View Full Version : As good as it gets...

03-11-2005, 05:57 AM
> Back several months ago,a guy I ran into at work came in and told me there was an 8-ball tournament starting at a local bar at midnight. I looked at him like he was crazy,but interested. He said a guy he works with started a little 5.00 entry fee,winner take all tournament for the guys that get off their factory jobs at 11:00,and want to drink a few beers and play some pool. I asked him how long the matches were,and he said they were a single game,but it was a double elimination tournament,and usually paid 60-80 bucks for winning,with a consolation prize of 15 bucks or a 1/2 case of beer for 2nd place. I told him I'd call ahead and make sure the 15-20 minutes it usually takes me to get home after work,change clothes and pick up my cues was going to be a problem. I was told it wouldn't. I go and win it the first time,then the second,and so on. I normally don't go to small bar tournaments like this,having been barred from several in the area for winning multiple times and killing average Joe's interest. I am capable of running 2,3 maybe 4 racks in a row on a bar table once or twice in a 3 or 4 hour session,and play pretty smart bar pool,knowing how to lay down a safety without getting a bottle introduced to my head,this is about the closest thing we have to a true "redneck" environment. In keeping with my anal-ysis of my weaknesses and true speed,I decided on my way to the first tournament I played there to keep a running win/loss record. Before last night,it was 74-15,with 10 wins and 3 2nd's in 16 tries. In 8 of those wins,I went undefeated,the other 2 I lost my first match and came back through the loser's side and won,but lost the last 2 weeks in the finals,after winning the first game and having a open shot to win,and failing to get out. Tonight,I got off work a little later than usual,and had to play as soon as I walked in,playing the guy that works the bar at the local pool room. He is a decent player,capable of running out a rack if given a decent look,but not the type to create a shot to run out a tough layout. The game goes back and forth,as the balls didn't spread very well,and I keep half-ducking and waiting for a shot I can move around some and set up a breakout of 3 different clusters. He eventually misses and leaves me a very tough but makeable thin cut down the rail on the 8,and not having the option of banking it in the side,and not liking the cross corner bank,I convince myself it's a hanger,and shoot it. The cue ball jumps off the rail and almost hits me in the face on it's way off the table,but absolutely split the wicket with the 8. I come back to face him again on the loser's side,he wins the flip and breaks,making 3 solids,and ran 2 more,then tried a 2 rail cross corner bank and missed badly. I eclipsed the match,running out that game and breaking and running out the second game to seal it. It might not have been 4 racks in a tight match for the World title like Earl did against Bustamante a few years ago,but when my only purpose in playing this tournament is merely getting to hit some balls period,and adding to my 5-6 hours of pool a week as time allows,it felt pretty good. Free money with a 3 yr old is nice too. I have also discussed it with the bartender,and will never be barred for winning it repeatedly,she claims to know Buddy Hall through one of his kids,and says he's not barred,so why should I be? Just a delirious,mouth stinging from habanero sauce rant,Tommy D.

03-11-2005, 07:07 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tommy_Davidson:</font><hr>

...my only purpose in playing this tournament is merely getting to hit some balls period...

<hr /></blockquote>

I understand that. But surely you don't derive satisfaction from robbing a bar full of tired, drunken factory workers.

I left a job back in the mid-90's and we had always had an annual employee pool tournament. I usually came in 2nd or 3rd. After I left the company they still let me play every year. Since I had gotten serious about my game in the meantime I won the thing handily 2 years in a row. Race to 2, 8-ball, these guys had no chance against me.

I never got in the tourney again. It just did not seem right.

Sorry for the candor. If that's the only chance you get to play competitively I can see why you do it.

03-11-2005, 07:23 AM
I have a similar Thursday-after-work tourney that I have been playing in for a couple of months, and I sensed that some of the other regulars might be getting discouraged. It's double elimination, race-to-one, so really anybody can win but I'm a little more likely than most.

Anyway, before the start last night I suggested to the TD that we implement a new rule - each week's winner has to sit out the next week. Not only will the better players not be able to take it off in consecutive weeks, but at least every other week the less-skilled shooters will also get a break from encountering the past week's winner in the lower brackets.

Everyone thought that was a great idea, so we implemented it last night. And guess what - I only got second. Another guy (who has never won before) shot well and also got a few breaks, and took first place. I joked with him that he should come anyway next week, and remind everyone that he was just a spectator so that the rest of us could have a chance. He liked that idea /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif


Chris Cass
03-11-2005, 09:49 AM
Hi Tommy,

I've know you for a little while here on the board. Like about 2 or 3 yrs now, I think? I could be wrong because my memory isn't exactly stellar.(sp) My point being. I think I can give you an answer to what I think. Without having you, look at it in a negative way but more subjectivly.

You will eventually kill this tourney. The bartender is wrong in letting you in this after taking it off so much. Your basically stealing. Your caught between a rock and a hard place. You on one hand feel guilty for taking it off so easily. On the other, $80. is good money for an extra income. Plus you like to get to play some after work too.

You have to think about the other players though. They too would like to come out a winner one night. They should pay more than one spot anyway. Like atleast 2. $50. and $30. You may not think of this but it could be that one of these guys might just get so frustrated to want to kick off in your face too. You never know.

I had the same experience but I couldn't handle the guilt. Please don't think of this as a lack of killer instict because, the two are both different. I too was going to a tourney on Sat afternoons. They'd pay 2 spots, $50. and $30. the table time was split between the owner of the bar and the players so it was like a quarter a piece.

I walked in and recognized every player but 2 maybe. All know the way I play but because of my sickness they overlooked my getting in the event. I too took it off 3 weeks in a row without losing one game of 8 Ball in a race to 2.

