Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Morra Hold's Off Young Gun Styer to Win Corner Bank 10 Ball Open

Runner up Tyler Styer and winner John Morra 
By: Erik Hjorleifson 

This past weekend at the Corner Bank in Scarborough, Ontario, was a weekend that I believe could be a turning point for the Toronto pool scene going forward. For those of you that have been following the scene here you will know that it has been plagued with tournaments that are over handicapped and the majority of the time do not allow pros to compete. This weekend saw a return to the traditional non handicapped style event open to all players. With $2000 added in the main event and $1000 added to the second chance event this would promise to be the most competitive tournament held in Toronto in a long time. The players responded with 40 of the very best from Toronto and surrounding areas in attendance, Tyler Styer from Wisconsin also participated as he was visiting a friend in London, Ontario.

The format was 10 ball race to 8 on the winners side and race to 7 on the losers side, winner breaks with a one set final race to 10. The player auction was quite lively as the first blind went for $1000 with John Morra being the pick of the field. Myself, Tyler Styer and Mario Morra also went in the blind bids.

Play began at around 1 pm on Saturday and there was one big upset in the first round as Isaac Ramos defeated me (Erik Hjorleifson) 8-7. Most of the favorites advanced throughout the day but there were a bunch of competitive matches that could have gone either way, here are some of the match score highlights:

John Morra 8 Tyler Nearing 6
Tyler Styer   8 Mario Morra  3
Erik Hjorleifson 7 Adam Monture 6
Brittany Bryant 8 Adam Monture 7
Mario Morra 7 Rodel Pinoy 5

After the dust settled on Saturday there were 8 players left all in the money, any players ranked AAA and under not advancing to Sunday play were eligible to compete in the $1000 added second chance tournament on Sunday.

In the winners side semi final matches Brittany Bryant continued her impressive play winning 8-7 against Ben Crawley, John Morra also defeated Tyler Styer with an 8-2 score line. Mario Morra and I both won our first losers side matches and both stalled in our next leaving us tied for fifth sixth. John Morra defeated Brittany in the winners side final and Tyler Styer was able to battle back from the losers side to set up a re match with John.  John was up to the challenge again taking the title with a 10-6 victory.

In all it was a great weekend of pool that saw the best in this area battle it out with no handicaps. It has been a long while since there has been an attempt to try an Open tournament with good added money and by all accounts the event was a great success. One thing I noticed was the amount of people watching and the amount of people that stayed over after they were eliminated, the overall level of play was higher than what they were used to and worth watching. Kudos to the corner bank for being a huge supporter of pool in this area. Next on the list for the Corner Bank will be the $5000 added Molson Cup bar table 8 ball championships from the 6-9 of July, hope to see you all there.

Payouts: 

1st John Morra $1500
2nd Tyler Styer $900
3rd Brittany Bryant $700
4th Ben Crawley $500
5th Erik Hjorleifson $300
       Mario Morra    
7th Dave Parker   $150
       Tyler Nearing
Player Auction $5200 total

Second Chance Winners

Vince Chrysler with Isaac Ramos 

1st Issac Ramos $475
2nd Vince Chrysler $275

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Rack-M-Up Summer Series is Underway



By: Markus Noé

For the 4th consecutive summer Rack-M-Up Billiards located at 1916 Pitt Street in Cornwall Ontario, is hosting its "Summer Series". This is a handicap event open to all rankings excluding semi-pro and professional players. These events have been very successful in the past because with them being handicapped every player who enters has a legitimate chance to win.

The entry is $40 with some being held back for green fee's and for the grand final which will be played September 16th. Each qualifying event is limited to the first 16 players paid and in order to qualify for the grand final each player must compete in 4 out of 8 tournaments.

The Payouts in each event are as follows, 1st $160, 2nd $100, 3rd $80, 4th $40. With only 16 allowed to enter each event it does affect the payout and it could be considered low. However the purpose of these events are more for practice and to qualify for the grand final which is ends up being $1000 added. The winner of the grand final  usually takes home around $2000 for their troubles.

