FL thoughts as the tournament is (mostly) over
Posted By: Rod
Date: Sunday, 20 October 2013, at 9:09 p.m.
Neal and his staff clearly put a lot of time and energy into the tournament. A lot of care and a lot of thought. The trophies (really really nice and very thoughtful) we emblematic of this - I hope you all get to see pictures of all of the trophies.
It was far better than what I expected... I'll explain...
First, the motel/hotel sounded less than stellar. And when you arrive and walk into the lobby and see the gift/tchotchke shop and the bottles of wine for sale by the check-in counter it dims one's hopes. However, the rooms were very serviceable and the restaurant food was extremely palatable, perhaps good.
And, Neal is, let's say, often impolitic. However, as a director and host you'd never know it - not for a moment. Perhaps that's simply because I hadn't had a lot if contact with Neal in the past and what little I did was through disputes or arguments with others to which I was privy. Let me reiterate, Neal was the most hospitable welcoming accommodating director he possibly could have been.
However, this extreme hospitality-minded attitude also created a few minor problems. Neal was not quick enough to make easy decisions, which allowed two that I know of to fester and become larger problems than they had to be. He formed committees each time - once when it should have been but wasn't decisive enough in his original quasi-decision/non-decision and the other time for an easy call where neither player disputed what happened and the rule is crystal clear).
Also, out of a desire to "spread the wealth", so to speak, I almost had my scorpion trophy rescinded so that it could be given to someone who hadn't won anything. It made me feel a bit bad but I had participated in certain events and actively sought out certain opponents all weekend, going through something of an effort, to win those trophies.
The events that ran ran smoothly. However, for one reason or another some events (including the board event and the blitzes) never happened.
The Calcutta went over by about an hour. However, that caused no problems from a time standpoint - possibly because ofthe missing side events.
I talked with a few people here about the tournament. The general consensus was that Neal will have many suggestions in his suggestion box... but it's not entirely unexpected from a green live tournament director.
All in all I had a nice time (wins and losses aside). I hope Neal repeats the tournament next year. And I hope more folks make it down here to support a very dedicated director and staff.
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