and we were lucky there was one open at all for us. Evidently, this high and mighty league has to have all the outskirt tables. Wow, really? Where is the sign that tells me I have to be off that table at 8pm?

Yea, I wasn't very happy.

We did find another table and set the breakout ball and cueball where we thought they were on the previous table. I still kept playing badly, though, and finally lost 61-100 in inning 39. My high run for the match was 12, his was 10. I am actually shocked we finished in 39 innings with such low runs the whole night.

After the match, Tape Measure bought me a drink. I sipped it in my misery as I talked to my friend Bill about how badly I played and how I actually only bitched about moving tables because I was upset at my (lack of) play. I also told him I had a tourney this weekend coming up and was now concerned how I would play in it. :(

Bill was practicing 8 ball for a tourney and he asked me to play with him. I still had butterflies in my tummy from the pure disappointment of playing badly and the embarrassment was still running through me. After a couple of games and toward the end of my drink, I noticed I started to pay much better and the butterflies left. Hmm... could alcohol calm my nerves a little? You may find this hard to believe - but I did not know that. After all these years of playing pool, I either never heard that, never listened if anyone told me that, and never tried that. Of course, I didn't drink from 2000-2009 so I wouldn't have had the opportunity to try it during that time anyway. And as I mentioned before, when I drink, I have no coordination at the pool table, but obviously that's when I have more than 2 drinks (yea, I'mma light weight, lol).

I just realized, I should have a one-word description to describe my straight pool matches like I do for tournaments! This night would have been: @#$%

Yea, I hate playing bad.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Straight Frustrating

Well, in case you didn't know this fun fact already: straight pool is frustrating!!

I went to my second straight pool match of the week last night (I have my 3rd match of the week on Wed) and as I walked into the pool room, I realized I had my mind on results, not the process. I changed that thought pattern though after I texted my friend Rebecca. Whew.

My opponent (I will call him, Karaoke) showed up late, but I didn't mind. I joked with him, "I was hoping you wouldn't stand me up for our first date." He looked at me funny and asked, "How many dates have you had this season?" (referring to how many matches have I completed so far in our straight pool league). "Five or Six," I reply shyly (I'm behind in my matches).

I *thought* my opponent had good winning stats, but didn't check for sure before the match. I don't like to psych myself out before I play - don't want to think I have this or it's gonna be tough before I even play.

Karaoke ordered a shot and a beer right away. I thought to myself, "I guess he normally does that?" During the first few innings, I admit I am texting a few friends and so I feel "a little" bad, but not entirely because it's not a rule in this league, but it is a tad bit rude.

He got 5 in the first inning and in the third inning I get 8. Hey! Look at me! lol.

Then in inning 6 something wild happened - I ran 27! I couldn't believe it! Wow! I fully admit I got comfortable in this position - being ahead 35 to 6. :) During the run, I played well and took my time - it felt good to play well because on Sunday I did not play that way in my other straight pool match.

My comfortableness was short lived though as he then had 4, 5, 10, and 13 ball runs. All of a sudden our score was now close - 40 to 43 in the 13th inning! WTH happened? Oh, the frustration begins....

I hear Karaoke tell someone he has only lost one match so far this season, as he orders another shot. I didn't want to hear that. Even though I have only lost one match, also, it's still something you don't want in your chatterbox (mind).

I noticed I started to feel emotions instead of playing pool when he caught up to me. I felt a little embarrassed, nervous, pressure, etc. I started to do some deep breathing exercises and remembered what Phil Capelle and Mika Immonen said about how to handle embarrassment and pressure during matches - to focus completely on your pre shot routine. It worked! When I was at the table after that, I took my time and really focused on that object ball at the end of my stroke and also shot smoooothly (that is a new helpful key for me to be successful at tough shots).

