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P O O L    S H O O T E R

The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Thanks, Tony!

Tonight was a critical match.
If I won tonight, then I win MVP for the Masters Division.
If I lost tonight, then I would need to win the next, and final, match next week. That would put a mountain of pressure on next week's match, so that's why the need to win tonight.

I won the lag, chose 9 ball first, and won the first 3 games. So far, so good, but I made a mistake and the opponent won a game. Then he won 2 more and the match was even. My dominating lead of 3-0 was wiped out, and now it was a race to 4. And the opponent has the momentum. Not good at all. Did I survive 8 matches over the last 8 weeks, winning every one of them, only to have certain victory snatched from my grasp at the last minute? Hell NO! I needed to control this situation starting right NOW.

I had a serious talk with myself. What was missing from my game? Safety plays! I had been playing too loose in the last 3 games (and I lost!), and hadn't played a safe so far in the match. Not good at all. I resolved to control the match by playing safe whenever I had a low percentage shot, or even if I figured I could improve my position by earning ball-in-hand.

The strategy worked, and with the help of an 8-ball break & run, I won all the remaining 4 games for the win.

That extends my perfect record to 9 matches won out of 9 matches played. First place in the Masters Division. So I guess I'm feeling pretty good about it all right now, but I know that Glory is fleeting, and there is a line of pool shooters a mile long who think they are better.

There's only one shooter I know who is unquestionably better than me: El Maestro Tony Sorto. He has been trying to teach me this game of pool for the last year and a bit. I guess some of it is starting to sink in.

Thanks, Tony.
I couldn't have done it without you.


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