Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Extra Special Opportunity from PoolDawg

This one is for googans everywhere...

After I said that I wasn't going to stuff this blog with ads, I got word from PoolDawg that they have a Southwest Cue for sale.  Wow, the waiting list for one of these babies is about 5 years.  The reason why I am pimping their product is that if you buy it through this link,
 Southwest Cue
I get a percentage of the sale which I will use for my training and travel expenses for another year on the WPBA..

This is a pretty hot item and someone is going to snatch this cue very soon, so if you are interested get on it!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Stuff I Like

I'm spending a quiet day at home today, reading, listening to music and drinking tea.  In an effort to raise the cash I need for another year of professional pool, I have joined Amazon Associates.  If you follow any of my product links and buy the item, I make training and tournament money. In the interest of trying out all this new-fangled technology, I thought I'd post the products that I am enjoying today.

What I'm reading right now:

What I'm listening to right now:

The electric kettle I used to make my tea:

This blog is about me and my adventures with pool - it is not a web mall.  However, no money = no pool.  This week, I am going to create a compromise - a web store where you can shop at Amazon and PoolDawg and help me play pool at the same time. This will also keep my blog posts from being filled with ads (like this one!)

If we can be serious for a moment... the Beatles stereo box set is awesome!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Chrristmas

I got my first Christmas present today:  Copies of the PAT tests and DVD's from my friend and supporter, Frank Wojciechowski.

Thanks, Frank!

For those of you unfamiliar with the Playing Abilitiy Tests, there is a nice summary here.

He sent them to me because he is sure that when I go to Holland to train, I will be tested on them.  I will be watching DVD number one tonight and will start training tomorrow.

Why I want to go to Holland to train with Johan Ruysink:

- He coaches Nick Vandenberg and Neils Feijen and those guys are awesome
- To see how the Europeans train so that I can enhance how I train myself and others
- To learn 14.1 patterns in a structured way
- To make an investment in my game and be a role model for others to do the same
- To get another stamp in my pool passport

The thermometer to the right shows that I have $850 of the 3k that I need.  My wish for Christmas is to bust the top of that thermometer. Click the donate button if you want to help, no amount is too small.  Maybe I should go sit on Santa's lap.  I can't think of one so please insert your own crude lap-dance joke here :)

Fresh off the tournament trail, I am happy with my playing at The Joss Turning Stone Classic.  I won my first two matches before being beat by two deserving opponents.  The bad news is that I was one out of the cash for the third time :(

Once again it is time to speak about cash: I am on a mission to support myself through another year of vigorous pool playing.  It is a pretty difficult thing to do and I am calling on my large brain to help me find creative ways to make it happen.  It's funny how shame goes right out the window when necessity rises.  In January I'm planning to hit up two corporations a day for 10k each, in the hopes that one of those 40 will give me 5k.  That's basically how it goes in the fund raising business.  The good news is that my skin will be so thick that I won't need a coat.

If that is successful... repeat in March.

More than anything, I want to prove to myself and others that a living can be made in this game.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's my birthday... my buh-buh-buh birthday!

I was hoping to find the perfect South Park clip to summarize the day...

It's definitely not this one:

This one has the birthday song:

HAHAHAHAHA, this is in fact how I act when I don't get what I want:

What I want this year is happiness and health and maybe a trip to Holland (see thermometer to the right)   :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What to talk about this week?

I'm feeling the pinch of writer's block these days, I think it is the time of the year.  The cool weather and short days make me curl up on the couch with my cat and vegetate.  I am in favor of bringing back human hibernation - the best part would be all the eating before hand.

Saturday will bring an end to my laziness as I kick off a week full of tournaments.  I will be at the Predator Tour finale at Raxx this weekend and then I leave Wednesday for the Stone.  I love having one tournament right after another, I achieve such an intense focus and find that I start playing some of my best pool.

On another note, I am really happy with the way my interview with Jim Murnak turned out.  It was strange to watch video of myself talking for 45 minutes.  I have to say that part of me doesn't recognize that I am the person talking.  I look and sound much more put together than I feel inside but I think seeing it is going to boost my confidence.

