Saturday, 31 October 2015

G.T.A Snooker Tour: Ziegler Nabs $4000 First Prize

Dan Bisonette & Floyd Ziegler 

By: Erik Hjorleifson

Last weekend October 24-25 at the Corner Bank in Scarborough, Ontario the first installment of the 2015-16 G.T.A Snooker Tour was held. This was the opening event to the highest paying snooker tour in Canada since the North Americas snooker tour in the mid 90's. 46 players turned out for the 6 red handicap event which had handicaps ranging from -4 to +28. For those not familiar with this style of handicap tournament, players spot the difference between handicaps for example if a +4 plays a +12 the higher handicap would receive an 8 point spot. The first 2 rounds were a best of 5, the quarter finals were a best of 7 and the finals a best of 9. Entry for the event was $200 and the Corner Bank added $1000 to the event creating a healthy $10 000 total prize.

Most of Ontario's best players were on hand including snooker legends Floyd Ziegler, Chris Wood and Mario Morra along with current Canadian snooker champion John White, Alan Whitfield and Jason Williams. The handicap committee had a bit of a tall order on their hands assigning all of the handicaps as there was only limited data to determine everyones handicap but in my opinion at least 90 percent of the handicaps were issued correctly and those that were questionable were very close.

The first round saw one major upset between John White and  Gabriel Brunning a young player originally from Brazil now living in Missisauga, Brunning played an excellent set trailing in 2 games going into the colours he gained the advantage and ran the colours in both those games and came out with a surprising 3-0 victory. Brunning was a 10 handicap and the inevitable murmuring about a player with a handicap that was to high was heard amongst the crowd however in the next round he showed his overall level falling to Shane Gummerson a 20 handicap by a 3-1 score line.

Although it was a random draw the low handicaps ended up being divided pretty evenly throughout the field. Floyd Ziegler started his run to the final including a win over snooker veteran Terry Davidson. Another tournament favourite Jason Williams had wins over Ray Jansen, Steve Fuldi, myself and Shane Gummerson on his way to a semi-final match up with Ziegler in the top half of the draw.

On the bottom half 2014 Canadian snooker champion Al Whitfield was cruising along nicely all the way to the semi-finals and surprise of the tournament Dan Bisonette from Sudbury, Ontario was turning heads. First notice that he would be a force was his final 16 victory over Justin Kluznik right after Kluznik had just beat Rob Hall 3-0 in the previous round. It appeared that there was a small oversight in assigning Bisonette's handicap and in all fairness he was really an unknown commodity in the field being from out of town and by no means a regular competitor in any major snooker tournaments in the area.

The semi finals were Floyd Ziegler vs. Jason Williams and Dan Bisonette vs Al Whitfield. Ziegler advanced to the final by a 4-3 score line and Bisonette rolled over Al Whitfield 4-0. In the final match Ziegler showed his wealth of experience with a 5-2 victory and the title for the first ever event on the GTA snooker tour.

Special thanks to the Corner Bank and tournament director Jim Wych, we hope to see more "9-ball players" and players from out of town including Quebec getting involved in the future. The prize money is high enough that players can afford to travel to these events. The next event will be at Monte Carlo billiards in Mississauga,Ontario in January.


1st Floyd Ziegler           $4000

2nd Dan Bisonette       $2000

3rd/4th Al Whitfield    $1000

Jason Williams

5th/8th Ed Ling             $500

Shane Gummerson

Chris Wood

Rob Waddel

Player auction

1st          $3200

2nd         $1600

3rd/4th  $800

5th/8th  $400

Thursday, 22 October 2015

"Shooters" Tournament News: De Carlos Triumphs in ‘3-6’ Event

From left to right Steve Menezes, Peter Chin and Norberto de Carlos

 Submitted article: 

Another of the innovative tournament formats was held this past weekend (October 17, 2015) at the Shooters Snooker and Sports Club. This was the first time for an event that restricted entries to those players with handicaps 3 through 6. Because this was scheduled to be a one day event the field was restricted to 38 players. Demand for these ‘one-off’ tournament formats continues to be strong and more events are scheduled to meet the needs and desires of all skill levels.  

