|Neil Ayotte and Karl Periard Finalist in the Open.|
For the last time this season shooters from the ABO Ottawa/Gatineau Circuit gathered at Terminus Billiards in Gatineau to play the Grand Finale April 12-13. In order to qualify for this event each player had to have participated in at least 4 out of the 8 tournaments held in their respective division. On day one each division played down to the final 8 who were all paid out.
Day 1 had no real upsets to speak of. However in day two the top shooters who most favoured to win this event started facing off. Two Semi-Pro’s met up on the A side in the first match of the day, Roger Miller an Jason Hubert. A couple rolls where the difference in this match as I watched a 7 ball drift off the rail on cut shot by Hubert costing him the rack and eventually losing the set 9-7. A few tables away a short time later another key match up was taking place, as Pro ranked John Leblanc was taking on Semi-Pro Karl Periard. This match up went right down to the wire, the room was filled with anticipation as people gathered to see who wins this hill hill thriller. Periard earned himself the first opportunity at closing out this match. He began his run out without much concern until he left himself a little funny on the 8 ball forcing him to play a delicate touch shot to hold shape. With perhaps a little bit of pressure tightening up in his back arm Periard over hit the 8 leaving himself with either a tough safety or a full table cross corner. He chose the cross and missed it essentially selling out the set, however Leblanc must have tightening up a bit as well as he uncharacteristically rattled the 9 for the win.
Unfortunately for Leblanc the torture was not yet done for the day as he later met up with AAA Neil Ayotte. This was another match that Leblanc was spotting multiple games on a race to 9. After battling hard to get to the hill Leblanc looked like he had the set won shooting the 6 ball on an open table. He chose to come back two rails for the 7 ball, however the siding he put checked off the second rail and slowly found its way to the 8 ball where it froze leaving him no shot on the 7 and costing him the match. Ayotte who was taking advantage of his opportunities and grinding out the B side all day met up with Roger Miller and ended his stellar tournament in third. Ayotte then met up with Periard who had been sitting a few hours since his last match and was able to edge him out 9-7 to take the trophy and $1000 first place prize.
|Winner Neil Ayotte|
1.Neil Ayotte $1000
2. Karl Periard $700
3. Roger Miller $500
In day one myself and Eric Mallet who’s home room is also Rack-M-Up Billiards won all of our matches on the A side. Our reward was we got to come back the next day to play each other in the A side final four. It was a nervy match with neither one of us playing well. I survived with less then my best and won 7-4 to move on to the A side final against Marc Plamondon. After the pressure of having to beat a friend to the B side was gone I was free stroking. Starting off the match 5-0 capitalizing on all his mistakes early on. I went on to win this match 7-3. Mallet went on to win his next match against Leonard Hereault who had a great tournament and finished tied for 5th with Gerry Filion. Christian Dodgier and Eric Mallet battled to a Hill-Hill with Dodgier getting the win after playing a well timed safety earning him the rack. Dodgier went on to play Plamondon in the B side final taking advantage of his opportunities and wining convincingly. I gave Dodgier 1-7 in the final and we battled to 5-5 with Dodgier taking a break after he evened up the match. I took this opportunity to grab a beverage and collect my thoughts. Dodgier came back scratched off the break leaving me a nice table, I ran out and took back control of the set and won 7-5. Thank you to Mike Meunier President of the ABO and to the host venues Terminus Billiards and Dooly’s Ottawa for a great season.
1. Markus Noe $500
2.Christian Dodgier $375
3.Marc Plamondon $225
|Markus Noe and Mike Meunier|