Well folks, I swept the board. I trounced every player that came before me today, and won both the main event and the one point side tourney.
£350 better off, thank you very much.
But sadly, only in my dreams.
I got off to a bad start, and things went downhill from there.
In the main tourney, I was drawn against Sean. He's a top player (ranked 32 at dailygammon)Sean beat me, 9 - 0. I scarecely managed to get a piece off the board. I was roundly trounced. Sean went on to be the losing finalist in the main tournament. I went on into the consolation tourney, the Liver Cup.
I played one of the locals, Angie. We know and like each other, and the match was much more light hearted than the previous tense one. First to 7 points, and I got myself into a strong position straight away. We'd passed each other. No further interaction was possible. It was a straight race to the finish, which I was leading, and the doubling cube was turned to 4. Then Angie rolled two consecutive double 6's. This turned the game right around and put her well ahead in the match. I don't remember the exact score but I think she won either 7-4 or 7-5.
I was now out of the main and the consolation. But I was still in the 1 point side tournament, and was automatically entered into the last chance tourney.
I played the next round of the 1 point tourney next. A close match against a guy called John. He won in the end and went on to win the 1 pointer. And fifty quid.
So that was almost that. Played three, lost three. And just the last chance tourney to play.
I was up against Noel. A cheerful Irishman, now living in the Isle of Man. I'd already met him the day before in the 1 point tourney and beaten him, but now we had a 5 point match to play.
At last the dice were with me, and I beat him 5-0.
My next opponent was David, but he was nowhere to be found, either inside or outside the building.
I went out into the garden and read Catch 22 in the sunshine.
Eventually David appeared and we played our match. And again, I got the upper hand. This one went to the wire though.
So then came Martin. Martin is a blunt, slightly caustic person. I can imagine him being a lawyer or something. He's obviously clever, and he's a pretty good backgammon player too.
Our match hinged on one roll. He had a piece on the bar, but I'd been forced to leave a blot - a single piece on a point. Martin doubled. I took the cube. He had to roll a 5. This meant he had a 1 in 3 chance of hitting me. 6 numbers, 2 dice...
Martin rolled a 5 and eventually won.
And that was that. My Liverpool Open had come and gone and I was heading back through the Mersey tunnel with empty pockets.
Great fun though. I won;t be getting hugely into live tournament play. It's an expensive hobby if you're not one of the very best players, but I will be entering the Liverpool Open again next year I hope.
A lot of photos were taken during the tourney. When they get posted, I shall grab some of them and post them here.
driving lessons in Wallasey?