Friday, May 31, 2013

More Honor :)

I keep getting surprised with my leagues.  I don't even realize the type of awards they have!

Check out what I won from my Monday night league, the day I got back from ACS Nationals:  TOP LADY SHOOTER!  I had NO idea they had that award OR that I had won it, lol.

And a cool plaque to go with our league playoff win, AND my NAME on both!  :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vegas May 2013 in Photos

My Vegas trips are focused around pool tournaments, but non-pool things happen too, lol.  I thought I'd share with you some of the other activities and happenings from my ACS Nationals May 2013 Vegas trip:

I was lucky enough to get to see ELTON JOHN in concert at Caesars Palace!  Teammate Janet and I got to have a date with him on my second night in Vegas (his last show until September).  I never in a million years thought I'd get to see this talented showman.

Janet and I.
She found these AWESOME, PERFECT glasses for us!  Yes, we wore them inside Caesar's Palace and at times during the show  :)

I really wanted to hear two songs that he didn't play, but I was impressed with his enthusiasm and stories!  The stage was beautiful and he still is a major performer for sure!

I stayed at the Planet Hollywood Casino/Hotel (PH) this time (abt a 20-25 minute walk to the Tropicana) because I got a good rate.  I LOVED staying there!  The atmosphere and abundance of table games and eateries was awesome.

I am not shy to admit since I normally stay by myself, the rates at the Tropicana where ACS was held were WAY too expensive when I can stay at PH for $20 night because of my players card.

I heard they were filming Think Like a Man Too ( the second installment of Think Like a Man) for a couple of days and so Courtney (my roomie and teammate) and I stalked the taping's for a few hour, lol.  Actually, we just watched the filming at the table games. 

But I noticed at one point that someone was taking a pic with Michale Ealy while he reviewed one of the taping's.  I told Courtney and she ran up to him to ask him also and she snapped this pic:

 Michael Ealy and Courtney 

Then we stalked Kevin Hart so she could get a pic with him, too.  Turns out these two are her Mom's favorites!  When we sent her the pics of her favorite actor and comedian, she literally was screaming with delight through the cellphone's speakerphone!  It was so super super cool.

Courtney and Kevin Hart

Teammate Angel picked up Courtney from the airport, in STYLE:

(Courtney may not ask for a ride again, lol)

I ate at a few new places this time! 

Munchies with teammate Janet at Caesar's Palace before we saw ELTON JOHN!

The PH buffet where I saw this sign:

It sounds really cool and a good deal, except all drinks are free if you are gambling, so why pay for this during the buffet?   FURTHER, I went during the champagne brunch.  Yes, where they give free champagne with your meal, lol.

 I ate at Fatburger fur the first time, since a friend recommended it.  It was tasty!

And also ate at Del Taco for the first time (which is real funny since they have them in Texas and had never been, lol). 

I also had Steak and eggs for the FIRST time in my life.  For $6.95, yes, it's worth a try AND a pic for you all, lol:

I also sat by two pools - PH and my FAV at the Mirage:


Ironic Meeting held in one of the conference rooms, since the IRS was all in the news, I thought the topic was hysterical:

Hit a few slot machines, mostly because Courtney played them.  Hit this mini jackpot at the Mirage on a 5 cent machine:

 Played Poker at the Mirage and Planet Hollywood.  Did much better at the Mirage.  Here's a pic from my view the last day:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Meeting People Through my Blog

My blog is my own personal pool diary.  I used to have a written diary for my pool tournaments, but when the internet came along, I starting blogging my thoughts.

At first, I kept my blog private. 

Then, I opened it up, but just became careful what I said or how I said things or didn't use real names as I had when it was private.

Then an acquaintance suggested I open up more. 

"What did you mean by 'My Mom was sick,'" He asked me.

"With what?  For how long?  Why be vague?"

I slowly opened up more because of his suggestion.  Now I truly love being more open and "honest."  And it turns out, being more open has led to other players resonating more with my experiences.

I also learned along the way that if I don't have the balls to say something directly to someone, I will either NOT write about it at all, or I will try to disguise who I am talking about. 

But what has been most rewarding about writing down my experiences is: (1) it helps me mentally in tournament to review past articles, (2) my blog has helped others or they can relate, and now (3) I'm meeting new people because of my blog! 

I have heard so much over the past few years players saying they can relate to what I write about.

I go through SO much at tournaments and league, I literally have a current list of topics I still have yet to write about.

I write all the time because I love to get my thoughts down in my pool diary (journey).

What has been super cool is, for the past 6 months, people have introduced themselves to me because they have read my blog.  Not everyone comments on the blog entries online and for the longest time, I never even knew if anyone else read it, lol.  That was okay as the blog is for me anyway, but when about 6 people recently approached me saying they like my blog and look forward to my posts, it really made my day!

Just the other day a friend of mine who I hadn't seen in a couple of years said he looks every morning to see if I've written a new article.  I was like, "wow, really?"