The Summer Series is off to a great start as each of the first 3 events sold out. Also their has been a different winner each time which goes to show you the handicap system has been working. If you are interested in playing please contact Doug Disotell owner of Rack-M-Up Billiards through the business Facebook page or by telephone at 613-933-9362. If you wish to watch some of the best local players fight it out feel free to come and watch. Also Rack-M-Up Billiards is a great place to come and beat the heat in the summer as you can a friend can play for as low as $9:00 an hour.

Finalist of the third Qualifier Mike Mitchell and Walter Sydwolski 



Qualifier 1 Results:  

1 Joe Herne
2 Kirk Pawnis
3 Justin Miller
4 Steve Daoust

Qualifier 2 Results:

1. Justin Miller
2. Kirk Pawnis
3. Randy O'Byrne
4. Markus Noé

Qualifier 3 Results:

1. Walter Sydwolzki
2. Mike Mitchell
3. Justin Miller
4. Jaques Sauvé


Remaining qualifier Tournaments:

Sunday July 9th

Sunday July 23rd

Sunday August 13th

Sunday August 27th

Sunday September 10th



Thursday, 22 June 2017

Yoga for Pool Excellence: Developing the Physiological, Cognitive, and Affective Domains of the Cueist



Submitted by: 
Ryan Kasperowitsch 
BRLS, MEd
Yoga is about clearing away whatever is in us that prevents our living in the most full and whole way. With yoga, we become aware of how and where we are restricted — in body, mind, and heart — and how gradually to open and release these blockages. As these blockages are cleared, our energy is freed. We start to feel more harmonious, more at one with ourselves. Our lives begin to flow — or we begin to flow more in our lives – Cybele Tomlinson (Ayurveda Wisdom, 2003)

When it comes to athletics, and for the purpose of this article one must intrinsically believe that pool is an athletic endeavour, every athlete uses a method of triangulation for sport development.  Approaching sport training from a holistic perspective is something which trainers, coaches, athletes, and sport medicine professionals have embraced.  So, when looking at current approaches to cue sport development, a missed opportunity in pool improvement lies in the holistic and mindful engagement of all available training practices.
               
Coming from a background of high level sport pedagogy, and research in neurological processes of education, I feel that a critical aspect which could hold optimal development for any pool player is regular Yoga and meditation practices.  The following will present my argument and rationale for incorporation of Yoga for development of the physical, cognitive, and emotional areas of the self for enriched cueing.

Connecting the Mind and the Body
                
A common exercise which I have engage many of my sport students in is sense deprivation for enlightened body connection.  For example, I have used a blindfold on high level kayak racers to improve focus on specific muscle efficiency for maximum water displacement.  Evoking a differentiated perspective on body kinesthetic movements through a lack of sight is crucial for building the nuanced fundamentals of body movement.  But how can one develop this body and mind connection through external training?  There must be something which one can do to become more in tune with their own body, and the micro motions which your brain and body converse through.
                
The answer is through consistent Yoga practices.  The foundation of Yoga in Western culture is in physical positions.  Asana is the practice of body postures for finding balance and understanding of the self.  Without any analysis at all, immediately the prospect of being balanced and self-enlightened should excite any pool player.  Entrenched in the body postures, novice to advanced, is the focus on posture, alignment, and balance.  A brief inspection of Yoga fundamentals will provide a rationale for improvement of cue kinesthetic movement.

Like any other sport, many coaches work on physical technique from the ground up.  Yoga starts in just the same, as one may stand or sit in their first pose.  With eyes closed, stand or sit for a few moments with a pointed focus on how the body feels over the contact points (feet or sit bones).  Notice which side feels heavier, the natural sway of your body to one side or the other, how your hips are uneven, lower spine is curled and unsupported, upper back is hunched, and a supination of the head.  Everything is out of line, but without the pointed focus, you have no idea.  Why is that?  Much like anything else, the brain needs to be conditioned to engage in any habitual behaviour.  Consistent practice of Yoga can condition the brain to be more aware of body alignment, and ultimately overall mind-body connection becomes a part of natural kinesthetic processes.  Imperative to fine motor skills needed for pool, this connection to your own body can improve your stroke by rewiring your neurological processes related to physical action.

Something which can be assumed as an improvement for the physical self which Yoga can provide are improvements in health and fitness abilities.  Flexibility, strength, and endurance are all developed through Yoga practice, and I have observed the undeniable overall improvement this can have for any athlete.  Additionally for improved health practices, the body degradation from repetitive physical mechanics requires constant attention, especially if one wants to continue playing for the lifespan.  If you want longevity out of your pool enjoyment, then a healthy moving body is a prerequisite.

So, through an analysis of the potential for mind-body connection, and other inherent benefits, one can see that Yoga has the opportunity to develop the pool player from holistic physical engagement.  But what else can Yoga do for the self, other than just an exercise in body mechanics?

Using Pranayama and Meditation for Better Decision Making

As previously stated, Western Yoga is movement-centric; however, Eastern philosophies rely more on a well-rounded approach of breathing and mental calming (pranayama and meditation).  At first analysis, this seems useful of course.  Take a breath, calm the mind, and take your shot.  This should be rudimentary, but concentration and focus are major factors which impact cueing.  It is important for any pool player to be aware of the ways which can help improve brain functioning for good decisions, and Yoga can provide the foundations for sound problem solving on the table.
  
Why is it in high concentration and focus scenarios that humans engage in breath cessation?  It is not uncommon for athletes who require high levels of focus to pass out from hypoxia.  However, we know enough about neurology now that oxygen is required for better communication of all parts of the brain.  Pool, being a sport which requires a high level of creative and pattern/spatial cognition, the interaction of left and right brain is critical for high level performance.  Without focused breathing incorporated into your game, you are depriving your brain from the oxygen needed to perform to your fullest potential.  Much like the mind-body connection which the brain needs to be conditioned to be made aware of, Yoga can help reinforce the breathing required for good decisions through fluid neuron activity fueled by oxygen.
  

Yoga is roughly defined in the Sutras of the Patanjali as the calming of the fluctuations of the mind.  This sentiment alone sounds like something which would immensely enrich life overall, not only pool.  But how can one actually do this?  Try calming your mind for a moment, and immediately you hear your inner voice.  There is always a narration to your life inside your head.  You should be hearing voices; this is your consciousness which enacts your free will.  While you try your hardest to quiet it, the voice is still there, and sometimes even louder.  What is important to be aware of is your ability to care, or not care, about that voice.  Yoga meditation practices attempt not to shut those voices off, but engage in more of a rational conversation with them.  Appropriation of focus can be quite magnetic in nature, and so meditative practices can help train your brain to magnetize your focus to what you choose to.
             
   Use this as an example:
You are cueing on a rudimentary shot, and your consciousness drifts away from the object ball.  Your voices are giving you all sorts of information layered over top of the pointed concentration of the task at hand: pocketing the ball.  The longer you are down, the louder the overlaying voices become, and as you swirl into the abyss of unconscious thoughts, you consciously pull the trigger on the shot, and miss.

You know that you needed to focus, but you just were not able to appropriate your unconscious thoughts in the direction you wanted for conscious action.  With training of mind through meditative practices like any other aspect of sport training, it is possible for the player to transcend the radio chatter of the unconscious thoughts.  The more you practice meditation, you will be aware of the irrationality of thought appropriation in your everyday life, and naturally prove to calm the fluctuations which cause poor decision making.

With an alternative perspective on the cognitive impacts Yoga practices can have on focus and concentration, this further provides a rationale for enriching a pool training regime with holistic triangulation.  What helps in the big picture of mental health and cognitive awareness for life, inherently enriches the cueing of any pool player.

Finding Yourself to Know Yourself
         
       A common Yoga adage is: Yoga is not about touching your toes, but what you learn on the way down.  Influencing the affective, or emotional, aspects of your pool game can be developed through Yoga in this same way.  As any pool player knows, curbing the emotions which emanate from such a tumultuous game are crucial to performance.  A body mechanic which requires such precision cannot allow for emotions to detract from execution.  By gaining control of the broiling inner self through Yoga practice, and the self awareness that comes through personal anguish, one can overcome the emotional factors which damage your ability to perform.              

