Stage I - 2014 Canadian Pool Championships
The first stage of the 2014 CBSA Canadian Open Pool Championships has come to an end at Shooters Snooker & Sports Club in Toronto. Although the attendance in each event was less than anticipated, the level of play was exceptional. The top players from each division will move on to Stage II of the Championship to be held at the Delta Meadowvale in Mississauga, Ontario. This year marks the first year where both the CBSA and CCS Championships are being held side-by-side. Here is a breakdown of the matches scheduled for this week in Mississauga:
Tuesday, April 15 – 8-Ball
A-Side – John Morra vs Rod Arsenault
A-Side – Erik Hjorleifson vs Paul Potier
B-Side – Jason Klatt vs Alex Pagulayan
B-Side – Sumon Sarkar vs Pahdahsung Shognosh
Thursday, April 17 – 9-Ball
A-Side – Alex Pagulayan vs John Morra
B-Side – Mario Morra vs Paul Potier
B-Side – Jason Klatt vs Erik Hjorleifson
Thursday, April 17 – Women’s 9-Ball
A-Side – Naomi Williams vs Brittany Bryant
B-Side – Kayla Jones vs Joanne Ashton
B-Side – Kayla Roloson vs Maureen Seto
Friday, April 18 – 10-Ball
A-Side - Erik Hjorleifson vs Andy Aupin
B-Side - Alex Pagulayan vs Paul Potier
B-Side - Mario Morra vs Jason Klatt
Friday, April 18 – Women’s 10 Ball
A-Side – Denise Belanger vs Brittany Bryant
B-Side - Naomi Williams vs Hanna Kwon
B-Side - Joanne Ashton vs Kayla Jones
There is no charge for spectators, so drop by and witness a piece of Canadian history being made. Be sure to bring your pool cue as mini-tournaments will be taking place throughout the event. There is no other tourney like it where you have great players from all over Canada in one place at one time.
Mr Smooth right on Target
The last regular event of the 404 9-ball tour wrapped up last weekend at BigWigs Billiards in Newmarket, Ontario. There were 52 players in attendance. The top favourites of the field both suffered first round losses. Terry Snache caught Mario Morra by surprise with a 5-7 win. Rod Arsenault also proved he should not be taken lightly as he pulled out a 7-9 win over John Morra.
On the A-Side, Alan Ada reached the finals with wins over Kevin Olivera (6-4), Shane Gummerson (6-5), Rob Henry (6-5), Bobby Drowns (6-3) and Ronald Giron (6-3). Jeremy Isard looked impressive with wins over Vern Strom (7-4), Ian Argue (7-4), Stuart MacTaggart (7-2) and Ken Botham (7-6). In the A-side finals, Jeremy’s momentum continued sending Alan Ada to the b-side with a convincing 7-1 win.
Waiting for Alan on the B-side was John Morra who kept his composure after his first round loss to Rod. A very determined John Morra ploughed through the field outscoring his opponents 117-35 overall. There was no stopping “Mr. Smooth” as he dominated Alan Ada (12-1). In the finals, Jeremy put up a good fight sending the match to the final rack, but it was John who handled the pressure and secured the title.
A special thanks to the staff at BigWigs and tournament director Blain Jorgensen for hosting this event.
This is how they finished:
Payout Calcutta 1st JOHN MORRA 12 $750 $700 2nd JEREMY ISARD 7 $460 $370 3rd ALAN ADA 6 $330 $240 4th KEN BOTHAM 7 $230 $160 5-6th IAN ARGUE 5 $150 $80 5-6th RONALD GIRON 7 $150 $80 7-8th STUART MacTAGGART 5 $110 7-8th TOM HOGAN 6 $110 9-12th CODY WARD 6 $75 9-12th BOBBY DROWNS 5 $75 9-12th JOHN PUCKETT 4 $75 9-12th ROB JOHNSON 7 $75
New Post on http://thepoolscene.com/404-tour/thats-morra/
That’s A Morra
A strong field of 55 players were in attendance for the 9th stop of the 404 9-Ball tour at BigWigs Billiards in Newmarket, Ontario. It was a special treat for spectators to have touring professional John “Mr Smooth” Morra displaying his world class skills. Other notable top players in attendance were Eric Hildebrand, Andy Aupin, Erik Hjorleifson, Mario Morra and Mike Patrowicz.
