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Turning Stone Classic XXXII – – Bucky Souvanthong vs Erik Hjorliefson

Turning Stone Classic XXXII Underway

Jayson Shaw (File photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Medium Pool)

The Turning Stone Classic XXXII kicks off today at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY. 
 
Reigning champion Jayson Shaw is once again in attendance, along with four time winner Shane Van Boening, six time winner Johnny ArcherMika Immonen, Earl Strickland, Thorsten Hohmann, Brandon Shuff, Danny Hewitt, Frankie Hernandez and Erik Hjorleifson.
 
Brackets are online and we will be covering this event with real time scoring all weekend long. For those who can’t make it to Turning Stone, Upstate Al will be providing a free live stream of feature matches for the entire event. 
 
Today’s streaming matches are:
4:00 PM Matt Tetreault vs Zion Zvi
6:00 Chris Pyle vs Earl Strickland
8:00 Frankie Hernandez vs Matt Krah
10:00 Len Gianfrate vs Loree Jon Jones

Draw Made For US Open 9-Ball Championship

The draw for the 43rd US Open 9-Ball Championship has been made, with Jayson Shaw to begin his defense against Marcus Weston at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas on Sunday, April 21.
 
The draw was seeded with a golf-style category system adopted, which took in rankings from across the pool world including WPA World Ranking, BCA Standings and Fargo Rating. As defending champion Shaw was seeded No.1, while five-time US Open champion Shane Van Boening is seeded second as the highest ranked American player.
 
Broadcast details for the 2019 US Open 9-Ball Championship will be announced shortly. Live rack-by-rack scoring will be available throughout the event at www.matchroompool.com thanks to Matchroom Multi Sport’s partnership with CueScore.
 
The draw, brackets and match schedule can be viewed now at https://cuescore.com/tournament/US+Open+9-ball+Championship/5185877
 
Note: Should any players featured in the draw not participate in the event, they will be replaced directly by the first player on the event waiting list to accept a spot in the tournament, irrespective of where the new player would have featured in any seeding category.
 
All matches at the US Open 9-Ball Championship takes place April 21-26 at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas. Matches are race to 11, winner breaks, except the final which is race to 13. The draw and match schedule for the first stage of the tournament is available now at www.matchroompool.com.
 
Tickets for the 43rd US Open 9-Ball Championship are still available at www.matchroompool.com from as little as $10 with VIP packages also available for the final three days of the tournament.
 
The tournament will be split into two stages with the full field playing double elimination down to the final 16 from Sunday April 21st until Tuesday April 23rd across multiple tables. From Wednesday April 24th until Friday April 26th the final 16 players will play straight knockout in the TV Arena in front of a global television audience.
 