However, I did whack at two shots later in the match while I jumped up, but not due to nervousness, due to simply not staying down well. :(

Karaoke ended up doing a couple more shots of Jagermeister and even a few times toward the end of the match he said the Jager was affecting his score keeping. Nice. Not only am getting beat by the guy, but he's super tipsy and beating me! Frustrations.... Nothing like getting beat when you are sober and your opponent is not, AND you have to keep your own score at times because he isn't paying attention anymore, lol. I fully admit I don't "get" those players that can play and drink - I swear he shot better toward the end of the match than the beginning (yet if I drink and play I fumble around and have no coordination whatsoever, lol).

I ended up trying to come from behind, 51-58, 55-68, 61-76, 71-94 to no avail, though. :( I lost 100-71. Even a great run of 27 at the very beginning ensures NOTHING in Straight Pool. This game is so darn frustrating! LOL.

Several of our league members would come up and check out our score during the match. Why do they do that exactly? To see how they will stand in the rankings? To see if the "chick" is beating the high-ranked guy? To see how I am doing because they care? Or are they just being nosey? LOL. I don't know - all I do know is because of the way it makes ME feel, I do not check others scores during their matches. And to the guy that reads my blog, I don't mind if you come up to check my score (you don't bother me).

I figured out my weaknesses of last night's match, though, as I reflected this morning. A few times I got stuck in the rack (ugh) after an on-the-rail break shot. :( But, because of that weakness, it led to me having to play a safe.

That leads to weakness #2: Failed safes.

Ugh; I got so frustrated after my safeties! I would walk away from the table and see that I did indeed after all leave him with at least one makeable shot. :( And... he would make the shot well and then break out a ball or two to continue adding points to his score. :(

The safeties really hurt me because they were not jam-up safeties. Yea, a few times he didn't have a shot, but many other times there would be a shot for him. :( Only one time I thought I might leave him a shot if I shot a safety a certain way, but all the other safeties I tried desperately not to leave him anything... but inevitably, there would be just enough of a window of a ball that he would (frustratingly, lol) make.

Monday, March 22, 2010

BCAPL Texas State 8 Ball Tourney Checklist

As I do for Vegas BCAPL, I do for the BCAPL Texas State 8-Ball Championship, I make a checklist!

  • Room Reservation made - check
  • Singles entry fee mailed in before late fee deadline - Check!
  • Getting excited - Check!
  • Team name decided on - WTH - Check! (yes, that's our team name, "WTH")
  • Team shirts bought - to do (I'm in charge of that for the team - yikes!)
  • Team entry sent in - Captain did that - Check!
  • Practice 8 ball with Jose Zaragosa- to do during first weekend in April hopefully
  • Reviewing Play Your Best 8 Ball - to do
  • Review my notes that I prepared in the past for 8ball tourneys - need to find it in my papers
The tournament will again be at at the Harker Heights convention center, which is located near Killeen, Texas. It's a little over 2 hours from my house so I am glad for that! It will be a long 4-5 days playing singles and teams but I am up for it! As I have stated before, "Title" tournaments freak me out even before I get there and of course during the event, so I will need to work on some mental strategies in the next few weeks to Just Play Pool when I am there.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dang Broken Vending Machine

I mentioned in a recent post I was wanted to start sharing some stories via my blog. Here is another one for you.

At an OB Cues Ladies Tour stop a couple of years ago at Bogies Billiards in Houston, Texas, my roommate for the trip (I'll call her Blondie) was getting hungry and needed a snack before her next match. She knew it was gonna be a long day and she needed some fuel.

She goes to the vending machine at the front of the pool room, puts in her money, and pushes 7, then 5. Nothing falls. She tries again: she pushes button #7 then button #5. Still nothing. Her snack is not budging!

At this point, she is a little frustrated and so she asks the bartender for help (Blondie really needs some food) and the bartender comes over and simply pushes B4. And the snack falls! Blondie and the bartender laugh hard together as they realize Blondie has been pushing the PRICE of the snack, NOT the numbers to RELEASE the snack, lol.

Blondie comes back to the tournament table and proceeds to tell me what happened! First of all, you shouldn't tell me a story like that because second of all, I'm gonna share it! It's too funny not to share!

