The 2014-2015 Ontario pool season kicked off with a surprising turn of events this weekend at Big Wigs billiards in Newmarket, Ontario. Before the tournament began tour directors John White and Ken Botham announced that this was no longer a 404 tour event, but instead the first ever stop for the newly formed Four Points Tour.
The name is derived from the feature that four pool rooms will eventually be involved. For this year the rooms will be Corner Bank (Toronto), Big Wigs (Newmarket) and Petrinas (Ajax). The tour will hold 16 open events and 8 amateur events, most of the amateur tournaments will be at Petrinas, some will be limited to 7 handicaps and under and some will be maximum 9 handicaps and under.
There were not many changes to the 404 tour format, the entry fees are the same and the handicap format is similar. They have raised the added money in the finales from $3,000 to $5,000 and players must compete in a combined total of 4 events at either pool room to be eligible for the finales. A second added feature is that there will also be separate finale events for 4’s and 5’s, 6’and 7’s and so on for every handicap group. They have also announced a tour points fund and a new way of moderating the handicaps, which have yet to be disclosed. As some may have noticed this leaves “Shooters” pool hall out of the equation and as of now Shooters plans to stay on with the 404 tour, and will stick with the scheduled dates as they do not conflict with the Four Points tour.
With the big announcement out of the way, 55 players were in attendance to battle it out for the first ever Four Points tour title. Carlin Sanderson did a great job of running the Calcutta and play began around one o’clock on Saturday. The highest handicap in attendance at this event was Erik Hjorleifson and he was joined by Carlin Sanderson, Isaac Ramos, Paul Duell, Vince Belanger, Brian McDougall and Naomi Williams at the high end of the handicap scale.
As we all know this tour is always competitive, filled with players capable of playing above their level on any given day. After a hard fought battle on Saturday. Erik Hjorleifson and Rob Johnson would advance on the top half of the winners side and Carlin Sanderson and Richard Murray would also return on Sunday undefeated. 8 players including Naomi Williams, Brian McDougall, Rick Garant and Norberto DeCarlos would also be back on the losers side.
On Sunday Erik began his day with a 9-2 win over Rob Johnson and Carlin Sanderson squeaked by Richard Murray with 7-6 victory. On the losers side Chris Lee continued his impressive run after a first round loss to Isaac Ramos, he had wins over Stuart Mctaggart, Brian Mcdougall and Naomi Williams along his way to face Rob Johnson in the 4th place match.
The winners side final would be a barn burner between Hjorleifson and Sanderson and after a long safety battle in the hill hill game Hjorleifson came away with the victory. Rob Johnson ended Chris Lee’s run with a 7-3 win and advanced to play Sanderson in the losers side final. Carlin bounced back after a tough loss and booked his place back in the final with a 7-3 victory.
The final would once again prove to be a close affair, with both players neck and neck Sanderson missed a 3 ball to seal the deal bringing it back to hill hill. Sanderson broke and after a very tough positional shot on the 3 he was forced to play safe. He did and left Erik in a spot where it would be even tough to hit the ball. After a lot of thought Erik swung at the ball and after a successful hit, then fluked in the 8 ball and proceeded to run out for the fortunate victory.
In all it was successful and well attended Four Points tour stop. The next level for this tour is to get sponsorship and I’m sure with the involvement of the Corner Bank and Jim Wych we will see these improvements made. Special thanks to tournament director Blaine Jorgensen for running a smooth tournament as usual.
Prize money including player auction:
1st Erik Hjorleifson (11) $1515
2nd Carlin Sanderson (7) $840
3rd Rob Johnson (7) $ 520
4th Chris Lee (6) $370
5th/6th Kevin Oliveira (5) $270
Richard Murray (7)
7th/8th Naomi Williams (7) $100
Rick Garant (7)
9th/12th Brian McDougall (8) $70
Paul Duell (8)
Peter Hetherington (6)
Norberto DeCarlos (6)