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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.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Just when you think you've escaped...

... they pull you back in!

I thought the current APA 8-ball team session was over.
But somehow, we made it into the playoffs,
so there was the prospect of several more matches,
plus Las Vegas for the nationals.
Will the pain ever end?

On the bright side,
there was the opportunity to win again,
but as it happened, that didn't happen.
In fact, it was even worse than that.
Not only did I lose,
I lost to the guy I won against 2 weeks ago,
(the top ranked player, Dave Arballo)
and even worse, if I had won,
the team would have advanced in the playoffs.
So that makes me the fall guy.

It was ignominious.
I missed a long straight in 8 ball.
How can I do that?
Of course I have seen world champions do that.
Of course I have even seen El Maestro do that.
But nothing lessens the pain of ME doing that.

What actually caused such a miss?
What let my full attention wander
at the moment of stroking the ball?
More importantly,
how can I keep this from happening?

It must be true that such a humbling experience
serves as the foundation for future growth.
One step back, two steps forward...

Naturally, it was not ALL horrible.
I made some really nice shots.
But it wasn't enough.
My miss on the 8 gave my opponent new hope,
and he drove the final nail into my coffin
with a nice break and run for the match win.

OK, Dave, that has earned you an invitation
to Mikie's Fun House,
and an opportunity to play on a real pool table
(9' Gold Crown, not a dinky bar table).

I shouldn't complain about the bar table,
even though my only losses were on bar tables.
Last night I actually liked the table!
Slow nappy cloth, un-level, crowded, hot, loud,
but that didn't seem to bother me at all.
I felt relaxed, confident, focused...
Until that one miss on the 8.
That probably rattled me,
and gave hope to the enemy.

Disaster lurks on every stroke.
My focus must become stronger.

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