32 minutes with Joey Gray


Silver Member
I always say it's worth the hefty entry fee of a major tournament just for the opportunity to play a champion. After careful consideration of my first round match with Joey Gray, I have begun to question that theory,or at least analyze it.

The match began, for me, four games after it did for Joey. The first three break we're identical and I would venture to say the entire runouts were too. The fourth break left him a cross side bank to open his out...and he was... like clockwork.

My first time at the table was due to a scratched break on the fifth rack. I ran to the six and attempted to break out the 7-9 cluster after pocketing the six barely missing it, yielding either a three rail safe, or a very thin cross-side bank. Being that Joey was shooting the wings off a gnat at 100 meters, I chose to go for it. The seven kissed off the titty, and needless to say, he was out again.

Sixth rack. Break.... he's out.

Seventh rack. Dry break. My limited look at the one, and the lesson learned from the 5th rack made me play safe- a successful and very tight up and down safe leaving him center rail to center rail, hooked by the six midway. He makes contact; back to square one looking rail to rail short side this time. I studied the safe and executed it perfectly. Cueball snookered behind and frozen to the 9 on head rail, 1 hiding behind the 3 on short rail with the 5 blocking his bank. I was looking at ball-in-hand; itwas the greatest shot of my life at the moment.......... at the moment. He raises the butt of his cue to the ceiling, and slaps the cue ball curving it right into the 1, and hooking me behind MY 3 ball. "What a dick!" I thought (jokingly for the most degree). I miss. He's out again.

The 8th started out the same. Break. Cue ball on the first diamond, left hand break side, 1 in the left corner pocket to open. He sinks the one. He sinks the two, along with a bad roll to scratch. I'm opening on the three with a 5 down the rail that needs fired to get my shape. 3 drops, good shape on the 5. I rocket the 5 down the long rail to the corner the cue squirts out a couple inches just like I planned for my only tough shape for my out. I hear my wife sigh... The 5 rattled. He's out again.

9th rack. Same as racks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6.

Sadly, I lifted my head in a mixture of shame and awe and congratulated him and wished him the best in the tournament. I had never been beaten that bad. I watched Corey put the 11-0 on Mika at the 2001 Open. I now know how Mika felt. This must have been karma for the snickers I gave in 2001 (sorry Mika).

So for my $185 (late entry fee) here's the breakdown. It costs $46.25 per inning to play Joey Gray. It cost $61.66 to get out of my chair, or to even actually be a part of the game. It costs $16.81 for every shot I took (11) including the failed lag for the break. It costs $5.78 a minute to say that I am playing g Joey Gray. It costs one hell of a headache to listen to my wife go on about the cost of the hotel and entry fee for the two hour drive home.

Hopefully, next year goes a little smoother. As for Joey, if you stumble across this post, GREAT SHOOTING and I was sure pulling for you to win it. Additionally, and I mean this as nicely as possible, I hope to never cross your path again. Oh and one more thing..... KISS MY ASS!!! (LOL!)
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