Another season of the Shooters ‘404’ series 9 Ball Event wrapped up on the weekend of April 30 and May 1, 2016 at the Shooters Snooker and Sports Club in North York with the finale of this season long event. With the many tournaments that have dotted the cue sport landscape in the GTA in the past year the ‘404’ remains the longest running and arguably the most successful pool tournament in the area. With the many tournaments in the GTA it is truly a “buyer’s market” for the pool playing enthusiast.
This tournament remains open to both amateurs and professionals and in the past couple of years the handicapping system has become more challenging for the professionals who are now forced to always bring their ‘A’ game to every tournament. In attendance at this year’s finale were John Morra and Erik Hjorleifson who were not only attempting to win this money added event but also hone their games for the 2016 Canadian Open Championships in Ste-Foy, QC near Quebec City in the following days. Morra was also coming off a huge win in the Diamond Super Billiards Expo’s 10-Ball Pro Championships defeating perennial winner Shane Van Boening in the final. This annual event held near Philadelphia attracts many top professionals from around the world.
With the sheer number of pool tournaments in the GTA in 2015/16 many tournaments are challenged to attract strong, competitive fields. The 2016 ‘404’ finale was able to attract its strongest field of the year with 55 players ready to do battle. With $5,000 in prize money available and a further $2,620 in the player Calcutta it was no surprise that this final event drew such a strong field.
Saturday is always a long day for players in this double knockout event. ‘B’ side play is especially exhausting as a result of the need to trim the field to the 8 ‘B’ side survivors who would return for Sunday play. From the ‘A’ side of the draw, Paul Duell, Ronald Giron, John Morra and Ben Crawley emerged undefeated on Saturday to punch their ticket for Sunday action. The grueling ‘B’ side resulted in Shane Gummerson, Jake Cajilig, Jun Briones, Gannon McSween, Marius Nakas, Erik Hjorleifson, Jeremy Isard and Greg Plester still standing with a single loss after Saturday play.
While Sunday play was mostly competitive, one player decided to break from the pack. In the ‘A’ side final, John Morra thoroughly defeated Ronald Giron 13-1 sending Giron to the ‘B’ side and Morra to the hot seat. Waiting on the ‘B’ side was Erik Hjorleifson who had defeated Paul Duell 12-6 for the opportunity to play Giron. Hjorleifson prevailed over Giron 12-5 setting up a match against his fellow professional Morra. Morra was unstoppable on this day and handily defeated Hjorleifson 10-4 in the tournament final.
Congratulations to John Morra for an absolutely dominant performance in this ‘404’ finale. No player managed to win more than 6 games against Morra in this tournament validating his status as one of the top 9 Ball players in the world.
A huge thank-you goes out to all the players who make this series such an ongoing success. As noted in past articles, there are more innovative tournament formats on the horizon at Shooters for the balance of the 2016 summer before the ‘404‘ and ‘Amateur’ series begin for 2016/17. Tournament qualifiers are generally being run for each of these ‘one-off’ events.
Upcoming tournaments include;
May 14, 2016 ‘8’ and Under 9 Ball Event
May 15, 2016 ‘2-5’ 9 Ball Event
May 21, 2016 Event #1 of the Summer Amateur 9 Ball Tour
May 28/29th, 2016 ‘4-7’ 9 Ball Extravaganza
Check the Shooters Snookerclub Facebook page and www.thepoolscene for further details and dates.
‘404’ Finale Results
|7th -8th||Greg Plester||8||$180|
|9th -12th||Jun Briones||8||$100|
|9th -12th||Jeremy Isard||7||$100|
|9th -12th||Shane Gummerson||7||$100|
|9th -12th||Marius Nakas||7||$100|