It really meant a lot to me when he said he can relate to most of what I write about.

And to meet new people all the time who love the game of pool as much as I do, and now we are connecting because they read my blog, HOW COOL IS THAT?? 

I sometimes wish I would have started blogging about pool when I was just beginning entering the pool world - talk about learning experiences!  But, I already feel like I kinda started "back to playing" a couple of times already in my life.

It tickles me to know I have "readers" and when YOU come up to me say hello and mention my blog, it means the world to me.

To all my online friends, yes you, THANK YOU!!

And just recently I received two emails about my blog.  Here's me sharing again:

"I found a link to your blog off the AZ Billiards website. I'm glad I did.

Just like to let you know I enjoy your blog. I mostly keep up with your current stuff but have went back and read some of the older material too.

I recently got back in to playing pool after about 20 years off (kids and all). Playing in a competitive league and enjoying it.

Keep up the writing."


"I rarely look at your blog but stumbled over to it today. We think alike on some of the stuff you blog about. I would never have the guts to be so open about it. That is probably the M/F thing, dunno. Keep on keeping on, I'll bet many people get a lot from it. How is the table playing? I read about it in the blog."

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Video of Myself at the 2012 Texas Open

I found this video tucked away in my inbox.

This is me playing at the 2012 Texas Open held in Round Rock, Texas.  My girlfriend Amanda Lampert took the video of me playing one game of this match to show me later how well I was staying down.

She says, "I wanted to get video of how well Melinda was staying down in her matches. Her fundamentals were fantastic!"

It's funny to see this video almost 10 months later.  I know that they way I'm playing now, I wouldn't have missed those two shots!  lol.

Also,  I don't ever recall chewing gum during my match.  I don't normally do that!

Anyway, thought I'd share.  :)

Thank you, Amanda!  ♥♥

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Team Confidence

To go from being the top player to one of the weak players is a huge shot to the ego.  I realize I'm a girl and I'm not the top player on my men's team, but I play pretty sporty and it hurt my little heart that I didn't play at first in my Monday night league playoffs.

When I was finally put in, I was SO excited!  And we won decisively :)

I was sat the first round the next day and was ok with that.  One of our teammates (BB) told me that in the final few matches of the tournament, all the top players should play - this isn't the time to be "fair" and play everyone.  I wholeheartedly agree.

Ironically, BB would sit out the the whole day Sunday and only played one match on Saturday.

Anyway, my captain puts me in in our second match on Sunday.

I'm like, really?

I was shocked.  But when he didn't put in my boyfriend, also, and instead played me, I was confused.  Put me in, ok, but don't take him out!

I win 2, lose 2.  If I would have kicked in 2 balls, I would be a 4-0 girl :)  They sat out another teammate in the 2nd round, and me in the 4th.  I felt pretty good.  :)  One guy didn't get to play at all on Sunday and I lasted longer than another, lol.  Must kill their egos.

As I am sitting there thinking about my missed kick, I overhear BB say to our captain. "we should be playing all our top players right now."

I got real upset.

As I said, I agreed with that of course, but when you say it when I'm still in the game and implying I should be taken out really upset me!  How can I possibly play my best with my own teammates stating out loud I shouldn't be playing?

I confront him and snap at him.  I tell him that he shouldn't say that within ear shots of his OWN teammates, when we are still playing.  Talk about losing confidence!

He apologized but I was still fuming.

And of course, I was taken out.

One of my teammates told me not to let it bother me, that people say things all the time and it doesn't matter.  I tried to hear him, but I couldn't listen because I was upset.

We won that set and during the break he stopped to apologize again; this time more sincerely.  I told him while I definitely agreed with him, he should not ever say that when we are playing.  It just means he has no confidence in us.

He felt real bad about it and all I heard from everyone else was "now you know why we don't like his negativism."  I should have be rude and told him, "at least I got to play more than one match AND on Sunday, unlike you."

But, that's not like me, lol.

(as a reminder, my team won the league playoffs :) )

Friday, May 24, 2013


I alluded to a rude team that we ran into during ACS Nationals.  It was our second 8ball match and we were on the one-loss side from a heart breaking hill hill match.  It was another Texas team we were about to play, but I didn't recognize the players.  One girl was pretty drunk but a ball maker, one was nervous, the other two confident, and of course they had an entourage of fans.

In the very first game, Angel shoots a shot and accidentally knocks in the 8ball out of turn.  Her opponent starts clapping!! 

I am standing there in awe.  Angel tells her, "that's rude."

"What?" She asks with a confused look on her face.

"That's rude," she says again as she grabs her chalk from the table and walks away.

I couldn't believe it!  My whole team couldn't believe it.  People in the crowd couldn't believe it!

Then when I am up two matches later, I am about to scratch towards the end of the match and I hear the other team say, "Get in there!  Scratch, scratch!"

