Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pool Table Music Box

I mentioned in my previous blog that many people have pool-related items in their house.... and I have a couple I wanted to share with you that are unique.

Here is the second one (click photos to enlarge):

The detail is pretty amazing!

Cute little mice all over the pool table - in the rack, in pockets, drinking beer, shooting pool with their little cuesticks.  There are also balls in the pockets. 

It's a music box and it's also animated.  The mouse in the pocket goes up and down, the mouse with the cue turns, and the rack sways back and forth swinging the couple.

Movers have moved this music box of mine from Texas to Florida and back and so unfortunately many pieces are actually broken from it (yep, I cried when I noticed).  This is over 18 years old and I have no idea where I even bought it at the time.  But it sure is amazing!


Links from a friend:

Turns out it's an Enesco Music Box that's very rare, and was made in 1995. It was part of the 1995 Enesco Small World of Music Collection, and the model # is 581275.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Pool-Related Drawing

Many people have pool-related items in their house.  Many of us that do, we probably all have the same items.  Right?

But I have a couple I wanted to share with you that are unique.

Here is the first one (click photo to enlarge):

When I was in Vegas for a tourney about 1999 I think, my friend Shayla and I got a caricature done of us at the Excalibur Hotel/Casino.

There were two caricature artists there, and while one created a caricature of her and I, the other one was making small talk with us.  We told him we were in Vegas for pool tournament, and then he drew the above artwork and gave it to us.

The detail is pretty amazing!  8 Ball "bonking" on the wizard's head, the bridge of wizard's hand on the cue is not bad at all, and there is powder and chalk and balls in the pic as well, of course along with a pool table.  And love his caption, "Next!" 

One of my few VERY fav pool drawings I love!

Not bad for just a little drawing as he killed time talking to us, huh?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Trying to Play Pool During Tough Times

I don't know why I get so surprised still with things....

My biological Dad passed away on February 16th.  I found out on Feb 17th.

We were short players for league on Feb 19th and there I was, standing at the pool table during my first match, with a look of confusion on my face.

I had NO IDEA what I was doing.  I didn't know what to shoot first, or how to get rid of my opponent's balls in the pocket, nothing.  I finally banked a ball in and was pretty happy with my shape, when I then saw my shape led to NOWHERE.  My ball had no pocket to go in.  That's when I really knew I was not doing well.

I lost that game and was extremely pissed.

I was mad I had to play pool so close to my Dad's passing, mad we didn't have an extra player to play for me, mad I was confused surveying the pool table.

I could not believe I had to play pool with what I was going through.

I recognized that my upsetness was affecting the other players, so I just shut my mouth and kept to myself.  But I can tell you with all honesty I did not want to be playing pool.  I couldn't even think straight.

Luckily, the entire other team each hugged me and offered their condolences.  It meant a lot they cared and acknowledged my Dad.  It went a long way for a very tough night.

I honestly thought I would be okay at league.  But, I wasn't.  And I had no business being there at all.

I was able to compose myself enough to win my other 4 games, but I would rather have been home curled up in bed.

Life throws us curves balls sometimes and we need to take care of life before pool.  But there are times a team needs us, or an organization depends on you, and some things cannot just stop because you want to take a time out.

Yes, you are suppose to put yourself first, especially in tough times.  But sometimes, it's just not that easy.

3 months old, with my Dad, Rudy Duncan.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Scotch Doubles BCAPL Texas State Hiccup

Well, this is such sad news for my scotch doubles partner, Marty Jones, and I:

(click photo to enlarge:)

The reason why is, I decided not to play anymore in my Sunday league (for many reasons), and that was the league Marty plays out of.  The BCAPL Texas State tourney allowed players to play together in scotch doubles, even if you didn't play in the same league.  As long as you both played in a BCAPL league AND in Texas, you could play together.

I admit that when they made this changed a few years ago, I wasn't very happy about it.  I thought it was unfair that a good player from Dallas (for example) could play with a good player from say Austin, San Antonio, or Houston.  While the rest of us were putting in time in the same league.

Then, when I was making the decision not to play on Sundays, I figured, "well, this wont affect scotch at State, so that's cool."

And they JUST made this change on Monday.  MONDAY!  And the entry fee is due THIS Friday.  So, they literally made this last minute change.

There are three (3) main reason why this change affects me personally:  (1), I am only playing on a ladies-only league.  I quit my other two leagues.  Now this is becoming very painful that I made that decision.  In other words, I have NO ONE I can play with because the only league I play on is women only.  (2), Marty and I will not be able to DEFEND our title!  Oh, I am so BUMMED!  (3), playing scotch always got me ready for singles.  Ugh, so many personal impacts.

Life goes on, I know, but this change affects a lot of teams that were planning on playing together, I am hearing.  I actually think it's a good rule, but it just happened ti bite me in the butt this year, lol.

