View Full Version : As good as it gets

03-11-2005, 06:00 AM
> Back several months ago,a guy I ran into at work came in and told me there was an 8-ball tournament starting at a local bar at midnight. I looked at him like he was crazy,but interested. He said a guy he works with started a little 5.00 entry fee,winner take all tournament for the guys that get off their factory jobs at 11:00,and want to drink a few beers and play some pool. I asked him how long the matches were,and he said they were a single game,but it was a double elimination tournament,and usually paid 60-80 bucks for winning,with a consolation prize of 15 bucks or a 1/2 case of beer for 2nd place. I told him I'd call ahead and make sure the 15-20 minutes it usually takes me to get home after work,change clothes and pick up my cues was going to be a problem. I was told it wouldn't. I go and win it the first time,then the second,and so on. I normally don't go to small bar tournaments like this,having been barred from several in the area for winning multiple times and killing average Joe's interest. I am capable of running 2,3 maybe 4 racks in a row on a bar table once or twice in a 3 or 4 hour session,and play pretty smart bar pool,knowing how to lay down a safety without getting a bottle introduced to my head,this is about the closest thing we have to a true "redneck" environment. In keeping with my anal-ysis of my weaknesses and true speed,I decided on my way to the first tournament I played there to keep a running win/loss record. Before last night,it was 74-15,with 10 wins and 3 2nd's in 16 tries. In 8 of those wins,I went undefeated,the other 2 I lost my first match and came back through the loser's side and won,but lost the last 2 weeks in the finals,after winning the first game and having a open shot to win,and failing to get out. Tonight,I got off work a little later than usual,and had to play as soon as I walked in,playing the guy that works the bar at the local pool room. He is a decent player,capable of running out a rack if given a decent look,but not the type to create a shot to run out a tough layout. The game goes back and forth,as the balls didn't spread very well,and I keep half-ducking and waiting for a shot I can move around some and set up a breakout of 3 different clusters. He eventually misses and leaves me a very tough but makeable thin cut down the rail on the 8,and not having the option of banking it in the side,and not liking the cross corner bank,I convince myself it's a hanger,and shoot it. The cue ball jumps off the rail and almost hits me in the face on it's way off the table,but absolutely split the wicket with the 8. I come back to face him again on the loser's side,he wins the flip and breaks,making 3 solids,and ran 2 more,then tried a 2 rail cross corner bank and missed badly. I eclipsed the match,running out that game and breaking and running out the second game to seal it. It might not have been 4 racks in a tight match for the World title like Earl did against Bustamante a few years ago,but when my only purpose in playing this tournament is merely getting to hit some balls period,and adding to my 5-6 hours of pool a week as time allows,it felt pretty good. Free money with a 3 yr old is nice too. I have also discussed it with the bartender,and will never be barred for winning it repeatedly,she claims to know Buddy Hall through one of his kids,and says he's not barred,so why should I be? Just a delirious,mouth stinging from habanero sauce rant,Tommy D.