Evo log posted by request. Lots of stuff here. If you just want to read the fighting game stuff and thoughts, probably should skip to Saturday. This log is reposted elsewhere and I’m too lazy to edit/re-edit it for the different communities. Oh well.
Another Evolution is in the books and this one will probably go down as one of the better major tournaments we’ve had. I think Evolution has found a permanent home in Vegas. There is simply no comparison to Cal Poly or UCLA. Those of you who went to previous Evolution/B tournaments and skipped this one, you really missed out. But don’t worry…the Viscant Evolution log is back this year! Complete with random drama and “secrets” I promised not to reveal.
I should get started with the trip there. For those of you who’ve read previous log reports, you know that I have a history with getting owned by airports. ECC4, I learned what it was like to fly on standby across the country both ways after getting owned by a shuttle driver. MWC, I learned what it’s like to have a flight cancelled because a lavatory exploded on the plane. This year I decided to take no chances and arrived for a 7am flight at 3am. One might ask, why am I flying to Las Vegas when I live in San Diego. The short answer is, I don’t like to drive. The long answer is, because the Vis-Civic has over 174,000 miles on her (even though she’s only a 96) and I honestly don’t want to take my chances on getting stranded in the middle of the desert in 112 degree heat.
So I get to the airport way ahead of time and check my bag in. I tell the check-in counter guy what flight I’m on and he remarks “ooh…someone’s here early!” The lost art of foreshadowing. At the time I think nothing of it and go about my way. For those who don’t know, the San Diego airport is a horrible place to have time to kill. If you’ve been there before and looked through the museum part and seen the old flight uniforms, there’s absolutely nothing to do. So I bought Deception Point by Dan Brown. I’ll take this time to give that a hearty thumbs up. If you like Dan Brown (and I do…I loved Angels and Demons and still have minor orgasms when I re-read the Da Vinci Code), the read will be a little familiar. Dan Brown has a storytelling pattern and his characters all seem to be cut from a general mold. It’s not as bad as Grisham, who’s been re-writing the same book for about 15 years, but the formula is already familiar to me. At least it’s a good formula and I thoroughly enjoyed the read. It passed 4 hours about as well as anything else could and when I finished the book just before the plane touched down, I wanted to read it again. Good stuff!
Anyways, I arrive in Las Vegas and I’m astounded by the airport. I’ve never flown into Vegas before so I had no idea what to expect. I get off the plane and instantly I see slot machines everywhere. Are people such gambling maniacs that we can’t wait for more than an hour after getting off the plane to gamble? I get to the baggage carousel and see that it will be about 15 minutes before it’s our turn. I decide to kill time by playing video poker (answer to previous question: yes). According to the gambling experts, this game is beatable, but only over long, long, long stretches of time. I lose the first few hands and struggle to get back to break even when our bags start coming in. After making a boat on the last hand, I take my 25 cent profit and wait for the bag. Which…doesn’t…come. I decide to wait an extra 15 minutes just in case it magically comes out last all by itself. Finally I realize that it’s not coming and go contact the Southwest office. The conversation went something like this:
“Mr. Snyder, we have good news and bad news!” (with that annoying flight attendant perma-smile)
"…What’s the bad news?"
“Well, you checked in so far ahead of time, your bag was sent to Kansas City!” (still smiling)
Jay now makes the Peyton Manning “I can’t believe I got owned again” face
"…And the good news?"
“The GREAT news is, that it’s been so long your bag is already on it’s way back! Just sit tight and it should be here within a couple hours!” (she now sounds like a blonde cheerleader with her voice doing a sing-song thing that’s giving me a splitting migraine)
While this is still being owned by the airport, it’s not as bad as things have been before and it didn’t cost me too much. The only real problem is that now I’m going to miss the Green Valley Ranch shuttle so I have to spring for a taxi. Also, my head is killing me and I have to start chewing Excedrin. Which tastes godawful, but my personal theory is, the worse it tastes, the better you feel an hour later.
Anyways, I finally get to the hotel and I have to say, I’m absolutely amazed. Green Valley Ranch is a 4 diamond resort. I’m used to staying in a lot of nice places, and I’m not a stranger to luxury cruise ships but…wow. I step inside and walk around for a bit and it’s honestly the nicest place I’ve ever stayed in my life. I feel really out of place and I’m actually decently dressed. I almost feel bad for the hotel knowing the gamers they’re going to have to put up with. I also notice I appear to be the only person under 70 in the lobby at the time. Nice.
So I get to the room and I’m greeted with this from Jesse and Nam:
I claim my patch of floor for the weekend and make a mental note…this week, I will be sleeping with my back to the wall. You know…just in case.
I get to drop my stuff off and finally get a chance to do what I came to do. Yep, it’s gambling and buffet time. I have a question now. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe other skinny people feel the same. But when you go to a buffet, do you ever feel an intense pressure? Seriously. We went to the Paris for the buffet and it cost $13. $13 is a lot for food. I feel a huge pressure to eat enough to justify my trip to the buffet. So I had to do what I usually do when I hit a buffet: try and make up the price in bacon. Bacon is usually really expensive, but all buffets try and keep bacon out. This makes it easy to eat an entire plate of bacon with some prime rib on top and feel like you’ve got your money’s worth. Buffet strategy tips from Viscant. Then again, my cholesterol count is higher than my GPAx100, so take that for what it’s worth.
I’m not really a veteran of playing live poker, especially live NL poker. I’m not the best NL player but I’m not terrible either. That being said, I don’t really have a comfort zone playing NL. I feel constantly on edge like there’s so little margin for error. It’s not the most relaxing feeling in the world. For some reason I don’t have the same feeling playing online. Maybe it’s the anonymity…maybe it’s just my anti-social nature. I don’t know.
But anyways, when we got to the poker room at the Bally’s, the only table that looked remotely attractive was the NL$200 table. Not much selection other than that, so I kind of had to make do. Another downside of live poker. But anyways, I have a pretty good seat. Calling stations on my left, extreme maniacs on my right. No room for bluffing, but I feel fairly confident that if I have any hand whatsoever, I’ll be paid off well for it. This is also the perfect seat I could hope for on an emotional level. Knowing what I know about the table after an orbit or so, I know I won’t be able to play any marginal hands since almost everything is coming to me raised and even if I re-raise I probably won’t get isolation. I don’t really want to make risky plays anyways, I’d rather just sit back and wait for a big hand. Jesse, who sits down with me, does not get that luxury.
A couple orbits in, he gets KJ in late position. Just him against one of the weak calling stations on my left, a large blonde woman who unfortunately reminds me of a pig because of the shape of her nose (and the fact that she’s eating sloppily at the table). She isn’t a newbie to a poker table, I can tell that much, but she has poor hand selection and seems to be someone who learned how to play from watching TV. There are only a couple bets that this type understand. “All-in” and “not all-in”. As in, I’ve seen her make a laydown to another player’s all-in move, but to this point, I honestly don’t think she’s laid a hand down to a non all-in move. She also doesn’t really have a grasp on how to bet in NL. She has some standard bet sizes. Either 10, 20 or all-in. She doesn’t seem to be paying attention to the size of the pot. To this point I haven’t seen anything else. And she’s used “all-in” enough so that it could potentially be a bluff move. Just to set the background here.
