funny thing happened during my third match


t h a n k s
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interesting articles & websites
just because

30 Dumb Inventions
If you’ve got the time, they’ve got the dumb. Baby cages, curved machine guns, motorized surfboards, illuminated tires, etc.
from LIFE Magazine
Economy prompts fresh look at ND’s socialist bank
The Bank of North Dakota — the nation’s only state-owned bank — might seem to be a relic. It was the brainchild of failed flax farmer and one-time Socialist Party organizer during World War I. But now, officials in other states are wondering if it is helping North Dakota sail through the national recession.
soooo awesome Alien Landscapes on Planet Earth
Amateur photographer Martin Rietze has travelled the globe from the Arctic to Ethiopia capturing some of the planet’s more other-worldly terrains.15-picture gallery of mostly volcanic images.
that’s lightning during an eruption
What the Bocuse d’Or Says About Culinary Culture
While the world’s greatest athletes are currently competing at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, the world’s greatest chefs are busy training for the premier cooking contest, the Bocuse d’Or, which will take place next January in Lyon, France.
food fight!
Guinea Pig Touted as Solution to Congo Food Crisis
Small solution to a big problem: guinea pig meat tested as solution to Congo hunger crisis.
mini Guinea bacon hitting stores soon
x k c d
One of my favorite webcomics.
this is for all of you stuck in Snowmageddon



random texts from my life
low-calorie filler

Ok so I need to get up and do stuff. Have you any words of encouragement.

Steak dinner.

You know me too well.



a funny thing happened during my third match
2010 Jay Swanson Memorial 9-Ball Tournament at Hollywood Billiards

The Jay Swanson Memorial 9-Ball Tournament is easily Southern California’s biggest pool tournament. The field, limited to 192, fills up each year to capacity with a waitlist. I was looking forward to this tournament because it is the biggest tournament I can play in that I can get to via bus (in a decent amount of time, no less).

Due to some unfortunate traffic and bus maintenance issues, I arrived at the pool room much later than I planned, or wanted, to. The doors opened at 9:00 a.m. and I got there closer to 9:45 a.m. All tables were in use for practice and the tournament started at 10:00 a.m. Needless to say, I didn’t get any practice in — and it showed. I lost my first match 8-3.

While waiting for my second match, I ran into a pool room regular. I chatted with him and it turned out that he would be my next match on the loser’s side. Well, that sucks. We had a drink or two and I ate some pastries while we waited. We played our match and I won, 7-3. The waiting game began again for me.

My third match was with Max “Mad Max” Eberle, one of the top picks to win the event. This was AWESOME. There is nothing I like better than a chance to play a great player in a great tournament. In the second game of this match, I began to feel rather odd. In particular, I began to feel overwhelmingly sleepy and it became a struggle to even stay upright. I went to the restroom for some cold water to wake me up, but this didn’t seem to help much. In the third game, I remember overcutting a one-ball — and that’s all I remembered.

Yep, I passed out.

According to witnesses, I walked away in the middle of a game and went to the tournament desk. At the tournament desk, I told them I was going to forfeit my match. The tournament directors thought I was joking (hell, I would have thought I was joking, too), but I repeated my intention, told them I didn’t feel well, and then dropped like an anvil.

Hell of a way to be eliminated from the tournament, eh?


Anyways, sorry I have no war stories from this tournament relating to pool, but if you like, you can read on and see WTF happened.


off to the ER

I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the Emergency Room of Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. I felt no dizziness, no sickness, nothing. The ER doctor and nurses asked me what I remembered last and I said, “I overcut a one-ball. That sucked. I was supposed to run out that rack.” I looked around and said, “What am I doing here? Shouldn’t I be at the tournament?”

That’s when they told me I had been carted away from a pool hall. I asked them if I could go back and finish my match. I thought I might have been there a half-hour and now that I was well, maybe they had held the match back at the tournament. Of course, I was rather surprised when they told me I had been out cold for going on three hours. Bizarro! I underwent a CT scan (I told them I’d be surprised if they found anything between my ears) and the usual tests for drugs and other substances.

In the end, I was perfectly fine and the doctors labeled me a victim of GHB. GHB sounded familiar and as I was wondering what sort of flu (bird? swine? pool player?) it was, they told me GHB was better-known as the “date rape drug”, a colorless, odorless, and tasteless substance that was usually put into peoples’ drinks to knock them out.

I laughed, and they told me this was no laughing matter. I told them, I was at a pool tournament, not a nightclub. I could not imagine why anyone would try to drug me, presumably with the intent to drag me away, in an environment where I was well-known. The doctor and nurses looked at each other and I could see a communal lightbulb go “ding!” right above their heads. The doctor said, “It could have been your opponent!”

