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Gorst and Sanchez-Ruiz Top 2022 BCA Points List; Styer Top American Player

The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) has released their final points list for 2022, and while it is a familiar and expected name on top of the list, it’s a new group of American names making their presence known on the list. 

Russia’s Fedor Gorst sits at the top of the list, after wins in Arizona and Ohio, with Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz riding his wins at Derby and the US Open to second place on the list. Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski finished in 3rd place, while Mika Immonen and Jayson Shaw fill out the top five places on the list. 

As for the American players, it is Tyler Styer leading the pack in 19th place overall, with Hunter Lombardo, Kang Lee, Joven Bustamante and Shane Wolford filling out the top five American players. 

The Billiard Congress of America uses the BCA ranking system to rank players and to use a fair and transparent system for determining which American players get invited to WPA sanctioned international events such as: the World Pool Championship and other World Championship events. 

For players to get points in the BCA ranking system they must play in BCA ranking events. These events include: The Turning Stone Classic, Derby City Classic, US Open, US International Open, the Predator Pro Series events, and the American 14.1. Each event is then weighed and adjusted based on field size, purse total and how many top 20 players competed in the event.

The top fifteen World players on the list are as follows:

Current ranking Player Names Event
1
Event
2
Event
3
Event
4
Event
5
Event
6
Event
7
Event
8
Event
9
Event
10
Adj. Total
1 Fedor Gorst (RUS) 96 126 60 45 0 63 26 112 17 130 675
2 Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (ESP) 0 90 168 0 32.5 0 182 56 42.5 65 636
3 Wiktor Zielinski (POL) 0 0 72 0 182 0 26 20 102 156 558
4 Mika Immonen (FIN) 64 27 84 45 130 63 0 56 17 26 512
5 Jayson Shaw (SCO) 112 0 96 0 0 63 26 0 29.75 182 508.75
6 Roland Garcia 0 108 120 45 65 31.5 65 0 29.75 39 503.25
7 Aloysius Yapp (SNP) 0 0 0 90 156 126 26 40 0 65 503
8 Mario He (AUS) 0 27 96 22.5 32.5 0 65 56 85 91 475
9 Bader Al Awadi (KUW) 32 18 72 108 0 45 45.5 20 59.5 45.5 445.5
10 Alexandros Kazakis (GRE) 0 18 42 126 32.5 0 91 40 29.75 65 444.25
11 John Morra (CAN) 56 27 84 31.5 45.5 45 45.5 0 59.5 32.5 426.5
12 Denis Grabe (EST) 0 63 48 63 45.5 0 26 80 29.75 32.5 387.75
13 Carlo Biado (PHL) 0 31.5 72 0 45.5 31.5 130 0 42.5 32.5 385.5
14 Lee Van Corteza (PHI) 0 0 48 90 91 0 65 0 42.5 32.5 369
15 Joshua Filler (GER) 0 0 144 0 0 0 65 0 59.5 91 359.5

 

The top ten American players on the list are:

Current ranking Player Names Event
1
Event
2
Event
3
Event
4
Event
5
Event
6
Event
7
Event
8
Event
9
Event
10
Adj. Total
19 Tyler Styer 48 31.5 42 22.5 45.5 22.5 45.5 0 0 39 296.5
29 Hunter Lombardo 40 31.5 36 18 45.5 31.5 0 0 0 32.5 235
35 Kang Lee 0 63 0 31.5 32.5 45 0 40 0 0 212
38 Joven Bustamante 0 45 0 27 32.5 63 26 0 0 0 193.5
40 Shane Wolford 0 0 84 0 45.5 0 26 0 0 32.5 188
45 Danny Olson 0 18 60 45 45.5 0 0 0 0 0 168.5
46 Chris Reinhold 0 45 42 27 0 0 26 0 0 26 166
48 Justin Martin 0 0 36 22.5 32.5 31.5 0 40 0 0 162.5
50 Shane Van Boening 0 0 84 0 45.5 0 26 0 0 0 155.5
53 Nicholas De Leon 0 31.5 72 18 32.5 0 0 0 0 0 154

