Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Era of Shaw: Big Red Breaks Down the 42nd Annual U.S Open Championships



By: Erik Hjorleifson 

This past week 139 of the best players in the world took their shot at the U.S. Open 9 ball Championships. This is one of the most prestigious  titles in pool along with the World Championships and the China Open. 

One thing that has always intrigued me about the Open is that there are no politics involved, you do not have to have an invite from your national association, you do not have to have a world ranking. All you need is the self belief and skill to beat the best in the world. 

It must be noted that after the passing of U.S. Open founder Barry Behrman the future of the tournament could have definitely been in Jeopardy. Luckily a rightful successor in Accu-Stats Productions headed up by Accu-stats founder Pat Fleming has emerged and it seems like the future of longest running tournament in the U.S. is in safe hands. 

The landscape of the U.S. Open has changed a lot in the last five years and has become a testament to the popularity and high level that the game is being played at worldwide. This year over twenty countries were represented and to my knowledge this could be the first year in history that international entries outnumbered entries from the U.S.

One thing that hasn't changed at the Open is the general format. For as long as I can remember the format has been winner breaks race to 11 on the winners and losers side. The double knockout long race format  is another unique feature of the Open as most WPA international events are race to 9 preliminary stages that lead into a single knockout stage.

Play began on Sunday and ran through all the way to the following Saturday. As has been said every year for the past several years the field assembled this year was arguably once again the strongest field in the history of the 42 year event. At the risk of the article becoming to lengthy I will list some of the notable matches that brought about the final few players in this star studded field 
All hill hill matches:

Babica over Immonen
Ko Pin Chung over Jones
Jiaqing Wu over Alcaide
Strickland over Owen
Ouschan over Filler
Shaw over Ko Pin Yi
Strickland over Kevin Cheng
Oi over Pagulayan
Thorpe over Biado
Chang Jun Lin over Immonen
Bergman over Morra
Kaci over Deuel
Chang Jun Lin over De Luna

Kaci
Notable Performances of the week go out to first time competitors Josh filler and Jeffrey de Luna who finished 9th and 7th respectively. Corey Deuel also had a resurgent performance defeating most notably Albin Ouschan and Josh FIller among many strong victories over the week. Upstart Francisco Sanchez Ruiz had his highest finish in an international event ending up in third. Somewhat surprising was the absence of Taiwanese and Chinese players from the top ten although Chang Jun Lin and Ko Pin Chung both cracked the top six.

Nothing but praise can be given to the two finalists. I had the opportunity to watch a lot of the stream last week and the play of 19 year old Klenti Kaci was frankly astonishing. To my knowledge the only player ever of note from Albania, Kaci showed the poise of a player with twenty years of high level experience. Kaci's run out style was conservative and he seemed to hold his nerve with veins of ice,  a very bright future is definitely in store for him. 

For the champion Jason Shaw this is his first huge crowning achievement on american soil. The former Kuwait open champion has won an astonishing number of events hes played in the last three years, perhaps a close to unprecedented amount. Considering there are only three or four majors a year it is nice to see someone that is clearly above the field on any given day be able to perform at his best on the highest stage. Huge congrats from myself personally and Cue Sport Nation as he is a friend of the site and one of the good guys in the game.

In conclusion it was a great show last week for me the only thing lacking was tv coverage and support from the billiard industry. The fact that cannot be ignored is that most players are not fully sponsored and when after expenses only 8 players turn a decent profit the financial side of the game remains a bit of a let down. Not for Shaw though as he pocketed $40 000 for the win. The level of play is growing by the day, the game is growing internationally, I really believe in my heart things are on the upswing, only time will tell.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

St.Jean: Alex Pagulayan Repeats as Archer Cup Champion!

Champion Alex Pagulayan, Photo by Anick Cadorette 

This past weekend September 30- October 1 the 3rd edition of the Archer Cup was played. This event is the brainchild of Marco Sanschagrin and the entire EvenTime Production team. For Sanschagrin Johnny Archer is a close friend but also his favourite player. Recognizing that Archer is a true legend of the sport winning everything at one time or another including World Championships multiple times, he wanted to honour him by hosting a world class event in his name.

Over the years stars such as Jayson Shaw, Alex Pagulayan, Mike Dechaine, John Morra, Mika Immonen have all made appearances. This year was no different as the field boasted two World Champions Johnny Archer and Alex Pagulayan. To go along with them was world class players Mike Dechaine, John Morra, Alain Martel and Danny Hewitt. Overall 56 players came from all over Québec, Ontario and the U.S.

With staggered entry fee's it was the amateurs who showed up in large numbers that really brought this tournament over the top. The Archer Cup was a seeded event with a group stage. Most groups had 4 players in each group with the top 3 qualifying. However some groups had only 3 players with all of them automatically qualifying.

Throughout the group stage there was not too much out of the ordinary to happen, as all the favourites found their way into the final 32. Those who finished first in the group automatically qualified for the top 16. There was few things of note however that did happen before we got to the final 32. Local AA ranked player Dominic Byrne shocked the entire room when he defeated arguably the number one player in Québec and former 4th place finisher at the World Championships Alain Martel 8-5. Another notable performance was that of Waleed Hashem from Mississauga, Ontario.
Waleed Hashem
Hashem is only 19 years old but you would need him to tell you that because while talking to him you would think he is in his late 20's. He works as an apprentice mechanic and is also a student in the automotive program at Humber college. I have been hearing about this player for the past two years and it was my first time seeing him play. Whenever players like John Morra and Erik Hjorleifson are praising an up and coming player you know it is going to be something special. In the past two years Hashem went from a AA player to playing at a semi-pro level. As Erik Hjorleifson says he has "unlimited potential."

In Hashem's group a local legend who was Alain Martel idol at one time Gaston Leblanc made his first appearance on the scene in 16 years. Leblanc now older and maybe out of practice still showed his level. However Hashem beat him 8-1 in the group stage and 8-7 in the round of 32. This match was a little contentious as Leblanc was visibly bothered by Hashem's pace of play and Hashem was bothered as he found Leblanc being unsportsmanlike. In the end Martin Daigle ended his impressive run in the final 16 in a close match 9-6. Hashem split the $300 prize of top amateur in Guillaume Beaudet who lost out to Joey Cicero in the same round.

It was the top 8 where things really got interesting as it was only the cream of the crop left in the field. Joey Cicero eliminated Martin Daigle 9-3. Luc Salvas to the delight of the crowd eliminated Johnny Archer 9-8 in a thrilling match the final rack can be seen here.

Archer was really playing on top of his game and I picked him as a favourite to make the final. However he ran into a hot Luc Salvas and was the victim of a couple bad rolls that ended his bid.

On the other streamed table local up and coming pro Dany Nguyen continued his impressive showing after eliminating John Morra in the round of 16 9-6. This time he was up against former Mosconi Cup team member Mike Dechaine. This was another close affair as Nguyen edged him out 9-8, this video can also bee seen below.


In the last match of the top 8 Alex Pagulayan made quick work of Danny Hewitt. Pagulayan then went on to eliminate Nguyen to be the first to earn a spot in the final. Luc Salvas had to fight off the other up and coming pro in Québec Joey Cicero. This was a close match with Salvas getting the 9-7 win to face Pagulayan. 

Salvas who has been back in action over the last few years playing Turning Stone and the Falcon Tour, looked to be back in form making his first final in a major event in sometime. However Pagulayan is one of the all time greats who is still in his prime and playing consistently proved to be too much for Salvas as he went on to win the final easily 11-5. Congratulations to all the winners this weekend. It should be noted that in a field with Archer, Morra, Dechaine Pagulayan it was 3 players from Québec who made the final 4, which again goes to show you the overwhelming talent in La Belle Province. 



I would like to thank Marco Sanschagrin, Michel McCutcheon and the entire EvenTime Production team for hosting a world class event. There was a concern about attendance for this event however in the end most of the top local players came through. In the future I do not see it being a problem if there was a enough notice and fair entry fee's why an event like this could not see 96 to 128 players. 

Finally I would like to thank my sponsors for this event; Tailgators Pool Hall, Rack-M-Up Billiards, The Winning Stroke  Touhey Management, EvenTime Productions and www.chalkbegone.com. Without people like this behind me who not only value what we do here at www.cuesportnation.com but understand the importance of it, our travels and coverage would be impossible. To see our full coverage which includes more videos and picture please visit the Cue Sport Nation Facebook Page. 

