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Saigon Pool League Week 10 - Our Finest Hours

Author: Chris Lee, 06/11/18

This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. But it is the end of the beginning.

Week 10 Saigon Pool League – The Finest Hour

This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. But it is the end of the beginning.

Saigon Pool League’s Week 10, sees 24 teams from the Championship and Social Division complete their Regular Season fixtures, determining whether they’ll be playing for promotion spots in the Play-Offs over the next 6 weeks, or fighting for survival in their respective division level.

Championship Run In

In the Championship Regular Season, the Championship East has proved particularly balanced, where 5 of the 6 teams could collect enough points to claim a place in the Championship Play-Off Division for a stab at promotion to the Premiership next season. The unfortunate 5th placed Orient Outlaws will miss out this week though, even if they beat 4th placed Noi-Z and Flow Bar Flirters are beaten by the White House Impeachments, as a 3rd place equalling 15 points will not be enough to beat Flow Bar Flirters into that 3rd spot, as they have a poorer head-to-head record.

Flow Bar Flirters have their own goals, to beat a deteriorating Impeachments team, at this vital juncture. A win for them not only secures a Play-Off spot, but sees them into the Play-Offs with 7 points, 1 point in front of the Impeachments and 3 points in front of the guaranteed, 2nd placed team, Buddha Bar Elites. Only Noi-Z can spoil the party for the currently 3rd placed Flow Bar Flirters, by beating the Orient Outlaws and pipping a losing Flow Bar Flirters on the night. For the Impeachments this is the best scenario, so they will be heavily incentivised to take this match and will be crossing their fingers that Noi-Z will do the same on that tricky Orient Bar table.

In the Championship Central & South, Motley Cue have been the dominant force, breaking their fellow team, The Drunken Duck, twice and forcing them into a Championship fight against The Commoners and the Tavern Assassins. Motley Cue look set to lead the Play-Off Super 6 with at least 9 points, and that could increase to a maximum of 12 points if 2nd placed The Commoners can beat 3rd placed Tavern Assassins in this week’s match, and The Drunken Duck beats the lowly Gigolos, forcing themselves back into the Premiership Play-Offs at the cost of the Assassins’ bid. The Duck want avoid a Survivor’s Cup again, at all cost, but the Tavern Assassins will be well set for a promotion push, should they beat The Commoners, so it will be ‘take no prisoners’, this Thursday. The Commoners need a win themselves to remain in contention for a promotion spot, so it will be a fierce fight for sure.

Whilst the Drunken Duck may not fancy a Survivor’s Cup Play-Off, it could be their best chance at silverware for a number of seasons. A win on Thursday against struggling Dailos Too could see them catapulted to the top of the Survivor’s Cup Division, with a draw between Noi-Z and the Orient Outlaws being the ideal result. The Ducks will fancy their chances against the fragile travelling team of Noi-Z, and the Orient table is like the Duck table Mark II. With Liver Failure being the only unexploded landmine for any of the Central & South survivors, The Drunken Duck may well find comfort in a visible 15 points in the second half and some silverware to boot.

The Rusty Gigolos, Noi-Z and the Orient Outlaws are all there or there abouts, so keeping any momentum going will be key in the first 3 matches of the Play-Off weeks. Only Dailos Too and Liver Failure look set for Social Division Pool next season, but with Liver Failure doing everything but winning, don’t be surprised if they surprise the field in the second half. Dailos Too can also surprise the unwary, if they’ve decided to put a team together more than 2 hours before the match. Hold your breath. There will not be easy matches.

Social Division Run In

Bread & Butter looked set for the Championship from match 6, but the other 11 teams have been searching for some sort of consistency or Championship strength. Evita Pho Queue set themselves up in the East Division, but two lack lustre performances against The Orientals has seen them lead the Division but behind against the other promotion potentials. No one can catch them in their regular season Division, but The Orientals will be leading the Social East Division charge in the Play-Offs with their 2 wins against the Pho Queues and their win and draw against Flo Bar. 10 points will put them in close contention with Bread & Butter and the rookie Manhattan Shooters team.

The First Ladies & Co could upset the Play-Off plans altogether with a win in Week 10 against Hasta Evita though, as long as Evita Pho Queue can beat Flo Bar. Evita Pho Queue have plenty of incentive. With a previous win against Flo Bar, but two losses against The Orientals, they will be desperate for an additional 3 points towards a respectable Social Division Play-Off entry total. Likewise, Flo Bar will also need 3 points to see them presented with an outside chance. But the First Ladies upset all the stats if they pinch a win against the tricky Hasta Evita team and Pho Queue phoq Flo Bar. After their two defeats by the First Ladies, the table will be turned, and The Orientals, Evita Pho Queue and The First Ladies will all enter the Play-Offs with 6 points

Jam for Bread & Butter in the Social Division Promotion Play-Offs, and a secure spot for Manhattan Shooters, the Division leaders’ understudy, has left just one remaining Social Play-Off question mark, should it be The Tavern Thieves or The Original Tavern Thieves (i.e. Speakeasy Goodfellas) to join them. Speakeasy Goodfellas hold the high ground after Week 9, with a superior head-to-head record against the New Thieves, but as bottom 3 all face top 3 opposition in Week 10, there is wiggle room for either the New Tavern Thieves to upset the current order, or for Speakeasy Goodfellas Thieves to capitalise on their previous Championship experience. Unfortunately, both will enter the Social Division Play-Offs with zero points whoever succeeds. Maybe it’s the incentive required to hope for the worst to only be redeemed as the ‘Best Of the Best Of The Rest That Is Left’.

And finally, highlighting the ‘Best Of the Best Of The Rest That Is Left’, this truly will be a great Play-Off Division. It is also one that The Tavern Thieves would probably choose. In the Social Division Promotion Play-Offs they start with zero points. In the BOBOTRL Division they will be top with 10 points. The First Ladies could be there beside them, also on 10 points, if Flo Bar secure as much as a draw, although Hasta Evita ‘will be back’ in contention if they can take 3 points off the First Ladies in their Week 10 head-to-head. Tavern Thieves would like to see them both draw.

At the Wooden Spoon end, The Evita Mambas and the Shamrock Snipers could be fighting it out, although one win for either of them could finally kickstart a winning run that draws the Rusty Rockets into the Wooden Spoon fray. The Mambas, Hasta Evitas, First Ladies, Rockets and the Thieves will all be tested by travelling from District 2 to District 7 and vice-versa, whereas the District 1 Sniper team may see it as a simple trip across the bridge, providing the Snipers with an away advantage.

6 matches, 6 results, 18 points. This will be the start of the beginning of the end. Who would you choose to play their finest hours?

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