Tuesday’s league was pretty good, considering. We played at this hole in the wall bar with one of the filthiest tables I’ve ever seen. However, it played pretty good – really fast though. I won my first 2 matches pretty solidly, although I got way out of line on the 8. I still I shot the right shot, but the kill english didn’t take and sent the cb nearly into the side pocket forcing me to shoot a pretty tough cut to the corner. However, my 3rd game was a bundle of disasters. I get BIH with 5 balls on the table, see a pretty easy pattern and start going to work. However, after my first shot I left the CB on the rail – not usually a problem except there’s a wall behind me with a giant Budweiser mirror right where my cue needs to go.  I’m forced to play a safe.  I play it fairly well, but left him the edge of one of his balls up-table.  He tries … something, doesn’t make it and leaves me with fairly decent position to run out.  Still thinking of my previous plan, I start back where I left off, except that I didn’t completely re-evaluate the new table layout; after his wild hit, he repositioned one of his balls so that it just barely blocks the pocket for the 8.  Well, now with 2 balls on the table, both essentially in the jaws on the opposite side of the table from the 8, I can’t see a way to get back over for the 8 in the corner.  I walk around and around and around the table, but having already used both my coaches early on to break up some clusters, I was left to my own devices.  I took way too long before I decided what I wanted to do – then of course over-hit the ball and blew position for the last ball.  I tried to skim it into the side, and it went, but the outside draw never took and the CB went straight into the corner pocket.  My opponent, ranked 1 higher than me, ran out his 2 balls and the 8, as he should.

It was a pretty brutal match, one that I dwelled on for hours afterwards, even into the next day.  I really want to set it up again and see what else I could do, but I have to let it go for now.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I have a challenge match with another local guy who’s someone that’s probably a ball better than me. However, he hasn’t been playing much pool lately and it’s been 3 months since we’ve played together, even for fun.  Back when he was there all the time we’d play for fun quite frequently, and he’d get out on me more times than not; but he would make a lot of similar mistakes that I would, so it sorta evened out in the end.  I’ve been looking for him to return for some time since I feel like I’m improved a bit and I think we are about even; although he has been playing longer, so I have to give the edge to him overall. 

We’re playing another overall match, meaning, races to 7 in both 8-ball and 9-ball (call-9), then a race to 3 in one-pocket.  The funny thing is last Monday when we put this together, we were kinda barking back and forth and bit and he thought that I would have the edge in 9-ball, but he felt fairly confident about the 8-ball, and really confident about the 1p.  I replied saying actually, I feel really confident in the 1p but only a little for the 9-ball.  8-ball is his main game, so I’m not feeling exceptionally confident about that.  My only confidence across all the games is simply the fact that I’ve been playing solidly the last 3 months whereas he hasn’t.  I’m hoping to record most if not all of the match, but we’ll see how the evening goes.

I haven’t hit a ball since Tuesday and will be going to my practice place tonight just to get losened up basically, run some drills, go over my pre-shot routine, etc.  I really, really want to use my measel ball, but I’m not sure he’ll allow it.  I’m going to try it though.  I can’t blame him if he doesn’t want to use it, he’s only ever played with it when I have it with me, so it’s almost like an advantage for me; but we’ll see.  It’s going to be tough, and I’ll need to maintain my focus all night, but I also think it will be fun and hopefully an exciting evening of some pretty decent pool.