Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Inspiring Key Chain

I was severely bummed when I learned my boyfriend couldn't go to Vegas this year. I like to experience life with him and knew it would be tough for me without him in Vegas.

He has this saying he tells me all the time when I am playing that helps me out a lot, even more than the usual "Come on Melinda" type of comments that people say to inspire us during matches.

He tells me: "You Got This."

For whatever reason, it lights a fire under my belly and sparks my mental toughness to be strong.  That saying from him has helped me on so many occasions when I'm in the middle of a match.  I can't explain why those exact words mean so much to me, but they just ignite my passion and desire to play good.  I guess it's a positive affirmation from him - like, he really believes in me, which of course is always helpful when one is in a match.

When we found out he couldn't join me in Vegas, he engraved for me a key chain with the words "You got This." !

Here is a pic of it.  I hooked it on my jeans or black pants and kept it near me during every single match I had in Vegas!  I now have it hooked on my purse and it's with me everywhere I go.  :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Good Talks Yet Bothering

Although a lot of good things happen for me to share from my Vegas trip, there is sometimes some unfortunate things that happen. This is a "reality blog," so I feel obligated to share the bad things, too, and not sugarcoat everything that happens in my pool journey.

On Sunday when many singles matches were still being played, I walked by the Grand Master tables and someone (Jeff J) stopped me to talk about my blog.  We met very briefly last year in Vegas (just introductions, really), but this year he specifically stopped me to share he was just telling his friend (Leo) about one of my blog entries, Asking Why.  I was surprised he was discussing that particular blog entry, as it was from my personal blog that I thought no one ever read, lol.  But, the topic I wrote about hit home with him personally.  Therefore, we had a lengthy discussion about personalities and friendships, and the tough choices we sometimes make in regards to how much we want certain people in our lives.  Do we put up with people that bring us down or make a tough decision to maybe take a hard step forward and decide we can no longer be friends with certain people?

The next morning, I find out that the pro who was playing a match near my conversation complained that it bothered him and he lost the match. My initial reaction was "he's a pro, he should have told me to be quiet" (since we are friends) OR, "Since he's a pro he should try and not not let it bother him."  Don't use ME as an excuse. 

I asked specifically if it was me and was told they heard my name.

Even tho I feel it was not my fault, I still felt badly, tho, as I don't like to bother anyone in their matches. Well, I don't like to bother anyone... anytime.

I told myself if I happened to run into this pro player, I will apologize. Sure enough, I happen to see him walking down one of the aisles the next day in the afternoon. I stopped him and told him I heard my converstion bothered him, and I apologized.

He looked me sincerely in the eyes and said I didn't bother him.

I tell him again, "I am sorry and I never would deliberately do that."  He reiterated again I didn't do anything and even added, "I never even mentioned your name to (his wife); you can ask her." I still said sorry one more time and we hugged and he went on his way.

I figured he just said I didn't bother him to be nice or because maybe he realized he shouldn't have let it bother him. Maybe he just vented after he lost?

But then later on the same day, I sought out Jeff J to tell him how I affected someones match, since we had just talked the previous day about relationships and effects people have on one another, ironically.

Jeff J said he thought it wasn't my talking that bothered the pro, but instead the other blonde with curly hair who was sitting behind his match. Jeff saw the pro look around a few times glaringly at the other blonde before I even arrived (she was sitting in a chair a little bit behind his seat). He thought it really was her, not me. And that would make sense why the pro said sincerely it wasn't me.

It was a roller coaster situation - nice talk with Jeff, but affected someones play, tried to apologize, but in the end, not sure it was me.

If I try to figure out what happened in my mind, I see this scenario:  The pro complained after the match about a blond with curly hair talking too much behind him while he played, someone remembered I was behind him, and that led to people hearing it was me.

Or, it really was me and he just didn't tell me.

Either way, it was not intentional whether it was me or my other friend with curly blonde hair.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Singles Event Vegas 2011

I love Vegas, as it truly is my favorite city.  I enjoy the gambling aspect, of course, but I think it's the nature of the atmosphere that I like best.  Let's face it, it's an adult playground;  and I love it.  It's a place I can play Let It Ride with my friends around me while getting "free" drinks.  It always helps when the dealer is nice and friendly, too. Of course playing real money blackjack online allows me the freedom to never get upset over any rude dealers, thankfully.  

