Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snow, Newbies and The Rest

Three weeks ago, the snow canceled our matches. Two weeks ago, I was up against a woman who was playing her second league match ever(I won 7-0). So that's covered.

Last week, I finally got to play a "real" match for the first time in three weeks. My opponent was a (seemingly)nice guy, big and tall, quiet and wearing an army jacket. He worked for the city, and was hoping for more snow so he could make more overtime. We were both 7s so we played even.

Ahead of us in line was the woman I had played a week earlier and her opponent. The houseman for the night, Damien, offered them one of the front tables; the so-called TV tables: two tables in the front of the club, separated from the riff-raff by faux-gold railings and equipped with their own, permanent set of Super Aramith balls(the Rolls Royce of pool balls, as silly as that sounds).

The newbies, realizing they'd be on display, refused the offer. Damien was taken aback - usually league players loved to play on those tables. More room and pro-level equipment. If a great local player or pro player stopped by, these were the tables they would play on. The two newbies, however, had no way of knowing that, and took a table near the back. I'm sure by the end of the season, they'll get over their TV table phobia.

For right now, though, their loss was our gain. My opponent and I gladly took the front table. We flipped a coin(I won), shook hands, and barely spoke another word during the entire match. Weweren't cold to each other, but we didn 't waste time with bullshit filler conversation either. "Good shot", "Bad break there", "Good game", and the occasional laugh were the only sounds besides the clicking of the balls.

He was a good shot, but his position play was a little off. I started great, winning the eight-ball part of the match 3-0. I won the first game of nine-ball too, and the thought of another 7-0 week crept into my mind. With a chance to go up 2-0, though, I made a tough cut on the nine, but the ball sailed three rails before scratching in the far corner pocket. Then my opponent fluked in a nine, and suddenly he was ahead 2-1.

I managed to settled down, and ran out from the five the next game. He got it to 3-3 quickly, and at worst I was going to win 6-4. That didn't sound nearly as good as 7-3, at least to me. I really wanted that last game, and it came down to the six ball. We traded safeties until he tried a tough shot, missed, and left me an opening. I ran the remaining four balls, and that was that. My team did very well overall, Mike winning 4-3, Jen winning 5-3 and Alex losing a tough match 5-7.

The next day, I checked the league standings. Our good night had moved us from fourth to second. Our next match was during "Position Week", which means the first place team plays the second, third plays fourth, and so on. Looking at the team in first, I realized it was Mimi's team.

Mimi left us to sub for another team - as part of our mutiny, we all felt it best if she was as far away from our former leader as possible. Leaving for another team made sense, her playing time would be more flexible as well(a good thing for a graduate student). So Mimi and the rest of us are still friends, share drinks after matches, hang out, everything; however, next week will be very interesting. Her new team is going down!

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