Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Team Support

For whatever reason, Vegas brings out awesome and unexpected team support more than any other tournament.

The Teams:

The Tiger Sharks are a team from Dallas that I only see in Vegas. Since I don't play out of Dallas (I play an hour away in Fort Worth), I really only see these guys in Vegas. Two of the teammates are good friends of mine, but we only get to catch up in Las Vegas. But for whatever reason, every year their entire team seems to support my team more than any other.

 Texas Sharks!  I joked with them this photo in the convention center tourney room looks like a police line up!

In addition to the Tiger Sharks, the day before the team events started I met two players from a team out of Houston called Double Down.  Jeff and Juan (who knew my Vegas roomie, Rebecca, well) became fast friends with Amanda and Ashley and I and they became our cheerleaders, also.

Juan getting his first tattoo!

Further, Darnell and her sister and teammates supported us again this year.  Darnell is out of San Fransisco and even though we beat her team a couple of years ago and again this year, they still would send us texts for updates, watch our matches, and wish us good luck!  They are super cool to hang out with and they always have a great time!

Ashley, Darnell and I

Friendships Bond:

This year it was so much fun to hang out with these other teams away from the pool tables, too. We watched them play black jack or 3-card poker, they would watch me play Let It Ride, we all watched the pole dancers together, we ate out at the likes of the Mirage Buffet (see video blog), Kristophers, and the Peppermill.  We even ventured away from the Riviera and my teammates and I went to the HardRock Casino one night with the Tiger Sharks (I had never been there - the music is loud and FANTASTIC! Loved the atmosphere).

This year, for whatever reason, the support was even more than in previous years. But more importantly, I got to know the players on a personal level this year. I love eating out and the 3-4 times we all went out as a team was a blessing because it was so rewarding to get to know them better.  Eating over good food with great company allows connections to form and we were able to talk and share in the great atmospheres.  I found out about their kids, hobbies, family life, work life, etc.. I found out which one is the sports better , which one had a secret birthday he was trying to keep from us, which one had a great new girlfriend, etc.

An added bonus, all of the guys became like our body guards, too, and they kept watch over us, all the while supporting our matches.

I thoroughly enjoyed not only spending time with them, but also getting to know them.

The Support:

I can't begin to describe how much team support means.  Yes, when playing in a big tournament or in a singles division (such as in BCAPL tournaments), support is amazing and extremely helpful.  But team support is a different type of camaraderie.  It's simply on an other level.

It's not just your close friends watching all your single's events, it's a whole entire team supporting your whole entire team.

These three teams would follow our progress, check the charts, watch our matches, and cheer us on.  We would look for them in return across the large room.  "Is that them?  I wonder how they are doing?" 

The other teams would text us often, "What table are you on?  What time do you start?  We'll be right there."

Even after the three other teams had to leave on Saturday late morning, they would continue to text us from the airport and during their layovers,

"How's it going?"
"Keep it up!"
"You gals are doing great!"
"Keep us posted."

Even from afar, on AZB forums we had supporters and followers.  It was awesome to get messages of encouragement and congrat's when we placed 7th!

 My team, No Holes Barred!

The team support was awesome and I will never forget how team spirit overflows to other teams.

The immediate connection and support is so much fun and makes me almost speechless to express that type of camaraderie.

Thanks, guys and gals!

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