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gajga
04-29-2008, 02:21 AM
I had the pleasure of watching my first pro tournament this last weekend at the Desert Shootout.

Random comments:

-I was irrationally excited to see these guys play. Excited enough that I mentioned the tournament to a few non-pool playing co-workers. After noting that some of the best players in the world were going to be competing, one coworker asked, "So that black widow lady is playing?"

-I recognized all the players except Oscar D. It didn't take long to figure out who he was based on how intently Ernesto was watching his matches. Oscar's break is insane. The first time I saw it I thought he was going to launch himself onto the table. Good stuff.

-There weren't as many spectators as I had anticipated. But those who did show up appeared to be hardcore fans. This was the first time I had been around so many people that shared my passion for the game.

(I should note that I only watched the Sat/Sun matches. I heard there were more people for the earlier days.)

-There were more unforced errors than I thought there would be. Specifically, there were several times where relatively easy shots were missed. That being said, the same guy who had missed a few minutes earlier would look absolutely unbeatable at their next turn at the table.

-Conversation with a friend of mine that has recently picked up the game.

friend: "I saw Jeremy Jones play yesterday!"
me: "Oh yeah? Who was he playing?"
friend: "I don't know, some Jose guy"

-I was surprised at how long many of the players took to analyze and prepare for shots. Perhaps most of the matches I've witnessed have had a shot clock?

-The intensity with which those guys approached the game was palpable. As a result, there were some truly tense moments. I don't think this comes through as much when I watch matches online.

As has been oft-repeated, the event was run with a great deal of professionalism. I've been taking a bit of a break from the game but this experience has got me really excited once again. Watching the game played at that level reminded me of how beautiful the game truly is.

JAM
04-29-2008, 02:30 AM
I loved reading your observations of the pro tournament. What a great post!

It is refreshing to learn that this pro tournament gave you desire to get back to honing your skills again.

Pool can be fun, and I keep forgetting that sometimes. Your post gave me a much-needed reality check. :)

JAM

Poolplaya9
04-29-2008, 03:14 AM
I still remember the three biggest observations I had from the first pro tournament I attended many years ago.

1 The pros took what the table gave them more often than I would--meaning that they settled for a tougher shot a lot more often than they tried for the tougher position.
2 The pros used the side pockets a lot--quite a bit more than I did.
3 The shots and angles look easier on TV than they really are in person (I recorded all the matches from that tournament when they aired on TV)