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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.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Back in the APA

Tonight was my first
team 8-ball match in the APA
in a couple of years.

One of the reasons
I dropped out of the APA team events
is because the championships in Las Vegas
allow smoking in the tournament rooms.

Although I smoked unfiltered cigarettes
for more than 20 years
once I quit I became sensitized to the smoke
and now I can't stand to be around it.

On my first and only Vegas
championship tournament
(in 2004, click for story)
the air was so bad
I vowed to never return
until they banned smoking.

And now they did it.
It wasn't APA who did it however,
it was the State of Nevada.
So that means I can go back.

The Masters Triple Play tournament,
The National Singles,
the mini tournaments,
and the team events
are all now "in play" again for me.

So, back to tonight...
I was first up,
playing against a skill level 5.
(Mike H.)
When I last played APA,
I was a skill level 6,
so I needed 5 games to his 4.

I won, 5-0.

I felt comfortable throughout
because it was evident that
my opponent could shoot good
but needed experience with strategy.
All I had to do was block a ball on him,
and he had to let me win.

It almost seems unfair.

I was shooting pretty good.
Two or three dumb mistakes.
But it was a strategy win.
It seems that I am finally getting it.
A few months ago I was clueless.

It reminds me of an old Buddha saying:
"The ox is slow, but the earth is patient."

My favorite shot of the evening:
I break and sink a solid,
and the rest are runnable
except for the 4 ball which is blocked
except for a cross-table bank
as the only option to get out.
There are other easy shots on the table,
but I take the bank on the trouble ball
for the opening shot
and get shape for the rest of the run.

Most opponents would not know
why I would take such an opening shot
and of course when it goes in
(which it did, of course)
they might get the feeling
they are in the presence of a higher power.

Confusion to the enemy!
I love it.

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