|Runner up Tyler Styer and winner John Morra|
By: Erik Hjorleifson
This past weekend at the Corner Bank in Scarborough, Ontario, was a weekend that I believe could be a turning point for the Toronto pool scene going forward. For those of you that have been following the scene here you will know that it has been plagued with tournaments that are over handicapped and the majority of the time do not allow pros to compete. This weekend saw a return to the traditional non handicapped style event open to all players. With $2000 added in the main event and $1000 added to the second chance event this would promise to be the most competitive tournament held in Toronto in a long time. The players responded with 40 of the very best from Toronto and surrounding areas in attendance, Tyler Styer from Wisconsin also participated as he was visiting a friend in London, Ontario.
The format was 10 ball race to 8 on the winners side and race to 7 on the losers side, winner breaks with a one set final race to 10. The player auction was quite lively as the first blind went for $1000 with John Morra being the pick of the field. Myself, Tyler Styer and Mario Morra also went in the blind bids.
Play began at around 1 pm on Saturday and there was one big upset in the first round as Isaac Ramos defeated me (Erik Hjorleifson) 8-7. Most of the favorites advanced throughout the day but there were a bunch of competitive matches that could have gone either way, here are some of the match score highlights:
John Morra 8 Tyler Nearing 6
Tyler Styer 8 Mario Morra 3
Erik Hjorleifson 7 Adam Monture 6
Brittany Bryant 8 Adam Monture 7
Mario Morra 7 Rodel Pinoy 5
After the dust settled on Saturday there were 8 players left all in the money, any players ranked AAA and under not advancing to Sunday play were eligible to compete in the $1000 added second chance tournament on Sunday.
In the winners side semi final matches Brittany Bryant continued her impressive play winning 8-7 against Ben Crawley, John Morra also defeated Tyler Styer with an 8-2 score line. Mario Morra and I both won our first losers side matches and both stalled in our next leaving us tied for fifth sixth. John Morra defeated Brittany in the winners side final and Tyler Styer was able to battle back from the losers side to set up a re match with John. John was up to the challenge again taking the title with a 10-6 victory.
In all it was a great weekend of pool that saw the best in this area battle it out with no handicaps. It has been a long while since there has been an attempt to try an Open tournament with good added money and by all accounts the event was a great success. One thing I noticed was the amount of people watching and the amount of people that stayed over after they were eliminated, the overall level of play was higher than what they were used to and worth watching. Kudos to the corner bank for being a huge supporter of pool in this area. Next on the list for the Corner Bank will be the $5000 added Molson Cup bar table 8 ball championships from the 6-9 of July, hope to see you all there.
1st John Morra $1500
2nd Tyler Styer $900
3rd Brittany Bryant $700
4th Ben Crawley $500
5th Erik Hjorleifson $300
7th Dave Parker $150