9-Ball Top Gun (FL2012) Tournament Review

I'll spare you all the gory details of the terrible tournament I played in Saturday, and just pony up that I went 2 and out. Yes. It's extremely disappointing. It's even moreso because Friday I spent about 7 hours at the table and feel like I finally worked out whatever kink was happening with me (see previous post). A teammate from my Masters team came up and we played two races to 10. Each of them went hill-hill and I was fortunate enough to snap my only 9 on the hill-hill break. But, the moral of that story is that I just needed some good stiff, but friendly, competition, I think. Something without meaning, but still serious. I broke and ran once and more often than not, with a good spread, if he missed at all, no matter which ball, I was out. Of course, so was he. It was almost like playing the ghost. It was a great time - and I'm guessing, *exactly* what I needed.

Saturday morning, I get there a little early and warm up, still playing about as well as the previous night. I'm feeling particularly good about the day, and I'm hoping to make it into the final 4. I thought I was a favorite - a lot of people thought I was a favorite. I'm glad there wasn't a calcultta. Like I said, I went 2 and out.

But, the point of this post is this shot I pulled off. I actually don't remember if I overran position from the 2 to the 3 or if my opponent missed the 3 and left me here. Regardless, I studied it for a good long time. Probably a minute or so. Then, I saw it. "Rail first with inside spin will reverse off the 2nd rail and bring me back up to the good side of the ball. I visualized the shot, comitted to it, got down and let the cue fly. To my entertainment (and judging by the peanut gallery's response, their amazement) the cueball traveled perfectly across the table then spun right on up to the long rail giving me an angle on the 4.

I was hoping that would be the shot that turned the match around for me, but as good as I was playing, I just couldn't outrun giving up 9 balls to these players when the good rolls and bumps were more on their side than mine. Sure, I got some, but they got more. I played decently, but I just couldn't get started. The break was the biggest factor for me. I wasn't getting good spreads, I tried several positions and speed combos and if I did make a ball, I was hooked on the 1 or could only try a safe. When I missed a shot, I left them so much more perfect than it laid when I came to the table. shrug Just one of those days.

I spend the rest of the day as a railbird watching people win, lose, blow a gasket and cheer for/against random people. It was a good day overall and by the end of the night, I didn't really care that I had lost so badly earlier that morning.

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Filed Under: 9-Ball · Tournaments

I'm Broken

Something is broken. Aside from my confidence, that is. After the Masters match,which I lost 3-7, I played (and won) the standard APA match the following Wednesday, against a 4 (I'm a 7). I never broke and ran - cuz I'd blow shape something fierce. The next night is Masters, where I lose 0-7! Whatever. Skip to the 29th, Monday. It's the start of the Cue & Cushion league. I can't make two balls. I get beat 3-9. Skip to last night, I play 8-ball, lose the lag by a centimeter, then proceed to lost the match 0-5, each in 1 inning. I'm a 6, playing a 7. He gave me one chance each rack (except for when he snapped the 8) and in each of those chances, I made maybe 2 balls before hitting something right into the rail. Immediately after that I have to play a Masters make-up - against the same guy. He was kind enough to buy me a shot before we started, as I was already at the bar in line for one. He again wins the lag by a centimeter and calls for the break. I decide to play 8-ball, hoping something would change (insanity definition?). It didn't. He won the first 5 - making him, for the night, 10-0 on me. We switch to 9-ball and he flubs late in the rack a few times and I was somehow able to win 4 racks before he got his last 2. Still, I lose 4-7.

So, to recap, in the last 3 weeks, I've lost 10-38 in rack-counting games. WHAT THE F***?!?! I'd like to blame it on my playing with my break cue, but that's not the case. I played really well with it overall, at least in bar-league (9ball). Besides, I got my regular cue back Monday, all shiny new-finished and everything. Still can't play a lick.

I know it's something to do with either my stance or my head placement, because I would bet all the money in my pocket I'm lined up dead perfect to make this ball - but when I pull the trigger, this happens:

So, clearly my eyes aren't telling me the right thing, as I think I'm lined up center cueball to edge of the object ball. But I'm obviously not. It's like... It's almost like my dominant eye has switched. I feel like I'm in the same position over the cue every time. I adjust a little to the left/right based on the angle - which I've always done - and when I was playing really well, this happened without me having to think about it.

