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2018 GB9 Midlands Classic – Event Report

Karl Boys

Main event
 
With Christmas and new year soon passing by, the event on the mind of all self-respecting pool players was soon upon us – the 2018 GB9 Midlands Classic! A healthy glut of new players assembled at the Park Inn by Radisson in Telford, all hoping to get their hands on the Main Event trophy.
 
With brand new sponsorship for 2018 courtesy of Cyclop Balls and Andy Cloth, continued sponsorship by Rasson Billiards and McDermott Cues, a tweaked tournament format and fresh table layout, anticipation was at it’s very highest. The round one matches were soon underway, and the random draw threw up a clash of two titans on the TV table – The Magician Chris Melling and Dynamite Darren Appleton, back on the tour after dominating the international scene for a number of years. Melling was the favourite on paper, as Appleton has taken some leave of competition in recent months. The match itself panned out that way too – Appleton showing his class with some tough run-outs, but Melling looked that touch sharper. His kicking was also on form; the highlight being a slow one-railer to make a ball in the side pocket. 9-6 to Melling was a fair result. The Magician then faced a tough test in the face of Karl Boyes, who's GB9 record is phenomenal. 25 minutes and no mistakes later, Karl had despatched Chris to the one-loss side 9-2.
 
Adam Collins and Bob Harris were both involved in two final rack deciders – but losing out to Lee Noble and Alan Bell respectively. Kurtis Weaver then held his nerve, in a very solid performance to knock Chris Melling out of the event.
 
Barry "The Baguette" French then showed why he's been knocking on the door of the top UK players, with a very solid win over Damian Overton. Joni Holden put up a very respectable fight against former World Champion Darren Appleton, taking seven racks off him. Stewart Colclough then edged out Tom Staveley in a high quality battle – Tom coming in with three break and runs, but Colclough just holding firm to win the final-rack decider.
 
Mark Foster continued to show why he's arguably the most improved player of late, taking down Derby-based Kev Simpson. Simpson, a solid rhythm player who's a threat to anyone on his day, was barely allowed an opening to get off the mark, as Foster put on an absolute clinic.
 
As we got to the business end of things, Stewart Colclough edged out Mark Gray, and Karl Boyes was making light work of his run to the final – two 9-2 and two 9-3 wins respectively – Chris Fraser, Stewart Colclough, Mark Foster and Martyn Taylor all falling by the wayside.
 
Adam Stevens then ran 'The Terminator', Damian Overton close, 9-7. Overton then went on a storming run to the final, taking out former World Champion Daryl Peach, Marcel Price, and Craig Osborne. By his own admission though, his break was his achilles heel and his back was against the wall in the opening stages of most racks against Karl Boyes in the final, who's break was working very well. An 11-1 win was harsh on Overton, but certainly deserved for Boyes, who continued his impressive GB9 form with yet another Main Event trophy to add to his cabinet. Well done Karl!
 
Rasson Billiards Super Cup
 
The first ever Rasson Billiards Super Cup was soon underway at the Park Inn by Radisson. The spiritual successor to the Pro Cup, it pulls in the hot players of the moment in an elite level clash of talent. All 14 entrants were the players who reached the last 16 of the Main Event. No easy games in this field!
 
Michael Beeston had a very tough opening match in Mark Foster, who broke and ran three racks early doors. Few balls were missed by either player, but Foster took it 10-8, in this slightly longer-race format.
 
Barry French will no doubt have been frustrated at the harshness of this game, having broke and ran three racks to Damian Overton's none, and still came away 10-8 loser. Morray Dolan then scooped a very impressive 10-1 victory over UK number one Craig Osborne. Scot Chris Fraser battled hard against Damian Overton, but Overton was a tough nut to crack this weekend. Despite Fraser matching him for firepower, Overton kept things a little bit tighter when needed and squeezed through 10-8.
 
Young talent Kurtis Weaver then held his nerve against GB9 stalwart Stewart Colclough, in a hill-hill thriller that would have hurt Colclough. His break was working, breaking and running three times to Weaver's none, but Weaver kept finding ways to win racks.
 
Kristian Phillips had a tough start against Chris Fraser losing 10-6, before sending Barry French packing. Kurtis Weaver also then shortly after inflicting the pain of a hill-hill defeat on someone, had to endure it himself, courtesy of Chris Fraser.
 
Mark Foster and Imran Majid both made steady advances towards the final stages, dispatching of Craig Osborne and Martyn Taylor respectively. It was Morray Dolan who would put an end to Foster's run, beating him 10-8, and meanwhile, a familiar sight was beckoning – Karl Boyes heading towards yet another final. On paper he was favourite against Dolan in the final, but he had to get past Imran Majid first. With nearly half of the total racks played being break and runs, it was a high quality affair, but Boyes prevailed. In the final, Dolan put up a good fight, but was really struggling with his break, both with making balls and making three points. This proved to be the deciding factor and Karl cruised to victory, 11-6. Karl's going to have to invest in a new trophy cabinet!
 
Cyclop Challenge Cup
 
The Cyclop Challenge Cup is for many the highlight of the weekend. A chance to pit their abilities against players at their own ability level, and for many, an opportunity to break through and make a name as a top UK shooter.
 
Tier 1
Tier 1 competition got off to a fierce start, with Jamie Brennan coming in with three break and runs for a rock solid win against smooth cueist Robin Cripps. Coach extraordinaire and fine player himself Alan Bell sneaked through hill- hill against Andy Lester, and Kev Simpson took out his anger at his morning mauling on Neil Margossian, with three break and runs and a 9-1 score line being the result.
 
Elliott Sanderson soon undid any momentum that Jamie Brennan was carrying, with a convincing 9-2 victory, showing a ruthlessness whenever he got in.
 
