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Ouschan and Fisher End Year With #1 Rankings

With the last ranking event of the year now completed, Albin Ouschan of Austria has emerged as the Number 1 player in the men’s division, and Kelly Fisher of Great Britain as the Number 1 player in the women’s division.

Albin capped off a great year by winning the final event, the International 9-Ball Championship held in Norfolk Virginia, and of course earlier in the year won the Matchroom produced World 9-Ball Championship in England. A couple of other young players to mention for having a great year include Aloysius Yapp of Singapore at Number 2, and Omar Al Shaheen from Kuwait at Number 5.

Kelly Fisher ended as the leading female player for 2021. With Covid limiting the options that the women had as far as events to compete in, the only event on the 2021 points list was the 2021 Austria Open, which was won by Fisher. The lack of events should certainly not distract from Kelly’s #1 ranking, as she is the reigning Women’s World 9-Ball Champion and is consistently around the top spot every year.

The WPA is looking forward to 2022 where there are expected to be quite a number of events, a busier calendar than normal with extra events by Matchroom and Predator. It will be great to see players from all countries being able to compete. This year players from Asia were severely penalized by not being able to travel abroad.

Ouschan claims WPA #1 ranking with undefeated run at International Open

Albin Ouschan (Karl Kantrowitz)

Prior to the start of the International Open finals, scheduled for a 9 p.m. start on Saturday, Oct. 30, Austria’s Albin Ouschan approached his upcoming opponent, the Philippines’ Dennis Orcollo, who was practicing at a nearby table. Ouschan noticed that Orcollo was setting up 10-ball racks.

“You’re playing 10-ball?” he asked him, surprised.

“Yeah,” Dennis told him, “because 9-ball’s too easy.”

Apparently not. It was easy enough for Orcollo through three rounds of the Open’s double elimination Stage 1, and the first four matches of single elimination in Phase 2, when he got by Alex Pagulayan (double hill), Fedor Gorst 10-7, Denis Grabe 10-7 and, in the semifinals that immediately preceded his match versus Ouschan, James Aranas 10-8. ‘Easy,’ though, was nowhere to be found in the final match that followed.

Ouschan claimed the 3rd International 9-Ball Open title, joining Chang Jung-Lin (2018) and Jayson Shaw (2019) in the event archives. The victory and the $30,000 check that went with it made Ouschan the WPA’s #1-ranked player in the world. Ouschan’s Phase 2 path went through Justin Martin (double hill), Joshua Filler 10-6, Mika Immonen 10-3, and in the other semifinal, Shane Van Boening 10-7. 

Orcollo started out on the wrong foot, so to speak. He won the lag and was subsequently called for an ‘illegal break’ when the total of three balls, either pocketed or traveling past the head rail, didn’t happen. Ouschan stepped to the table and ran the rack. 

From there, things settled down a bit, as they traded racks back and forth. Rack #2 let the assembled, packed Accu-Stat Arena crowd know that this wasn’t going to be a ‘break and run’ kind of match (there would be only six in the 19 racks). Ouschan broke dry in that second rack and Orcollo wanted no part of the 1-ball that was there to be struck, albeit without a place to put it. They chased that 1-ball around the table for a few innings, playing safe deliberately and missing attempted shots that fortuituously failed to provide a clean opening for the next guy up.

“I think the most safeties I played in a match (at this event) was against Joshua (Filler),” noted Ouschan after the match. “(That) was a crazy defensive match (with some) crazy defensive skills, by both players. 

“I think that’s normal, especially with this break,” he added. “You can’t really control the cue ball that well, so it’s more about who has the luck on the break to continue, and sometimes you just have to play safety.”

Meanwhile, back at the finals, a member of the audience turned to someone sitting beside them and said, “We’re going to be here for a while.”

Ouschan broke the rack #2 logjam, ran to the 6-ball, but snookered himself. He hit it, but missed and Orcollo finished the rack for the match’s first of five ties. Orcollo took his first of what would turn out to be only three leads in rack #3, breaking and running. Three racks later, with Dennis ahead for the last time in the match, Ouschan had his first break and run, tying the score at 3.

In retrospect, racks #9 & #11, with the score tied at 4-4 and then, 5-5 (Orcollo took advantage of an illegal Ouschan break and ran rack #10) might have told the story of the match. They seemed to go on forever. Nine safeties, including one that Orcollo played with ball in hand, a jump safe by Ouschan, a couple of ball in hands and unforced errors. Orcollo tried a bank on the 2-ball in rack #11 that his heart didn’t seem to be in and, no surprise, he missed it. Ouschan took care of that for him but found himself staring at a little 3/6 bundle that he broke up for Orcollo, who played safe. And then, Ouschan scratched. Orcollo made a great cross shot before inexplicably missing a much easier, straight-on shot at the 6-ball to give Ouschan the ball and in the blink of an eye, his 4th lead. As it turned out, he’d never be behind again.

In rack #13, with Ouschan sporting the first two-rack lead of the match, Orcollo broke dry and scratched. Ouschan made a 1-9 combination and was up by three. Later, up by four, 9-5, Ouschan made the 9-ball on the break. Orcollo broke rack #15 and checked in with the first sign of ‘life’ he’d shown in quite a while, breaking and running the rack faster than the shot clock’s 40 seconds.

Orcollo broke dry shooting at rack #18. An unforced error shooting at the 4-ball, gave Ouschan the ball and he ran the rest of them to reach the hill. Ouschan broke and ran rack #19 to claim the event title.

“He didn’t play his A game,” said Ouschan at the conclusion of the match. “At the end, he didn’t even try to play his A game. Maybe he should have taken a little more time with some of his shots, but it is what it is.”

“I’m happy that he (didn’t),” Ouschan added. 

International Open Down to its Final Four; Van Boening, Ouschan, Orcollo & Aranas

James Aranas (Karl Kantrowitz)

JI Championships will play 18 & Under Boys and Girls finals on event’s last day

Pat Fleming’s 2021 International Open began its sixth day with eight competitors. By 5 p.m., when the annual BCA Hall of Fame banquet commenced, one floor below the playing fields, that field of players was down to six. Once Kelly Fisher and Thorsten Hohmann were duly inducted into the Hall of Fame, the remaining four returned to the tables to close out the day.

The early match of the day (Friday, Oct. 29) saw James Aranas, who’d eliminated Dee Adkins 10-3 and Alex Kazakis 10-7 in the opening rounds of the single-elimination Phase 2, take on Omar Al-Shaheen. Aranas advanced to Saturday’s semifinals 10-6. Dennis Orcollo, who began Phase 2 by coming within a rack of being eliminated by Alex Pagulayan, persevered to take out Fedor Gorst 10-7 and drew Denis Grabe in the second Day Six match. The match stayed relatively close, until near the end, Orcollo pulled out in front to win it 10-7. Orcollo and Aranas will play their semifinal match at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday). 

Back from dinner, Shane Van Boening and Ruslan Chinahov drew a capacity crowd to the Accu-Stat arena, drawing steady applause, along with a few audible gasps of both appreciation and sympathy for the occasional misses. Though throughout the match, Ruslan drew his fair share of audience support and appreciation for a variety of shots, Van Boening was in command from the outset. He established a lead, held on and expanded it, advancing to the semifinals 10-4. 

The evening’s final match, which began just before 10 p.m. pitted Albin Ouschan against The Iceman, Mika Immonen. Being the same kind of after-dinner crowd, it was as enthusiastic and appreciate of the solid play of both players as they’d been with Van Boening and Chinahov. Immonen scratched twice on the break in the first five racks, allowing Ouschan to run out. An early lead for Ouschan grew. And kept growing, until Ouschan finished things just after 11 pm., advancing 10-3. Van Boening and Ouschan will compete at 6:30 p.m., with the finals scheduled for 9 p.m. 

Hollingsworth/Tate in 18 & Under Boys JIC final; Meyman/Cutting in girls’ final

Both finals in the Junior International Championships’ Boys and Girls 18 & Under divisions will be a rematch. Landon Hollingsworth bested Joey Tate in the boys’ hot seat match and will face him again at 1 p.m. on Saturday. It was Meyman over Cutting in the girls’ hot seat battle and they’ll play the early (11 a.m.) match tomorrow.

