Monday, September 30, 2013

The Coin Difference

I am REALLY liking the league I am on that you only pay quarters for the bar tables if you lose!

Some leagues, you pay the whole dollar (4 quarters) when you rack.

Other leagues you have to give 50 cents to the racker.  This has caused many games to lag start times because you are waiting on your opponent to give you their half of the cost of the coin table.  I don't wait anymore and just put in the 4 quarters and then pocket the 50 cents when they finally come to the table.

But it's the leagues I play on where you only pay if you lose that I love the best!  I may spend $1 a night only!  Sometimes ZERO dollars (if I do really well).

I like those type of leagues best.  :)

Of course, helps I play pretty sporty too, tho, lol.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tournament Mantra's

Last weekend I played in the OB Cues Ladies Tour in OKC at Jamaica Joe's (beautiful pool room btw!).

I spoke to a good friend on Sunday who was on the one-loss side, but still in (I placed 9th, and the brought 5-6th places back on Sunday).

I asked her, "How do you feel today?"

She replied quickly with one word. "Determined."

I said, "Good for you!"

"Thanks.  I really want to do well today and I so I am determined."

So, throughout the day and before or during her matches when I would see her, I would walk by her and say "Determined" to her and she would smile back.

I have had "pool mantra's" before, also.  Usually mine are more about my pre shot routine, not an emotion or feeling, tho.


  • Stay down
  • Take advantage of their mistakes
  • Breathe
  • Have fun
Things like that.

I like her attitude for sure!

And she won the tourney, BTW!

Do you have pool mantra's too?  OR a word your focus on during a tournament to help you?  You are welcome to share in the comment section below.

Friday, September 27, 2013

A New Chalk Hoarder

I wrote in January of this year that someone kept using my chalk that I left on the table.  Most people use their own chalk - even if you leave it on the table, most people have chalk etiquette - but at this tourney I ran into someone who didn't care which or whose chalk she used.

I wrote something similar from May - where my check was even decorated and yet still used by someone else.  The nerve!  

I kinda got a little miffed.

I thought to myself, maybe I should just start taking the chalk from the table, like a lot of people do.  But I wondered, how long would THAT take to turn into a habit? 

Many people have their own chalk and if you don't want anyone else to use it, you take it when you when you sit down.  It becomes part of your routine - grab your chalk before you sit down.  But, seriously - how long would it take me to start doing this every time? 

Others keep their chalk to themselves because they use it as part of their pre-shot routine, which is taught at pool schools (e.g. you think while you chalk your cue about what you want to do (so you don't think too much while down on a shot)).  In these cases, keeping your chalk with you is an integral part of your routine, you can't possibly let anyone else use.

Well, after Vegas in May when players touched my decorated chalk, I started to try to routinely take my chalk with me when I sat down/left the table.  I really wondered how long this habit would become "ingrained."

Heck within a month I was doing this!  Routinely!

You might think this is nothing, but let me say it this way:  I have been playing pool for almost 25 years and have never taken the chalk with me until June of this year, after only trying it for a month.


I realize it takes 21 to 28 days to form a habit normally, but still - even after 25 years I am pretty impressed that I am doing this now after only a month of "practice."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thank You!

I went to league a few weeks ago and my captain walks in with this large cardboard box.

She sets it down on one of the tables and I don't think anything of it.

A teammate comes over to me and says, "Hey, uh, what's in the box?"

"Um, I have no idea, why are you asking me?" I inquire.

She whispers, "Because it was mailed to you."



She states again, "It is for you.  It was mailed here."

I objected, "no it wasn't, I saw Nina walk in with the box."

"No, it was mailed to Diamond Jim's, and Nina works there so she brought it to league tonight for you."


A big box.

For me??

Mailed to Diamond Jim's?

I move the box to my table and it is SUPER light.  I'm thinking, wth is in this huge box that is not heavy?

I open up the box and it's mostly bubble-wrap, lol, BUT, wrapped up well is a beautiful, custom made rack!

And prolly the best letter I have ever received!  Click to enlarge:

Ms. Melinda Bailey, Captain
Team Born Ready
In care of 
Diamond Jim's

Dear Captain Bailey,

I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate you and Team Born Ready on its recent 1st Place Finish in the Women's Open of the BCAPL's 2013 National Tournament.

