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Yapp wins 9-ball and 10-ball events at $10K-added, 3rd Annual Meucci Classic

Silviana Lu and Aloysius Yapp

Silviana Lu wins Ladies 9-ball

Yep, Yapp won ‘em both. And his girlfriend, Silviana Lu won the other one. 

The 3rd Annual Meucci Classic at Racks Billiards Sports Bar & Grill in Sanford, FL this past weekend (Nov. 10-13) gave Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp his third and fourth 2022 event victory, which added to his already-best (recorded with us) earnings year since we recorded his first two cash winnings in September of 2012, a week apart; a 17th place finish at the Party Poker World Cup of Pool in Quezon City in the Philippines (won by Mika Immonen) and a week+ later, a 33rd place finish at the China Open in Shanghai (won by Dennis Orcollo). 

So, the Meucci Classic was nowhere near his first rodeo. By the same token, Yapp’s presence outside of a fairly consistent group of world-travelling pool professionals had him flying under a lot of the US pool-playing radar until he showed up in the finals of the 2021 US Open 9-Ball Championships in Atlantic City and battled in the finals (unsuccessfully) against Carlo Biado. He became a much more consistently-present figure for the rest of the year, with appearances in (among others) the American 14:1 Straight Pool Championships (9th), the International 9-Ball Open (17th), the International Open’s Big Foot 10-Ball (3rd behind Joshua Filler and Mika Immonen) and a win on the Predator US Pro Billiard Series in Battle Creek, Michigan.

He’s cashed in 19 events this year, winning four of them, runner-up in two and 3rd in three. He won this year’s Michigan Open and the Sandcastle Open before heading to the eastern shores of Virginia where he finished 9th at this year’s International Open 9-Ball tournament and was 3rd for the second time at the Big Foot 10-Ball event; this time, behind the juggernaut known as Fedor Gorst and Joshua Filler. He shuffled off to Sanford, FL last weekend, where he went undefeated through seven opponents, downing Austria’s Max Lechner twice; double hill in the hot seat match and 9-5 in the finals of the $4,000-added, 121-entrant 9-Ball tournament.

Left in the good-company dust (among others) were Austria’s Wiktor Zielinski, Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski, Germany’s Moritz Neuhausen, Finland’s Mika Immonen, Austria’s Mario He, Greece’s Alex Kazakis and Estonia’s Denis Grabe. Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis finished the tournament with the distinction of having won the most consecutive matches, 10 of them on the loss side, before he was stopped by Lechner in the semifinals. Leading the American charge for the title was BJ Ussery, Jr., who finished 4th; an outstanding finish for the South/mid-Atlantic competitor. Also in the US lineup were local stalwarts Anthony Meglino, Donny Mills, Mike Delawder, Raymond Linares, Bobby Garza and 1992’s US Open 9-Ball Champion, Tommy Kennedy.

The 3rd Annual Meucci Classic’s $5,000-added, 63-entrant 10-Ball Tournament was a different story. Same ending, just a different story. The 10-Ball battles preceded and overlapped the 9-Ball battles, so Yapp availed himself of the six-opponent practice opportunity, with an extra ball in the game, and went undefeated. He got by Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn and two Americans, George Saunders and Alan Rolon Rosado, to advance to the 16-player, single-elimination phase of the event. Yapp was joined in the winners’ side advancement by Wiktor Zielinski, Bosnia/Herzegovina’s Sanjin Pehlivanovich, Dmitri Loukatos, Taipei’s Jung Lin Chan and Jeffrey DeLuna. BJ Ussery, Jr., who’d go on to finish fourth in the 9-Ball competition, advanced, as did Donny Mills. Joining them from the loss side were Adam Wheeler, Max Lechner, Pijus Labutis (who would not get the most consecutive win prize in this event), Jani Uski, Mika Immonen, Mario He, David Singleton and Denis Grabe.

Ussery would engage in the only double hill battle of the single-elimination’s first round, against Jani Uski, and it would knock him out of the 10-Ball competition. Three of the four quarterfinal matches went double hill; Immonen over Uski, Yapp over Labutis, and Grabe over Lechner. Zielinski downed Pehlivanovic 11-5.

Zielinski ‘iced’ the Iceman, allowing him only a single rack in one of the semifinal matches, while Yapp was a little busier, eliminating Grabe 11-7. Yapp claimed the 10-Ball title with a stingy 11-3 victory over Zielinski.

