Okay, I’m ready to talk about it.
My goal was to knock off one or two players who were higher rated, and thereby improve my rating with the US Table Tennis Association. This was my seventh sanctioned tournament, and my third time at St. Joseph Valley. I got my first rating–995–here in 2007, and won my table in both categories I entered (they put you in a group of four persons, and you play a round-robin, with the winner advancing to the next round). Last year I jumped nearly 200 points, playing probably my best ever in a tournament. My rating jumped from 1107 to 1298.
Then came the Highland tournament last fall. I had been suffering a lot of vertigo, wasn’t practiced up, and stunk up the athletic center. I lost about 50 points.
So this past weekend, I wanted to gain back some of those points. I wanted to at least break past the 1300 mark. I entered three categories, which occurred in this order: under 1625 (at 9 am), under 1500 (noon), and under 1750 (2 pm).
I started out playing a 1500+ player, an Indian fellow named Ruup. He tore me apart the first game, but in the next two games (we play the best of 5) I had a game point in both games. But couldn’t pull it off. Lost 3-0. I missed a lot of shots I normally make.
Then I played a 1434 player, almost 200 points above me. And I WON, 3-1. So that’ll help. Next I played a lesser rated player, around 1170 I believe, and beat him 3-1. So I was pleased. I would gain quite a few points.
In the under 1500, my table included just two other guys, both higher rated. I played badly, and lost to both of them 3-0. I should have at least made it competitive.
Then came the under 1750 category, where I expected to be blown away. All three guys were rated at least 200 points better than me. One guy had beaten me easily in a previous tournament, and he did that again. The other two–I could have beat them. I’ve beaten much better. But they played well, and I didn’t.
Those last five losses won’t cost me any points, since they were all to high-ranked players. I beat the only lower-ranked player I played in the tournament, and knocked off one high-ranked guy, so I could jump past 300 when ratings are posted in a couple weeks. But I had prime opportunities to do even better, and I blew it.
So, though my rating will improve, I still went away disappointed. I’ve been trying to change some things in my game, and it has left me a bit confused. For now. And it showed. But I know what to work on, and I’ve got plenty of time before the next tournament (probably in September).