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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2017, 01:18 
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Kim Is My Shadow
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It's the first day of a table tennis tournament that you've entered. You know the first round is a group stage. Four players in your group and you get to play all of them. Only the winner from the group goes through.

Your hearts beating fast, loud and strong as you walk up to the entrance to the main sports hall. You're expecting to see 12 tables, barriers between each table, walkways between each barrier. You expect to hear the K tunk, K tunk sound of bat on ball on table. You expect to see lot's of people playing. You open the door.

A small man greats you smiling. He extends his hand in welcome.

"Please come this way" he says. You look around. There is only one table. It's surrounded by what must be 10'000 seats. Your friends. Your peers. Your parents. Your siblings. Your worst enemies. They are all here waiting. Watching. Some to see you win, some to see you fail.

The small man tells you there has been a change of plan. He tells you there will be only four players in this competition and you are one of them. Each player will play the the other players in the group - once. The winner of the group will own the contents of tatty sports holdall. The small man lifts the holdall on to a table and unzips it. You lean forward as he does so. Inside is £100'006.66. "There will be no second prize" says the small man still smiling.

This is not what you expected. But it's good right? Win 3 games and a life changing amount of money comes your way. You look around at the 10'000 pairs of eyes all looking straight back at you. You look at the small man.

"Who do I play?"

The crowd cheer loudly. The small man looks back. Without any flicker of emotion he simply says

"Any table tennis player in the world from any era".

You laugh, "Any?"

"Yes" he replies. "Any".

Time stops. The magnitude of the decision you face starts to sink in. Who do you choose? Ma Lin, Joo Se Hyuk, John Hilton, Tibor Klampar, Waldner, Liu Guoliang. Or maybe Din Ning, Deng Yaping or Wang Nan. A smile flickers across your face quickly turning to a frown. But if you choose them, chances of victory are slim and you'll surely forgo the £100'006.66. And, do you really want to be humiliated in front of 10'000 people not to mention the world wide audience tuning in right now. You laugh again. But it's a nervous laugh this time. Your mind races. Maybe playing a sporting great wasn't such a good idea. And the small man did say "any" table tennis player. Maybe you should choose Jim from your local club. You've beaten him every time you've played. Or maybe Kim. She started playing just last week. Or Cindy. She looks nice. And you know you can beat her every time. Win win situation. She looks good, you look good and you're £100'006.66 better off to boot. But how often in life will you get the opportunity to experience the joy of playing the best ever table tennis players the world has known, players you aspire to and respect?

£100'006.66? or probable humiliation in front of everyone you hold near and dear and even worse in front of those who want to see you loose so badly, who will rib you relentlessly. And there's the video too. That's sure to go viral. Is the experience worth more than the money. And if it is, who would you select to play?

"Come come now" says the small man impatiently. His smile is gone replaced by a blood red gleam in his eyes. "Time is precious. You don't have forever."

"Choose. NOW."

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2017, 04:50 
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Secret Agent Double OX
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I have to play a famous person associated with table tennis from any era in a video that will go viral and I have to win to get the $$$?

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2017, 07:23 
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So I have to pick 3 opponents. The humiliation of losing big time against great players? Not a humiliation at all, I figure. Business as usual. Selecting players with the purpose to win carries more of a personal risk, a potential loss would carry a lot more humiliation, albeit less likely.

Making a good show is more interesting. Marty Reisman was a good showman. I'd want him in. Also Jaques Secretin, great player and up for a bit of fun. Hiroji Satoh was perhaps not the most extrovert of players (according to what I have heard), but a face off between the old hardbat champion and the first successful sponge player would bring some tension to the show.

My role in the tournament? Well, every circus needs a clown...


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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2017, 11:50 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
I have to play a famous person associated with table tennis from any era in a video that will go viral and I have to win to get the $$$?
I thought you'd choose Adham, and you'd probably win too IF you can brace yourself and don't knock him out in a punch up before you start. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Hmmm, a very detailed description to set the scene... the £6.66 on top of the £100'000 has me puzzled... something evil lurking there. :o A test of one's true virtues perhaps?

I would pick someone that would actually contribute to putting on good show... for 10,000 people that's worth it. It would need to be a player that has enough skills to keep me in the game. Waldner or Secretin does come to my mind too, as they seems like they could put on a good show, and would not simply want to thrash me. :oops:

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2017, 13:05 
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I'm gonna be a spoilsport and play people lower down in the club than me, hope I don't get the jitters, then use some of the money for coaching from some of those legendary players. :P

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Last edited by hangdog on 17 Mar 2017, 13:06, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2017, 13:47 
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haggisv wrote:
I thought you'd choose Adham, and you'd probably win too IF you can brace yourself and don't knock him out in a punch up before you start.

I thought about picking Adham since he'd be another sure win for me or any other OOAK member, but in the larger scheme of things there would be more worldwide recognition against Mao than against some largely unknown corrupt sports official.

If I could pick my whole group, this would be my selection:

Image

If I had to play a pro, I'd pick Chtchetinine and keep bumping it back with my LP in the first game. Then I'd try for the win via expedite.

