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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby hogstrom » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:33 am

Steve wrote:What you need in these situations is someone who has such a bad hangover that they've almost lost the will to hold a joystick.. enter Durbs.. thanks mate 3-1, 3 points, a step away from the game of shame.


- Priceless! :lol:
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Wcups: 2005 (29:th), 2006 (15:th), 2007 (6:th), 2008 (6:th), --, 2010 (12:th), --, --, --, 2014 (5:th), 2015 (12:th)...
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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby Robert Swift » Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:28 am

Sid it sounds like you quite enjoyed yourself! It was great to see you again. See you in Milan ;-)
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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby Sid » Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:37 am

Robert Swift wrote:Sid it sounds like you quite enjoyed yourself! It was great to see you again. See you in Milan ;-)

If it's like Rome with cars on steps guaranteed, then I will most likely be there...
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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby gdh82 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:47 pm

Exactly one week ago we were hectically making the final preparations after 6 months or so of planning. It'd been a steady climb, learning just what is involved in hosting but finally we'd arrived at Mount WC. Tbh it feels quite an achievement to have reached the summit. As I've said before none of it would be possible without the collective KOA effort. We should all be proud imo. 8)

If truth be told, there would not even have been a Birmingham World Cup at all were it not for Steve's infectious enthusiasm! Previously we'd thought it wasn't the right time for us, yet Evil's unlimited energy won us over and one Spring night the decision was made. We never looked back......

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FRIDAY - 11.11.11

Arriving at the hotel on the friday afternoon with Si I felt a mixture of organiser anxiety and player excitement. Yet after all the preparations we were more than ready to get on with it, and entering the tournament room it felt like arriving at a football stadium early. Anticipation was in the air! The real World Cup buzz began as we met our KOA friends! This annual reunion of ours creates such a special gathering spirit that never ceases to impress me. Friday evening is all about the draw of course and we were thrilled that Steve Screech and Cameron agreed to get involved. 8) Robert was world class on the microphone while updated the big screen and forgot to play the music :oops: but it was just fine in the end. Afterwards, our friday night plans of a stroll through the lights and sounds of Broad Street on the way to the restaurant didn't quite pan out as we'd planned, thanks to the weather. I could not apologize enough for the soggy pitch start to the weekend, but thankfully our german and austrian friends seemed most accomodating at this typically english weather. Alkis quipped that 'friday night meal' was code for 'very long walk'. :lol: Drying off at John O'Groats/Penny Blacks ;) , I enjoyed the super-sized food, some good conversation and the Joust beer was the ideal remedy. Later but before heading back from the hotel, I just had time to grab a scart lead from the tourney room for Andy and the boys to get in some late night friendlies....

SATURDAY

With about about as much sleep as a kid on christmas eve I awoke on World Cup morning. :D My daughter, Hannah, joined me for the short trip to the KOA Hotel. She and Ste's sister Sandra would be helping us with the scores, and what a great team they made. Thank you both very much again. I cannot thank Sandra enough for taking Hannah under her wing and was thrilled to see how well they were getting on.

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Team Hannah and Sandra!
(C) Gianni

To start the event, we'd planned an opening ceremony. We wanted to it be fun and we wanted everyone to feel apart of things right from the off!

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Team Italy!

Cheers followed Steve Kubrick's oscar-nominated short feature :no1: and it surely was time to let the games to begin!!! 8) After Robert had urged everyone to be mindful of empty amigas and complete their games at a rate of three per hour, I went about my own games..... and managed a paltry three games in almost three hours!!! As co-organiser there was always something to be dealing with, from hardware failures to format questions, that playing KO2 got overlooked!!

To say there were no easy games is a cliche of course but this time it really was true. With our hoped-for debutants having to pullout, there were no newbies attending and everyone had at least some tournament experience.

Garry C Graham S 6-1
Garry C Michael Ma 2-4
Peter S Garry C 2-4


My own World Cup got started when Gra invited me for a game. Top marks to Sutty for attending despite his back injury. I had jitters big time in this game which was very much up for grabs until late on. Afterwards Gra said he too had the shakes but this was down to the alcohol the night before! :lol: Enjoyed meeting up with Michael Ma again and his improved KO2 was impressive. Our games were uncomfortably challenging and Michael's superiour finished deservedly earned him victory first time round. I got back to winning ways, though not very convincingly, against the friendly Peter S.

Hannie was hungry and needed a break by this point so we took lunch next. I was a man with a mission after lunch. Win, draw or lose I would play game after game after game. The priority to play may even have helped my KO2 as outcomes proved favourable, though often close.

