August 31, 2009

Lock it up!

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:20 am by Dagny Taggart

First, a little background.

I’ve been playing pool in a league for just over two years, which is roughly the entirety of my pool-playing experience.  A game or two here or there over the years, but it was something I did maybe every other year or so, and never in earnest.  Also, I have hand-eye coordination issues.

In short, I’m not very good.

But over the past two years, I’ve paid attention to people much more experienced than I, and learned a thing or two about strategy.  I can’t execute half of my ideas with any degree of consistency, but I know what should happen.  Pool, you see, can be like chess –  with pesky physics running amok all over the board.

And in my league, the best players are ranked at “7”, and the least skilled are ranked at “2”.  I am currently a “3”.

So when I, a lowly little 3, was selected to play a 7, I was relaxed.  Nobody expected me to win this match.  The captain of my team apologized for using me as cannon fodder.  I was maybe a tiny bit nervous, as it was my first match in Vegas, but I was content with my role as a human speed bump.

Until my opponent hit the 8 in early in the first game, meaning that I only needed to win 1 more to secure a big fat W for my team.  Meaning that success was possible.  Meaning that I could accomplish something for my team beyond my mere existence.  THEN, I started shaking like a leaf, and lost the next three games pretty quickly, as my opponent ran 6-7 balls without too much difficulty.

But then we played our fifth game.  And the eight ball, my six, and a couple of his stripes were tied up in a cluster.  And he kept giving me ball in hand to avoid accidentally hitting an early eight, and I kept on making a ball and then a defensive shot.  Ball.  Defensive shot.  Ball.  Defensive shot.  And then I was on the eight.  And then I made it.

And it made pretty much every frustrated moment of practice, every late Monday and Thursday night, every wrinkled nose at the stench of cigarette smoke emanating from the laundry pile completely and utterly worth it.



  1. Beach Bum said,


  2. Alias Faux said,

    There’s a joke in there somewhere about your opponent giving you ball in hand, but I’m too lazy to work for it.

  3. Hammer said,

    The gas pump said it would give you a standing o if it had arms or legs, but since it doesn’t, it will simply spray fire into the air for four straight minutes while I blast the end of “Free Bird” out of my truck stereo.

  4. Brian said,

    @AF: I’ll see your ball in hand, and raise you a defensive shot.

    DT, just for the record, you are no “3.” You are way, way above a “3.”

    Wait, are we still talking about pool?

  5. Beach Bum: 😀 indeed!

    Alias Faux: You know, there are a LOT of games where those jokes are appropriate.

    Hammer: That? Is awesome. Give the gas pump my, erm… warmest regards. 😉

    Brian: Thanks 😀

  6. Congrats! way to kick butt!

    Reminds me of advice I once heard by Wade Schalles. He said that if you are a 6, and he is a 9, then he will win. But if you make him play to his weaknesses, then he will become a 4 and you can beat him. (Even though most people are right handed, he made his wrestlers fight lefty because he knew people wouldn’t be used to someone attacking from that side.)

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