Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Week to Forget

Have you ever had one of those weeks that you would just like to forget? That is how I am every year when the week that January 21 falls upon. That is the day I was diagnosed, my anniversary as I call it. The celebration of the day my life changed and my longest relationship thus far, 17 years now. Maybe it is the psychological part of things that make that week suck or maybe that week is just doomed in my book. Usually, I am the one to get sick. This year I was alright though. It was just a bad week.

The pool room was closed for a few days this week so they could get new carpet. Hopefully they will decide to recover the tables sometime soon as well. That means there was no weekly tournament this week. I decided to be a little lazy instead. The week was going by fine and then Friday morning I kept getting a phone call early in the morning from the same number. It is no secret that sleeping is my favorite thing to do and one thing I do very well. After about four calls from the same number, I finally woke up. It was the emergency room and my dad was there having chest pains. Apparently my mom is also a champion sleeper because they couldn't get a hold of her either. We both rushed to the hospital and got to talk to my dad. Thankfully we only live about three blocks from the hospital and it wasn't too busy at the hospital. My dad got in quick and the doctor took great care of him. He ended up having a heart attack. After a few days in the hospital he was free to come home and consider the changes in life that need to be made. He is just about back to normal now. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers! Dad in his new hangout spot with a little help getting better from Sophie the really fat cat:

After all the excitement, the week was finally over. Sunday was a good start to the new week. My grandma, Flo, celebrated her 88th birthday. Her favorite dish is spare ribs. Lucky for grandma, we have a good cook in the house...Jason. He whipped up some awesome ribs, corn, sweet potatoes, and fruit salad. I took care of the corn bread. I do have pics, but since I am at work, I will have to add them to the post later on. Use your imagination for now! Grandma and the ribs:

Sunday I also went to the Brad Paisley concert here in Bloomington. I am not a huge country fan, but I must say, this concert was an absolute blast! Thanks to my big sis Brandi for helping me get tickets months ago. I will add pics later!

I am a little upset that I didn't get to make it to the Derby City Classic this year. That tournament has been the official start and one of the highlights of the year for the past seven years or so. After all, it is the tournament to blame, err...responsible for introducing my boyfriend and I five years ago! I miss the action and getting to catch up with everything and everyone, but hey, life happens sometimes! If you would like to follow along with some of the action, here you goOnline TV Shows by Ustream Thanks to The Action Report for their great coverage of the action.

Other big news, I am going to Germany today with Jason. He is on the Canadian team along with Erik Hjorliefson, Tyler Edey and Alain Martel in the World Team Championships. I have never been to Europe so this is really an exciting trip for me. Plus, it is kind of a vacation. Don't worry Heartbackers, this is not where your money went. A sponsor of his helped us get there! I will have plenty of pictures and updates from the tournament action all week! This 8 hour flight should be a breeze compared to all of the trips to Asia! You can follow the tournament with online coverage starting on Saturday. There is a seven hour time difference from the east coast. Here is the website link. I am going to stay safe and say that I am going to cheer on North America! We made it to the airport, and no, I don't have food on my face, that is a big zit:

Last Thursday I got a chance to film a small spot for the local news. I was contacted by Brandon Arnold from WMBD in Peoria about doing a weekly, light hearted spot where he is challenged. We played a couple games of pool and chatted a bit. Thanks Brandon and WMBD for the opportunity! You can watch by clicking here.

So I can't say it was a horrible week, but I did need some time to just calm down and take it all in. I apologize for just leaving everything behind for a few days.

Here is what everyone has been waiting for, this weeks trivia, a little late! Thank you PoolDawg for sponsoring the trivia!

This weeks question: What players won titles in Banks, One Pocket and 9-ball at the first Derby City Classic??

Good luck everyone! Remember to leave your email address along with your answer so I can send you your $10 PoolDawg gift code. Remember, even if you don't win, you can always save 5% on your PoolDawg purchase by using the discount code ROUSEY.

Lastly, thank you to all of the Heartbackers who have donated so far! I greatly appreciate the support you have given. Everyone should have already received their shirts or will receive them by next Monday. I have plenty of shirts left! If you would like one, just donate any amount, $25 and up.

