Sunday, January 27, 2008

I'm about "pooled out".

I know. Most of my friends will have a hard time believing that, but I have been steadily playing pool for the last two weeks and it's been the center of my existence for the last week, between playing (gambling), watching and talking about pool, I'm reaching overload status.

I've learned a lot and had a lot of fun but I'm actually lookig forward to moving on. Not a lot of CD sales so far but most of my expenses have been covered and it's definitely been worth the trip. Matching myself against these top pro players has been an experience in itself.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I'm done with the tournament part

I got knocked out of the tournament before I could get into the money. What a shock!

I've got some philosophical comments here, comparing the pool world to our entertainment world.

At least an exceptional pool player can count on his talent to take him wherever he wants to go. If it's to be a top professional tournament player, the only obstacle is talent. The same if he wants to be the top gambler.

Musicians, however, have to be in the right place at the right time and be seen/heard by the right person. A great guitar player, songwriter, singer, poet...whatever, may never get anywhere in that field if they don't get lucky.

Another comparison for you. It's not uncommon for John Westbrook or myself to show up at a music show with enough cash in our pockets to give change for the first couple of CD sales. But, we usually do well enough on CD sales, tips and so on that we go home with cash in our pockets.

Pool players probably show up at a major tournament with hundreds; even thousands of dollars in their pockets and wind up borrowing gas money to get to the next tournament! A couple of bad rolls during a big money game can break them in no time.

These tournaments are very much like rodeo in that way. Great talent eventually shows through but there's always a chance of a bad roll or a little bad luck and...BANG...they're gone!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Lost one match but still trying

This has been a great learning experience. I played last night until 4 this morning and left only $20 lighter in my wallet than when I started. With the field of players to gamble with, that was very good! I'll get it back from somebody (maybe the same guy) today and he is planning to buy a CD anyway so I'll get it back that way if nothing else!

Shane Vanboening and Gabe Owen started a One-pocket game yesterday at about noon...for $8000 each! There is the definition of "Cash on the Light". When I left at 4AM, they were still playing and the cash was still on the light. Sometime late this morning (I was in my room, sleeping very well) SVB finally won.

An interesting aside. While I was playing last night (this morning) I caught myself checking to make sure I had enough quarters for my match today. Think about that. Two tables away from me, two of the top players in the world are gambling with $16,000 and I'm checking my pocket change. Different worlds.

While I'm on that "different worlds" theme, I want to examine that a little. Most who are reading this are musicians or entertainers of some kind. Although we often work on a handshake; mostly we live in a world of contracts and guarantees. Many of us have been stung by a talent buyer who doesn't deliver on the verbal promises so we get contracts and so on.

These pro pool players live in a world of maybes and hope. They're hustling in local bars on their way to the next tournament, hoping to make enough for gas money and a motel room. Usually they do fine but once in a while they run into a strong local player and they're in worse shape than when they started. Scrambling for gas money!

I was happy to win $20 or $30 in local bars on my way down here. These guys want to play for hundreds. One wanted to play me for $200 a game. I told him that was my life savings!

Anyway, I'm two matches away from winning a little money in the tournament. I'm doing better than they thought I would, I know. I lost a match today to Josh Johnson. Of course, I have nothing to lose. My car payment doesn't hinge on whether I place in this tournament or not. If I can peddle a few CDs I'll be ok.

Incidentally, the tables next to me were featuring matches with Shannon Daulton, Johnny Archer, Gabe Owen, Cliff Joyner and
Helena Thornfelt. For anyone with an interest in professional pool, this is a great place to be.

More later.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chattanooga, TN

Well, I'm here. It was an interesting drive and we'll see how things go. Normally, I do a concert or show and then sell CDs afterwards. This time, I'm going to have a vendor booth and do one song several times over the weekend. The attention here, of course, is the Pool tournament.

Those of you who are familiar with the pool world will be impressed that I've already met Alex Pagulayan, Cliff Joyner and Shannon Daulton. Also to be here will be Buddy Hall, Johnny Archer and many others of that caliber. It's like doing a concert with Merle or Willie!

I doubt that I'll get to play against any of these guys as they only play for real money and I've never SEEN real money!

I guess the pool hall will be putting my CD on their jukebox today and I will have information and probably a video on sometime today or tomorrow. Inside Pool magazine should also be doing an interview with me. I knew the song was pretty good, but I never expected all this.

Tennessee is pretty, in it's way and I enjoyed the trip out here. I'm very glad that I drove out instead of flying, even though the trip back already looms large in my mind.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Still on the road

I understand that all you guys back in Montana are under a bunch of snow and serious cold. Oh well. Life is hard. I'm in Omaha right now. For THESE people, it's cold and snowy too. I'm thinking of going for a swim!

It's been a while since I made a trip "back east" and some of the things I see here are kind of a chuckle. I have to call my sister and have her turn off the security system before I can come in at night. What a way to live! My house isn't locked right now...I'm not really sure I have a key to it.

I'll be on my way to Chattanooga in a couple of days and then the real fun should begin.

Friday, January 18, 2008

On my way to Tennessee

For those who don't know; I wrote a song called "Cash on the Light" (click on the title for an excerpt) and I have a video of it on youtube.
Shannon Daulton, one of the organizers of the Great Southern Nineball Tour heard it and asked me to come to the tour championships in Chattanooga, TN and play the song live there during their championship tournament January 24-27. so, I got the song recorded on a CD and as soon as the CDs came in I hit the trail for Tennessee. I left Townsend at 10:30AM the 17th with a goal of Cheyenne, WY before I bagged it for the night.
I hit a good blizzard just south of Hardin, MT and it got steadily worse as I kept on heading south. I thought about stopping in Sheridan, WY but figured I'd see if I could at least make Casper. Nope. Here I am in a motel in Buffalo, WY, listening to the wind howl outside and the snow rattle against the window. Hope the Interstate is even open tomorrow!

I know. I've got a week before I have to be in Chattanooga, but I will be stopping along the way, visiting friends and family.
I went out tonight and tried to get a cash pool game somewhere. Lots of guys wanted to play against me but no one would bet on themselves, no matter how badly I shot. I was hoping to at least get som 5 or 10 dollar games but...nothing. So, I'm spending money, not making it.

Anyway, once I get going, I'll keep y'all updated.