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Chinese 8-Ball Masters International Qualifiers Confirmed

Clint I’Anson

The 64 player main draw line-up for the 2018 Joy World Chinese 8-Ball Masters is now complete following the conclusion of the International Qualifying Event.
 
There was success for the United Kingdom as former IPA World Professional Blackball Pool Champion Jack Whelan advanced through undefeated, as too did fellow professional Clint I'Anson.
 
Whelan and I'Anson, who have won the IPA World Championship Doubles together before, will join fellow Brits Gareth Potts, Karl Boyes, Shaun Storry and Ben Davies in pursuit of the $151,000 top prize.
 
Among the eight overseas players to have qualified also included Holland's Alex Lely – the 1999 World Pool Masters Champion and South Africa's Jason Saleon. Both Lely and Saleon also progressed without losing a match.
 
Emerging from the Losers' Side were American Pool stars Klenti Kaci (Albania) and Denis Grabe (Estonia).
 
​Talented teenager Kaci finished top of the 2017 World Pool Series rankings after winning two of the four main events held in New York. The consistent Grabe has represented his country in the televised World Cup of Pool before and finished a very respectable 13th place here last year.
 
​There was prosperity for the female side of the sport too as Singapore's Charlene Chai made it through after ironically ousting fellow lady player Catherine Spyrou of Cyprus 8-7 in the last round.
 
Mongolia's Delgerhuu Ahtuya pipped Chan Keng Kweng (Singapore) 9-8 to also reach the main draw.
 
The main event begins tomorrow in Qinhuangdao. If you haven't already done so, you can read our preview here.
 
If you are unfamiliar with the Chinese 8-Ball discipline, why not head on over to Home Leisure Direct's blog here to learn more.

Women’s World 9-Ball: The Final Four Reach For Pool Immortality

China’s Chen Simeng

Climactic final day looms as Korea's Ga Young Kim takes on China's Liu Shasha, while China's Chen Siming battles Taiwan's Tan Yo Hun at the Women's World 9-ball Championship

 

The 2014 Women’s World 9-ball Championship has come down to the final four, and with the biggest prize in women’s pool to be decided on what promises to be a dramatic Saturday in southern China, fans around the world are clearly in for a treat of the highest level.

 
In the first race to 9 semi-final, which begins at 12pm(GMT +8),  Korea’s Ga Young Kim will take on China’s Lui Shasha. The match will be a battle of former champions; Kim won the Women’s World 9-ball Championship in 2004 and 2006, while Lui won the title the first year the tournament was played in China in 2009 at the incredible age of just 16 years old.
 
The second semi-final, which will take place at 2pm, will feature China’s Chen Siming against Taiwanese veteran Tan Ho Yun.
 
The race to 11 final will begin at 6pm Guilin time.
 
It was a grueling day of championship pool as the field was whittled down from 32 players to four players over three tough sessions. Actually for Kim and Liu, their round of 32 match was played the night before so they only had to play two matches today. But their road to the semis was no less easy, especially for Kim.
 
The Korea superstar, who speaks fluent Mandarin and is quite famous throughout China, must feel more than a little charmed at this point, as she has been living on the edge of disaster over the last few days only to miraculously survive and find herself on the cusp of her third 9-ball crown. In her round of 32 match the night before against China’s Wang Xiao Tong, Kim was all but out of the tournament as Wang got down on a straight in 9-ball to win the match. Incredibly the Chinese missed and Kim stole the rack, then won the next rack to advance to the round of 16.
 
Kim came out today and played solid in a 9-5 win over Japan’s Akimi Kajatani. But she was then faced with the prospect of moving over to the TV table to play defending champion Han Yu of China. The clinical Han had looked untouchable up to this point and had just destroyed one of China’s biggest stars, Fu Xiao Fang, 9-3, to move into the quarters.
 
Against the merciless Han, Kim jumped out to a 2-0 lead but then saw Han move up by 2. Han continued to hold off Kim the rest of the way until Kim finally caught up to tie at 8-8 and force a sudden death decider. In a pressure packed last rack, the pair handed over the table several times but it was Kim who grabbed the last 9-ball and a hard won spot in the semi-finals.
 
Kim will now have to face another Chinese superstar in Lui Shasha. The 21 year old has, as usual, looked unflappable all week and she played that way today. She first outlasted 14 year old fellow Chinese Jiang Teng, 9-5. Liu then did the same to the surprising Angeline Magdalena Ticaolu of Indonesia. The 29 year old Ticaolu showed a huge heart this week and her spot in the quarters is the best that any Indonesian player has ever achieved in a world championship. But Liu was in no mood to be kind and took over the match halfway and won 9-5.
 
Afterward a smiling Liu informed the surprised media throng that she hasn’t been feeling 100% throughout the week in Guilin.
 
“I feel so relieved right now,” Liu said. “From day one until right now I haven’t felt that good on the table. I don’t think I’m playing very well. It’s just a huge relief right now and I feel very very happy.”
 
Although Liu has won this event once before back in 2009, she said there is a world of difference between then and now.
 
“Five years ago before I won the title I’m nobody so back then I was just playing for fun and there was no pressure,” she said.  “But right now I have a lot of pressure from the national team, from my family, from all the fans and even from myself.  My coach told me to try and change all the pressure, to use it to my advantage, just try and stay positive and not worry so much. I just have to control my emotion, stay focused and get excited about the pressure.”
 
Liu, at least, can always remind herself in times of trouble that she has won the big one before, which is something at her fellow national team member Chen Siming can’t do.  Not yet anyway.
 
Of all the world class talent that China has produced, close observers of the game here over the last five years are near unanimous in declaring Chen as perhaps the greatest natural talent of them all. Her fluid stroke and dead eyed potting skills are a thing of beauty to behold. But the 21 year old Chen has yet to fulfill the promise that so many have invested in her by winning the big one. On top of this, she has watched as her fellow teammates like Liu, Fu and Han have grabbed the world crown, while she has had to endure a series of bitter disappointments. In 2011 Chen reached the finals only to lose to eventual champion and teammate Bi Ju Qing.
 
Over the last three days, however, Chen has looked as solid as ever and fans have been quietly whispering that perhaps this year might be her time to shine. She certainly looked the goods today with three terrific performances. Chen first routed Germany’s  Jasmin Michel 9-3. Next she handily beat a very solid Chou Chieh Yu of Taiwan. In the quarters she also squeezed the air out of another tough Taiwanese,  Wei Tzu Chien, 9-5. 
 
With a semis spot in the bag, Chen was more than ready for the inevitable “Can she finally do it?” questions from the media scrum. Her answers indicated a self-belief that perhaps wasn’t there a few years back.
 
“Of course tomorrow the pressure and tension will be totally different from the rest of the week,” Chen said. “But I will adjust myself and I’ll be ready. I don’t really care who my opponent is, I just have to play my own game.
 
“Every time before when I lost a big tournament I just use it as a learning experience to come back better the next time. So I was never really disappointed. I just keep practicing hard. So we will have to see what the answer to that is tomorrow.  
 
“The biggest difference with me from before is my attitude. Before I always think and worry about the competitor, and how she plays and I’m not even thinking about myself.  Now I don’t think about who my opponent is. I just focus on the table and focus on myself and my game. “
 
That certainly appears to be good advice because Chen’s opponent, Tawain’s Tan Ho Yun, has the luxury of being able to play under the radar. And Tan has got serious game as she reached the quarter finals here the last two years, and has now beaten her best by grabbing a semis spot this year.
 
The 31 year old from Khaosiung in southern Taiwan put in a workman-like performance today first taking down Japan’s Masami Nouchi, 9-3, then three time former champ Alison Fisher, 9-5, before coming back to beat China’s Zhou Doudou by the same score.
 
Afterward, the veteran Tan, who has been playing professionally for 16 years, revealed a little known fact that would indicate why she has not only played so well this week, but why she is brimming with confidence and feels she can finally go all the way. She spent the last month being mentored by none other than 2000 World 9-ball Champion, Fong Pang Chao, aka “the cold faced killer.”
 
‘I ask him why I lose every time,” Tan said. “He told me just find the best line, the best path to take the ball.  A lot of times, I picked the second best path, or the third best. But he showed me how to find the best path, how to think. He said if you find your best path, you can just relax and you can win. He is a world champion. His mind is amazing. It’s very clear when he plays and he taught me how to keep a clear mind.
 
“I wish I can win tomorrow. I just have to do it, for my coach Fong Pang Chao.”
 
*Fans around the world can watch both semi-finals and the final live online via CCTV(China State Television) at this link: http://news.top147.com/2014/10/00019105.shtml
 
**The 2014 Women’s World 9-ball will be held in Guilin, China from October 13-18, and is sanctioned by the World Pool & Billiard Association(WPA), the world governing body of pool.  64 women players from across the globe will compete for the biggest prize in Women’s Pool.  
 
The WPA  will be on hand in Guilin throughout the week bringing you all the drama from the 2014 Women’s World 9-ball Championship. WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner will be reporting with daily articles containing insight and analysis, as well as photos. Ted will also be manning the WPA Facebook page and Twitter feed and responding to fans queries and comments. Fans can also follow all matches via the WPA live scoring platform.   
 