This was an interesting year for me in regard to my singles event in the BCAPL Nationals, much different from last year.  This year I focused on pool.

I can play casino games online throughout the year so I wasn't craving gambling on the onset of the trip. 

But, last year I admittedly went to have fun and didn't have any expectations about my singles event.  So, last year I drank every night, stayed out too late, but also had a blast! It's almost difficult to admit I went to a ten-day pool tournament and didn't care how I faired in the singles event, but it's true.

This year, I did focus on pool. I got sleep every night but one, only drank too much two nights (after being out of the tourneys) and what did all this preparation get me? Well... I was rested which felt wonderful not to be hungover playing pool, lol. But I ended up still getting a bad sore throat that I had the whole trip. Figures. And I placed higher in all events last year than this year. I don't know what it all means.... but I wanted to give myself a better chance this year than last, so i got sleep, didn't stay out late, didn't drink as much...and yet I didn't place better (actually, placed worse in all events).

BUT, I felt better. Even tho I got sick (which normally happens with lack of sleep and too much drinking), I still felt better than the previous year because I wasn't exhausted all the time. Wish I would have placed better this year but I did PLAY good almost every single game in all the matches I played (in all 4 events). Not too shabby!

In singles I played so, so good, but yet I was out in three. I was heart broken. To play that good and lose over a few key out-of-position or funky scratches, was hard to swallow with how awesome my pre-shot routine is, how strong my mental game is, and how well I know the game of 8ball.   

It's very frustrating to think I really can win this tournament with how well I am playing right now, and then be out so quickly.  :(

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Team Event's Recap

Open Scotch Doubles:

In Scotch doubles, my partner and I (Tony Ewart) placed 7th out of about 385 players! We played really well together!

We didn't practice (as you know from last year I don't practice scotch doubles anyway), but he and I both know the game so well, and we play alike, so us playing together worked out really well. I asked him a few times during the tourney if the shot I shot was right, but he usually replied with "it worked out" or "I thought it was fine." Only time did he offer advice for maybe an alternative selection - and that was on the final day. We lost our final match hill-hill (2-3), and I know we could have gone farther! His wife was super supportive and was our personal cheerleader, which was comforting and helpful. We were only down in one match - the first one, 1-3 - and came back to win 4-3!   The guy of the other team was so upset, he wouldn't shake our hands.  Eeek.  It was a scary start, but we played much better after that and missed much less than that first match. 

My partner and his wife had to catch a 6am flight THAT morning and landed with less than an hour and a half before our first match because of cancelled flights. It started out a rough trip for them. Luckily the lack of sleep and distractions of the tough travel didn't affect his awesome play.

Women's Open Team Event:
For the team event, my team No Holes Barred, was an excellent team! We have chemistry, play well together, we each play well individually, AND we have fun! We placed 7th and had many hill hill, awesome matches, including the last one. I had a great, great time!

Monica, Ashley, Me, Jennifer and Connie

Here's a vid of the shirts that are embroidered with ribbons that meant lot to us.

Thanks, Ladies!!

Click here for refresher on the reasoning behind the team name and embroidery

I think it's funny that my new favorite drink is 7 and 7. And in scotch and teams we placed 7th in both! LMAO - maybe I need another new favorite drink with a 1 in it, lol. :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Vegas Rituals

I have a couple of rituals for when I arrive in Vegas and also depart Vegas. 

First of all, I like to get a car service because when my bags are too heavy, I need help to carry them because the long taxi/shuttle line will end up hurting my back too severely.  Here is a VLOG of me looking for my driver at the bag claim:

Showing up at baggage claim!

The other ritual I do every year when I arrive in Vegas is I have the driver stop at CVS so I can get snacks and drinks for the ten days ahead of me. 

Might as well get the heavy drinks now, so the bell guy can carry my luggage and the drinks when I first arrive to the hotel.  I also do this so I don't have to carry the snacks and 2 12-packs of drinks from CVS to the Riv.  As you can tell, my doctor has instilled in me I need to take care of my back.

Here is a pic of what I bought (except I forgot to put the water in the pic).

Snacks and Drinks!

