Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I will have a trivia question and a recap for everyone tomorrow. I got home much later then expected so sorry for the delay! This week will be a $25 gift code from PoolDawg!
Another big announcement is that I found out that I will be on the cover of the January issue of Billiards Digest!! I have not seen the cover, pictures or read the article so I hope it is a good one. I was really shocked to find out I would be on the cover. Not trying to be too humble, but I really didn't expect to get something like that until I did something worthy, i.e. winning a tournament. The issue should be out later this week or early next week due to the holiday. It will also be up on the website and on the Facebook fan page soon.
Happy shopping everyone!
Monday, December 21, 2009
I hope everyone gets what they wanted!!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Alright, on to my point. This week the awesome guys and gals at PoolDawg have decided to give away a $50, that's right, I said $50 gift code to the person that can identify these two former/present NFL players.
The taller guy to is the person we are trying to identify.
Please post your answers in the comments section. Include your email address so I can send the gift code. Good luck everyone and thank you PoolDawg!!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Lets start with the second weekend of November. My younger sister Kaeleigh, came back home for a week. If you all remember, she went off to school in Phoenix this year. Since I was going to be traveling for Thanksgiving and she would be back in Phoenix my family decided to have Thanksgiving a little bit early. I think my past posts have proven that I don't argue much when food is involved! I didn't take any pictures of the food but here is my family...well almost the whole family. My dad snuck the picture.
The siblings...yes, I was trying really hard to keep my eyes open.
And last, me, very, very, very full!
After all of the eating it was time for the long drive to Hollywood, Florida. Yes, I drove, along with my boyfriend Jason and our travel buddy, Chris Bartram. The total drive time was about 24 hours. Of course it doesn't make any sense to drive to Florida then fly to China and back to Florida then drive to Ohio...but that is the plan we went with. We made the trek and didn't have too much rest before the festivities began.
First we had the meeting and short awards ceremony. Congrats to Veronique Menard for winning the Rookie of the Year Award and Denise Belanger for winning the Most Improved Award! After that, the Pro-Am. I have to say that this is the biggest, most star-studded Pro-Am of the year. The Seminoles have a way of bringing in the big names. My team didn't win but we did have a really good time. The star on my team was Mark Duper of Miami Dolphins fame. Here is my team... Thanks for playing guys and it was great to meet everyone!
After all the fun, it was supposed to be time to get serious. I'm not sure where I got lost in between the fun and seriousness, but I did. I could make a ton of excuses but I won't. I know what I did wrong. My first match was Vicki Paski. I mean no disrespect when I talk about this match or before the match, but I'm sure it will come across that way. I took things for granted big time. I hate myself for doing that. It is the one thing that I tell everyone not to do and the one thing that I try my hardest not to do. I never talk about my draw. For some reason this time I did. I noticed it wasn't as difficult as the others I had this year. I was also remembering how great things went at this venue last year. All of this was a recipe for disaster. I played absolutely horrible. I can't say that I didn't have a chance to win, I had plenty. The worst part about the match, the straight in 9ball that I missed. Not a long, straight in, but a short, not even two feet from the pocket, cue ball two feet from the nine. I know everything that I was thinking while I was shooting. I was beating myself up. I was telling myself "You idiot, you don't deserve to win this match. You haven't been practicing, you played horrible the whole match, you should just miss this nine." This is not a new experience for me. It happens often. The difference is, I can usually keep my dark emotions in check. I can force myself to stand up and start over. This time I just got to learn a lesson and move on to the next day.
The next day I thought I got myself under control. I went into the match with Liz Taylor feeling confident and ready. Things were going alright, I was playing alright and I was ahead the whole match. I got ahead 8-5 and it seemed to be smooth sailing. Instead I choked. My dark little friend crept up behind me and took over. I had a chance to win every game and found a way to talk myself out of it. Liz made a great out to win the match hill-hill.
So, I went two and out for the second time in my pro career. The sad part, I wasn't really upset. I kind of felt like karma or something caught up with me. All of the time that I didn't spend practicing, all of the things I could have done to prevent this. I will never take things for granted again! I got to hang out with some friends though in Florida. Caroline helped console me after my bad finish...And Justin was giving me the punishment that I deserved!
Now that I have shown my totally psychotic side to you all, imagine how I felt after this horrid finish on my twenty-some hours of travel to China! I will fill you in now that I was not looking forward to the trip so much after all that happened. I was wondering if I even deserved to go to the World Championships. But at 6am on November 16th I boarded a plane to Chicago, then the Shanghai, then to Shenyang. Oh yeah, I have to mention the flight from Shanghai to Shenyang, a two hour flight, was delayed about ten hours. Good start! I will also fill you in on the fact that I forgot my camera charger at home, bought a replacement and it started my camera on fire...sweet! All of the pictures I am using are courtesy of Angel Paglia. Thanks for taking some extra pics for me Angel! Alright, enough complaining!
