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Shaw Wins Turning Stone Classic Undefeated

Jayson Shaw (Photo courtesy of Erin Bechner)

He looked unstoppable all week, and in the end he was unstoppable. Jayson Shaw cruised to his fourth (in 5 attempts) Turning Stone Classic title at the Turning Stone Classic XXVI in Verona, NY on August 25th – 28th. 


Shaw's path to the hot-seat started with three dominating wins over Korean Champion Lee Kang, Bucky Souvanthong and  Ivaylo Petrov. After three matches, Shaw's combined win/loss record was 27 racks won and 4 racks lost. Next up for Shaw was veteran Ernesto Dominguez. Dominguez would win six racks before Shaw got to nine, but Shaw was back to his dominating ways in his next match as he defeated Danny Hewitt 9-3. Shaw's winning streak looked to be in danger in his next match, a true battle with Earl Strickland. Strickland led the match early, but he seemed to lose his focus mid-match and Shaw regained control to cruise to a 9-6 win. The hot-seat match saw Shaw in full "break and run mode", as he defeated Karen Corr 9-2.


While the presence of Corr in the late rounds of a tournament is no real surprise, her bid for the hot-seat here was her best finish at a Turning Stone event. Corr had early wins over Sean Morgan, Dawn Fox, Zion Zvi and Alain Parent. Aside from a hill-hill match with Morgan, Corr was almost as dominating as Shaw with her next three matches won with a combined 27-7 scoreline. Just like Shaw in his match with Strickland, Corr looked to be on her way to the one loss side in her match with 17 year old Russian sensation Maksim Dudanets. Dudanets led the match 8-5, before Corr won four straight racks for the 9-8 win. She capped off her comeback with a 9-ball break at hill-hill to send the Russian youth to the one loss side. Corr then survived another hill-hill match, this time with Donny Mills, to earn her place in the hot-seat match. 


After the loss to Shaw in the hot-seat match, she found Earl Strickland waiting on the one loss side. In her long career, Corr had never defeated Strickland in a tournament. She was more than up to the challenge on this day though, as she fought neck and neck with an unusually subdued Strickland. Corr and Strickland went to hill-hill, a place that Corr was becoming comfortable with at this event. and it was Corr that navigated a tough rack to earn the win. "I'm over the moon" Corr said after the match. "Earl is such a genius at the table, and how many times are you going to have the chance to play him?" she continued. 


The extended race to 13 final started out close, as Shaw couldn't seem to distance himself from the tenacious Corr. She was within one rack at 5-4, when Shaw found a groove with his break and quickly took control of the match. After multiple table runs by Shaw, he had scored a 13-5 win for his fourth Turning Stone title. When asked after the tournament as to what he attributed his Turning Stone success to, Shaw credited the beautiful arena in Verona. "I just feel really comfortable. There are a lot of people watching, which is good. I feel as if I can play good anywhere, but it’s nice to have a crowd watching. You know what it is like sometimes. Some places you go you don’t have many spectators. I like the fact that it’s open to anyone. I feel really at home here". 


Shaw's win earned him $8000 in prize money, while Corr settled for $5000 for second place. 

Turning Stone Classic XXVI Day Two

Maxim Dudanets

After two days of play, the 128 player field at the Turning Stone Classic XXVI has been cut in half, with 48 players on the one loss side. 


One name that fans might not be all that familiar with on the winner's side is that of 17 year old Russian champion Maxim Dudanets. Fresh off his victory at the Atlantic Challenge Cup, Dudanets is in the states for one more week and hopes to add the Turning Stone Classic Title to his American resume. Dudanets had back to back 9-7 wins over Shaun Wilkie and Tom D'Alfonso on Friday, and is guarantee a cash finish in his first Turning Stone Classic appearance. Preparing for the life of a professional pool player, Dudanets plans on returning to Europe for the Eurotour's Dutch Open in late September and then returning to America for the US Open. He will face Rick Scarlato Saturday afternoon for a spot in the final eight on the winner's side. 


Joining Dudanets and Scarlato on the winner's side are the usual field of world beaters. Three time champion Jayson Shaw has lost a total of four games in his first three matches, but Ernesto Dominguez will look to change things for Shaw. Canadian Champion Danny Hewitt will face Joss Tour points leader Jeremy Sossei, Earl Strickland will take on Rodney Morris, Mike Dechaine will play Cleiton Rocha and Karen Corr will do battle with Canadian Alain Parent iin select matches.


