Sunday, 14 January 2018

Big Read Breaks Down Pool Across Canada in 2017


By: Erik Hjorleifson 

Greetings and Happy New Year from Markus Noé and I at Cue Sport Nation. 2017 eventful year on the Canadian pool scene lets take a look back at some of the highlights from 2017.

From east to west:


The Maritimes

2017 marked the second year of the Atlantic 9 ball tour. The ten event tour takes place throughout the Maritimes and features non handicapped play staggered entry 9 ball. These tournaments drew an average of over 100 players! the brainchild of promoter TJ Martin who I will unofficially deem the savior of pool in the Maritimes. This tour has been a huge success and has filled a void in competitive pool out east. The most consistent winner on this tour was Chris Dempsey who also won the finale event. Tom Theriault was competitive winning a few events and names like Jeff Kennedy, Rick Leon and Gilles Leblanc were often seen at the high end of the placings. This year marked the first installment of the East Coast Canadian 9 ball championships promoter TJ Martin managed to pull off the biggest event possibly in Canadian history drawing 240 players. The $10 000 first prize was the highest first prize payout in Canada in over ten years. Mika Immonen ended up being the winner and John Morra runner up, the tournament  drew names like Alex Pagulayan and Imran Majid. Rail birds pool room opened in Halifax this year and looks like it will be the center of competitive pool in the Maritimes.



Quebec

Pool in Quebec is still alive and well, the Falcon Pro tour continued in its third year of operation and once again as has been the case for the past several years Dany Hewitt was the most consistent winner. Alain Martel, Francis Crevier, Martin Daigle, Joey Cicero and Dany Nguyen also had many strong finishes throughout the year. Quebec continues to operate their A, AA, AAA, Semi Pro and Pro divisions in which players are able to play in their own class or higher. Handicap tournaments are a rarity in Quebec and the overall system is something that any pool community should strive for. Notably Alain Martel has continued his junior program that has been integrated into the school system. He now has over 200 juniors enrolled in his programs, the sky seems to be the limit now for Martel as he has built the foundation to something monumental. Huge kudos goes out to him for exposing youth to our game.  Youth is the future and it would be great to see more programs like this pop up nationwide. Marco Sanschagrin owner of Doolys in Quebec city continues to promote major tournaments including hosting the Canadian Championships and Archer Cup, his efforts do not go unnoticed.


Ontario

The scene in Ontario continues to be plagued with handicap tournaments. There are plenty of tournaments and lots of people playing but the odd thing is that the lower handicap players are playing for more money than the open players. The one upside as I said is that there are a lot of people playing, there were probably 75 tournaments in Ontario that were $1000 first prize or more. Only about 15 of those tournaments were open to pros and I think the problem with that is self explanatory especially considering almost all of the tournaments are handicapped. On the bright side The Corner Bank continues to try and turn the tide hosting several good events throughout the year most notably the Vince McIntyre memorial won by Jason Klatt. John White and Jim Wych have been putting in a lot of hard work at the Corner Bank including building a 3000 square foot patio that will be open next summer. Every weekend there is a waiting list for tables and it is not uncommon to walk in the afternoon and see 15 tables going, the weekly tournaments draw over 30 players regularly. Don Broos fulfilled his dream of owning a pool room this year. Don and his team renovated Formac billiards  in Burlington Ontario re naming it Shooterville , it has quickly become the place to be west of Toronto. Someone to watch out for in the future will be Waleed Hashem who has improved from a AAA player to a strong semi pro player this past year.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Manitoba is in a bit of a downswing from a time when I grew up there and there was 20 pool rooms in the city to now only four or five. Cornell McClean jr. is active in promoting tournaments at Sonix billiards running a few weekly tournaments and recently had a 64 player field out for a bigger event that Johhny Baptiste won. The best players in Manitoba are Shannon Ducharme, Felix Beardy, Berry McClean, Cornell McClean, Ryan Solleveld, Jeff Clare, Randy Bagot among many others. These players play a lot in Minnesota and North Dakota and do well.

