Last Sunday saw the first event on the 2006 Scottish American Pool Players Association tour, which took place at Riley’s, Kirkintilloch. It was an enjoyable day with plenty of SAPPA debutants at the event, but playing-wise, it wasn’t that good a day. As usual, the tournament was 9-Ball, Double Elimination until the last 16 when it would change to a Single Elimination to find the winner. The matches were race-to-6 on the winners’ side and race-to-5 on the losers’ side.

My first match was against Billy Edmond of Glasgow, a cracking UK 8-Ball player who has just made the switch to the big table. My problems started in the first rack when the bottom right-hand corner pocket decided to spit a ball out at me. I played the shot perfectly down the rail, had perfect position on the next ball, but it wouldn’t fall! It happend – at the same pocket – twice more during the match. In all, that one pocket cost me 3 racks in that match and sapped any confidence I had in that table. I lost, horribly, 6 – 1.

Next match up, my first in the Losers’ Bracket, was against Alan Stewart, a pal of mine from Stewarton who was playing in his first SAPPA event. I managed to capitalise on a few mistakes that Alan made and won the match by 5 racks to 1.

Next up was John Ward of Glasgow, who I’ve played a few times and the matches are always enjoyable. It was close up until about 3-3, but I made a couple too many errors and allowed John to take the match 5 racks to 3. Even though I lost, I was still happy with my play – especially one shot that allowed me to tie the match up at 3 each. With the cueball no more than ½ an inch from the top rail, i had a dead-straight shot on the 5-ball, which was situated half way down the table. If I had played it with a level cue, the cueball would have followed the 5 into the pocket – there was no escaping it. So, I took a chance, raised the butt end of the cue and pocketed the 5-ball, stopping the cueball dead in its tracks. I managed to finish off the rack to tie the match up, but that one shot gave me more of a boost in confidence than any other shot I’ve played recently. Sadly for me, my tournament ended with this match as I made a couple of unforced errors allowing John to go through by 6 racks to 3.

After that, I played Martin “Blue Suede” Hughes at, firstly, 10-Ball (9-Ball with one extra ball) and then American 8-Ball, each match for £5. I was lucky enough to win them both but we sadly had to abandon the 9-Ball match (for another £5) as my transport was leaving! Maybe we’ll be able to play next time we see each other.

You can read the official report on the tournament, including who won, at The next tournament is in Riley’s, Stirling on 12 February. Maybe see some of you there?

The Cardman 🙂

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