Saturday, January 17, 2015

• Pool Shark... Who Me?

Have you ever played "Scotch Doubles" in pool before? I hadn't, and I have to say it's far better than the traditional game of doubles I'd played growing up. You remember where there are two teams of two, and you alternate turns?

The difference here is that when player one of team A sinks a ball, the it's now player two's turn instead of player one running the table. It makes it where you are shooting more frequently and it also prevents a particularly good player from running the table.

Also, I like the "ball-in-hand" rule after a scratch. You don't take a ball out as a penalty and you can put the cue ball ANYWHERE on the table. Not just behind the line (aka in the kitchen).

The event was a fundraiser put on by the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce. It was held at Pins N' Pockets which is in Lake Elsinore, near the casino and across Mission Trail from Annie's restaurant.

For the entry fee, the participants were guaranteed at least two rounds of best 2 out of 3 pool competition, some pizza and soft drinks and a gift bag. The winners of the tournament got a trophy and a fleece pullover from Rincon Casino.

The inclusive times were from 10am to 3pm though many teams were out by lunch. I got there at 10am and practiced a couple of games with Gary Brown. I couldn't hit a single ball into a pocket, other than the cue ball that is. It wasn't looking good for me, even though as a young teen we had a pool table and I used to sort of know how to play.
Southpaw Gary Brown, looking down his stick at the cue ball, with his game face on, and his sunglasses in the cool position.

So the tourney got underway, I was paired with Ryan Sundholm, an APA member that knew his way around a billiards table. We lost the first match in two games. Then we lost the first game of the next round when I hit a the eight ball in while there were still about 12 balls left on the table.

It wasn't looking too good at that point, but we won the next two games, and then won all the remaining matches to get to the finals. We lost the first game with all our striped balls still on the table. Then I chunked several shots in a row and it was looking bleak. I remarked to my partner, "Looks like I'm sucking up all the luck left in the tank with those shots."

But he just smiled and said something like, "Let's just get through this game and get to the rubber match."

Pretty tall order when they only had three balls left on the table and we had five, but we got on a tear, and I even knocked the eight ball in to secure the win. The final game was a seesaw, but the other team scratched when all we had left was the eight ball, and with the ball-in-hand rule, it was a gimme that Ryan sunk with confidence.

On the left are the runners up, with the red trophies. On the right are the winners, Ryan Sundholm and Joseph Morabito.

Much thanks to the players from Riverside APA. They made it a fun outing. I didn't have a partner to start with, so they assigned me to Ryan Sundholm. Which, as it turns out, is the better way to do it. Had I gone with a friend, it would have been fun, but most likely over by lunch.

Afterwards I was told about a Tuesday night league... I think it's a league... in Canyon Lake and asked if I'd like to participate. That was nice to hear for sure, but I was playing way over my head today, so I thanked them but declined. I did tell them that I'd pass the message along. They especially are looking for female players to participate.

If you're interested in such, give Kimberly Pankonin a shout out at either her facebook page or Riverside APA's website.

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  1. My husband the champion!! ��

  2. Replies
    1. It was, and hopefully more Wildomartians will participate in such future tournaments too.


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