Tornado Hall of Fame Classic - Vegas - 11-15 March

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Re: Tornado Hall of Fame Classic - Vegas - 11-15 March

Post by Steviola » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:42 pm

Yes I like.

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Re: Tornado Hall of Fame Classic - Vegas - 11-15 March

Post by papafoos » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:04 pm

Alex, don't take it so hard. I think most understood why you took the stance you did. Tornado was too slow in getting the info out in a timely manner for international players.

The one I'm disappointed in is Mase. Here we get the crowd worked into a frenzy...ropes looped over branches...bonfires and torches lit...ready to burn the castle...and then Mase leads us down the wrong path. Ruined a perfectly good hanging. :cry:

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Re: Tornado Hall of Fame Classic - Vegas - 11-15 March

Post by Shovo » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:38 pm

optix wrote:Maybe I've got this wrong, but I'm sure I remember Alex becoming rather good at the Rainbow before heading South... sorry 8)
You're definitely wrong I'm afraid, Rob. Bush debut - 26/06/2003 Alex Shovelton. Alex started Uni in September 2003.

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Re: Tornado Hall of Fame Classic - Vegas - 11-15 March

Post by Mase » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:46 pm

First time ive actually calmed something down, normally i like to bring petrol to a fire.


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Re: Tornado Hall of Fame Classic - Vegas - 11-15 March

Post by shovie » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:10 pm

Ok here goes...



So after an 11hour flight from Gatwick, punctuated by multiple rounds of "cupcake wars" between Joe and Bushy, the insistance of the rotund androgenous thing infront of me to have his/her seat 2 inches from my face for most of the journey, and mustard, EVERYWHERE, we arrived at 2pm in Vegas.

The place is ridiculous, I mean really screwed up, magnificent, strangely beautiful and awe-inspiring at the same time. On the taxi ride in we passed a replica of the Sphynx (The Luxor), the Eiffel Tower (Paris), and New York (New York New York), all in the middle of the desert. From an architectural point of view it's all hideous, but I loved it.

We spent the rest of the evening checking in, taking a quick walk up the strip, and getting some food before finally crashing at about 8pm. Joe spooned with Bushy.


Today is take-photos-of-everything day. The three of us must have walked about 8 miles through nearly every single casino on the strip, this is the thing about Vegas, or at least where we were, everything is in a casino. You have to walk past the slot machines/blackjack/roulette tables to go to your room, to go for a meal, to go to the shops, to go for a drink, to get married etc.

Some photo highlights...

Inside the Venetian. No, that's not the sky, it's the ceiling!


1:2 Replica of the Eiffel Tower!


We started the evening accross the street at "Slots-a-Fun", drinking virtually free beers whilst playing a 25c roulette machine. The aim? Take it in turns putting a quarter in and only cashing out if we got to $10, and we did! I know, we're mental. Tried to get into a club, failed, realised it was probably for the best as it would have cost us a fortune plus Bushy and I were heading to the Grand Canyon early in the morning. I Spooned with Bushy.


Bushy and I wake up at 6am and get the bus for our pre-booked Grand Canyon & Hoover Dam tour. Joe stayed in Vegas to greet his beloved. It's a 9 hour round trip and you only get 3 hours at the Canyon, but well worth it to see signs like this on the way there...

Gaylord Indian Restaurant, of course.

And sights like this when you get there...
Yes. I'm a retard.

After 3 hours there, we got back on the bus, which broke down about an hour into the journey. Fortunately our (full) bus offloaded onto other passing busses as they went by. I think the driver is still there though.

So we get back to Vegas at about 10pm, by which time the Wednesday events are in full swing and most of the big names have arrived.

Quick Note - Due to the super low humidity and the dry air being pumped around the hotel/casino to encourage you to drink, you get static shocks from EVERYTHING. Not just little cute fuzzy ones, but ones that, as bushy found out, light up the room if you go to open the window during the night. My advice? Don't wear shoes.

