Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Video Diary - My Shoe Lift

Sorry for the loud background song!  :(  If you can try and filter that out, then you can find out why I need to wear a lift in my shoe.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winning Breeds Confidence

From September 2011: 

Winning Breeds Confidence

I am sure you've heard this quote before:  "Winning Breeds Confidence and Confidence Breeds Winning."  This quote is from Hubert Green.  

Hubert Who?  Who the heck is that?

Well, he's a professional golf player who has won many, many golf championships and tournaments.
The reason this quotes resonates so much with me is because I am going through a little issue right now.

On Friday nights, I play in a weekly 9-ball tournament that is handicapped.

(BTW, I don't know how they came up with the handicapped #s, but the numbers aren't anywhere near the APA handicapped #s.  We would all be ranked higher in the APA.)

When I started to play in this Friday night tourney, I was rated a 5, but I couldn't get anywhere against the other 5s.  These 5s are male players that place high in all types of tournaments all the time.  Sure, there is one 7 and a couple of 6s, but there are a ton of 5s that I cannot beat on a regular basis that I have to play.... even.

I finally got verbally upset about it one night after losing again for millionth time to another 5, and going out in two or three.

I started to whine to the tourney director and he moved me down to a 4.  I was relieved and thought I would have to bitch more, to be honest, lol, but he for some reason gave in pretty easy.  Maybe he knew it wasn't a good handicap for me.  I dunno.

The thing is, while many are of the opinion I should have stayed a 5 to better my game, I disagree right now.  My confidence is shot.  Instead of feeling the urge to get better and fight more competitively, every Friday night I felt kicked to the ground, wounded and bruised, and very upset and so freakin' frustrated... repeatedly.

Then I remembered way back when.... when a friend of mine named JoAnn "The Wiz" gave me great advice.

She shared with me in the mid 90s that I should play in "weak" tournaments.

At the time, I was very frustrated with going two and out in big women's tournaments.  Obviously, this was when I first started to compete in pool, so I wasn't as seasoned as I am now.

She told me I needed to build my confidence.  And her advice was spot-on.  Play in tournaments that I have a chance to be successful in.  She went on to say not everyone can just throw themselves in tough tournaments all the time and expect to do well right away.  Not-as-experienced-players needed to gain some confidence somehow, too.  A confidence booster.  It's tough to want to keep competing if you keep getting kicked down over and over.

And what helps more than gaining experience at winning, than WINNING.

Yes, it sounds kind of like a wild concept, but I believed in it (for me).  And even now.  I need confidence boosters.  I need wins.  The wins help me be confident, and the confidence helps me win.
Just like when I show up at little ladies events in my area and look across the room and I know I am the best female player there....I immediately gain some confidence.  And then when I win, it helps me for my next tourney; the tougher tourneys.  

Winning isn't easy.  Winning takes just as much practice as practicing pool.  

Sure, I could have kept playing as a 5, but I wouldn't have placed well OR it would take me much, much longer to finally place well.

And guess what is happening right now?  Yep, I'm getting in the money in that Friday night handicapped tournament.  And yep, I'm gaining more confidence.  I would like to earn that 5, not just be thrown into a 5.  I like hearing the threats, "We're gonna move you up to a 5."  It makes me feel so good!!  


What is that feeling?  

Yep, that feeling is confidence.

I am earning the confidence which is leading to winning, and winning matches on Friday night is giving me more confidence.

JoAnn "The Wiz" was correct and so was Hubert Green!

Now... you might be thinking these things about me: 

Aren't you already a seasoned player?Why would you need any more wins to build your confidence?Shouldn't you already be a 5 anyway in that tournament based on your pool career?

Well, to be honest, I'm not as good in pool as I used to be.  I was a Master player once.  Once.  That was many years ago.  I have never won an OB Cues Ladies Tour stop.  I took off from focusing on my pool game the past year.

And to be fair, I never competed against guys regularly until this year.

What I notice is of course this new avenue of experience playing against guys is helping my game, helping me.  But, I also haven't practiced in over a year.  Seriously.

So, a combination of a lot of things has rolled into one big large yarn of pool mesh, lol.

