Positive Access Point
By John Baker
TAT’s the way I like it!
In our quest for fair tournaments we found yet another one. True Amateur Tournaments (TAT) based in Las Vegas , Nevada. Hats (or bowling shoes) off to Jamie McWilliams, who takes on the majority of the stress and his hard working staff who take on the crazies of everything else. The staff ran the tournament efficiently, even though it was really busy. They run the TAT tournaments which caters only to amateurs and offers them a chance for a big payday ($20,000 First ) . I participated in the tournament this week and although I did struggle to score ( I won’t tell you what I rolled) I found the scoring conditions difficult but fair. This tournament is going to test you!, not only how well you can adjust to the changing lane conditions but also mentally with the different squad times, being in a distracting environment like Vegas and all the little things like staying in a hotel.
After having a quick chat with Jamie, who by the way is only 27, had taken over most of the responsibilities from his father who ran the tournament 10+ years and has an excellent grasp on fair play. He explained quite plainly, that the pattern laid down was essentially the same each time, with minor tweaks so that no one player could learn the pattern well enough to out score all others, thus winning the majority of side pot play or the main tournament. With this variation it allowed a greater number of people to score higher than others like in league, each lane is different even though the pattern is the same. You can score really well one week and suck the next. It constitutes a happy medium for fair play for all. Some changes were made this year to help competitors in every field range, such as a change from 1 in 10 to a 1 in 8 win ratio. Other things like asking one or two competitors not to return because even though they were still within the limits of the rules, technically they were way above amateur status and it would be unfair to let them run away with the tournaments and side pots. Jamie and his staff have made this one of the best amateur tournaments around. Even though you may grumble, you can’t blame the lanes or the pattern. The TAT will show up all your weaknesses and if nothing less, make you a more aware and a better bowler. A quick warning though, bring the entire arsenal, I mean everything you’ve got, cause you never know what you’ll need. Also, some good advice which I learned during this tournament, sign up for some of the second chance squads first, in order to see the pattern and prep your equipment to better suit the lanes. This way when you finally bowl in the qualifier you’ll have some ideal of what your balls will do on the pattern and how better to play it. Oh by the way, the second chance squads are not a second chance to qualify but only a second chance to take home some money, it is however a great chance to see the pattern.
There are several packages ranging from $295 for the basic up to $895 for the marathon package. Each package also features 2 bowling balls , some packages feature additional qualifying squads as well as other ways to make some cash, not to mention side pot action and brackets. The entry fees may seem a little pricey but in all honesty their not. You get a lot of bang for whatever your able to spend. Even the $295 package comes with a ball, qualifying entry and three chance squads and if you stay in the hotel you’ll get another entry for a chance squad. Add that up in your head.
This over all was a great week of learning and a chance at cashing for the big bucks. I wish to thank Jamie, his staff ( I know Jamie gets the top billing even though the staff says they do it all ) , Brad and the Gold Coast for the opportunity to bowl in this event and I will defiantly be returning, you should join me. There is another one in July which is much smaller but the earlier TAT is awesome so I will be seeing you in February for the TAT Winter Nationals 2013 !