Flop comes down J8blank. Miss Piggy makes a small bet and Jesse raises the pot to see where he is. She doesn’t re-raise and just flat calls. As I’m watching this, I’m pretty sure Jesse has a high jack and Piggy either has a pair or has ace high. She can’t seem to fold either. Either way, I’m pretty sure Jesse is ahead.
Turn is an 8. Piggy checks, Jesse bets about 30. She just calls.
River is a low blank. Piggy goes all-in. At this point, Jesse has about 50 left. Pot is laying very good odds to call. At this point Piggy could have anything. Knowing my read on her, I would call, with the knowledge that the blank MIGHT have given her a set. Or on the other hand, the blank could have given her a low pair, where Jesse’s good. Or she could be bluffing. It’s pretty much a must-call and Jesse calls and she turns over 88. Quad 8s. Wow. As Jesse and I remark later "you don’t see these kind of hands live…only on Party Poker, baby!"
So now it’s just me at the table. On the one hand, that makes me feel a little better. I don’t want to ever go into a pot against a friend. But on the other hand, just having a familiar face at the table makes me feel better. After watching that, I have to go to the bathroom to clear my head. RIGHT as I step into the bathroom, a 5 year old kid looks at me all wide-eyed…and pukes on my shoe. God, I hate kids. If these weren’t Payless shoes, I’d be really upset.
Anyways, I get back to the table. At this point I haven’t played even a single hand and even the less observant braying donkeys at the table have apparently noticed. The first hand I get that looks good is JJ in the BB. 5 handed coming to me, and I raise to 12. They all call (of course they do). Flop comes down J95. Sexy! Two clubs on board. I bet 30. About half the pot. I probably should have bet more with the flush on board, but I have a set and I’m willing to gamble to get some action. The others try to beat each other into the pot by mucking. Sigh. Guess they’re paying attention to me. As I’m pulling in the chips, Piggy looks at me and remarks how she folded 45. Wow, what a laydown. I resist the VERY strong urge to say that and just nod and smile.
I know that the proper thing to do when you’re on a table that sees you as “too tight” is to raise more. But I’m not willing to make a move on any 2 cards and honestly, from this point on, that’s really all I’m getting. The only other hand I get that’s worth playing is AQo. I raise to 12, 4 callers. Flop comes down KJ8. I decide to stab at the pot by betting 15, thinking an ace or ten is all that can save me and to my surprise, everyone tries to beat each other into the muck. Once again, I should be playing more pots, but I’m just not getting anything.
I wait for a few more orbits and cash out, up a nice sum. Paid for dinner, paid for the money I gave Nam for the room, so even though I didn’t get many cards, I’m feeling pretty good about myself.
When we get back, it’s time to hit the pool. GVR’s pool is absolutely AMAZING. It’s surrounded by full beds with canopies and lounge chairs are absolutely amazing. I didn’t want to make all the old ladies swoon all at once, so I took my time taking my shirt off. It didn’t work…as I was disrobing, I heard one of the maids exclaim: “Dios mio! Que blanco!!!” My spanish is a little rusty, but I think she just said I was a sexy beast or something. I turned to smile and wink and she turned her head away. I have that effect on women…always afraid to look me in the eye. Being this hot is such a burden sometimes. Anyways, it was a little too cloudy to work on my tan, but I spent a couple hours lounging by the pool just looking hot.
We spend the rest of the day in the room playing casual. Ricky Ortiz and Takayuki come to our room. OK, I’d like to take this opportunity to comment on Ricky’s phone. Ricky has a picture on his phone with him and Arturo in a…compromising position kissing. I know I make a “Ricky is gay” joke every year. But honestly, this is concrete visual evidence. He sees me looking at it and says “it’s a joke!!!” Fine it’s a joke…but it’s a joke with tongue. Absolutely stunning that those two can still claim they’re straight.
Regardless of that, Ricky is an absolute monster at CvS2 now. He’s in our room for 30-40 games and nobody is even getting close to his K-Cammy/Blanka/Sagat team until he starts getting bored and taking it easy on us. Even the other Nor.Cal guys are getting smashed. I’m not even coming close. I’m not exactly a force in CvS2 anymore but still…it was only a couple years ago that I played Ricky in tournament and he got very lucky to get by me. I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t even making a game of it, but right about now I honestly think Ricky is going to win the CvS2 tournament.
Also this is my first look at Takayuki since last year. I play him a couple matches with Bison and he wins easily. Last year I played him with Bison/Ruby/Doom and I was destroying his MSP. This year he was playing Rowtron on me and just toying with me. He’s passed the Bison test. I don’t think they have much Doom in Japan though. He isn’t dealing with Doom well at all, basically going out of his way to counterassist Doom with his Cable and just serving to have his Cable a large flying target. When he has Magneto out, he’s simply not equipped to protect his assist against a Sentinel or another Cable. Even though he’s beating me, I note that if he ever plays against a Sentinel/Doom or a Cable/Doom, he’s simply not going to win at all. If I have to play him in tournament, I would counterteam him with Cyclops/Sent/Doom. I feel very confident in my read on Takayuki. I know his main team is MSP, but that’s even better for me. The way he plays, even a bad Sentinel/Doom like mine looks pretty good.
Friday morning I learn something awesome about our room. The bathroom has audio connection to the TV. Basically whenever you’re in the bathroom you hear surround sound audio of whatever’s on TV at the time. This sounds awesome. However this morning, I tried to shower during a 3s session. And I had the (mis)fortune of getting in just as a Chun/Chun match is starting. 12 minutes of “AY! AY! AY!” later, I already have a headache. More Excedrin time. Although it is kind of cool with the stereo effect. Maybe it shows that I play too many video games, but I could literally recreate the match just by listening to the sounds and the timing of the "AY!"s and I could tell who was winning. When I got out of the shower, I was right. Crazy stuff.
Anyways, I hop on 3s for some casual. I’m actually quietly confident in my ability in 3s again. I don’t expect to do well, but I fully expect to win some matches. I’ve been playing a lot of Chun-Li and I plan on using her as a backup character for the matches Alex has trouble with. I’ll still be picking Alex or Hugo first for all my matchups but I plan to go to Chun if I’m countered. My Chun has gotten a lot better and I go on a couple of nice little streaks in the room before it’s finally tournament time.
