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justadub
06-30-2010, 04:10 PM
{This is a story about what happened to me last night in League play. If that stuff annoys you, this is a heads up!}

I'm a beginner. Started playing last fall on a buddys APA team, and I'm having a blast. I'd like to think I'm doing reasonably well for someone with just nine months experience. The guys on my team say so. At least I'm happy with my progress, all the while knowing how much more I need to improve. I'm currently an SL4, probably a middle-of-the-pack SL4 around here, some better, some worse. I've beaten several SL5's, and even a couple of SL6's, so I can string things together occasionally. Consistency is my biggest challenge, out of many.

Last evening I draw an SL3 for my match. This young man is quite new, and it showed. Poor guy was struggling with his bridge hand on every shot, and taking lots of time trying to decide what to do. After a short while it occurred to me that I was in his shoes not that long ago... and how funny that was to me. All of a sudden I was the experienced player, the one having to keep his head in the game while playing someone much further below my ability right now. And that was a completely different challenge for me. One that I'm sure many of you folks face every day. It is a completely different mind-set.

The whole story would take far too long, but suffice it to say I ended up scratching on the 8 in the first game, on a shot I hope I never have to try again! (It was an interesting challenge, both teams agreed.) So right away this young man is on the hill. I started noticing during that game and the second game how when he would miss, the cue would somehow end up in a bad spot for me, with all the traffic on the table. This too is a different experience, as most players I play against make their shots enough that I can usually find a shot. This guy was playing safeties without trying! I smiled at this realization, too. (No, he wasn't sandbagging. Not possible with this guy.)

I managed to bang my way thru to win the second game, almost putting my scorekeeper to sleep. I quickly took the next game (2 innings for me? another first!) and then got into the hill-hill game. He keeps managing to leave the cue in bad spots for me, so it's a lot of work for someone of my ability to clear the table, but I get there. I have the 8 left on the back rail, about 6 inches from the pocket. He has one of his a couple of inches away, enough to block any sort of cut on it. The only way I can get to it directly is down the end rail, or straight on, parallell to the side rail.

At this point, he has been talking to his team, and is now playing very obvious safeties, trying to get me to scratch on the eight, rather than try to run his out. This goes on for a short while, when I finally tire of trying to kick safely at the 8 without scratching. So I start hitting his balls directly, to move them out of the way. If I'm gonna give him ball in hand anyway, why not? My team roared, and my opponents teammates even chuckled a bit. Two shots later he scratched by not getting his safe to the rail, so I finally put an end to the marathon of misery.

I said to a few of my friends there who are much better players than me how much more I appreciate their patience teaching me how to play. I am echoing that to all of you folks out here in AZB land, from all of those folks who you've taught that haven't said so to you. THANK YOU for your patience with we beginners! :bow-down:

Wow. It sure was interesting being the more advanced player for a change. Hopefully next week I can go back to being the one trying to take out the more experienced player. :grin:

{sorry for the length, it's kinda like my match last night, never seems to end!}

Tramp Steamer
06-30-2010, 04:22 PM
For heaven's sake justa, don't apologize. I didn't read all of it anyway. :D

blah blah
06-30-2010, 04:53 PM
Thank YOU for a lovely, well- written story.
("Marathon of misery" is an especially great line.)

I think you have definitely crossed the line to becoming an official Pool Addict somewhere in these last nine months.

It's all downhill from here, I'm afraid.

justadub
06-30-2010, 04:58 PM
I think you have definitely crossed the line to becoming an official Pool Addict somewhere in these last nine months.

It's all downhill from here, I'm afraid.

Oh heavens yes. Guilty as charged, happily so!

Mr Slate
06-30-2010, 05:13 PM
I know about putting the scorekeeper to sleep....I had a game go 10+ innings the other night. :D

nathandumoulin
06-30-2010, 05:42 PM
I usually avoid any league related posts, but I enjoyed reading this one.

It's interesting to hear a different perspective. :)

+ Rep

TX Poolnut
06-30-2010, 06:04 PM
nice read. I don't remember the first time I was the "experienced" one in a match, but I'm sure I had that realization when it happened. :)

justadub
07-02-2010, 07:07 AM
I saw a few of the players from both teams again last night, and even a few days later they were chuckling about how that match went. I'm not sure if they're chuckling about me, the other guy, or both. :p All in good fun.

Thanks for the comments, and the messages. I do appreciate it.

jay helfert
07-02-2010, 07:28 AM
{This is a story about what happened to me last night in League play. If that stuff annoys you, this is a heads up!}

I'm a beginner. Started playing last fall on a buddys APA team, and I'm having a blast. I'd like to think I'm doing reasonably well for someone with just nine months experience. The guys on my team say so. At least I'm happy with my progress, all the while knowing how much more I need to improve. I'm currently an SL4, probably a middle-of-the-pack SL4 around here, some better, some worse. I've beaten several SL5's, and even a couple of SL6's, so I can string things together occasionally. Consistency is my biggest challenge, out of many.

Last evening I draw an SL3 for my match. This young man is quite new, and it showed. Poor guy was struggling with his bridge hand on every shot, and taking lots of time trying to decide what to do. After a short while it occurred to me that I was in his shoes not that long ago... and how funny that was to me. All of a sudden I was the experienced player, the one having to keep his head in the game while playing someone much further below my ability right now. And that was a completely different challenge for me. One that I'm sure many of you folks face every day. It is a completely different mind-set.

The whole story would take far too long, but suffice it to say I ended up scratching on the 8 in the first game, on a shot I hope I never have to try again! (It was an interesting challenge, both teams agreed.) So right away this young man is on the hill. I started noticing during that game and the second game how when he would miss, the cue would somehow end up in a bad spot for me, with all the traffic on the table. This too is a different experience, as most players I play against make their shots enough that I can usually find a shot. This guy was playing safeties without trying! I smiled at this realization, too. (No, he wasn't sandbagging. Not possible with this guy.)

I managed to bang my way thru to win the second game, almost putting my scorekeeper to sleep. I quickly took the next game (2 innings for me? another first!) and then got into the hill-hill game. He keeps managing to leave the cue in bad spots for me, so it's a lot of work for someone of my ability to clear the table, but I get there. I have the 8 left on the back rail, about 6 inches from the pocket. He has one of his a couple of inches away, enough to block any sort of cut on it. The only way I can get to it directly is down the end rail, or straight on, parallell to the side rail.

At this point, he has been talking to his team, and is now playing very obvious safeties, trying to get me to scratch on the eight, rather than try to run his out. This goes on for a short while, when I finally tire of trying to kick safely at the 8 without scratching. So I start hitting his balls directly, to move them out of the way. If I'm gonna give him ball in hand anyway, why not? My team roared, and my opponents teammates even chuckled a bit. Two shots later he scratched by not getting his safe to the rail, so I finally put an end to the marathon of misery.

I said to a few of my friends there who are much better players than me how much more I appreciate their patience teaching me how to play. I am echoing that to all of you folks out here in AZB land, from all of those folks who you've taught that haven't said so to you. THANK YOU for your patience with we beginners! :bow-down:

Wow. It sure was interesting being the more advanced player for a change. Hopefully next week I can go back to being the one trying to take out the more experienced player. :grin:

{sorry for the length, it's kinda like my match last night, never seems to end!}

Good story! We've ALL been there. If it makes you feel any better I've seen the best players in the world miss "hangers." A momentary lapse in concentration is all it takes.