This was one of my proudest moments in competing in memory tournaments. Sure, I had won the year prior at the 2009 USA Memory Championship but I had so much less adversity. Believe it or not, there is pressure once you win a tournament and everyone starts gunning for you. It was an akward feeling. Competitors who were once friendly to me became stand offish. I partly understood, afterall, I had the title that the coveted.
In the 2009 USA Memory Championship I was certain that I would win. As everyone filed in the room they were asking each other, ‘How has your training with cards been? What about numbers?’ I didn’t ask one person. The reason? I didn’t CARE!! I KNEW I was the best prepared and would certainly win.
In 2010 my times advanced but I had a lot of personal struggles to battle in the months prior to the tournament. One day, depending on how honest and open I chose to be about my private life I may or may not reveal these struggles. Needless to say, they were real. So real that the night before the tournament I could not sleep. I finally caught somewhere between 30-45 minutes sleep before entering a mental tournament.
Here is a video clip of the final round where I did end up winning. The format of this event is that they shuffle 2 decks of cards (we all have identical decks) and then we take turns repeating the order until one man is standing. You will see at the very start of this clip one of the competitors said the wrong card right off the bat and it was between me and another guy. I won…on 30-45 minutes sleep…I stayed calm under pressure and I won….perhaps my proudest moment in the USA Memory Championship adventure.