What is one of your favorite pool memories since becoming a pro?
This is a really hard question to answer because I have SO many great memories playing pool- or this question could turn into a great lesson to an up-coming player?
I first started playing in 1997 on “the hill” in the college town of Boulder, CO. It was there that my young-gun friends Kevin Satterfield & Dave Evens got me interested in pool. Those were the good days, when nothing mattered except having a great time and learning to play pool. My friends and I would drive from Boulder to Denver where the 24-hour poolrooms were- I had the best time with them learning, playing, and staying up all night at the pool halls.
After moving to Denver in 1993, with then boyfriend Bret, I started taking pool more seriously and made the decision to make pool my career and not just a hobby. I started travelling a lot, on the then “Hunter Tour”, trying to qualify for the WPBA Tour- the best of the best! Between 1997-1998 I won five qualifiers to get me started. Back then that was the ONLY way to get on the WPBA tour was to win national qualifiers- then you had to get into the top ½ of the field 50% of the time to get your tour card.
Towards the end of 1998 I had played in four consecutive WPBA events and had finished in the top half four times in a row. I was playing on my last qualifying spot in the WPBA BCA Open. I had to win a losers side match against Loree Jon Jones to get my touring pro status.
My entire family was present in the ballroom of the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The score was 7-7 going to 9. Loree Jon broke and ran to make it 8-7 & I took a break. When I got back from my break I walked past my cheering family in the stands to get back into the arena- they encouraged me to win. I got back to the table and broke and ran the next rack, now the score is 8-8. Loree Jon broke and scratched and I knew at that point I had a chance to win- it took me about 20 minutes to run the rack but when I sunk that 9-ball the crowd irrupted and I looked back to see my mom crying her little eyes out- that was a great moment in my young career to beat a Hall of Famer & legend of the game to receive my touring pro status- it was awesome!
Over the years, I have collaborated many stories like these and am still working towards accomplishing my goals- but if I could get a lesson on this story it would be: it really does not matter what you have won in pool but the process of accumulating all of those great memories is what counts. To this day I would not have changed a thing and feel blessed that I can make pool my career and travel the world playing a game. Cherish every moment you can- because before you know it- 10 years will pass in a blink of an eye.
Best of luck to you,
If you have a question for “The Viper” please e-mail them to Melissa Little at Melissa@melissalittle.com