Lee Creighton was to go on and make a run for the final, but his tournament got off to a tighter start with a hill-hill win over Ryan O'Neil. Dave Garden then sent Ryan packing 7-4 on the one-loss side. Up next was Terry Davies facing Benji Buckley. Buckley wasn't in full free-flowing form, but he defeated the Welshman 9-7.
 
Joni Holden took a very respectable six racks off elite cueman Mark Gray, and Neil Margossian got back to winning ways with a 7-4 victory over Andy Lester.
 
Into the last sixteen, GB9 stalwart Alan Coton did his best to let Tom Staveley back into the match after at one point gaining a four rack lead. Staveley took his chances though and battled back to hill-hill, but stumbled in the decider with a chance amongst the balls to take the win. Coton held his nerve and made no mistakes with a tense run-out.
 
Shane O'Hara continued to show his face at the business end of most tournaments he enters, and dispatched of Neil Margossian and Lee Noble. Elliott proved to be too hot to handle in the Quarters however, who took him out 9-7.
 
Mark Gray looked as solid as ever however, taking out both Benji and Elliott, and faced Lee Creighton in the final. Lee had had an impressive tournament, but had to hold his nerve in another hill-hill battle against Terry Davies.
 
Sadly for him though, taking the trophy proved to be a bridge too far, with 'Granite' Mark Gray pulling away after Lee kept things tight in the early racks. Creighton has certainly cemented a name for himself as one to watch, but for now there was no shame in second place to Mark Gray on this occasion.
 
Tier 2
The first Tier 2 event of the year got off to an action packed start, with lots of faces eager to make the jump to the higher echelons of the tour.
 
Tony Weafer raced out of the blocks, impressively taking care of David Worrow, breaking and running out three racks in a 9-3 victory. Elsewhere Chris Teahan was no doubt disappointed to break and run twice and still be edged out by Rikki Hatherly in a deciding rack.
 
Meanwhile, Craig Seeney and Mark Shepherd played out an extremely edgy affair which went down right to the wire, with lots of chances missed to seal victory. The tight, professional conditions and the slick new Andy cloth were demanding the highest of standards, and the pressure was firmly on them both to progress to the next round. Seeney took advantage of a dramatic miss on the seven ball by Shepherd, despite him landing inch-perfect on it due to his previous ball in band. Shepherd in bits, Seeney pulled off a spectacular table-length draw shot to land plum on the nine. Relief all around that it was over, a friendly embrace ensued!
 
Bradley Holt also put in a solid performance with two break and runs against Kevin Rowles, who himself went on to lose to a commanding performance by Chris Teahan. Chris was then right up against it however, facing off against an in-form Dean Thompson. Thompson came with two break and runs, and
impressively managed to hold things together in the final hill-hill rack.
 
Meanwhile our two finalists were quietly going about their work, with a degree of ease that showed why they were the last two standing. Young Turner took down Richard Fullwell 9-5, Craig Seeney 9-1, Allan Brown 9-6 and John Chapman 9-6. Bob Harris was equally as impressive, beating Carl Weaver 9-4, James Glendenning 9-3, Dean Thompson 9-5 and Paul Ratcliffe 9-2. In the final, it was all one way traffic, with Harris setting up a solid early lead and never really looking back. Congratulations Bob on your first Challenge 2 trophy!

Buckley wins seven on the loss side to take Pro division title on Sunshine State Pro Am tour

Jason Sheerman, Donny Branson & Benji Buckley

Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
 
Stop # 9 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour featured separate tournaments held on the weekend of November 18-19. A $1,000-added Open 10-Ball event drew 57 entrants, and saw Benji Buckley win seven on the loss side to meet and defeat hot seat occupant Donny Branson in the finals. On the Amateur side, in a $500-added, 9-ball event, James Adams went undefeated through a field of 43. Both events were hosted by Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.
 
Buckley’s trip to the finals was moving along on the winners’ side of the bracket, commencing with a victory over the Amateur event winner, James Adams, and then, through James Sandaler, before coming up against Rodney Morris. Morris sent Buckley to the loss side 7-3, before following him over on the heels of a 6-4 win by Jason Sheerman in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Sheerman moved on to a winners’ side semifinal against Jerry Sullivan, while Branson faced Murbarak Sulaiman.
 
Sheerman and Branson advanced to the hot seat match without giving up a single rack to either Sullivan or Sulaiman. Branson then defeated Sheerman 7-3 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Buckley to complete his loss-side campaign.
 
Buckley began his loss-side work battling in one of the matches that determined the eight-way tie for 17th place. He got by Travis Croft, Mark Wathen, Nathan Rose, and Donny Mills to draw Sullivan. Sulaiman drew Anthony Meglino, who’d been defeated in the second winners’ side round by Sheerman (double hill) and set out on his own seven-match, loss-side winning streak that included wins over Joseph Remos, Jason Richko, Bill Bloom, Tommy Kennedy, Jessica Human and Rodney Morris, before drawing Sulaiman.
 
Buckley advanced to the quarterfinals 7-3 over Sullivan, as Sulaiman ended Meglino’s loss-side streak the way his winners’ side streak had been ended by Sheerman, in a double hill match. Buckley then defeated Sulaiman 7-2 in the quarterfinals, and got his shot at Branson in the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Sheerman in the semifinals.
 
Buckley and Branson battled back and forth through the finals. Buckley edged ahead at the end to claim the event title 11-9.
 
Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
 
James Adams faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of the Amateur event. He advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Moe Fattah, as Estel Walton faced Ricardo Rodriguez in the other one. Adams downed Fattah 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Walton, who’d sent Rodriguez west 7-4. Adams claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Walton and waited on what turned out to be the return of Adams.
 
