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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.

The Hitman, Thorsten Hohmann, goes undefeated to win debut Archer Cup in Quebec

Thorsten Hohmann

In 2014 at Quebec’s 5th Annual Appalachian Billiards Classic, Thorsten Hohmann was runner-up to Johnny Archer in a 32-entrant field, playing 10-ball. In the 32-entrant 9-ball competition, won by Mike Dechaine, Hohmann finished in the tie for fifth place with Mika Immonen. This year, under the auspices of a newly-formed company called EvenTime, the annual tournament gave way to a new competition called The Archer Cup; so named, according to tournament director, Marco Sanschagrin, because “Johnny represents what we want to promote.

“He has always been a gentleman,” he added, “and when we asked him if he would be (the event’s) honorary patron, he agreed.”

The $10,000-added, 10-ball tournament drew 24 entrants to a converted ice hockey arena; The Black Lake Arena in the village of Thetford Mines, about an hour outside of Quebec City. In addition to the 10-ball tournament, the first Archer Cup featured a $2,000-added Scotch doubles tournament that drew 15 teams. It was won by Erik Hjorleifson (third in the 10-ball event) and Ashley Nolan, who defeated John Morra (fourth in the 10-ball event) and Joey Cicero in the finals.

It would have been highly fitting had Archer, last year’s 10-ball winner, gone on to win the tournament now named in his honor, but it didn’t happen. He won his opening match, against Luc Salvas, but then lost two in a row (to John Leblanc and Tom Theriault, by the same 10-8 score). He remained ‘in the house’ to be part of the post-tournament ceremonies, thanking all those who had made the event possible.

It was Hohmann who emerged from the field to go undefeated and claim the first Archer Cup title. The $6,500, first-place prize was accompanied by an actual Archer Cup, a huge trophy donated by a monuments company called Atelier du Bronze. Valued in the vicinity of $20,000, the “A”-shaped trophy featured a molded scorpion, poised to sting.

“It’s a good thing that I’m not going to have to carry this with me,” joked Hohmann in post-tournament ceremonies, “because the (baggage) fees would be more than my prize money.”

The trophy will be retained by tournament officials, with the winner’s name added each year.

Hohmann completed his undefeated run through the field with six victories, in which he gave up an average of just a little over five racks in each of the five races to 10 and single race to 12 in the finals. He chalked up two straight 10-4 victories in the opening two rounds before running into what proved to be his toughest challenge of the event; Francis Crevier, who battled him to double hill before giving way, allowing Hohmann to advance to a winners’ side semifinal against Erik Hjorleifson. In the meantime, Hohmann’s opponent in the hot seat and finals, Canada’s Danny Hewitt, squared off against fellow Canadian John Morra.

Hohmann and Hewitt advanced to the hot seat; Hohmann 10-5 over Hjorleifson and Hewitt 10-8 over Morra. Hohmann claimed the hot seat 10-5 over Hewitt and waited on his return.

Morra moved to the loss side and picked up Mike Dechaine, who, after being defeated by Hewitt in the second round, went on a four-match, loss-side streak, including a 10-4 victory over Francis Crevier and a 10-2 win over Jeff Blais that set up his match against Morra. Hjorleifson drew John LeBlanc, who’d defeated Yan Lalande 10-8 and Luc Salvas 10-7 to reach him.

Hjorleifson advanced to the quarterfinals 10-7 over LeBlanc and was joined by Morra, who’d eliminated Dechaine 10-4. Hjorleifson went on to defeat Morra 10-7, but was denied a second shot at Hohmann when Hewitt defeated him 10-2 in the semifinals.

Hohmann opened the final match proceedings with a bang; winning the lag, dropping five balls on his break, and easily taking the opening rack. Hewitt broke dry on the second rack, opening the door for Hohmann’s second win. The match tightened considerably with safety play starting to make an appearance, as Hewitt got on the board in the third rack, and tied it up in the fourth.

A combination of unforced errors by Hewitt and strong play by Hohmann, led to five straight for Hohmann. Hewitt responded with three straight of his own, to pull back within two at 7-5. Four racks later, Hohmann was on the hill. He broke dry in the subsequent rack, opening the door to what proved to be Hewitt’s last game victory. Hohmann closed it out in the 18th rack, claiming the debut Archer Cup title with a 12-6 victory over Hewitt.