At 3am on November 18th, I arrived! The streets of Shenyang were dead and the lobby lights at the hotel were off when I arrived. This definitely wasn't Shanghai! The hotel was beautiful though. There was a welcoming banner for all of the players and a board for everyone to sign. If you all remember from the last trip to Asia, I roomed with Kelly Fisher and I did the same this trip. She arrived before me and was all checked in. I got my key and thought I was going to bed finally. All of a sudden, all of the lights turned on and I had to sign the board and have a picture taken. Yes, at 3am with about 27 hours of travel on me. I looked beautiful! Here is the autograph board in the lobby...I finally got a little bit of sleep and was wide awake at 7am. That would continue the entire week. Yes, it is the first time I have seen 7am that many days in a row in about ten years...at least! We went to the press conference, which was a really big deal. There were a lot of speakers, sponsors, the mayor, etc. Even better, tons of photographers. It really made us all feel like something special. Here is a look at the panel of speakers... and a view of the room, players and press.... After the press conference there was a dinner party for all of the sponsors, refs, players and guests. It was really pretty awesome. The food wasn't too suspicious looking or tasting and there was some pretty cool entertainment. Here is almost the whole room. As you can see it is a really nice party... and here is the entertainment. This girl caught bowls and silverware on her head while surfing on the board. There was also a contortionist....
The draw was done and at noon the next day it was time to head to the arena. None of us really knew what to expect. We had about a 30 minute bus ride to the venue and when we pulled up it was a huge university. We got a tour of the venue and to everyone's surprise, it was amazing! Two TV tables and six outside tables. Comfortable seating to watch and plenty of spectators to fill the seats. The only complaint, which we had at the hotel too, was that it was way too warm in the playing arena. Probably about 80 degrees...no lie! Here is a picture of the outside (meaning outside the TV area) tables... My first match was against Sabrina Naffschnigger from Austria. I didn't play all that well but I capitalized on some mistakes that she made. I won the match 7-2. That moved me on to the evening match against one of the Chinese players, Gao Meng. When I got to the match I knew I was in for something difficult. I know all of the Chinese players are top notch. What I didn't know until later and until after she beat Jasmin in the single elimination stage, was that my opponent was only 14 years old! I won the match 7-5 but I know that there were some very uncharacteristic mistakes made in the short race. One of my lucky rolls was making the nine on the break when the score was 6-5. That was an expensive nine-ball since it moved me on to the single elimination round of 32 and put me in the money. Yes, I had to go all the way to China to cash in a tournament during the month of November.
Before the round of 32, Kelly, Allison and I decided to go to the market. We thought it might be just a small night market type thing. We got there and it ended up being a huge, underground mall. We lost track of time and then got news that we all had to play at 7:30. That wouldn't be a problem except it was already 4:45 or so. We all had a serious panic attack trying to make it from the market, to the hotel, to the shuttle and to the venue. With a little bit of stress, we made it. Little did we know how disastarous this would be.
My opponent in the round of 32 was Pei Chen Tsai, the winner of the China Open. I played her at the Amway Cup and didn't feel like much of an underdog. I was ready for the match and started out pretty well. Unfortunately, I didn't finish the match well. I lost 9-6. I had so many chances and just couldn't capitalize. Oh well, live and learn. I finished my tournament run with a 17-32nd finish. I wasn't in bad company though. It seemed like the wheels fell off for the majority of the WPBA players and the strength of the young Chinese players showed.
Since most of us were out of the tournament we turned to hanging out and having a little fun. Ga Young Kim took us out to a pretty cool night club. Nothing like hearing popular music translated into Chinese! It was a really good time, thanks Ga Young!
After the fun wore off we only had one non-Chinese, WPBA player to cheer on, Karen Corr. If you have followed the results of most of the overseas tournaments you will notice that Karen's name is right there at the top every time. She was really playing great all tournament and it looked like she was on her way to winning her first 9-ball World Championship (she was runner-up three times previously). After escaping a 9-8 win over one of the top Chinese players, she got the pleasure of playing yet another young Chinese player, Lui ShaSha who beat Xiao Ting Pan 9-8 to reach the finals. Here is a view of the finals table. Notice how packed the place is! Karen seemed to be on her way to a victory. She was ahead 5-1 in a race to 9. She missed a six ball that game and that was that. At 5-2, Lui ShaSha showed what she was made of. She broke and ran five racks like it was nothing. Suddenly the score was 7-5. A scratch on the break gave Karen another chance at the table finally. Unfortunately, she couldn't capitalize. With the score 8-5, Lui broke and ran out with ease. The whole time the crowd was roaring. Karen was left as the runner-up for the fourth time and a new Chinese champion was crowned. Did I mention she is only 16?!?! Here is the winner...
How do I feel about my trip? It was definitely worth it. It was great to play in such a well run, classy world championship event. I hope to get the chance to do so many more times during my career. I got to experience new things, eat some funky food, hang out with old friends and make new friends from all over the world... Thank you to everyone who helped make my trip possible!!
I would like to say I made it home without any delay but of course, that was not the case. My travel agent, aka, me, did a lousy job of checking times. I needed to get from Shenyang to Shanghai...almost an hour by mini bus to the airport then a two hour flight. Then I had to wait about ten hours in Shanghai. Shanghai to Chicago with only about an hour to spare before the flight to Tampa. Not a good plan since it takes a long time to go through customs! I got redirected to Orlando, another two hour flight and voila, I'm back with the boys. Oh yeah, that's right, then we had a twenty hour drive back to Ohio! Oh the joys of jet-lag!