The winners’ side hot seat match for the boys was among three that were occurring simultaneously as Day Six played out for the juniors. It was the first to finish, just ahead of 2 o’clock, leaving Hollingsworth in the hot seat, as Tate awaited the outcome of the quarterfinals to face what turned out to be Trenton White.

Nathan Childress and Payne McBride had moved to the loss side on the heels of losses in the winners’ side semifinals that had sent Hollingsworth and Tate into the hot seat match. Childress drew White, working on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that had started with his 8-6 loss to Hollingsworth in the opening round of play; a loss that set him on fire, so to speak. McBride drew Lazaro Martinez, who’d downed his brother Gabe 8-5 and Riley Adkins, double hill, to reach him.

McBride downed Martinez 8-6 and was joined in the quarterfinals by White, whose 8-5 victory eliminated Childress (the junior player who’d advanced to the opening round of the Open’s single-elimination Phase 2 where Joshua Filler defeated him). White advanced one more step, downing McBride 8-6 in those quarterfinals, before Tate, determined for a second shot at Hollingsworth, stopped his loss-side run (cold) 8-2.  

Kennedy Meyman and Tatum Cutting played their girls’ hot seat match in the early afternoon on Saturday. Meyman claimed the hot seat just after 2 p.m., downing Cutting 8-5.

On the loss side, Skylar Hess and Sofia Mast were coming off of their winners’ side semifinal losses to Cutting and Meyman, respectively. Hess drew Precilia Kinsley, who’d defeated Savanna Wolford 8-4 to reach her. Mast  picked up Bethany Tate (sister to Joey Tate), who’d recently eliminated Hayleigh Marion 8-3. 

Mast downed Tate 8-5, while Hess was eliminating Kinsley 8-4. In one of the junior competitors’ more entertaining rivalries that’s been ongoing since January, Mast and Hess battled to double hill in the quarterfinals before Mast prevailed. Mast ended up on the wrong side of her second straight double hill fight, advancing Cutting to a second showdown versus Meyman, which will get the final day of the 2021 International Open underway at 11 a.m.

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 digitalpool.com to help put those brackets online.

The International 9-Ball Open will continue play can be viewed online as part of the online PPV for this event at https://www.onsitepool.com/accustats/. For the first time in the history of this event, fans can watch action on any table as part of the PPV coverage.

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 digitalpool.com 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 https://www.onsitepool.com/accustats/. For the first time in the history of this event, fans can watch action on any table as part of the PPV coverage.

 

International 9-Ball Open Final Sixteen Set to Compete Today

Max Lechner (Karl Kantrowitz)

The International 9-Ball Open is now down to just sixteen players in the final single elimination bracket. The final sixteen undefeated players in the first stage of the event were redrawn into the single elimination stage, with each of those players being randomly drawn to face one of the final sixteen players with one loss from stage one. All of those players had one match on Wednesday night and that leaves the event with sixteen players. 

That first round of single elimination matches spelled the end of the line for sixteen players, including reigning champion Jayson Shaw, Mosconi Cup Team Member Earl Strickland, Alex Pagulayan, Ralf Souquet, Young Gun Nathan Childress and World #1 ranked Aloysius Yapp. Yapp’s elimination was a quick and painless one, with Austria’s Max Lechner scoring a decisive 10-4 win in the final feature match of the night. 

Second round matches lined up Thursday include Lechner vs Mika Immonen, Albin Ouschan vs Joshua Filler, Shane Van Boening vs Wiktor Zielinski and Fedor Gorst vs Dennis Orcollo. 

In addition to the eight matches today in the Open 9-Ball event, the Junior Invitational Championship kicks off today, with sixteen of the top male and eight of the top female juniors in the country competing. 

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 digitalpool.com 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 https://www.onsitepool.com/accustats/. For the first time in the history of this event, fans can watch action on any table as part of the PPV coverage.

Filler Runs 213 At American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship Day Two

Joshua Filler (Courtesy Predator Group)

Day 2 of the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship featured rounds 3 & 4 of round- robin competition. Saturday’s at golf tournaments are commonly referred to as “moving day”. The matches on Wednesday had a similar feel to them. Players were either cementing their chances to move into the 24 man single elimination phase, or fighting for the opportunity to keep those chances alive heading into the 5th and final round on Thursday afternoon. There are 7 players currently sporting a 4-0 record: Shane Van Boening, Alex Kazakis, Wiktor Zielinski, Aloysius Yapp, Max Lechner, Albin Ouschan and Earl Strickland.

The highlight of today’s action was provided by Joshua Filler. Filler, who yesterday lost a tight match to Alex Kazakis 125-114, started his day by defeating Mathias Arnold 125-9 and moving his record to 2-1. Next up was Alex Pagulayan, who was also 2-1. Then in less than 65 minutes, Filler produced a 213 ball run and defeated Pagulayan 125 to -1. The run easily outdistanced a 182 ball run posted earlier in the day by Mario He and it also bested the tournament high run of 210 posted yesterday by Van Boening. The run ended on a delicate, almost perpendicular cut on a ball located on the head rail. The object ball came to rest inside the jaws and deep on the shelf of the pocket. Shortly thereafter, Joshua displayed his versatility by teaming up with his wife Pia to provide the commentary on the final streamed match of the evening. Quite a day for the Filler’s.

The following is a breakdown of the advancement scenarios for each Group heading into Thursday’s final round-robin matches. The top 3 players in each flight head to the single elimination phase with the 8 flight winners receiving a 1st round bye. Head to head results break any tie between two players.

Group 1: Shane Van Boening has won the Group. Dennis Grabe (3-1) advances. Ralph Eckert advances with a win vs SVB. Otherwise Bader Alawadhi will advance with a win over Lee Van Corteza. If they both lose, tiebreakers will determine who advances amongst the 3.

Group 2: Ruslan Chinahov and Oliver Szolnoki (both 3-1) face off to determine the Group winner. The loser potentially faces tie breakers with John Morra, Hunter Lombardo and Abdullah Alyousef.

Group 3: Alex Kazakis has won the Group. Josh Filler (3-1) will advance. Alex Pagulayan advances with a win vs Mathias Arnold.

Group 4: Mario He wins the Group with a victory over Alan Duty, otherwise the winner of the Thorsten Holmann/ Mieszko Fortunski match will win the group. However all 3 players advance regardless of tomorrow’s results.

Group 5: Wiktor Zielinski has won the Group. Fedor Gorst and Mika Immonen will also advance.

Group 6: Aloysius Yapp has won the Group. Darren Appleton and Corey Deuel will also advance.

Group 7: Max Lechner has won the Group. Ralph Souquet also advances. Shawn Wilkie and Mohammad Ali Berjaoui face off for the final spot.

Group 8: Albin Ouschan and Earl Strickland (both 4-0) face off to determine the Group winner. The loser will also advance. The final spot will be awarded to the winner of the Konrad Juszczyszyn/Michael Yednak match.

On Thursday, for the first time in the history of this tournament there will be a Women’s division of the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship. It is being presented by the PREDATOR GROUP with 15 contestants competing for a purse of $12,000. The field features BCA HOF’s Kelly Fisher and LoreeJon Ogonowski. 3 groups of 5 players will compete in a round-robin format, leading to a single elimination format.

Free streaming is available on the American 14.1 Facebook page, the AZBtv Facebook page and from Istreampool on Youtube. Online brackets are available at Cuescore.com. All matches are played on Diamond Pro-Am tables with Simonis 866 cloth and Predator balls. Corner pockets are 4.5” and the sides are 5”.