I told many people that weekend and even to this day I will share that story (as I did Friday night with my friends, Scott, Viet My and his wife (Amanda), and Ashley over a great (and much needed) dinner.

7,5! 7,5!


Oh Saturday...

I practiced today (Saturday) instead of Sunday because I had to schedule a straight pool league match on Sunday. Well, today I found out why I love Sundays instead of Saturdays sometimes.

I showed up promptly at 11am and the parking lot was full! I walked in at the same time as several other players and I got VERY nervous that one of the three 9-foot tables I will play on would be taken right in front of my eyes and my rush to get to the pool room was all for not. :( Luckily, the other 4th player only practices shots by himself and doesn't mind to play on the 9 foot table I wont play on... and one of the other three 9-foots. Whew!

I hadn't played on this "3rd choice" 9-foot table in many months and found that it is much faster than the other two I normally play on. Now I understand why two particular players always play on this table and say "it's a good 9-ball table" - yeah, because you barely need to hit the ball to get shape! I got frustrated a few times during my first rack, but luckily I adjust quickly to tables and was able to USE the table to my shot advantage for the rest of the time. :)

After about 30 minutes, that guy who only practices shots comes and sits near my table to watch the two good one pocket players who are sparring. He sits there and smokes; and of course I get irritated. Ugh. No wonder I love Sundays so much more - less smoke in my area.

After about 40 minutes, I am on a(nother) really good run and shooting really well and one of those one pocket players comes up to me and says, "do you practice caroms?" I replied nicely, "Yea, when they come up."

He adds, "well, you could have caromed into the 9ball when you shot the 5 into the side."

I politely replied, "oh yea?"

Then I put my ear bud back in and continued my run. As I continued, I think to myself, "WTF?" This guy intends to be nice I'm sure, but he doesn't know I am conditioning my stroke and I have certain shots I shoot as I run 10 balls over and over. I thought maybe he was going to interrupt me to say I was shooting well, lmao, well, no, instead he suggested I try a specific shot even though I am concentrating on certain other shots that I work on. I wonder some more why he said that, remembering that the 9 ball was nowhere near a pocket or in a bad spot. Hmm...

I realize he didn't know my routine, but it still kinda perturbed me. And, yet another reason Sundays are better, lol.

I only practiced an hour today. I will be in two straight pool matches the next two days so I will be able to practice taking my time during my stroke then as well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

First Tourney of 2010

Well, it's about time I start writing about my tourneys of the year, huh? It's already March as I write this and I have played in a few already so I am WAY behind. Oops.

I don't know how much you all like to read about my tourneys - I figure you blaze through the details of each descriptive match. But admittedly I write these tournament blog articles mostly for me to reflect and reminisce. While hopefully most of my other type of blog articles are less bland for you.

Well, my first tournament of 2010 was in early January. I went to a men's event, keeping with my newly set goals for the year:
Men's Events: I want to play in Open events this year. Put myself out there and play them. This year, I want to play in each of these events at least one time: Ray's Waco tourney, one of Zach's north Texas tourney's, Doc's ten ball tournament, the weekly Clicks tournament in Dallas, and Fast Eddie's Open event. I also want to try and play in a few weekly tournaments around the Fort Worth area.
I attended Zach's monthly tournament at Crazy 8's in Lewisville, Texas. It was my first time to ever go to this nice pool room and good tourney. I liked this tournament for a couple of very-important-reasons-to-me:
  1. it was handicapped (yay!) and
  2. they paid last lady :)
The entry was only $40 and I got to race to 4. The handicap races ranged from 3 to 9. The tourney had a hefty player's auction and I was bought by someone who suggested me so it was kinda cool they had that faith in me. :)

This tourney was kinda a bigger tourney than usual for me to be playing literally with the boys and I hadn't done this very often. If I had, it was a tourney around peeps I either knew well, or knew most of the players in. But I knew the experience would be awesome and helpful. See Cristina's blog about this very topic, which actually helped me decide to add this particular goal this year. Thank you, Cristina!