Saskatchewan has been a little quiet believe it or not there is not one pool room in Regina. A city that has a CFL team but no pool room, seems like an opportunity to me.Jane Gordon and Roy Munns however have two tournament quality tables in one of their storage facilities. They have three tournaments a year that draw all the best players from Saskatchewan and a few from Alberta and Manitoba. These are the results from the 2017 tournaments

2017 8ball 
1.Brad Poorman
2.Jerrod  Spence
3.Pat Marcia

9ball
1.Erik Vargas
2.Randy Bagot
3. Albert

10 Ball
1.Elwin Cameron
2.Danny Gilbert
3.Fabian Louison
........................

Alberta and B.C.

The Hidden Spot in Calgary continues to run many good size tournaments including the Ashton classic which is scheduled again this year in June. Stephen Holem from B.C. has been the most consistent winner out west including a third place finish in a tournament in Oregon that had many U.S. pros. He will definitely be someone to watch for in the future. There has been a push to promote Chinese 8 ball in B.C. and players such as Kevin Beskal, Paul Potier, Simon Pickering, Mike Vidas and Stephen Holem have gone to China to take a shot at the big prize money on offer.

On the international front John Morra took a five month hiatus. After a little break in which he gained some experience as a DJ, he is now back playing full time. He remains without a doubt Canada's strongest hope on the international stage and we will all be watching and cheering him on. Jason Klatt had a quarter final finish at the world pool series and continues to play in most major events. Martin Daigle traveled actively beating many big names such as Early Strickland, Tommy Kennedy and John Morra. Brittany Bryant had a third place finish at one of only two W.P.B.A events in 2017. Naomi Williams had 3 third place finishes on the N.A.P.T tour which looks to possibly one day replace the W.P.B.A tour. It is really unfortunate for these girls as women's professional pool is at a historic low point in North America.

That's all for this year, hopefully next year will bring bigger and better things!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Falcon Pro Tour :"The Dancing Bear" Returns to his Winning Ways at Le Patriote


Finalist Alain Martel and Joey Cicero 
By: Markus Noé

Over the weekend of December 2-3 Le Patriote situated in St.Eustache, Québec hosted the fifth stop of the Falcon Québec Pro Tour.  It was another healthy field of 40 players that showed up despite  competing with several other tournaments within driving distance. As usual the rules were call every shot, rack your own break from the box and alternate break.

All the usual favourites were in attendance such as Alain Martel, Danny Hewitt, Dany Nguyen, Martin Daigle and more. Francis Crevier was really the only regular professional in the area that did not make it due to a Snooker tournament. There was a few new additions to the field this time such as Mike Petrowitcz from Barrie, Ontario and Stephen Scobie from Newmarket Ontario. Along with myself filling out the Ontario contingent there was Wayne Tate from Oshawa and Mike Black from Lindsay.

Throughout day 1 there was no real upsets to report as all the favourites made it through.  A notable match however took place against Alain Martel and Danny Hewitt which saw Hewitt being sent to the one loss side 9-6.

Final 8 who returned Sunday

Winner Side

5 Mike Patrowicz vs 9 Joey Cicero
6 Luc Salvas vs 9 Alain Martel

One loss side

9 Martin Daigle vs  5 Daniel Gagne
7 Jeff blais vs 9 Dany Nguyen

In the 5/6 match up's it was Nguyen vs Patrowicz and Daigle vs Salvas. Nguyen winner of the last stop at Terminus in Gatineau who earlier on in the tournament eliminated Hewitt did the same to Patrowicz 9-7. Patrowicz is virtually unknown around these parts but I am told he is a very solid player and well known in Southern Ontario. That being said he held is own against some of the best players in Québec and fell just short against Nguyen. Daigle who has been easily one of the most consistent players recently eliminated Nguyen 9-5. He then went on to face Joey Cicero for the second time and lost another close match 9-7.  Cicero who lost 9-7 to Martel in the winners side final  earned his second chance at the "Dancing Bear."


It takes more than one arrow to kill the "Dancing Bear."

Less then a week after publicly questioning whether or not his game was slipping, and realizing he was no longer a top 5 ranked player in Quebec Alain Martel wins!The young gun Joey Cicero lead several times to start this race to 11. 4-0, 6-1 and 9-5 however it was not enough as Alain "The Dancing Bear" won 11-9! Great shooting to both players. Incredible performance by both players.

I would like to thank Danny Hewitt and Luc Paquette for running a great tournament. The next stop will be January 13-14 a Dooly's Levis. Go to www.falconcuesquebectour.com for full detailsl.

Payouts: 

1 Alain Martel 1000 $ 
2 Joey Cicero 800 $ 
3 Martin Daigle 625 $ 
4 Dany Nguyen 460 $ 
5 - 6 Mike Patrowitcz330 $ 
5 - 6 Luc Salvas 330 $ 
7 - 8 Daniel Gagné 200 $ 
7 - 8 Jeff Blais 200 $ 
9 - 12 Martin Sears 70 $ 
9 - 12 Danny Hewitt 70 $ 
9 - 12 David Deschênes 70 $ 
9 - 12 Mehdi Bahloul 70 $

Second Chance

1-Vincent Beauregard 200 $
2-Dominic Byrne 150 $
3-David Lanthier 100 $

4-Martin Bouthotte 50 $

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Gatineau: Nguyen Dominates Falcon Québec Pro Tour Stop at Terminus

Photo Courtesy of Guy Simard www.billardquebec.com

 By: Markus Noé

Terminus Bar-Billard in Gatineau, Québec hosted the most recent Falcon Québec Pro Tour this past weekend November  18-19. In the 3 year history of the tour, Terminus has always been one of their best results in terms of player participation. This season was no different as 49 players came to partake, some came as far from Montreal, New York State and the Greater Toronto Area.

Danny Hewitt current number one player in Québec and one of the most accomplished players in the country is a co-founders of the tour. The rules are similar to Mike Zuglan's Joss Tour as it is break from the box, which makes the break shot more unpredictable. The difference in the Falcon Tour compared to the Joss Tour is that every shot is call shot, you are permitted to rack your own balls and it is alternate break.

Despite the high participation the tournaments favourites remained virtually the same. As per usual Danny Hewitt was a clear favourite as I believe he has won nearly half of all the events over the 3 year existence of the tour. Then Alain Martel, Francis Crevier and Martin Daigle were all in the mix. However not to be forgotten is the up and coming young pro's in Québec who are beginning to make names for themselves, Dany Nguyen, Joey Cicero and Maxime Villneuve to name a few.

As a mid range amateur I have been a big supporter of this tour, which to my knowledge is the only Pro Tour in Canada. Whenever the tour stops are within reach I enjoy throwing my hat in the ring and testing my skills against some of the best players in the country. Quickly for me this was my best performance in a pro level field as I was able to cash in the 13-16th place. On route to doing so I had the luxury of playing two legends.

In my first round I matched up against Alain "The Dancing Bear" Martel, who over the years I have been doing Cue Sport Nation as become a friend. Before our match he must of noticed I was a little nervous as this was my first time playing him. In classic Martel humour he says to me after we shake hands, "this is the first time we play right? I have been waiting for this moment all my life." I could not help but laugh out loud. Martel went on to beat me 9-2, then on the losers side I was able to dispatch some good players before I ran into Luc "Machine Gun" Salvas who ended my run 9-3. With the staggered entry these tournaments are great learning experiences for players at my level and I highly recommend participating whenever possible.

In Martel's next match he paired up against a strong Semi-Pro from my home room of Rack-M-Up Billiards Jean Therriault. In what is considered a major upset, Therriault notched his first ever win against Martel in a thrilling 9-8 victory. The other day 1 upset was Andy Aupin a strong pro from Sudbury who just had a good tournament at the East Coast Challenge in Halifax the week before defeated Hewitt 9-7. Otherwise all the favourites made it through the winners side on day 1.

It should be noted that Dany Nguyen who already had one previous final appearance in Trois-Riviere this season was on fire. He won his first round 9-2, then in what on paper would seem to be a fantastic match of two of Québec's young pro's ended up being a white of Nguyen over Joey Cicero 9-0. On Saturday no one was able to get past 5 on the day, which shows just how dominate Nguyen was. In his last matche of the day against Jean Therriault he won with ease 9-2.

 Sunday the final 4 on the winners side were Nguyen vs Daigle and Crevier vs Aupin. Nguyen continued his torrid pace winning 9-2 and Crevier was able to edge out Aupin 9-8. On the losers side Hewitt began to find his form as he beat Pierre Normand 9-1, then Martin Daigle 9-1 and followed this up with a 9-3 win over John Leblanc. In the losers side match Crevier ended his run 9-6 setting up a winners side final rematch.