I spent a couple days trying to sleep and get back to normal (is that even possible??). After that we had a nice Thanksgiving meal at Chris's house and we were back in the car for the annual Thanksgiving tournament in Hudson, Ohio. This is a weekend of zero sleep. The singles event started Thanksgiving night around 7pm. There were 26 women in the 8-ball and 105 guys in the 9-ball. I got very lucky to win the tournament. My opponent made the eight in the wrong pocket when the score was hill-hill. I got to sleep about 8am. I was pretty excited because this was my first time to get to play on a team. I've never had the pleasure of doing so before. Thanks to Deidra, Sandy, and Dana for inviting me to play with them. The first day went well, we won two matches. Then there was a scotch doubles tournament. Jason and I got third. We got to bed about 6am. Play started at 10am. We played all day to reach the final day of the tournament and got done with the team event for the night around midnight. Then another scotch doubles event. Jason and I battled all night to win the tournament...we finished at 10am. Oh, did I mention, the team event started back up at 10am! Unfortunately our team lost a nail-biter to another Columbus, Ohio team. We finished 4th though! Thank you again for inviting me to play!
I made it home and back to normal...well kind of. Of course, just like last time, I ended up sick after all the lack of sleep and traveling around the world. I slept for about a week. Then I got a call from Billiards Digest. I'm not sure if I mentioned before that they will be doing a feature article on me! Mike Geffner interviewed me a few months back. I wasn't sure when it would be published until this week. On Friday I got to do a photo shoot in Chicago. The article will be in the January issue!!
After all of that, I slept....a lot! So again, sorry to keep everyone hanging. I hope you enjoyed the recap of events!!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Ah, palm trees, what a sight to see when it is getting cold at home! That is what I am headed for tomorrow, sunny Hollywood, FL for the WPBA Nationals!!
In honor of this tournament, I will give you a semi-easy question this week!
What are my finishes in past years at the WPBA Nationals??
Thank you PoolDawg for sponsoring the trivia and thank you to the readers for playing! Be sure to leave your email address along with your answer in the comment section. Good luck!
I will be back to post more about the weekend and my feelings about going to Florida later tonight. For now, I have to get back to work!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The first day that I went to help out was last Tuesday. There were only three kids that attended, Will, Deion, and Zack. The flu has hit the schools really hard and there are usually at least ten kids in attendance. It was fun and I got a chance to play some challenge games, do some trick shots and answer questions. Here is the Tuesday group:
I was supposed to go back that Thursday but I got stuck standing in line waiting for the H1N1 vaccine for four hours! Sorry I missed it kids. I had to take the precaution for traveling and having a chronic illness.
So today (Thursday) I went back and took Jason along with me. Wow, what a turn-out!! Sixteen kids showed up. We got a chance to meet and play lots of games. Thank you all for being so nice and willing to learn about pool! Now for the list of everyone there, Sam, Kenny, Robbie, Jordan, Kevin, Michael, Juan, Michael, Katy, Adison, Oliver, Brysen, Dylan, Omar, Colt, and Daniel. It was fun guys and I will definitely be back!
One thing that Mark has is something that can help people learn to play pool. He has a training aid that helps show the where to aim on virtually any shot. He showed it to me last week. I think it is something that can help any beginner. I would say it is a hands on tool that is similar to the ghost ball method of aiming. I highly recommend it to anyone that is just learning or is interested in learning. Here is a picture of the trainer. Each trainer comes with a DVD that will help explain. Please check out his website www.teachmepool.com and keep this tool in mind especially if you are planning to teach your kids how to play.
While we are on the topic of kids playing pool, the WPA Junior 9-ball Championships began today in Nicaragua. You can click here to watch the live-stream and see score updates. Good luck Team USA, Nick Tafoya, Skylar Woodward, Jesse Engel, Landon Shuffet, Brendan Crockett, Briana Miller, Nicole Jaynes and Liz Lovely!! All of them were winners or top finishers in the 2009 BEF Junior Nationals.
The other excitement of this week was doing a radio interview. Brent and Kevin from the radio station B104 originally contacted me when I was in Taiwan. I couldn't make it that time since I was in Taiwan so we scheduled it for this past Wednesday. It was just a short interview talking about visiting China and how I got started. If you would like to listen it will air Tuesday, November 10 at 7:40am cst. Here are the links for the radio station B104 and the page that links directly to Brent and Kevin in the Morning.
All in all, I would say this was a pretty interesting week. Thanks again Mark and all of the kids that participate in the pool club! Thanks B104 and Brent and Kevin for inviting me to be on the show! I really appreciate it.
**edit: Sorry I left Brendan Crocketts name off the list of competitors from the USA. I apologize Brendan, good luck!!
Congrats Jay! Enjoy your PoolDawg gift code and a big thanks to PoolDawg for their continued support of Sarah Rousey Trivia!! Thank you to everyone that played. Come back next Monday for another chance to win!
I will be back tonight with a post. I have been doing a couple of interesting things in the past couple of weeks. I went to teach at a Junior High School (pics later) and I am going to do another session today. Sorry for the lack of updates, I was trying to get both sessions in so all of the kids would be pictured. I also did an interview with a local radio morning show (links later) that will air next week! I'll be back with details later!
Monday, November 2, 2009
First off, I have to congratulate last weeks winner Tim. Thank you for playing Tim and thank you to everyone else for trying. Good thing Monday comes around once a week!
Here is the PoolDawg question of the week. In honor of getting the chance to go to another World Championship in a couple of weeks:
Where and when did I play my first World Championship?
Be sure to leave your email address along with your answer! The first person to answer correctly wins a $10 PoolDawg gift code! Remember, everyone that shops at PoolDawg can also use the code ROUSEY to get 5% off your purchase!
Now, this weekends happenings. I went to Brickyard Billiards (formerly Airport Billiards) in Indianapolis. They had their semi-annual bar table 9-ball tournament. I did not do so hot!
A few weeks ago I kind of decided that I hate the bar table. It is the type of hate that I imagine addicts have. They hate the way it feels, but they have to try it again and again. That is how I feel about bar table pool! Sometimes I don't mind playing on the bar table, other times I can't stand it. I have had my fair share of success and I think that is what keeps me coming back. Something about the inconsistency of bar tables gets me. Sometimes you can play on really nice ones (Diamonds) or really crappy ones that are not well maintained. Sometimes you get a good set of balls, other times you get a mismatched hodgepodge. Sometimes you get a good cue ball, sometimes you get a mud ball. It all doesn't help when you play pretty horrible too!!
Needless to say, I didn't play all that well and pretty much did horrible in the tournament. I did get a chance to practice a little on a nice Diamond nine footer. That was a good thing since I don't get a chance to practice on nice equipment.
If you get a chance to visit Brickyard Billiards, do so. The new owners have really made the place look nice and if you are looking for a little action, you will definitely get that!
Good luck everyone with the trivia! Thank you PoolDawg for sponsoring the weekly trivia!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Since the US Open 9-ball Championships ended this Saturday with a repeat winner, Mika Immonen, I used it as inspiration for this weeks PoolDawg trivia question. Congrats to fellow Mezz rep Mika Immonen for his second consecutive US Open Championship title!!
Who are the other players that have won two or more US Open Championship titles??
Please name all of the past multiple winners. Be sure to leave your email address along with your answer in the comments. The first person to answer correctly gets a $10 gift code for PoolDawg! Thanks PoolDawg for your continued support!
Thanks to Justin Collett for the picture!
Friday, October 23, 2009
This video is of a 12-year old that got a chance to hear Tiger Woods speak at the opening of his new golf course. Tiger asked if anyone wanted to drive. Out of the crowd the boy confidently said "I will.". He proceeded to hit two perfect drives. The interview showed what a once in a life time opportunity he just had. I also like how Tiger compliments him and asks him to do it again. Notice how fearless only kids can be!
Here is the video:
Now my answer to my own question. I had a moment kind of like this. I remember walking up to all of the top pros at the BCA trade show back in 1993. I was 10, almost 11. I played a challenge game with every pro that I could. When I was young my favorite player was Vivian Villarreal. I think my parents might have paid her off or something, but she came to watch one of my matches during the Junior Nationals. I was nervous as can be, but wanted to prove that I was a pool player. I won my match and got to meet my idol. Knowing how different I was at that age, I probably told her to look out for me when I grow up!
I had a moment too during my first pro event that I felt like this kid. He said he didn't want to top the ball, I didn't want to embarrass myself. I actually won a match and lost two hill-hill matches, so just like him, I was surprised but I rose to the occasion.
Please feel free to share any stories that you have about yourself or your kids or anyone that has had a similar experience. They can be very uplifting and I can't wait to read them!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Last week I didn't get a chance to post the winner of the movie trivia question. I am happy that the person with the first answer was honest in saying that he had already won this month and wanted me to pass it on to the next person. Thank you for that! So the winner, with the answer Goonies, is Justin Harris! I have sent your PoolDawg gift code. I hope you enjoy it!
The winner of this weeks trivia question is Ron! The correct answer is Seaside, Oregon. I have also sent your PoolDawg gift code. Here is some proof that it is the correct answer! Look closely.
Thank you to PoolDawg for sponsoring the trivia and thank you everyone for participating. I'm glad I could give a little bit of a history lesson. Next Monday there will be another question!
To see all of the places I have visited so far in 2009, please check out my map at the bottom of the blog. Each place has a description and a picture. Remember, be sure to scroll all the way around the world!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Now on to the trip. This was my moms first trip to the Pacific Northwest and I believe my fifth or sixth. I absolutely love Oregon. I think it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had a chance to visit. Over the years I haven't had a chance to see much more than Lincoln City. Luckily, Mom needed a vacation so we got to see the sites! First, the view from the Chinook Winds Resort...After some rest and relaxation and a tip on where to visit we decided to head to Depoe Bay, Cape Foulweather, Yaquina Head Nature Reserve, and Newport. All of these places are within 30 minutes of Lincoln City. First, mom and I at Depoe Bay. We were right outside a whale museum. Depoe Bay is one of the top places to see gray whales. Unfortunately, we didn't see any.
The next stop was Cape Foulweather. It is a pretty high cliff with a gift shop. Supposedly it served as a lookout during World War II.
Next up, Yaquina Head Nature Reserve. This is the site of one of the most photographed and oldest lighthouses in America. We got there too late to do a tour, but got a chance to walk on the black rock beach and take plenty of pictures! Here is the lighthouse and the beach...
