Player Profiles - Lisa Vincent  
Q. Do you shoot right handed or left handed?
A. I'm a right handed player.

Q. How long have you been playing pool for?
A. I have been playing since '95, so about 13 years.

Q. And how long have you been playing league for?
A. That long.

Q. Wow, so you started in the league as a beginner to the game?
A. Oh, and I sucked! Lol

Q. So you started from the ground up.
A. Yes.
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Q. Where is your favourite spot to play?
A. I don't think I have a favourite place... It's pretty much wherever there's a good table, good music, and a good atmosphere.

Q. What do you enjoy most about playing league pool?
A. The interaction with other players, meeting new people... Just the chance to come out on a weekly basis and play the game. I enjoy the game so very much. It never used to be because of the competition, but the competitive aspect has become a part of it. As I've progressed, as I've gotten a little bit better it has become a little bit of that. But, it's meeting new people. I like to be around people. And I find that the nights that I don't shoot well are the nights that- they're those days when you shouldn't get out of bed... You shouldn't be around people, right? lol Those are the days that I don't shoot well because I shouldn't be around So there's also the social part of it.

Have you been to the VNEA Vegas Tournament?
A. Absolutely! 3 times.

Did you win the trip every time?
A. No. Twice we won. And once we went on our own. We ended up taking third place and we decided to take our winnings and get ourselves down there.

What did you get out of that experience?
A. It's the social thing There's a whole bunch of people there, and a much higher level of players. Everyone is there for the sole purpose of competing. There is a competitive tournament atmosphere. It was an awesome experience!

There's a lot of pool tables there...
A. Yes, there is a lot... have you ever been?

Yeah, I've been there once, so far.
A. Oh, man! There's a lot of pool tables, a lot of people! I like the whole international part of it! Playing people who don't speak English and therefore having an interpreter there. That part of it adds a new element to the game!

Yeah, there are teams from about 11 countries worldwide.
A. Oh yeah! There were these ladies from Australia who were handing out Koala bears to whoever they were shooting with or hanging out with. So they gave me a Koala bear souvenir from Australia... It was pretty cool!

Do you have any mentors, or players you've learned a lot from?
A. I think everyone I've shot against I've had an opportunity to learn from... Be it the way I hold the cue, or how to bridge... Sean Grossette was the first person I can remember distinctly. He taught me how to break, and it was before he had any idea who I was. We were out shooting at Faces on College, I was still in college, and that's when I was first starting out just getting into the game. He said "Try it like this", "Hold it like this", "This is what you're aiming for, this is what you want to visualize..." and it just worked! And I've never changed it, really... except for a couple of tiny little things. There's been so many people along the way- the number of people who've attempted to teach me how to put backspin on it... I really can't do it very well yet!

It's a work in progress...
A. It is a work in progress and it's coming along. But to nail down somebody specific, no. I rarely watch pool on TV to be able to see any of the pros. I wouldn't be able to say one of those would be a mentor, no. It would be all the "regular Joes" who are playing along with me, and that are struggling along also, and trying to learn. When we stand at the table after a game and say "I was trying for this, and that's why I did that..." and they say "Well here's my spin on it..." It's been all of those people that I've learned from. Not just one particular person... pretty much everybody.

Do you have any goals for the future of your game?
A. I play this game because I love it. As soon as I stop liking it-- as soon as it stops being fun, then I won't want to play. As soon as the competition outweighs the sportsmanship part of it, the kindness between humans, then I won't want to play. So my goal is to, sure, do the best that I can... But this isn't my money maker. I have a job, I have a life outside of pool and I enjoy that. I don't have a table at home. I don't get to play all of the time. I love coming out on league night... I love to have a cue in my hands and be able to shoot the balls around. I would love to go to Vegas again, I would love to play in more tournaments... Whether I win money at the end of the season or not? Sure, it's a goal but it certainly isn't the end all, be all. This is something that I set the money aside for and am able to play all year long. My goal is to enjoy the game. To continue to enjoy the game and learn as much as I can. I am not a pro. I won't ever be a pro. I don't want to be a pro. I just love the game and I want to be around other people who enjoy the game, too. I do like the competition, too. But the kindness has to be there... and it is.

How do you like the VNEA structure and rules?
A. There were a few rule changes this year that I wasn't too sure of. You know, rack your own break, and when you sewer off the 8 ball it's not a loss of game if there's balls on the table...

Was it tough to get used to?
A. I was used to it from playing in the BCA- those rules apply over there- so it wasn't so bad. When you're practicing on a table you rack your breaks anyway. Whether it's your hands tightening that rack or someone else's- really, what's the difference?
I think the rules are good. They're very straightforward. As long as you know those rules it's all pretty much common sense.

What part of your game would you like to improve?
A. Backspin... I'm telling ya, that damn Backspin and banks, that's where I would like to improve.

What is the best part of your game?
A. Cuts. Long table cuts. When the cut is on a tight angle, like a 90 degree angle and the ball has to go all the way down the table. I can do quite well with those.

How do you think Town and Country Amusement could improve?
A. Gosh I'd have to think on that one and get back to you. That's a tough one! I think Town and Country is doing a fine job. I think the number of divisions is excellent. It gives players an opportunity to pick where they want to be. If I were to say to Tony: "I know we belong down in this division, but I'd really like you to put us up here. I know we'll get our asses kicked but we really want to learn." I think he would take that into consideration. He's very fair with all of his rulings. It's not like some other leagues around the city where it changes like the wind or it depends on who's calling. He's the person that has always made the decision when we'd call. It's very fair. It's very well run. There's lots of opportunity, lots of different places to play out of. Lots of bars to play out of. The website is awesome! Maybe if you didn't have a website, I could tell you where you could improve. But, no, you're already there. We see staff from Town and Country coming around on a regular basis, we see that you guys take an interest in what we're doing as players. We see that we're not just out here on our own. No, I can't think of anything off the top of my head that T&C could improve on.

Thank you very much! We appreciate that.
A. You're welcome!

Did you ever have anything embarrassing or awkward happen to you while you were playing? But in a funny way. Like, for example, if you were shooting solids and then you switched to stripes by accident...something along those lines?
A. Here's one for anybody out there who is down on themselves for losing games. In my very first year I was so disgruntled because I went, like, 16 weeks without winning a game... at all. When you multiply that by 4 games a night, that was a whole lot of games and I was pretty frustrated. But it became kind of a running joke. Like "Well, there's another one. Let's try again. Let's try again!"

I see things have turned around a lot since then...
A. Oh

If you could boil it down to one thing, what is the most important aspect of pool?
A. Sportsmanship. All the way.

And last question: Will you be at this year's banquet?
A. Oh absolutely! Oh yes. That's the funniest time of the year! For sure!