Garry C Mark W 4-3
Mark W Garry C 1-6
Garry C Frederic B 3-1
Frederic B Garry C 1-3
Garry C Steve C 4-3
Steve C Garry C 4-3


My match against Durban could easily have gone either way. Seedings meant nothing! The games with Freddy - my first official one meeting - were other games were both players lay claim to victory but again I edged it. Camberman was a first major scalp, the 3 points once again by a hair's width. Camberman deservedly levelled in the second leg however. The gent that he is, it's always a pleasure to play him, win or lose.

Michael Ma Garry C 3-5
Garry C Peter S 7-2
Graham S Garry C 2-4
Garry C Alkis P 3-6
Alkis P Garry C 6-3
Garry C Wayne L 9-1
Wayne L Garry C 1-6


I had to steel myself in the rematch against Michael to try to reverse the earlier result. I managed it - just! My re-match against Peter S was more comfortably but I needed a get-out-of-jail comeback against Gra. 0-2 down at HT and a player down this was a rabbit-out-of-a-hat 4-2 victory for me. Sutty felt swindled and rightly so. My run of wins came to an end against Alkis though. By way of consolation he handed me his 'You've been beaten by' calling card! :lol: It was great to see Waynie in action again, someone who I still remember vividly and fondly from the UKCs '06, my first ever tournament. Anyone who knows him, knows what a friendly guy he is, so I hope we get to see more of him from now on. I was pleased he'd brought his family too, as did Jon and Evil and with Si's sister and my daughter been present, it gave the weekend a much more rounded feel, making it arguably less geeky. Okay, maybe I'm stretching it there! :)

With the matches complete we did the Gold Cup draw, again supported by Screech and Son. After dropping my daughter home, booking in at the hotel, then losing my key, I dashed downstairs and off to Bowlplex, where the party atmosphere was going on, with all fancy dress! :lol: For the bowling, we'd grouped into 4 teams, England WCOs, 'Alkis' Bitches' (or so I was told! :lol:), the Germans and a Anglo-German hybrid. All I know is that we didn't win. I don't remember bowling being this hard and hit the gutters far to often. Cameron took a star turn, however, and scored higher than myself, Steve E and was level with Mr Screech Snr until the very last bowl! For convenience we grabbed burgers+fries+beers inside and I enjoyed chatting with Helmut, Klaus, Thorsten and Gianni.

With Day One complete (well almost) we felt some relief as we walked back to the hotel. The organising duties were giving way to having fun again. And who should we bump into next but Mr Fun himself, Sid! 5 minutes later we were in the hotel bar, and with his hat-trick whisky, the suggestion came! Getting access to the tourney room wouldn't be easy though. Initially the hotel staff REFUSED! We weren't giving up that easily of course and been outnumbered 5 v 1 the guy didn't have a chance. Sid was very persuasive too saying you let us in here or we wake up the residents from out hotel room! :lol: In the end, realising that we were KO2 nuts in the best possible way he gave way, and saying 'you guys are crazy!' :)

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'KO2 Playtime' during Day 1.5!
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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby gdh82 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:50 pm

SUNDAY

Day two began earlier than I expected, and for Si and Ste too! I swear I heard the neighbouring door open and close, so thinking it was you guys, got in touch. But it wasn't - sorry guys! Feeling rough, I hoped that a 'full english' might improve my condition so carried on downstairs only to find I was 15 mins too early for breakfast too! Returning to my room, I heard Si and Ste for real this time, and greeting them in the hallway, lost my key (again) and locked myself out of the room! Ste seemed the most worse for wear of the three of us but made an instant recovery thanks to his 3 course breakfast! :lol: Today Si's sister Claire was kindly helping us out but at the last minue we needed a second person. Thankfully Cameron stood up to the plate. 8)

There were several people who I hoped to play friendlys with (you know who you are) but time was against me, sadly. The one I did fit in was significant though - against Mr Screech himself. Twice in Dusseldorf, I lost and yesterday I managed a draw. There's something about Steve's game that I just can't handle. It was, however, time to break the hoodoo against my hero! :) 6-1 I managed it!!! Although a friendly, it felt like something in the cosmic order of things had realigned or something!!! Was the SIX-1 scoreline an omen in some way :?: As we finished I jokingly remarked perhaps today was the day to break a few more spells too......


GOLD GROUP STAGE

Garry C Frank F 3-3
Garry C Michael Ma 5-2
Garry C Gianni T 1-9


For me every gold group-stage match felt extra tense. Every encounter was sudden death. We all had 7 bites of the cheery to aim for the top half of the table (and hence the QFs). An incrediably tight opener with Frank really got my nerves jagged right from the start. Frank cruised into an early 2-0 lead and I think a mistake by him let me back in, and the table-quaked with Frank's frustration. At 3-3 it still didn't seem over with chances going begging, particularly for my opponent. I was perhaps more grateful that he for my one and only draw of the weekend. Next-up, was the mighty Michael Ma, where after yesterday's W1-L1 encounter, this was a 50-50 game for sure. Once again, I needed to be super-focused to achieve victory in the battle with my mate Michael. Glad to have a win under my belt, I was to face Gianni next. What resistence could I offer? Judging by the fact that his first three attacks produced goals, very little! The King is a different class of course so I was just pleased to avoid a double-digit defeat at least.