It finally started pouring rain and getting kind of cold so we headed to Newport to eat and see the Harbor. There is a pretty cool bridge, great fish and chips and sea life right on the dock. It was the first time I had seen sea lions in the wild! I had no idea how loud they could be!
After a day of taking things in it was time to get down to business. This tournament always has the annual meeting and banquet followed by the Pro-Am. This makes for a very long day and an early start. I forgot my camera at the banquet but the Tournament Directors award was given to my buddy Caroline Pao and the Hall of Fame honored Robin Dodson. After a good meal and catching up we all headed to the Pro-Am. It was a really great turn-out and a lot of fun. Unfortunately, my team didn't win! Here is the team.
My first match was at 1:30 against Belinda Calhoun. I was feeling alright going into this match. I have played Belinda many times with success but I know she is a great player and is very capable of beating anyone at anytime. The match was an ok match. I'm not happy with how I played. I started out really slow, even missinig ball in hand on a two ball! I finally woke up a little and finished the match. I believe the final score was 9-4.
Later that night I played the second round match against Nicole Keeney. She is an up and coming player that just keeps getting better and better each event. I started really strong, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. After that, I decided it was nap time. Suddenly, I was down 6-5. It went back and forth and luckily for me, she missed a 9-ball that would have put her ahead 7-6. I got a little bit lucky and won the match 9-7. I got a break until 6pm the next day.
My next match was against Jasmin Ouschan and live on the PoolDawg live-stream. I have only played Jasmin one time before and coincidentally, she won that tournament too even though I beat her 9-7. This time I wasn't sure what to expect. I have been fortunate that the right Sarah has shown up when it matters considering how inconsistent I can be due to lack of practice. The match started out with a mistake for me the first game, then a 9-ball break from Jasmin. The table we played on had the nine headed to the pocket every game! I know Jasmin made some mistakes and I think I capitalized on most of them, definitely not all. One thing I know is that my break was suffering. Scratching on the break three times is not excusable! I felt like I played well but a couple mistakes late hurt me. The games I gave away ended up coming back to haunt me. I lost the match 9-8.
Since there were two days of ESPN taping this event instead of losing the match and coming back the next day we had to continue playing. I was due to play the winner of Monica Webb and Veronique Menard. Monica had been sick all week with the flu and I guess it got really bad since she forfeited her match. I played Veronique and it was very hard to get focused after the tough loss. Lucky for me, she made some mistakes that led me to a comfortable 9-4 win. Once again, I made it to the redraw! I walked over and drew Gerda Hofstatter.
I'm not sure what was going through my head while playing Gerda. I am comfortable playing her and we have a pretty even track record over the years. I started out ahead 2-1 then it was all Gerda. She played so well that I cannot even be upset about the loss. It was one of those matches where you are in awe of what is happening! She played great and ended my tournament run by beating me 9-2!
Overall, I am happy with the 9th place finish. Maybe I am somehow becoming a little bit consistent. I know that I am right there and with a little hard work, I can be a contender. I have made a promise to myself to practice hard before the final tournament of the year and the World Championships. Not only am I going to practice, I am going to get myself in shape and get healthy. No more excuses!
I got a chance to hang out with some of the girls. Melissa Herndon and Jennifer Barretta were kind enough to get a group of players together to go sing karaoke. I have only done karaoke one time in my life and that was in China were no one could understand me! Needless to say, I wasn't singing tonight. Most of the girls did though and I must say, we have some hidden talent within the WPBA! Here is the majority of the WPBA group singing "We are Family". Thanks for inviting me girls!
Sunday was the last day to do some site seeing so my mom and I head north up the coast. It was very strange that Thursday night a History Channel episode of Modern Marvels was about Highway 101. There was a bridge mentioned that was in Astoria. I think it was described as one of the longest bridges in the US. Mom and I drove the 120 miles or so to the bridge that would take us into Washington. This was the most beautiful drive I have ever taken!
We made our way to Astoria and the Astoria Megler Bridge. Here is where I will mention that I have a serious fear of bridges. The type of fear that you can't breathe, have some cold sweats, and turn very pale (yes, I can get whiter than I already am!). So it wasn't cool to drive over this bridge but I did it! Technically, I visited about 10 miles of Washington state. Does that count? Here is the bridge and my white-knuckled driving across the bridge. Regardless of my fear, at least I got to see where the movie Goonies was filmed!
On the way back to Lincoln City we stopped in Seaside. They have a really cool downtown area with all kinds of restaurants and shops. The beach was beautiful and full of people flying kites. On the drive back there were quite a few places to stop and take pictures. Possibly the greatest place I have visited was about 50 miles from Lincoln City. It was described on all of the placards that it is where sea, sand, mountains and sky meet. The road sign and the beauty!
So that is my Oregon trip. I really enjoyed myself. It was nice to get a chance to see some things and take in the natural beauty. The people are friend, the food is good and I remember that a beautiful day can mean a lot. I hope everyone enjoys the pictures and the little stories. One last thing, since I was traveling all day on Monday here is your trivia question. It has to do with Oregon.
In what town did Lewis and Clark end their trail??
