|Been awhile. Blogging shouldn't be a forced ordeal, so I just didn't feel like sharing anything the past couple of months. I've been real down on the sport of late, my table has gotten no love for the longest period of time since I've had it. I hope sharing this doesn't get other people down.
So I went to the IL State in June and got my ass handed to me. My game just wasn't in sync, my defense was not at the level that is required to beat two of the greatest players. My defense has always been inconsistent, and has relied on getting warmed up against great offenses to get in the zone. That's why I always play doubles at the big events, to use it as a warmup for singles. Billy played me very well, his defense was solid against me, and he used great strategy on offense. Sometimes I'll buy into my own hype of having an unstoppable offense, and then be brought back into reality that it's my defense that really carries me. I would say that my offense is merely top 5-6, but when my defense is on, it's top 2-3. This is what affords me opportunities to take high risk/high reward shots. Wil was bascially Wil against me, hitting big shots when they counted. I didn't win a 7-6 game against either player. I did take some things away from Wil that I had worked on, but he saw what Billy was doing and continued the trend. Hey, getting this out is actually making me feel better. It was helpful to watch how Billy plays against Wil, extremely conservative and precise. This is what I did against Wil in the 2006 semi-finals, and almost came back to beat him. Lately, I've been trying to outquick him, just trying not to back down against my opponent. I guess it's proven not to work, and I will have to go conservative against him.
My next rant will be about my continued respect for true champions and professional athletes. I've been a perenial number 2 finisher for most of my life. I would attain the number 1 status locally, but against a larger pool, I would often fall short. Thus the reason I dedicated myself to AH. I just wanted to prove to myself that if I put everything that I had into something, I could get to the top. I don't care what all the uninformed people say, I feel that I've raised my game to one of the top in AH. I know exactly where it stacks up as I've been one of the few players who've given a damn to measure and analyze everyone's games the past 5 years. I'm not going to apolgize for the different levels of dedication that all the players have - everyone is going to be up and down on the sport. So, I'm not even at the top of the sport, and already my hunger has waned. This is why I respect the champions that have the motivation to keep going, to excel and show their very best all the time. They are just wired differently, and it's amazing to behold. Also, for all the pro athletes whose lives and performances are scrutized daily, they must have to ignore the stuff completely, lest it drive them nuts. We on the forums get a tiny razzing and we go into a tailspin.
OK, I'm almost at the point that I feel like cleaning my table. I need to adjust my mentality to become the hunter again, versus being the hunted. I've seen that look many times on my oppoenents, the look of "what is going on here, I thought I owned this person". They simply were too overconfident to even scout my game, and then got flustered when things didn't go their way. I have now been in this position, and will try to change it around. I definitely play better when I feel like I'm the underdog.
My head is getting clear again. Simply try your best, and let everything fall where it may. Time to get worried about Nizzi. Then, let's see about winning another tournament, just for the heck of it.