Friday, 31 October 2014

Shooters Amateur: Robson Wins 2nd Tour Stop

By: Peter Hetherington

The 2nd installment of the Shooters Amateur 9 Ball Event was held this past weekend (October 25 & 26) at Shooters Snooker and Sports Club in North York. This amateur tournament will be held approximately every 4 weeks. The initial success of this tournament has spread quickly as there were many new players in this 2nd event. Like the first event a full 64 player field (with a waiting list) was ready when play began. A very active player Calcutta preceded the tournament play as there were no clear favourites to win the tournament.

The number of new players is very satisfying to the tournament organizer and room owner of Shooters. The new players were made up of both veterans who have not played in the usual GTA events in recent years and novices who have never played in these kinds of competitive events in the past. There were also the familiar names in the field --- some of whom typically made it to the latter stages of the tournament on Sunday. Fully 1/3 of the players were new to the tournament and did not play in the first event.

After play concluded on Saturday, Jeff Robson, Shawn Miller, Marius Nakas and Jaypee Castillo were undefeated on the ‘A’ side of the draw. On the one loss side Jeremy Isard, Ben Chang, Carlin Sanderson, Rafiq Kassam, Peter Hetherington, Bobby Drowns, Isaac Ramos and Kevin Oliveira were the survivors who returned for Sunday play.

In the ‘A’ side final Robson defeated Miller sending Miller to the ‘B’ Side and Robson to the hot seat. On the ‘B’ side, Miller gained a 2nd chance to challenge Robson by topping Jeremy Isard. In the tournament final Jeff Robson emerged the victor again in a hard fought battle against Shawn Miller.

Congratulations to the talented Jeff Robson on his tournament win. Jeff was the 2012 Canadian

Amateur Champion and has recently returned to competitive play.

Many thanks again to those who participated and apologies to those who were unable to play due to the high demand for entry into this event.

The next Shooters Amateur 9 Ball Event will be held November 22 & 23rd.

Player Prize Money/Calcutta

1st Jeff Robson $750/ $700
2nd Shawn Miller $450/ $475
3rd Jeremy Isard $300/ $350
4th Ben Chang $220 /$235
5-6th Marius Nakas $160/ $155
5-6th Jaypee Castillo $160/ $155
7th -8th Carlin Sanderson $110/ $105
7th-8th Rafiq Kassam $110/ $105
9th -12th Peter Hetherington $70
9th -12th Bobby Drowns $70
9th -12th Isaac Ramos $70
9th -12th Kevin Oliveira $70
13th- 16th Norberto Decarlos $40
13th- 16th Shane Gummerson $40
13th- 16th Jeremy Bolahood $40
13th- 16th Russ Cormier $40

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Eastern Canadian Barbox Championships Nov 7-9

By: Markus Noé

It is official, the Eastern Ontario Bar Box Championships has become an annual event. Once again Tailgaters located in Ottawa, Ontario will be hosting this event, which saw top tier players like John & Mario Morra along with Erik Hjorleifson in the field last year.

Originally in September when first word of this tournament came out, there was going to be a separate Professional division. This was playing off the recent success of the 8 man $300 dollar entry Pro event held at Tailgators in August dubbed the Summer Shoot Out. The thought was to have an even bigger event during this years edition as it was to be a 16 player Pro event with a $500 entry and a first place prize of $5000. 

Unfortunately due to conflicting schedules for many of the players interested in this event, it would have been impossible to fill. Thus the event has pivoted backed to its original format of last year. Which will be an open 128 player handicapped event, with $2000 added based on a full field. The handicaps will vary from 4-8 with players playing to their number. Along with the handicaps the entry fee's are staggered, meaning a "4" would pay $40 and an 8 pay $80.

The bar box tournament format has become popular as of late because many feel the small tables with big pockets is a great equalizer of sorts.This a great event for all as advanced players have a great chance in these short handicapped races and for beginner players it is a  cheap way to play a world class professional like Erik Hjorleifson who has already confirmed.

