Lots of League Updates

Since the heated tables post, there has been a lot of pool played.  The day after that league, I played the C&C league and played pretty damn well, winning handily 9-6 I think it was.  Skip forward to Wednesday - bar table APA league. I had jumped to a 7 in 9-ball and played another 7 who when I first started hanging out up there kinda laid down an unspoken challenge; so it was exciting to get to play him.  It took me a while to get going - and he was ahead in the race to 55 up to the late 20's point.  Then I caught up in the mid-30's and into the 40's.  We traded the lead back and forth a while until he was a head at 51 and I was at 47. He stopped at 51 because he hooked himself on a ball and had to kick at it and missed.  I ran out from that rack to take the win!  It was a close match all the way through and could have went either way.  It was really a matter of him making 3 more mistakes than I did.  That's the biggest reason I got out when I did.  He'd get a bad bump and scratch halfway through the rack, or get hooked.  If he hadn't gotten unlucky; he would've won the match pretty heavily. But, as it turned out, I took the win.  Which is great, as it puts me in 4th place for Top Gun in 9-ball; but it also moved me up to an 8!!! Oof. 

Thursday was back at Saratoga, and I got there early to try and get some table-time before league started.  This time, I brought my measle ball and used that to start with.  I played much better with it, wasn't overrunning position nearly as much.  Just for comparison, I put the standard cueball back on the table, and there went any position chance I had.  A bit before league started, I was practicing with another teammate, and just getting stomped.  I'd run to the 7 and by that time be out of line enough that I had to go for a bank or a difficult shot to get out and miss.  It really destroyed my confidence.  He won probably 10 out of 13 games.  The match started and we began with 8-ball.  It was a tough match because there just wasn't too many open layouts.  And when there were, I blew position, or missed breakouts.  I did shoot this amazing half-pocket+break out shot that I really wanna share, but that damn CueTable site is still down. :( But, overall, the match went how they normally go...I run out to the last couple of balls and screw it up.  At least I won 2 games this time. *headdesk* I lost 2-7.

The next night, I had a double-header at the C&C league.  First up, Edik "The Strong" as we call him. I was getting 2 games on the wire and I won the flip, rack break and the 9 gets kicked into the pocket. So, one swing of the cue and I'm up 3-0.  The next rack he breaks dry and as I try a tricky shot on the 2 ball (which I actually miss) the cue ball caroms off another ball and slices the 9 down the rail 2 diamonds!  He was sick about it; I was in utter amazement.  So, now it's 4-0 and he's already coming apart.  I get the next game after some bad position route he tried.  Then he took a smoke break and I stayed at the table so as not to take myself out of the game.  He played better, but not good enough. I ended up winning the match 9-4.  Then I played my second match with another A player.  He had just won his earlier match pretty handily as well, so this was going to be tough.  I jumped out to an early lead, something like 4-0 again, then I started relaxing a little bit (in retrospect, I think that's what it was) and he came back to tie it up at 6. I was getting tired (as I hadn't slept much the night before) and my position was getting out of control.  But, I had gotten to the hill at 8-6... but I just couldn't close it. He came back and it went hill-hill.  He missed the 4 ball or something, and I ran the rest of the table. It wasn't an easy out and when I finally got to the 9, I was on the rail and down on the shot.  Just then the guy on the table next to us walked around the corner and a glare of his keys on his belt caught my attention.  I recognized it as a distraction, but didn't stand up and reset myself.  I just said "get this over with" and I pulled the trigger.  The 9-ball bobbled in the jaws and hung there.  I was in shock. I just stood there in disbelief.  So, he wins the match 8-9.

Tonight is the APA barleague and I don't think I'm going to get to play 9ball.  Which I'm confliced about.  If I play - and win, it'll be awesome because it's more Top Gun points, but then I'll still be an 8; which is really tough to fade.  But, if I played a lower skill level, like a 5 or something, I'd have to nearly double their score (going to 65 as an 8 now) and they'd only have to go to 38.  If I lost, I might drop to a 7 again, but there's no guarantee for that either.  Even if I won, if I only average 6 or 7 points per inning, I should go down.  I'm only concerned about it because being an 8 means that if I play, some other people can't.  Or I don't get to play as often.  Either way, it's problematic.  But, we'll see how it goes.  I'm fine with whatever decision is made by the captain.  This is why I like individual leagues, I don't have to worry about what happens to the team if I play well.  *shrug*

I'm going to challenge myself tonight anyway.  I have a practice match with the captain, she's a 7 in 9ball, so we're gonna try and play a full match as our skill levels.  65-55.  This out to be interesting. :)

