Willow Billiards, Hoboken, New Jersey

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Summer 2007

Week 1: (Author: NikiFriko)

Gita kickstarted the night against “power potter” Carrie Booth. After many a nice shot and a few uber safeties for the clean up, Gita swept her opponent 4-0. Erin took the stage for the second match against Carol Hipkins, a fellow SL3. Carol was making shots, but Erin was making more. She cleaned up 5 balls in the second rack to clinch a 2-0 victory. Steph went up in the third match against “Don’t toucha my ballz!” Carilitos Gonzalez, TITO’s new SL6. With patience and few super safeties against the 3-rail king, Steph pulled through with a 3-3 victory. Nicole goes up in the fourth match against Tania. Again, with patience and spot-on potting, she reigned with a 4-1 victory. Tracy closes the night against Gena on an even race to 2…someone finish this.

Quote of the Night:

Steph: Nic – You want a time out?

Nicole: Um, No. But I’m really interested in what you have to say.

Shot of the Night:

Gita’s Safety! Here’s her version of the play:

“This particular game, I had 3 balls to run out before the 8.  first one goes down with a great leave on the 2nd.  2nd one goes down but that freakin' table...grrr, so I fall almost frozen up against the 3rd ball, with no shot and the 8 ball 2 feet to the right of it and 6 inches off the top rail..... and Carrie's last ball directly at the other end of the table about 1 foot off the end rail. 

So I put a little extreme low right english on the cue ball, make contact with my object ball and gently tuck in the cue ball behind the 8 ball, almost frozen right behind it so she didn't have any 1 or 2 or even 3 rail bank shot to get to her ball.  I wish I could draw it for you.”

Week 2: (Author: The Goat)