Winning such a prestigious national tournament must be the culmination of a lot of practice, perseverance, skill, and much hard work.  You and the team are no doubt proud of this accomplishment.

To mark this occasion, please accept a small congratulatory gift that I hope you and Team Born Ready might find useful and will serve as a reminder of the level of excellence that Team Born Ready has achieved.

Best Regards,
Jim Shaw

I saw that the letter head was from and that they are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  I immediately got on Facebook and announced my enthusiasm and surprise, and tagged all my teammates of Born Ready!

Pretty bad ass!!! Our team got a surprise gift for winning first place in Nationals! An awesome wooden rack from Jim at! Photo and blog to come later, but here is the super cool letter! Hope to meet Him sometime soon!

Even as I write this blog entry 3-4 weeks later, I'm still in shock and awe!  The letter was beautiful written, the thoughtfulness was amazing, and I'm still so happy we were even thought of to receive this awesome gift!

Thank you so much, Jim!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Flip Response

Something so funny happened at the OB Cues Ladies Tour last weekend in Oklahoma City.

I was playing in the Second Chance event in the finals against fellow teammate, Tracie.

I had played her in the first round and she defeated me 2-4, but I came through the one-loss side and met up with her again!

I flipped the coin to start our match, and she called "heads."

I pop my thumb and the coin flips in the air. 

It lands on the pool table, and falls on heads.

She tells me smartly, "Why Thank you!" in a cute, funny, very thankful voice.  LOL.

I don't think anyone has ever thanked me for flipping a coin to their favor, lmao!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Smoke Breaks and E-Cigs

On one of the tours I play on, during the players meeting the Tournament Director mentioned as a reminder (and for the new players) that this is a non-smoking tour.  This means that during your matches, you cannot smoke. 

Each person can take one (1) break per match.  So, a smoke break or bathroom break, whatever.

So obviously, that means up to two breaks per match, if the players each take a break.

A new player asked, "What about E-cigarettes?"

Wow, great question!

My first thought was, "um, no."  Because they would still be "smoking."  Even tho the rule is in effect due to smoke being unhealthy/bothering the non-smokers, E-cigs release vapor, not smoke, but I still didn't think it was fair.

I didn't speak up because I was still mulling it over in my head, and no one else objected.... until.... at the last minute another player realized what was being discussed and then she became vocal about not allowing E-cigs, as well.

Then a smoker spoke up and said she agreed, also.  "Hey, it's not fair I can't smoke and they get their nicotine fix!"

Good point, too.

I have heard smoking calms players, so I didn't think it was fair if players smoked E-cigs either.

Very good question, tho!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Different Felt

I might get distracted thinking of my next drink, playing on a pool table like this:

Courtesy of my friend Gary Frerking.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

To APA Or Not To APA

I saw so many of my friends show their pure excitement when they won the APA city tourney!  My female friends, 8 of them, had just won a trip to Vegas!

On Facebook they would count down the days!  They talked about it all the time - in person, on FB, on the phone, they were stoked!

When Vegas came, I saw so many posts about how much fun they were having!

After Vegas, I still heard what a great time they had, and from other teams, as well.

I wanted to be a part of that, I told myself.  It sounds like so much fun!

On Labor Day weekend, I was talking to one of the girls who had gone to Vegas.  Found out she didn't have a team this season.  Really?  hmmm...

I joked we should get a team together.  She immediately said yes.  And two other females in the pool room that day were also interested.


I texted the league operator about her Saturday league to get some info.  Where it was located (turns out near my house, instead of the far away pool room I didn't like), and I would start off as a 6, and we would need 5 players on Saturday, but we could have 8.

I was excited about the possibility of this ladies team in APA!  And to find out this every-other-Saturday league was near my house was even better.  The previews location they held the ladies league, I don't like it all that much.  Too far, too much construction along the way, always hot, etc. 

A few days later, I call that first friend of mine and she was contacting other players for us and was still waiting to hear back.  I contacted the league operator and she suggested I call, instead of text.

Well, SHIT.

Turns out there are TWO APA leagues on Saturdays in my area.

One is mixed and EVERY Saturday (which I can't do) and the other is the ladies league, but it's now a 3-person team (not 5, ugh) at that pool room I don't really want to drive to (even if for every other Saturday).

