Monday, July 28, 2014

Not Sharing Magic Rack

One of our scotch doubles teams in Vegas for BCAPL Nationals was using a Magic Rack.  We thought they should have told us we could use it (we broke first and didn't see they had a magic rack) because I remembered that if one uses it, then both can use it.

After they broke second, we asked if we could use the rack. They told us they asked a ref in the previous match and the ref said they didn't have to share it!


They said the ref said we would have to buy one.


While we thought balls go in more easily with the magic rack, my partner made a ball or more on the break every time and we didn't worry about it anymore. got me thinking.  So, I could use a magic rack during my singles matches?  I wasn't breaking well and maybe that would help.

But then I realized how horrible I would feel if I didn't let my opponents use the magic rack as well. Just thinking about it made me feel uneasy.  Like I would be cheating or trying to have an advantage, EVEN THO the rule is I don't have to share.

But I have such a huge heart (versus a competitive heart) and couldn't even fathom doing that.  Just not in my nature at all.

I would feel like I was being mean.  And I just could not do that. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Defensive Team Asshole

I was talking to my scotch doubles partner during a break between matches in Vegas.  This may surprise you,  but we didn't really know each other too well and never even had any convo before we played together for the first time in April, or even after that.  Living in different cities and being on different teams does that.

I asked him who was on his team playing in Vegas with him.  He told me all the names, and one guy I reacted with,  "I don't like that guy.  He's rude to me and says inappropriate things. "

"He is different, but I get along with him, once I figured out he's just kinda like that," he said kinda defending the guy.

I tried to reinforce just how crude he can be.

Then my scotch partners' response caught me off guard:  "well it's unfortunate he treats you that way and makes you feel uncomfortable, but it's always good to have an Asshole on every team."



He continues, "a defensive Asshole. 


"We had one, you know, in case our opponents had one."

He shared how one time a guy on the opposing team was making every one of his teammates re-rack a few times each game, and being real nitpicky.  He was frustrating all his teammates because he was being rude about it.   

As soon as his Asshole teammate played the rude guy,  his Asshole teammate made THAT guy re-rack like 15 times.  He said,  "In that one game, he made up for the entire team all the number of times the rude guy made us re-rack!"

Ahhhh, "defensive team Asshole,"  lol.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Not Looking at the Crowd Surprise

I have written before not to look at the crowd during matches.  This really helps me stay focused entirely on my match.  It also helps me from being distracted from anyone in the crowd.  Nothing worse than seeing someone you don't like watching, or you notice someone who gives you bad vibes (we all have that person(s)).

I have "trained" myself so well with this tip, that something kinda crazy happened in one of matches in Vegas for BCAPL last weekend.

I was in the middle of a really tough match.  I noticed a guy sat down to watch.  Then a couple came to watch.  I thought , "dang, my opponent has a lot of support!" 

I got up 3-1 and prolly played my best pool of all week in this match. But a bad leave on an 8-ball cost me the 4-1 win. 

Next thing you know, I'm fighting for my life.... it goes hill-hill!

And even MORE people have come to watch her play!

At this point, I have run out of water.  I had two small short containers of water, but I ran out.  And I'm the type of player that needs to stay hydrated in my matches.   And being hill-hill,  I REALLY didn't want to not have my water.  Water also gives me energy and wakes me up, which I have written about before.

My opponent played really well and we were in a long safety game.

I REALLY didn't want to leave while she was at the table, but I needed my water!

I finally walked away quickly while she was at the table, all the while I'm looking back to watch her so I could wave I was down the long aisle getting water from the free water cooler.

I walked very briskly back and apologized for leaving. "Sorry, I had no one to ask to get me water."   Feeling kinda silly saying pretty much I have no friends, lmao.  Just kidding, I have a few ;)

She was super kind and said no problem and then I immediately took my turn to shoot another safety.

Long story short,  I managed to win hill-hill!   


As I am putting my cues up, the first guy that came to sit down to watch her play says, "Great win, Melinda."

I finally look up, and look AT him for the first time (because I don't look at the crowd).  Oh my goodness, he was MY friend!  Not hers!  LOL.  The whole time I did have a friend, cheerleader, supporter, but didn't even realize it, lol.

He even tells me, "I could tell you needed water but could also tell that you were really focused and I didn't want to ruin that."