Everything is expensive in the casino and convention area, so I buy sodas, liquor, and bottled water and snacks for the week. Here is also a video of Tina P and I at CVS that first night to the Riv!

 CVS Video Blog with Tina

However, I have decided after I packed to go home, that with more than half the water still left and more than two thirds of the soda left, I wont do this next year. I also had most of the snacks left over, too, and they are tough to bring back home because they are either bulky snack boxes or bags that get crumbled.

I drink a lot of the cold water during all my events from the coolers set up for the players in the convention center anyway.  I am an advocate of drinking lots of water when I play pool.  Further, If I do have a drink or two in the convention center, I still order drinks there just because it's easier and convenient. 

So, next year I will end this ritual. :(

My departing ritual involves what I eat at the Las Vegas airport before I fly out.  Check out my VLOG about what I buy every time at the airport when I leave Las Vegas:

 Leaving Las Vegas Ritual Video Blog

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nine Ball Singles in Vegas 2011

Here I go - the first blog entry about my 2011 trip to BCAPL Nationals! Instead of one long blog entry, though, I will do one a day until I'm finished with the updates (yep,  I took notes for blog topics!).  Hope separate blog entries are okay instead of one super long one that would bore you to tears and put you to sleep.  ;)

The first event I played in this year at the 2011 BCAPL Nationals was a new event. It was a new 9ball tournament! It was very different than the 9 ball challenge. Instead of playing against pros in that event, this was an open division (no masters allowed) and it had separate divisions for men and women, so I was all over that! No pros, no masters, not playing against males - it was a dream come true!  lol.  So I made my reservation to fly in a day earlier than normal and was set to play!

Only thing was....my 9pm flight was delayed two hours. I had a 9am match and didn't get to my room until 130am, plus unpacking and trying to sleep after a long night out the previous night in Texas meant for a very tired woman.

I still woke up in a good mood, happy to be around all the beautiful Diamond tables in my favorite city and in my favorite event of the year.

The 9Ball singles event was best out of 3 sets, race to 4 each set.  Now I understood why each match had a two-hour window to play!

First match, I played one of the toughest players in the tourney (I know her from Texas), while around me girls were missing like crazy! The table was faster than I remembered and I struggled the first set and lost 4-2. Then I won the second set 4-0! I was happy to recover. :)  The next set went her way tho and even tho I had a chance to tie the third (and final, tiebreaker) set 3-3, I accidentally hooked myself on the 9 ball for the 8ball ( O M G ) and lost the final set 2-4.

So I tiredly walked to the charts to see when I play next. And I was STUNNED!! There was no one-loss side!


I was standing there in disbelief, when a friend came up and I asked him, "uh.... is this single elimination?"

And he replied, "you didn't know that?" And he kinda laughed at me, which I don't blame him.

I was in utter shock. Still am as I type this almost two weeks later.

I was a little upset I lost, but now? NOW I was livid!

I put my cue up in my room and proceeded to my favorite table game Let It Ride and had a few 7 and 7s before getting a good nights sleep so I could be ready to play scotch doubles all day on Friday.

I was really disappointed I took an extra day off from work, had to pay an extra hotel night, with a delayed flight late at night for a dang single elimination tournament.

I wont be doing that again.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pool Synergy - Pool Meccas

Pool Meccas is the topic for this Month's Poolsynergy blog run. 

I think it's not difficult to figure out my favorite Pool Mecca is the BCAPL 8Ball Nationals in Vegas every year in May.  I believe I have been going there since 1995 - 16 years straight!

I love every single thing about it:

  • I actually like the Riv!  Familiarity is my friend.
  • I love Katy's - awesome food choices and late night breakfast specials
  • All the different events keep me going every single year!
  • Seeing friends from all across the world in one place.
  • Watching the pros play along side the amateurs
  • Trying to earn the titles in the different events is exhilarating.
  • Being able to watch and support my friends play in matches for ten days.
  • Las Vegas is my favorite city, so it's an extra added bonus this huge tourney is hosted there.
  • The BCAPL run a good tournament - from online brackets to on-time matches.  It's a well oiled machine, my friend.
I could go on and on and on... and on!

The one Pool Mecca I have yet to see in person is Derby.  I hear it's awesome!  I heard it was better at the previous casino, but I still keep hearing it's the place to visit to watch good tourney matches and good action matches.

