Potts Wins IPA Blackball Championship

Gareth Potts with trophy and runner up Clint I'Anson
When the International Professional Pool Players Association rolled in to town last Tuesday it would be fair to say they weren’t exactly sure what to expect or what reaction they would face having never even attempted a pool tournament at Lakeside before – let alone a World Championship.
Luckily for them, the local players and pool fans took the tournament to heart and not only turned up to support, but entered those tournaments they were eligible for, and in their droves!  Tuesday was unofficial opening day and the place was heaving with flyers and various fun competitions organised that went on in to the small hours of Wednesday morning including a “Last Man Standing” contest that saw almost £1000 paid out to the winner!
As for the World Championships themselves (including the Seniors), Surrey players tried their best, but it wasn’t to be in 2014, though most I spoke to suggested they would be back next year and arrive a bit better prepared, though fair play to them all – they stayed around for the rest of the week watching and supporting and for that, we will always be grateful.
Moving on to the tournaments later stages and the International aspect came out big time with English born Paul Coldrick representing France and running away with both the doubles AND the Seniors titles! After beating Andy Lucas in the over 40’s category Saturday night, he teamed up with Yannick Beaufils to take the doubles from Chris Patrick and Lloyd Freeman in a great final that really set the scene for the singles later in the day. Four semi finalists were left in with any one of them a potential winner, but it was Clint I’Anson who fought past Craig Marsh and Gareth Potts who saw off close friend Ronan McCarthy to form a final that lived up to expectation as the next generation took on the golden boy of 8 ball pool.  After sharing the first tow set 5-2 apiece, it all came down to a best of nine decider that Gareth took 5-3 at the death, but pure statistics tell less than half the story as the expectant crowd were treated to some amazing pool despite the amazing pressure both players were under.
In conclusion, the IPA and Lakeside put on a tournament to remember for both players and spectators alike, once again proving that the best pool payers on the planet can be found on the IPA Tour and nowhere else – so dust off your cue and we hope to see you all next year – who knows, maybe we could even end up with a local winner, the enthusiasm is certainly there?