Indonesia’s Silviana Lu goes undefeated, winning 81% of her 37 games to claim Ladies title

In this, her first year as a cash-winning player in our AZBilliards database, Indonesia’s Silviana Lu has cashed in only two events. She finished in a tie for 5th place at the Asian Pool Federation’s 9-Ball Open, Women’s Division in August. A month later, she finished in the tie for 9th place at the WPBA’s Michigan Open. Her boyfriend, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp finished in the tie for 17th in the former event and won the latter.

She has recorded her first event victory with us as a result of going undefeated through a field of 27 entrants in the $1,000-added Ladies 9-Ball event. And she did so by defeating her six opponents with an 81% game-winning average (30-7), shutting out half of them and not allowing any of them to chalk up more than three against her; Nicolle Cuellar, who has Florida-area tour victories and cash finishes going back 10 years to the former Flamingo Tour.

Note to competitors looking to take advantage of the increased amount of money being offered at Scotch Doubles events across the country: In addition to the Fillers (Joshua and Pia) and the Fedor Gorst/Kristina Tkach pairing, you might want to watch out for the Yapp/Lu partnership.

Lu’s trip to the winners’ circle went through Marge Soash (0), Cuellar (3), Palmoa Santana (1) and Jessica Human (1) to arrive at the hot seat match versus Jennifer Berzinski to whom she gave up two racks to claim the seat. Adriana Villar, who lost her opening match to Cuellar and won eight on the loss side (shutting out three and surviving a double hill match against Helene Caukin), challenged Lu in the finals. Lu shut her out to claim the event title.

In addition to the 218 participants in the three events (with some duplication), tour representatives thanked title sponsor Meucci Cues, the ownership and staff at Rack’s for their hospitality, Outsville, JB Cases, Carlos Sanchez productions, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore and Clutch Shot Billiards Apparel.

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Park Survives and Advances in Opening Round of World Games

Eun-Ji Park

WOMEN’S POOL
Eun-ji Park 9-8 Monica Webb

South Korea’s Eunji Park fought back from an early 3-0 deficit in her round-of-16 match and defeated American Monica Webb, 9-8.

Webb had an opportunity to increase her lead in the fourth game but missed the winning 9 ball. Park climbed onto the scoreboard then won the next two to tie the match and the two players battled back-and-forth the rest of the way, with neither competitor holding more than a two-rack lead. Park climbed ahead 7-6 after Webb missed the 4 ball but the American quickly tied the score again when Park failed to pocket a ball on the break. Park pulled ahead again when she potted a successful combination shot on the 9 ball in the 15th rack but Webb was able to gut out the next game with a pair of victorious safety exchanges.

At the table with the break and a chance to win the match, Webb was unable to pocket a ball on the break and Park ran out the rack to snatch the victory.

“I feel like I played well, except for a couple of shots,” said Webb after the match. “I think she played well. She did her thing. I feel like I got a little unfortunate in that set, but with single elimination, that’s what we’re dealing with.”

Chieh-Yu Chou 9-6 Adriana Villar

Former Amway World Open champion Chieh-Yu Chou of Chinese Taipei came from behind and used an innovative jump shot to get past Costa Rica’s Adriana Villar, 9-6.

Chou jumped out to an early 3-1 advantage against Villar before the Costa Rican won four consecutive racks to build a 5-3 lead. Chou, starting to feel some pressure in championship competition, took a timeout to walk away and collect her thoughts.

“Before the timeout I felt like I was getting tense,” she said though her translator after the match. “After the time out, I relaxed and felt like I was okay.”

Villar, who struggled with her break at times, failed to maintain momentum as Chou on two of the next three to tie the match at six racks each. The player from Chinese Taipei, who was setting up the cue ball in the center of the table for break shots, regained the lead with a break and run in the 13th game to regain a 7-6 lead. After her opponent snookered her with a safety on the 2 ball, Chou jumped the cue ball over the blocking 7 ball, struck the 2 ball and watched the cue ball roll across table and pocket the game-winning 9 ball.

“I knew that was the route for the 9 ball but I know that was also lucky,” she said.

Chou then closed out the match with another break and run to eliminate Villar.  “I feel good about how I played but she’s a good player,” Villar said.

MEN’S POOL
John Morra 11-5 Hunter Lombardo

Sanjin Pehlivanovic 11-3 Omar Al-Shaheen*
*Al-Shaheen forfeited the match at 7-3

Canada’s John Morra will meet Sanjin Pehlivanovic in the Men’s Pool quarter-finals after a dominant 11-5 display against Hunter Lombardo.

Two sets of four consecutive games helped the Canadian to an 10-2 lead in the match. USA’s Lombardo, who only received the call to play this event at the end of last week, showed grit and determination in taking three games with his opponent on the hill, but the alternative break format was always going to afford Morra a chance to see out the win, and a runout in the 16th saw him complete an 11-5 win.

“I played well and was comfortable until 10-2, and then started to feel a little fatigued and made a few mistakes,” said Morra. “I broke well throughout the match, felt confident and was calm out there and comfortable with the conditions.

“I got tired towards the end of the match because I didn’t sleep too well last night. I was waiting for that opportunity to close out the match and I broke and ran out with a good shot on the 7; I wasn’t sure if it was going to drop but the pocket accepted the ball.

“I have represented Canada many times but never at this event, and it is awesome. It is an honor to be here, playing this event for the love of the game. The pure enjoyment and passion is what made me fall in love with the game and it is nice to know I still have it 20 years later.”

Despite his defeat, Lombardo was pleased to represent USA in this event and was determined to fight until the end despite a huge scoreboard deficit. “John played great. Every time he broke he seemed to run out and I broke dry a couple of times, and he capitalized when I missed a couple of balls early on.

“I hung in there and never quit; there was a time when things shifted a little bit but in the end he made a really nice out on the hill.”

Pehlivanovic, the European 10-Ball Champion, awaits Morra in the next round. The Bosnia and Herzegovina representative was 7-3 up against Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen when the 2021 World Championship runner-up forfeited the match.

“I understand he didn’t have his own cue,” said Pehlivanovic. “I feel bad for him because these things happen. I was happy with how I was playing and I will continue with that into the next round. The only thing is the break wasn’t quite working for me.”

One of the great aspects of The World Games is the number of other sports taking place, and Pehlivanovic was happy to find some time to take them in. “At home I do boxing for fitness, so it was incredible to watch some kick boxing yesterday; I loved it.”

The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at https://www.theworldgames.org/pages/twg2022streaming. The match schedule, results, and live scores are at esnooker.pl

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Fisher Rises From The Depths

Kelly Fisher

Facing sudden elimination on Day 1, Great Britain's Kelly Fisher shows Austria's Jasmin Ouschan the door and survives to play another day at the Women's World 9-ball Championship

 

Kelly Fisher has been around professional pool long enough to know that sometimes in this sport, as in life, you have to go through hell to get to heaven.

 
Hell in this case for the 2012 World 9-ball Champion was losing her first round match on day 1 today at the Women’s World 9-ball Championship against hall of famer and pool’s most recognized personality, Jeanette Lee, 7-4. The Brit, who three months ago had open heart surgery to repair a congenital defect, had trouble with the lightning quick speed of the table. The match was even halfway, but Fisher gave away too many shots and the Black Widow waltzed. In the double elimination group stages, Fisher knew her back was suddenly against the wall.
 
“Now it’s cutthroat time,” she said while waiting for her next match which could see her go an embarrassing two-and-out. “There’s no second chances.”
 
If having to tangle with the likes of Lee wasn't enough, Fisher then had to step into the ring in a do or die match with none other than Austria’s Jasmin Ouschan, who had just lost a cliff hanger to Japan’s Chichiro Kawahara, 7-6. If you’re getting the idea that this is the proverbial “Group of Death,” you’re absolutely correct. All four of these players are capable of taking the world title.
 
With one of pool’s stars on the verge of taking a rapid road out of town, Fisher and Ouschan put on a splendid show. Ouschan stood in front of clear table down 6-5 but incredibly missed an easy 3-ball to hand Fisher the match, 7-5.
 
“Absolutely I’m relieved,” said the clearly delighted Brit afterward. “ I’m  not out of the woods yet but I’m really happy to have won that match. I would’ve really really hated to go two and out, especially in my first world event back. It was a flip of the coin between me and Jasmin. I certainly got the rolls on the break, as I was on a shot every time and she wasn’t.  It was very close. Every time I missed she punished me. Every time she missed, I punished her. It was a great match because so much was riding on it, so I expected a scrappy match.”
 
With a chance to move through to the final 32 single elimination knockout on Thursday, Fisher knew she had, for the moment , pulled the narrow escape. She was hoping the scare today would lead to something positive as, more often than not in pool, champions have had to go through death defying cliff hangers along the way before they move on to win.
 
Said Fisher: “When champions have won an event, it’s often through a tough route, something funky has happened.  Fingers crossed that that is my destiny. But I have to take it just one match at a time. “
 
Day 1 at the 2014 WPA Women’s World 9-ball Championship opened up just after lunch at the Guilin Gym in this beautiful city with all 64 players seeing action. The field is as good as this event has ever seen in its 23 editions as all 25 of the WPA’s top 25 women are here.  Combine this with the short races, and unpredictable table conditions and it was clear that anything could happen.
 