Visit other PoolSynergy blogs and see what their Pool Meccas are and why!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Prevail in Spite of Fear

Fear can hold us back from reaching goals or fully experiencing new opportunities.

From Jane Powell:

Accept your fear – there’s nothing shameful in it. Next time you shy away from a situation, stop and say to yourself, “I’m scared, but I’m still going to do it!”

I KNOW you can recall vividly your body shaking with fear while in a pressure match.  But when you calm down your adrenaline by breathing slow, deliberate breathes, and you realize you can still play well under pressure, then can see you were meant to be in that situation!

Pressure and fear only means it's an important match to you.  As Jane says, nothing is wrong with that! 

Jane adds:

As you acknowledge your feelings and keep going forward in spite of them, your self-worth and self-confidence will rise. The adrenaline from fear will change to the excitement of anticipation. Suddenly, you’ll realize the emotion you’re feeling has turned into sheer enthusiasm!**

What powerful reminders! 

One more tid bit I'd like to share about fear that I just read today. This is from someone who commented on the above Jane Powell column about fear:

"I once read a book that compared fear to an alarm clock – when we hear an alarm clock, we don’t get paralyzed, we do something — whenever I am afraid, it reminds me that fear is a call to action — turn it off, get up and get moving. I don’t make progress by hitting the snooze button."

I love learning, don't you?!  :)

**(excerpts are from Jane Powells' Daily Meditations for Women)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Blogging and Videos During Vegas

I will be heading to Vegas soon (as I type this - I will arrive there late tonight!).  I will try to post updates on my blog, but not sure how often I will get to do that since the casino hotel doesn't give free Internet.  Why would they?  They don't want us in our rooms on our laptops!  They want us downstairs losing money in their casino, lol.

I don't have an aircard anymore but I do have tethering capabilities via my cell phone so if I can get a signal from my phone in my room, I can try and get on the Internet and maybe blog update for ya.

However, I have a feeling I will be too busy to write long blogs, especially after checking out all my match times that are already posted online!  Check this out - online brackets are already up!  http://www.ctsondemand.com/TournamentHome.aspx?TournamentID=898014

I didn't get a bye in singles or scotch doubles, but I'm okay with that.  I like playing pool.  :)  The matches will be back to back and I'm ready!

Although I wont have time to WRITE a lot, Ashley and I plan on picking up our Video Blog series and snapping videos for ya.  I plan to post the videos on my youtube page, so be sure to check this page out often: (especially if I haven't posted in my blog)


I will try to do one video blog (Vlog) a day for you all, but as you know, with so many matches and so many different events I'm playing in, my "plans" may not come to fruition, but I will certainly try! 

You can also follow me on FB, too, as I update everyone about my matches.  Akatrigger fanpage is all about my pool escapades! 

I'll be in Vegas from May 12-22.  If you see me, please come up and say hi and introduce yourself!

I Got B!tch Slapped

Yep, got b1itched slap.

By who?

Well.... myself.  :(

As wrote last month, I pretty much stated I didn't understand how friends can take advantage of their friends when it comes to gambling matches.  If they are in a bad game, "friends" will still do whatever they can to take home the money.

I am sad to say I did that the other day.  I did it to a friend playing poker.  As I did it, I only thought about how I was better, not "what" I was doing.  But as I reflected on my drive home from the casino, I realized I did exactly what I said I abhorred in that blog post from last month.

And I do not feel good about it.

This is a hard pill to swallow, and it's stuck in my throat.  It's been 4 days since this happened and decided to open my soul with you all and share my guilt.

Long story short, a friend who is trying to get better at poker was in the same pot as I.  I knew I would win because I had a boat, but instead of checking down to the river, I not only bet each card, I even raised my bet on the river.

The guy sitting next to us even commented, "You two are friends.  Why didn't you just check?"

I immediately felt bad.  Why didn't I just check?  WTH was I doing?  They were a friend.  They ARE a friend.  And yet even though I knew I had the best cards, I somehow just wanted that extra $35. I now understand what / how people feel when they are on the winning end of an uneven match.