Please visit the WPA Facebook page for the 2014 Women’s World 9-ball Championship here; http://www.facebook.com/pages/2013-WPA-Womens-World-9-ball-Championship/360470447416060?ref=hl
 
Follow the WPA on Twitter:  @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
SEMI-FINALS
Race to 9
Saturday, October 18, 2014
 
12 PM(GMT+8)
Ga Young Kim(KOR) vs.  Liu Shasha(CHN) 
 
2 PM
Chen Siming(CHN) vs. Tan Ho Yun(TPE)
 
FINAL
Race to 11
6PM
 
RESULTS QUARTERFINALS
Ga Young Kim(KOR)  9 – 8 Han Yu(CHN)   
Liu Shasha(CHN)  9 – 5 Angeline Magdalena Ticaolu(INA)
Chen Siming(CHN) 9 – 5 Wei Tzu Chien(TPE)
Tan Ho Yun(TPE) 9 – 5 Zhou Doudou(CHN)   
 
RESULTS FINAL 16
Ga Young Kim(KOR)  9 – 5 Akimi Kajatani(JPN)   
Han Yu(CHN) 9 – 3 Fu Xiao Fang(CHN)
Liu Shasha(CHN)  9 – 5 Jiang Teng(CHN)    
Angeline Magdalena Ticaolu(INA) 9 – 4 Kuo Azu Tinh(TPE)
Chen Siming(CHN) 9 – 3 Chou Chieh-yu(TPE)  
Wei Tzu Chien(TPE) 9 – 8 Pan Xiaoting(CHN)      
Tan Ho Yun(TPE) 9 – 5  Allison Fisher(GBR)
Zhou Doudou(CHN) 9 – 8  Karen Corr(GBR) 
 
RESULTS FINAL 32, 2ND HALF 
Chen Siming(CHN) 9 – 3 Jasmin Michel(GER)
Chou Chieh-yu(TPE) 9- 6 Charlene Chai Zeet Huey(SIN)
Pan Xiaoting(CHN) 9 – 2 Jeanette Lee(USA)
Wei Tzu Chien(TPE) 9 – 7 Tsai Pei Chen(TPE)  
Tan Ho Yun(TPE) 9 – 3  Masami Nouchi(JPN)
Allison Fisher(GBR) 9 – 7 Wu Zhi Ting(TPE)
Zhou Doudou(CHN) 9 – 4 Caroline Roos(SWE)
Karen Corr(GBR)  9 – 5 Chen Xue(CHN) 

Round of 32 Begins in a Wild Ride

Xiao Fang Fu

With the knockout stages underway at the Women's World 9-ball Championship in Guilin, China, the pressure is already proving too much to bear for some players.

 
If you like your pool to resemble a roller coaster ride with plenty of hair raising twists and turns, then the next two days here at the Women’s World 9-ball Championship in Guilin in southern China will surely be everything you could have ever wanted.
 
This prediction is based on the drama that transpired today inside the Guilin gym, where Judgement Day jitters affected not only the wannabes, but even the sport’s biggest stars. Even straight in 9-balls normally made a thousand out of thousand times in practice were bobbling in the jaws under the intense pressure.
 
The first order of play today was to trim the field down to 32 where the players would switch to a single elimination knockout, race to 9. (If anyone had any doubts that Asia is the dominant region in pool, they were erased when eyeing who made it through to the Final 32: all but 5 players were from Asia.)
 
After the draw and a break for dinner, the first 8 matches in the last 32 commenced. As could be expected things didn’t get any easier as the surprises and missteps continued like a domino effect throughout the arena.  
 
Korea’s Ga Young Kim, certainly one of the top five favorites to win here this week, escaped out of her group with narrow 7-6 win over former world champion Shin Mei Lu of Taiwan. In the single elimination round of 32, Kim came up against young and talented Chinese player Wang Xiao Tong. The multi-awarded Kim was a clear favorite, but this event is no ordinary tournament. When Kim found herself in her chair down 8-7 in the race to 9, and Wang shooting a very makeable 9-ball for the win, the Korean star must have known it was curtains. Incredibly Wang missed the easy 9-ball as the crowd gasped in horror. Kim won the rack and then won the decider to stumble into the last 16.
 
2012 champion Kelly Fisher had a day she won’t soon forget, although she’d probably prefer to get a case of amnesia about now. Up 6-4 in a race to 7 in the last match of her group, Fisher missed a 9-ball to qualify, then watched opponent Wu Jing of China storm back. With the match in hand, Wu missed a near straight in 9-ball for the win. Fisher escaped into the final 32.
 
There she met up with arch rival and 2010 World 9-ball Champion, Fu Xiao Fang. This match screamed “Marquee!” and was rightfully played on the TV table, and shown on China state television channel, CCTV, to an audience numbering in the millions.
 
With several miracle escapes behind her, Fisher freewheeled it and put on a brilliant show, holding a commanding 8-5 lead in the race to 9 match. Fu, however, clawed back to tie to force a pressure packed one rack decider. The Brit’s wild ride of a tournament finally came to an end as Fu grabbed the last rack and advanced as Fisher was sent packing.
 
Taiwan’s Kuo Azu Tinh is relatively new the scene but had the Philippines’ Rubilen Amit down 8-5 in their round of 32 match. But with one rack to go, Kuo looked like she was caught in one of those bad nightmares where the prize keeps getting further and further away. Up 8-7, Kuo had a straight in 9-ball for the win but, like others before her, the 9 bobbled in the jaws. Showing her mettle, however, Kuo broke and ran the final rack and advanced to the final 16.
 
It wasn’t all drama, tension and tragic near misses today.  Defending champion Han Yu continued to show why she is still the favorite to win with two scorching performances.  Han first beat fellow Chinese Gao Meng 7-1 to win her group. In the round of 32 , Han  toyed with Singapore’s Hoe Sur Wah, winning 9-1.
 
Han, the world’s number one ranked player, doesn’t exude quite the amount of glamour that the more famous Chinese stars such as Pan Xiao ting and Fu Xiao Fang exhibit. But that seems to suit the low key red head just fine. Her play on the tables is downright clinical. After advancing to the round of 16 Han said that while she feels the pressure of the fans, she just sticks to what she knows best; practice, practice and more practice.
 
“There’s a lot of pressure on me but I just try and use the pressure to make me more active, to keep moving forward,” the 22 year old from Heibei province said through an interpreter.  “I’m not really playing perfect at the moment and I can know I can play better.
 
“After the World 9-ball last year I didn’t play well for a few months but the national team coach, Mr. Chen, taught me how to keep my emotions under control and to try to be more stable and try to control myself. I don’t like to think too much. I just try to stay focused.
 
“The only time I go out in public is when we are doing things for the national team or for my sponsors. The rest of the time I mostly hide somewhere private so I can practice more. I haven’t really gotten used to this life, to being in the spotlight. I’m a very low key person. “
 
China seems to produce an endless stream of pool talent these days and one youngster has really made her mark this year. 14 year old Jiang Teng—yes that’s right, 14 years old– won two straight matches in her group to qualify. She then came out in the round of 32 and took down former world 9-ball champion Liu Shin Mei, 9-5.
 
2009 champion Liu Shasha also advanced to the round of 16, as did Japan’s Akimi Kajatani and Indonesia’s Angeline Magdalena Ticaolu.
 
The second set of 8 matches in the round of 32 will begin on Friday at 1pm(GMT +8.) The TV table match is sure to draw tens of millions of fans from around China as the Chinese sporting legend Pan Xiaoting takes on the USA’s Jeanette Lee.
 
After Friday’s play, the field will be down to the Final Four. The semis and final will be played on Saturday.
 
The winner of the 2014 Women’s World 9-ball Champion will received $40,000. The total prize fund is $300,000.
 
*The 2014 Women’s World 9-ball will be held in Guilin, China from October 13-18, and is sanctioned by the World Pool & Billiard Association(WPA), the world governing body of pool.  64 women players from across the globe will compete for the biggest prize in Women’s Pool.  
 
The WPA  will be on hand in Guilin throughout the week bringing you all the drama from the 2014 Women’s World 9-ball Championship. WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner will be reporting with daily articles containing insight and analysis, as well as photos. Ted will also be manning the WPA Facebook page and Twitter feed and responding to fans queries and comments. Fans can also follow all matches via the WPA live scoring platform.   
 
