Yesterday morning I received a txt from the organizer of the 9-ball league forming up at Cue & Cushion saying that I was in and we were starting THIS Friday!! WHOA! That’s really soon! So, I opted to skip the bar-box tourny and instead go hit the big tables and practice some 9-ball.
I went to Sportscenter because I knew it’d be dead (how sad is that?) and I’d get some good alone time at the table. Well, I was right. It was just me and the employer for the first few hours. As such we were talking about what I’m trying to do and he was commenting on my patterns and whatnot. He’s and old-school road player, so I know he knows what he’s talking about. He has always been kind and generous is offering simple and basic tips – but those are really the ones that are the most important.
At one point, I was working my way through a rack and got a little straighter on the 7. He said “just high left, 2 rails and out”, I saw that but was worried about hitting the 9 which was along the side rail, he said I shouldn’t hit it, but would have bet money on it. So, I hit it, and sure enough I hit the 9 on the way out. So, he set it up and shot it with my stick and the cb damn near died after contact. He set it up again, same result. He was essentially hitting the cue ball like a stop shot, with a ton of inside english. The CB spun forever, but had no forward roll on it. So then he took out his original Meucci, and shot it… the CB did exactly what it was supposed to do. He is not a fan of aftermarket shafts, not predators, not *anything* (old school, remember), so of course he couldn’t handle the zero-deflection of my OB Classic Pro with Kamuii super-soft tip.
After a few more of those types of situations, he handed me his cue and said I should try it. I tossed out the 9 balls on the table and ran out. what-what?… tossed out 9 and ran out! what – what what? tossed out 9, and over-stroked every shot, inside english over-use. power-draw to the side rail, inside to go forward 2 or 3 more. I shot 30 balls or so and missed 2.
Now I was really confused. So, just to see, I brought out my original stock shaft for my Lucasi with the Kamuii Black Soft tip on it. Damn near the same thing! It was really… really bizarre. I was slicing balls in that I haven’t made since the first week I had the OB shaft. In fact, that was one of my biggest “OMG” moments was when I was cut this in.
But as I telling Joe about how good I was cutting balls with that OB shaft, I sliced that shot in, first try. Clean, never touched the cloth. He just laughed. I continued to shoot shots, make balls, and get position that I had been overunning for months with my OB shaft.
I’m still not sure if I’m happy or sad about this. I mean, I’m ecstatic that I shot so well and how comfortable it felt; but at the same time, I am a little disappointed in what happened to my game while using the OB shaft. Now, *maybe*, it’s a comfort thing. I shot well with the stock shaft for nearly a year before going to the OB… so my body is used to it? Or maybe because there’s still a glitch in my stroke, the OB is enhancing that glitch, whereas the stock shaft is more forgiving?
Regardless, I’m going to play this entire week with the stock and shaft then re-evaluate how things are going. Below are some of the shots I was shooting, most of which I have not been able to do with my OB for some reason – especially the big draw shots for some reason.
This one was weird, I haven’t been able to really draw the ball too well the last month or 2, so when I got too straight in on the 7, I decided to draw back for the 8. Being that the 7 was 5 feet away, I figured I had to hit this pretty good. Turns out, I hit way too good and over-drew the ball 3 feet!