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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, April 02, 2009

FastMikie's in love, again...

Forgive me, for I have sinned: I have not blogged in way too long, but even worse, I have not played pool in even more way too long. My love for the game had waned, and I am not worthy. Yes it is true that I have a Gold Crown IV in my living room, and yes, it is true that I have it covered in the finest Simonis 760 which allows me to draw the ball the length of the table, and yes, it is true that I have a custom Samsara cue with a manicured Moori tip and the finest balls in all the land. Yes it is all true, and to make matters even worse, it is true that I have no job, and no wife, and no dependents to keep me from playing as much pool as I want, whenever I want, and for free. Yes, it is all too true, but I have not played, and that is certainly a crime against all logic, and a sin against the laws of the gods of pool, and I am deserving of their utmost revenge.

Now therefore, and whereas, this humble defendant has desired to find some way to get back into the game, to find the love that was once there and somehow gone astray, I did find myself, just yesterday drawn to the annual spring WPBA San Diego Classic at Viejas Casino, only 45 minutes drive into the mountains from my oceanfront retreat, to see if there were some way I might become refreshed, and re-inspired to pick up my cue with passion.

And it was so, with some help from friendly gods of pool...

I arrived early, looking to meet up with a friend of a friend, one Cristina Delagarza, a fine looking lady pool player on the tour, and a friend of my good friend Samm Diep, who suggested that I might help welcome Cristina to San Diego on her first visit here.

Yesterday was the first day for the tournament, and it always starts with a pro-am tournament, which is mostly a fun thing, with 8+ teams of 6 players, each team assembled at random from a pool of players who had signed up months in advance, and captained by one of the more famous of the women professionals. Upon arriving, I was informed that it would be hopeless to get into the pro-am tournament as all the spots were taken long ago, and there was a long waiting list. But pool gods have extraordinary powers, and they somehow caused my name to be called, and I found myself on Gerda Hofstetter's team and we proceeded to have a great time, playing three matches, which were timed at only 10 minutes each, and the team winning the most games wins the bag o' swag at the end. Although I went away swagless, I did have the opportunity to shoot 2 or 3 (can't remember) nine-balls to win games for the team. It was just luck, really, because players shoot in rotation. Luck? Maybe it was the pool gods. I made one particularly nice shot on the nine up the rail, long, long shot, and on tournament tight-pocketed Gold Crown V, with only 1 second remaining and everyone counting down loudly. Sharking was allowed, and the opponents were doing everything to distract me, but I stroked through that shot pretty as a picture, and there was never any doubt that the ball was destined for darkness. Boy, did that feel good, especially since it was the first time I picked up a cue in any sort of competition in a long time. Sweet.

After the pro-am tournament, I figured I would try my luck with "Play the Pro". This is where you get the chance to play two games of nine ball with a one of the women professionals. Ten bucks if you want a randomly selected pro, twenty bucks if you choose the pro. I chose Monica Webb, whose last tournament, the prestigious US Open Championship, was the first tournament win of her career even though she has been ranked in the top 5 for a long time. Needless to say, she was on her game. I broke, she ran out. She broke, made a ball, then shot a ball or two, and left me with an impossible shot which I stupidly attempted anyway instead of playing safe, and of course she ran the table. So my "Play the Pro" experience was limited to two strokes of the cue. These women are good!

I left at around 9pm, heading back to the Fun House to shoot some 9-ball with Dan S. who always gives me some great competition. I wasn't in stroke, of course, but it seemed that neither was Dan, and we traded games back and forth, but in the end I won the match at 7-5 whereupon he took off for home around midnight.

That win must have set something off inside me because I started thinking that I might try my luck the next day at the Thursday afternoon 8-ball tournament, where I had been absent for the last 5 weeks, at least. In spite of waking up with a raging headache (probably dehydration from all the air conditioning at the casino), I was still pumped with yesterday's pool, so I took 3 practice shots and headed out the door to see if the pool gods were still smiling on me.

They were. I went totally undefeated, didn't even lose a game, and made some pretty sporty shots and some even sportier positions, and walked off with first place.

Well, now, isn't that special?

I just got home, started opening my mail, and in a further sign from the pool gods, among the bills and junk mail, there is my invitation to compete in the annual US Amateur championships. Some people would say it's a sign, an omen...

Maybe. But I'm just happy to be in love (with the game) again. And I owe it all to Samm Diep for getting me out of the house to meet up with Cristina Delagarza, and to the pool gods for getting me in a game that never should have happened, and meeting up with Dan, who was out of stroke just enough for me to win, which gave me the incentive to enter a tournament, and even win it. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy,
the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which
kills countless ideas and splendid plans:

That the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one
that would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents
and meetings and material assistance, which no man
could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has Genius, Power and Magic in it.

Begin it now!



Anonymous Sammmmmmmmmm said...

Congrats on the nice win! What a beautiful post. I read the entire thing aloud to Mike and Vegas and we all enjoyed it. Glad you've found inspiration. Can't wait to see you & to be back at the Fun House in a couple weeks!

Thursday, April 02, 2009 9:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Tony Sorto (El Maestro) said...

I know I said this before but, there really is nothing more to life than pool, I hope you understand that and play pool for nothing more than the pure joy of playing.

Friday, April 03, 2009 10:47:00 PM  

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