We lost the coin toss and put up Steph "Sippy Cup/Scarface" Abell versus Joe Capuano, an evenly matched SL4 race to 3.  Game 1 saw Steph make a really nice run and force Joe to go heavy on the defense, allowing him to catch up.  At one point there was some controversy as to whether or not the 2 was frozen - Steph said it was, Joe said it wasn't.  Turns out it wasn't on closer inspection, but I trust Steph's judgment enough to say maybe it wasn't frozen, but defrosting.  Steph had several tough shots on the 8.  At last she had a shot - but it was a tricky one!  Alllll the way from downtown on the rail - she makes it!  G1 goes to Steph!  Joe, clearly rattled, hunkers down for even more defense in Game 2.  He slows his play down to a snail's pace.  Both the defensive shots and slow play flummox Steph - in attempting a tough D shot, the cue ball was just enough clear for Joe's shot on the 8, and G2 went to Joe.  In Game 3, it was like the object of the game was to safety the whole time.  Steph made an unbelievable cut on the 13 from wayyyyyy downtown but sadly missed the next shot, allowing Joe to clean up his last balls - not that his balls needed cleaning, hey folks, I'm a married woman, I'm talking about his balls on the table, ahhh, forget it.  Either way he missed the 8 and Sippy is Stayin' Alive.  Captain Nicole "Nikofriko" Stalnaker calls a time out and it's worth it - Steph makes a great shot and follows it with a great D forcing him to shoot long and straight from on the rail and he misses, leaving Steph a tough cut on the 15 - D'OH!  Scratch.  He takes ball-in-hand and makes the 8.  G3 to Joe, and it's 2-1 in Joe's favor.  Game 4 shows a more confident Joe who steps up his snail's pace play to a turtle's pace.  He runs several balls before Steph gets her chance.  She runs several as well, and leaves him with a toughy, but he makes it.  Jason called time out on him and plotted out the rest of the game for him, which he followed through on and won the match.  Steph 1, Joe 3. 
Next up in Match 2 - Shari "Shaz" Mendelson vs. Brian Lamb, an SL3 like Sean O'Sullivan Darcy's an SL5.  I watched this guy warm up and daaaaaamn.  Shaz puts on the game face and gets to work.  She goes on quite a tear and leaves him with nothing. She gets ball-in-hand and goes back to work, when the Ghost of Table 5 prevents the 5 from rolling in, and it's a Save It For Laterrrrrr!  He counters with an awesome defensive shot and Shaz attempts a carom on the 3 in the top right corner, and scratches.  He's on the 8 - and misses!  Shaz, all Gloria Gaynor in that She Will Survive.  Shaz on the 8 - an unlucky miss, and it looks like it's all over - but wait!  The Ghost of Table 5 works with us this time - the 8 is left teetering on the brink of the pocket, well within the jaws.  Nicole calls time out - the shot - the win!  G1 to Shari.  Game 2 shows just how useful the Bridge Killa drill was - Shari makes a fantastic D shot, but Brian makes a small comeback before he snookers himself.  Jason calls The Longest Time Out In The World and Brian just misses the 8 - and Shari doesn't.  Advantage: Shazaam!!!  Shari 2, Brian 0.
Shazaam!!! 1
Crazy 8s 1
We're up, and Oh Captain My Captain is in a pickle.  Will Jason play if she puts herself or Amy up?   Would he try to take a lower SL like Tracy or Erin?  She puts up Amy, and he goes for it.  Nice lag - twice!  Amy thought the practice lag was real, but managed to do it again just as nice.  Amy recognizes the calibre of her opponent and plays really smart - she leaves him with 5 balls on the table compared to her 3, but he cleans it up quickly despite the tough leave.  G1 Jason.  Game 2, and Amy comes out fighting.  Shot of the Night Contender with a combo in the top left, yet another SotN Contender with the 4 in the corner, followed by a nice long run leaving him with 5 balls on the table to her 1.  Call him Heavy D, because he lays the defense on thick.  Amy can see it, but it's tough - she manages the hit but neither ball can touch the rail, a heartbreaker.  Jason cleans up on ball-in-hand. JB takes G2.  Game 3 follows suit - strong smart play from both players, but Amy earns Defensive Shot Of the Night by leaving the cue ball right behind the 5 ball, far away from the 8 ball. Amazingly, he makes the hit, and leaves the 8 ball right over the pocket, and leaves Amy with a rough downtown shot on the 5, which she misses, and Jason takes G4.  Game 5, Jason clearly trying for the 8-on-the-Break with a lot of distribution - followed by a long, clean run leaving Amy with 6 balls on the table to his 3.  Amy makes a huge comeback and cleans up most of it - but not enough, and Jason takes the match.   Jason 5, Amy 0. 
Next, Jason opted to put up Aldo, another guy who's been to The Darren Loveday Academy of Handicap Management.  SL4.  Nicole, the Great Diplomat, asks if Tracy minds if she opts for Erin instead of her.  What if Tracy had minded?  That would have been funny.  Remember when Tracy was on the team?  Good Times.  Erin goes up, and while your humble recapper was out having a smoke, Aldo won G1 so I don't have details.  Speaking of smoking, Steph:  Parliament called and they want to be your sponsor.  All you have to do is wear the Parliament logo on that little camisole you wore to the Tri-Cup.  Game 2, Erin comes out with guns blazing, leaving him with practically nothing, and forcing him to D as well.  Amy calls a time out on Tequila/Starlight, she makes it - but can't follow up.  Good news, neither can Aldo.  It's a real nailbiter - looks like a scratch - but she gets the hit and the white stays on the table.  He misses the 8 - she's got it - but she miscues and forces ball-in-hand.  He takes G2 down.  Aldo smells blood in the water and comes out strong and confident - too confident.  He misses an easy 1 and leaves her a few shots.  Erin misses and his confidence has faded - he snookers himself, and Erin too in the process.  She makes a great D shot but he's got the hit, managing to bring the 8 off the rail, which Erin can't make - and unfortunately he does.  Aldo takes the match, 3-0. 
Shazaam!!! 1
Crazy 8's 3
And it all comes down to this!  Cap'n, avenge us!  Final match, Nicole vs. Eric of the Monkey Tie.  In a funnier moment of the evening, Nicole won G1 while I was smoking and on line for the bathroom (Gary, would it kill you to put in just one more toilet please?).  When I asked her if anything memorable happened, she said, "Yeah, I smoked his ass."  Noice.  Game 2 saw more of the same killer instinct and the Official Shot of the Night when she banked the 8 in the side!  Game 3 - it's on - he's laying down the defense but she's on the case, notably making a loooooong shot on the 15 from downtown.  Heartbreaker alert - he defenses the living daylights out of her, yet she still makes the hit - and the Ghost of Table 5 is back on Crazy 8's side as the cue ball slowly cruises in to the pocket.  He gets a small break but misses an easy 1, and Nicole's back.  Defenses back and forth, until he finally makes one, but snookers himself on the 8.  Nicole makes a nice cut on the 12 in the side and brings the cue ball alllllllll the way back - maybe too much?  NO!  She makes it!  G3 - NS!  Game 4, Eric is able to make a nice run but fails to D when he needs to and scratches.  Nicole follows up with a great stop shot on the 7 for the 4, but comes millimeters short, and manages to D.  He misses and Niko is in good position, until our friend The Ghost of Table 5 interferes and robbs her of the 4 in the top left.  Call the cops!  Opportunity - he misses the 15.  She takes her shot but leaves herself in trouble - almost makes it!   He's left with 2 easy shots and the 8 which he makes.  G4 to Eric.  Game 5, Nicole's got on the game face (not to be confused with the Oh Face).  She makes a nice downtown shot on the 6, and when it's his turn he scratches.  She comes back and her 4 shot is obscured by his 10 hovering in the pocket.  She takes his 10 out.  He shoots waaay too hard, and leaves himself stranded.  Time out from Jason.  Eric plays a great defense, leaving her behind the 8.  She manages the hit but he's got a shot.  He makes it - but fails to follow up and leaves her primed for the 4 - she makes it, AND leaves herself juuuuust right on the 8!  Nicole takes G5, and the match! Nicole 4, Eric 1.
Shazaam!!! 2
Crazy 8's 3
Other quotes of the night:
Sippy: I think I'm addicted to cigarettes.
Sippy: If that guy makes that shot, he's going straight to the PGA!!  (which is for golf, not pool)