I want to thank everyone who supported the fact that I talked about depression.  The reason I chose to open up about it is that I have always appreciated when others have done the same.  Though I don't wish depression on anyone, I am always comforted when I hear otherwise successful people share their stories - it makes me feel less alone.

Enough poopy stuff!!!  If you watched the interview then you heard me talk about going to Holland to go train with Johan Ruysink, the head coach for the Netherlands.  I am going to try to make this happen in January. 

I have already raised $500 of the roughly $3,000 that I will need.  I am starting a new travel fund, the gimmicky thermometer will be returning. That's only $2.50 from each of my Facebook friends if you break it down :)

Help me get to Holland!:

 No, not for that !!! For pool, silly.

Well, enough of my internet panhandling for now, the cat just got off my lap so I am free to go practice...


Monday, November 30, 2009

Video Interview

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

I did a video interview for Jim Murnak over at that you should go take a look at!

I really am a googan.  I just googan all over the place - it is almost painful to watch :)

My apologies to Rob Pole of Skyline Billiards, in my nervousness I said that Rob Omen was one of the owners of Skyline! Oops, my bad!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

China in Retrospect

This is what 14 hours on a plane looks like!

Thankfully, I've had a few days to sleep after my jet-setting adventures!

Wow, what a great experience the last few weeks have been:

Florida for three and a half days, play my heart out, finish 17th, board a plane home two hours after my last match, sleep for about a day, barely unpack just swap tropical wear for Siberian, off to China! 30 hours in transit from home to the hotel in Shenyang, one day to adjust, play my heart out again, this time on live TV ** viewed by millions! Finish 17th, one day to rest then it is back on a plane to NYC!!!

And I would do it all again this week if there was another event...

That being said, I am grateful to have two large events this month that don't involve planing and deplaning.
First is the Predator Tour finale at Raxx in West Hempstead, NY on December 12th and 13th.
(Then someone is having a birthday... well more like another anniversary of turning 29...)
Then it is on to one of my favorite events, the Turning Stone Classic! (Dec. 17th-20th in Verona, NY.)

Speaking of gratitude, I would once again like to thank everyone who contributed to help bring me to events this year.  I'm pretty misty at the thought of it and China certainly would never have happened without you guys.  The updated list is in the right hand column.

Thank you also to my official sponsors: Gary C. Borge, DDS, Chips to Fix, PoolDawg, Pool on the Net, RT9 Designs and Skyline Billiard Club.

PoolDawg is kicking off the holiday season (Chanukah Sameach, Mike!) with some awesome deals at their crazy Black Friday sale. Even better they have a preview going on now!

I hope everyone stuffs their faces tomorrow surrounded by the people who love them (or at least put up with them! Ah family...)


** Can't be viewed in Firefox for some reason

Saturday, November 21, 2009

China Part Two

Well, my playing time is over in Asia :(
The good news is that I made the cut for the final 32 single elimination tournament.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

China Part One

Just wanted to say a quick "hello" from China!

The Chinese block access to Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger so I am updating things by email.  I can't see what my posts will look like, but hopefully they are okay.

First things first: I am very happy to report that I won my first round match against Pei Chen Tsai from Taiwan, 7-4!  She was the winner of this year's China Open.

That win has earned me the right to play China's national hero, Xiaoting Pan, tonight at 9:15 pm (that is 8:15 am NYC time.)  I played next to her in the first round and flashbulbs were going off like we were on the red carpet.

This is my second tournament in Asia (I was at the 2008 World Championship in Taiwan) and so far this trip has been much smoother than the first.  I didn't really know what to expect the first time around and I was pretty shaky, but everything feels like business as usual at the table this time.  I am in disbelief that I am able to stay up for 30 hours, fly half-way around the world, turn day into night and then put forth a good enough game to beat one of Asia's top players. Wow.

This event is starting with 64 players.  It is a race to 7, alternating break, double elimination format until there are 32 players left.  These players will be randomly drawn into a single-elimination bracket which will be race to 9, winner break.  The top 32 are also the players who receive paychecks :)

Jerry Forsyth, our tournament director, has been kind enough to create a bracket here.