My first match was against a guy (I'll call him Dallas) who seemed perturbed with me because I wanted to hit a few balls before we played. He had already started to rack the balls (before the flip) and when I asked him if I could hit a few balls, he kind of slumped his shoulders, picked up the rack, and then rudely slapped the balls to spread them out. My friend came up to him and said in his deep voice, "Hey, Dallas, she's with me." I felt proud he defended me; he didn't have to do that. I felt uneasy that I wanted to hit a few balls and it obviously ticked him off, but I had never hit a ball on those tables in my life so thought I should. I admit I had over an hour to hit balls before the match, but all the tables were taken every second it seemed and I hadn't had the opportunity yet. I hit only a few balls, though, and then racked and we flipped the little coin.

I felt like everyone in the world was watching, lol. It was very weird! I had butterflies and tried to play pool but I admit it wasn't easy. It was a great experience, though!

Dallas missed a couple of shots late in a few racks and so all of a sudden I was on 3 and he was on 5. In the last game of the match, he tried to kick the 1 in instead of calling a push out and I got ball in hand and somehow ran the rack out, lol. So, he wasn't very happy I'm pretty sure.

I then played a guy who raced to 5 and although I had a couple of stupid shots/misses, I won the match. I think he was under more pressure because he was playing a girl. That match was on one of the front tables and again I was aware of peeps around me.

The next match was against a guy I'll call Army who raced to 7. He played a lot better than the other guys - he played really well. I didn't get many chances til the middle of the match and by then I wasn't playing up to my speed that I could have been playing at. Army told me after the match that he had to bear down against me - I noticed he was pretty chatty (happy) to tell me that while he seemed relieved to have beat me. In other words, I don't think he would have told me that if he lost and he obviously wouldn't have been as chatty had he lost.

On the one-loss side I played another 5 but I think his ride was ready to get back to Houston so he wasn't into the game very much at all and I won pretty easily.

I then played another 7 - he was The Gloved One I talked about back in October. He played very solid against me and only missed a few times. I was more into watching his shot selections and his knowledge of the cueball path that he studied before each shot, than the people around me, so that was nice. He played good and after I lost I mentioned to him maybe some day we could practice together.

I couldn't believe it! I received $75 for Last Lady - that was SO awesome! Usually "last lady" is just the entry fee, but this was more than that and it was such a great treat. :)

I noticed that the 5 players were definitely beatable but in order for me to beat a 7 or 8, I would really need to play super well to beat them because they simply play so much better than 5's (and myself). However, I do race only to 4 so I could do that!

I plan to play in another one of these tournaments this year. Hopefully more than one more, actually! It was great to test the nerves and butterflies! I loved it!

Tourney Description: Cool

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tough Love

I wanted to start sharing a few stories of things that happened in the past. So, here goes one for ya that I thought was "interesting" that happened to me.

Back in prolly 1994 or so I was playing in a McDermott Tour stop in College Station, Texas. They had a women's event along side the men's event and I was this little new player that just loved pool and had just started to play in regional tournaments.

In one of my matches, I played this intimidating player. Well, maybe back then they were all intimidating, lol. During our match, an amazing thing happened that I will never forget. Ironically, this person is now a friend and a pro player, and I don't think she would ever do this today, but at the time I couldn't believe what she did. BTW, I have never mentioned this to her.

At one point in our match, I noticed the 6 and 7 balls were close to the rail, but they both were make-able in either corner pockets. I reached for a shot and hit the 6 ball somehow. I then told her I moved the 6 ball a little. I was innocent and honest and knew I was suppose to tell her even though it barely moved. She comes to the table because as we all know, it's her option to move it back or not. She comes to the table, and moves the 6 ball. No worries, right? WELL....she moves it close to the 7 ball. It takes a few extra seconds to ensure the 6 ball is FROZEN to the 7 ball and off angle. Now they both don't go!!

