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Trying to get the feel in 4 days by Gallant.

Postby gallantrabbit

Yes I play over here in Brazil, when I can sneak a half hour, on 10 foot tables as an excuse to prove that I can still hold a cue, BUT was over in England at the beginning of the month and with no wife or kids in tow, decided to get a little playing time in while over. My big plan was to make it to Paul Mount's as I was in the Gloucester area, but too many family commitments, so I had to wait till London to get the cue out of its case.
I thought I'd try King's Cross first. I knew it wasn't the same as when I was playing out of there, but there was a chance I'd know some people still and also knew that the Nags Head in Holloway had closed.
I was right. King's Cross wasn't the same. The Hurricane Rooms...full of neon lights, American pool tables and cute poker tables, but still 9 from the original 12 footers! Phew I thought, snooker hasn't died. Tuesday afternoon, 3pm, couldn't get a table!!, not even at nigh on 7 nicker an hour. I must admit, I was peed off cos I was desperate to get on a table, but secretly pleased cos snooker really hadn't died!
So as I didn't have a world of time as the Gooners would play their ill fated return with Barca that night, I thought I'd go search somewhere else.
Finsbury Park next stop, where there was a ten pin, pool and snooker centre. Many moons ago. All the snooker tables were hauled out 8 years ago.
So I dwelled there with a pint, watched a little of the WC cricket and decided I'd have to give up for the day.
I was preoccupied with the game that night and deserted my sister to watch it in a downer at the heel boozer than her direct neighbourhood provides.
Next morning, still gitted, hung over and disollusioned with the Red kids, I continued my pursuit of a snooker hall to play in.
I searched and called a few, but eventually settled on another Hurricane room in Enfield, only 10 mins down the road, nice.
Tenner membership or 2 pounds a day plus your lights. 9 tables plus all the poker/pool in the bar.
The table looked big but there was a wee knot in the stomach as I screwed up the cue. Anxiety and some of the old buzz coming back despite this being a simple line up session.
As you can imagine I didn't cover myself in glory in the first session. I think my eyes cope better with 10ft than with 12 these days and it took most of my 2 hours to adjust.
Still, I enjoyed it and didn't leave too disheartened, although I think 65 was my best line up effort.
Back the next day for more and though I didn't improve my 65 by much I had more 50s and less simple misses. It was early doors though and I'd have liked an oppo but no-one was about.
Third morning was better. The hall was fuller although everyone was paired up so I kept on the line ups. My neighbour was boring his oppo though about how he used to make tons many moons ago and when his mate got bored, he came over and started telling me...I humoured him for a while and then when he finally went back to his own game I missed the blue on 119. More like it.
At least now I had the feel back again and while I knew it'd take 6 weeks practice to get back to match standard at least I was comfortable on the shot again.
Last day and I had to get a bus from Victoria at 4 so I decided to try King's Cross again. (Even facebooked London John as he was in the city, but we couldn't quite connect, next time John ;) )
Couldn't believe it when I got there and they again told me King's Cross was full, but fortunately 4 tables were being used for a coaching session and the coach was an old sparring partner. He set me up for a few frames with one of his protege's, a young lad, with a decent cue action.
My coach mate was busy telling everyone I used to take him to the cleaners as I missed two foot pots...thanks mate!
Still I struggled together a couple of 'breaks' of 22, 23 and won the first frame, thinking I'd get better as things went on.
Never happened and young laddo busted me 3-1. Have rarely felt less comfortable at a table, but fair play to the lad he made 40 and a 50 and played nice and serious.
Only a few days to play but the bug is still inside me.
When I convince my missus that 5 degrees is better than 35, and arm myself with a good pair of specs, I'll start playing for real again.
Till then it's good to know that snooker isn't dead in London and we still have people willing to back new enterprises like the Hurricane Rooms. <ok>