With the release of the final points list, the BCA has also announced the calendar of events that will be used in 2023. Those events are:

·  Turning Stone (9-Ball), NY, Jan. 2023
·  Derby City Classic (9-Ball), IN, Jan. 2023
·  PBS Las Vegas Open, (10-Ball), NV, Feb. 2023
·  PBS Wisconsin Open, (10-Ball), WI, May 2023
·  PBS Michigan Open, (10-Ball), MI, Sept 2023
·  Turning Stone (9-Ball), Sept 2023
·  US Open (9-Ball), NJ, Oct. 2023
·  American 14.1 (14.1), VA, Oct. 2023
·  US International Open (9-Ball), VA, 2023

 

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2022 International Open 9-Ball – Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz vs Alex Kazakis

World Pool Masters Returns To Gibraltar | Tickets On Sale Friday

Matchroom Multi Sport is delighted to be heading back to the Europa Sports Complex in Gibraltar for the 2022 World Pool Masters, 9-ball pool’s biggest invitational tournament, Thursday, 5 May to Sunday, 8 May with tickets on sale Friday, 18 February.

Head to https://www.buytickets.gi/ to get your tickets on Friday, 18 February!

The top 20 players on the Nineball World Rankings, along with 4 wildcard invites, face off in one of the toughest events of the season for a prize fund of $100,000. Fans will be able to watch the action for as little as £7 a session.

Last year, fans were treated to a gripping week of action where Alexander Kazakis avenged the woes of 2019 to defeat Shane Van Boening in a stunning 9-0 victory.

Fans will be treated to the best Nineball has to offer with the likes of defending champion Kazakis, World No.1 Albin Ouschan, Shane Van Boening, and recent Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw amongst the line-up already confirmed. Fans can see more names announced on the Matchroom Pool social media pages throughout February.

Emily Frazer, Matchroom Multi Sport Managing Director said: “Last year the fans created a fantastic atmosphere as we returned to the Rock for the first time since 2019. It was a unique set up with fans so close to the action and we look forward to working with Gibraltar Ministry of Sport to deliver what will prove to be another exciting week of action and only one winner. The pockets are tight and the action is fast, it is a tantalising spectacle.”

The Minister for Sport (Gibraltar), The Hon Steven Linares said: “It is once again a pleasure to welcome the World Pool Masters and Matchroom Multi Sport back to the Rock. We have recognised that 9-ball pool is expanding its international profile and increasing in popularity amongst the younger generation in Gibraltar, all thanks to Matchroom Sport. Gibraltar is ready to showcase another world class event and promise to deliver a spectacular show for all the visitors, spectators, and players”.  

Tight pockets, an elite field, and a bruising single-elimination format means only a player at the very top of their game can walk away with the World Pool Masters title. The World Pool Masters is one of the most prestigious tournaments in pool and sees 24 of the world’s best battle it out over four days.

Head to https://www.buytickets.gi/ to get your tickets on Friday, 18 February!

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2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Alex Kazakis vs Joshua Filler

Oi, Lechner Remain Undefeated at Arcadia Arizona Open

Naoyuki Oi

Thursday night at the Arcadia Arizona Open, Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Alex Pagulayan and World 10-Ball runner-up Naoyuki Oi battled back-and-forth in a match which felt like it could have been being held on the tournament’s final day instead of its second.

The crafty Filipino managed to take advantage of some early positional errors by his opponent to jump out to a commanding lead, then watched as Oi found his break in the second half of the match. The eccentric 39-year-old shut down Pagulayan down the stretch, then clinching the match in a shootout of a winner’s side match at Casino Del Sol in Tucson. Oi, who also finished third at last year’s United States Open Pool Championship, is one of 16 competitors who remain undefeated in the 64-player, double-elimination tournament.

