Open eight-ball action

RARING TO GO: Tournament director Marie Skinner looks forward to another successful Mount Gambier Open eight-ball tournament this weekend. Picture: JAMES MURPHY

James Murphy

THE Mount Gambier Commercial Club will host a contingent of eight-ball talent this weekend with the running of its annual Mount Gambier Open singles championship.

There are 67 players registered for the two-day event, which is down slightly on last year’s field, but there is no shortage of talent.

Big prize money is on offer, with a total of $6000 in the prize pool.

First place will take home $2000, with prize money playing down to the top 16.

There is also an added incentive for female players.

“Then we have a female encouragement award,” tournament director Marie Skinner said.

“As long as they don’t make the top four, they can get the $250 prize money for that.”

Skinner said despite the lower numbers, there would be plenty of eight-ball on show over the weekend.

“It is all day Saturday and we play a round robin on every table,” she said.

“This year we have nine per table with eight tables, so there is a bye on every table.

“The top 32 go through (to Sunday’s finals).

“We play best of three and the grand final is best of seven and semi finals are best of five.”

It all equates to a quality show, with some skilled players entered.

“We try to give them a lot of eight-ball and it is quality eight-ball,” Skinner said.

“We have some top players and then we have some people who want to get into comp and come in and have a go.

“They come in and learn the rules and everyone makes them feel welcome.”

Adelaide’s David Rothall is a previous winner and will be one to watch, while Skinner mentioned some local talent which should be around the mark.

“Out of the females, Chris Schembri came up against David Rothal last year in the semi finals and had her chances – she is a gun,” Skinner said.

“Mark Walker is always up there, Matty Driscoll our vice president and young Tom Thulborn, Dylan Beare and Max Lees are young ones who have come into the club.

“Tom and Dylan go away and represent us and their game has improved – they nearly live here when they are not working.”

The Commercial Club – situated above Chapman’s Newsagency and accessible by a door to the left – will be open for any locals wanting to spectate across the two days.

The bar will be open at club prices and light snacks will be provided.

Friday night will have the club open at 6pm for $10 Knockout at 7pm, while Saturday’s games start at 9am sharp and Sunday’s finals also kick off at 9am.