Tuesday, 31 March 2015

"Mr Smooth" Wins 2015 Canadian 8 Ball Championships

John Morra, photo courtesy of Upstate Al
By: Markus Noé

Today was the second and final day of the Canadian 8 Ball Championships. From the get go, it promised to be an entertaining day. First up on the stream was a final 4 winners side match-up between John"Mr Smooth" Morra and Tom Theriault. Morra continued on his torrid pace of the day before easily winning 9-4.

Shannon Ducharme
On the adjacent table the other final four winners side match was taking place. It was Erik "Big Red" Hjorleifson up against Shannon Ducharme. This was maybe the best match of the day on the stream as it truly was a battle. In the end Hjorleifson was able to notch the win 9-7.

Erik Hjorleifson 
A few hours later Morra and Hjorleifson played in the winners side final. Big Red got out to an early 6-1 lead and never gave it up taking full advantage of all his opportunities, eventually winning 9-3.

On the losers side of the bracket Jason Klatt was able to avenge an earlier loss against Shannon Ducharme. In their previous match Ducharme had a big lead most of the way until 7-3. The tides seem to turn at this point and Klatt charged back to eventually tie the match 8-8. Unfortunately for Klatt he was unable to secure the final rack. In their second meeting Ducharme once again built a 7-3 lead. However this time Klatt climbed all the way back to win 9-8 and knock Ducharme out in the 5/6 place.

Tom Theriault from New Brunswick who was just recently bumped to Pro in the Québec Federation. Played Mario Morra in the  5/6 position, on the other side of the losers bracket. Theriault who has had an impressive tournament thus far, continued his winning ways breaking and running on the hill to win 9-8. He then met up with Klatt who after his long run on the losers side seemed to have regained his form as he ended this match quickly 9-4.

John Morra's earlier loss to Hjorleifson seemed to light a fire in him as he cruised through Klatt 9-3 to earn his rematch. In the final it was a much different affair as this time it was Morra who was dominate early and never relenting, winning 11-4. First place was $1400 plus a spot in the World Championships. The rest of the results are posted below. Tomorrow begins the 10 Ball event for both Men's and Women's Open Divisions.

Here is the link the the stream, make sure to give your thoughts on our poll located in the top right corner: http://www.cbsa.ca/cbsa-poolfeed.php?vid=pool

 Prizes: 1st John Morra-$1400 plus World Championship Spot
              2. Erik Hjorleifson-$1000
              3. Jason Klatt-$700
              4. Tom Theriault -$500
              5. Mario Morra/Shannon Ducharme-$350

Monday, 30 March 2015

Canadian Championships: A Few Minor Upsets to Start the Week

By: Markus Noé

Today at noon eastern standard time, day one of the Canadian 8 Ball Championships got underway. A modest sized field of 24 players signed up for this event. However with names like John Morra, Jason Klatt and Erik Hjorleifson in the field it ensures that this title will be fiercely contested. It is expected that later on in the week during the 9 & 10 ball events they will have slightly bigger fields.

The first match I was able to watch on the free live stream was Shannon Ducharme vs Jason Klatt. To some Ducharme might be a bit of an unknown but I remember seeing him in Ottawa back in December 2007. This was at the Canadian 9 Ball tour stop held at Tailgators,  living only an hour a away I took the trip up with a few friends. By the time I got there the finals were just about to start which John Morra ending up winning. Simultaneously a few tables over just as many people where watching Ducharme take on Edwin Montal in a money match. I don't remember the exact dollar figure but it was significant and Ducharme walked all over Montal to take the cash and left an impression on me as it was my first time seeing two top players in Canada go at each other.

Being from Winnipeg and not traveling as much, Ducharme is a lesser known talent. However Klatt who is also originally from Winnipeg knew the task at hand. Ducharme got up to an early 4-1 in this match and maintained his lead throughout the match until Klatt caught up at 8-8. Ducharme was able to secure the last game for the first minor upset of the day.

Ed Baker from Saskatchewan, who I believe is the only qualifier to participate this week, provided the other minor upset. In the first round he met up with Mario Morra and came out a 9-5 winner. The younger John Morra who has been performing at even higher level than usual as of late, cruised through today. He won his 3 matches 9-1,-9-4 and 9-2.

Baker fresh off his win against Mario Morra, was looking to slay another high profiled player, last years 2014 Canadian 10 Ball Champion Erik Hjorleifson. Baker took the lead early and looked as if he was going to maintain it going up 5-2 and 7-3. However a few errors, including a mental one changed the set. Hjorleifson scratched off the break and Baker took ball in hand. Instead of putting the cue ball behind the line he took it as if it was a normal scratch and put the cue ball wherever he wanted. Baker never seemed to recover from this mental error as Hjorleifson picked up his level a bit and secured the 9-7 victory.