Simon K Garry C 0-3
Simon B Garry C 6-8
Garry C Jon G 3-2
Garry C Robert S 3-4


Simon K had an outstanding Day One and had started on fire today beating Robert and Simon B. Like he is to Evil, I'm sometimes Si's achielles heel, and so it proved today. It wasn't that I was playing particularly well but rather it just didn't happen for Si in our game. Of course I was happy for my low-maintenance win, though I could still feel for Si too. Hardlines mate but you still had a great WC and even -belatedly - won the b*****d best defence!! This win opened up the possibility of my first ever quarter final appearance! I had to give it a go. MC Simon B was my next gold group opponent, in what proved to be a memorable 14-goal thriller. If I remember Si always had an answer in this match, which I felt I was always chasing. The goals were coming though so I was hanging in there. Mid-to-late in the second half I got my nose in front for the first time and the late 8th proved decisive. Si graciously congratulated me on the victory. By the time I played Jon it held been proved mathematically that I was in the QF! Me in the QF ffs! Anything else was a bonus now. I don't know how I come away with another victory but I did. Like Birmingham City team under Alex McCleish my team was organised, hardworking with a limited supply of talent! Just like Blues in the League Cup Final, I made a little go and long way and secured an unlikely 3-2 win. My final group stage game was against Robert who had also qualified for the QFs at this stage. This was the reverse of the Simon B match. I took an early lead which I maintained for the vast majority of the game, and could even see the finish line in sight before Rob not only equalised but later with 20+ seconds to go, scored the winner. You are the Man Utd of KO2 with your late goals but well played Swifty!

Between the group stage and the knockout stage we had some organisational scares, that still give me the shivers! Although ultimately mistaken behind the scenes there were some concerns that some players had accidentally played the wrong fixtures!!!! WTF! Not only was time against us but the fixtures too. Claire kept her cool brilliantly during this uncertain period. Thankfully those fears were misplaced and we're back on track. With our Osenbruck friends leaving at 4pm, we had barely 20 minutes for both the Shootout of Shame and The Silver Cup Final. Sadly there was simply no time for the big screen setup - apologies again - so we took the only decision available to us and that was to play both matches side by side. Players nevertheless gathered around these machines to create an audience. Really pleased for Jorg who's such great company to have at any World Cup to claim the Silver Cup! 8) Thomas proved worthy with two penalty so the Shirt of Shame should go to Wolf again! 8)



KNOCKOUTS AND PLAYOUTS

Quarter Finals:
Lorenzo C Garry C 4-3
Garry C Lorenzo C 1-7


It was a thrill to play in a QF! Knowing it could be my last, I even had my one and only pre-match photo taken! :lol: Beforehand I had no idea how good Lorenzo is but he is damn good. The better player won and the second leg scoreline better reflects the difference between us. Congratulations on your fine achievement this World Cup. Like others have said, your KO2 improvements are inspiring, and your first leg semi-final against Gianni was awesome! Good luck Lorenzo in taking it further still.


Places 5-8:
Steve E Garry C 4-3
Garry C Steve E 4-2


I was out of the competiton but I was happy! Against Evil, I remember we both laughed when I said 'I really don't give a s**t about our game!'. :lol: Places 5-8th were up for grabs and yet it felt like any old just-for-fun game. Ste was having an amazing tourney too, only going out in the QFs after an losing epic 3-5 and 5-8 to Gianni over two legs. Facing me next must have been a bit of a comedown to say the least! :) Don't think either of us really cared, but I won again!


Place 5 Final:
Robert S Garry C 3-2
Garry C Robert S 3-3



In my final match of the tournament, I'd face Mr Microphone once more. These matches were so tight it was torture! I don't think I could even bear to watch these games again such was the tension. After Rob edged the first leg 3-2, the second leg was our 29th game of the tournament, I think! I was KO2ed out and losing my sanity tbh. In fact with the aggregate score 5-3 to Rob, I thought the match was over at HT and went to shake his hand. 'No, no, we've got another half to play yet', Robert reminded me urgently. 'And I bet you'll come back now' he added! And I did - making it 5-5!!! :lol: Rob had that last laugh though when just like earlier, he scores the decisive goal with less than 30 seconds to go. We were both happy of course. He with his 5th spot. And me with my 6th postion. Did you catch that Simon K - 6th best player, not just in the UK but 6th best player in the World! :p :)


