May 8, 2013

14.1 Spring League

Just started a 14.1 league this spring, this is a handicapped league which will last until the end of July. The nice thing about this 14.1 league is that there is no scheduled night for the matches, instead you basically arrange a time with your opponent during the week to play the match. My handicap is +20 meaning that I go to 120 instead of the standard 100 balls for a match.

Here is my best run (on video) on my home table with a 29 ball a good break on the 3 rack, but choked on the opening shot.

Straight pool on a big table (9 foot GC IV) is a nice change of pace from the normal 8 ball bar box pool leagues.

Mar 20, 2013

Speed Pool 2013

As in the past years, I have spent the last few weeks gearing up for my favorite time of the year...speed pool. Shooting speed pool is very simple; break and shoot all the balls in with the 8 ball last as FAST as you can. There are penalties for fouls, but the goal is to shoot straight shots so the cue ball is ready to be struck again. The fastest 4 times qualify for the bracketed head-to-head speed pool showdown.

The past 9 years, I think I have made the final 4 every year...but I have never won the showdown. I can run 70 seconds pretty consistently, but need to shift gears for a better time since it typically takes 50 to 60 seconds to qualify for the speed pool finals.

This year Brad Bent had the best qualifying time with 43 seconds, Jay Thompson had 58, I had 61 and Shawn Cepurnieks had 63 seconds as I recall. I took a video of Brad Bent's first qualifying attempt, and knew that he would be tough to beat.

The finals is a double elimination 4 person bracket, best of 3 showdown with opponents breaking simultaneously. If there are no fouls, then the first to run and pocket the 8 ball wins.

1. Brad Bent - 43 Seconds
2. Jay Thompson - 58 Seconds
3. Me - 61 seconds
4. Shawn Cerpurnieks - 63 Seconds

Seeded 1 vs 4 - Brad beat Shawn 2-0
Seeded 2 vs 3 - Jay won Me 2-1
Winner side: Brad beat Jay 2-0
Loser side: I beat Shawn 2-0
Consolation: I beat Jay 2-1 (Both wins by a couple seconds)
Finals: Brad beat Me 2-0 (Not even close)

This was a fun tournament, and I am really thrilled to get 2nd...need to pick up the pace. New years resolution is to drop 20 pounds and 20 seconds off my speed pool time!

Mar 17, 2013

Great Plains 4 City Tournament

Our Monday team finished 2nd in the league, placing us in the 'A' division for team at this years GP4 City Tournament. After singles events on Wed/Thurs, we had our first team match on Thursday evening (9:30) with a bye in the first round. Our league used a 16-game, 4 person format...but the A and Master team divisions were using a 32-game format.

Thursday we played agains the a pretty good team, one that we could definitely beat. We were a little off at the beginning, falling behind about 35 balls after 12 games. With only 4 games left, we fought back and tied up the match. After 31 out of 32 games, nothing was settled and the winner of the last game gets the match. Our opponent made a tough 8 ball up the rail to win the match.

Friday evening, our first loser bracket match went pretty well...a couple of us were shooting well to keep the match close. Then we pulled away to get up enough with 2 games left. We played right away again, and ended up down 10 with 3 games left. My teammates pulled out a couple nice wins to give me a winner take all match in the last game.

We already had a safety game in progress after my teammate won, then my opponent placed the cueball really close to his ball for a straight in shot. Told him I was going to call a ref, but he changed his mind...wish I would have called him over anyhow. Seconds later, my opponent tries for the bank on his last ball, makes it and appears to foul as the cue ball appears to stop when it hits the tip of his stick.

After I told him I thought it was a foul, he immediately offered my ball-in-hand...even though he didn't think he fouled. A rerack was also suggested, but I told him to just shoot the long 8 ball he left himself. He missed, then I nearly messed it up...but made a tough 8 ball to win. It was after midnight, and our reward was an 8:30am match the next morning.

Won a couple matches in the morning before we lost our afternoon match. Matches were scheduled 2 hours apart for 32-games, we were expected to shoot on 4 tables for the first part of the match since Singles was scheduled later on Saturday.

Only issue I had was the format the 32-games were would be much simplier and faster if two games with the same opponent were played back to back instead. This tournament always runs short where there is a requirement to play on 3 or 4 tables to speed up play, but I think 30-minutes per match could be saved if back-to-back play was incorporated.

Overall, great tournament for our team in finishing 5th-6th in the A division out of a 32 team bracket. Next year my Monday and Wednesday teams will be combining into a single team, which should surely result in lots of fun!

Jan 24, 2013

Best 8 Ball Record

I am playing a little over half the time on Monday, and while our team is in 2nd...we are barely within striking distance of 1st after beating 3rd place 4-1 this past Monday. I have a personal best 19 wins in-a-row and have a current streak of 16. 35-1 in 8 ball is definitely a fluke as there have been 4 or 5 games that my opponent should have beat me, and a couple other times I nearly scratched on a tough pocketed 8 ball. The game I lost, I missed the 8 ball go figure.

Figured I better capture a screenshot of this since I will be playing the 1st place team twice in a row and will be lucky to keep my current streak going. There is seemingly some pressure on my opponents to end my streak, so I have that going for me! :)

Jan 3, 2013

Obama Billiards Photo

On Flickr, the official White House photographer (Pete Souza) uploaded the best photos of 2012 to their Flickr Stream. The entire set of photos can be seen here:

Flickr: Year in Photographs 2012 by Pete Souza

Of course, from the thumbnails..this one caught my eye!

Here is the caption: May 19, 2012

"Following the conclusion of the G8 Summit, the President plays a game of pool in the Holly Cabin at Camp David."

Here are a couple other cool photos from the collection of Flickr..

July 26, 2012
"A view from behind the President's chair during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room."

Oct. 26, 2012
"The President pretends to be caught in Spider-Man's web as he greets the Nicholas Tamarin, 3, just outside the Oval Office. Spider-Man had been trick-or-treating for an early Halloween with his father, White House aide Nate Tamarin in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. I can never commit to calling any picture my favorite, but the President told me that this was HIS favorite picture of the year when he saw it hanging in the West Wing a couple of weeks later."

Nov. 15, 2012
"The President had just met with the U.S. Olympics gymnastics team, who because of a previous commitment had missed the ceremony earlier in the year with the entire U.S. Olympic team. The President suggested to McKayla Maroney that they recreate her 'not impressed' photograph before they departed."