Please visit the WPA Facebook page for the 2014 Women’s World 9-ball Championship here; http://www.facebook.com/pages/2013-WPA-Womens-World-9-ball-Championship/360470447416060?ref=hl 
 
Follow the WPA on Twitter:  @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
FINAL 32 
Single Elimination
Race to 9, Alternate Break
 
Thursday,  October 16, 2014, 8pm(GMT +8)
 
Akimi Kajatani(JPN) 9 – 7  Yu Ram Cha(KOR)
Ga Young Kim(KOR) 9 – 8 Wang Xiao Tong(CHN)  
Han Yu(CHN) 9 – 1 Hoe Sur Wah(SIN)
Fu Xiao Fang(CHN) 9 – 8 Kelly Fisher(GBR)
Jiang Teng(CHN) 9 – 5 Liu Shin Mei(TPE)
Liu Shasha(CHN) 9- 7 Gao Meng(CHN)   
Angeline Magdalena Ticaolu(INA) 9 – 7 Chihiro Kawahara(JPN)   
Kuo Azu Tinh(TPE) 9 – 8 Rubilen Amit(PHL)  
 
Friday, October 17, 1pm
 
Chen Siming(CHN) vs. Jasmin Michel(GER)
Chou Chieh-yu(TPE) vs. Charlene Chai Zeet Huey(SIN)
Pan Xiaoting(CHN) vs. Jeanette Lee(USA)
Tsai Pei Chen(TPE) vs. Wei Tzu Chien(TPE)
Tan Ho Yun(TPE) vs. Masami Nouchi(JPN)
Wu Zhi Ting(TPE) vs. Allison Fisher(GBR)
Zhou Doudou(CHN) vs. Caroline Roos(SWE)
Karren Corr(GBR)  vs. Chen Xue(CHN)
 
 
 
Results, Day 2 Winners Side Matches
 
Group A
Han Yu(CHN) 7 – 1  Gao Meng(CHN) 
Fu Xiaofang(CHN)  7 – 4 Yang Fan(CHN)  
 
Group B
Allison Fisher(GBR) 7 – 5  Jung Bo Ra(KOR)
Chou Chieh Yu(TPE) 7 – 5 Charlene Chai Zeet Huey(SIN)
 
Group C
Liu Shasha(CHN) 7 – 5 Ana Mazhirina(RUS) 
Karen Corr(GBR) 7 – 0 Joanne Ashton(CAN)
 
Group D
Tan Ho Yun(TPE)  7 – 4 Caroline Roos(SWE)
 
Group E
Rubilen Amit(PHL) 7 – 1 Hoe Shu Wan(SIN)
Akimi Kajatani(JPN) 7 – 1 Masami Nouchi(JPN)
 
Group F
Pan Xiaoting(CHN)  7 – 3 Angeline Magdalena Ticaolu(INA)
Kim Ga Young(KOR) 7 – 6 Liu Shin Mei(TPE)
 
Group G
Tsai Pei Chen(TPE) 7 – 3  Jasmin Michel(GER) 
Zhou Doudou(CHN  7 – 6  Wei Tzu-Chien(TPE)  
 
Group H
 Jiang Teng(CHN) 7 – 3 Wu Jing(CHN) 
Chichiro Kawahara(JPN)  7 – 2 Jeanette Lee(USA)     
 
 
 
RESULTS LOSERS SIDE MATCHES
Winner goes through. Loser is out.
 
Group A
Chen Xue(CHN) 7 – 6 Yang Fan(CHN)
Gao Meng(CHN) 7 – 6 Chezka Centeno(PHL) 
 
 
 
Group B
Charlene Chai Zeet Huey(SIN) 7 – 3 Jennifer Barretta(USA)  
Wang Xiao Tong(CHN)  7 – 4 Jung Bo Ra(KOR)
 
Group C
Kuo Azu Tinh(TPE)   7 – 4 Joanne Ashton(CAN)
Cha Yu Ram(KOR) 7 – 2 Ana Mazhirina(RUS)
 
Group D
Wu Zhi Ting(TPE) 7 – 1 Ine Helvik(NOR)  
Caroline Roos(SWE) 7 – 5  Ina Kaplan(GER)
 
Group E
Masami Nouchi(JPN) 7 – 4 Line Kjorsvik(NOR)
Hoe Shu Wan(SIN) 7 – 3 Daria Sirotina(RUS)
 
Group F
Liu Shin Mei(TPE) 7 – 5 Li Pei Rong(TPE) 
Angeline Magdalena Ticaolu(INA) 7 – 6  Kamila Khodjiaeva(BEL)    
 
Group G
Wei Tzu-Chien(TPE) 7 – 0 Brittany Bryant(CAN)
Jasmin Michel(GER) 7 – 5 Monica Webb(USA)
 
Group H
Kelly Fisher(GBR) 7 – 6 Wu Jing(CHN)  
Jeanette Lee(USA) 7 – 5 Denise Wilkinson(NZL)
 
 

Fisher Rises From The Depths

Kelly Fisher

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

 

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

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

Two For The Money Rounds

Photos Courtesy Tai Chengzhe

(Beijing)–Now, the fun begins.

After three days of round robin group play, in which 25 teams from all over the globe dueled  in a veritable cavalcade of 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball, the 2014 World Pool Team Championship has been whittled down to the Final 16.

All matches from here throughSaturday will be single elimination, and you can bet your last Chinese Yuan that the tension and drama levels inside the Tongzhou Lhue High School arena in Beijing will be thick and hot. For not only are the teams playing for $300,000 in prize money-with $80,000 going to the winning side— they are also competing for national pride. There’s something about wearing your country’s flag and having the backing and support of your fellow countrymen and teammates that takes this sport to a whole other dimension.

Leading the way in terms of support will be both China sides, both of whom completely waltzed through their group unscathed all week.  But while the Chinese squads are certainly formidable on paper, they both have had absolutely no competition in their groups.

Each China side had what could be considered the easiest draws in the event.  Now, however, that will all change. And while China 1—with Li He Wen, Wu Jiaqing, Chu Bing Chia, Han Yu, and Chen Siming– and China 2—with Liu Haitao, Dang Ching Hu, Wang Can, Fu Xiaofang, and Liu Shasha– will probably advance at least to the quarters and perhaps further, it all comes with a caveat that other teams won’t have to deal with. The pressure from the home fans placed on both China teams will be massive.

The one team that won’t have to deal with that problem are the defending champions, Chinese-Taipei. The Taiwanese, featuring a powerhouse lineup of Chang Jun Lin, Ko Pin Yi, Hsu Kai Lun, Fu Che Wei, and female player Chou Cheih Yu, have been untouchable all week here in Beijing. They are playing in that quiet, smooth style that carried them to the title two years ago in this very same arena.  Today in their last match of the group stage, the Taiwanese went up against Korea, which was fighting for survival. Although Taiwan was already guaranteed a spot in the Final 16, they showed no mercy on the Ga Young Kim-led Koreans, winning the six-match showdown easily, 5-1.

Team Japan plays loose and stress freeAnother team that looks unbeatable right now is the Philippines. Dennis Orcollo, Lee Vann Corteza, Carlo Biado and Rubilen Amit  have all the winning experience in the world to see themselves to the winner’s circle on Saturday. And they have been all business so far this week. Today the Philippines went up against a very formidable Poland side and basically toyed with the Poles, winning in a rout 6-0.

The Philippines could be looking at a potential quarterfinal matchup vs. Chinese-Taipei. Everyone and their brother expects the Philippines to get past Indonesia on Thursday. Chinese-Taipei, though, will have to buckle down as they will be banging heads with a very strong Austrian team.

Great Britain, featuring Daryl Peach, Chris Melling, Karl Boyes and Allison Fisher, have the fully loaded talent and moxie to make a serious run. Against Germany today, the Brits looked their usual top class and won the match 4-2, although both sides were guaranteed a spot in the Final 16 no matter who won. The Brits will play Vietnam in the Final 16 and are heavily favored to advance to the quarter-finals. There they will probably meet up with China II which plays heavy underdog Sweden. Great Britain vs. China II promises some serious fireworks should it come to pass, as it most probably will.

One team that has flown under the radar but can definitely win this event is Japan. The Japanese are easily the loosest squad in this event, laughing and enjoying themselves on every shot. It has served them well in the past as they went all the way to the finals here two years ago before losing to Chinese-Taipei. Japan goes into their Final 16 match with  the USA a big favorite. The Americans squeaked into the Final 16 and haven’t played up to standard yet this week.

The winner of Japan-USA will play the winner of Germany-Russia, which will be a very close matchup.

All matches in the Final 16 will take place on Thursday, July 31 beginning at 1PM(GMT +8). The quarterfinals will be played at 6:30PM.

*The WPA is on hand in Beijing to bring fans around the world full updated coverage of the 2014 World Pool Team Championship. 

You can follow the World Pool Team Championship on our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolteamchampionship.

The WPA is also on Twitter @poolwpa.

Or visit our website at www.wpapool.com

*The World Pool and Billiard Association(WPA) is the governing body of the sport of pocket billiards.

The Liado U Valley World Pool Team Championship is sanctioned by the WPA, The Multi-Ball Games Administrative Center of General Administration of  Sport, Chinese Billiard and Snooker Federation, Beijing Municipal  Bureau of Sport, Beijing Sports Federation.

FINAL 16
July 31, 1PM(GMT +8)

China 1 vs. Singapore
Poland vs. Croatia

Philippines vs. Indonesia
Chinese-Taipei vs. Austria

China II vs. Sweden
Great Britain vs. Vietnam

Germany vs. Russia
Japan vs. USA

Quarterfinals Begin at 6:30PM July 30(GMT +8)
Semi-finals will be played on Friday, 1PM and 6:30PM
Finals will be played on Saturday at 2PM 

FORMAT:  In each match between two countries, the two teams play each other in a set of six matches, all alternate break;  two races in 8 ball, two in 9-ball and two in 10-ball.  One 8-ball match is men’s scotch doubles, race to 6. The other 8-ball match is   a men’s singles, race to 6. In 9-ball, the teams   compete in a women’s singles, race to 8, and a men’s singles race to 8.  In 10-ball, the teams  play one mixed doubles match(scotch doubles),  race to 7, and one men’s singles match race to 7. The female player must play in the 10-ball mixed doubles match, and a 9-ball match.  No player is permitted to play more than two matches per session.

SHOOTOUTIf a match ends up 3-3 in the knockout stage, the winner will be decided by a shootout.   In a shootout the 8 ball is placed in the middle of the table down near the short rail,  level with the first diamond, while the cue ball is placed way down at the head string. The three men and one woman on each team take turns trying to pot the 8-ball in either far corner. All players  play in sequence and the team to score six hits first with a margin of two or more(6-4, 7-5, etc.) wins the match  and advances to the next round.