Defending champion Han Yu survived a scare from fellow Chinese player Chen Xue, barely winning, 7-6. The rest of China’s stars all won today, including 2007 World Champion and superstar Pan Xiaoting, 2009 World Champion Liu Shasha, 2010 Champion Fu Xiao Fang, and the player everyone is expecting will soon win, Chen Siming.
 
Taiwan brought its usual high powered contingent across the Strait and, based on today’s results, you can almost guarantee at least one Taiwanese player will appear in Saturday’s semi-finals. Chou Chieh Yu, Tsai Pei Chen and Tan Ho Yun all won their first rounds matches. The biggest surprise for Taiwan was the quick exit of last year’s runner up Lin Yuan-Chun, who lost two straight.
 
Hall of Famers Karen Corr and Allison Fisher won easily, as did the Philippines Rubilen Amit. The Philippines Iris Ranola was sent home after losing two straight. But the Philippines still has two players left with the addition of 15 year old Chezka Centeno. Centeno came to Guilin with her mom and dad and entered one of the qualifiers, which she won. She lost her first match today, but rebounded with a solid 7-4 over Poland’s Katarzyna Wesolowska, to get one more chance on Thursday.
 
Korea’s Yu Ram Cha, who is treated like a movie star in China and is followed by camera toting fans everywhere she goes, got taken to school by Corr but easily won her losers side match to survive. Fellow Korean Ga Young Kim, one of the favorites to take the title here this week, also won.
 
In all, 12 players have already been handed their pink slips. By the end of Thursday’s play, the field will be down to the final 32, who will then play single elimination knockout, race to 9, alternate break. The semi-finals and final will be played Saturday.
 
With so many great women players from all over the globe doing battle on the cloth pitch, there is bound to be plenty of heartbreak, tension and  near misses to come. Nobody ever waltzes to the winners circle in pool. In fact, a trip to hell is par for the course in this sport.  After her first round win over Fisher today, Jeanette Lee called it perfectly, noting that pressure and tension is something all players, including the eventual champion, have to take to heart.
 
“There’s a lot of first round jitters,” Lee said. “It’s the same for everyone I know. You always hope to have an easy match your first round. But I never want to win a tournament without having to play all the best.  I don’t want to win a tournament because I got a good draw.  I want to have to battle beast after beast. I want to play them all, maybe just not in the first round, maybe in the second round.  Once you know that your back is against the wall, this is the way it is, you better learn to like it.”
 
*The 2014 Women’s World 9-ball will be held in Guilin, China from October 13-18, and is sanctioned by the World Pool & Billiard Association(WPA), the world governing body of pool.  64 women players from across the globe will compete for the biggest prize in Women’s Pool.  
 
The WPA  will be on hand in Guilin throughout the week bringing you all the drama from the 2014 Women’s World 9-ball Championship. WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner will be reporting with daily articles containing insight and analysis, as well as photos. Ted will also be manning the WPA Facebook page and Twitter feed and responding to fans queries and comments. Fans can also follow all matches via the WPA live scoring platform.   
 
Please visit the WPA Facebook page for the 2014 Women’s World 9-ball Championship here; http://www.facebook.com/pages/2013-WPA-Womens-World-9-ball-Championship/360470447416060?ref=hl 
 
Follow the WPA on Twitter:  @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com 
 
 
 
DAY 1 RESULTS
Group Stage, Round 1
 
Group A
Han Yu(CHN) 7 – 6 Chen Xue(CHN)
Gao Meng(CHN) 7 – 6 Park Eun Ji(KOR)
Yang Fan(CHN) 7 – 6  Chezka Centeno(PHL)  
Fu Xiaofang(CHN) 7 – 2 Katarzyna Wesolowska(POL)
 
Group B
Allison Fisher(GBR) 7 – 2 Sara Miller(USA)
Jung Bo Ra(KOR) 7 – 5 Jennifer Barretta(USA)  
Charlene Chai Zeet Huey(SIN) 7 – 5 Adriana Villar(CRC)
Chou Chieh Yu(TPE) 7 – 4 Wang Xiao Tong(CHN)  
 
Group C
Liu Shasha(CHN) 7 – 5 Kuo Azu Tinh(TPE)
Ana Mazhirina(RUS) 7 – 6 Li Yun(CHN)  
Joanne Ashton(CAN) 7 – 0 Neena Praveen(IND)  
Karen Corr(GBR) 7 – 1 Cha Yu Ram(KOR)
 
