Whether it was the alignment of the planets at precisely 9:04pm last night or that blood sacrifice last week, but I finally did it… I FINALLY BROKE AND RAN A RACK OF 8-BALL!!
Here’s the weird thing. It was my first game of the night. I came in, unpacked my cues, broke, made 2 solids and proceeded to run the the rack. Smart patterns, minimal cue ball movement and 1 part of a beneficial roll later, I was on the 8. I was (and still am) pretty f’n excited about it!
I continued playing with the guy the entire night and it started off in my favor going up 5-1 then 6-2. Then… something happened. I dont know what, but it was tied at 6. Then tied at 7, then he got up on me 9-7, then it was tied at 9, then he got up again to 13-10. I had to call it a night just after midnight, since I did still have to get up at 6am, with a score of 14-13 him.
I’ve been replaying the set all morning and the thing that changed, I think, was that I stopped being light about it. On the table next to us was my league team captian and co-captain playing a race to 7 for $ and in the beginning we were all joking and talking and whatnot, and it was no big deal. Then when I got up on my opponent 5-1, they started commenting on our match and I started to think more about the game on our table, trying so hard to get out when there’s a slight opportunity. I realize now that I wasn’t playing smart. I was playing to always get out – which is just a stupid mistake. I handed my opponent 4 games by trying too hard to get out, get the break-out, take a risky shot, etc. and each time I scratched, fouled or just plain missed and left him perfect. When he missed, I was always hooked. He was definitely getting the rolls in the middle part of the set, but I’m becoming a much smarter player – but I forgot my head last night apparently. I finally decided to take a quick break, go wash my hands and just do a little reset. It worked, but I did it way too late. I took my break down 13-9 and won the next 2, lost 1 and won the following 2 to get it back to 14-13, but had to go (see above). We didn’t play for money and I’m kind of glad, only because I’m not sure how it would’ve worked out. In a race to 7, which is what is kinda standard there. I would’ve won the first set hill-hill, but he would’ve won the 2nd set 7-4. Which is brutal, considering the most recent 9-ball tournament we were both scheduled to play in, I would’ve had to give him 2 games on the wire in a race to 6. To be fair, he’s an 8-ball bar-box player, whereas I’m a 9-ball bigboy table player, but still. *shrug*
Oh well. Another game, another lesson. Sunday night I’m supposed to meet up with the co-captain and we’re gonna play as many games as we can fit into the time as sort of an all-day test for me. I don’t think there’ll be any action on it, at least, I hope not. On the other hand, I’ve watched this guy play really well the first set, then lose it the 2nd set and just not come back. Maybe if I can keep my calm longer than him (which based on my observations, I can) I can take advantage of the frustration. lol