Thursday, February 26, 2009

A little help from my friends.

I have a few things that I need to poll everyone on. Myself and some friends are brainstorming some things and would like a little feedback. Thanks in advance for the help and I'm sure there will be more polls down the road!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February's Big Adventure

The whole adventure started on February 13th. It started with the two hour drive to St. Louis and then an early flight to Austin, TX. After the flight we had an hour and a half drive to San Antonio, TX for the Fast Eddie's Tour stop.

I have to say what a pleasure it was to play in this tournament. I have always seen the results of the tournaments on AZbilliards and noticed how many players they draw. When I arrived at this tournament there were 86 players! That is very rare for events in IL so I was pleasantly surprised! The funny thing about it was that the tournament director told me that 86 players was actually a low turn-out for the tour. That is amazing!

They also decided to have a scotch doubles event since the tournament was being held on Valentine's Day. My boyfriend Jason and I didn't do so hot. But we did get in a round of mini golf.

I wasn't really sure how I would play at this tournament. I hadn't practiced in weeks since I had been trying to get caught up at work. Luckily, I played well. I ended up finishing 5/6th.

Since the Food Network is one of my top ten stations to watch I just had to try out some Texas barbeque. The first one we tried was a place called Grady's. It was pretty good. I had to go for the brisket.

Just when I thought it didn't really get much better, I found a place called Rudy's. Apparently it is a very well known Texas chain.

Obviously I tried a little bit of everything!

While it was all fun and games for the weekend, Monday came and it was time for business. The first Pool School that Shane Van Boening and I have done was set to begin at 9 am. I have to admit, I was very nervous about the whole thing. I wasn't really sure if I knew enough to try to teach others. My day started at 5:30 am. Now, for those of you that know me you know I am not a morning person! At 6:30 a.m. I did a live television spot for Austin's Fox affiliate. I posted the video a few days ago so I will spare the space of posting it again. At 9 am our first students rolled in. I was a bit shaky at first but luckily two of the students were WPBA faithfuls instead of total strangers. So as 1 pm rolled around I was feeling confident and ready for the second class. Thanks to Laura, Christina, Gaines and Lauri who attended the first class!

At 1:30 our second class started. There were four students that were all quite advanced! We focused more on breaking and the mental game this session. I really had a great time spending time with the students in this class. Everyone was very understanding and full of questions. I hope that I answered them all! Thanks to Emilio, Chase, Daulton and Blaine for attending! While we were going to end at 5:30 I was still rambling and playing past that time. I looked up and it was almost time to start the charity exhibition.

From 7-10 pm we held a challenge match exhibition with all proceeds going to the American Diabetes Association. My match was against Heather Pulford. As a disclaimer, Heather had a bad cold and I was pretty tired but we sure tried our hardest! I ended up winning 7-4. Shane played James Davis Sr. a race to 9. It was rematch from the finals of the Fast Eddie's stop. This time though, Davis got the best of it winning 9-8. Thank you everyone that donated money. I have to say the most touching moment of the night was meeting Staff Sargaent Stevens and his wife. He told me he was home on leave from overseas and he was so happy to have the chance to come that night. It was really great to see someone light up so much!

Tuesday we decided to hold just one session rather than two. After the first day was done I felt much more comfortable with myself and what I had to offer on the second day. I wasn't as tentative and thankfully everyone again, was full of questions. Thank you to Chris, Moe, Jason, John, Brian, and Patrick for attending.

I have to say that everyone in Texas, whether at the tournament, in the pool room, or just in general, where some of the friendliest people I have ever met! I felt so welcome at the tournament. That isn't always the case. I look forward to attending more tournaments in Texas. Thank you for making such a good impression.

After the pool school I decided to go back to San Antonio to hang out with my good friend Vivian (yes, Vivian Villarreal). We didn't get to see too much of San Antonio during the tournament and I wanted to try some authentic Mexican food. She definitely showed us a good time!

This is Mi Tierra, the restraunt we ate at, The Alamo, The Friendship Tower and the River Walk.

Thanks again Texas!

The second part of the adventure was to Verona, NY. Little did I know that the weather would not cooperate with this part of the trip. I was supposed to fly from Austin to Washington-Dulles to Syracuse. Well, we were re-routed to Chicago which ended up getting us to Syracuse very late. One other thing I didn't realize was that it is kind of a long, expensive ride from Syracuse to Verona. So myself, Jason, Shane and Charlie Williams piled into a cab at 1 a.m headed for Turning Stone Resort and Casino.