After a hard fought double hill match on the losers side, Dan Lewis of Hamilton worked his way into day 2 of the 8 Ball event. He barely edged out the very strong Ed Baker 9-8. At the time of print the final match of the night was still underway. This was another losers side match between Kyle Richards and Mario Morra.

 Final 4 winners side matches will be Erik Hjorleifson vs Shannon Ducharme and John Morra vs Tom Theriault. Make sure to check out the Canadian Billiard & Snooker Associations (C.B.S.A) free live stream.   Play begins Tuesday March 31 at Noon (E.S.T).

Go to www.cbsa.ca for full results 

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Canadian Championships Start Today!

By: Markus Noé

The 2015 Canadian Billiard & Snooker Association's (C.B.S.A) Canadian Championships kicks off this morning at 10:00 am at the Hilton, Meadowvale in Mississauga Ontario. By the end of the week three Canadian Champions will be crowned in the following divisions, 8 Ball, 10 Ball and 9 Ball.

The usual heavy hitters such as John Morra, Jason Klatt and Erik Hjorleifson will all be playing. Some other names to pay attention to this week will be Justin Kluznik, Shannon Ducharme and Dave Parker who has been in a lot of action in the G.T.A as of late. The C.B.S.A will also be well represented as the Vice President Kyle Richards will be taking his shot at the 8 Ball title tomorrow.

Follow us all week as we will be covering the entire event, as Canada's top players battle it out for World Championship spots. The C.B.S.A has arranged for a free live stream so for those of us that work on a computer we have a pleasant distraction this week at work. Please share the stream and get everyone watching as this is one of the main events of the year and it deserves to be watched.

Here are the links you need to stay up to date:

Free live Stream: http://www.cbsa.ca/cbsa-poolfeed.php?vid=pool

8 Ball Brackets: http://www.cbsa.ca/32d-draw.php?event=102

Schedule: March 30-31 Men's Open 8 Ball
                 April 1-2 Women's/Men's Open 10 Ball
                 April 3-4 Women's/ Men's Open 9 Ball

Friday, 27 March 2015

G.T.A News: Pool Room Owners Band Together With Unified Handicap System

By: Erik "Big Red" Hjorleifson

 Handicapping competitive tournaments has been an increasing trend in the past 5 or so years. There has inevitably been some scrutiny as to how handicaps should be assigned and monitored.  Currently in the  Greater Toronto Area (G.T.A) pool scene there are about 4 different tours that are in operation and as they do not all operate under the same umbrella. It has become evident that some players are playing under different handicaps in the different tours, even though it is the same group of players that generally participate in all of them.

 At this point there has not been a system developed to properly monitor the raising and lowering of handicaps. Currently all adjustments are made on an arbitrary basis and even at that, there is not a consistent group of arbitrators. Needless to say something has to be done to improve the ambiguity of the situation.

With this in mind the Unified Handicap System (UHS) has recently been formulated. Spearheaded by Frank Kakouros proprietor of Petrinas Billiards in Ajax, Ontario in association with John White co-owner of The Corner Bank in Toronto, Ontario and Marco Lu of Le Spot billiards is also among the initial participating rooms.  Several tournament directors and interest parties are also working actively with the founding rooms to facilitate this venture.

The handicap of any player is adjusted based on their win or loss and their degree of experience in the game.

The formula take into account wins and losses and strength of loss.  Losing on the hill is not as integral as getting beat 7-0.

The formula also takes into account a players experience.  A seasoned veteran would not be moved up or down dramatically where as a rookie player could be.

Players will have a ranking between 1 and 11

The newly opened Corner Bank has integrated the U.H.S handicaps into their weekly league. Petrina’s has used this system for over 15 years and has been happy to share it in hopes of increasing play. By all accounts it has been very well received by all players participating in these tournaments, the goal in the future is to incorporate the system for 9 foot events as well. Along with a new way to properly assign handicaps, tournaments associated with the U.H.S system will also feature full transparency of monies collected/added money and how it is allocated, something that most of the current tours do not offer, a dedicated website with comprehensive results and stats has also been put in place.