As usual, the first person to answer correctly will win a PoolDawg gift code. Please remember to include your email address so I can send you your prize! Good luck everyone.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Over the weekend Jason and I made the trip to Cape Girardeau, MO to play in the first annual SEMO Open at The Billiard Center. I did not play well at all! It was a good tournament though and I hope they continue to hold some great tournaments considering it is only 4 hours from Bloomington. Jason ended up splitting the tournament and we barely made it home in time to pack for our separate trips and very early flights. I think I am getting too old for this staying up all night stuff!
Last tournament I got the experience of flying on my first prop plane. I was scared to death! I am pretty sure that won't be happening this time. Here is a look my first ride from Durango to Phoenix.
I am pretty excited for this tournament. Oregon is one of my favorite places to visit. The scenery is beautiful, the people are friendly and there is so much to see! I wasn't playing too bad when I practiced last week either so that is a little exciting as well. Be sure to watch the live-stream and check the brackets on the WPBA website!
Now on to the PoolDawg trivia! Just leave a comment below with your answer and email address. The first person to answer correctly wins! Here is this weeks question:
What 80s movie was filmed near Lincoln City, OR?
My flight is boarding! Thanks PoolDawg and good luck everyone!
Friday, October 9, 2009
I have noticed more lately that when you go to an event that has an Open division and a Women's division there are many differences. One being the entry fee. The men pay anywhere between $60-$100+ to play in a weekend regional event. The women pay anywhere from $20-$50 to play in a women's division. Now I understand that there are maybe 100 men playing and only a handful of women, but why is it acceptable that a man who might just be a "field filler" pay so much and think it is okay. The women have to have such a low entry fee to even have enough players to play! Are women smarter with money and they don't want to waste money? If they aren't confident they are going to cash they don't enter? Why is there such a big difference in the thinking of men and women? I have heard so many guys say that they would gladly pay up to $100 to play against the best players. Many guys are getting ready to pay $600 to play in the US Open just for that same chance. I hope that some of the women who don't feel like they have the confidence to jump in there and play realize that it will help you get better. It took me years and years to do well in tournaments. Along the way I learned a lot though. Take the risk, who knows, you may be better than you think you are!
The second thing is the attitude of the players. This doesn't go for every area. It seems that the women in certain areas are very, very competitive and others are not. I have traveled all over the country playing in a variety of tournaments. Maybe the men have a ton of pride and are there to compete. Maybe it is the manly thing to compete to relax. Sometimes when I go to women's tournaments I can pick out the few girls that are there with that competitive attitude. Then I can look around and pick out the majority that are just there to relax and catch up with friends all while playing pool. I am not against making friends or catching up with friends but I am not going to do it while playing in a tournament match. So many times I have seen women sharing pictures or telling stories to catch up. There is plenty of time to catch up after the match. It kind of holds up the tournament and the girls are forced to play shorter races. You are supposed to put up a wall that blocks out friendship while you are playing. I'm sorry, you may be my best friend off the table but I guarantee you are my enemy while we are playing! This doesn't go for all tournaments of course, but there it is a huge difference between the men and women.
Third, the added money. I understand that you want to draw the guys so you add anywhere from $1500-$10,000 for the men, but why do you only add $500 to the women? Of course you aren't going to get a great turn-out even if you have a ton of good women players in the area (by area I mean about a 6 hour radius) if you only add a small amount of money. Most of the women's events I go to hardly cover expenses to get there and stay for a couple days. Therefore, I don't travel as much as I did in the past to play in tournaments. If you are holding a tournament somewhere and you know you have a high concentration of female players, why not add a little more money. Make it worth it for the girls to show up. I can't guarantee that tons of women will show up, but I know I would be willing to go more often.
Lastly, women are catty. I know this, I am a woman and I admit it. When I go to tournaments in other areas it is like I am the enemy. The guys don't look at someone like Shane Van Boening showing up at a weekly tournament as the enemy. They are all hyped up to get a chance to play him and learn from him. The women seem to have the attitude like "Oh well,
I know there are people reading this and saying, "quit complaining, you could always just play in the Open division." That is true and usually I do play in the Open division if I can play in both tournaments and it doesn't conflict and I do play a lot of Open events that aren't too incredibly far away.
These are just my observations. It is hard to see a sport that women have a chance to be equal with the men but yet we are still kind of held back. I am not saying anything bad about the people that go to tournaments to relax and have fun. I just don't see why the only market for women's tournaments that are held with open tournaments to be the women that either accompany their significant other or those in the immediate area. I hope that it changes. This is a sport that has a mass appeal to all people no matter what age, sex, color or physical ability. I just hope that the women can grow and be somewhat equal in the future. This is a tough sport to make a living. Please remember that the girls are paying travel expenses to get to these events too. I know everyone would like to not only win the tournament but walk away from winning the tournament with a little bit of profit!
Alright, that is my rant. I hope I didn't offend anyone. As always, I am open to comments!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Congrats Chris Nunley for guessing the correct answer this week! Pink Floyd has been my favorite band since I was about 8 years old. I guess that is what you get for growing up in a pool room! And just for the record, I have never done drugs so that is not the reason for liking a "stoner" band!
Those of you that guessed the other guesses...Jay, I have never been much of a boy band fan. Although, I did have a short period of time when I was about six that I really liked New Kids on the Block. I try to forget those days. I did like Tiffany and Debbie Gibson too when I was about the same age. Village People never really made it onto my radar...I guess it just isn't my style unless I am at a sporting event and they are trying to hype up the crowd.