While this wasn't my first trip to upstate New York, it was my first time attending this event. I had seen pictures before of what the venue looks like and heard what players have to say. I have to admit I am a bit of a cynic when it comes to other people reviews. I was so happy when I arrived and saw just how great the place was!

When I walked in and saw this for the first time all of the tables were racked and ready to go. I said to my friends "Wow, I feel like I am in the end of The Color of Money!".

The field at this tournament was definitely world class. I was honored to be a part of it all. I won my first three matches. On Saturday I was so excited to still be in the winner's bracket. My match was against Oscar Dominguez who is really starting to play well! Our match was on one of the higher number tables so there were about six matches to be announced before ours. I heard names like Thorsten Hohmann, Mika Immonen, Ralf Souquet, Dennis Hatch, Shane Van Boening and many more great players. I have to admit my stomach did a flip when they got to me! How awesome it was to be a part of something like this. Although Oscar got the best of me, it was a close match. Of course, on the one loss side things only got tougher. My next match was against Stevie Moore. I wasn't too nervous, I just wanted to put up a fight. I had my chances but can't say that I took advantage of them all. I got beat 9-4. So I ended up 17th-24th. I'm happy with that finish because I know things could have been much, much worse! I figured out what I need to work on ASAP. I think with just a few adjustments and practice my game will make another jump!

Thanks to Mike Zuglan and his staff for such a great tournament and thanks to my friends from NYC that came up to visit!

Since I flew to NY and didn't have a rental car I had no idea what the weather was like but I did know that my flight was at 6 am..ugh! At 3:30 am we left the casino in the middle of a blizzard. Luckily there weren't any delays at the airport and off we went to Chicago at 6 am. In Chicago though, it was a mad dash across O'hare Airport. For those of you that have been there, that is a huge airport! With about two minutes to spare, I was on my flight and ready to be back in St. Louis.

Now for the last part of the whole adventure. Monday was my younger sisters birthday. I don't get to see her too often since she lives a few hours away so I took advantage of the time I did get to spend with her. We visited the Loop and did some shopping and then we were off to eat way too much sushi! This is the birthday girl with the first boat of sushi...yes, there was more than one!

After stuffing ourselves we decided to stay in downtown St. Louis and do a little bowling. I have to say Flamingo Bowl is the coolest bowling alley I have ever been to! I also have to say that I better stick to pool!!Happy Birthday Kaeleigh!

Thanks again to everyone involved and it was great to meet many new faces. I look forward to keeping in touch with everyone. It was a lot of fun!

So that's the adventure. It was fun and I'm hoping to start another one soon. The next tournament is The Midwest Tour tournament in Olathe, KS. I look forward to meeting more readers there!


I know you are all just sitting and eagerly awaiting a review of everything that happened in the past week. Well, don't worry, you won't have to wait too much longer. When I get home from work tonight I will upload all of my pictures and have the longest blog post to date. Let me know a little feedback if you can. Would you like it broken down into a few different posts or just one long one? What makes it easier for everyone to read?

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Turning Stone Day 1

Here I am, still without a computer and pictures, sorry! But there is a business center here at the casino so I can give updates and post pictures later.

First, I have to say this tournament venue is awesome! This set-up is to die for. There is plenty of room between tables and there really isn't a bad seat when it comes to watching matches. I will post a picture of it later.

After a really long players meeting the draw was finally up. My first round match was against Bob Cunningham from somewhere here in NY. The match really wasn't pretty. Both of us started out shaky. With the score tied 3-3 I finally started running more than two balls in a row. My break started cooperating and I ran a couple of racks. The final score was 9-3. Overall I feel like I played alright. The tables are still playing super fast. It will take a couple of days to settle that down!

My next match is tomorrow at noon against Randy Labonte. I know he is a good player from this area. He had a pretty quick 9-0 win earlier. Hopefully I can put up a good fight!

Just to let everyone know, I changed the settings here. I didn't realize that I had comment restrictions. Now anyone can post a comment! Sorry to those of you that tried before. I like the feedback so feel free to comment as much as you want.

Also, here is the video from the pool school in Austin. If I can't give you pictures right now (and don't worry, I took quite a few) at least I can give you a video for now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stupid computers!