I don't know what I was thinking, except I had the winning hand.  And I took advantage of the fact they may not realize to fold.  :(

You may think it's minor.  Who cares about $35 or that she was a friend - I (or you) would do that to any of those strangers at the table.  But when I mentioned it to my boyfriend, because the guilt was in my heart, he said I shouldn't have done it either, which made me feel even worse.  Because?  Because he was right.

Karma however got me - I went all in with a boat and lost to TWO other higher boats about 6 hands later to others on the table.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Anger Management

I am reviewing my underlined and starred sentences of Brad Gilbert's book, Winning Ugly, before I head to Vegas for the BCAPL Nationals tourney that starts at the end of this week.  The main reason is this - his advice and words somehow give me the killer instinct and more drive to win.

Re-reading parts of the books has reminded me of great ammunition he explains and explores, that I can use at Nationals.  Will it make me a winner overnight?  Nah.  BUT, the advice he gives is so awe-inspiring, that I can't wait to re-read it again!  Seriously.

Yes, it's another tennis book that can be related to pool.  But it has amazing tid bits of info in it that has immensely helped my mental attitude be stronger and tougher.

Let me share a little about Anger - his thoughts and mine: 

Anger is one of those emotions that is difficult to tame.  Well, tough to tame when you are in the middle of experiencing it.

Anger is an emotion I don't like to experience during matches.  Simply for this reason - I can't think straight. 
Has this happened to you?  You get so upset during a match, that after a shot, you return to your seat and someone says to you, "why didn't you play safe?"  And you look at the table in absolute disbelief.  "OMG!  How did I not see that?"  All reasoning and rationalization and proper thinking goes out the window for me.  I don't see the creative shots or safeties. 

My mind is so full of anger, and as I've shared before, the brain cannot mufti-task.  We think it does, but it can only focus on one thing at a time.

So there I stand at the table, and my mind only sees I should go for a shot because it physically cannot see there is another option.  Luckily, my brain is conditioned to at least MAKE shots, so that's what it can do when it's full of this negative emotion. 

See the ball?
It needs to go in the hole. 
Try and make it, dummy.

Same thing happens when you are really upset.  Have you ever lost your car keys because you were so upset you don't remember where you put them down?  Yep, lack of brain compartmentalization at its finest.  Lol.

But when you are alert, your mind awake, positive, and not distracted by anger, you can "see" the table much more clearly and make proper, sensible decisions. 

Brad Gilbert offers some advice on how to "tame" it:

Learn to recognize anger when it starts.  It can sneak up on you.  The time to do something is before you're consumed with it.  That takes great discipline.  You have to override your natural emotions and use rationale thought.  That's tough to do, but the longer you grind on something the harder it is to stop.  Don't let the spark turn into a blaze.  Identify the source.  Understand the cause helps the solution.  Get good at spotting anger early.  Ask yourself why is this happening and what can I do to change it?

And here is my favorite part of the page I am quoting from:

If your opponent creates the anger in you, let it make you stronger.  When your opponent has gotten you upset, turn the negative into a positive.  Don't think "I'm gonna lose this match because of the stuff he's pulling."  Tell yourself instead, "I'm gonna beat him for doing that.  He's gonna pay the price."  You'll work hard to win.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Advice from Phil Capelle

Phil Capelle, one of the leading industry's pool authors, gives applicable and amazing advice in his many pool books.  But to get advice directly from him makes me feel special and all warm and fuzzy!

We became friends about ten years ago because he needed a webmaster and our talks on the phone almost always lead to a good mental toughness session from him!

We talked just last week and he asked me if I was prepared for Vegas.  I told him I felt prepared about my skills and knowledge of 8ball, but I was concerned about my ability to be mentally focused for each shot (as I wrote about last week).

We talked some more about why I miss and as usual, the talk was superb and very helpful.  He's my own little mental pool psychologist!  :)

Then on Friday he sent me this email.  Short, to the point, helpful and sweet:

Hi Melinda,

Thank you for updating my site!

My advice for Las Vegas: play with passion, play for the joy of executing well, play smart, and play to win!

I wish you the best,


I feel blessed to get advice directly from Phil himself.  He has helped me with so many facets of my game, that I wanted to share with you his latest advice to me.

Thank you, Phil!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Drink Referee!

Everyone needs a drink referee and imagine my surprise when No Holes Barred teammate Jennifer had this koozie for her beer at the BCALP Texas State Tourney!!

