Pool players and spectators were treated to two great events this weekend at Tailgators in Ottawa. The main attraction was the $1600 added 8 player Pro Division, and there was a 59 player handicapped as well. The game in both divisions was Bar Box 8 ball, played on Valley tables.
Friday night at 7 pm was the start of each event. First round in the Pro Division saw Erik Hjorleifson vs Norm Pomanville as well as John Morra Against Jody Roy. Hjorleifson came out of the gate strong earning a 3-0 lead, when a scratch on his break allowed Pomanville back into the set. After it was 3-3, these two traded games right to the end. It was a dry break from Pomanville that allowed Hjorleifson a chance to runout which he did to win the set.
On the adjacent table top amateur Jody Roy, who decided to step up to the Pro Division, had people talking. This was because he had the #1 player in Canada stuck 5-2 in a race to 8. However Morra picked up his level of play and Roy made a few mistakes leading to an 8-5 win for Morra. The rest of the tournament went as many predicted, with Morra and Hjorleifson meeting in the winners side final.
In this match the difference was the break, as it is so often the difference at this level. Hjorleifson had a thunderous break working for him making multiple balls each time and often running out. On the other hand Morra suffered a few dry breaks early on which his opponent ran out. This match ended 8-5 sending Morra to the losers side final. Here he met Danny Nguyen, the lone representative from Quebec. I believe this was his first 8 ball bar box tournament and he did not disappoint as he only lost to Morra and Hjorleifson finishing 3rd.
In the final, Morra needed to beat Hjorleifson twice as this was a true double elimination tournament. In the beginning it looked like the spectators were going to be treated to two sets as Morra took an early lead. However Hjorleifson rallied back and in a blink he won 8-7, taking home the $2500 first prize.
When I left the event, Audrey O was awaiting the winner of the B side final in the amateur event. I will update as soon as I get the final results.
This was a great weekend for pool fans all around, Tailgators plans to host a 128 player event in November. Also rumors have begun that in the near future they are hoping to host a $1,000 entry 16 max Pro Event.
Pro Division Pay Outs
1. Erik Hjorleifson $2500
2. John Morra $1000
3. Dany Nguyen $500