Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Scotch Doubles Reminders

On Saturday I played in a scotch doubles tourney and my partner and I only placed 4th.  We should have won the whole thing, but we did not :(

(click photo to enlarge to see Roy's Sports Bar)

I felt overly confident when we started off, but as the tourney went on, I got more and more unsure of my choices and felt I would be told what I did wrong, and therefore it affected my play immensely.  I was thinking while down on my shots, second guessing my choices, and very un-confident.

My boyfriend was my partner and we have had only about three instances of not playing well together in the last 2 1/2 years.  I suppose those odds are good, but it still upsets me we even go through these types of situations where he comments on my shots and we end up not placing well.  He knows I play best when he just supports my misses or choices, but as most men do, he was simply stating facts and hadn't remembered I do best when he's simply supportive.

I told him this week, "You are lucky I don't write about what happened in my blog."

His response: "I figured you would anyway."


I wonder if that crosses his mind sometimes, like, "Oh shit, she's gonna write about that."  lol

I am kinda glad this bad scotch doubles situation happened, though.  We have a much bigger scotch doubles tourney coming up next week at the BCAPL Texas State Tourney.  Last year we placed a measly 2nd and we should have won it.  (I said that above, too, huh? lol. But, we were one shot away from being in the hotseat last year.)

Anyway, I think it's good we got that mess out of the way and it was a great reminder for him to not second guess my choices out loud TO me.  I do so much better with support, even if I dog it.  :)  Seriously, I can recover much faster from a mistake if he just says, "it's okay, Honey" instead of "you should have used draw on that ball," because that puts doubt in my head.  As he remembered after the tourney, he can share advice AFTER the tournament is over with - during just messes with my confidence.

Further, the tourney showed some reoccurring flaws in my pre shot routine and those mistakes will now be a great reminder for the upcoming tourney in all the events I play in.

So, glad that happened.  Really!

And then on Monday (just two days later), we played at the same pool room for league as we had on Saturday.  For some reason I could see the table and balls and layouts SO MUCH clearer!  It was amazing.

But, I was also more cognizant of thinking when standing and getting back up if I wasn't sure, because just on Saturday I was not doing that.

And it showed in my stats!  I play on a strong men's team and we played against another strong men's team.  I won 3 outta 5 games WITH a break and run!  :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Scotch Doubles Coaching

The rule for BCAPL Scotch Doubles is you cannot coach when it's your teams' turn at the table and you cannot take a time-out to ask questions.  However, if your opponents are shooting, then you can talk on the sidelines (about anything).

My personal opinion is BCAPL instituted this no-time-out rule because the Scotch Doubles tourneys in Vegas were taking too long.  If there is another reason, I don't know it.  But allowing a 20-second time out for every game did add to an already long day.

The "no-time-out" rule doesn't bother me at all.  Sure, there are a few times I wish I could take a time out to ask a question, but for the most part, I'm pretty comfortable and confident with my choices.  The only time I wish I could take a time out is when I'm not sure which shot my partner would rather me shoot, lol.

At the last scotch doubles tourney I played in, after a team lost, they complained that their opponents were coaching, but without words. 

You know - one player (usually the male) looks ahead and lines up where he would like the next shot to be shot.  Now, if he was playing by himself, people would applaud him for 3-ball shape and thinking ahead.  But when players do it during scotch doubles, it can seem like the player is pretty much non-verbally showing their partner which ball to shoot next.

The funny thing to me is, when guys do this and their female partner shoots a different ball because they aren't paying attention, lol.  Or, they don't know that the guy is pretty much telling them which shot to shoot next.

My boyfriend and I do plan our next shots, but it's not to show each other which ball to shoot next, we are simply trying to figure out where we want the cueball for the best possible position. 

But, as people plan where they want the cueball to be on the table, it does indeed look like they are trying to coach without words. 

I honestly don't know how to stop this non-verbal coaching.  And I think it would be detrimental to running racks if we couldn't plan the next shot.

It's a tricky little thing.

However, it's when people start complaining that makes me wonder about it most.  On the other hand, I think the people that are most concerned are only complaining because they lost to a beginner.  They know full well that inexperienced players would not shoot certain shots if their partner wasn't giving them non-verbal clues. 

