that sinking feeling is because you’re standing in a tarpit

listening to


obsessed with



The 2008 BCAPL (see that Mr. Griffin? I didn’t forget this time… have a Coors Light and stop working so hard…) National 8-Ball Championships was, as always, a GREAT time.

Okay, I know none of you give a damn what I did in three out of the four reasons I went to Vegas this year. All the same, let’s get that s— outta the way.

Open Scotch Doubles
DFL. (Dead F—ing Last)

Women’s Open Singles.

Women’s Open Teams.

And finally… the only part of trip y’all give a damn about…


Vengeance in Vegas : Cubc vs OMGWTF

I have told a lot of people far before and after the match, that I wouldn’t do a write-up about it.

However, there was SO MUCH demand that I caved in. F—ing peer pressure. Sheesh.

Since I’ve decided to write about it, I’m going to be REDONKULOUSLY thorough.

If you have kept up with the backstory and whatnot, and would prefer just my commentary on the match itself, jump to the bottom of this post and look for the section My Thoughts About The Match Itself or OMGWTF Were You Thinking?!


January 21, 2008

I’ve said before that the original events that lit the fuse have become irrelevant. As much as I’d like to post all the miniscule details that have led up to the challenge, it’d take too damn long and the bottle of whiskey in my desk drawer is empty. You can read through the threads on the AZ Billiards Forums if you want to get the whole story and you, of course, are allowed and encouraged to judge for yourself the veracity of the claims by both sides. It’s classic “he said, she said” and very junior-high. Take it as you will.

Let’s start with his original challenge, which KFC sent to me via AOL Instant Message on Monday, January 21, 2008. It read (all typographical and grammar errors intact):

Ok you said next time you come out here you want to play for a lot of $.  I’ll play you 8 ahead for 2,000 or 3,000 and i’ll give you the 7.  I’ll post up.  I wont be nice this time.  That’s a standing offer until January 09.  Brad will play some thousand dollar sets too.  So heres your chance to win big or go busted.

Now, prior to this message, I had KFC on ignore due to previous altercations. This message managed to creep through after I had reinstalled some hardware on my computer and the settings had returned to default. This challenge message actually came after another message he sent in which he tried to be charming and witty.

I did the right thing and ignored that first message.

This message, however, was a whole ‘nother ballgame. I did the right thing by not acting impulsively. I blocked KFC from my IM again, but left the message open on my screen.

I closed the lid of my laptop.

I took a nice, long nap.

I woke up, read the message again, and in a completely clear state of mind, said to myself, “Let’s do this.”


I posted in this thread at the AZ Billiards Forums (I pop in around lucky post #13), and the hamster wheel started turning. For your convenience, I’ve condensed some of the better statements below, but you’ll want to read the whole thread to get a good bearing on what each of us is like, as I also post twice more in the thread. No story without character development, y’know?

Anyhow, fine statements made by KFC in this thread included (you’ll want to remember these, I added the emphasis, my commentary in pink, and all times are PST):

January 21, 2008 / 6:18 PM“And in regards to omgwtflilazngurly yea I’ll happily play you. I’m not sure exactly when as I’ll have to check on flight ticket prices and what not but it’s a game for sure. [Oh HELL yes!] Want to just make it for a good 3k? One 8 ahead set you get the 7.”


January 21, 2008 / 9:39 PM“Keep making up what you want. I know you’re going to be in vegas because you go so you can embelish your blog and be paid for it (donated whatever). I will plan to make it. If I cannot I assure you I will let you know and arrange for a time to play even if I have to come to LA to do it. Mark my word.[I marked it. Did you?]

But you really need to stop with the stories. I know it makes for great blogging and chat but seriously just let it go until we play. You dont want to ruin your mysterious image you like to keep by showing your true little asian ass [Getting racial, are we? Nice.] right here in front of everyone do you? I confirmed the game in a previous post so that should’ve been the end of it. But I’m sure the way you’re a drama queen you wont let it go.” [In the end, you generated more drama and was more of a queen than I could ever hope to be. Shall I mail you a tiara?]

