TAR 22: Shane van Boeing VS Earl Strickland!!!!!

These 2 are having something of a rematch this coming weekend! I have so much going on this weekend, I'm not sure I'll get to watch much of the PPV, but I'm hoping to catch as much as I can.  Two of my favorite run-out players!!  Check out the stats on the table they're playing on:

This match will take place December 2,3,4 2011 at the TAR Studio in Las Vegas, NV. The match will be 9 Ball, race to 75, $5000 per man winner take all. Rules are winner breaks, rack your own with a magic rack on the TAR Studio 9 foot Diamond Pro Am with the "Fatboy" rails by RealKing Cobra that feature 4 1/8" pockets. The 9 ball must be made last and will spot up if made on the break or early in the rack on a combo or carom. Call shot/call safe rules will be used just like in the last match between these two. - Justin/TAR

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Filed Under: 9-Ball

Videos and Updates

Been pretty stressed for time lately, but I have been at the table a lot more lately; though not always a good time.  It seems my alignment issues are not yet resolved. Though, they are getting better, there is still something "off" about things.  The 2nd week of league, I played a friend of mine, and lost that match (video here). But after that, I played something of a arch nemesis there, this kid Jacob.  He's just got my number, and I'm stuck a few dollars to him over the course of our interactions.  But, I finally managed to squeek one by him. Though that was more him defeating himself than my winning.

The next week I finally got my first win in the league, which you can watch here; but it's not really all that pretty.  A few days later, I'm practicing with Johnny again, and I hit, quite possibly the best cross bank ever - it was a 100% fluke, but it looked awesome.  Made even moreso by my total non-surprise reaction. haha  This came during a practice race to 9, which I lost 9-6 (and can't seem to find the video for right now), but here's a follow-up race to 3.

This weekend was Thanksgiving and I chose not to play in the annual t-giving tournament held at the Ride the Rail because I just didn't really feel like it.  However, I did get to play with an old practice partner, Jean - and we played some 10-ball.  Though this was at the end of the night, and it was only when I got home and literally fell asleep on the couch moments later I realized just how tired I was.  I was playing better earlier, I promise. :p

And just because, here's that cross-bank video:

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Filed Under: 10-Ball · 9-Ball

Random Awesome Shot

The other night, I got into a ring game with some locals.  The night, overall, was absolutely terrible for me - save one shot.  The previous shooter had hung the 5 ball in the jaws of the side, but the cue ball was in such a place that I couldn't possibly back-cut into the pocket.  I do not 1-rail kick very well and I didn't like the 2-rail option, as I had earlier missed a very similar kick.  After studying the table for a minute, I finally saw it.  Kick 3 rails with inside to reverse of the 2nd cushion sending the CB directly at the 5.  I was just hoping to get a hit, but it turned out that I hit perfectly!


The other shooters were just as stunned as I was.  I was able to finish out this rack from there, but it would be the last rack I'd win for the next 2 hours.  Like I said, it was a bad night for me - and this was so entirely random I just can't believe I pulled it off.

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Filed Under: 9-Ball

[Pool Synergy] What Are You Thankful For


Pool Synergy

This month's Pool Synergy is about being thankful. For me, I'm thankful for all the help, guidance and support I've received over the last 2 years of really trying to focus on and learn this game. More specifically, I'm amazed by that help because I received it all from people whom I have never met in person!  Here some people and stories that I am thankful for:

First, I have to thank Samm Vidal Claramunt (Diep) for initially inviting me to join Pool Synergy after she found my little blog in it's infancy.  Through her reaching out to include me, I've met some great people and learned an incredible amount about everything relating to pool. She is so kind, enthusiastic and eager to help out however she can. Thanks Samm!

Shortly after Samm's introduction, I met Mike Fieldhammer.  He is an instructor, pool advocate and billiards supplies salesman.  When he read that I was in the market for a new break cue, he sent me an email with some amazing choices, options and procedures involving customer service that I would not frequently get from a local brick store.  As much as I want to support locally owned business, his friendliness and determination to stand behind his product is 2nd to none.  So, after I finally decided on a break cue configuration, I contacted him with the details, he served it up right away and when something went awry, he had it taken care of so quickly I barely had time to notice there was anything wrong in the first place. Thanks Mike!

Also through the Pool Synergy network, I met this month's host, akaTrigger, through the Pool Synergy emails and discussion board.  Of course, I took notice of her celebrity status over on the AZBForums as well.  She was an early follower of my blog (back when I was still on Blogger.com even) and we exchanged many comments on our posts.  She is so encouraging and supportive, and over the last 2 years I've witnessed her put so much of herself into pool, her blog, her friends, her family, it's really refreshing to know that people who are genuinely "good hearts" actually do exist.  She really is an inspiring person and I'm happy to have met her (virtually).  Thanks Melinda!

