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Old 06-10-2019, 09:37 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Philly Pa
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Default The real Philly Tournament Update Thread

Originally Posted by Miller View Post

As a caveat, doubled up this trip as a mini family vacation with Staci and Frankie….

Decide to get to the airport early – everything is full, takes about 45 minutes to find parking.

Get through security, eat lunch in the terminal. Hop in the restroom to take a whiz – family is waiting on me and a man standing next to them has a massive heart attack and dies right there. Wife and daughter are both traumatized and inconsolable for quite some time….

Flight gets delayed about 4 hours.

Finally getting on plane (last boarding group), a storm rolls through, power goes off – airline scanner/software goes down, can’t board the plane yet. Finally get on, plane sits there another 30 minutes or so due to lightening. Did manage to sit next to John and Jeanne who had the same flight.

Touch down in Philly, wait about 45 minutes for a shuttle and off to the car rental place – what could possibly go wrong there? Well….there was only one guy working (who was possibly the most passive aggressive person I’ve ever encountered – at least none of it was directed at me….I think). Forty-five minutes or so later, on I-95 heading north to the hotel (more about I-95 later….).

Figure out that Roosevelt Road in the most convoluted thoroughfare to ever exist (but by the end of the trip, I was navigating it like a champ). Arrive at the hotel around midnight, John and Jeanne are outside having a smoke and inquire what took so long to get there – I digress and leave out the details.

Check in, the hotel is over-booked (even though I made reservations directly with them in February).

Staci and Frankie sleep on a queen-sized bed, I sleep on a thin sofa “mattress” pull-out that had piss and/or cum stains all over it. There is a plastic bag with a sheet and one blanket in the closet that smell moldy – past caring at this point. Throw the sheet on the pull out and eventually figure out that I can hang my legs over the lower pull out frame/bar and rotate every 30 minutes or so when the circulation gets cut off…..

Clark Griswold has got nothing on Dustin Miller.


After about two hours of legitimate “sleep” alarm goes off way too early. Thursday is designated NYC day. Staci and Frankie are chipper and ready to go. For some reason, my lower back isn’t working right.

Hop in the shower, get ready, figure out how to stand erect again. Downstairs to rectify the lodging arrangement. Run into John, he’s as happy as can be and on his way to go golf with Mitch and Nick. Arrive at the front desk – advise the lady working there that I needed to have a conversation with the manager. Rolls her eyes and huffs. When prompted, advised her that this is a managerial discussion I need to have and inquire about a concert with the boss once again. Not happening. So, I provide the cliff notes version and stated desk employee is highly suspicious of my plight. Conversation goes south real quick. Finally speak to a gentleman who identifies himself as the General Manager – we didn’t start out well, so I offer to him the opportunity to accompany me to the room to see the piss/cum stains on the aforementioned pull out sleeper mattress for himself. He declines and we decide it is in our mutual benefit to rectify the situation. This gentleman has apparently had some formal customer service training, we shake hands, room is comped, and we are able to move to another room on the newly remodeled second floor later that evening.

Up I-95 to NYC. The good about I-95. What I like about I-95 from Philly to NJ/NYC is that cars have their lanes and trucks have theirs. It must have cost an exponential fortune and civil engineering expertise to build and maintain it. I marveled at the all the stored shipping cargo containers (literally thousands of them) and a couple of chemical process plants/refineries around the metropolitan areas.

Parking at the Liberty State Park is easy to get to and affordable. We get on a ferry at the marina, across the Hudson River and get off at the World Financial Center terminal in Manhattan. A $20 cab ride and 10 minutes later we are at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum (when leaving, I figure out that it is literally right across the street – that cabbie saw this tourist/sucker coming from a mile away….).

I’ll admit, I privately wasn’t fond of the idea of the crowd, lines, etc. to see the 9/11 Memorial and Museum (or NYC for that matter), but it is something that Staci and Frankie really wanted to do. I am glad we went. We spent about three hours there – it is something that every American should see and experience. We have a $100 lunch (still not fond of that) at some trendy seafood restaurant and back across the Hudson for a series of additional ferry rides to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. I never want to ride and/or wait on a ferry again. Only got on the wrong one once.