I laughed as I told him, "yeah,  I don't look at the crowd when I'm playing. "  He laughed some more and said "I noticed so didn't want to disrupt your focus."

Which I REALLY appreciated.

He was from Kansas and flying out that afternoon.  He was only in town for work and stopped by to see some friends play.  He scudded quickly off to watch another friend as I went to my next match.

Funny - I had no idea til that match just how dedicate I am to not looking around!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Guess The Emoji - Game

I wrote about WordFeud the other day, and now Guess the Emoji game has pool related words, too. (well, I could be any sport, but I'm picking pool!)

Hope you can figure this out  :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Female Pool Shirt

While I think this is fun and cool, I don't think I could ever wear this for some reason!

(Click photo to enlarge)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Gotta go with the letters that spell pool words, right??


This is from the game WordFeud.  Most people play the "Words With Friends" game, but this takes up so much less phone juice, so I like this game better.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Interviews Posted

Well, this may jinx my upcoming play at BCAPL Nationals, lol, but the two interviews I mentioned just got published!


The first one that came out was Bad Boys Billiard Online Magazine.  Here is the cover:  OMG!  I can't believe this!!!  I'm on the cover of their first edition?!  WOW! 

And they said they have a surprise for me at BCAPL Nationals.  I'll share what it is when I come back.

They asked me several questions (interview is on pages 4-5) and this was my FAV:

BB:  Who have been your biggest influences on your game over the years?

Melinda:  "Tough question.  I guess I would have to say that I have learned something from every competitor I have ever competed against.  So, they are my biggest influence. "

And then the second interview came out the same day!

Billiards Digest!!  :)

The author interviewed me and then wrote up a story about my finals for my ACS 9-Ball Nationals win.  I reiterated how I just tried to do my best to stay in the moment of every step to the finals.

The only thing it didn't mention was I won it on Mother's Day, and dedicated the win to her.  I mentioned that on Facebook and someone replied so sweet, "Anyone who knows you knows you dedicate more than a pool match to your Mom. She must have been an amazing person ( I know mine is). That is one of your most impressive traits."    

I'm so honored and shocked by the two articles.  I don't even know what else to say.  I actually feel weird sharing all this.  But, if I am to share about my Journey with Pool, then this is part of it.

Til next time, Friends.

Foosball, Poker, and Pool

Just like pool, foosball also required mental toughness.

As does poker.

As does tennis.

As does.... well, any sport!

Check out this interview/article about Billy Pappas, a Champion foosball player who is sitting well at this years WSOP (World Series of Poker) (top 20). 

He talks about mental toughness - good advice:

“Mentality is huge in foosball; that’s what takes you to the next level,” the 29-year-old said. “Skill can only take you so far. If you’re weak-minded in poker or foosball you have no hope. If you lose a pot and you go on tilt, that’s it. If you don’t go on tilt you are going to be much stronger.”

How similar foosball and pool is - mental toughness AND the low payouts:

Oh the parallels....

Monday, July 14, 2014

Travel Tips (link)

Since many will be traveling soon, or travel a lot, here is a cool link I found with travel tips.

Some are actually new to me!

And as a reminder for those traveling with your cue, this is how I save from paying an extra baggage fee, by putting my cue and case inside a large suitcase:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bought Half Myself - Right Thing To Do

We had our Sunday/Monday end of season league tournament yesterday.

We got monies for our first place finish in the playoffs and also a cool first place plaque for each teammate.

Here I am with the trophy that will be given to our home bar:

Here is a pic of the teammates that came to the ceremony (a few teammates are missing):

I then played in the end of season tourney.  Only 2 girls out of 50 players.

I lose my very first match 3-2.  Hill-hill, ugh!  I feel like I played okay, but one mistake each game cost me the match.  

I had played in the very first round of matches called, and then lost.  Then had a bye on the one loss side, so I had a VERY long wait til my next match.

I decided to forfeit.  I really didn't want to stay around all that time, it could have been hours!  And it was already 3:30pm.  

I had already planned in my mind to go play poker at the casino after I was done.  The casino is called Winstar and it's about an hour north on the OK/TX border.  So, since that was already on my mind and my two girlfriends were going with me and waiting on me, I honestly didn't even care too much to stick around to play pool, lol.