Now, he said it was ON, yes? We all agree on this, don’t we? It was in writing for all the public to see. As a result, I began my preparations to get my stake together. I knew it would take me a while, if only because I live in an expensive part of the world, and I don’t make that much money at my job but I have to work this job at the moment because my health in recent years has been very poor, and the health insurance at this company is second-to-none.

KFC said he would play, and I owed it to him to show up with the cash.

I got the first $1,000 together for the post money. I didn’t contact KFC because he said he was a man of his word(s) and since the challenge had been made public, there was no reason to think he wouldn’t be there.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…



April 1, 2008

My close friends knew I was working hard at getting the whole $3,000 together. At this point, I had about $2,000 of it saved up and ready to go.

I didn’t go out to bars or movies, or go shopping, or do any of the fun things people with disposable income normally do. I stayed home and ate granola bars and ramen noodles most of the time (thanks go out to those who took me out to eat now and then). Table time in my part of the world is very expensive at night, but I budgeted to play about one hour a day during the work-week and between four to six hours on the weekend. In addition, I was still playing in two leagues, and I also had to pay league fees and table time for those as well.

BCAPL Nationals was also coming up, and I knew I would have to pay entry fees for the three events I planned to play in, the Open Scotch Doubles, the Women’s Open Singles, and the Women’s Open Teams. All together, the entry fees would amount to just about $500. I chose to pay the full entry fees for my Scotch and Open Women’s teams because I was organizing both, and, as we all know, it’s easier to have one person pay and then collect, than it is to ask six people to send you one check each. Team shirts also had to be made for my team, and I was also in charge of this. The custom printing and delivery of these shirts ended up costing me over $200. So, in the month of April, $700 (which is a lot to me, maybe it isn’t to you) would have to be paid out as an investment. That cut a lot into my table-time fund.

If you are willing to work hard and make sacrifices, you can have almost anything you want in life.

I looked through my apartment and sold off many items which I had acquired in past years (years where I had better employment — before the dot-com boom went bust) which were lovely, but unnecessary. A load of designer shoes, purses, clothes, jewelry, trinkets — anything that I considered a luxury and not a necessity — went on eBay and eBay gave me the money with which I could continue my practice regimen.


Thus, I was duly surprised when I received this transcript from one of the chat sessions at Inside Pool Magazine’s chat room between KFC (cubc) and the rest of the regulars there:

[Eric.] 9:05 am: KFC, you still gonna follow thru on the OMG challenge you issued?

[runscott] 9:05 am: not me – it’s JB World from now on

[cubc] 9:06 am: i forget when it is eric but yea she has the 7 for life

[cubc] 9:06 am: she’s still a little psycho b*tch.. i should probably just avoid her

[Barbara] 9:06 am: oh, is this the poll she’s doing?

[cubc] 9:06 am: but w/e

[Barbara] 9:06 am: you’re the opponent?

[brooklynjay] 9:06 am: the 7 POR VIDA!

[cubc] 9:06 am: i haven’t looked / read / .. heard.. anything about it

[AndyB] 9:06 am: dang that V8 fusion juice is some good stuff

[runscott] 9:06 am: Cubc – Lisa ad Brian are in charge of drama, so quiet

[Eric.] 9:06 am: I think you guys were gonna play at BCA Vegas in May. You might as her when she gets here

[1pRoscoe] 9:06 am: LOL @ psycho bitch….

[1pRoscoe] 9:07 am: based up what I’ve heard, it’s quite the opposite…

[cubc] 9:07 am: roscoe you dont know the half of it

[cubc] 9:07 am: i had to block her from email

[AndyB] 9:07 am: yeah all this drama and where’s Lisa

[cubc] 9:07: then block her from aim

[runscott] 9:07 am: yes, cubc is a psycho biatch

[cubc] 9:07 am: then block her from my phone

[cubc] 9:07 am: then she goes to my girlfriends myspace

[cubc] 9:07 am: and starts spamming her

[runscott] 9:07 am: He’s even got little sparrow tits, I hear

[1pRoscoe] 9:07 am: hrmmmm…..

[cubc] 9:07 am: you really dont know the half of it but w/e that’s why i avoided this place

[1pRoscoe] 9:07 am: 3 sides to every story….

[Barbara] 9:07 am: do you know for sure it’s her?