The awards ceremony was great fun and a fitting end. Rob did another star turn on the microphone inviting all of us to say something (even if we'd rather not! :)) while the 'handsome/lovely/super Simon King' handed out the medals. Nice touch there Rob! :)


Thank you to everyone who helped pack up the room afterwards, especially to George and Ecktoras, Klaus, Helmut, Michael and Cornelius. I really couldn't think straight by this stage and didn't know what I was doing so your help was vital! We then headed over to TGI Fridays and it felt almost like we had the restuarant to ourselves! For me, as organiser and player, although I was thrilled with how it all went, I was also feeling 'thank god it's finished'! The atmosphere there was so relaxed and comfortable. The restaurant was decked out with all manner of americana, with links to famous films and faces, but being a sentimental softy that I am, I looked around and saw that I was really surrounded by a bunch of our very own KOA celebrities! :D

Love the passions, love the friendships, love it all. Long live the KOA!


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The KOA Class of 2011
(C) Alkis
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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby alkis21 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:59 pm

Friday

Painfully aware of the fact that the world cup is now a luxury that I cannot afford, but indulge in anyway, I began my journey. The first part was a lonely one as Ektoras and George were flying to London and there were no other Greeks. I did however meet Thorsten in Frankfurt, and he bought me a coffee because as he said he owned me one after all the mistakes he made when posting German tournament results. :) By some amazing coincidence, probably because we had booked early, we were seated next to each other on the plane and spent the 90 minutes talking about Kick Off in an otherwise quiet flight. I'm sure we managed to confuse the hell out of the passengers who kept hearing about goals, tournaments, cups from two people who didn't really look like professional athletes. We arrived at Birmingham and I was gutted when I collected a broken suitcase - luckily I had my joystick in my hand luggage. We met Peter (K) and called the taxi service that Steve had kindly booked for us. I really like it when someone attends a world cup for the first time in his home country and likes the experience so much he decides to travel abroad a year later. So many people promise to do it but few deliver. Our conversations then inevitably shifted to Greek economy, the guys were curious to hear my point of view on the situation. I was a bit apprehensive about this before I left because I didn't know how people would receive me, I'm honestly ashamed that my country is on foreign news all the time for the wrong reasons. But everyone I talked to during the weekend was very considerate about this.

Peter: How do you feel that foreigners are telling you how to run your country?
Alkis: I'm happy about it. We sure as hell can't run ourselves.
Peter: Most people in Greece don't seem to agree with you.
Alkis: Most people in Greece are idiots. I'd welcome a German prime minister at this point.
Thorsten: You can have her.


We were a bit unsure as to where exactly we were supposed to wait for the taxi. I decided to consult another driver, although his English was worse than mine he correctly pointed me to the parking lot. The taxi arrived a few minutes later, the driver was quite a nice guy and we all had a long chat where we explained the reason for our visit ("Is it on Spectrum?") and talked about football in general. We arrived at the hotel and as always greeted by one familiar face after another. I knew almost everyone there but I didn't know Andy, and he surprised me by saying "I'm a Cypriot" in fluent Greek! He explained to me that both his parents are from Cyprus, which he visits every year. He is a very nice guy and I'm glad I met him. It was also great meeting Dr. Wayne's family, Aom and Anson (surely misspelled, sorry).

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That Friday night moment when you meet friends you haven't seen for a year and get a bunch of friendly handshakes and hugs is one of my favorites of the world cup experience. My old acquaintances Helmut and Klaus, my Italian brother Gianni, Cornelius with his big cartoon smile, the Screecher with that awesome son of his, Don Rodolfo, that gentleman Durban, the Lo-Lo's, the Jo-Jo's, King Simon, Evil and Gaz and so many others. I always find it amazing that there are so many people in the KOA, a seemingly random group of blokes, who I would gladly invite to my house every weekend if we all lived nearby. The draw was spectacular thanks to the careful planning of the organizers and Steve's quality video editing skills.

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Our very long walk to the pub restaurant included an uninvited guest: rain! Being the tough dudes that we are we endured the torture without complaining. And the food was totally worth the trouble even though the loud music was kind of a bummer because we couldn't have group conversations. By the way I'm glad that Simon had everyone's choice on a list because I couldn't understand his way or pronouncing 'tiramisu' in a hundred years. Rodolfo, Robert and I had a special gift for Steve Camber in order for all of us to celebrate our WC attendance.

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Saturday

A full day of Kick Off (16 matches) was about to begin. The tournament room was perfect for the purpose and I started by playing a few friendlies. I reminded myself of my three main goals in this tournament: Make it to my 10th quarter final in 10 WCs, win my 4th Best Defense trophy and reach 100 undefeated games in England. Out of my 8 opponents in my Round 1 group only one had managed to beat me in the past and I was playing him first!