In other words, you wont hear people complain about top players doing this.  And to be fair, if the better team had won, they wouldn't have complained at all.  ;)

But in reality, the BCA Rules are:  "No timeouts or coaching allowed.  Any assistance (verbal or non-verbal) by a team during their turn at the table is a foul."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Be Careful What You Share

One of my friends was playing in a big women's tourney against a good player.  She found herself down 6-1, but started to make a come back.  She won 4 games in a row, and lost only 7-5. 

My friend didn't get to the hill, but she did try her little heart out and never gave up.

She was elated she made a comeback and got to 5 games against a tough opponent!  But, also a little disappointed she could have made it hill-hill. 

Her opponent, however, was upset because she felt like she was giving games way.  In her eyes, she was making mistakes.

At the end of the day, someone asked her opponent how my friend played.  Her response was, "I should have beat her 7-1."

Now this is the part that gets interesting.

That last comment was passed on to my friend!  IMHO, I think it was inappropriate to tell someone, basically, "She said she should have beat you 7-1."  I am actually upset that my friend was told that, because it never should have been shared.

My friend was hurt by the remark.  In her eyes, she thought she earned those games.  Instead, she felt like she wasn't given any credit for her wins.

It's a very interesting perspective, really.  

And I know this happens all the time.

One person was simply sharing she made some mistakes and if she hadn't have, the score would have been 7-1, so she was disappointed in her own play.

The other player felt like she wasn't given enough credit for her wins.  She did get out and make balls to earn those 4 games, she felt.

Her opponent's comment was strictly about her OWN game.  But my friend took the comment a little personally, because she did try very hard and did make a comeback. 

I'm more upset at the person who passed on the info.  What was the purpose in telling my friend that?  Seriously?  Quite frankly, it caused mixed emotions for my friend, when in fact she had felt good about her little comeback, now she was second guessing it and also kinda hurt the other player felt that way.

Now, I realize that how that comment was received and meant is simply a matter of perspectives.  Her opponent (also a good friend of mine), meant nothing rude by it at all; she was just expressing her point of view of the match. 

But my point is two-fold:
  1. People view matches differently. 
  2. Some things should not be shared if it's not helpful.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Annoying Chit Chat

On Saturday morning of the OB Cues Ladies Tour March 9-10, my road partner and I got there promptly when the doors opened at 9am to hit balls on the Diamond Bar Tables to get acclimated.

We got separate tables, but next to each other and practiced alone while we could before the other players started to fill in.  After a while, some of the tournament players started to come in.  Then a few guys came in.  One guy, Mr. Annoying, walked right through half of the pool room and went straight to Courtney's table and sat his butt down.

He singled her out of all the ladies there and started to chat her up.  Yes, while we were trying to warm up.

Here is all that he said, that I can remember:

You playing today?
Want to play with me?  It will help your game.
These tables are different.
But they are good tables.
Where are you from?
What me to hit some balls with you?
You know Allison Fisher says the most important thing is your stance.
Can I hit balls?

That's when I finally intervened, "the tables are for the female players to warm up for our tourney."

He sat back down.

Then he continued his "discussion" to Courtney:

You shoot well.
Nice shot.
Sure you don't want to practice with me?  It will help.
I am going to go, good luck.
Oh, wait, let me order some breakfast.
How long you been playing?
This breakfast is good, need something to drink?
Are you ready for today?
I was here all last night playing.
Nice break.
Want me to show you a few shots?

Mind you, we didn't know this guy AT ALL and yet he's interrupting our warming-up session.  To say he was annoying was a freaking understatement.

When one of his friends came over to say hi, he started to brag how he beat someone the previous night.  We all just wish he would FREAKING leave!  I was waiting for the right moment to tell him to shut up (nicely of course), but I never saw the perfect opportunity.

Courtney, bless her heart, was a nice as she could be and she answered all his questions politely.  But she finally had to walk away from him because he was so distracting.  She kinda hid near friends on the other side of the room until he left. I thought it was pretty crappy that he was that distracting while we were trying to warm up, that she had to step away from the area.

I was prepared to have to intervene if he started to follow her around during her matches to talk AT her.  Luckily, he left, though.

