Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What You Can't Do With Pool Photos

Most photos you take you can switch them around to make them fit on webpages or print or whatever.

But not with pool players and photos!

Here is a photo of me shooting in a match:

If I was to take a photo of me and flip it horizontal, you get this:

All of a sudden I'm shooting right handed!

Yea, no good flipping photos of pool players shooting pool.   :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Assigned Seating

I noticed my team was sitting in different place than I'm used to at this particular bar we play out of sometimes on Thursdays for my ladies league.

Then I noticed this sign, for the "visiting" team:

I heard that the "home" team also has signs on their tables.

I could see why later in night - karaoke patrons started to wander in and invaded the seating area.   Yep, even with the signs, lol.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Why You So Mad?

Well, the bad play continued for me on Tuesday.

I had a few nice runs, but then would miss a tough shot here and there.  I only won two matches out of five that league night.

I have been pretty bummed about it.

And then I had league on Thursday against a really tough team.  Two of the girls are in the top rankings and the team plays good.

Losing FOUR matches last week moved me down in the rankings in my ladies league so tonight was critical to me.

I actually hit a rack of balls before we started.  I told my team, "you know something is wrong with me if I'm hitting balls."

I was trying to figure out if something was wrong with my fundamentals or what.

I won the first game by playing some smart moves.  I missed a key ball, but then came with it in the end.  It boosted my confidence to kick a ball in and then come with a nice shot to make the 8ball.  I needed that for sure.

In the next match, I played good safes again.  I tried not to go for too many risky shots and instead play super TIGHT with more safes. 

It worked!

I won that match, too.

Next game I again played safe a lot.  After my first "mean" safe, my opponent asks me, "why you so mad?"

LMAO!  That was hysterical!

She had seen me safety her teammate the previous match and here I was doing it some more to her lol.

I replied, "I have been playing bad.  Gotta do something."

After I won that game, as I'm high-fiving my teammates, I say, "uh, I might be back."

I win the next game, this time running out well after some safes.  Again I tell my teammates after while I'm high-fiving, "Uh, oh, I really think I am back."

Even though I lost my last match, it was a really long safety battle and it felt great to play smart and good.

Maybe I'm back?  Not sure - but playing tighter REALLY helped my scores!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Signs on Pool Tables

Okay, I wont!

Saw these on every side of the pool tables at league one Thursday night.  Guess they have issues with some patrons...

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Oh my goodness, am I in a rut?

I played badly on Tuesday at league, then Thursday at league.  What does this mean?

Does it mean too much is on my mind?  Did I just play against better players and didn't play tight?

I think I have been doing well at league because of the mistakes other players make.  In other words, I was getting more chances.  It wasn't because I was running magical racks.

I didn't get many chances last week and I also didn't play as tight.  I took my safeties for granted and didn't really play great ones.  Further, I underestimated my opponents for sure.

But, I also have a lot on my mind.  And I am not mentally strong right now.

Maybe it's a combo of it all?

All I know is I have only about two weeks to figure all this out because that's when BCAPL Texas State takes place in Temple, Texas.  Doesn't look like I will be able to defend that title if I can't figure all this out.


Isn't the end of the world, but still important to my little heart.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Jack Nicklaus Thoughts on Staying Sharp

From Jack Nicklaus
"Seve (Ballesteros) went to that Masters not having played very much golf," Nicklaus explained.
"I remember he and I were playing a practice round and he said to me 'I'm not as sharp as I should be'.
"As soon as he said it, I knew when Steve came down the stretch on Sunday, he wasn't going to be as tough as he'd usually be. When he hit his ball into the water at 15 in the final round, it was the type of swing you'd expect from somebody who wasn't sharp.
"And being sharp is being tournament tested on a recent basis. "

 Key words:  being tournament tested on a recent basis

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Newbie Jitters

I started a new league last night.

I joined it so I could play scotch doubles in the Open division at BCAPL Nationals in July.

I know every player on my team.  I know four of them well and are all friends, so that is cool.  We have two girls total on the team (including me), the rest are guys.

I have to admit - I was SUPER nervous for some reason!  And I played like it, too.

