Monday, 14 March 2011

First gb9 event of 2011

I attended the first Gb9 ball tour event in Daventry where I finished 5th in the Pro event and 3rd in the main event. To be fair I know a 5th and a 3rd are pretty consistent results but I expected to get to atleast one final out of the two events if not win one. I actually lost to the winners of each tournament who were on fire but have to say was very unlucky in the main events semi final. However it is not that easy thesedays as we all know. The tour now has alot of great cueists from all over the U.K and everyone has to be treated with respect. The Pro event especially has the countries finest players and there are no easy draws so you have to be on your game to do well. Anyway I cant complain, I was told that I was the highest money earner on the GB 9 ball tour since it started so that brought a little smile to my face.
The tournament itself was plain sailing as usual with no problems along the way apart from 1 or 2 tables having a slight roll on them but apart from that the conditions were perfect with the new cloths added the tables were a pleasure to play on. Some people dont realise how much time and effort goes into organising a tour of such magnitude and we should appreciate the hard work that the GB9 team does for us. What I like is that there is always slight improvements made from tournament to tournament and the team always have an open mind asking players what they want and how they could improve the tour. Hats off to you guys!!!

My next event will be the Euro tour in Italy. Its  in Treviso in Venice and it is a beautiful venue I heard. I seem to play good in Italy most of the time after all its where I won my first Euro tour.  I dont know maybe its the pizza and ice cream that gets me excited lol!!!  Memories of that first Euro tour always stick with me because I came through a very tough field. I think I beat Fabio Petroni first then Nick Van den berg then Niels Feijen then Thomas Engert then Ralph Souqet then Thorsten Hohman then I cant remember but it was something crazy like that.
Theres a good pointer for all you pool players out there. When going through a bad patch or preparing for a big match try to visualise and remember the times when you have played exceptionally well or had a great scalp. If you recreate this scenario it should help you perform alot better.

Shoot good guys and as always.........May the rolls be with you!!!!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Hi guys, had the pleasure of attending this years Mosconi Cup on my doorstep in London. It was actually the first time I had been to the Mosconi at Bethnall Green. What a great atmosphere, the crowd were fantastic chanting and singing songs for the whole four days relentlessly. It brought back alot of memories from when I played the Mosconi Cup myself in Holland which was great too. The event itself was good to watch because there were alot of twists and turns in alot of matches. Up untill 6-6 both teams were pretty evenly matched but Dennis Hatch made a school boy error not to run out with 2 balls remaining against Appleton at hill hill. For me this was the turning point and from then on we got alot of inspiration from this mistake and went on to win pretty comfortably. Well done again to the European squad !!!

Recently I played 2 gb9 ball tour events in Blackpool. I came 3rd in both events.....not bad but expected to win atleast 1 event. Its a bit harsh losing in 2 semi-finals but my opponents had to play well to beat me because I was playing some top quality pool. My next international event will be the 9 ball Paris Open in the middle of January 2011 followed by a Euro tour event also in Paris in February.

