Friday, August 31, 2012

What Are You Clapping For?

I overheard an interesting exchange the other day.

Some friends were competing against each other in an APA city tournament.  It was a pretty crucial tourney as which ever team won, would get a free trip to Vegas.

The tension was high but so was support from team members.

Evidently, one of the players (Guy A) was upset people were clapping after he missed.  His team ended up losing and he was the final teammate to play.  So he was probably upset they lost, so the clapping in the final match affected him any more.

After the loss, Guy A told Team B they should not be rude and cheer misses.

Team Captain B told Guy A that they were not clapping when he missed, instead, they were actually cheering for their teammate who was about to be up at the table, to show their support.

So, it went something like this:

Guy A would miss, Teammates B would clap and say out loud, "Come on Brandon, let's go!  You can do this!"

However, Guy A took the clapping as them cheering for his misses.
I don't like when people clap after misses, either.  It can be rude (or taken as rude).  Timing is everything.  More importantly, perspective is key.

When you hear clapping and cheering, try to remember that the people are only cheering FOR for your opponent and not AGAINST you.  This perspective can go a long way. 

Let's face it, we have all been on the underside of that embarrassment feeling that leads to anger when we feel like no one is on our side and our opponents are getting all the cheers.

But if you realize the people are not rooting against you, it's a little easier to handle.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My New Pool Table

I've alluded on my akaTrigger FB page that I have a pool table in my house now. 

I recently became the proud owner of a 9-foot Brunswick Anniversary table!

The pockets are not tight as I had expected so I'll have pay to get that fixed, and a custom light that was suppose to come with the table did not show up (so I'll have to pay for a light, too), but I still wanted to share photos of the pool room:

I truly love this room.  :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Not in my Nature

On Saturday evening and into the late night, for ten hours my boyfriend matched up against a guy he has played off and on for the last year and a half. We have played him so many times, I would consider the guy a friend of ours. If we run into him at any time, we always stop to say our hellos. It's pretty obvious they respect each other.

However, they are still both very fierce competitors. Friends aside, they fight tough and enjoy battling for hours on end, playing the game they love while also trying to earn some extra spending cash.

On Saturday evening, instead of the sets going back and forth, my boyfriend won the first 3-4 sets right off the bat. His opponent was struggling, while my boyfriend was playing very well. Further, his opponent was getting some bad rolls... along with unfortunate shape. While he accepts the bad rolls uncommonly well (he hardly ever shows negative or upset emotions), the combination of bad rolls and exceptional play by my boyfriend was forcing a bad night on the opponent.

As usual, I watch every set, every game, giving sneaky fist pumps to my boyfriend after his great outs. I say "sneaky" as I don't like to be the loud, obnoxious cheerleader, but I do like to show my boyfriend I'm being supportive, watching his great shots, and trying to keep up with his high confidence.

After the 2nd set, I recognized the dynamics of the evening where my boyfriend was very confident and playing well while his opponent was struggling and frustrated. However, they each have so much heart, I knew neither would give up. And so was the case that night.

I was whispering encouraging words to my boyfriend and rooting for more wins and wanting more winning sets. However, after the 3rd to 4th set, I became... I dunno... kinda uncomfortable.

You see, I'm a typical female. I don't have a natural killer instinct.  And I have struggled with that my whole competitive life.

Also, if I happen to see a boxing match or UFC fight, I always feel bad for the dude getting beat up. I'm the type of girl who will cover her face, because I get upset seeing someone get pummeled. I wont even watch any TV show that shows any harm to animals!   So, Swamp People and American Hoggers are off limits in my house while I'm in the same room.

Back to pool, yea I still sometimes feel bad for my opponents when I might be winning by large margins and sometimes still let up a little.

So, it was completely against my nature to keep cheering for more wins. It sounds so stupid, especially since I am in on the $100 sets, but I still don't like to kick a man who is already on the ground bleeding.

It was painful to watch. I'd rather them both play exceptional and we come out on top!   

But, I kept up my support and I was vocal to my boyfriend about his wins, but in my heart, it felt uncomfortable.

Don't get me wrong, if we would have taken much money home, I wouldn't feel bad. But, I guess at the time, I felt like I was rooting against a friend who was struggling bad.

It's just not in my nature to do that at all. I kinda felt like I was rooting for pain on someone.

I know we are suppose to go for the juggler. I know that.

I also know it's just a game.