Alkis P Vs Mark W: 10-1, 6-0

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It had been years since I last played durban, always a pleasure.

Alkis: Mark, why are you all the way to the edge of the table? Move closer.
Mark: Oh good! We'll cuddle!


Alkis P Vs Wayne L: 10-0, 6-4

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I didn't have many problems in our first match, but in the rematch Wayne managed to get these lethal shots he loves and he gave me a really hard time. By the way Hong Kong colors look much better on him than the English shirt.

Alkis: Good game Wayne, here's your "I lost to my friend Alkis" autograph and come take a picture with me.
Wayne: I don't know how you sleep at night, Alkis.


Alkis P Vs Steve C 7-2, 7-1

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Apparently I forgot to take a picture after my game with Camber! What a pity. A man I've lost points to before, I knew how much he enjoys the up/down play so I won our games by taking the action to the sides of the pitch.

Alkis P Vs Michael Ma: 12-1, 9-1

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I kept hearing about Michael's improvement before the tournament so I didn't want to take any chances, I gave him my best.

Alkis P Vs Peter S: 9-0, 14-2

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Our second match was the most interesting one. Wolf sat next to us demanding some double figures, he offered to buy me a beer if managed to score 10 goals and two beers if I managed to score 15! As you can see I had to settle for one. I hope I didn't open a dangerous can of worms by accepting compensation for a Kick Off match. Come to think of it, if we make a habit out of offering beers to the winners it won't be long before we see a German world champion!

Alkis P Vs Frederic B: 4-5, 9-1

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The horror! Alas, my undefeated streak in England stopped at 92 as it came to end by a player who had given me trouble in Dusseldorf but apparently I didn't learn my lesson. Robert noticed me struggling a couple of minutes before the end and came to offer loud support to the German. I managed to equalize a few seconds before the end only to concede one more on injury time. Well played by Frederic, a totally deserved win that broke many records of mine: My first defeat on English soil, the first German who ever beat me and only the 4th person who beat me during a WC Saturday (after George K, Nikos and Giacomo).

Frederic: My mother told me never to play against players who had a goal named after them.


Alkis P Vs Graham S: 8-0, 11-0

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Graham and I had a friendly chat during our games, very nice bloke.

Alkis P Vs Garry C: 6-3, 6-3

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At this rate, it won't be long before Garry manages to beat me. His regular practice has turned him into a player who rarely makes mistakes and his final position in this world cup is totally justified.

So these were my Saturday matches. Apart from one game I believe I played rather well and I was satisfied with my form. As I finished relatively early, I decided to go to my room for a breather and I amazingly found the corridor full of strippers! OK perhaps strippers is not the right word, they were dressed like Las Vegas showgirls (slutty ones, though) / Rio de Janeiro carnival queens, you get the idea. Lots of feathers, fishnet stockings, tiny shorts. In the middle of the afternoon! The first thing that crossed my mind was that I needed someone else to see them because otherwise nobody would believe me. So I ran and got Durban, who explained to me that it was a 'hen party' and they were dressed according to the custom. Fancy that... By the way several English told me afterwards that although this sight was not very common in the rest of the country, it was typical for Birmingham. Not sure how accurate this information is. Sorry no pictures, I was too shy to even ask (Ektoras wasn't, but they declined).

After recovering from the shock, I went for a short walk to a convenience store nearby (we NEED Cherry Coke in Greece) and ran into Donna and her daughter, Phoebe the star. Infants were everywhere in this world cup, such a beautiful sight.

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Jon (to his one year old son): This is Alkis. He's had a bad day because he just lost his first match in England ever.


Round 2 draw put the two Greeks in my group, something that horrified me as I knew they could both beat me. Little did I know at the time that Ektoras was going to save my world cup. But more on that tomorrow. Well done to the Birmingham organizers for their idea of having two groups of 8 instead of four groups of four in Round 2, it made the process so much more interesting but before. But shame on the muppet who wanted a Round 2 draw (me). I still think it was a good idea had we stuck with the four groups but it was absolutely unnecessary in this year's case as nobody can intentionally select opponents with this format, the groups change all the time. The way we did it, the four qualified players of Groups C and the ones of Group D ended up playing together again, something that practically nullified their Saturday efforts. Luckily, the Silver Groups did not have such an incident but we obviously can't leave this to chance. So for next year I'm going to advocate keeping the two groups of 8, but have a predetermined route instead of a draw that will ensure that no more than two players from R1 will end up in the same R2 group. I accept responsibility for this year's hiccup.

At this point I would like to express my gratitude to the score inputters for their patient and invaluable help: Steve E's sister Sandra, Garry's daughter Hannah, Simon's sister Claire and Steve S' son Cameron. I hope I got all names right.

