Saturday, July 31, 2010

WPBA Advertising

I wondered how the Riverwind Casino was advertising the Women's US Open. How do all those visitors gambling in the casino find out about the awesome pool tourney going on?

I put in $20 in a slot machine the last night and check out what I saw!

Here is a close up of the little video announcement on the slot machine:

Yes! That sure is Jasmin Ouschan on the screen of that slot machine! WOW! It says "SHARK." We checked the other machines and every one of them was like this. I was impressed and happy to see this for our sport. :)

Day Two Vlogs - 2010 Women's US Open

Video blogs of Day Two of Ashley and I in the Women's U.S. Open! Awesome experiences continue for our first pro event. Again, details on my matches (highs, lows, emotions) to come later.

Before our Friday morning matches.

After our Matches.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day One Vlogs - 2010 Women's US Open

Well, my first full day of the Women's U.S. Open is complete! Fellow First-Timer also to a pro event, Ashley Nandrasy, decided to do Video Blogs for our tourney (we call them Vlogs). Here are the first days videos for ya! Details on the matches to come later. :)

Before our 10am Matches.

After our 10am Matches.

After my 6pm Match.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Arriving at the Women's 2010 US Open Vlogs

Well, I took some vids of my arrival to my first pro tournament at the Riverwind Casino in Norman, Oklahoma (Women's U.S. Open). Fellow First-Timer also to a pro event, Ashley Nandrasy, was my awesome roommate. We will call these Video Blogs "Vlogs".

This is me driving up to the Riverwind Casino

This is the awesome hotel room at the Casino!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Here I Come!

Things change so rapidly! At 4:50pm today I got asked if I would take a last minute cancellation to the WPBA Women's U.S. Open!

You read all that happened yesterday, well today is a different day and I am packing right now and about to drive to Norman, Oklahoma, about 3 hours from me to play in my FIRST PRO event.

I have NO expectations, except to have fun and enjoy the experience!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Well, a got an interesting text today. I received a text from the OB Cues Tour asking me if I was interested in playing the Women's U.S. Open. What's funny about this is, I did not attend the Regional Tour Championship, yet they still had an opening and asked our Tour if any of the top players where interested in taking the spot. Wow - you mean I got an "invite" anyway? To the Women's U.S. Open? Wow.
I realize it's prolly my only chance to play in a pro event, because I don't enter qualifiers and I don't go to the RTC.... but it would cost me $625 (entry fee and membership fee)... but it is close to me (3 hours driving distance or so)....

Part of me kinda wants to take the opportunity (it really would be good experience), but another part of me doesn't want to spend that kind of money (plus hotel) on a tournament like this. The Board Member who texted me said "you are playing well" and yes I just place 4th last weekend on the tour stop in Tulsa at Magoo's, but I just don't know....

My Mom is also not feeling well and I would hate to leave her right now. I would need to ensure she is feeling okay.

But, I already said no, but a small piece of me knows this is a chance/opportunity to finally play in a true women's pro event, a chance that may never come up again. But I'm not interested in playing on the pro tour. And the way Janet Atwell played against me in Tulsa - I wouldn't have a chance against most of them; then I'd really be just donating, right?

Am I missing out on an opportunity, though? Hmm....


After I wrote this, I called back the OB Cues Tour and told them to send in my name. If they have an open spot no one has taken up yet (it may be too late because I'm sure all the tours were asked and are now sending in names), I may get the CHANCE to say.... wait for it..... "maybe!"


Update: The WPBA had one spot open and they asked who was interested in the spot by going down the current rankings list of the OB Cues Tour. My dear friend and 2nd place-ranked player Jennifer Kraber accepted the invite! I am SO happy she gets to play in the U.S. Open! She only had a 24-hour window to plan and get there, but she is going!

I admit I am happy I reconsidered the option to send my name in so I at least had a chance to go if there was an opening. Personal growth yesterday for me!

