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.