As for China in general, the people of Shenyang have been incredibly gracious and helpful and our host hotel is lovely.

I'll be back later with another update!


Monday, November 16, 2009


I'm boarding my 14 hour flight to Beijing and then on to Shenyang for the World 9-Ball Championships! Woo-Hoo!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thank You, Sponsors!

I wanted to give a shout out to my featured sponsors for bringing me to the WPBA Tour Championships in Hollywood, Florida:

Skyline Billiards for continuing to be awesome.

Dr. Feelgood, himself, Dr. Gary C. Borge, DDS for also continuing to be awesome.

and finally PoolDawg deserves some love for being awesomely awesome.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Coming Back from the Dead

A gold star if you can name this film!

I was asked by a WPBA fan to blog about making comebacks in matches that look to be over. Unfortunately I have become known for miraculous comebacks.  I would rather be known for miraculous dominating of matches :)  I escaped from a doozy while at the Pacific Coast Classic in Lincoln City, OR.  I was down 6-0 to Rachel Eliazar and came back to win 9-8.

Here is a synopsis of what was going through my head during the match.

Beginning of the match: Okay let's do this!
First rack: I just ran out and shot the 9 Ball into the rail... f*ck!
Second rack: I'll just play a safety here - oh nice shot opponent.
Third rack:  I'll just sit here and watch my opponent snap 9 on the break :(
Fourth rack: Ok. We're okay. One shot at a time until we shoot the 8 into the rail argghhhhhhhh!

Ok, it's time to take a bathroom break and flush it!
Give myself a pep talk. Calm down my racing heart. We're fine. We're fine.
(It's matches like this that get you talking to yourself, sometimes in the third person.)

Ok, I am SOOO ready to go now!!!!
Quickly lose two more racks, one of which sees me dogging the 8.

Here is where it really gets interesting.  Here is where I am committing to the fact that I will be quitting pool after this match.  I'm sure of it.  I think I'm going to cry...

Miraculously, some inner, stronger part of myself takes charge and says "WE ARE NOT GOING OUT LIKE THAT."

My whole demeanor changes.  I forget about everything else.  I'm just going to play.  I am aware that I have had control of the table in most of the games.  I am aware that I have the ability to win from here.

Seventh game:  The first time getting out is the hardest. But. I. Fight. Through. It. 6-1.
Eight game:  An open rack. My recent success gives me the confidence I need to get out more comfortably. 6-2.  From here I first believe that I am going to win.
Ninth game:  Now it is like a little game, moving the beads over one at a time. It is actually fun. 6-3.
Tenth game: Use my experience to get a quick three-foul win.  6-4.
Eleventh game - Thirteenth game:  I can't even remember what happened. It's just so fun to keep moving beads over. Up 7-6.
Fourteenth game:  Ah, it couldn't go on forever. My opponent gets a game. I'm not sweating it anymore.7-7.
Fifteen game: Grind out the out to get on the hill. 8-7.
Sixteenth game: Out of line on the 9, I am forced to play safe.  It gets a little ugly as we both miss tough shots and leave even tougher shots. This continues until I hang the 9 on a full table length straight in shot.  My nerves are back a little but I am relying on my experience to see me through the hill-hill game. Thankful just to be there :)
Final game: A two-way shot on a 1/9 carom leaves my opponent safe.  The hit is so tough that she has to take a foul and push the 9 out of the way, but ends up creating another, tougher combination.  With ball in hand, I have arrived at the moment of truth...  the 9 splits the pocket, praise Jeebus!

I have invested so much energy and emotion in this match that it takes me an hour before I stop shaking, but it is worth it.

- Liz

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Welcome to Oregon, beaches!

Mirror Pond Pale Ale by Deschutes Brewery is the greatest beer on earth.

I am here at my favorite WPBA event in Lincoln City on the Oregon coast.  Actually, I am at the bar at my favorite WPBA event in Lincoln City on the Oregon coast drinking the nectar of the gods and soaking up some wifi.

I wanted to take some time out and profusely thank my featured sponsors for bringing me to this event.

First, my beloved home room and second home...

Beer interlude

and B, my favorite orthodontist, bowler and all-around sports enthusiasts:

Check out one of his other philanthropic interests, The 2009 Natomas Challenger, here.