UPDATE!  After I posted this, they had listened to the many comments the received and changed the rule BACK!  Whew.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pool Life Versus Family Life

A friend of mine put this on Facebook the other day and tagged myself and one of my girlfriends:

While it is funny, I didn't really like it and I untagged myself.  I mentioned it to my friend and she said she felt the same way, and that she had untagged herself as well.

I think if her and I were in our 20s, this might make us laugh and we would agree.

But now that we are in our 40s and have had many successes with pool, we do not agree with this funny poster.

To open my heart up to you readers, I would gladly never pick up a cue again from this point forward if I could find a great man to marry who loves me deeply and is my true love.  As for my friend, she has YEARNED for kids her whole life.  And she doesn't have any.  So, she would also give up the stick easily to have a kid (or kids) in her life.

Is it because we are older?  Is it because we have already had big accomplishments in pool?  People change with time and age yes.  While pool is important to her and I, I recently skipped a big LOCAL ladies tour stop to do something out of my element and something new.  And it was amazing!  (I saw a public speaker who changed my thoughts about peace and happiness).  And I know she has skipped events because she would rather not be in a smokey pool room all day, either, and would rather do things that were beneficial to her health.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change anything in my life AT ALL.  I have great, GREAT friends and am very blessed because pool has brought them into my life.

And if our future spouses played pool, we would obviously still play.  But I am saying we would easily stop today for a great family.  In a heart beat.

Some people played pool, then got a family, then started to play pool again after time.  Or some played their whole life with a family.

Everyone is different.

Everyone's life is different.

This is ours.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Amateur Pool Player of the Year for 2014

On January 6th, I got a really amazing surprise.

Renowned billiards author Phil Capelle announced his choice for Amateur Player of the Year.


He had asked me earlier in December for my accomplishments for 2014, and then I forgot about it.  Until, January 6th:

Melinda Bailey –

I am happy to announce that Melinda Bailey is my choice for Pool’s Amateur Player of the Year in 2014!

Amateur pool is the backbone of our sport, and in 2014 no player exemplified the spirit of an amateur more than Melinda Bailey of Forth Worth Texas. Melinda’s regular job is with the National Weather Service, but she finds the time on nights and weekends to compete in leagues and tournaments, and she travels all over playing in state and national events.

She also was a prominent member of the team that ran the Hunter Tour, and she recently founded and runs the Omega Billiards Tour in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. She’s also has worked with AZ Billiards and has been the webmaster for numerous billiards sites (including, and Melinda continues to blog about her life in pool at where she shares the thoughts of an amateur with complete candor and conviction. In recognition of her play and contributions to the game, she appeared on the cover of Bad Boys Billiard Online Magazine’s first edition, and was interviewed in the July issue of Billiards Digest.

Now for the best part: After years and years of competing and working on her game, the damn broke loose for Melinda in 2014 as she enjoyed the kind of year most of us only dream about. In a two month span she won state wide singles and doubles titles, then captured an individual title at the ACS Nationals and two additional ACS team titles! Melinda also won or placed in the top four in several other competitions. Her record in 2014.

Monday league team playoffs, 1st place (Jan)
Monday league singles tourney, 2nd place (Feb)
BCA Texas State Scotch Doubles, 1st place (April)
BCA Texas State Women's Singles, 1st place (April)
ACS Nationals Women's 9-Ball Singles, 1st place (May)
ACS Nationals Women's 9-Ball Team event, 1st place (May)
ACS Nationals Women's 8-Ball Team event, 1st place (May)
Men's league team playoffs, 1st place (June)
ACS Texas State Women's Singles, 4th place (October)
Women's league individual standings for 2014, 2nd place (October)
Women's league team playoffs, 2nd place (November)
I could NOT believe it!

And then I was overwhelmed with all the comments from follow players!  OVERWHELMED. 

Here is the photo he used (he said it showed my lefthanded-ness well, lol):

This screen capture also shows that it was shared 19 times and has 84 comments!  WOW!

I'm still speechless.  Someone noted that it doesn't say male or female, and Phil responded that was intentional.  Did I really have that great of a year last year in pool??  I had one of the the worse years in my life personally off the table, but somehow managed to play good pool?  Really?

While there is no "official" Amateur Player of the Year award, Phil decided after seeing all my accomplishments, to announce this. 

Again, all the comments and praise and accolades really meant a lot.  To be singled out and recognized was pretty cool.  I didn't even realize anyone had noticed.  Heck, I didn't even really realize the year I had had!!

Thank you to all my friends and fellow pool players for their love and support!  And thank you to all my competitors who helped me become a better player towards all the finals I eventually played in!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

She Sharks - TV Show in the USA

We always hear about TV shows about pool. Some almost come to fruition, most don't.

I hope this one does - seem pretty cool if it really becomes a reality.

It's called She SharksShe Sharks will begin shooting in the next couple months.