Payouts:

1. Alex Pagulayan $3500

2. Luc Salvas $2500

3/4 Dany Nguyen & Joey Cicero $1500









Dickson City: Karen Corr Wins NAPT Tour Stop at Eagle Billiards

Karen Corr, Naomi Williams Brianna Miller, April Larson 

By: Erik Hjroleifson

This past weekend Eagle billiards in Dickson City, Pennsylvania played host to the fourth tournament on the newly founded NAPT North American women's tour. In the tours short history it has gained popularity among North Americas top female professionals and has drawn out big names such as Karen Corr on more than one occasion. For now all events have been held in pool rooms but have featured a healthy amount of added money at each stop and have been run with professionalism. Hopefully for the North American women this tour will continue to evolve and one day possibly replace or rival the fledgling W.P.B.A women's tour.

Based on a full field of 64 this weekends event drew 55 women from all over the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. hopes were headed up by multiple time World Champion Karen Corr along with former World Champion Loree Jon Hasson mixed in with young guns Brianna Miller and April Larson. Canada had very strong representation including multiple time Canadian Champions Naomi Williams and Brittany Bryant. The province of Quebec was also well represented with Veronique Menard, Valerie Bedard and Nathalie Chabot making the trip down south.

This weekends format was double elimination, race to 7, alternate break 10 ball played with the magic rack and W.P.A rules. Play began on Friday morning and the competition was fierce from the beginning match highlights from Friday and Saturday included:

Karen Corr 7 Naomi Williams 6
Karen Corr 7 Brittany Bryant   3
Naomi Williams 7 Caroline Pao 6
Lorre Jon Hasson 7 Jia Li 4
Veronique Menard 7 Krista Walsh 6

Twelve players returned to face off for the title on Sunday and the crowd at Eagle billiards was treated to more fine play by the finest female players in North America. Multiple time U.S. Junior National Champion Brianna Miller made a statement this weekend with her strongest finish in the open division to date.  She had a notable win over Loree Jon Hasson on her way to the winners side final against Karen Corr who defeated April Larson in the winners side semi final 7 3.

The winners side final match would go right down to the wire with Corr edging out Miller by a 7 6 score line. On the losers side Stacie Bourbeau defeated Jia Li one of the the tournament favourites ending up with a respectable 7th place finish. Brittany Bryant won her first two matches of the day before losing to April Larson leaving her with a strong fifth place finish.  The lone Canadian left was Naomi Williams who showed great heart all weekend after losing a tough hill hill battle with Corr on the winners side. She began Sunday with a 7 4 win against Janet Atwell then continued on with wins over Veronique Menard 7 5 and April Larson 7 6 after trailing 5 2. This set up a match with Brianna Miller which Miller won 7 4. The final proved to be another great match with Corr taking the title by the slimmest of margins 7 6.

Big kudos goes of to the NAPT and Eagle billiards for another excellent event. Next stop will be at Griffs in Las Vegas in early November.

1st Karen Corr $3200
2nd Brianna Miller $2200
3rd Naomi Willaims $1800
4th April Larson $1350
5th Brittany Bryant $1000
       Lorre Jon Hasson
7th Stacie Bourbeau $850
       Veronique Menard

Monday, 2 October 2017

Day 1 TV Match Line-Up : Complete Event Schedule: Mika Immonen Headlines Group Draws at BottleDeck.net 77th World 14.1


Day 1 TV Matches! 7 Matches!!
$15 order at WorldStraightPool.com
TV Day 1 Oct 2, 2017
11:00 am- Lee Van Corteza PHL vs USA John Schott 
1230 pm Danny Harriman USA vs SCO Del Sim
2:00 pm John Schmidt USA vs USA Danny Barouty
4:00 pm Darren Appleton ENG vs USA Ed Culhane
5:30 pm Thorsten Hohmann GER vs JAM Rhys Chen
7:00 pm Mika Immonen FIN vs USA Danny Harriman
830 pm Darren Appleton ENG vs FIN Ollie Turkulainen