After splitting the first two racks of the first set, Oi had a chance to regain the lead but overran position on the 6 ball then missed a jump shot. Pagulayan cleared the table and added another victory when his opponent scratched in the fourth game. Now leading 3-1, the Filipino had a chance to close out the set but failed to run out after a break shot which left balls clustered on half of the table. Oi attempted to execute a combination shot on the 10 ball to narrow the deficit but left the ball in the pocket’s jaws, handing Pagulayan an easy first set victory.

While the Filipino struggled with his break in the opening set, Oi found his in the second as he broke and ran the first rack of the frame. After Pagulayan tacked on two wins to grab a 2-1 advantage, Oi won a safety exchange on the 4 ball by sinking a game-winning combination shot to tie the score. The veteran from Japan again turned on his break shot, scattering the balls and running out in back-to-back games to secure a 4-2 victory and send the match to a shootout.

The two competitors each pocketed the first two shots of the extra frame but Pagulayan left his third shot in the pocket’s jaws. Oi would sink back-to-back balls after his opponent’s miss to secure the victory.

Oi will now face Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen Friday evening in a winner’s side match while Pagulayan moves to the one-loss side of the bracket to face Dimitris Loukatos Friday morning.

Also remaining undefeated is Austria’s Max Lechner, who battled through a handful of unforced errors to defeat Alex Kazakis, 4-3, 4-3.

It was Kazakis who struggled with errors early on, as Lechner built a 3-0 advantage thanks to his opponent missing shots in the first and third racks. The Greek fought back, taking advantage of a foul, missed shot and dry break to tie the match at 3-3. After Lechner scratched after missing a jump shot in the deciding game, Kazakis appeared to be on the verge closing out the set but misplayed position on the 6 ball, which the Austrian pocketed and cleared the table to earn the victory.

The two competitors continued to battle in the second set, with Kazakis generating a 2-1 advantage only to watch Lechner tack on back-to-back racks to regain the lead. Standing at the table with a chance to clinch the victory, Lechner missed a long shot on the 1 ball in the sixth rack. Kazakis cleared the table to tie the set, then failed to pocket a ball on the break in the deciding seventh game, which Lechner ran out to clinch the match.

A handful of notable competitors will be facing elimination on the one-loss side when competition begins Friday morning, including Estonia’s Denis Grabe and former World 9-Ball champion Thorsten Hohmann, who will meet up at 10 a.m. local time. Grabe lost in a shootout earlier in the tournament to Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski while Hohmann struggled to find his stroke against Corey Deuel, falling in straight sets.

There is also no shortage of heavyweight matchups on the winner’s side of the bracket, such as Fortunski facing American Tyler Styer. The three-time Mosconi Cup team member earned his way into the third round of the winner’s bracket with comfortable straight set victories against Steve Lillis and Blaine Barcus, winning 16 total racks against only two defeats.

Also competing on the winner’s side will be Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn, who will be squaring off against Joven Bustamante and Russia’s Fedor Gorst, who be matching up against Francisco Sanchez Ruiz of Spain. Both Gorst and Sanchez Ruiz have been in complete command in their early round matches, with each winning 16 total games over three days while losing only one rack each.

Live coverage of the Arcadia Arizona Open will be streamed for free on any device with Billiard TV or the World Billiard TVYouTube channel throughout the week. Follow @probilliardseries on social media for up-to-date information, or visit probilliardseries.com for the latest results and live brackets.

Gorst Back to Defend Title at Arcadia Arizona Open

Fedor Gorst (Matt Porinsky – CueSports International)

Playing in last year’s inaugural Arcadia Arizona Open in July, no one probably got a more scenic route of event’s unique format than Fedor Gorst.

In a tournament that foregoes longer races for two shorter sets and settles tied matches with spot shot shootouts, the young man from Moscow pretty much did it all. He opened competition by surviving a sudden-death shootout against American Michael Yednak, then followed up a second-set comeback in the championship match against Filipino Carlo Biado by executing perfect precision in the shootout, pocketing four straight balls to secure the title. This earned Gorst $12,000 for four days work and, equally important, automatic entry into this year’s Predator World 10-Ball Championships in Las Vegas.

“That made my life easier,” said Gorst with a laugh. “I don’t have to worry about being invited to the event, which is great.”

This weekend, the Russian is back in Tucson to defend his title at the second annual Open, which begins today at Casino Del Sol Resort and runs through Saturday evening. This 64-competitor, double-elimination event offers a roster of players which bring a smorgasbord of titles and experience – from rising young stars like the former world champion Gorst, World Pool Masters winner Alex Kazakis and reigning Kremlin Cup champion Tyler Styer to BCA Hall of Famers Ralf Souquet, Thorsten Hohmann and Mika Immonen, who has been experiencing a bit of a resurgence of late. The former U.S. Open 9-Ball champion capped off the 2021 season with a runner-up finish at the International Open’s bigfoot challenge and a top-five performance in the 9-ball event. He opened this season with a fourth-place finish at the Turning Stone Classic in New York.

“I pretty much proved to the pool world that I’m not some washed up ex-professional,” said Immonen at the International after being eliminated by Albin Ouschan. “I’m here and I still have a lot of motivation and a lot that I want to prove. I want to have another era of stuff like this.”

Ouschan will also be competing in Arizona this week, after the Austrian turned in one of the most decorated and lucrative seasons of his career last year. The 31-year-old started off 2021 battling bad rolls and even worse emotions to earn top honors at the inaugural Championship League Pool event in England, then returned to the island two months later to win his second World Pool Championship, coming from behind to defeat Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen in the finals. The Austrian finished off the year by turning in his best performance ever on American soil, winning the International Open over Dennis Orcollo.

Fellow countryman Mario He also finished 2021 strong, winning the inaugural FargoRate Ohio Open in October. After opening his fall with a top-10 finish at the U.S. Open Pool Championship in Atlantic City in September, He hopped in a car with fellow competitors Denis Grabe and Alex Kazakis and barnstormed the country, playing in tournaments and matches throughout the east coast. He turned in a top-three finish at the CSI Michigan Open and then landed in the final four of the Diamond Open in South Carolina before earning the Ohio title.

Also competing in this weekend’s Open is Naoyuki Oi, who for years has built a reputation for giving eccentric interviews but in recent months has been letting his cue stick do most of the talking. Oi finished second in the World 10-Ball Championships last fall and third at the U.S. Open Pool Championships the following week. The young man from Japan, who also notched top-10 finishes at the World Pool Masters and World Pool Championships, earned a career-high $59,890 in prize money last season.

With the event taking place on U.S. soil, there will not be a shortage of American talent competing in Tucson, with Mosconi Cup teammates Styer and Chris Reinhold scheduled to play as well as former U.S. Open 9-Ball champion Corey Deuel. Additionally, a strong contingent of Filipino players will be making the trip, including reigning U.S. Open Pool champion Carlo Biado, BCA Hall of Fame member Alex Pagulayan and Roberto Gomez Jr, who placed in the top three in four U.S. Pro Billiard Series events last year.

Live coverage of the Arcadia Arizona Open will be streamed for free on any device with Billiard TV or the World Billiard TV YouTube channel throughout the week. Follow @probilliardseries on social media for up-to-date information, or visit probilliardseries.com for the latest results and live brackets.

2021 International 9-Ball Open – James Aranas vs Alex Kazakis

2021 International Open Big Foot Challenge – Alex Kazakis vs Joshua Filler

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”.

Final 16 Set for FargoRate Ohio Open

Naoyuki Oi

Most people in the world of professional billiards know Japan’s Naoyuki Oi for his on-camera television interviews.

Blessed with a natural charisma and ad-libbing ability, one never really knows what Oi will do or say. He may dance, he may applaud himself, he may scream – or he may do all of them.

So engaging is Oi with a microphone that it’s easy to overlook just how good he is with a cue – although this year it’s been quite obvious. The 38-year-old racked up top 10 finishes at the World Pool Masters and World Pool Championship and reached the top five of the United States Open Pool Championship and Predator World 10-Ball Championship.