Good luck to ALL my friends!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tulsa Welcomes OB Cues Tour

My expectations of the OB Cues Stop in Tulsa at Magoo's the weekend of July 23rd? None. I didn't think I'd fair well, I hadn't practiced in a couple of weeks (not like me), and pros were allowed to play. I just didn't feel comfortable: in my skin, confident, or any positive emotions. As a matter of fact, I almost couldn't go and wasn't even the slightest disappointed in that. That's how much I didn't think I was prepared for this tourney.

On the way to Tulsa!

I drive up Friday with Julie (one of the OB Cues Board Members) and it takes FOR-EV-ER. Ugh. I am tired from lack of sleep the night before, stressed at work with a new project, and just wanted to already be in Tulsa, somehow magically! We finally get there and quickly find my weekend roomie, Rebecca, and we head to Tokyo Steak House - my normal Tulsa routine. :) It was yummy as always (LOVE fried rice without onions!).

Julie, me, and Rebecca at Hibachi!

On Saturday morning at the Player's Meeting we all find out only 28 players are there. WOW!
:( We usually average 42 players a stop, so that was disappointing. :( I looked at the brackets and noticed I had a fairly decent draw if I could win some matches and NOT the mental game get to me. I also wanted to do well for points because I didn't do well at the lat stop last month on the tour. However, as everyone knows, looking ahead and thinking of the future is not productive thinking.

In my first match, I played a girl who had talked behind my back about a year ago and so I wasn't all that "happy" to be playing her. She pretty much went around and told people I had a bad attitude when I played pool, and she said this about me when I was a Board Member of this tour and so I took it hard, knowing I was a representative of the tour AND knowing it wasn't true. Anyway, I wasn't into the match at all and slouched a lot, looked around a lot, etc. I should beat her, but it actually went hill-hill with her getting on the hill first. I really focused hard toward the end of the match (about 5-5 when it got too close for comfort), even with my adrenaline pumping and being nervous I might lose. But I started to "act" confident and focused on staying down - I ran out nicely the last game to win because I focused on staying down. :) I almost lost, though, and a few key balls would have made all the difference - in her favor to win, and in my favor to let it go 7-6.

I then play a good friend who is always difficult to play. I am very aware in my mind when I play her that she has had lessons and I second guess myself against her, but I also love to watch her play because of her knowledge. I again wasn't into the match in the beginning and had to remind myself to WANT to win because I was so not mentally into the match. I had to remind myself that I did want to win - take advantage of my draw and not let this slip through my paws again like can happen with the mental game. It was close til 5-5, but we both didn't play our best. Eventually, I started to show less negative motion, sat up straighter in my chair, sang to some songs, felt better and stronger mentally, and switched my thinking to WANTING to win. I then played a tad better while she got a few bad rolls and I won 7-5.

Me, on Sunday morning (photo by awesome tour photographer, Shayla Neris)

I then really over-thought in my next match - yes, while I am playing - and I know if I win, I play for 5th on Sunday, I get more points, I can win, etc. I was definitely thinking in the future and shouldn't have. I was playing well, though, and about to go up 5-2 when overconfidence got me (dang it) and I missed the somewhat easy combo and she got out. Then she had a combo on the 9 early in the next game. Ugh. Instead of 5-2, it's now 4-4. I make more mental errors and it gets to 5-5 (when I broke my cue (ironically)) and she gets on the hill first. I still thought I could still win though and I do indeed get a chance to win as I get on the hill with her, score 6-6. I had a few chances, but dogged it and she is running out the last few balls. It was my time to win though, as she missed a heart wrenching 9 ball. I really did feel bad for her, but this also meant I was still on the winner's side on Sunday. Wow!

Great friends, Jennifer Kraber and Amada Lampert.

I sit with my friends, drink kamikazes, and watch matches throughout the rest of the evening. Julie takes Rebecca and I to our room and of course I can't sleep as usual. I can't get my brain to stop thinking at night anymore - too many things going on in my life that keeps me up at night. Ugh.