Leading the top half of the bracket was Ben Chang with wins over Jeff Pollock, Barry Hetherington, Ian Argue, Marc Godin and Erik Hjorleifson. In the lower bracket, Mario Morra had wins over Bobby Drowns, Wayne Tate, Mike Lacroix and Andy Aupin before facing his son, John Morra. Experience came through this time and John Morra was sent to the B-side. In the a-side finals, Mario took the win over Ben Chang in an exciting hill-hill match.
On the b-side, John Morra overcame the difficult handicapped format with victories over Marc Godin (11-4), Erik Hjorleifson (9-5) and Ben Chang (11-2). Only two players remained, John Morra and Mario Morra. The father/son team decided to head home early and share the winnings. Well done guys!
This is how they finished:
RESULT PAYOUT CALCUTTA 1st MARIO MORRA 11 $820 $800 2nd JOHN MORRA 12 $500 $480 3rd BEN CHANG 7 $360 $310 4th ERIK HJORLEIFSON 11 $250 $200 5-6th MARC GODIN 7 $170 $100 5-6th CHAD BISHOP 6 $170 $100 7-8th JAMES WICKETTS 8 $120 7-8th STEVEN SPENCER 4 $120 9-12th ANDY AUPIN 11 $80 9-12th JUSTIN LEYLAND 8 $80 9-12th WAYNE GRAVES 7 $80 9-12th CHRIS LEE 6 $80
Dennis Orcollo wins Jay Swanson Memorial
The 18th Annual Jay Swanson Memorial was held on February 15-16, 2014 at Hard Times Billiards in Bellflower, CA. Over the years, the “Swanee” has experienced tremendous growth. The first year was a modest 64 players, the next three they limited the field to 96, but the continued demand required them to increase future fields to 128. One year the field actually reached 213, the largest tournament at that time in California history. They have since decided to limit the field to 192.
The format of the event was 9-Ball, race to 7, double knock-out with $4,000 added. This is how they finished:
Place Name Prize $ 1 Dennis Orcollo $ 3,000.00 2 Mika Immonen $ 1,500.00 3 Carlos Biado $ 1,000.00 4 Oscar Dominguez $ 750.00 5 John Morra $ 535.00 5 Hunter Lombardo $ 535.00 7 Santos Sambajon Jr. $ 400.00 7 Ernesto Dominguez $ 400.00 9 Miza Estrada $ 300.00 9 Tang Hoa $ 300.00 9 Jerry Matchin $ 300.00 9 Mitch Ellerman $ 300.00 13 Chris Reinhold $ 200.00 13 Aaron Remijo $ 200.00 13 Danny Petralba $ 200.00 13 Mark Barber $ 200.00 17 Gerardo Jamito $ 175.00 17 Tom Lipps $ 175.00 17 Brandon Shuff $ 175.00 17 Mike Barry $ 175.00 17 Frank Almanza $ 175.00 17 Greg Harada $ 175.00 17 Chino Reyes $ 175.00 17 Dave Hemmah $ 175.00 25 Paulo Parica $ 150.00 25 Doug Whaley $ 150.00 25 Eric Myatt $ 150.00 25 Jim Milazzo $ 150.00 25 Sal Butera $ 150.00 25 Victor Ignacio $ 150.00 25 Ross Fregosa $ 150.00 25 Alan Heinen $ 150.00 33 Sean Lane $ 100.00 33 Ricardo Buensuceso $ 100.00 33 Larry Bohn $ 100.00 33 Arturo Rivera $ 100.00 33 Beau runningen $ 100.00 33 Johnny Kang $ 100.00 33 Mark Arnold $ 100.00 33 Ray Lorenzo $ 100.00 33 Stacy Novack $ 100.00 33 Phil Mission $ 100.00 33 Ramin Bakhtiari $ 100.00 33 Hani Kamani $ 100.00 33 Jerry Lin $ 100.00 33 Josh Ulrich $ 100.00 33 Jaden Brock $ 100.00 33 Attila Csorba $ 100.00 49 Chris Tate $ 75.00 49 Vince Vidarre $ 75.00 49 Louis Ulrich $ 75.00 49 Taka Fujiwara $ 75.00 49 Zeke Morrison $ 75.00 49 Gus Luna $ 75.00 49 Frank Roblitz $ 75.00 49 Joe Delio $ 75.00 49 Don McClellan $ 75.00 49 Nick Spano $ 75.00 49 Lee Brett $ 75.00 49 Manuel Herrera $ 75.00 49 David Blevins $ 75.00 49 Chad Barber $ 75.00 49 Wayne Pullen $ 75.00 49 Ron Schneider $ 75.00
Magic Rack Debate Overshadows U.S Open Bar Table Championships
