SJM at the US Open --- The Play Itself and the Social Experience

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
I have already done a thread in which I've sized up the production and administration of the US Open and the basics of the fan experience. Now it's time to dig down a little deeper and consider the tournament format and play and to share the social side of the experience.

The Tournament Format
It’s not often that I use this word in my posts but I’d call the format perfect. The races were to nine for the first two days, moved on to eleven on days three and four, and races were to eleven in Stage 2, excepting the race to thirteen final.

It’s no secret that I love the multi-stage format in which you basically get two different tournaments. The first tournament is double elimination to pare the field down to sixteen players and the second is a single elimination tournament to crown a champion. I’m pleased to say that the unconscionable methodology of seeding Stage 2 by WPA ranking, which was used at the World 10-ball, was not utilized here, and those who had lost a match drew randomly against those who went undefeated in Stage 1.

The Play Itself
Please be forewarned that I didn’t take notes, so I won’t have much to say at the match level.

Although the field was very strong, many foreign stars were absent. Among them were four of the world’s top eight based on Fargo Rate in Wu Jiaqing, Anton Raga, Xiaohuai Zheng and Ko Pin Yi. As we’d soon find out, the Asians would still manage to land all four spots in the semifinals. The absence of so many elite players meant there was a lot of dead money in the field, and the matches were not very competitive during the first two days of play, with upsets few and far between.

Day 3, it can be argued, was the first great day of competition, and some big names began to struggle, with JL Chang and Josh Filler among them. Both were below their usual form, but JL Chang’s play was astonishingly bad. I’d guess he missed seven or eight balls in his double hill win over Omar Al Shaheen in which Omar was the first to shoot the double hill nine ball. This version of JL Chang needs at least the seven from the JL Chang of 2018-19. Four former world nine ball champions who failed to survive the day were Strickland, Hohmann, Pagulayan and Immonen. Perhaps the most memorable match of the day was Wiktor Zielinski’s 11-5 win over Albin Ouschan, in which Wiktor closed out the match with four consecutive break and run racks. Young Zielinski is a rising star with a bright future.

Day 4 was the day of reckoning for many. Shaw and Van Boening both took a loss to place themselves in harm’s way. It was a tough day for many of the elite, as former world champions Souquet, Feijen, Ouschan, Filler and Appleton, along with former US Open Champions Shaw and Deuel were eliminated. Reigning World 10-ball champion Kaci, similarly, failed to survive the day's play. Miesko Fortunski’s 11-3 dismissal of Filler was surely the most shocking result of the Thursday session. To his credit, Fortunski opened with a three pack, but when Josh pulled to within 5-3, it looked like the tide had turned. This turned out not to be the case, and Filler was eliminated.

SVB, whose play ran hot and cold all week, had a very impressive win over Ouschan to reach Stage 2. By my reckoning, his position play in particular was below his usual standard this week, but along with the other American fans, I cheered hard for him.

In fact, six of the seven players appearing on the event poster failed to reach Stage 2, with SVB the lone survivor. For the second consecutive US Open, Shane was the only American in Stage 2.

Day 5 began with Yapp’s win that eliminated SVB. Yapp had surely been the best player in the event to that point, and this result came as no surprise to me. The match I watched most closely early in the day was between Edgie Geronimo and Dennis Grabe, and by my reckoning Geronimo fluked it. Not only did he fluke a safety about five different times after a miss during the set, but he even missed the double hill six ball and somehow hooked Grabe behind the eight. Grabe outplayed Geronomo by quite a bit in this one, but pool can be a cruel game. A nice quarterfinal match was Lechner against Orcullo, which reached 8-7 before Dennis ran away late.

Day 6 was the business end of the US Open. Orcullo, despite a fast start, was no match for Yapp in the first semifinal. Biado vs Oi was electrifying. Oi looked to be in control, riding a combination of fine play and a few rolls to a solid lead, but Biado stormed back with truly exceptional play to advance to the final.