Much of my experience lies in educating students in situations of peril (wilderness expedition and adventure pedagogy) to activate resilience development and self actualization.  Using danger and consequence to faulty action as a neurological motivator for development of decision processing, this powerful technique allows for optimal control of the affective domain of the self.  This frames the rationale for my proposal of Yoga as a training technique to engage emotional resilience for pool, which requires one to overcome some of the most emotionally damaging moments (any miss can hit the ego pretty hard).

 When first looking at the Asana aspect of Yoga (the physical practice), one can immediately perceive the physical anguish which can come from some of the postures.  Bending, twisting, stretching, balancing; these aspects of any Yoga vinyasa can prove to be physically difficult.  Feelings of pain from deep stretching, pain from pressure points, discomfort from exertion, and even ego discomfort from an inability to stay in a posture are all inherent in the practice of any Yogi.  The tacit benefits from willfully placing yourself in these postures of discomfort train your brain to be able to deal with peak anxiety, much in the same way I have explained how the physical and cognitive domains are trained and conditioned.

 By gaining a better understanding of the extremes of emotion, and through training in Yoga to rewire the brain to overcome emotional distress, one can reach higher self actualization on the table.  Again, with a holistic approach as the foundation for my rationale, an overall life ability to control emotion through knowing the self, one can improve their pool game from the inside out through affective awareness.

Conclusion

After an analysis of the three domains, physical, cognitive, and affective, which I feel Yoga helps in athletic training, one can see how on incorporation of Yoga in cue sport training is imperative.  Gaining a better mind-body connection, improving efficient brain activity, and a controlled awareness of emotions are all observed outcomes which I have seen in both my students and myself in various athletic endeavours.  The myriad of improvements which the practice of Yoga can afford would be in any pool players best interest.  I hope that through reading this I have made you reflect on your own experiences of how each domain is influenced, and that I have imposed you to question: Why have I not been doing this from the beginning?

                

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Canadian Championship Results: Women's Open, Straight Pool, 1 Pocket, Banks, Juniors & Amateur



By: Erik Hjorleifson

This past week saw the annual Canadian Championships take place in Thetford Mines, Quebec. Cue Sport Nation wrote a summary article of the men's division results and you can see that article on our site cuesportnation.com. In addition to the men's division the Women were also in action in 9 ball and ten ball. This year saw the return of the 8 ball divsion as well as there will be a Women's world 8 ball championships in China for the first time in several years.

The perennial favorites in all women's divisions have been Naomi Williams and Brittany Bryant for the last half decade. Both of these champions were registered in all divisions this year along with Veronique Menard from Quebec who played in the 8 ball and 9 ball, Angela Belding and Janet Ritcey held up the hopes for the east coast. Maureen Seto and Denise Belanger from Ontario as well as Joanne Ashton from Alberta did not make the trip this year leaving the coast pretty clear for the top three favorites.

Here are some highlight scores from the women's events

Women's 8 Ball Champ trying out the famous soundproof headphones of Alain Martel


8 ball

Winners side semi finals 

Naomi Williams 9 Brittany Bryant 8
Losers side final 

Veronique Menard 9 Brittany Bryant 8

Final
Naomi Williams 11 Veronique Menard 2

Women's 9 and 10 Ball Champion Brittany Bryant
9 ball 
Veronique Menard defeated both Naomi Williams and Brittany Bryant on her way to winning the A side. She is always a threat each year at the Canadians and this year was no different. It was already clear she is in form as she as a win earlier this year in Sacramento. Full Story Here 

Losers side final Brittany Bryant 9 Naomi Williams 8
Final Brittany Bryant 11 Veronique Menard 4

10 Ball 

Brittany Bryant won the winners side defeating Naomi Williams along the way
Losers side final Naomi Williams 10 Janet Ritcey 7
Final Brittany Bryant 13 Naomi Williams 10

Congratualtions to Naomi and Brittany who will be representing Canada at the world championships in 2017.

For the first time in history the Canadian Championships included some secondary tournaments which went over very well. Some of the players that were in deep in the main tournaments did not participate in these tournaments but they were definitely a nice addition to fill time between events.

Greg Plester with Canadian Straight, Banks and 1 Pocket Champion Alain Martel

The straight pool was quite competitive with Alain Martel and Francis Crevier facing off in the finals, Martel opened up with a 50 ball run but Crevier respeonded with a 77 ball run, Martel was able to get over the finish line first with a well deserved win. 

Martel also won the one pocket and bank pool divisions. Currently Canada's most experienced and arguably most knowledgeable player Martel definitely served notice as one of Canada's best all around players. He also had top four finishes in the 9 ball and ten ball divisions, quite an impressive resume for the week. 
Canadian Speed Pool Champion Luc Salvas . Photo by Guy Simard of Billard Quebec.


Luc Salvas 3 time World Speed Pool Champion as expected won the speed pool division. I gave him my best shot you can see the entire final on our YouTube page. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZYWrqXY6gRVRg9TAg6QsNQ please take the time to like our videos and subscribe !



Other Results 


Amateur 8 ball

Rod Arsenault
1st Rod Arsenault
2nd Paul Duell
3rd Stefane Godhino
4th Renee Brind'Amour


Paul Deull with Sumon Sakar
Amateur 9 ball

1st Paul Duell
2nd Sumon Sarkar
3rd Shane Gummerson
4th Renee Brind'Amour


Juniors 17 and under 
1st Dean Cuillerier 
2nd Brenden Croft

Juniors 19 and under
1st Nicolas Carinci
2nd William Meloche
 Congratulations to the juniors who qualified for the world Championships

Amateur Women's 8 Ball Champion

Lynette Valencia


Women's Amateur 9 Ball Champion

Marie France Blanchette


In Closing I would like to congratulate Eventime Promotions and the CBSA for possibly the most successful Canadian championships in the last decade and I am personally very pleased to see the game going in the right direction in Canada.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

2017 Canadian Championships Men's Open Results & Summary of the week


By: Markus Noe

Summary:
Last week May 23-29 the Black Lake arena in Thetford Mines Québec hosted the 2017 CBSA (Canadian Billiard & Snooker Association) Canadian Championships. Within the last year the EvenTime Production team headed by Marco Sanschagrin has joined up with the CBSA to produce the Canadian Championships.

Most would know EvenTime from their annual tournament Classique des Billard Appalaches which features tournaments over 4 days from C classe to Pro. The CBA  recently celebrated its 9th anniversary and wrapped up just two days before the Canadian Championships. They also run the Archer Cup which have seen some of the best players in the world participate. Every year the EvenTime team invest more money and makes improvements whether with scheduling issues, equipment and so on. The big plus is that these promoters really value input from the players and use that to improve their events year after year.

While speaking with Sanschagrin he admits that they would not be where they are without their sponsors, especially the city of Thetford Mines. This year with the help of their sponsors EvenTime invested another $50,000. $20,000 of which went into the rigging for the lighting alone which you can see in the picture below.



The little inside information that I received this week is that EvenTime has put in a bid to host the Canadian Championships for next 5 years. This year was a trial of sorts to see how things worked out in Thetford Mines. Overall I would say it was a success as this was the first year since I started following pool, that the venue was big enough to host all the Canadian Pool Championships at once under one roof. This includes all the Open and Amateur events. Numbers could have been higher throughout all the divisions however unfortunately this week ran right into the popular VNEA leagues in Vegas. However this week was still a far cry from the low numbers of the past and in just two years we have seen significant improvement from the CBSA.

I would like to take a moment to Congratulate the CBSA board for a successful event and for the hard work that I saw John White, Randall Morrison and Alain Parent do.

The entire EvenTime team deserves some recognition as well for an amazing venue and atmosphere. I know the team is big and I am leaving people out, however these 3 are the ones I have dealt with. Congratulations to Marco Sanschagrin, Roger Doyon and Michel McCutcheon for an amazing job this year. I look forward to seeing what they have for us in the future.

