Tournaments and Leagues Update

The 8-Ball doubles "Captain's Tournament" went pretty well.  We started off well, played a couple of great matches, but eventually stumbled one too many times, and lost the match would've put us in the money.  It was a good time overall and it was by far the best ran APA sponsored tournament I've been to yet. No table was left empty for more than a couple minutes and they moved the 32 teams through the brackets swimmingly.  Afterwards, I had some drinks, then got propositioned to play a guy a race to 7, giving him the 8 ball on someone else's dime.  His "backer" was being quite a nag most of the day, so I took the game, despite having already started drinking.  I took the match 7-5. :)

The following Monday was the "End of Session" pizza party and prize handouts for the in-house 9-Ball league at Cue & Cushion.  Going into the last playing week, I knew that if I won my match I'd be in 6th for sure.  I also knew that if any of the 3-5th place players lost I'd take their spot, since our records would be the same, but I've won more racks, which determines the tie.  Not just one, but unbelievably ALL THREE players lost, rocketing me to THIRD place!!  I was ecstatic (that money's going with me to the DCC)!  I end the session with a record of 8 wins and 5 losses.  Not too terrible. There were a couple of matches I let slip through my fingers, which would'be put me into 2nd with a 10-3 record, but I just couldn't close them.  Always next time.  It's possible I might get raised to an A in that league though. Only 1 or matches were won because I got weight from the player; most of the wins were by more than 2, so we'll see what the LO finds out when he crunches the numbers.  I'm fine with going to an A, I might struggle a little more, but I also might get a little more focused knowing I don't have a headstart.

Currently, only the Masters session is the only active league for me and in some ways, I just don't care.  We can't catch first (which guarantees a trip to Vegas), and we're battling it out for 2nd place, which doesn't really get us much ... other than determine which team we play in playoffs.  Plans for next session are kinda up in the air right now. There's been some talk of some people leaving, then flipping back to staying.  I'm under the impression that if we stick around, then we should make every effort to win the damn thing and go to Vegas - at least to claim our reward for the session's dues.

I've talked to a few people around and it looks like I'm pencilled in to join a NAPA 8/10 league at the start of the next session.  It's barbox, but it's a cash league and I fully intend on doing well.  I'm excited to play 10-ball, but my "dues" are that I have to also play 8-ball. *shrug* It's with an entirely new group of people, so it'll be interesting getting to know more people.  The captain of the team and I get along pretty well and I kinda know a couple of the other players, so it's not like I'm totally new to everyone at least. Rest assured, I'll be posting about that experience when I get there.

Tomorrow I'm planning on hitting the new weekly 9-ball tournament at The Break, hopefully I'll do reasonably well there. We'll see how it goes.

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Filed Under: 10-Ball · 8-Ball · 9-Ball · League · Tournaments

More Tournaments

This weekend is host the annual captain's tournament put on the local APA.  It's scotch-doubles 8-ball.  I was asked by a strong 4 and I'm a 6, so we play as a 10. The SL limit is 12, so we'll be getting some weight more often then giving it.  I like our chances - if I can keep my 8-ball brain in the game.

If it weren't for that, I'd enter in the new weekly 9-ball tournament over at The Break; which just started last weekend.  It's a normal $10 weekly deal, race to 5 or somethinng that. I'm looking forward to trying that out next weekend.  Their first event had just 7 players, so I'm hoping I can get in some wins before it gets too crowded with stronger A players.  But, that's a bit optimistic as I have no idea who those 7 players were; and the place isn't known for having a lot of ducks sitting around. heh

I'm really hoping that playing in more tournaments will toughen up my nerves a bit.  After the t-giving tournament where I fell apart under the pressure of an audience, I'm looking for more ways to cut my teeth, so to speak.  I don't really have the money to gamble anymore, but tournaments give me the chance to get loose in the early rounds (who watches early round matches?) and hopefully solidify my mindset by the time I get to the semi-finals, where there will be an audience of other players, watching and (not so) silently judging me. haha

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Filed Under: 8-Ball · 9-Ball · Tournaments

2013 Thanksgiving Tournament Review (Kenny's)

I had a bit of milestone with this tournament.  I cashed!! Barely. I finished in 8th, out of 43 players.  It's the bottom rung of the payout, but I at least got my quarters back from the day!

The tournament started Saturday afternoon, and despite my best intentions, I had attended an 8-ball tournament the night before to support a friend.  As such, I overslept a bit and woke up around 10:30.  I had originally planned on being at the room by then, since I understood that signups ended at 11.  But, I forgot to factor in one thing: this is pool, and tournaments almost never start on time.  Which was a good thing, as it turned out.  I got there a little after 11, registered and ordered a giant coffee and breakfast.

I got "lucky" and drew the BYE the first round, which meant I had to sit around an extra hour or so waiting for my first match.  Finally, around 2:30 I was called to play.  I was rated a 7 in this tournament and I was playing an 11, though he was kid about 17 years old. Drake N.  I won the flip, broke, made a ball - then proceeded to RUN OUT! Nice!!  Drake broke, got bad on the 2, missed a safe, and RAN OUT again! Super nice!  Then I broke and left a mess of a table, but Drake worked it out and gets his first point.  Then he broke and ran.  From here, we basically traded games until I got to the hill, where he pulled three games ahead of me, making 6 to 9, but he missed a tough 9 to get to his hill, which I sank to take the first match!