I’m not taking any part in running Evolution this year and I’m not going to criticize TOO much. But honestly, Friday got off to a very bad start. The pool assignments weren’t put in the right places and it flat out caused anarchy. Basically EVERYONE, whether they’d pre-regsitered or registered last night had to wait in line to pick up the badges, sign the waiver agreement and then see when their pools were running. To make things as complicated as possible, they put the pool assignments as close to the door as possible making the process take absolutely forever to find out when you were going to play. Later, I suggested that they move the pool assignment table far from the badge table just to get the line moving a bit and it helped, but not much. Next year, I have a couple suggestions. Either stagger registration and do the badge/waiver thing for the on-site registrations the day before, or somehow eliminate the difficulty in getting pool assignments. I know that last year it took even longer because of the wait to do a print out, but this way didn’t work much better.
As for my pool assignments, it’s a mixed bag. For ST, I have Bob Painter and a collection of names I’ve never heard of. I’m not thrilled about playing Bob since he has Honda and Honda counters Vega pretty hard. But on the other hand I’m confident in that match and regularly win it in tournaments, even against people who are good ST players. In 3s, I have a group of nobodies, but one of the names looks Japanese. MvC2, nobody I’ve heard of in my life. My CvS2 bracket is probably the hardest one in the tournament. Me, some guy I’ve never heard of (but who looks, dresses, acts, has hair and plays exactly like me), DreamTR/Jason Wilson, XBOX Live master (!!), Ashley Hernandez from Texas, a VERY solid K groove player, and Kim Hahn from Nor.Cal who is very very good. I’m looking at the pool and thinking that I’ll have to be lucky to get out of the pool and that it’s not looking good at all. Tekken 5, nobody I’ve heard of except for Sebastian who was in my room. It’s kind of unfortunate…the games I don’t care about I figure to have an easy ride in while the games I want to do well in, I’m probably in deep trouble already.
Anyways, this caused the pool assignments to run about 3-4 hours behind schedule for some games. A big problem with the posted pool assignments was that there was an estimated time listed in bolder print than the pool number. Many people got this confused. Since we were running SO far behind schedule, people would show up around the tournament areas about 20 pools ahead of schedule and would be very confused when they were told to come back much later. And then when it was their time to play their matches, they’d be nowhere in sight.
My 3s pool was a lot like this. Out of a pool of 5, 2 people showed up right away. Omni told us to play. I noticed that he had a pad and picked Ken. I thought this would be an easy match and picked Alex. I’m pretty confident in this match but I managed to lose a pretty close one. Instead of going to Chun-Li like I had planned out before the tournament, I thought “this guy isn’t that good, I’m just gonna beat him with Alex. Besides, even if he wins, he’ll lose to someone else in the pool and I’ll get him in tiebreak”. As it turns out, my cockiness cost me big time. 2nd game was actually a beatdown as he got used to my 4 Alex tricks and got an easy win. And…nobody else in our pool is showing up. This is not good. Omni says to sit tight and they call the names off. And…nobody is showing up. Crap. So while this means I qualify in 3s, I was so close to qualifying in winners, but I cost myself a good scoring opportunity by being thickheaded. Dumb dumb dumb. While we waited for the rest of the people to show up, I played casual matches with Chun-Li and smashed everyone around going on a little win streak. Including the guy who just beat me in tournament. Kind of depressing. If only I stuck to the plan…
This was before 3s pools were switched to one game. I’m honestly not sure why they switched to 1 game in the first place. Half the machines were never in use and 3s matches go by fairly quickly. I feel really bad for a lot of the people who got randomed out because of this. This is the reason why we’re going to console and a lot of people suffered because of this. Really unfair.
ST pools were next. First couple matches were no contest at all. Easy wins for me, including one perfect. One guy thought he was counter charactering me by picking Guile on Vega. Yeah, good idea. Anyways, I’m perfect until I have to play Bob. Up until about 20 minutes ago, I had no idea Bob Painter was even still alive and now I have to play him again. Unfortunately, not only is he still alive, he still remembers how to play against my Vega. The first round we played, he took a big lead and then I swept him and jumped to the far wall, baiting him into headbutting early and then having no defense to the super to win by 1 pixel. That would be the closest I’d get as I’d lose 6 rounds in a row after that. We had to replay a game after we found out I had my handicap down but it didn’t even matter. Pure ownage. This really disappointed me. I felt like I had a good chance of making some noise in ST, but coming through the losers gives zero margin for error. There are a lot of matches I’m shaky on and in losers I’m not going to take a chance by switching off to Balrog or Ryu to get out of a counter character match. Last year I made a good charge from the losers with just Vega, but it’s not something I want to make a habit of.
Time to face the music and play my CvS2 pool. I’m not sure who the blonde guy who looks like me is, but holy shit. The guy is like…a dead ringer for 2003-2004 Viscant when I had blonde hair. Straight down to the “dirty metro” look I was working on during that period. I don’t remember your name guy, but I just want you to know, you were the 2nd sexiest guy there. He was my first opponent and picked a K groove team with Ratio 2 Geese. It was one of those CvS2 fights where it felt like he never had a chance, but when I look up at the end of the match, I see I only won by about 60% of a ratio 2. Meaning one misstep at the end would have cost me even though it felt like a dominating win. Sigh.
Next up was Wilson. I haven’t played Wilson in CvS2 since SHGL was still open. He wanted to have our “turtle match”. Which just goes to show how long it’s been since he played me. I picked Cammy/Yamazaki/Hibiki on him and basically rushed him down. The entire match was fought on his half of the screen with Cammy/Yama actively chasing him and Hibiki slowly stalking him. Once again, this is one of those matches where he was never leading, it never felt like it was that close and I never really thought he had a chance. But still, the end of the match, I had Hibiki vs. his Blanka. He had no life left, a level 3 and started rolling at me. And I look up at the screen and realize “if he hits roll xx super on me, he wins”. I got the low fierce off on his roll to kill him but still. Kind of disappointing. These are supposed to be the “easy” matches and I’m not winning these by much.
Even though I’m 2-0, I have to play Ashley next and I realize that this is basically must-win. My chances of beating Kim are roughly 10%. I don’t want to say I have no chance since as long as you have Yamazaki, you’re really 2 combos away from winning any match, but realistically I probably can’t beat him. Meaning this match is for survival. He picks Akuma/x/Sagat on me. I wait for him to pick and go with Yamazaki/Blanka/Cammy. The match starts out horribly with his Akuma actually beating my Yamazaki. This should basically never happen. Ever. Yamazaki slaps down shotos really really hard, especially other K groove shotos. But in my infinite wisdom, I forgot that you can duck the demon flip until Yamazaki had about 20% life left after he’d hit me with 4-5 different demon flip setups. I am the smartest man alive. Blanka also gets ripped apart, so basically it’s Cammy against 2 full characters. It’s kind of a sign of how far I’ve fallen now, but my Cammy might be my best character now. I quickly got meter and beat his 2nd character right away giving me at least a fighting chance against his Sagat. I actually took the lead right away in this fight and had a very very legit chance at winning until I blew a super combo. I had rage and he had less than 40% life meaning one combo into super would kill him. I just jumped the gun and did s.rh into super that wasn’t even close to comboing and he finished me off from there.
