Greg Whitehead - Billiard GregSo today happens to be my 33rd birthday that I find myself reflecting on past matches played and looking forward to future matches. The top performer award I have been lucky enough to receive three times so far in previous sessions. First time was in the Gardner area where I was able to get the top gun for the 9 ball team that I was a part of. Unfortunately the person running the area only had the mindset to print a cheap paper certificate from the printer. The next 2 came in 2011 for 8 ball. First one was in the beginning session of the year and the second was the last session of the 2011 year, I received two nicely engraved plaques for these top performer achievements.

Since then my average for wins has been around my average of 60 percent give or take 10 percent on any given night. Last Thursday I was able to play half of the matches for my 9 ball team by playing my 9th match out of a 18 week session. Before that night I was 7 wins out of 8 matches which was barely in first place with the next person below me having a 9 wins out of 11 matches played. In order to keep my top gun spot I needed to win this last match and end the season with a 8 wins out of 9 matches. I played a 4 and was able to pull out a win against him ensuring me the top performer spot for the session. This area is better than the Gardner area APA where they give you an engraved plaque with your name and session information. So I am looking forward adding this plaque to my collection.

Not only was I in the running for top performer for my Thursday night 9 ball team but I also had a perfect record for my Wednesday night 8 ball team. I had played quite a few high ranked players whose skill levels where 6's and 7's. Amazing not only them but also myself of how my game has improved over the years as I can remember 6 or 7 years back where I was a 3 or a 4. Where I had so much to learn about the sport and I still feel even with my skill I have plenty more to learn. So going into the 18th week of a 18 week session I had a record of 8 wins for 8 matches. So I needed to play one more to remain in the running for the top performer for this night. As I was currently in first with a perfect record the next person below me had 9 wins for 10 matches played so I had to win to keep my top performer spot. Not only did I need a win but my skill level got bumped up to a 7 for the first time in 8 ball. I was a 7 in 9 ball for short period of time. My team had a hard time making numbers with me as a 6 so we had to make sure our 4's and our 3 was there tonight so I could play. Thankfully we where able to get 2 of our 3 skill level 4's to show up and our 3 was there as well so we where able to play the following skill levels: 7 5 4 4 3 so we could remain at the 23 skill level limit rule. I ended up playing a good 5 from their team which meant I needed 5 wins before he got to his 3 wins. First game he ended up giving me the game by having an early 8. We both played well at towards the end I needed one game and he needed two games where he won again to bring it to the hill or rubber game. I get down to the 8 ball and he has 3 balls left and I leave myself a 110 degree cut shot on the 8 ball that should have been a relatively simple shot but I let my nerves get to me and I under cut it and the 8 hits a few inches before the corner pocket. Giving him a pretty open table with 3 balls left on his home table. He attempted a cut into the side pocket and misses the shot and the cue ball starts rolling towards the corner pocket. It drops giving me a ball in hand on the 8. It was a well fought match between two good players and I was able to pull out the win. Giving me a session ending record of 9 wins for 9 matches.

I was able to accomplish something that shows what level my game could achieve if my consistency would improve. I have achieved getting the top performer spot for both 8 ball and 9 ball in the same session. So not only am I adding one top performer plaque for 9 ball but I am also going to be adding another 8 ball plaque to the two that are currently hanging from my wall. Having done both in one session is a great achievement in my amateur pool playing career. I am looking forward to setting more goals with regards to my game to try to challenge myself even more and make myself a better player. Thank you to the great players that I have played and racked many times for to learn from and improve my game. I am sure there will be many more that I will learn much from. Hopefully I will also be one of those players that some people will learn from as well. Until next time may your aim be true and your leaves be what you are looking for.

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