US OPEN | ROUND ONE DRAW
 
Jayson Shaw vs. Marcus Westen
Tom Staveley vs.Jason Williams
Hunter Lombardo vs. Kosuke Tojo
Radwan Jameel R Sorouji vs. Tommy Tokoph
Naoyuki Oi vs. Marco Vignola
Alex Montpellier vs. Jason Klatt
Martin Daigle vs. Patrick Flemming
Angelo Salzano vs. Corey Deuel
Petri Makkonen vs. Marcel Price
Peter Busarac vs. Amar Kang
Franklin Hernandez vs. Ellis Brown
Paul Jaurez vs. Justin Bergman
James Aranas vs. Roderick Malone
Masato Yoshioka vs. Erik Hjorleifson
Stephen Folan vs. Jochen Kluge
Jon Demet vs. Toru Kurabayashi
Fedor Gorst vs. Gary Onomura
Stanley Walton vs. Paul Duell
Omar Al-Shaheen vs. David Dimmitt
Amer Al-Darbani vs. Mateusz Sniegoki
Dali Lin vs. Fabio Rizzi
Jason Hitzfeld vs. Jeremy Jones
Philipp Stojanovic vs. Steve Van Ness
Dalibor Nikolin vs. Francisco Sanchez Ruiz
(Kevin) Cheng Yu Hsuan vs. Christopher Lawson
Mohammed Ali N Al Eid vs. Ivo Aarts
Rodney Morris vs. Ken Kuwana
Deomark Alpajora vs. Radoslaw Babica
Marc Bijsterbosch vs. Ritchie Ogawa
Gary Urinoski vs. Danny Olson
Toan Nguyen vs. Bahram Lofty
Giuseppe Iacobucci vs. Ko Pin-Yi
Carlo Biado vs. Fahad Salem N Alharbi
Kenichi Uchigaki vs. Tyler Fleshman
Matt Edwards vs. Marco Penta
Hideaki Arita vs. Maksim Dudanets
Jeff De Luna vs. Torsten Schmitt
Chris Robinson vs. Rob Hart
Marco Teutscher vs. Raymund Faraon
Yip Kin Ling Leo vs. Dennis Orcollo
David Alcaide vs. Jorg Kellner
Blake Baker vs. Mitch Ellerman
Siming Chen vs. Mohamed Baabad
Jamal Oussi vs. Hoang Duong Quoc
Liu Haitao vs. Patrick Griess
Mike Stalk vs. John Schmidt
Justin Espinosa vs. Nguyen Phuc Long
Koh Yong Lee Randolph vs. Eklent Kaci
Ko Ping-Chung vs. Sami Koylu
Cole Gibbons vs. Brian Sanders
Brandon Shuff vs. Michael Yednak
Robert Hewings vs. Michael Dechaine
Konrad Juszczyszyn vs. John Chapman
Luis Guerrero vs. Hayato Hijikata
Kenny Loftis vs. Corey Harper
Michael Hutcheson vs. Thorsten Hohmann
Johnny Archer vs. Kurt Kobayashi
Konrad Piekarski vs. Roberto Gomez
Jani Siekkinen vs. Damian Pongpanik
Bora Anar vs. Alex Pagulayan
Sangin Pehlivanovic vs. Bryan Farah
Ching-Shun Yang vs. Milos Verkic
Kings Santy vs. Michael Delawder
Jason McClain vs. Alexander Kazakis
Joshua Filler vs. Matt Krah
Thomas Welle vs. David Anderson
Jalal Yousef vs. Henrik Larsson
Tom Griffith vs. Roman Hybler
Jeffery Ignacio vs. Lefteris Georgiou
James Davee vs. Kostas Koukiadakis
Hsu Kai-Lun vs. Adam King
Ralph Eckert vs. Mika Immonen
Wu Kun Lin vs. Kuo Szu-Ting
Kang Lee vs. Ernesto Dominguez
Darren Appleton vs. Terry Spalding
Patrick Holtz vs. Richard Halliday
Tyler Styer vs. Kelii Chuberko
Che-Wei Fu vs. Josh Roberts
John Barton vs. Zachary Bos
Johann Dominik Hiber vs. Wu Jiaqing
Dennis Grabe vs. Lee Heuwagen
Jeffrey Jimenez vs. Ronald Regli
Liu Ri Teng vs. Gwyn Spooner
Arnar Peterson vs. Chang Yu-Lung
Wang Can vs. Dejan Sipkovski
Jonathan Mcdowell Pakieto vs. Francisco Bustamante
Max Eberle vs. Robert Goddard
Florida Pro Tour vs. Aloysius Yapp
Skyler Woodward vs. Luu Minh Phuc
Stephen Holem vs. Imran Majid
Jason Theron vs. Katsuyuki Yamamoto
Stan Tourangeau vs. Ruslan Chinakov
Wojciech Szewczyk vs. Renato Camantigue
James Adams vs. Marek Kudlik
Brendan Ng vs. Paddy McLoughlin
Brian Parks vs. Niels Feijen
Chang Jung-Lin vs. Roland Stock
John Moody Sr vs. Adam Lilley
Nick Malaj vs. Dimitri Jungo
Francesco Candela vs. Tomasz Kaplan
Mario He vs. Michael Pruitt
Cheng-Chieh Liu vs. Tommy Kennedy
Vilmos Foldes vs. Marc Vidal Claramunt
Max K Reyes vs. Billy Thorpe
Dang Jin Hu vs. Ben Crawley
Jamie White vs. Tony Chohan
Gabe Owen vs. Gary Lutman
Elliot Sanderson vs. Robbie Capito
Warren Kiamco vs. Mark Showalter
Brendon Bektashi vs. Hsu Jui-An
Patrick Mannillo vs. Melinda Huang
Ryo Yokawa vs. Chris Melling
Ralf Souquet vs. Molrudee Kasemchaiyanan
Seiji Kuwajima vs. Simon Pickering
Earl Strickland vs. Pedro Botta
Steve Lingelbach vs. Dennis Hatch
Donny Mills vs. Eugene Villena
Mark Foster vs. Shaun Wilkie
Kim Laaksonen vs. Chris Alexander
Steven Lingafelter vs. Albin Ouschan
John Morra vs. Marco Spitzky
Adam Mscisz vs. Marlon Manalo
Alejandro Carvajal vs. Dustin Dixon
Philipps Yee vs. Johann Chua
Mieszko Fortunksi vs. Chris McDaniel
Robby Foldvari vs. Yukio Akagariyama
Manny Perez vs. Nicolas Charette
Abdullah Saeed O Alshammari vs. Shane van Boening