Friday afternoon at the FargoRate Ohio Open, Oi continued build on his resume by remaining undefeated with a straight sets victory over Austria’s Mario He, 4-3, 4-2. The eccentric personality was one of the first competitors of the day to qualify for the final day, single-elimination phase which will begin at Wilmington, Ohio’s Roberts Centre Saturday morning.

Both competitors battled not just each other but the table during the first set, as each twice failed to pocket a ball on the break in seven games. Trailing 3-2, Oi was able to take advantage of back-to-back openings left by his opponent after safeties to steal the last two racks and seal the win, 4-3. The Austrian jumped out to a 2-1 advantage in the second set thanks to a successful safety paired with a missed shot by his opponent in the third rack, but Oi capitalized on an open shot left by He after a safety in the fourth rack to tie the score. After Oi climbed on top 3-2, He had a chance to again tie the match in the sixth rack but missed a long shot on the 9 ball – handing Oi control of the table and a sure victory.

Overall, both players failed to pocket a ball on the break eight times in 13 total racks.

Thorsten Hohmann

Two weeks from now, Thorsten Hohmann will be officially inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame, as he celebrates a career that has included two World 9-Ball titles and numerous straight pool championships. Although he is in the second-half of his playing career, the German showed Friday afternoon he can still compete at a high level, as Hohmann sent Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski to the one-loss side of the bracket with a straight sets win, 4-2, 4-2.

Hohmann got out to a quick start in the opening set, taking advantage of a Fortunski foul to win the first two games. The German had an opportunity to increase his lead to 3-0 but missed a makeable 9 ball in the corner pocket. Fortunski would win two of the next three games to maintain a one-game deficit and, when Hohmann missed a sharp cut on the 1 ball in the sixth game, the young man from Poland appeared to have a clear path towards tying the score.

That is, until he came up short on position for the 2 ball and left a shot on for his opponent, which Hohmann capitalized on to claim the set.

After breaking and running the opening rack of the second set, Hohmann missed a pair of shots in the next two games which allowed Fortunski to build an early 2-1 lead. The German rallied thanks to a successful jump shot in the fourth rack, a victorious safety exchange in the fifth game and a missed 3 ball by Fortunski in the next rack to win three straight and advance to Saturday’s second phase.

Later in the day, things weren’t looking so good for Alex Kazakis. He was already on the one-loss side of the bracket and seemed like he couldn’t buy a break. The Greek had just committed a foul and a scratch and watched as opponent Evan Lunda took advantage to claim the opening set of their match, 4-1.

The tables would turn in the second set, as Kazakis used a pair of Lunda fouls to build a 2-0 lead then added back-to-back breaks-and-runs to close out a 4-0 shutout and force a deciding shootout, The Greek was perfect in the extra inning, pocketing four consecutive spot shots while Lunda could only convert three of the spotted 10 balls.

Also reaching the single-elimination phase is fellow Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Mika Immonen, who recovered from a winner’s side loss to American Jeremy Sossei by eliminating reigning CSI Michigan Open champion Aloysius Yapp on the one-loss side. Immonen’s win was one of a handful of late evening upsets which occurred, as American Devin Poteet took out Hungary’s Oliver Szolnoki and Texan Jeremy Seaman defeated Fortunski on the one-loss side. Seaman, who gave Filipino Roberto Gomez Jr. all he could handle in the second round before falling in a shootout, rallied on the one-loss side of the bracket by winning three consecutive matches.

Brackets will now be re-drawn as the format now changes from double-elimination to the single-elimination knockout stage, beginning with four round-of-16 matches Saturday morning. A live broadcast of the tournament begins at noon on Billiard TV and also will be available on the WorldBilliardTV YouTube channel.

The FargoRate Ohio Open is the fourth and final stop of the U.S. Pro Billiard Series, which features four 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 $130,000-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 was 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. Watch replays on Billiard TV  or on the WorldBilliardTV YouTube channel.