Even though there was money on the line, I should feel NO REMORSE. But, I admit it didn't feel "natural" for some reason.

I have never felt this way before though when they have gambled.   So not sure why this night was different.

Further, my boyfriend has even played other guys for much more money and won many more sets and I had never felt this way before. I am not sure if it's because the guy is a good guy and now a friend, or what.

I know when we compete with our friends and/or fellow pool players that we aren't friends at the table.  So you can imagine... if it's tough for me to WATCH, how tough it is for me when I PLAY.  lol.

And for the diehards out there - after about ten hours and roughly ten sets, they broke even! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Don't Miss Again

I spoke about a mantra before, and how helpful it can be for focusing.

Here is another little thing that has cropped up for me.  It's not really a mantra, but it is a tip to help your confidence.

There have been a few times during matches where my opponent and I miss back and forth.  Usually on the same ball; usually from nerves.  When I see this unfolding in front of me, if I remain nervous, I cannot capitalize on their mistakes nor shake the nerves, so I miss again.  :(


Sometimes I get confident. 

Sometimes a switch goes off in my head and I tell myself, "If they miss again, that's it!" 

Basically, I'm going to finally punish them for missing the ball again.  Further, I'm tired of missing it from nerves!

I don't do it intentionally to ward off my nerves, this is just something that occasionally happens to me:  I simply finally decide to bear down and not let my nerves get the best of me.

I think I can recall every match this has ever happened.

I don't use this as a routine technique or tip, but thought I'd share it in case any of you have been through similar situations, or find yourself in similar situations.  And also to share in case I see an opportunity for me for this in the near future.  I love reminders!  :)

Good luck!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Reflections of What Should Be

Many years ago I was playing WPBA Pro Belinda Campos Calhoun in a newly formed women's tour in Texas (it only lasted a couple of years). 

It was a fabulous match and I was holding my own.  At 8-7 her (she was on the hill), she landed right on top of the 9 ball after she made the 8ball.  The cue ball and 9ball are less than an inch apart. She sends the cue around the table to leave distance between the two balls.  But, as the cueball comes around, it hits the 9ball and KICKs it in!

I was like, what the hell?  I was so deflated - I was THIS close to going hill-hill with her!  Belinda turned to me and was disgusted with herself that it ended that way.

She covered her face and apologized to me.  But then she added something that I will never forget.  She said, "Well, I was suppose to win anyway, really, if I hadn't got bad on that 9ball in the first place."

While this may seem rude, I didn't take it that way at all.  It was almost like she was trying to shake off the slop, and comfort and justify the roll. 

I'm not sure if she said it to comfort herself, or to help me, but..... it turned out to be a very helpful phrase for me that I use to this day in certain situations.

Sometimes after I miss a ball late in a rack, and then my opponent doesn't capitalize, and then I win,  I tell myself that phrase.  It helps me for several reasons.

One, it helps me from beating myself up; I don't like to miss.

Further, instead of feeling bad for winning because they missed, or feeling bad because i missed, I realize that in reality, I should have won that game anyway.

I'm not explaining myself well, but it helps me accept *how* I might win some games.  I should have won anyway!

I hope this helps a little, for those of us who sometimes feel bad for our opponents missing, or for those of us who get onto ourselves for missing (but are given another opportunity at the table).

Monday, August 20, 2012

My View of the Score

I think I've mentioned this before, but I want to share this tidbit again that has helped me. 

Last weekend I told someone they only have three more games to go and then the person responded, deflated, "But they have six, and are on the hill."

I was taken aback.

And surprised by the comment.

As I just don't think that way anymore.

I am aware of the score, obviously, but I more so care about how many games I need, more than how many games they have.

When I break, and I am completely focused, I even say to myself how many more games I need.  So, imagine myself breaking hard, saying in my head "Only two more games."  It really pumps me up and keeps me focused on what I need to do.

I really try hard not to think about their score.  I don't want to ease up if I'm ahead nor feel unadded pressure if I'm way behind.

Go ahead and try this simple technique.  Every time you win a game, tell yourself how many more you have to win.

I speak to myself very positive and confidently, "Two more games, Melinda."

Try it; you'll like it.  ;)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Take Advantage of Their Mistakes

I have been surprised lately by how many of my friends have mentioned that they read my blog and it's been helpful to them.  I guess I don't realize many people read it. 

Turns out my anguish is relate-able!  lol.  :)

I am glad to hear I have helped some ladies who are working their way through the emotional toughness of pool competition, also.

