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.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thanks for the memories...

It was almost 6 years ago that I set myself to learning this game, with the goal of seeing how good I could get with it. I feel that I have learned a lot, and won more than my share of competitions. I never had the goal of turning pro, and really never had the goal of doing a lot of competitions. It wasn't about proving myself to others, or making a public spectacle of whatever knowledge and skill I might have developed. Rather, it was a personal thing, inwardly focused. Competition was simply a way of learning more about myself and the game, not about domination of others. This blog was intended simply to document the story as it unfolded, and share what I learned.

And now, in the fullness of time, I have arrived at a point where other activities have come to the top of my list of priorities for living a balanced life. Since these priorities are not pool related, the details are off topic for this blog, so you are spared the boredom of reading about them here.

It was a difficult decision, but here's how it breaks down: Shooting pool at a high level, for me, requires a lot of time-consuming practice. It becomes an addiction, not unlike the addiction of flying an open-cockpit biplane, which consumed my life for almost 7 years, or yoga, which was my focus for several years, or freestyle Frisbee on the beach, another daily addiction for many years, and even the addiction to success in business, which consumed so much of my early life. I have certainly enjoyed these addictions, but there is a point of diminishing returns to all pleasures.

And now it is time to move on. I know this because I have been having recurring thoughts that there is more I can do, more I must do. I want to take some of the time I spend poking a ball with a stick, and re-direct it to doing something good for others, and I have already started down this path. I think I have learned a lot, especially about how to achieve goals, and I feel that it is time to share some of what I have learned with others who are looking for help.

Thank you Tony Sorto, for all your time and energy in trying to teach this pig to sing. And thank you to all the others who have contributed to my learning and great enjoyment of this game.


Some Frequently Asked Questions
(which I have frequently asked myself in coming to this point):

Q. Are you quitting pool? Are you selling your table?
A. Absolutely not. I love the game. And I look forward to playing on my table for as long as humanly possible, and hopefully that will be for many more years, but significantly fewer hours per week. I look forward to many hours of solitude with the game, as well as occasionally sharing the experience and my table with friends who play the game well.

Q. So, that means no more tournaments?
A. True. Certainly for the foreseeable future, and that includes the US Amateur championship in September, for which the entry form is due in two days, and which helped me arrive at the timing of this decision.

Q. What will happen to this blog?
A. Less frequent postings, of course, but it will still be here. New posts will appear from time to time, as I find new things to write about. And I look forward to hearing from readers who help me keep up the list of tournaments in the San Diego area.

Q. Was this a snap decision?
A. Actually this has been coming for a long time. For each of the last 5 years, I have updated my Plan for Excellence in Pool every year around January. Except for this year. That was an early warning sign, for me. And my practice time has diminished steadily for the last 8 months, to the point where it had become obvious that my motivation was waning. It was a tough decision, because I know that with reduced time on the table will come reduced skills, and that's not a happy thought, but there is more to life than pool, as I have blogged about many times.

Q. So, what's next?
A. So much to do, so little time! Many projects, too many to go into here, but one which stand out the most is mentoring: helping entrepreneurs along their path to success in business.


Anonymous Martin said...

Say it ain't so!

Good luck!

Saturday, June 13, 2009 3:40:00 PM  
Blogger poolminnow said...

When I saw the title of your post in my RSS feed, I knew what you were going to say. Over the last six months or so, as the posts came less frequently, it seemed clear that life was pulling you elsewhere.

I'm sorry to hear that you won't be playing in the US Amateur this year. Thanks for sharing your journey with the rest of us. Good luck with your other adventures.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Samm said...


I hope your pool friends will still be welcome at the Fun House...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 1:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Samm said...


I hope your pool friends will still be welcome at the Fun House...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 1:20:00 PM  
Anonymous John Biddle said...

Best of luck in your new adventures. Your writing has been a source of much enjoyment, to me and I'm sure to many more.

Friday, June 19, 2009 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Pete Williams said...

I have always enjoed reading this blog from the sidelines and am glad it will still be around although in a less frequent form. Good luck with the future.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 1:48:00 PM  

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