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We went bowling on Saturday evening (thankfully no rain this time), and I was as crap as last year. Our team would have done better had it not been for Garry's organizer abuse: He transfered Sid from my team a minute before we started, and he ended up having the best score of all! By the way there were also some youngsters dressed in costumes there, what was that about? I guess costumes are very popular in Birmingham.

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My evening ended with Camber, durban and Rodolfo having dinner at Subway. Foot-long sandwiches rule.

Sunday

After breakfast with the Butt brothers, I took a look at my group and marveled at how difficult it was. I couldn't see a certain victory on sight. I then told some people that the semi-finals would probably be Gianni + three players from my group, and it turned out I was right. I didn't believe anyone would manage to win this undefeated so I was determined to keep trying for first place no matter how many points I drop.

Alkis P Vs Steve E: 5-3

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A very close game against an opponent who keeps improving his game every year. This good start did my confidence some good.

George Ka Vs Alkis P: 0-6

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The best keyboard player in the world was underperforming in this world cup and I took the opportunity for an easy win, I don't get many of those against him any more.

Alkis P Vs Oliver St: 4-4

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First point Oliver gets against me, and if anyone should be disappointed about this result it should be him as he missed a great chance to lead by 4-2 before I equalized in the counter attack. I then took the lead again but he scored one of his spectacular Stender-goal before the end for a well deserved draw.

Steve C Vs Alkis P: 1-7

Steve again, and by that point it had become obvious that he was not in his best form.

Alkis P Vs Lorenzo C: 3-7

Gianni called him Darth Vader, as in someone who changed his name and joined the dark side. I have a different Sci-Fi reference not just for him, but for all the Italian players: They are THE BORG. You remember how the Borg are initially killed by a shot of phaser but then become invulnerable to it as they quickly adapt? That's the way it is with the Italians. I finally figured it out, that is why most of them play poorly in their first year and then become amazing. I played a friendly against Lorenzo on Saturday and beat him too easily. On Sunday, he had adapted.

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I predict that next year a new Italian player will be at the world cup, named Giuseppe Patatino.

His joystick will look like this:

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He will avoid being in the Game of Shame at the last instant. Then in WC2013 he will beat me in the semi-final.

The only thing that the Italians don't resemble to Borg is that the bastards refuse to assimilate me.

Andy G Vs Alkis P: 4-8

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The Cypriot who poses as an English is a great player, and the scoreline in that game was rather flattering for me. I think nobody got more than a single goal of difference before the final two minutes. At that point it looked like his qualification to the next round was in serious danger.

Alkis P Vs Ektoras K 8-3

I needed those three points in order to retain my chances for 1st place. Nowadays, my games against Ektoras are usually close but not this one.

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I know people were looking at the standings on Sunday and always saw me 1st, so they didn't realize that this was only because I played my games faster than Lorenzo did. The truth is that after his win against me we both had a loss and a draw, so I needed someone to take points off him otherwise it would just mean another semi-final against Gianni again. So I gave Ektoras a very loud support in their match. He played fantastically and managed to scrape a 6-5 win. Needless to say, I was grateful to him! In the final game of the round he was playing Andy. If he'd won that match he would have finished 2nd in the group and Andy would be out! He took the lead by 3-1 but Andy managed a titanic comeback (3-5).

If George was sad for his disqualification, it all went away after he videochatted with his wife and newly born son.

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I then realized there were FIVE English in the quarter finals, the first country to manage that record! They'd never managed more than two in the past, and that was 6 years ago. One could claim that they benefited from the absence of players such as Dagh or Spyros to do it, but it should be noted that they left behind people who had managed to be there recently, such as Ektoras, Oliver, Frank, George and their compatriot Steve Camber. So this achievement was impressive, and even more impressive is the fact that the person who three out of the last 4 UK Champs was not among them!

Alkis P Vs Robert S: 6-1, 6-2

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A quarter final against Robert then, a repetition of 2005. Although I usually beat Robert by dominating possession, this matchup was different. We had about an even number of chances in these games, I just managed to convert more.

Alkis (before the first match, to Simon Butt): Don't sit so close behind me, move further back.
Simon: I'm going to breath down your neck Alkis.
Alkis: Please don't give me a hard on.


I took a peek at the stats at that point, and noted that I'd have to concede a shitload of goals on the big screen to not get that Best Defense trophy. But I reckoned I would.

