The World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) had 12,000 professional, public safety athletes from 70 countries competing in 60+ sports to qualify for over 1,600 medal events in the Olympic-style competition. Held every two years, the games were staged in Fairfax County, Virginia (USA). Previous competitions were held in Belfast (Ireland), Barcelona (Spain), Stockholm (Sweden), and Melbourne (Australia).
The pocket billiards event was a 5-day competition covering Nine Ball, Straight Pool and Eight Ball disciplines. Matches ran from Monday, June 29th through Friday, July 3rd. The venue was Breakers Sky Lounge, an upscale room managed by Shanna Lewis in Herndon, VA. The tournament adhered to BCA rules and was played on Brunswick Gold Crown tables with Super Aramith balls. The players in the billiard competition were from Australia, Ireland, Canada, Latvia, Singapore, and the United States.
Nine-Ball – The field when narrowed to the final 8 players for the 9Ball event included: Wesley Beins (Singapore), Eric Cloutier (Canada), Doug Moreau (Canada), Genadijs Kaminskis (Latvia), John O’Sullivan (Ireland), Joe Rodriguez (USA), Michael Grosso (USA), and Jordan Greenhaw (USA). When down to the final four Wesley Beins (Singapore) def. Mike Grosso (USA), 7-3. John O’Sullivan (Ireland) def. Eric Cloutier (Canada), 7-6. Beins and O’Sullivan headed to the gold-silver match, while Grosso and Cloutier landed in the bronze-4th place contest. In the bronze medal match, Grosso took a hard fought 7-5 victory. In the finals, O’Sullivan (IRL) lost to Beins (SGP), 7-5.
GOLD – Wesley Beins (Singapore); SILVER – John O’Sullivan (Ireland); BRONZE – Michael Grosso (USA)
(L-R) Dan Madden (tournament administrator), Michael Grosso (silver-USA), John O’Sullivan (gold-IRL), Eric Cloutier (bronze-CAN), Eric S. Townsend (sport coordinator, WPFG). Photo courtesy of Bob Lerch.
Straight Pool – The final match of the discipline pitted John O’Sullivan (IRL) against Michael (USA) the two against each other. O’Sullivan jumped out to an early lead. The American showed great heart in locking things up at 51. Unfortunately for him, the leveling was short-lived. Ireland would have repeat gold in straight pool as O’Sullivan polished off a victory.
GOLD – John O’Sullivan (Ireland); SILVER – Michael Grosso (USA); BRONZE: Eric Cloutier (Canada)
(L-R) Eric S. Townsend (sport coordinator, WPFG), Wesley Beins (silver-SGP), John O’Sullivan (gold-IRL), Genadijs Kaminskis (bronze-LAT), Shanna Lewis (venue manager, Breakers Sky Lounge). Photo courtesy of Bob Lerch.
Eight-Ball – The discipline was staged according to CSI/BCA rules. The field was narrowed to a final grouping of 8 players in medal contention. They were: Wesley Beins (Singapore), Doug Moreau (Canada), John Griffin (Ireland), Genadijs Kaminskis (Latvia), John O’Sullivan (Ireland), Joe Rodriguez (USA), Michael Grosso (USA), and Chris Gloerson (USA).
GOLD – O’Sullivan (Ireland); SILVER – Wesley Beins (Singapore); BRONZE – Genadijs Kaminskis (Latvia)
Pool & Billiard Magazine DAILY thanks the WPFG Sport Coordinator for Pocket Billiards, Eric S. Townsend, for the report on this event. Townsend is a 10-year veteran of the American Poolplayers Association, league operator with CueSports International since 2009, ambassador for Joe Tucker’s American Rotation, and author of the billiard book Sharking: Don’t Get Fooled Again (GoBooklets.com, Amazon). Townsend was hired by WPFG Sports Director Tony Shobe and Senior Games Manager Mark Kidd.
The billiard support team was lead by Dan Madden, director of the Pennsylvania 9Ball Tour and a top amateur player himself. He was tasked with administrating the tournament and maintaining a live audio and video stream available by mobile phone, tablet, or computer.
Lucasi-sponsored pro Shaun Wilkie was on hand Tuesday and Wednesday for player challenges, photo opps, and two different talks on Nine Ball and Straight Pool tips.