I have a new practise base in my home town which is the recently converted Mist Gentlemans club in Hounslow where I live. This club has alot of history behind it going back to the old highway men days......remember Dick Turpin the high way man who was very famous known for his looting and robberies. The club was a snooker club even in those days called Lucania and had some great snooker players. It then was bought out by Rileys who kept it for a long time until it was bought by the current owner Pali who called the club Demons keeping the snooker and American pool theme. Now Pali has embarked on his new venture......a gentlemans club. The whole layout and design of the place has changed and when I walked in on the opening night it was a bit of a shame not to see a snooker club anymore because thats where i grew up playing and had become part of the furniture. Yes it was a bit emotional because I had spent years and years there playing for hours on end. However look on the bright side which I always do Pali kept a Brunswick Gold Crown 5 there which is in superb condition and plays great. Yes a pool table in a gentlemans club. An interesting new environment to practise in to say the least. It is quite good because it has been sectioned off from the rest of the club to give it some privacy. The occasional model wearing next to nothing comes round now and then asking me if i want a drink which is pleasant on the eye. The missus isnt too happy about my new playing environment but thats life what can i do....wink wink... lol!!!
Race to 9 for a lap dance anyone lol!!!!!!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Hi Guys just got back from Sarajevo Open. Was a great comp even better than last year and recommend it to everyone for next year. As far as I know everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event because the hospitality was great and the hotel and equipment used was superb. There were no complaints what so ever and the organisers asked us to make some suggestions to make the tournament better for next year but we were all lost for words. We were all pleased for Ralph who eventually won the event because he hadnt won a tournament for a few months and had been in a purple patch. I came 9th place and was a bit dissapointed because have been playing well having won two consecutive GB9 ball tournaments and a 3rd place in the Swiss Open which I feel I should have won aswell. But anyhow you must take the rough with the cant win em all as they say. Although the feild as a whole was'nt that strong apart from a select few it was a good warm up tournament for the US Open which starts next week. I fly out on Thursday morning with the other British guys. Looking forward to go to the States because there is always alot of action going on in the local pool room if you are not playing a tournament match. Keep you to you soon guys.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The Maharaja trounces the field at gb9ball tour!!!

Yipeeee!! Was nice to win the main event at the Daventry tour stop. It was a good final between me and the young gun from Scotland Jason Shaw who looked to be in great form. I started slow and Jason took a good lead running most of his racks at the beginning of the race to 11. He looked very confident and in good stroke after beating Mark Gray from being behind in the semi finals. I knew I had my work cut out and had to play well to keep up with Jason because he was breaking very well sometimes making 3 to 4 balls thus getting easy runouts. Luckily I kept up with him and pounced on a few of his mistakes during the middle of the set. Once I got in front I think it was 8-7 I always manged to keep a 1 to 2 rack advantage prevailing with a 11-9 final scoreline. At 10-9 to me, I hook Jason and he kicked out of the snooker well and left me a long 7ball which barely went past the 8 into the top left hand pocket. As I got down on the shot I knew this was for the title so I got back up and realligned my shot just to make sure of the seven because it was a difficult shot and just about went past the 8. The pressure was on and I  put everything into that 7 ball hitting it perfect and leaving me plum on the 8 to get to the 9. Phew!!! it was over but a gallant effort from the young Scot. Overall a solid performance from me and was nice to hit some good form again winning another main event title to add to my other four which I won consecutively in 2009. Sorry had to boast about that lol!!!

Congratulations to Phil Burford for winning the pro event and Shane Appleton for winning the Challenge. Both looked to be in good form especially Phil who beat the likes of Mark Gray 9-4 and Raj Hundal with the same scoreline in the final.  
A big thanks goes to the Gb9ball tour and all its helpers for putting on another great event at the Daventry Barcelo where the venue is top notch and the staff are very friendly and helpful. Guess I like Daventry, two  trophies in two stops...not bad eh! Looking forward to the next event in Blackpool which is a nice venue aswell.
Back to 10 ball now because am training for The Sarajevo Open which starts next week in Bosnia. It was a good tournament last year with an excellent venue and perfect equipment. I lost in a close match in the semi-finals so am looking to go one better this time around. A couple of  days after Sarajevo I fly off to the US Open in Virginia so its back to 9 ball. The US Open is an important event for me because if I win it I most likely will be selected for the Mosconi Cup team in December. Am in good form so look to put in a good performance at both events....if not win them.......keep you posted.

Remember........the more tournaments you play........the easier they will become!

The Maharaja.................Back to winning ways!!!!!!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Played the Swiss Open this weekend. It was a good event played in Gstaad with a tough European field. I came third place losing 9-8 to the eventual winner Dominic Jentsch an up and coming German player. Gotta say he was luckier than me but played solid overall. Feel that it was my event after Souqet and Feijen were out but missed an easy 3 ball taking my eye of it at hill hill in the semi finals.........ouch!!! guess I took it for granted and rushed it a little.......ugh!!!! Valerie next door could have made that ball lol!!  Anyway I like to take the positives out of any bad situation and overall a pretty good performance but dissapointed not to get to the final. However showed some very good form on the table and won some tough matches with prolific scorelines.
Was suppose to be in China right now for the China Open but a sponsor let me down so had to alter my plans.....gutted!!  I will now be attending the GB 9ball tour event in Daventry this weekend and hope to do some damage!!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Played in two competitions lately. Both were handicap tournaments where I was playing off -3 which means I have to win 3 extra racks than my opponent. The first one was the New Total 9ball tour and I came 5th place. Not bad but not great. Playing in a handicap tournament is a different mind set than playing off level. I feel that my opponent feels much stronger when recieving a handicap rather than playing a top player on level terms. This obviously makes it harder for me but is good match practice so I dont mind. The only thing that was mind boggling was the lack of entries. Now the tournaments are more open because of a handicap system being implemented we seem to be getting less entrants whereas in effect it should be the other way around. Come on guys lets support these tournaments a little more.....they can only help your game.

The other tournament was the Predator 10 ball masters at Barnsley. Its always a good event at Barnsley because the staff are very friendly and helpful plus the equipment used always pretty good. I came 5th place in the event but had some pretty close tough matches along the way and the guy who beat me played very good.
My next tournament will be the Swiss Open in Gstaad and is a 10 ball event which has a tough European field. I think the smaller events I have been playing in have put me in good match play mode so hopefully I will put in a good performance at the event if not win it.
Gotta go now because as you might know from my previous posts its Tuesday and its babysitting day and my baby nephew is fast asleep....thank god!! Have found a secret weapon when babysitting my nephew which is Rap music especially 50 cent or Snoop Dog. The little devil is as good as gold if I pump some rap tunes...dont ask why, maybe hes a rapper in the making. Valerie the oap next door gets a bit angry when the music is too loud so have to be careful.  Am getting better at nappy changing by the way. There is a system for everything.....just like playing a bank shot or a kick. Practice makes perfect as they say just like a pool player.
Shoot well guys and may the Rolls be with you!!!!!

 The Maharaja.................Elephants are ready to trample and crush and the tigers are hungry to attack!!

Friday, 3 September 2010

You learn something new everyday and yesterday I learnt that when you are swimming, if you keep your head under water you can go alot faster. This has increased my swimming speed substantially and am alot more aerodynamic in the water........watchout Nemo!
Anyway back to pool. I played a few sets with a friend yesterday and won 4 sets giving up some weight. I was cueing pretty well and only missed 1 ball that I shot at in 4 sets....not bad.
Have some big events coming up such as China Open and US Open so am trying to play as much as I can.
Taking a break from pool is also important now and then because one can get exhausted and almost bored from the game. However on the other hand not playing enough also has its effects so it is important to find a nice balance between the two. If you dont play for a couple of weeks you can lose muscle memory where the muscles in your arm forget how to execute certain shots so it is important to stay in stroke on a pretty regular basis.
Going to Solihull tomorrow to enter the first event of the Total 9ball series. The event is handicapped and I would be on -3 racks racing to 8. I think I will be giving most players a handicap but it will be good match practice and am looking forward to it. Let you know how I get on.
Playing tournaments wether big or small can only help your game. The more tournament experience you have under your belt, the better.
How many times have you heard ' Oh I was flying in practice and did'nt miss a ball but when I got to the tournament the wheels fell off '. Its beacause he was'nt used to playing in tournaments or needs to play alot more of them. You will find that the more tournaments you play in, the easier they will become. The pressure of playing in tournaments will become less and less and you can eventually let your natural and best game come out when you have alot of tournament experience behind you.