Monday, May 19

10-ball international

It's another tournament in the bag.

This one started out well:

I beat Corey again, first round. This time 10-4. Played pretty much
flawless capitalizing on every chance I had at the table. I was
surprised he wasn't seeded, tell you the truth.

From there I had to play my friend Marcus Chamat.
I was strong out of the gate, though I missed a couple shots that I should have
made. Marcus also made some unforced errors, so the score was 5-2 in
my favor. Then something silly happened: I was playing position
downtable for the 10 but I hit the point by the side pocket. I had to
try to bank it. I missed by only 1/4 inch and it stayed by the jaws of
the side, Marcus just rolled it in.
Ok, from there he ran 5 straight racks. Not funny. I had a shot to run
out at 5-8 but jarred the 7 in the long corner, another gift. Then he
broke and ran out again. 10-5!

This goes to show that that one chance is all you get after being up
5-2 and supposed to run out for 6-2.

Well done Marcus. And also congrats for joining the Mezz Cues. Seems
like you are playing very consistent.

I had a day off, and on Friday morning it was time to play Cohen from
France. It was a pretty tight battle till half way mark, but then I
pulled away. I should have lost though. I think I scratched 4 times of
the break. I think it was my follow-thru. Bad. But he wasn't making
balls on the break either. Lucky for me. Also I fluked in a ten to
make it 7-5.
So yeah, this time I escaped playing badly. 10-6.
Following that one I redeemed myself against Thorsten. I guess I didn't have much of a choice anyway. He breaks hard and runs out most of the time. I was down 3-1 but then somehow I found a new gear and went on to win 8 racks in a row. Thorsten then made a couple of really nice runs too. But at 6-9 he made a safety error and left me a good spot to safe him. He scratched of the kick, and I proceeded to run out and win 10-6.
After that I had to play Darren Appleton. This match was to qualify for the final 16. He was really good early on, he got a bi lead 6-1, And I failed to make a ball each time I broke. He on the other hand was quite successful on the break and that made a big difference. I lost 10-4, though I thought I didn't really play that bad. Just very few chances this time. So I got knocked out.

Tony Drago went all the way to win the tournament against Bustamante in the finals, I heard it wasn't a good final.
But a good win for Tony Nonetheless. Marcus Chamat finished 3rd

Wednesday, May 14

Masters was close, now the 10-ball

World Pool Masters, The 16-player invitational:

I had a nice run at the Masters as well, coming out strong in the first round against reigning World Champion Darryl Peach.
I played ver consistently, putting pressure on him early on. I managed to win with a nice 8-2 first round finally making it past 1st round in the Masters. I have had a weird history with it. some freaky rolls

Anyways, match Nr.2 presented Corey Deuel. I have played Corey a lot recently and most of the time coming out ahead. I am pretty sure he doesn't fancy playing me by now.
The beging of the match I made some stupid mistakes like missing the 9 to go up 2-0.
It was a little infra-red beam that took my eye of the ball though. Fans, you have to be carefull not to have that red-eye reduction on when you shoot pool shots LIVE. It really can mess up any shot almost worse than the flash.
ANother mistake I made was an easy 8-ball. I simply rushed it. I think I took one stroke. Might have been the nerves. But its not like me. Lately I have been focosing on my technique like taking at least three practise strokes before pulling the trigger.
At 4-2 in Corey's favor he made a position error to get to the seven lleaving himself jacked up on the rail with 7 straight in on the other end, diagonally across the table.
He missed it, leaving me a routine run-out and closing the gap 3-4. I then took a time-out, splashed my face with some cool water, gave myself a good slap on the face to redeem myself. No more unforced errors, and preferably no errors at all.
Then next rack I played a good safe, but Corey in return kicksafed me back. I did have a pretty routine kick but I accidentally kicked the ball in the side, leaving myself a table length Jump-shot. object ball close to the rail at least two diamonds from the pocket...I made it! Then I still had a tough cut on the six. I made it too and 7, 8 and 9 was pretty standard clearance. I took the next rack as well, but Corey fired back to make it 5-5. From there I didn't look back I ran out and broke and ran 2 to complete the match 8-5.

In the Semi's I was up against the Taiwanese sensation Ko Pin-yi, who's earlier victories included Souquet (8-3) and Drago (8-4).

This match was more strategy, since the break was dry most of the time. I somehow with experience hanged in, though I was down 4-2. For the first time in the tournament I saw him falter a bit. He is human after all. I played my opportunities well keeping him on the defense the rest of the match. The fact that the 9 was on the spot instead of the 1 worked in my favor. Taiwanese are known to crush the break from the side but this time there was very little advantage in doing so. The wingball went high and 1 went past the side. Anyways, the match ended 8-4.

Then I played the finals against my MEZZ Teammate Alex Pagulayan.

I took charge early by copying Alex's break. It was a cut-break with draw and some right english. At 3-1 I had easy lay-out but I rattled the 3 in the corner. Should have hit softer. I was over-confident.I still managed to keep the lead even extending it to 6-3, but the Pool Gods decided I had had enough:
I broke, made a ball but got only one ball past "the kitchen". It meant loss of turn due to "illegal break". The rule is suppose to be there to just eliminate soft breaks but in this case even though I was breaking hard, the balls went on a collision course downtable preventing anything from going uptable.
So I had to suck it up and watch Alex run four consecutive racks. He had nice lay-outs, no clusters. It put me in a bit of a coma. Alex scratched at 7-6, and of course even ball in hand, I didn't have an open table. Getting to the 2 balI was the key. I made a 1-3 combo followed by a horrible overstroke draw. Cueball scratched opposite corner. With ball in hand for Alex on the key ball, it was a routine run-out.

Well, what can I say? Congrats Alex, looking forward for a re-match. Somehow, somewhere.

Sunday, May 4

Hard Times

I decided to warm up for vegas at a local tournament at the legendary
Hard Times Billiards. Guess who I bumped into?