I realize it’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been pretty busy between the day job, three leagues and housework/prep for Halloween (which I do take fairly seriously). A lot has happened in the last 2.5 weeks, where to begin?
In the APA league, I’m 4-0 in 8-ball so far. Which is quite strange, since it’s not my game. Last week, I (SL6) was paired up against an SL4; which means a 5-3 race. The entertaining thing about this is that I would’ve bet money my opponent was an SL3, so in my head, I thought I was playing a 5-2 race. Which would make sense, since she’s an SL3 in 9-ball. So, when I dogged my key-ball and left her an open table, after a few safeties and coaches from her team, I ended up losing the first rack. In my mind, I now needed 5 and her only 1. I focused as best as I could, while trying to keep a positive attitude about things. The next rack, she picked away at some balls but missed halfway through. I started my run and picked away the clusters and ran out. 🙂 I break dry, she does the same thing, and I again run out. Now I’m getting a good feeling of confidence. I break, make some balls, but the CB is locked up. We trade some safeties, but I win the battle and eventually get out. Now it’s 3-1 and the pattern repeats! I break, but there are clusters, she misses a shot or a safety (can’t remember right now) but I eventually get out, making it 4-1. While she’s racking I mention that “this one is for all the marbles” and she looks at me funny; but I didn’t register it. I commented to my teammate that it’s hill-hill and they corrected me, saying she still needs two! I was very happy to hear that. But, I had to force myself not to let up on the pressure. Even though I had a bit of breathing room, I couldn’t let myself get wild. The rack was played tight, several safeties – and I end up winning the match 5-1! I never win 5 games of 8-ball in a row. Never! I was really happy – and it put me in 1st place on the 8-ball Top Gun list.
My 9-ball match however, was not quite as fortunate. I (SL7) played an SL6, meaning a 55-46 race. I just couldn’t get going and the luck factor has been depleted earlier it seemed. I lost the match 47-46. I can’t trade points with a lower skill level, but that’s all I was able to do. *shrug* It’s still a long way before the end of the session; but if I had won that match I’d be in 1st or 2nd in 9-ball Top Gun list as well. As it is, I’m stuck in 11th place. But, with only 10 points between me and the leader and 9 weeks left of league, it’s entirely possible. 😉
Move on to my Friday league out of Cue & Cushion. I played pretty well this match. Here’s the first rack of the match; where once I got a makeable shot, I took it and ran out – but not without making it exciting. I overhit the 6 ball and get nearly frozen to the 7. Then I overhit the 7 and corner-hook myself on the 8. Thankfully, the 8 was just in front of the side pocket and the 2-rail kick was lit up like a roller coast in my eyes. I get down and shoot it expecting to make a good hit, hoping to make it. So when it drops into the pocket, I’m happy but not entirely suprised. 🙂 I do ask that I not have to make that shot again. I take an extra amount of time lining up the 9-ball because after that run, I had darn well better make it. So, I take some time, but too much, follow my pre-shot routine and slice the 9 into the corner. 🙂
You can see the entire match here.
Over the weekend, fellow blogger and all around great person, Gail Glazebrook posted a very interesting entry: Surrender to Your Fears. In it she talks about how people, in particular pool players, let fear decide their level of involvement. The best example is a player, like myself, not enterting tournaments because they don’t expect to do well. Personally, I expect to go 2 and out in any of the regional tournaments around here. Why? Because I know how I play, and I’m not consistent enough to do what I need to do when I need to do it. This fear of performing poorly stops me from entering tournaments – of any kind. It keeps me from finding games with other players, both of those things keep me from moving forward in my game. Which is ironic because if I were able to get some seasoning, I’d lose my fear; but fear is a tough little bastard and self-preservation is strong within … so it makes sure I don’t lose it by never picking a fight with it. I thanked Gail for making me call myself on that stuff.
The next Midwest 9-ball Tour stop is in a few weeks out at Shooters in Olathe, KS and if things go well around the house (nothing else breaks), I’m going to go. And I’m going to play in it. I went for the first time back in Feb and it was an absolute blast! I didn’t even care that I went 2 and out, it was my first time out there, my first time at this tournamet and I just picked up my new custom cue. I was hoping not to go 2 and out, but I pretty much expected it. You can read about my trip here.
I’m tired of dogging balls. I’m tired of not playing to my expected level – both by me and the others in the leagues. I can’t lie, I like the fact some of the players are scared to play, that they expect to lose if they draw me that week. Perhaps part of my problem is that I know that. It’s extra pressure to perform. In the APA there are only a handful of SL7’s, only one SL8 and SL9 that I can think of. I feel like I need to perform at some sort of superior level because I’m a 7. What I tend to forget is that being a 7 doesn’t mean running out every rack. It means making the best decisions at the right time. I need to keep this in mind over the next 2 months. I might even write a little note to myself and keep it in my pool case so I’ll be reminded before every match.