The final was a tale of two matches. Yapp, whose victims list already included SVB, Filler and Orcullo. continued to play superbly, and aided by a couple of good rolls, he stormed out to an 8-3 lead in the race to 13. Biado fought back hard to get even, but the shot that probably sealed Yapp’s fate was a highly improbable draw shot on the two-ball in which he drew about eight feet on a long shot to scratch into one of the top corner pockets. Biado’s play was sensational down the stretch and he closed out things almost effortlessly for a 13-8 win and the title. Nicely played by a deserving champion!

Biado was overcome with emotion during the awards ceremony, having to wipe away some tears, but you could sense how much this title meant to him, and it was nice to see this side of the usually reserved Filipino champion.

The Social Experience
I probably knew nearly half the players in the field, and caught up briefly with most of them, but I only caught up at length with a few. Among them were Ralf Souquet, Tony Robles, Darren Appleton, Alex Kazakis and Jayson Shaw. Perhaps best of all, I caught up at length with Kelly Fisher, a close friend whom I’d not seen for about eight years. We chatted numerous times, and I was delighted to inform her that I’ll be attending her BCA Hall of Fame induction ceremony next month in Virginia.

As for the fans, I probably ran into nearly 100 old friends and acquaintances, and probably another 150 people approached me whose faces I knew but whose names I did not. I’m always pleased to chat with such people. I always chuckle a bit when people approach me saying they know me just from watching pool events on stream or TV.

Among the highlights for me was meeting Bill Meacham, known as Island Drive in these AZ parts, and he and I definitely hit it off. We shared two meals together during the event, caught up several times in the tournament room, and I must say he possesses a vast knowledge of pool and its history, both recent and not so recent. I hope to see him again on the tournament trail soon.

Another one of the joys of being a veteran fan is meeting those who are attending their first ever event, and I probably met about 25 of them over the six-day event. They seemed to really enjoy being there, and I've always taken it upon myself to make them feel welcome where possible. If you were one of them, I hope to see you again at another event.

Harrah’s Casino
The casino at Harrah’s was very nice. I gambled a little, but my typical trip to the casino lasts about ten minutes. I actually turned a small profit due to one hand in which I got three of a kind in a game called three-card poker. I bet one baseball game and won that bet, too. Still, little money changed hands on this particular trip.

In Conclusion
I really enjoyed the event. How about you?
 
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jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Stu. for someone who professes to not take notes, you have an amazing memory. I have to say I like your take on things. You put a good spin on most everything, unlike an old sourpuss like me. :)

I knew you and Big Bill would get along. He's a "lifer" just like you are. You are talking to a real dyed in the wool road man there. Bill made the rounds as a younger man, showing up in action rooms all across the Western U.S. And he could play too. The Bill Meacham you are seeing today, who is a senior citizen, would need the 7, 8 & 9 from the Bill Meacham I knew back in the day.

In case you didn't already know, you are a bonifide pool celebrity thanks to your many knowledgable contributions on AZB and regular appearances in the front row of all the major U.S. based tournaments. There's SVB and then there's SJM! ;)
 

Oze147

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In case you didn't already know, you are a bonifide pool celebrity thanks to your many knowledgable contributions on AZB and regular appearances in the front row of all the major U.S. based tournaments. There's SVB and then there's SJM! ;)
Well...i guess there is nothing left to say.

I really appreciate SJM's knowledge and view of a pool fan.

And as an European...who the hell is SVB? 😁
 
  • Haha
Reactions: sjm

gregnice37

Bar Banger, Cue Collector
Silver Member
I only watched the highlight videos each day on YouTube. The only time I saw you in the arena was the SVB & AO match where you were sitting with Freddie(cornerman here). I usually seeotr of you in the broadcast but I guess it was because I wasn't watching the whole event, just highlights.

