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Martinho Correia wins 3rd consecutive APN Satellite Qualifier
 Posted on Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 12:41:40 UTCby admin
APN 4th IPT Satellite Qualifier Tournament
Rileys American Pool & Snooker Solihull
Hobs Moat Road
West Midlands
B92 8JN
Tel: 0121 742 6068

Sunday 23 July 2006

From L to R: Rob Chiltern, Pete Williams, and Martinho Correia.

A strong field of 21 notable players assembled for the 4th IPT Satellite Qualifier Tournament, hosted by American Pool Network at Rileys Solihull. Special thanks must go to Ann Bernie and her team of providing a great club and for being such welcoming hosts. Strong English 8-ballers Andy Barnett and Rob Chilton came to try their luck on the bigger 9ft tables. They were joined by a plethora of top 9-ball stars including Martinho Correia (winner of the last 2 satellites he has entered), Gareth “Darkside” Esprit (previous finalist), Steve Higton, Stuart Colclough, and Mark Stephenson amongst others. Also a mention to Darren Mills, Jami White and Matt McClean who all made their debut tournament appearance here in Solihull.

Click on "Read More..." for the details.

APN’s tournament directors employed a round-robin group format, followed by single elimination, to ensure the players had good value for money for their £20 or £25 entry fee. So high too was the standard of professionalism set by the players themselves, that referees were called upon only 3 times in over 50 matches to rule over a potentially disputable shot. Players were guaranteed a minimum of 4 matches during the day, which allowed the new players time to find their feet, and gave more experienced players the chance to get into stroke before the knockout stage. The prize on offer was 1 x $750 paid entry fee for an official IPT Qualifying tournament.

The Groups

There was no feeling of a “Group of Death”, with all players really fancying their chances in this winner takes all contest. Although small, the field of players was very high calibre and fairly well matched, which brought some close group matches. Martinho Correia was business as usual, carrying on his form of late, which has seen him win IPT qualifying spots in the 2 APN satellites he has entered so far. Martinho made short work of his group to win 4/4 and advance to the knockout stages. Group runner up Andy Barnett shortly joined him to knockout stages. In Group B, Kevin Uzzell and Rob Jude were tied on points and racks for after their group games for 2nd place behind Abhay Rao. If after points and most racks for the players are still level, the fewest racks against are counted, and it was Kevin's 12 racks conceded to Robs 13 that saw him advance by a whisker.

Group C was more clear cut. Previous IPT qualifier Gareth “Darkside” Esprit won 4/4, followed by APN satellite regular, Neil Jenkins with 3/4 wins in second place. Group D was the toughest group with only 2 going through from 6 players. English IPA 8-ball player Rob Chilton signified his intentions to beat Manchesters’ Steve Higton into second place.

The APN Bravery Award goes to Mark Stephenson of Dudley, who valiantly played with a strapped up freshly broken finger - Ask Mark for the story! And whose main concern before the tournament - as revealed in a phone call to APN the day before, was hitting the break hard enough to make it legal and for 5 balls to hit a rail! Indeed Mark not only made more than a few legal breaks, he also found the time in his busy nursing schedule to run a few racks of his own here and there…

Quarter Finals

The first two Quarter finals on were Kevin Uzzell vs Martinho Correia, and Rob Chilton vs Neil Jenkins. Uzzell, a highly respected BPPPA player and who has played in the World 9-ball Championships was no match for the devastating Martinho Correia, seemingly determined to make the most of his purple patch. Martinho is in such devastating form that in his local Rileys Victoria Saturday Night handicap tournament, he currently has to give a 2 ball start to players like Tony Drago, Imran Majid and Rico Diks and still wins! The final score was Martinho 7, Kevin 4.

Rob Chilton in his American 8-ball debut, showed little problems adjusting from the smaller balls and table. Indeed Rob is one of an ever-growing number of English 8-ballers keen to try their hand at the American version, with the added lure of the money to be earned on the International Pool Tour. Rob showed his class running out time after time as soon as he got a look in amongst the balls. The format was now winner breaks, and Neil had no answer to Robs more consistent break during the match.

3rd on were Abhay Rao and Andy Barnett. At 4-4 the scoreline reflected a tense game, with former snooker player Rao holding his own against another top English 8-ball star. Barnett took the 9th game but in the 10th, Abhay had to disturb a ball to get on a finish and try and tie up the scores. 3 times he tried the carom off other balls and came within millimetres of nudging it out, but to no avail. A miss when he tried to bank it and Barnett made no mistake to reach the hill at 6-4. No mistakes from Barnett when the finish line appeared, and he would await the winner of Quarter Final 4.

