The waiting was finally over, the T9B Champion Of Champions event was upon us after nearly 12 whole months of build-up. All 16 Champions from this season where in a attendance battling for a share of the £2000 prize pot. At the start of the season T9B guaranteed a minimum of £500 to be added to the Grand Final and a total prize pool of £2000 for the Champion of Champions event. T9B staff worked very hard but we made it and paid every penny we promised. The Grand Final last weekend and The champion Of Champions this weekend were nothing short of spectacular.
The T9B team decided the opening round of the Champion Of Champions event will be run as a double elimination with groups of 4 players. After this stage we would be down to eight players who would all receive prize money and the event format would switch to straight knockout with a random draw being seeded group winners against group loser qualifiers.
The Draw was completed live at the Grand Finals and as expecting some exciting first round matches were drawn. All first round results are below
Mikko Tuomi +2 7v4 Brian Cassidy -1
Bob Harris -1 7v4 Oli Waters +2
Mikko Tuomi +2 7v4 Bob Harris -1
Losers Round One
Brian Cassidy -1 7v4 Oli Waters +2
Brian Cassidy -1 7v2 Bob Harris -1
Steve Chick +1 7v4 Nick Hampton 0
Dave Evans -2 7v6 Courtney Symons -2
Steve Chick +1 7v5 Dave Evans -2
Losers Round One
Courtney Symons -2 7v6 Nick Hampton 0
Dave Evans -2 7v5 Courtney Symons -2
Tom Staveley -3 7v6 Phil Wildman -4
Rich Twomey -4 7v6 Veso Papradanov +3 (Rich came back from -1v6 behind)
Rich Twomey -4 7v4 Tom Staveley -3
Losers First Round
Phil Wildman -4 7v4 Veso Papradanov +3
Phil Wildman -4 7v6 Tom Staveley -3
Ashik Nathwani 0 7v6 Sefton Payne -1
Tommy Donlon -3 7v2 Chris Seville -1
Tommy Donlon -4 7v5 Ashik Nathwani 0
Losers Round One
Sefton Payne -1 7v1 Chris Seville -1
Ashik Nathwani 7v2 Sefton Payne -1
The above matches were played at a rapid pace and by the standard of the field in attendance we had already lost some top players. At this stage of the event the group winners were placed in one pot and the loser qualifiers were placed in a second pot. Mark Parker and Nick Hampton completed the draw with all players on a minimum of £75 in prize money at this stage of the event but the money was about to increase dramatically with the winners of these next matches collecting a minimum of £200 each.
The first names out were Phil Wildman -4 vs Steve Chick +1. Phil was undefeated in this fixture for a many matches however now the tide has turned as Chick has bypassed Wildman on the last three occasions. Today was to be no different as Chick began the match with a break dish, Wildman didn’t seem himself throughout the event but this was to take nothing away from Chick as he simply outplayed Wildman from start to finish. Wildman commented after his 7v1 defeat ‘my head wasn’t right today, I wasn’t mentally as strong this week as I was last week having said that Steve played incredibly well and nobody deserves a good performance more than him. Wildman went on to add ‘obviously I don’t like losing but if I have to lose a match I’m glad it was to Steve as he is good friend off the table and nobody has works harder on the practice table.
Tommy Donlon -4 was drawn to take on Brian Cassidy -1. Tommy would have probably been the favourite to take this event at the start of the day and it was so far so good for him winning his first two matches without a scare but Cassidy put up a good fight. The match ended 7v5 in favour of Donlon.
Ashik Nathwani 0 was drawn against Rich Twomey -4 and it was Ashik who made a brilliant start to the match using his handicap well. When Ashik reached the hill Twomey had only just made it out of the minus and on to 0. Rich began to reel off the racks to 6v4, perhaps Ashik was starting to think the worst but then a mistake by Rich was pounced upon by Leicester based player Ashik and the match was over as Ashik put together a nice clearance to take the match 7v4.
Mikko Tuomi +2 7v4 Dave Evans -2. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see much or any of this match but we can see from the result that Mikko the local player from St Albans was the player who joined the other three winners in the Semi Final. After the match Wildman commented to Mikko, ‘you have had a brilliant end to the season perhaps today is your day your already on £200’ to which Mikko replied ‘ I want more, i’m playing well and confidently, it really helps that I play in the ST Albans midweek league as I’m regularly playing competitive matches on these tables.