In tournament info, I play Yu Ram Cha, tomorrow, at 1:30 Pacific Time.

That is why I will only have the one beer, though I want all, all the beer.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When Rhinos Attack (Damn Nature, You Scary...)

By rhino, of course I mean rhinovirus.  I just got dressed, which is farther than I got yesterday.  I spent all yesterday in a replica of the bathrobe that Brad Pitt wore in fight club (only blue, not purple...found by my mother-in-law on ebay.)

All this lying about has given me much too much time to think about the little mini-slump in which I've been.
After playing quite a bit lately (some match-ups, some tournaments) it has become apparent that I have trouble getting out of the "simple" racks.  I know that nothing in pool is simple, by "simple" I mean racks where the balls are lying well and it is completely within my capabilities to get out.  Routine runouts.  Since this was brought to my attention a few weeks ago, I have started to pay attention to it and unfortunately it's true: If I could get out of all the simple racks, I would be beating a hell of a lot of people. 

There is a lot of hope in this realization because there are so many difficult things that I am doing well.  My break is much better, as is my safety game.  I am skilled with difficult recovery positions and with power strokes.  I am getting the jump on my opponents but not consistently finishing my job at the table.

When I was in college I majored in Cognitive Science and I still enjoy reading on the subject.  One of my favorite authors is best-seller Malcolm Gladwell.  After reading "Blink" and "Outliers", I just finished his first book, "The Tipping Point."  In "The Tipping Point", Gladwell examines the properties that cause ideas, behaviors and trends to cross over ("tip") from obscurity into the mainstream.  He reveals that small and often simple changes in message, messenger and context cause things to "tip."  While his writing only concerns how information is passed between people, I think that his premise that small changes often cause the largest differences can be applied to my pool game (of course I always find a way for everything to apply to my pool game!)

It is not a bigger break, kicking like a champion or table-length draw that is going to "tip" me from low-level pro to elite player, it is the management of the small, everyday things like being able to draw the cue ball six inches and not three or twelve.

It is with an eye on this that I am preparing for the Pacific Coast Classic.  Even though it might take a while to change, acknowledgment of the problem is the first step towards fixing it.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Great 3-Cushion Experiment

Hey, that pool table ain't got no holes init!
With the help of my friend and billiards ambassador Ira Lee, I am going to be spending the next few months learning more about Three-Cushion Billiards.

I live about eight minutes from one of the best billiards rooms in the world, Carom Cafe in Flushing, Queens.  I have been procrastinating spending some serious time there for a few years now.  I know that I have some large gaps in my knowledge that affect my position play and defensive game so I am ready to start learning!

Ira has started supplying me with some training techniques that he has been working on for the past ten years.  I'll be sharing some once I can make sense of them myself.  Other than that, I have been playing games with good players, having them tell me the right shot to shot.  It's still extremely challenging and makes my brain hurt after an hour or so.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Blog Identity Crisis

Although I'd much rather be playing pool right now, I am stuck at home trying to come up with a suitable new blog design. Web designer is not one of the hats I wear, so please excuse the multiple personalities that this blog will be cycling through in the next few days.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Liz Sells Out!

If you haven't noticed a change around here, I will spell it out more explicitly: After a huge bidding war that included Coke, Pepsi, Denny's and my Nana, Pool Dawg is now the official sponsor of my blog!

You can help me out by visiting them for all you pool supply needs.  Just follow the link on the picture of me and Frank at the right.

My personal recommendation?  Get yourself you own measle ball.  I carry one in my car, and sometimes in my purse.  Over time, cue balls get smaller and smaller from colliding with the other balls, especially from high impact shots like the break. (Didn't you ever wonder why the 1-Ball is sometimes a paler color than the 9?  It also gets smaller from getting smacked on the 9-Ball break.)  Most pool rooms don't change their cue balls very often.  A measle ball also offers you more feedback on your practice because you are able to better observe the reaction of the ball.

Yeah, yeah, I'm completely and shamelessly selling out.  If you made what I made last year, you would too :)
Buy from Pool Dawg!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thank You, Sponsors!