Francis Crevier and Dany Nguyen
Crevier made it close, however no one was going to stop Nguyen from winning this tournament as he went on to win 11-7 to capture his first Falcon Tour victory of his short professional career. Nguyen was clearly playing the best all weekend and deserved the win, Cue Sport Nation would like to congratulate him on this landmark moment.

I would like to thank Danny Hewitt for the sponsorship so I could cover this event. Also Luc Paquette long time director of the Falcon Tour despite having a significant personal health issue and a week outside of a surgery came and did a great job as always. Francis Farley was also vital for keeping the tournament running smoothly throughout the weekend and acted as a referee, both these guys did a great job this weekend. Finally I would like to thank Patrick De Repentigny and Daniel Samson and the entire Terminus Staff. Before this tournament they invested a significant amount of money to re-cloth and level all the tables so the conditions were nearly flawless for this event.

The next Falcon Tour Stop will be at La Patriote in St.Eustache December 2-3 hope to see you all there!


Falcon Tour Pay Out 

1-Dany Nguyen 1125$
2-Francis Crevier 900$
3-Danny Hewitt 680$
4-John Leblanc 500$
5-6 Martin Daigle 340$
5-6Andy Aupin 340$
7-8 Luc Salvas 200$
7-8 Pierre Normand 200$
9-12Jean Thériault 90$
9-12Eric Hamel 90$
9-12Maxime Villeneuve 90$
9-12Alain Martel 90$
13-16Markus Noe 40$
13-16Andre Goyette 40$
13-16Mehdi Bahloul 40$
13-16Nicolas Charette 40$


Amateur Only Second Chance Pay Out

1-Dave Simard 200$
2-Dominic Gauthier 150$
3-Alex Lalanne 100$
4-Neil Ayotte 50$



Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Moscow: Canadian Results from the Junior World Championships

Dean Cuillerier and Brenden Croft 

Submitted Article 

At this years Junior World Championships Canada was lucky enough to have 2 boys representing in Moscow Russia. 15 year old Brenden Croft from Peterborough Ontario has been playing pool since he was about 4 years old coming from a pool playing family and has been mentored recently by Mario and John Morra.

Croft 


Then there is 16 year old Dean Cuillerier from Montreal Quebec. Canadian Junior Champion 2017 and multiple junior event winner of the ADBQ junior tour in Quebec. Dean has been mentored by Alain Martel and his dad Rodney (2016 Canadien snooker champ) who made the trip to Russia with them.


 Dean Cuillerier

Dean won his first match vs. Seo from South Korea and then lost 7-6 vs Roberts from the U.S. On the losers side he won his match vs. Smithers (USA) and then lost hill hill vs. Kalyaev (Ukraine). Brenden lost his first match 7-5 vs. Peterson (South Africa) and on the B side lost a heart-breaker 7-6 vs. Schultz (USA).

The trip was a huge learning experience and both kids are looking forward to more major events in the future. Brenden will be playing at the junior event at the Super Billiards expo in Philadelphia and also at the junior BCA nationals in Vegas.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Cornwall: Kelly Tenholder Wins Inaugural Women's Tournament at Rack-M-Up Billiards

