I sauntered into the place with the secret weapon slung over my shoulder. The black case contained my new 18 ounce Lucasi pool cue with a medium tip I had poked to perfection with the pokey thing so that it would hold chalk. The jukebox was blaring Huey Louis’ “Bad to the Bone” (this part is a lie) and I walked in like I owned the place. A bunch of pool players were engrossed in the games that were going on at the two pool tables in preparation for the 8-ball tournament. I just sat down at an empty bar stool making no attempt to get into the games. I’m so good I don’t need any stinking practice.

Actually it’s because although I’m not a superstitious dude, I simply don’t like to practice immediately before a tournament. I think it’s because I’ve noticed before that if I make some really sweet shots in practice it doesn’t necessarily carry over into the tournament so I feel like my good shots are wasted. Also, since I was about to play in a place I had never been in before, I was coming in as a complete unknown. I wanted to hold onto that. I hailed a serving wench and ordered a beer.

Although I had gone about three years without entering a tournament this was actually the second one I was entering this week. The other day I entered a 9-ball tournament on the big tables and was dispatched like a black woman who was married to a black man who had been in his get-back-to-Africa phase in the 1970s but was just getting into the black yuppie phase in the 1980s and had just moved into a neighborhood with a bunch of single white women who were looking to get their freak on in the p.m. on the down-low so they could go back and brag to their other white friends about having taken a walk on the wild side. Was that analogy too long? I sincerely apologize. But back to the issue at hand.

The memory of the 9-ball tournament fiasco behind me, I was feeling more at home with this 8-ball tournament on the bar box tables with league rules that were familiar to me. Also I had decided on an 18 oz pool cue because I found that I usually play better with a lighter stick as it allows for more control and hence better predictability on placement of the cue ball after a shot. We all paid the $5 entry fee and drew random numbers. I had to play the guy who was directing the pool tournament. The format was double elimination.

I lost a hard fought series to my first opponent after which I got rather despondent and ordered a second beer. I dispatched my second opponent quickly and efficiently. I was heartened and in celebration I ordered a beer. I beat the third guy as well and I started watching the Warriors/Mavs game. Since I was watching TV I had a beer. My fourth opponent was a tricky old timer who I managed to out-trick with a vicious safety (actually I didn’t play a safety, he just fucked up giving me ball in hand) and I ran out with a top-right follow through which gave me a perfect leave on the eight (this part is true). This put me into TEH MONEY ROUND!

My opponent has only the 8 ball left to shoot at and it’s lying just at the corner pocket at the footspot. I have one ball left to shoot at but it’s lying on the center rail also at the footspot. Rather than the long bank I instead choose to play a safety, attempting to very slowly make contact with my object ball, gliding the cue just on the other side of it leaving an impossible leave. I fuck up the safety by about a half inch leaving my opponent a clear shot at the eight. I thus take third place (instead of heading into the championship round if that safety would have worked) and i get $11 as compensation for my troubles.

I am left with a slewfull of memories, however, my favourite which is an earlier shot in which I pocked my ball and got about a foot of drawback leaving me a perfect shot on the eight. My Lucasi has eliminated my miscue on attempting wicked English problem and has thus entrenched me firmly into the memories of fantastic third place finishes, the kind of which books are written about and harp playing misty eyed damsels will sing songs about in the future when recollecting the days of yore, which for us means about right now. I made $11. What’s you YOUR wallet?

10 Responses to “Pool”

  1. Phelps says:

    Entry Fee: $5
    Bar Tab: $25
    Winnings: ($11)

    Self-delusion: PRICELESS

  2. Mexigogue says:

    At’chlly, the beers were $2 for a schooner. Tuesday special, I broke about even.

  3. Dan Stowell says:

    All my tenants paid on time this month so I got like…well never mind I got enough for beers and to fix the great big assed window some little ghetto shit thru a rock thru though.$2 schooners where the hell were you,Mexico?

  4. mexi says:

    Aw man, you get to be a landlord? I bet you and your tenants get into a bunch of misunderstandings on a regular basis just like Three’s Company!

  5. Dan Stowell says:

    We do into those hilarious misunderstandings just like Three’s Company.Like hey no you CAN’T sell drugs here and YES the rent is always do EVERY month.And then there’s the cute black chic who thinks I’ll take pussy for the rent.Then I wouldn’t have beer money:(

  6. Phelps says:

    You didn’t drink $25 of beer? HOW COME YOU DRINK $25 IN BEER EVERYTIME I’M PAYING???

  7. Mexigogue says:

    Because this time I was driving.

  8. Phelps says:

    Hey, I drank just as much beer and I was driving.

    I drank more when UNLV was driving, though. Because I needed to get in the car to make it back to the hotel.

  9. […] While I was joking the other day about becoming one of the most famous third place finishers of all time after I took third place in an 8-ball tournament, last night I took third place in the tournament again.  I can’t seem to crack the top two spots.  If pool players were fast food joints then I’m the Arby’s Posted in Uncategorized | […]

  10. […] I was at the bar waiting for the pool shooting regulars when Mike Ryan showed up. Mike is one of the best players I know and he wanted to shoot a few games. I was like au-ight so I broke out the Lucasi I bought off of Kman when I lost my other stick. When I say I lost the other stick, I don’t mean in a bet, I mean I literally left it in a cab a couple months ago so I didn’t have it anymore. It was very disturbing because I had an emotional attachment to that stick (also a Lucasi) as it is the stick I bought on Camelback Road when I entered some pool tournaments last May. […]

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