And that my friends is why I AM a 4 right now and feel I NEED to be a 4 right now.

Trust me, I can't wait for the day I can compete with the 5s on a regular basis and I pray that that day will come.  I hope I haven't lost my ability.  But until I work on my game, this is the price you pay:  acceptance of where your game is.

So, do what you can to build your confidence!  Remember:  "Winning Breeds Confidence and Confidence Breeds Winning."

Playing Pool in Bras

I'm not trying to be like PoolSnark over at blog Pool Cue News and Review. I swear!  He is the one that normally talks about gossip-type things but I guess today it will be me.  Since I visit once a day, that makes me an expert, right?  lol.

At the WPBA-recognized event (previously known as the Regional Tour Championships) held in Houston last weekend, Yu Ram Cha went scathing through the 63 other players to win the event

A second chance tournament was held starting Saturday night for those not in the main event and the pool room's owner gracioiusly added $500 to it. 

I'm not at the event, I'm tucked away in my bed at home 4 hours away getting rest for a big poker tourney the next day.  About 11pm that night, I start getting texts and phone calls about two players who are playing pool in their bras!  What?  WTH is going on down there!? 

Turns out two players (I wont name names) in the second chance event were playing a match and tried to out-do each other to get attention.  When one took their shirt off, so the other followed.  As expected, everyone grabbed their cell phones to take photos and videos.  The crowd gathered (imagine that) and the attention-ploy worked! 

Eventually, enough people complained to the Tournament Director who then came rushing over and immediately disqualified them.  The TD happened to walk over when it was hill-hill and one of the players was on the 8ball.

Words were exchanged, shirts were put back on, apologies were stated, some tears might have been shed, and explanations and also defending was going on.  I heard they were indeed allowed to finish that last game (not sure why).

As a WPBA-recognized event, I'm sure embarrassment is rampant right now.  It was still a very good, well-run, successful event, tho!  This black eye is nothing they should be ashamed of.  Heck, I don't even consider it a black eye - it's just another thing that happened to happen at a tournament.  Hell, I've heard of much worse.

My thinking is, tho, maybe this should catch on!  Everyone complains about how pool isn't mainstream and we need more sponsors and pool is hurting and no one cares about us, blah blah blah.

Maybe this should be our new marketing scheme! Playing pool in bras!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Played another straight pool match on Monday.

Let's just say it's one of those matches where afterwards, I leave the pool room without telling any of my friends goodbye.

Yep, I was upset and disappointed.  Embarrassed, too.

I played an opponent who I can't take for granted but I did underestimate his talent this time - he played much better than before.  I was surprised (and frustrated by it).  The last two times we played I won fairly easy, I admit.  But honestly, this time he outplayed me.

It didn't help I wasn't on top of my game for some reason.  I feel even if I would have played better he still would have defeated me, but the score would have been closer and I wouldn't feel so damn upset about it.

He had me down:


then 23-31

then 28-41.

I tell myself to just stay down on my shots.

I somehow managed to tie it up!  I am SO dang relieved!


I go wash my hands and can feel the sense of relief in my veins, no longer pressure on my mind, and I am more relaxed.

And yes, this leads to misses and mistakes when I get back, all the while he continues with his 13 and 7 ball runs (two each after I come back form the bathroom).  That's 40 balls right there.

My highest stretch after I came back from the bathroom is only 5!  omg...  :(

I got pretty frustrated and gave up - I HATE that attitude in me.  It's not like me at all, and I haven't done that in ages that I recall.

I was down:




He ran 13 the moment I came back from the bathroom and he also ran another 13 to reach 100 to defeat my sorry ass 55-11. 


Still upset about it.  I didn't play well and he played better.  BAD combo.  :(

On a happy note, I did enjoy a nice hour before the match at Carrabbas.  Check out the ambiance:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dang Rude Drunks

Last night I watched two guys gambling it out intensely for over 3 hours.  It was toward closing time of the pool room and the adrenaline's were racing, pressure was obvious, emotions were high.  Race to 7 for $300 was the last set.  That meant one guy would go home with $600 or they would break even, so a lot was on the line.