So just four players remained with each player on a minimum of £200, from here the money jumped from £200 to £500 so there really was a lot to play for. Steve Chick +1 was giving it his all as he took on Tommy Donlon -4. Steve played to a similar high standard as he did against Wildman and roared into a large lead against many players favourite to win the event Tommy Donlon. Steve reached the hill with time to spare but it was at this stage that he began to make a few mistakes leaving Tommy the chance to get back into the match. Just as the match appeared to be getting close Steve put together a few confident shots to advance as the first Finalist of this brilliant event.
On the table across Ashik Nathwani 0 v Mikko Tuomi +2 was the match and its was bound to be a close one as both players seemed to really be hitting form at the right time but something had to give as there was only room of one of these players in the final. Ashik and Mikko were sharing racks in the early stages of this match but it was Ashik who took the chance to reach the hill with Mikko two racks behind. Mikko never gives in though and via a good clearance in rack 11 and a 9ball combo in rack 12 we were all tied up at 6v6. One rack would decide the fate of these two players who had put on a brilliant match for the onlookers. Both just 9balls away from a place in the Final and an extra £300 to make their days earnings a minimum of £500. Mikko gained the opening chance in the deciding rack straight from the break but unfortunately he couldn’t take it. Ashik kept his head together and made sure of the final 9ball.
Here we go then its Final time and we had two players who have both played brilliantly through today’s event. Who would become T9B Champion Of Champions Winner 2015 Ashik Nathwani 0 or Steve Chick+1?? Both by this point looked on fire, both were going to leave the venue with decent prize money and a sense of achievement for reaching the final in the biggest T9B event of the year. Another £300 was at stake here as the Runner up would leave with £500 while the Winner would leave with £800, not bad for winning a few matches. Both Ashik and Steve has had good seasons this year and have both regularly supported Total9ball events so for us this was the perfect Final. Ash look red hot and nearly faultless as the both collided in a race to 7 rack Final. Steve began the match on 1 rack while Ashik started on 0. This one rack handicap made little difference as Ashik looked like a getaway driver at a crime scene as he raced through the racks. Steve was also playing very well and it was only in the last couple of racks that a few mistakes crept into Steve Chicks game, the match ended 7v4 in favour of Ashik and we had our Champion!!! Leicester on top of the Premier League in the football and Leicester on top at total9ball Champion Of Champions. Ashik was clearly delighted with his days achievement but he still took time to praise Steve, Ashik said ‘ full credit it to you Steve you have to be the most improved player on the T9B tour, you used to start the events well but couldn’t win due to drinking, now you have stopped you’re a winner and danger to anyone in the event’ Ashik also added ‘I’m proud of you Steve and your becoming a great player’
Well what can a say a fantastic way to finish the serious events of 2015,l All of the 16 qualifiers seemed to enjoy the event and format. The event was organised really well as we aimed to keep players playing and for the event to finish early without being rushed. Thanks to our Sponsors Dynamic Billard and Ragging Ball. Also to Mark Parker for running the tournament desk so well and all the players who attended this event and supported T9B events throughout 2015.
There is still one last event to finish 2015… The Xmas Special held at High Wycombe Raging Ball venue. All tables have been re-clothed and re cushioned at this venue so it’s sure to be a brilliant event. Each player will compete in seven race to 3 matches with the best players on the league table advancing to the knockout stages, the event will remain as a race to 3 shoot-out from start to finish. There will also be side events including Blind Scotch Doubles, a break dish and Speed pool as players race against each other. This is always a fun event and a great way to celebrate with friends during the festive period. Currently we have around 20 entrance and it isn’t to late to get involved. To enter please contact Mark Parker on 07764485711 or myself Phil on 07769346582.
2016 Total9ball membership is also now available. Many players have already joined for next season but if you haven’t we really recommend you do asap before the discounted price of £25 expires. There are loads of reasons to join T9B, you save money on entry fees for each event you enter. There is early entry available for members only, ranking point will only be given to members this season and also the side events such as the Champion Of Champions will be members only in 2016. So again contact Mark or Myself and join up for 2016.