By: Erik Hjorleifson
Tournament season is in full swing at The Corner Bank, in Scarborough, Ontario. The weekend of the 20th saw the first "Sleepless in Scar Bro' " team 8 ball tournament. 20 teams participated and from what I saw on social media players had a great time competing in this event. This past weekend marked the reincarnation of a long running tournament called the "King of the Hill" which originally ran out of Orangeville, Ontario.
The 2016 version at The Corner Bank was a $60 entry, $1000 added, race to 5 8 ball on the 7 foot tables, alternate breaks. No pros were allowed in the first event but as would be seen the on paper favorites are not always guaranteed a successful event on the bar table. The event drew 96 players close to an all time high for Ontario in the past few years. Notables included Rob Hall, Al Logan, Marc Dumoulin, Jeremy Bolahood, Brian Belobradic and Rob Brandenburg among many others.
The player auction got underway at about 10:30 Saturday morning. Canadian bar table legend Rob Hall went off as the first blind bid favorite for the healthy price of $700. Al logan, Brian Belobradic and Rob Brandenburg were also in the discussion as favourites to win the tournament. Many of the players went for 3 figures and a few that didn't go in the blind bids topped out at over $300 including Jeremy Bolahood and Chris Pegg. When all the dust cleared the player auction reached a total of $7500 and the battle was set to begin.
Things got off to a surprising start as dark horse George Cornelius and Rob Hall faced off in the first round with George pulling off an impressive 5-4 win. Al Logan met up with Brian Belobradic in the second round and Brian showed why he has the reputation as one of the top bar table players in the province coming out with a 5-3 victory. Rob Brandenburg met up with Brian in the next round and Rob came out ahead in this one. This particular bracket was stacked with tournament favorites and in round 4 Brandenburg would face off against newcomer Ben Crawley originally from Australia, now living in Toronto. Unbeknownst to many was that Ben was a former World Junior English 8 ball champion and was one of my picks to make it near the end. Ben made his presence felt with a 5 3 win over Rob sending him on to the final 16 on the winners side.With 16 tables on hand the tournament directors John White and Jim Wych did a great job of filing the 96 players through the board and by about 2 am we were down to our final twelve.
Final 8 on the winners side included:
Returning on the losers side were
The women were making their presence felt in this tournament as they have in many tournaments over the past year. Naomi Williams had a strong finish ending up tied for ninth and Brittany Bryant finished 5th. These two ladies are definitely in the top ten in North American Women's pool and they have been showing that they are right in the mix with the best men in Ontario as well. It was getting down to the "nitty gritty" and with the caliber of players left in the field there were many matches that could have gone either way. Chris Pegg CPA league operator and bar table legend from Scarborough was moving along quietly all the way to the winners side final with a notable win against Jeremy Bolahood in the final 4 on the winners side. Dark horse Norberto DeCarlos also had some good wins with a surprising 5-1 win against Marc Dumoulin and another strong win against Ben Crawley to book his spot in the winners side final against Pegg. As players were eliminated on the losers side the 4th place match came down to George Cornelius against Ben Crawley, Ben came out ahead in this one leaving Cornelius with a well deserved 4th place finish.
In the winners side final Chris Pegg continued his strong play defeating DeCarlos sending him down to Crawley, who after a loss in the winners side final four was able to regroup and make it all the way back to the final with a 5-2 win. In this double elimination format Pegg would have to be beaten twice, it was a tooth and nail battle with Pegg coming up with a stellar combo bank on his second last stripe in the last game to take the match 5-3. Notably to me Pegg, although coming from a wealth of experience, has not competed in a lot of tournaments in the past 5 years and for him to show the nerve to finish the job off on Sunday was very impressive to me. Congrats to Chris and a job well done to The Corner Bank as they have really raised the standard and interest level in competitive pool as of late. Action will continue this weekend at the Corner Bank with the second stop of the $2000 added Falcon Cues 9 ball tour.
|Ben Crawley and Chris Pegg.|
1st Chris Pegg $2000
2nd Ben Crawley $1400
3rd Norbeto Decarlos $800
4th George Cornelius $500
5th/6th Brittany Bryant $300
7th/8th Rob Brandenburg $200
9th/12th Naomi Williams $150