My match with Kim doesn’t even bear mentioning in much detail. It was just a flat out slaughter with his C-Blanka getting through almost my entire team before Hibiki finally finished him off so as not to get OCVd. I’m just not in NorCal’s class in CvS2 anymore. I really wanted to see how far I could get in brackets on this but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be this year. I want to start playing CvS2 again more seriously just because this was a truly embarassing performance. I know I don’t really play games anymore but if I can’t get out of pools at Evo…that’s a really really low point. Right after this I bought a Hori arcade stick from the booth at Evo. Like MacArthur…I will return.
My Tekken pool is next. At this point, I’d like to mention that I haven’t played a match of live Tekken against another human being in roughly 3-4 months. And I haven’t played a competitive match in roughly 6 months, ever since regionals. First match I had was against Sebastian. He picked Marduk on me, a match I have little confidence in with Julia. Very easy win for him. I don’t think I even took a round.
Next match was against someone who must have been good or something because he had a full cheering section and a video camera. I heard his friend behind him narrating the match. “And this is (what’s his name) against a Julia player, some scrub.” …What did he just say?! Am I just some guy now? I know I’m not a big name in the Tekken community but I’m still me, goddammit. I’m the living legend! I really really really wanted to drop this chump. Unfortunately he destroyed me in the first game. Not even close. Second game though, I finally got my groove back. My ghetto Julia finally got ready. Lots of 121’s, lots of bow and arrow, lots of WS2,4,1. I learned one thing in my casual play in Tekken this weekend. The more advanced someone is, they will fall for my tequila sunrise setup at least once. Simply because it’s so scrubby and so old that nobody looks for a low after WS2 and the launch is guaranteed after the low. Even against people who are used to my Julia, they will get hit by this occasionally because the mixup off WS2 is so good and the 4 looks a lot like the 1. Because I was back to the wall I had to burn it a couple times in the second game and got the win. The sound of shock from that guy’s cheering section honestly made my weekend up to that point. The fact that he honestly thought he might lose to “some scrub”. 3rd game, he picked Feng though. I really really really don’t like Julia/Feng. I don’t see SS4 very well and missing throws on him is not a good idea. Also my okizeme defense is really not very good (I don’t play Tekken!) so one hit is probably going to be the win for him. I put up an OK fight but the loss was pretty much guaranteed by the time his cursor got to Feng.
And don’t get me wrong…I don’t mind being “the opponent” in videos. Honestly I really love it. In my time playing games, I’ve ruined more people’s vanity videos than I care to count. It does make me feel better to think of how many people watch their past tournament videos only to see their tournaments end to photons xx hail or Yamazaki’s head. It was just the level of disrespect shown. It’s no secret that I’m a vain guy (see also, blog title) and I like people to know my name and be a little afraid of me. Just being “some scrub” really doesn’t sit well with me. I know I shouldn’t let things like this get under my skin, but that seriously bothered me. I was fuming about this until my next match.
After losing 2 matches, I’m probably done but I just want to win a match. And the next guy just beat Sebastian, so maybe if I win this, I’ll have a chance in tiebreak. He picks Steve on me and I’m not worried at all. Steve vs. Julia is an easy fight for Steve, but it’s a match I have confidence in, especially vs. cookie cutter Steves. Bad Steve falls for a lot of the same tricks over and over. One Julia vs. bad Steve setup I love to do is d+3 then f+1. Bad Steve will mash 121 after getting hit with something and the f+1 will go underneath for the launch and the combo. If they start blocking you can cancel that with 2 and get a mid. Good Steve will SS 3,1,1 this, but hey I’m not doing this against good Steve, only bad Steve. Also I like to mixup SS buffer Mad Axes and SS 3+4. It’s effective, especially if you throw in some SS d+4 in there. Steve can’t punish Julia’s d+4. Sure, he can parry it, but once again, this is Bad Steve, not Good Steve. Anyways, my matches against him went pretty easily. He hadn’t seen my setups before and basically walked into a couple of them, then got frustrated the 2nd game and just started getting picked apart by elbows and bow and arrows. After the last game it was a really satisfying win.
I got up to leave the area when I realized…hey, I might still be in this. The 5th guy didn’t show up giving me 2-2. The cocky guy with the video camera didn’t lose a match making Sebastian and the other guy 2-2 also. Playoff time. Here was where I made my smoothest/most underhanded move of the tournament. The guy running the pool had me and Sebastian playing first. I knew there was basically no way in hell I was beating Sebastian, so I reach into my pocket and made my phone ring and pointed to the Steve guy and said “hey, you go first, I have to get this”. Goddamn, I’m good. Like I thought, Steve guy beat Sebastian (Steve vs. Marduk is hella unfair) and I could go against him and hopefully have a chance to get lucky on Sebastian and win the tournament. I was clearly in this guy’s head and he picked Kazuya on me instead of Steve this match. Really really bad move. Mishimas are probably my best matchup in Tekken now. I actually low parried a couple hellsweeps on reaction making me feel like all kinds of a stud and I picked up the easy win. Now it would be time to face Sebastian and try to get lucky to qualify, maybe I’ll pick Law on him and concentrate on parrying…only he was nowhere to be found. Oh hell yeah! He thought he was done with the playoff after losing that first game. My gamesmanship would pay off nicely. The exasperated tournament director had me and Steve guy play 2 out of 3 for the spot which I won easily. I was totally into his head and didn’t even lose a round, even landing my really really ugly b+4 into 1+2,4 setup. Sexy! I wasn’t supposed to qualify in this and I made it. Finally something to feel good about.
It would be another couple of hours until my Marvel pool so I went to go amuse myself upstairs in the casino. GVR offers single deck blackjack and I don’t think most of the people playing really understood the concept of single deck. Most places that have single deck, there’s a fistfight to get onto third base, the best seat for this game. This is because by the time you have to make your decision, the most cards are exposed and you can make your decision with the most information. I understand that a lot of people don’t like to sit on third base because they feel like if they take the card that would have made the dealer bust, they’ll feel bad for the rest of the table. But of course, I’m an ass, so I could care less about this.
Anyways, when I got up to the table, third base was open so I snapped that up right away and plunked down a couple Franklins for chips. I actually went on a horrible losing streak at first, dropping 75 right away. The other players at the table were overly timid and standing on 12s and 13s and not letting me see enough cards. Finally an old couple got up and were replaced by a couple of other Evo players, giving me a much better opportunity. These guys were over-aggressive and hitting anything 16 and under no matter what the dealer was showing. Right when they got there, my fortunes turned. I had AA with a 15 dollar bet on the table. All the others at the table had 4-5-6 card hands meaning that by the time it got to me I had seen a whole lot of cards and not many paints or tens. Dealer had a Q showing. I split my aces and got…more aces. All the aces in the deck are on my table now. I split those up again. So I had 60 bucks on the table against a Q. Not a position I really want to be in, but in single deck with all those exposed baby cards, I’m bound to get something good. And I did. Next cards out of the deck. K for blackjack. J for blackjack. J for blackjack. 9 for 20. Oh hell yeah. Dealer turned over a 9 in her hand for 19. Just like that, session saved. I stayed on as long as the aggressive kids stayed and managed to go up a couple hundred despite some ridiculous beats in the end (dealer pulling out the 1 remaining 5 in the deck for 21 one time, me pulling out one of about 5 remaining face cards to bust on 12 once). I LOVE single deck blackjack!
