I’ve loaded up the ‘New Entry’ screen 5 times in the last 2 days, and yet I’ve posted nothing.  The reason for that is because a) I have fleeting ideas/thoughts I’d like to share and b) I’m quitting smoking and with that comes, err: goes, any ability to concentrate.  So, this is something of a PSA for the next few weeks.  If my posts are random and seem to wander virtually aimless and lackadasical… it’s because my brain has entered a near pure random thought processing pattern.  I miss pudding. How could Cary Grant have never won an Oscar?

With that… here’s a short recap of the out of town tournament from last weekend: I get ranked a C+ as an unknown from ‘the big city’ (normal unknowns are C).  I draw another C+, we play race to 5. He hands me the first 2 games by dogging the 9.  I try a risky carom from the 4 to the 9, miss, he bangs the 9 in off some other ball.  He breaks, makes a ball, runs to the 4, which is front of the 6 which is front of the 9 which is about a diamond away from the pocket and not dead… he fires at it, stuff goes everywhere, the 9 drops somewhere else. Snaps the 9 on the next break (my bad, i thought the rack was tight in the end, guess not). Now it’s 3-2.  I can’t remember the rest, but I lose 5-3 thanks to a 2-5-9 combo in the last rack.  It wasn’t dead either. oh well.  I wait an hour or 2 for my next match, another C+.  After being so frustrated with the last match, I was taken out of my game for a while, and found myself down 4-1 in this match.  I admit, I was pissed, I got to the table, hit some balls and the next thing I knew, it was 4-2. I broke made a ball, sunk the 1, came up short on the 2, made an excellent cut on the 2 to send it into the 9 (it was the only offensive shot I shot). Now it’s 4-3.  I broke dry, he ran a few, left me long on the 6, I got out. 4-4.  I broke made a ball, no shot, pushed out, he took it, missed, I made the 1 and next ball – then played a safe, which gave me ball in hand. I run to the 9 – came up really short on the had to make a paper-thin cut on the 9 for the win.  I waited for about 30 mins for the next match, and it figures, I play the only really cute girl in the tournament.  She’s a C-, so she gets the 8 and the breaks – and she can’t break, at all.  Oh well.  She’s nice and friendly and talking and I’m trying to not be rude, but also trying to win, so my answers are very short, mostly “thanks”, “yep”, “sorry”, “ouch”. I don’t remember the details of the matches, but I win 5-3.  Now, I have to play Andy – my 8-ball teammate.  He’s a B-, so I get the 8.  After the first rack of “wow, this is kinda weird”, we finally agreed that we can be friendly in the car on the way home, but right now, we have to be enemies.  He played great, which included a break and run.  I, on the other hand, didn’t do as hot. I scratched on the 6 once trying to not overplay position, rattled a 7 the next rack trying to get better than provided position… it was ugly. He fluked the 9 on a hit-too-hard safety, but the killer was a fortunate bump from the 5-ball off the break to send the 9 up-table into the corner for the win.  I lost 5-3.

I will say that was the best-ran tournament I’ve seen personally (which isn’t many).  They used red-circle cue balls and the bar tables were, for the most part, in really good shape. For anyone that’s local, it’s The Billiard Center. (website is horrible – half of it is default latin “sample text” designers use)

I’ve been wanting to play a lot of One Pocket lately – maybe because I’m failing at 9-ball, or maybe because it’s something new and I feel sorta confident with it.  Whatever it is, I hung myself Monday night asking to play my 8-ball league captain some cheap 1p.  He’s just learning, as am I, but he’s a much better shot maker, so I asked for 10-6.  I won the first rack, he won the next 4, I won one, he won one.  Then it was time for him to go. It was his usual leaving time, so nothing special there.  I’ve been trying to figure out how I lost so badly.  I won the first rack 6-1, then I lost 10-1, 10-0, 10-3, 10-5.  Aside from having a near-shouting match with some young and pointless kid about the difference between addictions and choices, I couldn’t see the table. I mean, I couldn’t get – and keep – my head in the game because I was so damn annoyed with that frickin’ kid and his idiotic opinions.  We finally got the argument stopped and now I focus on the game, but my pool focus was gone. At one point, I went to the restroom and washed my hands, cracked my back, splashed my face and said “okay, let’s play some pool”.  I come out, it’s my break – it wasn’t bad, but i left him a tight-track bank.  He makes it, then runs 6 more before locking me up.  Well, i was all excited about ‘starting over’ and that’s tough when your opponent runs 7 out of the gate.  I tried breathing, deep breaths, and not talking to myself, but not having cigarettes around made it a bit more difficult.  In a fit of frustration i strangled my cue on the forearm and my ring dented it a bit. 🙁 The rest of the night I played this old guy Joe, and man he can shoot.  Actually, he’s blind as all hell, but he can put that CB anywhere he wants – and that’s what he did.  He wasn’t trying to make shots, he was trying to make sure I didn’t have a shot.  Only when I left him with a perfect and easy pattern, did he actually fire at his hole – and then he was out, or almost.  I have to focus more on getting the CB ON, not near, ON the rail or IN the stack, not near, IN.  I’m good with getting the CB near the rail within an inch or 2 and on his side… but when I miss a shot, he runs 3-5 before he has to play safe again. Oh well.

Lastly… I was reading on AZBForums about a weekly ring game setup… and I want to do this.  I think it’d be great for the pool hall and for the other players around.  Something simple like $1 or $2 to buy in and draw the rotation randomly.  If some of the A players want in, they gotta chip in more, or their money ball is only the out ball.  It would be 10-ball only, no slop, no ball in hand, scratch is in the kitchen, OB spots if in the kitchen.  I’m going to talk to some people about this tonight, I hope.