Sounds like the whole trip was a huge success for you again Stu. Wish I would've went especially only being 90 minutes away from AC, but back back and health issues strike again.
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Stu. for someone who professes to not take notes, you have an amazing memory. I have to say I like your take on things. You put a good spin on most everything, unlike an old sourpuss like me. :)

I knew you and Big Bill would get along. He's a "lifer" just like you are. You are talking to a real dyed in the wool road man there. Bill made the rounds as a younger man, showing up in action rooms all across the Western U.S. And he could play too. The Bill Meacham you are seeing today, who is a senior citizen, would need the 7, 8 & 9 from the Bill Meacham I knew back in the day.

In case you didn't already know, you are a bonifide pool celebrity thanks to your many knowledgable contributions on AZB and regular appearances in the front row of all the major U.S. based tournaments. There's SVB and then there's SJM! ;)
Stu just “gets it” sharp as a tack or tac 📌📌
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have already done a thread in which I've sized up the production and administration of the US Open and the basics of the fan experience. Now it's time to dig down a little deeper and consider the tournament format and play and to share the social side of the experience.

The Tournament Format
It’s not often that I use this word in my posts but I’d call the format perfect. The races were to nine for the first two days, moved on to eleven on days three and four, and races were to eleven in Stage 2, excepting the race to thirteen final.

It’s no secret that I love the multi-stage format in which you basically get two different tournaments. The first tournament is double elimination to pare the field down to sixteen players and the second is a single elimination tournament to crown a champion. I’m pleased to say that the unconscionable methodology of seeding Stage 2 by WPA ranking, which was used at the World 10-ball was not utilized here, and those who had lost a match drew randomly against those who went undefeated in Stage 1.

The Play Itself
Please be forewarned that I didn’t take notes, so I won’t have much to say at the match level.

Although the field was very strong, many foreign stars were absent. Among them were four of the world’s top eight based on Fargo Rate in Wu Jiaqing, Anton Raga, Xiaohuai Zheng and Ko Pin Yi. As we’d soon find out, the Asians would still manage to land all four spots in the semifinals. The absence of so many elite players meant there was a lot of dead money in the field, and the matches were not very competitive during the first two days of play, with upsets few and far between.

Day 3, it can be argued, was the first great day of competition, and some big names began to struggle, with JL Chang and Josh Filler among them. Both were below their usual form, but JL Chang’s play was astonishingly bad. I’d guess he missed seven or eight balls in his double hill win over Omar Al Shaheen in which Omar was the first to shoot the double hill nine ball. This version of JL Chang needs at least the seven from the JL Chang of 2018-19. Four former world nine ball champions who failed to survive the day were Strickland, Hohmann, Pagulayan and Immonen. Perhaps the most memorable match of the day was Wiktor Zielinski’s 11-5 win over Albin Ouschan, in which Wiktor closed out the match with four consecutive break and run racks. Young Zielinski is a rising star with a bright future.

Day 4 was the day of reckoning for many. Shaw and Van Boening both took a loss to place themselves in harm’s way. It was a tough day for many of the elite, as former world champions Souquet, Feijen, Ouschan, Filler and Appleton, along with former US Open Champions Shaw and Deuel were eliminated. Reigning World 10-ball champion Kaci, similarly, failed to survive the day's play. Miesko Fortunski’s 11-3 dismissal of Filler was surely the most shocking result of the Thursday session. To his credit, Fortunski opened with a three pack, but when Josh pulled to within 5-3, it looked like the tide had turned. This turned out not to be the case, and Filler was eliminated.

SVB, whose play ran hot and cold all week, had a very impressive win over Ouschan to reach Stage 2. By my reckoning, his position play in particular was below his usual standard this week, but along with the other American fans, I cheered hard for him.

In fact, six of the seven players appearing on the event poster failed to reach Stage 2, with SVB the lone survivor. For the second consecutive US Open, Shane was the only American in Stage 2.

