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View Full Version : Reflections from U.S. Open - long post



Chris in NC
09-30-2002, 01:02 PM
I attended the Open only from Thursday afternoon until Saturday morning and had a great time as always. As I was with 2 of my best customers and an employee on the trip (first time for all 3 of them), I apologize for not getting the opportunity to meet and spend time with a number of the CCB'ers that were in attendance. I'd like to share a few thoughts from my experiencea at the Open.

First, I thought the event was very well attended - at least on Thursday and Friday when we were there. I heard nothing but positive things from the players and the spectators as to how well this event is run in every aspect. I thought it was quite strange that there was a full house for the 7pm Friday evening matchup between Earl and Corey, but then a mass exit after that match concluded. The arena never filled up anymore than maybe 60% for any of the evening's later sessions - which lasted until nearly 2pm with a number of great matches. That was fine with us - as it allowed to sit much closer to the matches we were concentrating on.

As far as advice to anyone who may be attending a tourney like this in the future as a spectator, I would strongly suggest in order to get maximum enjoyment from the experience, that it is best to focus your full attention on just one match at a time - preferably the table you are sitting closest to. That's hard to do at an event like this - with so many great players playing at the same time on different tables. But I've found that when you try to watch 2 or more matches at once, you just don't get in to any single match and all the nuances that go with it.

There was alot of talk at this event about the young Russian players - Stalev as well as the 2 teenagers who both made it to Thursday night still in the winner's bracket. Yes, there were all no doubt talented - particularly the 17 year-old who looked like he was 14. One of the highlights of our 2 days was when this young Russian defeated Tony Mougey in a hill-hill thriller in a loser's bracket match on Friday. Mougey was not the best of sports throughout the match trying to intimidate his younger opponent - which had the crowd pulling even harder for the young player. Mougey ended up hooking himself on the 7-ball in an easy run-out in the hill-hill game, and the kid was able to hold on for the win. I will say that having attended the BCA junior nationals, the U.S. has no lack of talented young players as good and in most cases even better than these two teenagers! Straun, Runnigan, Hennen, Banks, Hall, McMinn, Gray and Bateman are just a few that come to mind immediately that all could have potentially faired quite well at this event - if they received a favorable draw.

The younger player that impressed me the most was Alcano, the young Phillipine player. I heard he lost a hill-hill match to Alex late Saturday night which must have been a great match to watch. He came a long ways through the one-loss bracket with numerous wins over strong players. I predict he'll soon be on the heels of the top 3 Phillipine players - Reyes, Bustamante and Pugalayan.

Also, one couldn't help but be amazed by Luc Salvas. In one of the best matches I witnessed (which took place at the same time as the Deuel v Strickland match) was between Rodney Morris and Luc. Luc should have been out on the hill-hill game, but carelessly left himself very tough shape on the 6-ball. After Luc played a decent safety, Rodney made a great shot on the 6 and ran out for the win. The next match for Luc was against Frankie Hernandez, who had just come off a fantastic hill-hill match win over Parica. Well, Luc was up 9-1 before Frankie knew what hit him (after about 20 minutes) and Luc went on to win 11-3. When this man is hot, he can no doubt be one of the most impressive and dangerous players in the world - and unquestionably with his speed the most fun to watch!

The action at the poolroom (Q-Master's) on Thursday and Friday night was memorable as always. This place was still packed at 5 in the morning! I got to witness some great games, though most of the top tourney players just seemed to mill around talking trash and unable to make a game and/or find a backer. Keep an eye on a big young black kid named Tony Chowan. I'd never heard of him before this weekend and don't know where he's from, but he can really shoot. I also got to see Tony Watson and Omar Kang (who both recently came here to our room) both in action giving up weight against other players and winning. Although I could speculate a few reasons, I just can't figure out exactly why Tony Watson hasn't been able to put it together in tournament play at this level.

I finally got to see Jose Parica playing one-pocket. He was matched up against an older gentleman in a one pocket game. Jose was giving him some weight, and appeared to have his hands full as this old man could really shoot. I was dissappointed to see a couple of relatively unknown WPBA tour players who appeared to be taking advantage of a couple of local gals in a scotch doubles match. My guess is these two local gals had no clue these two ladies were on the women's pro tour, but it was clear they were playing way out of their league and probably didn't even know it. I'm sure if they had to sense to ask around, they could have easily found out.

I purchased a Josey Sneaky Pete model from the Josey booth before leaving. Both Tony Watson and Shaun Putnam play with one, and both speak very highly of the cue. They both claim that it has as little or even less deflection as a Predator shaft - which I've played with for 5 years. After trying it out here yesterday, I was disappointed that this was not proven to be the case for me. The Predator 314 shafts still have less deflection and squirt than any other cue that I have tried, and until I find something better I will not switch.

