Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
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.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
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
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!
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
Thanks again for all the support this year!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
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"
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
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
Thanks again for all the support this year!
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
Saturday, August 23, 2008
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.
Monday, August 18, 2008
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!
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!
Friday, August 1, 2008
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
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...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
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
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
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.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
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!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
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.
Monday, June 2, 2008
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!
P.S. Thanks to William Fuentes for the photos and the sexy photoshop-ing.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
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:
Here I am playing Allison Fisher in the TV Venue:
That was my first ever "JumboTron" appearance!
Here are the practice tables:
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:
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.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
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.
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.
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.
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...
Sunday, March 16, 2008
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.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
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!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
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!
Sunday, January 20, 2008
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:
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:
Jacked-up rail draw shot that I missed in match one
Separating decisions from execution
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!
Tuesday, January 1, 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!