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Monday, November 17, 2008

2008 WPBA Season Comes to an End

I am happy to report that I ended my 2008 season on a high-note, with a 17th Place finish at the WPBA Championships.

I struggled with my game throughout 2008 (mostly mentally) but I am looking forward to a more positive 2009!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Liz on TAR

I'm pleased to report that my 11:45 AM match against Myhahn Lac will be featured on the The Action Report's live streaming coverage of the WPBA Championships. Visit www.theactionreport.com for more info.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Florida

I'm on my way to Florida for the last WPBA event of the year. I wanted to, once again, thank my featured sponsors for bringing me to this event: Dr. Gary C. Borge, DDS; Raxx Pool Room; and Skyline Billiards. I have been training hard for this event and I am striving to end the year on a high note!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Video Up

If anybody missed my appearance on the Discovery Channel's "Time Warp", you can see the video here...

It is intended for the general public and not specifically for pool geeks (myself included), but you can catch a few interesting things, that aren't mentioned in the commentary, if you look closely.

On all the slo-mo shots with spin (backspin, side spin and draw) you can observe the transfer of english from the cue ball to the object ball. It is actually less pronounced than I thought it would be. The "Spinning Stop Shot" (which isn't really useful for anything in a game) does give you a chance to observe deflection and throw.

There was one very interesting thing that the "Time Warp" guys showed me that didn't make it onto TV. When you shoot a masse shot the cue tip actually hits the cue ball twice. The tip rebounds off the cue ball as the the cue ball gets jammed into the slate, and then slams into the cueball again while you are completing your stroke.

If you are not satisfied by this coolness and need a geekier slo-mo fix, check out this and this.

-LIZ

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hey, that's me!

Here's a little promo for "Time Warp" that I just saw on Discovery.

video

Friday, October 31, 2008

Liz on TV!

I will be appearing on the TV show "Time Warp" on The Discovery Channel on Wednesday, November 5th at 8PM (Episode: Samurai Sword Master).

For anyone who hasn't seen this show yet, it is really cool. The take super high-speed cameras and capture everyday events in super slow motion. It is fun to watch, kind of like Animals Close Up, With A Wide Angled Lens only with Physics.

I spent 7 hours on set filming shots for this 5-7 minute segment. I have no idea what it is going to look like, but I am really excited!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

NASCAR Update



Ok, seriously, how cool is Dover Downs Casino and Hotel?

I went down to do a couple of trick shots for the Nascar Budweiser Celebrity Billiards Shootout and they put me and my husband up in this room!

I never really understood the whole NASCAR thing before, having only seen it on TV. From our room we could see, hear and feel how freaking fast these guys are going. We even saw a car spin out and hit the wall. It was pretty cool... nah, it was awesome!

The charity event was a huge success. The fans were great and driver Casey Mears won the tournament and $10,000 for the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.

I want to thank George and Janine for inviting me down and putting on a great event!

-LIZ

Thank You

I will be playing in the WPBA's Pacific Coast Classic at the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City, Oregon from October 1st through the 5th.

I would like to thank the following featured sponsors for bringing me to this event:

Dr. Gary C. Borge, D.D.S


Raxx Pool Room and Cafe


Skyline Billiards

Thanks again for all the support this year!

- LIZ

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NASCAR!


Yeah, that's right NASCAR!

I'm heading down to Dover, Delaware on Friday for the Budweiser Celebrity Billiards Shootout at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. The event is for charity and I am super excited to participate. I can't wait to see the Nascar phenomenon up close and personal.

I am going to rename "The Machine Gun" shot and call it "Put Him into the Wall"

-LIZ

Friday, September 12, 2008

Feeling better.

All right, I'm over my little pity party. Nothing watching a little "Mrs. Doubtfire" couldn't cure.

