funny thing happened during my third match


t h a n k s
A.T., C.K., C.V., & H.K.


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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.