Hall of Famer Hohmann Survives Shootout to Stay Alive in CSI Michigan Open

Thorsten Hohmann

Next month, Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann will be officially inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame, celebrating a career that’s included two World 9-Ball championships and countless straight pool titles.

Friday night, the 42-year-old showed that he may be one of professional pool’s elder statemen but he’s not exactly ready for a rocking chair yet, sinking four consecutive sudden death spot shots to defeat Denmark’s Mickey Krause during the third day of competition at the CSI Michigan Open at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Mich. Hohmann now advances to the single elimination round of 16 which will begin Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. local time.

After Krause turned an opening rack Hohmann scratch into a 2-0 lead, the German turned the tables in the third rack after his opponent missed the 2 ball, clearing the table then using back-to-back break-and-runs and a miss from his opponent to close out the set, 4-2. After the two competitors split the first two games of the second set, Hohmann had a chance to take the lead in the third game but missed on a sharp cut of the 4 ball in the side pocket. His opponent grabbed the rack, then used a combination shot on the 10 ball to increase his lead to 3-1. The German appeared positioned to cut his deficit to 3-2 but left the 7 ball in the corner pocket’s jaws, allowing Krause to claim the set.

Krause opened the sudden death shootout by scratching in the opposite corner pocket, a mistake which proved costly as the stoic and steady Hohmann pocketed all four balls in the extra period to claim the victory.

Hohmann’s victory ended a one-loss side rally by Krause, who lost his first-round matchup against Russia’s Kristina Tkach then won three consecutive matches on the loser’s side – defeating Timothy Fowler, Cody Myers and Daniel Schneider of Switzerland before being eliminated Friday night.

Also advancing to the Saturday’s single elimination phase is Russia’s Fedor Gorst, who cruised past Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski in straight sets, 4-1, 4-0.

Gorst, who won the first leg of the U.S. Pro Billiard Series in Arizona back in July, took advantage of a Fortunski scratch in the opening game to climb onto the scoreboard. The 29-year-old from Poland tied the score when Gorst failed to pocket a ball on the break, but forfeited the table when he broke dry in the following rack. Gorst would gut out a victory thanks to a victorious safety exchange, then use a break-and-run paired with another winning safety battle to claim the victory.

The 21-year-old Russian managed to break dry twice in the second set yet still shut out his opponent, thanks to two Fortunski misses and a scratch.

Joining Gorst and Hohmann Saturday will be Estonia’s Denis Grabe, who overcame a handful of missed shots to defeat Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz in straight sets, 4-3, 4-1.

Grabe jumped out to an early 3-1 advantage in the first set and had the chance to close out the frame but missed a 1 ball in the fifth game. The Spaniard cleared the table to cut the lead to 3-2, then tied the score when Grabe missed the 3 ball in the sixth game. Standing at the table with the break and an opportunity to win the set, Sanchez-Ruiz failed to pocket a ball on his opening shot and handed the table back to Grabe, who cleared the table to win the set, 4-3.

The Estonian built an early 2-0 in the next frame thanks to a break-and-run and a victorious safety exchange on the 6 ball. Grabe then tacked on another game when his opponent missed the 6 ball in the following game, but gave up control of the table in the fourth game when he scratched on the break. Trailing 3-1, Sanchez-Ruiz had a chance to cut into the lead but missed the 2 ball after the break. After kicking the 8 ball into the corner pocket after a safety, the Spaniard had one last chance to stay in the match but pushed the 9 ball wide of the corner pocket, handing Grabe the match.

In other matches of note Friday, Kang Lee used a handful of missed shots by opponent Tyler Styer to win in straight sets, 4-1, 4-2, and Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp used a seventh rack safety exchange to avoid a sudden death shootout and defeat Tony Robles, 4-3, 4-3.

The single elimination phase begins tomorrow with four matches, including Greece’s Alex Kazakis facing Yapp, Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn meeting Kang Lee, Oliver Szolnoki of Poland taking on Canadian John Morra and Finland’s Mika Immonen matching up with Lian-Han Toh of Singapore. Four additional matches will begin at noon, including Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski meeting Grabe, Austria’s Mario He playing Lithuania’s Pijus Labutus, World 10-Ball champion Eklent Kaci scheduled to meet Gorst and Hohmann taking on Roberto Gomez Jr. of the Philippines.

Fans can watch coverage of the competition on Billiard TV or on the WorldBilliardTV YouTube page.

This event also is the third stop of the U.S. Pro Billiard Series, which features five open professional events between July and the end of the year. Created by Predator Group and amateur league operator CueSports International, these tournaments will run in tandem alongside of CSI league amateur events being held throughout the country. The winner of each competition receives a guaranteed spot in the $125,000-added 2022 Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which will be held March 28 through April 1 in Las Vegas at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

This competition is played on Predator Pro pool tables covered with Predator Arcadia performance cloth, with Predator Arcos II precision balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights.

For more information on the U.S. Pro Billiard Series or amateur leagues, visit www.playcsipool.com.

For the latest information on the Predator Pro Billiard Series action, follow @ProBilliardSeries on Facebook and Instagram. For Live broadcasting watch   or follow WorldBilliardTV on YouTube for replays.