So, dang, I had to call my friends and tell them I can't play after all this season.  :(

I found out the season is not long, so maybe next season I'll look into this again, as I sure was excited at first.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover

I walked in our home pool room last night, where my women's team plays out of, and I was the first of my teammates to arrive.

I walk in about 30 minutes early, and 3 members of our opposing team were already there, warming up.

I had never seen them before.

One of the ladies on the team says as I walk by, "I recognize you, your Melinda Bailey" in a really sweet, friendly voice.

I smiled and said, "oh?" as I put down my cue case and purse on an adjoining table.

She adds, "I see your picture on Facebook a lot."

I walk up to her and shake her hand, "Hi.  What's your name?"

She shares her name and I say, "Oh, Hi!  Welcome to the league!" recognizing her name from the roster and that they are new.

Then she adds, "I think I'm the oldest player on this league."

I didn't really know what to say to that and so I mumbled, "you think?"

And then she shockingly said, "I used to be on this league years ago, but I haven't been on it the last few years.  While I was in jail."

At this point, I REALLY don't know what to say, and kinda smile, shake my head slightly with confusion, and now I don't even recall what I replied because I was so shocked.  Was she joking?  Being funny?  Telling the truth?

I walk away and I overhear her teammate tell her, "You don't have to tell people that."

OMG it was true!!

I was shocked!  She's as old as my Grandma, and she just got out of jail?  Dang, what did she do??

No, I am not judging her at all, because I know plenty of people who were in jail and they are as nice as can be, but I did wonder what for.  I felt bad for her that she had to be in jail and missed out on pool, friends, and seeing family.  :(

As the night progressed, my teammates who have been on this league much, much longer than I joked with her a lot and it was obvious they knew her already. 

I whispered to a teammate, "you know her?"

"Yea, she is really cool and sweet.  I think she went to jail for tickets for a while so she hasn't played in a few years." 

I reply, "For tickets?  That's crazy."

She was such a sweet lady, I felt bad she had been in jail, but so glad she's on our league now!  Bring some colorfulness, friendliness, and warmth to the league with her bright attitude and awesome smile!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Texas Open 2013

For the first time in 23 years in a row (at least), I didn't go to the Texas Open.   

Which was held last weekend, Labor Day weekend, in Round Rock, Texas (just a smidgen North of Austin, Texas).

I had planned on going.  Brian paid our entry fees in July, I made hotel reservations in June; we were ready! 

But, the weekend before, Brian and I discussed if we should really go or not.  We were short on funds and he could work on Saturday.  Crazy as it sounds, I was kinda getting excited at the thought of being home for three full days to rest, instead of in a hot, smokey, no-where to sit pool room.  

Don't get me wrong, going to the Texas Open or playing in the Texas Open is an amazing experience!  I highly recommend doing this AT LEAST once in your life if you have never been.  It truly is a great tournament, filled with awesome matches, pro pool players, huge fans, and great friends and people.  

One little tidbit, almost $14,500 was bid on the first 5 players in the caluctta.  Only 123 more players to go after that!

I feel pretty good about my decision, though; because I HAVE been there before.  Like I said, at least 23 times.

And, I found that I didn't miss playing in it at all.  I didn't miss the late nights or long waits, either.  I know how the tourney goes and it's tough on the body, I admit.

I'm not a spring chicken anymore, but more so, being low on funds makes for a not-so-fun event anyway. 

And, with the high-caliber players in the tourneys (both men's division and women's side), I felt pretty confident I wouldn't get in the money deep enough to even pay the hotel bill.  I have a lot of faith in Brian's ability and talent, but it really is a stock-piled tourney with 128 players.  Even only 25th place out of 128 players paid $125.  

I have to say that I normally don't think of making up costs and just try to have fun, but sometimes responsibilities can get in the way of that, lol.  

And that's okay.  It's life!

So, I stayed home, did yard work, finally did ALL the laundry, laid out in the sun, worked around the house, napped, rested, cooked some home cooked meals.  It felt great to be at home.  I hadn't felt like I had been at home on a weekend since before BCAPL Nationals!  There has always been something to do or somewhere to go.

It was nice.  :)