I turn to the team and ask loudly, "Really?!"

I was pissed and as I walked to my team I said, "They wished for the cueball to scratch, too!"

If I am upset about that, then Angel must be 100 times pissed.

We don't play well against them, but how can we??  Their fans are super loud for them, they are unsportsmanlike, rude, and we are stunned!

One of our friends watching said we were also getting bad rolls, which I didn't notice because it was such an emotional match. 

At another point, Angel bumps the 8ball and it almost falls in and I overhear them say, "come on, get in there!" wishing for another 8ball out of turn.

I was stunned.

I was also glad Angel didn't hear that.

We lose 5-10 or something.  It was tough to shake their hands, esp since they didn't shake hands or speak to us before or after each individual game (no etiquette whatsoever).

I would find out after the match that one of my teammates couldn't sit in front of them because she heard them say, "no worries, she's a slut and can't play anyway."

Who says shit like that??

In my 20-plus years of playing, I have run across rude teams and players, but not a whole team with all this rudeness at once.  Usually it's one or two teammates not an entire team. 

We said something after the match to one of the Board Members and while they seemed baffled, they said it was our responsibility to call a ref during the match and call unsportsmanship on them.

Um, okay.

To leave it on our shoulders I suppose is the rule, but I am positive if I would have called a ref it would have got even nastier.  I don't think they would have taken that well.  I don't even think they truly understand that what they were doing was extremely inappropriate and rude.

Also, it didn't even cross my mind to call ref.  Who REALLY calls a ref for rudeness?  Who REALLY calls a ref over for unsportsmanlike conduct?  It's like fueling the fire anyway, besides the fact calling a ref for things like this is uncommon (well, imo and in my experience).

I'm still shocked and appalled how rude the other team was.  And us losing made it worse as we are so much better than them!  In play, ability, etiquette, etc.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sitting Out or Experience?

On my ACS Nationals Team, there were 4 total players (including myself).  The three other players also truly love the game of pool and want to learn as much as they can and improve. 

In order to do that, we need experiences.

Not just more experience playing in tournaments, but more experience via BIG tournaments.  More experience with a good team, too.

And I was honored we were going to get to do that together at ACS Nationals! 

So, when someone (a 5th person) was interested in coming to ACS Nationals with us to be on our team, I said no.


While this player is looked up to, I didn't think we needed her on the team and quite frankly I didn't want her on the team.


Because I didn't want to sit out any of the original teammates.  With a 3-person 9ball team and 4-person 8ball team, I thought we had enough players, talent, and heart.

I told my teammate I didn't want her on the team and "I don't want to sit anyone out."  She replies, "We are used to sitting out."

I snap back with disgust and honesty, "Well, you all should NOT be sat out."

I wanted to build their confidence, not have another player come on board to take away from them playing.  I was adamant about it and actually a little miffed I was even being asked.

I didn't want to take away any thunder from the original team and if I didn't have faith in them, I wouldn't have asked them in the first place.

Would this person have helped us win more matches?  Probably. 

But, that wasn't the point to me.

Plus, we placed 3rd in 9ball all by our little selves!

I would have loved for my teammates to be National Champions.  But at what cost?  To not really get to play?  Plus, this person was not a guarantee of that anyway, so why add more people to the team?

For some reason, I really treasured the opportunity for my teammates to play in the Open Women's Division of a National tournament.  I would rather my teammates get that fantastic feeling of nerves and excitement playing in a national tournament, than being sat out watching their teammates.  What kind of experience would I be teaching if my teammates didn't get to play a lot on the national stage at this event?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Good Playing

You know, I don't play good every match or every game and I lose like everyone else, but I must say that I felt like I played pretty sporty at the ACS Nationals.  My finishes my not reflect it, but my mind, body, and heart do.  :)

To be told by one of the top females players there I should be ranked as high as I am at ACS really meant a lot to me (especially since I am trying to figure out how to get the heck out of these high divisions since I don't think I belong there, lol!).

On Friday morning of the ACS Nationals, John Lewis who runs ACS, said he wanted to speak with me.

He shared with me that people were talking about me.


He said two different people in two different conversations brought me up.  "That blond girl with curly hair plays real good."  He said they brought me up, not him, and out of all the girls there, they singled me out.

He said they shared with him that they were really impressed with my game and how I played.


I was touched beyond belief.


First, I was happy he told me that; he didn't have to and it meant the world to me.

Second, I was honored anyone even noticed my game, lol.  I actually felt real good about my play so maybe I was playing as well as I thought.  :)

A few other people told me I played well, but when I hear that sometimes I think they are just being nice.  These two other people told someone else, though, and seemed impressed, which is super cool!

I don't want to get too confident, though, but... I can sense how good I'm playing right now.  Hope it continues :)

It feels good.  :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ACS Nationals Team Recap

I played for the first time in the team event at ACS Nationals.  Both the 9ball and 8ball divisions.