I'l get 'em next time :)

Ugh

My nerves got the best of me today as I lost to Maureen Seto 9-7 after being up 6-2. My positive energy reserves are pretty low right now - it is easy to play when things are going my way, but faced with adversity I feel very shaky. Yeah, not feeling very good right now... Feeling pretty frustrated :(

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poop

Alas, it was not meant to be as I lost to Dawn Hopkins 9-6. I got my wish and I played much better, pretty fantastic by my standards, but it was not enough to overcome some funny games and good play by Dawn. Tomorrow at 3:15 I play the winner of Lisa D'atri and Maureen Seto.

Update

I won my first match 9-5. I played ok - I hope to play better tonight. I play the winner of Dawn Hopkins and Nicole Albergaria tonight at 9PM.

Carolina Classic

The draw is up for the WPBA Carolina Classic and I will be playing Cathy Metzinger at 11:30 am. I'm really excited to start playing! My goals for this tournament are to control the cue ball on my break and to make a concrete decision before getting down over the ball. I'll be posting updates throughout the event.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thank You

I will be playing in the WPBA's Carolina Classic at the American Tobacco Campus from September 10th through the 14th.

I would like to thank the following featured sponsors for bringing me to this event:

Dr. Gary C. Borge, D.D.S


Raxx Pool Room and Cafe


Skyline Billiards

Thanks again for all the support this year!

- LIZ

New Sponsor!

WPBA Pro Liz Ford Announces Newest Sponsor: Dr. Gary C. Borge, D.D.S.



Photo courtesy of Roberta Case


Dr. Gary C. Borge, D.D.S. of Sacramento, California has signed on to support Liz Ford in her quest to move up the Women's Professional Billiards Association (WPBA) rankings.

I am a long-time fan of the WPBA and I am excited to be able to make a difference in Liz's career” said Dr. Borge. “She has a bright future in the game - she works extremely hard and has a great attitude.”

Liz, a New York City resident, turned pro in 2005 and is currently ranked #34 by the WPBA. She will be representing Dr. Borge at the WPBA Carolina Classic in Durham, NC from September 10th – 14th, as well as at the Predator World 14.1 Championships in East Brunswick, NJ from August 25th - 30th.

Dr. Gary C. Borge, D.D.S. graduated from the USC School of Dentistry in 1989 and served in the U.S. Air Force at McClellan AFB in Sacramento from 1989 -1992. He has been practicing dentistry in the Sacramento area since 1993. As his practice continues to grow he strives to provide the best and most comprehensive scope of dentistry to all of his patients.

For more information about Dr. Borge visit http://www.borge-higginsdental.com

For more information about Liz Ford visit http://www.lizford.net

You're so money...




Thanks to Bill (no pun intended) for pointing out the similarities.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Getting ready to play at Skyline

I'm hanging out in the corner at Skyline billiards in Brooklyn. I'm doing my little pre-tournament meditation and relaxation.

I'm also reflecting upon my upcoming appearance at the world 14.1 tournament. Did you ever notice how most of the metaphors used to describe a defeat by a vastly superior player revolve around meat?

"I got barbecued."
"He skewered me."
"That was a slaughter."

Yeah, I'm feeling a little like dead meat :)

My goals for this week are to learn as much as possible and to maintain the best focus and attitude that I can. And of course to try to avoid being tenderized, marinated, rubbed with coarse salt and fried in a pan.

-Liz

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lots of Stuff Happening


Time Warp

I've just come back from a week on the road where I've been doing some pretty interesting stuff.

First, I went to Boston to do some filming for a Discovery Channel program called Time Warp, which uses high-speed cameras to film events in super slow-motion. They captured me shooting a masse shot, a draw shot and a few other shots. The show should air sometime this fall - I will keep everyone posted!

Thanks again to the cast, crew and producers for a great time!

Getting ready


In action! The super-bright lights they have to use to film at such a high speed are not only blinding but they started to melt the veneer on pool table.





With the cast of the show, Jeff Lieberman (right) and Matt Kearney (top).

photo courtesy of Jeff Lieberman



Then, play time was over and I headed from Boston up to the Turning Stone Classic XI in Verona, NY.

