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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2018, 17:02 
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We could square that away... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2018, 12:51 
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Had a very nice tournament weekend: won two events and for the first time ever recovered entry fees and then some :rock: .

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2018, 23:18 
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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2018, 10:30 
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More detailed writeup below.

I made it a long weekend trip, combining a visit to my old friend from grad school who now resides in NJ with a Westchester tourney.

Friday: Drove up to Westchester early in the morning to grab a day of training at their summer camp. There were only 7 people of 800-1900 USATT level that day, but it also meant pretty good coach/student ratio with two coaches present. Which means I've got quite a bit of drills and multiball in. Nothing eye-opening, but it was interesting to try return spinny loops to my FH with a 'guiding/fishing stroke' that Filus, Gionis, and Jian Li use quite a bit on FH. Very hard on slow spinny loops.

It helped a bit with adjusting to tables and ball - XSF seems to be quite different from Joola seamless (Flash) I'm using lately - both WVC2018 and NA Teams used it so it kind of makes sense. Feels lighter and softer - I think I like Joola better these days. There were a few old celluloid Gambler balls mixed in during drills - these were VERY different, I don't think I was able to FH chop a single one of them, they were flying away.

Saturday: I signed up only for two events, U1800 Over 40 and U2000. Was eligible for U1750 as well, but figured I'd try to get out earlier and cut down on number of matches for the day - events also tend to run into each other, and playing non-stop gets old very quickly.

In U1800 O40 I was a top seed in RR group, matched against folks I played before. Despite (or may be because of ) previous day's practice, was hesitant and clumsy to begin with. Dropped a couple of games to folks ~300 points below me, but won both matches 3:1 in the end. Then had to play my 'nemesis', lefty with an anti. Never beat him so far, and this time it went to 5 games, but I still lost :@ . Half of the games I won comfortably, the other half were the other way, with the decider not being even close (plenty of nets edges and other fun stuff - I only could laugh in the end).

Still, advanced out of RR, in 1/4 beat a carbon copy of myself with Dtecs in straight sets, then had a close 3:0 win against a crafty (but slightly injured) looper in the semis. Was fully expecting to meet again with anti player in the final, but he was eliminated in the semifinal by the guy rated below him, but with a decent attacking abilities. I had a much easier time against him, though, winning 3:0, but with a very long 3rd game that ended 18:16 or close to that.

In U2000 I was a second seed but went 3:0, defeating A seed in 5 games (my best win of the weekend). Felt pretty good about my chances, but in the first SE round ran into a dude who was underrated by 300 points or so: great FH, uncomfortable serve. Lost close one in 4 - he ended up in the final, but lost there to A player from my RR group. Match ups matter...

Sunday: Originally planned to play U1900, U2050 and U2350, in that exact sequence. That way I'd have a decent gap between first two events, and at least would have a chance to grab a lunch instead of running from table to table playing matches non-stop.

I was a B seed in U1900 RR group - A player was top seed for the event, only couple of points below rating cutoff. I wasted large lead in the first game, got blown away in the second, then returned the favor in 3rd (adjusted to his no-spin serves), and lost a close 4th one. Too bad. Beat D player easily in 3 and then had a tight 3:1 win over C player who fought very well.

In QF ran into the same guy I played in the final of U1800 O40 the day before - this time he was hitting his backhand like a truck, so I fell behind 1:2 and had to become more aggressive. Fortunately his BH abandoned him and my FH started to land, so tense win in 5. In the semis ran into a guy I have not seen in a couple of years. He commented afterwards that my style has changed completely since the last time we played: much more aggressive on both FH and BH. I won a close one 3:1.

Was fully expecting a rematch against my RR group A player, but he was eliminated in the semis by a penhold LP blocker in a close 5-game match. I played him a year or so ago, winning in 5 (after being down 0:2, still not sure how I pulled it off back then) - since then he really beefed up his FH, with the philosophy of 'let's hit everything'. Things looked pretty bleak during warmup - but in the match it was much easier for me just to play him pips-to-pips: won 3:0, but almost blew a large lead in 1st game, winning at deuce.

I was a lowly D player in U2050, with two ~1950 players and a young guy who was on paper only 30 points above me, but gave a really hard time to A player, losing in 5. I lost valiantly to B player in 4, then proceeded to beat young guy 3:0 (not a lot experience against pips...). Lost 1:3 to A player as well: good match, but should've been smarter with defending against his FH or at least trying to take it away.

Did withdraw from U2350 even before my U2050 RR was over - did not feel like I had enough juice left and also wanted to watch some of the Open matches. Much to my dismay, Jian Li lost early in QF, so I gave up on spectating altogether and headed home early.

Ratings already got processed (and re-processed), looks like I picked up ~90 points. Winning two events was more satisfying, though 8) .

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Last edited by pgpg on 01 Aug 2018, 05:54, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2018, 04:07 
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pgpg wrote:
Had a very nice tournament weekend: won two events and for the first time ever recovered entry fees and then some :rock: .


Congrats!

1800 - all time high or no?


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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2018, 05:01 
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pgpg wrote:

Ratings already got processed, looks like I picked up ~100 points. Winning two events was more satisfying, though 8) .

:up: :up: :party:

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2018, 05:32 
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notfound123 wrote:
pgpg wrote:
Had a very nice tournament weekend: won two events and for the first time ever recovered entry fees and then some :rock: .


Congrats!

1800 - all time high or no?


No, I was 1825+ at some point. Hope to make it there again in the future :).

