Things in and out of work have been extremely hectic these last couple weeks so I apologize that it's taken me so long to chime in with some input.
Going into this tourney, I thought to myself "well, @angryjay93 will be there. Buuuuut no @kingraph, no @smozoma, no @corbettkb, no wild card @CoachMac (who beat Raph game 1 of a 3 game series in the tourney last year)... hmm... I may be able to make a run for a 2nd place finish... maybe?" I couldn't have been more mistaken. I find out while I'm driving to GB that while most of those guys won't be there, Raph will be making it in. Oh boy. Annnnd Darik (don't know Mr Aho's forum name) and @LeifErikson will be there. So that rounded out the threats that I knew about., that didn't even include Mr @MikeGartner22 who I had never met or played until that weekend. I completely forgot about The Shield who is solid through and through. He actually ended up knocking me out of the tourney as well. Regardless, for me, the live tourneys have always been a place for fun first and foremost and I was excited that there was some great competition. My only regret is not getting to play more games. Those weekends go by way too fast.
While I had such an incredible time and always look forward to the next tourney, this wouldn't have been possible without troy @Edge of 94' WI. He took everything that was good (and even things he sought feedback on) from last year's tournament and made everything better across the board this year. His passion to run a seamless and fun tournament is clearly evident in the final product. Both the Gens and SNES formats ran seamlessly. Big thanks to our ref who stuck it out the entire day collecting submissions to enter scores!
Other things that I felt just made the tourney this year to name a few:
1. Plenty of CRTs for games (There were no lcds -- I understand this isn't typical given venue restrictions and accessibility but it really made a difference)
2. Lighting was darker (no overhead fleurorescent bulbs)
3. Plenty of space
4. Food and drink offered (last year was a soft opening at the VR arcade so this was a welcome surprise this year)
4. Plenty of printouts to record results
5. Small details like the pens and coins on top of every tv already there at the start of the day
6. Huge fan of the national anthem singing (I know @Edge of 94' WI said his voice was a little strained but he boomed out both anthems in fashion)
It was great to see the Dmen's tap crew there this year again. @DPS @mort1237 Phil @Green Majik Those guys are ramping up quickly in NHL and can't wait to see how they progress in more tourneys. I will be at Dmen Tap again to play them soon.
For a second year in a row @Votaw drove solo all the way there from St. Louis. He is always up for games and he never has a mean thing to say about anything or anyone... a complete pleasure to hang out with the whole weekend.
Really missed seeing @smozoma @CoachMac @corbettkb this year. I definitely look forward to seeing you guys at these tourneys.
@kevincabarello I'm incredibly sorry for your loss and you were one of the first guys I asked about when I got to GB. I was devastated to hear the news. Be strong and I hope to see you in Chicago or New York this year.
Congrats to @kingraph & @angryjay93. These guys are the champions for good reason. Not only do they consistently play at another level but they are class acts all the way. Special thanks to these 2 for calling my SNES series vs Troy!
I couldn't believe what AJ had to go through to get to the tourney on Sat. After the bad buffet offerings that almost killed him last year and traveling around the entire US just to get to GB this year, I'm really hoping for some smooth sailing for him next year. After my drive with AJ to get him to Ohare, I was actually just happy to get him back to the airport alive. Especially due to the snowstorm, we encountered where we saw over a dozen cars, trucks, semis in ditches with people still in the vehicles on the ride back home... and we were in a little 2 dr coupe. I kept thinking "I'm pretty nervous... buuuut I can't be as nervous as the guy sitting next to me from Cali!" haha
I just want to wrap this up by saying Troy has quickly become a great asset to the NHL94 community. He's a great play by play announcer, host, singer and planner... the guy does it all. I hope that he can continue to host this tournament in GB every year. Thanks again @Edge of 94' WI for all your tireless efforts!