Jan 10 2009

Pool Year End

Jason wrote about the first night of the Quincy Pool Tournament, so I might as well add my two cents.

We went back this morning to continue our March Toward Destiny, but it was cut short.  After I won (4-0, thank you very much), we were down two matches to one, and it was lunchtime, so I left.  They didn’t call me back for the next round, so I guess our last two players didn’t continue the comeback for the 3-2 win.

Photo from Flickr.com

Photo from Flickr.com

That’s okay; we were definitely going up against a lot of better teams in the tournament, even considering the handicap system.  The other team’s second player, a 3-handicap, had to be the best 3 I’ve ever seen.  In our division, a 3 is usually someone who doesn’t look like a complete novice but isn’t great either: who makes most of the easy shots but isn’t very good at leaving himself in good position for the next shot, so he rarely strings together more than a few shots in a row.  Apparently, in the division our opponents from today play in, 3s are capable of running the table.  There are some very good pool players in Quincy, but we don’t run into many of them in our normal sessions.

It was still a good time, though.  It’s rare to get to play on a table that has enough empty space around it that you never find yourself up against a wall or a table or a drunk person stumbling toward the bathroom.  These tables were nice and spread out, so you could always get down on the shot with good form and no distractions.  The tables appeared to have been re-felted for the tournament and the balls were clean, so they were rolling straight and true.  There was plenty of seating around the outside, so teams could sit together (not possible in some tiny bars); and if there were any spectators, they could have a good view.

They even had waitresses running drink orders around.  We weren’t supposed to bring in food or drink, but I saw lots of people ignoring that rule, so I brought in my salty water this morning to keep me from drying out and buying diet soda.  I felt much better afterward than I did last night, thanks to that.

My only real complaint about the venue was that they dragged in a jukebox and big speakers, so it was just as hard to carry on a conversation as it is in most bars.  I spent the day cocking my ear towards people, saying, “Huh?”  I felt like I should have one of those hearing cones.  Maybe that makes sense in a bar, but this was a pool tournament.  Everyone was there to play pool with their teammates or watch someone they knew play pool, not to listen to music.  You might think people in that situation would want to be able to talk to each other without yelling over Eminem or some horrid country tune.  There was enough background noise already, with a dozen pool games going on in a big echoing cavern.  The music was just silly.

That was fairly minor, though.  All in all, it was held in a good place with good equipment and organization, and seemed like they were trying to put on a classy event.  Much nicer than I expected for our little amateur league.  I hope the rest of it goes as well, and they’re able to hold it there again next year.

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