Well, could you really call this tournament that? To be honest, it's one of the worst events I have played in for a long time! I hate to say that because the UAE people are great and I wish the tournament was a big success, but in truth, the organisation was well below par, and the format was terrible. The referees were terrible apart from the odd one, and to be honest ALL the players said the same.
I had what was probably the toughest group, every player in the group was capable of beating the others in the group. But I played some solid stuff and came through on the winners side by beating firstly Joven Bustamente and then Francisco Bustamente, both by a score line of 7-6.
Because of the strange format that they decided to use, there were 56 qualifiers for the straight KO stage, but they decided to give 8 byes to the 8players who had lost the least racks in the group stages....all this meant was that the players who had easy groups got rewarded for it, and players who had tough groups like myself were penalised because it was so hard to win heavily against world class players!
So I drew Vilmos Foldes in the last 56 and had 4 dry breaks from my first 4breaks! I was 7-1 down and got it back to 7-5, but made the mistake of asking the ref to remove the breaking tamplate (magic rack)....he mark the 2 balls that were near the rack but then proceeded to drop one and moved the marker on the other! This messed the whole layout up of the balls. This eventually hindered me in running the balls out and I lost the rack, and eventually lost 9-6.
To be honest, the only reason I was disappointed in losing was because this event carried Mosconi cup points. I was glad to get outta there and get home, and now I look forward to my next event......the superbly organised GB9 ball tour!