The Grand Sierra Resort & Casino located in Reno, Nevada was the scene of this past weeks U.S Open Bar Table Championships. This has been one of my favorite events to watch since I became a fan of pool because you get to watch world beaters play local unknowns and bar table hustlers from around North America and get to enjoy the occasional upset. Every year that I watch this event and any other event that uses the “Magic Rack” a great debate takes place and this week was no exception.
Pool is one of the oldest games on the planet, and because of this its filled with purists and any kind of change is usually met with negative reaction at first. The Magic Rack is a flimsy piece of plastic with strategically made holes in it to place the balls on and when squeezed together the balls fall inwards and form a perfect rack. At first glance this seems like the greatest invention in pool in decades. The one thing that players of all levels argue about or have trouble doing properly is racking. Never again in tournament play or a money match while using the Magic Rack will a loose rack or a “shack rack” be a cause for concern, a good thing right?
That is until I have seen it mastered by the professionals. At an intermediate level I use it and I love it as do many of my peers. But after watching racking guru’s such as Corey Duel pattern rack and soft break his way deep through the 8,9, and 10 ball fields I find myself conflicted. At this level with these types of players a perfect rack while racking your own in the order you choose results in a break and run contest. Which sounds exciting but really is not.When a player goes up to the table hits the balls no harder then a common stop shot and 3 balls go in nearly every time leaving a wide open table at the mercy of a world class shooter it is hardly entertaining . As a fan I actually find this a tad boring and I have trouble appreciating the skill behind it. Safety battles are brought down to a minimum because there is hardly ever any clusters, especially in the rotation games. That means not a lot of kicking or jumping or really any kind of strategy at all besides racking the same way every time and hitting the rack at the same speed and running out the cosmos.
(Check out this video that was posted on Darren Appleton’s Facebook Page of the Duel Break)
No other pro outlined their frustration with the Magic Rack louder then touring professional from England Lee Brett. He is or was the referee for the upstart Bonus Ball league and I had the pleasure of meeting him in Gatineau Quebec a few summers ago at a tournament. He posted on his Facebook page after a loss that soft breaking and pattern racking is not pool and this started an in depth discussing involving sponsors, directors, amateurs and other pros. For whatever reason Lee’s comments were met with harsh criticism from the people at CSI (Cue Sports International) he was accused of sharking when he complained about the rules and he was threatened to be banned from the event and told not to play if he didn’t like the rules they had in place. Not really the kind of things one likes to hear from any promoters while bringing forth a legitimate issue however in all fairness I was not present to see Lee’s behavior for myself. However being in his presence over a long weekend and seeing how he handles himself I find him to be a very passionate player and maybe he lets that get the best of him at times. On the same note I don’t feel he or any other pro should be dealt with in such a manner when bringing an issue to the forefront. Obviously the promoters of this event committed a knee jerk reaction to Lee’s comments by threatening him, most likely because the Magic Rack is a major contributor to this event. This demonstrates a few things, that the promoters are thin skinned perhaps unprofessional and will react quickly to protect their cash cow.