Through the AZBForums, I've met quite a wide array of characters, most of them are all good stories. ;) For example, when Jim Murnak was releasing his Dressing Up Nes video I critiqued his website's checkout procedure.  He contacted me and thanked me for my feedback, and threw in some free schwag as well! Thanks Jim!

Another great person I met online is Mark Cantrill.  He has put together several exhibitions around the country with some of the biggest names in the business. Specifically, he was bringing Johnny Archer and Nick Varner to my town!  So, when I offered to help flyer the town to try and drum up some interest, he was very thankful.  As it turns out, I actually did end up meeting him in person when he was able to bring the event here. He was such a great host and entertainer.  Here's some evidence. Specifically, the 1:23 mark.  Which of course, allowed us all to see just how great of an impromptu story teller Johnny Archer is!  Thanks Mark!

However, the first person I met in real life was Gail Glazebrook.  We met through the Pool Synergy network as well.  As it turns out, she has family in my neck of the woods and would be in town for a weekend.  She contacted me and we set up some time to get together.  She was also doing a small exhibition with Tony Robles at a local pool room. She is such a sweetheart, and Tony could not be more of a nice guy!  I hope to get out to the east coast some day just to get to hang out with those 2 again.  Thanks Gail!

There are so many people I've met on AZB that have sent me little tidbits of info, guidance, help, encouragement in private messages or just by offering their opinion in a thread that I couldn't possibly name them all here.  To all of AZBF - Thanks!

And while this doesn't fall under the e-friends category, strictly, (though we did meet, initially, online years ago) I have to say that I'm incredibly thankful for my girlfriend and best friend, Michelle.  She has been very supportive in my pool playing, always encouraging me to push harder, practice more and listening to me vent about a game she really doesn't know very well; but always with an attentive spirit and always has valuable advice to offer.

That's it for me for this month.  Please make sure you click the logo above and hit up all our authors this month!  Until next time, happy shooting!


Filed Under: Pool Synergy

League Revenge - With A Vengence

Friday was the first night of the new league session.  10 players, but some new faces this time.  As it turns out, my first round opponent was Jim Buss.  We had met previously and it was a tough match, but I came out on top of that one. This time, he meant business.  I lost the flip, he breaks, makes 3 balls and runs out like it wasn't even a chore.  And that's how he played the rest of the match.  I hadn't really been playing much lately, but was kind of relying on my muscle memory to get me through.  It did alright, but I was having some small alignment issues.  I'd line up, get down and shoot and I'd miss by half an inch - almost every single time I had to be really accurate with the shot.  As such, I struggled pretty badly, winning only 2 games.  Jim only missed about 3 balls the whole match and won handily 9-4 (I was getting 2 on the wire).  As the match went on, I got more and more furstrated with myself; which of course is an immediate recipe for total disaster.  I won a game to make it 3-2... then I didn't win a game until he was on the hill, which made it 8-4. Of course, he ran out the last rack.  He played really well, can't fault him at all for that, can't get upset about it.  I played bad, I know it, I knew it and couldn't fight through it. If you're curious to see how Jim played, (while also putting up with my terrible play, bad self-talk and some angry comments), I recorded it for my review, which you can see here.

As this was going on, the St. Louis Cardinals were winning the World Series, so the room was all a-buzz with that nonsense.  After my crushing defeat, I stayed there and played some by myself, to see if I could correct the mistakes I was making.  I feel like I'm finding my stroke again, after taking 3 months off, it's not as easy as I had expected. :/  

Next week I play a new league member, but also one of my practice partners.  Thursday, we played some races to 9 just to get warmed up, he won 2 sets, I won one. And look at this consistency: The first set, I was up 5-1 on him, and then fell apart, started missing the 7 or 8 ball, which let him win 9-6.  The 2nd set, was even worse, he won 9-1.  The 3rd set, I finally started to gather myself, and I think he started missing the late in the rack as well, so I took that one 9-3.  But those scores are all over the place.  Not the type of consistency required to stay at the top section of the leaderboards. :/

I'm gonna have some work to do this session. I must find a way to get more table-time in; which would be simple - if 3 of my favorite videogame franchises weren't all releasing new titles in November. :/  Guess I have a decision to make.  And it's an easy decision - if I do well in the league - I get cash.  If I do well at the video game, I feel like I didn't waste cash.  So... games are gonna have to wait quite some time.  I need table-time.

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Filed Under: 9-Ball

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