I Played Scotch Doubles With Tony Robles!

This is just too damn cool!  I have a long video where you can watch Gail Glazebrook, Tony Robles, myself and another local Alan all playing, but this is a pretty nice runout by Tony and I.

you can see the rest of the evening here.

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Filed Under: 10-Ball · General

Just Some Videos (and a NEW CUE)

I feel like I have a lot to say about my game lately, because I can see that it *is* coming back.  I'm running more balls than I have been, I've ran out a few times when I should have... I feel like I'm about to get back where I was in July.  It's a great feeling.  But, my day-job is ending in 10 days and I'm just too busy with job-searching to really spend too much time on AZB or reading the blogosphere unfortunately.  Nor do I have the time (or attention span) to really lay out my game analysis.  So, here's some videos that get rendered and processed while I'm at work or sleeping. heh

Who Want's a Montage!!

A pretty nice out, if I do say so myself (after a poor break).

Here we have three sets with me and a pool buddy. Each is a race to 9. Here's set 1 (6-9) which I totally fall apart after the halfway point. Then I make a monster comeback in Set 2. Finally, set 3 was a close one, but I edge it out to in 9-7.

I'm currently rendering another race to 9 with Josh of Treadway Cues wherein we literally close the place down.

OH!! Speaking of, I will very soon (about 6 weeks now) have my very own and very first custom cue, courtesy of Treadway Cues. I am stupid excited by this. :)

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Filed Under: 9-Ball

[Pool Synergy] How Do You Recharge


Pool Synergy

This month's edition of Pool Synergy is all about how to recharge your pool game while dealing with being burnt out, rundown and generally exhausted.  Be sure to click the header image above to read all of this month's entries.

For me personally, whenever I'm at the table and the balls seem blurry and I can't seem to stand up straight and no matter what I do with my back arm, the cue ball goes somewhere else, I know it's time to call it quits.  The question is always: For how long?  Sometimes, I adhere to half of the old pool player's advice "Take 2 weeks off, then quit."  I will take a week off, completely, not watch pool online, not play pool games on my phone, not read AZB.  Just a full system shutdown. Things have to be pretty bad for that to be the answer though.

Although, not every break has to be so severe.  Sometimes, I'm just having a rough couple of weeks outside of the pool hall and simply don't have the energy to practice, but still want to be doing something pool-related.  Those are the days where I troll AZB reading filtering through the messages looking for helpful advice or a good discussion of a player's mechanics, etc.  Those are also the nights where I might play a game of pool on my phone before falling asleep to sort of unwind from the day, but still get some kind of pool-playing feeling.  Or, if there's a good match on UStream, I'll watch a live stream. If not, YouTube has thousands of hours of great pool matches.  It all helps me keep pool in mind without physically draining me.

And each time, regardless of the break intensity, when I do finally get back to the table, I'm refreshed, and excited to be there. I don't do any drills, and instead basically knock the balls around. Not put any pressure on myself, just let myself enjoy the simplicity of the game.  Powerstroking shots just for fun. 3,4, and 5 rail banks just to see if they go. Essentially rediscovering the wonder and awe the game can provide when you're not confined to the strict rules of KISS for the money/match/league/title/tournament.  It's like learning how to love the game all over again. 

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Filed Under: Pool Synergy

Small Steps - Alignment, Weight Loss and Vision

My game is slowly but surely coming back. League was this past Friday and while I did win, removing me from last place, it was not an overwhelming victory.  However, I can see aspects of my game coming back.  When I started back up when my hand was ready, I thought my ability fall-off was due to just being away from the table.  But, 5 weeks into league and only now am I starting to see elements of playing like I did a year ago.  Table-time is always part of the issue, sure, but there was one thing that has been driving me bonkers since my return to the game. Whenever I miss shots, it seems I'm only every missing by an inch or so. I'm talking about shots that I get down on and feel 100% confident I'm sighting it correctly. I thought it was my stroke-arm being messed up, but my stroke-straightness tests are about where they were just before I broke my hand. The only difference left to consider is my weight loss. This year, I've lost 60 pounds and whole lot of inches off my body. I've recently considered that my shape change has also affected my stance and alignment. The muscle memory I built was built around keeping my arm away from my older and larger body mass. But now, it's too far out from my body, yet it feels "natural". The problem is that it also relied on my body mass as something of a "guide" to swing parallel too. If I had continued to play all year long, I'm confident that the alignment adjust would've happened in sync with the weight loss, but since I was off the table for 3 months while my hand healed, but continued to lose weight, the automatic adjustment is now out of relation with the weight-loss.

For example, here's one of my favorite shot-angles (because I can put the cue-ball just about anywhere on the table from this spot):

But whenever I shoot that shot - I hit it as diagrammed. Most of my missed shots (save for really difficult cuts, etc) are missed by that small a margin. I'm not sure how I'm going to fix this small alignment issue, but I've taken some steps towards it. Starting with eye-placement without changing my stance too much. I've found, with less body mass I'm more able to get over the cue with less work, stress on my neck, and in doing so, I'm seeing the shots much clearer. I still have to adjust left or right depending on the cut and distance, but not as dramatic as it was before. I'm using more "center-eyes" where I used to use extreme left or right eye.

Below is a rack from last week's league match. It certain is not pretty, but it was a run-out, that I didn't really expect to finish once I got out of line.

This is a great confidence booster (forgetting that my attempt to play a safe on the 1-ball was an utter failure.); as this out relied on shot-making more than good position. Obviously, I want to focus on position so I don't have to come up with great shots, but regardless I got out when I should have - no matter how ugly it was.

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Filed Under: 9-Ball · Stroke

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