I stand there in disbelief, but I am way too inexperienced to know I should say something, or that I even could say something. Back then you have to realize that people played "dirty pool" more than they do nowadays. So, I figured that's what it was. I guess. I dunno.

After I lost the match, a friend of mine tells me that two female players saw the whole thing and they were laughing at me and the situation. You'd think these two players were young, but there probably in theirs 40s at the time.

Two important things arose from this very small incident in my journey of pool. One - I learned I needed to get a ref next time if that was to happen. Yea, I know that is obvious, but still - it was a learning experience for this little inexperienced-at-the-time chicka. Two - the little voice inside my head for many, many years to come had this image of people talking about me while I played pool. I wasn't mature enough or mentally strong enough to figure out how to overcome it or how to resolve it. I honestly admit that was no picnic for me to experience such mental negativity for so many years after that.

Monday, March 15, 2010


This month's topic for PoolSynergy is "Pool and the Mainstream."

I wonder what my fellow bloggers of PoolSynergy will share this month?? It will be very interesting to read what they have to say about this great topic! You can find all their articles about Pool and the Mainstream at this link:

I follow pool tournaments across the country through the printed billiard magazines and online billiard news sources. I admit, when I look through a magazine, I look for tour results first, instruction second, then whatever else is in the magazine.

Therefore, I was shocked about a discussion I had with a leaguemate a few weeks ago. He asked me, "I heard you went to Tulsa. What was going on there?"

"There was a big One Pocket tournament up there. I had a blast watching the great matches!" I replied.

"Who won?" he asks me.

I answered, "Sylver Ochoa."

He looked at me in all dead seriousness and said simply, "I don't know who that is."

I was like, WHAT?! How can you possibly not know who that is? He name is everywhere right now and he's been the top player in Texas on the regional tours! OMG, I was speechless after that.

If we can get to "these" league players, I truly beleive we can become mainstream. Of course, if we could also get to the Friday night wanna-be players who play with their friends and *think* they can play, can you imagine how mainstream pool would be? That is my overarching thinking - if we can somehow reach the league players and pool hall players, pool would magically become mainstream. Yes, I say: magically!

I have a friend who is a photographer for Foosball tournaments. Foosball! He has been to Paris for the big tournaments of Foosball. Foosball! It got me thinking: Do they have an Allison Fisher of Foosball? I have another friend who plays putt putt competitively. Putt putt! Do they have a Johnny Archer? What about Darts? There are dart leagues at my pool room. Do they have an Efren Reyes? I bet they do and yet *I* have no idea who their top stars are. I hear complaint after complaint, b1tch and moan, and whining after whining that pool isn't mainstream. Hey guess what? We aren't the only ones!! The best dart player could walk in the pool room tonight and I would have no idea who he/she was. I could see a few guys playing Foosball and one of them could be the best player in the world! Yet, I would have no idea.

Pool isn't mainstream. I get that. Neither is a lot of other sports, though! Can we change the world in the near future; prolly not. Are we gonna try? Yes! There are lots of ideas out there from great folks in the pool world and great folks who simply love pool that may be able to make pool mainstream some day for all of those who complain that pool isn't mainstream. I swear, some people lose sleep over this topic! I love pool, yes. Would I love to see it mainstream some day - sure! But I am okay with it as it is today.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Practice

When I am not out of town on weekends, I make sure to get my practice session in. That is one thing that I started a few years ago that I love that I still follow - try and practice at least once a week. I know once a week doesn't sound like much, but it is a true practice session - not just league or playing in a weekly tourney. I think it truly helps me stay fresh for my tournaments - conditioning is key for me. I am not one of those people that can just show up without practice sessions (well, not yet one of those people, lol).

I like to get to the pool room on Sunday at noon to practice by myself. Condition my stroke and fundamentals. Get there right when the doors open so I can get a good 9 foot table.

