Sunday, February 27, 2011

Roller Coaster Straight Pool Match

In my 5th straight pool match of the season, my opponent is a very nice guy who likes to have fun in life who I have known for a couple of years.  He moved himself down from the race-to-150-division this season so I knew he had some knowledge I wouldn't that he gained from playing the top echelon players from the metro-plex for a few seasons before. 

But, I found myself playing up to his potential (AND mine); feeling comfortable and challenged, and not afraid.  Of course, it helped the score was 7-7 then 22-18, which meant I was in the game pretty early in our little race to 100. 

Then I found myself running out a second rack.  Wait.  Second rack?  Oh crap!  That means I'm close to my personal high run of 28!  I had only three balls left when it dawned on me.  Yes, I know, I shouldn't be thinking of that, but it all of a sudden hit me! 

Instead of stopping the cueball for a simple three ball run, I decided to draw it back for what-in-my-mind was the "correct" break out shot.  Instead, I should have gone with my first instinct and NOT worry about which ball would make for a for-sure beak out for my potentially new high run.

Here is the lay out (click to enlarge):


I decide to be super cool and draw my cueball back to the 11.  Then I would simply draw a little bit back for shape on the 2ball for the routine break out shot.  What I should have executed instead was simply use a tad draw on the 1ball for the 2ball next, and then use the 11ball in the side for the break out, which ironically was my previous break shot that led to this run. 

I get ready to shoot and as I tend to do on "super draw shots," I hit it so low and so hard, I jump RIGHT OVER the 1 ball and into the pocket!  My opponent was flabbergasted!  He knew I was close to the seasons high run and was laughing in disbelief.  I too was in shock!  Ugh - I ruined my potentially new high run!  OMGG!  :(

Turns out he added wrong and I did indeed have the season high run now of 26.  But I was sick and embarrassed.  :(

But I was up 51-27.

Then....  

I miscued at my next turn at the table.  Ugh.

Then....

My next shot I had ball-in-hand with the opportunity to run many balls and I missed it.  I was already timid and afraid - I should have chosen a better shot to shoot.

Then....

My next shot I again missed.

At this point my opponent asked me if I got a bad text or something because all of a sudden I couldn't shoot!  I mean - seriously, I couldn't make a ball.  I told him, "no, I'm just so excited about the run" (and now I was no longer focused on my fundamentals!)

I needed to calm down; take advantage of opportunities, but I could only make a ball or two for some reason.  Then he had an 18 ball run and I was down 57-69!  Ugher.  :(

Then my next shot I thought I might scratch and so I hit it soft, yet it still scratched.... and I was livid!  I slammed the butt of my cue down and hit it so hard, one of my fingernails dug into my skin and it almost broke off.  I was SO angry! 

Then I actually scratched again, but I wasn't angry anymore.  I was embarrassed that I had showed so much emotion with my little outburst that I released my tension because I didn't want to show that side of me again...so I was calm by now. 

He is up 63-88 and I finally start playing again like in the beginning!  Whew.  I go on an 8 Ball run and I'm only down 98-75.  Then!  I go on a 14 ball run to only be down 98-89.  I felt SO dang relieved to be playing well again.  SO relieved!

I tried to keep him at bay with many safes, fouls, and such but he eventually won 100-88.  But I played super good in the end, which felt so good. 

I remember a few things my opponent said during the match that I would like to share: 

1.  When I had a straight-in shot, I kinda complained and he said, "at least you have shot."
2.  He was about to go for a tricky shot and he joked "I ain't scared."  I told him, "Guys aren't scared anyway"  and he replied, "in the end, it's all just a game."
3.  I texted one of my g/f's that I had just run 26 balls and he suggested I don't text at all during my matches b/c they could be a deterrent if I happen to get an upsetting text which can obviously get your mind off the game.
4.  He also shared this was the first match he played all season that he enjoyed and that he would actually play for fun later with me, not just for league.

If I didn't start playing well in the end, this blog entry would be much more different, lol.  But overall I'm very satisfied, even though I missed opportunities in the middle of the match.

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