I would like to thank my featured sponsors for bringing me to the 2009 WPBA Colorado Classic!

Dr. Gary C. Borge DDS practices dentistry in California. If there are any Sacramento-area readers out there, visit Dr. Borge and talk pool while receiving his excellent dental care:

Gary C. Borge, DDS
4660 Natomas Boulevard, #120-207
Sacramento, CA 95835
(916) 769-5955

When in New York City, a visit to the Skyline Billiard Club is a must. Skyline is quickly making a name for itself as one of the top "players' rooms" in the country. Check out the live tournament feed at

Skyline Billiard Club
2515 McDonald Ave.
Brooklyn, New York 11223
(718) 627-3407

Thank you all again for your support!

- Liz Ford

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hot for Teacher!

Ok, not really.

I'm more like Doris Day here:

Anywho, the new capitalist in me realizes that I need to promote myself more if I want to make a living! Also, I need to eat.

Just wanted to let everyone know that I am available for lessons in the New York City area.

Why should you take a lesson from me?:

- I have received training from some of the country's best instructors.
- I can help you analyze your stroke using video and other feedback techniques.
- Beginners are welcome, but what I teach is useful and illuminating to players of all levels.
- I can't make you better, nobody but you can do that; I will give you tools to make yourself better!
- I love of the game and I get real excitement and fulfillment from seeing people improve.

My fall rates are:
- $50/hour plus table time at Skyline Billiards in Brooklyn
- $60/hour plus table time at any other room in NYC
- $70/hour plus table time at any room within an hour's drive of Queens (two-hour minimum per lesson)

What I expect from you as a student:
- To be there on time and be warmed up!
- To be patient, have an open mind, and not be afraid of practicing!

References are available upon request. Contact me at!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Video - Help me get Work!

I created a promotional video for myself - a highlight reel of my TV appearances and some trickshots.

My objective is to get more work entertaining at parties and events. Bookings are high in fiber and an excellent daily source of cha-ching.

I'd like your feedback and also your referrals! Sponsorships are great and a huge help (more please!), but I love working events, meeting people and promoting pool (not to mention getting paid for a tangible service.)

Here is the link to my video:

Here's to hoping that ESPN, The Discovery Channel and AC/DC don't sue me!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Newest Sponsor!

I would like to thank my newest sponsor: New York's own Ron Mason of

Is your computer FUBAR? Ron is ready to tackle your next technical SNAFU, then maybe he will play you a game of pool at Amsterdam Billiards in NYC.

If you are in New Jersey tomorrow, come see me play at the Predator stop at Comet Billiards in Parsippany.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Most Days I Love My Job...

Not today. And not for the last three days.

About once a year, everything that can go wrong while traveling to a tournament, does.

It started on Saturday afternoon when I got food poisoning. Continued on Saturday night when my body and brain refused to work during my live stream match. Got even worse yesterday when I tried to go home but had to find a hotel when, after two hours of waiting for my delayed flight, I was too sick to stay upright.

It was a good call because my flight was eventually cancelled. I slept for twelve hours straight and tried again this morning - another flight cancelled. Back to the hotel - another few hours of sleep.

Here I am 20 hours later waiting for another delayed flight.

This traveling business is not for the faint of heart. Luckily, this sort of complete despondency has only hit me a handful of times. I just really want to go home :(

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Live Stream

I dropped a match to Kelly. She is one of the few players against whom it is possible to play well and still lose 9-2.

My 8PM match will on the live stream, opponent TBA. If you are watching it right now you would see me texting this update.


I won my match last night, against Karen Webb, 9-2. I settled in to my game a little more but felt slightly off all day.

Today I play Kelly Fisher at 4:45. It has been a strange tournament so far with big names like Allison Fisher, Sarah Rousey and Melissa Herndon already on the B-Side. I will try my best not to join them ;)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Match #2

I won my first match 9-6. I play Karen Webb tonight at 7:30.

I want to take a moment to thank Janet and her staff for running a great event!

The landscape around here is so pretty that it drives me crazy. It looks like bowling balls under a green carpet. Lots of hills and hollers.