[cubc] 9:08 am: yes. we were supposedly friends for about 7 months before she came out here

[cubc] 9:08 am: theres a whole storyline none of yall know

[cubc] 9:08 am: but she has this loving crowd so i just vanished to get out of the bs


Two things to note: 1). I have the SEVEN FOR LIFE from Mr. KFC, and 2). HE DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE CHALLENGE?!

OMG! WTF? Hadn’t he told me to “mark his word”? Maybe his word was worth nothing? I dunno.

Of course, I had to post that in my blog. It was honestly too good to pass up. By the way, I’m still a psycho bitch, but you all knew that before. 😉



April 4, 2008

“Peer” of the AZ Billiards Forums posts this thread, and the rest is history.

It’s ridiculously long — over 35 pages — but if you have time, you should read it. It’s internet entertainment at its finest.

Let me give you the Reader’s Digest version of what happens in this thread. These are my personal favorites, and they’ll probably differ from what you’ll find amusing.

1). KFC claims he didn’t know anything about the challenge.

2). The Action Report graciously offers to set up the match for us at the BCA 8-Ball Nationals (thanks Justin & Chad). Both KFC and I send in $1,000 each as post money.

3). KFC reassures the world with the video of him running FOUR racks at home.

4). The Hedgehog of my blog stories, a.k.a. “Zirroe” of the AZ Billiards Forums makes an appearance. Then, he edits his posts because he’s “over” all the internet woofing. Hey Hedgie, we still on for you giving me the eight, for $500 a set? You gotta like it considering how bad I play…

5). I post a picture of myself so you all know who I am — I am nothing more than a small Asian girl who plays at a C-level, loves barbox eight-ball, and, according to KFC doesn’t know how to use side english on the cueball.

6). Shawn Armstrong reads my blog, doesn’t like it, doesn’t seem to understand how this match came about, doesn’t understand the wild seven is not a three-ball spot, calls KFC “the fat kid in the parking lot”, and continues to read my blog. I am honored.

7). A surprising amount of sidebets are made, more so than in previous events featuring professionals. Maybe people like the idea of two hacks hacking it out for the cash. WPBA stars Tina Pawloski, Val Finnie, and Kim Shaw offer the rail $500 bets and thousands in sidebets the day of the match itself. If anyone would understand speed, it would be the professionals. Ms. Pawloski even did research. Val Finnie clarifies for those who are uninformed that I “cant possibly win”, but declines to bet later, citing the Golden Rule. Forum member “Icon of Sin” clarifies as to why the Golden Rule is being applied here. Forum member “watchez” offers another translation. Nevertheless, the professionals’ faith in KFC and their highrolls bring the bets that I will win to a halt as doubts begin to arise about the chances of me winning.

8). KFC has a constant struggle edging out “American Idol” in the poll.

9). The forum has a hiccup when it’s realized the term “the seven” seems to vary across the world. It is determined that “the seven” means “the wild seven” and the seven going in on ANY LEGAL SHOT for me results in a win. Also, “the seven” means I have two money balls, the seven and the nine. The eight doesn’t count. Once again, internet forums provide a valuable learning resource.

10). KFC occasionally worries about the airline situation, the time, and me not showing up. I take the bus 40 miles one-way to play in a goshdarned APA league — what makes you think I won’t show for this shindig?

11). “Da Poet” of the AZ Billiards Forums does a pre-match analysis. Still love you, Tal. 😉


Here is the email I received from Justin Collett of The Action Report specifying the parameters of the match. All of you who keep asking about where the seven-ball was to be placed and whether or not it was rack-your-own can now have your curiosity satisfied.

Behold, the email sent to both of us:

~ The match will take place in the TARPIT room at the BCA 8 Ball Nationals Tournament at 1PM local time on May 17, 2008.

~ The match will be played on Diamond Pro-Am 9 foot table.

~ Lag for the first break.

~ Cue ball fouls only.

~ 8 ahead for $3000.

~ 9 Ball Winner breaks, rack your own.

~ Jump cues will be allowed.

~ Melinda gets the wild 7, it counts on the break and gets racked directly behind the 1 ball.

~ Player rest breaks will be determined on site.