Once the preliminary’ rounds had been completed on Saturday it was Stuart Mactaggart, Teen Yan, Steve Menezes, and Joe Theriault who were undefeated on the ‘A’ side. The one loss ‘B’ side of the draw had Marco Sevilla, Alan Ada, Norberto de Carlos, and David Moyer steadily working their way through the ‘B’ side hoping to avoid a 2nd loss which would eliminate them from the tournament. 

As play progressed into the evening it was Stuart Mactaggart and Steve Menezes who squared off in the ‘A’ side final with Menezes coming out on top in a close match. The result sent Menezes to the ‘hot seat’ and Mactaggart to the ‘B’ side. Over on the one loss side, the ‘B’ side semi-final saw de Carlos roll over fellow Pinoy Ada to claim a place in the ‘B’ side final for a match against current and two time Canadian Junior 9 Ball Champion Mactaggart. In one of the most exciting matches of the tournament de Carlos prevailed in a thriller against Mactaggart setting up a tournament final against Menezes. 

In the true double final de Carlos dispatched Menezes in both matches to claim the tournament win.   

Congratulations to Norberto de Carlos on his tournament win. This will be memorable for his successful march through the ‘B’ side. De Carlos lost his first match of the tournament and then proceeded to win 11 consecutive matches for the tournament title. Congratulations are also in order for Menezes on his strong playThis is another high finish for Menezes in the past several months.   

Many thanks to those who participated and apologies to anybody who wanted to play but was unable to as a result of the limited field.  

Future tournaments at Shooters include the long running and always popular ‘404’ series of events occurring this upcoming weekend. The ‘404’ events are open to all skill levels. Also on the near horizon is a 2nd iteration of the immensely popular ‘4-7’ Extravaganza on November 14, 2015. This is a restricted handicap tournament for those with handicaps from 4 to 7. This event was first held in June 2015 and drew a staggering 110 participants with prize money over $26,000 including both the prize monies and the Calcutta.   

As noted, the next Shooters event is the 2nd installment for the 2015/16 season of the ‘404’ series. Please check the Shooters Snookerclub Facebook page for dates and details for all upcoming tournaments.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Paul Potier Discusses the Pocket Billiards iPhone APP

By Erik Hjorleifson

The long anticipated Pocket Billiards Coach App developed by Paul Potier long time touring and teaching professional based out of Calgary, Alberta in association with developers based out of the Seattle area is now available worldwide for download on the Iphone operating system IOS.  Cue Sport Nation recently had the pleasure of speaking with Paul about what this new app has to offer.

Good afternoon Paul we have had discussions about this App for quite some time now, you must feel great to see all of your hard work ready to be unveiled to the pool world. 

Yes, we are very pleased to have reached a point in our development that we can now offer our insights into how each and every player can improve their game. As with every start up idea the first steps are always the most challenging and we are very excited to have a finished product that we are happy with. I have taught 1000's of students 1 on 1 and always wanted to find a way to reach people who I can't meet with face to face. I am happy that with today’s technology this is now a possibility through our Pocket Billiards Coach App.

There are endless sources of instructional material available to the public, what makes the Pocket Billiards Coach different? 

For this first App we have decided to take a greater focus on the mental side of the game. There is fundamental guidance included in the App as well but I have known for a long time that after an adequate fundamental base has been laid out the thing that keeps someone from playing consistently well, and at a constant level of improvement, is the mental game. With that in mind we have focused our efforts into a coaching based model. The Pocket Billiards Coach App is separated into 5 sections, Words of Wisdom, Pre-game, In-game, Practices/Drills, and More. The Words of Wisdom section is designed to help you plan your development by understanding where you are currently and how you can reach your goals. The scenarios found in Words of Wisdom, Pre-game and In-game are from situations that all of us experience when we play pool. The entire app is designed to help you avoid bad situations. It also gives insight on how to solve issues that you can’t avoid. The In-game section includes topics like what to do after you've missed an easy shot, how to deal with it mentally and how to prepare yourself for your next shot. The App is filled with these kinds of anecdotes, everything in the App is available in text form as well as in voice recorded form. There are also many videos to visually help explain concepts and a glossary to define the meaning of some of our sports terminology.