The next morning I warm up and feel good about my stroke on the tight tables. And I don't feel tired, even though I know I should be. I have to play Janet Atwell (one of the pros in the tourney) and she played SO good against me! I didn't have many chances, but the few I had, I scratched in weird places and only got 3 or 2 games against her. She played beautifully and took her time. I felt maybe I shouldn't be playing pool anymore, lol (seriously, tho). The difference between our games were so large, I really did wonder during the match why I was playing pool.

We talked about some of our shots after the match and that was super cool. She said I stayed down well and she talked about how she is learning to trust her stroke. I felt good she noticed I stayed down well, since I focused on that this weekend and have been working on that for the last 2-3 years it seems, lol.

Janet Atwell and I. She's SO nice, awesome and talented!

I then get to play on the stream table next against the other pro, Belinda Campos Calhoun. She is a friend of mine back when she lived in Texas. I figured she was going to win, I had a couple of things upset me right before the match, and I wasn't into the match in the beginning like all of my Saturday matches. Eventually, I noticed I was missing opportunities, HAD opportunities, and then I again focused on having that heart/desire to win. I overheard one of the announcers say I wasn't taking advantage. I tried to not let that get to me and my self talk at first got me upset, but then I told myself, "well, it's true, now move on." I then made the desire rise up in me, all the while I tried to quickly move on from any mistakes and play the game in front of me (I really was proud of my mental game this weekend). At 5-5, I played like a different person - I played SO darn good the last two games to win 7-5! It was pretty crazy to witness, really, the difference from how I played in the beginning to how I played in the end (check it out for yourself, here). I was SO excited to win. I couldn't believe I won! SO happy I played well at the end, too. Yay!

I then played Tara Williams next. I was pretty much in awe of her shots throughout the match. She spears in long, straight-in shots. She doesn't miss them like I do all the time. She is super solid with tough, long shots and I was so enamored with her stroke. I did however wait for opportunities and a few arose, and I got to 4 when she was on 5 games with some of my own good shots and banks. She missed a tough 7 ball (b/c of the tight picket) and I had to throw in the 7, but got perfect on the 8. BUT I didn't hit the 8 hard enough and left myself a backward cut on the 9ball. I normally love those shots but this time I missed it for some reason. So, instead of the score being 5-5, she goes up 6-4. :( She then wins 7-4.

Tara moves on to get third place! BCAPL teammate Ashley Nandrasy would get second place and I was SO happy for her! Janet Atwell placed first and became the Oklahoma Women's State Champion! Ashley defeated Janet the first set in the finals, and the second set went hill-hill. Proud of them both for doing so well!

The whole gang!! Rebecca, Amanda, Ahley and myself. :) :)

So, I placed 4th! WOW! I am still in shock, lol! And I moved up in the rankings to 7th. :) I really dug in deep during my matches on Saturday and feel good about my mental game. Even without practicing once a week the last couple of weeks, I still was lucky enough to have a few things happen in those weeks that helped me remind myself to stay down. But I fully admit I am still surprised how well I did!

Tourney description: Surprised and Happy!

Video Diary of My Broken Cue

I broke my cue during my OB Cues Ladies Tournament this past weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma. :(

Video Blogs / Video Diaries

All in one place, for you! I will update these links to videos (aka Vlogs - Video Blogs) every time I post a video in my blog so you don't have to sift through "words" and unnecessary links if you just wanna listen and not read. :)

Video Diaries:

2011 BCAPL Nationals in Vegas:

2010 Women's US Open, Ashley and Melinda:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Answers to Your Questions!

Sorry this took so long - many things got in the way of me being able to respond to the answers and prepare this blog entry in the "deadlined two weeks" like I had planned. If you don't know what this blog entry is about, I asked people to send me questions and then I would reply to your inquiries about me, so that you can get to know me better.

Let the unveiling begin....

