Friday, February 26, 2016

Tax Talk Again

I get my taxes done for free every year down at my small city hall of the city I live in.  Pretty cool little service they provide for residents.

This year a new guy did my taxes. 

As he's adding in all my items, he comes across my combined winnings for my finishes at the BCAPL Texas State tournament. 

It's run by a group/company who call themselves "Bay Boy Billiard Productions."

The tax guy barely said anything to me as he was typing everything in.  Until... he got to that 1099- MISC from them.

"Bad Boys Billiards," he squeals out loud.

"Yep, that's the name they decided on," I say shyly.

"That sure is a different kinda name there," he says in his elderly little accent as he laughs and shakes his head, LOL.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Beat by a Girl

A few weeks ago I stopped by to visit a pool room I hadn't been to in a while because we were going to have an upcoming Omega Tour event there.

As I talked and mingled with the employees for a while, I all of a sudden found myself in a game a pool with a guy I did not know.

We played only about 4 games and then I moseyed my way back to the bar area to talk to the head bartender.

I would hear later from the guy, "I have NEVER been beat by a girl," he admits while laughing.

And he added, "You make me want to work on my game and get better, though.  Thank you for that!"

Awww, how sweet; what a compliment.  Glad I could urge someone to work on their game! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Goals Change as We Change

Goals change as our pool game improves. 

As we begin to get our feet wet in pool and start to live and breathe the game, we might decided to set some goals.  And you will soon see that your goals evolve along with your pool game.

In the beginning, these are typical goals of newbies: 
  1. Join a league.
  2. Get in the money of a two-day tournament.
  3. Try to attend 3 out-of-town tournaments.
We get a little better and our goals mature right along with us:
  1. Last til Sunday in a two-day tournament.
  2. Attend all stops this year of the Tour in my area.
  3. Learn something from every single tournament I play in this year.
  4. Attend a big tournament in Vegas!
  5. Watch more videos and read more books on billiards and mental toughness.
  6. Move up in my handicap (if you are in a handicap league).
More improvement:
  1. Become top shooter in my league.
  2. Get top 3 in a big tournament.
  3. Learn something from every single match I play in this year.
  4. Gamble some to get more experience. 
  5. Should I take lessons?
  6. Get in the money at a big tournament in Vegas.
  7. Have fun in every match (enjoy the game we love to play).
  8. Stay down on all my shots.
We improve even more, so do our goals:
  1. Get top 3 in the rankings of the Tour in my area.
  2. Top 3 at BCA or ACS State tourney.
  3. Place top quarter in the Open at BCAPL Nationals.
Then we get even stronger in our game and ability (and so do our goals):
  1. Win a Tour Stop at least once this year.
  2. Improve my mental toughness.
  3. Become an Advance or Master player with BCAPL by placing well at BCAPL Nationals.
Then if and when you become top of your game, your goals could look something like this:
  1. Play in a pro event this year and place in top half.
  2. Place top 3 in Advanced or Masters division in Vegas (whichever one you happen to be in now).
  3. Win 3 or more stops this year of the Tour in my area.
  4. Play in Tours not in my area.
  5. Place top 3 in the rankings of the Tour in my area.
And of course the pro level would be, maybe:
  1. Win 3 or more big tournaments this year.
  2. Become Tour Champion.
  3. etc.
Pretty neat evolution, huh?

Goals are meant to encourage, and they adjust as we adjust in life as our pool game changes.  

As a reminder, goals need to be detailed and realistic.  I've written about this before if you want to check out information about setting goals. 

Good luck and shoot 'em well!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Cool Pool Table with Glass Edges, Yet...

I received an email from Ralph Lauren about this cool table:

I thought this was pretty cool and unique for sure!  Calma and Gesso put a lot of thought into this table.  You can read the specs and such HERE.

Then I admit, I got disappointed.  While looking through the cool website about the table, I found this disturbing promo video:

Yep - you saw correctly.  Rack is not tight (that's a sin in pool!), their bridge hands are not stable (esp the female), and it's just an overall bad video for the serious pool players. 

If the tables are expensive, then the promo video exudes priceyness and who cares how the actors play pool, right?  I do agree the chick stays down on her shots, but that has to be so they could capture the moment on camera, not because she is aware she needs to have good fundamentals to play good pool, even on this table.

Looking through the website more, I see they did have a "mentor" on hand to show the actors how to shoot.  But, still didn't come through.

I don't mean to bash the video - as it does capture the beauty and splendor of the unique table!  Cool-ass table none-the-less.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What I See in this Video (Drill by Daren Appleton)

I saw this video the other day from Darren Appleton:

1-15 rotation one pocket drill brutal.. Completed it 4 times but 3 of them wasn't clean slightly nudged a ball so I kept going till I did it without contacting a ball... Great drill one of the toughest I've ever done .
Posted by Darren "Dynamite" Appleton on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I am not sure what others see in this video, but what I see is GREAT fundamentals!  I realize the drill is a good drill and tough, don't get me wrong, but what I what really stuck out for me was these two KEY very important points:
  1. Darren stays down and follows through on every single shot.
  2. He chalks his cue every single time.
What does this mean?  It means he treats every shot the same and has fabulous fundamentals.

What people don't understand is it's very easy to get lazy on drills.  And also because there is no pressure practicing by ourselves, we rush our shots.  So, it's refreshing (and this is why he's a Champion) to see Darren taking his time on each and every shot.  He also has the slight pause each time, staying down REALLY well on each shot, following through beautifully, and doing his pre-shot routine on every shot (looking at the shot as he chalks his cue and steps INTO the line of the shot).