I laughed even harder at this. “No,” I told them. “First of all, I’m not a threat to win this tournament — at all. I’m not a favorite to win in any sense of the word. Second, the guy I was playing — Max — is one of the favorites to win the tournament. He doesn’t need to drug me to win — he just needs to show up.” The staff seemed bummed by this logical explanation. I was sad to ruin their game of Clue, but that’s the way things were.

I was soon released from the ER and set loose once again upon an unsuspecting world. I returned to the pool room (naturally) where, as expected, rumors were buzzing as to what had happened.


Colonel Mustard in the Library with a Lead Pipe


This, of course, is always the first conclusion everyone will jump to any time you have a tiny Asian girl who is insanely serious about competition and her pool game keel over in a pool tournament.

I greatly appreciated the efforts of the tournament player who made it a point to go to an online billiards forum to insinuate that I had decided to get drunk and pass out. This may have been annoying, but apparently, what was absolutely unforgivable was the fact that I chose to do this during his match. Another guy in the tournament had his hip give out (that’s some SERIOUS pain) and had to be taken to the ER shortly after me. I bet me and the poor guy with the blown hip had totally planned on disrupting the forum-poster’s tournament. I mean, why else would his hip give out and why else would I faint — AT ALMOST THE SAME TIME — if not to shark this one guy (out of 192) playing in the tournament?

Real classy of you, #3.

[UPDATE – #3 and I have reached an understanding (you can read it in the comments). Please return your torches and pitchforks to where you found them. That is all.]

But, I digress. Let us continue.


To be fair, I had been drinking. Let’s go through the flash cards of drinking and see which one applies.

I had 4 drinks. Each of these was what I would call a “sissy” cocktail. The bartender was a person I knew well and a pool player himself. He knew I had been waiting for this tournament, and practicing for it, for months. I specifically asked him to make weak drinks because I still had a ways to go in tournament play. The drinks were small in amount and barely alcoholic (by my standards). They were, however, very colorful and pretty, if that makes a difference.

My liver is awesome. In case you don’t know by now, I’m not your typical Asian. You see, before I was born, my little mary-mary-quite-contrary soul made an unusual pact with whatever supreme force it is that runs the universe. I would trade the ability to do math (inherent in all good Asians) in exchange for a turbocharged liver that could process outrageous amounts of firewater. Many, MANY of you have been witness to my ability to drink and my inability to correctly add single digits without the help of a calculator. Suffice it to say that I need to drink A LOT before I black out.

Being KO’d in less time it takes me to run a mile — and I run fast! Even if I had drunk myself into a stupor, it would take longer than six minutes for me to go from being coherent enough to play pool accompanied with various witticisms to taking a nap on a hardwood floor. In the previous match, which I had played not that long ago, I had made some GREAT shots — shots that couldn’t be made if I were, well, into other shots, like Patron (yuck) or Jack Daniels (meh) or Grey Goose (honk).

ER staff impressed by my instant recovery. I told the staff that I had been drinking and asked them if maybe I had passed out from too much alcohol. While this had never happened before, there’s a first time for everything. The ER staff said that if I had been passed out from too much alcohol, I most likely would have woken up with a mind-splitting headache/hangover and been extremely groggy. The fact that I pretty much woke up like a kid from naptime was consistent with victims of GHB.



Ah, the other love of my life.

It’s well-known that I tend not to eat at tournaments, mostly because I get too into the game and I forget. I also weigh less than a hundred pounds. Besides drinking too much, the other conclusion people love to jump to for falling-over Asian girls is eating too little.

I love food and I love winning more than food. Last year, I knew I had been derailed in some late-running tournaments because I ran out of energy. I changed my habits to give me a better chance this year. The night before the tournament, I carbo-loaded on pasta (angel hair with garlic and herbs). That morning of the tournament, I ate more pasta (angel hair with parmesan and olive oil). In addition, I brought a dozen small jam-filled cakes to the tournament in case I got hungry between matches, and I snacked on these (outside the premises, of course) all day. As if that wasn’t enough, the tournament director gave me a slice of cherry pie as well.

It was not for lack of food.



I don’t even know why this one came up. Some people thought I was so afraid of having to play a big match against a top player in front of an audience that I simply passed out from FEAR/STAGE FRIGHT.


I’ll assume these are people who don’t know me at all and give them a pass…



This is a logical choice although I think most people would agree I’m physically healthy.

Diabetes. Nope.

Aneurysm. If that was the case, I’d be dead now, don’t you think?

Seizure. Nope.

Allergies. I guess I was allergic to being conscious?