Turning Stone Classic XXXI – Billy Thorpe vs Eric Hjorleifson

Turning Stone Classic XXXI Day Two Complete

Jia Li, Kevin West and Annie Flores (Photos courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

Day two is complete at the Turning Stone Classic XXXI, and what day one might have lacked in surprising results, day two more than made up for. 

 

One player who has drawn her share of attention is Jia Li (top). Li opened her day with a match against Sean Morgan that saw her race to an early lead. At 7-0 though, the wheels seemed to come off and Morgan won seven racks of his own to tie things at 7-7. Li dug down from there and won the next two games for the 9-7 win. There was no problems at all in Li's late match, as she ran over Eric Cloutier 9-2. She will face Tommy Tokoph on Saturday afternoon.

 

Fresh off of her win last weekend in the NAPL championship, Annie Flores (bottom right) is proving that she belongs here. Flores won a hill-hill battle over The Queen of the Hill Loree Jon Hasson in her early match, but fell to Canadian champion Erik Hjorleifson in her evening match. Flores will either face Hendrick Drost or Brent Boemmels in an Afternoon match.

 

Kevin West (bottom left) started her tournament on Thursday with 9-2 win over Paul Dryden, but he looked to a tougher hill to climb on Friday when he faced World Champion Thorsten Hohmann. It turned out that match wasn't a problem at all for West, as he cruised over Hohmann 9-4. West then finished off his Friday with a 9-5 win over Jay Goyer. West will face Zion Zvi (fresh off sending Johnny Archer to the one loss side) on Saturday.

 

AzBilliards has online brackets and real time scoring for the duration of the event, and Upstate Al is streaming the event on Facebook. All of the links are available on our live page
 

Van Boening Earns Fourth Turning Stone Title

Shane Van Boening

The story at the Turning Stone Classic for the past couple events has been whether (and when) Jayson Shaw will match Johnny Archer’s record six wins. After the Turning Stone Classic XXX, the story can shift to whether Shane Van Boening will catch up with Shaw’s five wins. 
 
Day four dawned with just eight players left with hopes of winning the title. Van Boening was one of the four unbeaten players and he started Sunday with a 9-5 win over Canada’s Erik Hjorleifson. At the same time, Archer was squeaking by Turning Stone regular Hunter Lombardo 9-8. 
 
On the one loss side, Finland’s Olli Turkulainen eliminated Zion Zvi and Jayson Shaw eliminated another Turning Stone regular, Bucky Souvanthong
 
Both players coming over from the winner’s side then eliminated Turkulainen (lost to Lombardo) and Shaw (lost to Hjorleifson). Hjorleifson and Lombardo had both been playing great all week, but one of them would have to settle for 4th place. That player would be Hjorleifson after a 9-3 loss to Lombardo. 
 