The third week I won I walked in and talked a bit to the TD. He too was a very good friend of mine and wouldn't ever want to upset me or try to make me feel unwelcomed. He's a great guy.

I brought in some tournament sheets so, it would be great to have the brackets drawn without the made up one he had been doing. Also, because I was feeling so guilty about it. They had no chance even in a race to 2.

I could see the words ready to come out his mouth and actually finished his sentence as he was trying to break it to me gently. lol After giving him the sheets he said, "Chris, could I talk to you in private for a seconnd?" I said, Let me guess, you don't want me to play the tourney anymore.

He said, " Well Chris, it's not that I'm asking you to stop playing but we really didn't want any, Masters in the tourney." He went on to say, you know the guys all like you and enjoy seeing you play but they feel they have no chance and alls, I'm asking is that you don't come every week. Maybe, every few weeks or so.

I told him, "Lauren, you know I like you and everyone that plays here and I feel I do need to take a break too." He let me play that last time and I ended up doing the same and out the door with the money. I haven't been back since. I could go but I'd rather them have a tourney than to kill the thing for a few bucks. That $50. did come in handy for me though.

You could always buy a round for the ones left after the tourney but I think you'll have to decide what's right for you.


C.C.~~strictly my humble opinion. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

03-12-2005, 02:50 AM
&gt; I will thank all of you right now for your input,for whatever reason no one replied to the same post on AZ. I will add that after reading all 3 of your responses earlier Friday afternoon,and thinking them over at work,I have come to somewhat of a total agreement with all of you on one point or another. This is pretty much my only competitive outlet these days between work and machine shop school,combined with spending as much time as I can on weekends with my son Zachary. Time with him vs pool is a no-contest,as it should be. An extra 3-400 to go to a 3 day tournament is also a rarity these days,having been to maybe 3 decent sized tournaments with strong fields in the past 18 months. Chris brought up a point about not feeling good about stealing a tournament like this,and I agree with that. I don't feel the kind of pure joy that beating your first pro player in a tournament,or your first multiple rack run produces,more like knowing I didn't flat dog it this week as I had the previous two,with very similar opportunities. To me,that was satisfying,like eating a ham sandwich as opposed to winning a decent tournament,which would be filet mignon. And as we all know,a LOT can happen in a single game of bar table 8-ball,for example the 8 hangs in the jaws of a pocket,and one of your balls sits right on top,making actually pocketing your last ball without making the 8 nearly impossible. One of the things I love about this format is trying to outrun things like that. The money that comes from winning in this spot always gets spent on stuff like DVD's and cool stuff for Zachary,supplies for my cue repair rig,etc. The money is secondary to the game itself. I have never been what you call an "action" junkie,betting on stupid stuff,in fact I pretty much despise gambling,except a few bucks here and there on lottery tickets,slot machines in a casino,and such. I've only bet 20 bucks on football games,and only then because the Steelers were involved. I will play pool for money,because to me,playing pool for money is a calculated risk,not a slot machine backed up against a wall saying come get some. Only a fool doesn't know what is involved ahead of time,proceed at your own risk. I have never really had the kind of serious money it would take to have gone on the road for extended periods of time,by serious money I mean a bankroll of at least 5-10k. The longest I was ever out playing was just over 2 weeks,then had to go back to work. I've never really had any aspirations of making a living at the game,I just want to play at close to the same level as those that do. My goal several years ago was to earn my PBTA Touring Pro card,for no other reason than the self-gratification that would have come from knowing I had developed my game to the point of being competitive at that level. Pool in this area is by most people's standards,primitive at best. People think you are just putting on a show if you use a jump cue,trying to scare people with a 3x6 case,say things like "this isn't TV pool" for calling a object ball foul when warranted,and all kinds of other stuff. The best local place to play is an old-timers room,with 4 4x8 tables with huge pockets,slow cloth,popped slate seams and worn out balls,so you can basically play there or in a bar,luckily all the bar tables around here have seen a major upgrade. Every local bar table is covered in I think Championship cloth,nice and fast like real conditions are but usually dirty and exacerbates roll-off. The closest 9 foot Gold Crowns are at least a 2 hour drive. All of these factors influence my decision to play there. It also may come to pass that I either kill the tournament or get asked not to come back. To avoid this,and the negative vibes that might cause I will skip a couple weeks,as correctly suggested here. Unless the itch to play gets so bad I go nuts,like right now at 4:02 am,knowing I can drive 2 hours to go play,or wait until at least 10:00 in the morning. Another Chris point was us knowing each other,not formally or in person,but I've been posting and learning here since 1997,or as long as I've had a computer. Much respect to all involved here,Tommy D.

03-12-2005, 07:01 AM

I just wanted to say that I'm really impressed with your post. You read the comments by others, and even though they were somewhat critical, you considered them carefully and finally came to agree with most of them. When you describe the pool playing opportunities where you live, I can see why you'd jump at any chance to play in a tournament, even if you were almost the nuts to win it. Anyway, as I said, I just wanted to compliment you on your reaction to the posts of those who replied to you.

03-13-2005, 07:56 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tommy_Davidson:</font><hr>

...spending as much time as I can on weekends with my son Zachary. Time with him vs pool is a no-contest...

<hr /></blockquote>

You will never regret that.

03-13-2005, 08:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tommy_Davidson:</font><hr>

...spending as much time as I can on weekends with my son Zachary. Time with him vs pool is a no-contest...

<hr /></blockquote>

You will never regret that. <hr /></blockquote>

You bet Wally. It's a happpy home that makes a happy player. St. ~~rapped around the fingers of two little girls~~