I didn't get the cash this time, but I was very happy with the way I played throughout the event.

Here are some photos courtesy of Bruce Clayton:

Looking very intense


Possibly fouling the 9-Ball, though I didn't realize it at the time...




Zuglan! Thanks, buddy, for another successful event!




- LIZ

Friday, August 1, 2008

Given the Boot :(

Sarah Rousey just have me the old tournament boot, 9-7, after her earlier hill-hill win over Allison Fisher. The girl is playing awesome and I hope she goes all the way.

The Pool Cue News guy should have been there to see our match. He has quite a public crush on the both of us :) Hope he enjoys these pics!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Suicide Watch

After playing well the whole match, I just missed the nine hill-hill against Julie Kelly.

I'm sure I'll get over it someday.

Tomorrow, I play the winner of the loser's side match between Allison Fisher and Sarah Rousey.

Somebody take my belt and shoelaces...

Update

I won my first match, against Belinda Calhoun, 9-4. I played relatively smoothly, with a couple of little mental bobbles.

Tonight, at 7:45, I play the winner of Julie Kelly and Susan Mello.

Let's go!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's On!

The draw has been done and I play Belinda Campos Calhoun in the morning. I am extremely excited to start playing!

Thanks to the folks at the Riverwind Casino and at the Sooner Legends Hotel. They have gone out of their way to make us feel at home.

I'm heading to bed to get a good night's sleep for tomorrow.

Put me in, coach! I'm ready to play!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Crackberry blog test

This is my first attempt at a blog entry from my crackberry. We'll see how it looks.

I'll be updating my blog from the U.S. Open, hopefully from a variety of locations. Right now I am at La Guardia waiting to get on my plane. It is amazing what travel-related boredom can inspire!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Goings Ons



Greetings all -

After taking a much needed week's vacation, I'm back at work! Sometimes a little time off can make all the difference by stripping away the non-essentials from the game and giving you clarity.

I came back feeling great and had a good finish over the weekend at the Jim Murnak/Predator Tour Women's Open. Iris "I hate you, you just play too darn well :)" Ranola and I ended up splitting first place after the tournament ran past 3am.

I'm heading to Oklahoma City for the U.S. Open on Tuesday and I am very excited. I predict a high finish for myself in one of the next three WPBA events - I am starting to get those "special feelings."

I have a new book to add to my list of mental training favorites: "Zen Golf" by Dr. Joseph Parent. I am working on a book report to post because I think this book is pretty special.

-LIZ

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy 4th of July!



No truly American holiday would be complete without some sort of patriotic jello, be it in shot form (above) or perhaps a nice mold (below).



This beauty has been hanging in my kitchen as ironic/hipster/"I like to pretend I'm still in college" decoration for a few years. Maybe this is the year when I will create my red, white and blue masterpiece!

If you are in New York tomorrow, stop by Skyline Billiards for the Blaze Pro-Am Tour event!

-LIZ

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

WPBA Update

I just got back from the WPBA Great Lakes Classic in Michigan City, Indiana, where I finished 25th. I was seeded #19 for this event which was my highest seeding to date! I also played in the pre-event Pro-Am for the first time (sorry I failed you, Joe!) All in all a fun event! Next up is the U.S. Open in Norman, Oklahoma on July 30th.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Grind Gets to the Best of Us



You can't tell from the look on my face, but I do love traveling to play pool. I'm just not that wild about carrying my luggage around in 100 Degree heat.

This past week I was in Charlotte, North Carolina for the BCA GenerationPool.com 9-Ball Championships. This event was a little different from the standard WPBA fare: We played in two different venues.

Venue One - Since the BCA wanted 32 Women for its event (versus the WPBA's regular 64), we made a compromise and played our initial rounds at Smokin' Cue Billiards in Charlotte. This was the first time that we have played a U.S. Women's professional event in a pool room since playing in Amsterdam Billiards' Eastside location in 2002. It was a breath of fresh air to play in such a homey environment and I want to give special thanks to the owner, Matt Riggs, for accommodating our every need.

