So I’m not one to brag, but…

Mid-September saw the 30th edition of the US Open 9-Ball Championships and my first trip to Chesapeake, Virginia. If you are a pool fan or a pool player and you ever get the chance to go, take it with both hands and don’t let go!

The best players in the world all turn up looking to have a shot at one of pool’s most prestigious titles. This year was a full entry of 256 players meaning a $40,000 first prize to the eventual winner.

There were so many things that happened that week that it is difficult to know where to start. Let’s try my day one! Obtained my VIP Pass (which means that I’m guaranteed a good seat at the TV table), and walked into the arena only to bump into TV Commentator Jim Wych. He and fellow Canadian player Jeff White were on their way to watch a match and asked me to join them. These guys are 2 of the nicest, and most knowledgeable, people you could ever wish to meet and it was a pleasure to meet them throughout the week.

The Accu Stats company was in the worst possible position for me – right beside the main door of the arena. All those videos and DVDs sitting there waiting to be bought. Suffice to say – I bought! Tom, the guy who was looking after the stand, was full of great information and stories. One of my highlights of the week was when Tom started talking with Bobby Hunter and the 2 of us ended up having a verbal tutorial on the finer Straight Pool from Bobby Hunter, the 1990 World Straight Pool Champion.

The website for American magazine Billiards Digest has a great online forum called the Cue Chalk Board (CCB). For the last few years, they have had a get-together at the US Open, including a dinner at a local steak house on the Friday night and a fun tournament at the host club, Q-Masters in Virginia Beach, on the Saturday morning. It was great to meet a number of the members from both the CCB and the AZ Billiards Forum – Wendy (9ballgirl), Brian in VA, Rich, Marissa (Sweet Marissa) and a whole load of others far too numerous to mention.

And mentioning the CCB Tournament, I think it is now safe to let them all know about my vicious competitive streak! Yes, it was a fun tournament and I had great fun taking part, but I cannot help myself! I not only have to try to beat my opponent, but destroy them! Fortunately, I don’t think it came to the surface too much during the day. Oh, and I won the tournament, too! The trophy – made and donated by another of the members – is a replica of the one that the US Open Champion gets at the end of the tournament and is absolutely beautiful!

Favourite match of the week? Tough to say, but probably the losers’ bracket final between Jose Parica and Francisco Bustamante (both from The Philippines) which Parica won by 11 racks to 10. Excitement all the way with great shots being made and easy shots being missed along the way.

I’d better stop here for now. What I’ve posted is barely the tip of the iceberg! I’ll try to post more later.

The Cardman 🙂

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