I got there today right on time. Walked to the table I always practice on - the 9 foot table everyone plays one pocket on. The bartender asks if I want my regular drink, "Yes, please" I reply as he pours me some water. I put my ipod on with my new Bose earbuds, grab balls 1 through 10 and start my practice routine.

I was hoping the smokers wouldn't come in for an hour or more, but one came in about 1215 but luckily he was too far away for the smoke to bother me. At my last tourney last weekend (which I hope to write about some day soon for you), I played very well (smile) - I took more time on my shots, and the improvement in doing so was obvious during the tourney. So, I started out that way today during my practice - taking my time, staying down longer for conditioning, etc. I was playing well, smooth stroke, etc. I felt good. Toward the end of the 2 hours, though, I noticed I was shooting a little faster. Ugh. :( I need more and more conditioning! But, it felt so good to hit balls. :) A few friends came in - including Fred who was born today. Ripe age of 89 today!

I then played one game of one pocket with Steve. Getting 10-4, we each needed one ball for many innings and he nailed a great bank to win. He said I was playing well - he meant one pocket, but I told him I was playing good in general. It was nice to hear his compliments, though, about one pocket! I still need to practice it more... just haven't had time for that lovely game. Oh... I need to MAKE time! (I better go re-read my goals for 2010...)

I then left the pool room to go to the hospital. Mom is back in there and so I sat with her for the rest of the afternoon. I am now home trying to get the house ready for when they let her out hopefully this coming week.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bosey Noisey

I bought myself a Christmas present this year - new headphones! I bought the Bose headphones. You know, the ones where the commercial tells you to call a phone number to find out the price, LOL. I didn't buy the over-the-ear Bose headphones, I bought the Consumer Reports recommended in-ear (earbud) headphones. I was surprised they only cost about $90, which is only $10-$15 or so more than the Sony noise-reducing headphones.

I tried them out one day finally after about two weeks after Christmas at the pool room while I practiced 10ball alone like I do (yeah, I know, my review is super late, sorry!). I wasn't sure how they would sound or how they would feel. They weren't really earbuds like my Ipod earbuds, so I was cautiously curious.I was about to put them on, but had to see which one said R and which one said L because I couldn't tell which one went into which ear. LOL. I put them on and they are right - they fit different, but they feel great! But, what I liked best is you don't have to turn the sound up, WAY up, like you have to with the regular earphones. I only put the volume up half way and it blocked out everything around me! It was awesome.

My only complaint is it does what it is suppose to, which means I now I can't hear anything else around me, lol. Before, I could have the volume up to the fullest and still hear the railbirds, now I can't hear them, lol. I wonder what stories they are telling that I can't hear, lol.

BCAPL 8Ball Championships Checklist

Ahhh.... one of my favorite tournaments in my life is right around the corner! BCAPL National 8 Ball Championships! I just sent in my entries... so I'm all excited now and want to share my checklist!!

  • Plane Ticket bought - check
  • Room Reservation made - check
  • Pick-Up arranged - to do
  • Singles entry fee mailed in before late fee deadline - Check!
  • Scotch Doubles entry fee mailed in, too - Check!
  • Getting excited - Check!
  • Team name - not yet (to be decided)
  • Team shirts bought - to do
  • Team entry sent in - Captain to do that
  • Practice 8 ball with Jose Zaragosa- to do
  • Reviewing Play Your Best 8 Ball - to do
  • Pack - yea, a little to early for that, lol!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pretty Please Smile

During my Reno tournament, I was playing in my second match of the trip against a very nice lady. I am sorry I don't remember her name, but she was super sweet. She played okay, came with some great shots, but also at times would make crazy mistakes that I didn't quite understand.

Anyway, at one point during the match, I scratched on a ball and she got out with her little three balls left (we were playing 9 ball). As I sat there in my chair, day dreaming across the room, thinking about the pizza I wanted to eat so badly, she picks up one of her coins and before she walks to the table to put the said coin into the slot, she looks at me with a big smile on her face and says, "Smile."WTF? Why is this cute woman telling me to smile? Seriously. I just gave you ball in hand. The score is now tied. I'm hungry and want this to be over. I should be beating your a$$ handedly. We are playing in a competitive match. And you're telling me to smile!?