I waited another couple of hours, then had to play Jessie - a guy I know from way back in the MO8 Days.  He's a 6, I got off to an early lead, not making a single mistake, not missing balls and playing great shape.  But, Jessie fought back, I lost some magic and quickly found myself hill-hill with him before too long.  But, my saving grace was the shot he had missed the entire match on the 6 (near the 3rd diamond on the long rail); which he again missed, leaving a pretty easy 4 ball out for me.

Next I had to play the only woman in the tournament.  She, too, was a 6.  I snapped the 9 on the first rack, but then everything fell apart. I was having a hard time concentrating/focusing on the table.  Her husband was near and really cheering her on, kinda got under my skin for some reason.  She was a very slow player, taking a lot of time between shots.  But, like any seasoned bar table player, she made the shots, but rarely played any position that was more than stop/stun or slow-roll.  I kept trying to force the tide to turn, but it just couldn't happen. I lost 6-4.

That match would've put me in the final 4 on the winner's side, but as it was, I ended up in the final 8 on the 1-loss side (final 12 overall).  I needed to win one more to get into the top 8.  I drew an old "nemesis" of sorts.  He's a 9 and we've had a bit of history around the tournaments, as well just playing locally.  It started off pretty dead even, trading racks exactly until it was 4-5 him, then 4-6, but then I pulled one out and then another tying it at 6, me on the hill.  But, he gets two more and now it's hill-hill again! Then two of the best/worst things happened: I played the best lock-up safety I've ever played, on the 7 ball no less.  With ball in hand, and 3 balls on the table, it should've been over in 3 strokes.  I make the 7, but come 4 inches too far on the 8 and have to back-cut down the long rail and let the cue-ball float foward to get to the 9 on the bottom rail.  I over-cut it, but also loose the cue-ball, hooking him entirely on the 8!  He kicks and almost makes it, but instead leaves an 8-9 combo, which I make to knock him out of the tournament (and the money). 

I was ecstatic! I hadn't beaten him in a long time, and while we started playing around the same time, he had progressed more than I had.  I still don't like his game, his stance or stroke - but the fact is, he makes balls pretty darn well. *shrug*

Next match, for 6th place, which was a GIANT gap in payouts, since I bought myself in the calcutta, which started paying at 6th place. I would quadruple my winnings, if I could get there.  I anxiously watched the match that would determine my opponent.  As it turned out, I had to play Drake again!

At this point, it's near midnight, and I can feel that I just don't have any energy left.  My mind is wandering, and I have zero focus.  Drake seemed to be in much better form than when we had played 10 hours ago.  He made far fewer mistakes and I made far more.  I missed a couple 9 balls, and some other ridiculously easy shots.  I was done.  Plain and simple.  My previous match had drained me entirely.  Not coffee nor mountain dew nor water was helping.  I went down 11-4.

I did notice some things that I hadn't had to deal with all day: there was an audience.  Since there were only two matches going on at this time, there were a lot of people sitting/standing around and watching my match.  Including the guy I knocked out, and some others I had defeated earlier.  I felt so much more "on the spot" - actually I felt more nervous than when I play on the stream table during the midwest 9-ball tournaments.  It was strange.

I then noticed another part of me thinking about how much it would suck to get knocked out by the same guy who sent ya to the left side the first round.  In other words, I wasn't focusing on ME and MY match.  Instead, I was thinking about everything else:  "What will these railbirds think? What will Drake think? That's gotta suck to play the guy you lost to in the first round. Man, I really want that calcutta money." 

I assumed he'd want revenge, and knowing I had gotten the better of the rolls previously, I hadn't expected to win anyway.  It's no wonder why my game fell apart.  I was mentally everywhere except the table.  I know better than this - but sometimes you just can't pull yourself out of a whirlwind.  This was evident by my game and behavior.  I was back to the negative self-talk, though I cut it off early every time, it still was my go-to response to the table.  I tried breathing and my trigger "that's just silly" phrase.  And all of that helped - for exactly one inning, until I made the next mistake.

Afterwards, I hung around, to watch him lose in the next round to the youngest player there, Ricky Evans, 12. He was an 8 this year (a 5 last year).  Then Ricky lost to a 5, Brett, who would go on to get destroyed 12-2 or something by Gary Lutman in the finals. 

Overall, I am pretty happy with my results.  I mean, this was the first time I played in a big event and made it passed the 4th round, plus I cashed! To top it off, I hadn't done any of my pre-tournament preparation, so I effectively broke that self-made superstition. 

I'm already looking forward to next year's event, as I have new plans for how to prepare and anticipate being a stronger player by then.  Even if I'm an 8 or maybe a 9 (depending on how the word of mouth spreads with my [hopeful] improvement throughout the year), I fully expect to do at least as well as I did this year.

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Filed Under: 9-Ball · Tournaments

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