Monday, 30 November 2015

ADBQ Presents First Québec Junior Championship

Photo provided by Martin Laverdure and Guy Simard of Billard Québec http://www.billardquebec.com/junior2015.html

By: Tino Barbieri

This past weekend was a busy one for pool in Quebec. The F.Q.S.B held their regular season tournament by hosting six different tournaments ranging from C to AAA skill levels. There was a Scotch Doubles tournament that my buddy Markus Noé from Cue Sport Nation attended. The 5th stop of the Falcon Tour held at the Toxedo Pool Hall in Sept-Iles (10hrs North East from Montreal) which was won by Sylvain Grenier beating Danny Hewit 11-6. However the most important of them all was the Provincial Juniors Championship which was held at La Bande a Coin in St Lambert Quebec. This is one of the few places that players under the age of18 can walk in and play because the hall does not have any Lottery Machines.

There were six Players in the 13-under and 18 in the 14 over categories who participated. The main force behind this championship is one of the best French-Canadian players of all time Alain Martel. He is the founder of the ADBQ (The Quebec Association Development for Billards). With the help of other supporters from across the province they encouraged people into sponsoring a player for a cost of $52.

This money would allow the players to enter 12 tournaments with a chance to qualify for the Championship. This weekend was a special one for the kids because everyone who participant received a $50 gift certificate from Canada Billiards and Bowling. The winners from each category (13-under and 14-17) would each receive a cue. But the most important was the fact that the winner of the 14-17 would receive paid entry and all expenses paid to play the Canadian Juniors in June 2016 in New Brunswick. Honors went to Tommy Cayer in the 14-17. This kid can play like a strong AA player. I was there this past weekend and saw him run 2 beautiful racks. Other players that were fun to watch was Maxime Rouleau. He plays in the 13 and under, Alain made the decision during the season to put him in 14-17 category because he was simply too good and crushing everyone with a perfect record. He ended up finishing 3rd. In the 13-U category Jordan Cayer (Tommy’s brother) won the event by beating Olivier Tougas.

What I enjoyed the most about this event was the faces on all the junior participants. It was priceless because none of them ever experienced playing this sport with a chance to go to the World Juniors Championship. There was one kid that finished second in the 13-U that was so upset he did not want to have his picture taken. His mom tried to talk to him as well as the owner of the room and myself. Finally a funny thing happened. After talking to him and explaining that losing is part of becoming a champion in life not only sports, the owner points to Alain Robidoux who was sitting about 5 feet away from us and tells the kid “do you know who that guy is sitting there?” the kid replies with a sad face “ NO”. The owner replies “ that’s Alain Robidoux!! He was once top 8 in the world in Snooker and is the best Snooker player in Canada”. This kids response was priceless “I Don’t Care”…need I say more. Not to knock Robidoux but just goes to show the competitive nature of this particular individual which leaves me optimistic for the future of our sport. For more pictures and to see the stream from this weekend please visit http://www.billardquebec.com/junior2015.html

Photo provided by Martin Laverdure and Guy Simard  Billard Québec http://www.billardquebec.com/junior2015.html

Alain Martel would like to thank the following that helped him in the 2015 Junior Development Program.

Reginal Directors :
André Pelletier
Daniel Gagné
Sylvain Grenier
Nicolas Van de Velde
The Sponsors :
Chantal Marceau ( Graphic Designer)
Eric Levesque  (Styllaweb)
Martin Deschamps  (Rezotek)
Eric Gaudreault (President of FQSB)
Veronique Menard
Le Bar-billard Sel & poivre
Elvis Joubert  (Dooly's  St-Hyacinthe)
Marco Sanschagrin (Dooly's Neuchâtel)
Karine et Nicolas du Salon de billard de Loretteville
Mario Paradis (Chalk Cube)
François Frappier (Wood Woorker) gave away 6 Small Beautiful wooden Bird Houses
Michel Lemyre (Canada Billard & Bowling)
Everyone that accompanied me in the Youth Centers and Schools :
Nicolas van de Velde
Dany Nguyen
Tino Barbieri
André Pelletier
Daniel Gagné
Maxime Deblois
Jonathan Hébert
Farla Salmanovitch

Thank-you to Guy Simard and Tino Barbieri from billardquebec.com  for the live coverage and his photographer Martin Laverdure.






Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Falcon Tour Stop #3: Hewitt Makes Impressive Comeback to Defeat Morra in Final.

Danny Hewitt, Luc Paquette and Alain Parent photo by Markus Noé.

By: Markus Noé

This past weekend Terminus Billiards & Bar located in Gatineau, Quebec hosted the third stop of the newly formed Falcon Cues Québec Pro Tour. This tour has been received with open arms by not only Québec players but from the entire Canadian pool community as this is currently the only professional tour in the country.

The first two stops have been played in Rimouski and Jonquiere, Québec averaging 32 players.  Last weekend saw 47 players show up to participate. I credit this increase in the field size due to several factors. Gatineau borders Ottawa, Ontario and is only a few hours away from Montreal, Québec while the last two tournaments have been several hours away from Montreal which is home to hundreds of players. Also the announcement that the 8th ranked player in the world, John Morra along with his father and solid professional Mario Morra added some extra buzz.

Day 1 featured a few shocking results and a couple big matches early on. Winner of the last stop Danny Hewitt paired up with Luc "The Machine Gun" Salvas in the first round. Salvas a multiple World Speed Pool Champion, is always a crowd favorite as his speed and obvious love of the game makes him very entertaining. However he was in tough against the current #1 player in Québec Hewitt and lost his first match 9-6. Despite this early loss Salvas went on to win 7 matches before losing to Alain Martel in the 4th place match. Below is a video of Martel making the last few balls to beat Salvas to give people an idea of the atmosphere.
video


The biggest upset of the day was Sylvain Grenier who has had a solid year in his return to pool, failing to make it to Sunday. He suffered a 9-6 loss to Dany Nguyen a young professional from Montreal. On the losers side he won one match before being eliminated by strong local semi-pro Sébastien Cousineau 9-5. Another upset of note is Karl Petrin a newly ranked "A" player from Montreal beating Lelsie Cookie a "AAA" 9-8.

Overall as in most cases in talent packed tournaments such as this the creme floated to the top. Going into Day 2 the final eight were John Morra vs Andre Goyette, Danny Hewitt vs Yannick Bedard, Alain Martel vs Sébastien Cousineau, Luc Salvas vs Patrick De Repentigny. A feel good story going into the final was the success a few local players had been having. There was of course Cousineau who was mentioned earlier. However not to be undone is Canadian legend Andre Goyette at 75yrs who old fought right till the final 4 winners side. House pro at Terminus Repentigny also had a great deal of success only losing to Goyette and Salvas finishing tied for 8th with Cousineau.

The pool hall really became electric when there were 4 remaining. On one table there was Martel vs Salvas while Morra and Hewitt did battle on the next table. Morra defeated Hewitt 9-7 and waited in the hot-seat while Martel and Hewitt went to war to decided who would get the last shot at the tournament favorite. Martel looked a bit fatigued and perhaps was distracted by a waitress who came to bring me a coffee at aninappropriate time in the match and appeared to inadvertently "Shark" him out of a key shot. In the end Hewitt won easily 9-4 and earned a rematch.

The final began with a flurry from Morra who was breaking well and mounted a 6-1 lead in this extended race to 11. A dry break for Morra and accidentally hooking himself on a wide open was all Hewitt needed to mount a comeback, and in a blink it was 6-6. Hewitt even went on to take the lead 8-6 before Morra had a chance. Hewitt finally missed a shot and even got a good roll to not leave it easy. However Morra a former Derby City 9 Ball Banks Champion, stepped up and fired a full table cross corner on the 5 ball and ran out to get within a game. In the video below I captured the bank shot.
video


In the end Hewitt was just playing too well and Morra a was just a bit unlucky as Hewitt went on to win 11-7.  This was a phenomenal tournament all around and perhaps the most entertaining one I have seen in Canada outside the Archer Cup in Thetford Mines, Québec. Once again it was proven that Québec is the current "Mecca" for pool in Canada as it is one of the best places for the Pro's to come to be respected and watched. The local crowd was absolutely thrilled with the talent that was on display in their pool hall. I would also like to commend the amateur level players who came out to participate, because in reality there were only 12 ranked Professionals. The rest were high level Semi-Pro's and Amateurs. This to me is very important as currently in Toronto we see professional's are being left out of many tournaments, while in Québec they use staggered entry fee's and not handicaps to encourage lesser players to improve alongside some of the best in the country. Below is the video of Hewitt putting on the finishing touches of his big win.

video


I would like to thank the Falcon team which consists of Danny Hewitt, Alain Parent and David Deschenes as well as Patrick De Repentigny and the entire Terminus staff. Combined they not only gave me everything I needed to cover this event but embraced me with open arms understanding the importance of promoting the Tour and the Sport of Pool. There will be a quick turn around for the Falcon Tour as the next stop is this weekend November 21-22 in Trois-Riviere, Québec. We will update the tournament early next week as my partner Erik Hjorleifson and myself will be playing in the Eastern Canada Barbox Championships at Tailgators in Ottawa, Ontario. I invite everyone to come and join the Nation on our Facebook page, you can also catch up with all the other videos I took at this event.

Main Tournament Results.

1. Danny Hewitt $1,100 + $1160 Calcutta

2.John Morra $800 +$790 Calcutta

3. Alain Martel $595+$530 Calcutta

4. Luc Salval $450+$260 Calcutta

5-6. Yanick Bedard $325,André Goyette $325

7-8. Sébastien Cousineau $200,Patrick De Repentigny $200

9-12. Mario Morra $110,Eric Marcoux-Levesque $110,Alain Parent $110,Maxime Villeneuve $110



Second Chance Tournament: No Pro's or Semi-Pro's. 

1. Pierre Paul $300

2. position Jean Vaillancourt $200

3. position Mike Young $150

4. position Marc Plamondon $110



Monday, 9 November 2015

Falcon Pro Tour: John and Mario Morra to Make First Appearance in Gatineau


By: Markus Noé

The first professional pool tour in Canada in nearly a decade will be making a stop at Terminus pool hall in Gatineau,Quebec. This will be the third tournament of 10 scheduled stops plus a season ending Grand Final which will be held at Dooly's in Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec. The two previous stops have been held in Rimouski and Jonquière Québec, both are far from Montreal and the Ontario border. That being said they are averaging over 30 players each tournament, this weekend I predict they will have closer to 50 players.

Most of the provinces elite players such as Alain Martel, Francis Crevier, Sylvain Grenier and Danny Hewitt have already made appearances. Hewitt and Crevier have been dominating the circuit thus far winning the first two stops. I happened to be playing a tournament at Terminus this past weekend and the room was abuzz with the recent announcement that John Morra and his father Mario Morra will be playing this weekend. 

John Morra phot courtesy of Alison Chang
In Canada the Morra's are like "the first family" of pool as Father, Mother and Son have all reached professional status and are champions. John Morra is not only the #1 player in Canada but he has had an incredible year outside the country. To start the 2015 season he finished second place at the Turning Stone Classic in January losing to Jayson Shaw in the Final. He followed that up with another runner up finish at the China Open losing a close set to Albin Ouschan. Morra has had several other high profiled finishes which include being tied for 5th place at the World 9 Ball Championships in Qatar this past September. Currently Morra is ranked 8th in the world according to the W.P.B.A (World Pool-Billiard Association). 

These tournaments guarantee at least $2000 added at each event. The tour sponsor Falcon Cues donates a high end cue for each tournament that is raffled off with all the proceeds being added to the tournament prize fund. There are staggered entry fees of $120, $80 and $60 depending on your skill level and there are no handicaps. For those amateurs that don't make it to Sunday there is a second chance tournament with $500 added and the entry fee is only $20. This should be a fantastic weekend for anyone who enjoys watching world class pool. Terminus is a great location with a very good kitchen and lots of room for spectators. I look forward to seeing everyone there! For more information please visit http://www.falconcuesquebectour.com/

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