Friday, August 3, 2012

World Class Artistic Pool Masters Cup, Shenyang, China

The China tournament was quite the spectacle. I got picked up at the airport and taken to the hotel where they were getting the arena ready. All the other guys were milling around the lobby getting checked in as well. The first night had a big reception with dignitaries and press. A rep from the US Embassy was even there. Nice spread, but they didn't reload the food, so I only got one round. We were all anxious for the practice tables, but they were getting set up that evening. We finally got on one and rotated through for a while. The second one opened up a couple hours later. The opening ceremony was the next morning, again filled with dignitaries. My first round was on the TV table with searing lights, but our group shot well and finished in decent time. We had a bit of a break before our second round that afternoon. That was also on the TV table and I managed to keep myself in it. The third round that evening killed me. My group was on the other tournament table which was super slick, making some of the shots pretty difficult, especially after we had broken in the practice tables already. That's pretty much where I crashed out of contention, but it left me in 8th place that evening. The Sat morning round, we were re-grouped based on our rankings. The 9-12 guys went first, so I knew what I had to do to beat them. There wasn't a ton of motivation after that since 5-8 took home the same prize money and it would've taken catastrophe's from other players to make it to 4th. So I managed to squeeze into 8th while securing the follow discipline medal and putting myself in position for the masse medal as well. Gabi had a perfect masse discipline going into the final round, so I didn't hold out much hope. He shot in the next round and teased me by missing the shot twice before nailing the 3rd attempt.

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