The semifinal gave Lombardo a chance to avenge his earlier loss to Archer, but Archer took an early lead and Lombardo would be unable to catch up in a 9-7 match.
 
Between them, the finalists had almost 1/3 of the Turning Stone Classic titles in existence (9 of 30). Even though Archer had the larger number of titles (six), Van Boening appears to be in his usual late year form, and that was more than Archer could handle. Archer struggled with his break for most of the match, while Van Boening was controlling the break (and the table) like only he can. Archer made a couple short runs, but they were always stopped by a dry break. The final score was 13-7 Van Boening, in a match that wasn’t even really that close. 
 
For Van Boening, it was his fourth Turning Stone title and his third straight tournament win, following his US Open 8-Ball and US Open 10-Ball wins last month.

Dual Upsets Highlight Turning Stone Classic Day Two

Demitrios Jelatis (Photo courtesy of Taylor Workman)

Day two at the Turning Stone Classic XXX looked to be coming to an end just like day one did; with no notable upsets. That was until the 8pm round, when fans had dual upsets finish at almost the same time on tables next to each other. 
 
The first upset saw Minnesota’s Demitrios Jelatis stun Turning Stone I Champion, Mika Immonen, with a 9-4 beat-down. While the crowd was still talking about that upset, Dave Dreidel was sending Defending Champion Billy Thorpe to the one loss side via a hill-hill 9-ball break. Jelatis and Dreidel will face off on the winner’s side of the event today.
 
Other notables still undefeated in this event include five time Champion Jayson Shaw, three time Champion Shane Van Boening, Canadian Erik Hjorleifson, Donny Mills, Danny Hewitt, BCA Hall of Fame Pat Fleming, Earl Strickland and six time Champion Johnny Archer
 
Matches continue all day Saturday, as the field is slimmed down to just eight players who will return on Sunday to crown a winner. 
 
AzBilliards has online brackets and real time scoring for the duration of the event, and Upstate Al is streaming select matches on his Facebook page. Links to all of this coverage are available on our live page for the event.

Hjorleifson goes undefeated to win 22nd Annual Jay Swanson (Swanee) Memorial

(l to r): Manny Perez & Eric Hjorleifson

It’s hard to know what causes the roller coaster of some careers in pool. Jobs, family, and a host of other influences can impact pool earnings in significant ways, including the distinct possibility of incomplete information. What may look in a given database (our own, included) like a severe drop in a player’s level of participation, may, in fact, just be just a gap in the information reported on his, or her activities.
 
Take Canada’s Erik Hjorleifson, for example, who just went undefeated to win the 22nd Annual Jay Swanson (“Swanee”) Memorial, held on the weekend of February 24-25. Fourteen years ago, he finished in the four-way tie for ninth place at the US Open 9-Ball Championships with three competitors well-known enough to be recognizable by their first names – Earl, Tony, and Ralf (Strickland, Robles and Souquet). A couple of years later (2006; his best recorded earnings year, to date, according to our records), Hjorleifson won two stops, back to back, on what’s known as the Canadian 30K Tour, and here in the US, finished runner-up to Dennis Hatch at a stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour. He won another Canadian 30K Tour stop the following year, and cashed in 10 other events, including Turning Stone VIII (17th). And then, though he continued to appear on payout lists, there were no major tour victories of any kind until he showed up as the winner of the Canadian Championship Men’s Open 10-Ball in 2014.
 
Though he hasn’t been inactive or absent from payouts lists since then (second to Mika Immonen at Turning Stone XXV in 2016, for example, and 25th at both Turning Stone XXVII and XXVIII in 2017), Hjorleifson does appear to have experienced a drop in competitive frequency. Whether his victory at the recent Jay Swanson Memorial is a sign that his personal roller coaster is rising again, remains to be seen, but it was definitely a significant move in the right direction. He went undefeated through the field of 128 entrants that split a $10,000 prize pool. The event was hosted by OnCue Billiards in La Mesa, CA.
 
