Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Thetford Mines:The Lion wins the second Annual Archer Cup!

By: Markus Noé

For most of us in Canada this past long weekend May 20-23 is the kick off to our summer, which we only get a few precious months off. Gardens are planted, swimming pools are opened, barbecues are taken out of storage and fired up for the first time of the year. However as we know for pool players the normal rules do not apply.

Roughly 300 players opted out of the nice weather we had this past weekend and gathered in the small town of Thetford, Mines, located in south-central Québec. For the past six years players have been making the yearly trek to participate in the Classiques de Billard des Appalaches, (C.B.A). It boasts amateur division from beginner through to Semi-Pro and a Pro division.  The past two years the Pro division has been renamed to the Archer Cup (10 Ball) in honor of the legendary career of American great Johnny Archer. 

The C.B.A is backed by the local community who understand by investing in this event that it attracts hundreds of players as well as their families to fill their hotels and restaurants for 4 days. The money that the city provides helps beef up the prize pool to the Archer Cup which over the last few years have made it possible for a world class field to develop. Even with only 16 players in the field this year it boasted two World Champions, Ultimate Ten Ball Champion, U.S Open Champions, several Canadian Champions and the list goes on. 

The Archer Cup got underway Friday morning, with my partner here at Cue Sport Nation Erik "Big Red" Hjorleifson in the field I was focused on his match with Francis "the Panda" Crevier. This match began close enough but midway through Crevier took control as he was breaking at a high level. Crevier went on to win 10-5. Hjorleifson went on to play one of the best players from western Canada next Shannon Ducharme which he won 10-6. As this tournament was played over 3 days alongside an Open 9 Ball event it made for a very hectic schedule. By the time he met up with Johnny Archer late Sunday night both players were visibly fatigued. 

The term "grinding" is often used in the pool world and I don't think the term could be applied any better when describing this match. This was highlighted at 8-7 for Hjorleifson when Archer missed a routine 9 ball leaving it in the jaws of the side pocket. Mental fatigue was visible here as Big Red was caught in between two shots and decided to cinch the ball instead of working the rails to attempt to get closer to the 10 ball. The result was a weird leave and he ended up rattling the 10 making it 8-8. Archer would ride this little bit of momentum to go on to win 10-9 leaving Hjorleifson in 8th place. 

For local fans it was kind of a thrill coming into Monday with 3 out of the 4 players remaining being Canadian. John Morra and Johnny Archer met up first in the 4th place match, with Morra getting the win 10-6. Here he met up with his teammate last year for the World Cup of Pool and fellow Canadian Champion Jason "Klatticus" Klatt who was just defeated by Alex Pagulayan in the winners side final 10-9. I have met Klatt several times before however this past event I had the opportunity to get to know him a lot better as he roomed with Hjorleifson and myself. 

I have to say Klatt is one of the most laid back and down to earth professionals I have ever met. Even at the top level as you see the pros prepare, the nerves and the stress that comes with having to preform at the highest level is usually visible. Not just because they want to win but as we know in pool with the lower prize funds compared to other sports they need to win to eat. 

Myself being an amateur player and the major fan that I am, anytime I get a chance to pick one of these guys brains I do and what I got mostly from Klatt is how he mentally prepares. Basically he just makes sure he has enough rest for the grueling days of competition and as he says, "just go out their and have fun." I have to say the calmness and his mantra of just have fun is something really refreshing to see, as most players almost have a chip on their shoulder and put an enormous amount of pressure on themselves. So much so that I sometimes fear that the basic joy of the sport is being lost.  This method appears to work very well for the 33rd ranked player in the world as he went undefeated during the first 2 days in both events. In the third place match in the open 9 ball event Alex Pagulayan defeated him 11-7 after John Morra defeated him 11-3 in the winners side final. In the 3rd place match in the Archer Cup once again Morra bested Klatt 10-5. 

The Archer Cup final began almost immediately after the Open 9 Ball final which featured the same match-up. In the open 9 Ball Morra had earned himself a bit of lead late in the set however, Alex Pagulayan roared back to win 13-11. In the final of the 10 Ball the same story line played out as at one point Morra lead 8-5 however once again the Lion who is known for his big heart did not give up and capitalized on a few of Morra's mistakes and bad rolls to tie up the match and eventually went on to win 13-11.  Congratulations to John Morra who played with a lot of heart all weekend as he battled back from the losers side in the Archer Cup which was no easy feat especially while playing in another event. Also congratulations to Jason Klatt and Alex Pagulayan who played exceptional all weekend.

Overall this was a very enjoyable weekend for amateur players and and fans alike as we were able to compete in our own events, and in our spare time were treated to some world class pool. With the help of  ,  players can download the app and get their match schedules and notification right to their phone and with the tournament organizers everything ran very smoothly. 

I would like to thank the entire C.B.A board who were one of my sponsors for this event and especially Marco Sanschagrin who is the main organizer. He provided another excellent weekend and every year the Archer Cup inches closer to becoming recognized as true world class event. The best part of the C.B.A is that they are constantly looking for ways to improve and willing to take constructive criticism in order to do so, a mark of a great promotion team. I would also like to thank my other sponsor for this event David Touhey of Touhey Management located out of Ottawa, Ontario. Without guys like him the shear amount of tournaments I go to would be impossible. Below is the video of the winning run out by Pagulayan. For full results and payouts go to

To see all our videos and pictures from this weekend visit the Cue Sport Nation Facebook Page. 

