Tuesday, 30 May 2017

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

By: Markus Noe

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.

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