Recently on the July 4th week I got to bowl a megabucks tourney in Las Vegas . Rather than mention the who , what and where, I decided to focus on the how, how do you prepare for this type of tournament and what is it like. This format is different , with qualifying squads and a separate chance tournament as well. The pattern was a 36ft special pattern designed to test your ability to adjust to the constant friction on the lane , and this time mother nature decided to step in and pick up a large amount of humidity as well.

Tournaments can be mentally challenging , as well as physical. Early morning squads with very little sleep on a lumpy bed in a town that is always awake and tempting you with the shiny machines, glamorous shows and late night whatever you want. First of all , you are there to bowl, not party. Vegas is always there for parties and you need to set a schedule as though you were a Pro bowler in a major event. Get to bed early, utilize the many types of protein foods available cheap. Hopefully the bed won’t be too lumpy. If the tournament has a sweeper or other pre-qualifier tournaments by all means bowl one or two of those before you bowl your qualifier , it will give you a look at the conditions how to adjust your equipment and might just make you a dollar or two as well. After you have a good look and have adjusted your equipment to suit, get a good nights sleep and bowl your qualifier. If you have a second entry for a qualifier choose a squad time or times so you can see both fresh oil and a bit of burn out. You never know what will be better and you get the best chance to qualify. After that is all said and done and you have made it , bowl the other events if available , sweepers or chance events or whatever they have and try to make some money and have fun.

If brackets are your thing enter as many as you can afford, because you never know how the pairings will go and that 190 might just get you in the money. Above all don’t get discouraged, many bowlers have done as bad or worse than you think and you can always get it back the next frame or game. Keep focused , keep your energy up, eat well, drink lots of water and rest when you can. Give some of these tournaments a try, they can be challenging and fun and if your good enough or sometimes lucky enough profitable. For those of you wondering how I fared this last week, I missed the main cut in my division by 13 pins but I did manage to cash in a chance event at 24th and 20th good for 93 bucks and a two ball shoulder bag! More from the world of competitive bowling another time