May is gonna be a very busy month

Bowling, Craps, Injuries, Las Vegas, Milwaukee Wave, My-Sugar-Na, PBA Tour, Poker, Reno, Restaurants, USBC, Vacation, West Allis

Lots of stuff going on this month.  You've got lawn mowing, walking to dog, dishes, laundry, sheesh... But move forward we shall.  There's bowling to talk about!

May in my house (normally) means my yearly trip to bowl the USBC Open Championships tournament (Side note; This year's destination? Reno.  Again.  Like two years agoAnd the year before thatAnd like next year.)

My-Sugar-Na and I start with a day and a half in Las Vegas.  The highlights...

The Reno portion consists mostly of the bowling tournament, but an Awful Awful (maybe two of them) is certainly on the docket, as does a Buy one Get one at the Hash House A Go Go at Harrah's Reno.  Afterwords, the wife comes back home, and I go back to Vegas for another day and a half with Should've Brought the Invasion for a couple of poker tournaments.

I will quickly need to get a trip report posted because...

No sooner will I get home from Nationals, and the Professional Bowlers Association "Summer Swing" will get underway in Milwaukee.

In an effort to reduce the travel schedule (and as a byproduct, an effort to reduce costs) the PBA has been combining multiple tournaments in one city.  Last November was the World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas and January brought us the Winter Swing in Detroit.

Muskego resident Tom Clark, who also just happens to be the PBA Commissioner, was instrumental in bringing the PBA back to his adoptive home town.  The formats are shortened; instead of up to 45 games per tournament bowled over four days, each tournament consists of 26 games bowled in two days.  The format is quite confusing, but allow me to take a shot:

  • PBA Badger Open (May 20-21 at AMF Waukesha)
    • 10 games of qualifying on May 20
    • Top 24 advance and bowl 16 games of match play on May 21
    • Top 5 players bowl the stepladder finals at AMF Bowlero on June 1
  • PBA Wolf Open (May 22-23 at AMF West)
    • 10 games of qualifying on May 22
    • Top 24 advance and bowl 16 games of match play on May 23
    • Top 5 players bowl the stepladder finals at AMF Bowlero on June 1
  • PBA Bear Open (May 26-27 at AMF Bowlero)
    • 10 games of qualifying on May 26
    • Top 24 advance and bowl 16 games of match play on May 27 (which is Memorial Day)
    • Top 5 players bowl the stepladder finals at AMF Bowlero on June 2
  • PBA Milwaukee Open at AMF Bowlero
    • Uses the 30 game qualifying scores bowled on May 21, 23 and 26
    • Does not include the match play games
    • "Cashers" (number of bowlers depends on entries) bowl 5 games on May 29
    • Top 24 advance and bowl 24 match play games on May 29 and May 30
    • Top 5 players bowl the stepladder finals at AMF Bowlero on June 2
  • PBA Summer King of the Swing
    • Based on "competition points" of players during all four of the above events
    • Top 5 overall points bowl the stepladder finals at AMB Bowlero on June 2

That, my friends, is a lot of bowling.  Each of the first three (as well as the last) tournaments is an abbreviated format, but the PBA Milwaukee Open will be a marathon.  If a player were to bowl very well in the first three tournaments, he may have as many as 78 games in a little over a week, then get to bowl 29 more in another two game span.

Tickets for each day's bowling will be available at the door, tickets to the finals are on sale on the PBA site.  I will be there at many of the sessions and will have frequent blogs posted along the way.

There will be at least one bowler that is not your traditional "professional" but is giving the Summer Swing a go.  "Dammit Man" McNeil (from WMYX, SportsRadio 1250, Wave PA guy, UWM women's basketball PA guy, and so on, and so on) has paid his entry fee and will take a shot to fulfull his dream. He has a running video blog here which is worth a watch (Side note; I have bowled a couple of tournaments with him, including the one that he references in his blog where he threw a 252 game in match play.  Wanna guess who he bowled it against?)  He may or may not be biting off more than he can chew, but he is trying it and I will only be watching him.  Who's the real bowler?

But bowling isn't all tournaments and more tournaments... there can be a down side.

Last summer, My-Sugar-Na started receiving some coaching in an effort to improve her bowling game. In addition to the coaching, she did quite a bit of practicing.  Once the league season started, she developed soreness in her elbow.  A couple of cortisone shots and lots of ice and anti-inflammatories later, its just gotten worse.  She is scheduled for surgery on May 22 (despite the PBA Summer Swing schedule).  She is crushed, as she was planning on bowling the Women's Nationals (also being held in Reno), but has had to ask Ain't B to sub for her.

It appears that her elbow was in worse shape than mine, as she may be off of work for over a month, and will have her elbow immobilized for quite awhile (whereas I was using my arm the same night, though couldn't bowl competitively for almost six months).

It is frustrating that no sooner did she really take to bowling that she got hurt so bad, but she promised me that she'll be back by this time next year.  She'd better, what with all the work I did to find a team for her.

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