I will add pics to the post when I get to the airport tonight. Check back around 6pm for pics to be added!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hot Off the Press!

Finally, all th decision making on the shirts has come to an end. I picked them up this afternoon and I have to say, they look awesome!! Here are some pictures.

First, the front of the shirt:
The back of the red logo:
Back of the purple logo:
If you would like to become a Heartbacker for 2010, just click the donate button on the right of the page. Donations of $25 and up will all receive a t-shirt (If it is your first time donating, you will also get an autographed cueball.). The shirts come in sizes small to 4x. You pick which color you want. If you don't have paypal but would like a shirt, just send me an email and I will be glad to help you out! Thank you to all of you that have already donated and those of you that are considering a donation. This money helps me travel all over the world to tournaments. Without all of you, there is no way I could do it. I grately appreciate the help!!

On to the weekend wrap-up. I decided to torture myself yet again with a bar table 8-ball tournament. I have decided that I must be a masochist to keep putting myself through this. The tournament that I went to is just too good to pass up. The Carom Room in Beloit, WI hosts two tournaments a month that are without a doubt, the best tournaments to come to the area in a long time. If you are ever in the area, try it out. They have an open event and a no masters event once a month. They alternate between 8-ball and 9-ball each month and usually have a range of 50-96 players each event. They also just got all new 7ft Diamond Smart Tables. Oh yeah, they also have a really good cheeseburger!!

Anyway, I have decided that I should take a little more time to prepare for these tournaments. I always walk in with such an awful attitude toward the game. It takes me either a couple of matches to be out of the tournament or a couple of matches to realize I can play as long as I try and stay positive. Of course, my first match things were going alright, but I just kept getting out of line at the end of each rack. I gave away so many games! I lost 6-5. Then I went on a decent little run in the losers bracket, won three matches. Then the match before the money I turned right back into a blubbering idiot. I couldn't get out of a rack to save my life and ended up losing 6-4. Oh well, I tried.

And now, on to what you all are waiting for, the PoolDawg weekly trivia!! The person that answers correctly will receive a $10 PoolDawg gift code!

And the question is: Who was my favorite player growing up??

Please remember to include your email address along with your answer in the comments section. Thank you to PoolDawg for another week of trivia! Remember, even if you don't win, you can always save 5% at PoolDawg by using the discount code ROUSEY.

Thanks to my t-shirt model Jason Klatt (and also one of the 4 players to split the final pot at the Carom Room!)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Birthday!!

To this blog!! I can't believe it has been a whole year already! This past year has been lots of fun and tons of travel. I visited four different countries and played in about 30 different tournaments around the United States, posted 95 posts, tried lots of strange food, took lots of pictures and best of all, made lots of friends!

Thank you to everyone for reading and commenting and going along for the ride with me. Doing the blog has helped me slow down and take some things in. I go visit places when I travel. By places I mean somewhere othe than the pool room and hotel room. It has also helped me let out some of the feelings that I tend to hold in. Sick around and I hope this year will be just as much fun, if not more!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Congrats to Jordan for winning this weeks PoolDawg trivia!! The correct answer was Dorothy Wise. It is pretty inspiring that a woman that played at at time when pool was dominated by men, that she could break through. I don't have a ton of info on the subject, but I did get a chance to hear Mike Shamos speak at the WPBA Pacific Coast Classic. He gave a lecture on the history of women in the sport. It was really nice to see where it all started for women playing pool. If you would like to find out more about the history of billiards in general, you can look for Mike's book, The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Pool. I own a copy of this and there are tons of great stories and pictures!

As for me so far this week, I went to the weekly tournament here in town and didn't do so well. I got beat by my dad and my boyfriend...nice guys! My dad was the always proud father and took a copy of Billiards Digest to show everyone. I jokingly told him that I am 27, not a baby and these are not baby pics. Of course the comeback was, "well, you haven't changed or grown much since you were a baby." Ha, Ha, Ha.

Next up, making the decision of missing some work and going to Nashville for the Music City Open or making a weekend trip to Beloit, Wisconsin for the monthly tournament at The Carom Room. Tough decision!

