By: Erik Hjorleifson
This past week one of the biggest announcements in recent memory was made public by Jim Wych and John White proprietors of The Corner Bank in Scarborough, Ontario. After many years of a noticeable void there will once again be a pro tour in North America. The Corner Bank tour will host all five regular season events to be scheduled in September, October, November, January and February. All regular season events will be $25 000 added, the tour will also feature a $100 000 added finale event. Players must participate in 3 of the 5 regular season events to qualify for the year end tournament. To my knowledge this will be the first time in a North American event outside the defunct International Pool Tour "I.P.T" that we will see added money totals reaching six figures.
The Corner Bank has been in operation for approximately a year and a half and has become an instant hit. Featuring 16, "7" foot Diamond bar tables, 12 ."9" foot Diamonds and 8 Schender snooker tables. It is without a doubt the nicest pool room in Canada and right at the top of the list of rooms in North America. It will be an excellent venue to host the new tour which will be 10-ball and open to 128 players.
It must be noted that this is great news for players around the world and especially in North America to finally once again have a pro tour with consistent rules, format and conditions. The North American scene is currently riddled with an array of tournaments that vary from 8-ball, 9 ball, 10 ball, 7 foot, 9 foot, rack your own, rack for each other and the list goes on. It is important to the integrity of the sport that players, fans and sponsors begin to see some consistency between events and with a tour format this is exactly what we will get. The choice of making it a 10 ball tour (the best game for pros) added with pristine Diamond pro cut tables will be a treat for players and fans alike.
Ideas about the exact format of the tour are in the final stages of development, the main ideas being thrown around are:
-128 player seeded fields with a double knockout format
-Once the field is eliminated down to 32 players they will continue on to a single knockout stage with lengthened races
-Magic racks will be used
-Entry fee somewhere between $200-$300
In all North Americans have waited 8 years between the last time a substanial pro tour has happened. It is noticeable to me that pool is on an up swing and this tour looks to be a major part of that comeback, we will all be anxiously awaiting the fall and the inaugural event at The Corner Bank in September. Any inquiries about the tour can be addressed at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
According to a press release from the Corner Bank these will be the dates!
Event #1: September 20-23, 2016
Event #2: October 11-14, 2016
Event #3: November 8-11, 2016
Event #4: January 10-13, 2017
Event #5: February 14-17, 2017
Grand Championship: April 11-14, 2017