Sounds interesting, how can people order the App and what is the charge? 

Currently the App is only available on IOS operating systems, specifically iPhone and iPad. IPhone users can find us by going to the App Store and searching for The Pocket Billiards Coach. As we move forward we hope to make it available on all operating systems. The initial download is free and an upgraded purchase can be made for 2.99 USD which will give you unlimited lifetime access to all the content, including special features, in the App.

Will you be doing any promotional touring for the launch of the App? 

Yes, I am booked for the 10 ball event at the Chinook winds casino in Oregon from the 8th to the 12th of October and I will be staying on the Chinook wind for the BCAPL Northwest championships the following week. We will have a booth set up for the duration of the two events and we welcome all attendees to stop by and pay us a visit to learn more about what the App has to offer and to see more about the vision our new company ZeroInSoft LLC has planned in the near future.

Good stuff Paul and congratulations on the launch of the new App! 

Thank you! For those of you that will not be in the Northwest this coming week I can be contacted at my site My team and I are all looking forward to helping many pool players reach their goals of personal excellence in pool.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Tailgators Announcement: Eastern Canadian "Bar Box" Championship

Press Release:

Tailgators located in Ottawa,Ontario is pleased to announce the 3rd annual Eastern Canadian Championships. This is a handicap Bar Box event with staggered entries.  For the first time this year there will be two separate divisions, listed as "A" and "B". In the A division players who's handicap range from 6-9 will play in a separate tournament against one another, while handicapped players from 3-5 will play only also play each other.

Another addition this year is the team events. This is something that has had a lot of success at this location as it host the annual Ottawa Bar Box Championships every January, which see's dozens of teams enter. Curtis Houlden is now excepting registrations. he can be contacted by telephone or email this information can be found in the poster above.

The team divisions are open to the first 16 teams to register and players who play in the team events are encouraged to play in the singles as well. If you know any Bar Box "legends" who want to take a shot at some of the best players in Eastern Canada please share this post with them! In the past this tournament has seen the likes of John Morra, Erik Hjorleifson Jeff Blais and many more great players. These tournaments usually fill up so don't get left out and register today!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Lalande Defeats Unknown Force at Recent Semi-Pro Event.

By: Markus Noé

Saturday October 10th Le Skratch Laval played host to the first Semi-Pro tournament of the season for the Quebec Federation.  42 players from various divisions took part in this tournament as it is staggered entry fees based on skill level. I have always been a fan of this type of "handicap" rather than games on the wire. Personally as an "A" player I have had success in handicap tournaments where stronger players have to give me games, and even though I have won it is not the same feeling nor does it provide me with the same experience if I were to accomplish this "even up." Therefore in terms of developing players I really do enjoy theses staggered entry tournaments.

That being said I did sleep in and was unable to actually play this event myself but I made the 1 hour 20 minute drive to watch some high level pool. Another local  who plays most of his pool in my hometown Jean Theriault from Maxville, Ontario which is just a short drive from Cornwall,was participating. In my neck of the woods he has been a well known talent for sometime however he has taken a leave of absence from competitive pool for nearly a decade and has been been back practicing with a purpose for nearly 6 months now.

Theriault's first match was against one of the strongest players in the field, Guillaume McNicoll. He  lost this first match 9-6, however he was not ready to go home just yet as he went on a mission on the losers side of the bracket. Theriault won several matches most notably against Pascal Guimond 7-6 and David Deschenes 7-5 before being eliminated by Richer Francoeur 7-4. This performance was good enough to earn him a 5th place finish.

