Thursday, April 30, 2009


As one of 4 Board Members of the OB Cues Ladies Tour, we are also the Tournament Directors of each of the tournaments. I thoroughly enjoy running the tournaments and the board members complement each other so well that the tour is run very well (imo). Of course we have hiccups and learning experiences, but overall, I feel the tournaments are pretty special events. We get a lot of compliments from current and visiting players of other tours, so it's not completely my own opinion. ;)

However, I'd like to talk about my acting skills - a requirement of any good Board Member. :) Any tournament director (TD) that runs a tournament AND plays in their own event knows what I am talking about. For others, this may have not crossed your mind before, so I thought I'd share.

I play in our events and I love the competition. Right after I finish a match, I must immediately go to the tournament chart, report my score, and then take over running the chart because usually the current TD is waiting to play a match and needs to go play (so the tournament doesn't get backed up).

Why do I mention this you wonder? Why is this acting you ask? Well, when a TD wins their match, we smile as we walk to the chart and are usually happy - like most players are after (most) wins. If we lose and it's a really tough lose - we walk with all the emotions everyone else has after a tough loss. We carry the feelings in our stomach and they fill our hearts and minds. However, we sometimes don't have time to compose ourselves and be alone for a while to regroup. We have to immediately get behind the chart, start answering questions with a smile, attend to players needs, announce matches, work on the payouts, watch the table area, ref shots, etc. The biggest challenge is to act and smile when the players come up to the chart, even though you may have lost a hill-hill heart breaker that could have meant either a Sunday winner's side match or you are now out of the tournament.

It's really not easy at all. I admit it. Luckily I recognized this from other tournaments. I saw a TD lose a match, walk over to the brackets, and proceeded to bark at the players and took out their loss/emotions on the players.

Because of that observation from many, many years ago, I now either quickly assess my emotions so I can be a TD now, or I push the emotions off until later (which is tough to do). I have many "tricks" to get back into TD-mode: vent quickly to a friend about the match, go to the bathroom to take a quick break, smile with all my muster while behind the desk, or just sit there and feel the loss as fast as I can. The players of the tour are my real saving grace - they are distractions to my emotions and when they come up the chart to ask a question or to report a score, then I am reminded to put my acting hat on so I can provide a great tournament experience.

I've never talked to the other board members about this, but I know we all go through it.

Just at our last event, this very nice new member caught me walking to the tournament chart after a tough loss. She wanted to share something with me but I asked her if we could talk later b/c I had just lost a really tight match. (I wanted to emotionally listen to her and knew at that moment I was too upset to take in her thoughts.) She obliged and we talked later and I as SO thankful when she told me afterwards that she understood I needed a few minutes.

Obviously, not all losses create acting moments of "hey, I'm smiling at you, but I am not doing well." But, some losses are tougher than others. Hill-hill matches are always tough; or, a match where I didn't take advantage of their mistakes; or a match where I gave away too many games. If I simply didn't play my best or they ran out well and I didn't have many opportunities, I am okay. But tough losses lead to acting and I thought I would share.

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