Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Picking & Choosing

The tournament waters here on the west coast of Florida have always been muddy. Now, they’re getting muddier.

With summer comes the increasing need of fat people to be served with air conditioning. I don’t know the dynamics, but fat people can’t tolerate the heat. This means that in a couple of the smoky dens of inequity that host bar tournaments opening doors to let out the smoke has ceased to be an option. Of course, if these establishments had invested in a couple smoke-eaters there would be no need to open the doors, but because of the cost of those appliances that is not an option. Consequently, I’ve stopped attending my usual Friday night tour stop. I quit smoking in 1990 and though I still have a better than average chance of succumbing to lung cancer, I'm trying not to tease the tiger. The fact that I will no longer have to play one very annoying woman who cheats like a grammar school bully only slightly mollifies the great sense of loss I am feeling.

Our regular Tuesday night stop at the bowling alley has been suffering lately from a dwindling number of participants. On top of that, a good friend of mine who I had introduced to the tournament recently got into a scuffle with one of the regular obnoxious drunks who hang out there and has been banned from returning though the drunk still drops in from time to time. I’ve stopped going there, at least temporarily.

But, hark, a new tournament with a guaranteed $250 added has sprung up down the line. First prize has been $200, second $100, third $60 and 4th $60 for the first two weeks it has been played. Unfortunately, there are rules problems. The first week with $200 at stake, incidences of “dirty pool” were rampant. So, second week, the owner decided to use BCA eight ball rules. Problem was he didn’t know them and when they were explained to him he didn’t like them. How can somebody who doesn’t know what constitutes a legal hit run a pool tournament? I may return there in a few weeks after they work things out, but, since it is officially the highest paying tournament in the area, including the three closest weekly nine-ball tournaments for A-players, there’s no telling what kind of players it’s going to attract.

Speaking of the “A” tournaments, there are guys who play every week who don’t have a prayer of getting into the money, yet they play because they think there’s some kind of honor in rubbing elbows with the better players. For me, there’s no honor in getting your ass kicked, so I’ve avoided playing in them. But, it’s getting to the point where they are starting to look good to me. If I could only elevate my game a couple notches… Crap!

Anyway, that’s how things are looking. I’ll let you know if things change.


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