Pool Ladder/Layout Wreckage

Joined a pool ladder at work, which is pretty cool.  The match format is first to win 2 out of 3 games of 8-ball.  The way it works is you sign up at the bottom of the ladder.  Then you can challenge either the person above you or the person two rungs above you.  If you win, you move up to their spot and push them and all below them down a rung.  If you lose, nothing changes on the ladder (and you can’t challenge again for 1 day I think).

I think it’s a great idea.  Somewhat informal, but still gives you a taste of organized competition.  I have been thinking about joining a pool league, so this is actually a good baby step in that direction.  I’ll get to play several different players I would normally probably never play (although to be honest, the talent level at work is a bit low overall).

So, I won the first match 2-0, won the second match 2-1.  Both were against people I had never played (or met) before.  I played pretty poorly I thought in both.  Missed several shots I should have definitely made.  I also made an observation in these games.  I learned during the game that layouts can change dramatically after you miss.  It’s important to note that my opponents are not the most skilled players.  This is not to knock them, but it makes a difference because they are hitting the balls with some abandon, whereas a more skilled player would be less likely to move balls around so much.  In retrospect, this observation is obvious, but it was somehow surprising and a bit frustrating during the game to see my opponent wreck the layout and send balls flying all over the table.  So it’s vital to run out as many as you can during your initial attempt, because once you miss and your opponent has a turn, your plan is no longer valid.  One minute you are working through a juicy layout with a strategy in mind for most of the balls, then you miss…and the next thing you know, your balls are knocked all over the table and likely end up in clusters, etc.  This adds to the frustration of missing.

So, best advice, make the damn shots when you’re supposed to!

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