Thanks for playing the PoolDawg trivia and thank you to PoolDawg for the gift code! I'm going to start thinking now about next Monday's question. I will try to make it a tough one so stay tuned!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Trivia and The Weekend...

Like I said in the last post, I headed to Oconomowoc, WI for the Olympia Open III. The weather did kind of stink, but we made it there safely. I was surprised that there were so many people there considering the weather! Each division had at least 50-70 players and the women had about 30. It was a handicapped event. I didn't get to play in the women's division so I got to play in the men's upper division as a six. I think it has become very clear that bar table 8-ball is not my game! This weekend was not any different! This is the range of emotions I felt....
I started out well. I broke and ran the first rack of my first match. I was playing a five. That made it even. Then all of a sudden, the little doubts crept in. It is impossible to do well if you are telling yourself that you have no clue what you are doing! Honestly, I should have lost the match. Trailing 4-3, my opponent missed at the end of the rack each game. The hill-hill game was a nail-biter. I dogged it, then he dogged it, it was ugly. I pulled out the win though. Not a bad start.

My next match was against another six. Sure, it should be even. It became painfully obvious that it was not. My opponent knew the proper patterns and the shots that you need to know playing on a bar table. I lost 6-1!

On to the left side of the board for me. My next match was another six. I was down 4-1, then mounted a small comeback. When the score was 4-4, I had a chance to get on the hill first. Instead, I played a really awful shot and ended up hooking myself with two balls left. I lost that game. I did come back and make it 5-5. It seemed like I had a great chance to break and run out. I made a ball, had a shot, the stars were aligned! NOT. Again, I played the wrong pattern and came up short. After a safety battle, I had one of those awful 50/50 shots. Do you go for it, do you play safe? I think everyone knows that you have to make up your mind BEFORE you shoot the shot, not DURING the shot! I was undecided and just got down without making up my mind. I got what I deserved, I left him a shot, not just a shot, but a perfect breakout shot. He ran out and my tournament run was over.

I think we can all see the theme or rather, the problem when I play bar table 8-ball. I obviously need to work on pattern play and confidence. It amazes me that clusters of solids and stripes on a 7ft table can put me in a state of shock and make me feel like it is the first time I have ever played pool! If you guys have any ideas how to get over this, feel free to chime in!

Thanks to Dr. Pool for having a great tournament. If you are in the southern Wisconsin area in January of next year, I highly recommend checking it out. If you are a ski buff, you can even go skiing! My friend that roomed with us this trip was tempted to try it out and so was I, but to be honest, I'm scared. If I broke a bone I wouldn't know what to do! Here is a view of the ski hill at the Olympia Resort...
This weekend I also got the proofs for the Heartbacker t-shirts. I have to say, they look awesome! I decided to go with both red and purple. I will have a range of sizes, small-4x. They will be done by Friday! I'm so excited. If you would like a shirt, you can donate any amount $25 and up. Specify the color and size you want and make sure that your address is current on your Paypal address! I have to give a big thanks to those of you that have already expressed interest, ordered and helped me decide what to choose!

I also have to thank the local paper here in Bloomington, The Pantagraph and sports writer Randy Sharer. Randy and I did an interview last week and it ran today in the sports section. Thank you Randy. You have been a big supporter of my career for the past 15 years or so! I greatly appreciate it and the exposure you guys have given me over the years.

Okay, now what you have all been waiting for, the PoolDawg weekly trivia! I have been trying to think of a question all weekend but I am drawing a blank. I am going to go with a general pool question this week. Here you go: Who was the first woman inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame??

Good luck and remember to leave your email address along with your answer. The winner gets a $10 gift code from the folks at PoolDawg! Remember, that is the place to go for all of your pool supply cravings. Even if you don't win, everyone can save 5% off of their purchase by using the discount code ROUSEY.

Have a great week everyone and I will be back with something this week!

Friday, January 8, 2010

This Weeks Review

Wow has this ever been a busy week! The Billiards Digest article, PoolDawg re-signing, trying to figure out a plan for 2010, a snow storm, ahh, time to breathe for a minute! Okay, get moving again...

