Happy New Year!
I realize it may appear that I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties, but it just ain’t so. I just haven’t had anything to say, and, in truth, probably still don’t.
I wish I could report that my game’s improving by leaps and bounds, but I can’t. Though I feel I am improving in various aspects, overall I’m still floundering. Which reminds me, a nice fellow named Tore offered some insightful advice as comments to my last post, so give them a read if you get the chance.
For Christmas, I decided to treat myself to a couple pool books – Play Your Best Pool by Phil Capelle and Essential Pool by Cranfield and Moy. I picked them up on the cheap via my
pool book web page. If you have nothing else to do some day, scope it out. You’ll find used books for as low as a penny. I kid you not! Of course, there are shipping charges. I’m thinking that if you sell a book for a penny, you have to be making something on S&H. Still, I find better bargains on pool books by buying them used through my site than I’ve ever found on eBay. So much for shameless self-promotion.
Anyway, the Capelle book isn’t something you can whiz right through. You have to take your time. After I read his take on the fundamentals, I went to work on the ol’ poke. After a couple weeks of that I gave up in disgust and moved ahead to his chapters on draw and follow. I’m still there. No sense moving on until I feel confident drawing and following the ball. At least that’s the way I figure it.
I also treated myself to a pair of Elephant Practice Balls. I bought them hoping they would help me sharpen my eye and I think they’re working. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
I’ve been cutting back on pool room tournaments of late figuring no sense blowing the entry fees when I don’t pose the slightest threat of making it into the money. I’ve cashed twice in bar tourneys the last two weeks though that doesn’t mean much. When I win a couple in a row, I’ll take that as a sign I’m playing better.
I bet I’m not telling any of you who play on your local bar tour that bar 8-ball tournaments can be a pain in the ass. In addition to the inebriated entrants, there are the rules which down here vary from bar to bar. Instead of one foul ball-in-hand, they usually play a no-safe variation down here they refer to as honest effort. Unfortunately, no one has ever bothered to define “honest effort.” I interpret it as having to make an honest effort to pocket a ball on every shot. I can’t tell you how many games I’ve lost because I couldn’t bring myself to violate the rules and play safe. Rest assured, there are plenty of other guys who will lock you up without a moment’s hesitation. The people in charge seldom warn a guy about playing safe and I've never seen anyone penalized. If a guy plays me safe, he goes on a list of guys I’ll safe up if I get the chance. But, it’s just bullshit. Just Friday I missed a shot and inadvertently left my opponent a long angle shot on the eight with the cue ball frozen to the end rail. He made the shot and scratched and afterward swore that I had played him safe. I doubt he would have done much crying if he hadn’t scratched.
Anyway, I hope that someday I’ll be able to elevate my game to the point where I can actually compete with the big boys in the pool room. Then, I’ll be able to forsake most of the bar action. …I should live so long.