The overall goal of the U.H.S is to be an ambassador for billiards and to raise the overall participation level of competitive tournaments. The initial focus of the system will be on the G.T.A but we encourage all of readers from across Canada and across the world to take a look and all tournament directors are welcome to contact the U.H.S site http://billiards-uhs.com/,  Also any player wishing to register can do so at the same address, we are looking forward to the evolution of this new venture.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Ada attains revenge

By: Peter Hetherington

The 7th tournament of the 2014/15 Shooters Amateur Event took place on the weekend of March 14 & 15th at the Shooters Snooker and Sports Club in North York. High demand was again the norm for this event as the field size was increased to 72 players from the typical 64. This tournament’s popularity continues to demonstrate that pool can thrive in the GTA with the right format and the active recruitment of players.

Despite the very heavy -- and often overlapping -- pool schedule in Southern Ontario this year, this event continues to attract players from across Southern Ontario. While most players are from the GTA area, the most recent Amateur drew players from London to the west, Kingston to the east, Midland to the north and St. Catherines to the south.

After play concluded on Saturday, John Timmermans, Ben Chang, Romeo Zulueta and Alan Ada were undefeated on the ‘A’ side while the ‘B’ side survivors had Wayne Tate, Kevin Oliveira, Mike Patay, Oscar Zapata, Nito Bucais, Justin Kluznik, Glenn Seeseman and Dave Mills returning for Sunday play. While there were some familiar faces who successfully ‘graduated’ from the first day competition there were also a number of new players, some of whom were playing this event for the first time. Not surprisingly, most of the Sunday matches were very competitive and when the dust settled Alan Ada had sent Ben Chang to the ‘B’ site going undefeated to capture the ‘A’ side title. Chang and Mike Patay were then left to fight for the ‘B’ side bragging rights. The Ada/ Chang match was a reversal of an earlier ‘404’ tournament when Chang knocked Ada to the ‘B’ site title match.  Chang prevailed against Patay setting up a rematch against Ada.  In  the tournament final Alan Ada again emerged victorious gaining some measure of revenge for the December ‘404’ tournament.

Congratulations to Alan Ada on his Amateur Event win. This is the first win of a ‘major’ GTA tournament for the veteran in some time. And Ben Chang refuses to go away! With his continuing strong play Ben has been Mr. Consistency this year in spite of seeing his handicap increase a couple of times to reflect his dominance in the Amateur and ‘404’ tournaments at Shooters.

As always, thanks to those who participated in the ‘404’ at Shooters Snooker and Sports Club. Please remember that players must notify the tournament organizer of cancellations in sufficient time to permit others to participate.

The next Shooters Amateur Event will be held April 25 and 26th, 2015. If you have played in fewer than 3 Amateur Events you will be required to pay a higher entry fee in order to participate in the Amateur final.

** If you have pre-registered for the event you must be present and your entry fee paid by 11:00 a.m. on the day of the tournament. Failure to do so may result in your place being forfeited to an individual on the waiting list.**

Player Rank  Prize Money Calcutta                              

1st Alan Ada/6/$900 /$780

2nd Ben Chang/ 9/ $420 /$480

3rd Mike Patay/6/ $280 $290

4th John Timmermans/ 9/ $180/ $190

5-6th Romeo Zulueta/ 6/ $120/ $95

5-6th Nito Bucais/5/ $120/ $95

7th-8th Dave Mills/ 7 $70

7th-8th Wayne Tate/ 8 /$70

9th -12th  Justin Kluznik/ 8/ $40

9th -12th Oscar Zapata /5/ $40

 9th -12th Glenn Seeseman/ 7/ $40

 9th -12th Kevin Oliveira/ 6/ $40

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Over 500$ raised at Sudbury Charity Tournament

Submitted Article:

This weekend the  "Pool Players Give Back Tournament" raised $505 for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. This was a two day, 64 player tournament held at Rhythm and Cues on March 14-15th.  We would like to congratulate the winnerAndy Aupin, who after losing his first match went on to win 12 in a row. In the final he jumped in the 8 ball for the win against Marc Julien, who played with the heart of a champion. It was an amazing finals. We would also like to thank all 64 players. And everyone who helped make our event a success. 

