Monday, September 25, 2006

Another Day, Another Doll

I played in the handicap tourney up at Capone's last Wednesday. I won a few matches then lost to a couple young phenoms. Anyway, as I was leaving, Rocky mentioned that he was hosting the Women's Florida State 9-Ball Championship this past weekend. So, on Sunday afternoon I tore myself away from the miserable Bucs game and took a ride up to Spring Hill to see some of the action. By the time I got there, the field had been reduced to eight and within a few minutes it was down to six. When I left Maria Catalano, a sharp shooting Brit, was locking horns with Debbie Schjodt, a veteran of the Spirit Tour who has been sizzling of late, in the driver's seat match. The way it looked, the loser was going to have their hands full playing Jeannie Seaver who was racing through the losers bracket. And the final match promised to be a real battle. But, like I said, I had to leave (my sugar was getting low) and I don't know who eventually won. In addition to the prize money and the glory the winner was to earn a spot in the U.S. Open. Anyway, the three girls I mentioned - Catalano, Schjodt, and Seaver - put on a much better show than those pitiful Buccaneers.

I've been playing pretty well lately and, except for the fact that I've made too many careless mistakes, I'm pretty happy with the way my game is coming along. At least it's still coming. Last Thursday, I managed to miss a nine-ball that was laying in the jaws of the pocket otherwise I would've beaten Fast Eddie, one of the better players around here. That would've been a first. The cueball was up table and frozen to the rail, but I still should've made it. Damn!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ravens, Scum Sucking Dogs and other Varmints

Hey, what’s right is right. Know what I mean? Now, I hate to blow my own horn but I was the first to create web pages dedicated to billiards literature, billiards art and photos of celebrities shooting pool. I began accumulating these various collections back when my web world consisted of the free pages that came with my earthlink account. When earthlink informed me that my pool pages were attracting too much traffic, I set up my own domain and signed on with a webhost. All my pool pages can be accessed via my pool home page: Ace's Web World - Pool and Billiards.

Well, I was surfing around the other day and came across someone else’s page that was being promoted as the home of photos of celebrities playing pool. Wanting to see how this page stacked up against mine, I soon discovered that instead of providing a unique collection of photos the owner of that page had simply copied every photo on my site and was presenting the collection as his own. There’s a word for this – STEALING. Certainly, I do not own rights to these photos – I didn’t take any of them myself – but, in addition to coming up with the idea of presenting pictures of celebrities shooting pool, I did accumulate, crop and edit the collection. It is mine. If the varmints at wanted to share these pictures with visitors to their site, all they had to do with provide a link to mine. Please, don’t bother going to their site – I’d hate to reward them with even the slightest increase in traffic.

I guess from now on I’ll have to be more vigilant.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Stop Ramblin', Stop Gamblin'

Well, I was discussing the recently reported upheaval at the IPT qualifier up at Capone’s with someone who had a better view and he confirmed that the squabble started over an obvious bad hit. I reiterated my opinion about those who don’t fess up to bad hits and he added that that’s one of the reasons he refuses to gamble. The other reason, he said, that he does not gamble is that he doesn’t need the money. Here we go again.

I don’t gamble because I need the money, I gamble because to me playing pool and not gambling is a lot like jumping in bed with a beautiful naked woman and not having sex.

But, there is an overabundance of people down here in Florida who are afraid of losing a few bucks. Maybe their fixed incomes need fixing. Or, maybe their old ladies are holding the purse strings. Either way, you can imagine the sinking feeling I get in my gut every time I enter the pool room on a Saturday afternoon and find no one to play but the funsy brigade.

Of course, for me, the major thing about betting a few bucks is that it forces me to apply myself. Otherwise, I just bang the balls around as though it doesn’t matter because, actually, it doesn’t. But, everybody isn’t like me. Some guys do not need money for motivation. The sheer joy of beating somebody is motivation enough. For that reason, these guys like to lock horns with players they know they can pound – the lousier their opponent, the more they like it. Wee, what fun! Me, I’d rather lose twenty bucks than waste my time playing someone who can’t hit a rail. Must be my Jersey background.

Anyway, at DJ’s Thursday night 9-ball tournament, I won my first two matches, beating a couple guys I have no business beating, and wound up playing one of the local stars for the driver’s seat. I lost, then lost the match for second place 4-3, but wound up finishing third, the first time I ever finished in the money there. No big payday, but it was a symbolic milestone. Maybe, I am getting better.

In case you’re interested, I added 8 paintings to my Pool in Fine Art collection. Check it out if you get the chance.