Each guy made some critical errors, but they also came with nice shots.  Both players had their pride on the line (and the cash burning in their pockets). 

About 2am, the overhead bright lights come on to let the patrons know it was closing time.  Most people in the pool room leave - the shuffle board players, the weekend warriors, the Norm Peterson's at the bar, etc..  I stay to watch the match, along with the girlfriend of one of the gamblers, and also one mutual friend of ours. 

Then something stupid happens that annoys me.

A drunk girl comes over to say hi/bye to everyone.  I don't mind drunk girls - some of them can be pretty funny.  But this one spouted off inappropriate comments during their match and it ticked me off.

Picture the scene - emotions running high, running out of time, money on the line, pressure to win, they are barking at each other, etc.  The score is tied 5-5 and this girl comes over and starts making fun of one the guys.  Evidently she knows the guy (I'll call him Stretch), so I guess she feels comfortable to talk $hit about him (or she's too drunk to care).

She notices that Stretch makes funny faces before he shoots.  He takes his time when he's down on a ball, so it's more noticeable that he moves his mouth a lot - while he looks back and forth at the ball/ pocket/ cueball, he opens his mouth, closes it, sticks his tongue out, closes his mouth, opens it, etc. until he shoots.  It really is a sight to see and I myself have made comments to a friend about it.  BUT - this girl?  She states it OUT LOUD.... TO him, in front of everyone there, WHILE he's shooting in this gambling match, WHILE down on his shots.

I felt so bad for guy to have to fade her crap while he was obviously very emotional because he was the underdog, playing badly, and losing.  I honestly don't know how he didn't snap at her to tell her to shut up.

Stupid drunk people who have no clue should never be allowed near a gambling match. imo. 

She eventually left. 

Stretch and the other guy ended up breaking even. 

They'll play again - hopefully without her around, tho.  lol.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Where Are the Sharking Rules?

Got disappointed the other day when I found out a good player in the area (and a friend of mine) sharked his opponent in the finals of a monthly tourney.

I wasn't there, but I heard the guy (I'll call him Panther) sharked his opponent by stalling a lot.  His opponent (I'll call Smooth) was very frustrated and upset.  Both Panther and Smooth are excellent players - actually, top players in our area - and each make a living out of playing pool.  Therefore, this was their income for the weekend and an important cash flow to both of these players in the finals.

I heard Panther took a lot of breaks, slow-played, stood around a lot, etc.  Smooth even barked at him a few times, but the slow antics caused him to lose his cool and his focus, and then he got double dipped by Panther.

Panther's response to the accusation was, "I gotta do what I gotta do."

I assume that means he needed to do all that because Smooth was tough to beat and Panther could use a little edge that day?  Just a guess.

 Courtesy of Off the Mark.

I mentioned this incident to one of my level-headed friends and he shared, "well, he didn't break any rules."

And you know what?  It's true.  Panther wasn't at some big event or competing on a tour with stringent etiquette rules, he simply played in a small monthly tournament that had your typical 9ball rules, no additional rules.  In comparison, on the WPBA Tour, you are only allowed one break per person per match.  On the OB Cues Ladies Tour, sharking is not allowed and states so in their rules.  There are even ramifications for it.

But in this little monthly tourney, Panther didn't break any rules.  Unless Smooth was to complain to the Tourney Director who then *might* make future rules, Panther was "technically" legal to slow play and stall his way to the win.

Is it ethical and proper?  No, not really.  Did his sharking work?  Sure sounds like it.  Was it unfortunate. Yep, you betcha.  But, he didn't break any rules of that particular tourney....

Yet... still bothers me....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Busted Hair Appointment

Went to get some curls added to my hair the other day.  I really hate wasting time, so sitting in a chair for over two hours with nothing to read or not be productive can frustrate me to no end.

For example, if I am sitting at an airport, I can't just sit there and do nothing until I board the plane.  I have to change seats to watch CNN on the TV (if I can find one in the waiting area), or pull out my laptop to work on projects, or grab one of my many Sudoku books to strengthen my brain cells.  I can't just do "nothing."