I know everyone is eagerly awaiting updates from Texas. Here is what I have so far, my computer decided that it isn't going to work. Right now I'm using one of those over-priced aiport kiosks. I'm going to try to get mine fixed in NY. Right now I am stuck, and have been for a couple hours already, at the Austin, TX airport. I'm hoping we can actually get to Turning Stone tonight!

I just wanted to let you all know, I did take pictures and lots of them and I definitely have quite a bit to review. Thanks for being patient with me. I know it's hard to go too long with out a Sarah Rousey blog update! (just kidding, that is total sarcasm)

Talk to everyone soon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Not So Simple

Since I am leaving for Texas in the morning and probably won't post again until Saturday or so, I will leave everyone with a drill to try out, ponder, complain about or like. This is the drill that I have been doing for a couple of months at the beginning of my practice sessions. It looks pretty simple, but really it can be quite frustrating. It is to get you warmed up and see just how straight your stroke is at the beginning of your session.

Start by lining all 15 balls across the side pocket.

I usually tell people to start with the cue ball at the first diamond past the side pocket (cue ball A) but if you feel this is too easy, you can start where cue ball B is located. Make sure the shot is straight in when you line the cue ball up.

Be sure to use center ball. You are just trying to pocket the object ball and stop the cue ball. If you wish to try the drill with follow and draw I would suggest shooting all 15 balls with one type of english then repeating the whole drill with the next.

Make balls 1-7 in the lower corner pocket. You can choose which side you want to shoot the 8-ball in. Then make balls 9-15 in the top corner pocket.

After finishing from the diamond above the side pocket move the cue ball to where cue ball B is located and do the same. When you finish that you can move it back another diamond and for a real challenge you can try shooting it from the rail.

One thing to remember, you don't have to make all 15 balls in a row in order to move on. If you miss, which everyone does, just set that shot back up and shoot it again. (sorry Monkey!)

When you get this one done, if you want to keep shooting straight in shots you can move all of the object balls down to the diamond below the side pocket and start it all over!

This drill is pretty boring, but it has really helped me quite a bit. When I end up with a long straight in shot on the 9, in a pressure situation, I feel like I can handle it with ease. My piece of advice, don't get frustrated! That is my biggest problem. It can all seem so easy, just's not so simple!

Thanks Wei and CueTable. This is my first attempt at using it and I have to say it was pretty easy...just forgive me for the balls not being perfectly straight across the side pocket!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Me in real-life

This where the paycheck (self-sponsorship) happens, Heartland Home Medical Supply, Bloomington, IL. Yes folks, I really do work!

Beyond the bright lights and beauty of the WPBA while at work things are obviously completely different! This is me on an average day at work...hardly recognizable, I know. At least the proof that this is really me, notice the closed eyes. My desk is a beautiful mess. I do know that I happen to have a phone, stapler, paper clips and all other things that are required of an office job are somewhere under all the paper. Notice the necessary Diet Coke that is ever present upon my desk.

What exactly is my job description, well that is easy, a little bit of everything. I guess the main job would be Medical Billing. Throw in a little patient confirmation, account management, prescription sending and reader of messy doctor handwriting. All of this equals my job.

My office is towards the back of the building. Up front there is a showroom with all of the medical equipment you can handle. You need a wheelchair? Got it. You need oxygen? Got it. You need sleep apnea equipment? Got it. As you can see, this is the place to visit if you are in great health!

We have a total of nine employees. We all kind of help each other out with whatever needs to be done. I'm pretty sure everyone knows that my Mom is one of the owners of the business. I affectionately call her Mom-boss. This allows me to travel and still play pool all while earning a paycheck and full health benefits. Luckily, I can work remotely from tournaments and the road.

This is my healthy work addiction (with help from my co-workers). Everyone should buy stock in Coke products just based on my daily consumption. I admit, I have an addiction!

So when you are wondering how professional pool players really get you know. Granted I do quite a bit of slacking with the slack crew at and watch my fair share of TAR matches and answer my emails and work on my blog....I really do work!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I lived!

For everyone that thought I might not have lived through the dentist appointment, I made it! But I do think Ronnie Alcano might be on to something with the no teeth way to go. Much better than dealing with the dentist ever! (please keep the comments clean haha!)

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Case of the Mondays

Alright, it's only been monday for about ten minutes, but I have been waiting for this monday. Let's rewind back to last monday. I was still in a Derby City Haze and I had a bit of a toothache. Luckily, I already had a dentist appointment scheduled for that day. I made it back just in time and I eagerly awaited my new crown (that I had been waiting months for). Well....let's change that whole idea. Turns out the pain I was the way back tooth on my upper right side, was because I need a root canal...yippie!

