Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Small town, Big Times

Last week I was on yet another business trip.
A small town with less than 10,000 people called "Jasper"

I arrived in this tiny little town to realize they enjoy country music, religion, and bingo.
Yes my friends, Bingo... just like the child hood song.

Oddly enough, in a tiny little town like's common to have a bar on every corner.
There were literally 2 bars in the entire town. So forget about my goal (pool hall)

But there was a ton of bingo parlors.

My first night I slept a restless slumber.
During the day I asked around about a place to go play pool... refered to the bowling alley I started my drive.

On the way there I saw a little place called O'Malley's
An irish bar by the name, and the beer in the bottles behind the shelf I rested my elbows.

First thing the barkeep says to me when I walk in is "Are you going to stay for the pool tournament?"
Well, now that you mention it...

They had 5 barboxes and about 4 sticks on the wall. Would you believe that not a single stick was worth a dime?
beautiful things one finds in a bar

Apparently this place also has open tables mon, tue, and wed.
No pool hall in town, but I found the place I'm going to be.

So I play pool for an hour or so with a half assed piece of twig and one of the guys that works there comes over and offers to play.
So we play and it comes up that I'm going to be in the tourny... so he offers that I can use one of his sticks.

Sweet mother load of apples.

So let's count here...
small town... so I'm not expecting to play any pool.
I accidentally stumble into a bar and find 5 tables
all 5 are wide open for the next 3 days
and there's a double elimination pool tourny for cheap.
it's going to be a good week.

so I get some practice in with the pool stick for about an hour before the tourney starts. Flip for the break... heads... tails lands and I'm rackin'
Every match is a race to one... good luck.

He breaks... 8 ball drops.
There goes my free space, right dead center on my bingo card.

I'm in the losers bracket... I come up against a guy that showed he's got some speed in an earlier game I was watching.

Flip... Heads... Tails up... I rack.
Break... open table.

I play a connect the dots run down to the 8 and bobble it... he misses and leaves perfectly straight in, then pushes the 8 in to shake my hand.

B14, I20, O55, N43 and my bingo card is getting darker.

Next match is against a shorter, fluffier guy
Flip... Heads... Tails up... I rack... again.
Break... drops a stripe but no shot. Plays safe
A couple of clusters bother the layout... I knock in a couple balls
then break out the cluster I'm most worried about, playing safe at the same time.
He kicks, leaves a shot... I finish the rack.

Next match... Older fella with a hat on
Flip... Heads... Tails up... I rack. What the shit?
He breaks, makes 2 solids and runs down to the 8.
I'm feeling the end of this tourney is on the tip of my cue stick... and I'm not going out like this.
He (luckily) missed position and had a tough bank on the 8... ended up double kissing and leaving me a shot.
I run down and play safe behind 2 balls blocking the 8.
He kicks for a 3 rail hit and gives up ball in hand.

Another 5 bingo squares go dark on my card.

Flip... Tails... Tails up... I break.
bout damn time... damnit
I break... make nothing but leave the rock on the end rail and some how, every shot is a combination.
(I planned it that way lol)
He shoots... he misses... and I'm up.
I'm free wheelin' now... I don't even think about the table.
I just see it, and go. So this is what it feels like to eat a $45,000 bowl of ice cream in a 5 star resturant... nice.

anyway... I make a solid and I'm left funny
A bank drops the 5 in the corner
I play another and I miss ideal position
another solid drops and I'm stuck behind a 3 ball combo
I glance at it and hit the 7-14-3... 3 drops
I play the 7 and leave myself on the rail.
with a straight in shot on the 1 in the opposite corner.
My leave would have to either draw slightly, or at the very least stop... for the 8 in the side. 1mm forward and I'm stuck behind the 14 that just sank my 3 ball.
with a stick I've been using for about an hour... I crank up to about 80 degrees, center bottom english... aim at the 1 for the corner.

PreShot Routine pays off... I stroke hard and fast, before I have a chance to look at the pocket the 1 ball isn't on the table and I have a shot on the 8.

I drop this, and it's semi finals.
Semi finals and all I need on my bingo card is 3 more squares and I've got a blackout for $150

Flip... Tails... Heads up... I rack.
Break drops the 8 and I'm out.

I really need to work on my break.
Either that or find out what I need to call before the flip.

I don't mind losing.
It's when i play like my hands are made of tires and my brain is made of mush
even if I win I feel like shit.

If I play my best and lose, I'm ok with that. I lost to a better player... I didn't beat myself.

When is it ok for you to lose? Why do you get pissed if you win? Leave a comment and vent about it