IPT North American Open Underway

John Schmidt was one of thirteen undefeated players on Sunday

The long awaited IPT North American Open 8-Ball Championship got underway on Sunday, much to the dismay of the 40 players already eliminated. With the 100 players in action on Sunday divided into twenty groups of five, a top three finish was required from a player in order to move on to the second round of the event. A finish in the bottom two spots in a group earned a player $2000 in prize money and a seat in the stands to watch the remainder of the event.

Sunday play saw it's share of upsets as favorites Tony Robles and Jose Parica were only able to manage one win each. Max Eberle, Mike Davis, Robb Saez, Stan Tourangeau, Tyler Edey and Jason Miller also scored one win each and were eliminated.

On the other end of the spectrum; Ralf Souquet, Antonio Lining, John Schmidt, Nick Van den Berg, Dennis Hatch, Luc Salvas, Vilmos Foldes, Rafael Martinez, Marco Marquez, Steve Moore, Darren Appleton, Carl Morris and English 8-Ball sensation Mick 'The Machine' Hill all posted 4-0 records and move on to round two with no difficulty.

Some players spent part of the day in limbo, not beling able to relax until final results for their group were posted. Group 25 saw Keith McCready advance but only after the scoring system came down to it's second tie breaker. McCready was tied with Warren Kiamco with 2 match wins and 26 game wins each. The third tie breaker was based on 'break and run' racks and McCready won this tie-breaker 3-1.

Former US Open Champion Tommy Kennedy was not as fortunate as his 2-0 start to the day fell apart and he lost his next two matches. Kennedy's 2-2 match record left him in a 3-way tie with Imran Majid and Howard Vickery for 2nd place. Unfortunately for Kennedy, his 25-26 game record left him in 4th place and eliminated from the event.

The sixty advancing players now get a much needed break on Monday while the other hundred players catch up with them. Monday will see another sixty players advance and another forty players eliminated.

Up to the minute match results as well as photos and a sportswriters blog are available on the IPT website.

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe