Flat Top Johnny's, April 16th, just home and it still smarts: WLL. Beat Ed 5-1, giving him two on a race to five; lost to Tenzin 3-1, giving him three on a race to 6; lost to Wong, yes Wong, AGAIN, level on a race to 3 but we "forgot" and made it a race to 5 anyway.
What can I say? As usual, against an opponent who wasn't putting me under a lot of pressure but wasn't falling apart, I appeared brilliant. Against Tenzin I should have run out in the second game -- a perfect length-of-the-table stop shot on the 7, just take the 8 with a bit of inside English -- and dogged the 8. He got that, I got the next, in the next I managed an amazing positional shot 5 to 6, guiding the white between the 8 and 9 to end up perfect; great 6 to 8; good 8 to 9; and left the 9 in the jaws. So that was that. Against Wong, he threw two away, then I threw four away and didn't throw two away, so it went hill-hill. I tried to get the 2 in the side, it bounced back and hooked him; he came off the side rail onto the 2 and comboed the 9 in. Nothing I could do but watch for the long fractions of a second while it hung on the edge of the pocket deciding whether to let me come round the table and take the easy combo that was left. He even called it. He kindof apologised but it didn't really count as apologising. It didn't have to. It was a great shot.
Dogging too many shots. And although I am hitting high, high peaks of performance consistently, I am relying on inspiration. Tonight in particular I was letting myself get swept away with how great I was on the low-stakes balls and then suddenly going "wait, something serious is happening" on the high-stakes balls. As always, the prescription is more focused practice, more awareness of my stroke, more games (three of a tough shot in a row) that help me learn to handle the pressure.
I can be an A player in the FTJ rankings. I can be a B+ in Marc Dionne's. It's just a matter of focusing without overfocusing.