My teammates were hitting balls on the table before we started and my captain asked if I wanted to hit balls.  I said, "no, I'm good."

He replied that they always do to get used to the tables.  I told him, "This is my home bar on my Thursday league - I know them well.  But,I don't normally hit balls before I play on league night."

(It's just my M.O.  Not saying it's right, it's just me.)

I'm up first and after they call my name my captain says, "Let's get it, Girl."

I immediately felt pressure!

Wow, really?

I know that it seems like an innocent comment, but there's more to the story.  I have known him for years and he has a tendency to be negative and also overly sensitive to expressing his concerns about winning and losing.

In that first game, I miss a long straight-in shot. 

As I sit down, he says kinda with a smug attitude, "See, should have hit balls on the table."

I explained, "I didn't miss b/c I didn't hit balls."

I actually was fairly nervous.  I felt out of my element and felt pressure.  I also felt very "off" right away.

I won that game, but lost the next 3.  Every time I had to play he would say something as I walked to the table.  It never felt like encouragement, it felt more like pressure.  It's difficult to explain.

But, I was missing balls I should never miss.  I was pretty disgusted.  And it wasn't because of his comments - I was just not playing well.

A player on the other team commented after my first win, "you have a good, smooth stroke, Young Lady."  And yet I played badly after that, lol.  I could hear them talking, "Oh, I can't believe she missed that one ball," etc.  Heck, in my head I was saying the same thing, lol!

Then, each time I was near my captain, as he kept score, he would make comments:

"We need this game."

"OMG we are down by two."

"We need to step it up."

"What is going on?"

"Now we are back down by two again.  Sheesh."

He was sweating so much over the score, that it really affected me.  And every time someone would get to the tables, "Come on we need this game," he would beg.

It didn't feel like fun at all.

I felt pressure because I'm only playing to get weeks in but I can see they want me to win a lot, lol.  I mean, that's a given, but WOW.

I then won my last game with a rack and run so that was real nice!

We ended up winning 13-12 and everyone was excited, but at the end of the season we go by total matches won, not how many league nights we won.  So, not sure why everyone was excited, lol.

I can tell it's going to be a lot of pressure and nerves to play on this team.  I am going to have to sit away from the captain to remain away from negatives.

I found it ironic that he would kinda push us, but he was not winning a lot of his games himself.  I kinda felt like I let him down, but honestly, I was disappointed in myself. 

I was missing balls I never miss - even easy shots.  It was a rude awakening for my game, lol.

I then went back to my fundamentals that I had been working on the last couple of years and it helped that last run.

Still gonna be tough Tuesdays....  but, as I see it - it will be good to play under those conditions.... to test me.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Play That Funky Music

I was at league last night and we are a traveling league.  I had not been to this bar before.

I thought it was much smaller - it looked tiny on the outside, but it's fairly large.

What I noticed right away was the music was SUPER loud!

When I tried to talk to my teammates, we had to lean toward each other to hear what we were saying.  It wasn't disturbing my play, but it did interfere with me trying to catch up with my friends.

A lot of patrons in the establishment were playing hip hop-type music.  So, I knew almost every song and therefore it didn't really bother me how loud the music was.

But one of my teammates didn't really like it, so she would grab her phone while she sat in her chair to pay for a song from an app on her phone.  Then that song she picked would be played on the jukebox.  And she would pay EXTRA to have it "play next."

So, she interfered with the jams by playing country music, lol.

I don't like country anymore, and evidently neither did the patrons because as soon as a country song came on, they would head to the jukebox to put in money to pay for hip hop songs.  All the time not realizing one of my teammates was kinda "controlling" what would play next from her chair.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Guy Talk About Girls

At the scotch doubles tournament i mentioned before,  I overheard these two guys talk talking.

One said, "these girls play good.  Look at that, they aren't even banking a lot, they are shooting straight!"


And the other responded, "and don't forget, you can be a gentleman and open doors, but on the table we are even."

Awww, such sweet talk between guys! 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Asked to Play on a Team

I was surprised to get a call a few weeks ago from a friend who asked me if I wanted to join his new league team.  