Pomegranate Martinis or Smirnoff Ice?
At dinner with great friends, Pomegranate Martinis are the perfect conversation attire. At the pool room or a special bar, Smirnoff Ice is a very nice treat.

BCAPL Vegas or BCAPL Reno?
Vegas, Baby!

Which accomplishment are you most proud of?
In life? Graduating from Texas A&M with my meteorology degree.

In pool? Two things stand out: (1) Helping players reach their dreams by running the OB Cues Ladies Tour for 9 years. (2) Getting Most Improved Player on the OB Cues Ladies Tour in 2008, during the toughest year of my life.

What can I do to screw you up when playing me? (I NEED AN EDGE DAMN IT!!)
Try to get into my mental game, of course! Or, just run out. :)

What is your least favorite piece of advice someone gave you? (you know you remember it)
Play the table. I know now that you need to familiarize yourself with your opponents' strengths and weaknesses, NOT just play the table.

What do you prefer: eating salsa or dancing it? (I stole that one....)
Eating! I LOVE good salsa!

If you wrote a book about your life, what would you name it?
It's All About Me(linda)

With your wealth of pool contacts, years of pool experience, etc. what are the top 3 or 5 means for achieving consistency?
I don't think I know this yet! Good question! I would offer this advice, though:
  • Practice routinely. Practice provides amazing confidence and allows you to work on areas of your game.
  • Get your mechanics sound. A solid pre-shot routine is KEY.
  • Play in as many weekly and regional events that you can, and
  • Set reachable goals. Goals are pointless unless they are detailed AND reachable.

What size bra do you wear?
None of your business! lol. I would say "average" ?

Love reading your blogs and the Love you have for the game. Are you single :)
I do not have a boyfriend or husband, so I guess I am!

Do you do the weather on TV or are only behind the scenes?
Good question! I work for the National Weather Service, which means technically we provide forecasts and warnings to the TV weather forecasters and to the public. So, in a way, I work behind the scenes, but not formally in a TV station at all.

Is there a person or incident in your life that you feel has had a large impact on making you the person that you are today? Someone or something that you can attribute to shaping your personality?
Yes! June Hager Walter, a well-known pool player in Texas from the 90s took me under her wing. We not only went to tournaments together and became good friends, but she also helped improve my self image, self esteem, and confidence.

I used to take everything wrong, see the worst in things, assume the worst, and didn't like myself at all. She literally made me who I am today - someone who is happy, confident and actually likes themselves! (she kinda created a monster, lol)

Whether it's pool related or just life itself.... or both. What has been that ahhahh moment, on something you have been struggling with, working on, or just through ignorance, etc... that helped you get over a specific hump.

Just something that you remember... really sticks out in your memory, as one of those " ya know I'm glad that happened" moments.
I think the very first ah-ha moment for me regarding pool was when my friend Shayla told me many, many years ago about three-ball shape. Then Phil Capelle several years ago helped me through my struggle of how to overcome nerves. And the latest ah-ha moment was learning that a smooth stroke can help my fundamentals so immensely.

How did you get the nickname "Trigger"?
For those that do not know, my nickname on Forums is "akaTrigger." I get asked this a lot, so I wrote a blog entry about it a while ago: Here is the link

I have a question. How do you get snot out of corduroy? It just leaves a big white spot when you try to clean it. Stuff like that just bothers the hell out of me.
I would just throw it away and not try to get it out!

I am an AZB lurker and I notice that you post a fair bit on AZB and also keep this blog. Just a couple of questions. Just looking to get some insight into Trigger!

1) How often do you play pool? Tournaments? practice ?
I practice ten-ball by myself at least once a week for 1-3 hours. I play in regional tournaments about twice a month. I also am on two leagues - an 8ball league and a Straight Pool League.

2) Are you married/single - any kids?
I am single, divorced, with no kids. I have a cat named Miss Q, though!

3) Do you work at a job/from home/retired
A have a full time job that I love, at the National Weather Service. I work 40+ hours per week.