Day 5 began with Yapp’s win that eliminated SVB. Yapp had surely been the best player in the event to that point, and this result came as no surprise to me. The match I watched most closely early in the day was between Edgie Geronimo and Dennis Grabe, and by my reckoning Geronimo fluked it. Not only did he fluke a safety about five different times after a miss during the set, but he even missed the double hill six ball and somehow hooked Grabe behind the eight. Grabe outplayed Geronomo by quite a bit in this one, but pool can be a cruel game. A nice quarterfinal match was Lechner against Orcullo, which reached 8-7 before Dennis ran away late.

Day 6 was the business end of the US Open. Orcullo, despite a fast start, was no match for Yapp in the first semifinal. Biado vs Oi was electrifying. Oi looked to be in control, riding a combination of fine play and a few rolls to a solid lead, but Biado stormed back with truly exceptional play to advance to the final.

The final was a tale of two matches. Yapp continued to play superbly, and aided by a couple of good rolls, stormed out to an 8-3 lead in the race to 13. Biado fought back hard to get even, but the shot that probably sealed Yapp’s fate was a highly improbable draw shot on the two-ball in which he probably drew eight feet on a long shot to scratch into one of the top corner pockets. Biado’s play was sensational down the stretch and he closed out things almost effortlessly for a 13-8 win and the title. Nicely played by a deserving champion!

Biado was overcome with emotion during the awards ceremony, having to wipe away some tears, but you could sense how much this title meant to him, and it was nice to see this side of this usually reserved Filipino champion.

The Social Experience
I probably knew nearly half the players in the field, and caught up briefly with most of them, but I only caught up at length with a few. Among them were Ralf Souquet, Tony Robles, Darren Appleton, and Jayson Shaw. Perhaps best of all, I caught up at length with Kelly Fisher, a close friend whom I’d not seen for about eight years. We chatted numerous times, and I was delighted to inform her that I’ll be attending her BCA Hall of Fame induction ceremony next month in Virginia.

As for the fans, I probably ran into nearly 100 old friends and acquaintances, and probably another 150 people approached me whose faces I knew but whose names I did not. I’m always pleased to chat with such people. I always chuckle a bit when people approach me saying they know me just from watching pool events on stream or TV.

Among the highlights for me was meeting Bill Meacham, known as Island Drive in these AZ parts, and he and I definitely hit it off. We shared two meals together during the event, caught up several times in the tournament room, and I must say he possesses a vast knowledge of pool and its history, both recent and not so recent. I hope to see him again on the tournament trail soon.

Another one of the joys of being a veteran fan is meeting those who are attending their first ever event, and I probably met about 25 of them over the six-day event. They seemed to really enjoy being there.

Harrah’s Casino
The casino at Harrah’s was very nice. I gambled a little, but my typical trip to the casino lasts about ten minutes. I actually turned a small profit due to one hand in which I got three of a kind in a game called three-card poker. I bet one baseball game and won that bet, too. Still, little money changed hands on this particular trip.

In Conclusion
I really enjoyed the event. How about you?
Thanks for another excellent struts up
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
I only watched the highlight videos each day on YouTube. The only time I saw you in the arena was the SVB & AO match where you were sitting with Freddie(cornerman here). I usually seeotr of you in the broadcast but I guess it was because I wasn't watching the whole event, just highlights.

Sounds like the whole trip was a huge success for you again Stu. Wish I would've went especially only being 90 minutes away from AC, but back back and health issues strike again.
Hoping to see you there next year, Greg. The truth is that I didn't watch that many of the streamed matches until the final day, explaining why you didn't see much of me. As you noted, though, Cornerman and I did sweat some pool together. Sweating matches with enthusiastic fans is one of the joys of attending any event, and I try hard to circulate whenever I attend events.
 

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have already done a thread in which I've sized up the production and administration of the US Open and the basics of the fan experience. Now it's time to dig down a little deeper and consider the tournament format and play and to share the social side of the experience.

The Tournament Format
It’s not often that I use this word in my posts but I’d call the format perfect. The races were to nine for the first two days, moved on to eleven on days three and four, and races were to eleven in Stage 2, excepting the race to thirteen final.