As I say goodbye to a few friends, I finally found the guy who bought me in the calcutta.  He bid $40 on me, for some odd reason.  I think people were just being nice, as there was no way I could get in the top 8 to get in the calcutta money against all these great guy players!

I went up to him and said, "Hey, I never buy half myself in the calcutta."

"You don't?"  He asks me, not seeming too worried it.

"Yea, I don't.  But, I'm going to give you half because I'm about to leave and forfeit. "

I gave him $20.

I really felt it was the right thing to do, as I felt kinda bad I was leaving.

Prolly ass-backwards, but oh well!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

No Choice - Pool on My Mind Everyday

I have a loaner car.

This is what comes on the screen every time I turn on the car!  :)

I may see this for 4-5 weeks.  Cool, huh?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Photo Knocked Action

During my Sunday league playoffs a few weeks ago, a lot of players were around, waiting for 4 teams to finish, so 4 more teams could start their matches.

While everyone waited, I watched this scotch doubles gambling match on one of the very few open bar tables.  My friends' partner SUCKED lol.  He was missing easy shots.  Granted, they were only playing for $10, but still.

Finally my friend quit, about only $10 loser.

I raised my hand, for the symbol, "put me in coach"

He saw my hand raised, gave me a nod of approval, and got us another match up with them.

We lost the first game, but we won the second by running out.

While on the third game, one of other players comes up to me while I'm shooting, "Hey, isn't that you?" while he pointed up to the wall towards a team photo (from a first place pic from BCAPL Nationals in 2012).

"No, that's not me," as my partner and I try to ignore them and keep shooting.

"Yes it is, that's you!"

I reply smiling, "that's some other female pool player with blonde, curly hair."

We ran that one out and then they quit.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What would You Do? Hill-Hill Shot

This was one of the shots, HILL-HILL, during my Sunday League playoffs, in the Finals!

What Would You Do?

My team was stripes.  Our opponent was at the table on the 8-ball.  He was accidentally left this shot, btw.

What Would You Do?

Everyone on the sidelines thought instead of going for the bank in the side (because he might sell out if he misses), to play safe and nestle the cueball behind the 9-ball as a safety.  He tried that, but was not successful.

We ended up winning.

TOUGH match.  Lots of unfortunate roles for the other team in this game, but my teammate prevailed over nerves and we won the playoffs hill-hill!

What Would You Have Done?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Texas BCAPL DVDs Arrived...

I actually ordered two DVDs from the BCAPL Texas State tourney held in April.

I ordered the streamed women's singles final (which I won) and also the streamed scotch doubles final (it went two sets), which my partner (Marty Jones) and I won, as well.

A BIG thank you to Rail2Rail TV for the stream and for the getting the matches on DVD!

I honestly only bought them to show to my best friend.  I don't really care to watch them alone. I only cared to show them to him so we could talk about my shots that led to my accomplishments. 

I was excited to be able to show him my shots in the finals of both divisions, because he couldn't be there in person.  And to share the experience with someone I cared about, was really all I cared about. 

Otherwise, I wont watch them alone.  I see no point.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Worry About Future

As I wrote about many times in April and May, the reason why I did so well at the BCAPL Texas State tourney and ACS Nationals in Vegas was because I didn't think ahead, had no concerns or wants, and just kinda went through the motions without worrying about wanting the title so badly I paralyzed myself.

I also shared that I had not hit balls.  I felt that if I didn't prepare, I wouldn't be disappointed.  I had prepared and practiced SOOO many weeks before big tourneys for SOOO many years with no success, that I just wanted to get away those weekends.  Pool was the last thing on my mind.

And yet, then I won.

Well, I decided to practice straight pool a few weeks ago at my house.  Instead of sitting on my butt just watching tv, I actually hit balls.  Granted, straight pool is a VERY frustrating game and although it's suppose to sharpen your skills, I feel as if I'm playing worse now (only playing in my women's league, but I don't see great runs).  Instead, I'm not really playing well right now.

As the BCAPL National Championships is on the horizon, in literally a week and a half away, I feel pressure.  Ugh.  Pressure is NOT good for me.

As I mentioned, I was interviewed a couple of times in June about my recent wins and each asked me what my hopes were for the BCAPL Nationals coming up.  I replied honestly, "I don't have expectations or wishes or wants, I just hope to NOT think ahead, stay in the moment, so I don't freak myself out with wants and desires."

Each person seemed surprised by my response, "You don't think you'll do well?"

I replied, "No, like I explained already, I do better by NOT thinking ahead.  So, I don't want to even think that far ahead."

Well, of course, now, the tourney is on my mind.  Someone told me recently I could be amateur player of the year, if they had such a title.  And as of May, it was not even half way into the year when this famous billiard writer told me this.

I am fully and very much well aware that people are kinda "expecting" I do well in Vegas at the BCAPL Nationals.  It would make sense, right?  Since I'm having such a great year.

But, man, that's A LOT of pressure!

Dang it, I'm thinking ahead.

I feel like I have pressure.

I feel like I'm suppose to do well.

I only have a week and a half to GET OVER these thoughts, emotions, feelings, concerns and ONLY show up and trust my fundamentals, all those years of experience, and play pool.  NO THINKING AHEAD.  No wants or desires or worrying about expectation or status.

I sure hope I get over these concerns, because I really would like to do well!  Yep, I said it,  I care. Ugh!  NOT good for me to think like that!

See why I'm concerned?  :(  Thinking ahead is NOT good for me!

I know that playing scotch doubles first with my awesome partner, Marty Jones, will help prepare me for singles.  And if I don't do well in either.... then I'm still a good person who loves pool, right?

No pressure.  Enjoy the moment.  We only live once.

That's what I need to do.  No expectations.  Enjoy playing the game we all love: pool.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Reviewing Straight Pool Videos

A friend of mine is going to the Straight pool tournament in New York in the beginning of August.  I offered to let him borrow some of my favorite straight pool videos, so he can study and maybe it will help him be more prepared.

Since I have JUST started to play straight pool at the house again, after I found the videos, I decided to watch three of them this weekend before I handed the bunch over to my friend.

I LOVE these videos and highly recommend them if you get a chance to buy them or view them.


Pat Fleming's Break Shots, instructional video.


Pat Fleming's Key Balls, instructional video.

BOTH videos can be found at this link on   These two videos are EXCEPTIONAL for reviews for break shots and key balls - prolly the most important points of straight pool.  I actually watched each video twice this weekend.


Phil Capelle's Break Shots DVD (it also comes with a book).  Another great resource to watch and learn from about break shots.

I'm glad I offered the videos, or else I wouldn't have watched them.  And now I know they will help me do better in my renewed interest in straight pool (for the moment, lol).  It's amazing how helpful they were - I had forgotten most of the important tips and pointers and I know reviewing these will help me improve my high runs!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Another Team, Another PlayOff Win!

I joined a Sunday team (called "The Los Borrachos") back in the Fall of 2013.

Well, we had our Sunday league playoff's a couple of weekends ago and guess what?

Yep, WE WON!

We were 50-1 underdogs going into the finals!  Ouch!  Even though we would need to be double dipped, those odds are pretty brutal, lol.

The finals only went one set.  A hill-hill thriller, but still, we won undefeated!

I told the team they are helping my already great pool year.  :)

We all played very well together, stepped in when another player was needed, and it was a great team chemistry and support!   CONGRAT's, Guys!!!

Mario was the Hill-Hill guy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Roommate with a Twist

A many of you have guessed, I am going to the BCAPL Nationals in mid to late July.

I was not able to get a really low rate for a room at the Rio, like I normally could in the past.  Even though I am a Total Rewards card member, I could not find a decent room rate there at the Rio (where the tournament is held) and honestly, no where else even on the strip that wouldn't cost me an arm and leg.

I asked a league teammate if she had a roommate, as I would like to find someone who I could split the room cost with.  She said she already had a room, and several roommates.


I was going to ask a few more of my girlfriends, but then she called me back.

She asked, "what days I was going to be there?"  I told her just scotch doubles and singles.  She expressed she might be able to help, as two of her roommates weren't coming til the team events.

Really?  Cool!

She had to check with all the ladies not only for their dates of being in Vegas, but also if they were okay with an extra person staying there.

My girlfriend called me back about a week later.... she and said I could stay!

I was SO excited! 

While I haven't stayed with 4 total women in a room in a LONG time, I was willing to do it to save so much money! 

However, there was one little caveat.

One of the roommates told my friend, "I know the room is really your room, but if Melinda beats me in the tournament, I'm kicking her out."


I love my friends!  :)