 He said, "I'm putting together a really good team and I am asking only good players to be on it."

Really?  You called me?

Really made my day he thought I was good enough that he would ask me.  To be considered a good player that is strong enough to be considered for a strong guys team??  Wow...

I turned him down because I want my Sunday afternoons free, but it sure made my day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What You Are Competing, You Are in Life

One thing that I noticed is how people "act" on the pool table, they can be that way in life as well. 

If you are a nice person on the table, you are nice off the table. 

If a player cheats at pool, they usually cheat somehow in life.

If a player is honorable, they will be that way with their friends and family and friends and work.

If a player hustles in the pool world, they can at times hustle in life, work, relationships, and friends as well. 

If a player is too competitive in pool, they are too competitive in every aspect of their life.

If a player gets angry a lot playing pool, they are probably like that in their every day life as well.

Sure, some people can separate their personality on the table to off, but honestly, how we act playing in competitive sports, we will act in real life at work and with our relationships (family, friends, lovers) the same.

Playing competitive sports shows our emotions.  How do we handle those emotions?  If you see someone who flies off the handle, I bet they can be that way at work, too (if they have a job).  

If someone is super nice, they are that way to us off the table, too.  And they want matches to go well and smooth.  They can still be a very talented player that wants to kick your ass, but they also always show sweet emotions and a calm demeanor.

I used to show negative emotions when I played pool. Yep, and also at work.  I would show anger and act out at both.  Then I worked on my leadership skills and that helped calm my temper.  And now I hardly ever show anger when I play pool, or at work.

Personalities are a part of us.  That's why when an extrovert is animated in tournaments, they will be that way away from the pool room, too.  I realize that's just how they are, and I try not to get bothered by then when I compete against them.

Bottom line.  Who players are on the table, they usually are off, as well.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Gambling Versus Tournament Play

We have all heard how gambling and tournament play differ. 

I'm sure you have heard of the gambler who gambled for years and then decided to play in tournaments?   Well, they may be one the best gamblers, but then they enter a tourney and they don't place too high.

At first.

It takes time to see the difference and feel the difference and deal with the differences.  Not many gamblers went straight to tourneys and won.   It takes time figure it all out.

Races are shorter in tournament play.  You don't get a second chance if you lose a match.  You can't just say, "flip it" and play another set in tournament play.  You also can't just keep playing all night and try to get your money back.  Further, you also don't decide ahead of time who you get to/want to play.

And the reverse is true.   Going from tourney play to gambling.  When you do this, you suddenly see you may HAVE to play all night.  Or, you are pinned to play another set. In tournament play, it's one match.  Not so in gambling. 

Gambling also involves many outside factors.   Tourney play is scheduled and under certain conditions, time restraints, and most of the time professionalism.   Gambling can lead to big arguments,  people stiffing you, people watching and being rude, your opponent acting up, not getting paid, and long nights.

It's a whole different mind frame and going from one to the another (if you have not experienced one or the other before) takes time and patience.

I'm not saying one is better.  I know several guys who ONLY play high stakes, long sets gambling and could care less about ever playing in a tournament again.  Whereas I know another guy who LOVEs tourneys and will never gamble, even though he's asked all the time.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Playing Pool Tired

I mentioned I played in a scotch doubles tournament and the my friend Amanda and her partner won it at around 4 in the morning.

At one point, they had to wait on a very long match and I could tell they were getting tired.  When they finally got to play (this was about 1:30 am), her partner was making some unusual mistakes.  I brought up to them that at this point in the tourney, it was who is less tired that would do better. 

And I suggested they drink cold water or go outside for fresh, cold air.

He quipped at me, "I'll go outside after we win."

I thought to myself,  "you may not get that chance...if you DON'T GO NOW."  Yes, I was little perturbed because I was trying to help!

But just talking about it helped and they eventually won hill-hill to move on to another tough match.  Her partner did go outside before the next match and I was happy he finally did because they really needed to get themselves pumped up from waiting around for so long and playing all day.  We had been there since about 10:30am and it was 2 am. ...

