Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Random Things

There is a note circulating through Facebook called "25 Random Things About Me". People post things they consider interesting and then other people do the same. Here are 25 Random Things About 8 Ball Express you may or may not know:

  1. 8 Ball Express was started in 2002, 8 years ago.

  2. The 1st session there were 42 teams and 7 divisions.

  3. Player numbers start with # 1 (Kim Paul) and as of today excceed # 5690.

  4. There has always been at least the prize option of an all expense paid team trip given, even with 7 teams in the tournament.

  5. The first team that won the End of Session Championship was out of Rack Em.

  6. They chose to go on a 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise.

  7. Mark Fox was the team Captain.

  8. Teams have traveled to Jamacia, the Bahamas, Dominican Rupublic, Aruba, Cabo San Lucas, St. Thomas, Barbados and Antigua.

  9. At least one member took their first plane ride ever during a trip they won playing 8 Ball Express.

  10. There will never be more than 10 teams in a division playing.
  11. Divisions equaling 12 teams or more are always split into two divisions.

  12. Smaller divisions do not generate more income, but provide more opportunity for teams playing to make it to the End of Session Championship.

  13. If the amount of 8-ball divisions playing reaches a certain amount, there will be two tournament brackets and two winners.

  14. Same goes for 9-Ball.

  15. In addition to the Trip, the cash prize of $10,000 has been offered for 6 sessions now.

  16. The cash prize is now offered due to complexities with passports, teams having a hard time getting time off from work and differences over deciding where everyone wants to go.

  17. At least one team currently playing has said they will take the trip option if they ever win.

  18. They want to all go on a cruise together.

  19. Since the cash prize has been offered, only one team has chosen to take "the Trip".

  20. While a few members play 5 nights a week (S-Th), no one member has played six nights a week as of yet. (We do offer League on Fridays in Rock Hill, SC but nowhere do we play on Saturdays).

  21. We have almost an equal number of handicapped 1's that play weekly as we do 8's.
  22. While both 8-ball and 9-ball formats are offered, 8 Ball Express is the League's official name.
  23. In 8 Ball Express 9-ball, push shots are allowed.
  24. At least 25 t-shirts/free memberships are given away each session at the various Start of Session and End of Session meetings. (All members are invited, not just the team captains).
  25. Kim gives away at least 4 free 8 Ball Express zippo lighters at these meetings too!

Monday, January 26, 2009


It's over, it's finally over! The tournament is won, the teams have finished playing and my celebratory glass of wine has been drunk. Some more things I want to jot down:
  • Paul Son from Raleigh is everyone's favorite pool player.
  • Cornbread from Charlotte was a 1st place team that did not make it through the playoffs and was drawn to fill a bye in the tournament.
  • Good Morning Sean!
  • $10,000 is enough to make a grown man cry (both over winning and loosing).
  • Evey Hodge was not nervous playing her hill match, but just got stuck with a cue ball on the rail shot she is not good at making. (Only person in the Finals I've ever heard say they were NOT nervous and I believed it.)
  • I had to explain to Kim, Tina and Freddy what a "Jimmy Hat" was. (Talk about awkward...)
  • Freddy is not allowed to walk by himself any more.
  • Doc Chappell from Rock Hill helping Rhonda Hull's sick dog, a personal miracle for her.
  • A Winston-Salem team made it to the semi-finals this tournament, the farthest they've ever made it! (Keep practicing, you are due soon!)
  • Most diverse semi's I can remember. Teams from Dallas/Gastonia, Charlotte, Raleigh and Winston-Salem all played in the semi-final rounds.
  • The closer you get to 1st, the harder it is to loose. (Shouldn't 1st round outs be the most upset, not 2nd place?!?!?!)
  • Teams can loose and still be good sports.

All right Winter 2009 session teams, good luck, play smart and have fun so I can see you at the next tournament!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

I am heading off to bed after a long Sat. working the End of Session Championship, but before I do I thought I'd jot down some thoughts from what I've seen so far. Here goes...
  • During a 9-Ball match Trey Ashcraft pocketed a ball and even his opponents had to shout out "Great Shot!" He then walked over, handed the woman he was playing the cue ball and said "No it wasn't, I double kissed it, ball in hand to you".
  • There was a situation where a player had been marking his pocket and then changed and called the pocket for his 8-ball during the last game. One team called loss of game, the other said no. When consulted, the player who was not shooting the 8-ball could have said, "No, I didn't acknowledge the call." and won. She instead spoke honestly and said, "Yes, I acknowledge the pocket and he won".
  • After loosing the first match of the first round, I saw a woman come over to the lady who beat her and give her a hug, telling her great game.
  • Heard a man say "Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.", quoting Paul Newman from 'The Color of Money'.
  • Two teams from the same location played each other. They team that did not win celebrated and congratulated the winners and made sure to get a photo of the entire group.
  • The first guideline to winning the End of Championship tournament is make sure you have fun. The second guide is don't let your Captain (or whoever makes all the team decisions) get too sloshed. The third guideline should be if Captain (or said decision-maker) is three sheets to the wind, don't let him/her near the opposing team where they will inevitably tell them your team's strategy. This will not help your chances ANY!
  • Said aloud by myself "You don't loose when you come the the End of Championship, you just finally stop winning." (This is why you get a trophy no matter what place you end up!)
  • The winner of the cue raffle found out he had won by sheer luck. Something along these lines - Craig happens to walk by Tim's table. Craig: "Who won the cue raffle?" Tim: "Someone from Rock Hill." Craig: "Oh yeah? I'm from Rock Hill. Who was it?" Tim: Craig someone." Craig: "I'm Craig." Tim: "Craig ...Trovinger?" Craig: "YEAH!" Tim: "Let me see that ticket." (And it was him!)
  • Heard from a Raleigh member "I love coming to Charlotte to play in the tournament! This is a great vacation for me. I just get a hotel room, play pool, drink all weekend and sleep in. I just wouldn't feel right about doing that in my own house."