Players still fighting on the one loss side include Joey Dupuis, Sean Morgan, Eric Hjorliefson, Ron Casanzio, Shaun Wilkie, Brandon Shuff, Jorge Rodriguez, Luc Salvas, Tom D'Alfonso and Zion Zvi.


Our online streaming coverage of this event will kick off at noon EST, and run until the final 10 pm round. We also have real time scoring and online brackets available at

2016 Canadian Championships

Naomi Williams, John Morra, Alex Pagulayan and Brittany Bryant

From May 5th to May 10th, le Tapis Vert in Quebec City hosted the Canadian Billiards & Snooker Association’s (CBSA) 21st annual Canadian Pool Championships.  The six-day event consisted of 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball tournaments open to any person holding a Canadian passport. The CBSA is affiliated with the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA), through the WPA’s North American affiliate, the Billiard Congress of America (BCA). With these affiliations, it grants Canada the opportunity to be represented at all World Pool Championships, and most other major International pool events.
The restructured CBSA Board of Directors made a wise decision this year in selecting Quebec as the host province for 2016.  The Province of Quebec has a great attitude towards billiards, they produce a great number of top calibre players, and there was a significant increase the attendance from previous years.
Women’s Events
Naomi Williams and Brittany Bryant continue to dominate this sport in the Women’s Canadian field.  Year after year, these ladies share titles and this year was no different.  Brittany and Naomi played each other in the finals of both events (9-Ball and 10-Ball).  After losing to Brittany in the A-side finals, Naomi returned from the B-side to win her forth Canadian 9-Ball title with an 11-6 win.
In the 10-Ball event, it was Brittany’s turn to shine.  Both players traded racks for the first 8 games and the score was tied 4-4.  All of a sudden, Brittany took control and went into dead stroke winning the next 6 games in a row to take the 10-Ball title.  Well done girls.
Open 8-Ball
Earlier in the year the organizing committee for the 2016 World 8-Ball Tournament announced that the event would be held in Toronto at The Corner Bank.  It was disappointing to recently learn that the event was moved from Toronto to China.  A large number of players had high hopes of competing at the international level in front of their fellow countryman.  In any event, the show must go on.
In the Canadian event, the crowd favourite, Alex Pagulayan looked unstoppable only losing 6 games in his first 4 matches.  Alex outscored his opponents 36-6.  Alex’s then faced 3-time Canadian 8-Ball Champion Jason Klatt.  Klatt was also having a good day with wins over Jason Thomas, Alain Martel, Sylvain Gingras and John Morra.  A very focussed Klatt got the 9-5 win over Alex in their 5th round match.
In the finals, Jason faced Alex Pagulayan for the second time.  Both players traded racks in the alternate break format and the score remained close until the end.  With the score tied 10-10, Jason broke and ran the final rack to take the match and the title.  An impressive start for Klatt as he went undefeated to claim his fourth Canadian 8-ball title.
Open 9-Ball
A few weeks before this event, it was announced that the 9-Ball would be racked on the spot.  This rule was implemented to follow the lead of the World Pool-Billiard Association which will be enforced at the World Championships.  All participants needed to adapt to this break format on short notice.
Although Alex fell one game short in the 8-ball event, “The Lion” reigned in the 9-ball.  Three days into this event, Alex was well adjusted to the conditions of the room.  Alex dominated his opponents and reached the finals with wins over Jeff Blais, Danny Hewitt, John Morra, Sylvain Grenier and Alain Martel.  It was John Morra who had the last opportunity to dethrone Alex.  John has been travelling the planet and is currently ranked 5th in the world rankings.  Unfortunately for John, the break shot was not cooperating with him and he had very few opportunities to gain any momentum.  Pagulayan stayed in control the entire match and won the 9-ball title with a solid 15-6 performance.
Open 10-Ball
In this event, “The Dancing Bear” Alain Martel proved he still has what it takes to compete with the best players in the country.  His gentle, finesse style put him in the A-bracket semi-finals with wins over Randy Bagot, Charles Castonguay, Shannon Ducharme and Stephan Doiron.  Alain continued his clinic against Alex Pagulayan and mounted a 6-2 lead.  Unfortunately for Alain, no lead is safe against Alex.  Pagulayan somehow managed to comeback and win 10-9.  Martel was eventually eliminated by John Morra and settled for a respectable 4th place finish.
The final match would see John Morra face off against Alex Pagulayan.  This was a rematch of the 9-ball finals and John wanted revenge.  Morra got off to a great start winning the first 4 games.  In the 5th rack, John committed an early foul and Alex pounced at the opportunity to get on the scoreboard 4-1.  John scratched on the next break in this alternate break format and Alex ran out again to bring the score to 4-2.  From there, the smooth stroke of John Morra took over.  John kept the pressure on Alex as he won 9 of the next 10 racks to clinch the title with a dominating 13-3 score.  A fabulous finish to a great tournament.
“The CBSA very much needed a bounce-back year, and the numbers were big enough to say that this event should help pave the way for better things in the future”, said Randall Morrison President, Canadian Billiards & Snooker Association.  Check out their website for full brackets from the event –
A special thanks to all the special people that made this event happen.  The CBSA Secretary, Candace Campbell, did an excellent job as tournament director and had a great time doing it.  Volunteers Barry Hetherington and Alain Parent were gracious to offer their assistance in helping conduct the bracket, calling matches and officiating shots.  Acknowledgement should also be given to the sponsors for contributing to the costs associate with running these national events:  Tiger, Simonis/Aramith, Kamui, Chalk-Cube, F.G. Bradley’s, Think Green Industries and Jostens.

