Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Sound of One Loss Clapping

I'm at the APA Singles Regionals right now. After a 4 plus hour drive and a BIG hassle with our hotel rooms (our hotel was overbooked, and our prepaid, confirmed reservations turned out to be worthless, so the morning of our departure we made desperate calls to find the last rooms at various hotels competing with regional soccer, wrestling, and paintball tournaments), we arrived at our lovely Regionals Venue, centrally located about 20 miles south of the middle of nowhere.

With an 8:00 am start, I warmed up well, and then proceeded to wait until about 12:00. My first two matches were no shows, and so I didn't play until about mid-day. I was really nervous, but shot fairly well, winning my first game, and had more chances than I care to admit to win both the next two games, but it was not meant to be. Fortunately, its modified single elimination, so I can work my way through the one-loss side. Despite my loss, I am shooting well, and having a great time, so I can't complain.

Some brief lessons from today:
1) Breathe
2) Ask one of my friends to sit in my corner. I wasn't sure if it would make me self-conscious, but I think its reassuring.
3) Remember that the cue ball is going to travel on thin cuts.
4) Don't pull my stroke.
5) Don't be to clever with my safeties. That is, always consider leaving them long, or just not leaving a good shot. Its not worth making an unnatural shot to try to get ball and hand--cuz if you screw up, you might sell out.
6) Never pull the trigger too soon on the 8.

But I made some excellent shots today and played well....I'm learning and really enjoying this. I want more. Win or lose tomorrow, I can't wait for the next one.


Anonymous said...

Kick butt! :-) Your fellow minnow/guppy, OMGWTF.

poolminnow said...

Thanks, OMGWTF. I think I'm going to wear my lucky T-Shirt today. Dress code be-damned.

poolminnow said...

Thought I would add a little to my original post. Things I doing well....
1) For the most part my pacing is really good. With the exception of a couple of critical shots, I'm waiting until I can feel the shot is going in, and I'm taking my time to make choices (although they are not always the right ones).

2)I'm staying in the game even if I'm down. In all three games, I had the much harder layout and went down to the 8 on every game.

3) I'm making almost all my high percentage shots.

4) I made a couple of excellent shots. The first 8-ball was a long shot into the corner with the cue ball almost frozen to the 8. And a full length rail shot, past the side pocket, that hugged the rail until the last minute when it mysteriously diverted. Upon inspection, there was a visible ripple in the felt right at the end of the rail. (That's the kind of thing I need to watch out for).