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Winner’s Side Action Continues at the Open

Warren Kiamco (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

We are still working our way through the winner’s side of the brackets at the Open. Most of the usual suspects performed as expected but there are always upsets and exceptions. 
Justin Bergman got off to a great start with an 11-6 win over Dennis Hatch. John Morra dominated John Schmidt 11-1. Warren Kiamco is having a stellar week so far. He defeated Can Wang 11-1 and in three matches he has played so far his opponents have gotten only a total of 2 racks against him so his current record is 33-2. Not bad action.
Alex Pagulayan defeated Karen Corr and faces Kiamco in his next match so that should be a fire-burner. Dennis Orcullo ran into a wall against Mario He as He beat him 11-5 so Dennis now is on the long side of the charts. Darren Appleton stayed clean yesterday as he defeated Frankie Hernandez 11-8 in a tough back-and-forth match.
Corey Deuel defeated Nick Van Den Berg 11-5, something of a surprise as van den Berg had tossed Shane Van Boening aside 11-7 in his previous match. Albin Ouschan defeated Russlan Chinakhov 11-8 and next will battle Joshua Filler, the winner of this year’s China Open. Justin Bergman’s victory over Hatch was a short-lived joy as he lost to Chris Melling 11-8 in the next round. Thorsten Hohmann took down David Alcaide 11-5 and will next face Martin Daigle who has thus far beaten Earl Strickland and Tommy Kennedy.
Jayson Shaw has had an easy run of it thus far but his next opponent will be none other than Pin-Yi Ko
The action starts again at 10:30 EST today. Follow all the action with the stream at and the live scoring and brackets here on AZB

Star-studded field set for Nottingham

Niels Feijen (NED)

With the 22nd annual PartyPoker World Pool Masters set for the Portland Centre in Nottingham from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th November, promoters Matchroom Sport have assembled a star-studded field from around the world to contest one of the sport’s most prestigious events.
16 of the best pool players in the world will be gathered in the heart of England to try and add their name to the pantheon of all-time greats who have held the Masters trophy aloft.
There is a $66,000 prize fund at stake and World Champions, US Open Champions, European Champions as well as the very best players from all four corners of the globe will be vying for the Masters crown.
Defending champion and reigning WPA World 9 Ball winner Niels Feijen will be back to defend his crown. Also aiming for his first ever Masters title is Shane Van Boening, who just made history as he won his third consecutive US Open title and fourth overall.
Other WPA World Champions competing are four legends of the game; Thorsten Hohmann, Francisco Bustamante, Alex Pagulayan and Mika Immonen.
Home hopes will rest with four players who have all had great seasons one way or another. Darren Appleton is the most titled player in UK pool history with two US Opens as well as two WPA World Championships on his resume. Karl Boyes, who along with Appleton won the recent World Cup of Pool, is a former WPA World 8 Ball Champion.
They will be joined by Chris Melling, who is also carving a name for himself on the World Snooker Tour, and Mark Gray who earlier this month qualified for his second Mosconi Cup appearance.
The full line-up
– Darren Appleton (ENGLAND)
– Karl Boyes (ENGLAND)
– Francisco Bustamante (PHILIPPINES)
Daniele Corrieri (ITALY)
– Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GREECE)
– Niels Feijen (HOLLAND)
– James Georgiadis (AUSTRALIA)
– Mark Gray (ENGLAND)
– Thorsten Hohmann (GERMANY)
– Mika Immonen (FINLAND)
Waleed Majid (QATAR)
– Chris Melling (ENGLAND)
– Alex Pagulayan (CANADA)
Karol Skowerski (POLAND)
– Shane Van Boening (USA)
Can Wang (CHINA)
With a field of 16 players there are 15 matches in total – all races to eight racks and culminating in the final on the Sunday evening.  The draw and schedule will be announced shortly.
Tickets are priced at a £10 for the evening sessions and £5 for the afternoon sessions. Both prices include a booking fee.
The Masters will once again sport a $20,000 top prize, and the event will be produced by Matchroom Sport Television who will be making 15 x 1 hour programmes of the tournament for international syndication.
The 2014 PARTYPOKER World Pool Masters is sponsored by, one of the world's leading online poker sites. The Official Table is by Diamond Billiards; Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis; the Official Balls are Super Aramith and Predator is the Official Cue, Chalk and Rest.

