03-19-2002, 03:45 PM
The uniqueness of VF is the diversity. The vendors' show is complete and a wonderful gathering of equipment in one place for any potential buyer. The tournaments (especially this year with both men and women) are professionally done with great talent appearing for both events. The amateur events bring hundreds of players together for fun, competition, and networking. It is not usual to have all three options available at one event. And . . . the side action is truly incredible and exciting. It is the frosting on the cake, as far as I'm concerned. The pool at the action tables is not similar to the pool in the tournaments. When Parica joined the action table, you saw him attempt shots he would never try during a tournament--and make them. You saw young amateurs beat seasoned professionals. You were exposed to the give-and-take of negotiations, the creative bets fashioned to make a fair bet when one player is so much higher-ranked than another. It was truly educational--and more damn fun than I've had in a long time. The action tables showed no barriers to age, race, talent, sex, economic status--no barriers. The kids played against adults, women played men, races, nationalities all mixed. I did not hear one derogatory comment against a player, spectator, bettor--anyone. What there was was a high sense of humor and fun. Hernandez, Parica, McCready--all having a great time, uninhibited. You won't be able to keep me away next year!