Reflections on the Internationals

One of the  greatest people on the Professional RPS Circuit is non-other than Custardchuk. Custardchuk has flown in from Australia 3 times to be a part of the World Championships. Not only is he one of the kindest players you could ever have the privilege of playing against but he is a great writer too.  He recently posted his reflections on the recent World Championships and we thought that it should be shared for all to see.

ChukAs the dust settles on another International campaign I offer the following antipodean reflections.

The New Champ:
First up, congratulations to Bob the Rock. I was lucky enough to play next to Bob in the first round, eventually losing in the second to the guy Bob beat. Bob was confident and aggressive in his early rounds and he enjoyed his wins then as much as he enjoyed the last one. I've just wandered through Bob's website and I see in him something lacking over the last few years. Belief. He doesn't think he was lucky to win. He believes he deserved to win. And if you train and strategise and target an event as Bob did then who can argue with him. I take my hat off to Bob and I'm confident he will be a great Champion and a great ambassador for the sport.

The Philadelphia Connection:
Most of the RPS world has been watching Philadelphia with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. I was lucky enough to be guest at last seasons PABS finals where the city was gripped with RPS fever. Due in no small part to work put in by C. Urbanus and his behind the scenes trainer, the Hood, Philly was awash with quality players and enthusiastic new comers. Urbanus set up a league tournament over many weeks that gave players the chance to compete regularly against quality opposition. It is no surprise that the connection yielded second …READ MORE

One of the  greatest people on the Professional RPS Circuit is non-other than Custardchuk. Custardchuk has flown in from Australia 3 times to be a part of the World Championships. Not only is he one of the kindest players you could ever have the privilege of playing against but he is a great writer too.  He recently posted his reflections on the recent World Championships and we thought that it should be shared for all to see.

 

Chuk As the dust settles on another International campaign I offer the following antipodean reflections.

The New Champ:
First up, congratulations to Bob the Rock. I was lucky enough to play next to Bob in the first round, eventually losing in the second to the guy Bob beat. Bob was confident and aggressive in his early rounds and he enjoyed his wins then as much as he enjoyed the last one. I've just wandered through Bob's website and I see in him something lacking over the last few years. Belief. He doesn't think he was lucky to win. He believes he deserved to win. And if you train and strategise and target an event as Bob did then who can argue with him. I take my hat off to Bob and I'm confident he will be a great Champion and a great ambassador for the sport.

The Philadelphia Connection:
Most of the RPS world has been watching Philadelphia with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation. I was lucky enough to be guest at last seasons PABS finals where the city was gripped with RPS fever. Due in no small part to work put in by C. Urbanus and his behind the scenes trainer, the Hood, Philly was awash with quality players and enthusiastic new comers. Urbanus set up a league tournament over many weeks that gave players the chance to compete regularly against quality opposition. It is no surprise that the connection yielded second and third place. In truth, we were probably only a throw or two away from an all Philly final. There are a lot of lessons here for administrators everywhere. I would say the bar has been raised and National and State bodies will have lot of work to do if they want be competitive in 2007.

The ANZACs:
Despite having a small team of 2 Australians and one Kiwi, the ANZAC's proved they they can be a force to be reckoned with. While I underperformed (more about that later) The Aussie national Champ made the top 16 and the New Zealand Champ made the top 8. Considering this is just our second real tilt at the title, (my trip in 2004 was more a fact finding mission) I consider we have punched above our weight and I'm proud our guy and girl.

Players Facilities:
This year was the most enjoyable year I've had off the field. I would like to congratulate the WRPSS and fellow players and officials for their efforts. What with the the pre-reception reception, the Players Reception, the the post-reception Karaoke, the pre-tournament players lunch, the Tournament proper, the Tournament after party, the post-tournament brunch, the movie screening, the screening after party and the farewell lunch, I was rarely short of entertainment, informative discussion or a quality side game.

Refereeing:
My my point of view, and I'm yet to hear otherwise, I thought the standard of refereeing was excellent. In my early round there was a little bit of vertical paper slipping through but after I had a quick word with the ref he pulled everyone aside and introduced zero tolerance. I think it was the right approach. Allow people to make a mistake or two in the first games and then make an example of them. It smartened up the rest of the round and left no one in any doubt as to what was expected.

The International Game:
There can be no doubt that the tournament came of age this year as a genuine International Event.
Whether it is because the Canadians have slipped behind, or because other countries have caught up, I think we can safely say that the era of Canadian domination of the sport is over.(something I predicted in July). All countries other than the Norwegians were competitive or better and I know the Norwegians well enough to know that they would already be deconstructing the results and reconstructing their strategies in preparation for 2007. I'm predicting we may see a Japanese side next year.

My own performance:
I really felt this was my year. I was undefeated during the players reception against the likes of the Viking, Lovering, Roshambolah, the Kiwi, yet again went for an early shower at the tournament.
It's no surprise that my luggage, including my training manuals, videos and player profiles, went "missing" for two days until just before the the Tournament. Given the drink spiking in 2004 and the rigged draw in 2005, I expected nothing less, however, I will admit feeling a little uncomfortable as my undies went into the third day.
Anyway, that's how it is this level and I won't offer that as an excuse.
It's more likely that I peaked too early and indeed may have fallen for the sucker punch that is the players reception. I'm not sure if the guy who beat me had spies at the reception but nothing surprises me any more. That said, while many at the reception crashed out early in the Internationals others present at the reception performed extremely well. It has been pointed out that everyone who sung in the big number "Love Shack" Karaoke finale went out in the first wave. I'll leave it to others to investigate. Where is Chad Leatherstrap when you need him?
Anyway, I'm toying with the idea of locking myself away from all human contact until the Tournament proper next year.

Finally I'd just like to say that again this year I learnt the names of many I was friends with last year, and also, met many new friends who's names I have already forgotten. Other than the obvious disappointment with my own performance, I consider this years Tournament was a resounding success.

regards
custardchuk