View Full Version : some thoughts and ramblings--very long--don't read

07-01-2002, 07:42 AM
Last Thur I played in my 5th mini tournament. It was 14 days since my last tournament. And I only had 1 five hour practice in about 3 weeks. My first match I played against a 4. I'm still a 5. I won the first game. Then I fell behind 1-3. In my first 4 tournaments I lost to my first opponet. I immediately started thinking win. You must win now matter how. Get tough. And finally I beat someone. But I also thought that way in the other tournaments. I won 5-3. I didn't keep thinking, stay calm like have before. I easily get nervous. I would think you always got nervous when you were young and you won then. I doubt if I was shaking. But it felt like it. I just kept trying to win.

So next I played against another.4. I won the first game. I'm thinking 5 in a roll. Then I fell behind 1-3 again. And my thought process was basically the same. Then I realized something. All these 4s, 4 1/2s, 5s etc have been shooting better then me. Even now I had to come from behind. I won 5-3 again. And in doing so I'm only shooting about equal to them. But they are choking a little more then me. Good thing they don't know how nervous I am.

Here's a high point for me. During these first two matches I made a ball on the break every time. So I broke after the first win. So I must have broke 8 or 9 times because I also won one of the tosses. I never had a strong or good break. I would probably guess I average making a ball on the break about 20% or 25%. This may have been my longest string ever of consecutiviely making a ball on the break.

Now I get another 4. Some of these are 4 1/2s. We introduce ourselves. And he says I can I beat Fast Eddie. Even if I shoot as good as Minnesotta Fats, he can't beat Fast Eddie. He thought he had me for sure. Again I won the first game. Then came my first scratch on a break. He says that's 1. He takes ball in hand and buries it. I miss which I guess is called a foul. He says that's 2. This time he buries the cue again. Plus it's frozen to a ball blocking me from any down table shots like straight downs, three in the corner, four rails or two rails. I have to shoot completely over the frozen ball. That wasn't a problem. But I had to sort of try a 3 in the side with the cue that even if it was hit perfect might not had made a good hit. He says that's game. So I'm down 1-2 now. Now he pockets the 9 on the break. It's 1-3.
Again I'm thiking win. Just win. Playing is too much fun. Then I think. Maybe I should have let Rich lower me to a 4 1/2 or 4 a few weeks ago. Almost everyone is playing better then their handicap. And then I realized right now I'm spotting these players that are equal to or better then me. I actually have to play 5-3 to win. So I have to win two extra games against players that I'm not better then. Too bad. Excuses are for losers. Just win. It's your own fault you're so bad.

Well I win the next game making about the last 5 or 6 balls. I break and nothing goes in. So my streak was stopped at 10. He rolls out. I can clearly see the entire 1 ball from about 5 feet away. But I don't have any straight in shots or banks. So I say shoot again.
He goes for the safety. I never even thought of safety. But he leaves me with a clear view of the ball from about 6 feet away. Don't let this guy beat you that way again. Once was a learning experience. But twice is stupidity and for losers. Not again. Just make a couple balls to be sure. See this long cut shot going in. And I was shooting over a ball like that girl did today on tv. Just make this shot. Beat this guy. I'm finally outshooting someone for the first time. And I'm losing.

But don't even think of losing this way. So I make the 1 ball. Now I'm looking at another table length cut shot. Just make this and he can't lock up that cue. When I shoot shots like this, if I just try to make it, I might stick the cue or something. Shooting this way I might make this shot maybe 4or 5 out of 10 times. If I try to draw or force follow for position, I drop down to maybe making it 2 out of 10. So I keep thinking just make this shot. I do and now I get a shot I can play some position on. and I make a few more.

Now I'm looking at the table with the 9 ball hung in the right foot corner from me. The cue is about 1 diamond from the foot rail and about 1 diamond from the right side rail. The 7 ball is up table It's about 2 1/2 diamonds away from the head rail. And it is also about 1 1/2 diamonds off the right side rail. So it's off the side rail maybe a half diamone more then the cue is. And the 8 ball is across to the left between the head rail and the side pocket. It's a few inches off the side rail. So basically I'm immediately looking at a natural 3 cushion billiard shot. I get down and start to stroke. I get back up. I haven't really shot any billiard shots since I started playing again. But this is a natural. Well I don't exactly have a huge 9 ball. It's not right on the edge ready to fall in. But it is in the pocket. If I shoot a natural 3 rails to the corner billiard shot I should have no trouble avoiding the kiss with the 7 ball. And I should miss kissing the 8 ball coming of that third side rail if I hit it correctly. So I get back down to shoot again. The way the balls were set up I didn't really have a back to bank shot with the 7 ball. But I get up again. If I miss he's got me. Don't miss. Just shoot that seven ball in and later worry about the 8 ball. So I make the seven in the corner.
Now the cue stops about two diamonds off the head rail. And it's near the right side rail. And the 8 bal is 2 or 3 inches off the left side rail. And it's far enough from the side pocket that I can't cut it into the side. I don't like the looks of shooting into the 8 balls face and sort of pass through it for a cross side attempt. The angle doesn't look right and to avoid the kiss I would have a chance at a scratch. Remember you lost to his guy on 3 fouls and then he popped the 9. Don't lose. Take your time and find the right shot. I don't like the angle to try and blast into the 8 ball with speed and reverse to try and kill the angle to make it cross side. Looks like it can't be done. What about this same type and try for cross side twice. Still doesn't look like it can be made. What about safety. How. Just make this ball somehow.
Well I guess my only shot it to cut it all the way down table into the left corner. I can see this going in. Do it. So I got lucky and made it.

