I learned a few things this weekend through observation about how NOT to compete in a tournament.
First, its a good idea not to piss off the entire draw before things start and turn the whole room against you. A good way to do this, is to not give other people a chance to warm up when the table space is limited. Wait until some well-adjusted person gives up the table to you after a couple games, and then refuse to leave until someone beats you, "because last time you checked, this is a bar and that's how it works." Its one thing to have the right to be an asshole, but you gotta be a real Earl Anthony to actually invoke that right. Works like a charm. People will hate you.
Second, when you encounter a lower-ranked opponent who doesn't have a lot of tournament experience, turn to her right before the lag and ask her, "So, are you feeling tired yet?" This mild attempt at sharking will smell like exactly what it is, fear, and you will eliminate any last remaining vestiges of intimidation she was feeling. She will also realize that she is not in the least bit tired, but energized by how well she is playing.
Third, foul and pretend it didn't happen. Wait for the right shot, and carom off your opponents ball first in order to continue your run. If its not officially being watched, you can pretty much do whatever you want. Just in case your opponent didn't pick up on the fear at the start of the match, it will be blatantly obvious now, and she will feel a moral obligation to really kick your ass.
Do these things and I guarantee. You will lose.
So, in the interest of blogger integrity, I must add a few notes.
1) Holding the practice table hostage: No notes necessary, this is pretty much how it went down. I should only add that this happened after the official start time of the tournament, so I don't even think that the normal bar rules applied.
2)"Are you feeling tired yet?" This could have been an attempt at conversation. It wasn't said in a snarky or pointed way. I actually suspect that he was in fact feeling tired. I did not have to face his "A" game. Although, others have confirmed he has a reputation for shenanigans like this.
3)Unacknowledged foul: Angle is everything when it comes to watching for fouls, and I was too far away to be sure. I thought it was a foul. The person next to me thought it was a foul. Truth be told, it was my bad for not having the shot watched. And I said so, and let it go. Really, it didn't bother me. My philosophy with this kind of thing, is that unless your a sociopath, most of us have a built in auto-karma enforcer. If he did cheat, he probably felt guilty, and missed two shots he should have made for the one he stole. But when it was my turn to shoot, and my bridge hand touched the felt, I thought "Bitch, I WILL cut you. Just in case, I am right, I need to kick your ass."
Anyway, it was a sweet, sweet victory. It only makes me sad that such a good player feels the need to mess with these kind of antics. Its a damn shame. My sense is that he is probably one of these guys who is perfectly normal, until picks up a pool cue and feels the need to become the playground bully that picked on him when he was a kid.
But maybe I'm being too nice. Bitch, I will cut you.....but I'll want to buy you a beer afterward.