In addition to that, I know my timing is way off in my stroke. I have NO idea where this issue came from and it's even more disturbing. I'm "finishing" my stroke way early - sometimes before I even hit the damn cueball - but like the sight picture, I feel right when in my pre-shot routine. Then I'm totally confused as to what happened. Sometimes, I can feel my stroke arm being pulled under my torso, so there really is a stance/alignment issue happening.

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what has changed recently to cause this. The only thing that's really changed is that I've started working out again. I'm not sore when I play, I don't feel [any more than usually] tired. I'm hydrating properly, eating well, same as always. I've only been back at the fitness for around 2 weeks, not enough time to add any kind of bulk that would be interfering with my stroke. The only thing I can think of is that while I'm not any larger, the muscles are becoming less fluid and so when I move I have more things working (or in the way, in the case of the lats/shoulders) which is causing this slight stroke issue. I'm going to have to try and work on this tonight and tomorrow if I want to have any hope of playing well in the the Top Gun tournament this weekend.

This has to be resolved, I have zero confidence these days, as evident by my demeanor at the table, and the results I'm logging. I keep trying to 'fake it' by not slothing around the table, making sure I walk with a purpose, put on the game-face, slight furrowed brow, focused eyes. I exact my pre-shot routing, picking the exact spot for the cue ball... but nothing is pulling me into the zone nor are any balls dropping.

...sigh...

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Filed Under: Training

Product Review: Perfect Aim

(There's an important update to this review, find it here.)

 

I hang out over in the AZ forums a few times a week to try and pick up tips or advance notice of new products or matches or, anything I find interesting really. Close to a year ago, I found this website: Perfect Aim Billiards.com/ and of course found the instructional DVD to go along with it. I read some of the reviews but quickly passed over the product as it was outside my comfort zone for such a questionable buy.

About 8 months ago I put something together from one of the threads on AZB about this DVD and my own experimenation. It significantly helped my game and I attributed it to the imformation I picked up from conversations authored by Gene Albrecht selling this DVD. I've been tempted to buy this DVD for well over a year now and I knew it had some questionable reviews, but every product will have some of those. I finally had some extra cash and I decided to go head and bite the bullet, especially in reference to my really wanting to get to that next level of play. I finally received the DVD and immediately watched it.

Boy did I feel like a chump afterwards.

   1) $70 (plus $10 shipping!!) for a home-made DVD with a label stuck on it put in a $0.50 jewel case with not even another printed jewel case cover.
   2) The "meat and potatoes" information was 85% repeat of what I've read in the various posts Gene uses to promote this disc (and the following discussion). ... Reviewer's note: I should make it clear that nowhere have I read the exact method he describes on the DVD - not from any post I've seen. I will say there was some guiding hints in one thread that lead me to experiment a lot at the table and kinda stumble across what Gene talks about on the disc. Still, what I discovered in my own experimentation isn't exactly what Gene is doing; he has a more precise method whereas mine is still a bit general.
   3) Production quality? eh, it's a *hair* better than the VEPS, but not by much. Someday I hope people will learn that they can not rely on the on-camera-room-mic for instructional materials. 6/10
   4) Step 8 or 9 or whatever that crazy section on figuring out if it's a 1/2 or 1/4 ball hit is ... pretty much pointless. Yes, it's a neat way of determining that information; but it's entirely unusable in a game setting.

Okay, there's my short-list of first-impression opinion/gripes. Here are my objective thoughts:

Considering I did fork over money for this DVD, I might as well try the info out. After all, the meat'n'potatoes section that I had picked up from the threads here was VERY helpful to me when I learned it. That said, if I had never heard of someone talking about eye-location before and no idea what it was... I would likely be writing this to sound like one of his testimonials. That tidbit, when I first put 2 and 3 together from the bits and pieces of the threads, was really a key to pushing my game to my next level. So, he's not selling bad information.

When the DVD was over, I was shocked - utterly shocked it had ended so quickly. One thing I would strongly suggest to Gene is to put some "Case Studies" on there - show yourself teaching this to someone and let us see the student learn it; and become enlightened. Don't script it - just film a lesson you give somewhere with good lighting and no background noise. Hearing the instructor say and demonstrate a concept is nice, but watching a student work through it and seeing the results of before/after comparison is really really important for future students/consumers.