Finally time for my MvC2 pool scheduled to go off a full 5 hours before it actually did. This kept a couple of the people away meaning it was just me and 2 others. And one of them was playing Jin/Sakura/Tron. Oh hell yeah! The other guy actually played a real team on me so I had to be careful, but I managed to pull out the win meaning I actually qualified for something in winners. The one game I don’t play! Imagine that. The guy running the tournament turned to me (while I was playing Jin guy, LOL) and said, “OK, you won…show up tomorrow morning for semis.”
But like everyone probably knows by now, Marvel semis went off that night, actually less than a couple hours after I finished my pool. It’s a good thing I wasn’t planning on going anywhere although I can’t fault the people who left and were DQ’d. How was anyone supposed to know that the rules would be changed like this? One of the Cannons comes out and says “we can run Marvel semis until 11 o’clock right now, or we can run it all tomorrow, one game.” Complete and total bull. Later on I would realize that it would be necessary with Halo taking up almost all of our TVs the next day. Still if anyone was DQ’d from Marvel, they have a legit gripe.
My matches were kind of disappointing for Friday night. I had to play almost right away vs. Robzilla. And I flat out threw away the game. First game I had a huge lead after taking out one of his characters early and coughed it up. Second game I switched to Santhrax and beat him pretty easily. And third game I had things about even for awhile and then just rolled over and died for him. It was one of those matches where even though the better player probably won, I still had a really bad taste in my mouth after how ugly that first game was. That was my chance right there and I blew it. Later on, it would be painfully apparent how important that match would be. Tomorrow morning Rob would go on to play Justin Wong and beat him. Had I beat him…well, let’s just leave it at that!
Right after that I had to play Liston and squeaked out a pretty ugly win with Doom/Storm/Sentinel. A side advantage of playing someone who hasn’t seen a point Doom in a long time. Both of our matches, at the face off his Magneto ate Doom instant overhead and his assist ate drones + photons giving me an instant position + damge advantage. Liston is by far the better player, but I had a few really old gimmicks like that to give me the win. I probably landed my ugliest trick also. On wakeup vs. his Sentinel, manual Doom rocks + Sentinel assist for the chip win. Ugly, but at least I qualified for the 2nd day. I could see that he was really kind of disgusted at losing to my 4 year old tricks, but I’ll take it.
Also, one of the best spectator matches went off and not that many people got a chance to see it. Yipes vs. Soo, the rematch in winners bracket in the tournament. The night before, Yipes beat Soo in a money match for $100 (yes, a money match that ACTUALLY happened) and it ended with someone (not saying who) punching the wall in Isaac Graham’s room and exclaiming out “why don’t I have the best Magneto anymore!!!” Again, not saying who said that, but Yipes won so…
Anyways, everyone who cared about Marvel huddled around for the rematch, but this would have been an AWESOME match to go on the DVD and I don’t think it will. Despite what anyone else partial to Soo will tell you, this was rape, pure and simple. First game, Yipes absolutely went off on him, killing his 1st 2 characters without taking a single hit. I was talking to Justin afterwards and he and I agreed that if Yipes doesn’t DHC out, he has a very VERY good chance of getting that perfect.
It was just the tone of the match that was so impressive to me. Soo’s Magneto was showing a LOT of fear in this match. Like once Yipes started rolling Soo started running. I’ve watched Soo play a lot of matches and I’ve NEVER seen him just try to survive through parts of the match like this. He wasn’t really trying to fight back or set him up, he just went into survival mode and got rushed the fuck down. I think Yipes really got into his head. It was a really really good changing of the guard match and it’s really disappointing that more people didn’t get a chance to see it; it didn’t even go up on the bigscreen. Very sad, because up until this point, this is far and away the match of the tournament.
Not much else happened on Friday but while I’m on the subject, I want to take this time to refute the money match nonsense I heard about later on. Right about now, Alex Valle was supposed to be playing against Japanese players for money and he beat them so badly that they didn’t shake his hand. And DSP was supposed to be playing Afrolegend for $1000 backed by TFGM. And I was supposed to be playing Ricky in CvS2 for $500. And I was supposed to be playing someone I’d never heard of for $250 at MvC2. Almost all of these matches are complete and utter trash. I think Valle was already drunk and partying when he was supposed to be playing for money. The only one of these that was even supposed to happen was DSP vs. Afrolegends and that was supposed to be for tomorrow and not for even close to $1000. I don’t know who was getting off at giving out misinformation but it’s fucking retarded.
Also the last thing that happened Friday night was a HUGE congregation around the Fatburger. I had a chance to talk to CigarBob and DSP, mostly about molesting underage girls. I swear, if anyone at GVR is missing a daughter…but let’s not go there. What’s important to me is that DSP and I agreed to have our $100 money match the next day or Sunday and that he was supposed to find me. HE WAS SUPPOSED TO FIND ME. Sigh.
Oh yeah and also, the guy running the Fatburger counter is seriously the nellyest gay guy I’ve ever met in my life. And I was hanging out with Ricky looking at the picture of him frenching Arturo on his cell phone yesterday. So yeah, this guy was pretty nelly. Anyways he’s taking my order (which he would get completely wrong) and asks me about my fries “do you want it fat?” Now…I suppose I kind of misconstrued what he was saying and was kind of thrown off by his lisping tone but…man I had a moment of panic there. I was going to clarify what I mean by panic here, but those of you who get this are already laughing and I don’t feel like embarassing myself by explaining this. I’ll keep some of you in the dark. Let’s just move on.
Saturday was probably the most hectic day of the tournament. We had the heaviest bulk of matches to run with the fewest amount of TVs to use. MLG took up at least 3/4 of our floor space with Halo. I’m not really a FPS fan and I didn’t really understand much of what was going on, but even to people who were really into Halo, it didn’t look like that much fun of a tournament. I asked a couple people who like Halo and it seemed like everyone was saving their really good stuff and the gameplay was mostly run of the mill stuff.
Also this morning was the day I was probably most embarrassed to be a gamer in my entire life. The amount of hungover, unshowered, horrible smelling guys drooling over (at best) average girls just completely mortified me.