1st Andy Aupin $2000 
2nd Marc Julien $1265 
3rd Louis fazekas $800 
4th Derick Girard $450 
5th Jeff Vaillancourt $250 
6th Tyler Paradis $250 
7th Alex Lalanne $150 
8th Wayne Graves $150 
9th Wayne Brunelle $100 
10th Dan Lewis $100 
11th Jonathan Lessard $100 
12th Freida Nassas $ 100 
13th Dave Mandia $60 gift certificate 
14th Sly Rondeau $60 gift certificate 
15th Steve Spencer $60 gift certificate 
16th Eric Bradley $60 gift certificate

make sure to visit out website at www.cuesportnation.com 

Monday, 16 March 2015

John Morra Wins at Tapis Vert

From left to right, Sylvain Grenier, John Morra, Francis Crevier. Photo courtesy of PoolStream.Tv. 
By: Markus Noé

Tapis Vert Pool Hall in St-Foy Quebec just outside of the provinces beautiful capital of Québec City, was the scene of this weekends Pro Tournament. This was a 32 player max event with $2700 added. 10 Ball call shot and safeties was the game with races to 10 on the B-Side and 8 on the losers side. The small max field with the added money attracted players like John & Mario Morra, Alain Martel, Martin Daigle,Francis Crevier and Danny Hewitt.

The story of course was that number 1# ranked Canadian player John "Mr. Smooth" Morra was driving down all the way from Toronto to take part. Morra fresh off his second place last week at the Chinook Winds 8 Ball was looking to keep the ball rolling this weekend.  The Québécois were excited for the opportunity for their best to go up against another world class player just weeks apart from Johnny Archers visit to Valleyfield .

Just like for Archer a few weeks ago, a win for Morra was far from automatic. In fact this field had all the top players from the province in it. While due to protest in Valleyfield, that tournament only had a sprinkle of the top ranked players around. Even with this reduced level of talent in the field Archer had to settle for second place as Francis Crevier beat the Scorpion in a double hill match to take the title, a testament to the level of play in Québec.

"Mr. Smooth" cruised through the beginning part of this field before he ran into Crevier in the winners side final. This was a close affair the entire way as each player traded racks, in the end Morra edged out the local favourite in a thrilling double hill match 10-9. Crevier than waited for the winner of Alain Martel vs Sylvain Grenier to see who he would have to beat to set up a rematch with Morra in the final. Grenier got by Martel 8-6 and Crevier got by Grenier with the same scoreline to set up the highly anticipated rematch.

In the final it looked as if fans were going to be treated to another hill match. However at 7-6 ahead Morra found another gear and pulled away and went on to win 13-7. The guys at www.poolstream.tv offered a great stream all weekend for the bargain price of 5$. Unfortunately there was a connection problem which was out of their control as even the pool hall could not except interact or credit card charges at the time. To those who missed the final you can see it by clicking here. Also if you send them a message they will give you a free pass to their next stream as a make up for what happened yesterday.

The other story line in this tournament was the impressive wins over Martin Daigle and Danny Hewitt by Daniel "Cold Blood" Gagné. This is a well known player in Québec but it would be fair to say not a favourite in either of those matches. With names like Salvas, Hewitt and Martel dominating Québec pool for the last two decades, performances by Gagné and Crevier could be signalling a changing of the guard of sorts. In conclusion I think it is safe to say that Crevier after this month will not be sneaking up on anyone anymore. For those doubters I believe he has solidified himself as another world class player from Québec.

Make sure to visit our website at www.cuesportnation.com

Top 3 Payouts                                                          

1. John Morra 1500$

2. Francis Crevier 1100$

3. Sylvain Grenier $800

The Hidden Spots Inaugural Open 9 Ball Tournament

The weekend of March 6, 7, & 8, 2015 marked the first of many money added Pool tournaments that the Hidden Spot is planning to hold. The Hidden Spot is Calgary, Alberta’s newest Pool Room. Check out the “The Hidden Spot” on facebookThe owners Dave Martin and Joanne Ashton added $1,000 to the prize fund as well as charging no green fee for the entire tournament. The 48 person field filled up early and by early Friday morning there was a waiting list. The entry fee was $125 with a 100% guaranteed payback, no fees deducted. The format was as follows: Double elimination, race to 9 on both sides, alternate break/rack your own/no magic rack/2 Ball at the back of the rack, 1 race to 13 finals. There was a dress code that included no blue jeans or running shoes.  

All matches were played on the second floor of the club on the eight 9’ Dufferin Titan pool tables. The tournament started just after the players meeting at 7pm on Friday night and finished at a reasonable time on Sunday early evening. The tournament ran very smoothly thanks to the tournament director Lan Phong and her helper Bev Ashton.  

It was a strong field of players from all over Alberta with even a few players from BC. Some out of town players were: Brady Gollan from Kelowna, BC. Simon Pickering, Kevin Beskal, and Andrew Wroblewski from Vancouver, BC. Rob Phillips, Carlos Barbosa, and Brian Butler from Edmonton. 