Thanks everyone for playing and thanks to PoolDawg for the gift codes! Enjoy yours Chris! I'm not sure if next weeks question will be on Monday. My mom and I are traveling to Oregon on Monday. Hopefully I can think up a question and get it posted during all of the travel. I will be back tonight or tomorrow with a non-trivia post.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Yes, I realize it is Tuesday, not Monday! I went to the Houston Open over the weekend and on the way there and the way back it was full of airport nightmares! Of course, I was so smart that I didn't have the computer with me so I couldn't post. Sorry for the delay. This weeks question is just one I thought up real quick and it has nothing to do with pool.
What is my favorite band?
Thank you to PoolDawg for bringing you the chance to win a gift code! Just leave your answer along with your email address in the comment section. The first correct answer wins the PoolDawg gift code!
As for the Houston Open, I didn't do all that great. I played in the Open division and finished one spot out of the money. In the womens I got third. I had flashes of brilliance in the beginning of the day and then flashes of stupidity at the end of both days. Maybe it was sitting in the smokey pool room for hours on end that did it or maybe I should consider practicing! Either way I live and learn and move on to the next adventure! If you are ever in the Houston area check out Legend's Billiards. They have a mix of Diamond and Brunswick tables and no shortage of good players!
Good luck everyone!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
First off, I have to say the Sky Ute Casino and Resort is absolutely beautiful! I did a post while I was there that showed my room and the view. Here is another look at the view from my hotel room...
I didn't get a chance to go see Durango or any of the surrounding area. I know I really missed out. Maybe next year I will get a chance to do all of that but for this year, I was pretty happy to still be focused on the tournament and in the tournament long enough to put off sightseeing!
My first match was rough. I played Dana Aft who I have known for a little while from the time I spent living in Atlanta. She has come such a long way! I think we will be seeing more of her in the future. I had a lot of trouble getting going but I finished well.
My second match was against Morgan Steinman. If you all remember, she is the one who eliminated me from the US Open in August. It was my turn to get revenge! Again, I was down in the match, 3-1 I believe. I came back and it was neck and neck until 6-6. Finally, I pulled away and won the match. I didn't feel real good about how I played. I knew I was making too many stupid, simple mistakes at the end of the rack. I was giving games away and that is not a good feeling. I felt very lucky to win that match.
My third match was against the number one seed Monica Webb. I think a lot of my readers got to watch the match since it was on the PoolDawg live-stream. I won the lag and looked to have a very easy run out. Then of course, I tried to get cute and show that I can play lefty instead of using the bridge. What did it get me? How about a miss on an easy six ball! I can't exactly remember what happened but Monica played a rail to rail safety on the nine. I looked at it for a minute or so then decided that the safety and going for it were equally tough so I went for it. Here is the shot:
Anyway, throughout the match I was getting a little fortunate but I was also playing well. Monica made some uncharacteristic mistakes that allowed me chances at the table. I felt pretty good about it and think I took advantage of about 90% of the opportunities I got. Not perfect, but not too shabby!
That win put me in a situation I have only been in once before...coming into the final 16 on the winners side! I had a whole day to not do much. I got to meet with the PoolDawg guys, Mike, Keven and Brent. We took care of some business matters. For example, the new promotion being run by PoolDawg. If you use the code SRCUEBALL and spend over $100 you can receive an autographed Sarah Rousey cue ball! I had to sign lots so please support them! Okay, back to the tournament. I went to witness the draw at 4:30 and my name was one of the last ones to be picked. The people coming out of the losers bracket were absolute killers, Kelly Fisher, Kim Shaw, Yu Ram Cha, Jeanette Lee and a four others (sorry I can't remember all 8). So it came down to Kelly Fisher and Jeanette left and my name hadn't been drawn. Of course, Jeanette draws my name. She yelled out "Oh but I wanted to draw Vivian!" in a kind of whiny voice. I couldn't help myself and in return yelled back "Oh darn, that's too bad." So our match was set to begin at 5:30.
I took my time getting ready and practiced and felt pretty good. I know playing Jeanette can be a task not only because she is a great player, but also because she puts on quite a show. I have said before, I respect what she does for the sport, but man, that is brutal! Jeanette really played great. I had a really slow start and only kicked for the first four games or so. The only games I won were games that she made a mistake. That only happened a handful of times. Her safety play, kicking, and shot-making were all working in unison that match. I lost 9-4 and my tournament run ended with only one loss. Jeanette went on to get her match with Vivian that she wanted and won convincingly, 9-3 I believe the score was. I guess you do get what you ask for!
The topic has come up before with the single elimination from the redraw and whether I like it or not. I have only experienced coming to the final sixteen from the winners side once before this event. Both times I have lost my first match. I have had a lot more success when coming from the losers side to the redraw. I think the person coming from the losers side gets a warm-up match. They are loose and awake and ready to go. Perhaps ready for their second chance. The person that comes from the winners side hasn't played a match in around 24 hours. I talked to one of the other players, a top player, about it. She felt the same way. It is nice to get a break, but very hard when your day isn't starting until 5:30 or 7:30 pm after playing your last match 24 hours earlier. Maybe we should go back to almost true double elimination. Who knows? For me, I have mixed emotions. I love it when I'm coming from the losers side and so far hate it coming from the winners side!
