View Full Version : Inspirational-- beating the stacked deck

phil in sofla
09-05-2002, 04:54 PM
On paper and by history, we should have had little or no chance to beat the team we faced Wednesday night. Mainly a bunch of experience-hardened 50 year old plus players who spend most evenings playing one pocket, ring games, 'Chicago' or golf pool on a big billiard table for money, they were a collection of runout players with the knowledge and skill to kick out of any trouble, and favored to leave you safe when they did so. Undefeated in their previous 12 matches, they had twice easily handled the past season's #1 team and winner of the overall championship, and spanked us 12-3 in our own room previously.

Things looked unpromising before we even got started, and then got worse. Our player with the best record on the team was going to be late, to miss at least the entire first set, and actually, never did show up. So we were without our full complement of weapons. All of us had arrived quite late, and had only 15 minutes to warm up 5 guys on the tightest table in the place, the one with the two trick corner pockets.

Our two leadoff guys ended up winning 1 of 6 games between them, so we found ourselves having to come back from behind a couple of times. Down 0-2 out of the gate, the middle/bottom of the lineup picked us up to go ahead 3-2. The next set found us down 3-5, but we recovered to tie 5-5 going into the third set. Our leadoff guy picked the right game to win, putting us on the mini-hill first, 6-5 (race was best 8 of 15), and we never looked back, because they were gaining on us, re-tieing it at 6 apiece. Once again the middle/bottom of the order came through, as part of their collective 8 of 9 win night, and we took the hill, took the match on the next game, and added the last game to our total for good measure, ending it at 9-6. We had ample opportunity to fold, but didn't, in a real gut check victory.

So, it was not only an unlikely victory, but one accomplished in an improbable way, against additional odds stacked up against us. It locked up 3rd place for us for now, and a sure playoff spot, assuming we win out against the rest of the schedule as we should. It's a great confidence builder for the playoffs, knowing that even with some sub-par performances, we can be competitive and win against the best in the division. It also marked the VERY timely return of Jackpot George to his classic runout form, a new level of play and confidence from our bench player, and some of the better play out of me in some time.

So, remember, if you're a big underdog, you are still not beaten until the case game is over. And the flip side is, if you're heavily favored, that isn't worth much if the opponent isn't intimidated. You must still execute and get out, or they just might do it themselves.

Here's wishing all of you as many upset wins, and come from behind victories, and even beating the people you should, that you can handle and still keep the same hat size! Ya gotta believe, in yourself, or teammates, being able to rise to the occasion.

Chris Cass
09-05-2002, 05:01 PM
Hey Phil,

Congrats! I'm thinking they call that definition, "Champions." Great job...



09-06-2002, 10:27 AM
Chris, the night Phil is talking about is the night I was talking to you about last night when we were on the phone. George took off and played incredible and the guy Phil refers to as our "bench" guy decided it was a good idea to make every shot........period. Phil is solid all the time, usually not doing anything spectacular (other than the perfect 1 rail kick shot to sink the 8). For some reason I wasn't comfortable and did not contribute to anything other than helping our opponents winning percentage. I actually thought about quitting pool that night but in retrospect it is just a bad night and no serious cause for alarm.

The guys on our team have heart and rise to the occasion time and time again, even if we are outmanned and outgunned (which is odd since I don't think we should ever lose). Just my .02.

Kato~~~is having a rough day but needs to gut it out