With all my leagues starting up next week, the last 2 weeks were something of a small break and gave me time to get some practice in.  I talked earlier about how I had a long-since break’n’run the other week.  I’ve had a couple more since then and it feels good to get out when I see the pattern.  Even if I don’t break and run out, if my opponent leaves me with an open table, there’s a really good chance I’m getting out.  With less than 7 balls, it’s about 96% that I get out, 7 balls drops to about 60% 8 or more is unfortunately around 40%.  The reason is, as always, getting out of line; forcing me to try and get back in line, taking tougher and tougher shots; and with each one the probabilities drop against me.

Wednesday, I went to practice bar-table 9-ball with a new league/team mate (she’s a 2).  I played as if I were an 8, meaning the score line is 65-19.  We played 2 sets, and I won both.  She got to 11 one set and 15 the other.  The strange thing was that while I was worried about the huge weight, I didn’t feel overly concerned about it.  It’s not like when I played the 4 (when I was a 7).  Those levels are real dangerous, as they’re very likely to run 4-6 balls at a time.  But a 2 or 3… it’s not too common.  Which meant I had a lot more chances at the table, and if I messed up early in the rack, there was a pretty good chance I was getting back to the table, and when I did – I ran out.  I don’t think more than a few racks were more than one inning.  If I had played a 6, 7 or another 8 though… I don’t know how I would’ve come out.  It’s always close when I play those guys.  But, that’s fine with me. 🙂 I like a good match – as long as I get outplayed – as opposed to me dogging it – I don’t even mind losing so much.

I’ve been training the new player, Reza, for a few weeks now and it’s nice to see the little improvements.  It’s even more refreshing to see that look of total glee when a shot she has zero confidence about drops in the hole just as I described it.  It’s been a long, long time since I felt that way about a shot, so when that happens, I get to live a little vicariously.  Reminds me that the game should be fun and inspiring – not just about fighting the dogs and trying to outshoot the o.k.coral.

I’m only a few matches away from being able to play Singles boards in the APA; so when that happens, I’ll be looking to play in the tournaments held throughout the week.  Which was the primary reason for joining the APA anyway.  If I win some of those, I qualify for regionals or some such thing.  And because I finished 2nd in the Top Gun race for 9-ball I’m automatically qualified for the Top Gun tournament … though I have no idea when or where that will be held. *shrug* Guess I’ll keep my ears open.