Archer Cup Payouts:

Alex Pagulayan $4,000

John Morra $2600

Jason Klatt $1500

Johnny Archer $1000

Sylvain Grenier/Mike Dechaine $750 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Mr. Smooth Tames the Lion to Claim 2016 Canadian 10 Ball Crown

John Morra playing Sylvain Grenier. 

By: Markus Noé

Monday May 9th the the final tournament of the Canadian Championships begun. The Canadian Billiard & Snooker Association went 3 for 3 this week in terms of drastic improvement in participation. Over the past few years the average amount of players in each field was around 25 in the men's and 8 in the Women's. This year the Women's division saw double digits in each of field and the Men's saw 61 in 9 Ball, 55 in 8 Ball and 45 in the 10 Ball.

The increased turnout I think was for two reasons. One being that this year the event was moved from Toronto in to Québec where their are many good players who do not often travel outside the province. Also the $9,000 added throughout the divisions, was something that has not been seen in a while and made it finicially viable for more players to participate. $6,000 came from the host room Le Tapis Vert and $3,000 came  from Toiture Royal  which is local professional Martin Daigle's Roofing company.

From talking to some of the long time professionals no one had a bad word to say about this years edition of the Canadian Championships. The conditions were great the prize pools made sense and the participation was exceptional. The main issue all week was that the CBSA could not provide the stream they had intended to because of the poor internet connection which was a real point of contention for the President Randall Morrison.

In Canada we have a stable of talented players however there are three who have separated themselves from the pack. From the results last week it is fairly evident who they are, Jason Klatt won the 8 Ball, Alex Pagulayan won the 9 Ball and John Morra won the 10 Ball. In the final of the 10 Ball it was a rematch of the 9 Ball final as Morra would face Pagulayan who once again went undefeated to the final. Morra's path to the final was a little tougher as he lost his second round match to Shannon Ducharme 10-4. From there Morra won 8 matches in a row against some of the best players in the country.

The final this time was a different story as Morra was breaking and running most of his racks in this alternate break format. In the end he went on to win 13-3 and took home another Canadian title. Overall it was a great week for the CBSA and for the first time in sometime the future looks bright for our national association. If anyone across the country is interested in holding a qualifier for the upcoming amateur championships or for next years professional division go to and contact the board. Also for full brackets and result can be found at this website as well.

Finally I would like to thank my sponsors for this event my updates would not possible without them:

The Winning Stroke

Dooly's Ottawa

Dooly's Neufchatel 

Touhey Management

The next event I will be covering will be the Archer Cup May 20-23, if you are interested in being a sponsor for this event contact me through Facebook or by email @

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan goes undefeated at Canadian 9 Ball Championships

Female Winner Naomi Williams, Male winner Alex Pagulayan and Female runner up Brittany Bryant. 

By: Markus Noé

On Saturday May 7 the Canadian 9 Ball Championships got underway. For the second tournament in a row we saw the highest participation in 10 years as 61 players took part this year. The host room was packed with spectators as people were hoping to get a glance of the best players in the country. Favourites going into the tournament included Alex Pagulayan, John Morra, Erik Hjorleifson, Danny Hewitt and the newly crowned 8 Ball Champion Jason Klatt.

There were some big matches early in this tournament as Erik Hjorleifson and Shannon Ducharme met up in the first round. According to Hjorleifson post match, both players where near flawless in this match with Ducharme getting the nod 9-8.  Local talents Joey Cicero and Jeff Blais also met in the first round with Blais winning 9-4. Throughout day one there were no real upsets to report as most of the favourites won their matches and continued on. 

A bit of a surprise to many was that at the end of the day the ageing Canadian legend Alain Martel was final 4 on the winners side. His talent has never been in question of course but he has not been performing to his level this last year. Coming into day two Martel met up with another long time Canadian legend Mario Morra. It was nice to see these two deep on the winners side and they did not disappoint putting on a great match, with Martel edging out Morra 9-7.

In the winners side final Martel met up with Alex Pagulayan who was the runner up in the 8 Ball to Jason Klatt. The Canadians is a grueling test of ones skill, concentration and endurance as all 3 events are played over six days. For example Klatt played about 20 hours of pool in two days for the 8 Ball and won but perhaps was a bit fatigued as he saw an early exit in the 9 Ball losing to Martin Daigle and Erik Hjorleifson. Pagulayan credits his endurance to eating right working out and his experience at the Derby City Classic. 

In the winners side final Pagulayan won decisively 9-5. On the losers side of the bracket Martel met up with John Morra who was tearing up the one loss side after losing 9-4 to Pagulayan. Morra had wins over Francis Crevier, Danny Hewitt and Martin Daigle. Martel went on to lose this match 9-3 to finish in 3rd place. Before the day started Martel shared that he is still motivated to play as he said his new goal is to be the first Canadian Champion at 100 years old. 