Therefore, I thought I'd share in my next few entries some tips I use when I compete, that have helped me in the past.

Sometimes a little mantra is good to have.  It makes you confident to have a purpose and focus when you are playing.  It helps distract you from what is going on around you, and helps keep your head in the game. 

Pool is so mental, it's difficult to stay focused COMPLETELY for an entire match.

This tip is something that has helped me in the past in big tournaments with large crowds, but it can help in any tourney or during league.

"Take advantage of their mistakes."

Let's face it - *most* of the ladies are not going to run out an entire rack, for each game, during an entire match.  So when they miss, we need to take full advantage of their mistakes!

As I sit in my chair, I sometimes repeat in my head a few times as they are at the table, "Take advantage of their mistakes.  Just take advantage of their mistakes, Melinda." 

This way, I am READY to play when I get to the table.  It keeps me focused; prepared; ready to pounce. 

I'm not saying this is the golden egg, or the magic key, but it does keep your thoughts IN the match, reminds you to play your best when you get to the table, and helps you stay focused.

Give it a try a few times.  Won't hurt to try new things, right.  ;)

If you have a mantra you use, please share!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Announcing The Omega Billiards Tour!

The state of Texas used to have the Fast Eddies Tour, but it stopped for a couple of years and just started up, but they don't venture to the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Houston has TWO tours.  They get 40-90 players each stop and they are clambering over each other down there with tourneys.

The Dallas/Forth Worth area has a lot of players and it's not feasible for us to venture to Houston once or twice a month for a 4-5 hour drive.  We have needed a men's tourney up here for many years.

Because of my 9 years of experience running the OB Cues Ladies Tour in Texas and surrounding states, I have thought about running a Tour in the area.  I even mentioned it to a few people and everyone is all for it.

With my Mom being sick, was the reason I retired from the OB Cues Ladies Tour.  When my Mom passed a year ago this month, this past year has been too tough on me to even think about it too seriously.  Grief causes extreme exhaustion and lack of desire and focus to do ANYTHING, so even though I had a potential sponsor and people interested, my heart and mind wasn't into it.


The last couple of months I have found more energy and while I still miss my best friend, I am not crying every day and dealing with my grief in other ways.  Therefore, because I can think clearer and have more energy, I have thought more serious about a tour in the Dallas Fort Worth area.  I spoke to a few pool rooms, a few sponsors, and after a few months of negotiations, I am proud to announce a tour for the area!

My b/f and I found a top sponsor and we are in the works of the planning the first stops in the Fall in the DFW area!! 

Amanda Lampert will be helping us out and my b/f (Brian Anderson) and I will be Tournament Directors and run the Tour. 

I am SO excited!  I almost can't sleep at night with all the ideas and thoughts running through my head.  :)

To run a tour is not easy, but I have connections, experience, and am looking forward to bringing a successful tour to the DFW area for the pool players!

The ultimate goal is:  Provide the pool players in the area a tour to play the game we all love.

The Tour will be called the Omega Billiards Tour.  It's brought to us by ACME cases - "the Pinnacle of Protection."

We are getting additional sponsors every day coming on board (including,, Andy White Graphics, CSI, etc.) and I am excited about the future!

I admit I'm nervous about complaints, as any new venture comes with learning phases.

I'm hoping this handicapped tourney that allows all levels of players to play will be a great avenue for players to play the game they love, improve their skills, where they can make some money at it, too.  :)

We are working out the kinks, but we look forward to seeing everyone at the Players Auction at 11am on Oct 6th at Rusty's Billiards in Fort Worth!

More details to come.  :)

You are welcome to LIKE us on Facebook:

Friday, August 17, 2012

LoneStar Tourney Recap

Now that I talked about the atmosphere of the Lone Star Billiards tourney last weekend in Round Rock, Texas at Skinny Bob's Billiards, let me share how the tourney went for me, personally.  

I decided to play in the Amateur Division to get some time in on the tables and I'm SO glad I did!  I need that pressure and experience of playing in big tourneys.  And I do get very nervous against guys.  Plus, the crowds are very large there.  Great learning experiences to be had!

I played a guy first who was super, super nice.  I found myself very nervous and very aware of my surroundings; nervous; eyes on our match; etc.  I played pretty good and he seemed more nervous than I.  I tried to tell myself he is the guy and should have more pressure than I because he might get beat by a girl.  I somehow managed through my nerves and got ahead 6-1.  I then relaxed way too much and let him get three more games before I finally bear down and won 7-4.  I was pretty stoked, tho!  I couldn't believe it!

