The atmosphere was one of nervous excitement

The long weekend dawned bright and early. The atmosphere at Pool and Blues was one of nervous excitement. For some, this was just another tournament. For others, this was their first leap into the world of competitive pool. Racks set, cues ready, bring on the Restricted 8 Ball Nationals!

The restricted nationals is an open tournament reserved for players that have not won an NZPA men’s ranking event in the last 10 years. This particular event is in its 2nd year running, with the inaugural tournament won by Gordon Dong in 2015. After becoming a winner in this tournament, that player is on a one year stand down. This paves the way for new champions to arise. We’ll see you back in 2017 Gordon!

Congratulations to the following players for stepping up into their very first tournament: Ethan Douglas, Rhys Broome-Owen, Alex Maslov and Eric Zhu. We look forward to watching you grow and improve in many more events. Also, welcome to Rayon So who has travelled all the way from Melbourne, Australia to show off his skills.

Well done to everyone that qualified, especially the top qualifiers, Molrudee Kasemchaiyanan, Toan Nguyen, Fale Pakieto, KD Singh, Steve Brockbank, Rayon So, Tetsutaro Nakajima and Tony Tang. Molrudee once again showed her class, not only qualifying first overall but doing it in style without dropping one single frame in section play. She had a tough run through to the final with a nail-biting match against Willie Kleingeld, showcasing the best come-back in the tournament being 4-1 down to win 5-4. With grit and determination – anything is possible! The quarter-finals saw a tournament upset when Steve Brockbank sent the vastly experienced KD Singh packing his cues with a 5-2 win. Steve finally succumbed to Molrudee in the semi-finals 5-3. The eventual winner of the tournament was the silent destroyer, Toan Nguyen. Quietly working his magic in the background, he overcame Rayon So 5-3 after So missed the black twice to go ahead 4-3, thus completing a successful tournament for So in his travels to New Zealand. The early stages of the final were marred with dry breaks and missed clearances with both players finding themselves out of position. Hours of practice paid off with some amazing shots and great safety-play, resulting in head-to-head frames, bringing the match to 3-3. Toan eventually broke away to win 6-3 and take the trophy, providing a friend for his restricted 10-Ball trophy from 2015. A great effort from both of the finalists!

Results:

  • Quarter Finals: S. Brockbank b KD. Singh 5-2, M. Kasemchaiyanan b J. O’Meara 5-3, R. So b F. Pakieto 5-3, T. Nguyen b V. Wu 5-3.
  • Semi Finals: M. Kasemchaiyanan b S. Brockbank 5-2, T. Nguyen b R. So 5-3.
  • Final: T. Nguyen b M. Kasemchaiyanan 6-3.

No tournament could happen without an amazing level of hard work and dedication. We would like to thank our sponsors and the following organisations for their input into this event: Pool and Blues, Kamui, Mezz, Excellence Billiards, API and the NZPA. Huge thanks also goes to Matthew Edwards and Molrudee Kasemchaiyanan for their never-ending work behind the scenes, organising the competition and gathering all you fine pool players together. Matt and Molrudee would like to thank the following people:

  • Our tournament director, John MacMillan, who slaves away for hours making sure there are no empty tables and the competition runs smoothly. Thank you to Lucinda Rawson for stepping into John’s shoes when needed.
  • Maher Hatab, for his tireless work setting out the draw.
  • Beau Randall and Shane Williams, our resident chefs for cooking the sausages and the epic bacon and eggs kindly provided by Pool and Blues. Tired? Hungry? Never fear, Beau and Shane are here!
  • Ethan Douglas for donning many hats on the day, playing the competition in the morning and then working behind the bar for the rest of the day. Drinks? Empty vessels on tables? Crooked chairs? Ethan is your guy!
  • Lastly, thank you to YOU! Without the players, it would be a very sad and lonely trophy. We look forward to many more tournaments ahead held at this spectacular venue, with even more spectacular players!

As the sun sets on another successful Pool and Blues tournament, we the players, new and old, are driven to be better and stronger. The desire burns deep within us. We look to the next battleground in high anticipation. The entries are now open for the Regional 9 Ball Championships, to be held at Pool and Blues on the 14th and 15th May 2016. Who will win the war? 

 

Written by Lisa Everett

New Zealand Pool Association

P.O Box 47729
Ponsonby
Auckland 1144
New Zealand

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