Baby G

gg Hi everyone – For this month’s topic of PoolSynergy, Michael has asked us bloggers to get alittle personal and answer a bit about our own history into the game of pool.

I grew up with a Renaissance 9-Footer in my home in Miami Florida.  At about 5, my dad was having me pocket balls with my hand (no cue ball, just the ball) while he used a cue & cue ball.  That’s how we played one another. It wasn’t until I was maybe 11 that I started using a real cue and cue ball.  I always played for fun with friends.  My house was a cool sleepover place for the girls as we could play pool there.  I liked that I knew how to play pool because it let me hang out with my Dad and the other “men of the house” during family events and parties.  I was always a tomboy wanting to play any sport the boys were playing.  Make up and high heels were never a thought back then.  By about 16, I was definitely playing even with most of the guys in my family, my Dad excluded.  He was always the best player in the room in my house.  (Course, he made the rules as we went along and sometimes it seemed those rules changed to suit his needs …. .)poolsynergy41

I always had a natural ability at most sports I tried.  In pool, my dad was very good at teaching solid fundamentals.  Stay down, perpendicular arm, good stance.  I was lucky to have someone teach me the right way at an early age.  It helped speed my progress I’m sure.

We played with your standard CRAPPY old school rules.  No safeties, go for everything even the ridiculous stuff, call shot (specifically if it’ll be clean, off the rail, or off another ball, yikes!, and if you accidentally pocket your ball in the uncalled way, it is spotted.)  I have yet to successfully convince my family that defense is the intelligent pool player’s game – you know what they say, Old Dogs…..  It’ll forever be Sissy Pool to them.

lauren At the University of Florida, I played for their Pool Team and during my Sophomore Year, somehow I ended up taking 3rd in the SEC.  I have NO IDEA how that happened as I can now safely say that back in college I SUCKED at pool. I knew diddly about position or strategy.

Put Ball in Hole that was my mission.

I frequented the poolhall JP Gators with my partner in crime Lauren Rothman (pictured right) and even was the shot girl there for a summer.

(“Jell-O shot or straight up sir?”)

During the SEC championships, the last match I played was against the reigning champion from the prior year.

At Hill/Hill (a term I’m sure didn’t know back then) my opponent made the 9-ball and Scratched!! So that means I won the match right?  HA! – To prove to you that I REALLY didn’t know what I was doing….with the 9-ball spotted and ball in hand, YUP, I made the 9-ball and followed that sucker right in! image

throphyThe older, wiser me knows it was just a part of my ever growing bouts of experience.  This is part of the love and hate of the game.  You hate when these moments happen but end up loving their lessons effect on your improvement.  The game is just really HARD.

It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great. ~ Jimmy Dugan 🙂

So how does pool continue to captivate me so?  I love challenges.  I love being told I can’t do something & surprising people.  And I LOVE playing sports with the boys.

Pool constantly makes you feel like it’s impossible.  Like you’ll never get it.  Like you just can’t reach another mountain.  Pool is one of those games you’ll NEVER perfect.  Tony once told me that Earl Strickland is the only player he EVER saw play a perfect tournament?  He didn’t miss a ball the entire tournament.  That’s STRONG.  It’s something to aspire to, no matter how CRAZY that aspiration may seem.

Earl eventually did miss again .. Pool doesn’t allow you to stay perfect for long.    long beach

I love pool because it doesn’t discriminate.  Man or Woman, Fat or Skinny, Tall or Short – anyone can be great at this game.  The only requirement is dedication and lots of hard work.  I’ve met some of my closest friends today because of a game of pool.  Without the game, I’d have missed out on some of my greatest memories and friends.  The diversity of friends I have is a testament to how unbiased this game’s appeal is.  The thing we all have in common …. love of the game.

I love pool because as far as talent will get you, you can also circumvent some talent if you have the brains to outsmart your opponent.  It’s a very intelligent sport if you learn the real interworkings of each game.  I play Traffic Jam on my Evo like it’s crack because I love Puzzles.  When I’m in “the Zone”,” the pool table simply becomes a big giant puzzle that I must decipher and conquer. There’s a maze, a path, a challenge and a finish line and I’m just racing to get to it before my opponent.

And I love pool because it’s a game I can play equally with the boys.  My tiny guns, or shorter stature, or petite frame is irrelevant.  Really the only true opponent I’m fighting is myself.


~ by g2 on July 14, 2010.

5 Responses to “Baby G”

  1. LOL – I love that traffic jam game too!! Check out “Shot” – 2nd edition for another addicting and excellent puzzle game.

  2. “pool players finally getting some sun” ~G2

  3. It seems like a loving family and a pool table at home are common denominators for a big percentage of us. Just one of the many ways parents influence their kids, even if that wasn’t the intent. Great story, thanks.

  4. My tiny guns, or shorter stature, or petite frame is irrelevant.

    but you look so tall in your pictures . . .

  5. high heels are the greatest lie never told 🙂

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