The Draw

The draw is up. I am one of the 16 seeds for this event. My first match is against Jacqui Herrara (sp?) at 11am.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

WPBA Satellite: Borderline Billiards

I'm here in Bristol, Virginasee? Tennessinia? for the WPBA's first ever satellite event. It is at Borderline Billiards, a gorgeous room owned by my lovely friend and fellow pro, Janet Atwell. The name Borderline is no joke. On one side of the street in downtown Bristol you are in Virginia and on the other you are in Tennessee.

The event will be a 64 player field. Pros were given first shot at entering and then the field was opened to everyone. Many of the WPBA's top women are here, as well as regional players looking for a chance to play the pros.

We had a charity Pro-Am to kick things off. This was my team: Jerry, Jim and Joey. We had a great time and helped raise money for the local charity, CHAD.

I'll be back tomorrow with updates!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Upside of Losing

$2 beers
Penny slots
Good friends

The Pool Bug

Sometimes, I can't believe how much I still love pool after all these years. This morning, I am just so excited to get my enormous cappuccino and got hit balls while most of my compatriots are still dreaming (or having nightmares, depending on yesterday's matches.) I think I've officially got the pool bug for life.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tough Day at the Office

This is the view from outside of my hotel window. Glorious Michiana.

I had a tough day at the office, today. I lost to Miyuki Sakai 9-7. I played well through out the match as we see-sawed back and forth. I got up 6-5 before the shot clock came out. I have played many, many matches on the shot clock and the majority of the time everything is fine. Today, I just couldn't seem to put it out of my mind. I felt panicky and rushed and got down over the balls too quickly. When I'm talking too quickly, I probably mean on the order of milliseconds. Just enough to throw things off.

Oh well. I'm giving myself a few minutes to grieve and then I'm going to head downstairs and sweat my friends' matches.

Tomorrow, I play the loser of the Sarahs (Ellerby and Rousey.)

Great Lakes Classic

I just woke up here in Michigan City, Indiana, and I'm ready to play!

My first match is at 11am against Miyuki Sakai.

- Put a good stroke on every shot
- Be happy

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thank You, Sponsors!

I would like to thank my sponsors for bringing me to the 2009 WPBA Midwest Classic!

Dr. Gary C. Borge DDS practices dentistry in California. If there are any Sacramento-area readers out there, visit Dr. Borge and talk pool while receiving his excellent dental care:

Gary C. Borge, DDS
4660 Natomas Boulevard, #120-207
Sacramento, CA 95835
(916) 769-5955

When in New York City, a visit to the Skyline Billiard Club is a must. Skyline is quickly making a name for itself as one of the top "players' rooms" in the country. Check out the live tournament feed at

Skyline Billiard Club
2515 McDonald Ave.
Brooklyn, New York 11223
(718) 627-3407

Thank you all again for your support!

- Liz Ford

Thursday, May 14, 2009

BCAPL 2009: Special Victims Unit

I'm back from the 2009 BCAPL National 8-Ball Championships at the Riviera in Las Vegas.

This was my 12th trip to Vegas and it marked the first time that I didn't stay at the Riviera. Vegas is hurting and prices are very, very cheap, so there are great deals to be had at really nice casinos. I thought it was time to upgrade - then I came back down to earth and remembered that I'm a broke @#$ pool-player and booked a room at Circus Circus (Tower, not Manor, thank you very much.)

I never thought I would miss the Riv quite so much, but I guess a hypodermic needle is still a hypodermic needle, it doesn't matter which pool it is floating in.

The good news? Marc "Spain" Vidal and I tore through the Masters Scotch Doubles' field to win the title. Our match scores are posted here. Let's just say it was fun.

I had a completely unspectacular go of things in the Grand Master singles after my 4th place finish last year. I'm a little riled up by my brain-dead performance and it makes me want to seek out some barbox 8-ball tournaments to prove to myself that I can still play the game.

One of the nicest parts of my trip was that I got a chance to connect with some people...

like my sponsor, Gary Borge DDS...

and fellow blogger Melinda Bailey (aka Trigger) ...

before being abducted by some random lunatic vagabonds (love ya, babies!)