Venue Two - 32 players made the cut to play in stage II at the Charlotte Convention Center (myself included, despite a brutal 9-7 loss to Jeanette Lee in the second round which ended with a slopped-in 9-Ball!) Sadly, I suffered another brutal 9-7 loss to Melissa Herndon in my one stage II match which also ended with a slopped-in 9-Ball! I would be disheartened except I am very happy with how I performed, both physically and mentally, in this event.

Before I go, I also want to say thanks to PoolDawg.com.



Pool Dawg is one of the sponsors for the GenerationPool.com event and is also my newest sponsor!

Visit their site for a great selection of pool cues and other billiard supplies.

-LIZ

Monday, June 2, 2008

Viva Las something or other...



I tooks me a little pool vacation in May - to the BCAPL 8-Ball Championships!
10 Days, 3 Events, 17 Girl Drinks... and almost $6 in penny slot winnings!

These were the results:
Masters Scotch Doubles: 5th Place
Grand Masters Women's Singles: 4th Place
Women's Masters Team: 3rd Place
... if there were only two more events, I would have won something :)

Me at work:







And at play:



I swear it didn't look that blurry until later that night!


- LIZ

P.S. Thanks to William Fuentes for the photos and the sexy photoshop-ing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Taiwan: Part 2



Vacation time came to an end and it was time to get to work!

We had been staying in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. Taipei is very western and the area in which we were staying was very posh. The tournament venue was in a mall in Taoyaun. The difference between Taipei and Taoyuan is sort of like the difference between Manhattan and Queens.

Did I mention that the tournament was held in a mall?!!! Below I have included some home video as evidence because I didn't think that anyone would believe me. Sorry about the quality of the video: Please don't watch if you get seizures or motion sickness or if you are just irritated by crappy visuals.

The tournament activities got started with a press conference which aired on live tv. It featured an emcee and a Taiwanese rock band. Here is a clip of the U.S. players being paraded across the stage:
video

Here I am playing Allison Fisher in the TV Venue:
video
That was my first ever "JumboTron" appearance!

Here are the practice tables:
video
Note the batting cages and roller skaters in the background and the family of five playing next to me.

Here is the regular venue, it was in the lower level of the mall which was also a sports complex. The tables were situated in the center of a roller rink:

video

Note my husband's wandering attention... I think he's in love... :)

I was proud of how I played and how strong I stayed mentally in the very different conditions, but sadly I didn't advance out of my group. Oh well... vacation time again! Drinking in the bar with the other also-rans, sleeping late, and gorging on the hotel buffet were all good consolations!

On our last night in Taiwan, Harry and I made it to one of Taoyuan's night markets. There we had stinky tofu (the benign kind) and oyster omelets with some sort of pink goo on top. We couldn't leave until we had finally found and eaten pig's blood cake (since I had blogged about trying it.) The blood/rice combination was very mild and vaguely burrito-like and mostly it tasted like the cilantro and peanuts that coated it.

Our flight back was markedly less pleasant than our flight there, as it was a packed house. I call back seat middle!!!

After kissing the ground at LAX, we headed to the local unmemorable Radisson which we will remember forever for its proximity to Denny's, and for its sweet, sweet facilities where we slept for 16 hours straight and did laundry. The next day we celebrated our homecoming with an Oki Dog: America's own bizarre food.

-LIZ

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Taiwan: Part 1

I'm now in Alpine, CA preparing to start play tomorrow in the WPBA San Diego Classic. I was a little too busy to blog while I was in Taiwan, so I will give everyone a quick recap of my trip...

Flying Out:

My husband, Harry, made the trip with me as this was, by far, the most interesting place that pool has ever sent me. We flew on China Airlines from LAX to Taipei (14 hours.) Luckily we had a row to ourselves and were able to sleep half the way there. Other than that, we watched some movies, did a lot of stretching and walking around and drank about 4 liters of water.

