Friday was the first night of the new league session. 10 players, but some new faces this time. As it turns out, my first round opponent was Jim Buss. We had met previously and it was a tough match, but I came out on top of that one. This time, he meant business. I lost the flip, he breaks, makes 3 balls and runs out like it wasn’t even a chore. And that’s how he played the rest of the match. I hadn’t really been playing much lately, but was kind of relying on my muscle memory to get me through. It did alright, but I was having some small alignment issues. I’d line up, get down and shoot and I’d miss by half an inch – almost every single time I had to be really accurate with the shot. As such, I struggled pretty badly, winning only 2 games. Jim only missed about 3 balls the whole match and won handily 9-4 (I was getting 2 on the wire). As the match went on, I got more and more furstrated with myself; which of course is an immediate recipe for total disaster. I won a game to make it 3-2… then I didn’t win a game until he was on the hill, which made it 8-4. Of course, he ran out the last rack. He played really well, can’t fault him at all for that, can’t get upset about it. I played bad, I know it, I knew it and couldn’t fight through it. If you’re curious to see how Jim played, (while also putting up with my terrible play, bad self-talk and some angry comments), I recorded it for my review, which you can see here.
As this was going on, the St. Louis Cardinals were winning the World Series, so the room was all a-buzz with that nonsense. After my crushing defeat, I stayed there and played some by myself, to see if I could correct the mistakes I was making. I feel like I’m finding my stroke again, after taking 3 months off, it’s not as easy as I had expected. :/
Next week I play a new league member, but also one of my practice partners. Thursday, we played some races to 9 just to get warmed up, he won 2 sets, I won one. And look at this consistency: The first set, I was up 5-1 on him, and then fell apart, started missing the 7 or 8 ball, which let him win 9-6. The 2nd set, was even worse, he won 9-1. The 3rd set, I finally started to gather myself, and I think he started missing the late in the rack as well, so I took that one 9-3. But those scores are all over the place. Not the type of consistency required to stay at the top section of the leaderboards. :/
I’m gonna have some work to do this session. I must find a way to get more table-time in; which would be simple – if 3 of my favorite videogame franchises weren’t all releasing new titles in November. :/ Guess I have a decision to make. And it’s an easy decision – if I do well in the league – I get cash. If I do well at the video game, I feel like I didn’t waste cash. So… games are gonna have to wait quite some time. I need table-time.