This controversy outlined another issue, which is the disconnect between the touring professionals and the promoters. Long story short the promoters feel like the players want to just show up for an easy pay day and do not put anything back into the game and some of the players feel like the promoters do not organize the events properly. Case in point John Morra made his thoughts known stating after the tournament he still was not sure if pattern racking was aloud or not after two officials had different views on the matter. Also low payouts was brought up as some players suggested that tournament promoters are gouging the prize funds in order to make a years salary in a week. $6200 for first out of a field of 222 elite competitors which was the case in the 9 ball is really an embarrassing payout.
With all the debating that happened at this event it is easy to forget that a few tournament actually took place this past week. A big congratulations goes out to Brittany Bryant who won the Womens 9 ball event and followed that up with a strong showing in the Womens 8 Ball. Fellow Canadians Jason Klatt and John Morra posted some good results as well placing 4th and 5th respectively in the 10 ball division. Winning the 8 ball event was Corey Duel, the 9 and 10 ball was won by Shane Van Boening.
Contrary to what many promoters might think, to me the professionals are what makes this industry. They are the ones we pay to watch on the stream, or the one we travel miles and spend thousands to see live. They market the products they use and basically create and sustain the market that the promoters live off. It is a slippery slope if more promoters take this, “take it or leave it” stance towards the professionals. What really should happen and it has been talked about in length, is for the players to form a union and for the promoters to umbrella themselves in one organization and start a professional tour that benefits all. This should be done and quickly before all this bickering erodes the game further.
FIRST ROUND WPBL PLAYOFFS: POISON UPSET THE BLUE SHARKS
The World Professional Billiard League’s 2013-2014 Playoffs continued with the league’s second match-up of the playoffs. The Toronto Blue Sharks took on the Pittsburgh Poison at the WPBL Arena in Las Vegas February 6, 2014. For the second straight night, the lower seed pulled off an upset win. Ranked 11th in the league, the Pittsburgh Poison knocked off 6th ranked Toronto 9-3. After the Blue Sharks took the opening team game 30-3, they managed just one match point the rest of the night which came in a doubles shoot-out. However, Pittsburgh’s doubles team of Adam Smith and Sylver Ochoa defeated John Morra and Jason Klatt breaking a 3-3 tie, and giving Pittsburgh a 5-3 lead at intermission. Smith and Captain Shawn Putnam were both victorious in singles play over Morra and Eric Hjorliefson respectively, essentially putting the match away in the second half. Pittsburgh is the second straight lower seeded team to win their opening round match, after #12 seed Atlanta upset #5 seed Los Angeles to open the tournament on Wednesday.
The Poison next face Rodney Morris’ Chicago Rockets Sunday night at 6:30pm PST. The next scheduled playoff match will be Friday February 7th at 6:30pm PT and features the #7 seed Houston Hustlers against #10 Miami Cruise. To purchase the WPBL All Star Charity Billiards Challenge or the entire Championship Package, please visit www.WPBLtv.com. Follow the WPBL as the playoffs continue, additional announcements and updates will be made frequently. For a complete listing of broadcast matches, standings, merchandise and more visit the WPBL website.
Continue to follow WPBL for additional updates:
So Close for Mr Smooth
Diamond Billiard Products has put together yet another successful billiard event at the Horseshoe Hotel in Southern Indiana. The $100,000 added Derby City Classic is one of the most prestigious events of the year. With 9-Ball, 10-Ball, Bank Pool, One Pocket and Straight Pool, there is no other tournament which draws such a wide variety of top players from all over the world.