We're already making plans to return to the Open next year, hopefully for one more day this time! - Chris in NC

Wally_in_Cincy
09-30-2002, 01:54 PM
Quote Chris in NC:

Keep an eye on a big young black kid named Tony Chowan. I'd never heard of him before this weekend and don't know where he's from, but he can really shoot.
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http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=ccbboard&Number=38478& page=1&view=expanded&sb=6&o=2

Thanks for the report.

Eric.
09-30-2002, 01:55 PM
"I was dissappointed to see a couple of relatively unknown WPBA tour players who appeared to be taking advantage of a couple of local gals in a scotch doubles match. My guess is these two local gals had no clue these two ladies were on the women's pro tour, but it was clear they were playing way out of their league and probably didn't even know it. I'm sure if they had to sense to ask around, they could have easily found out."

Actually Chris, in defense of the WPBA players, they weren't hustling anyone. The amateur girls they were playing with knew who the WPBA girls were and they were just having some fun playing ring games on Fri. nite. I was shooting 2 tables over and it also came up in converstaion, the next day, with the 2 CCB girls that were playing the WPBA girls.

Sorry I missed you, I was looking forward to meeting ya.

Eric

Chris in NC
09-30-2002, 05:08 PM
Eric, I'm glad to hear that was the case. I didn't mention any names as I couldn't confirm whether they were playing for anything, or whether these lesser talented players knew who they were playing? My only question - if they were just playing for fun why the heck didn't the two pro players split up rather than play as a team against the other two - a clear mismatch? - Chris in NC

09-30-2002, 07:14 PM
The players in question were our own Holly Ryan and Amanda (sorry, I don't remember her last name.) . As far as lesser talent, Chris, Holly and Amanda actually beat Nicole and Sharon in the first set by a score of 7-3. The second set went to the hill, where an error brought on by a decided lack of sleep on our girl's part cost then the match. Just wanted to publicly set the record straight, Chris. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Barbara
09-30-2002, 07:28 PM
Ohhhhhh... so that's where Nicole and Sharon were this weekend...

They were on the list for Castle and we had to start a waiting list for a few women to get in and we took their names off for two others since they hadn't pre-paid and it was 15 minutes to the players' meeting.

Barbara~~~Fran was on the list too and wasn't there... /ccboard/images/icons/frown.gif

Troy
09-30-2002, 08:12 PM
Chris... Amar Kang (with an "A") and Tony Chohan are both from NorCal and play out of Hardtimes in Sacramento. While neither did particularly well in the Open, I have no doubt they both will be heard from in the near future.

Troy

10-01-2002, 07:54 AM
tony chowan is amar's cousin.

10-01-2002, 10:52 AM
Lorri, I actually didn't watch much of that match, and apologize to Holly and Amanda for having made any assumptions in that regard. If I hadn't been so shy, perhaps I would have had a chance to meet them. I appreciate your efforts to offer to introduce me to some of the other ccb'ers.

As far as a lack of sleep being an excuse for anyone at the Open, I have to laugh at that one. Although it may indeed be true, from what I saw that was the case for nearly everyone that was at Q-Master's. I was amazed to see players that had 11am matches the next day still at the poolroom in the early hours of the morning. It seems to be the accepted lifestyle and norm for these players to be able to adapt to such strange sleep cycles while at these events. For myself, it's taken me 2-3 days just to catch up on my sleep and recover from our short time there, and I was only a spectator! - Chris in NC

10-01-2002, 11:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Anonymous:</font><hr> I was amazed to see players that had 11am matches the next day still at the poolroom in the early hours of the morning. It seems to be the accepted lifestyle and norm for these players to be able to adapt to such strange sleep cycles while at these events. - Chris in NC <hr></blockquote>

funny you should mention that. a friend of mine and i were talking about that yesterday and yes, it's possible to train yourself to "sleep fast". it seems to work out to something like 1 hour of sleep buys you 5 hours of alertly awake. you can keep that going for quite a while before needing a full night (or day?) to catch up. several pplayer i know will work the rooms from maybe noon to 5 then catch an hour or two then be good to go till sunrise. get 2 or 3 more then back at it. it seems that, once your body comes to understand it's not going to get long sleep periods it adjusts. the cool part is that if you approach one of those naps and don't take it you'll have maybe an hour of the drowsies then wake back up for several more hours.

dan

9 Ball Girl
10-01-2002, 11:37 AM
It's true. My coworkers still can't figure out how I can be out 'til about 3AM on a workday to get up at 6AM and still make it in at about 8:30-9AM the same day. I guess my bod is trained to be that way although I've been told that one day it'll all catch up to me. Hope it doesn't catch up while I'm playing a match! /ccboard/images/icons/laugh.gif

10-01-2002, 09:39 PM
I know just what you mean. I was doing fine until Friday, then it all came tumbling down! I slept for thirteen hours straight when I got home, but then, I had been up for the previous 36! Driving home was an interestingly dangerous experience.