In post-tournament ceremonies, he congratulated Hewitt for a strong tournament and final match.

“He defeated me a few months ago at Turning Stone,” he said, adding that while assembled fans probably wanted a longer final match, against Hewitt, he didn’t.

Reminded of his opening break, the strongest of the final, with five balls dropping, he quipped, “Ok. I did it once, I figured I didn’t need to do that again.”

According to tour director Sanschagrin, the Archer Cup is but the first of many planned events by the new EventTime company. In addition to a 2nd Annual Archer Cup next year, the group (which includes tournament president Roger Doyon and Michel McCutcheon) will be hosting tournaments for juniors, seniors and is looking to create a pool tournament that will coincide with Quebec’s annual winter carnival, one of the nation’s largest such festivals.

Quebec Wins Team Event in Thetford Mines

Francis Crevier, Michael Bernier, Jeff Blais and Dany Nguyen

Tonight players and fans who decided to come a day early were treated to a team event between some of the best players from Ontario, Quebec and U.S.A. Originally it was planned to play some bank pool and speed pool but for simplicity and time restraints it was decided to play scotch doubles 9 ball. 
It was agreed that each team would play one another once in a big round robin format with the team with the least amount of wins being eliminated. Surprising the near capacity crowd team U.S.A was the loser of the round robin.
This set up the final between Ontario and Quebec which was played in a 4 man alternate format. On paper the Ontario team of Jason Klatt, John Morra, Mario Morra, and Erik Hjorleifson had the edge however Quebec was playing some inspired pool. Jeff Blais,Michael Bernier, Francis Crevier, Dany Nguyen who all played near flawlessly for team Quebec giving the hometown crowd something to cheer about. In the end it was a very close match which saw team Quebec win 7-5 and split the $2000 first place prize. 

CBSA 2013 Canadian Championship Results

John Morra

Shooters Snookers and Sports Club in Toronto hosted the 2013 Canadian Cue Sports Championships from June 21st to July 2nd. The combination of heat and heavy rain paved the way for sicky conditions in the crowded room of players and spectators.
The event kicked off with 51 players in the amateur 9-ball event. Ontario player Marc Godin took the title with a 11-10 win over Serge Therrien from New Brunswick. In the Junior 9-Ball event, Charles Guimont from Quebec was undefeated as he took his first national title. Charles was the runner-up in last year’s event.
In the ladies events, Kayla Jones from London Ontario marched through the amateur 8-ball event beating Angela Carringan in the finals 9-7.  Brittany Bryant took her 3rd consecutive 9-ball title beating Naomi Williams in the finals.  Naomi was not left empty handed as she overcame New Brunswick’s Angela Belding to win her 3rd consecutive 10-ball title.
In the Men’s Open events, Jason Klatt got the ball rolling with a 11-3 score over Calgary’s Dave Martin for his 3rd national 8-Ball title.  In the 9-Ball event, Jeff Blais entertained the crowd with his fearless aggressive style.  Jeff lost a heartbreaking match to John Morra 11-10 in the A-side finals, and then lost his next match to Jason Klatt hill-hill in the B-Side finals.  Morra went on to win this event for his 1st national 9-ball title.  In the 10-ball event, John Morra continued his excellent play.  John outscored his opponents overall 63-26 for his 3rd 10-ball title.
In the snooker event, Ontario filled out the top four spots.  Jason Williams had a long road to the finals which included an 8 hour match against Chris Wood.  The steady young player is looking more impressive each year.  Jason’s opponent in the finals was lefty Floyd  Ziegler.   Floyd has been in the finals of this prestigious event multiple times in the past.  His experience likely gave him an edge over Jason.  It’s was Floyd’s great play and shot-making that gave him the title with a 6-2 win.
In the senior’s snooker, Jim Whittaker came though the b-side to take the win over Paul Flemming in the finals.  Live streaming was provided by Randall Morrison of the Alberta Billiards & Snooker Association.

Special thanks to the CBSA and Shooters Billiards for putting on another successful event.  Congratulations to Justin Kluznik for winning CityTV News athlete of the week.  Although Justin didn’t win a national title, he did win a box of Frosted Flakes.