It’s no secret that I love the multi-stage format in which you basically get two different tournaments. The first tournament is double elimination to pare the field down to sixteen players and the second is a single elimination tournament to crown a champion. I’m pleased to say that the unconscionable methodology of seeding Stage 2 by WPA ranking, which was used at the World 10-ball was not utilized here, and those who had lost a match drew randomly against those who went undefeated in Stage 1.

The Play Itself
Please be forewarned that I didn’t take notes, so I won’t have much to say at the match level.

Although the field was very strong, many foreign stars were absent. Among them were four of the world’s top eight based on Fargo Rate in Wu Jiaqing, Anton Raga, Xiaohuai Zheng and Ko Pin Yi. As we’d soon find out, the Asians would still manage to land all four spots in the semifinals. The absence of so many elite players meant there was a lot of dead money in the field, and the matches were not very competitive during the first two days of play, with upsets few and far between.

Day 3, it can be argued, was the first great day of competition, and some big names began to struggle, with JL Chang and Josh Filler among them. Both were below their usual form, but JL Chang’s play was astonishingly bad. I’d guess he missed seven or eight balls in his double hill win over Omar Al Shaheen in which Omar was the first to shoot the double hill nine ball. This version of JL Chang needs at least the seven from the JL Chang of 2018-19. Four former world nine ball champions who failed to survive the day were Strickland, Hohmann, Pagulayan and Immonen. Perhaps the most memorable match of the day was Wiktor Zielinski’s 11-5 win over Albin Ouschan, in which Wiktor closed out the match with four consecutive break and run racks. Young Zielinski is a rising star with a bright future.

Day 4 was the day of reckoning for many. Shaw and Van Boening both took a loss to place themselves in harm’s way. It was a tough day for many of the elite, as former world champions Souquet, Feijen, Ouschan, Filler and Appleton, along with former US Open Champions Shaw and Deuel were eliminated. Reigning World 10-ball champion Kaci, similarly, failed to survive the day's play. Miesko Fortunski’s 11-3 dismissal of Filler was surely the most shocking result of the Thursday session. To his credit, Fortunski opened with a three pack, but when Josh pulled to within 5-3, it looked like the tide had turned. This turned out not to be the case, and Filler was eliminated.

SVB, whose play ran hot and cold all week, had a very impressive win over Ouschan to reach Stage 2. By my reckoning, his position play in particular was below his usual standard this week, but along with the other American fans, I cheered hard for him.

In fact, six of the seven players appearing on the event poster failed to reach Stage 2, with SVB the lone survivor. For the second consecutive US Open, Shane was the only American in Stage 2.

Day 5 began with Yapp’s win that eliminated SVB. Yapp had surely been the best player in the event to that point, and this result came as no surprise to me. The match I watched most closely early in the day was between Edgie Geronimo and Dennis Grabe, and by my reckoning Geronimo fluked it. Not only did he fluke a safety about five different times after a miss during the set, but he even missed the double hill six ball and somehow hooked Grabe behind the eight. Grabe outplayed Geronomo by quite a bit in this one, but pool can be a cruel game. A nice quarterfinal match was Lechner against Orcullo, which reached 8-7 before Dennis ran away late.

Day 6 was the business end of the US Open. Orcullo, despite a fast start, was no match for Yapp in the first semifinal. Biado vs Oi was electrifying. Oi looked to be in control, riding a combination of fine play and a few rolls to a solid lead, but Biado stormed back with truly exceptional play to advance to the final.

The final was a tale of two matches. Yapp continued to play superbly, and aided by a couple of good rolls, stormed out to an 8-3 lead in the race to 13. Biado fought back hard to get even, but the shot that probably sealed Yapp’s fate was a highly improbable draw shot on the two-ball in which he probably drew eight feet on a long shot to scratch into one of the top corner pockets. Biado’s play was sensational down the stretch and he closed out things almost effortlessly for a 13-8 win and the title. Nicely played by a deserving champion!