So, we meet and greet everyone inc Rob and Olga who arrived that afternoon, then after some faffing Bushy and I go to a few casinos with a couple of people we met on the Grand Canyon Tour. Rob and Olga now installed, I spoon with Bushy for the rest of the week.


Today the tournament really kicks off. The highlight being the filming of the "Foosball Master Tour". For those of you that remember, this was essentially the same as the TFT thing we did in 2003, only with MUCH higher production value, MUCH better players, MUCH better commentary (Jim did it), and MUCH better venue and a MUCH more attractive female presenter. They also had a smoke machine.

Each player made a dramatic entrance after a short introduction. In a typically American fashion Rob was introduced as just having won the "European Championships" :roll:. I'm sure he'll be able to give you some decent reports on the games he and Rob Mares played, but the win against Loffredo and Collignon was great to watch, I've not seen Rob block Fred as well as he did in that game.

I also had my first event, Semi-Pro singles. A good first event for me, one I wasn't expecting to do well in and a good warm up for the events I was concentrating on (Amateur Singles and Doubles). I started by losing 5-4 5-4 to Canadian Semi-Pro Jeff "it's in the game" Allen , then went on a 6 game winning streak in the losers, surviving the first day knowing I had to play SPS World Champion Zeke Cervantes in the morning. It was 1am by the time they finished calling matches so I went straight to bed. Bushy was already asleep so we didn't spoon.


I'd love to say that I was tired, my arm was sore, I couldn't see or some other excuse, but the fact is that Mr Cervantes anhialated me. Not with the two bar shooting seen in the link above, but because I didn't block A SINGLE PASS, and I'm not exaggerating. Somehow I managed to slop a game out of him but a fair result would have been something in the region of 5-0 5-1. Lovely bloke too, as were all of the non pros I played, and most of the pros. I think I must have finished somewhere like 25th.

Then Open Doubles started. I partnered Bushy in this one, it was a pleasure. We won our (two?) qualifying matches pretty comfortably to progress to the KO (I'm pretty sure there were 65 teams, so only one team didn't qualify. Ouch). The seeding for the KO wasn't done by qualifying results but by points, and given that Bushy and I were both playing as 900 point Amateurs we were sure to get one of the top seeds in the first round.

How about Current Tornado World Champions Dave Gummeson and Tracy McMillan? In the Pits? Why not.

In the first game we had them worried, a bit. We both played well and took it to 4-4 before, I think, Tracey smashed a long pull in from the back. The second game was my favourite though, and about 30 seconds of it summed up why this game is so great.

We're 3-2 down and Dave has the put-in, passes through my 5 bar which has become something akin to a fart, and sets it up in pull shot position. He takes 5 or 6 seconds before smashing it to the long hole, but Bushy is there and the ball rebounds back to Dave's 3 bar. Again Dave sets it up and waits, a bit longer this time, perhaps 8 seconds before pound another long, but Bushy says no, and Dave again gets the ball back on his 3 and sets it up. At this point I'm thinking "Good work Bush, shame he's gonna score that enormous middle on you now". Dave waits and hits a hard, square middle. What's that? Bushy blocked it again? And kept the ball?

Then the best bit...

"Time Out"

It was such a beautiful moment I could have cried. Needless to say we lost the match but I didn't care!

At 1pm Amateur Doubles started. This was the event I wanted to win the most, I played with Joe's American better half, Natasha Kraus. Tasha is awesome to team up with, she's calm, passes intelligently, and, despite being about 5ft 5 and about 3 stone, hits the ball like a man. We started well, I think winning 2 games in the winners before narrowly losing to a team that included a guy who would later win SPD. This wouldn't have been so bad, but the format went from best of 3 in the winners to race to 7 in the losers. We'd have to wait until the next day to find out how that would work for us.

We also teamed up for Semi-Pro doubles, but were knocked out in the last match of the day. Another late one, again no spooning for me.


Saturday was a very strange day. We kicked off with a comfortable win in AD, 7-1, but I never got going in our next match, struggled to score, made some stupid decisions and eventually we lost something like 7-5 to a Canadian team. I was gutted, mainly because I'd let tasha down, but also because it was Saturday, I only had 3 events left and it was looking like a very expensive week!