One of the first events was the $16,000 added “Big Foot” 10-Ball tournament played on a 10 foot Diamond table. This 16 player single knockout event had a hefty $1,000 entry fee. Shane Van Boening had wins over Dennis Orcollo, John Morra (Mr. Smooth), Francisco Bustamante and Niels Feijen to take the first place prize:
10-Ball Results 1st Shane Van Boening $1,600 2nd Niels Feijen $8,000 3rd Francisco Bustamante $4,000 4th Ralf Souquet $4,000
It was Dennis Orcollo who banked his way through 361 players to capture the Bank Pool title. Dennis went through 14 rounds of play with wins over John Smith, Konstantin Stepanov, Michael Muhlbradt, Jamie Farrell, Alex Olinger, Billy Thorpe, Danny Smith, Lee Vann Corteza, Shane VanBoening, Wang Can, Justin Bergman and Francisco Bustamante. The top finishers were:
Bank Pool 1st Dennis Orcollo $10,000 2nd Francisco Bustamante $5,000 3rd Earl Strickland $1,900 4th Shannon Murphy $1,200 4th David Grossman $1,200 4th Justin Bergman $1,200
In the one pocket event, Efren Reyes, who was rumoured to have retired, dominated the event which had 298 players. Reyes “The Magician” demonstrated his magical skills, remaining undefeated throughout this event. Reyes had wins over Robb Saez, Mark Haddad, Jason Chance, Bob Herchik, Ellis Kane, Rafael Martinez, Louis DeMarco, Corey Deuel, Dee Adkins, Josh Roberts, Dennis Orcollo and Shannon Daulton. Here are the top finishers:
One Pocket 1st Efren Reyes $12,000 2nd Shannon Daulton $6,000 3rd Scott Frost $3,355 4th Francisco Bustamante $2,200 4th Dennis Orcollo $2,200 6th Justin Hall $1,400 6th Josh Roberts $1,400
The 9-ball event had 264 players who were hanging their hats on this last opportunity to shine at the 2014 Derby City. At this point, most players were well adjusted after being in the room for nearly a week. The level of play seemed to escalate. Canada watched as Jason Klatt and John Morra stormed through the star-studded field. These two names are possibly the most recognized names in pool rooms across the country. With only three players remaining, Shane Van Boening caught the free pass into the finals. This meant Jason and John would have to square off against each other in an all Canadian semi-final battle. Jason Klatt came out of the gate quickly with a 3-1 lead. John won the next 4 racks to go ahead 5-3. The players exchanged racks until the score was locked up at 8 each. It was John Morra who took the last rack in the case game to secure his spot in the finals against Shane Van Boening.
Shane and John have a habit of meeting up at this event. Odds are, if you keep winning, you will likely have to face one of these guys sooner or later. John played excellent throughout the entire tournament and managed to reach the hill first at 8-7. However, an unfortunate roll put Shane back at the table with a winning opportunity. With the pressure on, Shane got the job done winning his third Derby City 9-ball event. Although it was a heartbreaking loss for John Morra, it was another impressive tournament in the books for “Mr. Smooth”. Chalk it up as experience and we hope to see you at the next one.
9-Ball 1st Shane Van Boening 2nd John Morra 3rd Jason Klatt 4th Ruslan Chinahov 4th Dennis Orcollo 6th Carlo Biado 6th Mike Dechaine 6th Niels Feijen 6th Efren Reyes
The 16th Annual Derby City Classic
Every January, pool players from all over the world travel to the Horseshoe Casino in Southern Indiana for the Derby City Classic. Players are treated to nine consecutive days of tournament play with plenty of late night action. You are always guaranteed to find a game at the Derby City, all you need is a big bankroll.
The event kicked off with 358 players entering the Bank Pool tournament. Some notable players with wins in the first round include Darren Appleton, Dennis Orcollo, Efren Reyes, Francisco Bustamante, Jayson Shaw, John Morra and Shane Van Boening.
The $16,000 added Diamond “Bigfoot” 10-Ball Challenge is also underway. The 16 player single knockout event has a hefty $1,000 entry fee. Canada’s John Morra will face Shane Van Boening in the second round. John came out ahead in his thrilling first round match over Lee Van Corteza (11-10). Watch all the action unfold on the live Pay-Per-View at Accu-Stats.com.
The One-Pocket event starts on Sunday and the 9-Ball event starts on Wednesday. Pool Action TV will also be providing live pay-per-view stream from the action room.
New Years Celebration for Morra
The fifth stop on the 404 Tour was held January 4th and 5th at BigWigs Billiards in Newmarket, Ontario. 44 of Ontario’s top players made up the field to compete for the title.
Erik Hjorleifson went through his bracket with wins over Shane Gummerson (11 – 6), Chad Bishop (11 – 0) and Jyri Kari (11 – 4) to be one of 4 undefeated players when play stopped on Saturday evening. The others undefeated players were Mike Leigh, John Morra, and James Wicketts.
Eight players returned for the money rounds on Sunday. Jeremy Isard shutout Shane Gummerson (7 – 0) and Rod Arsenault defeated Ian Argue (7 – 2) on the B side. Mike Leigh won a close match over Erik Hjorleifson (7 – 10) in the first A side match and James Wicketts surprised John Morra (6 – 8) to set up the A-side finals. In the match for the hot seat, Mike Leigh looked impressive as took the win over James Wicketts (7 – 1).
With both Erik Hjorleifson and John Morra on the B-side, these two players would eventually collide. With a strong win over Erik Hjorleifson (9 – 1), John Morra set up a rematch against James Wicketts. John would not be caught off guard this time. A 7-1 win over James put him in the finals against Mike Leigh. Sorry about the news Mike…John Morra is the champion. Again.
Congratulations to John Morra as he overcame the difficult handicap format outscoring his opponents 85-23 overall. John won nearly 80% of his total games played.
This is how they finished:
RESULT PAYOUT CALCUTTA 1st JOHN MORRA (12) $820 $730 2nd MIKE LEIGH (7) $520 $360 3rd JAMES WICKETTS (7) $380 $220 4th ERIK HJORLEIFSON (11) $250 $145 5th-6th JEREMY ISARD (7) $180 5th-6th ROD ARSENAULT (7) $180 7-8th IAN ARGUE (5) $120 7-8th SHANE GUMMERSON (7) $120
The next 404 Tour event will be held at Shooters in Toronto on January 25th – 26th.
Christmas Comes Early for Isard
With Christmas around the corner, 43 players ducked out of the cold weather and enjoyed a weekend of intense 9-ball competition at Shooters Snooker and Sports Club in Toronto. It was Jeremy Isard who stole the show (and the money). Jeremy had a strong 3rd place finish in this event just 2 weeks ago and returned to complete his unfinished business.
Jeremy started the Saturday off with a 6-4 win over Doug Scott and continued with victories over Jeet Khandai (6-6) and Isaac Ramos (6-5). In the lower bracket, tournament favourite John Morra was running racks with his usual steady play.
On Sunday morning, Mike Patrowicz managed to get the best of Morra but was unable to hold off Jeremy Isard in the hot seat match. On the b-side, John Morra faced Peter Hetherington who was deep into the tournament field once again. John sent Peter back to the practice table with a 12-2 win. Next in line for Mr. Morra was Peter Linkletter. John had to overcome a difficult handicap race of 12-4. John didn’t miss much winning the match 12-1. It was a nice finish for both Peter…and Peter.
In the b-side finals John Morra faced Mike Patrowicz for the second time. Morra got his revenge and secured his spot in the finals against Jeremy Isard. This would be Jeremy’s first time in the finals of the 404 9-ball tour and he was up against one of Canada’s best. Jeremy rose to the occasion and took the title with a 6-4 win. Wow!
RESULTS PAYOUT CALCUTTA 1st Jeremy Isard (6) $750 $740 2nd John Morra (12) $500 $490 3rd Mike Patrowicz (9) $350 $240 4th Peter Linkletter (4) $240 $150 5-6th Peter Hetherington (6) $160 5-6th Alan Ada (6) $160 7-8th Bobby Drowns (5) $100 7-8th Jeet Khandai (7) $100
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