He wasn't rude, just annoying.  At one point I wanted to say, "Do you really think we don't know how to play this game if we drove all the way from Texas?  Can you see we want to just warm up and focus?"

We did see him again Sunday morning - ironically when we ere warming up again - and Courtney and I got a little nervous, lol, but luckily he didn't talk to any of the lady players this day and kept his distance. 

OMG Really buddy??

If he gambled the night before he has to know *something* about pool and warming up and etiquette.  Well, guess not.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Things We Deal With

I played at Diamond Jim's in Arlington, Texas in their Friday night tourney last Friday.  If more than 7 girls enter, then they hold a separate women's event, instead of the women playing against the men.

It's pretty cool as the tourney is getting bigger and bigger.  Friday night we had 20 women!  For a weekly tourney, that's fantastic!  It helps that the men's event has a huge break contest, so may players show up in general anyway.  Friday night someone snapped off $1,600 at $200 a ball.  :)

To get to the hosteat, I defeated this really nice girl (I'll call her Ronica) who was very quiet and shy, that played timid (kinda slow), but she was a good shot maker, even though you could tell she was a beginner and nervous. 

While I waited to play in the finals, Ronica's boyfriend and my boyfriend (Brian) were gambling races to 3, 8-ball, $50 sets.

At this point, it's about 2:45 in the morning - because there are only about 8 bar tables in the place, if you finish well in the tourney, it makes for long Friday nights.

Brian had just won a set and he asked the guy, "Play for $50?" as he's holding the coin over the table to flip (he's ready to play another set).

The guys says, "sure" and Brian flips the coin.  The other guy wins the flip and immediately tells Brian, "Okay now give me my $50."

I'm on the sidelines thinking "WTF?"

Brian kinda laughs and tries to tell him he wasn't flipping for $50, he wanted to play another set for $50.  The guy is pretty drunk and says, "I thought you wanted to flip for it because we don't have time to play another set."

Mind you, his girlfriend, Ronica, is still playing in a match!  So yes he does have time to play another set.

I add from across the room, "We aren't going anywhere," trying to stress they DO have time to play.

My boyfriend again explains he would never flip for $50 and was not trying to make a move on him.  The guy finally gives up the argument and they play another set.

We win the race to 3 and about the same time, Ronica won her match and now her and I are about to play in the finals.  I was so proud of her for getting to the finals!

I had already scoped out top 2 payouts and first place was $95 and second place was $50.  Based on that info, I didn't want to split the finals, even tho I hardly ever do anyway.  But since it was now 3:15 in the morning, I figured it might be asked.

I didn't have anywhere to be on Saturday and they would have to beat me two sets.  I admit I didn't want to give up the cash.

Sure enough, Ronica asks me if I want to split.  I reply shyly, "nah."

So, I get my cues to walk over to the table and I hear her boyfriend tell her, "Beat this bitch."



I say to my friend, "He just called me a bitch."

I keep walking and bring my cues to the table and tell him in front of the about the 10 people left, "You don't need to call me a bitch."

He is shocked I heard him AND called him out.  He stammers, "Oh, uh, I say that about everybody."

I break and it's still in my head he called me a bitch.  I'm getting a little warmed up about it, but remain calm and proud of myself for defending myself.

Ronica chooses stripes and then I get a chance at the table, but need to punt.  While I am down on my shot, the TD tells me, "Melinda, stop.  It' over."



I'm confused.

"It's over.  You won."

Evidently, her boyfriend asked about the payouts and then said "it wasn't worth it" for Ronica to play the finals out.  So, he forfeited her!

I felt really bad for her as this was her first time to ever be in the finals, and he made her quit!

He promptly walked out and she followed shortly behind after she put her cues up.

I kinda felt like he was being a bitch tbh.

I realize he was drunk, I realize he was upset for just losing $100 to my boyfriend, but let your girl play in the finals.  And DON'T call me a bitch again!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

$hitting in Balls

At the last tourney I was in, I was playing my match on Sunday and I overheard a player from another table shout, "I'll take it!"

I was caught off guard as I don't recall this player being so vocal, so maybe she was having a tougher match than normal?

After a player shits in a ball, their reaction depends on the score, mind frame, and position in a tourney.