Mika Immonen Headlines Group Draws at BottleDeck.net 77th World 14.1

77th World 14.1 October 2-8, 2017 New York City,  Steinway Billiards

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Reigning World 14.1 Champion Mika Immonen could become the first consecutive back-to-back World 14.1 Champion in this millenium. A feat not accomplished in 34 years since 1982-1983 wins by Steve Mizerak

New York City- Mika Immonen will take the #1 seed for the event as he headlines Group 1 of the Bottledeck.net 77th World 14.1. This year four groups of 8 players will play 7 matches each to qualify for the next stage of the event, the double elimination rounds and then finally the single elimination round until the World 14.1 Champion is crowned. Immonen has been in 3 World 14.1 finals in 11 tries, so his vast experience will come into play in achieving a feat no one has managed to do this millenia, win back-to-back.

He will have his hands full as he faces top American 14.1 pro Danny Harriman of Missouri in his group. And then top contenders such as California's John Schmidt, Darren Appleton of England, and the king of 14.1 Germany's Thorsten Hohmann, all of which are former World 14.1 winners.  New York's Tony Robles, Max Eberle of Las Vegas, and Philippines sensation Lee Van Corteza are also big threats with Hall of Famer Danny Barouty and Scotland's Jonni Fulcher not far behind.

Full week access pass is on sale now for $99 for 60 hours of world class 14.1 coverage of all the marquee matches each of the 7 days of the event at WorldStraightPool.com 

Group 1

  1. Mika Immonen FIN
  2. Danny Harriman USA
  3. Del Sim SCO 
  4. Pascal Dufresne CAN
  5. Mark Kendall CA
  6. Robert Madenjian CT
  7. Tom Gleich CA
  8. Thomas Walsh OR

Group 2
  1.  Thorsten Hohmann GER
  2.  Lee Van Corteza PHL
  3.  Eddie Kunz NY
  4.   Rhys Chen JAM
  5.  Tom Karabotsos IL
  6.  James Heller NJ
  7.  Bob Coates NY
  8.  John Schott NY


Group 3
  1.  Darren Appleton  ENG
  2.  Tony Robles NYC
  3.  Olli Turkulainen FIN 
  4.  Frank Scharbach  GER
  5.  Hunter Lombardo FL
  6.  Michael Yednak NYC
  7.  Gene Ok NY
  8.  Ed Culhane NJ  

Group 4
  1. John Schmidt  USA
  2. Jonni Fulcher SCO
  3.  Max Eberle  NV
  4. Danny Barouty CA  
  5.  Sean Morgan AK
  6.  Holden Chin NY
  7.  Noah Vogleman FL
  8.  Mark Finklestein NY





The 14.1 HOF is always the hottest ticket in town every year with laughter & tears. Tickets on sale now !



Along with that news, the Official Website for the event has been re-vamped and re-launched as TheWorldTournament.com ! Checkout the latest news and features.WorldStraightPool.com also still connect to the site.

Fans and players alike will make the trek to the longest running and oldest tradition in billiards, the World Tournament of 14.1. 2017 marks the 12th consecutive year the World Tournament of 14.1 will be staged which is the longest consecutive run of the championship ever in its 105 year history with Dragon Promotions continuing at the helm. This year's confirmed dates for the 77th WorldTournament of 14.1 will take place on October 2nd - 8th, 2017 and presented by Show Pro . For the fifth straight year, Steinway Billiards in New York City will host the prestigious championship. As usual, a star studded 48 player round-robin field is expected for this year's lineup to win the world's greatest straight pool championship.



The Last Forever Decking. BottleDeck.net is the most elite and best decking material on the planet which is also the title sponsor of the World 14.1.


The AZBTV livestream for all TV table matches.  Pay-Per-View will be announced and available shortly. Event elite partners include Mr.Tom Gleich, Dr. Gregory Diehl, Mr. Greg Hunt of Amsterdam Billiards, and Mr. Harold Siegel of Excelsior Graphics. The World Tournament Official Equipment will feature all matches played on Andy Cloth with Aramith Balls.
Patron sponsors include Dr. James Heller, 
Attorney Dennis Walsh, Attorney Thomas Walsh and Bill Maropulos Motors.
Official Medical Firm: 
TheRevolutionMedical.com
Official Spa : Your Backyard Superstore 
Official Eyewear: ScorpioLamonte.com
Official Tennis Sponsor: The FTT Florida Tennis Tour
Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill:  ReElectReginaHill.com
Official Magazine : Pool & Billiard Magazine
Official Real Estate App: ShowProGlobal.com
Sanctioned by the World Sports Alumni

 

77th AndyClothUSA.com World 14.1 on Oct 2-8,2017 at Steinway Cafe-Billiards in NYC.
37 invited pros and 11 qualifier winners. Register your entries now! 
WorldStraightPoolChampionships@gmail.com
Call 
407-782-4978

In addition, the 7th Annual Straight Pool Hall of Fame Banquet will take place in the middle of the event on October 4th at 7:00pm. Every year the popular dinner sells out with all the pool stars and legends attending. Purchase tickets by contacting WorldStraightPoolChampionships@gmail.com
Call 
407-782-4978



Sponsors are welcomed to contact 407-782-4978  Also for tickets, Vendors, tournament entries and information:   worldstraightpoolchampionships@gmail.com
Follow our daily social media updates at : Visit 
www.facebook.com/Worldstraightpool
www.twitter.com/Dragonpromoter & www.instagram.com/dragonpromotions
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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Trois Rivieres: The Dancing Bear Feasted on The Falcon Tours First Stop



By: Markus Noé

The Falcon Cues Québec Pro Tour kicked off its season this past weekend at L'Abaise Pool Hall in Trois Riveres Quebec. 43 players came out to support the first stop of the season and most of the usual suspects were in attendance. Tournament favourites such as Francis Crevier, Danny Hewitt, Alain Martel, Sylvain Grenier were all in attendance. Other notables were Dany Nguyen and Joey Cicero and Jeff Blais. This circuit is now beginning its third season and to the credit of the top pros in Québec it has been well attended throughout.

There was a minor upset in the first round as upstart young professional Joey Cicero beat last seasons Grand Finale Champion Francis Crevier 9-8. Another couple upsets would be Michael Bernier defeating Danny Hewitt 9-4 and Yan Lalande getting by Sylvain Grenier by the same scoreline.

Going into day two the final 4 who were unbeaten on the winners side were Dany Nguyen vs Joey Cicero and Alain Martel vs Steve Gilbert. With names like Hewitt, Grenier and Crevier already eliminated the field was wide open with the clear remaining favourite being Alain Martel. Martel won his match 9-7 and Cicero got by Nguyen 9-3.

On the losers side both Nguyen and Gilbert were able to win their matches in the 5/6 position and met up in the 4th place match with Nguyen winning 9-7. He earned himself a rematch against Cicero who just lost to Martel in the winners side final 9-4. Nguyen got his revenge eliminating Cicero in third place 9-7. In the final Martel just barely edged out his long time protege 11-9. The next tournament will be held at Dooly's Valleyfield September 16-17.

Payouts:

1 Alain Martel 1100 $ 
2 Dany Nguyen 810 $ 
3 Joey Cicero 600 $ 
4 Styve Gilbert 425 $
5 - 6 Éric Hamel 300 $
5 - 6 Yan Lalande 300 $
7 - 8 Guillaume Beaudet 200 $
7 - 8 Michaël Bernier 200 $
9 - 12 Luc Salvas 120 $
9 - 12 Steve Lampron 120 $
9 - 12 Sébastien Laramée120 $
9 - 12 Marco Caron 120 $




Alain Martel vs Erik Hjoreleifson Challenge Match!

As many have you seen on Facebook two of the best players in Canada have been jabbing at each other. Erik "Big Red" Hjorleifson has made the case that he and others believe that the legend Alain "The Dancing Bear" Martel is no longer a top 5 player in the country. To go further lately Martel has been getting told by Danny Hewitt himself that it is actually Hewitt is now the number one player in Québec and has been for some time.

With all this being said the Bear has been fighting back and not only saying he is still number in the province but he is still among the top names in the country such as John Morra, Alex Pagulayan and Jason Klatt. Hjorleifson plans to show him this is not a reality and an epic match has been set to begin next week. The poster above shows that this will take place over 4 days and almost every discipline imaginable will be played, so by the end it will be indisputable who the better player is.

