Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Regionals... not quite like league.

Last Thursday night... I played a tough opponent, he was spotting a game in a race to 4. Hill-Hill, he took the final game as I rattled the 8. Out the window with the undefeatedness on thursdays.
Great game though... I never thought I'd say this, but it felt kinda' good to be told I'm sandbagging.
I'm not, of course... and it was presented as a joke, but he said it while handing me a beer... so who am I to get upset? haha... nice.

2-4 Guy that bought me a beer. Thanks guy.

The professor and I both qualified for regionals. It was a solid 2 hour drive to no where's ville, I think they had 2 bars. So we saved the environment, carpooled the 2 hours of highway. Got out there Friday night and had some of the best mexican food I've had in a LONG time.

Better than when I was in mexico even.

The burrito I got was huge. I'm talkin' massive. Bigger than my plate (if the plate was smaller) kinda' big.

Shoulda got a picture, but my battery was dead. (and the foods looked too good to wait)

So I ate the thing and got full about 1/2 way through, took the rest back to the hotel and then realized I didn't have a fridge.

"It's chilly out, I'll leave it under the car. It's like an outside fridge" I thought.

Then I realized how cold I'd get on my way out to the car, and set the little white box full of gigantic burrito and rice with refried beans covered in "super hot sauce"... on top of the TV.

Registration was at 10am the next day... That finished at about 10:30... There wasn't a single practice table unless you were able to win a table, and keep it... this was your practice.

14 tables, 108 people.



14 Diamond Pro Cut, Blue Simonis, 7feet long by 3.5 feet wide, red dot smart tables.


And 108 people.


At least they were perfect tables......

So at around 1:30 I played my first match in a race to 3. Hank played well. No idea what his real name was, but I remember him as Hank. He ran to the hill as quickly as he could... his trouble was getting over it. I realized in the first 2 racks I wasn't playing nearly as defensively as normal. Playing really aggressive, and it wasn't working.

I changed up my style, slowed down a bit (to a sharkingly slow speed, I might add) and started to play safe. A lot.

If I didn't have a run out, I'd make 1... and safe. Hank would run until he missed, and ended up leaving 1 ball + the 8... 3 racks in a row.

If you play this hellish game, you know that having 1 ball to hit, while the other player has 6 or 7 to hide the cueball behind....... this odds is bad for yous.

Hank didn't catch on quick enough, and lost his first match.

In the last 3 racks of this match I racked up around 6 or 7 defensive marks. But I won. And I'm still in the winner's bracket.

2-3 Rabbit

According to the board I had a bye... so I figure it's going to take at LEAST another hour, maybe 2 before my next match. I order a burger, it arrives and I'm waiting for a side of ranch... my name is called. My name is called to match up with someone I know. Some one that I've played against in the past.

Someone I didn't need to drive 2 hours away from my city to play against. I played a game right before I got into his car for a drive to this regionals tournament.

"Table Assignment for Rabbit and the Professor, Table 3" booms over the p.a.

I eat a french fry, he gets the score sheet. I never did get my ranch.

I meet him at Table 3.

He wins the lag, and I go straight to work... in 5 innings I have 2 racks in my pocket and I'm at the 8 ball on the 3rd rack. This is my game, my chance for vegas. My chance at glory and bright lights of gambling and booze.

I think they have hookers in vegas too. Not that I'd buy one, but that they have them.

I'm left with an easy on the 8... and like a jack ass, I over cut it... BARELY move the 8 ball, I think it budged a bout the width of a cat's whisker, and in this one singular motion of missing the 8 ball, I started the decent.

If I was on a plane that had run out of fuel... as the nose dips slightly and the angle of the plane drops 5 degrees and heads towards the deserted Australian outback... in that industry, they call this part of the flight the "Terminal Phase."

I scratched. Then I battled, fought, ridged tooth and sharpened nail... all on the felt, of course... and the professor ended up slowing climbing to his hill. Much like an old video game that I love SO much, we were hill/hill some odd 20 innings later, fiTankWarsghting, battling, and throwing rocks at one another to distract from the army flanking their castle.

I missed hitting the cue ball once or twice, miscue style... he did the same and let the cue drift 2 inches to no wheres. Both of us giving the other ball in hand a couple times.

He came out victorious in the end.

2-4 Professor

Unfortunately the Professor went on to play against the same person he walked all over in his first match, and lost... 3-3.

So now I'm in the loser's bracket, it's 4:30pm... and I wait.

and wait, wait, wait some more, and then continue to wait.

At 10:30 my name is called.

At this point, I don't really care. It hasn't been explained clearly what happens if you're in the loser's bracket and I know I don't really want to wake up early the following morning. I will if I have to, but I don't really want to.

So I figure if I win the loser's bracket, so what... I'm top loser? That's great! I'm still not goin' to vegas.

So I don't put forth my full attention, and I don't play some of the perfect positions that I should... and I lose my loser's match.

2-3 Short guy with a hat

I get to sleep in on Sunday, so it's not a big deal.

What did I learn?

  • Nerves (for me) make more of a difference when there's other depending on me to win. When it's just me, and that's it... nerves don't affect me nearly as much
  • Don't let your head get out of the game. It doesn't matter what else is going on off the table, stay in it... and stay in it to win
  • I need to get back to lansing and get another burrito