So, the tournament was yesterday and I have to say that entire day couldn’t have gone much worse. First off, I slept poorly and not nearly long enough. I had to get up 2 hours earlier than usual, but that was only a problem because I slept so bad. I got to work nice and early though, did some internet stuff then left for lunch. I stopped by to hang out with MX for lunch then went to the pool hall around 2pm – the tournament was at 7:30. I know my cycles enough to know that I going to start hot, get really cold – then really angry – then finally nice and calm. How long this takes is entirely variant, but I wanted to make sure I gave myself plenty of time to work through these.  The afternoon started with me playing Morris as soon as I got there; which was fine I suppose.  But man, I was off. Really off, nearly from the get go.  I only ran more than 2 balls a few times, which is just ridiculous – most of the time I was still getting position, but I just couldn’t ever seem to make the first shot.  oh well.  At 6, he left and I had a protein bar and sat and waited.  I thought about continuing to shoot, but I also knew that I was getting tired, so I decided to wait it out.  I’m still sure that was the good choice. 

Anyway, the tournament begins and I draw player number 13.  At first I thought it was going to be a good omen (given my affinity for friday 13ths).  My first round was against Juliana – a 6.  I was a 4.  We flipped a coin (instead of lagging, my choice) for the first break and I won.  I broke, made a ball, but left myself a long back-cut bank on the 1B – a shot I make probably 85% of the time – but not this time.  She ran to the 6 and rattled it in the jaws.  I ran the last of the balls – which included making a tight bank on the 9B.  I broke again and didn’t get anything.  She made the 1B and then played safe on the 2B.  We had a bit a safety battle for about 2 or 3 shots till I left her a window and she ran to the 7, then played safe again. It wasn’t the greatest safe because the 7 was right in front of the side pocket, but the CB was hidden behind the 9B downtable. My options were to jump or kick.  Since I hadn’t made a successful jump all day, I decided to kick.  I missed the ball entirely.  It doesn’t matter that I was really close, the fact is I fouled.  She ran the rest.  The 3rd rack she broke and didn’t make anything, but I, again, didn’t have anything but a long rail bank.  I thought, surely I’ll make it this time… nope.  She ran 5 balls and left me safe, a good safe. I kicked, scratched.  She ran out.  The 4th rack was pretty similar, she broke made the 1 and 2, but missed the 3 leaving it a half-diamond on the long rail, however, again, leaving me hooked behind the 5B (position on the 4 though) near the opposite side pocket.  Here I actually made a great masse shot and got around the 5 and the CB caught at just the right time and curved right into the 3 nudging it just enough to pocket it in the corner.  I thought THIS was the shot that was going to bring me back into the game. I make the 4, but the 5 hangs in the jaws.  She runs out. The next rack, somewhere along the lines I missed a kick entirely again and in my frustration I tapped the CB with my stick while it was still rollling (though in no danger of hitting another ball – it was still a really bad move).  She somewhat condescendingly reminded me that that was entirely not allowed – which I knew, but was just too damn frustrated to care.  It was embarrassing though, and it was just one more thing.  Oh, the rack before then, when she won her 3rd game, we noticed that there were 2 chips on my wire – there should’ve only been 1 though.  She asked me about it and I said I only moved one, then she asked how I thought that could’ve happened. I said I have no idea, I’m pretty sure I cleared off the wire and I’m pretty sure I only moved one.  She said she didn’t remember me winning a 2nd game, and I agreed and said that I have not.  So we fixed that without any issue.  That was embarrassing as well.  All of that coupled with my poor playing really threw me off.  Anyway, during the 6th game, she somehow missed the 9 and left me damn near straight in.  I jumped up to the table and looked at it.  I got down and then realized I was too excited, so I stood up, took a deep breath and looked at it again.  I got down, shot it and because the CB ever touched the 9B, I felt my arm swing and I knew I had missed it.  Jesus f’n christ how did I do that?  2 racks later, I think, she again missed a tough cut on the 9 but left the CB and 9B frozen in a weird angle near the first diamond, pointing into the 1/2diamong area on the long rail.  I thought it would maybe cross-corner, so I hit it pretty good, the 9B moved to the 1st diamond on the short rail and the cue went zipping into the upper corner pocket.  It’s now 5-1 and she’s breaking again.  She runs to the 4 and misses, but it doesn’t matter cuz I miss it, and she gets out.  That’s all she wrote. 

Overall, it was terrible.  All I wanted to do was play well, but I barely got any time on the table.  I HATE winner-breaks tournaments for that reason.  Whenever I did get there, I’m basically coming in cold and totally out of stroke – and I’m almost always left with a really difficult shot.  Alternating breaks would at least give each player a fair chance at staying at the table. 

I played like a 2 and today I’m feeling beaten down about it.  I feel like Kevin Costner in Tin Cup after she shoots an 83 on the first day of the Open tournament.  Don Johnson asks him how he shot an 83 and he Kevin says “i missed an 3 foot putt for an 82.” I missed a near straight in shot on the 9 for at least a 6-2 score.

On the table next to us was this older man, who was a 4, playing this real hoosier of a guy, ranked 2.  He barely knew any of the rules of 9-ball, and at one time asked if jumping was legal, and as we said yes he got down and scooped the CB into the air before we could even stop him.  Afterwards we said that was an illegal shot, you have to hit down on the CB to jump it.  He didn’t quite understand how that works; which is fine – it’s a weird concept at first.  He ended winning 2 games and the older gentle was noticeably annoyed.  I know that Julianna was set to play him (Melvin) next.  Btw, Melvin had his wife (who’s name I didn’t get) and his son, Bubba, (seriously) with him.

Back to my game – I could come with up a number of excuses – lack of sleep, lack of practice, we played on the old one-pocket table, which I never play on… ever, was too nervous, nervous about playing a girl, nervous about playing a 6, nervous about playing someone that remembered me from 2003/4 when I used to go to chesterfield billiards, just plain nerves.  But the bottom line is, I played horribly – and no matter what the excuse, there’s no excuse for missing some of the shots I missed.  There just isn’t.  I should be able to make some of those while so drunk I’m seeing triple.

I didn’t even bring my stick today.  I’m going to take today off – it’ll be tough because I really want to get back on the table, but I’m feeling pretty down still.  Even though I got a good night’s sleep (finally it seems) last night, I’m just not up for shooting poorly again.

There’s another tournament at the end of the month, it’s much larger than this one – but it’s on bar boxes – and it’s quarters.  XY is determined to play in it – she gets in free.  I would have to pay $10.  I might do it. Not sure yet.  There’s also a Banks tournament at C&C coming up, $20 fee/$5 greens and it’s double-elimination.  I might do that one, we’ll see.  I do love banking balls.  It’s not handicapped though – race to 3 on the winner’s and 2 on the loser’s sides.