Petrinas

Twice is Nice for Chris Pegg

Eight-ball on a bar-box is game of fleeting chances played by cueists for its quick outcome. The choice of seven balls allows for more options while choosing which balls to shoot at what time. Last weekend on March 1st, Petrina’s Billiards in Ajax held two of their Shoot for the Loot tournaments which were eight-ball tournaments executed on the bar-box tables. In this format competitors play a round robin-format which has them compete against seven players one game at a time. At the conclusion of the round-robin portion the eight top record holders advance to the money round.
This format, requires not only skill but focus as there is no room for recovery when you are playing one game. A bad break can result in a run-out for your opponent and distraction for even a second can leave you watching the other guy or gal win. In such competition there is a sudden death element to each game which elevates the tension.

Chris Pegg and Sam Maltese
Chris Pegg and Sam Maltese

The morning tournament, which was essentially a freebie, had 34 pool players vying for the loot. The field was randomly halved so that the competition could be quickly played out on 7-foot and 9-foot tables. After seven rounds of play, eight players advance to the cash portion. The list of advancers was definitely the cream of the crop as they had played their best. Andy Mizan (7-0), Carlin Sanderson (7-0), Bill Hong (7-0), Chris Pegg (6-1), Sam Maltese (6-1). These five and three others played a single game single elimination format which resulted in Sam Maltese facing Chris Pegg in the final. Sam played well and looked to have the game in hand when he came up short on a shot. Left with an incredibly tight shot down the rail which required perfect shape for the subsequent shot Chris Pegg analysed the angles for what seemed like five minutes before executing three shots in succession and delivering the death blow to his good friend Sam Maltese.
The day was not yet over. The afternoon, offered the same format but with seventeen rounds of play – what truly is a game of endurance and determination. The $50 entry attracted 22 players with some of the morning participants opting to play again. With so many rounds of play the last few rounds are critical to deciding which players will advance. The tournament directors, Barry Hetherington and Frank Kakouros had predicted eleven wins would be required and this held true.
Two thirds of the way through the tournament players such as Gene Lew and Chris Pegg were seemingly out of the race for the final eight but perseverance paid off and they both won the six of their last seven games to make the final cut. Andy Mizan, warmed up from the morning competition, breezed through the field winning 14 of 17 matches. Sam Maltese, a finalist earlier played intense eight-ball and brought a 13 of 17 record to the finals. Denise Belanger had several very close games which she lost but still made it to the final with an 11 of 17 record. The “Fonz” was in the hall and snuck into the final eight with a record of 11-6. Brad Guthrie, of Peterborough, made it unnoticed to the final with a 12-5 record. Our last finalist was Krista Walsh who was a giant killer taking off some of the better players during the round robin to advance with an 11-6 record.
The final eight were set and within ten minutes of play the winner emerged. Denise Belanger earlier had a chance to knock both Gene Lew and Chris Pegg out of the tournament during the round robin portion but failed in her eight-ball attempts. After nineteen games of pool and a few demons in her pocket she made it to the final against Chris Pegg. Denise broke and came up dry and the game was done. Chris Pegg had won his second tourney of the day.
Chris Pegg and Denise Belanger
Chris Pegg and Denise Belanger

The Shoot for the Loot format is about having nerves of steel and being able to keep focussed on the goal – the next ball. Lose your focus and you become a watcher. Congratulations to Chris Pegg and all the players who attended. This weekend Petrina’s is again bar-box central with two tournaments scheduled on Saturday and Sunday. The Saturday tournament is $400 added and the Sunday in $450 added. These are both tour events and information can be found at www.petrinas.com.
Gene, Krista, Fonz, and Sam
Gene, Krista, Fonz, and Sam

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