Day 32: Aurora, CO
Last night's Nine-Ball tournament at Paradise Billiards
came out pretty good for me, better than I expected.
Samm told me there would be some real good shooters,
and there were definitely some pros there, including
Melissa Little and Meghan Meinrich from the WPBA,
and probably some local pros, judging from their
performances, but since I'm a stranger in these parts,
I wouldn't recognize their faces or names.
The rules were more to my liking, with races to 5,
so the longer the race, the better for me.
My first match started out looking like it would be
a repeat from the night before where I took two losses
in my first two matches, and was put out of the competition.
So, last night, my first opponent dropped the 9 on the break.
Then popped an early 2-9 combo, and I was down 2-0
and only had one shot!
It was looking grim, but I came back and won the
next 5 out of 6 games to win the match.
The next match wasn't so easy.
This guy was shooting them in from all over the place,
and while I took a couple of games from him,
he was definitely controlling the table and
deserved the win.
I told him I would see him again in the finals!
My next match went well, as I was shooting good.
There was no stress, no nervousness, and even
though the place was poorly air-conditioned,
I was maintaining my cool.
I kept telling myself just one ball at a time.
In a big surprise, the next match was with Twitchy
the guy from the previous night's 8-ball tournament.
Since he was shooting so well in that one,
I started thinking maybe he was going to be the
guy who would put me out of this one.
But, again, I just focused on one ball at a time,
and soon enough I was winning 3-0.
That's when he said:
"OK, now you've got my attention!"
and he really started bearing down hard
and came back to win the next few games,
but it wasn't good enough because I won the match.
That really felt good!
My next (and last) match was a real heartbreaker.
We went back and forth until we were both "on the hill"
needing only one game to win the set.
I was faced with a relatively easy cut on the 8-ball
to get position on the 9 for the win,
but I gave it a tad too much reverse english
and threw the 8 into the tip of the cushion
and rattled it.
Of course, my worthy opponent got out easy,
putting me out of the tournament.
He lost his next match to the tournament winner.
Twitchy, who had been hawking my action since his loss
said "That was the first shot I saw you miss all night".
The only real highlight of that last match
was a really fun shot I made.
During my early matches,
I had been having trouble with combination shots.
And that really bugged me, because they didn't seem
to be that hard, so when I was faced with a
FOUR BALL combination along the rail to sink the 9,
I was thinking it would probably be smarter to
play safe rather than go for the win.
But it just looked sooooo tempting.
It was not really lined up, with some slight
jiggy mis-alignment, and with 4 balls,
(five with the cue ball) to figure out the angles,
it was hurting my brain to calculate the exquisite
details, and considering the double & triple shimmed
pockets, I went back and forth on the wisdom of
even trying it, and then figured, what the heck,
and let the force be with me, hauled off and
went with my gut, and pop, pop, pop, pop, plop..
the 9 ball dropped clean!
How sweet it is...