Then I hear. Fast Eddie ran the rack. Even Minnesotta Fats can't beat Fast Eddie. Another high. I just run my first rack in 9 ball. It wasn't from the break. But I did run 9 balls. Big deal. Think about that later. That's over. It doesn't mean anything if you don't win the next 3 games. Which I did. Finally I'm outshooting someone. This was the best of these first 3 players. But I wasn't making any balls on the break now. But that doesn't matter because I don't run racks anyway. Just win. Just make the balls. Only play position on the easy shots.

Now I play the kid who I played in my last tournament 2 weeks ago. He's still a 4 1/2;. And he quickly beat me 4-1 last time. Hi. Where have you been. He knows he has an easy match. I haven't been able to make it for a couple weeks. My last tournament was when you beat me 4-1. He jumps up on me 3-0 I think. Don't worry. Just win. Your finally shooting a little. You can outshoot, out position, and out think this kid. Just win. Just make the balls. Don't worry about position. So I win a game. And he's feeling the pressure. Misses a fairly easy shot on the 3. I slowly finish up the table. I'm down 2-3 now. I'm still feeling nervous. But so what. You just won 3 nice come from behind matches while feeling nervous and shaky. Just make balls. Just win. And this kid sees the difference in me now. And he's choking. Just win or you wasted some nice games.

I lose 2-4. It's over. But I love competing. I want to keep playing. I'll make shots. I'll just make this ball. How can it be over so soon. This is the first time I feel like I'm playing pool. Oh well. At least it's a start. I still couldn't get any practice in. I'm trying to make the open tournament Mon. It's the one with all the good players. I love playing against better players. I think I just love competing.

More random thoughts.
If I would have won I would move up to a 6. Then to beat these kids I will have to outplay them 6-3 to win. Who's the other player left. He's the player I practiced against for about 45 minutes about a month ago at Cue Time, a different pool room. He consistantly ran 5, 6 or 7 balls. Completely outshot me by about 2 or 3 balls a rack. But after a slow start I was somehow winning games and breaking 2 or 3 times then a loss. So I may have won 1 or 2 more games then he did. But he definitely outshot me. Well I know he's better then this 4 1/2. I know he's better then my 5. He should win it tonight. And this kid is friends with the guy & girl that often work at cue times. I check with Rich. He's a 4. Did the ones that run Cue Time reccommend him as a 4? Well it's not my place to say anything. I just say to Rich he will win it all tonight. Rich says then he'll go to a 5. Winner goes up 1 point and 2nd place goes up 1/2 point. Why didn't I let Rich drop me a few weeks ago. Too late. I could never ask to be dropped. I'll just have to shoot that much better. That's all. I was wrong again. Somehow he lost and finished 2nd.

Now there's only about 4 of us older guys left in the 7 & under tournament. All the others went up to 8 and can only play in the open one on Mon. So I was correct in my evaluation of all these players abilities. And these few other older guys aren't really that good. About true 5s or 6s. There are a couple younger 6s & 6 1/2s that should soon be moving up.

These tournaments are scheduled practice from 7-8. But they usually don't start until about 8:20 or 8:30 at the latest. Rich has to draw the numbers and make up the chart. Today the entire tournament is finished by 11:30. Wow. Before they were never finished at 12:30 or 1:00. And on Mon the last two often just split the money and 1 has to take the win and move up a point and the other moves up 1/2 point. And on Mon they don't finish until 1:00 or later. And that's withou playing the last match. Two or three slow players make all that difference. Dennis is one of the slower players. But he is in the wheel chair. So there is a reason for his slow play.

A a couple of the other older players really go quite slow. I'm talking not only about how they seem to make a ritual of slowly chalking up, slowly walking around the table bewtween their shots, and slowly setting up etc. There's also the often 1 or 2 minutes between shots. And I always see it through off the other players.

I don't think it will through off the open players as much becasue they are mostly the better players. But a few of us 4s & 5s enter. But there are a lot of 6s, 7s, 8s, & 9s. And a couple 9 1/2s, 10s, 10-1s if were lucky. I haven't seen Marcos here yet. But I saw him the first time I went to Chris's. He's the 12-3 that I'm told is one of the best players in the state or area or something like that.

See what happens when the board is down too long. Feel free to make any suggestions or give helpful advice.

07-01-2002, 08:26 AM
Marcos? Marco Marquez? Yeah, real strong.


07-01-2002, 12:38 PM
That's the man. I didn't really watch him play that time. But just looking at him before they started I just knew he was good. He has that presence about him. Would players like him be close to the pro level? Maybe after the summer he will again play in some of the Mon tournaments and I might get lucky enough to draw him. If not I will probably at least get to watch him if he comes.

07-01-2002, 02:31 PM
I believe Marco plays pro level at pretty much every game. Some people in the know in the Midwest will know better than I. I did have the pleasure a few years back of making his acquaintance. Very enjoyable time.