I mean, seriously, how many times have you practiced by yourself and not chalked your cue because you were just "hitting" balls around?  Treat every shot even in practice with the same due-diligence as if you were competing. 

The reason this particular video is also good to show how important fundamentals are, is you can see how long his cue stays still after he shoots each shot (that great follow through).  From the angle of the video, it looks as tho he is laying his cue on the table after each shot - that's how well he stays down and follows through - the keys to great pool.  :)


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Furniture in Your Home

I have been doing something a little different on Facebook. 

Every once in awhile, instead of just posting my random thoughts about my lovely dog Lily or "checking in" at the latest restaurant or location, I'm trying to get to know my friends better.

So I have this thing that I do called, "A Question of the Day."

And then my friends get to share part of their history (if they feel comfy).

Sometimes I might ask what is your favorite childhood memory or what is your biggest accomplishment.  It's been actually really cool to read all these important moments of my friends' lives.

The other day, for the Question of the Day, I asked "what is your favorite piece of furniture in your house?"  I then showed a picture of this fireplace mantel that was converted into shelves by my parents that now hold lots of memories on those shelves.

And I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was:  it hadn't crossed my mind at all that many people would pick their home pool tables as their favorite piece of furniture, lol. 

And it was cool because a couple of friends added little tidbits to their photos like, "this used to be Bob Vanover's table" or another shared, "mine was made by Art Ball." 

Pretty awesome.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

No Leagues and Tax Benefit

As I mentioned several times already I have quit all my leagues.  I have also already stated how much I really enjoy not going to league, not having that commitment, and being able to do what I want to do any night of the week whenever I want to!

There's less drama, I'm spending less money, not staying out late, not around smoke all night.... I could go on and on.

And then I got reminded of another great reason why I'm glad I'm no longer in league: I got two MISC-1099's in the mail at the end of January for my cute little tax return for this year.

I have to say it's going to be super nice next year not having to worry about if I make over $600 at a big tournament and get a MISC-1099 later they will affect my tax return amount.

I'm actually really, really looking forward to not having that count against my return.  :)

Ahhh, more benefits.  :)

(And yes, I know you can claim the hotels and airfares and entry fees, but not for as many years as I have been doing so as an amateur)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Pool and Co Workers

A coworker of mine texted me the other day and said he got a table for his house and wanted to know what type of cues he should buy.

Some good ones, but at a decent price.

First, why am I just now hearing about this?? lol.

He said he was searching on Amazon and wanted some advice. 

Wait, Amazon?

So I recommend McDermott and Lucasi, and then suggested a billiards retailer website instead.

He replies with, "I'm looking at this brand, comes with 4 cues, called Valley House.  Are they good?  I don't want professional but a step up from Walmart."

I admit, I was confused and then a tad disappointed.

I looked them up real quick on Amazon - 4 cues for $83.  Not bad for recreational home use.

I told him, "I never heard of them, but just looked them up and they seemed fine to me." 


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Get That Confidence, Honey

A local female player and friend of mine has been posting on Facebook things like, "need to work on my mental game," or "I played good, but still need to figure out my mental game." 

One time she even told me she wouldn't play scotch doubles because she needs more practice with her mental game.

I tried to explain that she needs to get out and play more tournaments to get that, but she didn't play in that tourney.

I do give her LOTS of credit for playing in big tourneys with tough players, though.  While she may not play in doubles events (which I'm still trying to understand), she has played in some tough-ass tourneys against guys.

I saw her in one big tourney back in December and I made it a point to talk to her.  I also shared this info with her husband, hoping he would share this information as well with her.

Basically, I told her that we need to get together and talk.  And that all the things she thinking of, I bet I think of, too. 

And then I couldn't contain my thoughts (LOL) and blurted all this out:

While I'm no expert, I have played many more years than her, so I wanted to share with her how normal her uneasiness thoughts were, or her uncomfortableness was - how normal it really is, even for a player who is as seasoned as moi.

I shared:
  • first of all - look around - how hardly any other females - that shows you care and have guts to play against these guys
  • I am nervous (she looked at me funny).  Yep, I am, too.  It's normal, really.
  • I also shared that it's tough to play in front of large groups because for whatever reason, we think everyone is looking at us (or, are they?)
  • I expressed that it's tough to play when we are thinking about all these people around us
  • I also shared that when I play her, that *I* am nervous.
I was trying to give her some more confidence (which leads to mental toughness).  She has one hell of an 8-ball game and if she got some more confidence, she would do even better in her matches and in league (and maybe play in even more tourneys!).

I wanted to pump her up - make her see how good of a player that she prolly has no idea that she is!  All the while expressing that her internal concerns I have as well, and that she isn't alone.

I think that is a huge sense of relief to know you aren't the only one on the "stage" with "everyone" watching you, and that it's normal to have thoughts of doubt.  Or, at the least, thoughts that distract us from the game at hand.

She isn't alone. 

And once she realizes this, I hope it gives her more confidence (which I don't see why she doesn't already have!), then she will be an even TOUGHER force on the table (yikes, maybe I should stop giving her advice - JUST KIDDING!).  I love her game and her poise at the table.  One of the few good female players out there who also has great character.

I am honestly blessed to know her.