My teammates, Courtney, Angel, and Janet are good friends of mine.  We have played league together but not at state or nationals before.  We would end up winning all all 9ball matches on Thursday and find ourselves playing for the freaking hot-seat on Thursday morning!!

8Ball Sunglasses from our awesome teammate, Janet!

The 9ball team event had a funny scoring system.  It's a 3-person roster and you play your opponent twice before going to the next person.  It's a race to 10.  So, IF we happen to sweep the first round, we would be up 6-0.

So, I would play two games against player 1, another teammate would play their player 2 twice and our third player would play their player 3 twice, and then we rotate.

I know, it's confusing. 

In one match, it went hill-hill and I was the hill-hill person and won.  :)  I admit it felt freaking fantastic!  I was playing really, really well and it felt great to be there for my teammates.

Then our last match, we needed 4 wins to win.  Yikes!  6-8 them.  Teammate Janet was playing next to me and lost her first game, but then won her second game.  7-8.

I'm up and I need to win BOTH my games AND then it goes to the tie breaker match (me). 

I make the 9ball on the break, then in the next game I hook myself on the 7 ball!  But, luckily I kick it in and win that game with super tough shots on the 8 and 9 (my heart is beating out of my chest).

THEN I win the freaking hill-hill game by running out 4 balls to a tricky 9ball combo!  OMG!  We are not going to be playing for the hot-seat the following day!  The whole team is SO excited!!

Janet, Courtney, Me, and Angel.  
"Roy's Toys!"

A few hours later (the same day), we play our first 8ball match, race to 9.  We hang in SO well and [;ay good!  The match ends up going hill-hill and I see the run but I accidentally hook myself before the 8ball.  I couldn't believe it!  I saw the out so well and was so disappointed for that mistake I never saw coming, esp after the girl ran out and we lost hill-hill :(

We then play at 7pm and we lost 5-9.  This team was the rudest team I have ever come across and the whole "debacle" will be dedicated to an entire future separate blog article.

Roomie and Teammate and I, Courtney, on our way to the first match.

We were out of the 8ball :(  The girls (Roy's Toys) thought it was comical because two of the players are strictly 8ball players and yet we are out of the 8ball and still on the winner's side in the 9ball team event, lol.

My teammates were awesome.  They were all so happy to be there, played their little hearts out, and really enjoyed the experience.  It will prove to be a HUGE learning experience for them!  I am very excited for them  :)  They all stepped up, showed heart, and even some nerves.  It was cute and wonderful. 

At one point, I told myself I would be so honored to help them win a National Title and to be a part of that with them.  But, I knew not to think ahead.

Turns out, my teammates were already thinking that way.  Two of them texted me about being national champions.  I had a little pep talk with them before we played in next match and expressed we need to remain in the present, not think ahead, and not worry about misses.  Just HAVE FUN. I knew from experience that yearning for a title cane get in the way of playing well.

I don't know where I was, but I didn't play well in our next match, and neither did my teammates.  We lost badly.  We only won one game and lost 10-1.  :(  OUCH.

We were all very bummed.  Esp since our opponents didn't run us over at all; we had several chances in all the games, we just didn't play well.  I think if we had played this match the previous day when we were on our winning streak, we might have faired better. This 9am match would be our ONLY match of the day, too.  WOW.

Our third place match would be at 9am on Friday morning. 

We had all day to kill.  And then wake up bright and early again.  All I day I kept saying, "You couldn't win 4 games, Melinda?  Really?"  I felt bad for my team I didn't deliver in that match.

We end up having to play the team that we won hill-hill against when I had to win 3 games in a row to win.  At 9am.  On a Friday morning in Vegas, lol.  But, this was to see who would get to play in the finals!

The match started out very scary!

The other team combo-ed the 9ball 4 out of 6 games!  OMG.  We finally got on the board at 5-1.  Whew!

Then my opponent was running out and I was like, "oh shit, it will be 6-1 in a minute".  Instead, she missed the 8ball, I got out, then made the 9ball on the break.  6-3.  They win two more games and we are down 8-3.  We are all TRYING to have fun but I admit it was tough.

Then Courtney wins two of her games.  8-5.  Janet wins one of her games, 8-6.  Then Angel wins one of her games 9-7!  We have a ball game again people!

So, all I have to do is win three games in a row again.  I can feel the pressure like never before.  My heart is beating out off my chest and I only tell myself to STAY down on all my shots, after we have an epic safety battle.

I won my first, then somehow win the 2nd.  I feel so much pressure (not nerves) but I'm staying down well and feel good.  Since I have had experience in this position in the past year, I'm comfortable in this spot with staying down and stroking more when the pressure is on. 

We flip for the final game and I don't win the flip!!!


I just pray she doesn't break and run like I did before on her.

She breaks dry.  Holy Shit!

I am ready.

I see a run, but it's extremely tricky to get to the 4 ball or else I have a 4-ball combo.  I see how I'm going to get to it, but go a little to far.  After studying it for some time, I decide to try and bank the ball hoping to get safe if I miss, but also hoping I leave a shot on the 5 if I happen to bank it it.  I don't make the bank and also don't hook her.  :(

We can only hope for bad shape after her combo (which didn't happen) or a miss on the 9-ball combo (which didn't happen).

We lose hill-hill.  :(

To be so close for my teammates hurts my heart, but I know they know I tried my little heart out for them.  But, we finished Third Place in a National Tournament!  And we got plaques!  (girls love plaques)

I keep thinking about how close we got to being IN the finals.  If some of those first 4 combos hadn't of gone, we would be IN the finals. 

But, one of my teammates had never placed high in an Open event before, another had never got in the money in a national tourney, and the third had never even played in a national tourney.  That's a lot of firsts and I am SO proud to be a part of this group of women and on their team!

They keep thanking me for allowing them on my team, which sounds funny to me, lol. Like I said, they played their little hearts out, had fun, learned a lot, and played good.  I'm super happy for them and super proud of them!


We would like to thank Roy's Sports Bar and Grill for buying our shirts!  They were awesome!  Thank you, Roy!  And to a little awesome friend who helped us with the team entry! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

ACS Nationals Singles Recap

I ventured to the ACS Nationals tourney again this year in Vegas.  I wouldn't know how I would fair, as I was now considered as 8-ball "Advanced" Player because I placed 3rd in the Open 8ball division last year. So this year I would be playing with the big girls in the 8ball division, and ranked higher in the 9ball division.  But, this year I was going to be able to play in the team events!  My first time at ACS Nationals. :)

For some reason I was rated a Master player in the singles 9ball division.  It made no sense to me.  I raced to 7 in the all-combined 9-ball division, and Open players raced to 5, Advanced to 6
and Standard players to 4.

I wasn't happy I had to race to 9, when all the ACS literature clearly states I was an advanced player.

As I readied myself for my defense the first morning, already people were in line to complain to the head guy and I already knew my plight would be for nothing.  I simply listened and knew I wouldn't be moved down in the next 20 minutes before my first 9am 9-ball match.  We asked to just clearly state the 9-ball rankings in the guidelines, as all walked away miffed.

I really was apprehensive about having to race to 9, but I won my first 2 matches 7-1, 7-1.  I admit, I played pretty dang sporty against the two 5s.  BUT - they were new to 9ball.

In the next match, I got a little ahead of myself.  Thinking now maybe I *could* after all do well as a rated 7 player, I got too confident.  I missed a combo, an 8, a 7, and scratched on a 6, and missed a tough 9.  That's 5 games right there and lost to the Open player 0-5!  Ouch!

I was bummed, but sometimes games go like that.

I was told later she said I gave her the match and she was correct - I did.  I got too confident and lazy and missed when I shouldn't have.

I then had to play another 5 on the one-loss side.  She told me she was super hung over and may have to run to the bathroom.  What?  It's 3 in the afternoon, you lasted this long in the tourney? 

I missed a few key shots but so did she.  I made some stupid mistakes but then started to shoot more decent to get with her on the hill, when I freaking hooked myself on the 8 ball!  With only the 9ball left.  OMG....

I knew if I missed this, she would have ball in hand with two balls and it would be over with.  My tourney life was dependent on my kick.  I got down and then got back up and reconsidered my shot:  "Maybe I should kick the other way?"

I kicked the other way, and hit the 8ball.  Whew!  And then I noticed the 9ball slowly rolled toward a pocket and fell in.  Oops.  OMG, really?  I heard my friend say,  "Johny Archer says when you make the right choices things work out."

I guess so!

Now it's hill-hill.  4-6.

I then broke, and even though it seemed to take forever, I ran out!  I took my time; probably too much time, but actually broke and ran!  To think I almost lost the match a game earlier because I hooked myself was unreal. 

I then played a rated 7 player and was ON FIRE.  I won 7-1.  I was playing so good, I had wished I was still playing more matches that day!  But, my next match would be at 9am the next day.

I get to the pool room early the next morning and my "4" player is warming up.  If she's lasted this long, she must be over rated I tell myself, lol.  We start about 840am, and she's making several balls the first game.  I was like, "yep."  But then she whacked at the 9ball.  Oh, I see.

I get out.

She would whack at the tough shots, but otherwise shot well.  If she would shoot all her shots smooth like she did for most of her balls, she would have had me.  But whacking at balls on a bar tables especially isn't good for yourself and I won 7-2.

As I'm playing in my match, I notice the match next to me.  I wonder, "Do I play the winner?"

I check the score-sheet and sure enough I do.  This blond girl playing is playing GREAT.  She didn't miss but one ball for the 3 games that I saw.  I was like, Wow.  That has to be a 7.