It's funny to me how people react when they shit in balls.  Three are five distinct reactions imo:

A player will either:
  • raise their hand, effectively apologizing for making the ball like that,
  • don't react at all and just move on like it's a part of the game,
  • say something like out loud like "I'll take it!" or "get in there!" or "oops!"
  • pretend they meant to pocket the ball like that,
  • or they laugh about it (a rare reaction).  

Again, the reaction of the player depends on many outside factors.  If they are struggling or losing, they be more vocal.  If they truly are sorry, they wave the apology hand.  If they are focused, they might just keep shooting with no reaction.

The KEY in my opinion is how YOU (the player watching all this unfold) react to the shit-in-ball AND the players' reaction.

Let's face it, if I get an apology wave, I'll be less inclined to be miffed at their roll.  If they are being verbal, it can be taken as rudeness.  Don't let that get to you!  Just accept that rolls are part of the game and don't let their verballness bother you.  Their comment is no reflection of you, it's a reflection of their emotions.  Feed off of it, but don't let it get to you.

Going back to the tourney - again, I was taken aback at her comment, as I thought it was uncalled for for her to shout "I'll take it!"  She shit in the 6ball and then ran out.  And then her opponent made the 9ball on the break and won the match 7-5.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Devil is in the Details

You thought you could get off easy by my blog entry earlier this week that said I placed 2nd without any of details.  ;)  Well, of course I have to give more details of my tourney!

Since I use this as my pool diary, it really is necessary.  You can stop reading now if you aren't a detailed person.

Many people are surprised I can remember all these details, but somehow I do.  :)

The Second Stop of the OB Cues Ladies Tour was at Jamaica Joe's in Oklahoma City on March 9-10th.  Jamaica Joe's recently did a remodel and the place is absolutely beautiful!!  With 16 Diamond Bar Tables and three 9-foot Diamond Tables, the pool room is the best within 200 miles!

First off, I want to state something that really helped me at this tourney: practicing on the Diamond Bar Tables the morning of each day.  I normally don't feel the need to hit balls on tables for too long as I adapt very well (I'm lucky) but Diamond Bar Tables (DBT) are a different breed of tables and I NEEDED to hit balls on them to be prepared to have a good chance in the tournament.
  1. DBTs are extremely fast.  You must get yourself acclimated to that before a tourney.  I hit balls for 25-45 minutes each morning of the tourney.
  2. DBTs banks VERY different from all other tables.  I would run several racks, but THEN practice a rack or two of banks.  Esp short banks.  This is key for all tourneys I play in with DBTs.
  3. The Break.  For the first time in my life, I practiced the break.  And for the first time (EVER), I broke from the side.  I break really well for a girl, but I wanted more control and more assurance.  So, I practiced my side break about 15-20 times til I felt comfy with the speed and ensuring I made a ball.  I got really good at the break on Sunday - only after having more confidence watching Michelle Yim do it against me on Saturday.  She controlled the cueball better than I.  In the finals, Amanda and I both had our breaks working well and it was really cool!
You may think I should do the above the morning of for all tourneys, but DBTs are so much different, it's more of a "must" than a "should."  I still hit balls the morning of, but I don't normally ensure I get there early for an open table and I usually only hit a few racks.

I got out my Winning Ugly book by Brad Gilbert and only had a chance to review a few pages before heading to the tournament.  I wrote down a few notes/reminders, that proved very helpful during the tournament.  I really think those few pages helped me be mentally stronger in this tourney.

Here is a copy of my short notes:

Click photo to enlarge and excuse the handwriting.

The two points I wanted to remember most was to play like a boa constrictor and to stroke more if I get nervous.  I didn't want to let up or get comfy at any time (boa constrictor) but I also needed some reminders of what to do if I get nervous - stroke more.  BOTH helped immensely this tourney. 

We only had 29 women so I was disappointed in that, but I played Bye first and won.  Whew! I then played the Tour Champ and I was nervous but she was distracted and wasn't herself and I was able to win somehow 7-4.