On the loss side, Rodriguez and Fattah got right back to winning. Rodriguez defeated Sam Kantar 5-1, as Fattah advanced to meet him in the quarterfinals with a double hill win over Jeremy Bell.
 
Rodriguez defeated Fattah in the quarterfinals 5-2, and then shut out Walton in the semifinals. Adams put an end to Rodriguez’ short, loss-side winning streak 9-7 in the finals to claim the event title.
 
In addition to the prize money awarded to the finishers in each tournament, the Amateur event awarded $20 each to the top Junior finisher – Kodi Allen – and top female finisher – Kelly Cavanaugh. The Open event awarded $40 to the top female finisher, Jessica Human.
 
Tour director Janene Phillips offered special thanks to Rocky McElroy, owner of Capone’s, and his staff, as well as McDermott Cues for donating a cue for an event raffle. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for December 16-17, will be the tour’s Season Finale, which will be hosted by Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL.
 

Kennedy, Roberts and Mills chase dawn, split top three prizes on Sunshine State Pro Am

(l to r): Tommy Kennedy, Donny Mills & James Roberts

By the time Stop #8 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour had whittled down to its final three competitors, it was nearly 4 a.m. on Sunday, October 8. Tommy Kennedy was in the hot seat, while Donny Mills had just concluded his quarterfinal victory over Benji Buckley, setting him (Mills) up to face James Roberts in the semifinal match. It didn’t happen. The three agreed to a three-way split of the relevant dough, awarding the undefeated Kennedy the event title. The $1,000-added event drew 57 entrants to Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL.

The event itself was something of a fluke. The weekend of October 7-8 was originally set aside by the Sunshine Pro Am Tour to organize a “First Coast Classic,” intended for members of local leagues (APA, BCA, etc.), to be hosted by Park Avenue Billiards in Jacksonville, FL. As the scheduled event drew closer, so did Hurricane Irma, and in the wake of that storm’s results, which included the continuing widespread absence of electricity, the tour postponed the First Coast Classic, to a yet-to-be-determined date in 2018. In the meantime, the tour decided to organize a regular tour stop, and did so in about nine days. Jose Del Rio, owner of Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor agreed to host it, and a strong list of competitors, including Kennedy, Roberts and Mills (among others) signed on to compete.
Once Kennedy had sent Pierre Palmieri to the loss side 7-2 in one winners’ side semifinal and Roberts had sent Justin “Red” Jenkins over 7-5 in the other one, Kennedy and Roberts squared off to fight for the hot seat. It went double hill before Kennedy finished what would prove to be his last match.
On the loss side, Donny Mills, winner of the June 25 tour stop at the same location and recently arrived from a winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Jenkins, downed Stephen Richmond 7-4 and Anthony Meglino 7-2 to pick up Palmieri.  Jenkins drew Benji Buckley, who’d survived a double hill fight versus Nathan Rose and eliminated Tony Vicari 7-4 to reach him.
Mills downed Palmieri 7-2, as Buckley was spoiling a potential Mills/Jenkins re-match by defeating Jenkins 7-4. In the last match of the tour stop, Mills advanced to the semifinal that didn’t happen, 7-4 over Buckley.
And that was that. Kennedy, Mills and Roberts (small, medium and large in the photo) agreed to a three-way split of the money, and called it a night, or early morning, as it was. In addition to the list of 16 players who were awarded prize money, the tour also awarded $20 each to the top finishing female – Vanessa Ruedas – and top junior – Codi Allen.
Tour representatives Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose Del Rio for hosting the last-minute event, and all of the players, who signed up in the nine days that preceded it. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour (#9), scheduled for November 18-19, will be hosted by Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.

McKenny comes back from semifinals to down Buckley and claim Florida State 10-Ball title

Tony Crosby, Daniel McKinney, Benji Buckey and room owner Mike Zingale

With competitors like Mosconi Cup team member Sky Woodward, former US Open Champion Tommy Kennedy, Robb Saez and Shane McMinn (among others) on the entrant list, one might have been forgiven for expecting a series of marquee matchups in the final hours of the Florida State 10-Ball Open, held on the weekend of January 7-8. Instead, in what must surely have been a surprise to Calcutta participants, you had Daniel McKenny and Benji Buckley battling twice – hot seat and finals – with Buckley, who was the 2016 champion, taking the first and McKenny claiming the title by winning the last. The $4,000-added event drew 77 entrants to Zingale's Billiards and Sports Bar in Tallahassee, FL.
 
With the aforementioned marquee players at work on the loss side (none of whom would make it out of the 7/8 slots), McKenny and Buckley advanced to the winners' side semifinals; McKenny taking on Butch Croft, Buckley meeting Stoney Stone. McKenny moved into the hot seat match with a 7-1 victory over Croft, while Buckley downed Stone 7-4. For the second year in a row, Buckley claimed the hot seat, this time 7-2 and waited for McKenny to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, the 'marquee four' found themselves battling in the second (9/12) money round. Saez eliminated Woodward 7-5, McMinn took care of Clint Nichols 7-1, and Denny Singletary finished Tommy Kennedy's weekend 7-5. Manny Perez knocked tour director Tony Crosby out of the running 7-4. McMinn and Saez were eliminated next; McMinn by Singletary, double hill, and Saez by Perez 7-3.
 
Singletary drew Stone, coming off his defeat in the winners' side semifinal, and Perez picked up Croft, coming off his. Singletary and Croft got right back into the swing of things and advanced to the quarterfinals; Singletary 7-3 over Stone, Croft surviving a double hill fight against Perez.
 