Here is what the website says:

"Get ready for a wild ride on whats being called "The Hustle Bus."

This show follows 7 professional female pool players on a 10 week excursion across the country looking for action in some of the most notorious "off circuit" pool halls sometimes found on the wrong side of town. This extended ("players") vacation follows Professional woman pool players JEANETTE LEE (known as "The Black Widow"), LOREEJON HASSON, 8 Time World Champion, RACHAEL ABBINK, (known as "The Hustle Queen"), AKIKO KITAYAMA (known in Japan as "The Leopard Queen"), the sexy and dangerous DAWN FOX, Maxim Magazine's and pool's fashion queen SHANELLE LORAINE and newcomer hottie KATHYRN FAIRCHILD, as they hone their pool and their interpersonal skills in this fast paced TV show. 

This show dives into and explores pools underculture of high stakes and big risks testing the girls patience, skills and metal as they take on some of the very best back room pool hustlers in the country. From professional pool room hustlers, throw in a couple of NFL players, other professional pool players and celebrities, the action is non-stop, both in the venues, and on the bus. But its just not about pool, its about personal growth for these women who will be challenged personally, in sport and business. 

The girls lay everything on the line where tens of thousands of dollars can be won in a single night, and these girls really know how to break balls!!!!!. 

For some of the girls, it's about pool, for they all agree, its about FUN!!!!"

For more information and pics and bio's - check out the website:!she-sharks/c1zc7

I know every player (except the one from Japan) so super excited for my friends!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Jealousy as a Tool

I wrote recently about using all our tools in the toolbox when we compete.

Well, sometimes situations occur "around" us that also can be used as tools.

One example, is jealousy. 

Everyone has felt it, if you play pool, or in any type of sport.  But obviously I'll focus on pool.

What's weird about jealousy in pool is that it actually MOTIVATES you. 

When most people think of "jealousy," they relate it to relationships on some level.  Either the attention to your significant other, or jealousy after a break up, etc.

Well, you can't do much about those feelings of jealousy except have more confidence, or build your confidence.

But in sports, in pool, you CAN do something about it.

When you see a fellow player about your speed start to excel, or start to be in the winner's circle more, or simply even place higher in an event more often, you can sometimes get jealous.  This person can be a close friend, a rival, or just someone you barely know.  But, you NOTICE that you were once on the same playing level, but they have improved and are getting better.

What does this do?  It creates motivation inside you.

You start to practice more.  Or learn by reading books or watching videos.

Maybe you start to gamble to get better or play in tough weekly tournaments more.

We all want to improve on some level, but when we feel jealousy because of someone else, for whatever reason it can light a little fire in us and it pumps us up to want to improve!

It's a clever little thing that not many people even realize is happening inside of them.  They just FEEL the jealousy pains, and do something about it because let's face it, jealousy is not a good feeling.

I'm not saying everyone is jealous or everyone acts on those feelings, but I am saying if you do, it's normal.  I have used it in the past as motivation to improve my game.  Nothing wrong with using this tool in your toolbox, as well!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Humbling Weekly Tourney

I played in my first weekly tourney in prolly over 6-9 months last Friday.

Boy, was it ever so humbling.

And, it was just what I needed, tho!

No reason to *think* I'm playing well. 

We need to test ourselves every now and then to see if we are really playing as well as we think we are, or not.

This weekly tourney told me a few things about my myself and my game:
  • I still get nervous
  • I play different when I'm surrounded by people I don't feel comfortable around
  • I was making rookie mistakes b/c I was uncomfortable
  • I was sad I was reverting back to bad habits (even though I told myself on the way there to stay down and take my time)
  • I did not take my time
  • I still do not mentally handle well playing against slow players
  • Short races against good players should be on my mind (it wasn't) to keep me focused
  • I need to remember to have fun (I did not have fun nor cared less if I was there after a very short period time)
Although the night of play ended up pathetic, it was a GOOD thing I experienced all of these "bad" reminders to get my mind and pre-shot routine BACK in the game.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Watch.... and Learn

Pool is one of those sports that you can learn a lot from by just watching.

Sure, you can learn by watching other sports, but pool is about patterns and safeties and choosing the correct shots.  That's why watching videos can really elevate your game.

I have heard the quote many times before that says "learning is not a spectator sport." 

And while I believe that to some extent, I don't believe it at all times.

As the Omega Billiards Tour Director, I get to watch A LOT of great play on Sundays of the events.  I don't sit around watching the tv screens or playing games on my phone.  No, I take FULL advantage of watching the top players battle it out.

Watching their shape, leave, safeties, the way they follow through and stay down so well!  Their patterns, break style, etc.

I am very lucky that I have always been very perceptive and pick up on things quickly. 

You, too, can watch better players and learn from how they play, how they handle themselves (yes, good or bad), patterns, watch their pre-shot routine, etc.

Wealth of knowledge by watching and paying attention!