:)  :)  :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vegas Camera Plans

As many of you know, I not only travel to tournaments to play in them, but I also take photos at the events.  Me and my Canon Rebel think we are cool and take good pics, lol.  Seeing all the new photographers with their huge lenses on mono-pods makes me realize how amateur I really am when it comes to photos, lol!

Although I think the photos were well received, I have decided to not take my big camera to Vegas this year.

I took photos of the Pros with my big SLR Canon camera in 2006, 2007 and 2010. In 2009 I used my little Kodak digital camera to take fun pics, and did that also in 2010 as well.  While not hi-res photos, they are still fun and coolio!

I mostly took photos to be posted on AZB (but that didn't always come to fruition) and also for my personal website at http://www.melindaswindow.com (but who really goes there?).  I also carried my big camera around to take photos of some of the pros I do websites for.  But, half of those pros wont be in Vegas this year and I can always get photos of them for their websites from the other photographers.

So, I've decided not to figure out how to lug my camera this year on the plane.  And with the cost per baggage, I think it's a good choice in the end anyway.

So, that leaves my little digital camera, right?  Well.... it was kinda stolen in December at a graduation party.  Although I was told it was accidentally taken by a friend of friend, it has yet to appear, even after numerous phone calls and inquisitions. 

So, this means I have to resort to use only my cell phone or go buy a new little camera before I go to Vegas.

My cell phone camera is actually a very good camera, so I just may save $125 and not buy a new little digital camera.  Not 100% sure yet what I will do.  But I know that my cell phone doesn't stay charge all day long so that would mean some possible missed photo opportunities if I'm not kept aware of the battery status.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stress Management

With 8 days til I leave for Vegas, Stress is setting in.  Not only do I have everything in the world to get done and do before I go, I also need to get in my last straight pool season matches.  I checked my list of who was left to play and there were five (5) empty slots on my sheet.


Doesn't sound like much, huh?

But let's figure this out:

When I started to make calls Monday to set up the matches, here is my schedule:

Monday - too tired to play after work
Tuesday - an APA league fills up the 8 tables at the pool room so I can't play this night
Wednesday - I am available after work to play
Thursday - I go see Kidd Rock in concert
Friday - I go to see the Mavs versus the Lakers in person in Dallas
Saturday - I would have time in the evening, even tho there's an 8ball tourney I should play in
Sunday - Mother's Day
Monday - I have time after work
Tuesday - last night in town before I leave so I can't play this night
Wednesday - heading to Vegas.

I am in Vegas from May 11-May 22.

When I get back , I will have one week to play the rest of my matches.  From experience, I know I'm going to be dog-dead tired and wont be worth a hoot to play straight pool.  Not only that, I have three doc appts for Mom in the late afternoons when I get back.

If I don't play my matches by the end of May, I will have to take forfeits which will affect my rankings for the season!

Further, I really WANT to play all the matches BEFORE I go to Vegas because Straight Pool will help me prepare for all the 8ball matches in Vegas.  It's a smart, sly, preparation for BCAPL Nationals to play a lot of straight pool.

So I call the 5 opponents.
  • Turns out one of them was on my list by accident and wasn't in the league this season.  Whew.
  • Another one is forfeiting out of the rest of the season b/c he can't get all his games in this month (he had only time to play three matches since Jan).
  • Two I get set up for Wednesday,  Two in one night will be tough, but do-able.
  • The third I am still trying to get a hold of.
So - my stress went WAY down.  5 turns into 3, and with 2 planned for Wednesday, I have only one left.  I could feasibly play him after I get back from Vegas if I can't find time before hand.


Stress management works in mysterious ways.  :)

Preparing for a Turtle

I had a date with one of the deliberate straight pool players in my division last Friday.  The match could easily last 4 hours.  But, I was up for the challenge.  When you know these type of insights ahead of time, you can prepare for them.

He and I had discussed three weeks earlier when to meet up.  In the past we would schedule Saturday morning matches about 11am.  This time I wanted to play on Friday night at 630pm.  I figured if he worked all day, maybe an evening session would help me out a little.  ;)

Turns out he doesn't work day shifts and didn't even go to work that day, lmao.  So, my sly little tactic wouldn't be a side benefit after all, lol.

