Ultimate 10-ball Championships

DonkeyThis past weekend I attended my 2nd WPBA Satellite Tour stop event, the Ultimate 10-ball Championships.   When you play in events like these, you are often confused for a pro based on entry alone.  I’m not a Pro, I was just one of those players that wanted to dive into the deep end of the pool with my water wings still on and see what happened. Overall,  I was a Donkey on the Edge!  … It was a scary but motivating experience.

The most difficult thing to manage at events like these is your ego.  Since spectators & viewers often don’t know if you are on the tour or not, you can easily be labeled as "the pro that isn’t very good,” rather than, “a newbie learning the ropes one misstep at a time.”  These labels can make or break your confidence, so I’ve learned.

I’ve decided to breakdown my experience in a different way this time.  What my EGO was thinking and what I now know is LOGICAL. 

My first match of the tournament I played Angel Paglia on the livestream.   

So what was my Ego thinking?:  OH SHIT!  My first match of the tournament just HAS to be on the livestream?  Why me?  Angel is a better player than me!  I hope I don’t play bad.  What will people on the chat say if I play bad?  Will anyone defend me?  God, I hope I don’t get a doughnut. 

What do I know is Logical now?:  Win or lose, it’s a good, growing experience.  Embrace it.  It’s just another match in a tournament. 

Ugh, EGO!!!!  During the match …. I felt uncomfortable.   My stroke felt heavy, my thoughts felt jumbled and my heart raced.   At 2-1 Paglia, I missed a 10-ball.  It stung.  I committed the cardinal sin of thinking of what do to while I was shooting.  Missed it.  It wasn’t hard.  Bummer.

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Ego:  I dogged it and everyone saw it.

Logic: It happens. 

I ended up losing 7-2.  In total, I missed 2 10-balls, a 9-ball, & a 7-ball, yet I still had spectators compliment my stroke, my break, etc.  I got to thinking.  Angel played great, don’t get me wrong, but, capitalizing on the end games would have changed so much of the match.  I need to work on closing in pressure situations.

My 2nd match I played great.  I won 7-2.  The two games I lost, I pocketed a very difficult 10-ball and scratched and the other I just missed another 10-ball.  Clearly, 10-ball errors are a HUGE flaw I must stop.  Overall I played solid and had some terrific run-outs. 

My 3rd match, I was unpleasantly surprised to find I was playing on the livestream AGAIN against Kyoko Sone. 

Ego:  What, did I sign up for the role of sacrificial lamb on my entry form?

Logic: Now you are warmed up so kick ass and redeem yourself.

In the opening rack, Kyoko missed the 9-ball.  With a routine 9, 10 … I dogged guess what?  THE 10-BALL!  BIG SHOCKER I KNOW.  I’m ashamed to admit it but that really sealed the deal for my emotions the remainder of the match.  Like a beaten punching bag, I watched as Kyoko ran rack, after rack, after rack and any opportunity I had, I just helplessly missed.  I felt out played, out classed and exposed.  I lost 7-0.

Ego: Defeated

Logic: She’s a better player. 

Logic.  I thought about the entire experience and I’m more motivated than ever to compete and improve.  Aside from the upper echelon of players on the tour, I didn’t see a vast difference in my skill vs. many of the girls there.  I just haven’t been in the lion’s cage as long.  I’m not as seasoned, I need more experience.  I also MUST become comfortable with the livestream.  I guess the BCAPL title from Vegas last year put me up for nomination for livestream matches and I MUST become comfortable with this demand on myself.    

Goals going forward….

*I will embrace a public arena if it presents itself whether it be live stream, a front table or the tie-breaker/critical match for a team event.  I will never shy away from that pressure again. 

*I will play on a tight pocket table whenever I can. 

*I will respect every shot presented to me.

Mezz Tour Stop - www.williamfuentes.comThe event was a GREAT experience and I cannot wait to take what I’ve learned and apply it going forward.  I’ve gained a greater respect for the players that do this lifestyle day in and day out and admire their tenacity and grit in trying situations.  To watch Allison Fisher be down 7-3 and come back to win it all was inspiring.  Seeing Angel Paglia’s true pride for her 3rd place finish was awesome.  A BIG thank you to all that were involved in the event…Badi, Zach & Ken, Ken the Ref, Megan (who was AWESOME), Big Truck & Inside Pool, & of course, Shane ‘Is Cuephoric’ (so friendly, accommodating and fun to just be around)!  

My only criticism is of chat rooms during these events. Sportsmanlike conduct was stressed in the player’s meeting & I wish this were a strictness imposed in chat rooms too.  Putting players down in the chats does nothing for our sport.  There are a few people that often visit the chat room & belittle players on the stream or in public forums….