Good times, good times!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tournament Time!

Can't wait to see everyone out and about this weekend at the End of Session Championship! Things will be crazy, I'm sure, but don't forget I try to take photos of each team that comes to have fun! I've decided that it's best if I can get a photo of teams BEFORE they play for happier shots.
As soon as you have your entire team at Rack 'Em (or at least who you want in your photo) before your 1st round begins, let me know and I'll snap away! I will try my best to have them published to as soon as I can for you to check out and share with others.
Let the fun begin!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Honest & Direct Customer Service

I spotted this at one of our host locations and thought it was an example of the most honest and direct customer service I'd seen in a while. ( I love how it at least starts out with "Please... " and ends with "Thank you".)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fun Levels Fall 24%

The "fun level" at my job has fallen an estimated 24% recently, all because one particular member has taken some time off from 8 Ball Express. You see, she was the driving force behind unusual nicknames for players and themes for teams. Since she's been gone this session, when I update member nicknames I find myself only keying in "Dave" for "David" instead of "Dirty Pirate Kroch" for "Brandy". No one on the "Breakin' Wind" team has anything unusual to be called by...that is unless you count "Simply Bob" as unusual.
So I have to report my fun levels are down about 12% on Tuesday and Sunday nights. I hope A.H. returns and brings her crazy team themes with her!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Just Nod and Smile...Nod and Smile...

Recently overheard at host locations:
  • At one of our locations the juke box is, well, slightly uneven. I overheard someone walking in say "Oh man...I'm gonna drink 'til that juke box is straight!"
  • "I'm taking an informal poll. Should this bar add a stripper's pole in the middle for more fun?"
  • "Nice rack! Oh yeah, your balls look good too!"
  • (Said quite seriously:)"Coaches shouldn't be able to cause a foul, but it's ok if they are on the team against us."
  • "How can there be male 1's? Only women can be that bad at pool." (Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.)
  • "I would rather play against 11 other teams than only 5. That way we have a better chance of winning." (There was more to this reasoning, but this is how the conversation started.)

Wow, and this is only the 1st week of play! All I can do is just nod and smile...nod and smile. ;-)

Friday, January 9, 2009

All Full

Ok, that was fast! As of now, my Thursday night 9-Ball team is full. FYI though, 8 Ball Express will be offering a Tuesday night 9-Ball division this summer if you are interested. Keep it in mind!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Come Here Often?

Here's my best pick up line:
Anyone who enjoys the classic atmosphere of Smokey Joe's or is looking for a quiet, roomy, unique hangout here's your chance!
I am looking for 1-2 people for my Thursday night 9-Ball team. We play out of Smokey Joe's on Monroe Rd and are a fun, mixed, easy going group. Immediately following League play Smokey Joe's has a Thursday night pool tournament -
If you are interested or know someone who is, drop me a line. or 704-654-1522.

End of Session Championship & Website

I've uploaded all of the End of Session Championship Tournament info (See it here: ).

Is this enough info? Is there anything that, as maybe a team member or Captain that has played in the tournament, think that we may be missing?

Maybe it's something you know now, but wish you had known your 1st time playing in the tournament? If there is, please share! Or maybe it's something you think will help make the tournaments better in the future. Send me an email: or add a comment to this post. Your input is what will make the experience better for everyone!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

And We're Off!

Just got done with the Start of Session meeting in Charlotte and was glad to see everybody. I missed seeing everyone, but I will say the 3 weeks off was nice. I think, without the Holidays in there it may have been a bit too long, but with the added hustle and bustle of the season, I feel rested.
At the meeting, when speaking to members one-on-one, several mentioned similar feelings about the 3 weeks over X-Mas. So, calendar permitting, consider the suggestion put in the box for next year!
I'm excited for 2008 to be over and 2009 to begin, everyone starts out fresh and it's anyone's game really.
Good luck to everyone this session and, as always, call me on my cell or if you see me out and about and say hi!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

2008 is behind us and 2009 looms fresh ahead, full of possibilities and chances. 8 Ball Express is starting 2009 with the following:

  • Redesigned Rule Books - Get yours at the Start of Session meetings this weekend.
  • New website design - Includes interactive Host Location Map, Tournament Countdown timer, forum, photo album
  • Blogging - Can't wait to see what interesting things I come across in 2009!
  • Now on Twitter - Will be Tweeting results as they occur at End of Session Championships, questions I'm asked while out and about with answers, etc. (Twitter is a free service that lets you keep in touch with people through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?)

See you at the Start of Session meetings this weekend!