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View Full Version : Thoughts from the U.S. Open



Chris in NC
09-22-2003, 12:05 PM
Our quick trip to the U.S. Open is behind us. Though we only stayed in Chesapeake 27 hours, it was well worth the 6 hour drive each way.

I've never seen so many upsets as there were at the U.S. Open this year, and I've never seen so many great players dog so many critical shots - blowing easy outs in crucial situations. Gives us all a little hope I think.

We got there just in time early Saturday afternoon to see Corey, Bustamante and Alex eliminated by players that normally they should beat. Strickland had already been eliminated on Friday. Reyes and Souquet would also not make it to Sunday's final 4.

There is no doubt that Keith Mcready was by far the highlight and crowd favorite in this tournament. Despite his very unorthadox and downright awful form, he is a far better player than I ever thought he was. I had a feeling that Sunday was not going to go well for him, and it didn't. He seemed more nervous and less talkative in his winners bracket final match against Jeremy Jones - missing a number of early opportunities before Jeremy put him away. He was more competitive against Parica, and actually led the match at 7-6 before Parica took charge to win 11-8.

Although Keith has a great sense of humor, for us purists his behavior would have to be considered a form of sharking - kind of like Vivian Villarreal but even far moreso. I have no problem with a player who talks to the crowd and gets them involved, but Keith's comments often show disrespect towards his opponents. He and Parica got into it late in their match over a possible foul, as Parica was pretty much fed up with Keith particularly after having been victimized by Keith's antics in their match the night before. I really don't think Keith means to shark his opponent, but that's just the way he releases his stress. He was gracious in defeat in both of his matches Sunday. His performance clearly earned alot of respect from his fellow pro players in this event.

European's Feijen and Petroni were both impressive in this event - finishing 5-6. Petroni helped to rid his history of choking by knocking off Strickland and Reyes among others, before falling to Parica late Saturday night. He can be an agonizingly slow player, but has excellent form, a solid mental game and is obviously extremely talented. Nels also has a great game with great mechanics, and should be one of the top players in the world in a few years.

Johnny Archer had a solid tourney, but was unable to win a hill-hill match against Feijen late Saturday night. He seems to be getting more and more deliberate and less confident in his shotmaking ability - and would now have to be one of the slowest players on the tour IMO. All of his Saturday matches which I saw were well in excess of 2 hours, some nearly 3 hours. He made one of worst mental blunders I've ever seen a pro player make in a hill-hill match game against Max Eberle on Saturday night. In that case game, Archer was running out but left himself a near dead-in shot on the 8-ball near the end rail, with the 9 sitting only a foot from the far corner pocket - 1 diamond up from the side rail and end rail. Instead of sinching the 8-ball and leaving the cue-ball 6-12 inches off the end rail for a 98% match winning shot on the 9-ball, after taking 2-3 minutes he tried to force an angle to get the cue-ball farther up near the middle of the table. The 8-ball rattled and came out, but lucky for him he left Max absolutely no shot, so Johnny still won the match - undeservingly.

We saw Reyes miss a number of shots in his first loss (I can't remember against who), including a cinch 9-ball that I'm sure was a 99+ percentage shot for him.

Luc Salvas and Santos Sambajon played one of the most entertaining matches on Saturday evening. Salvas strung 5 consecutive racks (in a total of less than 5 minutes) to take charge, and led the match at 10-9, but Santos came back and won. Santos is a very underrated player. Luc is great to watch, but makes too many critical positioning errors and missed shots - that a player of that calibre simply should never make!

The attendance for this event was expectedly very low - far lower than the attendance two years when the tourney was interrupted by 9-11. On top of that, Q-Masters which is normally a tremendous money maker for Barry during tournament week was closed most of the time due to power outages and a nighttime curfew in Va Beach. I only hope Barry is able to recoup and continue this great event - with or without Charlie William's blessing.