The quarterfinals were, at minimum, a $300 contest (the payout difference between 3rd and 4th place) and went double hill. Croft denied Stone a second shot against Buckley with the double hill win that gave him a shot. The semifinals were a $500 minimum battle (the difference between 2nd and 3rd place) and it almost went double hill. At the end, though, McKenny edged ahead by two 7-5 to get his second shot (an absolute $1,000 contest) against the reigning event champion, Buckley.
 
McKenny pulled it off. For the second match in a row, he was able to get ahead by two at the end to win it (9-7) and snatch the Florida State 10-Ball title away from Buckley.
 
A $1,000-added Second Chance event, which drew 50 entrants, saw Jamie Baraks go undefeated to claim the title. Baraks and Matt Bulfin, after shutting out their opponents (Jessie Middlebrooks and George Saunders, respectively) in the two winners' side semifinals, squared off in the hot seat match, won by Baraks 4-1. Bulfin downed Rod Rentz, double hill, in the semifinals, before Baraks defeated him a second time 5-3 in the finals. 
 
Tour director Tony Crosby thanked Mike Zingale and his staff for their hospitality and contribution to the prize money.  Crosby also noted that anyone interested in sponsoring the Florida Pool Tour should visit the tour Web site (http://www.floridapooltour.com) for contact information.

Buckley goes undefeated to capture Florida State Open 10-Ball Championships

Mike Lear, Mike Delawder, Benji Buckley and Tony Crosby

Benji Buckley cut his eye-teeth playing in Great Britain on the GB9 Tour, that country's "official professional 9-ball tour," and as late as last August, was still competing there. In May of last year, he competed in the Open division of a stop on the Florida Pool Tour and finished fourth, behind Donny Mills, Tony Crosby, and Anthony Meglino. In October, he competed in Florida State's Amateur 9-Ball Championship and finished ninth. On the weekend of January 16-17, 2016, he went undefeated to capture the Florida Pool Tour's $4,000-added Florida State Open 10-Ball Championships that drew 65 entrants to Zingale's in Tallahassee, FL.
 
Buckley got into the hot seat by first sending his eventual finals' opponent, Mike Delawder, to the loss side 8-5. Jeff Jordan, in the meantime, was busy sending Nathan Rose over by the same score. Buckley claimed the hot seat 8-3 over Jordan and waited on Delawder's return.
 
On the loss side, Delawder picked up David Grossman, who, after being down 6-2, eliminated David Jacobs, double hill, and then defeated Mubarak Fulaiman 7-4. Rose drew Gabe Owen, who'd defeated Tommy Kennedy 7-5 and Harold McAbee, double hill. 
 
Delawder and Grossman battled to double hill before Delawder prevailed to face Owen, who'd defeated Rose 7-5. Delawder and Owen battled to a somewhat predictable double hill quarterfinal before Delawder prevailed again, to take on Jordan in the semifinals. 
 
Delawder spoiled Jordan's plans for a re-match against Buckley with a 7-2 win in the semifinals. Buckley then spoiled Delawder's plans for a successful rematch with a 9-4 win in the finals to capture the Florida State Open 10-Ball Championship title.

Jordan, Middlebrooks go undefeated during Memorial Day double stop on Shark Billiard Tour

It was technically stops # 7 and #8 on the Shark Billiard Tour, or as tour representative Kristen Bennington put it, "or 7 and 7A." Whichever. It was a double stop on Memorial Day weekend at Zingale's in Tallahassee, FL; a $1,000-added event that drew 48 on Saturday, May 23, and a $500-added event that drew 38. Jeff Jordan took the Saturday event. Jesse Middlebrooks was the runner-up and then went on to win the Sunday tournament, with Josh Lewis playing the runner-up role.
 
Five of the players among the final 12 on each day competed in both tournaments, all improving from Saturday to Sunday, except for Jeff Abernathy, who finished 4th on Saturday, and in the tie for 9/12 on Sunday. Josh Lewis went from 9/12 on Saturday to runner-up on Sunday. Chris Gentile improved from a 7/8 on Saturday to 4th on Sunday, and Benji Buckley advanced two slots from 9/12 to 5/6. And of course, Middlebrooks, who took second on Saturday and won Sunday.
 
With Middlebrooks already at work on the loss side, Saturday's event saw Jeff Jordan advance to the hot seat. He'd sent Doug Johnson to the loss side 8-4 in one winners' side semifinal, while Tour Director Nick Applebee sent Howie Gordon loss-side packing 8-5 in the other. Jordan gave up only one rack to Applebee and claimed the hot seat.
 
 
Middlebrooks, in the meantime, got by Jamie Chapman and Detroit Griffin 6-2, to draw Gordon. Johnson picked up Jeff Abernathy, on his way to a fourth place finish and fresh off victories over Josh Lewis 6-4 and Chris Gentile 6-3. Gordon and Johnson picked up their second straight losses; Gordon 6-2 to Middlebrooks and Johnson 6-3 to Abernathy. Middlebrooks took the quarterfinal match over Abernathy 6-4 and then battled to double hill against Applebee in the semifinals. Middlebrooks prevailed and then, in the finals, was defeated by Jeff Jordan 11-7.
 
Having spent time there on Saturday, Middlebrooks wanted no part of the loss side on Sunday. He advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Josh Lewis while Denny Singletary and Derek Fowler met in the other. It was Singletary 8-6 over Fowler and Middlebrooks  8-5 over Lewis. Middlebrooks claimed the hot seat 8-5 over Singletary, guaranteeing himself at least as high a finish as he'd chalked up on Saturday.
 
On the loss side, Benji Buckley advanced past Arthur Win 6-2 and survived a double hill battle against Randy Jordan, to draw Lewis. Fowler picked up Chris Gentile, recent double hill winner over Jeff Abernathy and 6-4 winner over Raymond Linares.  Lewis eliminated Buckley 6-2 and in the quarterfinals faced Gentile, who'd defeated Fowler 6-4. Lewis took the quarterfinal match against Gentile 6-4 and got a second shot at Middlebrooks with a commanding 6-1 victory over Singletary in the semifinals. 
 
Lewis carried that momentum into the finals, opening up a three-point lead (4-1) early. He would chalk up only two more racks in the next dozen games, as Middlebrook battled back to claim the event title 11-6.
 
Tour director Nick Applebee made note of $100 prize to the top junior player in Sunday's event, Bobby Bruce, Jr. He thanked Applebee thanked Mike Zingale and his staff for their hospitality, as well as Kristen Bennington and all the players who came out to support the tour. Stop # 8 on the Shark Billiard Tour, scheduled for Saturday, June 6, will be hosted by Anastasia Billiards in St. Augustine, FL.

Feijen takes the Main Event @ Deurne City Classic

A.Moussati, M.Sawicki, N.Feijen and H.Charalampidis

Saturday morning we started off with the MAIN 9ball EVENT…
 
1st four groups of 24 started off at 09:00h. All went well as nobody got sanctioned with a penalty, neither did anyone forfeit or no-show. 

Group A saw one of the favorites Ivo Aarts sail through to the 2nd Winners round with wins over Kaylash Persad, Olivier Vandenbohede. In the 3rd round however he got beaten by UK’s Tony Burton who did not lose a match to qualify for the last64. Marek Derek, Serge Das and Tobias Hoiß all did the same thing by defeating Kadir Turku, Hoa Nguyen, Nicolas Georgopoulos and Tom Penrose. Three of them eventually qualified for the Knock-Out stage themselves by winning their subsequent matches. So did Ivo Aarts in the end.

Group B’s 2nd Winners Round had some strong matches and some surprises as Luxemburg’s Sebastian Beuel beat German 1.Bundesliga playing Klaudio Kerec 8-4 and Karl Boyes did the same thing to Sixpocket’s admin Florian Scholl. Both losers redeemed themselves in the 3rd Losers Round by defeating Joerie van den Broeck and Stefan Sprangers, the latter one not being as slouch. Through the winners side Daryl Peach, Karl Boyes, Bartek Skoniecki and Konrad Juszczyszyn qualified for the Last64 without losing a match. From the Losers round Carlos Cabello, Raphael Keusen, Sebastian Beuel and Klaudio Kerec joined them. Unfortunately some good players went down, like: Alain Da Costa and Maurice Houben.

Group C had some strong players, winning their 1st matches with ease; Niels Feijen beat greek player Theodore Bitsaxakis 8-2, Wojtek Trajdos did the same thing to UK’s Tom Stavely. Aziz Moussati lost to strong playing Benji Buckley 3-8 and after that 7-8 to Peter Lau. This saw him drop out of the 9ball. He said he could not focus on playing because of all the things that went on regarding organization etc. I myself had the same problem. Further in this group’s losers side Matthias Blehs got rid of Walter Hottgenroth and Benjamin Baier. On the winners side Niels handed a donut to Trajdos and Stephan Cohen beat Marcel Fortunski to both qualify for the Last64. Tobias Bongers and Benji Buckley sent Kyle Van den Bosch and Martin Steinlage to the last losers round. 4 players took their last chance to qualify; Trajdos beat Peter Lau 8-4, Bitsaxakis – Steinlage 8-3, Fortunski did the same thing to Del Sim. Matthias Blehs handed out the second donut of the group to Kyle van den Bosch.

Group D featured some strong playing German Bundesliga players; Stefan Nolle and Valery Kuloyants who got rid of their opponents Gijs van Westebrugge and Edward Werlemann pretty quickly in the 1st round. 2nd Winners Round matches went pretty quickly as well when Mieszko Fortunski beat Lex Wellens 8-0, Tony Drago vs. Jan Van Lierop 8-1. Mieszko continued his strong form by winning 8-0 again in his following match against Michael Kasper. Other favorites did not have that same luck as Tony Drago lost to strong youngster Francisco Sanchez Ruiz. Ralf Souquet showed Stefan Nolle who’s boss with a score of 8-5 and Valery did the same thing to Konrad Piekarski. From the losers round the following players eventually went on to qualify for the Last64: Tony Dargo over Sean Dennis with a score of 8-1, Stefan Nolle beat Jan van Lierop 8-2, Konrad Piekarski against Lex Wellens 8-4.

In the afternoon the last 4 groups started their matches, some of the previous groups had to qualify the next morning some of them were done..

Group E surprised a bit when Micha Beuriot beat Guy Buss in the first round and one of the favs Imran Majid got beaten by Nicolas Baumanns. I got my donut handed to me by Noel Bruynooghe.. Couldn’t focus on my game with all the stuff happening around me and had to get comfortable with my new cue as well. Noel played a very good match though, missing maybe 1 ball the entire match. He later on went and qualified for the Last64 by beating Sebastian Fuhrmann. One of the other strong favorites Mateusz Sniegocki sailed through with a score of 8-0 in his 2nd and 3rd match as well. Fast playing Marko Vogel struggled a bit but in the end got through with a hill-hill against Mario Stahl, who himself also eventually got through by beating Lennaert Speijker 8-1 in the losers round. Imran Majid, Robin Cripps, Anthony Wever also went on to qualify winning their matches in the 4th losers round.