So, the idea of being unproductive for over two straight hours while getting my hair done has led me to bring along books to read.  I, of course, mostly bring pool-related books to improve my knowledge.  I always say:  take advantage of down time!  (like what I wrote about back in April 2009).

For my hair appointment, I knew I had the awesome The Straight Pool Bible book by "Babe" Cranfield in my car, so I would be fine because I had a great book to read and learn from (while I sat in the beauty chair).

I rush to my appointment, late as usual, and I then hurriedly check the back seat of my car but I don't see the book.  I look on the floor, under the seats, IN the seats, nothing.

"Hmm... maybe it's in the trunk area of my SUV?"

I check that area, nothing.

I swear it was on the floor somewhere.

I'm mystified.

I know that book is in my car!  Argh!

Even though I already checked, I look again on the floor of the back seat, thinking to myself, "maybe I missed that orange and white covered book somehow." 


Oh, then I get irritated!

I checked the trunk again, then under the seats again, in my door.  Ugh.  I swear it was in my car!  I can picture it in my brain!

Frustrated, I went inside without my book, knowing I 'd have to read some crazy, old, frilly magazine they had left over on the little tables... instead of a self-help book.  :(

Upset and now in a bad mood, I sat down and explained to Monica (my awesome hair person) I was perturbed.  She understood and tried to help me out with small talk by asking how I was doing, how was my Mom, etc. It eventually worked and I calmed down.

BTW, check me out with my curlers in my hair!!  Medusa!  It takes almost an hour and a half to put all these curlers in (yes, those long red and blue "tubes" are curlers) and then I sit with smelly chemicals for the other hour! 

So, after 2 1/2 hours, my new curls and I leave the beauty salon.

I open the door to my car, get in my seat, and something captures my eye:

@!#$$%&*@#$&^*&!!  The book was on the floor of the FRONT seat! 

OMG!  :(

Friday, March 18, 2011

Two Straight Pool Matches in One Night

Showed up Monday for a straight pool match.  It was suppose to be one of those "easy" wins.  Right before we started, a fellow straight pool member asked if we could play our own match after the one I was about to start.  I thought to myself, "I shouldn't be too tired; sure, I'll play him."

This may seem like nothing:  Racing to 100 points two times in one evening.

Well, after a long day at work, it could turn into a nightmare.

But more importantly, if either of my opponents were tough, seasoned, and deliberate, I would have said no to the second one.  In a heartbeat!  It's too tough to capture two wins in one evening if both matches are tough.  But I knew these two matches wouldn't take too long or take a lot of mental energy out of me.

In the first match against The Professor (I will call him), I won 100-52 in 34 innings.  I had a high run of 17 and won pretty easily.  He always likes to show me shots before he shoots or even after I shoot while I'm still at the table.  He means well, but I heard after our match he annoys people with his "professor" like manner.  Me, I love to learn - bring it on!

In the second match of the evening, I play "Taiwan" (I will call him).  There is a guy sitting near our match that bothers Taiwan (he would confess later), otherwise I think the score would have been closer.  The guy would talk to me about my shots - when I was at the table or in my seat.  He shouldn't have been talking to me during a match, especially to give advice while I'm playing a league match. 

I noticed I had good runs during the entire match - 13 (on my first shot at the table), then 12, 13, 10, 11.

Then I got SO dang excited because I was almost about to win my first match in 25 innings!  What does this mean?  Nothing really.  lol.  It means I just don't go to the right side of the score sheet, lol.  But!  It would have been a first for me.  On inning 23 I'm sitting on 94 points.  I try WAY too hard to get only 6 more balls, and only get 2, lol, then only 1.  Ugh.  I actually win 100-53 in inning 26.  ALMOST in 25!  hehe.

I'm halfway through this Spring's Straight Pool Season.  5 wins, 2 losses.  8 more peeps to play.  2 of the 8 will be super tough, 2 I need to still focus with, the other 4 I still wont underestimate them.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Customer Service

I relish good customer service.  Because I'm a caretaker, good customer service is kinda like them taking care of me, which is a very nice treat!  Makes me feel special and loved.  :) 

Good waiters/waitresses, service people, and bartenders can either make me feel special by taking care of me (which I compensate well via good tips) or they can ruin my night.