Play begins Friday November 7, contact Curtis Houlden at to have any questions answered. Online registration has begun on the Tailgators website, don't get left out and sign up today. Also for Cue Sport Nation supporters, this will be one of the rare occasions to meet both Erik and myself, as I live in Cornwall, Ontario and Erik in Scarbourough. If interested in becoming an advertiser or if you simply want to meet us and talk pool we will be at Tailgators for the entire event and welcome you to drop by.  

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Result From the King of the Hill Bar Box Tournament

By: Erik Hjorleifson

This weekend at Petrinas Billiards in Ajax, Ontario hosted a no handicap bar table 8 ball tournament. All players raced to 5 on both sides and B.C.A rules were in play. This tournament called the "King of the Hill" was a spin off to a tournament that ran with a similar format in Orangeville, Ontario in the 2000's. This was a very successful tournament for many years drawing over 100 players, the Petrina's version drew 28 players. Notable entrants along with myself included Brian Belobradic, Mike Patay, Wayne Tate, Justin Kluznik and Al porter among many others.

I started this day with a tough match against Mike Patay which could have gone either way, I got by with a 5-3 victory. From there I  defeated Martin Yacobazzo and Al Porter on my way to the winners side semi finals. On the same half of the draw bar table veteran Brian Belobradic advanced to  play me  with wins over Grace Nakamura, Dan Sears and Jago Raghoo. Advancing undefeated on the top half of the draw were Justin Kluznik with a notable win against Colin Kerr 5-2 and Alfonso Chiong advanced after a 5-4 win against George Cornelius.

In the winners side semi finals Brian Belobradic had a strong match defeating beating me 5-1 and Alfonso Chiong played very well against Justin Kluznik to advance with a 5-1 score line as well. Chiong then went on to defeat Belobradic in the winners side final, he is a player that is maybe a little lesser known to some in the Toronto billiard community so I might be the first to tell you that he can really play, especially on the bar table.

The rest of the field battled it out through the losers side to set up matches between myself and Wayne Dwyer and Jago Raghoo and Justin Kluznik. Dwyer was able to pull off an impressive upset  after an early scratch on the 8 in our set kudos to Wayne for a well played tournament. Raghoo also pulled off a slight upset against Justin Kluznik, one of the top players in Ontario, moving on with a 5-2 to victory. Raghoo then went on to defeat Dwyer in the fourth place match, his run was ended eventually in the third place match by Brian Belobradic.

The final was a true double elimination format which meant that Belobradic had to beat Chiong twice. Belobradic won the first set 5-4 and at 4-3 after snookering himself on the last ball before the 8 he pulled off the shot of the tournament pulling a masse kick with position on the 8! He then went on to break and run the final rack for the 5-4 victory, congratulations to Brian.

Owner Frank Kakouros has made some great improvements in his event hosting over the past two years, he is holding a weekly tournament on Fridays that is drawing 40 players and currently has a waiting list. He has also jumped on board with the Four Points Tour and currently has 8 events scheduled for the 2014-2015 season. Petrina's has also been promoting many successful league events on the bar tables which fill up quickly and have been boasting some impressive payouts. All the tournaments are run on a laptop and the draw is projected on the big screen tv's at the room. Frank has been a big supporter of Cue Sport Nation from the beginning and we would like to thank him for his involvement. The next tournament at Petrina's is on Halloween night and it will be a $500 first prize event, you can keep up to date with all of the tournaments at Petrina's on their Facebook Page.

Alfonso Chiong and Brian Belobradic


1st Brian Belobradic – $800 + $880 Calcutta

2nd Alfonso Chiong – $500 + $450 Calcutta

3rd Jago Raghoo – $350 + $270 Calcutta

4th Wayne Dwyer – $250 + $180.00

5th Erik Hjorleifson – $100

6th Justin Kluznik – $100

Monday, 27 October 2014

Hewitt Double Dips Casanzio to Capture Joss Tour Win

Danny Hewitt 
By Markus Noé

For the second week in a row the Québec contingent of Martin Daigle, Danny Hewitt and Alain Parent hit the road to take part on the Joss Tour. This week at Premium Billiards in Fairmount New York situated just outside Syracuse, played host to latest edition of the Joss Tour. Québec city native Martin Daigle was looking to match his friend and fellow french Canadian Danny Hewitt feat of last year which was winning back to back.

