Amsterdam Billiards and Bar Hosts World 14.1 Straightpool Championships Qualifier
by John Leyman
Amsterdam Billiards and Bar one of New York’s most prestigious and elegant rooms hosted a straight pool tournament over the weekend of July 19 & 20. The event was a qualifier for the World 14.1 Staightpool Championships to be held in August from the 25th till the 30th at the Hilton East Brunswick in New Jersey.
The event scheduled for one day ran long into the night and continued the next day with some great matchups. Dr. Michael Fedak, one of the World 14.1 Straightpool Championships presenters, donated two thousand dollars to the prize fund. The races were to 125 and 20 players showed up to compete for the 2 entries into the World 14.1 Straightpool Championships and the prize fund.
As the day progressed, the draw came into perspective as it became clear that as the field was whittled away and only 6 players were left that those 6 players were the best in the field. The odds that the best players would all be alive as the event came down to the wire is very high but with Jonathan Smith, Jimmy Gottier, Marc Vidal, Christopher Lynch, Shin Park and Joey Kong that proved to be true.
In the hot seat match Jonathan Smith played very well and had the high run of the day with 83 balls to leave his opponent Jimmy Gottier way behind and just barely over 50 as he moved into the finals and a guarantee of one of the entries.
Christopher Lynch played very well all weekend and then beat Shin Park 125-69 while Marc Vidal continued to impress with his win over last year’s champion Joey Kong. In the next match, a back and forth battle between Christopher Lynch and Marc Vidal, Chris moved ahead but could not find a way to close the door and at 111 Chris played a 9-Ball as a break shot and it appeared to be going right in but just caught a fraction of the point and stayed on the table. Marc came back to the table and ran out the last 2 racks to win the match.
This left Marc Vidal and Jimmy Gottier to battle over the final entry and a chance to meet Jonathan in the finals for the cash. As the match started it appeared that Jimmy was just going to crush Marc as he opened up an 83-1 lead. But then the match took a turn and turned into another back and forth battle for Marc. Although Marc made a valiant effort and got back to 79 the 82 ball lead was too much to overcome and Jimmy won the match 125 to 79.
In the finals with both players exhausted and decidedly overjoyed about winning the entries the match was not as exciting as the previous 2 matches but both players still played very well and Jimmy came out on top winning the event.