In my next match I played Michelle Yim.  I was also nervous against her.  She has been playing really well lately and has had several major accomplishments the last couple of years, along with a new b/f who is a top player.  I knew I would have my hands full.  She played really, really smart and has a very beautiful stroke, but some flukey things happened in our match and I won 7-2.  She got a lot of bad rolls and I felt bad for her, but I also had to play like a boa constrictor, so I tried to be mentally strong.  Luckily I prevailed, altho I did feel bad as the outcome of the match was not indicative of how well she played.

Then I was informed I was in til Sunday.  Wait?  Already?  Wait?  On the winner's side again?  SAWEET!

I could have got more sleep but still felt fairly good in the morning as my roadie (Courtney) and I got ready for our matches on Sunday.  Courtney would end of winning the Second Chance tourney!  Her first time to play in it and she steals the show.  Congrat's!

Courtney and I

I practiced again Sunday morning and then played my first match against fellow teammate and Board Member, Tracie.

I felt real good the first game but missed a key safe and she got out.  Then I was on the 9-ball in second game and got bumped by someone on another table.  I was pretty ticked.  I tried to regroup, but I missed the tricky side pocket shot.  I was down 0-2.

I noticed my heart was racing and my blood flow was really fast.  I wasn't sure if my breakfast hadn't settled yet or I was dehydrated.  I stopped drinking my diet Pepsi (which has caffeine) and I got a cold water and drank half the bottle right away.  The water helped and my heart stopped beating out of my chest (I have a little heart murmur, but not sure what was going on). 

At this point, I simply told myself if she gets out and wins the match, so be it; I can't do anything about it.  Not sure what happened, but I ended up winning 7 games in a row and found myself up 5-2!  I could tell I was in the zone (yay!) and I was really playing super well (I thought).   I didn't really give my opponnt too many chances for those 7 games.

I then noticed that Orietta lost, which would mean if I won, I would play a new girl Sherri from OK in the hotseat.  I also noticed that if I lost, I would have to play Amanda.  All of these future possibilities were on my mind and it felt like the game at 5-2 took FOREVER for some reason.  I scratched on the 7ball but had a chance on the 9 but missed.  A miss back led me to get on the hill.  At this point I could tell she was more frustrated and I finally won the match 7-2.

OMG, was I really IN the hotseat again like last time!?!

My biggest fear this time was the match was going to be streamed.  The last time at Jamaica Joe's I was put on the stream my first match and was so nervous I lost from nerves.  I tried SO HARD not to think about the stream and JUST PLAY POOL.  I did not want to lose again on the stream by dogging it.  Thinking of that in itself is stupid pressure.

It took forever for us to finally play, as we were waiting on a match to finish before they would play us.  I hit balls on the stream table to prepare myself and for some reason, I just didn't think anymore about the stream.  Well, I didn't WORRY about being on the stream.

My opponent was a very good player from OK and she was having a fantastic tourney.  She was already having a reputation for a great break, so I was prepared to not let that bother me and just accept it.

Sure enough, a few times she made 2 balls or more and even one 9ball on the snap.

I was a little nervous at first, but when I saw she was more nervous than I, I took advantage of that.  I played better and got ahead 3-1.  Then she made the 9ball on the break, but I didn't let it get to me. I faltered on a 9ball next but she scratched after she made it.  I could have let the easy miss get to me, but I did NOT.

I overheard "Good shot, Sherri" a lot all around me, but I tried not to let the words get to me.  I just played my game when I got to the table.  I got up 4-2 but she countered with a 9ball combo.  She kept right up with me!  I couldn't shake her at all.  I got on 5 and then she made a fantastic out to tie it up 5-5.  Then she broke and made 3-4 balls!  The out was a little tricky and I got a chance at the table and got out.  Whew.

I was up 6-5 and she played safe on the 6ball and I was left was only 3 balls.  I studied it for what seemed forever, and it finally dawned on my to play safe, lol.  I nailed it so good, even her fans told me it was a good shot!  (once Cuetable is back online, I post a diagram of it).  I got ball in hand and ran out the three tough balls to WIN the hotseat match 7-5!!!

OMG.  :)

Did I just win another hotseat match?



I admit I was proud of myself for playing well and staying mentally strong.  :)

Wait, this meant I was in the finals again!



Amanda Lampert played Sherri next and was up 5-1 and I could see our future:  A repeat of the previous tourney where Amanda and I were in the finals together! 

