D I A R Y
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, May 18, 2007

New Session, New Life

Yesterday was the first match of
a new APA team 8 ball session.

I was feeling good,
and I think I played better
than I have in a long time.
I was focused, and relaxed,
and I saw the paths through the patterns,
and my position play was good.

I won 5-1.
My only loss came on the first game,
when I went for a cross-side cut-bank shot on the 8,
and since banks are one of my weaker areas
I lined it up with pure intuition,
and tried to draw the cue ball
to the foot rail to leave my opponent tough

(opponent JP, skill level 6)

in case I missed the shot.
I made the bank (yeah!)
but scratched in the corner (yuk).

It was one of those shots where
you go from ecstacy to agony within a second.
But I had to just let it go and bear down.
I won the next 5 games in a row, and the match.

I've been putting more time on the treadmill lately,
and that may have contributed to how good I felt
going into the match.

And, in the afternoon before the match,
I picked up 10 black un-numbered Aramith balls
at Quality Billiards
and shot them until they lost their identity,
in the hopes that I would not miss another 8 ball
like I did in my last match.
This must have worked because last night
every 8 ball dropped as intended.

One of the games was a safety marathon
which must have gone at least 21 innings,
even with El Maestro coaching me.
The complexities of safety play
still challenge me.

Hmmm... let's see,
I need work in banking, the break, safety play...
what AM I good at?

;o)

(blog top)


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3 Comments:

Blogger Robert Johnson said...

A player on the opposing team said last night in Stow, Massachusetts, "Ever hear of the Sorto String?" I laughed and explained. He says he had trouble with it on a small bar table, but he thinks it might be easier on a good quality 9 foot table. I have still been meaning to try it myself.

Sounds like you are good at getting cue ball position, and of course shot making. That safety practice last match will help. One thing that separates a SL7 from SL6 is using the cue ball to do extra stuff while hitting balls in... Like breaking up your own clusters or creating clusters for the opponent, or nudging a ball of yours toward a pocket or cluster for a future run out.

You will be a 7 soon.

Friday, May 18, 2007 4:57:00 PM  
Blogger Michael McCafferty said...

Thanks for the good words, Robert...
And your description of the differences between a skill level 6 and 7 are interesting. Very subtle. Is there an APA official description of the differences?

Sunday, May 20, 2007 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Johnson said...

Nothing official that I know of. The computation of skill level involves the number of innings to win, subtracting defensive shots. They also fudge in your win percentage a bit.

Monday, May 21, 2007 1:24:00 PM  

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