Normand and Wong Win AllerRetour Titles
AllerRetour / Longueuil, QE
by Dave Dupuis
François Normand and Ernie Wong took the premier spots on the first edition of the MMX AllerRetour Challenge in the elite and amateur divisions, respectively. The tournament was held June 12-13 at Dooly’s Pool Hall in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada. During the tour’s 30 weeks of pool, fans were lucky enough to see, both onsite and online, two categories of play every week in a duel of 9-ball.
For the tour’s grand finale, 32 of the top players in the standings (16 amateurs and 16 elites) were invited. The amount of $4,500 CAD was awarded throughout the tournament, and the Delta-13 racks were also given as trophies to the champions.
Saturday’s qualifying session was a round robin for players who were ranked fifth to sixteenth in the standings, and later the first round of single elimination finals took place. Only four players from each category were invited to play the next day.
In the amateur division, Ernie Wong of Montreal, the best player in the season’s standings, easily defeated Francis Farley 9-1 in the finals. On the road, Wong bested Martin Lévesque 7-6 and Eric Fleury 7-4 to earn his place. Farley, on the other hand, eliminated Abraham Benoliel 7-2 and Eric Gaudreault 7-4 to participate in the final match-up.
In the elite event, the scenario was different because four players came from two round robin qualifications on Saturday. Eric Theroux lost 9-5 against François Normand and Martin Lalonde eliminated Tino Barbieri. While many predicted a victory by Lalonde, Normand’s game effectively allowed him to take the lead 10-8 in the race-to-11 games. Lalonde, who is known for his desire to win, did not let go and forced a hill-hill battle. To the great surprise of Normand, Lalonde scratched on the break, giving the advantage to his opponent. Despite the importance of the break in a championship game, Normand capitalized on the error and the match—without Lalonde returning to the table—to win the 2010 Elite title.
A live broadcast of the final matches on the Internet was made possible through the collaboration of Guy Simard (BillardQuebec.com). To view the videos visit the official website of the event Allerretour.ca.Elite Results:
1st François Normand $1,300
2nd Martin Lalonde$800
3rd Éric Théroux $350
5th Sylvain Deslauriers $100
1st Ernie Wong $550
2nd Francis Farley $300
3rd Éric Fleury $125
5th Martin Lévesque $50