The main story of this tournament was this "unknown" player Mustapha Trabelsi. Perhaps it is a bit inaccurate to say unknown as he was a former Montreal resident and known to a few players prior to this tournament. However for the past few years Trabelsi has been abroad for work and in his free time has been playing on the very high caliber Euro Tour. After looking at his record of the past few years on the Euro Tour it was clear that he could play as he had suffered close losses to Phil Bulford and Ralf Souquet and one very notable win against former World Champion Hudji SEE 9-8. That being said he was vouched for and was allowed to play in this tournament to the dismay of several players.

Mustapha Trabelsi photo taken from Mehdi Harraq Facebook Page

Trabelsi had some notable wins over some of the strongest players in the division en route to the final. He was able to get by Steve Roy, Richard Francoeur and Jonathan Hebert to book his spot in the final going undefeated through the winners side bracket. It was all up to Yan Lalande who revenged his earlier loss to Hebert in the loser side final to earn himself a shot at Trabelsi. Lalande who himself is a strong player handled his business in this match and came out with the 9-6 win to claim the first tournament of the season.

In conclusion I have to admit I was disappointed with the reaction from many of the top players in this division about allowing Trabelsi to play. At the end of the day the semi-pro is one of the most elite divisions around and by the time you are at this level you clearly have professional status on your mind. To be a professional you have to be able to handle anything at any moment, and to be able to beat the best if you yourself want to be the best. Many of these players themselves play at Turning Stone and on the Falcon tour and various other pro events. So the whining came as a bit of a shock to me. I would be more likely to understand if a stronger player in the lower divisions was attempting to "sandbag" but this really is not the amateur level anymore is it. At the end of the day it was a regular on the circuit who won the tournament and all is right in the world. However I did notice that Trabelsi was bumped up to professional status but I am not completely convinced this was earned, rather forced through by complaints which I find concerning.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Shooters Tournament Results: Briones Bags First Win

Submitted Article:

This past weekend, October 3rd and 4th, saw a second occurrence of the popular summer event at the Shooters Snooker and Sports Club called the Group 9 Ball Shootout. Player feedback for this event continues to be very positive.

The Group 9 Ball Shootout separates players into two distinct handicap skill categories –- Handicaps ‘3-5’ and Handicaps ‘6-8’ – competing among themselves on Day 1 and then against each other on Day 2. On Day 1 separate draws are held for the ‘3-5’ handicaps and another for the ‘6-8’ handicaps. The top 8 players from each group return for Day 2 when a re-draw occurs for the 16 players to determine the Sunday matches. All matches are a race to the player’s handicap. This is the only tournament to accommodate ‘3’ handicaps. This new handicap grouping serves as a good introduction for less skilled players to competitive tournament play on the 9 footers. And since Day 1 play is against each player’s relative “peers” there are many close matches. Day 2 also saw several very close matches as well as some “upsets”. Very surprising again was the distribution of players – 27 ‘3-5’ handicap players turned out versus 18 ‘6-8’ handicap players. The total purse was an impressive $3420 with a further $1500 up for grabs from the Player Calcutta. These kinds of payouts generally tend to attract the more skilled players so it is rewarding to see the number of less skilled players wanting to participate.

When Day 1 ended, Caesar Custodin, Steve Losier, Oscar Zapata, Norm Santos, Mashaka Munene, Che Lemmon, Elena Baptiste and Elizabeth Kishimoto had advanced from the ‘3-5’ handicap grouping to play again Sunday. From the ‘6-8’ group, Tony Hong, Norberto de Carlos, Jun Briones, Romeo Zulueta, Martin Yacobazzo, Paul Brazil, Mick Norris and Chris Capinpin were successfully promoted from “Stage 1” to be able to make a Sunday appearance. For those who played their way into Sunday a total of $2710 was available in prize money as $710 had been previously paid out on Saturday. Most players who survived Saturday play received a payout.