All right, so what’s the verdict?

I’ll reiterate the improbability of a tournament player would drugging me: I’m simply not a good enough player to threaten 99% of the players in the event.

Whoever decided to give me those extra vitamins probably wasn’t part of the pool world. This is because if their intent was to drug me and then kidnap me for a day at the races, they wouldn’t have done it if they knew this pool room was full of people who knew me. I’m not a popular person in pool, but I am well-known — especially in my own backyard. If people saw me being dragged away, NOT kicking and screaming, by a stranger from the pool room, it would generate a fair amount of notice (and a fair amount of inaction depending on my popularity level).

However, because I was sitting at the bar waiting for my match (lack of seats due to a packed house), it was easy to mistake me for a random chick drinking at the bar. I didn’t have my flashy badass stingray Jack Justis case with me, so there was nothing, really, to identify me as a pool player. Perhaps the person thought I would be easy to spirit away if everyone was occupied with the tournament. I’m sure once the person saw me start my match in front of a good amount of people, he/she/it probably left in a hurry.

Do I know which drink it was? No. This is because, well, the last place I figured this would happen is a pool tournament. I didn’t keep a close watch on any of my beverages which, in addition to the four cocktails, included coffee, tea, and water. There were, unfortunately, plenty of opportunities.


Wow, you’re, like, not even mad?

I am happy to say I didn’t lose this tournament because I dogged it. Plus, I won one match — so I didn’t finish absolutely last and that’s pretty much all I can ask for during these days of Lack of Practice.


You must have looked funny falling over. Is there footage of it?

No footage, but I imagine I looked like these fainting goats.


25 Replies to “funny thing happened during my third match”

  1. did they do a tox screen and see if there’s any weird chemicals in your blood? if there’s nothing then you may want a full physical just to make sure. hope ur feeling better now.

    it’s not sleep deprivation is it?

    1. They did a tox screen and other than SARS (Small Asian Rage Syndrome), found nothing out of the ordinary. :-p

      I went to sleep at 10:00 p.m. the night before, knowing that I would have to get up at 7:00 a.m. to make it to the pool room by 9:00 a.m. So, I had plenty of sleep.

      1. since the doctors didn’t find any weird chemicals in ur system, i hope u get a full physical just to be sure. this is almost like an episode of mystery diagnosis.

        crazy to think some dude would try to drug anyone in a totally crowded place. how could he expect to drag any girl out without people calling security/cop is beyond me. the imprtant thing is ur unharmed. maybe one day you’ll find out what happened.

  2. Wow. Sounds like more than just sleep deprevation, and it is scary that it is something you never encountered before. As odd as it sounds, it might be a drug, I said wow already, but wow. It is good you had the courage to mention this — it might help other people, and it might even help prevent another attack (or whatever) against you. Hopefully someone will help watch out for you next time.

  3. OMG, I am glad you ended up in the ER and not some where else. What a scary incident. Next time, just bring a bottle of water (pool halls usually don’t mind this) and sneak it a bunch of food that you can nibble on.

    As you pointed out, it was either someone at the bar who drugged you, or one of the pool players who thought you might be a major threat… I would take that as a compliment.

    By the way, what time did you start drinking anyway? Sounds like you started early.

    1. I definitely take being worthy of being drugged (for whatever reason) as a compliment. 🙂

      We started drinking 5 o’ clock-ish? Although it’s always 5 o’ clock somewhere in the world. 🙂

  4. Maybe there is video coverage at Hollywood so that we can catch this perv…
    But the most important part is that you are alive, healthy and well. 🙂

    1. Ah warm fuzzies, Ms. Hilla! We must catch up sometime — I do regret that I missed out on what I hear was an epic Karaoke night!

  5. For a sub 100 lb. lady, you were completely dead weight. The Para Medic had a hell of a time lifting you on to the gurney. I can’t imagine anyone being able to whisk you away in that condition – sub conscios defense mechanism?

    You attracted quite a crowd of concerned friends around you as you lay lifeless. Someone shouted, “Anyone here know CPR?” Before anyone could give you a liplock, I heard, “She.s beathing.”

    Glad your OK now.