From left to right, Mel Jacobs, Louanne Leger, Sara Lee, Kelly Tenholder
By: Markus Noé
 Sunday October 22 Rack-M-Up Billiards hosted its first  ever women's only tournament. This was the brain child of Loreen Toutant a long time competitive player who has played at every level of pool available in Canada including the prestigious Canadian Billiard & Snooker Association's, Canadian Championships.
 Since moving down from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) a few years ago Toutant has been a welcomed addition to the local pool scene. Using her connections in the Women's circuit and with the help of the owner of Rack-M-Up Billiards Doug Disotell, Toutant was able to organize a successful first event. 
Despite other events going on simultaneously a healthy field of 12 showed up to take part, one came from as far as Kitcher,Ontario. The two best represented rooms in terms of participation in this field was Rack-M-Up Billiards and Tailgators located in Ottawa,Ontario.
This tournament was a round robin format, each player would play each other once a best of 3 games. After each player played 11 matches the top 4 winners would move on.  At this point it turned into a blind draw,
The two semi final matches ended up being Mel Jacobs vs Kelly Tenholder and Louanne Leger vs Sara Lee the winners would move to the final. The losers would play to determine who would finish 3rd and 4th. Jacobs who went through the entire round robin undefeated ended up suffering her first lost in the semi-final to Tenholder. Outside of Jacobs, Leger was the only local left and she lost to Lee. 
Tenholder appeared to get comfortable with her surroundings as the day progressed and improved with each match which resulted with her winning the tournament. Congratulations to the 4 winners after a long day of pool each earned some well deserved cash for their troubles. 
Toutant would like to thank Doug Disotell who returned the "green fee's" into the prize fund for his help organizing and running the tournament. Toutant would also like to extend a thank you to Henry Barkwell. He acted as assistant director throughout the day and was crucial to the event going so smoothly. 
Everyone is invited to visit Rack-M-Up Billiards Facebook page to find out information on leagues, upcoming tournament and watch some of their archived tournament matches. Rack-M-Up Billiards also sells cues and installs, as well as repairs pool tables and cues, feel free to call Doug Disotell at 1-613-933-9362 for all your billiard needs. 

Payouts:
Kelly Tenholder $180
Sara Lee $90
Louanne Leger $50
Mel Jacobs $40

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

SNOOKER'S UNLIKELIEST CHAMPIONS - BOB CHAPERON



In a series of articles over the coming weeks here at The Cue View, we take a look at some of the most surprising, long-shot tournament winners in the history of professional snooker.

First up is Bob Chaperon...

One of the unlikeliest champions of a ranking event ever was Canada's Chaperon at the 1990 British Open. He would become one of the sport's cult figures because of it.

Lower profile than his fellow professional countrymen at the time, as it stands, Chaperon is still the last Canadian to lift a ranking trophy. He based himself in Gainsborough to further his top tier snooker career and worked his way into the World's Top 32. His previous best performance was a Quarter-Final finish at the 1987 Grand Prix.

His 1989/1990 campaign had been uninspiring, though; of the seven previous events he had competed in, he failed to get past the Last 32 in any of them. However this sequence, and his life, was to dramatically change for the good at the Assembly Rooms in Derby in early March.

The 1990 British Open was screened on ITV and featured an FA Cup style draw for each round of the main stages. It would be a tournament of early eliminations for the big names with World Number 16 Steve James the highest ranked player left come the Quarter-Finals.

Chaperon came through his opening rounds which included a defeat of the World Number 6 Mike Hallett. 

In the Last 16 he would face good friend and compatriot Alain Robidoux. The match went all the way to a deciding frame where Robidoux had one foot and four toes in the Last 8 after forging a 47 point lead with just one red remaining.

Despite requiring three 4 point snookers just to tie, Chaperon elected to carry on. Sensationally, he managed to get the snookers and forced a freeball opportunity from his opponent. Blessed with a bit of luck when fluking the last red after he had inadvertently snookered himself, he managed to pull off one of the most famous turnarounds on the final black.

Now perhaps 'freerolling', the French Canadian then dispatched Neal Foulds 5-3 and Robert Marshall 9-5 in the Quarters and Semi-Finals respectively.

Chaperon's opponent in the final would be none other than a resurgent Alex Higgins.

Now into what would be the twilight of his career, 'The Hurricane' had slipped to 24th in the World Rankings, although a 9-3 victory over James in the Last 4 secured his first berth in a ranking event final for over 16 months. It would turn out to be his last ever professional final appearance.

Visibly, Higgins was emotionally charged for this match; at times it seemed as if he was attempting to intimidate his less experienced rival with his antics away from the table of play. He also complained about Chaperon and referee Alan Chamberlain disturbing him whilst he was at the table.

The maiden finalist took an early 4-1 lead, settling in with a 110 break in Frame 2 after losing the opener, but was pegged back to 4-4. From there, there was never more than one frame between them as they moved on to 8-8.

Understandably, the remainder of the match was a ragged, nervy affair, but it would be the pre-tournament 150/1 shot who kept his cool in winning 10-8. The unexpected champion collected £75,000 for his win – one of the most surprising in professional snooker history.

