Yesterday after work, I had the opportunity to drive over to Mountain View and visit one of my favorite places in the world: The California Billiard Club (CBC). Located on El Camino Real near I-85, the CBC is only about a ten minute drive from my home. When I moved to California ten years ago, this was one of the first places that I visited. It received an award in 1998 from Billiard Digest Magazine as one of the top pool rooms in America. The room has 30 nine foot Brunswick Gold Crown III tables, eight of which are configured for tournament play.
Yesterday I rolled in having had no breakfast or lunch, so I was hungry. Being the foodie that I am, I’ve always been impressed with their culinary offerings. Most pool rooms only serve drinks, chips, and candy; if you’re lucky, maybe a hot dog or hamburger. Not the CBC! They have an extensive menu. Not only do they serve a variety of hotdogs and hamburgers, but they also serve Philly Cheese steaks, teriyaki chicken rice bowls, vegetarian hamburgers, sausage links, tri-tip sandwiches, salads, and over 40 other mouthwatering temptations. They also serve a variety of soft drinks, beer, and wine. But wait, there’s more! They even serve breakfast! If I didn’t have to work for a living, I would probably just roll in early every morning and shoot pool all day, while at the same time enjoying some great food.
When I walked into the room, I saw that Eddie and Charles were in the middle of what was probably their five-thousandth one-pocket match. Octavio and one of the owners of the room were sitting in the restaurant area watching the duel. I asked the gentleman at the bar for his culinary recommendation: the hot pastrami or the Philly cheese steak sandwich? “Definitely the Philly.” I ordered the Philly and a Sam Adams, then joined Octavio to watch the match. Great sandwich by the way! After finishing off the sandwich, Octavio asked if I wanted to shoot some. “Sure!” We ended up playing three sets of eight ball, each a race to five. Octavio is a pretty good player, and I thought this would be a good test for me as it would require that I get into the zone and really focus in order to have any chance to win. Over the next two and a half hours, we played several racks of eight ball, and we both played relatively well. I ended up winning the first two sets, then lost the third. For me, it was a great mental and emotional victory, as it validated the progress that I’ve made over the last couple of months. I was able to stay in “the zone” for the first hour and a half before I started to fatigue a little mentally. In the first twelve games, I think I only missed about three or four shots. If I wasn’t running the table, I was playing into tight safeties, not leaving my opponent any easily makeable shots. In the latter half of our contest, I starting making some mental and physical execution mistakes, but that’s ok. I’ve captured the issues in my notes (yes, I take notes) so that I can work on them in future practice sessions. I’m coming out of my slump, but I need to be careful not to celebrate too much. The path ahead of me is filled with potholes, and I need to maintain my focus.
And now, it’s time for some Turkey…I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!!