…Maybe you can string a few racks together or run 100+ in 14.1, maybe you even beat some top players at some point, but you are no professional if you sit behind a computer demeaning your sport’s fans/players & color the chat rooms with hate. 

The glass bubble of pool....www.williamfuentes.comA ‘Pro Pool Player’ would remember how hard the climb of success is and applaud a player for risking failure & humiliation in pursuit of improvement.  A professional would encourage up-and-comers & guide them as the future of a sport they love.  A true professional would sympathize with a loss or missed opportunity and explain how it’s just part of the learning curve of success.  A professional would remind them that true champions get up and try again.

I’m not a pro & I don’t pretend to be one, but I at least try to carry myself to their standard.  Maybe if this sport’s players act like classy professionals, the world will start treating us like one. 

Thank you so much for my friends that watched and supported my livestream matches!  It felt good to read the texts, messages and words of encouragement afterwards.  Smile

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~ by g2 on April 26, 2011.

11 Responses to “Ultimate 10-ball Championships”

  1. Gail, another awesome post! As for the chat rooms, I put the stream on full screen to avoid looking at morons play YOUR game through their keyboard. The “Pro Pool Hater” that demeans other players is a washed up has been that really never was.

    Don’t pay too much attention to the chat rooms. You just continue to play on the greens while they play through their keyboards.

    I love you GG!

    Ron Mason

  2. *sniff sniff*

    smassy’s going for it…so proud…

    *sniff sniff*

  3. Very Classy post Gail. You were playing in the deep water and in that situation it aways smarter to learn to swim before anything else. You played good and any pool player who says they, never had a night like that ……. well they’re lying. I think your head is in the right place now and the only donkey that was at that event would be the person that doesn’t think you’ll be comeing back stronger and stonger every year Good Luck.

  4. Glad to hear that you’re moving up, plus have courage to get up & play in these events. I get confused just walking in certain halls when packed. I have all the confidence in you. You know how to rationalize & thus, you’ll progress. Later the haters spin their tires & leave them in the dust. Just remember this…Confusious Say: Haters are just confused admirers.

    Don’t let them get to you. You’re playing, they’re chatting. You’re keeping it real like the felt on your finger tips & they just wishing, tapping on plastic. You’re one classy lady, who has grace like a pro & one day you’ll be @ that level. Its people like you & those in your circle I strive to be. Respectful & courteous & courageous !!!

    P.s. Hope to see you soon, wish I had your competition schedule so I can cheer for you…Go Gail G Squared…lol.

    Arthur
    Fort Lee, NJ

  5. I was at the tournament Saturday and Sunday. The final between Allison and Kelly was a fantastic match. I didn’t have the opportunity to watch you play, but I did see you at the final. May I say that you are a remarkably beautiful woman. I have seen you in pictures here and they do not do you justice. Ok, enough of my gushing.

    I thoroughly enjoy following your blog. Keep up the good work. And keep pushing the envelope in pool. Hope to see you in Dallas again sometime (and maybe I’ll work up the nerve to say hello).

  6. Please introduce yourself! I promise I’m nice! Thank you for your kind words 🙂

  7. G2, This is a fantastic post. I can relate to this one tremendously. My game is transitioning right now too. I am slowly becoming a stronger player and earning respect of others. Whereas i used to be a local rookie and fold under pressure, its becoming more apparent that people are respecting my game…then I will be in a match and underestimate myself and lose confidence and get obliterated. It’s almost like my positivity needs to match my confidence and belief in my own skills. Once you feel overwhelmed like you shouldnt be there, you will prove why you dont belong there.

    Anyway…

    Also about the livestream chats….i totally agree. The chat rooms for this event were unusually harsh to another level. I watch a lot of streams and this one was quite brutal and downright mean. Very childish and stupid if you ask me. Check out the OB tour streams sometime if ur around. They put on an awesome stream and the commentators are great and the rooms are polite and positive. BTW it was really nice meeting you this weekend for the first time LOL

    CR

  8. Gail when do you go to Vegas?

  9. G2,
    I just watched your match with Kyoko on youtube. I enjoy watching you play and hope to see more of you in the future. I’m a fan 😉

    p.s. Can’t get over how gorgeous you are!

  10. If everyone in our sport was as outgoing, genuinely great to be around, and professional as you are, we’d take monday night away from football! Always a pleasure watching you on the table, and a double pleasure meeting up and saying hi out there somewhere- you’re inspiring and a perfect example of how great people in our little slice of heaven can be

  11. Thank you Shane! You are a pretty awesome person yourself. Not many would commit the time and energy volunteering as you do — both in and out of pool! Thanks for your kind word! 🙂

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