After a small wait, my next opponent was a fellow female player/friend.  She won the first two games GREAT!  She played really, really well.  I never got nervous though and told myself to wait my turn - not everyone can play great for 7 straight games, I tried to reassure myself.  Sure enough, I got some chances and started to play REALLY good myself and went ahead 4-2.  I had a pretty tough out in front of me and decided I should duck but then saw I could get good shape on the tough 6 ball.  So, I went for the run, played, SO freaking good!  I hit all the balls good but then got too cocky on the 8 ball.  I think I was so impressed with myself with the tough run, that I thought while down on my shot on the 8ball to try and get shape on the 9, and I missed it!  omg...  :(  I was playing SO good, but got too confident, like a rooster with their proud chest sticking out who then trips on a twig.  Ugh.

She then starts to play good again and she goes ahead of me 6-5!  The guy sitting next to us kept making comments and it was very annoying as he as obviously only noticing her shots and cheering for her, but *I* had to hear them while she was at the table.  Normally this wouldn't bother me, but since pressure started to build, it became annoying. 

I ran out well to get on the hill but got bad on the 9ball.  I had to bank it with a bridge and accidentally two railed it, but it was a hill-hill match!

We both played our little hearts out on the final / deciding game, but we both missed balls.  I finally missed the final 7 ball last (a backwards cut that I usually can make) and she ran out.  I was very happy for her, but I was very distraught.  To have played SO well and yet lose because I missed some key shots because of too much confidence, and then miss because of nerves was heartbreaking.

I kinda sulked around for a little bit after that.  Bummed.

However, it dawned on me I was really there for the women's event, and because I lost, I was able to get out of the pool room at a decent hour and go back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep.  Had I won that match, I would have played after 2am.  I would rather get shut eye and be rested for the women's division.  So, I watched my boyfriend play some matches, then forfeited my one-loss side match (which would have also been after 2am) to get some sleep.  I was able to fall asleep by 1:30am or so, whereas my b/f didn't get in til 4am because of his winner side matches.  So, my loss was a blessing in disguise!

Amanda and I

I felt REALLY good Sunday morning and was ready to play some good pool! 

I got a bye in the first round of the Ladies Division of the LoneStar Tourney and then faced a formidable opponent who has defeated me the last 5 times we have played there.  So, yes, I was intimidated.  The races for us had to be shortened as well and we raced to 4/4. 

I made several mistakes the first game and was pretty upset at myself.  I noticed how effortless she made it look.  Further, she was following through really well.  I decided to do that too!

I won the next game with really good shooting and some safeties, then had a combo, and another one (that was pretty tough) to go up 3-1.  I was happy!  The last combo was not easy at all.  I broke dry and then she ran out!  Eeek!  In the next game, in a race to 4, with me on the hill, I needed the win so it wouldn't go hill-hill.  We both missed the 4 ball.  When she missed it again I told myself, "that's it" and ran out nicely.

I was SO happy to have beat such a great opponent!  I couldn't believe it!

My next match wasn't easier, lol, only tougher.  But, I played SO great!  I can't begin to describe how wonderful it was to play good on these 9foot tables that play fast, against really good players. 

I went up 2-0 right away with GREAT play!  But then, I relaxed again.  Ugh!  :(  I definitely wasn't as focused as I was during the first two games..  :( I played a careless safe, she got out.  I then missed a 7ball with a bridge and got upset, and that was pretty much it.  I felt the momentum shift and even though I still tried, I wasn't playing as well and she started to play REAL good, and I lost 2-4.  :(

Devastation hit again.  :(  I was bummed.  I was frustrated; sad.  I felt like I had that match, and really was playing well.  So, it hurt more.  But, I didn't keep my focus, was too confident, eased up, and also thought ahead.  Too many mental errors, basically.  But, my opponent played really, really good at the end and made some tough outs.  She ended up winning the tourney, btw. 

I started my one-loss side match pretty slow and nonchalantly.  I didn't really care to be there, but then decided to crank it up and won 4-2 with more good play.

I started my 7th place match with more great play.  I was staying down well and VERY confident.  Then, the tides turned again for some reason, adding to the fact my opponent start to play REALLY well, I lost 4-2.  Somehow. 