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2017, 16:25 
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Kim Is My Shadow
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Haggisv, is my question about what motivates us and how we think or is it about table tennis. Up to you :devil:

They say as you get older experiences have more value than simple money. And what can be a greater experience than playing the likes of Waldner. But I've had a knock with Desmond Douglas and briefly with Andrew Rushton and I've seen close up pro players train. I've also played Andrew Eden in a important local league match for us. Top 2 teams in our division playing for top spot. He was playing that season as a favour to his dad to get his dad's team promoted. He took me apart. That was not fun. He was noticeably bored throughout the whole evening. Better players like the pro's - their pace and control is way too much for me. In a tournament, when they are playing for £100'006.66 too, I'd be taken apart very quickly. That's not a fun experience, that's a reality check. Some dreams are better staying just that.

I choose to play 3 people I know, I don't like and who I'm positive I can beat. I'd then pack in playing table tennis, retire and spend time with my family doing things together. And on that thought, time to go :)

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2017, 17:51 
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I'm not gonna lie, I'd pick the worst players I could possibly think of, I'd pick my grandmother if that was a choice :P

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2017, 20:31 
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Debater wrote:
Haggisv, is my question about what motivates us and how we think or is it about table tennis. Up to you :devil:

They say as you get older experiences have more value than simple money. And what can be a greater experience than playing the likes of Waldner. But I've had a knock with Desmond Douglas and briefly with Andrew Rushton and I've seen close up pro players train. I've also played Andrew Eden in a important local league match for us. Top 2 teams in our division playing for top spot. He was playing that season as a favour to his dad to get his dad's team promoted. He took me apart. That was not fun. He was noticeably bored throughout the whole evening. Better players like the pro's - their pace and control is way too much for me. In a tournament, when they are playing for £100'006.66 too, I'd be taken apart very quickly. That's not a fun experience, that's a reality check. Some dreams are better staying just that.

I choose to play 3 people I know, I don't like and who I'm positive I can beat. I'd then pack in playing table tennis, retire and spend time with my family doing things together. And on that thought, time to go :)

id pick someone easy and go for the money.i wasnt aware i could pick the other 2 ?
£10000666-(satan)?

The venue would be valhalla-witness me

after i won i would fly off with Daenerys

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2017, 22:30 
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I would pick the HIGHEST rated player there is, who is the WORST at playing vs. pips. :rock: :clap:

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2017, 22:33 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
If I had to play a pro, I'd pick Chtchetinine and keep bumping it back with my LP in the first game. Then I'd try for the win via expedite.

Insolence!! :lol:
Apologize immediately! Hahaha.

Actually, he's very good against LP blockers.

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PostPosted: 18 Mar 2017, 03:30 
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I would play Haggisv, Reb and Retriever.... :D


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PostPosted: 18 Mar 2017, 09:09 
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PART 1
Ok, I thought, I can do this. Off the top of my head I reeled them off. The best ones, the memorable ones. "Ma Long, Waldner, Joo. All-out attack, block and modern defense."

"A good but unwise choice, my friend" was the response from the small man, and "This way to the practice hall for your warm up."

So off I go, away from the crowd. I get out my ultimate set up, carefully winnowed through many iterations of trial and error. The blade, faster on the forehand and slower on the backhand. The forehand rubber exactly suited to the game I wished to play and my strokes. The backhand rubber, chosen to be able to play more safely but with that little zing. I can't remember how much I have spent to get to where I am now. Also my backup, which was similar but different, just in case. How much time and money I had gone through to get to this place. So I warm up for around 20 minutes with another small man who is the perfect retriever, which maximizes my feel for the ball and table, not to mention my ultimate setup.

"Time!" calls the small man, so we stride to the main hall, where another expectant hush falls over the crowd.

"First match is with Waldner" is the announcement. We go to the table with the officials, shake hands, toss and start to warm up. All too soon the two minutes is over and the umpire calls love all in the first game. Waldner serves first and hides the contact. I make a good backhand return and the game is on. I can hardly remember what happens from there on, but at the end of it the umpire announces the match to me 4-2.

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PostPosted: 18 Mar 2017, 09:21 
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Part 2
After the obligatory five minute rest the "Next up is Joo" is the announcement.

Again we go to the table and go through the obligatory preliminaries. Again the 2 minute warm up is too short. Again the opponent has won the toss and starts the match serving. The actual game is a little different. Joo is in form - he is getting everything back and attacking both backhand and forehand anything that is loose. However, in the end I prevail somehow and the score is 4-3 to me.

This time I get a 10 minute break in between matches, which I appreciate. "This time it's the world number 1, Ma Long to play." says the announcer. This time I go to the table with my backup setup. And we shake hands, toss and warm up. This time I can remember every shot of the warm up. I am confidently looking forward to this is my feeling. Again Ma Long is the first server in the match. Again my backhand is equal to the task, and my forehand never misses. Counter looping rallies, the short game, the mid game, almost everything goes my way after the first game. The less said about that the better. This time I win 4-1. I let out one small cho.

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PostPosted: 18 Mar 2017, 09:31 
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Part 3

The small man comes to the table along with the reporters and photographers now allowed to use their flash bulbs.

"Just a small thing, before the presentation" he says, handing me a rather old fashioned pen reminiscent of the ink pens we had used in primary school, along with a sheet of rather thick looking paper. "You will have to sign here and then we can carry on with the presentation".

So I take the pen and go to sign as he has indicated. As I sign, I feel a prick on my index finger and see that my signature is written in red. I wonder what it is exactly that I have signed, but he rushes me to carry on with the presentation.

The little man takes over as the MC and announces that I have won, waits for the tumultuous applause to abate and presents me with a suitable trophy and the winners cheque. What he doesn't mention is that I can never play table tennis or any ball sports again.

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