Ulrich tops California Pool Player Tour Stop

The California Pool Players Tour took its show on the road the weekend of Sept 17-18 and traveled to historic College Billiards in San Diego, California, where owners Pedro Piedrabuena (world champion 3-cushion player) and Timo graciously allowed us to take over their room for two days.  These gentlemen should be commended by every person that picks up a cue in the San Diego area – they are truly a class act.  

Together with Fran Smith, they raised $1500 for the prize fund.  The CPPT also added $450 which, combined with entry fees of $1050, created an eye popping $3000 prize fund.  Our format pays 25% of the field normally, but to even things out for the money round, we decided to spread the money a little deeper to reward the 18 players that showed up.  We were surprised by the low turnout for a tournament with such a large amount of added money, but we later learned that in addition to unfamiliarity with the CPPT, we were up against the APA national qualifiers and the Senior Games being held the same weekend.  

Saturday Tournament trails of the 8 who advanced:

Louis Ulrich defeated Rydell Rabor 7-1, lost to Tyler Van Wulvan 6-7, defeated Mark Arnold 7-2, Damian Alishan 7-3, Paul Bramwell 7-5.  Ben Pham defeated Mark Arnold 7-5, Steve Eakins 7-6, Paul Bramwell 7-6.  Tyler Van Wulvan had a bye, defeated Louis Ulrich 7-6, defeated Ken Johnson 7-3.  Ken Johnson had a bye, defeated Damian Alishan 7-3, lost to Tyler 4-7, defeated Kevin May 7-4.  Shan Damani had a bye, defeated Jason Gilbert 7-0, defeated Fran Smith 7-0.  Carlo Cabrarlo had a bye, defeated Pedro 7-2, defeated Marc Barredo 7-5.  Pedro had a bye, lost to Carlo 2-7, defeated Max Jansen 7-6, defeated Fran Smith 7-2.  Marc Barredo had a bye, defeated Max Jansen 7-4, lost to Carlo Cabrarlo 7-5, defeated Jason Gilbert 7-2.

Eight players returned on Sunday for the money round, and the luck of the draw had the remaining A players in the top half of the bracket and the B/C players in the bottom half of the bracket, a scenario that CPPT founder Vincent Paul Bramwell had been anticipating.  Ben Pham and Tyler Van Wulvan matched up in the first round of play, and the pace of their match slowed considerably.  At 75 minutes a warning was issued and a 30 second clock was instituted, after Van Wulvan refused to take the default win at the end of the 90 minutes (per tournament rules) when he was ahead 5-4.  The shot clock worked in Pham's favor, however, as he began moving around the table like a man possessed, running out from everywhere to beat Van Wulvan 7-6. Pham later stated that putting him on the shot clock made him stop thinking about missing and just think about making the ball.

Shan Damani defeated Carlo Cabrarlo 7-5 to make it to the hot seat match against Pham, but Pham was on a roll and defeated Damani 7-2.  Damani then lost his next match to Louis Ulrich and finished in 3rd place.

In the finals it was Louis Ulrich vs. Ben Pham, where Ulrich's relentless skill and tenacity were too much for Pham to overcome. The final score was 9-3.  Ulrich stated after the tournament that he was pleased with the tournament and its unique format, and he believes that as word spreads among the San Diego players, we'll see a tremendous turnout for the On Cue tournament Nov 6-7 in La Mesa.

“This is what this format is all about,” said Vincent Paul Bramwell, “It gives the B and C players the opportunity to play each other and gain some confidence before facing off against the top guns, and even if they lose they get to still make a nice payday and get the benefit of the experience playing the better players and hopefully learn something, it's a win-win for everyone. “

The feedback from everyone that showed up to play at College was very positive.  They didn't really understand at first how the format would really work, but after seeing it in action they are convinced that it is definitely a winner and that all the B/C players can most definitely benefit from it. Quite a few spectators came to watch, and all the players in the Sunday bracket stuck around until the very end.

Without knowing who or what to expect, the San Diego pool community welcomed us and embraced the Tour and unique format of play, they had a ball and made some money, and we made many new friends.  Many thanks to Pedro and Timo for their kindness and generosity.  They have invited us back next year, and we look forward to returning to College Billiards.

Now that the area players have seen the product and earnings potential, we expect a better turnout for the next event at On Cue billiards on Nov 6-7.  We're calling out all Southern California players to make this a success so we can bring a full series of tour stops to Southern California in 2011.  If you show your support we will support you.  Our goal is to have a combined championship event with the S. Cal players and the N. Cal players, which would be very exciting to watch and compete in.

Thanks again to each and every one who turned out, it was a fun time.

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions please email us at Cali_poolplayers_tour@Yahoo.com.

$2000 Added by College Billiards, Fran Smith, LouAnne Laflamme and Paul Bramwell