Surprise Shark Attack

Matchmaker Mary Pool League- Shark attack on landVegas or bust. The catch phrase is used when people are fully invested in reaching a destination. So much so, they will either succeed or go broke trying. Last weekend, my 9-ball pool league played in the city tournament in Birmingham, Alabama. Our goal? Make it to Vegas, but we were busted by a surprise shark attack.

You see, we finished first place at the end of our regular season and then went on to beat two teams in the City Cups Tournament.   We were thrilled to be one of 64 teams competing in the League Team Championship. If we won in our bracket of 16 teams, we would get an all-expense-paid trip to Las Vegas, NV to play in the National Team Championships this August.  Forget the trip, the prestige of winning alone, makes those tickets to Vegas a big deal. Vegas or bust, baby, Vegas or bust!

We played all day Saturday and all day Sunday and made it to the finals. We were one win away from that trip. I could already see myself sipping my favorite cocktail at the roulette table.

In pool tournaments, there is a time limit on play time, and if you have not started your 5th match by the 3-hour mark, your team goes into Sudden Death.  When my team hit Sudden Death, it was a close game, but we put in one of our most experienced, highest ranking players to take on a much more junior opponent.  Sure enough, before long, the score was 52 to 6.  We only needed 3 more points and we’d be boarding that plane!

And, then……the unthinkable happened. Our junior opponent went on a run and started knocking balls in pockets.  It was a “shark attack” that came out of nowhere. The next thing we knew, both teams only needed 3 points to win the game.  The 9 ball was still on the table, meaning the team to sink the 9 ball in a pocket would win the match. You guessed it – our baby shark opponent rallied and scored the win for his team.

Matchmaker-Mary-Pool Shark attack on land

We were devastated. We had purchased our tickets, packed our bags, boarded the plane, and our “flight” had been cancelled. We’d hit bust. Here’s the funny thing: the name of our team is “Put Me in Coach”.   That’s “Put Me In, Coach” as in “I want to play – put me in the game.” But, it could have also meant “Put Me in Coach” as in “Put me on that airplane!”   Clearly, The Universe missed our boarding call.

There’s still a chance for us to make it to Vegas – we’ve got the 8-ball tournament coming up. I wonder if it’s too late to change our team name and print new t-shirts. I’d like to suggest that we consider changing it to: “Put Me In First Class!” Maybe then, The Universe will  give us priority boarding…..

Win or lose, one thing’s for sure: I’m on a first-class team and I’m proud no matter what!

pool shark attach on land

Happy Monday,