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IPT North American Open 8-Ball Championship Update
Twenty-four more players fell by the wayside at the North American Open 8-Ball Championship, as Day 4 came and went. Happiness and heartbreak were side by side as some players automatically knew if they advanced and some hovered by the control booth to wait anxiously. Players who were eliminated on Wednesday received $10,000 each, while Thursday's players are guaranteed $17,000.
Some compelling story lines ended today at the conclusion of the third round of play. Steve Moore of Duluth, GA, who qualified for this event in May, suffered a full range of emotions today when he toppled the undefeated Rafael Martinez in the last match of the evening. From being tied at 2 apiece, Moore took utter control of the table and won the match from there, running the last three racks out to win 8-2. However, he came slightly more than 1% short of the games-won percentage he needed to advance.
The last standing female player was WPBA star Sarah Ellerby. She nearly advanced to Round Four, but it all came down to her last match of the day. She needed to win to secure a spot in the next round but failed to be victorious. After the match she was rushed out of the arena by IPT Staff so that she could take the overnight flight to Chicago, then Peoria, so that she could play in the WPBA event starting in the morning. In a telephone call to Tour Director Deno Andrews, Ellerby admitted that she was "completely exhausted." She was alluding to the grueling round robin format that has forced her to play for ten hours or more for the last few days. For complete results, click here.
Yesterday, George San Souci walked off the playing floor after a loss. He never showed up to play his final match of the day resulting in a forfeit. Not completing a bracket, even if you are statistically out of the tournament is considered unsportsmanlike conduct. The IPT has strict rules, and this situation could have meant a tour card suspension or loss for San Souci. Today, Deno Andrews called San Souci by telephone to ask about his reason for not completing his scheduled match. The telephone call woke up San Souci, who had been sleeping all day as a result of being very ill. San Souci apologized profusely for not completing his scheduled match and insists that he asked hotel staff to get a message to Tournament Director Lindsay Erazo that he was ill and couldn't complete his remaining match. After some investigation, Andrews determined that San Souci was indeed very ill, and has been for a couple of days. The IPT issued San Souci a warning. San Souci later apologized to Erazo and explained that he wanted to play the match for his statistics, which were hurt badly, but that he was too sick to do so. To read the official IPT Rules, visit www.internationalpooltour.com.
Shannon Elizabeth Stops In!
With the IPT action in full swing midway through the event Wednesday afternoon saw a surprise visit from movie star Shannon Elizabeth of "American Pie" fame. Elizabeth visited the practice area and shot a quick game with Corey Deuel, who helped her with some techniques and gave her some strategy hints. Finally, after several turns each, Deuel managed to pocket the 8 ball and Elizabeth exclaimed jokingly, "Wow, who would have thought you would win that game?" Elizabeth wished Deuel luck, and after a quick hug she was off to waiting fans for autographs, photos, and a quick interview from Eurosport. Click here to see some pictures of Elizabeth's visit to the tournament.
Don't forget to visit www.internationalpooltour.com for unprecedented tournament coverage of the North American Open. There you will find match scores posted within minutes of matches ending, hundreds of photos from the event, a sportswriter blog by Sally Timko of Inside Pool Magazine, plus statistics, groupings, and tomorrow's schedule. Who is your pick to win from here?
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