Martin Daigle 
Daigle who was the only one of the Quebecois who had not suffered a loss after day 1, looked like he was on his way to winning back to back events. He marched his way through the field setting up a winners side final match-up between himself and his opponent in the previous weeks final Ron Casanzio. This was a tightly contested affair with Casanzio wining 9-8.

Danny Hewitt who suffered  an early loss to well known player on the Joss Tour, Bucky Souvanthong 9-5, rebounded with 5 straight wins one of which was against fan favourite Shaun Wilkie. This earned Hewitt a match with one of his road partners Alain Parent, who also lost early on in the tournament and charged his way back to the final four.

Parent went on to lose to Hewitt setting up the losers final match against Daigle. The reigning champion was up for most of this match but some errors from Daigle combined with Hewitt's break which was working nicely, resulted in a 9-7 for Hewitt. In the final Casanzio, for the second week in a row, would have to fade one of Québec's top professionals.

Ron Casanzio 
This time Casanzio had the edge as he was the one who was undefeated and had to be beaten twice. Watching on the stream I saw as Hewitt asked his opponent if he had to beat him twice, hearing yes they flipped the coin and Hewitt took down the first one in what seemed like a few minutes 9-3. The second set was a much different affair as Hewitt trailed the entire set before winning a thriller 9-8 to take home top prize.

As not only a billiards junkie but media source as well it is always nice to see a free live stream. This one in particular was one of the best I have ever seen for free as it boasted 6 camera angles and colour commentary.  What I did find a bit concerning was the lack of reference the players and promoters had for the 3 from Québec. This province has a stable of world class talent which begins with Alain Martel, Danny Hewitt and Luc Salvas. In reality outside the top tier players like Mike Dechaine, Jayson Shaw or Dennis Hatch showing up, the 3 from Québec are the favourites to win consistently.

Hewitt who does not travel as much as it is simply not as profitable as it used to be, has big wins to his name. In 2003 he won  $20,000 for the first event called the Trump Marina 10 Ball Challenge. This tournament saw the likes of Efren Reyes, Francisco Bustamante and Earl Strickland in its field. Hewitt even lost his first match in this tournament as well but went on to beat monsters such as  Ronnie Alcano, Jim Rempe and Bustamante.

In a gambling sense this lack of knowledge of players such as Hewitt could be considered a "beautiful thing." For us at Cue Sport Nation it just reaffirms the necessity of a news organization such as ours which highlights Canadian talent to the international billiards community.


1st: Danny Hewitt – $1,050 
2nd: Ron Casanzio – $750 
3rd: Martin Daigle – $600 
4th: Alain Parent – $450 
5th/6th: Dwight Dixon, Shawn Wilkie – $300 
7th/8th: Willie Oney, Dave Grau – $200

Results From 2000$ Added Event at Ian's Cue Club

Photo by Blaine Bilocerkowec

By: Erik Hjorleifson

This past weekend in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Ian's Cue Club played host to an open 9 ball event that boasted 54 entries with an $85 entry fee, and the room generously added $2000 to the 9 ball event. This format was good enough to generate some interest with the best players in Western Canada, players from Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were all in attendance. You could say that the field was comparable to that of a Western Canadian Championship.

Pool has been somewhat quiet in Saskatchewan in the past 5 years, but the province has a long history of having good events. The biggest tournament that was ever executed in the province was called the Northeren Lights shootout held at the Northern Lights casino in Price Albert. This event happened three times and it attracted big American names each year. The winners of those events were Corey Deuel, Alex pagulayan and myself and the first prize was around $12 000.

