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P O O L    S H O O T E R

The Adventures of FastMikie
in search of Truth and Beauty in the art of pocket billiards.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

IPT Tour Qualifier at Hard Times

Sensory Overload!
75 hotshots paid $2,000 each
for a chance at only 2 IPT Tour cards.

I was there!
Got up at 5:30 AM
to drive thru rush hour traffic in LA
and be there early for the 9:30 AM
players' meeting
conducted by Kevin Trudeau himself
(IPT Tour founder).

I tried to imagine what it would be like
to compete at this gathering of eagles.
All I could see is me as a bag of meat
for these carnivores.
Good God! Even Wu was there!
(16 year old Tokyo world champion)
And Oliver Ortman (Mosconi Cup captain)
and CJ Riley, and Dominguez (father & son)
and Moro, and Sambajon
and Mike Sigel...
and of course, some unknown
hopeful but hopeless bags of meat.

Refereed by "Sensei" Roy Yamane
and Ken J.

Some new prizes were announced:
bank the 8 ball and win $1,000
break and run 6 games wins $5,000...
the meat-eaters were foaming at the mouth.

I grabbed a seat in the bleachers
to sweat the first round action:
Dave Hemmah, house pro at Hard Times
is matched against CJ Riley
on the table right in front of me.
And on a table just beyond,
Sambajon is up against some guy Runco.

CJ Riley misses ball in hand...
Sambajon banks the 8 for a grand.
CJ Riley table scratches on straight in...
Sambajon banks another 8 for another grand...
Oscar Dominguez folds in first match.
CJ Riley implodes, and loses.
Sambajon wins easily.

The slow cloth is pilling like a cheap sweater.

I'm on the road back to Del Mar
to beat the rush hour traffic,
contemplating what skill is required
to face such awesome competition...

I need a lot more work!

(for online real-time results, click here)

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