I placed 7th out of 18 and was pretty bummed.  I am playing really, really well.  Even my friend Amanda video taped one of my runs to show me later how well I'm staying down (which I didn't realize, I just knew I was playing well). 

I'm just confused.  I don't know if it was the race to 4, or me losing focus, or getting too comfortable and confident or what.  All I know is, the girls are getting tougher and tougher and one miss against certain players, and they are getting out. 

And doesn't really matter how well I'm playing during an entire game and feeling great, if I am not finishing.  :(

Still, glad I went to get time on the tables for the Texas Open coming up in two weeks.  I feel prepared, but then again, I felt that way Sunday.  I am also glad I went because my b/f placed an awesome 5th in the Amateur division and 9th in the Open division!  He played the best I've seen him play, even though he has been playing well, he stepped up his play and beat a lot of good players.  It was a joy to see and I was very proud!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Be Grateful, Stop Bitching, Please

I played in the LoneStar Billiards Tour stop this past weekend in Round Rock, Texas.  I haven't played in one since about three years ago, so this was a nice treat as there is not a tour in the Dallas / Fort Worth area (yet). 

I decided to go because it was being held at Skinny Bob's, and in three weeks, the Texas Open will be held at the same place.  My b/f and I thought an entire weekend playing on the tables would bode well for us for that big upcoming tourney.  So, it was a good warm up for us!

One bonus was, last year this tourney was held before the Texas Open also, but it was the weekend or two JUST before the Texas Open and traveling that much in such a short time was not feasible.  But, three weeks apart WAS feasible.  I mentioned this fact to the owner and hope they continue to separate next years tourney by a few weeks for us travelers.

The Lone Star Tour is running on it's 5th year or so and is run by WPBA Pro Kim White.

The tourney had three divisions - Open, Amateur and Ladies.  Sign ups were from 11am to 1pm on Saturday, then the calcutta, then the tourney started on the beautiful Gold Crown 9 foot tables.  The women would start on Sunday at noon, but of course we could play in all divisions (at a discount, too!).

The Amateur division was dedicated to the non-pros and non master players, and there were about 85 players.  The Open allows those players AND any amateur that wants to compete with the big guys. 

The Open had about 62 players or so.  The women would end up with 18 players.

It was a very big tourney filled with lots of great matches!

The only problem was, there was only 14 tables to play all these people on.  Further, the tourney didn't start til 4:30pm!  Yep, I said 4:30pm.

The guy that ran the two calcuttas took FOREVER.  Bless his heart, it was his first time (and last) but he took WAY too long.  Three and a half hours for about 140 people was ridiculous.

However, Kim started the tourney RIGHT after and played matches right away.  She kept the tourney moving very fast, because she knew it was going to be a long weekend.  The races were 9/7 in the Open and 7/5 in the Amateur Division.  After the first two rounds, she decided to shorten the races. 

She knew from experience if she didn't do SOMETHING, they would be there till FOREVER, lol.

She shortened each race by one, so 8/6 and 6/4. 

To say the least, EVERYONE was bitching; everyone was complaining.  They were saying she should have started earlier, the calcutta shouldn't have gone so long, she shouldn't shorten the races, etc, etc. 

The matches on Sunday were to start at 1pm, and everyone said the matches should start at 10am.  But, Kim did not want to do that to the players - she knew the tourney may not get done til 5am and didn't think it was right to have players come right back at 10am.

But she did decide to change the start up time to noon on Sunday, and gave NO room to anyone for being late.  She forfeited several players on Sunday, and the women were given no wiggle room to sign up past noon.

She ran a tight ship, but of course all everyone saw was how late the tourney started.

People also said that if the amateurs were not allowed to play in the Open, that that would help.
Well, I disagree. 

If the amateurs were not able to play in the Open, the Open side would be REALLY small.

Further, because the amateurs were able to play in the Open, they were able to compete against much better players... AND have a chance to get more money.  Kim paid 24 spots in the Amatuer (12 spots in the calctutta) and 16 spots in the Open ( and 8 in their calcutta).  There was a lot of money to be won!

I expressed to MANY people that I didn't understand why everyone was so upset.

First of all, there's nothing they can do now.  Accept reality, peeps!  Just shut up and play pool, lol. 

Yes, we started late.  But guess what?  You have a big tourney to play in in town for once!  And everyone knows tourneys last ALL weekend.  The only difference is a lot of players entered and so it lasted longer into the wee hours.  Many players is not a bad thing, either!

If this happened all the time yes, please bitch, but the tourney comes to town once a year, and there are only MAYBE a handful of other big tourneys that are played in this town throughout the year. 

Obviously, the main issue was the tourney started late.  Kim has already stated that wont happen again (she will start sooner), and she will go back to running the calcutta herself.  She gave the guy a chance and hindsight is 20/20 and she shouldn't have let him try it for the first time with such a large attendance.

But, she did great!  She had a lot of people bitch at her, argue about being forfeited, interrupt her 1,000 times with the same questions, etc.  I'm sure she was stressed, but I never saw it.  I saw a woman in control of the situation doing the best she could to get the tourney finished on time. 

Shortening the races was NOT an easy decision, but the best solution for the issues at hand.  And - it turns out it was the right solution that helped move the tourney along.  Had she not done that, the first day of the tourney could easily have lasted til 8am!

I just wish everyone would have just accepted it started late and stopped bitching so much.  We got to play pool all weekend, peeps!  How lucky are we?!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ladies Weekend

Last weekend was chalk full of pool for me.  And not just pool, but FEMALE pool.


I play on an all-women's league and they have two big tourneys each season - 'Queen of the Hill' in the middle of the season and 'Queen of the Hill' at the end of the season.  Saturday was the mid season tourney.

I had never played in one of these tourneys before (as this is a new league for me), but I have seen the payouts for the calcutta once and was VERY impressed.

There were only 15 girls in the tourney this time, tho.  I don't *think* that's normal at all, but it was still a fun and competitive crowd of women.

I went for Pick of the Litter and must say I was quite surprised by the bidding and how many were trying to "buy" me.  I went quickly for $120.

My b/f told me to buy half myself and so I paid my $60 and was in the mix for once (I normally don't buy half myself).  The second highest amount was $100, and that went to the great player (Nina) who has won the last two Queen of the Hill tourneys.  Everyone was in contention and no one went for less than $15, most went for over $35.

I don't know why more ladies didn't come to the tourney.  I heard they normally have a second calcutta, but since there was not a larger field, they did not do that this time.

I won my first match, even though I was extremely emotional.  I had a rough start to the day, but still tried to hold it together.

In my next match, I play one of the top shooters, Teri.  She wins the first game and someone then shouts to me, "You have a target on your back!"

I was kind of confused, but then figured maybe they said that since I had gone high in the calcutta.  Since Teri had won the first game in a race to 3, she was on her way to being the hero who knocked me down.

I ran the next rack out and Teri says something like, "see what you did by saying that?" to the girl who made the first comment.

LOL.  All the girls are so much fun and nice!

Teri is a VERY tough player and she played extremely well against me.  She won the next game as well and had me down 2-1.  I somehow won the 4th game to tie it 2-2.  One game left to see who would march on.

After some great safeties by Teri and I, I finally had a chance at the table and ran out 3-4 balls to win.  Teri was a true sport, and she's a very gifted player who knows the game well.

I win my next match against the formidable player, Cindy.  Cindy has a great heart and a wonderful game.  We had fun and she joked she wanted to "grow up to be like me."  Which is funny, because Cindy's heart is so big, we all want to be like HER.

While I'm waiting for the hotseat, my friend Angelina has just secured her spot in the hotseat with me.  I went up to her and hugged her, as she was crying.  She had so much emotion because that win sealed her highest finish yet in a tourney!  I was SO SO proud of her!  And she did it by beating the previous Queen of the Hill.  That's strong!

We play our hotseat match and we have a good time and play well, and I come out on top 3-1. I was still so very excited for her because she was having a fantastic tournament!

Her Dad is very sick and is only given a few weeks to live.  I wanted to express to her I thought she was playing for him.  Further, he was helping her today, just as my Mom helped me all year.  They help us by giving us us strength, confidence, and the will to prevail.

Angelina plays her next match and WINS!  She now has a spot in the finals!

We again have a good time in that final match and both play well.

I win the match and therefore the tourney, and I am now the Queen of the Hill!  I won $170 for First Place and half of the first place calutta prize ($282 / 2).  :)

I am very excited I won the tourney, but I honestly was MORE excited for Angelina.  She placed her highest finish yet and I was SO happy for her!

Angelina and I

The Thursday all-women's league is run VERY well and I have admired the way they run the tourneys and league with such professionalism.  I am proud to be a part of the league.


On Sunday, I played in the Rusty's Billiards quarterly bar box tourney.  54 players entered the event!  And for the first time, we had more than 2 women enter and so they paid out a "Last Lady" spot.  I believe there were 4 ladies total, and we each paid $30 entry.  The Last Lady paid out $50!  More than the entry and that was very generous.

I got a bye then played one of the regulars.  He got unfortunate against me.  He hooked himself on an 8ball and I got out.  Then made an 8ball out of turn another.  I ran out the last game to win 4-1.  

My next two matches were against two very tough players and I lost 4-0 and 3-1.  I was honestly way too tired to play my best and missed many shots in my last match because of exhaustion.  But, because I had a bye then won my second match, that sealed my Last Lady position and I won that $50!

I admit if I had a tougher draw at first, it could have easily gone to one of the other girls.  I got lucky; I admit it.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Reflections of a /Bad/ Tournament?

I label tournaments good or bad.  I do this based on how I placed.  However, that's not really fair.

How I play in a tournament is just a marginal part of an entire weekend.

For those times we travel out of town for a two-day event, it's not just how we placed in the tourney that should define our weekend.  But, also, what else happened during the course of the weekend.

If we play pool the entire time - it most likely means we placed well and didn't really have to time to "experience" other things. 

I played badly at the OB Cues Stop in Oklahoma last weekend (July 28th weekend); so badly in fact I only won ONE match!  :(  However, after reflecting Sunday on the way home, in reality it turned out to be a GREAT weekend.

My first match was on the stream table and while I shot ahead 2-0 with GREAT play and much confidence, I then faltered.  I am not sure what exactly happened, but I couldn't play and couldn't focus anymore.   I recognized during the match why I was losing, but I couldn't overcome my mistakes nor get over my mental block.  I even scratched on TWO 9balls on the last three games.  Eeek.  I'm really not sure why I started to play badly and why I thought too much.

I was pretty confident:
  1. Jamaica Joe's has beautiful Diamond bar tables and I had just won a team Championship on these type of tables.  
  2. I had been playing well in all my other tourneys around town.
  3. I felt confident.
But for some reason, I think I sharked myself.  I started to think too much, and it cost me.  :(

It's pretty unflattering (lol) to only win one match in a tourney I should do so well in.  I just had too much on my mind.  And with my third match ending in controversy, it made for an even tougher exit. 

Here is a person who a month earlier won a Team Championship, just found out they will be one of the characters in the new video game Virtual Pool 4, and plays pretty damn sporty, who was out in three!  I didn't even get in the money - not even remotely close to any cash, lol.

Because I was out, though, I no longer had concerns on IF I would get to the Nicki Minaj concert on time on Sunday night that was 3plus hours away back home.  ;)

While I PLACED badly, the weekend overall at the pool room turned out to be rewarding and fantastic!

I know not many people reflect this much about their weekends.  I know for sure guys prolly don't.  They didn't place well, then the weekend sucked.  Simple as that. 

Maybe I reflect more because I have a blog and know I am going to write about my tourney?  Dunno.  But, I'm glad I did!

A lot of amazing conversations occurred on Saturday.  And if I was playing pool all day, these important things would not have been possible. I had the opportunity to talk to a lot of friends.  A lot of friends I don't normally get to talk to.  And it was enlightening!

So, in a very funny way, I'm grateful I didn't place well or play in matches all day long, so I could have these very meaningful, important conversations:

  • I learned about a friends' childhood that would make you weep how she had to live as a child; and now it explains why she is so tough.
  • Another friend thanked me for telling her my troubles, because she saw another side of me she didn't know existed.
  • I was able to express to another friend how much they mean to me and he shared why his outlook on life is so positive.
  • I was able to listen to a friend express her frustrations with the game of pool; things we all go through in competition; and share my thoughts.
  • I was also able to watch my boyfriend in a big gambling match for about 10 hours; I always learn when these two guys play each other for long sessions.
  • I got to spend some time with my bfff.  We live too far apart for much Quality Time.
  • I had time to reflect about some harsh words I received earlier in the day.
  • A friend and I were able to share common situations we had had with our boyfriends (it helps to know you aren't the only one who feels certain ways in disagreements).
  • I was able to visit with friends who I hadn't seen in a while, or wont see in a while.
  • I heard differing perspectives on some issues I have been going through in regards to friendships.