The first two years of the event the finals were televised on TSN. I can also remember travelling to Saskatchewan many times when I lived in Manitoba. The three main rooms that held good events were Marquis billiards in Prince Albert, Pacific Avenue billiards in Saskatoon and Guys and Dolls in Regina. They would regularly have tournaments that were $2000 first prize or more and players from Alberta and Manitoba would compete on a regular basis. Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta all have a strong contingent of native players, many of whom were present this weekend. The best native players from Saskatchewan are Brad Poorman, Fabian Louison, Cass Burns, Blaine Burns, Jason Kishaynew and many others.

In all it was a very successful event this weekend in North Battleford and hopefully it will serve as a bit of a resurgence in a province where there are many great players.

1st place Brad Poorman (SK) $2500

2nd place Eric Vargas  (MB) $1500

3rd place  Russ Whittle (AB) $700

4th place Berry  McLean (MB) $400

5th/6th place Clint Gamble (SK) $ 200,  Phil Tourangeau(SK) $200

7th/8th place Mike Crookedneck (SK) $150, Gordon Paskemin (SK) $150

Special thanks to Mike Crookedneck for providing the results. They will also be planning a $3000 added event in the future, we will keep you posted.

La Belle Province Strikes Again on Joss Tour

Ron Casanzio (left) and Martin Daigle (right)
By: Markus Noé

It could be called a Quebec invasion of sorts on the Joss Tour, as there has been a wave of French Canadian players crossing the border and finding success. Within the last year Danny Hewitt has won back to back stops on the tour and Semi-Pro Dany Normandin finished third at the prestigious Turing Stone Classic. Alain Parent had a break through at the most recent Turning Stone Classic securing wins over Jayson Shaw and Huiji See.

Alain Parent 
Joining Parent and Hewitt this past weekend at Sharpshooters Billiards and Sports Bar in Amsterdam, NY was Martin Daigle. Daigle, who hails from Quebec City, is another perfect example of the stable of talent in Quebec. As he is perhaps lesser known across the border but a well known commodity in his home province and across Canada.

46 players showed up to play this event and as many as 10 professionals were in the field despite the U.S. Open being played at the same time. Daigle played flawless this entire event including an impressive 9-2 win in the hot-seat match against frequent winner on the Joss Tour, Ron Casanzio.

Martin Daigle 
Casanzio fought his way back in the losers side final to get another chance at Daigle. However Daigle was too much on this day, securing another win 9-6  and taking home the $1050 top prize. Parent finished in 5th place and Hewitt finised 4th respectively. The gang will be at Premium Billiards in Syracuse this upcoming weekend at the next Joss Tour stopCue Sport Nation will have that update as well.

Alain Martel Wins Quebec Provincial Championship

Alain Martel 

 By: Markus Noé

This past long weekend the Quebec Federation held their Provincial Championships at Le Skratch, Laval. All divisions C-Pro were all well attended and contested as this was one of the biggest weekends of the year for Quebec Pool outside Le Classique De Appalaches.

Being that last weekend was Thanksgiving and family being a priority I was unable to attend the entire event. However I was fortunate enough to arrive Monday morning and watch the end of most of the tournaments. Outside of the Professional tournament which boasted Quebec's top players such as Luc Salvas, Danny Hewitt and more, the story was Jean Vallaincourt.

Vallaincourt is a AA ranked player from Gatineau Quebec, who stunned many by finishing runner up in both the AA and AAA tournaments . This type of dominance in two different divisions is very rare to see. As I was rapping my head around what Vallaincourt had accomplished I walked over to the draw sheets and noticed Semi-Pro Fred Lapointe was on route to a similar feat.

Francis Crevier & Fred Lapointe 
Lapointe was already in the Final of the Semi-Pro division when I caught up with him and playing in the losers side semi-final in the Pro Division. There he beat fellow semi-pro, who was also impressive this weekend, Eric Claude 9-5. He then went on to lose to Francis Crevier to finish 3rd in the Pro and unfortunately for him followed that up with a loss to Johnathan Herbert in the final of the Semi-Pro. This very solid performance for Lapointe has bumped his ranking to Professional status.

