Thursday afternoon at 4:00 PM eastern standard time the much anticipated Turning Stone Classic kicked off. For touring professionals this signifies the beginning of the season for major 9 foot table events. Lots of Canadians took the trip to Verona NY to partake as it is usually the case, because this is the closest major event for those in eastern Canada.
Cue Sport Nation co-owner and contributor Erik Hjorleifson played Jayson Shaw in the first round today. This was always going to be a tough match as Shaw is the current two time defending champion. In the beginning both players seemed to be having trouble adjusting to the conditions while trading racks. At 3-2 a few mistakes made by Hjorleifson allowed Shaw to take control and as he so often does, he never looked backed in this one winning 9-3. Next up for Hjorleifson will be Roger Miller a strong semi-pro player from Ottawa Ontario.
For those watching on the stream today brought to you by Upstate Al and AZBTV, next up was Danny Hewitt vs Bucky Souvanthong. This was a very quick match as the world class talent of Hewitt was too much for Souvanthong on this day as he succumbed in a 9-3.
|Luc Salvas, photo from AZbTV live stream|
In the final match on the stream tonight it was Canadian Luc Salvas out of Valleyfield Quebec, up against Mike Dechaine. Salvas is making his first appearance on the american circuit in about ten years. Despite being a 3 time World Speed Pool Champion along with dozens of 9 Ball titles he was a slight underdog against second ranked american Dechaine. For those that have never played Salvas, his quick pace and reckless abandon can through people off, which I think was the case in this match. It seemed like Dechaine never felt comfortable and was unable to get into stroke. That being said after Salvas obtained an 8-6 lead he did make some errors that should have cost him the match, but Dechaine was unable to capitalize and eventually lost 9-8. It might take a few more matches before we get to see the Salvas of old, but for those who have never seen him play do not be fooled he is a world class talent.
A side note for today is that Darren Appleton one of the tournament favourites was forced to forfeit. He has some sort of pinched nerve in his neck and it is said he went straight to the hospital after his match. Other notable wins today would include Alain Parent another strong semi-pro from Montreal beating Jennifer Barretta 9-3, Martin Daigle beat J.Vitale 9-1 and Mika Immonen beat Kyle Pepin 9-1. Stay tuned to Cue Sport Nation all weekend for full coverage, I will be joining Hjorleifson tomorrow and will be there all weekend, look forward to seeing everyone. Finally I would like to thank all my sponsors for making this weekend possible especially David Touhey from Touhey Management out of Ottawa Ontario.