So the appointment went something like this....

Dentist: "So, you have some pain, let's do a couple of tests to make sure that's what it is and get you taken care of."

Me: "Okay"

Now, you know that stupid metal, spikey thing, imagine that hitting your sore tooth at let's say, 100 mph. Wow...that hurt.

Me: "aaaaaahhhhh, that's it."

Dentist: "Well, just to be sure, lets try one more test. This one we will put something cold near your tooth just to be sure."

Me: "okay"

So here it comes, something cold, no clue what it was but it might as well have been a never-ending cup of ice water pouring directly onto my tooth!


Dentist: "Okay, seems as though you need a root canal, we don't have time to do it today but we will get you some antibiotics. That should help with the pain."

So on my way I go to the nearest Walgreens knowing that I only have to wait until Wednesday for the pain to subside.

Well, Wednesday came around and I was there (bright and early) for my appointment. Turns out Novacaine doesn't work too well and I needed about 12 shots of it to numb my mouth. The othe problem...the stupid dental assistant took my temporary off and then decided to try to put a dental dam around my tooth (to isolate so they won't drop the tools down my throat and kill me supposedly). Apparently it was her first day on the job and she didn't realize that this would not work around a partial tooth. But boy did she try...for an hour and a half! In this process I was hit in the other teeth a bunch of times with metal tools, my gums were totally torn up and I'm lucky my jaw wasn't locked in place! Finally after being there for two hours I asked if they could just re-apply the temporary and I could come back another day...sounded like a good idea at the time.

Dentist: "I'm so sorry about this, it's our mistake. I will give you some pain pills and new antibiotics. We will get you in as soon as possible and the pain should be going away."

Me: "Okay" (this time a little more pissed than anything)

So off I go again, to the nearest Walgreens. I get to the Walgreens, put in my order and wait my 10-20 minutes. Finally, they call my name. I get to the window and for the first time, I am recognized. The Pharmacist says "Are you the Sarah Rousey that plays pool?" (all while doing the bridge and stroke motion that is always done when someone is describing pool) I answer yes and this leads to a long conversation. Now, I'm usually more than happy to talk to anyone and everyone but keep in mind, I kind of feel (and look) like I have been to battle and lost. I had on no make-up, my face was swollen and numb and I'm pretty sure I was drooling. He was a nice guy, asking when the WPBA would be back to Peoria, IL and how nice Jeanette Lee is and of course how he used to play pool but isn't very good anymore. I'm sure he couldn't understand a word I was saying but I was trying. I think the drool must have got to him so he ended the conversation with a "good luck". So, Mr. Pharmacist, if you happen to read my blog, I apologize for my drooling and rambling! All I could think was, wow, what a time to be recognized!!

Keep in mind, this was Wednesday. My new appointment was scheduled for today, Monday. That is five whole days of not being able to hardly open my mouth, eat, drink anything cold, and pretty much not breathe because this hurts!! In my amatuer Dentist point of view, my nerve is totally exposed. I am not happy. I have accomplished a whole lot of nothing between Wednesday and today. Sure, they say pain medication will cure all but for me, all I did was sleep and sleep and sleep.

So now, my appointment is at 10 am. This is the happiest I have ever been to go to the Dentist and get this all taken care of. If something happens today and they can't do the root canal I'm just going to have to ask them if they can make me hibernate until the next appointment! All I can think of is what I will finally get to eat, cheeseburger, steak, cereal...the list is endless! In the words of my friends Mel, Jay and Monkey..."mmmmmm...fooooood"

That's my rant. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Pool School

So I am going to try something new...teaching. I have learned a lot over the years and I am hoping that I can teach some of it. I know some people can only play pool and not teach or vice versa. While I have done some clinics before they have mostly been on breaking and not quite so high profile! All I can say is that I am excited to be apart of this no matter how it turns out!

I'm hoping some of you out there reading will be able to attend the clinic. I know it is during the week so that makes it a little bit tough, but Monday is a holiday! If you can't make it during the day for the clinic we will be doing a Charity Challenge Match on Monday night. All procedes will go to the American Diabetes Association. I look forward to meeting some new faces there.

Also, if you live in the San Antonio area I will be there on February 13-15 for the Fast Eddie's Tour stop. If you plan on stopping by please introduce yourself..I'm always up for meeting new people!

