D I A R Y
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The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.




Thursday, December 18, 2008

Learning about controlled fury

Two weeks ago, at the Thursday afternoon 8-ball tournament, I managed to make to the finals against Paul H. who took advantage of an opportunity I gave him (I missed a shot) and he played very well for the win. Another second place for me.

I've have developed a sort of tradition that anyone who wins against me, or comes close, I invite to play some pool at FastMikie's Fun House. It's a chance for them to play on a good (perfect) table for a change, and gives me a chance to learn some more about their game. And so it was that I invited Paul H. to stop by my place for some pool this week. He called me yesterday and said he was shooting some pool on the tournament tables (8' Olhausens) and maybe I wanted to join him.

Unfortunately, I couldn't because I had to wait at home for a plumber to show up and install a new faucet in the guest bathroom. So I suggested he drive south to play on my table, and of course he jumped at the chance. (Probably what he had in mind anyway!)

Paul's a good shooter, and right out of the box he has me down a couple of games. For whatever reason, my energy was low, and I just wasn't playing very well. My head wasn't in it, possibly because as the minutes ticked by, I noticed that the plumber was later and later, and no phone call to let me know what was going on. That kind of inconsiderate behavior really pisses me off, so in the middle of the match with Paul, I call the damn plumber who tells me that because it was raining he didn't want to take his truck out. WTF? Ok, I'm thinking, so you are a puss, but why didn't you let me know? and he starts in on such a line of BS that I am now completely coming unglued, blood pressure is soaring, I'm going purple and apoplectic, which is not a good look for me, nor a good feeling, so I hang up on the bum, and try to settle into the game at hand. Well I blew that game in progress as I was just bonkers, but I breathe and focus on the game, and even though I was down 5-1 at the time, I won the next 5 games in a row to win the match 6-5.

It got me to thinking that maybe what turned my game around and got me winning was the high energy from the phone call. I am reminded of the times El Maestro has told me that when he is feeling low energy, he just loves it when his opponent will try to shark him or talk smack to him because it gets him really going and focused and committed to completely destroy his competition. He calls this state a "controlled fury". So I'm thinking there's a lot to that because that's what happened to me yesterday.

Of course I can't rely on a call from my (ex-)plumber to get me going in a match, but I'm thinking of other ways to get the blood flowing and my mind focused...

OK, that brings us up to today's weekly 8-ball match in Encinitas. The short story is that I made it to the finals again, but fell short on some really excellent play by Bob who won his first tournament there in a while. Major congrats to Bob for some really first class shooting.

The good news is that I'm getting to the finals, the bad news is that I'm coming in second place. The positive spin on that is that I'm due for a win. And I just love it when that happens!

The only item of note in today's tournament is that I did have one break and run out, and that was sweet. Notice that I actually did break, which indicates that my shoulder was feeling up to it, a real sign of progress in the healing department.

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