At the Valentine's Scotch Doubles Tourney I wrote about, the owner and waitresses were the BEST ever.  They not only were attentive, they also thanked every person for coming - they went out of their way to even introduce themselves, all the while providing exceptional customer service by being conscientious to all their patrons the whole night.  

However.... this other pool room was a different story.  I've been there three Mondays in about two months for a weekly tournament.  Well, the third time I went, I finally had to say something to the manager on duty about the inconsiderate waitress.

I would be sitting at the tall tables, between the bar and the pool tables, and the waitress would never stop and ask me i I wanted anything.  "Are you thirsty?  Need a drink?  Need to order some food?"


I almost got a complex, lol, til I noticed she just wasn't a good waitress to anyone.

And I don't get that.  When I was a waitress for those six months in college, I busted my arse to make money.  Does this over-bleached young lady not realize she could make more money if she was attentive to every patron she walked by? 

After the third visit, I finally decided (as I stood at the bar too long (lol)), that I should say something to the manager about the lack of service.

I was very nice but expressed to him my concerns.

"Can I ask why the waitress doesn't ask me if I want to order anything? She walks by me all night."

He replied, "Really?  Maybe she thinks you have a tab with the bar?  But, even then, she still should have asked to make sure."

I added, "I have been here three times now, and every night she remains unattentive to the patrons at the tall tables.  She just walks by like we aren't there."

He explained, "I will talk to her. She needs to realize taking orders from that area could mean an extra $40-$60 a night for her, too."


I then told him, "I don't mean to complain, but I like this place and I think you should know I'd rather talk to my friends about how great it is, not that the service is bad."  I really did like the atmosphere and wanted to come back,and I didn't want him to lose patrons over this so I said something to try and help.

He thanked me for sharing my concerns with him, instead of just not coming back again.  He obviously didn't want to lose customers and for that I appreciated his acceptance of my comments.

I felt bad I kinda complained about her as I don't want her to "get in trouble" but let's face it, she's not helping herself or his business by being a bad waitress.

I think it's important to not only share concerns, but to express when people provide exceptional service.  It's sometimes rare, so those excellent waiters and waitresses I compliment and even talk to their bosses.  I think we complain too much in this world and not give enough compliments.  Let's not take good customer service for granted, folks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Handicapped Womens Tourney

I recently heard about a monthly women's tourney that was being held in a town about 1 hour and 15 minutes a way (if I drive fast).

As I looked at the flyer, it stated:

Entry fee is based on your current APA skill level (if you have one)
APA 1-2-3 = C player = $5 entry fee = race to 3
APA 4-5-6 = B player = $10 entry fee = race to 4
APA 7-8-9 = A player = $15 entry fee = race to 5
Other players ranked by reputation by tournament host and coordinator.

Since I am not an APA player, I wondered what I would be ranked.  I specially asked, "I have never played APA. I consider myself a B player and am not a Master nor Advanced player with the BCA. What would I be ranked for this tourney?"

I opened up a bad can of worms, one that made me pretty ticked.

The response from a few of the players were: "you play as good as me or better and I'm a 6/7 in APA, so you should be an A" and also, "yea, you are an A."

Then the tourney director chimes in and says,
"...we use the APA as a guideline to (slightly) handicap the tournament... to encourage ladies of all skill levels to play with us. Players who have never played APA (or ...who are inactive and do not have a current skill level on record) are classified by reputation... and yours (as someone else mentioned) is certainly "A" level at our events. We actually have not had any "A" players show up yet, but I will be playing at "A" level this month because of winning it in prior months. Really hope you will come play when you can, and bring some friends :)"

I don't respond. 

I want to respond with, "I was told if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

But I just didn't reply. 

Then the Tourney Director adds,
"Melinda... also see FAQs on our website: "Players from out of town are automatically ranked as "A" players, unless they provide proof of current APA rank." (Based on circumstances, exceptions may occasionally be made to this rule.) I personally would prefer head up play (no matter who enters our events) but a lot of people won't play without "handicaps" anymore... which I think hurts them more than it helps them... but that's just how it seems to be these days :( "

I still don't respond, because now I've gotten pissed earlier because they are all pretty much saying I should play even with Master Players in this tourney AND give weight, and yet then I read I would be an A anyway because I'd be coming from out of town.  WTH...

