This will just be a quick summary post because a) I’m super busy with my day job and b) if I continue to dwell on this, I’ll get uber-pissed off about it all over again.
Tournament starts at 1. I’m playing my first match, and playing well. It’s a race to 5, I’m winning 4-1. I had just missed a tough cut on the 8, but left it as a tough cross-corner back for the guy. Before he gets down to shoot it, the tournament directory comes over and says “We are really, really … really sorry, but we have to cancel this match. The brackets were drawn up incorrectly and you guys were not supposed to play each other. Here’s your quarters back for the match so far.”
We look at each other and think, WTF?!? Now it’s after 2, I’ve already fought through the “first match” jitters, but it didnt’ count. So, yay for getting warmed up, Boo for not getting credit for a win. I’m pretty pissed about the bracket mistake (they cancelled 4 matches btw), but it is what it is, at least I hadn’t already won (as a friend of mine had).
They get the bracket fixed and matches underway in a pretty short amount of time. I’m still playing really well, making good choices, playing a lot of smart defenses, etc. I win my first match 5-2, then I win my 2nd match 5-1. It’s now just after 5pm and I’m in the final 8. But, now is the dead time. I wait, and I wait… and I wait… … I wait for almost FOUR HOURS before my opponent is determined from the 1-loss side. I had no idea when I was gonna play, so I couldn’t leave. All I could do is sit there and drink water and chit-chat. All the tables were full with either league or tournament play (there’s only 10 tables in the place).
So, I start my next match … and my opponent is the guy I beat in the cancelled match. He’s been playing non-stop all day. I’ve been sitting 3+ hours. The outcome is that he beat me as badly as I beat him to start the day. I had no focus, no mental game. And the 2nd chance rounds were long gone, so this was a pack-your-bags match for both of us. And one round from getting into the money. If I had won that match I was guaranteed 3rd/4th.
I can’t really blame anyone for how I played. I have to find a way to stay in the game even when I’m not playing, but at the same time, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous how the bracket mishap was handled, then combined with the absurd amount of time people had to wait. A colleague of mine was a parallel bracket to me and he had to 45 mins longer than me to play his match! So, it seems to me that the directors should place more emphasis on the 1-loss side. Play a winner’s side after 2 west-sides. Or something to that affect. There simply MUST be a better way to schedule matches. Preferably, by times, the way most every other organized tournament is ran. There’s no reason that a race to 5 between to high skill levels should ever take more than 1.5 hours. I realize it happens sometimes, but in general, most racks are over in 2 innings unless there’s a bunch of safety. But the time averages out with the quick break’n’run and 8-on-the-snap racks, or just a dry break and run-out rack. From there, you can schedule the brackets at certain times and fill in the players as they come in.
The kicker is that this was only a 22 person tournament and it took nearly 12 hours to complete.
So, onwards. Next weekend there’s another 8-ball tournament, should be a lot toughter, with better money. I haven’t decided if I’m gonna play yet. The buy-in is significant and I’m a little thin with the extra pool funds this week. The weekend after is the Top Gun 9 Ball tournament. Hopefully, I’ll have more to say on the positive side 2 Mondays from now.
Two weeks after that is the Midwest 9Ball tour and the week after that is VEGAS!! Holy crap this has turned into the summer of tournaments!