TEAMS

China 1—Li He Wen, Wu Jiaqing, Chu Bign Chia, Han Yu, Chen Siming
Singapore—Chan Keng Kwang, Aloyisus Yapp, Koh Seng Ann Aaron, Charlene Chai Zeet Huey, Toh Lian Han, Hoe Shu Wah

Poland–Karol Skowerski, Tomasz Kaplan, Mateusz Sniegocki, Katazyna Weslowska
Croatia—Josip Susnjara, Ivica Putnik, Marko Lisnic, Antonijevic Zrinka

Philippines–Dennis Orcollo, Lee Vann Corteza, Carlo Biado, Rubilen Amit
Indonesia—Bewi Simanjuntak M. Bewi, Rudy Susanto, Muhammad Fadly, Silvana

Chinese-Tapei—Chang Jun Lin, Ko Pin Yi, Hsu Kai Lun, Fu Che Wei, Chou Cheih Yu
Austria—Albin Ouschan, Tong He Yi, Jurgen Jenisy, Thomas Knittel, Jasmin Ouschan, Sandra Baumgartner

China 2—Liu Haitao, Dang Ching Hu, Wang Can, Fu Xiaofang, Liu Shasha
Sweden—Anreas Gerven, Marcus Chamat, Tomas Larsson, Caroline Roos

Great Britain—Daryl Peach, Karl Boyes, Chris Melling, Allison Fisher
Vietnam—Trung Le Quang, Tuan Nguyen Anh, Quan Do Hoang, Le Doan Thi Ngoc
 

Germany—Thorsten Hohmann, Ralf Souquet, Sebastian Staab, Ina Kaplan
Russia—Konstantin Stepanov, Ruslan Chinakhov, Andrey Seroshtan, Ann Mazhirina

Japan—Naoyuki Oi, Sasaaki Tanaka, Hayato Hijikata, Chichiro Kawahara
USA—Oscar Dominguez, Hunter Lombardo, Corey Deuel, Jennifer Barretta

RESULTS FROM DAY 3, GROUP STAGE

SESSION 1, 

Korea 4 – 2 New Zealand 
Indonesia 5 – 1 Malaysia 
China 1, 6 – 0 Hong Kong
Croatia 4 – 2 Sweden 
USA 5 – 1 Bulgaria
Austria 6 – 0 South Africa
Vietnam 4 – 2 Singapore
Philippines 6 – 0 Poland

Session 2  
Russia 5 – 1 New Zealand
Malaysia  4 – 2 India   
Great Britain 4 – 2 Germany
China 2, 6 – 0 Australia
Chinese-Taipei 5 – 1 Korea
Japan 6 – 0  Indonesia
China 1, 5 -1 Sweden
Croatia 3 – 3 Mongolia

It’s Anyone’s Game In Shenyang

Ga Young Kim (photo courtesy of Tai Chengzhe/top147.com)

A SHOOTOUT'S IN THE OFFING AS THE WOMEN'S WORLD 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP GETS DOWN TO THE FINAL 16

 

(Shenyang, China)–After a day of ups and downs as only 9-ball pool can offer up, the 2013 Women’s World 9-ball Championship has been whittled down to 16 players. And a quick glance at the line-up ready to do battle over the next two days tells you clearly that this is going to be one fun ride to the biggest prize in women’s pool.

 
Fascinating facts about this year’s final 16 include; the appearance of four out of the last five world 9-ball champions, two BCA Hall of Famers, a four time winner of this event, a four time runner up, the current World 10-ball champion, and seven out of the top ten women players in the world. There are also a few young upstarts, tested veterans, and a few prodigies who are certainly due to win the biggest event in women’s pool. And, to ensure good storylines for the fans around the world, a total of six countries are represented.
 
The fact that the final 16 is so stacked with talent means that Day 2 inside the Richgate Shopping Center provided few massive upsets. But there was still plenty of edge of your seat drama to be had.
 
Easily the biggest story of the day belonged to Great Britain’s Allison Fisher. The “Duchess of Doom” began Saturday’s play fighting for survival on the losers side of her group in a marquee match against 2010 World 9-ball Champion Fu Xiaofang that could easily have been a big time final.  
 
In a short race to 7, Fisher was up 4-2. Fu, last year’s runner up to Kelly Fisher, tied it at 5-5, then moved to within one of qualifying at 6-5. Fisher, a four time winner of the Women’s World 9-ball, then tied it at 6. In the final rack, Fisher had two balls remaining when she missed the 8-ball in the corner. But before she could head to her seat and begin the postmortems, the 8 ball careened off the rail and into the side pocket. Even better, the cue ball landed with shape on the 9. Fisher advanced to the final 32 knockout round, while Fu looked like she’d been struck by lightning.
 
Later in the knockout round of 32, Fisher found herself up 8-3 against Taiwan’s Chan Ya Ting in a race to 9. Chan stormed back to tie it at 8 and had the final break shot. But Fisher prevailed yet again, to move into Sunday’s Final 16.
 
“I’m proud of myself for keeping it together,” a delighted Fisher said afterwards. “Everything went my way at first. I had control of the match. But then she didn’t miss a ball and I got a bit tentative. You have to be committed in this game. It’s always a battle with yourself. I do feel like I have an angel looking over me today.”
 
Even without the vaunted Fu in the field, the lineup of Team China appears to be very formidable. 20 year old Chen Siming, who many feel is the most naturally gifted pool player in a veritable Chinese sea of talent, looked very good on the TV table today, as she taught a lesson to 13 year old—yes you read that right– Chinese player Jiang Teng, 9-4. Teng is one of these amazing talents that seem to pop up regularly in China and is definitely one to keep an eye on in the coming years. She wields a beautiful stroke and dazzles with her shot making ability and cue ball control.
 
Chen, on the other hand, was only recently where Jiang is now; a child prodigy with awe inspiring talent. Chen, however, has put in her time, suffered stinging defeats and won several big events. She hasn’t yet won a world title but nobody would be surprised if this is her year.
 
China’s Liu Shasha is another heavy favourite here. The 20 year old Liu won the China Open in May and that win propelled her belief in her game to sky high levels.
 
“I think maybe I got a bit lucky to win the China Open,” Liu said through an interpreter after defeating fellow Chinse Bai Ge, 9-7. “But after I became the China Open champion, I’d say my confidence is really high right now.” Liu acknowledged that playing in front of tens of millions of her countrymen and women provides serious pressure, but it also helps motivate her to play better.
 
“I want to win the championship so we can keep the title in China,” she said. “Yes there’s a lot of pressure on Chinese players, but there’s also a lot of motivation playing in front of your own people. Actually there’s more pressure on me because when you win a tournament, people expect you to win all the time.”
 
Liu will face the 2011 World 9-ball Champion, fellow Chinese, Bi Zhuqing in the final 16. At about 4’10” and decidedly boyish looking, Bi is the polar antithesis of the striking Liu in terms of marketability in China. But Bi can flat out play the game and this match should be a cracker.
 
Defending champion Kelly Fisher of Great Britain finally caught a gear today, looking solid in beating Russia’s Anna Mazhirina, 9-4. Hall of Famer Karen Corr of Ireland continued her fine run in her comeback to pool, defeating the Philippines’ Iris Ranola, 9-6. Corr, who has been runner-up in the world championship four times, says she will retire if she doesn’t win this week. She’s clearly living on the edge as she goes up against Chen Siming in the round of 16.
 
Korea’s Ga Young Kim also seems to be in a grove, as she proved with a solid 9-3 win over China’s Gao Meng. Should Kim go all the way, it would prove a massive hit with the Chinese fans. The dashing and fashionable Kim, who speaks fluent Mandarin, is adored by Chinese fans, who besiege her for photos and autographs everywhere she goes.
 
Taiwan brings four solid players into the final 16, including 2008 World 9-ball champion Lin Yuan Chun. As one of the world’s great pool playing countries, Taiwan always can be counted on to offer up new talent and this year is no exception.
 
Wei Tzu Chein is part of the new generation of pool talent coming out of the island nation. The 23 year old from Taipei studies business management at university and plays pool every chance she gets. She won a local qualifier in Taipei to gain a spot in the World Championship. She came out of the losers bracket today and met up with Taiwan’s number one woman player Chou Chieh-Yu, who just returned from Columbia with a gold medal in the World Games. The bright lights certainly didn’t faze Wei, however, as she played superb in a 9-7 win to advance.
 
Pool is very much a mind sport and Wei explained she is using her brain to keep herself together.
 
“I have no stress,” Wei said afterwards. “In Taiwan she(Chou) is more famous than me. So if I win it’s ok. If I lose, it’s ok. This is my best result in a world championship so it’s all new to me. I’m just enjoying it.
 
“Before the match I got a piece of paper and wrote down all the bad thoughts that I have, and also all the good thoughts. I took the paper with the bad things and ripped them up and threw it in the garbage. The good list I kept with me in my bag. I even looked at it when I went to the bathroom during a break.”
 
The round of 16 begins at 10am Sunday(GMT +8). The quarterfinals commence at 1pm local time and will be played separately on the TV table. The semi-finals and finals will be played Monday.
 
The winner of the 2103 WPA Women’s World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000 while the runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $150,000.
 