Alkis P Vs Andy G: 5-8, 8-4

Before the semis, Robert and Simon Butt went out of their way to make sure that I realize that the crowd would not only be cheering for Andy, they'd be cheering against me too. :lol:
What can I say about these games? After watching them on video, I have to admit that Andy played a little bit better over the two matches and perhaps deserved to be in the final. He totally dominated the first game and the three goals of difference seemed intimidating. I needed a very good start in the second game in order to put some pressure on him, after all it was only his second big screen match while it was number 23 for me. I also needed lots of luck. I believe I got both. I was screaming like an idiot after the game, Andy is tall and very built but I had such momentum when I jumped into his arms that he had to stagger backward to keep from falling down. I was so happy to be in a final again, I've wanted to make it to one for so many years, and I'd get to do it in front of the great Steve Screech too, wearing his glorious shirt. I'm sure Andy will get his chance, in fact I bet that next year he will be much better than me. And as Robert put it, he was the first (pseudo)English ever to beat me in England.

Alkis P Vs Gianni T: 1-9, 4-8

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Was there really anyone in the KOA who didn't already know that Gianni is a much better player than I am? In fact he even took it easy on me and refused to score a 10th goal. I need him to play at 40%-50% of his true ability to have a chance against him, like our game in Athens last April. When he's at his 100% like in the final, he is alone on the pitch; it's just him and Fisher, I can't get anywhere near the ball. I'm happy for him, but also happy for my 2nd place which was really all I could hope for. There have been 11 world cup finals and only three of them didn't have either me or Gianni, and yet this was our first one against each other. There's a reason for this; he usually knocks me out before it! I guess I could take up online gaming, try to improve my skills. But I won't be making any more sacrifices to the World Cup shield, it's too cruel a God for me to worship anymore.

The ending ceremony was nice but again, no girls FFS... My only complaint in an otherwise flawless organization. In a speech that they will never hear, I dedicated the silver medal to my Athenian friends who wanted to be there and couldn't.

Sunday evening at TGIF, and then the hateful goodbyes... Well not for all of us as I went to the casino with Peter, Jorn, Robert and Ms +1.

Monday

Jorn and I were supposed to get a ride that Steve E had arranged, instead we ended up in a different one who lied and pirated us! We spend an hour at the airport before he took off. All flights were leaving on time except mine, what was that about? It turned out that there was fog above Munich. My flight from Birmingham was delayed by two hours and the layover was only one, so I missed the flight to Athens. They booked me at a later one late at night, so I spent the evening watching Star Trek episodes at the airport.

Usually a man is not happy to find his wife with his best friend after he returns from a trip. However, it was a lovely surprise that they waited for me at the airport to congratulate me for my performance and give me ride home! A perfect finale to a lovely trip.

Thank you everyone, and hope to see most of you next year.
Remember, remember, the 4th and the 3rd of November
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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby gdh82 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:29 pm

EPIC write-up Alkis! Took me ages to read - not so much the length, I just couldn't stop laughing - absolutely brilliant! 8)

Great pictures too. Cracking Team England photo and that one of George at the laptop is special.
All the goals, the stats, the stories & more from the KO2 WC 2011 - please click here

And click here for everything you'll ever need to know about KO2!
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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby alkis21 » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:06 pm

You did a great job too, I particularly liked this part: :lol:

Did you catch that Simon K - 6th best player, not just in the UK but 6th best player in the World!
Remember, remember, the 4th and the 3rd of November
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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby Torchiador » Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:19 pm

Monumental post Alki!!!! thanks so much for the time you dedicate to write it! and very nice pictures as well!
the picture about the the joystick is amazing! :D :D :D :D :D
Thanks also to all the people who shared with us their world cup tails!
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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby Logos » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:14 pm

Wonderful reviews by all, keeping the memories and feelings fresh. Damn, I miss it already!

Here are my lasting impressions over that epic weekend:

Social:

Arrived early and it was a pleasure to meet Jorn, we had neighbouring rooms and it was nice to have a relaxing chat and get to know you mate. I'm pleased you did so well in the tournament and good luck with your operation! Later, in the bar I finally met my KO2 online buddies: the 2 Lorenzos and Gianni. It was my first time meeting the Lorenzos and from that point we did not stop laughing and teasing, Gianni's translation for Lorenzo C's speech was hilarious: 'the bastard'.... I have also learnt some choice Italian swear words, grazi stronzos.

Enjoyed all 3 evenings and to get to know the other foreign players in that time like Rodolfo, Alkis, Oliver, Freddy, Michael Ma, Wolf and Cornelius. Unfortunately, due to the size of the group I did not get to chat with everyone but it was a pleasure with the people I did and the vibe was always positive and warm.

It was great to see the England team and the English players I had never met before. Had a laugh with MArk B. Taking short breaks during the tournament to have chats with you guys was fun and helped to lighten the tension between matches. Nice to see Wayne, Jon and Steve's adorable children. The organisers: Simon, Steve and Garry, thanks to you for making a weekend I will never forget, you made things so easy for us, all we had to do was enjoy ourselves. Also, Rob was a pro MC and Simon Bu a pro comedian! And thanks to all the others who had a hand in the organisation and running of this epic event.

