On Saturday 7th September Rileys Sports Bar in Solihull welcomed 43 players to the first event of the Cyclop Pool Series. This would be the first time a Solihull 9 Ball tournament would use a handicapping system and, with the GB9’s annual 10 Ball event just two weeks away, an opportunity for the players to reacquaint themselves with the call ball/pocket game. As per usual, the format would be double elimination through to the last sixteen followed by a straight knockout to determine the day’s winner. All races were to 7, allowing for handicaps. The winner would walk away with the top prize of £330 with all players progressing to the last sixteen collecting at least £25 for their efforts.
With the draw completed 48 hours prior to the event, matches got underway shortly after 10:30. Carl Weaver, playing in his first Solihull 9/10 Ball competition, advanced to the single elimination phase with victories over Alan Morgan (7-5) and Raffy Gonzales (7-2). Luke Garland made an impressive debut at last month’s Summer Challenge and he continued his great form here, qualifying for the last sixteen at the expense of Shane Conroy (7-4). Dave Evans, Ian McCormick, Zoltan Kojsza, Elliott Sanderson, Alan Coton and Daryl Garland are no strangers to the money stages of our events and all six men progressed without tasting defeat.
Benji Buckley survived a hill-hill decider against Ross Cable in his opening match but then lost out to Daryl Garland (7-5) which sent him to the one-loss side of the brackets. Benji made no mistake against Matt Hawthorn (7-2) and Luke Hart (7-3) to cement his place in the last sixteen. Ryan Wissett impressed at the recent GB9 UK Open by taking the Cyclop Challenge Tier 2 Cup and, despite an early loss to Shaun Berrisford, battled through the one-loss side to reach the money. Keith Walkerdine does a fine job directing American Pool tournaments in Leicester and we were delighted that he opted to support our event in a playing capacity. Wins against Jimmy Mole and Andy Lacey would ensure that the Rack n Roll Express qualified for the latter stages. Kurt Weaver, Shane Conroy, Chris Seville and Alan Morgan also advanced beyond the Loser’s Qualification round with convincing wins but Kev Simpson didn’t have it quite so easy, eventually taking the sixteenth spot with a last rack victory over Raffy Gonzales.
The eight undefeated players were kept apart in the last sixteen draw but Carl Weaver was hardly rewarded when he was paired against loss-side qualifier Benji Buckley. Carl put in a great account of himself, taking the game to 4-4 before Benji ran out a 7-4 victor. The most notable performance at this stage was Ryan Wissett’s commanding 7-2 result against Zoltan Kojsza while Kurt Weaver played some outstanding pool to dump Daryl Garland out of the competition (7-1). Chris Seville clinched Total 9 Ball’s UK 10 Ball Championship back in 2015 and a repeat of that success must have been on his mind after he triumphed 7-4 over Dave Evans. Alan Coton defeated Keith Walkerdine and Ian McCormick got the best of his good pal Kev Simpson (both 7-3). Luke Garland overcame a 2 rack handicap to beat Alan Morgan 7-2 while Elliott Sanderson advanced at the expense of Shane Conroy, also by a 7-2 scoreline.
The quarter finals got underway with Ryan Wissett and Benji Buckley playing on the live-streamed table. Unfortunately for Ryan his hot streak came to an end with Benji running out a 7-2 winner. Alan Coton was on course for an emphatic win over Ian McCormick but saw his big lead reduced to a single rack as Ian battled his way back to 5-4. Alan composed himself to secure the two racks required and book his place into the semi-finals against Chris Seville. Chris advanced thanks to a fantastic 7-0 demolition job on Kurt Weaver. The last quarter final place was decided in the most intriguing encounter between Elliott Sanderson and Luke Garland. Luke began with a rack start and never allowed his opponent to take a lead. At 6-4 down Elliott called, and made, an audacious table-length bank shot on the 8 ball as he pulled to within one. Luke would see out the next rack to end Elliott’s participation and set up a semi final encounter with Benji Buckley.
Unfortunately for Luke, Benji was in stroke. He also had a more consistent break and cruised to a 7-3 victory to confirm his spot in the final. Alan Coton was also pitted against an opponent who was getting better as the day went on. Chris Seville proved that his win over Kurt Weaver was no fluke as he completed the final line-up following a 7-1 win.
Benji Buckley and Chris Seville had both suffered early defeats on their respective paths to the final but were now playing outstanding pool. Benji had mastered the break, such a crucial element of any rotation pool game, and this proved to be crucial as he romped home to a 7-2 victory, and a £330 payout. Well done Benji who has had a fantastic year so far recording three victories at Solihull 9 Ball, finishing as GB9 UK Open runner up and a tournament winner last month at the Rack n Roll too. Commiserations to Chris Seville who played superbly well after losing his opening game.
Thanks to everyone who took part in Event One. It was great to see so many new faces and hope that you all continue to support the remaining two Cyclop Pool Series tournaments as we see out 2019. Event Two will be 9 Ball and takes place on Saturday 12th October. There will be three handicap changes enforced at this event (please see below). Our third event will be 10 Ball and take place on 16th November. Ranking points will be awarded for each tournament performance and the top 24 ranked players will be invited to our £1000 added Grand Final, on 5th January 2020, where we are predicting the prize money to reach the £2000 mark. We will put it to player vote to determine between 9 and 10 Ball prior to the Grand Final. Please keep checking www.solihull9ball.com for more news information.
Ryan Wissett : 0 to -1
David Wyatt : 0 to +1
Keith Walkerdine : +1 to 0