~ The set will be played until a winner is determined or until Diamond comes for the table. In the case of the set not reaching a conclusion via someone getting 8 games ahead the person who is ahead in the game count will paid $375 for each game they are ahead out of the losing players entry fee. The remainder of the entry fee will be returned to the losing player.

~ A person to call hits will be determined on site.

~ If a player fails to show or doesn’t have the total entry at the time of the match the deposit will be forfeited to the player who does show and have the full entry fee.

~  Any physical altercations, throwing anything at a player or the crowd or blatant and repeated sharking or unsportsman like conduct by either player will be grounds for forfeit. The offending player will forfeit the match and the prize money. Professional conduct is expected and will be enforced.

~ The match will be streamed live for free on and possibly recorded. As of this date both players agree to using their likeness and full names in promtional materials and during the Live Stream and are entitled to no financial compensation other than services rendered from

If you agree to the above points please respond to this email in the affirmative with your full name and address.

KFC specifically asked for the lag for the break and the allowance for jump cues. As many of you know, I use one cue for everything, so I wasn’t real gung-ho about the use of jump cues, but, I also knew in order for the match to go forward, I would have to make concessions. Jump cues it was.

As you can see, and I reiterate, it was rack-your-own, with the option for your opponent to check the rack.

Let us continue…



April 24, 2008

Regular reader “Johnnyt” of the AZ Billiards Forums posts a thread about my Greyhound trips.

KFC disapproves. More importantly, he lets it be known that he “despises” me. Thanks, Captain Obvious. I’ve already been informed by those you have conversed with that you wished I was dead, so I guess despicability is an improvement. All the same, it’s nice for you to show the world how confident you are by proclaiming:

April 24, 2008 / 7:05 AM“I just wish the match would happen already so I can buy a new 9′ table for my new house with her money from a match that she caused by running her mouth. However with less than a month to go I’m sure I’ll survive.”

KFC, it’s one thing to bully me with all your intimidation tactics, but you should leave regular people out of it. It’s courtesy. You don’t have a beef with them, just me. Leave them in peace.

Also, have you tried the granola-and-ramen plan to get a new table?

It works, dude.



May 16, 2008

KFC posts a thread asking if the match is still on. Somehow, I don’t think Justin, Chad, and the entire Action Report staff are going to pack up and disappear in the night with your $1,000, after having set up and broadcast one $7,500 and one $20,000 challenge match between REAL players.

Honestly, now.

Use the phone next time, and call them, yeah?




May 17, 2008

I won.




My Thoughts About The Match Itself or OMGWTF Were You Thinking?!

I rarely discuss what goes on in my head, mostly because it is a very, very scary place that no one should have to visit. But, like a haunted house ride, a bad chick flick, or a luxurious mullet, horror is refreshing now and then. So, here you go.


Did you think your match was a lock? You KNEW you were going to win, didn’t you?


I never thought it was a “lock”. If anything, I very seriously saw myself as the underdog. Did I think I had a chance to win? Of course. That is why I bet $3,000 of my own money on myself.

If anyone asked if I was SURE I was going to win, I always said no. I would tell them that *I* liked my chances, but I refused to guarantee anything. I know how hard money is to earn, and I did not want people losing money because they bet on me out of support for my writing skills as opposed to my playing skills.

Many people saw the video of KFC running four racks, and asked me if I could beat that. I said no. I know my own game and I know that I am only as good as how I play on my worst day. On my worst day, I am not able to run four yards, much less four racks. There was also the great possibility that when I had played him previously, he had not been on his best game, or that he might have improved greatly in the five-month interim. (It has since been said that KFC’s video is spliced from separate breaks and runs. There are inconsistencies in the video, apparently.)

Had I thought this match was a lock, I would have bet everything I owned and encouraged everyone I knew to do the same. But, I knew it wasn’t. I respected the game of my opponent and I know the game I have myself, and, because of this, I was unwilling to have people possibly lose money, even if they could afford it or wanted to do so out of support.

Those that did bet on me trusted my honesty and judgment. “If you’re good to bet $3,000, I can bet $100.” I am forever touched and amazed at their faith in me both as a person, and a player. Thank you for that.