At 10am Open Singles began. I played Dieter Steeman, a belgian Pro-Master, narrowly beating him 5-3 in the 3rd game. I then beat Canadian Pro Darrel Popowich, a game which was particularly fun as we'd been playing stupid style pick-up games a lot and neither of us had a clue how we'd play in a serious match. This was again tight and went to the 3rd game, possibly even 5-4. My 3rd qualifyer was more straight forward but could have been much closer. So I qualified with a 3 win record but again the KO wasn't seeded and I drew some foreigner called Fred.

I went 3-2 up in the first game...


But he woke up. Won that game, and stayed very much awake for the 2nd...


I lost 3-0.

I'd never played Fred in singles, so it was a great experience, and I never expected to do well on Open Singles so wasn't too bothered about going into the loser's bracket so early. I love the loser's bracket.

I won two games in the losers, including one against Jeff Pipkin Jr, who plays the same style as Tony Spredeman (inc on the 5), I almost didn't want to win that one as it's so nice to watch! I then played Matt Botros, another Canadian Semi-Pro who was also in Nantes and we'd had some good laughs with throughout. Unfortunately the game was close and when I was 3-1 up in the final game Matt felt I'd jarred the ball off his 3 bar chasing a pass, I was convinced otherwise and Matt reluctanly gave me the ball. He felt so cheated that after I passed and scored to go 4-1 up he let go of the rods. I've never seen anyone do this before and was pretty shocked, after all there no achievement in winning a game if the opponent isn't trying. We both felt cheated and I said something I very much regret now. I've apologised since, but although I wasn't unsportsman like or rude, no one wants an earbashing after they've lost, especially not from a friend. Massively my bad.

I was pretty deflated after that but for some reason this was about the point when I started to play as well as I've ever played, infact I only lost one match for the rest of the tournament. I was still in the winners of amateur singles (I swear every game to this point was 5-4 5-4 apart from a game against Chris Traynor that I managed to salvage from 3-1 down in the 3rd. Thank you 2 bar push kick), Me and Olga had a 2-0 winning start in No-Pro mixed and I had beaten Canadian Pro-Master Mario Ariganello (or Ariga.....Ari......awww sheeet, if you're Dave Courington!) 5-3 5-2, I think by this point I was in the money in OS, which I'd never have dreamt of doing, so anything else was a bonus.

Me, Joe, Natasha, Rob, Olga, Bushy, Eric Dunn and Darren Carter went for some massive american food at Peppermill during a break in proceedings. Bushy attempted to eat his weight in food and I think failed.

I then had to play American Pro-Master Terry Rue in OS. For those of you that haven't seen Terry Rue play, he's like a 5 year old on speed, with a pull that's roughly the same speed as a shotgun. He is also by far the nicest pro master player out there. I lost the first game 5-2 then scraped the second 5-4 with a few slop. Up until this point there hadn't really been much of his trademark shouting and over-animation but in the 3rd game he got going. It was pretty intense, a big crowd had gathered now and there weren't many people on the English guy's side! I went 4-2 down, but hit some horrible slop to make it 4-4 and my first ITSF win-by-two situation. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but I think I may have blocked, passed and scored twice to win. I didn't celebrate much though, I got loads of skank and didn't deserve to win. Terry just said "Don't worry about it, that's foosball". Legend. I was now 9th or better.

By this point I was also in the winner's final of Amateur Singles. I played Ben Stone. I liked how he played, it was very similar to me, big shooting from the back. It could have gone either way, but I got a few breaks and won 5-4 5-4 to get to the final. One more match to win a table! Bring on Sunday.


Woke up and got two egg and bacon croissants from the lottle coffee shop near the tournament room. I'm pretty sure this was the reason for my success, they were amazing. OS wasn't going to start until about 1pm (when the pro masters had got out of bed), and I was waiting for who I'd play in the final of AS so it was nice to be able to concentrate on No-Pro mixed. Me and Olga continued on the same form as the previous day, and despite some close games, we got to the grand final having not lost a single one. That girl is a brick wall, a very pretty one.