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 02 Aug 2018, 11:37 
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Played a league last night and went 2-4. Much to my surprise a lefty/anti dude showed up (he's from NYC, his first time in our club, I think) - turns out he was visiting Boston, to watch a baseball game, IIRC. Of course he got to play me :( - this time, however, I won easily 3:0. Perhaps might help for the future matches, always tough to play someone you never beat before.

Won one close match but lost another in 5, overall not too bad, I thought.

Just for fun ordered another Barricade for A/B testing - put Dornenglanz and Tibhar Genius on it. Hit with it a bit tonight (wife is away, so club time increased dramatically :devil: ), FH feels a bit more lively (higher throw too ??).

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 04 Aug 2018, 13:15 
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Rambo Looper Spin First Ask Questions Later
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Great stuff pgpg… that is the life...

I might end up in Boston and NYC for a couple dayz each... might see 'ya 'round.

In the tourney, I think you were coached by Jay Lee and he handed you some of hiz "water" between sets.

Now U is moar bad-azz than meez, WTG friend. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2018, 11:26 
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It's been a while, so here is an update.

Spent ~10 days in Russia on vacation in mid-August. Brought my paddle with me :D and went back to a small club I located 2 years ago. Not really a club in US sense (show up and play whoever is there), more like a place where you can rent a table by an hour or take a lesson with a coach.

Ended up taking 3 lessons with 2 different coaches, women around ~2200 (no idea, really, I gave up trying to relate playing levels across continents). One of them had an anti on her BH - in retrospect should've focused on tactical combos with her, but instead spend most of lessons on FH-centered drills. Got a few compliments on my FH and 'feel for the ball' (yay!), but obviously got criticized for my poor ability to 'get to the ball'. Had fun and it was quite cheap, ~11$ per hour, so quite a bargain. I have to admit, though, I am starting to appreciate much more what I have here at my home club - despite all this talk about how underdeveloped TT is in the US, I can drop in 7 days a week for only 9$/day and there will always be someone there to have a good match(Edit: I'm not paying daily fees either, going instead for annual membership, which is fully reimbursed by my insurance too :clap: ) . Compare this to having to pay 5-10$ an hour for a table/coaching and actually having to schedule TT date in advance. Playing conditions were nothing to brag about either...

On my way back to US ran into 'fastmover' at the airport lounge - small world! Spent a couple of hours talking about TT etc.

After getting back only was able to attend two league nights - was mostly losing in entertaining fashion, but was pretty happy with my play. Hope to make it to the club over the weekend for some practice matches - planning to go back to Westchester in 3 weeks as well. Might play a local tournament before that, but not 100% sure yet - heard it was badly run the last time.

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Last edited by pgpg on 10 Sep 2018, 10:02, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 10 Sep 2018, 09:10 
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Played both Saturday and Sunday at the club - went undefeated on Saturday (but the field was much weaker). Only played one match today, lost 2:3 to ~2070 player, the rest was mostly hitting around.

Noticed that my BH chop deteriorated in practice - 40% tend to go into the net, 30% long, and 30% land. Or something like that. FH (loop&drive, not chop) on the other hand got better (duh, I practiced mostly FH lately...). The guy I played match with also commented that my style changed, much more of a close to the table play. Not surprised...

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 11 Sep 2018, 13:38 
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You play closer to table, the more important it is too have a loose grip on pips close to ball... or a firing up of grip on aggressive punch jab shots.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2018, 11:19 
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Had an interesting league night - went 3:4, but the line does not tell the whole story. Blew a totally winnable match against my nemesis blocker - was up 1:0 and 10:6 in the second, but lost it at deuce and the rest of the match was a blow out - I was not that angry about the loss, but rather puzzled. Similar experience in another one, although not that dramatic reversal of fortune.

In between I scored a couple of wins against decent opponents, and then topped it off by beating a ~2300 player 3:1. I have no idea what he was up to, but he decided to take it easy, lob here and there (I got a nice smashing workout). No real good reason for him to dump, but oh well - looks like I'll get a decent bunch of points. Proves once again that league ratings are not super accurate...

Prompted by recent discussion about LA Open horrible playing conditions, I went ahead and bought a cheap light meter. Our club measured around 400 Lux, which is quite decent, I think. It will now live in my gym bag, so that I can gather some data about other clubs/venues. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2018, 11:43 
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pgpg wrote:
Quote:
Prompted by recent discussion about LA Open horrible playing conditions, I went ahead and bought a cheap light meter. Our club measured around 400 Lux, which is quite decent, I think. It will now live in my gym bag, so that I can gather some data about other clubs/venues.


You should also look for the opportunity to test it against a more expensive light meter, say when the expensive light meter registers 300 Lux, what does yours measure, the same for various other readings (200, 400, 500, 600, 700?) .

Using this information, your cheap light meter readings could be used to assess the real Lux value.

The local URC did something similar, giving us lowly umpires a cheap light meter that we calibrated against an expensive one that one of the referees had.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2018, 11:48 
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Retriever wrote:
pgpg wrote:
Quote:
Prompted by recent discussion about LA Open horrible playing conditions, I went ahead and bought a cheap light meter. Our club measured around 400 Lux, which is quite decent, I think. It will now live in my gym bag, so that I can gather some data about other clubs/venues.


You should also look for the opportunity to test it against a more expensive light meter, say when the expensive light meter registers 300 Lux, what does yours measure, the same for various other readings (200, 400, 500, 600, 700?) .

Using this information, your cheap light meter readings could be used to assess the real Lux value.

The local URC did something similar, giving us lowly umpires a cheap light meter that we calibrated against an expensive one that one of the referees had.


I totally get what you are saying, but the likelihood of me finding another light meter is quite small - the one I just got is the first one I ever saw in my life. May be I should ask around, though - there is at least one professional photographer who plays in our club...

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