To the people who've been playing a long time and try this method ... I don't expect it to work for you. You have trained your brain a certain way, so *anything* other than the sight-picture you have trained for is going to look incredibly wrong and I'd be surprised if you played half as well as normal trying this. I liken this method to using a super low deflection shaft ... those who learned and grew up with the old high deflection cues cannot make a ball with the OB2 or Z2; and no wonder! They have to relearn how to aim entirely! This system is similar to that, in my opinion. Great for the beginning intermediate player who has a mostly straight stroke but trouble with consistency, seeing the shot.

Objectively though, I'd still only give it a 6/10 overall. There was a lot of fluff and not enough demonstration. Simply shooting a single shot on each side of the table isn't enough variation to adequately demonstrate the point; especially as those examples were supposed to be some of THE most important shots to know/learn.

I will still experiment with the method in it's entirety to see if I can't fine-tune the method for me, but there's a good chance this disc just collects dust on my shelf. I might, should I really find myself unable to do anything with it take Gene up on his phone offer. I do really like that he stands behind his product and makes himself available for questions.

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Filed Under: Gear · Training

Consistent Variations

The mantra of this blog (even moreso in my twitter) in the last several months has been a lack of consistency. Not even from week to week, but day by day. Case and point: Last week's APA matches. Wednesday, I draw a 6 in 9-ball. So it's a 55-48 race. I win 55-19. The honest part of that story is that he dogged the first or second ball 7 out of the 9 times I let him to the table. However, I played really well, had another break and run and played some good safeties. In other words, I played a good, strong SL7.

Now, on to the Masters match the next night. As I'm warming up I'm hitting them "ok"; nothing terribly exciting about things. I'm making balls decently, but my position is all over the place. I decide to give up the 9-ball position routes for simple bar-box position play. Things improve, but still not quite up to par. I draw a friend Alan for the first round and we play 9-ball first. I'll skip the drawn out detail summary and just say that I lost 3-7. The games I won were because he gave them to me ... literally. I never made a money ball on my own stroke. He would either miss and hang it, or scratch on it.

What I find interesting is that even though he is winning, he's so upset with himself that he's complaining about my getting lucky rolls. I complain with the best of 'em, but when I'm winning (handily) I almost never actually complain. The difference here is that I was getting the rolls; far more than he was, but yet he was still marking up the games. True, I gave him far more chances than he should have gotten - and he had to work for each one of those wins; I never left him easy.

But, this also goes to show that I was playing so poorly that even with the luck I couldn't win.

Skip to Friday night, after dinner and a few drinks my stepdaughter, her boyfriend and I hit up a pool room of her choosing and play 10-ball. Now we're on 8 foot tables I've never played on (with pink - PINK! cloth). I play exceptionally well! Break and run in 10-ball, and more times than not, if they let me at the table on the 3 or above, I was out. Now, it was just for fun, so no pressure, and we were all celebrating her birthday, so shots and drinks were included. Still, I'm too competitive to not take any time spent at the table with some level of seriousness. I was even jumping over half-balls with my full cue (which I can almost never do).

Here's a shot she snapped of me; she was late in the capture as the object ball had already dropped and I was just beginning to stand up. Still, I really stayed down on that shot. lol

I run through this pattern of good/bad/good/worse/awesome/terrible it seems with each consecutive day played. I have been trying to pin down any and all possible causes to this sort of variance in my game. The big ones: sleep and nourishment are always first under the microscope. And it's absolutely true that on the days where I don't have enough sleep I don't play well - unless it's my 2nd or 3rd day on short sleep. (re: Midwest 9ball and DCC) Second to that is my mood/mindset/attitude. If I'm in a good mood, I'm going to play better. If I'm angry with something off the table, I play well. If I'm the least bit frustrated with the game itself, I play terribly. If I started off in a good mood then get frustrated, I can usually pull myself back to a good place through either "faking it till I make it" or some breathing exercises.

I know everything left to work on in my game is completely mental; and knowing that just makes my failures worse to me. I think it's time to re-read Pleasures of Small Motions and/or Zen Pool.

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Filed Under: General · Training

A Personal Goal Achieved

Since I started the APA league, there has been just one guy who has beaten me every time we play; even though we are the same skill level. It's not just that he wins, but he wins by a landslide. The first time we played was my very first match in the Masters league and he skunked me 7-0. Now, I gave away a lot of games that night, but over the last 10 months, in regular APA and in Masters, he continues to just walk through me. I've beaten players that beat him, so clearly there was something just mental about playing him that I just couldn't manage.

