Friday, October 24, 2014

ACS Singles Results - Surprising

As I mentioned several times all week, I played in the ACS Texas State championship last week/weekend.  Scotch (placed 17th out of about 45 teams), singles (placed 4th out of about 45 teams) and Women's Team event (placed 5 out of 16 teams).

It wasn't the most successful week of pool for me, but what I'm most proud of most is my singles performance.

I am listed as an Advanced player with ACS, so at the ACS Texas State singles event, I go to 6, and the open players go to 4.

The last few years I've had to give that spot, I have not come anywhere NEAR placing well or even remotely in the money, lol.  It's extremely difficult, imo, to give a two spot game in 8-ball.  I'm not even listed as a Master, but still have to give the same handicap as a Master player (2 games).

So, I wasn't expecting much, lol.

I won my first match against a new player and she was the sweetest thing.  She was SO excited she got two games and I complimented her a lot as she was so giddy about it. 

I then play a friend of mine who plays well.  I knew it would be tough.  I was up 3-2, but I missed a tricky 8-ball.  And that's pretty much all it took.  She ran the next rack and defeated me 4-3.  I still had 3 more games to win to win the match, but she only needed two and after that miss, it was too crucial and she won.

I felt like I was playing well and she even said something to me about it.  She told me she noticed how well I'm playing and how much I have improved.  She said I am moving the cueball really well and getting great shape.  It REALLY meant a lot that she said that and even noticed, as I felt like I had but not many people can see such improvements if they haven't really played me in the last several years like she has.  It was very sweet for her to even say what she saw.

I was done for the day (singles started at 7pm). 

I woke up the next morning with a sore throat and I therefore was starting to get a cold. 

And, I still had to give two games on the one-loss side.  That, along with lack of sleep, made for a very short day coming up.  I even told my friends Teri and Michelle to get ready to go to Olive Garden for lunch because I didn't expect to win my 10am match.  Too much weight and too much against me, lol (sick and no sleep).

I felt fairly food though as I walked in.  Teri got me some orange juice and I had my water, also.  I hit a few balls.... and I could tell.  Can you tell sometimes?  Yep, I could tell I was going to play well.

As I reflect back, I can see that I had NO EXPECTATIONS at all and that's prolly why my expected short day turned into a 10-hour day!

I won that match.

Played a teammate next and while she played excellent safes, I prevailed because I was playing so well.

Then I played my good friend Courtney.  I knew it would be the toughest match of the day because it was more about status and emotions than pool, really.  After playing my little heart out and staying in the match, I won hill-hill!  I couldn't believe it really.  A few dif shots and the match could have gone the other way.

I then won another match.

And then another.

And then another.

OMGosh I was playing SO SO well.

I then find myself playing for 4th place.

I was still playing well, but my opponent got out if I made a mistake and also ran out one game, so since she only had to go to 4, she defeated me.  She would end up getting 2nd in the tourney and she played really well.  I was impressed.

I figured out I had played for TEN hours, 7 matches.  Wow. And I didn't get to Olive Garden until 11pm that night, lol!  Teri and Michelle, and Alixx and her husband Nathan all went together.  They also watched my matches ALL day long.  They were for sure amazing support and I appreciated them SO much for hanging in there and watching every single match!

Even at one point, Michelle, Teri and Alixx went to play in the Second Chance tourney and they all left.  But Nathan stayed back to finish watching my hill-hill match.  It was really sweet.  Alixx would tell me later, well, someone had to stay for us all!

I can't explain why I played so well this day except I had no expectations.  But to be able to play THAT well for THAT long for ALL those matches really, truly gave me some insight into my own game.  That I AM capable of playing many matches in a row well. 

I really am playing some top notch eight ball right now.  Still not sure how or why with NO practice and only one league a week I play in now.

I have a 9-ball tourney this weekend and already the expectations are making me nervous and I'm not even on the road yet to the event!  Not good for me.... I need to feel numb and not care!

Thank you to everyone who gave my kind words of support during and after my ACS State singles play.  REALLY meant a lot!

I admit it felt SO good to play well!

My Rack

A few years ago my friend Monica suggested that I write in my blog how and why I rack balls a certain way. 

Well, I didn't think too much about doing that, until at ACS last week one of my friends asked me why I always put the 11 ball on the left corner, and the 4 ball on the right corner.

She wondered if it was related somehow to dates of my Mom.

I thought, "Wow, that would be cool!" 

Well, the 11 ball sort of is.

When I was 11, my Mom and Dad first met each other (obviously my step-Dad), and so 11 became my favorite number.

And anytime I have to choose a raffle ticket or a number or set my alarm, whatever, there is always an 11 or 1 in it.

So, of course the stripe I use to rack an 8-ball rack has the 11 ball on a corner.

 The way I rack 8 ball, with my break cue in the pic, too!

Why on the left side? 

I guess I am partial to the left because I shoot pool left handed, even though I'm right handed.  I even always move my coin to the left, if I win the first game.

The solid ball on the right corner is the favorite color of my friend Janet - purple.  It's a neutral color, and not the fav color or number of my two ex boyfriends, lol. 

So, there you have it!  Why I rack the 11 on the left, and the 4 ball on the right.  :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How You Walk Away From the Table

I was talking to one of my friends last weekend and she told me something very interesting that I wanted to share.

We were playing against each other in the team event of the ACS Texas State Tourney, but we both appreciate each other's game so much.

For some reason, we were talking about how people act after they lose or win.  I don't even know how or why it came up, and we discussed it before we started our game (not after the game or match).

She told me, "I walk away from the table like I won, even if I lost.  No one knows the difference.  And they have to ask me if I won or not."

She doesn't like to be a sore loser or look like a sore loser.

She complimented me how I handle myself well when I lose.  I normally always smile when I shake my opponents hand, even if I lose.  But I thought her comment above was pretty profound:  "I walk away from the table like I won, even if I lost."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Remember When You First Started

We have a new girl on our women's team. 

She is not only new, she is really green, too.

Of course by that I mean she is new to pool.  And new to leagues.  And new to tournaments.

Sheri played with us at the ACS Texas State Tournament last weekend and her and her best friend, Laurie, had a great time!  Laurie is also a little green.

They both love learning so much about pool and LOVE the game.  Remember when you were giddy about pool, too?  Well, that's where they are in their pool lives right now.  They LOVE the game and have so much fun playing it, that they can't get enough of it!

They smile, smile, smile!  All the time while they play pool and just enjoy it so much. 

My captain ensured every team member played every match, so no one would sit out. So, even though Laurie and and Sheri were new to pool, they got time in as well.  About 1 or 2 games a match (it's only a race to ten).

I noticed at one point in the middle of the afternoon in about our 3rd match that Sheri lost a really tough game, even though she tried her little heart out. 

She shook her opponets' hand, walked back to her seat, and sat down all quiet. 

I saw how she sat down all deflated, so I got up, went over to her, and held my hand up for a high five.

She looked up at me a little sad, but then high-fived me, smiled BIG, and said so genuine smiling, "Thank you!"

I wanted to acknowledge her play.  Let he know someone was watching.  And that someone still cared about her.

After I lose I love it when people still do something, anything.  Say something to me, PLEASE!  I'm hurt, embarrassed, and wanted to win for you guys.  Show me some love even though I lost!

I could see she was so disappointed in herself and being new to tournaments, I wanted her to know it was okay.  And we still appreciated her efforts.