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Kozoom Foos Interview of the week with Dusty Bambenek

Posted by on May 20, 2016

Kozoom Foos Interview of the week with Dusty Bambenek


Hello Dusty. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Please give us a brief introduction about yourself?

My name is Dusty Bambenek and I live in the mid-west state of Ohio, in the USA. I started playing foosball (table-soccer) as a young teenager at the roller skating rink and various arcades.  It was where all the cool guys hung out. I played and owned various tables over the next 20 years, but never knew that there were rules and tournaments.  

How do you manage your playing side as player, & your other work responsibilities?

At the age of 33, i played in my first DYP(draw your partner) tournament.  My partner and I took 2nd place and I was hooked.  I bought my first Tornado table in 1995 and started playing as much as I could.  My first major tournament was the Tornado Worlds in Dallas, TX 1996.  I met another beginner girl a month previous and we played women's rookie doubles together and won a World title.  My life changed. I went from being a stay at home wife and mother, to eventually, a world traveler and "professional" foosball player! After competing for over 20 years now, I've had lots of accomplishments and many disappointments.  But, I could never give up all the friends I have made around the country, and world.  The best part of the game is the lifelong friendships I have made with others who share this obsession.

Which table is the most common in your country and which type of table you prefer to play, & according to you which is hard one(table) to play?

The Tornado table is my table of choice.  I have had the opportunity to play on various other tables, because of the ITSF.  I found the Bonzini to be the most challenging. But I believe that no matter where I was born and raised, I would have found whatever foosball table that was local and been a "player" no matter what.

How does the typical "table-soccer"- evening look like for you? How much it matter for you? Or how often you give time for practicing or enjoying Table Soccer? Do you practice alone or with partner /friends/other players & Why?

I don't do a whole lot of practicing on my own, like I used to.  But I still "play" 3, 4, sometimes 5 nights a week.  Twice a week, just for fun, with non competitive foosers.  They just play, because they love it.  So much fun! And twice a week I attend DYP tournaments.  There are no masters where I live, but a bunch of talented players who give it their all.  I drive over an hour each way, alone, to compete with and against these guys, my brothers, my foos family.

Is table-soccer growing or receding in your city/state/region?

I have run leagues and dyp tournaments myself in the past, but now I am "just" a player.  Kudos to those who give up their time to help grow the sport.  Being a female, (the only female), in my area that plays, I have decided that I don't want to be the authority figure in charge of a bunch of crazy competitors. Although there are not as many players as there was when I started decades ago, all the players are good.  I had no natural talent, and I'm no genius; but I can be stubborn, and was determined to be a worthy competitor.  

What is your favourite Table soccer memory?
Winning expert and pro doubles at the Tornado Championships in 2015 is probably the highlight of my career.  I always had goals of being in the finals of the women's events.  Never dreamed that I could win a "men's" event at the biggest tournament in the country, let alone two.  When I recall that weekend, I didn't have a lot of "fun".  I was playing constantly, and was exhausted.  When I was finally done and had won two titles, mostly all I felt, was relief that it was over.  But of course looking back gives me great satisfaction and feeling of validation.  I had the opportunity to play with two different, super talented forwards, who never gave up.  Even though we lost our first set in the finals of both events.  NEVER GIVE UP is my motto.  

Thank you very much for these insights into your life. I wish you all the best with playing table soccer.




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