Last night was Masters league and the draw dictated that I had to play him. I told my teammates that I'll be the sacrificial lamb this week. When they asked why I told them I just can't beat this guy. They tried to give me some encouragement, as teammates do, but every time I think "I'm due to win." I still get killed. Back in the Fall, he broke his grip hand, but was still playing. I drew him once in 9-ball league and thought "Finally! I have a chance" ... still lost.

Backstory cut short, I decided tonight I wasn't going to try and out-shoot him. His cueball controls is better than mine and he's more consistent. Instead, I was going to try and simply out-play him. Play smart, play the percentages - and above all make the ball.

We started off playing 8-ball and he made a rare mistake early in his runout, which left me a pretty open table, so I get the first rack. :) Then he gets the next, I take the 3rd, he takes the next 2. So it's 2-3 him at the end of the 8-ball set. Then we start the 9-ball segment and I get the first two of those, taking my first lead, then he ties it, but I re-take the lead at 5-4 and he again ties it. He breaks and is on his way to a break and run, but misses the 5. He leaves this table and I play a couple of great "recovery" shots to win the rack:


I didn't like just cutting the 5 and staying on the top side of the table for the 6 - I might run into the 9 getting shape on the 7. I've been practicing this shot lately and I'm getting the hang of it more times than not. I visualized the shot, the ending position and traced the path of the cueball with my eyes before getting down.

Having over-ran position on the 7, I was forced to come with another good shot:

This puts me on the hill! I break decently but there are some clusters and we play a bit of a safety battle which he does win, but then he hangs the 6. I take a little extra time making sure I make the ball on each shot. I shoot the 6, get a little too straight on the 7, which is on the rail near the side pocket with the 8 nearly the headspot. I decide to just take the table as it is and not to force anything. I stop on the 7 and slice the 8 in accepting a longer shot on the 9, which was just above the footspot. I had been practicing spot-shots earlier in the evening, so I was extra comfortable shooting both of these shots. As I bent over for the 9 I started to think "I'm about to WIN!" - but I got back up and said "not yet..." and started my pre-shot routine over again. Took a deep breath, lined up the shot, trusted my stroke and alignment and kerplunk went the 9!! I FINALLY WON!!

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Filed Under: 8-Ball · 9-Ball · League

Won My First Tournament!

Okay, okay, it was a 6-person mini tournament, but still - I won it! It went like this: After the Top Gun 8-ball tournament some of us that went out early decided against playing an APA Singles board (which is a $20 entry and no payback; it gets you into the regional singles tournament for a chance to go to Vegas) and instead thought it'd be fun to play a mini-tournament. We could only get 6 players, but it was late in the evening and a lot of people just didn't feel like playing another one. It was a cheap $10 buy-in, paying only 1st and 2nd spots, per usual.

The draw happens and I (an SL7) draw George, an SL5. So it's a 55-38 match. I win the lag and I BREAK AND RUN! The first time in what feels like a long time. I continue to play pretty well, but make a few mistakes. Still, I win the match something like 55-28.

My next match is against an SL3, Shelly, so the race is 55-25. I have no idea how this girl actually plays, but I decide that this match is going to *have* to be more strategic. 3's aren't going to run out, but they win because they nit pick the balls off while the higher SL's are trying to run out and leaving hangers. So, I stick to that game plan. If the table is tough, I move a ball and play safe, if I get out of line, I play safe. I do put up another break and run to the night's score. :) I win the match 55-16.

Now I'm in the "finals". The oddest thing of the entire evening was happening in the other half of the bracket. There's an SL4 who is having the luckiest night of his life over there. First, he beat a super strong 5, then he bested an SL7 (a teammate of his, and someone with whom I have a fairly even record against). So there was some suggestions from the peanut gallery that he and I just split the finals, but as luck-driven player myself, I knew that a) luck runs out and b) I could outplay him anyway. So, we start the match and it's a 55-31 race. And for the first 15 points, we stayed almost even - some due to my own bravado; trying to get out on super tough layouts and he was making shots his teammates were uttery perplexed by. But then, I said "ok. he's done." I started playing safe on him, knowing he can't kick with accuracy and that he'd get frustrated and take him out of his groove. Secondly, I made a mental effort to play the simplest shapes I could, relying on my speed control and shot-making to get through the rack. It worked wonderfully. Coming from nearly tied in the mid-teens, I win the match 55-20! I broke and ran the final rack (or would have if I wasn't stopped on the 8 as my sinking the 7 was my "out ball). Afterwards, the peanut gallery all suggested I finish my break and run, and I wanted it as well - but I was already out of the game and I sliced the 8 down the rail and it bobbled; though I had perfect shape on the 9, which I did go ahead and make. But everyone "awwwwwww"-ed when the 8 hung up in the jaws.

