Much to my team’s surprise, we made it through 3 days of playoffs and won our local team championship which earned us a spot in the APA National tournament in Las Vegas, NV!!
I’ve been on the fence about going to Vegas since I joined the APA just one year ago. I know that in St. Louis especially, our ratings are inflated. Perhaps not in any kind of purposeful way, but the SL6’s I’ve seen out of Illinois are as strong or stronger than the 7’s we play regularly. This has me quite concerned about me trip to Vegas… I’m an SL7 in 9-ball.
I have just about 7 weeks to bring my game to a level where I’m the favorite to run out from the break with an open table. I’m not sure how to go about this actually. Other than just spend time at the table and really nailing down position routes. Fine-tuning my aiming feel; solidifying my pre-shot routine, etc.
The biggest thing I need to work on is my mental game. I’m going to have to re-read the only 2 books I have that deal with this: Zen Pool and “Pleasure of Small Motions”.
I have no delusions about our chances out there however my only goal would be to make it past the 1st round on the winner’s side. Personally, I am hoping to partake in some of the min-mania tournaments that run 24 hours a day (so I’m told). But, again, as a 7; that’s going to be super, super tough. And I’m not exactly made of money these days so extra entertainment is going to be a hard-thought process. *sigh*
I’m both exhilirated and terrifed at the same time. I never thought I’d make it to Vegas; and certainly not within just a year of joining the APA. But, what’s even more exciting is that our lowest SL won the trip for us, not once, not twice, but THREE times during this championship playoff. Here she is making the last point to secure our victory in the finals Saturday evening. We didn’t tell her how many she needed, so when she made the ball, it was a total surprise to her. 🙂
The team we are going to Vegas with was her very first session in the APA. She spent some time as a SL1 but loves the game and eventually made it to a 2. In another few months, she’ll be a 3, I’m sure. Here’s the most entertaining part of this story: This was both her’s and mine first session with this team. We came in 2nd to last during the regular session in 9-ball, but won the wildcard spot. From there, we won the division playoffs and our spot in the Local Team Championship tournament.
Two weekends ago, we started the LTC and stayed on the winner’s side the entire time, not taking advantage of the modified single elim format. We even had to play one team twice as we had beat them the first round, then 2 rounds later after the modified singles were over they fought back to face us again for the right to head to the final 4. We again won the day. That team did end up winning their 8-ball bracket and will be going to Vegas for that; so I don’t bad about beating them twice at all.
And now, it’s starting to set in… I have to make a lot of arrangements with work and for my pets while I’m gone. I’ve never been to Vegas in any capacity. All I really wanna do is visit the TAR studio and the Bonus Ball arena; I don’t gamble at the casinos, but who knows what’ll happen out there. As long as no one wakes up missing a tooth or with animals of any sort in the room, I’ll call the trip a success.