Group D
Tan Ho Yun(TPE) 7 – 2  Ine Helvik(NOR)
Caroline Roos(SWE) 7 – 5 Miyuki Kuribayashi(JPN)   
Wu Zhi Ting(TPE) 7 – 4 Ina Kaplan(GER)
Chen Siming(CHN) 7 – 0 Iris Ranola(PHL)
 
Group E
Rubilen Amit(PHL) 7 – 2 Suniti Damani(IND)
Hoe Shu Wan(SIN) 7 – 3  Line Kjorsvik(NOR)
Masami Nouchi(JPN) 7 – 3 Maureen Soto(CAN)   
Akimi Kajatani(JPN) 7 – 0 Daria Sirotina(RUS)
 
Group F
Pan Xiaoting(CHN) 7 – 4 Li Pei Rong(TPE)
Angeline Magdalena Ticaolu(INA) 7 – 2 Amanda Rahayu(INA)
Liu Shin Mei(TPE) 7 – 2 Kamila Khodjiaeva(BEL)    
Kim Ga Young(KOR) 7 – 4Kristina Schagan(GER)
 
Group G
Tsai Pei Chen(TPE) 7 – 3  Brittany Bryant(CAN)
Jasmin Michel(GER) 7 – 4 Erin McManus(USA)
Zhou Doudou(CHN) 7 – 3 Monica Webb(USA)
Wei Tzu-Chien(TPE) 7 – 5 Lin Yuan-Chun(TPE)
 
Group H
Wu Jing(CHN)  7 – 6 Denise Wilkinson(NZL)
Jiang Teng(CHN) 7 – 1 Bolfelli Barbara(ITA)
Chichiro Kawahara(JPN) 7 – 6 Jasmin Ouschan(AUT) 
Jeanette Lee(USA) 7 – 4 Kelly Fisher(GBR)   
 
LOSERS BRACKETS
Winners get one more chance, the loser is out
 
Group A
Chen Xue(CHN) 7 – 6 Park Eun Ji(KOR)
Chezka Centeno(PHL) 7 – 4 Katarzyna Wesolowska(POL)
 
Group B
Jennifer Barretta(USA)   7 – 1 Sara Miller(USA)
Wang Xiao Tong(CHN) 7 – 3 Adriana Villar(CRC)
 
Group C
Kuo Azu Tinh(TPE) 7 – 4 Li Yun(CHN)  
Cha Yu Ram(KOR) 7 – 1 Neena Praveen(IND)
 
Group D
Miyuki Kuribayashi(JPN) 7 – 6 Ine Helvik(NOR)
Ina Kaplan(GER) 7 – 6 Iris Ranola(PHL)  
 
Group E
Line Kjorsvik(NOR) 7 – 1 Suniti Damani(IND)
Daria Sirotina(RUS) 7 – 5 Maureen Soto(CAN)
 
Group F
Li Pei Rong(TPE) 7 – 3 Amanda Rahayu(INA)
Kamila Khodjiaeva(BEL) 7 – 3 Kristina Schagan(GER)
 
Group G
Brittany Bryant(CAN) 7 – 2  Erin Mcmanus(USA)
Monica Webb(USA) 7 – 4 Lin Yuan-Chun(TPE)   
 
Group H
Denise Wilkinson(NZL) 7 – 2 Bolfelli Barbara(ITA)
Kelly Fisher(GBR)   7 – 5 Jasmin Ouschan(AUT)

One-Pocket and Ladies Events at SBE

The Predator Women’s Open 9-Ball Pro Players Championship has been won by Karen Corr. In what used to be the standard final of the WPBA circuit she took on old friend and rival Allison Fisher in the finals. Fisher had reached the end of the 24-player field with victories over Adriana Villar, Suzanne Smith, Junko Tsuchiya and Brittany Bryant.

Corr reached the same spot with wins over Crystal McCormick, Borana Andoni, Dawn Hopkins and Dawn Fox. This brought the two Grand Champions of ladies pool together for the finals and when the dust cleared it was Karen Corr standing with the trophy and the $2,500 in prize money.

The One-Pocket event was taken down by Chip Compton in a surprising manner. Compton began well with victories over Lee Holt and Vincent Cimarelli but then lost to John Schmidt. He would have his shot at revenge however and after he took down Mike Miller, Sean Morgan and Joey Kong he looked at the charts and found his next opponent would gain be John Schmidt. Schmidt had lost to Joey Gray and this time Schmidt could not handle Compton.

The other finalist was Joey Gray. Gray enjoyed wins over Adam Kielar, Bill Henderson, Sean Morgan, John Schmidt and Paul Helms before suffering his only loss of the tournament to Compton in the finals. Compton won $2,000 for his efforts and Gray $1,600.