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Tournament Recap – OKC Picklemania

Posted on August 14, 2023 by under Events, Pickleball.    

I had a blast playing in Picklemania at the Life Time in Oklahoma City last weekend, a tournament I wasn’t even set to play in. My friend Mandy O’Neil and I just happened to be texting each other and so it got me looking at the tournament. I found one of the guys from Wichita, Nathan Peters, signed up for men’s doubles but not mixed so I asked him if he would be interested in playing mixed doubles together. With a women’s doubles and mixed doubles partner lined up, I decided to make the trip down since I didn’t have any plans that weekend anyway.

Originally, Brian and Saki were going with me but then Brian’s office move got pushed back to August 4 weekend so then he couldn’t go. It worked out that he had to stay in town because the two iPickle Nation team members we had Amanda Ades and Fernando Martinez were both unavailable to run the Nation Builder that weekend. Amanda had a wedding and Fernando was out of town fishing with his son and, since I was playing in the tournament in Oklahoma, Brian had to fill in for all of us. I’m pretty sure that everyone being out that weekend was main the reason I didn’t sign up for the tournament to begin with — because I had to be around to run the round robin at Riverside — but, with two amazing players as partners, I had to figure out a way to make it work.

I met Mandy at some tournaments and got to spend time with her at one of my friend Tanner Rice’s DUPR events last year and she seemed to me like such a fun person to play with so I’d been looking for an opportunity partner with her so I was glad when the opportunity finally came knocking. And then Nate single-handedly smoked Dustin Herman and me at the ICT Classic tournament so I was excited to actually be on the same side of the net as him this time.


Here are a couple of pictures from Saturday that Mandy’s husband Justin took of us with some of the teams in our division.


I’d never played 4.5 women’s doubles before but that’s the level Mandy wanted to play. For our first time playing together, I thought we did really well. I enjoyed playing with her a ton. She prefers playing on the left and I prefer playing on the right so I felt like we were a perfect match.


Here are a couple of action shots of me and Nate on Sunday. Nate and I did really well for not having played together either. We were second in our pool and made it to quarters in a 4.5 mixed doubles division stacked with 18 tough teams.


We defeated the Luelfs (Caroline and Ryan) in the first round of the single elimination bracket and then had to face a couple of tennis players (Alex Bowers and James Seagrass) in the quarters. It was like having to play against two Nates across the net from me which, as Nate put it perfectly, is my Kryptonite. We ended up losing to them and they ended up going on to win gold.

These are some highlights from mixed doubles play on Sunday:

Besides all the fun, competitive play, I enjoy Picklemania for an opportunity to reconnect with some of favorite pickleball players and fellow Chicken N Pickle ambassadors outside the state. Below is Karen McAllister, matriarch of pickleball’s “first family” in OKC.


This next one is of Antonio Lares, Jared Smart, and Ramon Lozano.


If you are a pickleball player looking to play in a fun tournament, I highly recommend checking out one of the Picklemania events in OKC. It is one of my favorite tournaments to do. I already can’t wait until the next one.

Related Stories

  • Picklemania at the OKC Life Time on January 28, 2023
  • Picklemania in Oklahoma City on September 13, 2021
  • How Far Will You Drive to Pickle? on March 30, 2023
  • My Bartlesville Results on October 31, 2022
  • Bartlesville Tournament Weekend Recap on October 30, 2023

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