*The World Pool-Billiard Association(WPA)  will be on hand in Shenyang throughout the week bringing you all the drama from the 2013 Women’s World 9-ball Championship. WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner will be reporting from the Richgate Shopping Center with daily articles containing insight and analysis, as well as photos. Ted will also be manning the WPA Facebook page and Twitter feed and responding to fans queries and comments. Fans can also follow all matches via the WPA live scoring platform. 
 
Please visit the WPA Facebook page for the 2013 Women’s World 9-ball Championship here; http://www.facebook.com/pages/2013-WPA-Womens-World-9-ball-Championship/360470447416060?ref=hl 
 
Follow the WPA on Twitter:  @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com 
 
*The 2013 Women’s World 9-ball will be held in Shenyang, China from August 6-12, and is sanctioned by the World Pool & Billiard Association(WPA). 64 women players from across the globe will compete for the biggest prize in Women’s Pool. The 2013 Women’s World 9-ball Championship is a WPA ranking event.
 
 
Last 16, August 11, 10am(GMT +8)
 
Chen Siming(CHN) vs. Karen Corr(IRL)
Lin Yuan Chun(TPE) vs. Kim Ga Young(KOR)
Tsai Pei Chen(TPE) vs. Akimi Kajatani(JPN)
Bi Zhuqing(CHN) vs. Liu Shasha(CHN)
Kelly Fisher(GBR) vs. Tan Ho Yun(TPE)
Chichiro Kawahara(JPN) vs. Wei Tzu Chein(TPE)
Chen Xue(CHN) vs. Han Yu(CHN)
Allison Fisher(GBR) vs. Wu Jing(CHN)
 
Quaterfinals begin Sunday at 1pm local time. Each quarterfinal will be played separately on the TV Table. 
 
RESULTS FINAL 32
Chen Siming(CHN) 9 -4  Jiang Teng(CHN)
Karen Corr(IRL) 9 – 6 Iris Ranola(PHL)  
 
Lin Yuan Chun(TPE) 9 – 5 Rubelin Amit(PHL)
Kim Ga Young(KOR) 9 – 3 Gao Meng(CHN)
 
Tsai Pei Chen(TPE) 9 – 7 Wang Xiaotong(CHN)
Akimi Kajatani(JPN) 9 – 6. Charlene Chai(SIN)
 
Bi Zhuqing(CHN) 9- 4 Nouchi Masami(JPN)
Liu Shasha(CHN) 9 – 7 Bai Ge(CHN)
 
Kelly Fisher(GBR) 9- 4 Anna Mazhirina(RUS)
Tan Ho Yun(TPE) 9 – 7 Lai Hui Shan(TPE) vs.
 
Chichiro Kawahara(JPN) 9-4 Yu Ram Cha(KOR)
Wei Tzu Chein(TPE) 9- 7 Chou Chieh-Yu(TPE) vs.
 
Chen Xue(CHN) 9 – 4 Pan Xiaoting(CHN) vs. 
Han Yu(CHN) 9- 8 Zhou Doudou(CHN) vs.
 
Allison Fisher(GBR) 9 – 8 Chan Ya Ting(TPE) vs. 
Wu Jing(CHN) 9- 8 Jung Bo Ra(KOR)
 
 
 
Day 2 final results in the losers brackets. Winners advance to final 32. Losers are out
 
Group A
Wang Xiaotong(CHN) 7 – 2 Hou Shu Wah(CHN)
Wei Tzu Chein(TPE) 7 – 3 Angeline Magdalena Ticaalu(INA)
 
Group B
Iris Ranola(PHL) 7 – 2 Caroline Roos(SWE)
Lai Hui Shan(TPE) 7 – 4 Wu Zhi Ting(TPE)
 
Group C
Chen Xue(CHN) 7 – 5 Li Jia(CHN)
Bi Zhuqing(CHN) 7 – 4 Park Eunji(KOR)
 
Group D
Allison Fisher(GBR) 7 – 6 Fu Xiaofang(CHN)
Zhou Doudou(CHN) 7 – 5 Choi Sullip(KOR)
 
Group E
Jung Bo Ra(KOR) 7 – 4 Jennifer Vietz(GER)
Cha Yu Ram(KOR) 7 – 3 Sone Kyoko(JPN)
 
Group F
Rubelin Amit(PHL) 7 – 4 Huang Yi Ting(TPE)
Gao Meng(CHN) 7 – 1 Natalia Seroshtan(RUS)
 
Group G
Bai Ge(CHN) 7 – 1 He Hsin Ju(CHN)
Akimi Kajatani(JPN) 7 – 1 Ina Kaplan(GER)
 
Group H
Jiang Teng(CHN) 7 – 6 Ine Helvik(NOR)
Anna Mazhirina(RUS) 7 – 5 Lin Hsiao Chi(TPE)

 

A Legend Looks To Carry On

Karen Corr, photo courtesy Tai Chengze/top147.com

Hall of Famer Karen Corr Continues Her Comeback With Two Wins on Day 1

 

(Shenyang, China)–To say that Karen Corr is a big name in the sport of women’s professional pool would be quite the massive understatement. In a career spanning 13 years in the US, the native of Northern Ireland has won just about everything there is to win in pool, including  15 Classic Tour titles, four BCA Open titles, three WPBA National Championships and three Tournament of Champions titles. In 2012 Corr was rewarded for her accomplishments with the greatest accolade of them all; she was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America(BCA) Hall of Fame.

 

Corr, however, arrived in Shenyang, China this week for the 2013 Women’s World 9-ball Championship practically unnoticed. In 2011 she stepped away from the game to care for her dying mother, who passed away in July of last year. Late last year, however, Corr decided to come back to pool.  And clearly she’s got plenty of the legendary fight left in her.

 

In her first match of the tournament on Day 1 here in Shenyang, Corr found herself up against the formidable Jasmine Ouschan of Austria. Down 6-3 in a race to 7, Corr pounced on several horrid mistakes by Ouschan, and ended up taking a miraculous win, 7-6.

 

Later, in a winner’s side match for a slot in the final 32 knockout stage, Corr looked rock solid and handily defeated Germany’s Ina Kaplan, 7-4.

 

Afterward, Corr explained how this tournament just might be her last go around in pool.

 

“I need a good result or that’s it,” the 42 year old said. “I’m going to retire from pool.”

 

Corr said she traveled to Shenyang on her own dime. With the tight economy back home combined with her time away from the game, she has found it near impossible to find any backing whatsoever.  The lack of playing opportunities hasn’t helped either.

 

“I think I’m going to have to find a real job.”

 

A good result, according to Corr, means nothing short of winning the World Championship this week. While her lengthy sabbatical would seem to mean her chances of taking the trophy are quite slim, Corr has had more than a little success in this event in the past. Four times she’s finished runner up in the World 9-ball Championship, the last in 2009, when she lost 9-5 to 16 year old Liu Shasha, after leading 5-1.

 

And then, of course, there’s that old saying, something about playing loose when nobody, even yourself, expects you to do anything.

 

“I have no expectations,” Corr said, “which I guess is a good thing.”

 

One who did come into this event with plenty of expectations was Corr’s first opponent today, Ouschan, who shockingly went two and out and will be flying back to Austria tomorrow. Ouschan’s quick exit, and how it happened, was easily the biggest story of the day inside the warm and humid Richgate Shopping Center.

 

After blowing her match against Corr, Ouschan came up against China’s formidable Bai Ge on the losers side. Ouschan played catch-up throughout the match and at 6-4 down it looked to be curtains as she scratched on the break. But then Bai incredibly blew a massively easy 9-ball to hand the Austrian a lifeline. At 6-5, Bai again choked on a run out and the score was tied at 6 all. After Bai scratched in the final rack, Ouschan was running the colors when she inexplicably bobble a fairly straight in 7 ball in the jaws and lost the match.

 

Most of pool’s other big names rolled through to the final 32 today. Defending champion Kelly Fisher didn’t look her championship best, but it was good enough to win two straight and start fresh in the knockout stage Saturday. She said the conditions were difficult to get used to.

 

“I’m playing good but I’m also making silly mistakes,” Fisher said. “I’m getting used to the conditions. It’s very hot out there. I have to get more control of the cue. I stepped it up here and there. I’m not thinking of repeating. I can’t get a better result than last year. I just take each match as it comes.”

 

World number 2 Liu Shasha of China won two straight to qualify, as did fellow Chinese and world number 3 Chen Siming. World number 4 and 2010 World 9-ball Champion, and last year’s runner up, Fu Xiaofang lost her first match to fellow Chinese Zhou Doudou. Fu bounced back with a solid 7-2 win over the USA’s Jennifer Baretta.

 

Fu will play on Friday for a spot in the final 32 against Hall of Famer, and four time winner of this event, Allison Fisher. Fisher lost her second match of the day against Singapore’s Charlene Chai, 7- 3.

 

China’s superstar and “Queen of 9-ball,” Pan Xiaoting, kept the home fans delighted as she won two straight matches on the TV table to reach the round of 32.

 

Another notable who qualified with two straight wins was Taiwans’s Chieh-Yu Chou. Chieh, who just won gold at the World Games in Columbia, was a semi-finalist here last year and is the currently number one player in Taiwan and world number 8. Her game looks unflappable and fans can expect to see her go far again this year.

