Gorst goes undefeated to win US Open 10-Ball title at Griff’s in Vegas

Fedor Gorst

Of the 17 events in which he has cashed in the first two+ months of 2023, Russia’s Fedor Gorst has won 11 of them. His biggest payday in that time frame occurred when he finished 3rd at the WPA 10-Ball Championships in Las Vegas last week (Feb. 28-Mar 4). He and Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, the top two names on our AZBilliards Money Leaderboard (#1 & #2, respectively), played in the semifinals of that event, described by Keith Paradise in a report posted here on March 5 as “an epic, hill-hill battle,” won by Sanchez-Ruiz, who would go on to be denied the opportunity to be the first player in history to hold world titles in 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball simultaneously. He was defeated in the finals by Albania’s Eklent Kaci, who came from 5-1 down to claim the title.

In the absence of Kaci, Sanchez-Ruiz and Josh Filler, who finished 1-2-4 the week before, Gorst entered the $10,000-added US Open 10-Ball Championships at Griff’s in Las Vegas last Monday (March 5). The field of 52 entrants did include a number of competitors on our Money Leaderboard, including the eventual runner-up, Roland Garcia (#10), three others against whom Gorst competed and a long list of players who, on any given day, would certainly be capable of defeating any one, any where, at any time, including, but not limited to Aloysius Yapp, Oliver Szolnoki, John Morra, Denis Grabe, Jeremy Sossei and Billy Thorpe (all with positions among the top 100 in our 2023 Money Leaderboard).

Gorst opened up with wins over Danny Olson, Norman Banister and Sina Vallzadeh before he sent Max Eberle to the loss side 9-4 in one of the winners’ side quarterfinals. This set Gorst up against Greece’s Alex Kazakis in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Jesus Atencio, in the meantime, got by Dimitrios Loukatos, Jeffrey DeLuna, Jordan Niles Holman and in his winners’ side quarterfinal, Daniel Maciol. Atencio picked up Poland’s Mateusz Sniegocki in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Gorst downed Kazakis 9-6 and was joined in the hot seat match by Atencio, who’d sent Sniegocki to the loss side 9-3. Gorst claimed the hot seat 9-4 and waited for Roland Garcia to finish his five-match, loss-side streak to join him in the finals.

Garcia’s loss-side trip began when he was sent over by Sniegocki 9-7 in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Jeffrey DeLuna fought Garcia to double hill in his first loss-side match, but he survived that to defeat Maciol 9-3 and draw Kazakis. Shane Wolford lost his winners’ side quarterfinal to Kazakis 9-7 and like Garcia, fought a double hill battle in his first loss-side match against Jonas Souto Comino. He, also like Garcia, survived it to eliminate Oliver Szolnoki 9-7 and picked up Sniegocki.

So, there were two possibilities for advancement to a quarterfinal rematch and it was the Garcia/ Sniegocki rematch that happened; Sniegocki eliminated Wolford 9-5 and Garcia downed Kazakis 9-3. Garcia won his quarterfinal rematch over Sniegocki 9-3 and then eliminated Atencio in the semifinals 9-4 to punch his ticket into the finals.

The two-hour-and-38-minute final race to 13 required 23 games. Gorst won 13 of them to claim the title and chalk up his 11th 2023 event victory. Factoring in a few events like the Derby City Classic, the Mini Derb that preceded it and Skinny Bob’s Classic (all of which entail a number of events within a few days), it’s a feat that averages out to a 2023 tournament win for Gorst every six days. And it’s only March. If he maintains that pace, by the time 2024 rolls around, he’ll have won just shy of 50 more events.

There is not much to say to that beyond Pozdravlyayu! (Congratulations). 

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1 comment

  1. Mr. Gorst is not going to let anyone else have much fun it seems. He did half of the hard work, he got to the top, now lets see how long he chooses to stay there. Most seem to start losing interest pretty quickly, they stop practicing and take up other interests, golf, women , booze drugs, I hope he still enjoys pool for a long long time, he is a great player and can only get better with experience.
    GoGo Gorst Gadget!

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