What are the three most important things you have gained from playing pool and how have they affected your personal life?
Confidence, Leadership, and Learning from Every Experience.

The three important points above I learned mostly through competing in pool and because I am involved in the pool industry. They blend over nicely and wonderfully in my everyday life which has helped me be the person I am today - happy in life and confident. I have learned that experiences should be used to learn/improve/grow - I treasure all of life's experiences (good or bad) and they have defined who I am today. I wrote about how pool has made me who I am in one of the PoolSynergy monthly Topics. You can read many more details in the long post here, if you have time. Thank you for the question!

Is it bad form to play a safety in a 'low stakes' pool tournament or game? ie... $5.00 entry D/E tournament.
No, it's always good to practice your safes. :)

OK here is my question....If you could make one change to the world that did not benefit anyone or anything, and did not adversely affect anyone or thing....what would you ????
I don't know if there is such a thing? What a profound question...

1. Why do you write your -excellent by the way - blog ? What would you be missing if you were not allowed to do it anymore?
Thank you. I write it because I like to share and I hope people learn things that improve their own game. I would miss it if I could not write it anymore, but I would survive. :)

2. Being an - excellent by the way :)) - woman do you feel that your approach to pool differs from that of your male pool friends ? I do not believe that the excitement and the enthusiasm you radiate in your blog entries, is being felt by many men players..

Thank you again. I think that men do feel the same way in their excitement, but women just express our emotions more than men (sometimes too much!). Because men and women are so different, yes our approach to pool is definitely different. For the most part, most woman care and carry with them, what others think. Men on the other hand seem to be able to take tougher comments a lot easier than women. Furthermore, men are competitive naturally, imo, so it's tougher for women to just get up and easily compete.

When you practice, what do you spend your time on? Fundamentals, drills, what?
The short answer is that I play ten ball by myself and I focus mostly on conditioning my pre-shot routine. The long answer is here:

How much, if any, have you improved in the last few years? To what, specifically do you attribute this?
I would say that yes, I have improved in the last few years. I think it's because of two main things: My blog and because I am playing other pool games.

My blog has pushed me to write down my goals, which has helped me follow through on a lot of things I normally wouldn't do. For example, watching a DVD once a month is a goal this year that I now follow and that has improved my knowledge of many games/shots. Also, because I write down tips I learn, the blog allows me to go back and refresh any struggles I may be going through again.

Other billiard games has also helped me improved. I have joined a straight pool league and after four sessions, I can see new desires in pool in general in me! I have also been trying to pay more attention to one pocket - watching more matches online and playing more. Each of these two games have improved many aspects of my 9ball and 8ball games!

Thank you to all the questions!! I enjoyed responding and hope you all enjoy getting to know me better!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

When Frustration Sets In...

Come on people. Is it SO difficult to advertise for a a tournament? Seriously? We are pool players, we get it, we know what to do and how to sign up for a tournament. But we need INFORMATION!

OMG. I tried to enter a tournament coming up and it was ludicrous (and I don't mean the rapper, Ludacris).

Give us simple little things: entry fee, address, contact info, dates, and times play starts. We can figure out the hotel and everything else. But if we don't have specifics on HOW to enter or when it starts, how do they expect to get entrants? I wont show up without info. Every one knows that's why I didn't show up to the big, huge, last-minute advertised, hardly-there info, Galveston tournament.

The flyer for this particular event (that I wont say which it is) doesn't even give the entry fee! I called the # on the flyer, and no return call yet. I have emailed two email addresses I found on another flyer of theirs and listed on their voicemail.... yep, no response yet. It's been almost two weeks now.

I just don't get it. I really don't.