This player is very deliberate and I think even he would admit he plays slows.  But, he is more methodical and deliberate than annoyingly slow, if that makes sense.  His matches have been known to last more than 2 hours, and our last meeting the previous season was a 4-hour marathon match.

I was super emotional the day of our match over non-pool things and wondered how I much I would focus on the match.  I was able to get some things off my chest, literally in the parking lot to a friend minutes before the match started, but still wondered if my red nose, watery eyes, and raw feelings would affect my my play.

I had also heard he was having a great season, so I knew I would have my hands full.  This is how it went:


Me Him
  9 - 4
33 - 9 (I had a 15-ball run!)
40 - 16 (I'm surprised I'm ahead this much)
41 - 31 (he gets a 10ball run)
45 - 35 (I can start to feel a little pressure; he's only ten behind me)
58 - 35 (13 ball run to get further ahead)
64 - 42 (even over 20 points ahead, I know not to let up)
74 - 44 (I'm inching further away but 30 points ahead is still nothing in straight pool)
90 - 47 (13 ball run to get within ten of the race to 100)
100 - 48 (I win!)

We discuss the match afterwards and he said I played solid and we agreed he didn't play well for some reason.  He couldn't figure out why, except he noted he hadn't played in two weeks but thought that shouldn't be the cause of a lot of his misses, since he plays good. 

I had a few very unfortunate rolls where I would roll up and get frozen to a ball and wouldn't have a shot.  But those three instances ended up not costing me too many balls because he was missing shots more than usual throughout the match.

Updated season stats were emailed to us two days later and turns out he is leading the season by a huge margin of wins versus losses and also has the high run of the league!  I'm glad I didn't know these specific details before I played him, or my nerves might have got the best of me!

Monday, May 2, 2011


I play good 8all, dangit.  I do!  But it's not showing.  Well, my shot selection and knowledge shows, but I'm still not getting out.  I'm missing shape or missing balls.  It's not my 8ball knowledge.

But where does that get me? 

Do I get a little star by my name on the brackets (*but she plays smart).


No, star. 

Saturday I deliberately played in an weekly 8ball tourney to help me get ready for BCAPL Nationals.  I did okay and played well, but I did not get very far in the tourney.  I missed some key shots that cost me the match.

Then on Sunday I played in a bigger 8ball tourney (again, for preparations for BCAPL Nationals) and I felt real good.  I was playing good, smart, felt confident, etc.  I missed a shot the first game, even tho I had the advantage safety-wise.  Second game I miss a safe.  I win a few games well (I really am playing good) but a tough miss on a questionable 8ball and another failed safety and I end up losing.

My next match is against a nobody.  I go up 2-0 right away but I scratch before the 8ball in one game, and he some how gets out the next two.  Even though I'm the better player and much more knowledgeable, I didn't win.

I realize the better player doesn't always win.

But I have high hopes for Vegas.  I am playing well enough to go further than I ever have.  But these two tournaments only make me discouraged to realize that one or two mistakes can cost an entire match in 8ball. 

The preparation (playing in these tourneys) should be a good thing, not a negative, right?

So, what can I do?  How can I learn from this good realization?

I want to keep the pressure on my opponents because the races are short and because I am human and make mistakes. Keeping pressure on them is what I can control.  I may not be able to control whitey all the time, but I will play a mean safe if I get out of line.  If I miss a shot, I will evaluate right away WHY.  Two things are usually the cause - thinking while down on the shot or jumping up (not looking at the object ball last).  I can control those two things.

Races to 3 and 4 are brutally short when errors keep creeping up in my game.  I see the outs, break out balls early, find my keyball before the 8ball, play smart, etc..  And I can safety play the best of ya'll.  BUT, I will miss shots and miss position too many times.  And it will cost me matches if I don't do something about that.

If I play my best, I will be happy.  Playing my best means at times I may miss, I may lose; but I gave it my all.  I didn't do that Sat and Sun (I just now realized while typing this blog entry).

No matter how well my 8ball knowledge is, I'm gonna need a few good rolls at Nationals to get by some players who are shot makers.

And I sure as hell am gonna make them work for their games!  I'm not handing anything over to anyone.  They gotta earn it!