Following victories over Naiel Tito, Victor Ignacio (double hill), Jose Mendoza, Ben Hrabina (all, save Ignacio, 8-4), and the patriarch of the Dominguez clan, Ernesto 8-6, Hjorleifson moved into a winners’ side semifinal match against Dave Hemmah. Manny Perez, in the meantime, the eventual runner-up, was looking for what would be his first major event victory. He got by Johnny Kang, Marshall Jung, Steven Choy, Justin Marks and the “Swanee” Memorial’s defending champion, Brian Parks, to face Hungary’s Vilmos Foldes (7th in the event last year) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Perez got into the hot seat match with an 8-4 victory over Foldes, and was joined by Hjorleifson, who’d sent Hemmah to the loss side 8-6. Hjorleifson claimed the hot seat 8-4 over Perez and sat in it to await his return.
 
On the loss side, Foldes picked up Mitch Ellerman, who, after being downed by Hemmah in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had gotten by Justin Marks 7-3, and Fach Garcia 7-4 to reach him. Garcia had previously eliminated the elder Dominguez, Ernest, which kept him (Ernesto) from an approaching match versus his son, Oscar (a matchup that the elder Dominguez traditionally forfeits). Hemmah picked up the son, Oscar, who, after his defeat at the hands of Foldes, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had eliminated Mika Immonen 7-2 and Brian Parks 7-4.
 
Foldes advanced to the quarterfinals 7-2 over Ellerman, and was joined by Oscar Dominguez, who’d defeated Hemmah 7-5. Oscar eliminated Foldes in those quarterfinals and then, locked up in a double hill fight against Perez in the semifinals; a fight won by Perez to earn himself a second shot against Hjorleifson in the finals.
 
Hjorleifson completed his undefeated run. A repeat performance of the hot seat match 8-4 over Perez secured it.
 

Immonen Takes East Coast Canadian 9-Ball Open Title

Denis Boudreau (The Billiard Shop) and Mika Immonen. Photo courtesy of Barry Peddle

The first ever Billiard Shop East Coast Canadian 9-Ball Open was held in Halifax at RailBirds Billiards from November 7 to November 13, 2017.  The event was the brainchild of Atlantic 9-Ball Tour promoter Thomas ‘TJ’ Martin as a Pro-Am event to both showcase the Atlantic Canada pool scene to top level professional players, and to treat local players first hand to the level of talent pro players possess, something few people from this area get to witness in person.
 
In total, the week began with 238 paid participants, making this event one of the largest in Canadian history.  The Main Draw was double knockout, races to 11, winner break format, with $25,000 CDN added to the prize pool, which brought the total payout package of the Main Draw to $63,500.  In addition, there was $10,000 more in added money spread across 3 Second Chance Divisions available to players who did not cash in the Main Draw.
 
In the early rounds it was like winning the lottery for some local players who got to draw their idols.  While the matches may not have been the most competitive, they were surely entertaining for both the player and the crowds at the rail.  Halifax’s Brian ‘Pidge’ Ashworth drew huge applause when he won the lag vs John Morra, with Pidge triumphantly pumping his fist in the air at the “accomplishment”.  He drew even bigger applause when he captured the first game.  That, however, would be the extent of his success in this match, as Morra went on to capture the next 11 racks.  Cape Breton shooter Mike Basque could not stop smiling after seeing the draw sheet, knowing he was to play Alex Pagulayan on the show tables in the premier night time slot.  Alex was already up 10-0 before Basque finally got a game. That didn’t stop the crowd from roaring with delight at the win, as Mike pretended his work was done, offering to shake Alex’s hand before jokingly walking off in drop-the-mic style.  Basque managed to gain one more rack before succumbing to Pagulayan 11-2.  To their credit, the pros were taking the crowd’s enthusiasm “against” them in stride, laughing along.  The fans were just as awed and appreciative of cueing prowess displayed by Morra and Pagulayan in these matches.
 