How do they expect to get players from out of town if most of them will be an A anyway (if they aren't an APA ranked player)??


Someone else states, "You should def be an A and I reply, "It's okay. I'm not interested anymore."  She adds, "Aww, well still lots of love. Maybe I can make it to an event soon to hang out."

Which was SUPER sweet of her to say!  Then I added, "I would like that! This event doesn't seem very "player friendly" imo."

No one else has commented.  I don't blame them.  I sound like a sour puss anyway.  I never should have stated my 'not nice' comment but... I recognized I was still perturbed and decided to state my mind.  I don't normally be crappy or say rude things, but I was frustrated.  I stepped out of my element to say something not better crafted to be received best. I'm usually very careful before speaking rude things.
It's obvious I don't like handicapped women's events, huh?  If I become a Master player again (as ranked by the BCAPL), then I will accept all those tourneys I wont be able to play in because I've earned it.
Yes, I like men's tourneys that are handicapped, because I don't play even with guys.  I am female and I simply don't play as well as they do.  So, a little weight is always nice for me to be able to still somewhat compete (and not lose all my confidence, lol). 
But the idea of driving to an event over an hour away to give up weight to players I normally play even with in weekend tourneys kinda disgusts me and frustrates me.  Would I do well?  Probably.  Would I enjoy the tourney?  Maybe.  But I just can't see wasting my time like that.  I'd rather the event not be handicapped and just let me try my skills against better female players!
In this 9ball tourney, I can't believe some of my opponents would race to 3, I would go to 5, when at other events they have defeated me plenty of times in a race to 7!  Ugher.
Ya, I'm bitching.  Yes, it doesn't make sense why I'm perturbed.  Just go with it, people!  But, I welcome all comments, as usual!
Til Next Time!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

PoolSynergy - Tourney Prep

This month Charles from is hosting PoolSynergy.  His chosen topic?  An all-time important one - Tourney Prep!  Read all the great advice from the Poolsynergy authors at this link.  I, personally, can't wait to read all the tips and suggestions!

As for me?


I used to do many things to prepare for a tourney:  Make all travel arrangements ahead of time, review my pool/mental checklist, prepare for unknown conditions at the pool room, read pool books or watch videos, pack early, ensure I put in a lot of quality practice time, etc. etc.

Before, I was more focused on my mental toughness and my practice sessions.  Now, my focus has changed.


Almost the most important tourney preparation for me now is to get good sleep/rest. 

I have failed miserably at many tournaments because I ran out of steam.  All the practice time and mental preparations are for not if I can't finish a rack because I'm so exhausted and tired.

I'm sure you have recognized how so very unproductive you are at work when you are too tired.  You aren't in a good mood, your attention span is lowered, your mind is not as active, you can't wait to get home, and you are not attentive nor productive.

Conversely, if you get good sleep, you can tell the difference the next day at work!  You complete more tasks, smile more, care more about your work projects, you have more ideas and contribute more, and you Get Things Done.

Same for pool.

Nowadays, my entire focus the week before a big tourney is to try and get sleep every night each day of the whole week before.  Although not always successful at getting a good nights sleep the week or even weekend of a tourney, it truly is my most important tournament preparation for me now.

Let's face the facts:  I am more successful in competing when I am not tired.  Getting rest/sleep is my most helpful asset to myself.  My mind is focused because it's alert, my body doesn't feel tired, I can mentally focus and be mentally stronger, and I am a stronger opponent when my mind is awake and I have had plenty of sleep.  I can tell the difference, and the difference for me is HUGE. 

Do I still prepare other ways?  Sure, I still read books, watch videos, put in practice time, play in weekly tourneys, etc.  But, it's all pointless if I don't give myself a chance first by SLEEPING.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Let Us Help

I was invited at the last minute to play in a Scotch Doubles tourney a few weeks ago.  It was a cool little event, too! Women-only matched-up pairings and best of all → most of the proceeds of the tourney would help a team or two with expenses to go to Nationals!  I think having tournaments to raise money for travel expenses for teams to go to Nationals in any league is a GREAT idea.  :)

One of my girlfriends was with me when I got the invite so asked her to play and she was all excited to help out!  However, we would find out after a few phone calls that the league director and tourney director wouldn't let her play because she's a Master player.