I love being in Vegas, but I must admit that all the card games and sports betting can be a bit distracting.

Will I be back for a 13th installment? Right now, I'm saying "maybe/maybe not." Who am I kidding? I think my track record speaks for itself :)


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April Happenings

I'm back to work on my game after a week of recuperating from the San Diego Classic.

Congrats to Monica Webb for her second straight win! Her steady improvement and will to win have always inspired me, and I am glad to see that those things pay off in the end.

On Monday, I started preparing for the 2009 BCAPL National 8-Ball Championships (May 8th-16th at the Riviera in Las Vegas.) When I lived in Oregon, I spent most of my time playing in bar table 8-Ball tournaments. I have always loved the game, but unfortunately I haven't played it much since I moved to New York. My game as a whole has improved substantially since 2001 so naturally my run-out power has increased, but last year in Vegas I had a little trouble balancing offense and defense to create my best chance at winning. Luckily, Skyline Billiards has a Diamond Smart Table, so I am going to make sure that I am super sharp come May.

I still have some 9-Ball events to prepare for before I head to Vegas. I will be playing this weekend in the JPNEWT tournament at Prime Time Billiards in Sayreville, NJ and next weekend in the Joss tournament at Comet Billiards is Parsippany, NJ.

Lots of work and fun ahead of me...


Sunday, April 5, 2009


I always arrive at WPBA events smiling and full of energy and end up leaving like this. Dead knackered.

I had a good run in the loser's bracket with wins over Ming Ng (9-8) and Rachel Abbink (9-6.) I was very shaky towards the end of my match with Ming. That's the price I paid for allowing some frustration and desire for results creep into my brain.

After that, I was determined to stay positive, level and in the moment. I was rewarded with my best performance of the tournament during my match with Rachel.

I ended up being knocked out by Jennifer Chen. Jennifer was playing great and I quickly found myself down 5-0 and then 6-1. I saved myself from a complete dusting by clawing my way back to 6-5 before Jennifer took control again and won 9-6.

I ended up finishing 17th-24th which is great but doesn't mean as much to me as the psychological freedom that I felt during the event. I have worked very hard over the last six months to overcome the extreme self-criticism that has held me back in the past.

Just to let you know how much positive energy that freedom requires: I will probably sleep 12 hours a night for at least two nights once I get home!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Live Stream Update

Just to let everyone know: my 3:15 match with Ming Ng is going to be on the live stream (once Julie Kelly and Tracie Hines are done.)

Monsters Inc.

I lost last night's match to XTP, 9-6. I put forth a very good effort, but girl is a monster.

I was down 4-0 and dug deep to pull back even at 4-4. A missed kick by me let her get ahead 5-4, which she followed up with a break and run. I answered with one of my own. With the score now 6-5, she snapped the nine. My miss on the 3-ball let her get to the hill (it was a side-pocket shot that gives me a lot of trouble and you'd better believe that I'll be practicing it until it's automatic.) She broke and missed the five, leaving me to clean-up. At 8-6, I broke and had to play safe on the one, I left her a sliver of the ball and she came with a match winning shot, back-cutting it the length of the table. This time she made sure that she got out :(

I am proud of myself for making a real match out of what started out as a steam roll. I am also proud that I have been able to maintain the same positive attitude and same consistent play in all variety of situations for the past four months.

My next match will be against the winner of Dawn Hopkins and Ming Ng, at 3:15 this afternoon.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hiller-Hiller Thriller

I won my match this morning, against Cindy Sliva, 9-8. It was a long, tough match that was close the whole way. I am very proud of myself because I won by staying as positive as I could. My head is very fuzzy from being sick and nothing looked right, so I had to trust in my fundamentals and my funda-"mentals." My decision making and safety execution were not quite up to snuff and I hope to improve on them in my next match. I play the winner of Xiao-Ting Pan and someone whose name escapes my fuzzy little head tonight at 9:30.

Pass the Kleenex

I am heading off to bed - the brackets are up and I am playing Cindy Sliva at 11:30 AM. I have been sniffling and snuffling with a nasty cold all week, but when I got on the practice tables earlier it was all business. Despite the cold meds, I felt that familiar calm focus take over. It was very reassuring. Good times, good times.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

San Diego!

