255 // trois




Since I lost singles yesterday, I spent the rest of the evening being shuttled from one party to another, which was fan-f#cking-tastic. That was a bad idea, and I knew it was a bad idea, and I did it anyway. Because I am the World Champion of Bad Decisions. Just kidding. Because I am human and I get pissed off and act unprofessionally pretty much all the f#cking time. Also, I really am the World Champion of Bad Decisions.


yes, I would like a little tomato juice with my vodka


I got back in the morning and I couldn’t sleep. I had too many thoughts going on at once. I read a little, dozed a little, and ended up zombifying myself in front of the in-room professional tournament livestream.


awesome when you’re lounging around being emo and sh#t
ALERT: Pool Nerd


Regardless of what I am some of the time, I suppose I am a pool nerd all of the time. I made my way down to the tournament room.


Mika Immonen surveys the table as Ko Pin-Yi watches from his chair. Mr. Ko’s hair was monumental. I was not able to get a good picture, but it was fluffed, teased, scuplted, and feathered just so. Aquanet would be glad to sponsor him. You may click to embiggen.

And that’s Thorsten Hohmann practicing by his lonesome on the right.


Fair warning to those of you to which such a warning would apply: There is very, very little coverage of the professional tournaments in this series. That’s because I was too busy competing myself. So, yeah. No coverage of the pro events, just coverage of my hacktasticness.


One day, I’ll make Good Decisions. Maybe. Nah.


I finally got tired and went back to my room to veg out until it was time to play my doubles match.

My partner had been knocked out of his singles match earlier and we were both very “ugh” about things. We lost 0-3 and that was that. We had cashed, but not for any significant amount after the entry fee expense.


Santos Sambajon, Jr., looking judgmentally at me and my homies as he saunters by.
This photograph accurately depicts how I was feeling. This tournament had been a bit of a haul so far and I was not even halfway through the event.
This year had been a hell of a haul so far — but at least I was further than halfway through that.


And now, I had something else to do.

Prior to this tournament, someone had contacted me to play a money match during the event. Originally, I was supposed to have played someone else, but that person ultimately went radio silent when I asked to confirm that match. This new challenger wanted to fill in for the MIA player. Race to 21 for $1,000.


Did I know who this new challenger was? No. Did I know how she played? No. Why did I play? Why not? Besides, she was very nice in her emails and a little courtesy goes a long way with me.


We started at 1:30 a.m., after the professional tournaments had ended, and we could play in the professional arena.

For the next several hours, I seesawed between missing ball-in-hand and making shots I didn’t think were possible. If pool was a pageant, then surely I would win Miss Inconsistency. My opponent had a very strong game. She had, by far, the better stroke.

During the last half-hour or so, the room’s very pleasent after-hours supervisor would interrupt us repeatedly. He stressed time and again that we would have to be out by 9:00 a.m. in order to make way for the professionals coming in to practice. Although this was a major distraction, I remained as calm as possible. I understood that I could be playing for a million dollars and this dude would not give a shit. And that was all right. It is natural to only care about the money that affects us. My money was not his problem.

The score was close for a considerable amount of time and I got the hill first. I dogged the 9-ball that would have won the set for me. A little bad luck in the next game and it became hill-hill. I missed a shot in the final rack, and lost, 21-20.

It was a good match and I said so. She made a verbal guarantee for a rematch, which was very nice, and I believe she will follow through on her offer. The time was 8:52 a.m. And now, I had something else to do.


As I left, the room supervisor said, “Time to get some sleep, eh? You two played a long time.”

“No. No sleep for me. I have a tournament match. Now.”

“Wow, that’s tough.”

“No. That’s life.”


I headed toward the table where my teammates had been waiting for me for the the last twenty minutes. The team nine-ball matches were scheduled to start immediately at 9:00 a.m. I had four minutes before we would be on the clock because my team had no subs, there were just three of us. I felt like I was walking through water. Every step was slow and heavy and sleep-inducing. I swear it took me a week to walk the 20 yards. I got to the tables with a minute to spare.

“Hey,” said my teammates, with relief.

I noticed they were wearing matching shirts. “Shit, I don’t have my team shirt. Do I have to run upstairs and get it?”

“No, they said as long as it’s collared, we don’t have to match today. If it was eight-ball, we would have to match.”

I sat down heavily and put my feet up. “Nice. That’s a good roll. I’ll take it.”



<< backstroke to Day 2

"...that those who demand love will be disappointed..."

11 Replies to “255 // trois”

  1. Sorry about that grand but it sure sounds like a good match! She had the better stroke and you got to the hill first? Was that good rolls or a streak of no-hacky?

  2. Damn! I have no idea how you do it! I got exhausted and need some energy booster shots just reading your 3 days of tourney… All I can say is you need a vaca…Hmmm, Mosconi? 😉

  3. Tip of the hat to your pool playing constitution! After a match through the night like that I would be done. I suppose one way to get over a loss is to a) be disassociated from lack of sleep, b) discover you do not have to wear the third amigo matching top… not much of a way, right enough. Is the wall about to rise up and hit you? Or is sleeping between shots allowed?

  4. This:

    “No. No sleep for me. I have a tournament match. Now.”

    “Wow, that’s tough.”

    “No. That’s life.”

    Really hits home as I write this from my desk at work at 8am.

    A few days ago in my local pro shop I was talking to a few people and hanging out. Was talking to another guy who plays and plays decent who was complaining that he never really plays anymore because he doesnt have anyone to play. He wasn’t saying it to say he shoots better then everyone but he quit pool league and now doesnt play as often. Told him I shoot in a tourney on Tuesdays at and that he he should come out and play it’s only 25 dollar entry fee (plus tolls on the way there). Plus there are strong players in it, like Mike Davis who was frequenting it for a while. He asked what time it starts, 8pm. He asked how long it runs, around 1am if you make it to the finals (speaking from experience there, cough cough).

    Here is where I get the… “1am, that is way to late… I’m usually in bed by 10 or earlier, I gotta be at work at 7:30am the next day” All I simply said was “Life of a pool player”… he then says “well I’m not a pool player”…

    At least he admitted it…

    Heath – written from my desk at work which I got to at 7:15am after staying at the poolhall past midnight.

    1. Also, congrats on the money match. Being satisfied with a match and overall play is waaaaaaay more important than actually winning it IMO. Glad you enjoyed it and your opponent wasnt a donkey…

    2. I agree, when you enter a tournament, you have to consider that you will make it all the way to the end. Doing so gives yourself the best chance to win and reinforces to yourself that you will win.

      That is why, even when I play big events I statistically have practically no chance to win (U.S. Open 9-Ball, etc.), I take time off assuming that I will play the finals. 😉

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