I realize the other teams wanted a chance to win and it's tough to beat a team with a Master player, but they risked that over us bringing in more funds for the fundraiser?

I would welcome all to a fundraiser! 

Also, I would not only have entered, but I would have bought raffle tickets to help them out, too.  But, we weren't welcomed.  :(

Although I "kinda" understand, I think for a fundraiser people might want to reconsider who they turn down to play since the ultimate goal is to go to Nationals, not win a local tourney. 


I think it's humorous that many of my posts start out with intentional themes in my mind, but sometimes by the time I'm done writing, I second guess my thoughts, actions, and words.

Let's face it - if *I* didn't care about winning that little tourney, I could have shown up to play without a Master player, huh?

(although I still stick by the notion they should allow anyone to play in fundraisers)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Valentine Scotch Doubles

On Friday Feb 11th, at the last minute on that evening, I heard there was a special Scotch Doubles tourney being held (probably out of respect for Valentine's Day).  My Scotch partner, Brian, said he would play and we raced quickly to Good Times in Arlington, Texas because sign ups were at 730pm and we were running late.

It was such a last minute decision, I didn't even have time to go home and get my cues first! 

We show up and there aren't many teams there.  I can tell Brian is nervous about wasting his time at this little tourney with no players, when instead he could be playing at his normal Friday night tourney that he likes so much.  But this scotch doubles tourney had a calcutta and we were one of the favorite pairings in the room, so I hoped his apprehensiveness would change soon.

By 8pm, Brian was convinced we should stay - he could tell how excited I was to be playing in a tourney with trophies, but more so because more teams showed up.  More teams means more money!  Once he made his mind up to stay, he was ready to play and win!

We didn't go highest in the calcutta, but we still were one of the top picks, and that was a great confidence booster for me.  I didn't know all of the players there - being one of the best female players in the area, if I don't know a lot of the other players it normally means they don't play that good.  It might sound conceited, but the fact is I play in so many tourneys with well-known, good players that we all know each other.  And because pool is dominated by men, everyone knows all the female players because there aren't many of us.

We play our first match (8ball, race to 3) and we win pretty easily 3-0.  We have to share his cue, but because it's a Jacoby and I own two myself, I get acclimated to it on the first shot.  :)  During the first match, I shoot one shot pretty sporty and I tell Brian afterwards, "I shot it that way because I have been watching you gamble so much lately and my confidence with those shots have increased."  I was all proud of myself for how well I executed it because I normally don't shoot those type of draw shots.

The next match we win again 3-0.  The female opponent complains to me that they didn't do well because they don't practice together.  I didn't have the heart to tell her Brian and I never do.  lol.

The next match is against some friends of mine.  They are the first team to get a game on us.  So, we definitely won't win 3-0 this time and keep our streak going, lol. But that's okay.  ;)  When the score is 1-1, I come with an amazing shot!  I even hear someone shout "good shot" from another table.  Well, I guess that got to me because I was too pumped up and missed the 8ball next.  :(  Our opponents go up 2 games to 1 in a race to 3.

I get bummed and yearn for confidence from Brian because I feel pretty bad.  I recognized at that point that if I get full support and compliments from my partner who helps me try to reverse the negative thoughts in my mind, I will get over embarrassing situations quicker.  Otherwise, I just want to crawl under a rock because I am embarrassed and because I feel like I am disappointing my partner. :(

He noticed I wasn't happy (I wasn't smiling anymore and being super quiet) and he gave me a big hug and told me it was okay and we would do fine.  I felt much better as he hugged me and even tho I was nervous and still a little apprehensive, we ran out the next rack after some good safeties to tie the score 2-2.  In the next game, they only had one ball left while our solids were covering the rest of the felt.  We took advantage of that and kept playing safeties until we earned ball-in-hand to run out (and we ran out good!).

