30 June, 2018

That's a wrap: Atlanta out!

"There can be only one."
                                        - The Highlander
George L. (2.5)
The Last SMASH Tourney
George L. didn't go all Highlander on his opponents and behead them but he made sure they didn't have a easy time. George started out of the gate against Nick G. (4.5) who may have been caught cold and ended up in the losers' bracket after two games. Was George lucky the first match or was it experience? The next match would answer that question: Nazar R., a 3.0 level and first time SMASH player. Nazar gave George more trouble by chasing every ball down and took the first game from George. George would came back like a turtle, slow and steady, and pushed Nazar out of the winners' bracket, 2-3. Donovan M. (2.5) was next. Donovan had a look of concentration on him (or maybe it was his sore ankle) and was focused on making sure George would have to go all in to win. Since they were the same skill level, the game was a traditional 11 to 11, best two out of three games. It was a battle, first game went to George 11-10. The Donovan wasn't having that and put George away easily the second game, 11-3. But in the final game, George pushed Donovan down into the losers' bracket, 11-9. That battle just set up the rematch because Donovan fought back to win the Losers' bracket and would face George again in the finals! Just because Donovan played a few extra games, he still didn't go easy on George. It was a tough two games of 11-8 and 11-8 with George coming out on top. Congratulations to George L. (2.5)! He will now play as a 3.0.
1. George L. (2.5) - $134
2. Donovan M. (2.5) - $76
3. Paul M. (5.0) - $20
4. Chris M. (4.0) - $10
$25 Marlow's Gift Cards: Omurden E. (2.5), Leslie B. (3.0), Randy J. (4.0), Steve F. (3.0)
Free Blue Moon Pizzas Gift Cards: Nick G. (4.5), Rameez A. (4.5), Jeff D. (3.0), George L. (2.5)
The filled out double elimination brackets
It wasn't all about George. There were some seriously fun matches to watch. Like first round match up of Paul M. (5.0) vs Chris M. (4.0) where Paul came out of the gate crushing Chris with 0 points for Chris in the first game. Chris came back the next two games being determined by only one or two points. Leslie B. (3.0) vs Nazar R. (3.0) match up also came down to just the last few points. Tight. Tight. Tight. There were the father-son match ups, twice, once in the winners' with the same father and son - Paul vs. Donovan. There were matches like Rameez A. (4.5), aka 'Never let the ball bounce twice' vs. Randy J. (4.0) and Nick G. (4.5) vs. Chris M. (4.0) which were just fun to watch because of the long rallies. It was also fun to watch the new players like Nazar R. (3.0), Omurden E. (2.5), and Steve F. (2.5) get their first taste of either a SMASH tourney or find out what it is like to step on to the court with higher rated squash gladiators.

All in all - there was a lot of fun. Check below for some action vids and crappy commentary.

Thanks to all the players who came out to play and thanks for creating EvenSquash. Without players like Jeff D. (3.0), Courtney W. (3.5), Siam K. (5.0), Fong Y. (4.5), Mario de M. (4.5), Chris M. (4.0), Todd H. (3.5), Denri G. (4.0), Roger W. (3.5), Anjo G. (5.0), Wayne J. (4.5), Alejandro C. (3.5), and many many others that were willing to try something new, EvenSquash would have fizzled. Over the course two years, some 41 tournaments, over 120 different players, and over a thousand squash games, we collected data that continually refined the EvenSquash Handicap System so that every player, regardless of skill level, has a fair shot a winning.

In the two years of SMASH tourneys, we've given away over $6,200 in cash prizes and countless restaurant sponsor gift cards. Special thanks to sponsors like Sushi Nami, Marlow's Tavern, and Blue Moon Pizza that helped add a little spice to the pot. If you want to see who all the winners are, check out: Squash SMASH Tourney's Winner's Circle. Here are the top 5:
1. Siam K. (5.0) - $461
2. Andrew M. (4.0) - $383
3. Scott F. (4.5) - $240
4. Charlie J. (5.5) - $236
5. Mario de M. (4.5) - $226

I learned to play squash here in Atlanta at Lifetime Fitness. Thanks to everyone who put up with my shenanigans and noob-ness and for teaching me and improving my game. Special thanks to Andre Maur who taught me the fundamentals. It's time for me to move on to Amsterdam and I hope to take EvenSquash with me there.... I will definitely be playing squash!

 - Bob -
See you on the courts!

Pro tip: Never go with a squash player to a second location.....
 George L. (2.5) vs Donovan M. (2.5) (White shirt)
Finals.... well... the final point....

George L. (3.0) vs. Nazar R. (3.0) (Black T-Shirt)
Nazar with some hussle

Rameez A. (4.5) vs. Donovan M. (2.5) (White shirt)
Donovan with the winning drop

Leslie B. (3.0) vs. Paul M. (5.0) (Blue shirt)
Leslie trying not to play Paul's game

Nick G. (4.5) vs. Chris M. (4.0) (Grey shirt)
Nick and Chris rallying to force the errors

Donovan M. (2.5) vs. Paul M. (5.0) (Blue shirt)
Donovan working the old man

Leslie B. (3.0) vs. Omurden E. (2.5) (Black T-shirt)
Omurden 'Den' feeling the pressure of experience

Nazar R. (3.0) vs Paul M. (5.0) (Blue shirt)
Nazar going where ever Paul wants him to go...

Jeff D. (3.0) vs. Chris M. (4.0) (red headband)
Chris strikes a pose.... watch for it!

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