Monday, 27 June 2016

Fairville Shooters: Results from the Canadian Amateur Championships

Nicholas Taylor-Ridley  with Alain Parent and Runner-Up Waleed M. Hashem

By: Erik Hjorleifson 

This past week from June 22nd to 26th Fairville Shooters in Saint John New Brunswick played host to the annual Canadian Amateur championships. This is the third time Fairville as stepped up to host the amateurs. The event boasted a generous  $4000 in added prize money which was divided between five divisions of men's, women's and juniors playing 8 ball and 9 ball. 

Participation held strong in the men's divisions with 46 in the 8 ball and 53 in the 9 ball. To my knowledge the women's amateur divisions set new records for participation with 19 in the 8 ball and 21 in the 9 ball. Glaringly though there was only 4 players in the junior 9 ball which undoubtedly brings up questions about the future of the game in this country. 

On the bright side there has been great strides in the province of Quebec spearheaded by Alain Martel who has successfully started a new program which has seen exposure in the public school system as well. Currently Martel has made a proposal to all schools in Montreal to join his program, we will all be on notice hoping this proposal is accepted.

As has been the norm for the past many national championships both open and amateur, the overwhelming majority of players were from the home province and participation from western Canada was very low. This year western Canada had only 1 participant Chad Sens, from Saskatchewan. Ontario fielded a few players including Brad Guthrie, Stuart and Malcolm McTaggart, David Moyer, Waleed Hashem and Nicholas Ridley. Very surprising to me was the turnout from Quebec which I believe was 0. 

The field of AAA and under players in that province is huge and the question as to why they did not want to be involved cannot be answered by me. The main reason players have shied away from travelling is the cost of expenses relative to the prize money but with $4000 added from the host there is not much more you can ask from them. 

When the national championships truly had a national representation it was because provinces were sending qualifiers all expense paid. I really believe for the CBSA (Canadian Billiard & Snooker Association) to responsibly move forward for the good of the game, they have to make contacts in all provinces with rooms that promote the game. They can achieve this by making an alliance with these rooms to qualify players for national events so players can overcome the cost vs prize money dilemma.

Bids for the 2017 Canadian Amateur championships are being accepted until July 15th of this year and can be submitted by email to CBSA representative Candace Campbell at

Results: All winners receive an entry to the open division in 2017 and the top 2 in the juniors receive a spot in the World Junior Championships as well as Tommy Cayer the top 16 and under finisher. Congratulations to all the winners.  For more pictures from the Canadian Amateur Championships please visit the Cue Sport Nation Facebook Page. 

Men's amateur 8 ball          
8 Ball Women's and Men's Winners Ruth-Ann Haley (NB), Matt Crawford

1st Matt Crawford

2nd Paul Gordon

3rd Carl Sampson

Men's Amateur 9 ball

 1st Jean-Guy Beliveau

2nd Craig Teal

3rd Matt Crawford

Women's Amateur 9 ball                     

1st Therese Hunter 

2nd Candace Campbell

3rd Cathy Horgan

Women's amateur 8 ball

1st Ruth-Ann Bailey

2nd Valerie Bell 

3rd Candace Campbell


1st Nicholas Ridley

2nd Waleed Hashem

3rd Tommy Cayer

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Hidden Spot: Bryant Wins Inaugural Ashton Twins Classic

Joanne Ashton, Brittany Bryant, Eleanor Callado, Beverley Ashton, Emily Duddy. 

By: Markus Noé

A full field of 32 women descended upon The Hidden Spot pool room in Calgary, Alberta this past weekend June 10-12. I have not personally had the pleasure of attending this room but by all accounts it is one of the elite rooms in the country. Living in Cornwall, Ontario I literally live on the other side of the country however this room is definitely on my bucket list. This Hidden Spot is known to cater to the players and as a result whenever they host an event players from all around come to take part and last weekend was no different.

I had the pleasure of speaking with tournament director Joanne Ashton who holds an exempt player ranking for the W.P.B.A (Women's Professional Billiard Association) and is a former Canadian 9 Ball Champion. Ashton is a well known and liked player who frequents professional tournaments and has made some great connections along the way. She credits this for the reason why professionals such as Brittany Bryant, Emily Duddy, Janet Atwell, Eleanor Callado and others came to support this inaugural event.

While speaking with Ashton she even admitted that she most likely would not travel out of the country or province to partake in a $2000 added event. However the amount of players and the caliber who showed up is a testament to how liked and respected the Ashton twins Joanne and Beverley are.

A few women from the Montreal area who I have had the privilege of watching performed well in this event. Veronique Menard a well known commodity for sometime on the women's circuit went  undefeated right until the final 4 on the winners side. There she lost 9-5 to the #1 ranked Canadian Women's player Brittany Bryant. Menard went on to lose her next match 9-8 to W.P.B.A professional Janet Atwell who hails from Bristol,Virgina ending her run in the 5/6 position.

Nathalie Chabot another Montreal native who is co-founder of her own women's tour called Circuit de Billard Feminin du Québec had a successful event. Chabot started off with edging out Sandy Badger in the first round 9-8 which could be considered a slight upset. In her next match she was beaten by Janet Atwell 9-4. From there she won two matches on the losers side before losing 9-1 to Emily Duddy.

It was Canada's #1 who stole the show this weekend going undefeated in this event to claim the $2000 first prize. Along the way Bryant had some very notable wins against other tournament favourites. She defeated Emily Duddy 9-1 and as mentioned before she beat Menard 9-5.  In the winners side final she met up with Eleanor Callado and sent her to the losers side final 9-4. Callado met up with Duddy who after losing earlier on to Bryant won 4 matches to earn her shot at the hot- seat. This was a tightly contested match with Callado barely edging out Duddy 9-8, who most of you would remember from the short lived "The Hustlers" reality t.v show.

Despite Callado rebounding from her loss it appeared as if no one would be a match for Bryant this weekend. Bryant ran away with the final 11-2 once again proving that she is one of the strongest female players in North America. Bryant went to her fan-page on Facebook to express her thoughts on this event, here is what she had to say:

"I want to thank Joanne and Beverley Ashton, for your hard work putting this event together. The Ashton Twin Classic was a huge success! This is the start of something great for women's pool in Canada. The Hidden spot had very welcoming staff which made this event more enjoyable. And of course this event wouldn't have happened without the support of some of the American ladies. I'm glad you were able to come and see a part of our beautiful country.  
This title meant a lot to me, it is the first real women's event in Canada I have played in since I started. For me this win will always be very memorable, I'm honored to take the first one and can't wait until the next."

Winner Brittany Bryant, Runner-up Eleanor Callado, Third place Emily Duddy

I would like to thank Joanne Ashton who took the time to give me all the details I needed to write this article. From speaking with her it appears that this event will have a bright future as she believes she will be able to bump the added money up substantially and grow this into perhaps a world class event. The Hidden Spot will be hosting several bigger tournaments in the near future so stay tuned to their Facebook page or the Cue Sport Nation page for details. 


1st Brittany Bryant - $2000

2nd Eleanor Callado $1500

3rd Emily Duddy $1000

4th Janet Atwell $600

5/6 Veronique Menard/Toni Sakamoto $300

7/8 Sandy Badger/Kathie MacDonald $150  

Joanne Ashton and The Hidden Spot would like to thank their sponsors for this event:

Orange Theory Fitness

SBI Landscaping

Matador Pizza

Artistic Painting and Decorating

Score Saloon

Nasty Boys Drywall Services

WestCreek Consulting Inc

Sierra Publishing

Infinity Mechanical and Heating

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Monday, 13 June 2016

Rack-M-Up Summer Series off to a Successful Start

Winner Jayson Hall with room owner Doug Disotell.

By: Markus Noé

Sunday June 12th Rack-M-Up Billiards held the third qualifying event in their annual "Summer Series." Cornwall and area is a well known hotbed for talent in the competitive "pool world," however in the summer months the tournament circuits in Ottawa and Montreal which many local players participate in take a seasonal break. For those who crave constant competition these are the longest months of the year to push through. In order to keep interest in pool during what is traditionally known as the off season for the sport the "Summer Series" was born.

This is the brainchild of the owners of Rack-M-Up Billiards Doug Disotell and Amanda Collins. The circuit features 8 qualifying tournaments and one Grand Final. Players interested in participating in the Grand Final must compete in 4 of the 8 tournaments. The entry fee is $40 and each tournament has a max of 16 players. This is to ensure that players have time to actually compete in the tournament as many do not have 12 plus hours to spare during this time of the year to spend indoors, which is something you often see in 32 + player fields. Also with each tournament generally ending at around 7:00 pm it allows for space for walk in customers at night.