Back down I-95 to Philly to see my Blues win on the hotel room TV and a queen-sized bed.


Staci and Frankie to hang out at the hotel pool while I go to the pool room!

See Jim in the hotel hallway and meet his lovely wife. Arrive at 10 AM and briefly chat with Steve and Darrell. Go inside Bluegrass Billiards and meet Dominick and take in the room. #1 – Dominick is from the John Lavine type of mold – he “gets it.” #2 – What a room. Bluegrass Billiards is very similar to what I envision a smaller version of if I can ever retire comfortably and swing my own place…..

Get a table, hit some balls, finally meet Larry in person, exchange pleasantries with all the guys. Check out some of Mark’s cues. About “all the guys” – what a neat group we have here – I can say without hesitation that I really enjoy the company and respect the overwhelming vast majority of the group. I don’t think anyone is a chump (there are plenty of us “B” players) but we also certainly have some who can flat out play.

Steve does the calcutta, I collect the cheddar. I buy Nick for $100 and Jim for $150. Nick immediately wants half of himself, Jim not so much (uh-oh…). Jeanne keeps it all straight on a spreadsheet, gathers table time monies for the room, and does an excellent job managing the brackets, scheduling matches, anticipating issues, etc. as the Tournament Director. About John Long’s wife – Jeanne…. She is as sharp as a tack and did a great job over the weekend as she has done twice in Memphis. Thank you, Jeanne.

First match. Draw Robert’s pal – “Diamond Dean” – Dean Ragland. Dean is a giant of a man. I’d guess about 6’7” or so…. Anyway, we both play bad. Dean played less bad. I miss a straight in shot for the first game, Dean gets out. Second game, I try to follow a ball in but don’t. Third game, miss another shot I am supposed to make, Dean runs two or three for the W.

I’m pissed off and disgusted at myself and leave for a breather. Get back to the hotel and Staci floats the idea of checking out the Liberty Bell. The bad about I-95. It is an absolute mess around the downtown area. We do the Liberty Bell thing and have dinner at an Italian restaurant called LaScala’s – pretty good chow.


Make it to the pool room a little after 10 AM, most guys are there hitting balls already. You can feel the competitive spirit ratcheted up a bit from the prior day. I’m intent on winning a couple, hit some balls, and fix my flawed set up from the day prior (I really was dialed in prior to this event….I swear….)

Draw Dan and we have a long/competitive match and I’m not feeling as bad (or at least not terrible) losing 3-1 to such a good player. It is what it is.

Told my family that morning – win or lose, I was going to stay at the pool room for a while. Had a couple of beers, sweated Robert v Dan with some local guys and Dean, met Mitch’s wife Regina and his mom (now I know why Mitch is such a great guy), and was able to chat with my pal Fast Eddie about the ponies and other things for a while.

Around 5:30 PM, headed back to the hotel for dinner with my family (that always comes first for Miller). We splurged for Red Lobster.


Planned on getting back to the pool room late afternoon to sweat the final matches but didn’t make it.

Took the family to Atlantic City (passed a real cool looking boiler house on the NJ side of the Ben Franklin Bridge), we hit the beach and checked out the whole boardwalk scene. By the time we got back to the hotel, looked at my phone and Dave/Ben were well into their championship match. Congrats on the tourney Dave and honorable mention to Ben and JR.

Watched the Blues lose Game #6 at home (how surreal to be watching this in a hotel room in Philly….).


Didn’t get to hang out at the pool room much (but will at the next one….)

My wife and daughter had a good time, took plenty of pictures for their social media stuff, etc.

I should have played better – but I always say that.

Always good to see my bros.

Until next time…..


Now THAT was a write up! Miller you could be a writer. It was awesome seeing you buddy, as it always is. Sorry about the travel troubles (death eek). I only wished that we could spend more time, but as usual you were doing the right thing with your family. Next time I’m collecting my dinner, and more Miller-Time!
Mitch needs to remember to play the score and that it's better to win than to look like a hero.
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