Champion Edwin Montal from Calgary $2,000,                        
 2nd place Paul Potier from Calgary $1,400, 
3rd place Brian Butler from Edmonton $1,000,                     
4th place was Brady Gollan from Kelowna $600,
 5/6th place Matt Wood from Red Deer and Simon Pickering from Vancouver $400,                                 
 7/8th place Derek Moore from Calgary and Roger Colbert from Edmonton $250,                                           9-12th place Barry Hooey from Calgary, Jon Paypompee from Calgary, Jay Shunock, from Calgary $125.                       
Top lady was Joanne Ashton from Calgary $200 

Brady Gollan, photo by Paul Potier 
Edwin’s route to the Champions prize was not an easy one. He had to beat many good players including, Cory Pointon from Red Deer, Billy Thompson from Calgary, Jon Paypompee from Calgary then Brady Gollan from Kelowna to meet with Paul Potier in the A side finals. It was an exciting match that went neck and neck until Edwin jumped ahead to an 8-6 lead. However it was short lived as Paul found his way back to beat Edwin 9-8 to win the A side. Edwin was pumped though and was able to beat Brian Butler in the B side finals to have a chance to redeem himself against Paul. He did just that as he caught a high gear and played really well to end up beating Paul 13-7 to claim the Champion’s prize. Congratulations to Edwin Montal 

By Paul Potier 

Pictures by Matt Wood and Paul Potier 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Crevier Edges Out Archer at Pro Event In Valleyfield

David Deschenes, Johnny Archer Francis Crevier
By: Markus Noé

This past Saturday with the news of Johnny Archer's participation, 85 players showed up to take part in the Pro event at Dooly's Valleyfield. The way the Québec Federation sets up these events, they have a guaranteed prize pool of $2700. If these events only average 32 players then a guaranteed prize pool is a great thing. However these Pro tournaments average around 50 players because of staggered entry fee's.

Professionals are required to pay $100 entry, and everyone else gets in for the bargain price of $30. One of the issues with this system is that whether 32 players show up or 100 players the payouts remain exactly the same. Because of there being so few events in the region for professional players the Pro's have a "grin and bear it" attitude. Once the organizers realized there was over 80 players registered another curve ball was thrown in.

Because it was not planned to be a two day tournament the organizers decided last minute to change the format. Originally it was to be races to 9 on the winners side and 6 on the losers, this was changed to 7 and 6. Immediately after this announcement several top pro's such as Danny Hewitt, Martin Daigle, Danny Nguyen and others dropped out of the tournament. Alain Martel predicted this outcome the day before and for other reasons decided not to show up at all.

Despite this bit of controversy the pool tournament did proceed. The first match for Archer was against a very strong AAA player from Valleyfield, Dominic Legault. With this only being a race to 7 winner breaks, this tournament was set up for upsets. For a while it looked like Legault was about to shock everyone and put Archer to the losers side early as he was stringing racks together in front of the hometown crowd. In the end Archer Prevailed 7-5.

Archer continued on through the winners side beating World Speed Pool Champion Luc "the Machine Gun" Salvas 7-3, and house Pro from St. Hyacinthe Ghislain Champagne. On paper because of those who did not participate, these where Archers two toughest opponents on his way to the winners side final . On the other side of the bracket the highest ranked player from Québec who participated, Francis Crevier, also went undefeated to set up a match with Archer to see who would make it to the Final. Archer dominated this match sending Crevier to the losers side final.

Here he met up with Dany Normandin, who earned enough points in this tournament to be bumped up to Professional. This was a tight match with both players trading racks of each others errors. In the end it looked like Normandin was about to secure the win. With only a few balls remaining at 5-5 race to 6, a miscue on the 7 resulting in ball in hand ended his hopes to play Archer in the final.The rematch between Archer and Crevier was a much tighter affair as it ended 9-8 for Crevier to the delight of the crowd.    

In conclusion the Québec Federation is easily the best organization in Canada for amateur players. However in the Pro division they do have a lot of room to grow. If they would find some sponsorship to add money to the prize fund, and extend the pay outs when nearly 100 player show up instead of filling their coffers with the extra money these tournaments could turn into some big events. With a proper pay structure and a calcutta I know that would attract players like John & Mario Morra as well as Erik Hjorleifson. I am sure some American players would make the trip as well, at the end of the day things can and should be done to improve this division. By keeping the staggered entry's and making these a two day events there is no reason why 128 players would not show up each time.  Hopefully this protest before the tournament did not go unnoticed. Congratulations to Francis Crevier for his big win as this was the last Pro event until the finals in May.


1. Francis Crevier $1000
2. Johnny Archer $600
3. Danny Normandin $380