So, overall, last Saturday was a really a good day. I won some money - more than I spent that day, and I played pretty well.

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Filed Under: 9-Ball · Tournaments

8-Ball Top Gun (FL2012) Tournament Review

This weekend was the 8-Ball Top Gun tournament from the Fall session of my local APA league. Now if you've been paying sort of attention here, you might have picked up that barbox 8-ball is a) my weakest game and b) my least favorite game. I'll skip the reasons why and get to the tournament itself.

The tournament started at 11am Saturday, so of course I stay up way too late Friday. Still, I was there at 11, with coffee in hand. After warming up a bit and feeling pretty good, I await the draw for my bracket (which were all 6's and 7's). Around 1pm the brackets are drawn and I draw my old team captain, Les. Here's where I make my biggest mistake of the day: I know she's not playing well lately and I don't give her the respect she deserves. I essentially try to run out every rack and in doing so cause more problems for me than for her. She played well, as she should, and wins the match 5-2. So, I lost my first round match.

I sit at the bar for a while and nurse my gatorade, have a cliff bar snack and just listen to my music for a while. About an hour or so later, I'm called to play my next match against someone named Matt - a player I'm not familiar with. I lose the lag and he breaks - and break's them very well but doesn't get out. I come to the table with a pretty open rack and fairly easy pattern. As such, I do run out without an issue. I break, make a couple balls and am well on my way to run out, until I overrun position on my key ball just slightly. I rush the shot and catch the point of the side pocket. My opponent runs a few balls then makes an error and lets me back at the table. I clean up. 2-0 now. I break dry and my opponent runs out. 2-1. He breaks dry and I try to run out, but hook myself trying a break out. He gets out 2-2. He breaks and make a ball, runs a few, misses a shot, I get out. 3-2. The same story the next 2 racks, I win 5-2!

As I wait for my next match I have another snack and another coffee/energy drink (those Starbucks energy drinks have been a staple in my pool game lately). I discover that I play Bill S. He's the player I lost to horribly in the 9-ball Top Gun tournament a few months ago. Although, I played him in Masters league just a few weeks ago and won handily so... who knows what could happen. I realize that he's a better barbox player than me, he has decades of experience on this equipment so my only hope to play simple and strategic.

I don't recall who won the lag, but I can tell you that I played some of my best barbox 8-ball ever. I played very very smart, I ensured that no matter what, I made the ball I was aiming at. And I never really tried to get out on a rack that didn't lay for an easy out. I played safe when necessary and I was rewarded. In addition to that, I was getting some good rolls as he was missing a few more shots than I would ever expect. As such, I won the match 5-1!!!

Winning that match put me into the final 4 bracket and into the money! Our score-keeper happened to the person the winner would play next. He was one of the only 7's in the tournament. So, I was faced with one of the strongest players in the league and only had a few minutes to mentally reset. I lost the lag and Jeremy nearly made the 8 on the break - but lucky for me, nothing else went. I ran out a tricky rack and took the early lead 1-0. From there, I only needed 3 games, and he needed 5. Long story short, he got them all. He played really well and I dogged a few shots; which is all he needed to clean up. So, I lost 1-5, which was tough, but still it was a lot better finish than I had expected.

So, even though I played exactly 50% pool (rack total for the day was 13 wins and 13 losses), I feel like I played decently. I'm happy enough with my results - but I know I can do better. I know that my mistakes were purely mental; rushing or taking too great a risk on a shot. Sometimes those risks paid off - but when there's no good safe, or if the safe was as delicate/hard as the shot itself, I wanted to go down swinging. It paid off wonderfully in the match with Bill, but the few times I tried it against Jeremy, it didn't work. So, I should learn from those experiences.

I will say this though, my nerves have become much less of an issue when I get into pressure situations. I keep my mind focused a little better and I think clearer than I did 4 months ago. I also tried to really change some of my internal dialogue. Mostly changing from things like "I can NOT lose this match" to "I really want to WIN this match!". It's the same message, but one focuses on the negative while the other focuses on the positive. I wasn't able to hold that mantra all day at all times, but overall, I feel like I had a decent mental game. I played in a mini 9-ball tournament after this and I'll write all about that in another post.

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Filed Under: 8-Ball · League · Tournaments

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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