I think the saddest thing I saw was the Sunday match between Parica and Morris. Why this match couldn't be held on the feature table before or after the winner's bracket final match I'll never know, but it took place the same time as the McReady - Jones match in which maybe 150 were in attendance watching. There was probably no more than 20 people watching this other match to determine 4th place and who would go on into the semi-finals. The table lighting on all the tables other than the feature tables was very poor. Sadly, Parica played an unbelieveable match running out nearly every rack against Morris who had little chance, but none other than a few of us were there to witness this great performance. From that match I had picked Parica to win it all, but he obviously didn't play nearly as well and/or have the oportunities against Jeremy in the finals. We had to leave before the finals - to get the young ones back at a reasonable hour for school today.

We're already looking forward to next year's event! - Chris in NC

SPetty
09-22-2003, 01:34 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris in NC:</font><hr>I've never seen so many upsets as there were at the U.S. Open this year, and I've never seen so many great players dog so many critical shots - blowing easy outs in crucial situations. Gives us all a little hope I think.

He was gracious in defeat in both of his matches Sunday.<hr /></blockquote>Hi Chris,

Thanks for the great writeup. I'm glad to see that you guys made it to the Open. I was sad for you that you possibly weren't going to make it this year.

I just highlighted a couple of points in your post that I'd like to make sure The Dragon notices and hopefully remembers the next time he needs the memory.

It's actually something that couldn't hurt most of us to remember every now and then. /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

Fred Agnir
09-23-2003, 07:27 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris in NC:</font><hr> From that match I had picked Parica to win it all, but he obviously didn't play nearly as well and/or have the oportunities against Jeremy in the finals. <hr /></blockquote>

Jeremy played an outstanding match. Parica had little chance. He had gone up 7-3 when they took a TV timeout break. Then, after the break, JJ hit Parica with a three pack to get on the hill. So, Parica had been off the table for 45 minutes or so. Parica's first couple of shots when he got back to the table were super blood testers, length of the table cuts with the cueball frozen to the cushion variety that he was forced to shoot at being down 10-3. Didn't have a chance shooting at them as cold as he got.

Fred

phil in sofla
09-23-2003, 06:57 PM
Excellent point about how cold he must have gotten. But he did have one decent shot, up into the upper right hand corner. I think Jones had tried a safe that leaked out, leaving a simple cut into that pocket for a run out table, which Parica clubbed into the long rail. That was the beginning of Jones' three pack, following the rule of one miss costs two or more games. That may have been his first shot after sitting so long, showing how right you were to point that out.

phil in sofla
09-23-2003, 07:49 PM
Petroni (.844) put Strickland (.914) into the loser's bracket (11-9?) on the Accustat table, beating the line of 8 games and costing the book a ton, I heard. With Petroni missing so much more, and Strickland's own fewer misses just giving him the games, as Earl was unscrewing his cue, he said 'That guy's a joke,' adding, 'and anyone who would root for him is a(n) ...' [didn't hear what he said, fill in the blank]. He was talking about our RichS's Kathy, who hates Earl and was screaming support for Favio directly in front of the table. That's a nice win on his record, but in a way he was handed it.

Petroni knocked Reyes out of the tournament in a hill-hill match that had see-sawed from 6 all on, with Petroni leading. Reyes tied him on the hill, and broke, made a ball, but had no shot. He pushed to a one-rail kick shot off the long rail crossing the side pocket to the low ball left on the table, traffic balls in the way, and Petroni let him shoot it. Reyes had already looked worried when he saw where his push had landed, and he was unhappy to have it returned. To go between the blockers, he had to shoot forward of the natural kick line, held it up with slightly jacked up inside threading the needle, made the hit, sending the cue ball to the opposite long rail, and back down table towards blockers. He was 3 or 4 inches short of the hook and left Petroni a full shot on a ball a foot from the upper left corner pocket, and he had an easy long run out from there. So that case game was decided by a roll out error from Efren. Still, to beat Efren to the hill, and then execute the final run out for the match, must give him credit. Both notches on his belt, in the US Open, I'd say he's arrived as a name. Gone Hollywood too, dying his hair from native Italian black to spiky two-tone blonde. Some of the cuemakers in the back exhibits said he did it just to rile up Earl, who evidently hates the guy already.

Reyes beat Bustamante 11-10 on the Accustat table, featuring Buste one of three to snap in the 9 for $500. Later Nick Varner put him out of the tourney.