Falcon Tour Stop #3: Hewitt Makes Impressive Comeback to Defeat Morra in Final

Danny Hewitt, Luc Pacquette and Alain Parent photo by Markus Noé

This past weekend Terminus Billiards & Bar located in Gatineau, Quebec hosted the third stop of the newly formed Falcon Cues Québec Pro Tour. This tour has been received with open arms by not only Québec players but from the entire Canadian pool community as this is currently the only professional tour in the country.
The first two stops have been played in Rimouski and Jonquiere, Québec averaging 32 players.  Last weekend saw 47 players show up to participate. I credit this increase in the field size due to several factors. Gatineau borders Ottawa, Ontario and is only a few hours away from Montreal, Québec while the last two tournaments have been several hours away from Montreal which is home to hundreds of players. Also the announcement that the 8th ranked player in the world, John Morra along with his father and solid professional Mario Morra added some extra buzz.
Day 1 featured a few shocking results and a couple big matches early on. Winner of the last stop Danny Hewitt paired up with Luc "The Machine Gun" Salvas in the first round. Salvas a multiple World Speed Pool Champion, is always a crowd favorite as his speed and obvious love of the game makes him very entertaining. However he was in tough against the current #1 player in Québec Hewitt and lost his first match 9-6. Despite this early loss Salvas went on to win 7 matches before losing to Alain Martel in the 4th place match. 
The biggest upset of the day was Sylvain Grenier who has had a solid year in his return to pool, failing to make it to Sunday. He suffered a 9-6 loss to Dany Nguyen a young professional from Montreal. On the losers side he won one match before being eliminated by strong local semi-pro Sébastien Cousineau 9-5. Another upset of note is Karl Petrin a newly ranked "A" player from Montreal beating Lelsie Cookie a "AAA" 9-8.
Overall as in most cases in talent packed tournaments such as this the creme floated to the top. Going into Day 2 the final eight were John Morra vs Andre Goyette, Danny Hewitt vs Yannick Bedard, Alain Martel vs Sébastien Cousineau, Luc Salvas vs Patrick De Repentigny. A feel good story going into the final was the success a few local players had been having. There was of course Cousineau who was mentioned earlier. However not to be undone is Canadian legend Andre Goyette at 75yrs who old fought right till the final 4 winners side. House pro at Terminus Repentigny also had a great deal of success only losing to Goyette and Salvas finishing tied for 8th with Cousineau.
The pool hall really became electric when there were 4 remaining. On one table there was Martel vs Salvas while Morra and Hewitt did battle on the next table. Morra defeated Hewitt 9-7 and waited in the hot-seat while Martel and Hewitt went to war to decided who would get the last shot at the tournament favorite. Martel looked a bit fatigued and perhaps was distracted by a waitress who came to bring me a coffee at aninappropriate time in the match and appeared to inadvertently "Shark" him out of a key shot. In the end Hewitt won easily 9-4 and earned a rematch.
The final began with a flurry from Morra who was breaking well and mounted a 6-1 lead in this extended race to 11. A dry break for Morra and accidentally hooking himself on a wide open was all Hewitt needed to mount a comeback, and in a blink it was 6-6. Hewitt even went on to take the lead 8-6 before Morra had a chance. Hewitt finally missed a shot and even got a good roll to not leave it easy. However Morra a former Derby City 9 Ball Banks Champion, stepped up and fired a full table cross corner on the 5 ball and ran out to get within a game. 
In the end Hewitt was just playing too well and Morra a was just a bit unlucky as Hewitt went on to win 11-7.  This was a phenomenal tournament all around and perhaps the most entertaining one I have seen in Canada outside the Archer Cup in Thetford Mines, Québec. Once again it was proven that Québec is the current "Mecca" for pool in Canada as it is one of the best places for the Pro's to come to be respected and watched. The local crowd was absolutely thrilled with the talent that was on display in their pool hall. I would also like to commend the amateur level players who came out to participate, because in reality there were only 12 ranked Professionals. The rest were high level Semi-Pro's and Amateurs. This to me is very important as currently in Toronto we see professional's are being left out of many tournaments, while in Québec they use staggered entry fee's and not handicaps to encourage lesser players to improve alongside some of the best in the country. 
I would like to thank the Falcon team which consists of Danny Hewitt, Alain Parent and David Deschenes as well as Patrick De Repentigny and the entire Terminus staff. Combined they not only gave me everything I needed to cover this event but embraced me with open arms understanding the importance of promoting the Tour and the Sport of Pool. There will be a quick turn around for the Falcon Tour as the next stop is this weekend November 21-22 in Trois-Riviere, Québec. We will update the tournament early next week as my partner Erik Hjorleifson and myself will be playing in the Eastern Canada Barbox Championships at Tailgators in Ottawa, Ontario. I invite everyone to come and join the Nation on our Facebook page, you can also catch up with all the other videos I took at this event.