Monday I did something that I haven't done in a long time...I went to the pool room. Shocking, I know. One thing that kind of bugs me is when people say, "Don't forget about us when you get famous." or "I'm sure you won't speak to us again once you hit it big." That is not the kind of person I am! It is obvious when I go to the pool room here in town. My parents used to own it and there is still a crowd that remembers me from when I was about 10 years old. When I was that young, I tried to compete with these guys. My favorite part about going to the pool room on Monday night is seeing all of these guys and hanging out. It is a guarantee that there will be a bank ring game and I love it when they ask me to play. You will probably never hear more smack talking anywhere in the world! So for $5 a game entertainment, we played for a couple of hours. The whole time I get a chance to catch up with everyone and have a laugh. My favorite part, they all still see me as the kid I used to be. They don't see me as anything else but I can see how proud everyone is of what I have accomplished. It is almost as if I walk into a room of adoptive Dads! I will share my embarrassing, first time banks ring game moment now. When I was around 11, I decided I wanted to try it out. My first shot was a cross-side bank. I walked up, ready to shoot, thinking I was just going to fire it in...I called my shot...Cross-eyed. hahaha. I still don't live that one down!

The rest of the week has been dedicated to catching up at work and also doing everything I can to promote myself for the upcoming pool season. Sure, I blog at work, that is no secret. Sorry momboss! There aren't enough hours in the day to do everything!

Also this week, a nice snow storm decided to hit the midwest. I'm not sure if I have said it before, but there is NO use for snow in Illinois! We don't have any mountains, hills, anything that we can use to make snow fun. To go sledding in my town, we go to the golf course. Otherwise, just thank the snow for making a mess of your car, house, clothes, ugh! Since this storm came on Wednesday and Thursday it put a damper on my plans to head to Wisconsin for the Olympia Open III. The roads in central and northern Illinois were closed yesterday. So, we missed the 9ball tournament. Don't worry, I promised to be there and I will be. I am leaving work early today to make the trip up to Oconomowoc, WI to play my favorite game, barbox 8ball. Yep, that is sarcasm! Last year I met a lot of cool people and I hope to catch up with them and meet some more cool people this year! There are two streets hidden somewhere in here...

So lastly, the t-shirts. I have sent the design off and I am hoping they are ready next week. Thank you all for your help with the design. I had a lot of feedback via comments, Facebook, and email. I really appreciate it. I have narrowed it down to design 3 (surprise, surprise) but now I am stuck on the color. Keep in mind this design is going to be cleaned up. Let me know which you like better. Do guys like purple?? The design is going to be on the back of a black t-shirt. On the front, over the left side of the chest will be my autograph, nickname, and website. What do you think?

Thanks again everyone! I have received a lot of emails and Facebook comments and messages regarding the article. I really mean it when I say that I couldn't have done much of anything without everyone that reads here and follows along with what I do. You guys have built me up when times are tough and helped me enjoy the good times. I can't wait to start this year!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I am trying to come up with a new Heartbacker design for 2010. I have it down to three designs so far. I would like to know what everyone thinks. I realized that I will hopefully have a lot of return Heartbackers so I had to come up with something other than an autographed cueball. I have decided on Tshirts. If you donate $25 and up, you will receive a Heartbacker t-shirt. That means if you donate, please be sure that your paypal account has the correct mailing address and you include your shirt size.

Here we go. Please use your imagination on colors. The pictures are rough sketches that my dad did for me last night.

Option 1: Keeping it simple.

Option 2: Keeping it pool related.

Option 3: Matches my wrist tattoo and is my personal favorite.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! I can't wait to start the year and start the Heartbreaking and Heartbacking for 2010!!

I just got my invite to return to Taipei, Taiwan for the Amway Cup, March 1-7, 2010. I would appreciate the help to get there, but even if you can't donate, kind words and encouragement help too!

Also, my friends at Billiards Digest were kind enough to send me a picture of the January cover. I can't wait to read the story. It should be up on the website tonight or tomorrow! Thanks to Billiards Digest and Mike Geffner for doing the story.

My other piece of exciting news, PoolDawg has decided to keep me on for another year! That means that the Monday trivia will continue and the discount code ROUSEY will still save you 5% on your purchases! Thank you PoolDawg!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas, New Years, Thank You's and Trivia!

