|Standard Greyhound patron waiting in standard Greyhound waiting pose.|
|Another weekend tournament, another Cannonball Run, Greyhound version.|
|For whatever reason, the bus was late and a large section of Vegas-crazed humanity and I had to share a far too small, far too under-air conditioned space for some time.|
|Eventually the bus arrived. We loaded up and rode into the sunset, exchanging one far too small, far too under-air conditioned space for another. My seatmate was a nice, but very talkative girl. Her stories were pretty damn interesting, though, so I got no sleep on the ride.|
Daniel Busch of POV Pool picked me up at the station and off we went, to drink far too much red wine. It was utilitarian wine that wasn’t all too bad. Before I knew it, the sun was rising and it occurred to me I had a tournament sometime in the near future. Like, in a few hours…
…but, luckily, I was not scheduled to play until 2:00 p.m. Unluckily, I did not get much sleep. That’s what happens to me when I, uh, occasionally, drink beyond the Recommended Daily Allowance. In those instances, I can only sleep for a short period of time, although the quality of sleep makes up somewhat for the brief span.
Upon arriving at the tournament, I found the format to be interesting: bar table nine-ball, alternate breaks, break from the box, and the nine-ball racks on the spot using the Magic Ball Rack. Some of you may remember, this was very close to the format of this year’s Andy Mercer Memorial Tournament.
The Thunderdome at Pool Sharks for this tournament: 32 players enter but only one leaves (as the winner).
“Caution” tape is the pool player equivalent of velvet rope.
My first opponent was none other than the much-renowned Al Lawrence of legendary South West Cues who, incidentally, had also been up late (but he had been more productive as in addition to drinking, he had been playing pool). He had gotten no sleep at all but it made no difference in his game against a hack such as myself. He won 6-4, and I was off to the scenic side of the charts.
On the scenic side, I was too busy admiring the scenery to pay attention to my match and lost, 6-2.
I could not figure out how to make a ball consistently on the break with the nine-ball racked on the spot and breaking from the box. I broke dry almost every time, when I didn’t scratch. Arg. Time to go break a million times to figure things out in preparation for the next tournament with similar rules.
Since there were only 32 players in this event (as opposed to the 64-player Andy Mercer), things wrapped up early for a pool tournament and I spent the rest of my evening doing touristy things like gawking at all the new casinos.
Bad news: I did not make it to the second day of the tournament. Good news: I did not make it to second day of the tournament. Result: sleep the f#####ck in! That’s luxury, baby!
|When I got up, Yoda the Pug was ready to be chased around the pool table for a few laps. I wanted to do a couple of things today before going to watch the rest of the tournament, but when I sat down, Mr. Yoda sat on me and went to sleep. It’s a federal offense to wake a pet napping on you, so I sat around some more and read a book. Finally, Yoda sneezed and woke (and scared) himself. I darted away before he could make me a pug mattress again.|
I heard there was a blackout at the pool room right before matches were to start, so I did not feel too bad about procrastinating. Before dropping me off at the tournament, my kind host suggested Mexican food for lunch. Behold…
The restaurant is Bonito Michoacan Mexican Restaurant.
That up there is the Carne Asada New York Steak.
It was good.
Match for third place between Al Lawrence (shooting) and Chris Stanfield (seated) as Tournament Director Jim Blakeman (at right) watches.
This was the last nine-ball in the set and Mr. Lawrence made it, thus ensuring his appearance against Walter Glass in the finals and a guarantee of second place.
The finals were a bit of a scrappy affair. This far into the tournament (and perhaps into many beers) I would imagine the finalists were tired although Mr. Lawrence was much more talkative. I found the safety battles and the banking the most memorable things about the finals. I learned a lot about why my game and shot choices are terrible by watching these players who were not terrible.
Walter Glass shooting in the finals against Al Lawrence.
Mr. Glass won the finals via a single set (it was true double elimination) by a score of 6-4. He broke in the nine-ball in the final rack for the win.
|Pool Sharks owner Joe Cannella presents the finalists with their trophies. Mr. Glass, the champion, receives a Pot. Mr. Lawrence, the runner-up, receives a Pan. Everyone else gets a good chuckle. 🙂 The “Kung-Fu Barbie” in the middle is Katy Moore, the best bartender, ever. Visit her during BCAPL in July at Pool Sharks, the largest pool room in Las Vegas.|
From left to right they are: Daniel Busch of POV Pool, Joe Cannella of Pool Sharks, Walter Glass and Al Lawrence.
POV Pool did a free livestream all weekend. If you watched and enjoyed the stream, or would like to help Mr. Busch in his venture to bring free pool streams from quality tournaments to the masses, please visit POV Pool website and consider sending a small donation to help cover the costs of streaming.
Here is a classic Pots ‘N’ Pans story as told to me by Mr. Cannella:
Pots ‘N’ Pans had been in action and winning all night against his opponent. He heard talk that his opponent and some other pool room denizens did not intend for him to be allowed to leave with his winnings. Pots ‘N’ Pans slipped his road partner a twenty-dollar bill and told him to go find the neighborhood beat cop and give the cop the money with specific instructions…
A short time later, the cop arrived at the pool hall and promptly arrested Pots ‘N’ Pans. So, Pots ‘N’ Pans ended up leaving the pool room with the money after all.
An insightful comment from “Thumbs” of Pool Sharks:
Pots ‘N’ Pans has done something no other pool player has done: his memorial tournament is held in a pool hall he was 86’d from.
Your top eight finishers in this event are:
|4th||Greg Harada, Jr.||222|
|7th/8th||James Davis, Jr.||100|
|t h a n k s|
|EMCA | Daniel Busch & POV Pool | Joe Cannella, John Kutcher, the Shadiest of Katies & Pool Sharks of Las Vegas | Ryan Deberg, Yoda, & Jabba|
|first time hello & hello again|
|Mr. Lawrence | Mr. Glass | Ms. Debra | Mr. Murphy | Jeff | Ye Olde Riverside Crew | red, red wine | Miss Sunny|