 

Another popular player looking solid is Korea’s Ga Young Kim. Kim, who won two straight today to qualify, recently won the ladies division at the Ultimate 10-ball tournament in the US.  After routing fellow Korean Park Eunji 7-0, Kim said she is better prepared to win this year. Last year during this same event  she was in the middle of training for her appearance on Korea’s Dancing With the Stars. She actually flew in her dance partner to Shenyang to train four hours of dancing between matches. Without such distractions this year, and a recent win under her belt, Kim has to be one of the strong favorites to lift the trophy on Monday.

 

“I’d love to have another title,” she said.

 

Play continues on Saturday with the last rounds on the losers side of the brackets. The round of 32 single elimination knockout will also be played tomorrow leaving 16 players left at the end of play Saturday. Four players will be left afterSunday. The semi-finals and finals will be played on Monday.

 

The winner of the 2103 WPA Women’s World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000 while the runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $150,000.

 

*The World Pool-Billiard Association(WPA)  will be on hand in Shenyang throughout the week bringing you all the drama from the 2013 Women’s World 9-ball Championship. WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner will be reporting from the Richgate Shopping Center with daily articles containing insight and analysis, as well as photos. Ted will also be manning the WPA Facebook page and Twitter feed and responding to fans queries and comments. Fans can also follow all matches via the WPA live scoring platform. 

 

Please visit the WPA Facebook page for the 2013 Women’s World 9-ball Championship here;http://www.facebook.com/pages/2013-WPA-Womens-World-9-ball-Championship/360470447416060?ref=hl

 

Follow the WPA on Twitter:  @poolwpa

 

Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com

 

*The 2013 Women’s World 9-ball will be held in Shenyang, China from August 6-12, and is sanctioned by the World Pool & Billiard Association(WPA). 64 women players from across the globe will compete for the biggest prize in Women’s Pool. The 2013 Women’s World 9-ball Championship is a WPA ranking event.

 

 

RESULTS FROM DAY 1

Group A
Kelly Fisher(GBR) 7 -0 Wendy Cook Berylin(NZL)
Wei Tzu Chein(TPE) 7 – 3 Hou Shu Wah(CHN)
Wang Xiaotong(CHN) 7 – 5 Angeline Magdalena Ticaalu(INA)
Chichiro Kawahara(JPN) 7-  1 Amanda Rahayu(INA)


Group B
Lai Hui Shan(TPE) 7 – 0 Mirjana Grujici(VEN)
Nouchi Masam(    ) 7 – 5 Caroline Roos(SWE)
Iris Ranola(PHL) 7- 5 Meenal Thakur(IND)
Chou Chieh-Yu(TPE) 7 – 0 Wu Zhi Ting(TPE)

Group C
Kim Ga Young(KOR) 7 – 6 Li Jia(CHN)
Park Eunji(KOR) 7 – 5 Lyndall Hulley(AUS)
Chen Xue(CHN) 7 – 6 Chang Chiung-Wen(TPE)
Lin Yuan-Chun(TPE) 7 – 4 Bi Zhuqing(CHN)

Group D
Allison Fisher(GBR) 7 – 4 Choi Sullip
Charlene Chai(SIN) 7 – 2 Susanna Booyens(RSA)
Chan Ya Ting(TPE) 7 – 3 Jennifer Barretta(USA)
Zhou Doudou(CHN) 7 – 5 Fu Xiaofang(CHN)

Group E
Chen Siming(CHN) 7 – 1 Ana Gradisnik(SLO)
Sone Kyoko(JPN) 7 – 5 Jung Bo Ra(KOR)
Wu Jing(CHN) 7 – 2 Rebecca Tsang(HKG)
Jennifer Vietz(GER) 7 – 5 Cha Yu Ram(KOR)

Group F
Gao Meng(CHN) 7 – 5 Rubelin Amit(PHL)
Pan Xiaoting(CHN) 7 – 0 Martine Christiansen(NOR)
Huang Yi Ting(TPE) 7 – 4 Taylor Meyer(AUS)
Tsai Pei Chen(TPE ) 7 – 2 Natalia Seroshtan(RUS)

Group G
Tan Ho-Yun(TPE) 7 – 4 Akimi Kajatani(JPN)
He Hsin Ju(CHN) 7 – 4 Brittany Bryant(CAN)
Ina Kaplan(GER) 7 – 5 Bai Ge(CHN)
Karen Corr(IRL) 7 – 6 Jasmin Ouschan(AUT)

Group H
Han Yu(CHN) 7 – 2 Cheung Pui Man(HKG)
Anna Mazhirina(RUS) 7 – 6 Jiang Teng(CHN)
Ine Helvik(NOR) 7 – 6 Severine Titaux(FRA)
Liu Shasha(CHN)  7 – 1 Lin Hsiao Chi(TPE)

Day 1, Losers Bracket
Loser is out, winner gets 1 more chance to qualify on Saturday

Group A
Hou Shu Wah(CHN) 7 – 0 Wendy Cook Berylin(NZL)
Angeline Magdalena Ticaalu(INA) 7 – 5  Amanda Rahayu(INA)

Group B
Caroline Roos(SWE) 7 – 4 Mirjana Grujici(VEN) 
Wu Zhi Ting(TPE)7 – 4  Meenal Thakur(IND)

Group C
Li Jia(CHN) 7 – 3 Lyndall Hulley(AUS
Bi Zhuqing(CHN) 7 – 4 Chang Chiung-Wen(TPE

Group D
Fu Xiaofang(CHN) 7 – 2 Jennifer Barretta(USA)
Choi Sullip(   ) 7 – 1  Susanna Booyens(RSA)

Group E
Cha Yu Ram(KOR) 7 – 0 Rebecca Tsang(HKG)
Jung Bo Ra(KOR)  7 – 5 Ana Gradisnik(SLO)

Group F
Rubelin Amit(PHL)7 – 3 Martine Christiansen(NOR)
Natalia Seroshtan(RUS) 7 – 3 Taylor Meyer(AUS)

Group G
Bai Ge(CHN) 7 – 6 Jasmin Ouschan(AUT)
Akimi Kajatani(JPN) 7 – 6 Brittany Bryant(CAN)

Group H
Cheung Pui Man(HKG) 7 – 0 Jiang Teng(CHN)
Lin Hsiao Chi(TPE) 7 – 0 Severine Titaux(FRA)
 

Winners Bracket, 2nd round
Winner goes thru to final 32, Loser goes to losers side of the bracket for one more chance to qualify on Saturday

Group A
Kelly Fisher(GBR) 7 – 4 Wei Tzu Chein(TPE)
Chichiro Kawahara(JPN) 7 – 5 Wang Xiaotong(CHN)

Group B
Chou Chieh-Yu(TPE) 7 – 5 Iris Ranola(PHL)
Nouchi Masami(JPN) 7 – 2 Lai Hui Shan(TPE)

Group C
Kim Ga Young(KOR) 7 – 0 Park Eunji(KOR)
Lin Yuan-Chun(TPE) 7 – 2 Chen Xue(CHN)

Group D
Charlene Chai(SIN) 7 – 3 Allison Fisher(GBR)
Chan Ya Ting(TPE) 7 – 5 Zhou Doudou(CHN)

Group E
Chen Siming(CHN) 7 – 1 Sone Kyoko(JPN)
Wu Jing(CHN) 7 – 1 Jennifer Vietz(GER)

Group F
Pan Xiaoting(CHN) 7 – 5 Gao Meng(CHN)
Tsai Pei Chen(TPE ) 7 – 2 Huang Yi Ting(TPE)

Group G
He Hsin Ju(CHN) 7 – 5 Tan Ho-Yun(TPE) 
Karen Corr(IRL) 7 – 4 Ina Kaplan(GER)

Group H
Han Yu(CHN) 7 -4 Anna Mazhirina(RUS)
Liu Shasha(CHN) 7 -3  Ine Helvik(NOR)

 

The Pageantry of Women’s Pool

Fu Xiofang, Liu Shasha, Pan Xiaoting, Allison Fisher, Ga Young Kim

As the 2013 Women's World 9-Ball Championship Begins in Shenyang, China, the organizers give the ladies a send-off fit for Queens.

 

(Shenyang, China)–Anyone who has ever been to any kind of event in China knows the importance that the Chinese place on ceremony.  Everyone, especially the organizers, and other local dignitaries who didn’t even have anything to do with  putting the event together, are all given their moment to shine, usually with long winded speeches that nobody listens to.  Guests are made to feel that they are about to get the keys to the Forbidden City in Beijing. Often times food is involved, lots of it, as well as copious amounts of alcoholic drink. Teenage girls in elaborate get-ups dance to some loud and catchy song. Throngs of rabid photographers swarm the event recording it all.

 

And so it was at the opening ceremony  of the 2013 WPA Women’s World 9-ball Championship on Thursday night inside the ultra-hip Richgate Shopping Center complex here in Shenyang.

 

For some reason, the organizers didn’t throw out the  succulent spread of Chinese delicacies. But as usual, they spared no effort in providing plenty of pomp and pageantry.

 

As teams of youngsters scurried about preparing the arena for the event, orchestral music filled the atrium, as dozens of photographers and hundreds of fans and onlookers waited for the event to begin. At one end of the mall, towering over a Star pool table, a giant LED screen flashed information about the event’s title sponsor, a giant construction company named the Guoao Group.

 

The festivities began with some sort of press conference. I say “some sort of” because in China, the press doesn’t really ask proper questions.  Any questions are usually giant “softballs” designed to let the person answering enumerate all the positives of the event and the people involved. Nothing controversial will ever be brought up.