There will be an overall bet between these two players and we invite people who would want to place a wager to reach out. I would imagine that between the people who are in attendance they will also be placing wagers on each individual match. This will be a big sweat for all pool junkies so make sure if you are in the area you reserve your seat now!

 



Cornwall: Sypes Wins Rack-M-Up Summer Series Qualifier #7



By: Markus Noé

Sunday August 27th Rack-M-Up Billiards held its second last qualifier for the Summer Series. Tournament director Doug Disotell due to high demand was forced to expand his tournaments from 16 to 24 maximum over the past 2 events. The first one with the expanded field sold out and this past week saw 22 players attend.

Being this is a handicap series technically anyone can win, but however there are always favourites. Based on past performances, in this feild the clear favourites were, Justin Miller, Jody Roy, Charles Sypes, Jacques Sauvé and Mathew Pawis

Clayton Disotell former owner of Rack-M-Up Billiards now into his 70's is still performing. He won a big handicap charity event earlier on in the year and once again placed in the money finishing a solid 4th place.

Finishing third is Jody Roy who is one of the stronger players around but has been on a hiatus of late. He showed little rust in this one losing to only the eventual winner of the tournament Charles Sypes twice. In the final Sypes met up with an up and comer who has been quietly practicing and not competing much, Platon Liolios.
Winner Charles Sypes with future contender Josh Levac

His practice has payed off as he went undefeated to the final. However he came up just short losing to Sypes in the end. The last qualifier will be held September 10th and the Grand Final will be September 16th with around $1500 up for grabs for first place. There is a current promotion going on that student get 50% off the hourly rate of $9.00. Also if you are interested in spectating feel free to stop in and watch some of the best players in the area battle it out.


Payouts: 

1. Charles Sypes $220
2. Platon Liolios $130
3. Jody Roy $80
4. Clayton Disotell $40
5/6 Jacques Sauvé/Walter Szydlowski. $30

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Tailgators Summer Shootout Results & Update on Major Future Pro Event




Press Release By: Curtis Houlden & Markus Noé

Last weekend August 11th-13th Tailgators in Ottawa Ontario held the 4th Annual Summer Shootout.   This year saw lots of firsts including adding a scotch doubles component and more divisions in singles. Pictures of the winners in each division are down below. Congratulations to all the winners! Full results with payouts can be found at www.compusport.ca


 Touhey Tax Gold division summer shootout champion Dave Casselman with runner up Greg Smyth



Runner up in the silber Scotch Doubles Brad & Rick Emery. Champions Milan Krauthaker and Terry Martin 


Winner of the Silver Singles Jimmy Jones





Bronze Winner Josh Bryan with runner up Brad Emery


Copper division runner-up Sam Lefebvre-Hanna with Champion Romeo Berti


Winner of the Bronze Scotch Doubles Roxanne Grenier and Steve Maclean


2017 first team all star
-Brad Emery
-Terry Martin 
-Dave Casselman
-Milan Krauthaker 

Samuel Lefebvre Hanna

2nd Team all-star
-Jim Jones
-Romeo Berti
Joshua Bryan
-Ian Johnstone
-Roxanne Grenier

Up next  at Tailgators is the Eastern Canadian Barbox Championships in November. As some of you know there is plans in the works to do a high entry 8 ball bar box event. The plan is to do this at the same time as the Eastern Canadians. Here are some of the details so far, keep in mind we are still in the feeling out process so these can change. 

The idea so far is to have a $1000 entry 8 player field with $2000 added. However with the amount of interest it is likely the field will be pushed to 16 and potentially more added money. Names such as Alain Martel, Erik Hjorleifson, Jason Klatt and Francis Crevier have already showed serious interest so far. We have been getting inquiries from around the world so we need players who are serious to confirm as soon as possible, contact Markus Noé or Curtis Houlden through Facebook, you can also go through the Cue Sport Nation page. 

Currently the last weekend in November looks like the appropriate date as there is a Falcon Tour Stop November 19-20 in Gatineau and TJ Martin's East Coast Canadian 9 Ball Open $35,000 added event November 7-12. Once again the earlier we get confirmations the more time we have to get added money and make the best event possible.