I, for one, am quite glad to see 2013 firmly in the history books.  Though it was a great year in some aspects, it was a horrible year in others.  I played some of my best (and worst) pool ever.  I went to Vegas with my APA team.  I went to my first Derby City Classic, and I placed better in every tournament I entered than any previous attempt. I won more money on the table than lost. Overall, it was a fairly good year for my game.

A couple of quick things before I run off to league:

1) In reading through the history here, it sounds like I’ve been stagnant for two years.  Every couple of months I post a rant about not playing where I should be, not feeling like I should, not getting the runouts I should, etc.  It got me thinking: what have I actually done?  So I watched some old runout videos (and a lot of blown runouts) and I compared them to the newer ones I have. In doing so, I realized something great.  I’m a better player, overall, than I was 2 years, even just one year ago. I do actually play smarter than I used to.  I play better shape than I used to.  I adjust to table conditions more rapidly and I have great control on my finess shots.  So, while my percentage of runouts is roughly about the same, the way I get them now is head and shoulders above what they were.  I rely much less on luck during my runouts.  Before, in almost every one of my runouts, there’s a fluked ball, or a good bounce.  In the newer ones, it’s much more precise and and clean.  I’m quite happy with that.

2) I got a new tip the other day: a Kamui Brown Medium.  I had been wanting to try something a little harder than the Kamui Black Soft or Black King (nearly the same); so I went for a Medium.  I went with a brown over a black only because of availability.  Now, it’s not as hard as I was hoping, but it’s not as soft as the others either.  And best of all, it came pre-shaped in a dime-radius.  I’ve forgotten how much I like that shape.  I don’t know if it was the tip, or just that I was swinging purely that night, but I shot one stroke shot better than I have in a long time.  Check the video below:

The best strokes are back-to-back starting at the 2:50 mark, on the 7 ball (oddly enough) and 10 ball. I hit it perfectly rail-first and the cue ball comes back 3 rails with inside spin with enough juice to bounce several inches off the 3rd rail.  I’ve called this “The Shane Shot” because there was recently a video of Shane shooting this on a diamond to get position on the ball nearest the cueball (assuming the corner was blocked to shoot it where I stood). You can really tell when I hit it good as the cueball picks up speed off the 1st and 2nd rails.  In the sequence, I do miss a couple balls, but 7/9 on that shot? I’m fine with that. 🙂

3) I don’t subscribe to new years resolutions per se, but I will say that I have every intention to continue my improvement this year. To earn that A ranking in the local league system.  To earn every win I get because I outplayed my opponent and took the win, not because they dogged it less than I did. To cash in as many tournaments, no matter how big or small, as I can.  To not let up on my opponent when I have the lead, to “Kill The Bunny”.

Here’s to a great start in 2014!