View Full Version : BCA Singles, Highs & Lows (Long thoughts)

05-15-2006, 06:15 AM
I'm out here with a bunch of players from home. We all play league, and none of us go to any pool hall much since there isn't one nearby. We don't play in tournaments a lot because of it. That is, tournament toughness just isn't in our card.

We've done reasonably well here given everything above. This year, I've had the pleasure of feeling the highest high I've ever felt playing this game, and just a few hours later, feeling the lowest low.

This game will eat you up. My first match in the Open was shaky at best. My opponent started out running out my first dry break, then followed with a break and run. He was supposed to run out my next dry break, but got bad on a ball and never returned to form. I somehow clawed my way through each game and won 5-2, but never did play any decent.

My second match, I also struggled. And my opponent ran full racks that he had no business trying to run, bumped balls all over the place, but fell into position. I hate that. And it affected me. Worse yet, I caught him on the hill, had the run out, and blew it. Beautiful. Into the B side.

My third match, I finally started to get the feel of the table and got my full table runout followed by my first break and run of the tournament. My opponent was playing pretty well considering I started off 2-0. He in turn caught me on the hill, had the runout in hand, got funny but doable on the 8-ball and miscued. I feel his pain.

My fourth match... flawless. I played as perfect as I could ever think. One scratch on the break was my only mistake. I broke and ran my other racks and, didn't miss a single ball, and executed my one safety. My opponent for his part never folded as he also broke and ran one of his breaks plus running out my one bad break. I think he missed one (two?) ball and came up dry once. That showed me where I could be at this game. In the following matches, I broke and ran almost every rack that I made a ball.

Unfortunately, I progressed to making two mistakes the fifth match (but won easily), then three or four the sixth (but still won easily). It was this sixth match that put the dreaded mental game hex on me. Here I was trying to focus in on not making any silly mistakes, and my opponent doesn't know how to play. I can't for the life of me understand how he could ever get this far. Everytime he got to the table after one of my silly mistakes, he didn't get out and didn't look like he knew how to get out. He told me later than his game is bi-polar and that he really plays better than that. I think he was simply nutz.

And on to the lowest of lows. The silly mistakes continued and I lost my last match on the hill. The kid I played is probably a 9-ball monster, but didn't have good 8-ball patterns. So, he ran out some full racks, but gave me wide open tables five times. Five frickin' times. And I failed to run out on four of them. In years on past, I can remember the one shot that blew it for me in tournaments, but in this year's, I can go on remembering four easy shots that I completely drowned myself. And like my earlier opponent, I miscued on my last shot. I have never felt lower ever ever ever in this game. I cannot remember a worse match that I choked. I felt sick. I was almost in tears. Really. I had to dunk my head in a sink for several minutes trying not to relive every shot that was running through my pea brain. Choke choke choke choke. And it wasn't a nerve thing. It was lack of discipline in my execution. Over and over, simply carried on from the previous match.

To conclude, it goes back to tournament toughness. You cannot expect to play consistently in competition if you don't play constantly in tournaments. Physical execution, the drum that I beat, is crucial to define your level of play. But mental preparation is paramount if you're going to play consistantly from the first hour to the last hour. Making silly mistakes will get you by against lesser players. Against players that run out, you must maintain focus and execute when the run out is on your stick. Everytime, every shot. Why I have to remind myself of these facts year after year is simply a case of CRS and temporary insanity.

On to the team play, and more rounds of black jack.

Fred <~~~ cashed, but absolutely crushed.

P.S. Slots of Fun and the 1/2 lb. hotdogs are still there.

Brian in VA
05-15-2006, 07:15 AM

Words to live by dude!

Good luck in the team event.

Brian in VA

Tom In Cincy
05-15-2006, 08:50 AM
Still, you're there, you're in the trenches. There are plenty of us stuck at work, that would gladly trade places with you (and maybe not choke or maybe even choke quicker)

Kick butt in the TEAM event

05-15-2006, 09:13 AM

Sorry to hear about that most painful match. For me, it has sometimes taken several days, and playing well in a later match, to get over a really bad one like the one you describe. But time doesn't always do it; I still remember missing the game ball, with a ball-in-hand, in a money one-pocket game played in the middle 1960s!!! It was the 10-ball!!! Just jump back on the horse and keep riding....

Mike Templeton
05-15-2006, 10:53 AM
Nice post, Fred. Thanks for the insight. Good luck in the team division.


05-15-2006, 11:10 AM
Enjoyed the reading, Fred. Guess what, your pain right now will add to your well-wished-for tournament toughness. Good luck for the remainder of the tournament, and try to have some fun, will ya? I wish I were you.

Cameron Smith
05-15-2006, 06:23 PM
I know how you feel. I lost to a player who I should not have lost against. I botched three run outs and made the 8 early twice. All and all I lost 5-3. But sometimes you have to forget about these things and continue to enjoy the game. But I can't take anything away from the guy, he took advantage of my screw ups to win the match. He played well.

But if the day wasn't bad already I missed a call from work that would have secured me tomorrow off. I'm going to go back to kicking myself some more.