3-Man Tournament Review

This weekend I played in the annual 3-man tournament. Normally this is an APA sponsored event, but due to outside circumstances they were not involved in this one. The only difference was the prize money was significantly diminished. The rules of the 3-man is each team fields at most 3 players per round. Each round is won when one team wins 2 matches. Each match is detemined by traditional APA score/races. The combined skill level limit is 15 per round. My team consisted of 2 teammates: Chris and Dennis, SL5 and SL4 respectively (in 8-ball). So, our team had the max limit with my being an SL6.

We played our first match Friday evening, against team also stacked with a 4, 5 and 6. We play our 5 first, they match it with their 5. It was a 4-4 race and we quickly got up 2-1 in the score. Unfortunately, that's as far as we got and they took the first match 4-2. Then it was my turn. I fulled expected to play their 6, but no, they put up their (very strong) 4 against me (a 6). So, the race is 5-3. I blew the first one, then got the next 2, making the score 2-1. Something happened and I self-desctructed, losing the next 2 games. So, I lose 2-3, our team loses the first round. I was seriously furious both with my play and the fact they low-balled me in the matchups. I get it's a strategy that exists, but you just don't expect to have to deal with it in such a friendly league environment. But, whatever; it happened.

We return early Saturday morning at 11 to start the 2nd round. We pull another 4,5,6 team and each of our 4's start the day. We win the first match and our 5 is up next, they put their 6 on him. We got some rolls and end up winning that match 4-3 (in a 4-5 race). So we win the 2nd round.

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Filed Under: Tournaments

Finding Focus - The Easy Way

The other day I mentioned having trouble with holding focus during a match. I might have found a way, but I'm not sure I should happy with it. First, a little backstory.

I've been playing the same person on Fridays for a little piece of change over races 7 for a few months now. In the beginning I was up, but then we got even and then I found myself down by a bit. After last Friday's matchup I joked about how we should just place a race to 21 for the amount I was down (lifetime total). She agreed. So we set to play the next day. We ended up cutting the race down (and the cash) to preserve time, race to 13 for half. We got started late and neither of us were playing well, so actually couldn't finish the set. We were kicked out with a score 12-11, with her on the hill. Next week comes and since we couldn't really decide what to do since neither of us wanted to play 1 or 2 racks for the dough, we decided to play a race to 9 for the same amount.

It's important to note that just 30 mins prior I had lost my normal Friday league match pretty heavily; after being up 4-0 on my opponent, I lost 6-9. I wasn't feeling terribly confident, but I couldn't back down now. I had already made plans for us to settle this tonight. So we get started and I get the first game, then either she is totally not there or I'm just getting every roll there is (not slopping balls in, but just good bumps) and somehow find myself up 6-1 rather quickly. I end up winning the first set 9-2. After a little break, we decide to play a second set. After all, the worst I could is break even at this point; but I would LOVE to get even in 2 sets (considering it took me 6 sets to lose it).

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Filed Under: 10-Ball · Training

League Frustration and Getting Lucky

Last week was a rollercoaster of a week - as far as pool goes. Tuesday I return to Affton Billiards for a bit of practice. I play reasonably well; nothing outstanding, but I feel like "me". Wednesday's league arrives and I hit some balls to warm up and feel like I'm doing decently. I draw who the one player I have never beat; never even close. We are the same skill level on paper; but he's gotten into my head. Probably because the first time we played, it was masters and he smoked me 7-0, missing only 2 balls the entire time, I think? Regardless, for whatever reason, he's got my number. A few months back, he had a broken hand and I still couldn't beat him. I had him close to the ropes for a while - then I started making mental mistakes and he stopped making shot errors. End of story.

Anyway, I draw him to play 8-ball. I'm not sure we've ever played 8-ball before. He gets the first rack, I get the second, then that's it. Not because he broke and ran out the rest of the racks ... but because for whatever reason, my game just wasn't there. He's miss late in the rack, leave me a few balls to get out and I couldn't do it. A few shots I missed (or position) were absolutely due to the conditions - but still I should know better than that. But, when you're struggling the last thing you want to worry about is "how much *cling* are these filty balls gonna have today?". Or, with ball in-hand, I play the 1 ball that's frozen near the side pocket down the rail and it hugs the rail the whole way - until it gets to the 1st diamond then rolls out of the pocket path. I had to hit is soft to keep position for my next ball. If I can't rely on the equipment to at least be something close to reasonable, why should I even bother playing on it at all?

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Filed Under: 8-Ball · 9-Ball · League

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