Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Thoughts on the WPBA Tournament

Well Kyle and I ventured to the WPBA's Delta Classic for the second year in a row. This year, we took along a new convert, J-Mo, and introduced him to the excitement that is live professional billiards. Didn't take J-Mo long to spot Jennifer Baretta, one of the newer players on the tour, who also happens to be quite hot. So his attention was diverted for a large part of Saturday.

The matches I got to see some or all of Saturday:
Jeanette Lee over Tiffany Nelson 9-8 (Sat.)
Vivian Villareal over Jennifer Chen 9-1 (Sat.)
Allison Fisher over Jeanette Lee 9-5, I think (Sat.)
Allison Fisher over Karen Corr 9-7 or 9-8 (Sat.)

Sunday's TV matches included:
Jeanette Lee over Helena Thornfeldt
Jeanette Lee over Karen Corr
Allison Fisher over Jeanette Lee 7-5 in the finals

I couldn't have hoped for much better. My favorite two players, Allison and Jeanette, in the finals for the second year in a row. And my favorite, Allison, winning again. She was down 5-4, but won the final three games. Wow, she made this one shot, like a three-rail bank shot, after Jeanette had played a safety on her. She went three rails with the cue ball and contacted the two-ball, which was in the middle of the table, knocking it in the side pocket. Also, we had the top four players in the world playing on Sunday. By the way, we should be plastered all over TV again this year, even moreso than last year. Kyle purposely wore a fluorescent yellow shirt. LOL

I got a pic with Jeanette and Allison. Man, I was a like a schoolgirl at an N'Sync concert at that point. Also got an autographed pic of Allison (she knows my name now). Had my pic taken with Dawn Hopkins, as well. Got to chat with her for a few minutes, too. I guess it wasn't quite as thrilling as last year, just because I was kinda used to seeing all the players and stuff, and had gotten to meet so many of them last year. But it was still very exciting, and I hope to return again next year.

Other thoughts on the weekend:
There was definitely a bigger crowd this year than last year. I'd say it was easily twice as crowded this year, probably close to three times as many people as last year.

There is (what I thought was) a strict no-flash photography policy inside the arena. No problems with it last year. However, this year, I'd say they had to stop five or six times because someone used a flash. A couple of them were right when the players were down over a shot. Come on!

Jeanette also had to stop one time and ask some loud-mouth in the crowd to stop talking. It was like, everyone was tense and quiet, and this guy was rambling and rambling, and it was quite loud.

Driving thru Memphis sure brought back some memories.

The final tally:
Greasy cheeseburger from the snack shop: $5
Two-day billiards tickets: $55
Watching J-Mo lose 75 bucks at blackjack: Priceless

OK, actually, I didn't get to see it. He was actually doing pretty good while I was watching. Nonetheless, I'm almost sure I overheard a waiter at the buffet on Sunday say something to him about washing dishes. What? ROFL

Personally, I'm not much for gambling. Putting money into a machine never to see it again. I'm out on that, really. I guess you could look at it like a video game or something. But there are a ton of people who are into it. Wow. That place was packed out. I did walk by one guy who had just hit a $6,000+ jackpot.

Anyway, I think it's safe to say that a great time was had by all. Met a couple of chicks from Louisiana. I was talking to one of them who said she plays in an APA league. It became clear to me this weekend that if I intend to get serious about pool, I need to join a league.

I'll leave you with a few WPBA funnies:
I'm walking around the casino with one of those cups they have to hold your coins in, and it is, of course, empty. Kyle says, "Man, you walking around with that cup is about as useful as this pack of condoms in my wallet." LOL I'm not sure what he meant by that. Oh wait.

Dokovic had already been eliminated by the time we arrived, so obviously, I was disappointed. LOL

We stopped at Subway on the way up there Saturday for lunch. J-Mo noticed a book lying in the back seat of the car parked next to us, titled "Why The South Was Right." Interesting.

Some dude with a bulbous head sat in front of Kyle on Sunday. He was like, "I can't see." ROFL

On Saturday, they play music in the background, a lot of 80's hits and stuff. So they were playing "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone" and K was like, "Who is this, Huey Lewis?" And I was like, "No, it's not Huey Lewis. I think it's Glass Tiger." (short pause) "Or was that a character on Mike Tyson's Punch Out?" ROFL So then we start naming off characters: Don Flamenco, Bald Bull, King Hippo, Soda Popinsky, Glass Joe, Piston Honda. ROFL That was great.

"You can run, and you can hide. But I'm not leaving 'less you come with me. We've had our problems but I'm on your side. You're all I need, please believe in me..."

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