Group F consisted of some great players like Oliver Ortmann and Juan Carlos Exposito, who met each other in the latter stages. Oliver first beat fellow countryman Michael Heinz with a big score of 8-0. Think Michael couldn’t get his rhythm going as he normally played way better than that. Norman Bakker surprisingly beat JCE 8-1, Greek fury Xrhstos Davetas beat Thomas Aschauer 8-4 and strong playing Marc Bijsterbosch beat Sven Wenkheimer with easy and a final score of 8-2. In the 3rd Winners round some big matches emerged like Ramazan Dincer vs. Ortmann (8-6), Elliot Sanderson vs. Marc Bijsterbosch (8-5) and Adrian Borowiec vs. Davetas (8-4). So now the losers qualification had some great thrillers going where Exposito met with Ortmann and beat him 8-5, which caused a bit of an upset. Also Hector del Amo Garcia who lost his 1st match got through to the last round and bear Sven Pauritsch to qualify. Marc Bijsterbosch also redeemed himself and beat Waikit Kwok after a hard battle. Davetas was the last one to set his score and got through.

Group G featured some big names like Mario He, David Alcaide and Phil Burford. But also strong formed Joshua Filler who had made a name for himself at DCC by winning the 9ball Banks against Nick v/d Berg in the final. 1st round saw no surprises and all big names went through to the next one. Then we had a big match-up when Mario He drew David Alcaide in the next round and beat him on the hill. David eventually got through to the last round and got through. Joshua showed that age does not matter and shot his way through Phil Burford at the arena with a score of 8-6. Marco Teutscher also went through over Jimmy Worung (8-5). In the 3rd winner round more surprises came when Daniel Kandi beat strong favorite Mario He. Furthermore Mark Lunn beat OC Chan, Teutscher beat Jelle Kijlstra and Joshua Filler knocked his countryman Clemens Phillipen to the losers round. Last chance to qualify for the Last64.. Phil Burford, Julian Kortüm, previously mentioned David Alcaide and Ralf Mrnka did so.

Group H was the final one and had 2013 Champion Nick Van Den Berg starting his journey to defend his crown. Started off with a bye and then went on to qualify for the Last64 by beating German Bundesliga player Kevin Becker and Belgian WCOP player Moritz Lauwereyns in his 3rd match. More strong players started off well; Huidji See beat Female player Vivien Schade 8-0, Jakob Belka vs. Olivier van Loteringen went down with 8-2. 2nd round winners side had some good matches when Dennis Jansen beat Hanno Bröcker on the Hill, Wojtek Szewczyk knocked his countryman Jakob Belka to the losers-side and youngster Aaron Vancoppenolle did the same thing to strong Female Chantal Manske. Last winners round saw all the favorites go through; NvdB, Szewczyk, See and Dennis Janssen, all with ease. Losers side saw Lars Kuckherm, Belka, Becker and Mauwereyns go through.

So that was it for the groups.. Now on to the Last 64 of the 9ball MAIN-EVENT and the 9ball DROP-OUT Challenge.
Around 10:00h on Sunday some matches of the Knock-Out stage began early, but most started around 12:00h. 
Some noticeable wins were Moritz Lauwereyns beating his former WCOP team-mate Serge Das with a score of 9-5. Phil Burford beat his countryman Karl Boyes 9-7. Ivo Aarts beat Mateusz Sniegocki 9-8 after trailing 8-6. Konrad Piekarski beat Noel Bruynooghe with an easy 9-4. Norman Bakker got close with Matthias Blehs but beat him on the hill. Raphael Keusen beat strong playing Daniel Kandi on the hill as well. So did Carlos Cabello vs. Mark Lunn.

On to the Last32 where more surprises came along when Wojtek Szewczyk beat Huidji See with ease, final score of 9-5. Moritz Lauwereyns kept his form and beat last year’s Runner-Up Marek Derek 9-6. Konrad Juszczyszyn also shocked everyone when he kept his nerve on the hill against Phil Burford and beat him. More strong play by Ivo Aarts, Imran Majid, Ralf Souquet, Konrad Piekarski, Joshua Filler, Nick van den Berg, Niels Feijen, Tobias Hoiß who all went through to the Last16.

Surely now at this stage you would think only the strong favorites would emerge.. but no, Moritz Lauwereyns continued his form and beat Tobias Hoiß 9-7. Konrad Piekarski being the underdog against Ivo Aarts showed who’s who and beat him 9-5. Mario He did not disappoint and beat Juszczyszyn 9-5 as well. But the biggest surprises of them all was Wojtek Szewczyk taking his revenge on Nick van den Berg from last year at the quarter-finals. After trailing a couple of games Wojtek in the end prevailed and beat the struggling Nick 9-7. Fair to say Nick was dealing with some personal issues on the side. Nevertheless a great performance by the young Pole. More names that went through to the Last8 were Filler, Majid, Feijen and a player I would like to call the new ‘DARK HORSE’ ; Marcel Fortunski. Did not know Marcel had so much in him.. he went through to this stage by beating some big names in my book; Ramazan Dincer (5x 1.Bundesliga Champion), Normal Bakker (strong Dutch player), Elliot Sanderson (GB9 Tour) .. Well DONE!

At this stage our well prized DROP-OUT Challenge began, this tournament was created to let players have another change at some good prize-money and to let them enjoy our venue some more. Where at other tournament after losing twice you didn’t have a chance to redeem yourself.. @ DCC players still did! The Tournament had the same format and rules but shorter races and single knock-out.. so fast play and surprise results were expected. When people found out that the tournament was opened to more than 64 players, whey immediately signed up and the final field was 80.