I spent a lot of time relaxing after I was done with the tournament. I did the last of the PoolDawg live-stream commentary along with Melissa Herndon, Jennifer Barretta and Michell Monk. Doing the commentary is always awesome. I love getting to chat with all of the fans and actually offer some insight into what is going on. After all of that, I just hung out. I wish I would have made it to Durango but the only shuttle service would have stranded me there for hours and hours. I got to catch a little bit of the finals by the time I got done being lazy. From what I heard Ga Young played incredibly well. She is making her mark as the real deal on the WPBA. I think it will last for years to come! Thanks Anne Craig and the WPBA website for the photo!
Here is were I would have some really cool pictures, but since Casino security was so tight, we couldn't take any pictures in the bar. I tried to sneak in one but the security person came over immediately and made us delete all pictures that were taken! Anyway, the really awesome part of this, which I would like to think is because we are all friends and like hanging out opposed to thinking that we were all stuck in the casino with nothing to do, but a big group of players got to hang out. It was nice to hear and tell stories of all of the different experiences we have all had. I will try to remember everyone in attendance and make a list...here it goes, Myself, Val Finnie, Kelly Fisher, Helena Thornfeldt, Julie Kelly, Karen Corr, Xiao-ting Pan, Ga Young Kim, Morgan Steinman, Anne Craig and Linda Pault. It was really so much fun. I wish I had pictures. It is nice to see that while we are all so competitive, we can all sit down, have a drink, share stories and just have good old fashion fun!
All-in-all, this was a great trip. Sure the altitude was a lot to get used to and we were kind of in the middle of nowhere, but hey, that's okay! I learned that sometimes a break from things is what you need. I didn't spend much, if any time practicing. I know that is not a good thing but I really needed a rest. I don't recommend doing it every time and I am going to try to squeeze in a bit more time on the table. I also learned from this trip that it is good to go in with no expectations. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I don't only want to make myself happy but I like to make others happy. I know that I have a huge support system out there and I thank everyone for that, Heartbackers and everyone else! I need to go in and expect to only give it my best. That could mean even if I am feeling like crap, maybe had a low blood sugar and don't feel like functioning, give it my best. Or if I am feeling great, give it my best. Just do what you can, the best that you can, no matter what the situation is!
I would like to thank my sponsors, MezzUSA, PoolDawg and the Heartbackers for the support. You guys are really awesome and thank you for your undying support! Thanks to my dad and sister for making the long drive from Phoenix to watch and to my mom for sweating it all from home! Thanks to everyone for watching the live-stream. I hope you guys thank the sponsors for making it available!
Finally, check out CueTable, the website that provided the diagram in this post. It is really a great way to communicate what you are thinking when it comes to shots and game situations! Support PoolDawg for providing the live-stream and me! And last but not least, keep checking out the live-stream and bracket updates live from the WPBA tournaments!
Since I am doing this post from work (sorry momboss) I will try to find some pictures when I get home to add to the post. Thank you all!
The correct answer this week was Oklahoma. I had never won a state championship until August of this year! Above is the picture I posted after the tournament with myself and Bonnie Plowman. Jeff, if you would have just stopped at OK! I wish I had won a championship in my own state, but unfortunately, I have played pretty poorly when those used to come around! George, congrats to you for winning for the second time since the trivia started a few months ago!
I promise another post today on Colorado and answering the questions that have come in the comments! I really appreciate the questions and comments. Keep'em coming! Check back for another post in about two hours.
Thank you PoolDawg for your letting me do this awesome weekly trivia! Remember, everyone can benefit by visiting PoolDawg and using the discount code ROUSEY, all caps, to receive 5% off their purchase. If you spend over $100 and use the code SRCUEBALL, you can get an a Sarah Rousey autographed cue ball!
Monday, September 28, 2009
It's that time again. Myself and PoolDawg bring you Monday Trivia! Remember, just answer in the comments and be sure to leave a way to contact you. I was informed that you should enter your email address using at instead of @ to avoid spammers. The first person with the correct answer gets a $10 gift code from the wonderful people at PoolDawg!
This weeks question: Where did I win my first state championship??
I was going to do a post this weekend but I was really caught up in the action going on. I watched pretty much the entire Oscar Dominguez/John Morra race to 100! That was some awesome playing and definitely and awesome production by The Action Report! The world of livestreaming has really come a long way. The TAR guys have definitely raised the bar! Way to go guys. If you didn't get to see it, you will have to support TAR and buy the dvd! Be sure to check out their store. They have a great variety of t-shirts, hats and dvd's. They do great things for pool so please try to support them!
As for me, I am headed to Houston on Friday for the Houston Open. I will post somethign again later in the week. If you are planning to attend please leave a comment or send me an email. I'd love to meet some players and fans from that area!
Good luck everyone!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I slaved over a couple boxes of cue balls at the WPBA Colorado Classic so you better hurry!
Read all about the special on the PoolDawg Blog
Keep in mind, PoolDawg is not only my sponsor but also the sponsor of the WPBA, Liz Fords blog, and various other things within the pool industry. I appreciate the chance that I am being given by them! Thank you so much PoolDawg!