Jayson Shaw Excels to Take Turning Stone XXII

Immonen, Shaw, Zuglan

Jayson Shaw captured Turning Stone XXII by taking the long road. He lost his second round match 9-3 to Alain Parent but from then on he was unstoppable as he took on all conceivable shots and his safety play was magnificent.

On the one-loss side he defeated Ed Sauer 9-6, Ron Casanzio 9-0, Matt Krah 9-4, Dan Hewitt 9-3 and Kevin Guimond 9-5. Then he ran into tournament favorite Shane Van Boening, who had just been defeated by Mike Dechaine 9-8.  Earlier in the evening Van Boening had pulled off one of the greatest shots this reporter has ever seen. On the hill against Thorsten Hohmann (who only trailed by one rack) Van Boening came to a table that had no pocket for the one ball. The cue ball was in the back of the kitchen, the one was past the side pocket and the nine ball was perhaps a foot outside the left corner pocket.  The combination was anything but straight in. Van Boening would have to cut the one ball and then make perfect contact on the nine in order to complete the shot. He fired the one into the nine at rocket pace and made the shot to secure the victory as the crowd, at first stunned, erupted into applause.

Mike Dechaine had a great week. His shotmaking was sharp as a tack and his cue ball seemed more then willing to obey his wishes. Prior to defeating Van Boening he had disposed of John Morra 9-5. In his next match he was mostly just a spectator as Rodney Morris was in his automatic mode where he makes every shot appear very easy. No stress ever shows on Rodney’s face and he approaches each shot as if it were a given that the shot will work. When his confidence is working that well Morris is one tough match. Morris took down Dechaine 9-3 and then had to face new Hall of Fame inductee Mika Immonen.

Immonen had already taken down Donny Mills 9-8, Rob Saez 9-4, and Dan Hewitt 9-5. When Immonen beat Morris 9-7 he relaxed in the hot seat to await his final challenge.