Here are the results:

Last 16 and onwards:

Klaudio Kerec 6 vs 5 Benjamin Baier 
Mateusz Sniegocki 6 vs 1 Stefan Nölle 
Sigi Hegde 6 vs 3 Chantal Manske 
Tony Drago 6 vs 3 Sebastian Fuhrmann 
Raul Martin 6 vs 3 Cyriel Ledoux
Thomas Aschauer 6 vs 3 Marc Glatz
David Alcaide 6 vs 1 Ramazan Dincer 
Can Salim 6 vs 3 Christos Davetas

Quarter finals 
Klaudio Kerec 6 vs 4 Mateusz Sniegocki 
Tony Drago 6 vs 0 Sigi Hegde 
Raul Martin 6 vs 0 Thomas Aschauer 
David Alcaide 6 vs 1 Can Salim

Semi finals 
Tony Drago 7 vs 2 Klaudio Kerec 
David Alcaide 7 vs 2 Raul Martin

Final 
David Alcaide 8 vs 2 Tony Drago

Quarter Final TIME of the MAIN-EVENT!


Moritz again shocked everyone on the TV Table and beat strong favorite Mario He. Feijen showed who boss against Majid by beating him 9-5. Piekarski went on 6-1 against Marcel Fortunski in about 20 minutes but then lost focus and let the young player get back at him a little bit but in the end closed it off with a final score of 9-7. Joshua Filler kept cool against Szewczyk to beat him 9-5.
Semis both played on the TV tables, the match-ups were; Feijen vs. Lauwereyns and Filler vs. Piekarski. Both matches quickly showed who the better players was on Sunday. Even through the youngster match had a bigger score it was over pretty quick cus of fast run-outs and no safety battles. Niels and Moritz took a while longer as tactics came into play. Niels finally closed the deal with a 9-2 win.
So Holland vs. Germany in the FINAL! Niels quickly showed that the break in 9ball ET Style is mastered by those who regularly play the format and broke and ran most of his racks. Joshua struggled to get runs round because he lost his cue-ball a lot. Niels in front is unstoppable, I knew that from the get-go. Proved me right by winning and becoming the NEW 2014 ‘PREDATOR’ Deurne City Classic® CHAMPION !! Congrats Niels Feijen
 
Though "MASTER OF THE TABLE" title goes to Joshua Filler ! Winning the 9ball banks, 14.1 Shootout and becoming Runner-up in the 9ball MAIN-EVENT!

NEXT YEAR WE WILL HAVE A PRIZE FOR THIS!
 

Shotgun Shoots Down Boyes In Pro Cup

The 2014 season’s inaugural Pro Cup was contested between Karl Boyes and Craig Osborne. The new format of winner breaks, double elimination to 8 players and race to 11 was guaranteed to bring out the highest quality pool from the highest quality players on the tour.
 
Boyes started off his quest for another piece of silverware with a comfortable 11-2 victory over Scotland’s Michael Valentine to put him into a winner’s bracket showdown against another former Mosconi Cup player in the form of Daryl Peach. The two Blackpool residents fought out a relatively one sided contest, with Boyes winning through into the quarter finals 11 racks to 4. Another Michael was waiting in the last 8, but this time it was Michael Rhodes who attempted to derail Guapo. Boyes’ relentless form continued however, with an 11-3 victory setting up a quarter final against Malta’s one and only Tony Drago. His electric style of play would often blow an opponent away, but the tables were turned here as Boyes took an incredible 11-0 whitewash with what is a tour record of SEVEN break and runs in one match against the Tornado to seal his place in the final.
 
Ossie got his campaign underway in a close fought match on which he found himself the wrong side of the scoreline. Daryl Peach defeated the Shotgun 11-8 to set up his ill-fated match with Boyes and put Osborne one match from defeat. he kept his hopes alive by handing Michael Valentine his second and final defeat of the competition. 11-4 was the score in favour of the Ipswich shooter, knocking Valentine out of the Pro Cup and putting Osborne into the losers qualification side to face Dave Nelson. It was to be a case of different opponent, same score – Osborne wrapping up his second straight 11-4 victory to pit him against Mark Gray in the last 8. Ossie had hit top gear now, and an 11-2 win comfortably saw him into the semi-finals. Here he met Benji Buckley, playing his debut season in the Pro Cup competition, but the Derby University student couldn’t quite secure his spot in the final. Osborne grinded to an 11-6 win to meet Karl Boyes in the final.
 
Both players have faced each other a number of times before in their GB9 careers, so both knew to expect one almighty match in the final. The spectators were treated to some excellent pool, with Osborne earning himself the first Pro Cup of the season with an 11 racks to 9 victory over Boyes.

Hall Beats Them All For Maiden Main Title

Chris Hall

The first main event final of the season saw Darlington’s Phil Burford come up against Wakefield’s Chris Hall. Both players have been stalwarts of the tour for a number of years now, and it was fitting that two such players should contest the first major showdown of the season.
 
Hall opened his account for the weekend in fine style, dispatching of Welshman Nathan James 9-0 in a mere 35 minutes to secure passage through to the last 32. Here he met two times defending Universities Pool Council 9-Ball champion Benji Buckley in a much closer affair. Hall came away victorious, however, with a solid 9-5 scoreline ensuring safe passage to the round of 16. His opponent, Dave Evans, suffered almost the same fate as Hall’s first opponent. 9-1 was the score in favour of Hall, taking the Yorkshireman through to a quarter final showdown with none other than Tony Drago. Smelling blood from his early exit in the World Snooker Welsh Open earlier in the week, a quarter final was the best he could manage here. An incredible match which Hall won 9-7 saw the pair share no less than SEVEN break and runs between them in a match that took just 66 minutes. Hall then had another high quality match in the semi-finals, this time against Ipswich’s Craig Osborne. Another three break and runs from Hall took his tally for the competition to 15 in the space of four matches and helped him to a 9-6 victory to send him into his first main event final.
 
