|Photo by Blaine Bilocerkowec|
By: Erik Hjorleifson
This past weekend in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Ian's Cue Club played host to an open 9 ball event that boasted 54 entries with an $85 entry fee, and the room generously added $2000 to the 9 ball event. This format was good enough to generate some interest with the best players in Western Canada, players from Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were all in attendance. You could say that the field was comparable to that of a Western Canadian Championship.
Pool has been somewhat quiet in Saskatchewan in the past 5 years, but the province has a long history of having good events. The biggest tournament that was ever executed in the province was called the Northeren Lights shootout held at the Northern Lights casino in Price Albert. This event happened three times and it attracted big American names each year. The winners of those events were Corey Deuel, Alex pagulayan and myself and the first prize was around $12 000.
The first two years of the event the finals were televised on TSN. I can also remember travelling to Saskatchewan many times when I lived in Manitoba. The three main rooms that held good events were Marquis billiards in Prince Albert, Pacific Avenue billiards in Saskatoon and Guys and Dolls in Regina. They would regularly have tournaments that were $2000 first prize or more and players from Alberta and Manitoba would compete on a regular basis. Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta all have a strong contingent of native players, many of whom were present this weekend. The best native players from Saskatchewan are Brad Poorman, Fabian Louison, Cass Burns, Blaine Burns, Jason Kishaynew and many others.
In all it was a very successful event this weekend in North Battleford and hopefully it will serve as a bit of a resurgence in a province where there are many great players.
1st place Brad Poorman (SK) $2500
2nd place Eric Vargas (MB) $1500
3rd place Russ Whittle (AB) $700
4th place Berry McLean (MB) $400
5th/6th place Clint Gamble (SK) $ 200, Phil Tourangeau(SK) $200
7th/8th place Mike Crookedneck (SK) $150, Gordon Paskemin (SK) $150
Special thanks to Mike Crookedneck for providing the results. They will also be planning a $3000 added event in the future, we will keep you posted.