Dare Is A Darkside

What is life but a series of moments? Moments that remain in our heads for a lifetime, in our hearts for a generation, underpinned within folklore history. So the next time you awake and look yourself in the mirror you may want to ask yourself this…
…What difference am I going to make today?
For sure this is a question not only asked but answered in full by the newly crowned ‘Don King' of British American Pool Billiards, Gareth Esprit aka Darkside Promotions.
The name at first questions the intentions and integrity of this individual (especially when some of the current crop of Mosconi Cup and World Championship winners are surfacing from this small but still great Island) but within the barren waste lands of which UK American Pool has become maybe this eccentric, self-proclaimed champion of the game we all love is just the tonic it needs to reach the dizzy heights of the 1980's when a young Thomas Cruise and the legendary Paul Newman volley kicked American Pool  into the faces of prime time viewers all around the world like a Steven Gerrard thunderbolt!
The only way to silence your on-looking critics is to deliver and becoming a Promoter is not an easy transaction. Firstly one needs to acknowledge the strengths of team work. All for one and one for all ‘In the mind it springs, such is the JedI trait‘. Mind full of every move, catering for every whine and whim of the waiving fingered Pool Player. By listening to all opinionated individuals who will shake, rattle but inevitably not roll with the punches of the delicate day to day work of promoting.
Braun? Yes. Brash? Indeed. Loud and unrepentant this promoter can and will be all of this, resembling a young and fierce Cassius X. But if the promoter is prepared to back his notions with a handsome budget that has most of the UK's top ‘Pro' Pool players awaiting edgily at ringside, then sure it's time to back off and let's see what the boy can do?
With this, Darkside Promotions Presents its first UK American Pool Billiard showcase.
Gunfight At The O.K. Corral.
Having stepped into the well equipped and spacious venue, the 147 Club in Leicester I pondered and queried why this contemporary UK venue is not been used for a European professional Pool event? Indeed, everyone was greeted with a warm friendly like atmosphere that could only be supplied by an independent enterprise that prides itself on ‘connecting‘with its extended family. And the notorious food menu in this Pool Hall has to be sampled first hand, ‘fandabbydocious‘ I think the word is? Anyway, you could take your partner to this Pool House for a night out ‘On the Razz‘. And get away with it! To the owners of this luxurious location, Ash and Ram this Buds for you. (Or was it Becks?)
The Bill for this event was titanic. The menu was a feast of Pool heaven kick-starting with the ‘under-card' aperitif of two Semi Pro 9 Ball Division action. Table 1 saw Lewis Clarke Vs Andy Appleton whilst on Table 2 Ben Moore faced up against Luke Rollison.
The main course was a colossus collision of Tectonic Plates. Hold on to your ass and enjoy the ride. Four players who have not been with us long but have made an emphatic burst onto the world pool stage. All four players were treated to a standing guard of honor upon entrance into the playing arena, albeit in need of a dress rehearsal, the adhering audience got behind all of Darkside's promotional  initiatives throughout the evening; an overwhelming show of endorsement. Mr. Stephen Folan, the Master of Ceremonies got the crowd whipped up into frenzy from the press areas, his ‘Moon-walking and poptastic moves' had the locals charmed. In fact, if there is one thing that Mr. Esprit can take from this event along with a broken hymen is that Pocket Billiard lovers can and will travel a hundred mile plus if the entertainment value is of the highest quality. In this case, Mr. Darkside fully delivers!
The tournament tables all had new clothes installed, yet another ticked box for the player friendly sports promoter. Battling their wits on Table one, Jason Howard vs. Craig Dixon burst into life straight from the off. A proven fact that 9 Ball still and may always will remain the most exciting Pocket Billiard Game to watch live. These two juggernauts set off against each other with Dixon stealing the early initiative. Table No. two on the other hand probably took some of the thunder away from the adjacent table but none the less had this knowledgeable Pool crowd in the clutch of its palms, with notable on-looking professionals such as Richard Jones and Imran Majid pondering what may become a blooming future for all players alike. Sports agents from all around the globe should note this.
The presence of a major sponsor was there to be seen but did not overwhelm the efforts of the promoter. The Speed-break competition, sponsored by McDermott Handcrafted Cues Inc. was overseen by Matthew Hayden, one of Darkside's apprentices. Hayden's energy and robust industry matched that of his master all night long, thus proving that leading by example always brings the best out of others and can achieve positive results. McDermott Handcrafted Cues also kindly donated their prestigious ‘Dubliner' cue which was raffled on the night. Cool.
Was this event by any means a rumble in the jungle? No! Was this sporting occasion the quacker in Jamaica? It was not. Was this a step in the right direction for UK American Pool? Yes it was.
With a great evening had by all, it wasn't until 3am when the last ball was potted. A gracious Mark Gray running out a 30 – 19 victory over prodigy Burford who had only praise to heap on his young opponents shoulders in this 10 Ball match up. However it was the 9 Ball clash on Table No. one that got the roaring approval of the travelling fans. An epic 30-29 victory had this small but captivated audience to its knees. Jason ‘Big H' Howard capitalizing on an out of luck Craig Dixon at hill, hill after the Real Deal's excellent start to the match was over turned by the big man from Bournemouth.
I guess the next move for the Darkside Promotions team would be to build on what was a very positive inaugural showcase, tweak and iron out the teething problems, forget the critics and continue moving ever closer to the end zone.
Darkside and his trusted team of merry-men are not only presenting top quality ‘Pool' sports entertainment to the masses but are also bringing a small piece of America with them too. With the promise of a second round installment in November 2009 all that's left to be said is watch out people, the Circus is coming to town.
Oh! I nearly forgot. A certain Karen Corr popped in and watched all the action from the sidelines. Poor girl was stood by herself for most of the evening…
… I guess we were all ‘Star Struck'?