Steve Higton and Gareth Esprit normally would square off in a 9-ball match, but today was 8-ball, so who could predict what might happen? A tentative start and some tricky racks made for some hard work for both players. Higton got out to a 3-2 lead, before Esprit mad an uncharacteristic mistake and missed a fairly easy ball. Gareth had played really solidly all day, dropping only 4 racks in 4 matches in the group stages, but could not maintain his focus as Higton ground it out. A phenomenal clearance full of imaginative and risky shots in the 8th made it 5-3 to Steve. The pick of the bunch being a ¾ table length very thin cut from short distance (the white bounced off the side rails 5 times before leaving a delicate corner double on the 8-ball to finish). A grinning Martinho Correia, watching from the gallery called out after, “I would have put a grand on you not clearing them up after your first shot!” Gareth was initially unfazed, taking the next, but Higton stayed well clear to take a 7-4 win.

Semi Final 1 Correia vs Higton.

Correia again got out of the blocks early with some effortless shotmaking, running 4 racks after Higton broke dry in the first. He should have run the 5th too but for a lightly careless scratch on his penultimate ball. Higton couldn’t get into gear, a missed combo in the 8th game gave Correia the chance to make amends for his scratch and put some real pressure on Steve. He made no mistake and went on to win 7-1

Semi Final 2. Barnett vs Chilton

Correia thought his biggest challenge of the day would come from Andy Barnett, who narrowly defeated Martin 10-9 at the last UK IPT qualifying tournament, but Rob Chilton had other thoughts. 4-4, 5-4, 5-5, 6-5, 6-6…As close as any game today, the battle of the English 8-ballers went the distance and it was a costly positional error from Barnett in the last, snookering himself behind one of Chilton’s balls on his last stripe. He kicked and made a legal hit, but left Chilton up who dutifully dished his remaining solids to take a well fought 7-6 win.

Final Correia vs Chilton.

The final was truly a high class affair. Correia again showed off his skill and composure by stringing together the first couple of racks. In the 4th an 8-ball caromed in thin off an object ball at distance when position was awkward was our shot of the tournament and drew warm applause from the crowd. A tremendously difficult shot played under the utmost pressure is great to watch. Correia was on a mission to double up his qualifying spots to get the $1500 entry, which allows the player to keep all the money earned at the tournament, and a place on the Tour Money List which determines which players qualify for next years tour card. (The $750 entry allows you to keep half any money earned, and no place on the money list – players may play as many satellites as they wish or subsidise the extra cost themselves in an effort to get the $1500 entry).

Rob got in after a mistake by Correia, and ran out the rest and another rack before Martinho got back to the table after a dry Chilton break. Another Correia dish and the score was 6-3. Chilton was in after Correia this time broke dry – a very rare sight in Solihull. Again another run out from Rob made it 6-4. Chilton broke dry to ensure yet another finely carved Correia dish of the day was on the menu.

Final Score: Correia 7 – 4 Rob Chilton

Rob had to consider himself unlucky as his only fault was to not make a ball on the break. He didn’t miss a single ball in open play and dished up every chance he got. Pool can truly be a cruel game.

Martinho Correia is making himself a serious name in 8-ball at the moment. In the 3 APN Satellites he has played in the last month, he has won every single game he has played. That’s an unbelievable 21 game winning streak (including all group matches – alternate break) and 9 winner breaks knockout games. He has beaten Damien Overton twice, Gareth Esprit, Steve Higton and Rob Chilton. The only defeats he has had in that time have come to Mark Gray, eventual winner of the EPT Manchester Tournament, Andy Barnett 9-10 in the Rileys Victoria IPT Qualifier and 9-10 to Tony Drago in the losers half of the same tournament. Watch out the International Pool Tour!


“Great event as always, I don’t understand why only 21 players turned up, this was in the middle of the country and didn’t clash with any other events – players must be mad to miss these APN satellites” – Martinho Correia.

“Thanks for a great day out, keep up the good work and I’ll see you in Reading and Victoria in August” – Gareth “Darkside” Esprit.

“Great format, great organisation, why are there not more American pool players (and English 8-ballers) turning up for these satellites?” – Neil Jenkins, Andy Barnett & Rob Chilton.

APN is hosting 2 more satellites for the forthcoming IPT World 8-Ball Open Championships. Begin your journey to IPT stardom and compete to win the $500,000 First Prize on Saturday 5th August at Rileys Reading and Sunday 6th August at Rileys Victoria (London). Entry fee £25 in advance or pay on the day. (£20 if you have played a previous APN Satellite event) Registration 9.15-10.15. IPT Rules, no dress code. Free Parking available both venues. See you there!

For further details call Andy or Pete on 01305 779 596 (day) or 07789 705 446




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