Make it easy for us to sign up and you will probably get more entrants. No wonder the fields aren't getting full.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Successful Quotes

I copied below a smidgen of the many "Success" quotes I have come across. I've asterisked my favorite of this great bunch:

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
-David Brinkley

Action is the foundational key to all success. -Pablo Picasso

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. -Abraham Lincoln

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. -Dale Carnegie

Failure is success if we learn from it. -Malcolm Forbes

*I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. -Bill Cosby

I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. -Michael Jordan

*In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time. -Anthony J. D'Angelo

*In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. -Bill Cosby

*Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

Success is blocked by concentrating on it and planning for it... Success is shy - it won't come out while you're watching. -Tennessee Williams

Success is dependent on effort. -Sophocles

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. -George S. Patton

Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time. -Arnold H. Glasow

Success is that old ABC - ability, breaks, and courage. -Charles Luckman

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. -Booker T. Washington

Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go. -William Feather

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Story - July 2010 PoolSynergy

Millions of people are familiar with pool and a majority of Americans have played at least one game in their lifetime, but only a select few become really hooked on the game. So, what our PoolSynergy host this month (Michael Reddick) wants to know is: What's your story? Why do you love the game? What got you hooked?

Wow, even though I get asked this a lot, no one has asked me in a long time: How did I get started playing pool? I am sure everyone's story is similar, right? (tongue planted firmly in my left cheek).

Well, it all began when I was in high school. I was an avid video gamer - this is about to expose my age - and I could ace many video games like Galaga, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Joust, and Defender. I played these video games at a local arcade/pool room whose atmosphere was for kids my age (teens). I probably went there a lot and was good at video games because I was an only child and did things that didn't involve "requiring" other people. Eventually, I became so good at the video games I got bored because I could play for hours on only one quarter (don't play me Galaga even today - fair warning). :) So I ventured over to the pool tables to fill my time and satisfy my thirst for staying busy.

Then I went to college at Texas A&M and continued my pool prowess and played at the local pool rooms there. My dorm friends were intrigued how well I could play for some reason. That would lead me to play on the quarter tables at the local college bars we all frequented. I found myself on the tables all night long - not just because I was winning, but because I wanted to be around those roughed-up bar tables.

I then started to meet real pool players by joining the school's team, and getting my feet wet with tournaments. In my very first weekly tournament in college, I had no idea there was a B side. After I lost my first match, I was so thoroughly embarrassed, I just walked out upset. They would tell me later I had had another match to play. Really? I had no idea how a tournament was run and that I would get another chance!

I'll also never forget that one girl everyone said was REALLY good that I almost beat in my first collegiate tournament. Everyone was in awe I got so close, but I didn't know I was suppose to be nervous or not win. I recognized she won that last game hill-hill because she knew how to stop her ball and was getting "shape" - which made me want to figure that out.

After college, I stopped going to the kiddie arcade/pool room and moved up to Galaxy Billiards in San Antonio, a REAL pool hall with many more tables and better players. I made a lot of new friends, played in weekly tournaments, regional tournaments and even ventured to Vegas for the BCAPL Nationals after I joined a league. I was on a league, even!

I guess for me, pool just became a way of life for me. I started to travel to regional events in Texas with my new pool friends, enjoyed running into friends at the events, met my boyfriends through pool, etc. I dated a pro for about 5 years and that kept me around this wonderful game. Then I started to work on my game diligently because a younger female player in San Antonio improved real fast and I was jealous of her progress. That helped me want to improve and that's when I started to make "practice" a routine in my life. Ironically, she no longer plays pool, lol.

The beautiful game of pool gave me places to go AND I felt like I belonged somewhere. Galaxy Billiards became a second home to me; my friends became best friends; leagues and tournaments were fun for me.

This is another good question our host-of-the-month asks: Why do some people move on to other interests and yet I keep playing?

Well, I do things I love. That means I still have love for pool. I am also still challenged by it. It is a game that tests your mental attitude over and over again. I have so much to learn, I am not ready to move on yet! I haven't won enough tournaments yet to move on. I have goals still to accomplish. I also am now into other games of the trade - straight pool and one pocket. I can't even fathom stopping now! Those two games are so much more amazing than 9ball - I have too much to learn!