Funny thing about China Airlines...


What is the record of China Airlines?
Since 1970, there have been nine fatal events involving China Airlines. The three most recent China Airlines events involved the A300-600 and the MD11 and there were a total of more than 460 fatalities in the two events. The estimated fatal event rate for China Airlines is about 11.4 fatal events per million flights. This is more than triple the rate of most major airlines in North America and western Europe.
- Airsafe.com

Yikes! My in-laws showed me that after I returned to LA. I'm glad I didn't see it before I left. No wonder the tickets were so cheap.


Arriving in Taipei:

For first time ever, I had a person at the airport waiting for me, holding a sign with my name on it. (Thanks, Mr. Tu, for making all our arrangements!) Harry and I were too disoriented to pay attention to too much, so we checked into the hotel as quickly as possible, only to find ourselves wide awake at 3 am.



Taiwan is a full 12 hours ahead of New York, so we had turned night into day and day into night. I didn't fully appreciate "Lost in Translation" when it came out, but maybe I need to watch it again.


Day 1:




Having slept through the complimentary hotel breakfast, we stuffed ourselves with a variety of steamed buns from the local bakery. Pretty much anything tastes good when surrounded by sweetened white bread: red bean and coconut paste; tuna fish salad; sweet potato. This same bakery had a tantalizing concoction called "Toast Pudding" which sadly I didn't get to try. I wanted to because it combines two of my favorite foods: toast and pudding.

After breakfast, we visited Taipei 101 - the world's tallest building.



We rode the world's fastest elevator up to the observatory and then back down and then we stumbled around the mega-mall (one of Taipei's many.) We gazed blankly at floor after floor of Western luxury goods (three times as expensive as in the U.S.,) trying to stay awake all day so that we would adjust to the time change.

It was raining very hard that night so we ended up at another mega-mall, the So-Go, for dinner at Din Tai Fung (which specializes in soup dumplings.) A very nice English-speaking stranger walked by as we were waiting to be seated and made some suggestions about what we should eat. By "made some suggestions" I mean "ordered our whole meal for us with little room for discussion." Luckily he had good taste and we had our best meal in Taiwan.



Day 2:



We headed out for a day trip to Wulai, to soak in the natural hot springs and eat indigenous foods.
Wulai is located about an hour and a half south of Taipei and can be reached by a combination of subway and bus (or in our case subway and psycho-taxi.) The subway in Taipei is much cleaner than the subway in New York, and we were less afraid when our fellow passengers struck up conversations with us. The 40-minute ride by bus took 10 minutes by taxi. The driver laughed when I looked for a non-existent seat belt and then he proceeded to pass every car on the winding two-lane mountain roads .



We had ourselves a good soak and afterwards we used pantomime to order lunch in a local restaurant. Our charades got us a wonderful meal of small fried fish, steamed glutinous rice filled with pork and tasty bamboo soup.

With my tournament activities scheduled to begin the next day, we headed back to Taipei. Back at the hotel I took a zombie nap and then had a massage. What a life!

More to come...

-LIZ

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Preparing for Taiwan

The start of my two-and-a-half week international pool odyssey is now less than a week away. I will be leaving this Thursday for LA and then on to Taipei on Saturday. I will then head back to California for the WPBA San Diego Classic which starts April 9th.

I have been training my game steadily for the last two months and I feel very solid. I am going to spend the remaining time making sure that my body and mind are as healthy and relaxed as possible. This means making sure that I am eating and sleeping well, getting my usual exercise and spending time doing non-pool-related things that I enjoy.

Meanwhile, husband Harry, who is a hobbyist chef, has been researching the wide spectrum of our eating options in Taiwan. Here is something new he found for us to try:

Pig's Blood Cake



Made from pork blood and rice and served on a stick, topped with peanut paste, hot sauce, and cilantro. It's supposed to be a delicious midnight snack downed with a cold beer. It's not moving or breathing, so I am willing to give it a try. YUM!