We then played in the hotseat and won 3-1.  I made a few mistakes because I had lost a little focus because I admit the team wasn't that good.  But we won the hotseat!


We waited.

To play.

For hours.

I am not exaggerating, either.

Brian was getting frustrated.

It was getting late.

Seriously late.

By the time we play in the finals, it is 3am in the morning!  OMG.  16 teams and it's 3am?!

But we were determined to win that top place prize (and I wanted that dang trophy!).

We played a really good team in the finals that played well together, but we played much stronger and dominated with a 3-0 win at 330am!

We win about $340 and trophies!  Brian jokes "you won two trophies!" because he wasn't about to take it home with him.  lol.

I warned him early in the night how excited I would be if we won, but he was still surprised how excited I was about winning the trophy.  lol.

Brian and I play real good together - I am lucky!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pompous Above Excellent Work?

If you knew a certain person in a certain trade was the ABSOLUTE best of their trade, but also a pompous ass that couldn't stick to deadlines or time lines, would you still hire them?

This person, I've heard, is always late, never shows up when he says he will, takes too long to do their work, shows their arrogance on forums, doesn't understand the true meaning of customer service, is arrogant because the know they are the best (I'm assuming that's why he's arrogant), and constantly seeks attention and tells everyone he's the best.

I don't mind arrogance.  I like confidence in people, actually.  But what bothers me is this certain person is late and doesn't hold himself responsible to time lines or deadlines. He truly has no idea about customer service.

I like good customer service - goes a long way, imo.  But if you can't stick to your promise of when you will be available or how long it will take, what good will that do me but aggravate me?  And then to spew off on the forums at people, wow!  Why do people not truly listen to others' advice?  Especially when it comes to improving business?  He really doesn't see what people are complaining about and frankly, he doesn't care what anyone thinks.

It's a tough situation.  Here are some non-pool-related scenarios:

Would you want the best car mechanic who has no sense of time, or a mediocre one that still gets your car fixed when promised?

Would you want the most well-renowned A/C mechanic who never shows up when he said he will, or a decent A/C mechanic that can get the job done sooner?

Would you want the BEST carpet cleaning service that takes twice as long as promised to do the work, or a carpet cleaning service that cleans the carpets well and promises to be out of your house that day?

Would you want the best plumber in the country but keeps delaying his arrival date, or would you suffice working on the commode yourself and getting the job done in your own time?

Would you want the most recommended electrician among your friends but he has yet to complete the job, or a perfectly fine electrician who gets the job done as expected?

Is sacrificing convenience worth the anxiety and frustration of someone who doesn't understand other people's time but yet they are the best in their trade?

I dunno.... but I can tell you this - I wont hire him, even tho he is supposedly "the best."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Darts Versus Pool

We get asked the question all the time, "Is pool really a sport?"

Most pool players think it IS a sport.  That's why we are trying to get it into the Olympics, for crying out loud.  But the general public sees pool as just "a game" where we knock balls around with a cue on a table, not a true "sport."

Most people also think darts is not a sport.

Obviously...because check out the Zoosk commercial below, questioning if darts is a sport or not.  The guy even stretches before he throws the dart, lol, like an athlete would.

As I first started this blog entry, my intent was to share I am glad they didn't pick on us (i.e. pool) because we ARE a sport.  However, as I reflect deeper, now I wish they would have chosen pool for the theme - pool could use some mainstream advertising.

BTW, "Mountain Top!" is yelled out by the dart thrower right before he throws his dart.  Do you know why?   Ironically, only true dart players would know (I only know because I looked it up).  Mountain Top is a well-known traveling Dart Team. My guess is he's yelling that to further explain his expertise as a Dart Player.

If pool was the theme of the commercial, and something was shouted out, I wonder how many of the average Joe's in the world would know what we meant, also?

Can you imagine?

"Earl Strickland!"
"Kiss of Death!"
"On the Snap!"
"Cheat the Pocket!"

The general public would be saying, "uh, what?"  lol

Cue Straightness Test

At the poolroom the other night, these guys were testing the straightness of the house cues they took of the cue-holder on the wall.


I realize I haven't had to use a house cue since like 1993 but still.... !