Friday was the 2nd week of league and I had the foresight to bring a change of clothes, some dinner and my cues to work with me so I could just hop on over to the pool hall after work, instead of driving all the way home then all the way back out there.
I get there and receive a new schedule. Tonight, I’ll be playing Mickey. Mickey is probably my favorite pool hall character up there. He’s an old black man, and he is a freaking riot! Got all the jokes, all of them dirty in some fashion. More phrases than thesaurus and is generally a nice guy to be around. He’s primarily a one pocket player but is having fun with this 9-ball league.
Our match began at 7, so at 6:30 I made my extra-strength protein shake (3 scoops, instead of 2, since it was being made with water instead of milk). I had it early enough so that I wouldn’t feel full or bloated during the match, but late enough so that my body wouldn’t finish processing it during the match (which can sometimes leave me feeling a little hungry, distracting). When I came back from the truck with a big plastic bottle holding a bag of brown powder, Mickey said that steriods were not allowed. I told him it was brown sugar, so I’d be really amped for the match.
We played even, so it was a simple race to 9, alternating break. I won the flip and broke and promptly sent the cue ball off the table. :/ We took some turns at the table before he left himself tough on the 9, missed it and left it for me to take the first game. Most of the match went like that. One of us would start of with 3 or 4 balls, then the other would finish it out. At one point, after a lengthy safety battle, I decided to be a little aggressive and sliced the 2 ball from just below the side pocket into the corner with the cue ball starting in front of the opposite side. Mickey then asked if I was mad at him. LOL
I got to the hill first, with Mickey only at 4. The next rack he missed the 6, and I sank the 6, 7 and 8, but drew the CB into the side pocket. He thanked me for having a heart. The next rack, I was on my way out but missed the 6. He ran the last 4. It was my break in the next rack and I just happened to hit a really nice break. The only break of the night where either one of made 2 balls. I kept the CB on the table and ended up with shape on the 1. The table was wide open. The 9 got jostled a little and Mickey pleased “Oh, not like that!” then looked at the table “Eh, doesn’t matter, you’re gonna run out on me anyway.” Which is just hilarious since neither of have ran more than 5 balls all night.
So, I started with the 1. Hit it easy, as I tend to overrun position with this shot. Turns out, I got damn near perfect on the 4. Punched the 4, but came a little short on the 5. Took a risk flirting with the corner pocket, but thinned the 5 and sent the CB 2 rails in/out of the corner to get on the 6, narrowly. Followed down off the 6 and found myself under the 7, but still a good shot. Same as the 1, actually. I managed to get back up table for the 8 nearly straight in. Stunned that in and was looking at a pretty straight shot on the 9. I forget what Mickey said, but it was then I realized I was about to sink the 9 in the hill with my first break and run out in over 5 months. I was immediately flushed with excitement. To the point where I started laughing while down on the shot. I bent my knees and laughed, stood up and said “I’m not doing this again.” (referring to a previous rack when I ran 5 balls, thin-sliced the 8 to get nearly straight on the 9, but dogged it) I refocused and got down on the shot again and drilled it.
I *finally* broke, made a ball, and ran out!!! AND in a league match!! AND on the 9-foot tables. AND with my stock shaft, I might add. I was ecstatic, but tried to keep it under control as to not seem like I’m rubbing it in Mickey’s face that I won. I’m happy I won, but that was far overshadowed by my break’n’run!
Here’s the layout as best I can remember: (click the little arrows in the bottom right to progress through the pages/shots)
After the match, someone said “There’s a tornado at the airport.” The airport is just about 10 mins drive from this pool hall. Yet, we heard no sirens, were told of no sirens or unusually bad weather. I went out to smoke after the match and it had rained, but wasn’t any more. Turns out, we got hit with a huge tornado that destroyed dozens of homes and tore into the airport itself.