I just landed in San Diego for the first WPBA event of 2009. I am very excited to start playing and I will be updating my blog during the event. Today I am going to get settled at the hotel and probably hit the pool. Tomorrow is practice and meetings; Matches start on Thursday. The WPBA will be streaming matches on starting Thursday, so log in check us out!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Thank You, Sponsors!

I would like to thank my sponsors for bringing me to the 2009 WPBA San Diego Classic!

Special thanks go out to Dr. Gary C. Borge DDS, who practices dentistry in California. If there are any Sacramento-area readers out there, visit Dr. Borge and talk pool while receiving his excellent dental care:

Gary C. Borge, DDS
4660 Natomas Boulevard, #120-207
Sacramento, CA 95835
(916) 769-5955

When in New York City, a visit to the Skyline Billiard Club is a must. Skyline is quickly making a name for itself as one of the top "players' rooms" in the country. Check out the live tournament feed at

Skyline Billiard Club
2515 McDonald Ave.
Brooklyn, New York 11223
(718) 627-3407

In Long Island, Raxx Pool Room, Bar and Grill, is the place to play pool (and beer pong!) Once you're done playing the game of your choice, enjoy Raxx's excellent food and full bar.

Raxx Pool Room, Bar and Grill
510 Hempstead Turnpike
West Hempstead, NY 11552
(516) 538-9896

Thank you all again for your support!

- Liz Ford

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Getting Ready for The San Diego Classic

Today, I'm at home with a cold. It's a bummer, but I'm glad it's happening here and now instead of during next week's tournament in Alpine, CA. I want lots of energy to play pool with a little left over for swimming and enjoying the California sunshine.

In order to get ready, I have been practicing my funda-"mentals" (yuk, yuk, yuk.)

Just like I have physical checkpoints during my shot routine that ensure a consistent stroke, I also have mental checkpoints that ensure my mind is consistently focused. These involve: making a complete plan for the shot before I aim and set down, allowing myself to progressively relax and let go with each practice stroke, and finally (during my final pause at address) committing 100% to delivering a quality stroke down my line of aim without any thought of the outcome.

I know my physical fundamentals are sound because I devote time everyday to practicing them in ways that give me proper feedback. Nine times out of ten, if my game starts to break down, it is because I am not practicing good funda-"mentals." The telltale sign of poor funda-"mentals" is if I am consistently having trouble only at the end of the rack.

Other than that, I have been preparing by enjoying my life and the ones that I love.
Aw, shucks!

- Liz

What I'm reading: Ironweed by William Kennedy
What I'm watching: endless House reruns on USA
What I'm listening to: Easy Tiger by Ryan Adams
What I'm drinking: Pink Grapefruit Airborne even though it is a placebo at best, dangerous at worst.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Vacation 101

I just returned from a little escape to Aruba. I have to admit: I never really understood the whole Caribbean vacation thing. I was brought up (egregiously wrong!) to believe that vacations had to be meaningful and educational and sometimes slightly painful. Thanks, Mom.

Well, it's no wonder that I have always had trouble just letting go and relaxing. This vacation was the start of a whole new education: How to wear bikinis and flip-flops and swim in the sun. There were a few seminars in fruity drink consumption and mandatory conference on sunscreen application, as well.

In all seriousness, I can't think of a better way to prepare myself for the 2009 WPBA season than to hone my relaxation skills and spend a few days on a beach, deliriously happy. I have a special reason to be happy after doing my 2008 taxes. I broke even for the first time last year. I'm not talking about paying the rent, but I successfully covered ALL my pool-related expenses. I am a little behind the ball for 2009, but this news gives me the confidence to push forward toward making a living.

I bring in income through four arms: sponsorships, tournament winnings, giving lessons and doing appearances. My record keeping was good last year and I have an accurate picture of how I did in each area. This makes it easier for me to make goals for the different arms and get a sense of how I can turn myself into a profitable business.

I am proud of myself for working hard, but I value learning to relax a little more. I think I need five more trips to Aruba just to make sure that I've got it down. What can I say - I have always been a perfectionist.