As play was concluding Sunday, Jun Briones was sitting in the hot seat on the ‘A’ side waiting for the winner of the ‘B’ side final between Paul Brazil and Mick Norris. In the ‘B’ side final Brazil defeated Norris to face Briones for the tournament title in this double elimination tournament. The undefeated Briones

continued his strong play by defeating Brazil in their first match thus avoiding the need for a 2nd match.

Congratulations to Jun Briones on the tournament win. It is good to see new ‘blood’ in the tournaments as the top 3 finishers – Briones, Brazil and Norris – are all relative newcomers to Shooters tournaments.

Thank you to all the participants for a great weekend of pool and welcome to those who had not previously participated in a competitive 9 Ball tournament on the 9 footers. For any of these ‘one-off” events, tournament qualifiers are also being run. Check the Shooters Snookerclub Facebook page for dates and details. Next up is the 2nd installment of the popular Amateur series which will take place October 10th and 11th, 2015.

G.T.A 404 Series: Pagsalakay ng Pinoy!

Submitted Article:

Another season of the long running ‘404’ series kicked off this past weekend (September 26th & 27th) at the Shooters Snooker & Sports Club in North York. Fifty–eight players were registered when the tournament started with many new faces again competing for the tournament title. New players in the Shooters tournaments are beginning to represent almost 20% of the tournament field.

After wrapping up on Day 1, Norberto de Carlos, Jehlar Fernandez, Kevin Oliveira and Jaypee Castillo were undefeated on the ‘A’ side of the draw while Sumon Sarkar, Toby Huang, Richard Murray, Romeo Zulueta, Martin Yakobazzo, Isaac Ramos, Shane Gummerson and Jeet Kandhai worked their way through the one loss ‘B’ side to be able to make a return appearance on Sunday.

In the ‘A’ side Sunday matches Fernandez edged de Carlos while Castillo defeated Oliveira setting up an ‘A’ side final between Fernandez and Castillo. Meanwhile, over on the ‘B’ side of the draw, Huang and Ramos were successfully working their way through the remaining field setting up matches against de Carlos and Oliveira respectively. However, the strong play that saw de Carlos and Oliveira enter Sunday on the ‘A’ side of the draw continued in their ‘B’ side matches as de Carlos overcame Huang and Oliveira emerged with a victory over Ramos. This set up a ‘B’ side semi final with de Carlos and Oliveira in which de Carlos came out on top.

In the ‘A’ side final Fernandez continued his recent strong play by decisively defeating Castillo sending Castillo to the ‘B’ side and Fernandez to the “hot seat”. In the ‘B’ side final Castillo made quick work of his Pinoy counterpart de Carlos setting up an all Filipino tournament final with Castillo and Fernandez. Perhaps with a measure of revenge on his mind Castillo wrapped up the tournament win with a solid 6-2 victory.

Congratulations to Jaypee Castillo on his tournament win and to Jehlar Fernandez for his recent consistently strong play. This was Jaypee’s first win in a significant tournament over the past several years.

Thank you to all the participants for a great weekend of pool and welcome to those who had not previously participated in a competitive 9 Ball tournament on the 9 footers at Shooters. Next up for Shooters is the Group Shootout on October 3rd and 4th followed by the 2nd leg of the wildly successful ‘Amateur’ series on October 10th and 11th. Check the Shooters Snookerclub Facebook page for dates and details. We’re all looking forward to another year of good competitive pool, full fields and expanding the interest in pool in Southern Ontario.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Falcon Quebec Pro Tour: Crevier Downs Hewitt to Win First Stop

From left to right, (Top) Danny Hewitt, Francis Crevier, Alain Martel,
(Bottom) Alain Parent, David Deschenes. 

