Friday
May212010

Final Round in Omaha Flair Competition

This video is my 5-minute Final Round of the Zero Gravity Flair Bartending Competition in Omaha, NE. After qualifying for the finals with my 3-minute routine the first night, I had to expand to fill an extra two minutes here. If you watch the video of my first round, you'll see they are pretty similar, with a few extra moves added to increase the level of difficulty. 
 
Overall, I was pretty happy with the round. As opposed to the first night, where my first 2 minutes were near-perfect and my last minute fell apart, my drops in this round were scattered throughout. I was a little annoyed that I had a drop or two so early and on such easy moves, but I made up for it by hitting nearly all of my big-ticket moves that I wanted. I forgot to throw in my 4-bottle flash at the end, but I was really happy that I landed my chin stack. I ended up taking 10th place, which I was completely happy with. There was some pretty awesome competitors.
 
Friday
May212010

Zero Gravity Flair Competition in Omaha, NE

I've been so focused on working as a bartender and teaching flair bartending that I haven't competed in a flair bartending competition in almost two years. So when my old friend and coach Martin Janica invited me to the Zero Gravity Flair Competition in Omaha, NE, I knew it was time to dust of my competition bottles and enter the ring.
 
This is a video of the first night, the 3-minute qualifying round. All I really wanted was a clean routine and to advance to the finals. Overall, I was pretty happy with my showcase. The first two minutes are nearly flawless - I missed maybe two moves I wanted to land, but no spills or drops. The last minute, unfortunately, wasn't quite as smooth. After the first drop, I couldn't get my groove back. My juggling just fell apart. According to the judge's score sheet, I had 7 drops and 4 spills, all of them apparently in the last 45 seconds. Bummer. Either way, I took 12th place, which was enough to advance me to the finals the next night.
Wednesday
May122010

Home Sweet Home

Just got back home to Madison, WI, after three days in Omaha, NE, for the Zero Gravity Flair Bartender's Competition. Saw some great flair bartenders with some awesome routines, enough to make me completely happy with my 10th place finish (my goal was really just to make it to the finals.) Had a great time, but I'm completely exhausted.

I'll be sure to get the video of my round up over the weekend. Special thanks to my wonderful friend Martin Janica for inviting me, to Luciano Pontirolli for some coaching, to Corrie Jones for letting me crash with him and Martin for three days, to all the guys at Omaha Flair for putting on a great competition, and to all of the other competitors. I love you guys. My liver hates you.

Tuesday
May112010

Whew, That Was Close

Well, I made the finals for the competition tomorrow night. But just barely. I took 11th place - the top 12 move on to the finals. Overall, I was happy with my round. I nailed the first half better than I could've imagined; the second half, not so much. Couldn't hit any of my juggling moves to save my life. All I was really hoping for was a clean round, regardless of how I placed. I ended up with 7 drops and 4 spills, all of them in the last 45 seconds. So, I know what I need to practice tomorrow. That, and the round goes from 3 minutes to 5 minutes, so I've got some time to fill (some ice scoop flair and the chin stack will definitely help.)

I was seriously impressed with the overall performance of the other competitors, especially the Omaha crew. It's rare that competitions will produce such impressive talent from the local area - usually the big guns come in from out of town. But these Nebraska boys can bring it. And the out of town people were pretty sharp, too.

I'm writing this post from my iPhone at 3am so I can't exactly put the hyperlinks in, but check out the local crew here at OmahaFlair.com and ArsenalBartending.com. And most importantly, you can watch the finals streaming live on omahanightlife.com on Tuesday night CMT starting at 8pm. I'm second in line so I should be up about 8:05. I have no delusions of winning - I'll leave that to Levi Donaldson or Martin Janica or Chris Bridges - but if I pull off a clean, fun round that gets the audience cheering, I'll consider it a success.

Monday
May102010

Watch It Live

I just heard that the competition tonight will be streamed live on omahanightlife.com. Competition starts at 8 - check it out if you can!