If you ever see someone missing all of a sudden, see if they need some water or maybe to get some fresh air.  Sometimes we don't know that we are tired or dehydrated.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Angry Players - An Interesting View

I always love running the Omega Billiards Tour, because sometimes I have great talks with players (besides watching all the great play) and I get to pass along interesting conversations via my blog, to share with you all.

I was talking to a player at the February stop who has prolly played as long as I have,  but also wasn't one of the top players yet on the tour, either.

He started to talk about a couple of players that did not get in this event because the standby list was so deep.  But he admitted that he was glad, because they were always upset and mad.

He said, "I really don't like playing them because they get so angry and it's tough to play pool when you are playing a player that slams their cue or is vocally upset or shows how angry they are."

Then he confided, "I used to be that player."


"Yes.  I was extremely competitive in middle school and high school.   I was kicked out of several basketball and football games because I was so aggressive and mean.  I wasn't trying to tackle, I was trying to hurt them!"

Wow, this guy didn't look like he would want to hurt a fly, and he was telling me this.

He continued, "and my competitiveness easily transferred to pool.  I would smash a cue about once a week.  I was brutal."


He continued and explained why he no longer gets angry, "I noticed that no one liked the players that got angry or were rude during their matches.  They didn't have many friends, either.   But mostly, they were looked upon like a bad person and an asshole.  And no one wanted to play them, NOR be around them. "

He shared something I hadn't thought of before, "I realized that I would rather be the type of player my opponent was scared to play because I played really pool.   I want them to hate to play me because I had talent to defeat them badly, not because I'm an asshole.   So, I changed.   I'm still working on being that monster player (as he laughed), but at least I'm not an asshole anymore that no one wants to play or be around."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Valentine's Day Scotch Tourney

I played in a scotch doubles tournament on the dreaded Valentine's Day.  My bestie, Amanda, was going to Tulsa for this tourney and invited me to tag along.  

Here is Amanda and I the morning of the tourney:

The tourney director in Tulsa found me a partner and so I got to play as well.  So, I was happy with that, especially since they added $500 to the prize fund (and the entry fee's were $50). 

It was held at the 727 Club, which I had heard about a lot from my ex, and even saw a few players he normally gambled with.

They decorated the whole place with red and silver and hearts and cool Valentine-themed table cloths.  They really went all out.  Even had door prizes!

I was introduced to my partner, Charley, right before the calcutta, and I found out he played good bar table pool, so we were golden.

I asked him, "Do you break well?"  He said yes, but that normally when he plays scotch he let's the female break and he picks the opening ball.  I told him I played good 8 ball and since he broke well, I could pick for us.  :)

I told him we would be pleasantly surprised, but then I got kinda nervous.  What if I didn't play well today?  Did I just jinx myself?  Nah, I still played well :)

He said at one point, "Well, we will at least have fun today."   I knew right then he was being nice in case I didn't play well, lol.  I admit it was kinda tough not to brag about myself, because I wanted him to not worry haha.

Once the break was decided, we didn't talk again about pool strategy.  I'm still of the belief if two people play really good 8 ball, then they will do just fine together. 

We went hill hill the first match and lost against a team who would eventually get 4th out of 32.  They didn't make one mistake and got out when they should.  But Charley and I played real well together.

We won the next three matches easy, 3-0.  But we ran into another tough team and lost.

I honestly thought we would for sure be in the money because we both played so well but the teams were tough; tougher than I thought.  And we only went for $30 in the Calcutta, too!  A couple of people wanted to bid on us, but they let me buy ourselves for $30.  Everyone thought it was a steal but they were nice to not outbid us.  And then we didn't even get in the money LOL.

Turns out Charley and I know a lot of the same people and I enjoyed playing with him, even though I didn't even remotely know him before that day.

Amanda and her partner (who she had never played with before but knew) won the tourney by double dipping the favorites around 4 am.   They both played really, really well and they came with some amazing shots to win.  Amanda was impressive in her knowledge and talent as usual!

I also got to spend quality time with my girlfriend Bobbi and it was great to spend the day with her: