Our team finished 2nd to last in the 9-ball division this session, but we pulled the wildcard spot for the playoffs. Last week we won the first round which put us into the finals this week. This week, we played the 1st place team for the title.

We won 2 of the 3 first matches then it was my turn to go up, which surprised me as I hadn’t played last week. But, I’m glad I got there early to practice on the barbox as it gave me the confidence I needed. During practice, I broke and ran out once and again later after taking ball in hand after the break as I was hooked to start. But, still, I was playing really well overall. For example, during my legitimate break and run, I found myself staring at this table:

I looked at this earlier in the rack and tried to break it up from the 3 ball, but missed the clip. So, I decided to see what I could do with it. Then I saw it… the 8 will bank up-table, if the 5 gets out of the way of course. It was laying just perfect, so I fired it and I watched with glee as the 8-ball dropped into the pocket and I had shape on the 5 to continue my run!

But, on to the real match a few hours later. I got put against their super strong 5 (I’m a 7), so it was a 55-38 race. I knew it would be tough, but I just wanted to play. I lost the lag and he made 2 balls on the break but scratches. With ball in hand and an open table, I run out. Not just run out though, I’m playing really well, getting excellent shapes and giving myself every chance to stay in line. I break the next rack, make 3 balls, and have a shot at the 1. The table is wide open, and instead of thinking “I should be out here” I say to myself “I’m going to get a break and run here”, then I do it! I get a break and run. I break and make 2 balls, but scratch – my break cue-ball control was a bit off this night. He runs a few, then misses an easy shot worrying about position – I run out. I break, make 3 balls, and park the cueball dead center. The 5/6 are tied up so I know there’s no way to run out, so I run to the 5 and play safe (which didn’t work). But, so he gets a few, but then misses the 7, I think and I get out. Again, I break, make some balls and see an open table. I do overrun shape on the 3 and have to play a tough position to the 5 (the 4 went on the break). I get shape, but getting tot he 6 isn’t a piece of cake, so I play a safe and hide the 5. He kicks and leaves me out. After I make the 7 ball, their teams says “That’s it.” and I’m very confused as I know I’m nowhere near 55 (somewhere in the 30’s). Then they explain to me that because of my score, I only needed to get to 38 points in order to secure a final score that seals the deal for our team! The final score of my match: 38-7!! It’s a skunk!

And with that, we become the 9-ball division champions for our night. Which means that in June/July, we will compete in the city-wide tournament; the winners of that go to Las Vegas!!