Robo-Pong Woes

Okay, I’m ready to talk about it.

I skipped church Sunday to play in the Newgy Robo-Pong St. Joseph Valley Table Tennis Tournament in South Bend, Ind., and I feel like I got swallowed by a whale for my transgression.

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).

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1 Comment to "Robo-Pong Woes"

  1. Timo22

    Was this the Robo-Pong 2009? I was there too. It was my first real tourney since I got my initial rating in December of 676. I only entered in the U-800, not knowing much about the formats, and there were 23 in the event and I was in the last group of 6. I won my group and entered the elimination round the #6 seed among 6. I beat #4 for a chance to play #1. I dispatched him easily and met #2 in the Championship game, 2-11, 7-11, 7-11. He was rated 761, 85 above me, and I came away with a very nice 1st place trophy, a very nice experience in my case. I will be trying to do what you did when I compete in the Indiana State Championships next weekend in Indy playing up to the U-1150 event and try to knock someone off. I am still awaiting a rating from the So. Bend Tourney, so I don’t know what rating I will enter with. My event was on Saturday in So. Bend, but I stayed over to see some good TT being played and got some free lessons from Houshang Bozorgzadeh, a former US Men’s TT Team coach, and hall of famer, he was a real character and has a ton of stories to tell, being a former world ranked player from Iran. Very cool Tourney. I skipped church too, and fell through some bleachers on Sunday and thought and felt like I broke a couple ribs. My ribas are still very tender, I will be going to church next Sunday and flying to the Tourney where my event starts at 1pm, church is over slightly after 12pm but not taking any chances. 😉

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