 

After several minutes the chairs were pushed aside and the entertainment commenced. The theme for this year’s Women’s World 9-ball Championship is “All Stars” and “Shine 9-ball,” and the two phrases are plastered on every poster throughout the mall. Suddenly an all-girl band  appeared on the floor. They carried instruments like the violin, guitar, flute, keyboard, all wrapped in brightly colored blue LED lights. They wore knee-high leather boots, wide-frilly skirts, and had microphones attached to their cheeks.

 

The loud catchy music commenced and they girls went into action, dancing to the music, pretending to play their instruments. Right from the start it was obvious they were just miming as several of the instruments were clearly broken.  Still, the effect was pretty cool.

 

When the polite applause died down, it was time to bring on the main event of the evening. The introduction of the players. In one of the more bizarre juxtapositions one could find anywhere on the planet, the theme of the classic American western movie, The Magnificent Seven, filled the hall as the lady emcee brought out the players. And what an entrance it was.

 

There’s an escalator that descends straight into the atrium and the organizers had each of the players descend down the escalator as they were being introduced.  First up was defending champion Kelly Fisher of Great Britain.  As she slowly descended, a phalanx of photographers clicked away furiously down at the bottom. Kelly, clearly awed and delighted at the attention, waived and smiled. She then walked through the gauntlet of pool paparazzi, and posed next to the pool table, as camera flashes filled the air. Next she walked over to a wall that had been set up with a giant tournament poster. She signed a styrofoam star, then stuck the star onto one of the blank stars of the poster.(All Stars..get it?).  She then turned and posed for another wall of photographers. Finally she took her seat in the audience.

 

The big stars each got their own introduction and it was fashion and glamor straight down the line. China’s Fu Xiaofang stunned in an all black dress. Her close friend Liu Shasha elicited a few ooh and ahhs with a sporty new hairstyle and a colourful outfit. Many of the European players were dressed in their finest, this their one and only opportunity to shine like nowhere on else on earth.

 

Some of the biggest responses were given to Korea’s Ga Young Kim. With her dramatic looks and sense of flair, Kim is a total natural at this sort of thing. She just oozed glamor in her white strapless dress which the Chinese clearly went gaga over as she milked the cameras for every last ounce of publicity.

 

Another popular player was Korea’s Yu Ram Cha.  Yu Ram clearly has the look that Chinese fans adore; Petite, demur, regal and cute all wrapped up into one. One could say she has the look of a, well, China doll. The pool paparazzi simply went bonkers when she descended that escalator.

 

The biggest applause of the evening was reserved for the legend, Pan Xiaoting. Pan fits the bill for the Chinese public in every sense of the word. Pretty, demure, polite and a great player to boot.  She was the original pioneer in Chinese pool. Pan, known nationwide here as "the Queen of 9-ball," was the first Chinese player to win a world 9-ball Championship(2007).  She also spent a fair amount of time playing in the US.

 

The introduction phase when on for thirty minutes. I must point out that for the Chinese players, this type of kick off to a tournament is clearly par for the course. Pool in this country is considered a proper sport, backed by the government with real money and training no different than the gruelling training that gymnasts and swimmers go through. And why not? Pool is after all, under the Olympic umbrella. 

 

But for the foreign players in the event, being greeted in this grand fashion was obviously a wide-eyed experience that they won’t soon forget.  Outside of China, and perhaps the Philippines, pool is a sport often looked down upon by the powers that be and society at large.  Pool players are generally not even allowed into pool halls until they are 18 years old. 

 

These foreign players will never, ever be greeted by adoring fans and rabid photographers.  No matter that much of the adoration had nothing to do with their ability to play the sport at the top level.  That this was more akin to a fashion show, and a pageant didn’t matter one darn bit.  

 

“That was really nice,” said Austria’s Jasmin Ouschan of the introduction. “We don’t get treated like that anywhere else except here in China.”

 

*The 2013 WPA Women’s World 9-ball Championship gets underway August 9 at the Richgate Shopping Center in historical Shenyang, China.  The players will be divided into 8 groups of 8 players. They will play a double elimination format in the group stage, race to seven, alternate break. The top four players from each group will progress to the final 32, where the format will become single elimination knockout, race to 9, alternate break. The final, to be played on Monday August 12, will be a race to 11.

 

The winner of the 2103 WPA Women’s World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000 while the runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $150,000.

 

The World Pool-Billiard Association(WPA)  will be on hand in Shenyang throughout the week bringing you all the drama from the 2013 Women’s World 9-ball Championship. WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner will be reporting from the Richgate Shopping Center with daily articles containing insight and analysis, as well as photos. Ted will also be manning the WPA Facebook page and Twitter feed and responding to fans queries and comments. Fans can also follow all matches via the WPA live scoring platform. 

 

Please visit the WPA Facebook page for the 2013 Women’s World 9-ball Championship here; http://www.facebook.com/pages/2013-WPA-Womens-World-9-ball-Championship/360470447416060?ref=hl

 

Follow the WPA on Twitter:  @poolwpa

 

Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com

 

*The 2013 Women’s World 9-ball will be held in Shenyang, China from August 6-12, and is sanctioned by the World Pool & Billiard Association(WPA). 64 women players from across the globe will compete for the biggest prize in Women’s Pool. The 2013 Women’s World 9-ball Championship is a WPA ranking event.

 

Photo courtesy of Tai Chengze/top147.com

 

Group A
Kelly Fisher(GBR)
Wendy Cook Berylin(NZL)
Wei Tzu Chein(TPE)
Angeline Magdalena Ticaalu(INA)
Wang Xiaotong(CHN)
Amanda Rahayu(INA)
Chichiro Kawahara(JPN)

Group B
Lai Hui Shan(TPE)
Mirjana Grujici(VEN)
Nouchi Masam(
Caroline Roos(SWE)
Iris Ranola(PHL)
Meenal Thakur(IND)
Wu Zhi Ting(TPE)
Chou Chieh-Yu(TPE)

Group C
Kim Ga Young(KOR)
Li Jia(CHN)
Lyndall Hulley(AUS)
Park Eunji(KOR)
Chang Chiung-Wen(TPE)
Chen Xue(CHN)
Bi Zhuqing(CHN)
Lin Yuan-Chun(TPE)

Group D
Allison Fisher(GBR)
Choi Sullip
Charlene Chai(SIN)
Susanna Booyens(RSA)
Jennifer Barretta(USA)
Chan Ya Ting(TPE)
Zhou Doudou(CHN)
Fu Xiaofang(CHN)

Group E
Chen Siming(CHN)
Ana Gradisnik(SLO)
Jung Bo Ra(KOR)
Sone Kyoko(JPN)
Rebecca Tsang(HKG)
Wu Jing(CHN)
Jennifer Vietz(GER)
Cha Yu Ram(KOR)

Group F
Rubelin Amit(PHL)
Gao Meng(CHN)
Martine Christiansen(NOR)
Pan Xiaoting(CHN)
Huang Yi Ting(TPE)
Taylor Meyer(AUS)
Natalia Seroshtan(RUS)
Tsai Pei Chen(TPE)

Group G
Tan Ho-Yun(TPE)
Akimi Kajatani(JPN)
Brittany Bryant(CAN)
He Hsin Ju(CHN)
Ina Kaplan(GER)
Bai Ge(CHN)
Karen Corr(IRL)
Jasmin Ouschan(AUT)

Group H
Han Yu(CHN)
Cheung Pui Man(HKG)
Anna Mazhirina(RUS)
Jiang Teng(CHN)
Ine Helvik(NOR)
Severine Titaux(FRA)
Lin Hsiao Chi(TPE)
Liu Shasha(CHN) 

Return Of The Boy Wonder

Wu Jia Qing (Formerly Wu Chia Ching)

(Shanghai)–You don’t come to the China Open with the gall thinking you are going to win this tournament. You just hope to survive long enough, say to the semi-finals, where you then have as good a chance as anyone to pull off a career defining victory.  

 
It’s not only the stacked field comprised of most of the world’s best male and female pool players that makes the odds so long. It’s the conditions. Lightning quick tables, generous pockets, template racking which practically guarantees one, two and sometimes even three balls on the break.   The result is the ultimate equalizer, a wide open shootout with the world’s best gunslingers letting it all hang out.  
 
Welcome to the Wild West of professional pool.
 
“It’s really hard to say what’s good and what’s bad out here because it’s so easy to pot balls,” said 2011 China Open champion Chris Melling, after he staved off elimination on day 1 with a losers side win over American Oscar Dominguez. “The pockets are so big and the cloth is so fast. Everyone’s making two and three balls on the break. It makes the whole tournament level. I think we’re going to have a surprise winner here.”
 
Maybe or maybe not. Things may look topsy turvey at the beginning, but the pressure that is unique to professional pool at this level tends to favor the best and the bravest. And pool generally follows the tenets of that famous phrase, “the crème always rises to the top.”
 
Indeed day one of the 2013 China Open  9-ball inside the Shanghai Pudong Yuanshen Stadium arena in Shanghai produced plenty of nail biting, down- to-the-wire drama, but few shockers.
 
Leading the pack in the men’s event, which features 64 players divided into 8 groups of eight playing double elimination, was the defending champion Dennis Orcollo of the Philippines.  Orcollo had no time to get loose as he immediately found himself in a dog fight with unknown Taiwanese Ahen Yuxuan.  Yuxuan had the race to 9 match tied at 7 but succumbed to the pressure late and handed Orcollo a 9-7 win.
 