For example. A gaming clan of girls set up a booth for promotion and to give away free T-shirts and free games. They called themselves the Fragdolls (www.fragdolls.com ). Now. The first thing I think when I’m passing by the booth and seeing them give away free T-shirts that say “I play with Dolls” on the front and the URL on the back is, wow what a great idea! See, I thought it was a porn site featuring gamer girls. I was thinking to myself, if they’re selling memberships at Evo they’re gonna make a fortune! Unfortunately, they weren’t, they were just a clan. I think I’m going to make that my plan for next year’s Evo. Find a few girls willing to pose naked with gaming periperhals, set up a porn site and sell memberships at Evo. Have them around to sign autographs and flirt with the guys. I’m gonna be rich. Maybe I shouldn’t even write this online and just save that for nationals. Hrm. Well, moving on.
But that wasn’t even the worst of it. The worst part of it was the girls who were there single or with their boyfriends who were getting hit on like crazy. I’m always absolutely shocked at what groups of guys will do when it’s a 20-to-1 male to female ratio. In this case, a girl who on the streets is at best, a 3, basically was playing at least 15-20 guys off against each other. I have confirmation that she slept with at least 3 of them and that number could be higher. I know of a couple of other girls who were uh…aesthetically/gravitationally challenged who said they were there hoping to get hit on. So awful. Maybe instead of a porn booth, next year I’ll set up a VD clinic and make a fortune that way. I really really hate being associated with other gamers sometimes.
This was also the start of a lot of the Halo vs. video gamer confrontations. Not that much made a lot of noise, but there were insults flying and dirty looks given. See this is something else I hate about being a gamer. We have dumb stuff like “console wars” on message boards and some gamers look down on other gamers because of how they choose to waste their time and isolate themselves from society. Can’t we all just get along?
My day was over pretty quickly in everything but 3s. I lost my first match on Saturday in every game I played, usually horribly. In Tekken, I had to play a Nina player. All those tricks I wrote about above that work on Steves? Yeah, they do NOTHING to Nina. They usually serve to get me killed in many hilarious ways. I don’t think I even took a round off him and he didn’t even seem very good. At least I qualified but it was still a really ugly way to go out.
ST, I was hoping to make some noise in, but my first round match was James Chen. I looked over the bracket carefully and noticed that if I beat James, I might have a decent chance to make some noise. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get by him. The Cammy/Vega match is completely alien to me, mostly because James Chen has always had the only Cammy in the area and I don’t think I’ve ever played him in a serious match, let alone in a tournament match. It took me roughly 3 rounds to figure out that I could never fly close to him because of RH uppercut. Game 2 I had a shot until I jumped into his super. The sad thing is, I did it on purpose. I distinctly remmeber thinking “I’m gonna jump back and then land and throw and win”. Sigh. Perhaps I didn’t notice the corner I was in. Perhaps I’m just retarded.
My Marvel match was pretty good actually. First match I got flattened. Infinite city. His team was Iron Man/Cable/Doom. I’ve played against Julius Jackson and Justus enough to know how to play against Iron Man/Doom, but a lot of it relies on making good blocks and I’m not really able to block very well anymore. This happens when you get old. All you kids out there are laughing at me, but when you get old, it’ll happen to you too. So go ahead and laugh while you block those MSP mixups. When you get old and can’t block Iron Man, I’ll be laughing at you with my dentures. Anyways.
After getting embarrassed in game 1, I realized the only way I was gonna win this was if I could go the whole game without getting hit. My normal “don’t hit me” team is Cyclops/Storm/Commando, but I can’t go with that unless I’m willing to start Commando, which I’m not. So I switched it up to Cyclops/Storm/Ken. And it worked like a charm in game 2. I don’t think he landed a single hit on me in game 2 at all, all his damage came from block damage. I made a couple of mistakes in here though by NOT KILLING DOOM. I spent my whole game here just trying to run away whereas every time Ken hit Doom, I could have done SJ xx MOB DHC to hail and just ran away with Storm. I probably could have done this in Game 3 also, but hey, I’m dumb and I figured this out as I was shaking his hand and walking away. I do this with Commando all the time. Why I thought this would be fundamentally different with Ken? Who the hell knows. Anyways, Game 3 comes and I do a good job keeping Iron Man off me but I manage to let Cable hit me with a low short. The sad thing is, I didn’t even try to block low. I remember thinking “he’ll go for a mixup. I should stay blocking high”. Good job, Snyder. Really. Good job. And that basically ended my tournament. Ken/Cyclops vs. Cable/Doom…not gonna happen.
The good news with that is, that I won the first annual SRK beauty off! Yes, that’s right, Bill (bagnus on IRC) challenged me to a beauty off for $10 letting Vanessie be the judge saying “she does guys for a living!” After that, there’s no way I COULDN’T accept! She hemmed and hawed for awhile before making her decision. She said she really liked Bill’s style…but she REALLY liked my hair and body and face. So she picked me. Like there was every any doubt. But free money is free money. This is now TWO YEARS IN A ROW that I win a pose-off or beauty off. When will you people learn…challenge me in games, not beauty!
After that, 3s hadn’t even started drawing the brackets up yet, so I decided to go upstairs and go to sleep. Halfway through sleep, my stalker called and asked where I was. After all she was outside my apartment and screaming and I wasn’t answering and she really wanted to see me and why wasn’t I picking up and why don’t I LOVE HER?!?! Yeah. So I kind of had to break up with her over the phone. But that raises up an interesting question for me. Can you break up with someone you aren’t officially dating? I really just told her not to keep coming over and getting drunk and trying to have sex with me. Is that a breakup? Who knows.
Anyways with that out of the way, I got 3 hours of blissful sleep before Jesse called me to say they were waiting on me for 3s. Let me tell you something. 3s is not worth waking up for. Ever. Even though I won my first match (BY SWITCHING TO CHUN-LI LIKE I PLANNED IT OUT), 2nd match was against Mago, so there really was no point to me waking up at all.
A lot of the tournament matches were really really good and there was a side benefit to having all of the machines crammed up into a little tiny area. From one vantage point you could really see everything. Watching Duc play his Marvel matches was a combination of funny and kind of sad. He didn’t look solid at all and yet…he kept winning and winning by a whole lot. It was clear that a lot of people didn’t really have an idea about what to do against Spiral seeing as how Spiral hasn’t been a tournament character in roughly 3 years. Reset got hit over and over by the 5th knife trying to go for hail not realizing that the knife wall variation on the trap simply won’t allow you to get hail out…ever. It’s not his fault because he probably wasn’t even PLAYING Marvel when Spiral was a serious character, but it wasn’t pretty. I think he got OCVd in the final match sending Duc to top 8 in winners. I was talking to omni about this and he said “we should just give Duc a standing ovation when he loses in the tournament. He’s the grandfather of Marvel!”
