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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.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I beat the boss!

Last night was the last night before the tournament.
I'm hitting a few balls at the site,
(Shoreline Billiards, Mountain View, CA)
getting in stroke and feeling pretty good.

A clean cut lookin' guy comes over
asks me if I want to shoot some pool.
I figure I shouldn't.
I figure I should just stay inside my head,
ignore all outside influences,
get the feel of the tables.
But, for some unknown reason, I say Ok.

He asks if I'm here for the tournament.
Yes, I am, I says, not giving up too much info.
He suggests we play the format, 8 and 9 ball.
Sure, I says, why not.

So I ask him if he's here for the contest.
He says yeah.
So I ask him if he has qualified here before.
He says yeah,
like every year for the last 12-13 years!

Yikes! (I says to myself inside my head)
So I gotta ask: What's your name?
Jeff, says he.
Hmmm. Jeff. I remember seeing a business card
at the front counter, with a Jeff-something as owner.
Jeff? says I. Jeff the owner?
Yeah, he says.
Yikes! (This time I says it out loud)

Unfair, I says.
You own the place
and you compete with your customers?
Totally unfair, dude.

Now I'm curious.
So I asks him,
with all the qualifying you've done all those years,
how'd you do in the Big Show back east?

So he's real laid back when he spells it out:
Pretty much always in the top 20 or so,
a bunch of times in the top 10,
best finish was 3rd.

Yikes, yikes, and double yikes!
Looks like I'll be rackin' balls for him tonight.

But then we start in to shootin' some pool,
and I put all the stuff out of my head,
and hey, guess what, he misses a ball
just like regular human beings!

And, in the fullness of time,
we get to hill-hill,
and I win the match.

I beat the boss!
Never woulda figured that in a million years.
But, hey, I would have to admit,
I was shootin' pretty good pool.

So I break my stick down
and go home to get some rest
for the big tournament in the morning.

Back at the hotel,
I look at the business card again:
Jeff Szafransky, Owner, BCA Instructor

Yikes, and he's a BCA instructor!

Sleep comes easy.

In the morning, I wake up fresh, relaxed,
and it strikes me that my first thought,
almost as if I was dreaming it,
is that "I'm going to make it through"
(I'm going to qualify)

What a great omen!
Nothing can stop me now.
I'm confident, I'm mentally ready.
I have prepared well.

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