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Filed Under: League

Heated Tables

So, last night was my first session of APA Masters league.  It was at this bowling alley that has some 50's style tables (can't remember the make right now).  They play good - new simonis cloth, very springy rails.  It almost plays like a Diamond.  But, the temp in the room was close to 80 - and they had normal lightbulbs above the table.  The balls felt warm when you went to rack them.  The cueball was the blue-s aramith ball.  The table was stupid fast - and the cueball felt like a golfball.  At one point, I was dead straight on a ball, 7 feet away. I hit what felt like my normal stop-shot speed and the cueball drew back 2 feet!  On another another shot, I needed to stun into the rail and was just off straight, so I hit it with some force - the cueball never touched the rail and drew sideways parallel up the rail 3 diamonds.  I could not get the speed down, not even a little bit. It was a total freakin' disaster.  I lost 0-7.  It was utterly embrassing. The guy I was playing has recently jumped a few levels in his game and wow was he ON last night. Just never missed, tapping balls that on any other table could stop halfway to the pocket, but managed to coast right into the pocket and getting great shape. I don't know how I'm going to manage these tables. I was at a complete loss. I'm hoping they're open during lunch because I play normal bar-league Wednesdays, then going to these tables the next night with no time to hit any balls before league begins... that's just going to be a bad scene.


I mean, obviously, I was nervous as hell last night. New league, new people, everyone watching - and expecting great things after my excellent showing the previous night. But holy hell ... that was brutal. Just utterly brutal.  I saw someone else playing with the measle ball and I'm really hoping that I can use that next time (I have my own); at least that will be one familiar thing. I'm gonna try it, but the other team/player has to approve it.

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Filed Under: 8-Ball · 9-Ball · League

APA League Review (2nd week)

I've been so damn busy with everything else that I haven't had time to do much posting.  So, to summarize:  2 weeks ago I played my first APA league matches.  I play on a double-jeapordy team, and played 9-ball first.  They started me as a 5; even after I played the local league operator and some of his "evaluators" all agreed I should probably be a 6 to start with. But, regardless - them's the rules in the book.  So, I have to go to 38 and my opponent goes to 31. I'll wrap this match up by saying I made everything I shot at... i just never got to shoot at anything.  I only made it to 20.  Just couldn't outrun the rolls.

Then I played my 8-ball match a few hours later.  I win the lag, and proceed to win all 4 racks!  The guy should've had me a few times, but he'd severely blow position on his key ball, almost every time.  So, I'd run out with an open table.  My first 8-ball match, and I get a "Rackless" patch!

Skip ahead to last night (no league last week). I'm still a 5 in 9-ball, and I play LIGHTS OUT! I get to my 38 in 7 innings - including 3 safeties, so for scoring purposes, I get there in 4 innings!! That's an average of 9.5 points per inning.  I'm going to go from a 5 to an 8 (at least) next week!  I got all the rolls and my opponent didn't get any.  For match score, I won 20-0 for the team; which earns me the "Skunked" patch! :)  Then I play 8-ball - for which I was moved up to a 7.  I play another 7, it's a race to 5.  We start the match around 11:30, I've had a few beers and a shot and had been sitting for about 3.5 hours.  I win the lag, break, make a ball, but the CB is hooked behind some other balls, so I play safe.  And from there, my opponent and I play a short chess match for a while.  He gets the first 2 racks, then I get one, then he gets another.  He needs 2, I need 4.  I start to losen up at the table and the match became awesome.  We played lock-up safeties back and forth on each other; it really became a safety battle because as soon as one of us made a mistake, the other ran out.  Literally. I wish the CueTable software worked because I had such an amazing out I'd love to diagram.  I broke dry and he overran position on his 2nd to last ball, forcing a kick.  He scratched and I ran out, clearing 3 of my suite within 2 diamonds on the long rail - starting with a cross-side bank.  I got it to hill-hill and he was breaking. He did the 2nd ball break and it just causes a mess, so he didn't run out - though I thought he might.  When I got to the table, I had some problems, I got a little overly aggressive and tried to a carom I didn't think would go - and it didn't.  He got out from there, so I lost.  But, 9 racks, 20 innings, 10 safeties, so even still, 9 racks in 10 functional innings, is still a 7-level score.

Afterwards, we talked about how much fun the match was - how it was really very close and how enjoyable it was.  I really hope I get more matches like that.  It was absolutely by far the best 8-ball match I have ever played.  I honestly do not care that I lost; it was that much fun.

Tonight, I play in my first APA Masters division league.  No handicaps, rack count only, race to 7, on the big-boy tables. :) Really looking forward to that!

Also, last week, I had my first 9-ball league (at Cue & Cushion) and I started off really well, getting up 7-3 on my opponent in a race to 9; but after a break, I just kept missing the 7 ball and he got it all tied up at 7; then 8, then I got to double-hill.  If he hadn't froze himself on the 8-ball in the last rack, I would've lost the match - but the pool gods favored me this day, and his safety wasn't strong enough, so I power-banked the 8 cross-side and got shape on the 9.  So, I won my first 9-ball league match of the session! :)

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Filed Under: 8-Ball · 9-Ball · League

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