Week 3: (Author: Sippy)

Shazaam!!! vs. Nice Leave, 6/6/07

The night started with follow, stop and draw drills. Thanks to Gita we can all draw the ball back from 7 feet away and stop the ball on a dime. Look out Nice Leave, we’re going to be the ones leaving a Nice Leave!

How I’m supposed to measure up to Tracy’s post, I have no idea…

Jen’s up against Joe. Joe starts out strong and pots a couple. Jen makes some good shots and starts potting those stripes in their holes where they belong. Jen has an unfortunate scratch and gives Joe ball in the hand on the 8. Boo, he makes it. 0-1 Bad Guys. Jen’s on for the next game. They both are making shots but Jen sinks the 8 from downtown on the rail, tough shot, to take it to 1-1. Go Jen! Joe and Jen are both potting balls and have some nice safeties. Jen hits a long shot from downtown and it rattles the pocket. Tracy and Steph yell- Savin’ it for later! Jen asks- where’s Nic to yell it? We all laugh. Jen and Joe both have two balls left before the 8. Jen makes her balls and is on the 8; however, the 8 goes in the wrong pocket and the game is over. Joe 2, Jen 1.

Gita’s up against Anthony. She tried to make me play him, but I refused. That man is my kryptonite and makes me play like a one eyed, one armed sailor. Good luck, Gita! Anthony is on fire and leaves himself one ball to Gita’s 6. But, “Safety Gita” leaves him stuck behind two balls in her typical- Take That!- fashion. Go Gita!

Gita has ball in hand, when a cue ball comes flying from table 7 and almost hits Gita in the ass. Our friend Jorge Jr. smacked a break and the cue ball went flying. Whoever says pool isn’t a dangerous sport has never been to Willow.