Biado was overcome with emotion during the awards ceremony, having to wipe away some tears, but you could sense how much this title meant to him, and it was nice to see this side of this usually reserved Filipino champion.

The Social Experience
I probably knew nearly half the players in the field, and caught up briefly with most of them, but I only caught up at length with a few. Among them were Ralf Souquet, Tony Robles, Darren Appleton, and Jayson Shaw. Perhaps best of all, I caught up at length with Kelly Fisher, a close friend whom I’d not seen for about eight years. We chatted numerous times, and I was delighted to inform her that I’ll be attending her BCA Hall of Fame induction ceremony next month in Virginia.

As for the fans, I probably ran into nearly 100 old friends and acquaintances, and probably another 150 people approached me whose faces I knew but whose names I did not. I’m always pleased to chat with such people. I always chuckle a bit when people approach me saying they know me just from watching pool events on stream or TV.

Among the highlights for me was meeting Bill Meacham, known as Island Drive in these AZ parts, and he and I definitely hit it off. We shared two meals together during the event, caught up several times in the tournament room, and I must say he possesses a vast knowledge of pool and its history, both recent and not so recent. I hope to see him again on the tournament trail soon.

Another one of the joys of being a veteran fan is meeting those who are attending their first ever event, and I probably met about 25 of them over the six-day event. They seemed to really enjoy being there.

Harrah’s Casino
The casino at Harrah’s was very nice. I gambled a little, but my typical trip to the casino lasts about ten minutes. I actually turned a small profit due to one hand in which I got three of a kind in a game called three-card poker. I bet one baseball game and won that bet, too. Still, little money changed hands on this particular trip.

In Conclusion
I really enjoyed the event. How about you?

great sum up as usual.

what's your take on the one ball racked on the spot even with the template? also how do you compare this to the 2019 USO both as an experience and in terms of quality of play?

i was amazed by the accuracy of the top players. i thought tight pockets and high pressure would make more of a difference than it made. of course yapp stood out in that regard, but also many others.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
great sum up as usual.

what's your take on the one ball racked on the spot even with the template? also how do you compare this to the 2019 USO both as an experience and in terms of quality of play?

i was amazed by the accuracy of the top players. i thought tight pockets and high pressure would make more of a difference than it made. of course yapp stood out in that regard, but also many others.
I was fine with how the balls were racked in stage 1 and the play was orderly and timely in the first few days. Experience has shown that the template speeds things up a bit, but the layouts are a bit more repetitious and the one ball seems to go to the same place over and over when the template is used.

Relative to 2019, the level of play was a bit lower in Stage 1 due to the absence of many of the game's biggest names, the most obvious of which were Zheng, Raga, Wu Jiaqing, Haitao, the Ko brothers and Corteza. Still, the level of play was high by day three and Stage 1 delivered a thrill a minute from that point on. I felt the play in Stage 2 was of comparable quality to 2019, even though the conditions were tough and the layouts more varied due to the use of a rack in place of the template. It was a fitting test of the elite stars of the game, and Biado was the one who aced that test.

The total fan experience was similar to that of 2019, with the minor drawback having been bleacher seating for just one day this year compared to three days of bleacher seating in 2019. Nonetheless, this was a great event to attend.
 
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boradriver

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hey Stu, My name is Cliff and I said hello to you briefly as I was literally running to the rest room. I'm probably one of those you recognize the face but can't place the name. :cool:
I did look for you to try and actually stop and have a few minute conversation. I never saw you again other than when you were sitting in the bleachers sweating the matches.
Overall I really enjoyed the 2 days I was at the event and feel matchroom did a great job. There is definitely room for improvement (seating situation) but other than that I can't wait for next year. I heard a rumor that they did lock in a 5 year deal at Harrah's which is right at my 4 hour driving limit so I'm very excited for the next 4 US Open 9 ball events.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Hey Stu, My name is Cliff and I said hello to you briefly as I was literally running to the rest room. I'm probably one of those you recognize the face but can't place the name. :cool:
I did look for you to try and actually stop and have a few minute conversation. I never saw you again other than when you were sitting in the bleachers sweating the matches.
Overall I really enjoyed the 2 days I was at the event and feel matchroom did a great job. There is definitely room for improvement (seating situation) but other than that I can't wait for next year. I heard a rumor that they did lock in a 5 year deal at Harrah's which is right at my 4 hour driving limit so I'm very excited for the next 4 US Open 9 ball events.
Yes, sad we didn't get a real chance to catch up. I remember how much fun we had when we played three cushion together at Chris' Billiards in Chicago a few years ago. Hope to see you at the next US Open and, yes, I did recognize you.
 
