Ahhh, its been a busy time since I got back from the Mosconi Cup. Right after getting back, it was off to upstate NY to hang with Rack Star and WPBA pro Jennifer Barretta at Turning Stone. Since it takes me forever to write anything, I asked Jenn to help me out. Here's the recap J-Bar style:
My best experience so far as a Rack Star was not the calendar photo shoot, or the Amsterdam Billiards launch party, or even being interviewed by various magazines and websites. It was getting to spend an entire week with Frank himself at Turning Stone Resort for the year end Joss event.
Frank first arrived at Amsterdam via Tony Robles in a big brown box. I promptly took him home and cut him loose. The first thing I noticed were the detailed instructions inside the box. I thought it was going to be a weekend of hard partying, but I soon realized that being Frank's keeper was a big responsibility.
I couldn't fit the box in my suitcase, so I carried him New York style. In a small shoulder bag with a cozy blanket, or in this case, bubble wrap.
We drove up the palisades parkway, and I let Frank sample the fresh New York air.
Once we arrived at Turning Stone, we saw that they were in full holiday swing, with Christmas trees, holiday decorations and a giant gingerbread village. I'm sure it was against the rules, but I let Frank sneak in for a little walk.
From there it was into the practice room. I like to get in a good warmup on the first day, and really get acclimated to the conditions, but Frank had other ideas. Like trying to recruit Dawn Fox, Brittany Bryant and Katherine Fairchild to become new Rack Starz. At least he has good taste.
I was surprised how many players had no idea who Frank was, one of them being Joss tour director Mike Zuglan. At first he said there were no dogs allowed in the arena, but when I explained that I was traveling with pool royalty he quickly became star struck.
For every tournament I play in, I always come away with a valuable lesson, and this one was no different. My lesson came during a live stream match to get into the money round.
I was dominating my opponent and playing great pool, when out of nowhere he broke in 2 nine balls in a row and lucked two safeties, which cost me the match, and more importantly the $300 that I was hoping to use to buy last minute Christmas gifts. The lesson is this...sometimes in pool you do almost nothing wrong and still lose. You can't beat yourself up over it. To become a great player you will first have to win and lose every way possible. One more painful loss down, unlimited thousands to go.
And thankfully, Frank made it home, corkscrew tail and all.