Additionally, I stayed with pool for other non-playing reasons: I am a webmaster for about 5 or more pool-related websites; I ran a women's tour for over 9 years; I was a photographer at many tournaments. Pool was all-encompassing for me, I was successful as a pool ambassador, more than a player.

Further, pool is my family. My best friends play pool, my mentors play pool, the best times I have are at leagues and tournaments, my vacations revolve around pool. I can't begin to to even desribe how important pool is to my psyche - being with friends is my therapy. And finally, playing pool has introduced me to so many amazing people in my life.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Second Quarter 14.1 Stats

Here are the stats from June and July of my current Straight Pool Season (you can click on the image to enlarge). Pretty disappointing I win 7 out of 8 matches and am only in third place. :(

I have 5 more people to play this season. The top player I lost to (that's my only loss so far). The second place person I have yet to play.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Interesting One Pocket Rule

I watched the HollyWood Jack Memorial One Pocket Tournament online (thanks to Lenny who streamed it for us avid one pocket fans via!) a couple of weekends ago. They had an interesting rule to speed up the play of this one pocket tournament that they incorporated into this event:

From Tournament Director Jay Helfert:

"Here is how it works. There can only be three balls inside the kitchen (head string). When a fourth ball (or more) goes inside the head string, you spot one (or more) balls on the foot spot. You take the balls(s) closest to the end rail first."

Jay added on the forums:

"Interestingly the better players adapted quite easily to these rules (like Sylver), and still controlled their matches. It does affect some of the strategy, knowing that a ball will be spotted if you shoot one more ball into the kitchen. So you must be cognizant of that fact when there are already three balls in there. Even with these rules the best One Pocket players dominated."

It was a pretty cool rule to watch in action - I obviously hadn't seen that before. Not everyone would remember when 4 or more balls were in the kitchen and then had to be spotted, and sometimes they would need to be reminded, but by the second day of the tourney, everyone was remembering the rule more.

I was curious what the Champion of this event thought of the rule and so I called Sylver Ochoa after the tourney to get his take on it.

He said that although it was intended to speed up the game, if some of the players had used the rule repeatedly in certain situations, it might have instead slowed the game down a little.

He acclimated to the rule pretty quickly and he noticed just like the online fans did, that on the first day not many players were spotting balls in the first or two rounds. Jay announced reminders throughout the event which helped, because it was a new rule not many were cognizant of while they were playing. It took a while to get used to and remember. Even the top players would forget sometimes to spot balls when too many were in the kitchen.

When Sylver was playing in the semi-final match again Ismael "Morro" Paez, in one particular game of the set, there were only 4 balls left. Sylver said he would normally leave the balls down table but since each time one was spotted, he at one point rolled one of the balls close to the kitchen, but not in it. The normal reaction in this one pocket spot is for the incoming player to move that ball further up the table and leave the cue on the rail. Morro took the bait, nudged the ball, but forgot it would be spotted and Sylver had a cross bank and made it.

Other times, Sylver said he would go for a long rail bank and deliberately nudge balls into the kitchen at the same time. He knew that the ball would be spotted and he wouldn't sell out because he deliberately nudged them into the kitchen to be spotted with an already spotted ball.

He also mentioned that against players who didn't shoot at their hole much, he would move several balls into the kitchen to be spotted, and that helped out as well.

It was an interesting perspective from someone who had to use the rule for the first time, so I'm glad I asked him about this for my blog.

Link: Article and Results

Til Next Time!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Four More Straights

After my first four straight pool matches the weekend before for the league season, I did it again the following weekend! What am I trying to do to myself?! lol.
  • 1 match Friday night
  • 2 matches Saturday
  • 1 match Monday night
Folks, that's a lot of pool again!

The first of the four was fairly easy (I know, rude of me) but I won 100-59 in less than 2 hours. No high runs, but I won and that helps my stats. :)

Unfortunately, I hung around after the match to grab something to eat and drank a little, also. They had a little weekly 9ball tourney that Friday night and so I watched a lot of friends play. Then the worst thing happened to me - peeps asked me to play scotch doubles.