OMG, I wanted to throw up my empty stomach.

I replied to her, "I don't have a natural smile." (which I have said a million times in my life - that's for a future blog article). She looks at me and realizes I'm either perturbed and she shouldn't have said anything, Or, she still thinks I should lighten up, Or, she just doesn't get me at all as I still wouldn't smile at her.

People have told me I look serious when I play. Well, duh, aren't we suppose to be serious? I guess I could have been laughing and carrying on with her, but it's not my style with someone I don't know nor if I'm not in the mood nor if I'm trying to focus and concentrate on the match at hand.

I mean, really.... I'm in a match! As some of my friends would say, "we aren't friends right now - we are competing." Although I don't have that same exact attitude during a match, why do I need to smile at you? And why on God's green earth would you say that to me in the middle of a match? I guess she was worried about me or something. I dunno.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Found out a week ago the new league I am playing on is dual-sanctioned. Saaweeeet! I haven't been on a dual-sanctioned league before. This means I can play in both BCAPL and ACS tournaments. Hmmm... more events, more tourneys, more opportunities!

So, I moseyed on over to the ACS website and they of course have a National Tourney, too, just like the BCAPL. :) I was told I might be listed as a "standard" player, because I hadn't cashed yet in any ACS tourney (because I hadn't played in an ACS tourney yet). A Standard player would race to 4, an Open Player would race to 4 or 5 and a Master player would race to 7 in the women's divisions.

Then I read closer and it says a "cashed" is not just for ACS tourneys, but also BCA and VNEA. Makes sense, but I was a little bummed, lol.

So, I would be an Open player. Right? Well, wrong there, too! I happened to check their Master list and I'm listed as a Master! Argh.

So, I contacted the ACS and I am to call them and talk about my latest finishes, because I am no longer designated a Master Player with the BCAPL, but that doesn't mean they don't think I should be a Master Player.

While I was super excited about a possible National Tournament I was eligible for, I noticed it falls on the weekend of a close regional tourney just an hour from my house. Hmm... decisions decisions. And if I am designated as a Master Player, is it worth me going? Hmm...

Still.... potential opportunities are always exciting!

One Pocket Challenge - Sneak Preview!

Well, plans change - that's how things go and that's okay!

I am editing this blog to let you know
Sylver Ochoa (on the left) and Gabe Owen (on the right) will be playing a race to 6 or 7 ahead one pocket match, even, on Thursday, March 25th at 1pm Central Time in Houston, Texas.

You can watch it live for free at:

See? Webmasters STILL get the inside info. ;)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reno Update

Bonnie, Tina, Sunny, Me and Heather

What? Did you expect an update DURING the Reno tournament? What do I look like, a blogger? Yea, well, I am, BUT I can't say I'm super good at all about keeping you all updated during an event (that's pretty darn obvious, lol).

Justin, Amanda, Me, Sunny and Sylver

Best things about the Reno tourney:
  • 99cent domestic beers (eeek!)
  • Pizza from the Cabana Cafe (dam their pizzas are good!)
  • Hanging out with friends
  • Meeting new friends
  • Diamond Tables! My love!
  • Bad Boy Productions - they run a smooth-a$$ tourney!
  • CSI for sponsoring the event - loved the added $ for the ladies events, too (even though I didn't get any of that money, lol).
  • Streaming - LOVE commentating on the matches. :) Justin at TAR does a bang up job for the fans!
  • Online brackets are the nutz!
  • Cheap roomrates (oops, almost typed cheap roommates, lmao!). $18 for the first 5 nights was awesome! Then $40 a night for the weekend. WOW!
  • Watching GREAT talent! Awesome matches all week long. holy cow.... it was so cool!
Shane Van Boening and Earl Strickland, photo courtesy of Justin