If you didn’t think it was a lock, why did you play?

Why not? It’s called “gambling” even though KFC told so many people he was “stealing”.


What did you do to prepare for this match?

I tried to play every day, as much as I could afford to. When I couldn’t afford to play, I watched videos. When I couldn’t watch videos, I thought about all the crucial shots I had missed and thoroughly examined why I missed them.

I knew that KFC played very well, since I had heard repeatedly (I have never seen the video — the only pool videos I care about are the ones with professionals in them) he had run four racks on video on his home table, but I also knew one very important thing — you can’t control how your opponent plays, only how YOU play.

I rarely thought about how he played and focused instead on improving my own skills. To this end, I made every second of every minute of every hour that I played count. That meant full focus, full patience, full determination on every shot of every drill I ever did. Full concentration on every rack I tried to run. Full reality in assessing the weaknesses of my game.

Some days, I was tired or work sucked or life sucked or lack of money sucked or I was sick, but when I got to the table, I did everything I could to pour everything I had into the job at hand, which was to do the best with what I had.

I had to assume KFC could show up, win the lag, break and run eight racks, and leave. This was an extreme on the spectrum of possibility, but it was a possibility nonetheless. What if he won the lag, broke and ran seven racks, and then ran out to the last nine-ball, missed it, and left me tough?

Well, then.

I’d better be able to make that nine-ball or play a badass safety on it.


Did playing a lot of eight-ball on a bar table the week before affect your play during your match?

It did.

I was very tentative at the beginning of the match and I could not control the cueball worth a damn, because I had been playing all week with a lighter cueball on a smaller playing field. However, it didn’t bother me because I knew, and I accepted the fact, that this was the match I chose to play, the game I chose to play, on the equipment I chose to play.

I would just have to deal with it and adjust as soon as possible.


Did you get a lot of chances to play on the table before your match?

I hit a few balls on it on Wednesday night, I think. Overall, I didn’t get much chance to play on it as I was constantly playing tournament matches. I also did not want to play so much on the table that I would be taken out of my barbox game.

My Women’s Open Team was still playing up until late in the night before my match. I owed the girls on my team my absolute best barbox game as they had spent just as much time and effort as I had to get to Vegas. I consider it wrong to shortchange all the members on my team because I had a challenge match for just myself. I promised them I would see them through to Saturday, up until 1:00 P.M. If we had made it to Saturday, we would have had an 8:00 A.M. match, and I would have played that match, too, before going to my own challenge match.

As it was, we lost a hill-hill heartbreaker very late in the evening Friday night. I thought about hitting some balls on the table in the TARPIT, but I decided against it. I knew KFC would be flying in that night, and, to be fair, I would not infringe on his chance to try out the equipment. I decided getting as much sleep as possible would be the best option for me.


You played like s—!! Is this your regular game?! How could you risk $3,000 on it?!?

I never claimed to be a great player. This is not even my regular game. THIS IS THE BEST POOL I HAVE EVER PLAYED IN MY LIFE!!

The $3,000, as far as I was concerned, was already spent before the match started. I never thought about the money again, and just tried to play the best pool I could play and to enjoy the experience.


Did you ever feel pressure from people watching in the room or on the internet? You seemed pretty calm.


This surprised me, even. I fully expected when the match got underway that I would be nervous, but it never happened. I’m not really sure why. I wasn’t worried about the money, because, as I said previously, I considered it already spent and gone. I wasn’t worried about who was watching. I guess the old adage of “you have to dance like there’s nobody watching” came into play here. For the record, I dance very badly. I felt no kind of emotion at any time during the match. No excitement, no nervousness, no pain, nothing. I was there to do a job and I was going to do it as best as I could.

I had watched the girls on my team play with much heart and much toughness in the days prior to this challenge match. Nothing I would run into in this challenge match could equal the emotional swings we went through as a team in our efforts to win the Women’s Open Teams event. When we lost hill-hill, it totally crushed me as I knew how hard they had fought to win. When I went into my challenge match the next day, I really didn’t feel much. The main reason I came to BCAPL was for my girls’ team and when their run came to an end, I was out of emotional steam.


Your break is amazing. Did you think that would give you an edge?