I had a little hiatus for the holidays. I hope everyone had a great holiday season, got all the gifts they wanted and partied safely!! I had a true adventure for my holiday season!

It all started on December 21st when Jason and I went to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for Christmas. For those of you that don't know, my boyfriend of about five years is Canadian and from Winnipeg. He hadn't been home to see his whole family for the holidays in about four years. I had never experienced Canada in the winter time, especially not a place referred to as "Winterpeg". After a little delay due to some customs issues, we were finally on our way. I forgot to mention, I was sick yet again, bronchitis to be exact. Now I had the full experience, family, cold weather and sickness...what a combo! Here is a look from the car...
I didn't take a ton of pictures, but I did have a great time. Since I was sick we didn't get to go along on an ice fishing trip. That kind of upset me because I have never even been fishing, let alone ice fishing. Jason's brother and his girlfriend went and brought back a couple of fish. I don't have the gross pictures to prove it, but I got to learn how to gut a fish and fry it. Wow, is fresh pickerel, aka walleye, delicious! I never knew how many parts of a fish you can cook! I got to learn how to play a lot of new card games and board games and most of all learn the power of getting to know people. We sat around and told stories and caught up...of course there was beer consumption since that seems to be the Canadian way!

One thing that I am really glad I got to experience is stick curling. As an American, I kind of laugh every time curling is on TV during the Olympics. It looks ridiculous, I mean sweeping ice to get a tea kettle into place...that surely can't be fun. I was so wrong! Jason's dad took us curling on Christmas night. The first thing I didn't know is that the rocks, tea kettles to me, weigh about 30 pounds! The second thing, sweeping is really hard. It was my first time being on ice of any kind, of course besides the kind I tend to fall on during the winter. I had so much fun and we won! Do I look like a pro??
Here we are after our victory!
On the 28th we headed back to Chicago...or at least we thought. Due to the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas, the customs agents were really strict. They gave Jason a hard time about spending time in the United States. It was really an awful experience! I ended up heading home and he got to spend a few extra days in Canada. But we were back together on New Years Eve!!

I'm sure everyone thinks that I am some wild party animal and that New Years would be my day to shine. That would be so far from the truth! For New Years Eve we had family time with my family. We had a night of eating, board games, TV watching and pajama wearing. We were a lazy bunch of Rousey's! It was nice to spend time with my family for the end the year.

Here is where I would like to say thank you to everyone. My sponsors, PoolDawg and MezzUSA. Without you guys life would have been much tougher. I got a chance to experience some new things, meet new people and do some hard work! I look forward to working with you again in 2010!

I have to give a huge, huge, huge thank you to all of the Heartbackers. Without all of you, I wouldn't have been able to do anything this year. I wouldn't have been able to travel the world and fulfill my dream of playing on the worlds stage. Thank you all so much! I am coming up with a new logo for the 2010 Heartbackers and it will be ready soon. If you would like to donate, it would be greatly appreciated! I will come up with new gift ideas as well. Like I have said before, I can't thank everyone enough!

I also have to thank all of the readers of this blog. It has been almost a year and tons of fun. It has given me a release when I am feeling up and when I am feeling down. I looked today and I saw that I had nearly 25,000 hits in 2009! Thank you all for sticking with me, checking in on me and sometimes checking up on me! It really means a lot and I can't wait to keep the entertainment going in 2010.

And now, what was supposed to be the final trivia question of 2009, but got delayed until now. This will require doing a little bit of work. It involves the map that can be found at the bottom of the blog. It is totally filled out with everywhere that I have gone in the world in 2009. The winner of this trivia will win a $25 gift code to PoolDawg! A big thanks to PoolDawg for allowing this trivia to happen every week! Now for the question: What are the places I visited outside of the United States in 2009(please list the city and country)?? How many places within the United States did I play in tournaments??

I would also like to know what you guys would like to learn about, read about, see pictures of, etc. I know I did that before then slacked off. I will go back to answer those as well. I like the feedback and would like to know what everyone likes to know or wants to know.

Thank you everyone for a great 2009 and I'm looking forward to an even better 2010!!