If you have questions or wish to sign up you can contact Cristina De La Garza at (512)799-9675 or

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Home Sweet Home

So after 8 days inside a casino, I have finally escaped! And yes, I did feel like I was stuck there. As everyone knows there was an ice storm/snow storm that hit Indiana and Kentucky which left us all stuck inside the casino. I'm not complaining, at least we had power and heat and water!

This picture is the view from the hotel.

Now on to the real stuff!! As I said before, I had to work on the friday before the tournament and I was real bright thinking that the banks portion of the tournament started on Saturday when it really started on Friday! There went my chances of winning the women's all-around...oops.

As for the rumblings of all of the Derby City pessimists, the turnout was really pretty good. There were less players, but definitely no shortage of action. The new venue was very nice but very, very spread out! Besides the one main tournament room (which was pretty cramped, seating wise and player wise), there were also about 7 other rooms with anywhere from 2-10 tables in each. This kind of made for a nightmare when trying to find your match in a hurry...which happened to me once. The best thing about the main room was that there was seating overhead. It made it really awesome to see everything going on downstairs and great seats for the TV table. If I would have used my camera properly...I would have pictures to show this. :(

My tournament life was pretty short. I entered the One-pocket tournament. I was told to be there at 1pm, so I was there. After waiting an extra few hours for the draw, my name wasn't showing up on the board. I turned into an annoyance to the Tournament Director which kind of made him turn into an annoyance to me. I asked what the deal was and I got "Well, we are having computer issues, keep checking back to see if your name shows up." This happened all the way until midnight. Finally after that I was told to come back at 11 am and they would have the problem resolved. I show at 11, keep in mind, there is no going to bed early at DCC so 11 am is a tough feat! I was told I got a bye into the second round..woohoo, no complaints there. I was also told that we would be starting the next round around 1:30. What an odd time, it is just enough time to get bored sitting around and too little time to make it back to the room and rest. Well, of course I took the back to the room route and fell asleep. My phone started ringing and I had to run around like a chicken with my head cut off to get to the match in time! Needless to say, I made it with about a minute to spare and won 3-1. From there, I got the rest of the day off which means, let's find action! Well, this started the epic Chris Bartram/Mike Banks Jr. match that lasted for 30 hours...that's right, 30 HOURS! Without knowing it would last so long, I made a decent sized bet and then proceded to watch most of the match (wow, was I tired).

In all of this I decided to match up a little as well. I forgot that I made a plan to play Kathrine Jenssen at noon. So on little sleep...I played and stopped and lost my one pocket match and then played some more. I ended up winning the toughest $100 I've ever won! After all of that, I still couldn't take a chance at missing anything. I went back to the TAR booth for some more action sweating.

This is the view from inside the TAR booth...the place where I spent the most time. I'm sure many of you know that and were thinking "Wow, someone shut her up!!!". That's how much time I spent there! I got to have the time of my life in there to be honest. I got to make a lot of new friends and hang out with old friends, tell stories and definitely have some laughs. Thanks Justin and Chad. You have helped me out a ton! For those of you that didn't watch, I got to do my first Pay-Per-View commentary, the Shane Van Boening/Francisco Bustamante match! I have to admit, I was pretty nervous! Thanks to Jay Helfert and Fred Agnir for helping me along! I have to say thanks to everyone else that I met that has tuned into a TAR event before and thanks to everyone in the chat. You guys kept be busy with questions and full of laughs!!

My review of the whole thing, I don't think it was such an awful thing moving the venue. Yes it was spread out but the venue was beautiful. The food was expensive, but tasted much better than anything ever offered at the Executive West. The rooms were pricier but hopefully next year the price will go down. I do know the beds were mighty comfy! The venue was much, much safer and I doubt there were any horror stories like there were before. The only downfall I thought there would be was the Casino. I'm sure it got a few people, which was expected but overall I think there was plenty of pool action to keep everyone busy.

So my name won't be up in lights like these champions but I definitely had a lot of fun! Now I'm back home and back to real life. For now I have pictures, a messed up sleep schedule, a broken out face, an aching tooth (root canal tomorrow, guess I shouldn't have put it off!) and tons of laundry to do...but it was all worth it and I can't wait to do it again next year! Hopefully the Horseshoe Casino will have us back.


I'm sorry for the delay in posts. I'm going to upload my DCC photos tonight and then post. Keep checking back for some entertainment!!