Gita screws Anthony again (figuratively, not really) and Anthony is getting frustrated. Hey Gita, maybe you should teach safeties before next week’s match… Darn it, he manages to touch it, but Gita hits several balls in and they now each have one ball left. Gita makes her ball and the 8 to win. 1-0. Good Girls.

The pockets on table 3 never cease to spit out balls.

I compliment Anthony on a nice shot and Gita yells at me- whose side are you on, she says? It’s my way of breaking down the competition, Gita, remember Tri-Cup? I’ll do anything for my girls to win!

Gita safeties Anthony again. She has him going nuts. I get excited and attempt a dance move (we are next to the Jukebox, btw) and it fails- miserably. Anthony hits the 8 in. 1-1.

New game…Gita has an unfortunate scratch and that rack is over. 1-2 Bad Guys. 

We all admire Anthony’s breaks…maybe we can ask for a lesson…

Gita gets unlucky and knocks the 8 in early. Loss 1-3 to Anthony.

Shazaam 0 Bad Guys 2…uh oh

Off to my own game…I’m playing Pat.

I win the lag and have a nice break, one ball goes in. I’m stuck in the corner and I attempt a long snooker, knowing from physics and logic that it will scratch. I try it anyway. I scratch. Sometimes my head is really up my ass. Pat runs several balls. Dang, he has gotten good. Pat is calm, cool and on fire. Oh, but then he scratches. I have ball in hand with 6 balls to his one. I try a shot to lay up the rest of the table. I miss. I think I had my eyes closed. He hits his ball in and then the 8. Not my best start. 0-1 Bad Guys.

Game 2 and 3 I relax and start potting balls. The pool gods are with me. My eyes are open again and my head is out of my ass. I have two tough, long cuts on the 8s and make both of them to take game 2 and 3. One more to go! 

Third game, I break, make one, and dead stroke hits me. I run 7 balls with some nice shots and good (lucky) leaves. I leave the only shot I can on the 8, but it’s from downtown and not easy. I miss, by…a lot. Darn it, this rack just got long with him having 7 balls on the table and lots of places to hide. He pockets a couple, but tries to be the hero and he leaves me a shot. It’s not easy and I have to use the bridge, I miss. Gita was sure I could make it- I don’t think she really saw the angle…He makes a couple more, but again goes for the hero shot and leaves me a cut shot, with the 8 on the rail from 2 ½ feet out. Deep breath…I want this match to be over, I’m ready for a cocktail…I make it!! Yea! 2-2 Tie…(Tracy finished while I was playing…)

Tracy’s match started during my match…Erin details the events…

Tracy cleans up 3 balls to get a shot on the 8, but is unlucky w/ the tight pocket. Dominick sneaks in his 2 balls and sinks the 8. 0-1 Bad Guys.

Tracy hits a great combo to start the next rack. 3 must be Tracy’s favorite number as every time she got up to bat it was 3 at a time down the hole.

He gets lucky and snookers Tracy. Gita steps in and calls a much needed time out to help Tracy with the tricky 5 ball. She manages to hit the 5 but not knock it to the rail. Ball in hand to D. He scratches and gives ball in hand right back. Tracy wins! 1-1.

Tracy breaks and makes a stripe. Love that headband chickie!!

Tracy has become the Queen of Bridge Killer and leaves D right smack in the middle of what seemed like a 100 balls.

Joe keeps bugging Gita to compare sheets. “Dude!” Don’t you know what Nic says? Save that shit for later!

He’s testing Tracy, but she’s hanging in there. 

Who knew I (Erin speaking remember) needed Gita’s lessons on stop shots. Dominic then gets unlucky but he “knew” he had the game, so he took his hat off, bent over the table to take a deep breath and MISSED!! 

Shot of the night: Tracy makes her last shot in the far left corner and brings the cue ALL THE WAY BACK DOWN THE TABLE for a beautiful set up on the 8. It couldn’t have been more perfect or beautiful. The team is cheering. She shoots and she f’in scores!!!

