|Winner Alain Martel with director Alain Parent|
By: Markus Noé
The weekend of September 17-18 the beautiful venue of Dooly's Valleyfield was taken over by the Falcon Cues Quebec Pro Tour. This is the second year of this tour which has stops in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick and has been met with open arms by professional players. With handicap tours on the rise combined with the trend of tournaments not allowing Pro's to play this circuit is greatly needed in this area.
On this occasion 35 players came to partake, with this stop being so close to Montreal and Ottawa I expected around 60 players for this event. Unfortunately there is just too many tournaments in the area for amateurs to play in, and they did not show up in the numbers I was hoping for. That being said this was still a talent packed field with most of the top players in Québec participating.
Favourites going into this tournament were Danny Hewitt, Luc Salvas, Harold Rousseau, Sylvain Grenier, Martin Daigle and of course Alain Martel. Martel who is always a threat and did win last year, seems to have found another gear to start this season. It is my understanding that Martel had some nagging health issues and to a certain extent it showed last season. As a pundit it is most likely an unfair comment however whenever someone is as dominate as Martel has been for decades now even the sightless drop off is noticeable.
That being said any concerns are long forgotten as Martel looks better than ever at the moment. He has started off the season winning the first two stops on the Falcon Tour and it was hard to believe that anyone was going to keep him from winning three in a row. He began his quest for a three-peat against two of the best players from my home room of Rack-M-Up Billiards in Cornwall, Ontario. First up was Jody Roy a solid AAA who Martel dispatched 9-2, next up was local Pro Jared Amyot who after a 3 year absence has come back to the scene. Amyot did what he could but it was a tough task and he fell 9-5. Top player from Mascouche Québec Joey Cicero who lost 11-10 to Martel in the first final of the season was the next challenge. Martel never seemed in trouble against the young upstart and won 9-4.
The returning final 8 on Sunday included 4 Canadian legends. Former Canadian Champion Harold Rousseau faced off against Danny Hewitt in the winners side final 4. Alain Martel was in the other final 4 match against Daigle and home town favourite and room owner Luc Salvas was also still alive on the losers side.
In the final I noticed Martel was trying a few things with his break, one being a soft cut break. In the end he went back to his patent big break and that seemed to work the best. He mounted a 7-1 lead at one point and looked to be on his way. However Hewitt was not done yet getting the score back to within one. In the end Martel did what he needed to and got the win 11-9 and continued his hot streak. Congratulations to all the winners, I would like to thank tournament organizers Danny Hewitt and Alain Paremt. As always they are a class act and provided everything I needed to cover this event. Make sure to follow along at Cue Sport Nation for all the results of the 2016-2017 season. For full results and dates for upcoming events please go to http://www.falconcuesquebectour.com/
1. Alain Martel $ 1000
2. Danny Hewitt 755$
3. Harold Rousseau $ 550
4. Luc Salvas $ 400
5-6th Mike Donnelly and Martin Daigle $ 300
7-8th Michael Bernier and Joey Cicero $ 200
9-12th Pierre Normand, Maxime Villeneuve, Eric Cloutier and Sebastian Laramée $ 100
13-16th Norm Pomainville, Jared Amyot, Jody Roy and Eric Hamel $ 50