KO2 Day 1:

This was my third tournament but my first in which I had the correct preparation. As you know, I play online with massive lag and have become conditioned to playing with this delay. However, this time I was in sync with the Amiga zero delay due to the fact that a month before the WC I bought an old 14 inch CRT TV to train on with an Amiga. So, timing wise I was confident, however, as I had not played another human on an Amiga since 2009 I had no idea how I would perform. I set myself a personal aim of reaching the Gold group.

When I saw the draw for Day 1, my aim for the Day 2 Gold group seemed out of reach. Oliver, Ektoras, Rodolfo and my online arch-nemesis Lorenzo C! Then there were the unknown powers of Steve Screech, Jorg, James Bu and Thomas. However, having the honour of the great Steve Screech in my group was the redeeming factor.

As the games progressed I settled in to the feel and timing which helped my confidence. I had issues with headers and player switching/positions on the Amiga, but I will have that sorted out soon. Overall, I was performing well on Day 1. I lost count of the number of games in which I would be 2 or 3 goals down to then come back and win. My most memorable games were with Oliver and Ektoras which were open, attacking and entertaining. To my surprise I only lost to Oliver in that group, he plays beautiful KO2 and I know he will get better. Regarding my arch-nemesis Lorenzo, we had a close draw and I claimed a close win. By the end, we were both in shock, I finished top and arch-nemesis second. We could not believe it. Our doubts had been lifted, the results proved that we were both good enough and our confidence was now strong. I was especially pleased and proud of my arch-nemesis, I knew Lorenzo was a great player online and he now proved it in reality. It was a pity Lorenzo L did not perform as well as I know he could, but there is always next time.

KO2 Day 2:

When I saw the draw for my Gold group, again I could not believe it, how was I going to finish in the top 4 of that group? I kept my confidence and went to war. Again, during the course of day 2 I would be having to make comeback after comeback. Every game in that group was memorable and I love the fact that we have to play 7 different opponents only once. Each game felt like a final to me. My first loss was to Alkis, I remember it being a tight game until he pulled away near the end with a bunch of excellent attacks. Then I had to play my arch-nemesis which ended in a draw as usual. I had 3 games left, all a piece of piss: Steve E, Oliver and Ektoras. Steve E is a great player and I am sure will be in the final soon, we had a tight game but he edged it by one goal. I checked the table, I had to win both of my last 2 games otherwise I was out. Oliver next, the fact that I played him twice the day before I think benefited me as I now knew his attack paths and applied myself to stifle his game and direct my attacks which thankfully worked. After that, I needed a mini-break to re-compose, this game is emotionally draining man! Next up, Ektoras, my next mini final. Again, I think I went down by 2 or 3 goals but managed to turn it around. Another epic game, I was through, I could not believe it. I think after that game I went and lay on the floor!

Quarterfinals, I was drawn against Jon G. I knew this would be tough, he is the UK champ and a great player who can beat anyone. The first leg was very close, but I edged it by one goal. Luckily for me the second leg was not as close and I was amazed to find myself in the semi finals.

Then I saw my arch-nemesis Lorenzo C in the semi-finals too! Things were getting surreal, I joked with Lorenzo telling him that I'll see him in the final. By the end of the semi-final first legs my joke was turning prophetic. I cannot describe to you the buzz and thrill of playing on a big screen game, it is an experience I will always cherish. I was gutted to being so close to a final, but I am proud of my performances in the semis and I'm enjoying watching them on youtube! I am pleased for Alkis too, It was poetic to mark his anniversary with a final again. Also, thanks to you guys for making such an electric atmosphere in my semis, even though I was zoned in I could still hear your amazing support. I still cannot believe I made the semi-finals!

Well done to Gianni, people take it for granted that you will win, but there is never an easy game at that level. So, congratulations on reclaiming the holy shield.

Once again, thank you Steve, Simon and Garry you created some beautiful memories for me.
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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby WonderQ » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:47 pm

So guy, I MISS YOU!
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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby r.cross » Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:16 am

alkis21 wrote:I predict that next year a new Italian player will be at the world cup, named Giuseppe Patatino.

His joystick will look like this:

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He will avoid being in the Game of Shame at the last instant. Then in WC2013 he will beat me in the semi-final.

The only thing that the Italians don't resemble to Borg is that the bastards refuse to assimilate me.



:lol: Belly hurts!!! :lol:
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Re: 11th KO2 World Cup: Post your stories here

Postby Sid » Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:17 pm

Top posts everyone, enjoying reading your encounters!
Andy, you can stop being a nice guy now, you're on the forum ffs, not at the tournament...! ;-)
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