One thing about pool that can be frustrating is when you play well and lose. As a younger player this used to be devastating to me. It seemed that if I played well I was supposed to win, no? Well, no, not if your opponent plays well, too. Actually I have an order for my favorite ways to win and lose:
1. Play poorly and win. There’s something to be said about winning a match with your low game. It’s about fighting the inner demons and grinding it out. When I win like this I am seriously proud of myself.
2. Play well and win. This is nice, but generally when you play well you win. Not always, but usually.
3. Play well and lose. If I’m going to lose, this is how I like to go down.
4. Play poorly and lose. This hurts. Especially if your opponent plays poorly, too.
So my tale of the US Open was that I played well and lost. I took a great player to the hill (choked on an 8 ball to close the match due to nerves, but I just have to get used to the pressure again), I lost to a player that played a near perfect match (and I only made 3 mistakes) and I won a match in which I played well. That left me with a 33rd place finish. I’m not disappointed, though. If I keep playing the way I did eventually I will have a good finish to show for it. And, the upside of having a bad tournament is getting to spend time with the girls!