Jimmy B
09-23-2003, 09:20 PM
Don't forget how Tram(?) flashed Efren on a long rail 9-footer on a 9-ball. She later went to apologize and he didn't seem to want to her it. I got a good laugh out of it though. JB

nhp
09-24-2003, 05:13 AM
Hey Chris I was just wondering what you meant about Vivian Villareal sharking? I've never heard of her doing this, then again I don't know much about the women players except for a handful.

Wally_in_Cincy
09-24-2003, 11:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr>
.....I just highlighted a couple of points in your post that I'd like to make sure The Dragon notices and hopefully remembers the next time he needs the memory.

It's actually something that couldn't hurt most of us to remember every now and then. /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
<hr /></blockquote>

I happened to be thinking about the Dragon's situation the other day while watching Allison and Jeanette on the tv. Since Drayton has such respect and admiration for his friend Allison Fisher I think he would do well to emulate her demeanor at the table. Maybe she could give him some pointers about that.

Chris in NC
09-24-2003, 02:37 PM
Most of her fellow WPBA pro players don't like playing Vivian in a tournament match. Not because she is a good player and tough opponent, but mainly because of her antics, talking, gestures, whistling, whining, etc. For her it is her way of releasing her tension during a match which she obviously feels is acceptable, but for many of her opponents, it is a distraction and disrespectful.

As long as the TD Scott Tipton allows it to happen, just like Scott Smith allows Keith to carry on, I guess it will continue to be permissable. Yes it's entertaining to the viewing or TV audience, but if you're the opponent it is most certainly not. This type of chatter would not be permitted if I was the TD! - Chris in NC

rackmup
09-24-2003, 07:08 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris in NC on Keith McCready:</font><hr> Despite his very unorthadox and downright awful form, he is a far better player than I ever thought he was. <hr /></blockquote>

Easy now...that's getting a little personal./ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Regards,

Ken

Rich R.
09-25-2003, 05:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris in NC:</font><hr> Most of her fellow WPBA pro players don't like playing Vivian in a tournament match. Not because she is a good player and tough opponent, but mainly because of her antics, talking, gestures, whistling, whining, etc. For her it is her way of releasing her tension during a match which she obviously feels is acceptable, but for many of her opponents, it is a distraction and disrespectful.

As long as the TD Scott Tipton allows it to happen, just like Scott Smith allows Keith to carry on, I guess it will continue to be permissable. Yes it's entertaining to the viewing or TV audience, but if you're the opponent it is most certainly not. This type of chatter would not be permitted if I was the TD! - Chris in NC
<hr /></blockquote>
Chris, although I probably have not seen as many tournaments as you, in the few that I have seen, I have never seen Vivian do anything disrespectful, while the other player is at the table. She does talk, whistle and do the other things you mentioned, but only during her time at the table.
Keith is also fairly quiet when the other player is shooting. Usually, he is having a refreshment. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

"Steve" Tipton and Scott Smith allow these antics, because they are done, for the most part, during the players own time at the table.

IMHO, you are barking up the wrong tree. If I have ever seen a player be disrespectful to his opponent, it would have to be Earl Strickland. Somehow, I don't think you would throw Earl out of a tournament.

phil in sofla
09-25-2003, 02:01 PM
When Earl was playing Danny Basovich (Kid Delicious), and eventually eliminated from the tournament on the double hill by him, he rather loudly spoke out as he was sitting there (therefore during Danny's inning) a couple of complaints. First he said, 'I guess when you're that fat it's natural to play so slow.' Later, he said something about 'The guy couldn't compete if there was a shot clock. Every shot would be a DQ.'

Now, Danny IS fat (maybe 100 pounds heavier than last I saw him beat Buddy Hall in his first pro tourny win), with a beach ball sized gut sticking out almost two feet in front of him. And he plays slow (not in deciding his shot, but once he's down, e.g., taking 24 practice strokes on the case 9 for the match).

But loudly saying either of those things during Danny's turn is both personal and sharking, not that Danny seemed to mind at all. When he pocketed that final 9, however, he quickly shook Earl's hand and then literally roared out two screams of delight, heard across the entire room, and sorta did an Incredible Hulk squat and pose, twice as he roared. Maybe it was just eliminating the Mighty Earl, but maybe it was a bit of personal satisfaction, given how Earl insulted him.