Weather finally cooperates as the Canadian 9-Ball Tour closes out Season Three in Toronto

John Morra

The Canadian 9 Ball Tour, presented by Indigo and Chapters Bookstores and Cineplex Entertainment, stopped at Shooters Snooker & Sports Bar in Toronto.

Play began Friday evening in the eighth and final tour event of 2008 with all 64 entrants seeing early action. Some big names found the going tough and were summarily dismissed to the losers bracket after one match. This included former Canadian Champion Jeff White, a 9-5 loser to Tony Chohan, Tom D'Alfonso bowing down to Andrew Attard 9-4 and Louis Fazekas losing to another former Canadian Champ, Chris Orme 9-6.

Second round action brought a shock result to the event's number two seeded Erik Hjorliefson. He found Dan Doerner in scintillating form and hit the left hand side of the draw by virtue of a 9-3 loss to Doerner. Former tour winner Jason Klatt escaped the same fate as his pal Hjorleifson when he recovered from a 1-8 score to slide by last month's tour event runner-up, Felix Beardy 9-8. Top seeded Edwin Montal and his travelling companion and number four seed Tyler Edey both progressed comfortably into round two as did local favorite and two time tour event winner, John Morra.

Upsets were not terribly abundant to this point in the Toronto event but round three presented some enticing winner's side matchups. Included in this category were Tony Chohan vs Jason Klatt, Adam Smith vs Mario Morra, Andrew Attard vs Edwin Montal and Shannon Ducharme up against Chris Orme.

Klatt and Chohan's match lived up to advance billing and went right down to the wire with Klatt escaping a 9-8 winner. Chris Orme overcame a shaky start to topple Shannon Ducharme by a 9-7 score. Montal was pushed to the limit by Attard and it proved to be too much for the top seed to handle as Attard moved on with a confidence boosting 9-8 victory. Adam Smith was also in a real tussle with Mario Morra as the elder Morra quickly jumped out to a commanding lead and held his nerve to gain his fourth round place with a 9-6 win.

Alain Martel, the winner of the last tour event played in Montreal, was making a big statement as well on the winner's side. He had lost a total of only six racks enroute to his round four berth . By contrast, John Morra was found to be struggling in his third round match against Toronto's John Jorgensen and went down by a surprising 9-4 defeat to the tall Jorgensen.

Chris Orme continued to impress all in attendance with a very high standard of play as he sent Andrew Attard to the loser's bracket by a one sided 9-3 decision. Also making a big statement in this event was Tyler Edey from Calgary. Edey has been playing some very solid pool, coming to Toronto following his top 8 finish in the world 10 ball championships recently completed in Las Vegas and carrying that form through to a 9-3 win over Jason Klatt. Alain Martel continued his run with a character building 9-8 win over Toronto's John Jorgensen. Dan Doerner, another steady Canadian player who consistently does well in events that he travels to, unsettled Mario Morra with 9-7 decision to stay on the winner's side.

To this point many of the competitors had been very worthy of their standing and even though the eye opening results continued, none were more attention grabbing than Edwin Montal's dismissal at the hands of young Eric Hildebrand. The event's number one seed was sent packing by virtue of a 9-7 Hildebrand win and would be relegated to the sidelines for the remainder of the tournament. Winnipeg's Felix Beardy found himself in a hill-hill twister against Wayne Tate and failed at a chance to run out the rack allowing Tate back to the table to secure the 9-8 win. Third seeded John Morra was in desperate trouble of his own against the handy southpaw, John Timmermans. From a 5-5 score John Morra lost control of the match and found himself 6-8 behind. He won the next two racks to stay alive and force yet another hill-hill decider and having the benefit of the break in his favor. The deficit for Morra proved to be too big to overcome however as he succumbed in the final rack and had to suffer a gut wrenching 9-8 loss to Timmermans.

Canadian snooker champion, Floyd Ziegler was showing that a snooker pedigree could go a long ways to a successful run in a major 9-ball event. His match against Eric Hildebrand was a high quality clash that saw Ziegler run out a 9-5 victor.

As is the case with virtually all pool tournaments, you have your share of surprises as well as your share of expected results. Competitors fought into the early evening vying for the right to play on Sunday and stay on course for the $5000 winner's purse. To recap the noticeable absentees of the twelve players coming back for Sunday's action, this list included the top seed Edwin Montal, the tournament's number two seed, Erik Hjorleifson, the number three seed John Morra, the number seven seeded Adam Smith, event number eight seed, Louis Fazekas and ninth seeded Shannon Ducharme. If nothing else, this laid testament to the talent base that was evident in the largest city in Canada.

The twelve players returning for action on Sunday include Chris Orme, Tyler Edey, Alain Martel and Dan Doerner who are all coming back to contest to fight it out on the A Side. Survivors left to tangle from the loser's brackets are Andrew Attard, Jason Klatt, John Jorgensen, Tom D'Alfonso, Mario Morra, Wayne Tate, Floyd Ziegler and John Timmermans

The Canadian 9-Ball Tour wishes to express its appreciation to the tour's presenting sponsors, Indigo and Chapters bookstores, Cineplex Entertainment as well as Canada Billiards & Bowling, Dufferin Billiards, Stan James The Sports Bookmaker, Simonis Pool Cloth and Aramith Billiard Balls.