I played in the LoneStar Billiards Tour stop this past weekend in Round Rock, Texas. I haven't played in one since about three years ago, so this was a nice treat as there is not a tour in the Dallas / Fort Worth area (yet).
I decided to go because it was being held at Skinny Bob's, and in three weeks, the Texas Open will be held at the same place. My b/f and I thought an entire weekend playing on the tables would bode well for us for that big upcoming tourney. So, it was a good warm up for us!
One bonus was, last year this tourney was held before the Texas Open also, but it was the weekend or two JUST before the Texas Open and traveling that much in such a short time was not feasible. But, three weeks apart WAS feasible. I mentioned this fact to the owner and hope they continue to separate next years tourney by a few weeks for us travelers.
The Lone Star Tour is running on it's 5th year or so and is run by WPBA Pro Kim White.
The tourney had three divisions - Open, Amateur and Ladies. Sign ups were from 11am to 1pm on Saturday, then the calcutta, then the tourney started on the beautiful Gold Crown 9 foot tables. The women would start on Sunday at noon, but of course we could play in all divisions (at a discount, too!).
The Amateur division was dedicated to the non-pros and non master players, and there were about 85 players. The Open allows those players AND any amateur that wants to compete with the big guys.
The Open had about 62 players or so. The women would end up with 18 players.
It was a very big tourney filled with lots of great matches!
The only problem was, there was only 14 tables to play all these people on. Further, the tourney didn't start til 4:30pm! Yep, I said 4:30pm.
The guy that ran the two calcuttas took FOREVER. Bless his heart, it was his first time (and last) but he took WAY too long. Three and a half hours for about 140 people was ridiculous.
However, Kim started the tourney RIGHT after and played matches right away. She kept the tourney moving very fast, because she knew it was going to be a long weekend. The races were 9/7 in the Open and 7/5 in the Amateur Division. After the first two rounds, she decided to shorten the races.
She knew from experience if she didn't do SOMETHING, they would be there till FOREVER, lol.
She shortened each race by one, so 8/6 and 6/4.
To say the least, EVERYONE was bitching; everyone was complaining. They were saying she should have started earlier, the calcutta shouldn't have gone so long, she shouldn't shorten the races, etc, etc.
The matches on Sunday were to start at 1pm, and everyone said the matches should start at 10am. But, Kim did not want to do that to the players - she knew the tourney may not get done til 5am and didn't think it was right to have players come right back at 10am.
But she did decide to change the start up time to noon on Sunday, and gave NO room to anyone for being late. She forfeited several players on Sunday, and the women were given no wiggle room to sign up past noon.
She ran a tight ship, but of course all everyone saw was how late the tourney started.
People also said that if the amateurs were not allowed to play in the Open, that that would help.
Well, I disagree.
If the amateurs were not able to play in the Open, the Open side would be REALLY small.
Further, because the amateurs were able to play in the Open, they were able to compete against much better players... AND have a chance to get more money. Kim paid 24 spots in the Amatuer (12 spots in the calctutta) and 16 spots in the Open ( and 8 in their calcutta). There was a lot of money to be won!
I expressed to MANY people that I didn't understand why everyone was so upset.
First of all, there's nothing they can do now. Accept reality, peeps! Just shut up and play pool, lol.
Yes, we started late. But guess what? You have a big tourney to play in in town for once! And everyone knows tourneys last ALL weekend. The only difference is a lot of players entered and so it lasted longer into the wee hours. Many players is not a bad thing, either!
If this happened all the time yes, please bitch, but the tourney comes to town once a year, and there are only MAYBE a handful of other big tourneys that are played in this town throughout the year.
Obviously, the main issue was the tourney started late. Kim has already stated that wont happen again (she will start sooner), and she will go back to running the calcutta herself. She gave the guy a chance and hindsight is 20/20 and she shouldn't have let him try it for the first time with such a large attendance.
But, she did great! She had a lot of people bitch at her, argue about being forfeited, interrupt her 1,000 times with the same questions, etc. I'm sure she was stressed, but I never saw it. I saw a woman in control of the situation doing the best she could to get the tourney finished on time.
Shortening the races was NOT an easy decision, but the best solution for the issues at hand. And - it turns out it was the right solution that helped move the tourney along. Had she not done that, the first day of the tourney could easily have lasted til 8am!
I just wish everyone would have just accepted it started late and stopped bitching so much. We got to play pool all weekend, peeps! How lucky are we?!