Happy Chuseok everyone and welcome to the Mid-Season Review or should that be the 'Season of Darryl Dawson'?
We are now half way through the current league season and much has happened since my early season review. Two tournaments have been played, Seoul sent a pool team to Vietnam (sadly they did all return - no, I only jest) and we also have some worrying news about a league stalwart.
The league was sad to hear that Jon Bell, one of the longest serving players in the league and all round nice guy, suffered a serious accident last week coming out of Shenanigans. It appears he is facing the prospect of a number of surgical procedures and that his eyesight might be badly affected. It's at times like this the league comes into its own and shows what a great community we are, as already plans are being put in place for a tournament to raise money for Jon. It looks like Shenanigans will host a tournament on October 1st and it is hoped this can raise a considerable amount to help Jon. If anyone would like help out on the day or make a contribution please get in touch with Willy (at Shenanigans), Ronan or myself. More details will follow in the next week or so. We are thinking of you, Jon.
The Mid-Season Singles Tournament was a quiet affair and only 24 hardy souls made the effort to enter. This is partly down to the fact Bernard plied half of the league with tequila and sambuca the night before at his going away party that nobody could actually function as a normal human being on the day of the tournament. Darryl Dawson took the honours in the Upper Bracket steadily quelling the resistance of Doo-Mann Lim in the preliminary final and then seeing off the spirited Yang Hwa-sil in the final. Hwa-sil had, in the course of running through the loser's bracket, taught her own team why she was the boss of Zzyzx by defeating 3 of her teammates. The Lower Bracket was won by Kevin 'Leeboy' Lee who defeated Paulino Torrico in the final after a tense battle. I do wish I could tell you more about that tournament but I was desperately sweating tequila and trying not to fall asleep as a result of the previous night. Many thanks to all those who helped at the tournament, especially Bernard (how were you even there?), Russ and David Zoo(who claimed a well deserved 3rd place in the Lower Bracket).
David's reward for finishing third in the Bracket was to partner the president in the next, and most enjoyable, tournament. The Mid-Season Doubles took place the week after the singles and once again the legend that is Darryl Dawson triumphed. He was of course aided abetted by the new talent of Sean Kim. The only resistance came in the form of Dominic Johnson and David Zoo (the alternative, in more ways that one, Sin Bin Dream Team). Some seriously brilliant pool was punctuated by moments of pure farce as always, and there were several contenders for worst shot of the day and indeed worst frame of the season (Ronan, Jeff - you know what I'm taking about). As always with this competition, the atmosphere beat the playing standard. Honourable mentions should also go to SK Kim and Jun Bongon who, but for some rotten luck, might have taken a higher accolade than 3rd place.
In the battle of the big boys, (the ones with the biggest packages - I'm taking about their gadgets and gizmos - every sentence just descends into innuendo, doesn't it?) Boomtown Rats, Smokin' Aces and Dark Horses seem to be separating themselves from the pack. At the mid-season meeting, Ronan from Wonky Triangles made an impassioned speech arguing for a change in the playoff system that saw his team play only away games last season. He was told in no uncertain terms that to avoid this his team should not finish 4th. Naturally he is ignoring this and they currently sit 4th. Angry Birds have woken up and are beginning to press for a top 4 spot. Shenanigans were beginning to adapt to life in the top division by downing Dic-Taters but returned to mediocrity against Boomtown Rats. Dic-Taters then pulled off the shock of the season so far by beating a full strength Smokin' Aces on a night that saw the two teams complete two matches on two tables in the same venue. Oh, and in other news, Misfits are in this division too - shhh, we won't speak about that.
Zzyzx continue to pound all comers including Championship A sides. Shenanigans, Smokin' Aces and Boomtown Rats have all fallen to Hwa-sil's all conquering team. 8 Ball Land have already overhauled Scandal but the other teams in that division, Bombadeers (spelling was never their strong suit), Green Light, King Pub and The Pain, all look very evenly matched and it is rumoured they are threatening a break away league not involving Zzyzx.
Just this week the final team paid their dues to the league - only TWO months late but the league happily accepted it. I will not name and shame that captain; it's not my style. I can tell you the problem occurred when the team treasurer took the money to China and the team secretary was unable to contact him and the vice-president of the team was seen bribing an IPL official. It all got rather scandalous but on the upside, the team captain is currently writing a novel based on the events. Jumie's Runners continue to dominate and Super Power are beginning to show themselves to have a little more energy (I'm not sure you can call it power yet) and may prove to be the only serious rival to the Runners. It seems like Sweet Life, Frigates, Free Shots, Ballistics and Pheasants are waiting for the playoffs to come around and then they'll take the competition seriously.
Enjoy the holidays and good luck to all teams for the second half of the season.
Rules: Open and free of charge to anyone who has competed in 3 separate matches this season. Brackets will be split into Upper and Lower categories based on the rankings of those who compete that day. It will be a double elimination event.Players will gain or lose ranking points depending on their performance.
Please spread the word among your teams and I hope to see many of you there on Saturday.
Sunday 28th August: Mid-Season Captains' Meeting
Please contact members of the executive committee by Friday 26th August if you have any issues you feel should be raised at the meeting. All teams who send a representative will get a bonus point for their team.
There are some issues to be discussed/ voted on including home advantage in play-offs and scheduling difficulties.
We strongly encourage every team to be represented at the meeting.