2014 US Open 9-Ball Championship – Imran Majid vs Wang Can

China Open Celebrates Two Champions

The winners alongside the runner-ups and organizers

Han Yu and Yu-Lung Chang are the 2014 China Open Champions. The China Open began with 64 men and 48 women, all of whom qualified to be here by their performance records in their home federations or qualifying tournaments. This makes for very tough fields as no walk-ons are there to ease the path. Every match is a showcase.

In both the men’s and women’s divisions the event began with the players drawn into groups. The eliminations that occur here leave us with a final ladder that has 32 names on it for the men and for the ladies there are 16.

If a player makes it to the final sheet in the men’s division he knows he is only five consecutive wins away from the championship. As there is only room for one at the top many large trees are going to be hitting the ground in each round. The big wood that fell in the first round included Daryl Peach (11-7 Johann Chua), Can Wang (11-6 Thorsten Hohmann), Chris Melling (11-8 Radoslaw Babica), John Morra (11-7 Dennis Orcullo), Haitao Liu (11-10 Hewen Li), Jiaqing Wu (11-7 Shane Van Boening), Darren Appleton (11-10 Ralf Souquet), and Pin-Yi Ko (11-7 John Morra).

From here on in any player can win or lose on any table. You only have 16 players left and they have shown themselves to be the cream of the crop. From this round Ronglin Chang progressed by eliminating Johann Chua 11-7. Thorsten Hohmann eased by Radoslaw Babica 11-9 and Yu Lung Chang defeated Bing Jie Chu 11-6.

Lee Vann Corteza dropped Niels Feijen 11-7, Carlo Biado narrowly escaped fellow Filipino Dennis Orcollo 11-10, and Shane Van Boening had to come from behind to vanquish Li Hewen 11-9. Finally, Mika Immonen ended the run of Ralf Souquet 11-6 and Jeffrey Ignacio sent John Morra to the stands with 11-8.

The Round of Eight did not take long as every victory was decisive. Ronglin Chang shut down Thorsten Hohmann 11-6 while Yu Lung Chang dispatched Lee Van Corteza 11-8. Nearby Carlo Biado finished the event for Shane Van Boening 11-4 and Jeffrey Ignacio did the same for Mika Immonen 11-6.

Four men left and each were only a pair of wins away from the glory. We expected these matches to be close but instead were surprised by the dominance of our winners. Yu Lung Chang let his skills shout out an 11-4 trouncing of Ronglin Chang and Jeffrey Igancio left Carlo Biado behind in an 11-6 dust storm.

Yu Lung Chang was determined and his focus proved invincible as he took the crown 11-5 over our runner-up Jeffrey Ignacio.

On the ladies charts we were already down to 16 players and every name reflected many National or World Titles. This was an extremely impressive field. The first eight matches found Rubelin Amit slipping past Chieh-Yu Chou 9-8 while Han Yu had an easier time with Yichen Liu 9-4. Sha Sha Liu continued her march besting Xinmei Liu 9-5 as Kelly Fisher bumped off Jing Wu 9-4.

The lower half of the bracket saw Siming Chen defeat Allison Fisher 9-5 and Akimi Kajatani keeping it close with a 9-8 escape from Pei Chen Tsai. Xiao-Ting Pan squeezed past Szu-Ting Kuo 9-8 while Ga Young Kim obliterated Nataliya Seroshtan 9-1.

The four matches in the quarter-finals witnessed Han Yu beating Rubelin Amit 9-7, Sha Sha Liu ruining the afternoon for Kelly Fisher 9-6, Siming Chen punching the ticket for Akimi Kajatani 9-2 and Ga Young Kim finding dead punch to best Xiao-Ting Pan 9-7.

What a powerhouse group for the semi-finals! All of these players have proven their ability to win the Big One. This time Han Yu prevailed over Sha Sha Liu 9-4 and Ga Young Kim earned her berth in the final with a 9-7 win over Siming Chen.

Our final match between Ga Young Kim and Han Yu found Han Yu pulling away and winning the title 9-5. AZB wishes to congratulate our champions and thank the promoters and all involved in putting this event on annually.