Sure enough, that would be my opponent.  I would tell her after our match how much I enjoyed watching her play.  She was the epitome of 3ball shape and barely missed.  I was very impressed.  Turns out she won the Advanced 8ball Division last year and always does well in these tourneys.

Before we started, she seemed happy to be playing a 7.  I guess playing the 4s and 5s were stressful for her, too.

I lost 2-7 but could have made it closer.  But, I made some bad choices and scratched twice.  I didn't really show up.  Out of about 45 players I placed 7th and felt pretty good though!  Last year I won one whole match in the 9ball division.  I was already doing better!

 Me, in the 9-ball division

The Advanced 8Ball Women's division had 14 whole ladies in it.  Wow.  I was bummed.  Then it got worse when after my bye (at least I go a bye, lol) when I see I have to play the same tough opponent
who put me out of the 9ball division and won the Advanced last year.  Yikes.

But, I wanted to play my game and prove I really CAN play, as was NOT indicative the previous day.

My match with her was at 5pm.  I had all day luckily to regroup from my hangover (I was in Vegas after all, lol).

The Advanced division was a race to 7.  In 8ball, that's a very long race, no matter who you are.

She wins the first game after not getting out, but I don't get out either not being able to make my 8 into any pocket (I got bad shape).  I was hoping that wouldn't be t the formula for the rest of the match.

A friend comes and sits right between my opponent and I and feel bad, as I don't want it to bother my opponent.  But, I try not to be distracted by that and proceed to run out from her miss!  I then break and run!  Holy cow, I'm up 2-1!

Yes, I know it's early, lol, but I was up against the favorite!

I'm stoked!

It goes 2-2, 3-3 and then we both start missing.  I got frustrated but tried to figure out what was going on to get back in the match and NOT think of what the score SHOULD be b/c I missed some key shots earlier.

At 4-4, her, she breaks and runs!  At 5-4, *I* break and run!  :)  At 5-5, she breaks and runs again.  Then I break dry.  Dammit.

She is running out well and I see my fight is about to end, but SO excited that I played well against her!

But, she hooks herself on the 8ball!  I get ball in hand and run all 7 of my balls.  6-6 baby!  Hill-Hill!

She breaks.



I get the cueball and study the layout.  Stripes are better,  I see my plan and start to execute it.  I am about to win.  I already know I am going to run out.

I shoot the first ball and she comes right up to me and says, "You are suppose to shoot from the kitchen."




ACS rules are you have to shoot from behind the line if you scratch on the break.  I was so accustomed to BCAPL rules, it hadn't even dawned on me.

She then takes ball in hand and runs out the stripes and I lose 6-7.  :(

I played the best match and I lost on a rule!

But, I really wasn't all that upset.  I was SO dang excited I played well, I was fine with the loss.  I was simply relieved I play so well against her this time. :)

We talked after and I told her I am just glad I played well finally and she said I did.  I told her I didn't think I should be in the Advanced division and she said I should be.  And she said I would be fine for my next matches.

It was really nice to get a compliment from someone who played really smart and well.  I felt SO good about my game after her compliments and was no longer worried I was in the Advanced division.

I played really well in 7pm match and was really coming with shots, but also missed a few shots that I shot too softly.  I lost 5-7 and was definitely overly confident and underestimated my opponent.  I placed 9th.  Ouch.

After the match, a couple people said I played really well.  I was like, well, I didn't win and didn't play all that good.  But then realized their compliment and sincerely thanked them.  I was just upset.  I had the match and lost focus (because of the long race, too?) so I wasn't happy I lost from thinking too much (i.e. the mental game).

The solo walk from the Tropicana to Planet Hollywood was soothing, but long. Recapping my play of the last day matches, knowing I'm out already.  :(

When I got to my room, I realize just how utterly exhausted I was from the long hours from the last 3 days of play and was thankful for my bed and for a day off the next day. 

7th and 9th doesn't sound too bad I suppose.  But, I did play good most of the time and enjoyed the tourneys.  I just need to focus more.  I love experiences!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Jump Jump!

I had a really weird moment the other day.

What was bizarre about this moment, was I got embarrassed, but it was after a positive gesture.

Normally I get embarrassed over a negative thing that happened, but this time it happened after something good happened.

I had played a couple of safes against a really good player on the men's league in our playoffs.  I hooked him on my last safe by snuggling the cueball up to one of my balls behind a stack of balls.  He tried to hit one of his balls; any one of them; but he didn't.

I saw the layout and even though my balls were close together in clusters, they were still make-able.  I saw the run (made a plan) and started to execute the run of 7 balls.

I took my time.

My heart was beating out of my chest because this guy was their top player and I had a chance to win the game against him.

I had a combo two balls before the 8ball and admittedly, didn't know if I would have a shot or not left.  Instead, I made both balls.  Yikes!

There were so many of his balls around my combo, I got lucky to even see the 8ball!

This left me with a table-long shot on the 8ball.  I didn't take a lot of time on it but I DID tell myself to stay down well on it.  I nailed it!  I was so happy about the run and that I beat the guy and made the tough 8ball, that I jumped up and down a few times, lol, before shaking his hand.

I was excited!

My teammates and our teams' fans were clapping as I walked back to our side of the room and declared, "I beat the good guy!"

Then, though, I realized how my jumping up and down a couple of times was really poor conduct.

Although he should take it as a compliment (lol) that I was excited to beat him, it really was unsportsmanlike conduct.

Then, I felt embarrassment about it.

I got over it btw, but it's ironic to me that I normally feel embarrassed over missing shots in certain situations but this was a positive situation.  Although the outcome was positive, I suppose in my mind I felt my gesture was negative, though.

I couldn't believe I had the same feeling as negativity even though I won!

BTW, I got over that embarrassment pretty quickly by sharing to my boyfriend I felt bad.  Which, by the way he has tried over and over to convince to stop being embarrassed over missed shots.

At least this one was kinda positive.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Only Female

As I mentioned a few times, I played in my Monday night league playoffs last weekend.

Although there are ten teams, I found myself the ONLY female that played in the playoffs that weekend!  You talk about feeling special.  :)

I felt pretty flattered that my captain even played me; he didn't have to do that.  

There are several other females who play on that league but none of them played in any of the matches during the playoffs.

Yep, it felt cool!  A lot of pressure to play well with all those eyes on me, but cool nonetheless.

On Sunday, after we won, the new waitress saw me at the bar ordering a drink.  She stops me and says, "I just want to tell you that you play AWESOME!  I was very impressed."

"Oh, that's nice, thank you," I respond back.

Then she adds, "And if you are going to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Nationals, don't play in the one in Round Rock, TX" as she walks away briskly to fetch orders.

Um, okay then, lol.

Then about 15 minutes later, one of the wives on the opposing team stops me and says, "I just have to say that you play REAL good!  I really enjoyed watching you play."

"Oh, Thank you," I reply and introduce myself.

Then she adds, "You are my hero!"

I immediately blush and then her husband interrupts and says, "What? I thought I was your hero!"

She pats him on the shoulder to console him and says, "you are too, Honey."


I admit that I love the feedback.  I guess it helped I played okay in most of my matches, lol.  Won 6, lost 2.  Ugh.

There were downs to the weekend, also.  I will write about them later.  But, I wanted to share that I was the only female and it felt super awesome to be in those big shoes!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dirty Pool?

A really weird thing happened the other day during my team league playoffs

My teammate (I'll call him Cap) was shooting against Oscar Mayer (no, that's not his real name, either).  It was a pretty contentious game, as we HAD been up 8-3 in a race to 13 in the second set of the finals of our league playoffs, but we found ourselves down 10-12!

So, the next 3 games were MORE than crucial - we now needed ALL 3 games to win the playoffs.

So, Cap and Oscar Mayer are in a safety game.  Oscar Mayer is not the type of player to take risks when the pressure is on and he was playing safe after safe.

It was a good ploy at the time because Cap had two balls that were next to each other, but it was not a perfectly lined-up combo:

If you don't know this shot, it's actually very confusing imo, lol.  I learned how to make these 'off' combos from Phil Capelle and made a video dedicated to the combo:

Cap was solids and had that weird combo. 

Oscar Mayer kept playing safe, but Cap would play safe back.  Cap did not want to take any risks, either.

At one point, Oscar Mayer played another safe but he MOVED Cap's 2ball.  All of a sudden, the balls were WORSE!  Now, the 6ball couldn't even be combo'd in:

At this point, my whole team is talking about the situation, while watching what Cap and Oscar Mayer decide to do.

I figure that Cap should move the 2ball back to where it was.

Another teammate said he would move the 2ball but LINE up the combo dead.


I was astonished. 

What do you mean you would line up the shot?

After some time, Cap moves the 2ball, back where it was.  Almost exactly.

I'm thinking, "that's what you are suppose to do - move it back, not leave it where it had accidentally been moved by Oscar Mayer." 

But then I was curious, did my teammate really suggest he would move the 2ball into a better position next to the 6?

I turned to him and asked him pointedly that question.  He replied, "Yes.  Oscar Mayer should never have moved that ball, and you are suppose to put it back "in the vicinity" of where it was."

I was shocked.


"Yes.  People do it all the time, too."

I agreed, as I have had someone do that to me before (that was quite horrific), but I didn't think it was right. Plus, if Cap had placed the 2ball where the combo now lined up, I think all the railbirds and the other team would think that was unsportsmanlike.

Instead, though, Cap moved it where it had been, and the game continued.  While Oscar Mayer have had the advantage, he played a bad safe that led to Cap playing a GREAT safe and was able to get out next inning with ball-in-and and put us closer to the win.

After he won, one of my OTHER teammates told him, "You won that game because you are too honest."

I was thinking, am I one of the few who thinks that was the RIGHT thing to do?  To put it back where is was?

