of a

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.

Friday, March 30, 2007


I won 4-3
against a player of the highest skill level (7)
although it wasn't my best performance.

On the other hand,
my opponent distinguished himself
with a display of integrity.

It has been said that
the true character of a man is revealed by
what he does when no one is looking.

In the middle of last night's match,
when the games were about even between us,
Dave Arballo, man of integrity,
called a foul on himself,
a double hit on the cue ball,
giving me control of the table,
with ball in hand.
And, as might be expected,
it cost him the game.

I did not see him foul,
so of course I could not disagree with him,
and since he is an advanced player,
he would know a double hit when it happens.
There was nothing I could do.

It was just another example of
the ebb and flow of the tides of fortune and fate.

I was in a similar situation not long ago,
and I called a foul on myself,
but in this case I went on to win the match,
and the tournament.
(For the story of that big win, click here)

So, it could have gone the other way for Dave.

I made a couple of mistakes myself last night,
so it was a good learning experience.

The match was notable for one other reason:
For the first time ever,
I allowed a friend to attend one of my matches.
George had arrived earlier in the afternoon,
on a motorcycle ride from Washington to Phoenix.
He is a real good buddy,
I attended his wedding last summer,
so it was difficult to tell him no.

I decided to let him watch,
as a test of my ability to focus.
I knew I was playing with fire by doing this,
because I also knew there was a good chance
I would be playing Dave,
who has a higher skill level,
and my focus needed to be absolute.

And now back to the subject: Character.

The measure of a man's character is what
he would do if he knew he never would be found out.
Baron Thomas Babington Macauley,
English historian and statesman (1800-1859)

Most people say that it is the intellect
which makes a great scientist.
They are wrong: it is character.
Albert Einstein, Swiss-American mathematician,
physicist and public philosopher (1879-1955)

Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor
in the life of an individual and of nations alike.
Theodore Roosevelt,
American adventurer and 26th president (1858-1919)

Character, not circumstance, makes the person.
Booker T. Washington,
American educator and civil rights activist (1856-1915)

Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing,
and only character endures.
Horace Greeley, American journalist and educator (1811-1872)

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