China Open Day 1

Siming Chen

It is much too early in this event to pick any favorites so let’s just review the interesting match ups and resulting situations. Thorsten Hohmann is on the one-loss side early after losing his first match 9-5 to Yu Lung Chang.  Now he has to square off against Tomasz Kaplan to stay alive. Corey Deuel had a bad day against Chris Melling as he found himself on the wrong side of a final 9-2 score.

Rodney Morris is in a tough spot. He lost his second round match to Niels Feijen 9-3 and now must defeat former World Champion Karl Boyes in order to make it to the final bracket. Shane Van Boening is exhibiting his usual muscle as he pelted Le Hewen 9-1 to win his opener.

As of this moment four males have made it through to the final bracket. They are: Mika Immonen, Can Wang, Niels Feijen, and Khanh Nguyen.

On the ladies side Jennifer Barretta lost her first matche. She lost to Yichen Liu 7-4 and now awaits a match on the sudden-death side with Zhiting Wu. Allison Fisher won her first match 7-2 against Jing Wu and will next face Kyoko Sone.

Siming Chen and Xiao-Ting Pao will face one another at the end of the winners bracket in their group. The fans will get to watch two World 9-Ball Champions square off for the honor of remaining undefeated and a better seeding in the final group.

Kelly Fisher remains pristine as she won her first match 7-4 against Xinmei Liu and now will face Ziglan Wei for the opportunity too retain an unblemished record.

This is just the first day of the event and the players are working their way through the opening group stages to find their way into the final single-elimination chart. We should have the final charts possibly as early as Friday so check back often for news.

You may follow the event via live scoring at the WPA Website.

China Open First-Round Draw

The China Open begins on Thursday, June 5, and we have received the draw for the first round. Players that play one another in the first round are grouped together.


Thorsten Hohmann
Yu Lung Chang

Radoslaw Babica
Tomasz Kaplan

Seung Woo Ryu
Basher Hussain Abdul Majed

Hamzaa Saeed Ali
Ronglin Chang


Chris Melling
Corey Deuel

Robbie Foldvari
Shaun Wilkie

Xihe Zhu
Jurgen Jenisi

Abdullah Al Yousef
Pin-Yi Ko


Mika Immonen
Jin Hu Dang

Alejandro Carvajal
Jeffrey Ignacio

Phil Reilly
Meshaal Turki Al Ali

Warren Kiamco
Can Wang

Group D

Niels Feijen
Matthew Edwards

Rodney Morris
Johann Gonzales Chua

Jeremy Sossei
Oscar Dominguez

Khanh Hoang Nguyen
Karl Boyes


Carlo Biado
Hajato Hijikata

Mohamed Al Hosani
Ahmad Taufiq

Bing Jie Chu
Konstantin Stepanov

Albin Ouschan
John Morra


Dennis Orcollo
Mateusz Sniegocki

Brent Wells
Ralf Souquet

Daryl Peach
Jalal Yousef

Jason Klatt
Nick Ekonomopoulos


Darren Appleton
Hoang Quan Do

Nico Erasmus
Hunter Lombardo

Chi Dung Luong
Aloysius Yapp

Hewen Li
Shane Van Boening


Jiaqing Wu
Yong Dai

Karol Skowerski

Haitoa Liu
Kenny Kwok

Takhti Zarekani
Lee Van Corteza

The draw for the Women’s Division is:


Han Yu

Yichen Liu
Jennifer Barretta

Charlene Huey
Zhiting Wu

Jasmin Ouschan


Allison Fisher

Huyen This Ngoc
Jing Wu

Kyoko Sone
Mariya Levova

Yuan-Chun Lin


Siming Chen

Jiao Ma
Shu Wah Hoe

Qiuyue Ren
Iris Ranola

Xiao-Ting Pan


Xiao-Fang FU

Narantuya Bayarsaikhan
Kristina Zlateve

Nataliya Seroshtan
Ana Mazhirina

Sha Sha Liu


Rubilen Amit

Akami Kajatani
Joanne Ashton

Tianqi Shit
Bai Ge

Chichiro Kawahara


Ga Young Kim

Xiaotong Wang
Moirudee Kasemchaiyanan

Brittany Bryant
Meng Gao

Chieh-Yu Chou


Pei Chen Tsai

Szu-Ting Kuo
Judy Walia

Emily Duddy
Sijia Wang

Yu Ram Cha


Ziglan Wei

Carlynn Sanchez
Katarzyna Wesolowska

Xinmei Liu
Xin Run He

Kelly Fisher


The World Tournament of 14.1 August 4-9th in New York City

Hohmann is the most dominant 14.1 player of the modern era

New York City, NY – The World Tournament of 14.1 will take place once more in New York City for the third year straight. An even bigger star studded field is expected this year with Steinway Billiards Cafe once more hosting the world's grandest straight pool championship.
"The World Tournament has extended the history of the venerable game of 14.1 well into the 21st century.  Thorsten Hohmann is now this century's three time champion and Darren Appleton's dramatic 200-and-out game was the kind of "you had to be there" moment that makes it all worthwhile", says Dr. Michael Fedak who has presented this event for five years now. 
"It's undeniable that this is one of the most looked forward to events of the year for pool enthusiasts. The amount of fan letters and support builds every year that it's overwhelming and rewarding for us", says Charlie Williams, Executive Producer of the World Tournament.
Last year's event had standing room only crowds on most of the days. And there were many firsts such as USA's champion Shane Van Boening entering for the first time, China's first 14.1 player in Can Wang, and of course the record shattering performance from England's Darren Appleton in the semi-finals when he ran a perfect 200 against Filipino World Champion Francisco Bustamante. DVDs of last year's events can be acquired by clicking onto this link  or call 707-533-4727 .
"New York City has the best straight pool fans in the world!", said Thorsten Hohmann last year when he won his 3rd World Tournament crown. 
"We are very pleased to be back at Steinway Billiards once more. New York City is the perfect home for the World Tournament where the fans really appreciate the artistry of 14.1", said Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions.


2013 in Review – Part Two – The Trials of Tunica

Mika Immonen came back under the spotlight with a bang in Tunica

The Ultimate Ten Ball Championships came to Tunica with $100,000 in added money between the men and the ladies. It ran on time and everyone was paid on the spot so the two most critical aspects were successfully accomplished. And the players paid that back with some fantastic matches. Ten Ball is a game that challenges the player on many levels. The break shot is tough and certainly not always reliable. And the one extra ball seems to crowd the table early and it leads to the need for skillful safety play. In Tunica the masters that week were Mika Immonen and Ga-Young Kim.

Immonen was just dead-on perfect. He dominated every opponent he faced and he faced some very tough guys. Among his victims were Ernesto Dominguez, Nick Ekonomopoulos, Mike Dechaine, Darren Appleton and then Can Wang in the finals. Immonnen had hit a gear that week that is rare in pool. But Immonen was not the only immovable object in Tunica that week. Ga-Young Kim put on a show of devastation herself as she made crushing World Champions look like child’s play. She busted up Siming Chen, Jasmin Ouschan, Line Kjoersvik, and Allison Fisher on her way out to the finals and only one of those names got to four games on her.

In the finals she would again face Allison Fisher. Allison hung in there real well and at one point the match was tied at four games apiece. But then Ga-Young took charge. She would have won it 9-5 but a fan popped a flash at her just as she pulled the trigger on the winning 10-Ball and that game was gifted to Fisher. Kim came right back to take the next rack and the title.

So as a pro tournament the UTBC events were a huge success. The problem was it was held in front of very few fans and its founder Badi Nazhat announced a few weeks later that UTBC would not return until he could develop a more sustainable format located inside a structure for the sport that would assist in the success of the game.

The UTBC was paired up with Diamond Billiards' Southern Classic. This event bumped up against Bonus Ball and that, coupled with another low fan turn-out, cost the event its life. The Southern Classic joined the list of events held for the last time in 2013. Add to that list two CSI events (US Open 10-Ball and US Open 8-Ball) which will not return in 2014, at least not in their current form.


NEXT: 3 of 5: The Big Opens and Turning Stone

Or you may jump directly to the following:

1 of 5: Derby City

2 of 5: The Trials of Tunica

3 of 5: The Big Opens and Turning Stone

4 of 5: Bonus Ball and the Mosconi Cup

5 of 5: It's a Wrap!


