Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Feeling groovy

Just a quick post to say that I've been too happily busy to blog much. Things seem to be falling into place. I love the new league and look forward to it each week. I'm getting in practice time, finding the discipline to really work on my weaknesses (instead of banging the balls around). I even wrote down a training plan for my practice sessions this month, which is the kind of thing I usually think about doing, feel I should do, and then don't. And, a couple of friends with skills have volunteered to work with me on my 9-ball game. It feels like good opportunities are finding me.

Not sure if it's that spring is here, or if it's just the pendulum swinging the other way, but its nice to feel like I'm headed in a good direction.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Was I really that bad?

After making a big deal of becoming "league-free," I have to fess up: I'm on a team again. It was kind of a misunderstanding, but its a BCA team playing 8-ball on big tables, so its still a change of pace. When it happened, I decided to run with it. These things happen for a reason, right?

Anyway, last night was my first night playing for this team. I don't know anyone on my team or the opposing team team. I only know a handful of people in the league. We were playing one of the better teams in the league.

I know its best not to think this way, but I couldn't help wanting to show my new teammates I can play at least a little. Not an easy task, because for whatever reason, I've been feeling awkward and impatient at the table lately, especially playing 8-ball.

I lost the first game, although the first inning was not a complete embarrassment. Besides, I'm just warming up, right?

Then, in the middle of my second game, my opponent from my first match calls a time-out on me to let me know that I am playing so badly that he assumes I have never played real 8-ball before: "Pool Minnow, this is 8-ball. You know you don't always have to go for a shot. 8-ball is like chess. You must try to use strategy."

This was ironic, because I was actually going for a two way shot, with the hope I would get a good leave and block a pocket if I missed. I had called the pocket, just in case. My shot wasn't a great shot, but it was the best one that my tired-self could see in that moment. He pointed out a much better shot that was both more strategically advantageous and easier to execute. But, since he was on the other team, and wasn't supposed to be coaching me anyway, I felt I should stick to my original plan.

I went for the shot...
missed by a diamond and a half...
didn't block the pocket...
and scratched.

Wow. I showed him!

And that was pretty much the highpoint of my evening.

Oh well, I guess there's nowhere to go but up!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Nobody puts Baby in the corner

I think I may have lost my mind in Reno this weekend at the US Bar Table Championships. Watching all those great strokes was inspiring, but it got me to thinking: its virtually impossible for me to get in the practice time I need to really improve in the way I would like.

I have a full-time job. Actually, its more than a full-time job. I have no car, and either pool hall in the city is 2 buses away, so I have to plan for about 2.5 hours to get in 1 hour of practice. At the end of a long day or a long week, its sometimes hard to drag myself on public transit, even if I really want to practice.

So this is what I'm considering: taking out my couch and putting a pool table in the corner. Yes, in the corner. Think about it....there are an awful lot of drills you can do with only two sides. I kind of like the idea of it not being a fully functional table. I'm thinking the limited access will make me want to do drills rather than just hit balls around.

The deal would be to do it for one year, and then sell the table (unless I really loved the set up). At the same time, I'd give up cable for the year (which is just a waste of money) to help pay for the table in case I can't find something cheap on Craigslist.

So here's the part I'm unsure does kind of mean that I'm devoting a large part of my everyday living space to pool. I'm fortunate to live in a 1-bedroom, so I would effectively start living in a studio with a pool training room, almost completely taken up by a pool table. (i.e. you can't flop down on the green felt at the end of a long day to relax and watch House. It would take up a lot of my space.)

Is this crazy?

Or given the amount of mental space that pool already takes up, does it make perfect sense?

Is there anyway to know unless I try?

Well, the tape measure is out and I'm working on the redesign of my apartment. Not sure I will actually go through with it, but stay tuned.