CvS2 was also surprisingly entertaining to watch, most notably for Combo Fiend’s rush through the bracket by pixels. His matches against Nitto, Tokido and others were amazing. One match against Nitto that I hope goes to the DVD shows Combo Fiend down to about 10% Eagle. He lands a couple of hits, then lands the full A combo. Then he does RC spinny thing on wakeup and Nitto does quick getup into the last hit of it and dies. Amazing match to watch! It takes over as match of the tournament for me. It’s one of the first times a CvS2 match actually seemed interesting to me. Ricky’s match vs. Ohnuki in a rematch from 2 years ago was also amazing. Everyone in the crowd seemed to be in agreement that there was going to be rape. And there was…just the other direction that everyone expected. Even though nuki counter charactered himself, he still brought the pain even bringing the raging demon on Ricky. Another match that would be worth buying the DVD for.
Finally everything wrapped up for the day and I could go do the buffet/gambling thing again. We managed to hit the worst buffet on the strip although I at least managed to look good doing it.
What the hell am I reaching for in this picture? Who knows…let’s just move on.
Anyways, we hit the buffet at the Boardwalk. I don’t know if any of you have ever been to the Boardwalk but Dentron said it best. “The decor in this place makes me want to vomit”. I know that it’s designed this way on purpose to emulate the Atlantic City Boardwalk, but if that’s true, then that place would probably make me want to puke also.
This buffet was a few bucks cheaper than the Paris but the pressure still applied. Also this place has a really weird rule. Even though it’s “all you can eat” you can only get one steak! What a ripoff. It’s not like the steak was that good anyways but still…it’s just the principle of the thing. I felt a need to punish them so I ate another 2 plates of bacon, ribs and chicken. That was when I learned a hard truth about this place. THERE IS NO BATHROOM. Seriously, wtf. Isn’t that like some kind of a health law that there has to be bathroom access? But no, no bathroom. If you wanted to use a bathroom, you had to go downstairs and then you couldn’t go back. So we couldn’t use the time honored buffet technique of eat until you have to take a dump, then go back and eat more. This buffet was only $9 and I surely got my money’s worth with how much damage I did to the bacon, but I still feel ripped off.
Also something else retarded about the Boardwalk. No poker room. Seriously how can you have a casino without a poker room. This goes out to the GVR also. Can you IMAGINE how much business they would have done had they had a poker room? I mean…my god! I wouldn’t have even played video games all weekend. Side rant over.
We wound up having to go to the Monte Carlo to get some action in. Honestly, a way better room than the Bally’s/Paris room. I managed to find a really great table for NL200. An extreme maniac with a monster stack in front of him. I estimated he had at least 800 in front of him. And he was playing every hand and raising most pots he was in to 5x-6x. He was clearly tilting a few of the others on the table. I figured this was a PERFECT opportunity. Unfortunately…the cards were a little slow in coming (again).
I wait 3-4 orbits before I finally had a hand worth playing. JJ UTG. I raised to 6xBB ($12) and still got 7 callers. Horrible. Board came down AQblank. SB bets, BB raises. Done with this hand already.
I have to wait 2 more orbits of watching the maniac donk around before I finally get a hand worth playing. AA. And I have the button. And the maniac is UTG…AND HE’S RAISING! AWESOME! Get 4 callers before action is to me. I have to re-raise here and hope the maniac wants to dance. I want to bet about the pot, but a convenient number, so I choose $50. Everyone dropped and I showed the aces. I’m not sure whether this was the right play or whether it was me getting nervous. Aces want action in the long run, I realize this. But at the same time, I have to raise just so I know where I am. It’s a hard hand to lay down especially at a wild table so I want to be sure I’m only going against another solid hand. Besides if the maniac has ace/anything or a pair, he’d go all in after being re-raised and I’d have an excellent chance to make some money. That’s what I was telling myself as I was pulling in the pot, but I couldn’t help but feel like I’d misplayed my hand.
Next hand I got was ATs and I completely blew this hand. A total calling station sits down 2 seats to my right and with a pre flop raise to $15 I have him isolated (even the maniac doesn’t seem to want to dance with me). Flop comes down KT3, 2 hearts. He chekcs, I bet 20, he calls. He’d call anything. Turn is a J. He chekcs, I bet 20, he calls. River is a 3 of hearts and he goes all in. It’s an easy fold because basically anything he has beats me. A king, a jack, a straight, a flush, a 3. That’s not the problem. I think I misplayed that hand by betting the turn. I might have been able to get away cheaply if I just checked that. Then again, maybe he was on the 3 and I did the right thing? Who knows. All I know is that hand left me with a pretty sour taste in my mouth.
Cards started coming a little more quickly now. A couple hands later I had AQs and raised preflop and bought the blinds. This is odd. The table is only tight to me. Hrm.
On the BB I get the hand of the day. K9o. Family pot, maniac only limped so I got to see the flop for free. Flop comes down K94, 2 spades. My K is the K spades. I know I have to bet this, but with this much action, I figure I can get the maniac to do my bidding for me, and raise big for isolation. Like I planned, maniac bets out 10. One call. The next to act raises to 25. I’m a little worried, but I have top 2. As long as he doesn’t have a set, I’m good and I’m very sure he wouldn’t play a set like this, but it gives me pause to think. Folded to me. I raise to 75. One of the folders looks at me and says “wow his hand is shaking!” Whoops, guess I got a little excited. Maniac glares at me (his stack has shrunk to only a medium stack now) and folds saying “I can’t believe I have to fold a pair!” drawing laughs from the table. The caller folds. The guy who raised goes all-in for about 30 more. I call and he flips over KQ. All I have to do is dodge the queen. You wouldn’t believe how nervous this made me though. I’ve played with more on the line online and I was literally shaking with fear watching the turn and river peel away. Turn blanks and so does the river and I scoop the pot. It really is different live. The sense of relief I got stacking those chips (my hand had stopped shaking by now) is something that I just haven’t had online lately.
A few hands later the maniac busts out when the player to my right shows the nut flush after maniac went all in with middle pair. He stomps off remarking “I can’t believe how LUCKY everyone is getting”. I had to work REALLY hard to stifle laughter here. In his place shows up the guy who gives online players a bad name. He sits down wearing a shirt saying “I’m all in” and remarks how this is his first time playing live. The player to my right starts giving him advice on what to do and how to stack his chips, needling him in a somewhat friendly manner. Instantly, first hand he plays, he raises and gets re-raised. He manages to get sucked into an all in call on a board with AJK. Other guy turns over AJ, he flips over…99. Wow. I mentally mark him off as a donkey. The guy to my right says “oh yeah, one more tip. What you did right there…don’t ever do that again”. He glares across the table and says “it will be a pleasure taking your chips”. Wow. Just…wow.
They had a few other exchanges. Every time one of them would enter a pot, the other would raise. It was absolutely hilarious to watch. Finally I pick up a hand I can attack him with. KK in LP. I raise to 14 to thin the field and only get 3 callers, tilting donkey being one of them. Flop comes down AQ9. Not the flop I wanted to see. But I’m last to act and I bet out 30 to try and take it down. Tilting donkey raises all-in, about 70 more. He starts needling me saying “call, you’re ahead. Just call. Come on, call.” There’s really no way I can make the call so I lay it down face up. He says “aw, I wanted to see if it would come”…and flips over J2 suited on the flush draw. Wow.