Tracy Wins! 2-1.

2-2 Shazaam!!! vs Nice Leave

Ok, Steph is back with the pen, but only after Gita and Tracy reminded me. I actually had forgot and was all about drinking and carrying on with everyone…

2-2- Holy cow!! Our girl Starlight is up, and the pressure is on. I said a prayer that they didn’t put up their boy Alan, who’s about a 6, but still masquerading as a 5.

They put up Dane. We don’t know Dane. He’s a 3, hooray, I know our girl Erin can take him!

Erin wins the lag. Makes a solid. She tries to follow up with a long, cross ways shot but misses by an inch.

Quote of the night, after that shot: Steph- “If the table was straight, it would have gone in!!” I go yell at Gary.

He misses and leaves E some tough leaves, but Erin is playing smart and has learned the safety game…she hits one pocket speed and has a savin it for later.

D is getting lucky with his leaves! Erin makes another beautiful shot, and then a safety.

Gary yells- girls are crazy. Tracy thinks he yells, You girls are MILFS, mother’s I’d like to ______.!! Who Hoo! We have to explain to Gary what MILFS are, and it’s highly entertaining.

D makes a great shot, E tries the safety after his miss, but just misses it. He nails the 8 with a very nice shot. 0-1 Bad Guys.

New game…D is still running balls, but so is E and her safety game is on. She attended Gita’s “Gita’s School of Safeties” on Monday night. Ball in hand goes to E. Gita calls a time out and the plan is laid, E executes, kind of- well, good enough to screw him! 

Gary informs us he is going to have the tables refelted, one by one. It really is a happy day at Willow. Probably because he made about $5,000 on the Mosconi bar night….

D misses an easy shot…Erin has a chance…she makes it, but then misses. He’s on the 8….tough shot…oh he misses! Hooray! We’re still alive. All I can think of is that silly song “Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive”

Gita calls a time out on E. Joe declares that this is the 3rd time out. I say NO! it’s not, and I’m 90% certain that I am right. Gita feels she gave E the 411 anyway and backs off. 

E makes the 8!


Erin has another great break. She has a savin’ it for later. He misses. She has another great safety. Dude! Gita- how much is your Safety School again???

Erin is strategically hitting pocket speed and her balls are blocking pockets. D misses again! 

E gets a time out from Gita. She hits the wrong object ball, but still makes a ball!! We are all dying laughing. The cue slipped she said, ahahahahaha.

D is on the 8 which is 2 inches from the corner pocket, but the cue ball can’t clear E’s 12 which is totally blocking it, thanks to a very smart, and well executed safety by E. I call Andy over to watch the shot. Hopefully he’ll call it in our favor either way. He’s a friend of Shazaam!!! right??

D tries to hit the rail first. He does manage to hit the rail first, but hits E’s 12 and then the cue taps the 8 to make it fall in. FOUL!!!

We WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Week 4: (Author: Starlite)

Amy v. Gary

I walked in late but just in time to see Amy’s beauty long shot on the rail to make the 8 in the far right corner pocket. What a great way to start the evening! Amy won the first rack against Gary!

After the first rack and girlie break by Amy, they decide to re-rack. Apparently it was girlie night at Willow and the gods in favor of the all girl team of ShaZAAM!!! because everyone, including Rex had at least one girlie break. The match was pretty stressful as Amy and Gary were both having trouble with the far right pocket. It just kept spitting out balls left and right. But it was Amy that finally tamed the beast and shoved her 8 ball right down its nasty throat. Amy, 2-0.

So Amy’s really in her groove but so is Gary as he starts to clean up the table. However, Amy “you can’t touch this” Ma comes back to do just the same. She’s left with a tricky shot on the 8. She decides that SHE COULD GO ALL THE WAYYYYYYYYY down the table to make her 8 straight into the belly of the beast (far right corner pocket) and yes ladies and gentlemen….she F’EN made it! What a beautiful display of sexy pool. Amy beats Gary 3-0.

