Ferbey, Martin head in at 1, 2

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:51 AM ET

GRANDE PRAIRIE -- Randy Ferbey has been installed as the pre-event favourite to win this year's Alberta men's curling championship.

In an Alberta Curling Federation competitor's poll released yesterday, Ferbey was seeded No. 1 for this year's Feb. 7-11 event at Drayton Valley.

Defending champion Kevin Martin, the No. 1-ranked team in the world, has been given second seed.

"We allow the players to do it for a reason and obviously, they felt Randy should be the No. 1 seed," said ACF executive director Jim Pringle. "We're pretty happy with the strength of the field."

The field includes four of the top eight ranked teams in the world.

If Don Walchuk qualifies at the BDO Classic Canadian Open in Winnipeg this weekend, there's a chance the Drayton Valley event will feature five of the world's top 10 teams. Walchuk is ranked No. 13 headed into the Grand Slam event.

Between them, the two skips have worn Alberta colours at the Brier for seven consecutive years.

Ferbey's string of five titles in a row was snapped last year by Martin, who also won the Alberta title in 2000.

Edmonton-based teams have grabbed six of the top seven seeds for the event, with Calgary's Adrian Bakker ranked No. 6.

Ferbey headlines the A Pool, which includes Mark Johnson (fourth seed) and Walchuk (5th) of Edmonton; Rob Armitage of Red Deer, Leon Moch of Medicine Hat andJeff Ginter of Dawson Creek.

Martin is considered to be top dog in the B Pool. He'll be battling with Edmonton's Kevin Koe (3rd) and Wade White (7th); Bakker, Lloyd Hill of Calgary and Rob Maksymetz of Grande Prairie.


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