This would be his solitary ranking success - in fact he never reached another ranking Quarter-Final, although amazingly he did win the World Cup a few weeks later alongside partners Robidoux and Cliff Thorburn. Coincidentally, the Canadians beat Northern Ireland (Dennis Taylor, Tommy Murphy and Higgins) 9-5 in the final.

Chaperon retired in 2003 after flitting on and off the tour, but still plays back home in Canada. Only last week he reached the final of a North American invitational event.

He will forever be in the books as a major ranking event winner – a very exclusive club.


The picture above is courtesy of Markus Noe from www.cuesportnation.com


Written and published by Michael Day on the 28th October 2017

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Moncton N.B: Daigle Wins Eastern Canadian 9 Ball Championships

Winner Martin Daigle 
By: Candace Campbell 

For 25 years players on the east coast have looked forward to Thanksgiving and the Eastern Canadian 9 Ball Championships. The tournament is a major event on the Maritime Pool calendar, drawing top talent to compete in Moncton, NB. As always Steve Cooper did an excellent job of making sure everything ran smoothly all weekend long.

We kicked off Friday night with the Jack Williston Memorial invitational where 15 of our best tested their skills. The format of this contest is first to 3 sets with each set being a race to 5, alternate break. It has been one of the favored formats over the years with positive feedback from participants. Close opening round matches saw NB’s Jeff Kennedy and Ashley Nowlan narrowly besting their opponents with the remaining matches won in more convincing fashion.  Jeff Blais breezed through to the semi-finals without losing a set. 

He beat former champ Jason Robichaud, and NB’s current #1 Tom Theriault before running into the event Promoter Rob Sakell. Rob put on a strong performance but in the end lost to Blais by a score of 3-2. Martin Daigle had an equally impressive showing in the lower bracket that would see these two road partners meet in the finals.  This would be Martin’s 10th appearance in a professional tournament final within the last year and a half. Daigle was due for a win.  He played well taking down the first set but Blais stepped it up a notch winning the next 3 sets in a row to take home the title.

Saturday’s round robin saw 58 participants separated into groups for the elimination round. As always, it was nice to have 4 ladies in the mix competing in a very strong field.  By day 2 we were down to the final 48 redraw: Double Elimination. The full bracket can be viewed here (insert challonge link). The highlight of this tournament was most definitely the performance of Martin Daigle. As we have seen, even seasoned professionals have their challenges. Daigle is no different.  He has worked hard for years not only on the physical but the mental aspect of the game. 

When he found himself, here in his 11th final in a year and a half his demeanor changed. It began in the semi-final against Matt Crawford. The two had met earlier in the tournament and it went to the hill with Daigle getting the better of Crawford. Here they were again and you could see the physical differences. He held his head high, focused on every shot and rarely missed. The token mannerisms we’ve all come so used to seeing were all but absent. You could tell by the calm and confidence that he wanted it and no one was going to stop him. He made swift work of Crawford 13-6 and found himself, again, facing Jeff Blais in the finals.  Blais had put him on the B side only a few matches ago, but it did not matter. Both players would give it their all and only the smallest of errors were made. In the end Martin conquered his slump and took home his first Eastern Canadian 9 Ball Championship. The final score 15-13. 

Not to be outdone, our ladies division saw 5 participants and though there was a small turnout the enthusiasm was high. Angela Buchan made her Easterns debut against some strong returning players. Nova Scotia’s Leign Ann Giles and Brenna Sylliboy, along with local ladies Louise Cormier and Joline Boudreau.  Everyone gave it their all and Brenna Sylliboy had her best ever Easterns performance. She was the lone survivor on the “A” side and had a bit of a wait for her rematch with Leigh Ann Giles. Giles came back from the “B” side with a vengeance. Sylliboy was up on her early but Giles is no stranger to competition and stuck it out coming back from a 3-0 deficit to take the set, and the title 9-5.
Congratulations to this year’s Champions! As always, we look forward to seeing everyone back here next October. The Championship is played over Thanksgiving long weekend and is open to players from NB, NS, PE, NF, and QC. If you would like to get involved as a sponsor, or participant please email Rob Sakell: moncton9ball@gmail.com.

For full brackets click HERE

Payouts

9-12 $100
7-8 $200
5-6 $300
4th $500
3rd $800
2nd $1,200
1st $1,800