Final Eight set at International Open

Dennis Orcollo (Karl Kantrowitz)

JIC Boys & Girls, 18 & Under, down to Super Six

As Pat Fleming’s 2021 International Open in Norfolk, VA has dwindled down to a Final Eight in its Phase Two, single-elimination rounds, it has retained its international flavor, advancing players from seven different countries to its winners’ side quarterfinals. Day Five of the event saw 11 different countries represented by 16 competitors battle it out for advancement to the Final Eight.

Also on Day Five, Ra Hanna’s On the Wire Media brought two of his Junior International Championships (JIC) to the stage, whittling down the fields of 15 Boys (18 & Under) and 8 Girls (18 & Under) to six in each division. All of the JIC competitors hail from the US of A.

All matches today (Saturday) are being scheduled around the annual Hall of Fame banquet, where this evening, both Kelly Fisher and Thorsten Hohmann will be indicted into that Hall of Fame after a dinner at 5 p.m.

First up in the eight matches that brought the Open field down to eight players were Japan’s Naoyuki Oi and Estonia’s Denis Grabe, who checked in mid-afternoon with the first of four 10-7 matches in the single elimination phase’s top half of the bracket. Grabe won it. Originally scheduled for late morning, the match between the Philippines’ Dennis Orcollo and Fedor Gorst was moved to be the final match of the day, and as it turned out, they’d apparently saved the best for last. 

Tied at 7-7, the match featured a number of short exchanges between Orcollo and Gorst that made note of each other’s more prominent unforced errors; balls rattling in holes, excellent shots that drew applause from the packed-house audience in the Accu-Stat arena, that turned into gasps, as a number of good shots from both of them were followed by cue-ball rolls that put them in the unenviable position of being unable to see their next shot. They were both more amused than annoyed as the match progressed. At the 7-7 juncture, Orcollo pulled out in front with two racks and though Gorst made a bid in rack #17, a scratch put the cue ball in Orcollo’s hand and he closed it out. Orcollo and Grabe are scheduled to face each other at 2:30 this afternoon (Oct. 29).

Two early evening matches rounded out the 10-7 scoring. Kuwait’s Omar Al-Shaheen downed the Philippines’ Lee Van Corteza, and the Philippines’ James Aranas defeated Greece’s Alex Kazakis. Aranas and Al-Shaheen are scheduled to meet just after noon today.

In the lower bracket, USA’s Shane Van Boening kept himself in contention for the top prize by defeating Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski 10-6. Russia’s Ruslan Chinahov, who was knocked out late trying to defend his 14.1 Straight Pool Championship title by fellow countryman Fedor Gorst last week, remained in the running here, after downing Kuwait’s Bader Al-Awadhi 10-8. Van Boeing and Chinahov are scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. today.

Austria’s Albin Ouschan advanced to the Final Eight with a 10-6 victory over last week’s 14.1 Straight Pool Champion, Germany’s Joshua Filler. Finland’s Iceman, Mika Immonen rounded out the final field of eight by defeating Austria’s Max Lechner, also 10-6. Ouschan and Immonen are scheduled to square off at around 5:20 p.m.

Junior championships come down to final six boys and girls

In what is a championship invitational set of matches, following a year-long season of qualifiers which began in January, and a pair of double elimination brackets, which began early today, six boys and six girls (18 and under) will meet today to determine a male and female winner of On the Wire Creative Media’s 2021 Junior International Championships.

In the 18 & Under Girls Division, a total of eight competed. Scheduled to meet in the hot seat match today, Kennedy Meyman, who got by Savanna Wolford and Sofia Mast, both 8-6, will face Tatum Cutting, who defeated Bethany Tate and Skylar Hess, both 8-4. On the loss side, Precilia Kinsley eliminated Savanna Wolford and will face Hess, scheduled for around 8:30. Tate downed Hayleigh  Marion 8-3 and will meet Hess.

In the 18 & Under Boys division, which drew 15 entrants, Joey Tate got by Gabe Martinez, double hill, Brent Worth 8-3 and Payne McBride 8-5 to earn a spot in today’s hot seat match. He’ll be joined by Landon Hollingsworth, who, following victories over Trenton White 8-6, Riley Adkins 8-3 and a long-standing rivalry, 8-5 win over Nathan Childress, who’d defeated him in a loss-side battle in the Open event.

Tate, Childress and Hollingsworth, having finished as the top three competitors in the JIC’s Pro Am division, were awarded entry into the International Open. Hollingsworth and Tate were defeated in the opening winners’ side round in the double elimination Phase 1 of the event. Childress won his opener against Raphael DaBreo before joining them.

They all won their opening loss-side matches. Tate lost his second loss-side match to Tony Robles 10-8. Hollingsworth won his first and second loss-side match, eking out a double hill win in the second one against Brandon Shuff. He lost his third to Childress.

Hollingsworth was Childress’ second loss-side match. He also won his third against Konrad Juszczyszyn. The three loss-side wins allowed him to advance to the opening round of the single elimination Phase 2, where he had the misfortune to run immediately into Josh Filler, who allowed him only a single rack to win 10-1.

On the loss side for the boys, at noon today (Saturday, Oct. 29) McBride will compete against Lazaro Martinez, who defeated his brother Gabe 8-5 and Riley Adkins, double hill to reach him. Childress will square off against Trenton White, who eliminated Ivo Linkin 8-6 and Brent Worth 8-5.

By the end of the day, either Tate or Hollingsworth will be in the hot seat. The one who isn’t will face the quarterfinal winner tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 29); either Lazaro Martinez, Payne McBride, Trenton White or Nathan Childress. 

Good rolls, guys and gals!!

Follow all of the action with Live Scoring and online brackets for the 9-Ball, Boys Junior 9-Ball and Girls Junior 9-Ball. AzBilliards is working along with to help put those brackets online.

The International 9-Ball Open will continue play all of this week and can be watched as part of the online PPV for this event at For the first time in the history of this event, fans can watch action on any table as part of the PPV coverage.