It’s obviously a bad play on his part. Looking at the hands I’m raising, I would obviously call that with AA, QQ, 99, almost surely make the call with AQ and probably make the call with AK. So the only hands I could have raised and wouldn’t call with are KK, JJ and maybe AJ. Maybe TT but I wouldn’t have raised that. Looking at how few ways there are to make those hands compared with how many ways there are to make a hand I’d call, it has to be a terrible play on his part but he managed to get lucky.
I would have stuck around just to watch the donkey go broke but Nam managed to turn $140 into $2 and was going on real life tilt so we had to bail. Besides the sun would be coming up in a couple hours anyways. I was still up a bit from the K9 hit, so I’m not upset about leaving. Before we left he proved that he was viet and took out a $20 from his wallet and played one hand of blackjack to double up. Viet power!
I wake up Sunday morning and learn that I have about 2 hours to get out of the room. Enter the return of the Peyton Manning face. As it turns out, Nam and Riverside only had the room until this morning because they’re going home. Why the hell didn’t anyone tell me?! So basically as I’m serenaded in the shower by Marvel (another game very easy to reconstruct from the sounds going on; in the game going on while I was in the bathroom, Sentinel beat the hell out of MSP), I realize that I have to carry my huge 70 lb bag around all day. Great. Exactly what I wanted to hear on a grand total of 2 hours of sleep.
I give Nam the key back and go down to the casino to kill some time. I sit down at one of the $1 video poker machines and put in a $100 and VERY FIRST HAND, I hit quad deuces for a $400 hit. Nice!!! I probably should have just quit and cashed out right there but I wanted to play a little more and just played until the total was down to $400. It’s still $300 profit for a few plays, so I take it and run. So far I’m up less than $100 on poker related stuff and up way more than that on other gambling. Good deal.
Finally the Evo hall opens up and Tekken Tag will be first up. I greet Tekken Tag in proper fashion and pull a row of seats to myself and go to sleep. I’ve heard that lots of people took pictures of me because I looked ridiculous but you know what? I really don’t care. Although I would like to see those pictures. Let’s see if they can top Evo2004’s “dead Jay” pic:
The only highlight of Tekken Tag was Ryan Hart not showing up for his match on time and being sent to losers. After he finally got back, he ripped off straight round victories to get to the finals where he would lose a masterful, scintillating…(boring as hell) Kazuya/Jin vs. Kazuya/Jin finals. I probably should have just slept through the whole thing. Hell, Ryan made some money off of this and he probably should have slept through it too. Horrible tournament to watch.
CvS2 finals were somewhat interesting. Let me first voice my displeasure for 1 game finals just on principle. First match with Combo Fiend vs. Justin continued Peter’s streak of winning matches by pixels. Peter ditched Rock (which IMO, he should do permanently) and I guess Justin was going for an Eddie Lee tribute team with Haohmaru/Mai/and ratio 2 Vega. Uh…OK. It actually seemed to be working because the match ended with Justin having a combo opening, Peter having about 5% life and all Justin has to do is low short xx fierce roll for the win and…all he gets is the short. Very un-Justin like to not clutch out the close win but I was happy for Peter. He’s been the best in So Cal for so long that he deserves to win some big matches like this where everyone will notice him. It’s really a shame that someone who’s the best in So Cal is underrated but I honestly think he’s underrated at everything.
Other than that though, CvS2 finals were boring as hell until the finals. I think every CvS2 tournament needs more Daigo. Hell, most SF tournaments need more Daigo. He just makes SF more fun. If everyone played like him SF would be fun still. Anyways, the finals wasn’t even that great, but I really really loved it just because BAS won. BAS has been Japanese Viscant for way too long in that he’s really respected and he knows a lot about games, but he never seems to come through in the big tournaments. Watching him win really felt good simply because he’s been a top player for so long and he basically invented at least 1/2 of what people take for granted in CvS2. More than anyone, he deserved the win.
I will ignore GGXX#r finals and try to pretend they didn’t exist. Other than ruin- making me pay attention, I honestly couldn’t care less for this one. After he was out, I went out for lunch. Sorry.
ST finals had a really high entertainment quotient, even if the games weren’t that good. But it had DSP and it had the Halo booing. First off for Halo. Inkblot announced that the Halo tournament was coming to it’s end and that the top two teams were playing for $2,500 and we should give them all a round of applause. I started out clapping politely but was quickly drowned out by a chorus of boos and insults slung at them. Too funny.
Before we get criticized as boorish idiots, you have to understand how rude a lot of the Halo players were to SF people, almost treating us like we didn’t belong and basically making asses of themselves. While I don’t agree with disrespecting them, I wasn’t really that upset for them to hear what we really thought of them. With the rumors that MLG is taking over Evolution next year…I worry for the future.
DSP and Watson getting into a verbal battle over the microphone was quality as well. DSP with the raised middle fingers and yelling out “EAST FUCKIN’ COAST!” on stage. Too good! Think what you want about Phil, but he backed up everything he said. The top American finisher, including being entertaining. Good show, Phil. Good show. Even if he did disappear and not play me for money, which I would have won, I still have to give him props. He did everything he said he would at Evo.
As for the rest of the tournament…blah. Ohnuki got 2nd and the novelty of Chun wore off quickly. Chun vs. Dhalsim and Chun vs. Vega are really awful matches aesthetically. So the conclusion to the tournament really wasn’t that entertaining. Giant has an excellent Dhalsim and plays him really aggressively, way more than Americans or Spence do. I really liked his wakeup game and his knowledge of exactly how far the throw range went. I don’t think he missed many throw setups that he went for during the tournament getting strong instead. I was very impressed with his play but at the end…it’s just Dhalsim winning and it seems like we get that every year. Why don’t people consider Dhalsim #1 in ST?
Next was the MvC2 tournament and I can honestly say…this was probably the best MvC2 finals I’ve ever seen. Almost all the matches were really entertaining and the last 5-6 matches were all seen as HUGE upsets.
First off, I want to say I’m sorry in advance to Chris Schmidt. But he was on the wrong end of 2 amazing comebacks. In his match against Potter, he had that match absolutely in a headlock with Potter having just Sentinel against a full team and Potter pulled it out anyways. In the very next match against Yipes, Chris had that match won also and coughed it up also. I felt really bad for him, but at the same time, he’s had two solid showings at Evo. That’s way better than most people have done. Still he started the upset train going.
After that, the Duc vs. Potter match was a HUGE upset, to me at least. I was sitting with a couple people and we all basically though that after Potter clutched it out against Chris that he had the match won. He was familiar with Spiral…no wa