"No, really, I don't want to."


"Seriously, I'm okay. I can WATCH. "

"Nope, we need you."

"No, you don't"

"Yes, we really do!"

"Okay, fine...."

So I play scotch doubles. My partner hates to lose and so he's getting frustrated with me (I cannot drink and play pool at the same time, it just isn't a pretty sight, lol). Eventually, they all keep drinking but yet I stop drinking to sober up for the drive home. I start to play better and my partner gets more impressed (either b/c I can now actually make balls or because he is drunk by now, lol, not sure which) and we get it to even toward the end of the night. Unfortunately for me, it's now 2AM! Yes, folks, 2AM! OMG, really? I've closed the bar down? How old am I?

I not only leave at 2am, I talk on the phone to a friend til 3am. Wait for a return call from someone else at 430 am and proceed to not go to sleep til 545 am. Now, normally on a Fri Night/Sat morning this wouldn't be a big deal, but when you have a straight pool match against a "tedious" player at 11:30am, it is a pretty big deal. However, I know from experience that the DAY OF not getting sleep I can usually handle. So, I do NOT let the lack of sleep creep into my mental attitude (btw, it's the next day I am dog tired and worthless).

I get up in time to still do my morning chores (feed the dog, fix Mom her food, get myself ready) but yet still walk in 5 minutes late to my scheduled appointment time. :(

I set my things down and take my cue out of my case and as usual my opponent is surprised by my answer to practicing, "no thanks, I'm ready." He probably has been hitting balls for 30 minutes...

Anyway, I know I have a match after this one, so it is on my mind. I order some tacos and proceed to eat while we play. I miss a couple of easy cut shots for some reason and the score stays even for the most part. My friend watching our match tells me to buckle down, my opponent is playing good and determined. We are close for the first 34 innings.


I have missed a few shots and so has he. I start to talk to myself - "wait for your opportunity, think positive, figure out why you missed then move on quickly." Then it happens. A 13 ball run. Guess what? he makes 5, and I make ANOTHER 13 ball run back to back. No longer close, buddy!

80-61, me.

At this point he tries to catch up but he starts to worry about shape too much and misses some key balls. I win 100-82. Yay! However, it's been 3 hours and 45 minutes! Goodness! And one more match to go.

I didn't realize it had been that long. My body didn't feel it, my mind wasn't tired. The only reason I knew it was taking a while is because my next opponent was waiting for me.

Match 3 starts and it's over in about 2 hours. He isn't staying down well like he should and I win 100-54.

Match #4 on Monday night is completely different! I walk in late, it was pouring during the drive in all that traffic, I was upset at something at work, upset at something personal, but still tried to be okay in my match. I am suppose to win (well, I think so) and we start off close and eventually I get up 15 points and feel pretty relaxed (big no-no). He catches up to me and almost ties it: score now only 44-46. Eeeek - too close for comfort for me. So, I bear down (that awesome self talk to get me back in the game), but then I start to scratch. A LOT. I am no longer missing, but scratching and giving up points and ball in hand. Ugh! It remains close!


I finally win 100-94, but I was SUPER nervous! Pressure was on both of us full blown! We couldn't make shots, we got bad safes, we were miscuing, hooking ourselves, it was a tough, close ending. Every time each of us got to the table we thought we were done. It was so brutal but fun (well, I can say fun b/c I won, lol). My heart was racing, my adrenaline pumping, oh, it was exhilarating but scary to almost lose like that! The shots become so difficult near the end when the match is super close! Forget hill-hill in 9ball - try 89-95 in straight pool, race to 100 when the balls are open! Eeeeek!

We did have one stretch where we each played ten safes in a row. We were both determined and wanted the win!

After 8 total matches in 12 days, I have won 7. Eeeeek! Don't jinx me! I still have 5 more people to play!