By: Markus Noé

This past weekend at Le Spot Billard in Rimouski, the inaugural stop for the newly minted Falcon Cues Pro Tour got underway. For those not familiar with Rimouski it is where one of our biggest national exports Sidney Crosby played his junior hockey for the Rimouski Oceanic. This tour is the brain child of co-founders Danny Hewitt, Alain Parent and David Deschenes.  When asked why they felt the need for this tour Parent said, "We were badly missing good tournaments in Québec, mainly in the Pro and Semi-Pro divisions. I contacted them first. Falcon thought we would be a good start for them in their re-branding adventure throughout Canada. They sponsored a cue worth between $800-$1000 for each of the 11 tour stops."

The news of this tour was met with great excitement by the top talent in Quebec. Alain Martel, Danny Hewitt, Francis Crevier, and many others have committed to appearing at each stop. This was demonstrated this past weekend as 34 players were in attendance for this event many who traveled several hours from the Montreal area. In the first round there was no real upsets to talk about as all the tournament favourites charged on to the second round.

In a 34 player tournament the big names could not avoid each other very long as there were several key match-ups in the second round. Danny Hewitt got by Martin Daigle in a tight match 9-7, while Alain Parent  dispatched Sylvain Grenier 9-3. Other notable scores in this round were Jeff Blais 9 vs. Dany Nguyen 3 and Yan Lalande beating recent Canadian representative at the World Championships Tom Theriault 9-8.

Long time Canadian professional and national legend Alain Martel appeared to be in form for this event. Martel charged through the winners side of the bracket making it all the way to the winners side final with notable wins over Crevier, and Fred Lapointe.  On the second day of this event Martel returned to play Hewitt and lost 9-6 and then lost his rematch against Crevier in the losers side final 9-2.

After suffering his only loss of the tournament to Martel, Crevier went on a tear on the losers side. He eliminated many top contenders along the way such as Grenier, Daigle and Lapointe. This set the stage for a very interesting final against Hewitt who many believe is the current #1 player in Quebec. However these two talents have combined to have some very impressive wins against top players such as Johnny Archer, Thorsten Hohmann, Erik Hjorleifson and John Morra all in the last year. In this final however it was all Crevier as he dominated this match to win 11-1 to become the first winner on the Falcon Tour.

I would like to congratulate Francis Crevier for adding another title to his collection. I would also like to congratulate the organizers of this tour, who are bringing Canadians its first Pro Tour in nearly a decade since the abrupt end of the Canadian 9 Ball Tour. There is finally some light at the end of the tunnel for professional pool in Canada. I have full faith that this circuit will grow in the coming years as they have the "right" people behind the scenes and lots of support. For more information I invite you to visit their website or their Facebook page .

Full Results: 

1ere position Francis Crevier $1000
2e position Danny Hewitt $705
3e position Alain Martel $550
4e position Fred Lapointe $450
5-6e position Jeff Blais $300
Alain Parent $300
7-8e position Maxime Villeneuve $200
Martin Daigle $200

Tournoi de la 2e chance
1ere position Gaetan Pelletier $300
2e position Pat Desbiens $200
3e position Kyle Richard $140
4e position Dave Tremblay $100


Terminus Announcement: 5A Scotch Doubles Tournament this Weekend

Friday, 2 October 2015

Tailgators Announcement: Eastern Canadian 8-Ball Championship Dates!!!

Press Release:

The 3rd Annual Eastern Canadian 8-ball championship is set for November 20-22 at Tailgators. This year their will be two separate handicapped singles divisions with a max of 64 players in each. Also new this year is TEAM DIVISIONS. They will consist of 3 player teams and we are taking a max of 16 teams in 3 divisions(copper, bronze and silver). 

Check back regularly with Cue Sport Nation as a poster with all the specifics will be made available soon. Below is a few details that have already been agreed upon. To sign up please contact Curtis Houlden by email at or through Facebook.

Tournament details: 


-break challenge run by the always popular Bud Girls

-no green fee for teams if you play in the singles!!