    1. LOL @ the paramedics having trouble lifting me up! That’s awesome.

      I am glad I had friends with me and as I was telling some people, I’d rather have something like this happen in the midst of friends than in some random place I happened to take Greyhound to. 🙂

  6. Hi Melinda: A poolplayer at Santa Monica sent me the link to your blog. He told me you had written some stuff about me. When you approached me on Sunday to apologize for sharking me by passing out I explained to you that it didn’t shark me at all and that I had just found it unusual that two emergencies occurred almost simultaneously. I told you I was just happy to see you were doing alright. When I reported it on AZ billiards I said apparently from drinking (defined as appearing but not necessarily real or true) because someone had told me they saw you at the bar having a few drinks and they seemed to think this was the cause. This is the second time I have come under attack on your blog and yet when we’ve talked you have always seemed very pleasant with me. Do you have some kind of problem with me? Wayne

    [I think you will agree with me that most people are not going to be sticklers for the exact definition of “apparently” as you and I apparently seem to be. -AR]

    1. I don’t actually remember writing about you before. I know I have a picture of you from a one pocket tournament, but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

      “I guess the most excitement was caused by Melinda omgwtf apparently having too much to drink and passing out and having to be carted off in an ambulance.”

      Here’s the thing: you jumped to a conclusion. When you posted, you made a judgment and you passed that judgment along to others. There was no way of knowing if you were parroting what someone else told you, but when you posted it, under your name, that conclusion became yours.

      Of course, you’re allowed to do that.

      I, of course, made the mistake of thinking that my many years of relentless dedication to competing in this game would spare me from the instant assumption that I imbibed too much alcohol and just decided to up and pass out in the biggest tournament in Southern California. The tone of your post (as much as it can come across the internet, in addition to your jumped conclusion) seemed to imply that you were irritated. If this is not the case, then fine. I was mistaken.

      This is why I apologized on Sunday, in person, for disturbing you. As I said here, I would hate for you to think that I intentionally decided to annoy or disturb you.

      I don’t have a problem with you (aside from this one incident). As you know, when I don’t like someone, I make it a point that they should know. So, if I was pleasant to you before, then I did not have a problem with you. You are a tough player with a great one-pocket game and your careful play and skill shows in how you did at the Swanee. You are always a favorite to cash (in my opinion, anyways) in rotation game tournaments (8, 9, 10-ball, 14.1), but by placing in the top three in a field of that magnitude, you really established that your strength in pool goes beyond the one pocket you are generally known for.

      If, in the future, you would refrain from jumping to a conclusion — or really, just posting said conclusion in public — before you have all the facts, that would be greatly appreciated. I, in turn, will refrain from instantly taking umbrage should you decide to post your final conclusion after you have all the facts.

      I find this reasonable. If you do as well, spiffy. If not, no worries. We’re all only human.

  7. I kind of see your point and how you jumped to your conclusions about my “conclusion” . I thought I was just reporting something I had heard regarding the two incidents. I had no idea this had occurred prior to you being eliminated from the tournament because it wouldn’t have made sense.
    I was never irritated and was very suprised with your apology. I think I was ahead in my match 6-0 when someone went around the room asking for anyone who knew CPR and I was ahead 7-0 when the second emergency occurred, I don’t think a brass band would have sharked me with the lead I had.
    Thanks for the kudos at the end of your response.

      1. I could be wrong, but I thought “parsimony” means simple, like Occam’s Razor? Simplest solution is the best solution. I thought that described your playing style well since you don’t do anything flashy, you just get the job done. If it means something else, then I wasn’t aware of it. And we can throw dictionaries at each other at the next tournament.

        ETA: here’s what it says in Wikipedia (which, although it is not an airtight authority, it is generally pretty good) about parsimony.

        Parsimony is the use of the simplest or most frugal route of explanation available. The word derives from Middle English parcimony, from Latin parsimonia, from parsus, past participle of parcere: to spare. It is a general principle that has applications from science to philosophy and all related fields.

  8. I guess I need to shift to online dictionaries. Websters defines it as “a tendency to be overcareful in spending, unreasonable economy; stinginess; miserly.

    I guess it is safe to conclude that we misunderstood each other.

  9. Wow. That’s insane. Glad you are okay. And I love those goats….not exactly darlings of Darwin, but pretty endearing.

  10. Kudos to Adhesive Remover to aquaint me to “Occam’s Razor” – Simplest solution is the best solution. I had never heard the word parsimony referred to in that context – cheap is more common – but I never was any good at English.

    Had Wayne interpreted parsimony as you infer, it would have been a complement – the best shot is a straight line to the center of the pocket LOL

    Have you ever been known to be sarcastic?

    From the Color of Money:
    “…an’ I want you to be real honest. Do you think I need to lose some weight? …”

    Would that be in balls or pounds? 🙂

    1. How interesting, because I’ve never really heard “parsimony” used to reference cheapness. I like reading about various scientific topics and that’s where I got “parsimony” from. I intended it as a compliment, but I won’t be offended if someone wants to take it as an offense. 🙂

      I don’t think I’ve ever been known to be sarcastic… 😀

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