I ran and played in a 9 ball tournament this weekend. We were raising money for the honor flight so I was happy to help out. The last 9-ball tournament I was in was also a charity event, I ended up winning that one and donated all the money to the cause and i was hoping to be able to do it again.
As usual I always start off playing the toughest opponents right off the bat, even when I am the one making the bracket! Hey, if nothing else, at least I’m honest. There were a lot of the same people in this one that were also in the last 9 ball tournament. But, there where also a few more that I knew would be hard to beat, and one guy that I didn’t know at all.
So to begin with I draw the guy I consider to be the hardest to beat, George. I had met George a few weeks prior. He is a very skilled player and as it turns out he spent a fair amount of time playing and was good friends with Dave Matlock. ( For anyone who doesn’t know, Dave Matlock is a monster on a barbox) We had spent some time playing 9 ball on a 9 ft table, we went back and forth but he got the best of me. And I felt I hadn’t seen his top gear by a long shot, nor has he seen mine. But all things being equal I still felt he was the better player. So I was determined to do my best. He won the break and ran a few balls and played safe. I kicked out and put a safety right back on him. It went back and forth like that for a few minutes until he made a mistake and I was able to run out. 1 down, 4 more to go. I break and run out the next game keeping George in his seat the whole time. 2 games to 0, me. Then I break dry and George runs out to make it 2-1. I get the next three games making 2 combo’s on a 9 and 1 more run out. WHEW, I figured that would be my hardest match.
Then as luck would have it I played the unknown guy, Daniel. Daniel had just beat a very good player from my league team and beat him 5-1 so I knew he would be trouble. We both played very well, battling back and forth and playing some excellent safeties. He was very good at getting out of trouble and didn’t miss more than 2 shots the whole match. We both wound up being on the hill, 4-4, and I had the break. The last 4 breaks I had I put the 9 ball within 3 inches of the corner pocket. I was thinking it would be nice to finish this guy with a 9 on the break. I slammed the balls and the 9 went flying toward the corner pocket but just before it went in it was hit by the 7 ball. Oh well, it happens!
So I get a good layout and proceed to try to run out the table. I was firing in every ball with confidence and was sure i was going to win it when the unthinkable happened, the dreaded miscue. I was down to the 8 ball and gave away ball in hand. I was disappointed in myself to say the least but it was a great match, i just hated to be on the loosing end of it! So off to the looser bracket I go with my tail between my legs.
My next match was against the player from my league team that Daniel had previously deposited in the looser bracket. I knew he would be tough too so I stepped up and gave it my best. I beat my league partner 3 straight and the match lasted less than 10 minutes. (race to 3 on the looser side) Yes I was a little reckless but I was in the zone and wanted to make up for my loss. I worked my way back through the looser bracket and had to sit quite awhile before my next match.
And guess who that was against, yep, Daniel. But this time it wasn’t so even. In fact, I didn’t even get to see a ball until the third game and even then it was buried! He skunked me and I couldn’t do anything about it but shake his hand and say “Good Game”.
Hopefully some day soon I can play him and get a little payback. He was a good person to play against and I enjoyed his company. To often I play someone who turns out to be a complete jerk and a poor sport. Daniel was neither, he won with dignity and sooner or later I’ll find out if he looses that way. Smart money is, he does.