Then I played Terry Moore. I was confident going into the game, after all I didn't have anything to lose, and Joe had previously said that out of all of the PM players he thought Moore would be a good match-up for me. Moore is about the opposite of Rue. He talks as much but it's mainly trash talking to get you off your game "that doesn't block my pull side", "I don't really care about this, I'm concentrating on doubles", rather than the self-directed energy of Rue.

He surprised me in the first game with his speed around the table. Yes, that's right, the guy makes Jabba the Hut look like snoopy and he's 2-3 passing on me, and wins the first 5-1. This might not take long.


At the start of the first game I decide to be more offensive, to defend more with my 3 and 5 when he gets the ball at the back so he has to shoot. The first point of the 2nd game I hit a 1 man slingshot which lifts my confidence and, along with starting to block his snake and getting more on the 3 I think I take the game 5-3.

The final game goes pretty much ball for ball with me always ahead, mainly because I'm blocking his snake well. He starts the trash talking but I ignore it and get the break I need to win 7-5. Again I can't remember any specifics! I do remember him doing his best to play down the win by saying that I'd broken a rule but he couldn't be bothered to call me on it, and that he didn't really care if he won or lost. What a good sport.

Then I played Rob Mares. I love this man, and I'm not afraid to say it. Both games were close, both included left hooks and fast shooting, but you can't be a guy that good playing the same game as him. I lost 5-4 5-4 and finished joined 7th with our very own Rob Atha. That'll do nicely.


Straight afterwards I had to play the Amateur Singles final in the pits, again against Ben Stone. I knew it would be closer as I'd got the run of the ball in our previous game and had narrowly beaten him in two games. I won the first then went 3-2 up in the 2nd and took a time out on my 3. Joe grabbed my attention, but only to tell me that Ben actually had one more goal than he'd chalked up, so before taking my shot I added it to his score. He was so chuffed he blocked my shot and went on to win the game. lol. In the next game I found myself 4-0? up, but in classic fashion managed to let him score a couple of goals before finally closing it out. I'd won a title and a table! GTFI

Then me and Olga played the final of No-Pro Mixed in the pits. Olga was again awesome and we won both games 5-4 5-4. Job Done, beer time.


The rest of the evening was spent watching the brilliant OS final between Tony Spredeman and Frederic Collignon, before Me, Rob, Olga, Bushy, Mario Ariganello, Kane Gabriel, Ryan Moore and Lane Blundell hit the casinos with our winnings! The highlight of the evening being, after losing about $60 each having loads of fun playing craps, roulette and blackjack unsuccessfully, a load of us went to a roulette table, put $100 on red, and won!


Even after that I went back to the Riviera and played poker until 6am, ending $70 up.

All in all a cracker of a week! I might even go back next year.

Last edited by shovie on Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tornado Hall of Fame Classic - Vegas - 11-15 March

Post by Boris » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:35 pm

Great report Alex! I take it you wrote it down first as no-way could you do all that in one Britfoos sesh! I'm nearly logged out just reading it LOL

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Re: Tornado Hall of Fame Classic - Vegas - 11-15 March

Post by Christopher Lyall » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:32 pm

Great report Alex! - Foosball Tournaments, Leagues, Shop

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Re: Tornado Hall of Fame Classic - Vegas - 11-15 March

Post by Martyn » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:37 pm

Well, that's next month's newsletter done then!

Top drawer Alex, both report and of course your results.
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Re: Tornado Hall of Fame Classic - Vegas - 11-15 March

Post by davez » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:37 pm

Details? Photos? Alex??!!? Rob Mares is lovely isn't he?
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Re: Tornado Hall of Fame Classic - Vegas - 11-15 March

Post by CannonBallGuy » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:22 pm

Great report and congrats again! :)

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Re: Tornado Hall of Fame Classic - Vegas - 11-15 March

Post by Oatsey » Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:51 am

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