Pool Report Bradford – Day One.
After last week’s article this weekend we have the English Open, Amateur, and Professional events from the Cedar Court Hotel in Bradford and I’m already a day behind as I sit patiently awaiting the huge numbers (over 185 entrants) from around the World to get down to a number that we can sensibly talk about.
With three tournaments to work through and a livestream table to keep the fans entertained its all go here in Bradford though the atmosphere is even more electric than last year, the tour busier, the the games even tougher to win.
As a double eliminator everyone gets two bites of the cherry (even me), so after looking up who I was losing to first I tentatively walked off to Table Three (of the twenty-one in total) for my first match this season. Safe to say a win was not expected, and I did not let those who bet against me on Blacktype down with a true to form 0-7 loss, though I did go close in a few frames before a combination of my inabilities and my opponent’s skills saw him sprint over the line. Now I don’t write this to make myself look stupid, its more a case of just how good the average player is at these events. Even a single miss in a frame is punished severely (trust me), but more importantly the pressure is on – you know an error is probably your final shot and if that doesn’t make you twitch then you aren’t human.
On to the Tournaments themselves, and with pool one of the fastest growing sports in the last twelve months, it was a pleasure to run in to so many new faces who were experiencing the IPA for the very first time. Some got through, the majority fell at the first hurdle (I wasn’t the only one), but all that I spoke to seemed to lap up the experience and promised they would be back for more. I put that down to the warm welcome given to each and every player – you can’t play football against your heroes, or rugby or cricket – but you can enter an IPA event and if you can get through a round or two, play one of the superstars of the modern game and perhaps nick a frame or two, and that has to be a part of the appeal of 8ball pool.