For $40 you really get a bang for your buck in this circuit, $22.50 goes prize fund, $7.50 goes to the "green fee" and the final $10 goes to the Grand Final. The rule of thumb for most tournaments is that twenty-five percent of the field gets paid. With the first three qualifying tournament being full fields first place through fourth place were paid positions with first place winning $160. The thought process behind this is if you win one of the eight it essentially pays for all of your qualifying tournaments and gives you a shot at what usually amounts to over $1000 for first place in the Grand Final.

The "Summer Series" is a great circuit for players of all levels as it is handicapped according to your rank. To be ranked you need to talk to the house pro Doug Disotell, he is not only the owner of Rack-M-Up Billiards but one of the most accomplished players ever out of this area. A beginner player will get up to four games "on the wire" in a race to 7 against the top players in the field. For those not familiar with the handicap system this means that a player receiving 4 games only needs to win 3 games during a race to 7 against the strongest ranked player in the field. The handicaps vary from a 5 to a 7+2. If you are interested in participating in future events you can contact Disotell at 1-613-933-9362 or through the Rack-M-Up Facebook Page.

Jayson Hall was the winner of the most recent qualifier going undefeated while doing so. He met up with Kirk Pawnis in the final who edged out Clayton Disotell in the third place match. Below is the list of the remaining dates as well as the winners of the previous events. Even if you are not interested in participating feel free to stop by and get a chance to see some of the local talent. To follow along with local tournaments and some of the biggest tournaments around the world go to

May 15th Qualifier#1

1st Markus Noé $160
2nd Jacques Sauvé $100
3rd Cullen Arihote $60
4th Walter Sydlowski $40

May 29th Qaulifier #2                  

1st Mark Roy $160
2nd Jacques Sauvé $100
3rd Markus Noé $60
4th Eric Mallet $40                      

June 12th Qualifer #3

1st Jayson Hall $160
2nd Kirk Pawnis $100
3rd Clayton Disotell $60
4th Markus Noé $40

Remaining Dates:

June 26, July 10, July 24, August 7, August 21 

Monday, 6 June 2016

The Corner Bank Announces $225,000 added Pro Tour

By: Erik Hjorleifson

This past week one of the biggest announcements in recent memory was made public by Jim Wych and John White proprietors of The Corner Bank in Scarborough, Ontario. After many years of a noticeable void there will once again be a pro tour in North America. The Corner Bank tour will host all five regular season events to be scheduled in September, October, November, January and February. All regular season events will be $25 000 added, the tour will also feature a $100 000 added finale event. Players must participate in 3 of the 5 regular season events to qualify for the year end tournament. To my knowledge this will be the first time in a North American event outside the defunct International Pool Tour "I.P.T" that we will see added money totals reaching six figures.

The Corner Bank has been in operation for approximately a year and a half and has become an instant hit. Featuring 16, "7" foot Diamond bar tables, 12 ."9" foot Diamonds and 8 Schender snooker tables. It is without a doubt the nicest pool room in Canada and right at the top of the list of rooms in North America. It will be an excellent venue to host the new tour which will be 10-ball and open to 128 players.

It must be noted that this is great news for players around the world and especially in North America to finally once again have a pro tour with consistent rules, format and conditions. The North American scene is currently riddled with an array of tournaments that vary from 8-ball, 9 ball, 10 ball, 7 foot, 9 foot, rack your own, rack for each other and the list goes on. It is important to the integrity of the sport that players, fans and sponsors begin to see some consistency between events and with a tour format this is exactly what we will get. The choice of making it a 10 ball tour (the best game for pros) added with pristine Diamond pro cut tables will be a treat for players and fans alike.

Ideas about the exact format of the tour are in the final stages of development, the main ideas being thrown around are:

-128 player seeded fields with a double knockout format
-Once the field is eliminated down to 32 players they will continue on to a single knockout stage with lengthened races
-Magic racks will be used
-Entry fee somewhere between $200-$300

In all North Americans have waited 8 years between the last time a substanial pro tour has happened. It is noticeable to me that pool is on an up swing and this tour looks to be a major part of that comeback, we will all be anxiously awaiting the fall and the inaugural event at The Corner Bank in September. Any inquiries about the tour can be addressed at or

According to a press release from the Corner Bank these will be the dates!

Event #1: September 20-23, 2016
Event #2: October 11-14, 2016
Event #3: November 8-11, 2016
Event #4: January 10-13, 2017
Event #5: February 14-17, 2017
Grand Championship: April 11-14, 2017