Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oh The Sleepless Nights!

So I would say what day it is here at Derby City, but I'm not exactly sure!! All I know is that it has been action packed. As we speak I am sitting at the Action Report booth typing this. I'm watching a $2,000 one pocket set.

I would like to say that I got to see the epic Reyes/Van Boening match, but I didn't. Of course I picked way the wrong time to decide that I needed sleep. By the time I woke up the score was something like 13-12 and there was a 0% chance of squeezing my way into the room to watch. I could hardly even get score updates in the hallway. People were standing on chairs and if the ceilings were higher I'm sure they would have been standing on chairs with people on their shoulders! Everyone should buy this dvd from TAR. From what I heard, it was unreal! I won't ruin the ending.

Otherwise, I was in on a match that lasted a very long time...30 hours. There has been every kind of action here. People teaming up and playing kind of tag team matches, doubles matches, one pocket, games with huge spots and games that are too close to call...all of this and there are still a few days left!

As for the tournament, I played the one pocket. I'm determined to learn this game no matter how frustrating it is. The draw was messed up for the first round so I got a bye. After waiting a long time I almost overslept my match but got there with about 20 seconds to spare. I got a little lucky and won that one. My next one, no luck there. It was a pure showing of how bad I play one pocket. The match lasted maybe 20 minutes! The nine ball, well, as I said before there was a 30 hour match...I watched about 28 of the 30 hours and finally crashed after about 38 hours of no sleep. I'm sure you can see what I'm getting to when I say that, I missed the first two rounds of the nineball tournament. My advice for coming to DCC, pick action or tournament. It is nearly impossible to be a part of both!

And now to my own action, I've made a few friendly wagers on some other matches and I have played a little big myself. I got the pleasure of playing Neils Feijen's girlfriend, Kathrine. She is a good player in Europe. I needed the practice badly and she is a tough competitor. I ended up a little bit ahead at the end of the day and have to say it was the toughest $100 I've ever won! Hopefully I can get something going.

For everyone at home, if it makes you feel better, I think we are all going to be stuck in this casino! The weather is absolutely horrible! It is so bad that the casino employees can't even make it to work. All but one of the restraunts are closed, two floors of the casino are closed and the only people gambling in the casino are pool players! The place would be closed without us all here.

So now it's about 6 am and I have to go check out whats going on in all of the many rooms of action! I don't want to sleep until I have to, I might miss something!!

Sorry still now pics. I will get them up as soon as I'm using my own computer.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Derby City Day 2 (for me at least)

I'm sure everyone already knows that the Derby City Classic is one of the main events of the year. I'm not sure how exactly to describe this all. If you want a game, no matter what level or game, you will find it. Everyone has been saving up all year to say they played, gambled, or attended the DCC.

Many people have been asking about the new venue. I have to say it is a very nice place, but very spread out. I am definitely getting my exercise between walking to the room and back and walking through all of the different tournament rooms. I would have to say there are at least 10 tournament rooms. Some of them have two tables, others have ten. Lots of places for the sharks to lurk!

I got here a bit late so the whole thing is just starting for me. I have so far spent most of my time in The Action Report booth. I'm sure everyone is tired of hearing my squeeky voice already but hey, it is the best seat in the house! So far the action has been pretty light compared to DCC standards. Things are looking up though with a rumored Shane Van Boening/Efren Reyes match. If that goes off...look out!

As for me, I'm playing in the one pocket event (hey, don't laugh, it's the only way to improve!). For those of you that have been to the DCC you know there isn't a set schedule or bracket. You wait for you name to come up on a monitor and look for how long you will wait on your assigned table. For me, I've been waiting so far since name isn't even on the board yet! I'm not complaining because I think that may mean I got a buy first round but it does mean this is going to be a very, very long day.

Other things going on...well, I've had the chance to see a lot of old faces and meet a lot of new ones. I don't talk too much usually, but being here really makes me come out of my shell! If you are reading this and plan on coming up later in the week, please be sure to say hello!

I believe everyone and their mother know about The Action Report, but in case you didn't, tune in! The fun is just beginning and it's guaranteed to run 24/7!

I'll be back with pictures soon.

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's My Anniversary

I know, you are thinking, here she goes being a girly girl. No, you are wrong. Today isn't exactly a Hallmark card anniversary for me. Today is the anniversary of the day my entire life changed. On this day in 1993 I was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. I was 10 years old. This picture was taken about 4 months before I was diagnosed.

As I look back over all of these years I kind of wonder if my life would have turned out the way that it has. Before I was diagnosed I really liked a variety of different things. I kind of wonder if I would have played other sports or maybe even had more friends. You know having something wrong with you at a young age really scares other kids. I got to be the butt of the joke or people thought they could catch Diabetes by being around me. All of this fueled me to play pool.

I really didn't like pool when my dad opened a pool room when I was 8. But when all of this came about, I really found out that I loved it. It helped that it kind of came to me naturally. Ever since I have stuck with it. For many years people didn't realize I had Diabetes. I really tried to hide it from everyone. I didn't want to have excuses for not doing my best.

When I was 20, I had a serious low blood sugar scare, which landed me in the hospital, I decided it was time to get an insulin pump. For those of you that have seen me in person or maybe noticed on TV, it is the small thing in my back pocket (often confused with a cell phone or MP3 player). The pump works as a pseudo-pancreas. I have more flexibility in when I eat and what I eat. Basically, it makes my life easier. When I made this decision I told myself it was time to be an advocate and not be ashamed. I started educating people rather than hiding. It's amazing how understanding people can be when you just let them in.

My advice to anyone dealing with anything like this, don't let it run your life or let your life be defined by your disease.

Of course I have my "Why me?" days or days that things just can't get under control but it's part of life. I always just remind myself that I'm not the only one in the world going through this and there are people out there dealing with things much worse than this.

Well, thats my rant. It feels much better to talk it rather than just sitting here thinking about it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Okay, I'm not begging for donations. I'm happy as long as everyone enjoys reading and participating in this whole experience. However, if you do decide to make a donation I'm offering something in return for your help.

Any donation under $25 will receive an 8x10 autographed picture.

Any donation over $25 will receive an autographed cueball (cueball courtesy of PoolDawg).

Anything that is a ridiculous amount you will get a date with me....haha, just kidding, bad joke.

Thanks to everyone for everything so far. My first week of blogging has really been fun!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


So this is more of a question than me talking about it. I want to know what gets you motivated to play. Lately motivation has been my downfall. Even though there are plenty of tournaments coming up I can't seem to get myself into the whole practice thing. I'm wondering how people get themselves going after they have had to work all day and get everything else in life done?

Usually my motivation is that I hate to lose. It really makes me sick when I play bad and lose matches that I could have easily won.

My other motivation is that I like money, especially winning money...which usually means a bit of gambling. Well, since I am living in my hometown, where pool is basically dead, there hasn't been much of that going on. I kind of feel like I have lost a bit of an edge or maybe a desire to win that I once had.

Last year I had the same problem. Life got tough (or real) and I almost gave up. I kept giving myself one more chance to shape up. I have to admit I kind of got away with not practice way more than I ever should have. Everytime I gave myself that one more chance, I did well. I guess I have to believe that something in my brain was telling me not to quit. I'm doubting that I will get away with this again in 2009.

So to end the year, I got this to remind me of the work and heart it takes to stick with something like pool, something that doesn't pay millions but takes pretty much all of your time to be good. Everytime I look at this, I remember that I can do it and I have the heart....I just need to get my lazy butt motivated!!

Alright, now it's your turn....tell me what keeps you going or gets you going (keep it clean haha).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Music City

So I am officially home from the Bat Cave err.....J.O.B Billiard Club in Nashville. For those of you that haven't been there it is located at 960 Gallatin Ave., Nashville, TN. I would have to say it is one of those pool rooms that you have to visit just to say you were there once in your life. I believe they said the Music City Open has been going on for 22 years.

The only way to describe the style of this pool room is the Bat Cave. There are three seperate rooms, all equally crammed with tables and pool memorabilia. You go down a few stairs to get into the first room and walk into a smoke screen. There are about 10 bar tables and the main action 9ft table has it's own pit. To the left you have another room with 10 or so more bar tables and a set of bleachers. Those bleachers are pretty historic. They have seen 21 champions crowned. This year was a bit different, the lower room of the building which previously had all 9ft tables was converted to a bar table tournament/league room. Another set of bleachers (which were full for most of the weekend) line the wall.

