Ah, the year-end City Pool Tournament is at hand, and this year I’m on a team that qualified. How does a team qualify? Well, by winning at least one session during the year. A session being a 14-week long period during which your team plays 7 other teams 5 matches once a week. Each match won is a point, and the leader of the 8 teams in your particular session wins that session. I think there are also provisions for pulling in a few second-place teams if needed to round out the bracket to even numbers, but I’m not too sure how that part works.
The tournament started last night at 6pm at the Oakley-Lindsey Center, or OLC. The OLC is located just south of downtown Quincy, and I have to say that of the years I’ve been lucky enough to be in the tournament, the OLC is the best location yet. The tournaments I’ve been in have been at the Casino Starlite, Turner Hall, and the old Moose lodge (I think it’s now called the Blue Onion?). Anyway, the OLC has them all beat for several reasons: plenty of parking, much more room between pool tables, better lighting, and cleaner main room and bathrooms. Probably the only thing that annoyed me was that they wouldn’t allow outside food and drink into the OLC, as they run their own concessions for profit, but that’s fairly common from what I’ve experienced.
The tournament is double-elimination. The first 2 rounds were played Friday night, so 1/4 of the teams will have been weeded out by today. Each round is best 3 of 5 matches, with a match being a race to your handicap. I think I’ve explained the handicap system before, but a quick summary is that everyone gets a handicap between a 2 and 7. I’m a 5 and the guy I played was a 3. I needed 5 games to win, he needed 3. I won the match 5-2, so our score for the first round was 1-0. Two other people from my team won their matches, so we won our first round 3-0.
Unfortunately we lost our second round 0-3 to a really good team. That’s not all that surprising, really, since the whole league system is split up into several levels of general skill, and we’re in the middle. Some teams just take it much more seriously, practice a lot, and get to be pretty good. Most of my team only touches a cue on the nights that we shoot league.
Since it’s double-elimination, however, we’re still in the tournament and can still keep playing. That means we have a shot at getting some money out of this, depending on how far we get. Even if it’s not a big payout, it’s nice to be able to win enough to cover league dues for the team for this next year.
Well, 3rd round play starts back up at 9am this morning, about 20 minutes from now. I’d better pry my butt off the chair and get headed to the OLC. There’s free Wi-Fi there provided by Adams NetWorks, so maybe I’ll post an update during the matches.