A Player’s Perspective. ~Paul Potier

Canadian Paul Potier participated in the 2015 Chinese 8-Ball World Championships, which took place in Yushan County of Shangrao city of Jiangxi Province on January 21st-February 2nd. Below is a detailed account of all aspects of his experience.

Travel

Once we arrived at our airport we were met by volunteers to help us get to our hotel. However, many of us arrived too late to take the last bullet train to Yushan so they bussed us to the train station and put us up at the hotel there. In the morning, the tournament organizer and the volunteers met with us and helped us get on the bullet train. It was a two and half hour ride at approximately 300 kilometers an hour. When we arrived at the train station in Yushan, we were met by many volunteers who organized us on to two chartered busses.

There were many billiard fans at the station to welcome us and witness our arrival. It seemed that the whole city—no, the whole country—knew that we were coming.

Traffic in China

From a foreigner’s perspective, it appears that there are no or very few rules to driving in China. All day everyday we witnessed cars, buses, taxis, rickshaws, mini trucks, mopeds, etc. moving in all directions on the roads and streets. They were also almost constantly on their horns, warning others of their approach. I never saw an accident, but I did notice that the vehicles never moved at a very fast pace. They got where they were going, slowly but surely. Good peripheral vision is a must there.

Venue

There were three venues used for meetings, practice, and matches for stage one; The two hotels that all the players were staying at, and a school auditorium. All stage two matches were played in the auditorium and table #1 was the TV table, but there were three tables that were being streamed online. The matches played on table #1 were filmed during all stages of the tournament.

A players’ lounge, media room, interview room, and practice room were all provided at the auditorium for the entire tournament. The players’ lounge was spacious with comfortable seating, and provided a large screen TV to watch the live matches on table #1. It was also constantly stocked with drinks, sandwiches, and snacks for the players. The International players stayed at The Yutai International Hotel, while the Chinese players stayed at another. The Hotels provided three complimentary meals a day. Meals were served banquet-style, and at least two and a half hours were offered for each meal time.

Food

The food at the hotel was always buffet style and was OK, but it was pretty much the same food every day with occasional changes to lunch and dinner. The special dinners however—like on opening day—were always fabulous. They never seemed to stop bringing more dishes, and there were many choices as well. A feast in every sense of the word. I never saw so many bottles of water in my life. They were always supplying us with bottled water; at the venue, i