|From left to right, Amanda Collins, Charles Sypes, Jason Hall, Doug Disotell|
By: Markus Noé
Saturday August 1st at Rack-M-Up Billiards in Cornwall, Ontario hosted the sixth event out of eight scheduled for their "Summer Series." These 9 Ball tournaments are the brain child of the owners Doug Disotell and Amanda Collins. There are many competitive players from the region who travel to Montreal and Ottawa during the winter months,who have nothing to play during the "off season" of pool which is traditionally during the summer months in Canada.
These handicap tournaments give each player a number based on their skill level. Whichever number they receive ranging from 4-7 is the amount of games needed to win in order win the match. A 4 would be considered a beginner type player while a 7 is a well established amateur player. Handicap tournaments have been gaining in popularity all over North America during the past decade or so, simply because there is not enough players playing at a high level as their once was. For the sake of keeping the lower levels interested and to present them with an opportunity to win, the handicap system has been a useful alternative.
An extra challenge is the alternate break format. At the professional level this format has caught on because the players are so good an entire match can be won without seeing both players have a chance at the table. However at the amateur level where break and clearances of the table is a rarity it makes the handicap that much more difficult in 9 Ball. Combine this with having to rely on someone else racking your balls and with the 9 Ball counting as a win off the break, many 4-5 level players have seen a great deal of success during this series. When two 7's or two 6's play one another the format is a non issue however when they play a lower level it is actually a lot more difficult.
J.R Cook (4) was the defending champion going into this tournament. In the previous event he went undefeated to claim top prize. Cook came into this event looking to repeat and got off to a great start winning his first 3 matches guaranteeing himself a 3rd place finish. Jayson Hall (7) the other player to come through the winners side bracket undefeated was looking to end Cook's reign. Hall did so convincingly handing Cook his first defeat in two tournaments 7-1.
On the losers side of the bracket Charles Sypes after losing his first match to Walter Szydlowsky (5) 5-2 went on a tear. He won his next few matches earning himself a rematch with Szydlowsky. After going down 2-0 Sypes went on to win 6-3 to move on to the fourth place match. There he met up with another tournament favourite Jacques Sauvé (7). Sypes went on to win this match by a 6-3 scoreline .
This set up the losers side final between Cook and Sypes. The match did not take long as Sypes was able to win 6-1 moving to the final against Hall. For the spectators this match-up had all the make up of an entertaining final. However Sypes who had been playing all afternoon looked to be in form, while Hall after sitting for a few hours got off to a slow start. This little bit of an edge was all Sypes needed as he went on to win 6-4 to claim his first victory of the season.
There are two tournaments remaining before the Grand Finale. Meaning those who have not gotten their 4 tournaments in, which is required to qualify for the Grand Finale need to make sure they play one or both of the next tournaments. August 22 will be the next event, hope to see you all there.
Charles Sypes- $160