Jonathan Hebert 
Crevier, after beating Lapointe earned another shot at Alain Martel who beat him in the winners side final. By this time most other matches were finished and everyone crowded around to watch. Martel obtained a few multiple game leads, but Crevier never let it extend. Both players were having a tough time keeping the cue ball on the table off the break, which was the difference in this match. At times when it looked like either player was getting ready to run away with the match a scratch off the break would allow their opponent back in, keeping this match close or tied the entire time.

Martel vs Crevier Final 
Like any great match talked about years later, this one came down to the wire at 12-12. Martel was up to break and some could of predicted what would happen, he scratched in the side. At first glance it looked like a wide open table however there was one cluster they had to manage. With ball in hand Crevier tried making a 9 ball combo while at the same time playing safe into the cluster. He accomplished his safety and it looked like Martel was done for, when he did what players of his caliber can. He came with a shot, which was a two rail kick that ended up safe. From there Crevier tried another safety which failed. allowing Martel the last opportunity he needed to win the match.

Guy Simard from Billard Quebec, with sponsorship from Canada Billiard was able to put on a very nice stream. If you are interested in seeing the matches you can go to his Facebook page . For full results on all the divisions please refer to

Pro Results 

Martel, Alain #100211200 $
Crevier, Francis #2912825 $
Lapointe, Fred #10623550 $
Claude, Éric #11564350 $
Francoeur, Richer #38505 - 6220 $
Hébert, Jonathan #1885 - 6220 $
Daigle, Martin #8317 - 8120 $
Nguyen, Dany #34017 - 8120 $
Hewitt, Danny #10069 - 120 $
Parent, Alain #13699 - 120 $
Hervieux, Junior #19379 - 120 $
Grenier, Sylvain #10209 - 120 $
Dinev, Todor #221913 - 160 $
Champagne, Ghislain #76113 - 160 $
Cloutier, Éric #101113 - 160 $
Gilbert, Styve #27413 - 160 $
Normandin, Dany #11017 - 240 $
Gagné, Daniel #73517 - 240 $
Salvas, Luc #100717 - 240 $
Mercier, Edgar #394917 - 240 $
Hervieux, Yvon #152017 - 240 $

Luc "The Machine Gun" Salvas Wins First Pro Event Of The Season

Luc Salvas with fellow Pro and friend Jared Amyot 

By: Markus Noé

This past Saturday at Dooly's Valleyfield 44 competitors came to participate in the first Professional event in the Quebec Federation. This year the Professional Circuit has 4 scheduled tournaments with a $3500 guaranteed Grand Finale for those that play in at least two tournaments.

These are non handicapped events, however there are staggered entry fees based on ones ranking. For those like myself who are AAA and under, get in for the bargain price of $30. Semi-Pro's are also getting their money in good having to only pay $30 while Professionals pay $100. This is to encourage players from all divisions to show up to hone their skills and see what it's like to play against some of the world class talent this circuit boasts.

Also new this year for maximum entertainment value, these tournaments will be seeded. This means the top ranked players get byes and the other higher ranked players are likely to play a lower class opponent first round. For me this is a bonus because for $30 I get a chance to play a very high level opponent and gain experience.

My first round match was against well known Semi-Pro Johnny Laprise. This was my first time playing him and I got off to a good start going up 4-2 early on with a couple clearances off his mistakes. To get to 4 he missed a makeable 8 in his opinion, leaving me a cut shot and then gave me the 9. Looking back, that missed 8 was the end of me because it seemed to fuel him and after a dry break I never got another good look losing 9-4. From there I went on to lose to AAA and potting machine Dominic Legault 7-1.

Danny Hewitt 
The benefit about being knocked out of a tournament such as this early on is that I now had the opportunity to rail-bird some great matches. Danny Hewitt, Alain Martel, Luc Salvas, Martin Daigle, Alain Parent and many more were all there for our viewing pleasure and I took full advantage. With the new seeding system most of the top named players did what was expected and cruised through the brackets setting up some big matches.