Van Boening Enters His First World Tournament of 14.1; Bustamante is Back

New York, New York –  It's heating up! America's #1 ranked player Shane Van Boening will chase his first straight pool title next week at the Olhausen World Tournament of 14.1. Filipino World Champion and legend Francisco Bustamante returns for his second visit to the tournament. Dragon Promotions and Dr. Michael Fedak will bring another globally star studded field at this year's Olhausen World Tournament hosted by Steinway Billiards in New York on August 19th-24th, 2013.  
Van Boening has won a myriad of titles including the US Open 9-Ball, the International 10-Ball Championship, as well as many 8-Ball and Derby City One Pocket titles. But he is missing Straight Pool, the father of all other games. I asked him about his favorite games in order. "If I had to choose my favorite game, it would be barbox 8-Ball. There's no luck. 10-Ball, 9-Ball…you have to be lucky after the break to get a good shot on the 1-Ball. One Pocket is a good game." How about straight pool ? Shane shrugs his shoulders , "I'll try it."
One time he met Willie Mosconi with his grandfather. "Mosconi tells Shane, you can be the best in the world. And even implied better than him if he practiced", said Gary. "But I don't think Shane could beat Willie in his prime. Not yet. It was different games they both play, but Mosconi was pretty amazing. But I'd love to see Shane play 14.1. I think he could win that, too."
Through additional support from such sponsors as Olhausen Tables, Championship Cloth, Aramith Balls, Amsterdam Billiards, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Master Chalk, and now FURY Cues, the absolute best pool players from around the world will arrive on the birth country of 14.1 once more to attend this prestigious event. All to vie for the coveted title of greatest straight pool player in the world.
"As a USA manufacturer, Championship Cloth believes in supporting events on American soil. This is the second consecutive year we have been chosen as the Official Cloth of the event and we are thrilled at the player's reception of the quality of our product. We welcome all the professionals from around the world to the World Tournament", said Mike Serra ,Chairman of the BCA and Vice-President of Championship Cloth & Brands.
Bustamante came close to the Gold in 2008 when he got to the finals undefeated only to fall to Netherlands Niels Feijen. Though not a student of the game, Francisco's pool skills make him dangerous in any game on the felt. Joining him from his homeland, world class Warren Kiamco will be joining him in his first attempt at the World Tournament of 14.1. Kiamco is a great all around player with high finishes in 8-Ball and one pocket events as well as being the reigning ABP sanctioned Johnny Archer Classic Champion, in which he toppled Van Boening in the finals. 
Other Asian notables will be Can Wang of China and Eddie Kwok of Korea.
Vendor spaces are also available, for more information on player registration, sponsorship, or if you would like to submit a comment, please email or contact Dragon Promotions at 1-407-782-4978. Full event info is at
Join the 141 Club ! Limited to the first 141 members. Visit  Tickets will be sold at the door during the event. Sponsors and private contributors can still join this year's event. Attend the 3rd Annual Straight Pool Hall of Fame on August 21st at 7pm. Tickets on sale now online at 


Battles Nearing Conclusion in Tunica

The Ultimate 10-Ball Championships in Tunica, Mississippi is entering its final day with the cream of the crop ready to battle it out for top honors and the gorgeous crystal trophies that will be passed to our top three finishers in each division. There are only four ladies left in the field. Ga-Young Kim is resting in the hot seat having passed through the field unscathed. But her labors are not yet done. On the one-loss side we will first have Line Kjoersvik taking on Kelly Fisher


The winner of that match will then take on Allison Fisher for the right to contest the Championship  with Ms. Kim. That final match will take place at 2 PM CST and will of course be live streamed.


There are a few more bodies still kicking around on the men's side of things. The hot seat contest will be between Can Wang of China and Mika Immonen of Finland. The winner will sit and rest until the finals kick off at 4:30. The loser will await an opponent. That foe will come from the battles between Niels Feijen and Darren Appleton and Carlo Biado and Alex Pagulayan.  The winners of those two matches will face off and the victor will play the loser between Wang and Immonen for the right to enter the championship arena.


You may follow the live scoring and find the progress of all players on the live brackets HERE