I looked up the BCAPL rules right away on Monday and read no wording that you put the ball back in the "vicinity."  So, maybe that was a rule in the past?  I dunno. Not my cup of tea.  I think it's dirty pool.  If it's in the rules, someone share with us.  But I couldn't find it.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Difficult Decision

When it comes to deciding about pool tournaments, it's usually black and white.  Go, no go.

Well, sometimes it's not that simple.

I actually passed up playing in an OB Cues Ladies Tour stop this past weekend.

Here are all the factors I had to weigh in on before making my final decision:
  • The tournament is 4-5 hours driving distance away.
  • I have a community garage sale this same weekend and shouldn't miss it (it would be the last one of my life and I really need to sell a lot of items in my house).
  • I'm ranked SECOND on the points list, though!  My highest ranking EVER on the Texas Ladies Tour - how can I NOT go and get more points to keep me elevated in the rankings?  Will not going hurt my ranking?
  • I am running an Omega Tournament the weekend before that is out of town and I am going to the ACS Nationals in Vegas the weekend after (traveling a lot is not as easy as it used to be - I'm getting older, lol).
Then I found out that my Monday league has playoffs this same weekend, and that kinda sealed the deal for me.   I had to stay back and finish off the garage sale (that I have been literally preparing for for two months for (it's a lot of dang work!)) while my boyfriend went to the league playoffs.  I would join up with them later Saturday afternoon.

It was an EXTREMELY tough decision for me.  I have been playing well and it kinda broke my heart not to be able to play in the tournament because I'm ranked the highest I've ever been ranked.

But, the garage sale really was more important (I needed the money and needed to get rid of a lot of things).  Further, I got great experience and practice in playing 8ball on bar tables during the league playoffs (that we won btw) that will help me at ACS Nationals starting this weekend.

So, while the decision at first was pretty hard to swallow, I know now in my heart it was the right thing to do.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Joys Of Winning

My Monday night league team (Sofa Kings) had our league playoffs this past weekend.

WE WON!  :)

Here is our team pic after the win!

Last year in this league, the team got double dipped in the finals.

This year, I'm a team member because my boyfriend and I needed to play in the same league for us to qualify for BCAPL Scotch Doubles (State and Nationals)

We played the exact same team in the finals this year!

However, we double dipped THEM :)

We won the first set 13-3 (ouch).

In the second set we were up 8-3, but we lost momentum and found ourselves DOWN 9-111!!

What a swing!

Then they got on the hill first, score 10-12.


But, we managed to win three pressure-filled games in a row to win the league play offs 13-12!!  What a comeback (or roller coaster, depending on how you look at it, lol) 

Woo-Hoo :)  That's two playoffs in a row I've been a team member on and we won!  (First was in Oct for my Women's League and now this one).

Here is a pic I took of one of our matches' score sheets, because it was pretty impress.  That's 10 break and runs & rack and runs (the circled W's) out of 13 wins.  :)

 (click photo to enlarge)

CONGRATS to our team! So proud of the way we held it together through the ups and downs! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Back to Photographing (and Sharing Team Pics)

When was one of the Tournament Directors (TD) for the OB Cues Ladies Tour / Hunter Classics Tour, I was the photographer for the tournaments.  That led me naturally to take photos for at other pool tournaments, also.

When I retired from the Ladies Tour to take care of my Mom, I had no energy to take photos anymore at tourneys.

For a few years, I would take my camera to events and never even take it out of the case to take pics.  I just didn't have the energy or desire to take pics because my mind was back at home with my Mom.

After 16 months of grieving over the horrible loss of my best friend, I started a tour in the DFW area, called the Omega Billiards Tour.  As the TD, I am taking photos of the players.

This has also led to me taking photos at other events, too.  :)

I guess I'm "back in the game" so to speak of taking photos.  And I'm back to enjoying taking pics.  For a while, it was tiring, now it's fun again!  I love it most when people change their profile pic on Facebook to a pic I took of them shooting pool.  Makes me smile!!

Most recently, I took photos at the BCAPL Texas State tourney and I have a few FAV photos I'd like to share with you.  They all happen to be team photos, but the teams were so fun, I just have to share these pics with you!

Below the pics, I will link to the recent photos I have taken at 6 tourneys, in case you want to check them out to see if you know anyone OR see yourself!  :)


I told them after some serious photos to act funny - love it!


I told this team, "Okay Ladies, up against the wall please"  LMAO!

Aren't these ladies fun!!  :)

Here are links to recent events I took photos at:

Omega Tour at JR Pockets, April 2013
BCAPL Texas State Tourney, April 2013
Omega Tour at The Billiard Den, Feb 2013
Omega Tour at Rusty's Billiards in Arlington, Jan 2013
Omega Tour at Speed's Billiards, Nov 2013
Omega Tour at Rusty's Billiards in Fort Worth, Oct 2012