Matchups were not all as lighthearted in the opening rounds.  There were a few local heavyweight clashes, such as Rocky Johnson of Dartmouth, NS winning 11-10 over Carl Sampson of Sydney, NS.  Gilles LeBlanc of Moncton, NB got by Bruce Lilly of Porters Lake, NS 11-9.  Dennis Penney of St John’s, NL narrowly missed sending one of the Maritimes best shooters to the B-Side early, but Rob Sakell of Moncton, NB was able to snatch the victory at hill-hill.   And while most top-level players were posting lopsided score lines in the early going, at least one local had some measure of success against the odds.  In round 2, tour promoter TJ Martin was able to hang close with Martin Daigle of Montreal, Quebec before Daigle pulled away late for an 11-6 win.
 
Daigle, a perennial threat in any event, was also involved in the first clash of titans on the board, meeting Erik Hjorleifson, a former Canadian Champion, in the third round.  Daigle kept Erik in his chair for most of the early going, amassing a 6-0 lead, only to see Erik make quick work of eating into that cushion, bringing the match back to 6-5.  Daigle recovered though, eventually closing Erik out 11-7, and sending the first big fish over to swim in the B side waters.  
 
In round 4, Atlantic 9-Ball Tour stalwart Chris Dempsey got a first hand lesson on how quickly a professional player can turn the tables.  With Dempsey up 6-4 in the match, an illegal break turned possession of the table over to John Morra.  Dempsey would not get to win another game, as Morra ran the set out from there. 
 
The match that got the fans most excited came on the B-Side in a contest to send the winner into the final 12.  Again, Martin Daigle was at the center, this time matched up with an Atlantic Canadian player, Clayton “Magoo” Dennis of Eskasoni, NS.  Although being the heavy underdog in the match, Dennis was able to trade blows with Daigle, with several lead changes, but no one pulling more than a few racks ahead.  At 10-10, the rail was teeming with people looking on in anticipation as Magoo methodically worked through the final balls.  Even the other matches being played stopped to witness the potential upset.  When the 9-Ball dropped, the entire pool hall erupted in cheer.  This was easily the most talked about (memorable) moment for the rest of the event.
 
Andy Aupin of Sudbury, ON, one of eight shooters in the field with a 700+ Fargo Rating, got the hard luck draw among top players, losing to Mika Immonen in a tight match, 11-9, on the A-Side, and later dropping an 11-3 decision to Imran Majid on the B-Side.  
 
For his part, Majid had the crowd buzzing about his play all week, making it look effortless on way to victories 11-0, 11-1, 11-1, and 11-1 before dropping a match to Pagulayan 11-5.  Majid rebounded on the B-Side, continuing his dominating score lines against tough competition, winning 11-3, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4, and 11-2 to reach the B-Side Semi Final. 
 
Majid would next meet Immonen, who was fresh off an 11-7 victory over Hjorleifson.  Immonen jumped out to the early lead 5-0.  Majid was not ready for his week to be over, leveling the match at 8-8.  However, the final racks went Immonen’s way, moving him past Majid 11-8.
 
Immonen then moved on to tangle with Pagulayan, the ‘Lion’ having just lost in the A-side semi-final 11-7 to Morra.  This matchup had the fans salivating, finding it surreal they were about to watch two former World 9-Ball Champions duke it out live in Halifax.  Mika was on his third straight match in a matter of a few hours, yet he showed no sign of mental fatigue, outlasting Alex to take the match 11-9, securing Mika a place in the final.
 
The final was to be one race to 17.  Immonen started to pull away around the mid-point of the match, building a 14-9 lead.  Morra managed to get the next two racks, before Immonen again put a bead over to his side to lead 15-11.  It was here that Morra changed his own fortunes, managing to get out on each of the next 5 racks, thus wrestling the lead from Immonen and perching himself on the hill 16-15.  A scratch on the ensuing break brought Mika back to the table, but without a great opportunity on the 1 ball, he chose to play safe.  This started a short safety battle on the 1 that Johnny came out on top of.  Johnny moved through the rest of the rack easily, but when shaping from the 7 to the 8-Ball, Morra left his cue ball pinned to the rail, which meant difficulty in trying to get the cue ball from the 8 to the other end of the table for the 9.  Morra chose to roll the 8 in and take on the long pot of the 9-Ball, which sat a few inches below the spot.   The cut shot barely missed, and the 9 and cue ball spun around the table, leaving Mika a back cut to the bottom corner, which he deposited.  Mika made a ball on the following break, setting himself up nicely to run out the rack, taking down the final 17-16, and earning the $10,000 first prize.
 
