Ricky Jay and I have sunk all of our balls and are fighting for the 8 ball for the win. The room is dead quiet. I can feel dozens of eyes watching my every move. It’s my shot. I circle the table about five times trying to get a picture in my mind of the distance, angle and stroke needed. The cue ball is at the break-end of the table and the 8-ball is at the opposite right end, about three inches from the rail and about fourteen inches from the pocket.
Without moving the cue ball, I slightly touch it, I slowly grip my cue, place the tip about two inches from the cue ball, angle my stick towards the direction I want the ball to roll, and then I slowly hit the cue ball with a little left English. Those who saw the stroke and heard the thwacking sound of the cue ball smacking the 8 ball know what is about to happen. However, that doesn’t include me.
When I hear the sounds the spectators are making, I become confused. As fast as I can, I scamper to the other side of the table. I am anxiously wondering, “Did I even hit the 8 ball?”
Before I get there, it is already gone. I know I pocketed the 8 ball to win the game, when someone asks, “Hey Richard, great shot! What kind of English did you put on that ball?”