She defeated Sherri 7-2 I think and Amanda was ON FIRE - she was playing so, so good.  In fact, she beat me the first set 7-1;  I only had a few chances.

However, I countered the first set loss with opening the second set with a break and run!  I even pulled ahead 4-3 at one point, that was short lived as I lost 5-7.  BUT.  I played so much better in this finals than the last one and I am definitely making progress in "positions" like this.  :)  I never even thought of the stream or felt pressure.  I just waited for chances (which only arose in the second set), and I played pretty good.

I told my boyfriend after I placed 2nd before, that one of the reasons I was so upset about playing poorly in the finals in January was because I may never get in the finals again.  He immediately told me I would be there again.  And look at me!  I swear he has more faith in my game than I.

So, placed 2nd again!  I am so surprised!  But, VERY glad I played well this time in the finals and didn't dog it, lol.  :)  Learning experiences all around me!  I love it.  :) 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pressure from Coworkers

I realized today how much I appreciate the fact that I do NOT share my pool life with my coworkers.

While you may think it would be cool to get support and acceptance from coworkers, I look at it in a different light now.

While I do wish people understood my passion (pool) more and didn't smirk about it, I am okay with the fact I do NOT talk about my pool tournaments.

I actually feel less pressure after tournaments now, because I don't have to report to my coworkers my results.

I learned the hard way that people don't accept me playing pool, so what did I do about it?  I stopped talking about.  Even if someone happens to ask, "Do you still play?"  I reply vaguely.  Or if they find out I went out of town, they ask, "Oooh, for a tournament?"  I just fib and say no.  With too many frowns and non-support, I just don't tell anyone.

What is SUPER cool about this though is now I don't have to fade the Monday morning questions.

I used to "advertise" I was going out of town for a tournament.  Then come Monday morning, I would get all the questions:

Coworker:  "How did you do?"

Me:  "I placed 13th."

Coworker:  "13th?  Is that good?"

Me:  "Yes it is. It was a tough field."

Coworker: "Cool.  Out of how many people?"

Me:  "31 players."

Coworker:  "Oh.  Well, how much money did you get?"

Me:  "$40"

Coworker: (silence, combined with a look of confusion)

At this point, it's obvious they don't know why I would spend money on a weekend full of hotel bills to play in a tourney for a measly $40.  Not realizing when I said that it might have been the highest I had ever placed before.

Then the next Monday after a tourney, more questions; more smirks, more un-understanding.  Then I started to feel pressure over the weekend, knowing I'd had to fade the questions and admit I didn't win another tourney. 

I honestly used to dread having to give an update on Monday mornings.  :( 

Now, I get to come to work after a weekend-away tourney, or a big tournament in Vegas or Reno, and not have any second guesses or questions to answer to.  :)  I don't feel bad not placing well or spending my money on my passion.  :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What's This Mess?

I really don't know where to begin.  I am shocked to tell you that I placed 2nd at the OB Cues Ladies Tour stop last weekend.  That's not a typo! 

I can't begin to express that I have no idea how this is even happening.  Before December 2012, I had never placed above 4th place before on the OB Cues Ladies Tour in the last 15 years.  In December I placed 3rd and just in January at their Season Opener I placed 2nd, and now at their second stop, I placed 2nd again!  I honestly never thought I'd be in the finals again - I kinda thought it was a fluke or something that I made it that far in January.  Then, I won the hotseat on March 10th at Jamaica Joe's in Oklahoma City at the OB Cues Ladies Tour 2nd stop and found myself in the finals again!

 Amanda and I

I am not depressed after this tourney like I was last time.  Last time I played so badly in the finals, it literally depressed me.  This time, I played good!  Amanda Lampert was too on fire to beat her (I love when she plays this good), but I feel so good that I competed well this time.  I definitely learned from last time.  In the first set I didn't have too many chances and lost 7-1.  But I played good in the second set.  Whew!

I countered the first set debacle with opening the second set with a break and run!  I even pulled ahead 4-3 at one point, that was short lived as I lost 5-7.  BUT.  I played so much better in this finals than the last one and I am definitely making progress.  :)

I do think this journey to the finals was also kinda a fluke, but I did play good at times (esp my matches on Sunday) and I took advantage of mistakes all weekend.  I felt more mentally strong, too.  I reviewed little notes I had written down for inspiration and felt really stronger mentally.  I was also more prepared in the finals, and I know that is a direct result of recently playing in the finals in January.

I had mentioned on Friday in my blog that I was apprehensive about this tourney.  I didn't go into detail, but the pressure to place well again after placing so high at a previous tourney can actually be very tough.  I have seen many people falter after a big win.

Each tourney is a learning experience for the next one and the recent little accomplishments have really helped me.  In December, I made it TO the hotseat for the first time ever in a big ladies tour event.  Next tourney I actually WON the hotseat and played in the finals for the first time.  Next tourney I played well IN the finals.  I can honestly say I am excited for what may come.  :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

This Weekend's Outlook

Playing the OB Cues Ladies Tour this weekend at Jamaica Joe's in Oklahoma City.

I practiced at home on Wednesday and played really, really poorly.  :(  At league on Thursday I messed up the first game, but really saw my last three tables excellent and felt super comfortable.  SUPER comfortable at the table!

Being that I placed 2nd at the previous OB Ladies Tour Stop, I feel a little bit of invisible pressure.  And the last time I played at this venue for the OB Cues Ladies Tour, I think I won one whole match!  So, I didn't fair well.

I just need to remember to breathe, take my time.  The Diamond bar tables are super fast, so I don't need to hit hard at all, and have a smooth stroke, too.

I need to think out side of the box, execute in the box.  Remember to look at the object ball last.  Did I mention take my time?!

Hugs to everyone and safe travels!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mental Anger

Our mind can really be an extreme negative beast to ourselves. 

I have seen two very recent "episodes" of the extreme negative turn that our minds can take.

And, it's not pretty.

The first one is when I read about how Mike Dechaine accused my friend during the most recent TAR match with SVB (Shane Van Boening), that her and her two friends were deliberately texting to shark him.  I counter that what really happened was, because Mike was losing in front of 100s of fans, that he got agitated at-any-little-thing.  Our mind starts to assume things when we aren't thinking clear, when we get upset, and embarrassed, and that is why I presume Mike assumed they were deliberately doing something so horrendous to a pro. 

What's worse about these situations, is in our minds (well, Mike's mind in this case), he prolly honestly believes that happened and nothing will ever convince him otherwise, even after he calms down.

The second recent instance: I was gambling a couple of weekends ago a $200 set, race to 9 on the 9-foot table.  And the guy I was gambling with, was losing.

Now, since I'm a girl, the thought of losing is even worse, esp since a lot of people were watching and cheering me on.

One of my friends had played him earlier in the day, and beat him.  Unrelated to that instance, my friend (who's voice carries) was telling a small group us (while I was gambling), about how he didn't get paid a few months ago from a guy named JB.  I would walk back and forth from my shots to hear the story.

My opponent was about to shoot during his turn and instead walked right up to my friend and started to verbally attack him, saying "I have ALWAYS paid you!!"  He told my friend to shut his loud mouth and that it was rude that he was telling lies about him while he was trying to gamble.

Several of us tried to tell my opponent that my friend he was talking about JB, not him, but he would not listen to us.  He insisted the guy was deliberately lying, deliberately talking loud, and trying to shark him during this gambling match.

I was shocked and desperately tried to reassure him, as I knew my friend was talking about JB and not him, but he didn't believe us and so we just asked our friend to leave so as to not cause problems.  He didn't mean to tell the story loudly and distract my opponent.  But my opponent was the one who flew off the handle assuming my friend was talking about him.  I can only guess if he was beating me, he could care less my friend was talking, because then nothing would be bothering him and he would be in a good frame of mind. 

When we are losing, get embarrassed, or make stupid mistakes, things on the sidelines bother us a lot more than when we are winning.  When we are losing, our mind can get so upset, that we don't think straight and things that normally wouldn't bother use become extremely negative, sometimes nasty, unrealistic thoughts. 

Not everyone in the world shows emotion or speaks up when they get mad, angry, or agitated (thank goodness), but many do.  You can visualize Tiger Woods throwing a gold club, or John McEnroe chewing out a referee. 

I don't think these reactions are wrong per say, I just think sometimes they are unavoidable as we react to our internal emotions and the deep negative feelings we can't contain, so we slam a cue or snap at our opponent.  It's not right, but remember, we aren't thinking clear if we are upset and angry anyway.

It IS tough to tolerate that behavior, but if you recognize what is going on, it's sometimes easier to handle.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Poker Killer Instinct

I have no killer instinct.  I have no killer instinct button.  I can't turn it on.  And if I DO happen to turn it in, I feel bad afterwards.

It's just not in me, not a part of me.

On Saturday I figured this out by feeling bad about a poker move I did.  A move that was very smart on my part, and one that I should have done.

Let me try and explain what happened:

I had pocket Queens and raised before the flop and two people called.  The flop comes 3, 6, 10.  Two of the cards were hearts.  Neither of the Queens in my hand were hearts.

I bet because I figure no one has anything better than my two Queens at this point.  One person calls me.  The other gets out. 

The next card comes and it's a Queen!  I can't believe my luck.  :)

I bet and the one guy left in the hand with me, calls. 

The next card that comes out on The River is the Queen of Hearts! 

I had quads

I am first to act and after I see the Queen, I indicate that I ain't gonna bet now, acting like I am beat because I now see three hearts out there, thinking the guy was looking for a flush.  So, I Check.

He grabs some chips and bets about half his stack (about $40 I think).  I immediately say, "all in."

He pauses for only a few seconds, trying to figure out what is going on.  Turns out he had pocket 3s, so he has a Boat (three 3s and 2 Queens to make a Full House).  However, he goes all in with me and I show my quads and of course the whole table goes crazy. 

The guy gets up and leaves, and doesn't come back to play.  I took all his money.

Afterwards, I told the guy next to me I felt bad for checking and then raising.  He looked at me funny and said, "You played that so perfectly, and that's what you were suppose to do.  You were suppose to Check-Raise, don't feel bad about it."

I continued to feel guilty and therefore mentioned it later to my boyfriend.  He also told me, "Don't feel bad about it - that was smart play."  And then he added, "He was trying to take your money, and he wouldn't have felt bad if he won that pot."

Reminds me of other advice I received once about pool:  "Someones got to win, might as well be me."

I wish I had more of a killer instinct.  But, I will keep learning and trying to win! 

It's not personal!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Shooting the Wrong Group: Rule

On Friday night I played in a bar table 8ball tournament.  It gets enough women that the bar has a separate women's event, which is super cool because I wanted to get some good practice in because next weekend I have a tournament at Jamaica Joe's on bar tables in Oklahoma City for the OB Cues Ladies Tour.

Out of 14 women, I ended up undefeated.  :)

At one point during the night, there was a rules issue that occurred.

A guy named Steve was playing The Talker (that's what I'll call him) and Steve started to run a few balls.  He only had two stripes left and the 8ball when all of a sudden Talker tells him, "I was stripes."

Steve is shocked!  He doesn't know what to do at this point.

He tells me the situation while we wait on the TD and I of course think it's a foul.  But Steve made a good point - he didn't want to just give the table over with only a few balls left.  And what if his opponent deliberately didn't tell him til the run was almost over and three easy balls were left?  I hadn't thought of that part, and wondered what does happen in situations like that. 

Would Steve's opponent get ball in hand now?

The TDs decided that the rule is, if you don't say anything after they shoot the first wrong ball, then the shooter gets to keep shooting.  Therefore Steve would all of a sudden be stripes and get to continue his run.

I thought it was a crazy situation, as I had never heard this happen before!

So, looked up the rule, because I could see people abuse this situation.  I wanted to share in case this comes up for you at some point:

From the BCAPL Officials Rules:
"Once a group is established, groups can never change for the remainder of that game. If a player shoots the wrong group and no foul is called before the next shot and the player continues to shoot at that group, or if at any time during the game it is discovered by either player or a referee that the players are shooting the wrong groups, the game will be replayed with the player who broke the game breaking again."

So, while the TDs were incorrect in their ruling that night, it was still a very interesting situation.  And without knowing the ruling, it could be game-changer for sure! 
I think the ruling is a good one, or else people would abuse those type of situations and deliberately shoot their wrong group if they could get away with it.