Down to Single-Elimination in Qatar 9-Ball Open

Shane Van Boening faces Marlon Manalo

The group stages are now complete at the Qatar 9-Ball Open and there are some great matchups beginning right away. First, you should know that Thorsten Hohmann has joined defending champion Dennis Orcullo on the sidelines. Hohmann went all the way to the hill with Skoneczny of Poland but could not make it down the other side and this close one put the German superstar in the bleachers.

All the players who did make it through the groups now have their records erased and the ones who were undefeated in the groups are seeded by their performance into the brackets. The players who came through the loser's side then find their position in the brackets by random draw.

Now, every match is win or go home. Take a look HERE at the new bracket (Please not that this bracket is single elimination).  Every match on the board is worth watching. There are a half-dozen or so former or current world champions left and they are playing some folks that are right up there with them. As you scan the chart notice the different possibilities that present themselves in the next bracket out and beyond. There are challenges all over the board as Manalo faces Van Boening and the winner of that faces the winner between Ching Shun Yang and Hui Chan Lu. Marcus Chamat battles Darren Appleton right off the bat and Niels Feijen and Jeff De Luna have to get by one another just to survive for a war against either Ricky Chang or Chris Melling. One particularly mouth-watering possibility is that two rounds from now Ralf Souquet might be going up against Pin Yi Ko. This would be a fantastic challenge between the established players (Souquet) and the new young lions as so well represented by multi-time Junior World Champion Ko.

We will have it all reported for you here on AZB just as soon as we get the results.