Results:
Adam Monture

8 Ball 

The Open Championships began Tuesday May 23rd with 8 Ball. In what could be considered a fairly good underdog story. Long time player Adam Monture who before this week was ranked a Semi-Pro in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) broke through and snapped of the title undefeated. Since we started Cue Sport Nation Monture has taken down some serious events winning close to $10,000 at a time, twice. This is a perfect example of the talent "bubble" in the GTA. With world class players such as John Morra, Alex Pagulayan, Jason Klatt, Erik Hjorleifson all calling Toronto home at some point in the last 10 years, it has really stepped the talent level up. To the point with the big four being so dominate it has impeded the ranking progressions of others in my opinion, but it has not stopped their development as players. This is of course is just my opinion but I believe it is what has allowed for a monster talent and player like Adam Monture to fly under the radar for so long.

Last year was the first time I met Monture in person and this year I had the luxury of spending more time speaking with him and seeing him play. If you have not had the pleasure yet he is one of the good guys, a real class act on and off the table and an incredible shot maker who shows little to no nerve. Good luck in China! Also it should be noted that Monture is the first player not named Klatt, Hjorleifson, Morra or Pagulayan who has broken through and won a Canadian title in sometime. This goes to show you just how impressive this victory was. Here is a list of his victims on route to his first national title .

Monture 9 Bagot 5
Monture 9 Massender 6
Monture 9 Aupin 4
Monture 9 Hjorleifson 4
Monture 9 Morra 4
Monture 9 Klatt 7 

While celebrating his big win, here is what Monture posted on Facebook, " I would like to Dedicate my 8 ball Championship title to my father if it wasn't for him I don't think I would of even picked up a cue and thanks to On the Snap , cool kids and thanks to all my friends and families who cheered me on."


9 Ball


John Morra
On may 25th the Canadian 9 Ball Championships got underway. This to me was the most intriguing tournament of the bunch because a lot happened throughout the tournament. John Morra had an undefeated run to finals beating Alain Martel, Justin Kluznik, Francis Crevier, and Jason Klatt. Former Canadian 10 Ball Champion and runner up at the 25th edition of the Turning Stone Classic Erik Hjorleifson made a significant charge on the losers side to make the final after losing 11-3 to Luc Salvas.

Hjorleifson caught fire on the losers side with no one really getting close. He had wins over Kluznik, Monture, Klatt, Martel, and Daigle on his way to meet Morra. The final was thrilling as either player was able to gain more than a 2 rack lead at anytime. With the scoreline 14-14 race to 15 it was Hjorleifson who was breaking for the title. He had a successful break and the table looked like it would not be a problem. However a positional error from the 4 to the 5 ball which can only be described as a mental error left him a tough shot on the 5 which he missed. Morra quickly pounced and added yet another Canadian Championship to his resume.

On a side note John Morra did not RETIRE! He simply stated early this year he will be taking a break to pursue other interests which he has done. What he really meant more or less is that he will no longer be playing 40 tournaments a year and spending 8 plus months on the road anymore. He has done this for a decade and with a new beautiful fiancee at home and other opportunities arising he will be picking and choosing when he plays more carefully in the future. Congratulations to John Morra who once again showed his class over the rest of the field this week, good luck in Qatar.

10 Ball 

Jason Klatt 


On May 27th the Canadian 10 Ball Championships got underway. The story of this tournament was how Jason Klatt and John Morra showed their world class stamina and cut through the field with ease. After a long week of pool most of the feild showed fatigue however these two well traveled pro's showed almost no drop off. Both players went undefeated to the winners side final. Klatt had an easier path to this point in terms of scorelines as no one was able to get past 5 games. While Morra had to fade two double hill matches against Danny Hewitt and Martin Daigle. However in the winners side final Morra won easily 10-3.

Klatt met up with Alain Martel for the second time that day in the losers final. Winning again 10-7 to earn a rematch with Morra. The final was a much closer affair with Klatt wining 10-3. Congratulations to Jason Klatt on his win. Currently there is no World 10 ball Championship scheduled. There are rumors that China will pick this up as well as the 8 ball, if so Klatt will be our representative!

We will post the Women's Open Results and Amateur results later this week. As well as the Speed Pool, 14.1 and Bank Pool Results.

I would like to once again thank my sponsors for this event! 