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Vahmurka

...and I get all da rolls
Silver Member
I think during one of the matches at Table 1 I spotted Stu first and Bob Jewett also, not very far. Didn't notice Fred Agnir, but the audience was shown for a brief time only and I coudn't examine all the mugs there :)
Nice to see true pool fans we all know from AZB.

Stu, appreciate your summaries on the major events you watch and especially those you manage to attend! Lots of details figured out and many more bright ideas. Kudos sir!
 

arnaldo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Stu --
Your much-anticipated summation and reactions were -- as usual -- so humanly, beautifully and *thoroughly* expressed.

You caught and conveyed all the essential human drama, plus so many of the nuances, performance shortcomings and the top-level expertise in memorable cases. That only happens for any writer when there is so much unmistakable passion for the subject.

I believe that collectively, your ongoing lifetime of pool spectating in older and newer days, and mingling across the entire personality spectrum of competitors, avid fans -- and not least, organizers and vendors -- unquestionably has the makings of a very absorbing (and entertaining) book that would be of uniquely historic value, and -- business-wise -- widely welcomed by not only niche buyers (us folks), but the general public at large.

Arnaldo
 

AtLarge

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... I felt the play in Stage 2 was of comparable quality to 2019, even though the conditions were tough and the layouts more varied due to the use of a rack in place of the template. ...
Stu -- Thanks for your fine reports (this thread and the other one) on this event.

One correction here is that a triangle rack was used to rack the balls in the single-elimination stage in both 2021 and 2019. The main differences this year were racking the 1-ball on the spot instead of the 9-ball, tighter pockets, and a shorter shot clock.

Edit -- It was a template all the way in 2015-2017, a triangle before that. (No event in 2018.)
 
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sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Stu -- Thanks for your fine reports (this thread and the other one) on this event.

One correction here is that a triangle rack was used to rack the balls in the single-elimination stage in both 2021 and 2019. The main differences this year were racking the 1-ball on the spot instead of the 9-ball, tighter pockets, and a shorter shot clock.
Yes, this was more about my poor wording than my failure to remember. I really meant that the layouts were tougher in Stage 2 this year than in Stage 1 this year due to use of a rack in Stage 2.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Stu --
Your much-anticipated summation and reactions were -- as usual -- so humanly, beautifully and *thoroughly* expressed.

You caught and conveyed all the essential human drama, plus so many of the nuances, performance shortcomings and the top-level expertise in memorable cases. That only happens for any writer when there is so much unmistakable passion for the subject.

I believe that collectively, your ongoing lifetime of pool spectating in older and newer days, and mingling across the entire personality spectrum of competitors, avid fans -- and not least, organizers and vendors -- unquestionably has the makings of a very absorbing (and entertaining) book that would be of uniquely historic value, and -- business-wise -- widely welcomed by not only niche buyers (us folks), but the general public at large.

Arnaldo
Thanks for your kind words, Arnaldo. I think I have ALREADY written that book right here on AZB.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
What a great evaluation Stu. When you take the time to post I take the time to read. Thank You
Your kind words are appreciated. In this thread, my hope was to reflect on the pool that was played while also explaining to those unable to attend that, for an attending fan, the tournament experience is so much more than just the matches.

It is my greatest aim to pique the interest of those who might consider attending the next US Open.
 
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