Chris Penney of Yarmouth, NS took home top honors, and $1390, in the A Division Second Chance event, getting the better of Rob Sakell, Moncton, NB in the final.  Jason Thomas, Tracadie, NB was third.  Brent MacIntyre, of Dartmouth, NS earned $1120 as the B Division Second Chance winner, over Terry Gulliver of St. John’s, NL.  Finishing in third was Rodney Carpenter, also of St. John’s, NL.  The C Division Second Chance $1000 first prize was captured by Leo Sanchez of Halifax, NS beating Brandyn Griffin, of Toronto, ON.  Jarrett Campbell, Halifax, NS, placed third. 
 
The lion’s share of appreciation goes to TJ Martin for tirelessly working the phones to secure sponsorship and participation from pro players.  This event was not just a tournament, but an experience for a great number of amateur players.  Thank you to the title sponsor – The Billiard Shop, and to RailBirds Billiards, a stellar host pool hall, and also a major sponsor of the event.  Thank you to Canada Billiards, Simonis Cloth and Aramith Balls for their support.  Thank you to sponsors Pechauer Cues, Atlantica Hotel, and Coastal Cannapy.  Thanks to the referee crew of Dale Brimicombe and Derek Peterson, and to the Tournament Director Steve Cooper and Scheduler Craig Teal.  Thanks to all the Atlantic Canadian players that took part in the event, and all the spectators for rooting on your favorite players.  A special thank you all the players came from away to support year one, especially those professional players for believing what was promised would be delivered.  The Billiard Shop Eastern Canadian 9-Ball Open was a large success due to all of you!
 
Next year’s event has been announced for November 6 to 12, 2018, with $50,000 CDN added.  There is sure to be even greater interest from pro’s, amateurs, and fans!
 

Klatt over Morra for Canadian Bar Table Championship

Jason Klatt and John Morra

From July 6th-9th, The Corner Bank in Toronto celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday with a $5,000 added 8-Ball event. The event was dedicated to the late Vince MacIntyre who we lost in 2013. There is no doubt that Vince would have played in this event if he was still with us, he was a warrior on the bar tables.
 
The talented field of 68 players included some of Canada’s best bar box players including Louis Fazekas, John Morra, Andy Aupin, Adam Monture and Al Porter.  Fans in attendance witnessed some excellent pool. On route to the finals, John Morra defeated Rob Hall, Jonathon Lessard, Brad Guthrie before facing the current Canadian 8-Ball Champion Adam Monture. Adam and John traded games right down to the wire before Morra clinched the last rack. John continued his journey with wins over Erik Hjorleifson and Jason Klatt to earn the hot seat.
 
Jason Klatt had wins over Bruce Hickey, Ben Crawley, Jeet Khandi, Tyler Styer and Andy Aupin before losing to John Morra in the A-Side finals. In the b-side finals, Jason Klatt eliminated the young gun from Wisconsin, Tyler Styer. I’m sure we will be seeing more of this sharpshooter as he has recently been spending some time here in Canada.
 
Klatt now faced John Morra again in the finals. This was a “true double knock-out” event with Jason needing to win two sets for the title. Klatt wasted no time jumping out to a 5-0 lead before Morra could get a game on the board at 5-1. John missed the 8-Ball in the next rack put Jason in front 6-1. Jason held it together to win the first set 8-2 and the players quickly lagged again to start the last set of the tournament.
 
Jason Klatt came out of the gate strong once again. This set was played at a slower pace as both players could now see the finish line. Morra stayed within reach eventually tying the score at 5-5. A foul on the 8-Ball in the 11th rack put Jason ahead 6-5. Jason broke dry in the next rack and Morra carefully cleared the stripes to tie the score at 6-6. Now it was Morra’s turn to break dry, Klatt took his time and ran the table to reach the hill 7-6. Jason followed it up in style with a break-and-run to win the event.