Report - Restricted 9-Ball 2016

On a warm winter’s morn, with the players bound for somewhere, I met up with a pool player we were both too excited to speak. So we took turns a-starin at the table in the darkness, the anticipation overtook us and he began to speak. He said, “Welcome to Restricted 9 Ball Nationals, I can see you’re keen for shooting, for a second of your time, I’ll give you some advice. Every player knows the secret to surviving is knowin' what shots to throw away and knowing what to keep. Coz every tables’ a winner and every tables’ a loser, and the best that you can hope for is that the nine goes in deep”.

Howdy pardners! 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 Ryan Wang in 2015. After becoming a winner in this tournament, that player is on a one year stand down. This paves the way for a new buckaroo to arise.

This competition not only saw the appearance of a new greenhorn, Jonathan Cotton, but also the return of some of pools ‘Most Wanted’. Welcome back Aaron Gantley and Dan Burns! It is fantastic to see these players taking the ‘ball’ by the horns and playing once again! It’s only a matter of knowing how to shoot a cue, nothing big about that!

Well done to all the qualifiers, especially those that finished top of them their sections: Toan Nguyen, Neil Barnes, Jem Tamonte, Aaron Gantley, KD Singh, Aman Nayyar, Ryon Derriman and Molrudee Kasemchaiyanan. A special mention must go out to all the cowgirls, Lucinda Rawson, Kim Hall, Connie Adams, Lisa Everett, Molrudee Kasemchaiyanan and Sang Ly who all qualified for the post-section play on Sunday. How you like them apples!?

Now this’ll really jar your preserves… fresh off the plane from competing in the Amway World 9 Ball Championships, Molrudee blazed a trail straight through to the final, sending players such as Evan Carlson, Steve Brockbank, Ryon Derriman and Raymond Sayo down the road to shoot some pawsssums. On the other side of the ranch, North Island 9 Ball star Vinnie Adams, was herding his opponents into the corner, lassoing down the likes of Paul Goldthorpe, Jem Tamonte, Aaron Gantley and Neil Barnes. Aaron showed a successful return to the sport, bringing down the immensely skilled KD Singh in a close match 6-5 and making it through to the quarter finals. Neil showed he was the ‘comeback cowboy’ in an impressive battle with Aman Nayyar. Aman was unable to keep the reins tight with a 5-2 lead, eventually losing 6-5. With the boot on the other foot, Neil found himself with a 4-0 lead against Vinnie. Now, if you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging… and stop he did, securing himself a spot in the final showdown with a 7-6 victory.

So pull up yer britches and lookee what I got heyuh… time to stop beating the devil around the stump and get this here thing won. The final showdown was everything the onlookers hoped for. Dry-breaks, clearances, missed nines, safety-play…it had it all. Both players dripped with class the whole way through proving beyond a doubt their place in the final. A nail-biting, frame-for-frame match eventually dealt Vinnie the Royal Flush with an 8-6 victory over Molrudee, a long awaited and immensely deserving win, congratulations Vinnie! That boy’s got game alright, with no end of consistent performances over the last few tournaments there will surely be a bounty out for him at the next event!

For full results, refer to the NZPA official website:

These wild, wild, events could never happen without an outstanding level of hard work and dedication. We would like to thank our sponsors and the following organisations for their input: Pool and Blues, Kamui, Mezz, Excellence Billiards, API and the NZPA. Huge thanks goes to Matthew Edwards and Molrudee Kasemchaiyanan for their never-ending work out there on the ranch, organising the competition and gathering all you cowboys and cowgirls together. Thank you also to the following people:

  • Our tournament directors, John MacMillan, Duncan Wu and Matthew Edwards.
  • Duncan Wu, for his rootin’-tootin’ technical work that bought you live section play results and live finals results!
  • Lucinda Rawson, our official photographer for the weekend – my, don’t you look puuurdy!
  • Ethan Douglas for his tireless work at the saloon, cookin’ up a storm with all them their burgers and toasties!
  • Again, thank you to YOU! All you buckaroos out there workin’ hard to make these tournaments darn great!

Well slap me down and steal muh teeth! This brings to close yet another here competition. We remember the creak of the saddle, the cry of the hawk and the clip clop of the balls against those there rails. Until the next competition: Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

And ya’ll come back now ya hear!


Written by Lisa Everett

New Zealand Pool Association

P.O Box 47729
Auckland 1144
New Zealand

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