Luc Salvas and Alain Martel met up in the final four on the Winners side where the "Machine Gun" won. In the winners side final he went on to lose a tight match to Danny Hewitt, who throughout the day looked as if no one would beat him. Salvas then sat ans waited for Martel to knock out both Alain Parent and Dany Nguyen to set up a rematch in the losers side final. Once again Salvas put on a show in front of his legion of hometown fans beating Martel 7-4.

Alain Martel 
In the final Salvas got off to a blistering start, however Hewitt caught up at 4-4 and looked like he was going to take over the match. To me there was one shot in particular that changed the match, this is where Hewitt was forced to play a safe on the 7 ball leaving Salavas nearly frozen on the 8 ball. The 7 ball was about 6 inches away from the side pocket. If you would have blinked you would have missed Salvas stepping to the table bending over and whacking the cue ball two rails potting the 7 and clearing the rack while the hometown crowd of about 60 people erupted. From there Salvas went on to win his first Professional 9 ball tournament in a few years 9-7.

Salvas and Hewitt playing the final 
Salvas has not been competing as much these past few years and the last time I saw him play he was not the same force as I once saw on ESPN. However unknown to those outside Dooly's Valleyfield, which he owns, he has been practicing for a month in preparation for the season. At 28 years old and only competing for 7 years I never saw the form that so many have talked about when it came to Salvas. I have seen him shoot good but never great live like he did on this day, and let me tell you it is a treat.

 For me the best part of this day was sitting on the back patio with Martel and Salvas and about 10 others. It is clear to see that these two are not only some of the best talent to ever come out of Canada but they are good friends as well. We sat there for an hour or so shared a few beverages and listened to Salvas and Martel swap stories about their most clutch shots in big tournaments, and even some embarrassing misses as well. The next Professional tournament will be held Nov 1 at Le Skratch Laval, if you live in the Montreal area I recommend that everyone come to watch or play. To see all my photo's from this tournament go the Cue Sport Nation Facebook page.

Top 3 Pay Outs

1. Luc Salvas-$1000
2. Danny Hewitt-$600
3. Alain Martell-$380

Philippe Lacroix Wins A.B.O Season Opener

Phillipe Lacriox 

By: Markus Noé

This past Saturday at Terminus Billiard and Bar in Gatineau Quebec the A.B.OOttawa/Gatineau tour began its season. Just like in Toronto this past weekend tournament director Michel Meunier announced that there would be a few changes this season.

The first change this year is that there is no longer a division for A/B they have been absorbed into the open division. In previous years the open was reserved for AA-Pro however after a year in which the A/B hovered around 20 players and the open around 25 Meunier decided to host one good tournament rather then two small ones.

Overall a good move as lower ranked players receive good handicaps and a chance to play better players all the while making the prize fund bigger. Meunier also noticed that most amateur leagues around the world are now showing a relaxed dress code, and pointing out how their counterparts in Montreal have done the same. Thus a vote for the dress code was made among the players and it was decided that running shoes and jeans will now be accepted however a collard shirt is still mandatory.

After these announcement where made the 34 players who showed up began play. I struggled in this tournament as it was my first ranked as AA and was only able to win 1 match. Most of the other players who came up from my home room of Rack-M-Up Billiardsshared a similar fate.  Except for Platon Liolios who cruised through his first 3 matches on the winners side in dominate fashion.

In the final 8 which Liolios found himself in, the tournament format changes to single elimination. Here he ran into Terminus regular Philippe Lacroix ranked AA. Lacroix who had to spot 3 on 9 in this match quickly took control and never really let up keeping his opponent off balance the entire match, winning 9-7.

From here Lacroix went on to win his semi-final match and then beat Daniel Desjardin in the final to be crowned the first champion of the year. The next tournament will be held at Dooly's in Ottawa Octobre 18th.

Pay Outs:

1-Philippe Lacroix 400$

2-Daniel Desjardins 220$

3-Sylvain Sigouin 120$

4-Adam Desjardins 120$