|Jeff Robson, David Parker with co-room owner John White|
By: Erik Hjorleifson
This past weekend at the Corner Bank in Scarborough, Ontario we saw the first one Pocket tournament in the Toronto area in over 10 years. The event was organized by Greg Plester from Kitchener Ontario a keen enthusiast who has recently joined the Ontario provincial board, In an attempt to promote the game more adequately at the provincial level. Entry fees for the event were staggered with amateurs paying $25 advanced amateurs $50 semi pros $100 and pros $150. The format was a race to 3 double knockout with a one set final race to 5.
The tournament drew 16 players from Toronto and throughout the G.T.A (Greater Toronto Area) including places as far away as London. A lot of players in Ontario do not have experience playing one pocket but it seemed like everyone had played enough that there was no need for rule questions and play progressed smoothly. Tournament favourites included myself, Dave Parker, Jeff Robson and one pocket enthusiasts Greg Plester, Ben Heywood and Paul Sullivan. John Morra would be the unofficial "best" one pocket player in Ontario but he chose to sit the event out in order to maintain focus on the World Pool Masters which he will be competing in England August 14-16.
The day got off to an interesting start as the 3 main favourites were all drawn on the same half of the draw. In the first round I played Dave Parker from London and after Dave jumped out to a 2-0 lead I came back and this match came down to the very last ball with Dave pulling out the 8-7 ball count win in the final game.
Jeff Robson then made his presence known with a 3-1 win over Parker in the winners side semi-finals. On the other half of the draw Paul Sullivan pulled through to face Robson in the winners side final. In the fifth place match I lost another close one to Parker after leading 7 balls to -1 in the hill-hill game I scratched and Parker took control running 8 and eventually closed out the game. Parker also had another close match with Carlin Sanderson in the fourth place match, he then went on to defeat Paul Sullivan in the 3rd place match to set up a rematch with Robson in the final. This match was close but Robson got the job done taking the title with a 5-3 win.
It is nice to see Ontario players getting involved with different games, this is something that I could never see happening 5 years year ago. It is a testament to the level of competitive play that our players have been seeking since the resurgence of tournaments has happened in the last year. No official dates are set as of yet but there will be plans to have more 1 pocket tournaments in the future, thanks to the Corner Bank for hosting the event.
1st Jeff Robson $400
2nd Dave Parker $300
3rd Paul Sullivan $200
4th Carlin Sanderson $100