Hunter Lombardo and Mike Dechaine both spoke with me prior to the first round and both expressed their disappointment at not being chosen to be a member of the ‘tryout’ squad for the Mosconi Cup. Four of the eight prospects did not attend Turning Stone, something we found curious as it seems logical that they need to prove themselves to make the cut when the final five players are chosen and they need to keep themselves under fire from champions on the tables. So both Lombardo and Dechaine wanted to send a polite message that they need to be considered next year. Neither voiced any negative comments towards the current squad or coach Mark Wilson, they just want to be on the radar for 2015.

Lombardo sent his message by defeating MC team candidate Brandon Shuff 9-3.  To be fair, this was not Shuff’s best effort of the week and he proved his worth by finishing the event in 9th place, the same position as Lombardo and Van Boening. The other Mosconi Cup candidates finished as follows: Oscar Dominguez finished out of the money after he ran into World 8-Ball Champion Huidje See and then, two rounds later, was forced out 9-7 by sharpshooter Donny Mills.  Jeremy Sossei finished one slot further back than Van Boening and Shuff at 13th when he was eliminated on the hill by Ernesto Dominquez.

Our final Four wound up as Shaw, Immonen, Morris and Dechaine. Each of these players had a cadre of fans who were convinced no one could beat their man. They all deserved great praise for their play all week as this was one of the strongest fields ever to play at Turning Stone.

Immonen was undefeated and in the hot seat. Morris was awaiting the winner of Shaw and Dechaine to fight for the B side title and a ticket into the finals.  Dechaine and Shaw fought tooth and nail all the way until the match stood at double-hill.  Early on the match Shaw came to the table with no shot on the one ball. He was inside the head string with the cue ball and he would have to kick off of either the side or foot rail in order to hit the one ball. The nine ball sat in the jaws of the corner pocket. Shaw measured the angle he needed off of the side rail to kick the one ball over toward the nine ball.  When he pulled the trigger it appeared at first that the nine ball would not be moved. But the one came off of the rail and brushed the nine ball into the pocket for a thrillingl victory created by a kick-combination shot under extreme pressure. Had the nine ball not fallen Dechaine would have almost certainly run the table.

Shaw then had to face Morris for the semi-finals and the chance to play in the finals. Morris had a lot of momentum on his side and was shooting instinctively as if he could not miss any shot.  The crowd favored Morris to take the win simply because he appeared immune to pressure and he was making every shot. But Shaw totally dominated the match. He ran rack after rack and never gave Morris the opportunity to get rolling. Shaw shot his way to the final dance with a 9-2 trouncing of Morris in a match that took less than 30 minutes to complete.

Our finals were contested between Jayson Shaw and Mika Immonen. The room was nearly evenly divided on which player they thought would win but Immonen barely got that nod as his experience in World Championships and major events around the world seemed to give him the edge.

That experience proved to be of little aid to Immonen. They were tied early at one apiece but after that it became the Jayson Shaw show and Shaw moved steadily ahead of Immonen by stringing together racks and denying Immonen good starting points. Immonen did contribute to his own demise, however, by jawing  balls on three separate occasions in the lower left pocket, ducks for Shaw to pick off easily. In the end Shaw proved to any doubters that he belongs at the Big Boy’s table whenever dinner is served as he took down the Iceman 13-6.

Wilkie holds off Casanzio for Al Conte Memorial Win

Shaun Wilkie and Ron Casanzio

Shaun Wilkie scored a hard fought win in the second set of the finals to defeat Ron Casanzio and win the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour's Al Conte Memorial at Hippos House of Billiards in Utica, NY on November 2nd – 3rd.


Casanzio, who finished in second place to Danny Hewitt last weekend, dropped a 9-6 decision to Martin Daigle in the final four on the winners side Sunday. Daigle then lost to Wilkie 9-6 for the hot-seat.


On the one loss side, Casanzio got his revenge over Daigle with a 9-5 victory that sent Daigle to the seats in third place,


The first set of the double elimination finals went to Casanzio 9-8, but Wilkie came back to capture the second set of the finals 9-7 for first place.


Fourteen players came back on Sunday to compete in the $500 added second chance tournament. This event saw Alain Parent bounce back from a loss to Paul Enslin in the winner's side final four to defeat Enslin 3-0 in both sets of the finals for first place.


The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will take next weekend off, but will be back in action on November 16th and 17th at Snookers in Providence, RI for the 25th Annual Ocean State 9-Ball Championship.