The final promised to be a barn burner as Pagulayan and Morra have been the top two Canadians for some time now. However it was not meant to be for Morra as he made a few mistakes but mostly he could not get his break working and on the flip-side Pagulayan was breaking well and playing near flawless. The final ended at 15-6 for Pagulayan. 

The women's event saw 13 players show up which is about double the size of the last few editions. Favourites in this were Brittany Bryant, Naomi Williams and Veronique Menard. In this tournament the cream floated to the top and this ended up being your top three. Williams came back from a loss to Bryant in the winners side final and got her revenge in the final winning 11-6 and securing yet another title. 

Overall players have been very satisfied with the conditions here at Tapis-Vert and the week has gone really well. For updates on the draw and for the stream for the 10 Ball go to Follow along with us on our Facebook page for updates on the final day of the 10 Ball. 

Thank you to my sponsors for this event:

Touhey Management 

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Jason Klatt Goes Undefeated at Canadian 8 Ball Championships

President of the CBSA Randall Morrison with winner Jason Klatt

By: Erik Hjorleifson 

Another year has gone by and we find ourselves again at the Canadian Championships. This year there has been a big change as the event is being held outside of Ontario for the first time in probably ten years.  Last September Tapis-Vert out of Quebec City along with help from Martin Daigle and Toiture Royale made an impressive offer of $9000 total in added money over the 5 events that are taking place over the 6 day tournament.  

As the largest base of competitive players is generally thought to be out of Quebec it was expected that fields would once again reach respectable levels of full at 64 players or close to that. Turns out that is exactly what happened as 55 players entered that 8 ball event and as of tonight there are 62 in the 9 ball, lets give Canada a pass on being two spots short and call it a full field in the 9 ball for the first time since the very early 2000's! The strong turnout also goes hand in hand with the entry fees being dropped to a reasonable $175 for 8 ball ,9 &10 ball fee's also went down to $225. This of course was made possible by the added money that was put up by the host.

This year has also seen the return of simple things that have been overlooked in the past like having a players meeting! Might seem like a small deal but imagine going to a national championship and having no address to the participants, fact is this was a reality for at least the last 3 years of CBSA operation. CBSA secretary Candace Campbell was in charge of the players meeting and did an excellent job, presenting well and clearly explaining the format. 

This is my first time meeting her and I must say that she is very approachable,organized and for her first time running the national championships she is very calm and on the ball at every turn. Hopefully she will stay with the CBSA in future years. The president Randall Morrison is also on hand helping with all the logistics and working diligently to resolve issues with the internet streaming capabilities with the host and believe me if there's anyone that can do it its him, he has not been able to find a solution, however the venue has its own lower quality stream which is available at as are all the results and draw sheets.

The venue has 12 Black Crown tables which have been newly re clothed and the highest quality a
Aramith balls are in use. I would say the conditions are near perfect with the exception that the pockets are quite big to say the least, there is no such thing as straight in on theses tables. However it is the same for both players and the speed and ball reaction is very consistent. As you can guess, though the break is extremely important and don't be surprised to see some upsets along the way.

Day 1 of the 8 ball was fairly interesting as play started at 10:00am and the last ball was struck at around 3:00am. This was by no fault of the directors it is just a fact of running so many players through in a two day period. Big names in the field included Alex Pagulayan, John Morra, Jason Klatt, myself, Dany Hewitt, Alain Martel, Francis Crevier the west is also strongly represented by Shannon Ducharme, Simon Pickering and Paul Potier among many other champions. Day one highlights included John Morra with a hill hill victory over Shannon Ducharme and Jason Klatt with a hill hill victory over Sylvain Gingras in a match in which Gingras missed a very makeable 8 in the hill game.

Notable players who failed to make it to day 2
Alain Martel
Sylvain Grenier
Jeff Blais
Mario Morra

This should give you an idea of the overall strength of the field

On Sunday after making it to the final 8 on the winners side Dany Hewitt, Luc Salvas and Paul Potier both went two and out. Randy Bagot a long time top player from Manitoba who was making his first appearance at the Canadians made it all the way to the winners side semi finals before finishing fifth. Jason Klatt one of the strongest 8 ball players I have ever met defeated John Morra, Alex Pagulayan and Francis Crevier in succession to take the hot seat. After his loss to Klatt, Pagulayan came back strong with wins over Guillaume Mcnicoll, John Morra and Crevier to set up a rematch with Klatt in the final.

In the final Klatt came away with a thrilling 11-10 win against one idles doing up Alex Pagulayan. After his vicotory Klatt went to Facebook to share his thoughts on the final. 

President of CBSA Randall Morrison with runner up Alex Pagulayan

prize money
1st                $1800 plus World expenses
2nd               $1500
3rd Francis Crevier $950
4th John Morra $750
5th Randy Bagot $500
       Gullaume Mcnicoll
7th Shannon Ducharme $375
       Andy Aupin
9th Simon Pickering $250
       Dany Hewitt
       Paul Potier
       Luc Salvas will be on site beginning saturday stay tuned to our facebook page for all of the latest updates videos and scores.
Special thanks to my sponsors for the event
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