Yesterday took place the second tournament of the National Snooker Championship which is held in Bucharest. This is a different event from the one that I have been writing before (the local league which is held in Brasov, my hometown). It is also not the first, but the second league in importance from which the first top 4 players qualify in the first league each year.
The hardest thing to do this time was deciding whether to go or not and I already had a backup plan to go hiking again this week. Just the thought that I will have to get up at 5AM after getting to sleep 3-4 hours made me think “oh no you are not gonna do that again” but, of course it happened and so I gave a few phone calls and we managed to form a group of three. I got picked up at 5:30 and the three of up went on what I would call a very pleasant 2,5 hour ride in which we joked all the way and were very positive.
We arrive half an hour earlier but just in time to have breakfast and regain some strength after the journey.
My companions started playing right ahead, from 9AM but I was supposed to start only at 2:00PM. I was horrified with the thought that I will have to wait another 5 hour time to start playing but eventually all worked just fine. I picked up my suit and gloves and started to referee a game – I got to practice a lot at this too because I want to become an international referee. You know, when you get in touch with this game it’s like, you have to do it, you have to play or do anything else related to the game of snooker. Even if you play so bad some time you still want to play more. It’s like a disease but a good one:)
A few minutes after I finished to referee my first game I was told that some players couldn’t come to the tournament and that I will be playing soon. I started practicing and was really pleased with the way I was played and so, after my 15 minutes of practice were over, I sat down comfortably waiting for my opponent. She was last year’s winner of the Ladies National Tournament and I was impressed right from the start with the way the was playing when I saw her in practice.
The first frame went quite fast and I was soon 1-0 down. The second didn’t start better either – half a frame over and I was already 30 points down. Just when all sort of thoughts started roaming my mind she missed a shot and I managed to start concentrating again and somehow steal the frame. From then it went from good to better and I managed to win the game with a final score of 3-1. It wasn’t at all an easy game and if the score went 2-0 instead of 1-1 I don’t think that I could have made a comeback.
I didn’t have time to sit more then five minutes because I had to referee another game. It was a quite long game or it just seemed so because I was so tired but it was nice also and it had a bit of drama in the end. It is great to be involved in the game even as a referee because you get to see a lot of shots and especially learn new stuff from good players.
At 4PM, after about 7 hours of snooker, I finally had one free hour in which had to wait for my opponent. He is one of the two roumanian’s Eurosport snooker commentators. Not only he is a good commentator but a good player too. He was part of the top 16 players for years and this year was his first season in the second league.
So here I was, after nearly eight full hours, playing the finalist of the first tournament in January. It was a close game and I think that the 3-0 score does not do justice for what happened. In the first two frames we had equal about of points when only 5 balls were left on the table but I lost them both at a very close margin. Only the 3rd frame was not that close but I had my chances too. I was pretty pleased with my performance even though I lost with this score.
It was a nice tournament and even if it was a full day of snooker, approximately eleven hours, it is always great to participate in this league in which players come from the entire country.
All the best!