Burford’s last 64 match saw him overcome a resilient Simon Gardner, with a 9-5 win seeing him into the last 32 to face Colchester’s Shaun Storry. Three break and runs each would often be a sign of a close match, but Shaun’s three were his only rack wins as Burford won 9-3. His opponent in the last 16 was Stuart Colclough, another long time tour player. Another 9-5 victory was enough to take Burford into a quarter final match with Wolverhampton’s Darryn Walker. Walker has established himself as a feared name in British 9-ball in recent years, but this time he was no match for the defending Midlands Classic champion. Burford won through 9 racks to 4 to take him into an all north-east semi final against Michael Rhodes. It was Burford who came out on top 9 racks to 4 to take him just 11 more racks away from a successful defence of his title.
 
Many saw Burford as heavy favourite going into the final, but it was Hall who raced into what can only be called a shock 9-0 lead to leave Burford hanging on by his fingertips. The seemingly impossible wasn’t to follow, and Hall soon wrapped up the two racks he required to take a tremendous 11-3 victory over Burford to take his maiden main event win at a GB9 event.

Peach Wins GB9 Southern Masters

Daryl Peach

GB9′s first event ever event in Essex has reached its conclusion with Daryl Peach beating Karl Boyes to win his first GB9 event in over 12 months at the 2013 Southern Masters at London Stansted airport.

This event was the first of its kind in GB9′s six year history, and the somewhat curious location ensured a truly cosmopolitan feel to a national tournament. Participants from Italy, Denmark and Spain all flew over to Great Britain to contest perhaps this season’s most anticipated competition yet. With places in a World Pool Masters qualifier at the conclusion of the event up for grabs, this was sure to be a hotly contested event and the immense quality of pool certainly didn’t disappoint.  Peach who was down in tenth position in the rankings for the World Pool Masters qualifying spot prior to the start of play, had already done his maths and worked out that he needed nothing short of winning the main event in order to be in the running, a fact which brought immense pressure on each of his matches and that makes his win quite incredible.
 
Peach began his route to the final with a smooth 9-5 win against Spain’s Albert Casellas which put him through to a winners qualifying stage match with another Spaniard in the form of Juan Carlos Exposito. He ensured that Spain suffered a second consecutive defeat as a 9-4 win comfortably saw the 2007 World Champion into the last 32. Here he was to meet his first Brit in the form of Tom Staveley. Any complacency was left well and truly at the door as he hammered his compatriot 9-0 to advance to a last 16 match up with Imran Majid. A very high quality encounter followed with four break and runs helping Peach to a 9-7 win and a quarter final with another international figure in the form of Denmark’s Jan Keller. His third international opponent suffered the same fate as his first – 9-5 was the score in favour of Peach, and a semi-final with Dave Nelson awaited him. Special mention must go to Nelson at this point for a quite amazing run of his own to the semi-final. After qualifying for the single knockout last 32 with a comfortable 9-2 win over Martyn Royce, no less than THREE hill-hill encounters followed against Courtney Symons, Tommy Donlon and Kevin Simpson, all of which he managed to win 9 racks to 8 to meet Peach in the semi. His luck was to run out, however, and Peach saw off his Wakefield opponent 9-5 and secure a place in the final.
 
Boyes began his route to his second consecutive GB9 final in a similar manner to Peach: he defeated a Spaniard, this time round in the form of Hector Luna Iglesias. 9-2 was the scoreline against Iglesias and he went one better against his next opponent, Adam Collins, dispatching him 9-1 and reaching the last 32 stage. Boyes had so far only lost three racks in his first two matches and only lost another three here; he defeated Nathan James 9 racks to 3 and set up a last 16 clash with Sunderland’s Adam Benn Smith. His was a much sterner test, but Boyes saw his north-east opponent off 9-8 to reach the quarter finals. A fellow north-east potter in the form of Michael Rhodes was waiting for him, but with a 9-3 score-line Boyes saw himself into the final four. Fellow professional Mark Gray was sure to put up a stiff test with just one more win required for both to reach their second consecutive GB9 final. A repeat of the Northern Masters final ensured a quality battle ensued but it was Boyes heading to the final showdown with a 9 racks to 6 victory. The final was due to be a hotly contested battle with Peach looking to secure his place in the World Pool Masters qualifier which immediately followed the final and Boyes looking to become the first player since Daryl Peach in 2010 to win back to back main events on the GB 9 Ball Tour. It was Peach who took the spoils, however, with a solid 11-4 win securing his place alongside Boyes in the qualifier and taking home the £1700 winner’s purse.
 
In the Challenge event it was two more professionals who made their way to the final, with Raj Hundal and Chris Melling both making amends for their last 32 exits in the main event. Hundal made his way to the final with victories over Shaun Chipperfield 7-0, Phil Burford 7-6, Alvaro Canoniga 7-3 and Damian Massey 7-5. Melling joined him with a 7-4 defeat of Craig Osborne, before beating Bruno Muratore 7-2, Arfan Dad 7-3 and Benji Buckley 7-4.  With a long journey home ahead of him Melling let Hundal take the title and settled himself with a well-earned runner-up position.
 
 
The GB 9 Ball Tour will return for the 2013 ‘Festival of Pool‘ at the end of November, beginning with the last tour event of the season, The GB9 British Grand Prix, followed on 2-3 December by the inaugural GB9 UK 9-Ball Open with a prize fund of £20,000 including £4,000 added.  The week will conclude with the Universities Pool Council annual 9-Ball Championships.  All three events will take place at the magnificent Park Inn by Radisson hotel, Telford, UK.
 
We are now taking applications for the new look 2014 GB9 season, entry to 10 events over 5 tour weekends is priced at just £399 for Challenge tour players, so playing on the UK’s official, professional 9-ball pool tour has never been so affordable. Just fill in the application form on our web site.