|Danny Hewitt, Luc Paquette and Alain Parent photo by Markus Noé.|
By: Markus Noé
This past weekend Terminus Billiards & Bar located in Gatineau, Quebec hosted the third stop of the newly formed Falcon Cues Québec Pro Tour. This tour has been received with open arms by not only Québec players but from the entire Canadian pool community as this is currently the only professional tour in the country.
The first two stops have been played in Rimouski and Jonquiere, Québec averaging 32 players. Last weekend saw 47 players show up to participate. I credit this increase in the field size due to several factors. Gatineau borders Ottawa, Ontario and is only a few hours away from Montreal, Québec while the last two tournaments have been several hours away from Montreal which is home to hundreds of players. Also the announcement that the 8th ranked player in the world, John Morra along with his father and solid professional Mario Morra added some extra buzz.
Day 1 featured a few shocking results and a couple big matches early on. Winner of the last stop Danny Hewitt paired up with Luc "The Machine Gun" Salvas in the first round. Salvas a multiple World Speed Pool Champion, is always a crowd favorite as his speed and obvious love of the game makes him very entertaining. However he was in tough against the current #1 player in Québec Hewitt and lost his first match 9-6. Despite this early loss Salvas went on to win 7 matches before losing to Alain Martel in the 4th place match. Below is a video of Martel making the last few balls to beat Salvas to give people an idea of the atmosphere.
The biggest upset of the day was Sylvain Grenier who has had a solid year in his return to pool, failing to make it to Sunday. He suffered a 9-6 loss to Dany Nguyen a young professional from Montreal. On the losers side he won one match before being eliminated by strong local semi-pro Sébastien Cousineau 9-5. Another upset of note is Karl Petrin a newly ranked "A" player from Montreal beating Lelsie Cookie a "AAA" 9-8.
Overall as in most cases in talent packed tournaments such as this the creme floated to the top. Going into Day 2 the final eight were John Morra vs Andre Goyette, Danny Hewitt vs Yannick Bedard, Alain Martel vs Sébastien Cousineau, Luc Salvas vs Patrick De Repentigny. A feel good story going into the final was the success a few local players had been having. There was of course Cousineau who was mentioned earlier. However not to be undone is Canadian legend Andre Goyette at 75yrs who old fought right till the final 4 winners side. House pro at Terminus Repentigny also had a great deal of success only losing to Goyette and Salvas finishing tied for 8th with Cousineau.
The pool hall really became electric when there were 4 remaining. On one table there was Martel vs Salvas while Morra and Hewitt did battle on the next table. Morra defeated Hewitt 9-7 and waited in the hot-seat while Martel and Hewitt went to war to decided who would get the last shot at the tournament favorite. Martel looked a bit fatigued and perhaps was distracted by a waitress who came to bring me a coffee at aninappropriate time in the match and appeared to inadvertently "Shark" him out of a key shot. In the end Hewitt won easily 9-4 and earned a rematch.
The final began with a flurry from Morra who was breaking well and mounted a 6-1 lead in this extended race to 11. A dry break for Morra and accidentally hooking himself on a wide open was all Hewitt needed to mount a comeback, and in a blink it was 6-6. Hewitt even went on to take the lead 8-6 before Morra had a chance. Hewitt finally missed a shot and even got a good roll to not leave it easy. However Morra a former Derby City 9 Ball Banks Champion, stepped up and fired a full table cross corner on the 5 ball and ran out to get within a game. In the video below I captured the bank shot.
In the end Hewitt was just playing too well and Morra a was just a bit unlucky as Hewitt went on to win 11-7. This was a phenomenal tournament all around and perhaps the most entertaining one I have seen in Canada outside the Archer Cup in Thetford Mines, Québec. Once again it was proven that Québec is the current "Mecca" for pool in Canada as it is one of the best places for the Pro's to come to be respected and watched. The local crowd was absolutely thrilled with the talent that was on display in their pool hall. I would also like to commend the amateur level players who came out to participate, because in reality there were only 12 ranked Professionals. The rest were high level Semi-Pro's and Amateurs. This to me is very important as currently in Toronto we see professional's are being left out of many tournaments, while in Québec they use staggered entry fee's and not handicaps to encourage lesser players to improve alongside some of the best in the country. Below is the video of Hewitt putting on the finishing touches of his big win.
I would like to thank the Falcon team which consists of Danny Hewitt, Alain Parent and David Deschenes as well as Patrick De Repentigny and the entire Terminus staff. Combined they not only gave me everything I needed to cover this event but embraced me with open arms understanding the importance of promoting the Tour and the Sport of Pool. There will be a quick turn around for the Falcon Tour as the next stop is this weekend November 21-22 in Trois-Riviere, Québec. We will update the tournament early next week as my partner Erik Hjorleifson and myself will be playing in the Eastern Canada Barbox Championships at Tailgators in Ottawa, Ontario. I invite everyone to come and join the Nation on our Facebook page, you can also catch up with all the other videos I took at this event.
Main Tournament Results.
1. Danny Hewitt $1,100 + $1160 Calcutta
2.John Morra $800 +$790 Calcutta
3. Alain Martel $595+$530 Calcutta
4. Luc Salval $450+$260 Calcutta
5-6. Yanick Bedard $325,André Goyette $325
7-8. Sébastien Cousineau $200,Patrick De Repentigny $200
9-12. Mario Morra $110,Eric Marcoux-Levesque $110,Alain Parent $110,Maxime Villeneuve $110
Second Chance Tournament: No Pro's or Semi-Pro's.
1. Pierre Paul $300
2. position Jean Vaillancourt $200
3. position Mike Young $150
4. position Marc Plamondon $110