After a few too many pregame drinks led to a sub-par performance at last year’s Big Buck World Championship, Linwood bar owner Steven Campbell vowed to better pace himself during this year’s competition, held last Saturday in Chicago.
And while he didn’t exactly succeed in that regard — “I had seven drinks and a shot before we even started,” he reports — the booze didn’t seem to hinder his performance this time around.
Campbell concluded Saturday’s tournament with a 3-2 record and placed 22nd in the 64-person field — good for $250 in prize money and his best finish in three appearances at the event.
“It was fun, man.” said Campbell, who skipped his cousin’s wedding in order to compete. “That’s the best I’ve ever done.”
The tournament, which pits competitors against each other in the popular hunting-inspired bar video game Big Buck HD, featured the nation’s top virtual sharpshooters in a double-elimination tournament with a $15,000 grand prize.
Before Saturday’s main event, Campbell said, he battled nerves. In practice rounds on Friday and early Saturday, he struggled mightily, going winless.
But when the lights came on, Campbell thrived.
He won his first-round matchup, which was his goal, before losing his second. He then blasted his way to two consecutive victories in the loser’s bracket before suffering his second and final loss.
“Twenty-second, it ain’t too bad,” he said. “But if I would have won two more games, I would have been in the big money — a couple grand or more.”
Still, the perfromance provided hope for next year, when he’ll attempt to take another step forward in his quest for the tourmanet’s top prize.
Said Campbell, “I’ve got some practicing to do.”