On another note, I wanted to mention a blog that I just started reading:

Pool Cue News and Review

The author of this blog calls it "reviews and musings from a pool snark" I call it "what I'd like to think I would write if I blogged anonymously". Well-played Pool Cue News and Review, well-played.

-LIZ

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Going to Taiwan!

I am very excited to report that I will be representing the U.S. in the 2008 World Championships in Taipei, Taiwan. I am thrilled to have this opportunity.

I will travel directly from Taiwan to Alpine, California to play in the first WPBA event of the season. It will be a grueling trip, so I need to get to work to make sure that my mind, body and game are all in the best possible shape!

I just returned from the Turning Stone Classic X at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.
I had a great time up there (as always) and I just wanted to say "hi" to everyone that I met!


-LIZ

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

For the first time, I am actively seeking sponsors to help support my pool career (learn more here.)

I am very excited about my prospects but since I am asking people to invest in me, I have been logging insane hours at the pool hall to ensure that I am a worthwhile product!

I will be playing in two tournaments this weekend at Skyline Billiards in Brooklyn, NY. Saturday is a One-Pocket event and Sunday is a Blaze Pro-Am Tour 9-Ball event. I have only played One-Pocket about six times, ever, but I figure it's about time to learn!

-LIZ

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Keeping a Tournament Journal

Over the weekend I played in my first event of the year: The Joss Northeast Tour stop at Diamond Eight Billiards in Latham, NY.

I want to make the best of my time this year. In order to do that, I need to work hard to correct my mistakes so that I don't end up making the same ones over and over.

I've decided to keep a tournament journal. This is something that I have done in the past, usually after having a bad tournament. Admittedly, this is why I am starting it again now!

Here's what my entry from this weekend looks like:

1/19/2008

Joss – Diamond Eight Billiards, Latham, NY (0 and 2)

Hitting the ball very well, but not focusing well.

Need to “throw out an anchor”: missed opportunities in both matches to take early lead.

Need to separate decision making from execution and give decisions a fraction of a second more so that I can go at the shot with 100% confidence.

Felt nervous – try the usual remedies for this: meditation, emotional control and disciplined thinking.

Need to eat better on tournament day.

Attitude still needs work: I need to have a collection of phrases that I am allowed to say after a match and not deviate into whining or excuses.

Need to keep working on break, but it is getting better - slowly.


Things to practice:

Combinations
Jacked-up rail draw shot that I missed in match one
Meditation
Post-match phrases
Separating decisions from execution
Break


Things to do to prepare for this weekend in Atlantic City:

Pack groceries so that I can eat well.
Re-read sections of “Mental Toughness Training”
Do something fun (non pool-related) to boost my positive energy.


So, that is what my next week is going to look like. For "something fun" I think I'll go ice skating. I was a serious skater when I was a kid and now I go when I need a pick me up. I can skate so fast it feels like I'm flying. It's pure joy.

I am going to be playing in the Blaze Pro-Am Tour Finale at Atlantic City Billiards this Saturday. If you are in the area, come by and sweat some matches!

-LIZ

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Hello 2008!


Happy New Year everybody!

I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions, but I am excited to make goals for myself for the upcoming year.

Here are my top three goals for 2008:
To be the most-improved player in the WPBA
To increase my top break speed by 4 mph (from 16 to 20 mph)
To raise enough sponsorship money to pay for a trip to the 2008 Women's World Championship Qualifier in Taiwan

These goals will be my inspiration for the next year, but they are not in themselves a recipe for success. If you have been following my blog over the last year, you might remember my white board. I don't want to fall into the same trap as the Underpants Gnomes. I am going to break down these large result-based goals into smaller action-focused goals (such as 100 breaks/day for improving my break or ten phone-calls/week seeking sponsorship.)

I am excited to get crackin' and to see how far my hard work will take me in 2008!

LIZ