I did not think it would give me a big edge, but I did hope it would end up helping me in some way. I never expected it to help me THAT much. Everyone, eat your Wheaties. They’re good for you.


How long did you think the match would last?

I thought the match would last about eight hours. I had heard a lot of stories about how long ahead-matches could be, and I figured a full workday would be a good estimate.


What did you think of CubC’s trash-talking and insults? Did it motivate you in any way?

I didn’t mind his talk. It was his choice to say the things he did. I chose not to follow in his wingflaps. Once the match was set, the time for talk was over. The time for play had arrived.


What did you think about the WPBA betting against you?

I didn’t care. They weren’t going to play the match for him or me, so it didn’t matter.


How come you didn’t shake his hand?

I would have, but he left before I could.

After I got to eight, I went over to the commentator’s booth to ask if it was eight. I asked again, as I didn’t trust myself to count correctly at the moment, and they verified that it was over. Justin then handed me the money. I shook hands with two people that came up to me (one of which was the ever-young and ever-dapper Vagabond of the AZ Billiards Forums), and then went to my seat. KFC was gone by then, and when I asked where he was, someone said he was already at the airport.

I don’t blame him for not shaking my hand — he hated me, after all, and I wasn’t going to be a bad winner and rag on him for not shaking my hand.


Are you really going to get a boob job?

I thought about it, but then decided I’d rather eat more steak. So, no boob job, just lots of dead cows.


You didn’t seem excited about winning. Why not?

The play on both our parts was less than stellar, so this match wasn’t anything to be proud or happy about. Also, as I told Irish Katy With The Awesome Hair at the Splash Bar later that night, I was rather quiet because of a new feeling I had never felt before.

I think it’s called “pity”.


Are you closing down your blog?

I was going to close the blog regardless of the outcome of the event. I never wanted to be known as a writer — I wanted to be known as a good player. In any case, due to popular demand, the blog WILL NOT be closed. I will, however, cut back on the regular posting schedule and probably stick to tournament reports and such. The blog did take a lot of time away from playing pool, and I want to return to what makes me happiest.


What’s the moral of this story?

This is a story? There’s a moral? Take it as you like, and may you live long, and prosper.

Also, “DerekDisco” of the AZ Billiards Forums has kindly include KFC and myself in his latest film short:


More questions? Email me.

Otherwise, I’ll be posting another post in a few days with some pictures from the BCAPL National 8-Ball Championships. I had to get this post out of the way, first.

Thanks again to all who supported me, y’all are the best!

8 Replies to “that sinking feeling is because you’re standing in a tarpit”

  1. Thank god you posted that recap. I don’t hit the boards often enough to keep up with all the posts that were flying back and forth and I sure as shit wasn’t going to go through hundreds of pages of posts. 😉

    Glad to hear you’re keeping the blog up and running. Very entertaining stuff. Oh, and congrats on the W. That’s some serious lettuce.

  2. I can’t believe I read the whole thing. 🙂 I’ve enjoyed reading some of your blog in the past but hadn’t been back for quite some time. As I was reading your accounting, I was very impressed with your VERY FAIR treatment of KFC. I hadn’t kept up with all of the posts on AZ Billiards Main Forum and didn’t realize some of the comments he had made toward you. I’m embarassed for men in general. I’m sure you’re no saint but some say you look like an angel but I was impressed with how VERY FAIRLY you treated KFC. I hope that one day I can learn to be as tolerant as you have been. Your resolve and commitment to preparing for the match and improving your game was inspiring. The way that you handled all of the comments, the pressure of the match, the fairness of how you treated your opponent speaks volumes about the person you are. The consideration you gave your teamates is just cool beans.

    Go easy on the red meat. 🙂

    You have my respect as a pool player and as a person.


  3. Way to go girl!!!

    The way you prepared for the match was a nice read, and got me motivated to keep practising.

    Please continue with your blog

  4. Awesome win!


    It takes guts to post that much money and follow through with it even though you felt like an underdog.

    I’m also really glad you’ll continue the blog. It’s definitely one of my favourites.

    Good luck with your game and everything else!

  5. What’s cool is that it’s not always about the pros. B-class players play big money pool too.

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