Tuesday, May 3, 2011

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!

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