You get the gist:  Pool is a journey in life!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Recognition Issues

I have always had issues with recognition.  All my life.  It's who I am.  Sucks sometimes, as it's not a very pretty attribute.  But, it's a part of me.

I figure it's because I'm an only child. 

I am better than I used to be, but still struggle at times.

Well, right now is one of those struggles.

I was deeply hurt when I found out that CSI did not send out the team results of the BCAPL Nationals Team events.  While I was told they were sent out, I found out they weren't.

However selfish this may seem, I was freaking proud that my women's team won BCAPL Nationals and wanted it shared with the world!!

Further, ALL the teams deserved recognition. And I also felt BCAPL deserved coverage of the event as well, as it was a very well run, successful event.

It was a HUGE accomplishment and a DREAM come true.  My disappointment had nothing to do with attention - instead it had everything to do with being a proud Champion!

Just like Team McDermott's Ron Crom stated after their Mens' Open win at BCAPL Nationals to Billiards Digest, "It was a dream come true.  I've had a smile on my face since the day, and it doesn't go away."  Each team member of the winning teams feels the exact same way!

Then along comes On The Break magazine.  Don Akerlow is the editor and hard-working publisher of three magazines.  He not only printed our picture, but also a quote from EACH team member!  We were all so VERY proud to be able to share our thoughts and excitement about our win to Don and his readers!

Here is what we said (and is so graciously printed in his magazines):

Monica Anderson:  "The team, that I had the pleasure of playing with to win the 2012 BCAPL Women's Open Team National Championship, was strong in spirit, heart, fun and playing abilities---bar none.  The team was a stellar Texas roundup of women that all have proven to be champions on and off the table and it was an experience I will never forget!"

Connie Svoboda: "This was the most awesome win I’ve ever experienced and it was with the most awesome team of ladies!!!"

Jennifer Pavlovick:  "Achieving a national title is a very sweet feeling and I'm extremely proud to have been a part of this team.  Anyone who's ever played at nationals knows that the team event can be quite grueling but that wasn't the case playing with my teammates. For 4 straight days we were focused, supportive, and playing some pretty sporty pool.  It was a tournament dream that ended with a real trophy and great memories.  "

Lisa Ellison:  "Winning was great but the friends I made are forever going to change my life."

From me, Melinda Bailey:  "To win a National Championship is truly a dream come true!  Truly.  I almost can't put into words how much this means.  To win the event with an amazing group of friends, was icing on the cake!"

(click on photo to enlarge)

Billiards Digest contacted me and also wanted to do an interview.  As quasi-Team Captain, and since I wrote a blog entry of our win, I guess that's why they contacted me.  I gave them several comments about our experience and was SO excited for the team.

I waited impatiently for my subscription and turns out it had run out!  But, the fine folks at BD sent me a complimentary copy (and I will be renewing my subscription asap). 

As soon as I received it in the mail, I ripped it open like a kid on Christmas Day.  I quickly leafed through the pages and found the article.  And there I was - quoted!

I read the quote out loud to my boyfriend and then stopped in my tracks.  I was HORRIFIED! 

I am EXTREMELY honored they mentioned that I dedicated the win to my Mom.  Words will never be able to explain how much that honor means to me.

But, the sole comment they chose to print was about how I felt about winning, not the quotes I shared about the excitement of our amazing teamwork, awesome team chemistry, and great friendship.  :(   

There is no I in team! 

This is the quote they used, "It was the greatest experience of my life to finally be a national champion, after being at it for so long, and placing second twice with teams before."

I don't want to take away from the author's hard work of writing such a long article about the BCAPL Nationals.  I know it's tough to please everyone; I TRULY understand that.  I wrote articles for 10 years and I know how tough it is, and also what a thankless job it is. 

But, what I said about my team meant more to me than how I felt about winning the championship, and I wish that point came across.

He asked me why I thought this team won this year. I told him, "we are a talented group of women who complement each others skills to make for a winning combination through friendship."

I did love it that the photo BD published was the one of my teammates and I jumping in the air!

  (click on photo to enlarge)

I'm just bummed my teammates weren't mentioned.  The whole reason we succeeded was because of each other!  And I went on and on about them during the interview.  :(

Note:  As you can tell if you are a frequent read, it's extremely difficult for me to say ill words about anyone.  So, let me reiterate that I do still love CSI and Billiards Digest.  My reactions and emotions were my own feelings; nothing they did was intentional.