Okay, I know...on to the actual tournament. Thursday night the men's event started. Race to 11, bar box 9-ball. There were 113 men entered. Some of the top names and past winners were Johnny Archer, Jonathan Pinegar (aka Hennessey), Shane Van Boening, Gabe Owen, and the list goes on. All of the usual suspects were hanging around late in the tournament. At about 11pm Sunday night Jonathon Pinegar defeated Chad Vilmont 11-8. I know....such great updates. It was so packed in the place I couldn't get a seat...I only got score updates every so often.

Another thing I missed out on was some of the late night action. Hennessey and Van Boening played a 10 ahead set of even 10-ball on the bar box. From what I heard, they quit even at about 9 am. I have no clue if they were going to continue at a later time or not. Maybe we will see a rematch in Louisville.

Alright....on to the good stuff. In case everyone didn't know, I came into this weekend as the defending champion. What everyone else might not know is that Karen Corr relocated recently to Nashville, TN and is the house pro at JOB's. Twenty-five women entered the tournament, mostly local ladies. I was feeling pretty good considering Karen said she had never played on a bar table before and she was really confused. So three rounds in we met up....

In my head I was thinking "well, maybe I'm the favorite, she hasn't been doing this bar table stuff long." Well, thats what I get for thinking! We both played alright but in the end it came down to me playing two bad safeties. I lost 7-5. There went my plans for making my way back to the mall. Instead I got to play about 5 extra matches.

After playing Karen I mosied my way on through the losers bracket and sure enough, there we were....a rematch. I felt pretty good even though the table was totally different than the others in the room. I started out pretty strong and got ahead 5-3. The only downside was that I gave away two of the 5 was only a race to 7...oops. Then from there I started making some stupid mistakes and not making a ball on the break (and leaving the table wide open, of course). I got a bit lucky, Karen missed the 4-ball when she was up 6-5. I took my break, composed myself, and came back to run out. Now, my head all I was asking for was to make a ball on the break and get a shot. So the power of positive thinking works but I guess you have to be careful what you wish for. I made a ball, got my shot and a wide open table. Of course I was running out just fine and then just happened to hook myself on the 6-ball. I went for the gusto and missed...leaving her out. So, second place instead of first....I guess I will have to live with it!

<----So here I am, accepting my 2nd place trophy!! Haha..just kidding. Everyone knows I can't keep my eyes open for a picture and I saw this at the Chinese buffet and it totally reminded me of myself!

All in all it was a fun trip. Even though I'm not happy with how I played or the fact that I didn't win, I had fun and I guess that is all that matters. I also decided to finally go out and see some stuff. I went to the Grand Ole Opry...I had to say I was there one time in my life, visited the little aquarium in the mall and saw the Gibson guitar shop.

Geez...enough rambling already!!! Until next time everyone...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Hello Everyone! Welcome to my first attempt at blogging. I've had a lot of people ask me to try this out and I've always been hesitant. I'm sure most of you that are reading this know me from Jimbo Army and AZbilliards so you know I am better at answering questions that are asked rather than just writing about myself and what is going on. it goes.

I guess I'll start by saying (in case you didn't already know) I'm a professional pool player. I have been a Touring Pro on the WPBA since 2003. That year I won the Rookie of the Year award. Since then I've had my ups and downs but things seem to be coming together as of late.

I've been playing pool on and off for about 16 years. I quit a few times to try to be a normal kid and it didn't work out. I guess it was meant to be!

I was born in Bloomington, IL and still live there. I went to college in Elmhurst, IL when I was 17...which ended up leading me to the WPBA. I qualified for my first pro event when I was supposed to be studying.

I try to go to as many events outside of the WPBA events as I can. Don't worry, I will tell you all about them. Right now the countdown is one to a little slice of pool heaven (okay, just 3 weeks of it). This would be known as the Music City Open and the Derby City Classic. I'm going to try to defend my title in Nashville starting this coming friday.

I'm open to suggestions on what everyone wants to know and what everyone thinks needs to be done. I can say the plans I have that I am trying to figure out (I'm a bit blog illiterate). I plan on putting up a map of all of the places I visit this year. Including pictures and descriptions. I usually have my laptop with me at every event (no, not for pleasure, for work) so I can keep everyone updated.

I hope everyone will come back and check up on what's going on!!