Friday was league, as usual, and while I won the match pretty heavily (9-2), I still haven’t ran out since the 2nd week.  Even when I should.  It’s really starting to bother me.  It’s not that I’m letting up on the rack when I see that I should be out. I’m left with some fairly simple outs after fighting through the tough parts, and I know that my “big risks” are over.  Then I always jar up the next ball, or the one after that.  My best guess as to why is that I focus too much on staying in line.  Trying too hard to not blow this easy out.  Nevermind that I (probably) haven’t been “in line” the entire rack and have realied on some risky shot making to continue through the rack.  *sigh*  I’m going to have to really work on this mental speedbump that’s keeping me from getting out when I should.  

This past week, I played another B player, we played even obviously.  He really was not hitting them well though, if I missed the 9- he’d miss the 9 and leave it hanging.  If I missed the 7, he’d miss the 8.  It was… hard to watch because I know he’s a decent shot.  However, this was something of a good test for me.  Even though I wasn’t running out when I should, I still tried to “keep the screws on him”. I played more safeties than I usually do, when I actually stopped to do some risk assessment.  About halfway through the match, when I was up 4-0, I felt myself getting lose, starting to shoot at anything and he got a game because of it.  I knew I had “some padding” in the score so if he got one or 2, that would be fine, I was still up.  But, that kind of thinking is what loses matches.  I needed to protect my lead, not back off because I was ahead.  I was able to get my head back in the game after that game and I gave him no easy games.  I still “miss good” though so even when I blew a shot, he wasn’t always rewarded with an easy follow-up shot.  By the end of the match, I still playing hard and even though he had all but resigned the game, that didn’t stop me from holding onto that “protect the lead, win the game” mentality.  Kiss of Death member Gail Glazebrook would call this “Killing the Bunny”; and I’ve never quite been able to recognize it in my own play – while playing – before.  

My “Super Shot of the Match” had to be this shot late in the game when he missed the 1 ball and I came up short on the 2 ball.  I figured this was something of a free shot at the 2 – with a built-in safety if I missed it.  After I shot it, I said “Don’t ask me to do it again. {laughed out loud}”


Unfortunately, this is another one of those racks where I fought through the hard parts, then blew the easy layout.  I made the 2, the 3, 4 and the 5, but I hung the 6 trying to stay on the “right” side of the 7.  Nevermind I could make the 7 and 8 from anywhere in the center of the table, I was determined to play all of the 6, 7 and 8 each with 1-rail position back to the center of the table.  Well, not on the 8, but the position to the 8 to get mostly straight on the 8 to float down for the 9.  Oh well.  I think he missed the 7 because he had to something tricky to make the 6 around the 8 and came up with a long off-angle shot on the 7.  He hung it, and I ran out from there.

The next 3 weeks, I play all lower-rated players, so I’m giving games on the wire.  I will have to continue to play hard and smart to outrun the spots.  One of them is a real dangerous shooter, the youngster named Jacob.  He’s a pretty good shotmaker, but he’s careless most of the time.  But he will fire at the 9 all day long, and the kid’s got a stroke that makes hime all that more dangerous, he has no problem getting around the table… except he can’t control it very accurately yet.

I’m still tied for 1st with Nikki – and she ran over Jim Buss last week.  That’s a little scary, I had Jim winning that match, based on how we played.  My only remaining hope is that Arthur will reach 9 before she does.  He’s the only other A player left for her to play, but he’s not been shooting that well lately, so… maybe she’s just destined to take it. lol  If we both win all of our matches, she will take first, because it’s decided then by who won our head-to-head match.  I’d be very happy with 2nd place, considering it’s my first league session and all. haha  But, if the same people are in the next session, I can see C&C raising my rating.  And honestly, if I’m a “B” player, then the other B players (aside from Nikki) should be “C” players from what I’ve seen.  I thought a B player was supposed to be a run-out player.  Not everytime, but with an open table, they’re supposed to get out something like 90% of the time.  I guess we’ll see what happens, and regardless, I won’t mind and it won’t stop me from playing.  This is too much fun. 🙂