Van Boening Runs 210 at American 14.1 Straight Pool Day One

Shane Van Boening

Following a 2020 COVID cancellation, the 16th edition of the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship returned to action today in Virginia Beach VA at Q Masters Billiards in the fabulous spectator friendly 15 table tournament room. The 2019 tournament was also played at this venue. One of the strongest fields ever assembled for this event were on hand to kick off the 5 day event at noon on Tuesday, all vying for a piece of the $43,000 purse. There is an additional prize awarded to the player who achieves the highest run of the tournament. Any player who has an active run of 100 or more when they close out their match can continue shooting in an attempt to post the high run.

The 48 man field was seeded into 6 levels then split into 8 flights; each flight contains a player from each level (total 6 players per flight). The top 8 seeded players are Shane Van Boening, Ruslan Chinahov (2019 champion), Joshua Filler, Thorsten Hohmann, Fedor Gorst, Darren Appleton, Max Lechner and Albin Ouschan. Each flight will play a round-robin format with races to 125. The top 3 players in each flight then advance to the 24 man single elimination phase of the tournament. All flight winners will receive a first round bye.

Of the top seeds, only Van Boening, Lechner and Ouschan got through day 1 without a loss. Other players that went 2-0 today were Bader Alawadhi, John Morra, Alex Pagulayan, Alex Kazakis, Mieszko Fortunski, Mario He, Mika Immonen, Wiktor Zielinski, Corey Deuel, Aloysius Yapp and Ralph Souquet.

The spotlight player of the day was clearly Van Boening. This is the first time Shane has ever competed in this tournament. But don’t let that fool you – he can flat out play 14.1 as his record in this discipline over the past several years clearly bears this out. He faced Dennis Grabe in his first match where he executed a 94 ball run in the 4th inning to assume control of the match then closed it out in 5, 125-39. He then faced Lee Van Corteza in his second match. Lee Van cleared the first rack, but missed the breakball to open up the second rack. Van Boening stepped to the table and calming ran 15 racks totaling 210 balls to take the game while setting an all-time tournament record of balls run, and in the process treated the capacity crowd to a memorable experience. The previous record was held be Niels Feijen at 176. Shane’s run ended when his position for the breakball of the 16th rack left him with an impossible cut.

Van Boening wasn’t the only player producing high runs on Tuesday. Mika Immonen checked in with a 182 in his second match. That effort was followed by Wiktor Zielinski with a 194 in his match with Fedor Gorst. The run ended on a makeable breakball that failed to find the pocket. The combination of high level 14.1 talent along with the superb playing conditions provided by Q Masters virtually ensures the high runs to continue.

Play resumes Wednesday at noon EST as 2 more round-robin matches are played. Free streaming is available on the American 14.1 Facebook page, the AZBtv Facebook page and from Istreampool on Youtube. Online brackets are available at Cuescore.com. All matches are played on Diamond Pro-Am tables with Simonis 866 cloth and Predator balls. Corner pockets are 4.5” and the sides are 5”.

Kazakis, Trump and Thorpe amongst names out at US Open Pool Championship

Albin Ouschan

World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis, America’s Billy Thorpe, and Judd Trump were amongst the names to crash out on the US Open Pool Championship whilst Dennis Orcollo became one of the first names into the last 16 in the afternoon session on day four of action from Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City.

Scores as it stands

Kazakis faced a grueling battle in the losers’ section against Albin Ouschan to keep hopes of a second Matchroom Pool Series title alive, but the Austrian proved too much as he went down 11-8 in a contest that showed the very best of 9-ball pool on the main TV table.

Ouschan will start the evening session against Chang Jung-Lin knowing he needs to win to keep up any chance of making the last 16 with the losers’ qualification round also looking over players tonight.

Aloysius Yapp became the first name into the last 16 in impressive fashion after a comprehensive over Dane hotshot Mickey Krause 11-3. Krause knows he will have to beat either Tomasz Kaplan or John Morra to make the last 16 later tonight whilst Yapp. Thorpe’s fate was decided by the same score line as 2019 World Cup of Pool winner Mario He dispatched him.

Jayson Shaw’s run on the winners’ side came to an end at the hands of Estonia’s Denis Grabe who put on a strong showing to clinch an 11-3 win meaning Shaw must go through losers’ qualification against the winner of Jeffrey De Luna and Carlo Biado later tonight. Shaw had set up his clash with Grabe after beating Trump last night. Trump’s first foray into 9-ball ended in dramatic fashion as South African Jason Theron beat him in a hill-hill finish.

