By Scoop Newsworthy
-LAS VEGAS, NV
LA Bike Polo rolled deep to the Crank Gamble Polo Tournament, held November 11-12 in Las Vegas. With LA players spread out over nearly half the teams, as well as bookending both first and last place, LABP lit the strip on fire. Most teams rolled in Friday night with surprisingly little traffic. And they were met with refreshing hospitality and 2 lit roller rinks. But it didn’t stop there, the POLO MANSION at Chris Esquire’s house was balling out too. Toy poodles, plush carpeting, garaged bike storage, as well the Pacquiao/Marquez fight projected greater than life size were the order of the weekend. Delicious pizza and legal beer at the courts was also a welcome comfort.
But it wouldn’t be a tourney without throw down competition and fierce battles on the blacktop at every turn, skid and goal. All weekend long the stars of the Southwest were dueling, heckling, and laughing with each other. Shining bright again was Shitty Kyle (nee Andrew) of Santa Cruz, and his posse. A finesse team with a gladiator on two wheels in his teammate Brandon, and their defensive specialist Pat. Also putting fear into the hearts of competitors, as well as breaking those belonging to showgirls on the strip, was Piranha Jake from AZ, backed up by his Daddy and rumbling tank of a Grandfather, Jay and Jeff respectively. Boyd lineage was shutting down just about everyone, and proving Skilled Polo is indeed hereditary.
As mentioned earlier LA had a number of tuff squads. But stealing the show game in and game out was ShaDynasty. As in, ‘ShaBoy’. Owning Female MVP and Best ‘up and comer’ were Dejah and Troy, and it wasn’t even close. Donnie Pepper showed good defense and coaching, but there was no substitute for kicking ass, which is what Dejah brought to that team. In one of the best games of the weekend, she lit a fire under her team’s collective butts with a 2 goal outburst, coulda been 4, with 2 other clean looks on net. Surely this the momentum won the game for her squad, and pulled them out of a 2 game nosedive, and into a 2 game hot streak.
This tourney also had its share of drama on Sunday. It began when LA’s very own HoodfelL.A.s bumped Santa Cruz off with a hot serving of donuts. AZ continued the trend by avenging their similarly lopsided loss to Frisco the day before by knocking them in to the Loser bracket 5-2, at the hands of a typically hot-shooting Jake Boyd. This set up a do or die battle between NorCal rivals Santa Cruz, and San Francisco. And this is where it gets interesting. Up 4-2 with less than 3 minutes to play it appeared as though dirt was being shoveled by Shitty Kyle into Frisco’s grave, like a gambler in the dunes who had run out of luck, and couldn’t pay up in time. But Frisco responded hard. Backs up against a wall, they began a furious onslaught offensively. Burying goal after goal to climb their way out and riding an 8 goal scoring streak past Arizona in the loser bracket final, to setup a showdown in the finals with Los Angeles.
Unfortunately for them, they ran out of gas once they got there, and had to settle for second, but not without beating every single other team they faced at least once. For Los Angeles however, it was a convincing win. They cruised through the weekend without a loss, and never trailed in any of their matches during Sunday’s double elimination bracket. Of course, it’s pretty hard to lose when your team has the Most Valuable Player. And that’s what Brick Russell provided, allowing only 4 goals in 4 games on Sunday, including a shutout in the second round. With Los Angeles A-line stalwarts Pistolero and Joker teamed up together for the first time since their dominating win in the Southwest Qualifier nine months ago, goals came fast and furious. Vegas as a crew is on the rise, and this tourney was hopefully the first of many big boy things to come from them. From quality hospitality, smooth running games, nice prizes, and a swell trophy, Vegas Bike Polo surely proved to be a winning club.
Looks like tournament was a lot of fun, it looks to be the largest bike polo get together I’ve seen in that town. I really wish I could of been there, good job Alex. Check out Dave with his one-foot-kick move, ha!
1st – NYC – Doug, Paul and Zach
2nd – East Vancouver – Rory, Pieter and Chris
3rd – Madison & Milwaukee tied (couldn’t play the final match due to weather)
Here are some photos: