Saturday - 2-23-08
Okla City/Moore 1 star tournament article written by Larry Buell:
Moore, OK TT Tourney write-up
February 23rd opened a bit blustery, but did not turn out too bad. Kinda like my style of play...
7 players represented the glory of Tulsa TT at the Moore tournament:
Wilhelm, Nicky, Tim, Kelly, Hamid, Stephen, and me.
The new club (Carl's House of Pong, or CHOP) was able to house 9 tables. It is in a large industrial store area, with high ceilings to accommodate the most ambitious lobber. It had a very cozy entry area with 2 comfortable sofas, a TV/DVD player (they plan to get dish/cable later), and a very well-appointed bathroom that managed to service the 32 players and their entourage well.
The tournament was well run by Larry Kesler, David Hash and Britt Salter. The format was Giant RR in the morning (A-E in each group), doubles next, then the A-E RR playoffs in the PM. All A's advanced to their A afternoon groups (including our Wilhelm, Nicky, Tim, and Kelly). Hamid and I ended up in Bs (Hamid seeded such, I was C but defeated Britt for the advance). Stephen had a great morning, seeded E but defeating two opponents to end up in Cs. Stephen's game is really improving, keep it up Stephen!
The doubles were mostly pickup (especially for us Tulsans). Hamid surprised me by asking if I wanted to play with him (usually he avoids doubles because it aggravates his shoulder). We got a bye the first round and ended up in a close 5 game loss to David Hash and Dale Goodman (who play doubles together constantly). I think if Hamid and I had played in Round 1 we would have gotten our kinks worked out and done well (we did come back to win one game after being down 8-2, winning it 11-8, so the potential was there). Nicky paired with a young up and coming player named Stephan Dennis. Kelly paired with his son Stephen, and Wilhelm paired with another young pickup player there (ratings limits were 3600). Kelly and Stephen won their first round but lost in the 2nd. Wilhelm and his partner did quite well, but Nicky and Stephan ended up winning the doubles. Way to go Nicky!
The afternoon saw some terrific play from the A group, which included Wilhelm, Winfred Addy, Tim, Heather Wang, Nicky and Kelly. Wilhelm looked smooth and powerful all afternoon, mixing up chops with swift drives and loops and always seeming in position. Winfred played well, but appeared flustered at times, given the impressive nature of the competition. Heather played very smoothly, mixing up her hits, blocks, and positioning the ball well. Nicky appeared to prosper from the quality of play he's had recently in Tulsa, and moved both himself and the ball around extremely well with a balance of offense and defense. Tim had many moments of excellence, including excellent services, but also seemed frustrated at times when he could not consistently rise to his own high expectations of play. Kelly played well, with his excellent hand/eye coordination and consistent looping, but was outgunned at last by the power and ball-positioning of his high-caliber opponents.
The results? Tulsa won!! Wilhelm finished undefeated for the day, taking first, and Nicky (unused to being seeded fifth in an OK tournament) came through on his awesome potential by taking second.
In Bs Hamid came up against an underrated player named Hossein Kalami (from Norman), a young man who's smooth, killer forehand combined well with a medium pips backhand he used both offensively and defensively (best use of it I've seen in a while!) to great effect. This same Hossein also defeated 2 other 1800+ players that I know of (Carl Miller and Paul Thomas) so his rating should skyrocket from the 1600s he was formerly in. Hamid did play well in the Bs and came in second, including a tough 5 game match against Paul Thomas. My best match in the B's was against this same short pips FH/long pips BH Paul Thomas. I played him much like I do Ray Pestridge, giving him easy, no spin shots to his BH until a return rose to my liking which I drove for frequent winners. I ended up losing in the 5th to him in a well-fought battle that saw his consistency outlast my kills. Seeded last, I ended up next to last after a last match of the day win over John Raunikar, a lefty with great consistency and good driving shots, who had some trouble
with my serves at crucial times allowing me to eke out a victory.
In the Cs Stephen faced many excellent players. Although he did not defeat any I believe he came away with a desire to return victorious in the not too distant future!
After the tourney, Kelly, Stephen and I met up (purely by coincidence!) at the Western Sizzler, located just West of CHOP. We had a fine steak and potatoes dinner, some dreamy creamy ice cream for desert, and headed back to Tulsa well-sated with food, conversation and Table Tennis.
FYI, CHOP is open M/W/F (M/W 6-9:30, F 6-9), and I believe (though not on their website) they are also open Saturdays 12-4 (email Carl Deal though to confirm this firstname.lastname@example.org ). First time there is free, after that is $5/night.
Thanks to the OKCTT club for a well-run and highly enjoyable event!
Saturday - 2-23-08
Oklahoma City 1 star Tournament - written by Kelly Boyce.
The tournament was held in Okla. City's new table tennis location, a converted warehouse building located in an industrial park. The building is owned by Carl Dean who rents it out to the club. (Carl is a motorcycle enthusiast and possible train enthusiast (real trains, not model trains) (you don't see "Carls trains" but you feel them and hear them - a wonderful first time experience).
There were 9 tables sent up, 3 tables in one area and 6 tables in the other area. Plenty of room between the tables and the lighting was very good - all flourescent (the club installed the lights recently - part of the "converted warehouse" work the club did).
The tournament was run by Larry Kesler with help from their very large staff - David Hash, Britt Salter, Dale Goodman, a lady at the front desk named Deb and others.
32 players attended the tourny. 1 player from Kansas (Carl Miller), 3 players from Arkansas, 7 players from Tulsa, none from Texas (Texas had 2 tournaments this same day!). 3 players from McAlester (Paul Thomas and 2 new players - Ed Ellis could not make it), 2 players from Muskogee (Dan McIntosh, and Darrell Lucht) and the rest from Okla City.
Format was a giant round robin with the first round divided into 6 groups (4 groups had 5 players and 2 groups of 6 players).
The top 6 players advancing to the "A" group were Winfred Addy, Heather Wang, Wilhelm Kruger, Nick Agimudie, Tim Yardy, Kelly Boyce.
Only those lucky enough to be there could see some great table tennis action (and non-table tennis action - the stuff between games we can't write about) (watching table tennis on TV or the internet does not compare!). I could go into detail about each great match but space is limited (and there will be Larry Buell's article later). The final results were:
1st - Wilhelm Kruger, 2nd - Nick Agimudie, 3rd - Winfred Addy, 4th - Heather Wang, 5th - Tim Yardy, 6th - Kelly Boyce.
Hamid Ezzat came in 2nd in the class B.
When the complete results of the tournament are sent, they will be sent out to everyone signed up on the Tulsa newletter.