This evening’s TV action sees Shane Van Boening against Francisco Sanchez Ruiz for a Last 16 spot whilst Joshua Filler and Skyler Woodward will do battle to avoid going home and a spot in losers’ qualification later tonight. Table 2 is live on the Matchroom Pool YouTube with De Luna vs. Biado and Chang Jung-Lin vs Ouschan. Filler beat Alan Rolon Rosado whilst Woodward came through eventually against Denmark’s Bahram Lotfy to the pair to meet later tonight.

Other notable names who went out included Wu Kun Lin, and World Pool Championship runner-up Omar Al-Shaheen.

The last 16 draw will be made at the conclusion of play today.

By the end of the day, only 16 players will remain. Fans can take in Table 1 live on the TV broadcast wherever you are in the world on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Sky Sports in the UK. Find out where you can watch the US Open Pool Championship in your country right here.

Table 2 is free to watch and available on the Matchroom Pool YouTube here.

Ticket prices start from $31.24 per session for the single-elimination stage.

Get your tickets here.

The 2021 US Open Pool Championship will be partnered by Diamond, who supply the Official Table; the Official Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are ARAMITH Tournament BLACK pool ball set with Duramith™ Technology by Saluc. Predator is the Official Cue of the event and Kamui are the Official Chalk and Tip. The US Open Pool Championship is sanctioned by the WPA.

WPA Congratulates Albin Ouschan and Matchroom Multisport

Not so long ago we were not only wondering of when we would next have our 9-Ball World Championship, but there were even thoughts of whether it would ever be played again such were the times of pandemic.

Now we know the answer and with it, we also know who the new world champion is, now two-time winner, Albin Ouschan of Austria. We of course offer our congratulations to Albin, a popular and consistent performer, and also a great ambassador for our sport. 

Runner-up is Omar Al Shaheen of Kuwait, and it was terrific to see Omar do so well in such a major event. He has been showing great promise in recent years and his effort will be greatly appreciated by everyone, especially the enthusiasts in the Middle East.

The Championship was presented in great style by Matchroom who never fail to deliver, even in these difficult times. It is wonderful to have Matchroom back promoting our World 9-Ball Championship, now referred to as the World Pool Championship.

This is the beginning of a new era for the 9-Ball World Championship, having started not long after of the formation of the WPA, way back in 1990. USA’s Earl Strickland won the first event for the men, and Robin Bell USA won the women’s division. Remarkably, both these players successfully defended their titles by winning again in 1991.

Back in those days there were just three members of the WPA, Asia (APBU), Europe (EPBF) and North America (BCA). It was also the responsibility for the WPA members to organise and host the world championship. EPBF hosted the first event in two divisions, 64 men and 32 women. Prize money was $50,000 men and $25,000 women. This was the same for the second event when the BCA played host, and then onto the APBU for the third event which also debuted a division for junior players. Back to Europe for the fourth, America for the fifth etc., up until 1999 when Matchroom entered the scene and staged their first event, a men’s division World 9-Ball Championship, with legendary Filipino Efren Reyes winning the inaugural Matchroom event.  

In 2000 under Matchroom, the men’s division separated from the women and juniors and became a solo affair. The men’s Championship was played in the UK, the women and juniors, conducted together, in Quebec, Canada.

Matchroom moved the event to Cardiff, Wales, prize money grew to $400,000 and it was successfully staged there until going to Taiwan in 2005 when a 16-year-old Taiwanese Wu Chia-Chung (now Chinese Wu Jiaqing) was victorious. It moved to Manila for 2006 and 2007. However, with Matchroom unable to continue the event, it was not played again until 2010 after Qatar took up the responsibility to organise and host the World 9-Ball Championship where it remained until the conclusion of the 2019 event. 

Qatar held the rights for the Championship until 2020, but after talks with them during the 2019 event, they agreed to relinquish their Agreement to allow Matchroom to commence their endeavours with the event which was meant to start in 2020, but of course we all know what happened then.

While I understand there were some critics of Qatar hosting the Championship, I think that most people realised their efforts and the valuable contribution they made to our sport. They too are a sports organisation, not a promotions company. It should also be remembered that the WPA wasn’t knocking other people back who wanted to take over the event, until Matchroom made their interest known, there was no-one else.  Qatar made every effort they could to ensure the event was staged. Players were treated well, they were met and transported from the airport to their hotel, shuttle buses leaving regularly from the hotel to venue and return, and best of all for players, whatever money they earnt, they kept because there were no taxes payable, and importantly for players, they were paid immediately in cash.

It was also because of Qatar’s commitment that we have seen the standard of our sport lift in the Middle East. One player from there, Waleed Majid was ranked in the top 16 at one stage, and now we have a finalist in the world championship. We have had a tournament in Kuwait and there are prospects of another event being staged there as well as in Saudi Arabia. Not forgetting of course that the interest in pool for the middle east was started off in the Emirate of Fujairah of the UAE where our 8-Ball World Championship was organised for about ten years. This was followed by Qatar with a second middle east event, the Qatar Open which then developed into the World 9-Ball Championship.

Later this year we will have our men’s 10-Ball World Championship organised by Predator, as well they will organise the ladies 10-Ball World Championship. 

Moving forward, between Matchroom and Predator, 2022 will prove to be a busy year with the number of events they have planned between them, and then of course there are the others like the International 9-Ball Championship, the Kremlin Cup, and the US 14.1 Championship. Of course, with China closed to the outside world at present, we do not know what involvement they may play in the future, whether they continue with the China Open and women’s 9-ball World Championship.

As we now gaze into the future, the 9-Ball World Championship seems secure with Matchroom, and overall, the horizon is somewhat brighter now than it appeared even as late as three months ago. The remainder of this year is certainly going to be a busy one.

Ouschan Is Two-Time World Pool Champion

Albin Ouschan is the new World Pool Champion after beating Omar Al Shaheen 13-9 in a high-quality final in Milton Keynes, England to claim the title for a second time.

The Austrian is also now the Matchroom Pool World No.1 having collected his second title of the year; he won Predator Championship League Pool in March.

“When you say two-time World Champion, it sounds amazing, and it is really,” said Ouschan, who takes home $50,000 as well as the newly commissioned World Championship trophy, which also has his name engraved from 2016.

“In the last rack, you just want to be as easy as possible on every shot so I was very happy that he went for the 1-ball after I called push out. He left me a tricky shot but after I made it everything was open and I was ready to take it home.”

Ouschan won the lag and ran the first three racks before Al Shaheen won three in a row himself to tie the final at 3-3. The next six racks were also shared as the match went back and forth. Al Shaheen had a chance to extend to a two-rack lead at 7-6 ahead but missed his chance and Ouschan was able to level again.

Al Shaheen pulled ahead again but from 9-7 down, Ouschan found his very best game and after leveling at 9-9 his momentum carried him to the hill three racks ahead.

Breaking for the title at 12-9 up, the 2016 Champion made three balls but didn’t have a shot at the 1. He played a push out and Al Shaheen took it on but missed the shot with the cue tight to the top rail.

Ouschan made a good cut to make the 1 and after that it was a roadmap. The remaining five balls were removed with the kind of ice-cool composure he is renowned for, and Albin Ouschan was once again the World Pool Champion.

“I had a very good start to the match and a very good end but the middle section was a little bit rough, but hats off to Omar who played a very good match,” he said.”

“After the loss against Roberto Gomez I swallowed it down and came strong the next day, and now I am here. I didn’t think for one moment about the rankings or the cheque but of course when you are finished you think about it, and it is very nice.”

“To play in a final is tough, one missed ball and you can lose,” said Al Shaheen. “Albin played great, I made a couple of mistakes, but I am totally proud and I know all over the Middle East they are so happy, and I am excited and proud about that.”

The next event on the Matchroom Pool Series is the US Open Pool Championship at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City from September 13-18.

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