Tracy v. Kevin

Because of all the excitement of Amy’s last match I missed a lot of Tracy’s playing. No, it wasn’t because you yelled at Stephanie and I for digging through your purse and I crawled up like a little girl in a “Time Out”. ☺ I did however notice Kevin shaking his hand after every shot he made. Tracy, I think Kevin stole your mojo!

Tracy had some well executed defensives against Kevin but unfortunately he was able to sneak the 8 in the corner pocket to win the game. Unlucky love, you’ll get him next time.

Stephanie v. Jorge

Boy was this a tense game as it seemed like Jorge really wanted to kick some azz but apparently, so did Stephanie. Both players played so well and their shots seemed to just float into the pockets. However, it was Steph that cleaned up her last two balls and the 8 to win the first match. Well done!

I didn’t see too much of the second and third match, it wasn’t easy keeping score and my summary. CLEARLY, the summary comes first as I was watching Niko Friko’s match to ensure an accurate notes. ☺ I do know that the second game took a lot more effort but Jorge was able to sneak in a win on the second match. That’s okay because Steph came back as fierce as ever to win the next match. I think that was when Jorge made some AMAZING shots only to miss a pretty simple shot on the 8 and leave Steph to put it in with little effort. Steph 2, Jorge 1.

I came back from a much needed smoke break to just miss a cue being thrown at my feet. Clueless to everything around me I wonder, “Why is Jorge so angry, you’re gonna miss a shot now and again?” “Ohhhhhh……” I say to myself as I turn around to look at the table. Steph has only one of her balls as Jorge has 1-2-3….6 balls left! Steph ends the pain and ends the game with a 3-1 victory over Jorge. Great playing Steph!

Niko v. Dan Colby

I knew this was going to be a tough game as Dan and Niko’s lags were about 1 millimeter off the rail, Dan got it though. That’s ALL he got though because once Niko stepped up it was all over for the first match. She almost won the first match in 0 innings but Gary was a slight distraction as walked passed Niko’s peripheral vision with what highly resembled a glass dildo in hand. Pretty funny stuff, still not sure what it was… That’s okay Niko, 1 inning is still awesome and so are you!

The second game….not as exciting as the first. However, Niko started off with a pretty sweet combo in the far right pocket but was left with a not so sweet leave. Dan wasn’t his usual “Make all the craziest shots in the pockets” normal self but he did get the win on the second match to tie up the game.

Dan starts to get his game back and doesn’t stop putting in balls. Luckily he puts the 8 in an uncompromising position near Niko’s twelve ball. Yeah, save that for later buddy. ☺ He must have heard me as he almost cleaned the table, leaving his five ball in front of the pocket. Niko comes back to play a nice defensive shot leaving hardly any options for Dan. After Dan’s failed attempt at his 5, Niko strikes back to finish off her balls but unfortunately hits the 8 ball a little too hard leaving Dan to make it in. Dan 2, Niko 1

I missed a lot of this match, probably at the bar… but returned to both Niko and Steph stepping up for their shots on the 8 ball. Feeling so nervous that I could fart, I crossed my fingers in hopes that both would be victorious and make their shots at the same time! Though not at the same time, both ShaZAAM!!! players made their 8’s in …..Steph’s shot was to win her game against Jorge.

Steph was keeping notes on Niko’s last match and all of my matches and I can’t read her terrible chicken scratch handwriting. I see something about beauty oranges and scoring. Oh, and I see an “OW, BITCH!” Steph, give up the details. This looks like an interesting story.

Erin v. Rex

Although I was happy with my playing I still couldn’t make any of the crucial shots. I sucked and Steph does too! My first time out she tells me “Just do your best”. HAHA! Rex spanked my ass 3-0.

I do remember Amy coming over to assist me in my T/O only to turn around and see her trying to suck down the foam that was overflowing from her Stella. Obviously, Stella should only be served in a goblet and not cooped up in the bottle. It was funny watching Amy accuse Steph of shaking it. ☺

Week 5: