Tonight was the final match in the playoffs. It helps to tell the story if I explain the ranking system. Basically you are ranked as a player 2 through 7, with 7 being the best. You need to win one below your rank to win the match. So a 6 needs 5 games to win, and if he were playing a 4 the race would be 5 to 3. All perfectly clear?
First match we put up Lance (4) against their 6. Lance played tough and took out one of their two strongest players. (There are not many 6’s in the league.)
Second match was Dave (5) against their 3. This makes it tough on Dave as the 3 needs only 2 games to Dave’s 4. On top of that handicap this particular 3 plays more like a 5. Dave missed an easy 8-ball in the first game, but played well after that. The 3 got lucky though, and we lost that one.
One thing we were worried about was the opposing team had a player who is ranked a 7, there are only a handful in the entire league. Third match was Greg (4) versus their 7. This was a critical match, because the opposing team expects their 7 to be an automatic win. Greg (“G”) played an exceptional match and made the most of every opportunity, including banking an 8-ball to win the match. Greg is now officially a Seven Slayer.
Fourth match was Chad (5) against their 4. This was another critical point because we didn’t want it to come down to the final match. (It’s best out of 5, and winning 3-1 is much easier on the nerves.) This one came down to the last game, with their 4 winning the match in a very close contest. Chad has had trouble with this guy before, because he plays as well as a 5 but only has to win 3 games. It will be interesting to see this match-up again next session.
At this point the series was 2-2, with one final match to decide who came in first. I had been hoping to not have to play, but it came down to me (6) versus their 4. I needed five games to my opponent’s 3. The first game I ran most of my balls, and in an effort to break up a cluster I made the 8-ball early. My opponent didn’t even shoot and won the game. So now I needed five against 2. I won’t drag it out, I won the next 5 games in a row, and Last Call officially finished in first place.
Congrats to all of my teammates, throughout these playoffs they all made clutch wins when we had to have them. We’ll be playing the Phoenix Titleholders tournament in December, and I’ll let you know how we make out.