                                                   Touhey Management









Saturday, 20 May 2017

Corner Bank: John White Wins his 3rd Canadian Snooker Title

Winner John White, Photo by Alex Marsilii


By: Erik Hjorleifson

This past week The Corner Bank in Scarborough played host to the Canadian Snooker Championships. The corner bank features 8 beautiful Schender tables. This year the lighting was also improved and was it so bright you could see a difference throughout the make up of the entire room. This years field contained many past champions including John White, Tom Finstad, Alan Whitfield and Ed Galati. Other hopefuls looking for their first title included Charlie Brown, Jason Williams, Rajesh Maru, Kristal McCleod and Alex Zhang. This years tournament featured a special incentive of $20 000 for anyone that ran a perfect game sponsored by Harley Davidson. There were a couple of attempts by Ed Galati who made it to 8 consecutive blacks as well as Tom Finstad who also reached 8. Al Whitfield ended up with the high run honours and the $500 prize with a run of 122.

This year the CBSA (Canadian Billiards and Snooker Association) decided to go with a single knockout format as opposed to the round robin events that we have seen in previous years. The first three rounds were best of 7 with the quarter finals best of 9 semi finals a best of 11 and the finals a best of 13. First round losers were also entered into a consolation tournament in which Alex Zhang defeated Phil Snache in the final.

The first round saw Kristal McCleod from the east coast pull of an impressive win over former Richler Cup champion Alex Zhang. Blake Martel the lone representative from Manitoba also started his impressive run to the quarter finals with a win over the very capable Rob Wadell from Ontario.

In Round two the seed players were in action and two former Canadian champions in John White and Ed Glati were set to face off. In this match John put the field on notice that he would be a force to reckon with coming away with a 4-1 win. Jim Gourlie also defeated local player Hussain Rahimi 4-3 and Tony Renda from Missisagua also pulled off a sizeable upset against Jason Williams one of the  tournament favorites 4-2.

In the Round of 16 former champion Al Whitfield was eliminated by former top player Rajesh Maru from Toronto who showed that he can still play. Two of the final Quebec hopefuls faced of with Andre Roy defeating Jacques Cote.

The most closely contested Quarter Final match was between Rajesh Maru and Fern Loyer who has had many strong finishes in 2016 including a third place finish at the Richler Cup held in Burlington the first week of May. Fern's experience would give him the edge in this match as he advanced by a score of 5-3. John White, Floyd Ziegler and Tom Finstad also advanced to the semis.

The Semi Finals saw three former Canadian Champions and possibly one of the best players to never win the Canadian Championships in the mix. These players have been battling for the last thirty years and all have more experience than most players could ever dream of. In both matches the losing side got out to a two nothing lead but John White and Fern Loyer came back strong with six straight wins each to book their place in the final.

The final was set for mothers day starting 2:30 eastern time. Fern Loyer would be looking for his first Canadian title in probably his twentieth attempt maybe more and John White would be looking for his third overall and second in the last 3 years. Both players were out for battle and in the first 10 games no one held more than a two game lead. At 5 all John White was able to find the x factor to get over the line with a 7-5 scoreline in an epic match that took appproximately ten hours. Huge congratulations goes out to host room owner and 2017 Canadain Champion John White "the guy that never practices" and trust me I'm around the room a lot and that is no myth, the stamina and mental toughness that you have to have to survive these ten hour battles especially in snooker is something that only comes from years of prior experience.

Special thanks also goes out to CBSA president Randall Morrison for facilitating the tournament and providing the fans with a free stream beginning to end.

1st John White               $5000 plus World amateur expenses
2nd Fern Loyer               $2000
3rd/4th Tom Finstad     $1500
               Floyd Ziegler
5th/8th Rajesh Maru     $500
               Blake Martel
               Derrick Claus
               Andre Roy

Friday, 5 May 2017

Crevier Wins Falcon Cues Pro Tour Grand Final

Runner up Dany Normandin, Tour Director Danny Hewitt, winner Francis Crevier.  

