It was a special weekend at Escape Pool Bar in Barnsley, the BWPPA Kamui 9-ball Shootout ran alongside the new Nation Continental Cup. The NCC is without doubt the biggest event ever in wheelchair pool. The Mosconi Cup format makes for an exciting event which I hope will inspire players to get involved in the sport. It’s certainly an event I aspire to be competing in over the next few years.
Onto the BWPPA Kamui 9-ball Shootout. I struggled to get going on the opening day, and it told as I lost 6-1 to Tony Southern and 5-1 to Alexander Prokopiev from Russia.
The next morning I was ready to go in the challenge event, I got off to a good start with a 5-4 win in the quarter-finals over Nick Oliver. (It was technically a race to 3, as we both started on 2 due to the handicapping system) In the semis I faced Prokopiev again, unlike in the main event the day before it went hill-hill and he edged it 5-4.
On reflection, maybe the main event on Saturday was disappointing but I played well in the challenge event and the hill-hill could have gone either way. Both me and Alex missed balls we would have got otherwise which is to be expected in a decider.
After grabbing some food, it was time to relax and watch the final session of the Nation Continental Cup. It was nice to see Darren Appleton and Jade Slusarczyk there, and a few old friends. It was also fun to have a short stint in the commentary box with Darren and Jade. It’s fair to say we’d had a few beers by then!
Team Europe took the event 11-6. It was the best weekend of pool I’ve ever been involved in, probably more so than the wheelchair World 9-ball Championship in 2008. Congratulations to Roy Kimberley, Tony Southern, Darren Appleton and everyone else involved in organising the NCC, here’s hoping it gets bigger and bigger each year.