By: Markus Noé

On the weekend of April 29-30 Dooly's Valleyfield hosted the Grand Final of the Falcon Cues Quebec Pro Tour. This marks the conclusion of the second year of this tour under the direction of Alain Parent, Danny Hewitt and Luc Paquette. The tour featured 13 regular season stops which were spread out over three provinces. Some tournaments were as far away as 12 hours from their home base of Montreal but these organizers despite having full time jobs, families and one with health issues made it to all the tournaments themselves and promoted pool. Before the formation of this tour there was virtually nothing for elite players to participate in Quebec, and Eastern Ontario. I would like to congratulate them on their success and thank these three for their tireless work and filling this much needed void in our pool community.

57 players descended upon Dooly's Valleyfield to participate in this Grand Final. This room is easily one of the nicest in the area and was made even better by having all their tables changed to Simonis Tournament Blue cloth days before this event. The format in this circuit is races to 9 on both the winners and losers side, alternate break 9 ball call shot and break from the "box."

All the top players from the talent rich province of Québec were in attendance such as Francis Crevier, Alain Martel, Danny Hewitt, Sylvain Grenier to name a few. Ontario was represented by Andy Aupin, Jared Amyot and Jean Theriault. The Average Falcon Tour stop has seen around 32 to players which has been good but at times the top 5 positions have been a bit predictable and upsets far and few in between. With the extra players who came to participate for this $4000 added event it set up the potential of some upsets which did occur.

The biggest one to mention would be Danny Hewitt who over the past two years has won well over 50% of these events, did not make it to the second day. He was eliminated by two strong semi-pro's Yves Gaudreault and Sebastien Cousineau. The other upset to the disappointment of the local fans was Luc Salvas not being able to make it to the second day losing to Eric Cloutier and Sylvain Grenier finishing in the 9th-12th position.

The top 8 players were brought back on Sunday to see who would be crowned Grand Final Champion. On the winners side it was Andre Pelletier vs Francis Crevier and Dany Normandin vs Norm Pomanville. The first losers side matches of the day included Jean Theriault vs Yves Gaudreault and Alain Martel vs Slyvain Grenier.

Crevier won a close match 9-7 against Pelletier and Normandin eased passed Pomanville 9-4. Grenier eliminated Martel and Gaudreault did the same to Theriault. The next round of matches pitted Crevier vs Normandin in the winners side final which Normandin won 9-2.

Back on the losers side Grenier faced off against Pelletier in what could be considered the most entertaining match of the tournament. Pelletier is a pro who played his most pool in the 1990's and saw a fair degree of success. As of late he has had a resurgence and showed his strong mental in this match. Grenier started off on fire and quickly gained a 6-0 lead which in alternate break usually in all fairness means the match is done. However before you can blink it was 7-7. When the score was 8-8 Grenier did what champions tend to do, he seized the moment broke a perfect rack and carefully ran out for the win.

Grenier's run on the losers side would end in the 4th place match as Gaudreault continued his impressive performance wining 9-8. Crevier was waiting for him in the losers side final and made quick work of Gaudreault 9-2. He carried this momentum into the final winning the extended race to 11-3. Congratulations to Crevier for adding another big win to his resume. The Falcon Tour does have one more stop at Dooly's Levis May 13-14 for the top 16 in points during the regular season. This is a $1500 added event. I would like to thank Parent, Hewitt and Paquette for giving me everything necessary to cover this tournament and for being one of Cue Sport Nations sponsors. I look forward to covering next season of the Falcon Tour.




1er 2,000.00 $     Francis Crevier
2e 1,460.00 $     Dany Normandin
3e 1,000.00 $      Yves Gaudreault
4e 725.00 $         Sylvain Grenier
5-6e 500.00 $          Norm Pomainville
                                André Pelletier
7-8e 300.00 $          Jean Thériault
                                Alain Martel
9-12e 180.00 $    Martin Daigle
                                  Carol Audet
                                  Jeff Blais
                                  Luc Salvas
13-16e 100.00 $    Nicolas Charette
                                  Sébastien Laramée
                                   Éric Cloutier
                                   Pierre Normand
17-24e 50.00 $        Charles Lamb
                                    Jean Vaillancourt
                                    Justin Miller
                                    Maxime Villeneuve
                                    Keith Nelson
                                    Sébastien Cousineau
                                    André Goyette
                                    Andrew Aupin