China’s number one player Li Hewen, who came within one rack of winning the 2012 World 9-ball Championship in Qatar, came from behind in a TV table match against Orcollo’s talented countryman, Carlo Biado, and won 9-8. Later on, Li laid down his marker when he easily beat Canada’s John Morra to advance to the knockout stage of 32. Biado, who is due to go far in a major tournament, later got his feet back under himself with a 9-1 drubbing on the losers side over China’s  Zhou Long.
 
Taiwan looks set to put its usual dent in the proceedings as world number 1 Chang Jung Lin, along with Ko Pin Yi and Fu Chei Wei all won handily with Fu already advancing. In all, Taiwanese players won 8 out of 11  matches today.
 
As befitting a major tournament, there were some high quality matches straight out of the gates that could have easily been contested as finals. Former World 9-ball champion Alex Pagulayan went up against former World 8-ball champion Karl Boyes in the first round. Pagulayan took advantage of just a few mistakes by Boyes and won 9-5.
 
European Mosconi Cup teammates Nick Van Den Berg of Holland and Nick Ekonomopolous of Greece took their match to a one rack decider with the Nick the Greek squeaking by, 9-8.
 
One of the most intriguing matches of the day pitted Hollands talented Niel’s Feijen against two time former world champion Wu Jiaqing(formerly known as Wu Chia Ching.)   Wu, who made pool history back in 2005 when he won the World 9-ball championship when he was just 16 years old, and then went on to win the World 8-ball championship just five months later, only recently completed   a 16 month stint in the Taiwan military.  And this was on the back of four straight years of personal drama and intrigue which has left the sport without one of its biggest stars.  In the military Wu was forced to mop floors and clean windows for the entire time and he never once touched a cue stick. In addition, in August of last year, Wu was diagnosed with Lukemia. Fortunately doctors caught the blood disease in its very early stages and Wu says it can be controlled with medication.   
 
Having only practiced for one month since being discharged from the military, Wu came into the match against Feijen with no expectations. Wu, however, looked like the boy wonder of old as he thumped the Dutchman 9-4.
 
“I’m happy with the way I played today,” Wu, who now resides in China, said afterwards through an interpreter, “but to be honest I have no confidence that I can win the tournament. “ Of course nobody who knows pool believes that.
 
On the women’s side, which features 48 player divided into 8 groups of six, defending champion Kelly Fisher kept the express train barrelling down the tracks with a 7-0 win over China’s Liu Jia. The match took an incredible 20 minutes to complete. 
 
Hall of Famer Allison Fisher won her first match, then had to face old rival Ga Young Kim of Korea in a marquee affair. Kim won 7-4. 
 
Chinese stars Fu Xiaofang, Pan Xiaoting and Chen Siming all won their opening matches. 
 
The group stages continue on Friday in Shanghai. After completion of play on day 2, the men’s field will be down to 32 players and the women’s field will be down to 16. Both tournaments will then be single elimination knockout through to the finals on Sunday.
 
*The 2013 China Open will be held in Shanghai, China from May 12-19 and is sanctioned by the World Pool & Billiard Association(WPA). 64 men and 48 women will compete in separate 9-ball events. The China Open is a WPA ranking event.  The main event will begin on May 16 and run through May 19.
 
The WPA will be providing full coverage of the 2013 China Open via its website at www.wpapool.com, and through Facebook at www.facebook.com/WpaChinaOpen.  The WPA will be providing live scoring of all matches, daily articles and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner, and photographs.  Fans can also follow the event through Twitter; @poolwpa. 
 
The 2013 China Open will be streamed online through several Chinese websites. The WPA will be providing the links through our Facebook page as we receive them.  
 
 
Men’s Division Round 1 matches
 
Group A
Chang Jung Lin(TPE)  9 – 3 SHAW So(IRI)
Zhu Hongming (TPE) 9 – 3. AL SHAHEEN Omar (KUW)
Zhu Xihe (CHN) 9 – 6 HAN Haoxiang (CHN)    
Xu Kailun(TPE) 9 – 6 OI Naoyuki  (JPN)     
 
Group B
Nguyen Ann Tuan(VIE) 9 – 8 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 
AlRiwani, Salah  (UAE) 9 – 8  Mohammed Ahmad Al-Bin Ali(QAT)
Seungwoo Ryu(KOR) 9 – 8 Phil Burford(GBR)   
Ke Bign Zhong(TPE) 9 – 7 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)
 
Group C
Fu Che Wei(TPE) 9 – 6  Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 6 Fu Jianbo(CHN)
Kenny Kwok(HKG) 9 – 3 Rafath Habib(IND)
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 5 Karl Boyes(GBR)
 
Group D
Li Hewen(CHN)  9 – 8 Carlo Biado(PHL)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 8 Zhou Long(CHN)
Afrinneza Isral Nasution(IND) 9 -7 Oscar Dominguez(USA)   
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 5 Chris Melling(GBR)
 
Group E
Darren Appleton(GBR) 9 – 5 Jalal Yousef(VEN)
Wang Can(CHN) 9 -1 Cristian Tuvi(URU)   
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 4 Niels Feijen(NED)   
Nick Ekonomopoulos(GRE) 9 – 8  Nick Van Den Berg(NED)
 
Evening Session
 
Group F
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 4 Chu Bingjie(CHN)
Johann Chua(PHL) 9 – 3 Zeng Zhaodong(CHN)  
Do The Kien(VIE) 9 – 1 Tursaikhan Amarjargal
Lee Van Corteza(PHL) 9 – 6 Nick Malai(ALB)  
 
Group G
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 0  Zbynek Vaic(RSA)
Chang Pei Wei(TPE) 9 – 3 Hunter Lombardo(USA)   
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 3Bashar Hussain(QAT) vs. 
Zhang Yulong(TPE) 9 – 5 Liu Haitao(CHN)
 
Group H
Dennis Orcollo(PHL) 9 – 7 Ahen Yuxuan(TPE)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 1 James Delahunty(AUS)
Daryl Peach(GBR) 9 – 3 Alejandro Carvajal(CHI)
Cheng Tsung Hua(TPE) 9 – 3 Huidji See(NED)
 
 
 
Men’s Division Round 2 Matches, Losers Side
Loser is out, Winner continues on
 
Group B
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 5 Mohammed Ahmad Al-Bin Ali(QAT)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 8 Phil Burford(GBR)   
 
Group C
Fu Jianbo(CHN) 9 – 8  Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN)
Karl Boyes(GBR) 9-7 Rafath Habib(IND)
 
Group D
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 1 Zhou Long(CHN)
Chris Melling(GBR) 9 – 4 Oscar Dominguez(USA)
 
 
 
 
Men’s Division Round 2 Matches, Winners Side
Winner qualifies for Round of 32, Loser goes to Losers bracket
 
 
Group B
Seungwoo Ryu(KOR) 9 – 7 Ke Bign Zhong(TPE)
AlRiwani, Salah (UAE)9 – 5 Nguyen Ann Tuan(VIE)  vs
 
Group C
Fu Che Wei(TPE) 9 – 2 Dang Jinhu(CHN)
Alex Pagulayan(CAN)  9 – 5 Kenny Kwok(HKG)
 
Group D
Li Hewen(CHN)  9 – 5 John Morra(CAN)
Afrinneza Isral Nasution(IND) 9 – 8Jeffrey De Luna(PHL)  
 
 
 
Women’s Groups 1st round matches
 
Group A
Liu Jia(CHN) 7 – 2 Xia Yuying(CHN)
Chichiro Kawahara(JPN) 7 – 5 Karen Corr(IRL)   
 
Group B
Chan Ya Ting(TPE) 7 – 4 Hyun Ji Won(KOR)
Yang Fan(CHN) 7 – 1 Doan Thi Ngoc Le(VIE)
 
Group C
Gao Meng(CHN) 7 – 5 Ma’sum Fathrah(IND)
Wei Tzu Chien(TPE) 7 – 3 Angeline Magdalena Ticoalu(RSA)
 
Group D
Eunji Park(KOR) 7 – 2  Brittany Bryant(CAN)
Allison Fisher(GBR) 7 – 1 Carlynn Sanchez(VEN)   
 
Group E
Li Jia(CHN) 7 – 1 Mrjana Grujicic(VEN)
Zhu Tingting(CHN) 7 – 4 Jasmin Michel(GER)
 
Group F
Bi Zhu Qing(CHN) 7 – 4 Charlene Chai Zeet Huey(SIN)
Jing Jia(CHN) 7 – 5 Nicola Ilse Rossouw(RSA)
 
Group G
Wu Jing(CHN) 7 – 1 Keiko Yukawa(JPN)
Akimi Kajatani(JPN) 7 – 2 Liu Yichen(CHN)
 
Group H
Liu Shin Mei(TPE) 7 – 3 Bai Ge(CHN)
Rubelin Amit(PHL) 7 – 4 Han Fang(CHN)
 
 
 
Women’s Groups, 2nd Round
 
Group A                 
Kelly Fisher(GBR) 7 -0 Liu Jia(CHN)  
Pan Xiaoting(CHN) 7 – 6 Chichiro Kawahara(JPN)
 
 
Group B
Tan Ho Yun(TPE) 7 – 6 Chan Ya Ting(TPE)    
Yang Fan(CHN) vs. Lin Yuanjun(TPE)
 
Group C
Liu Shasha(CHN) 7 – 5 Gao Meng(CHN)
Wei Tzu Chien(TPE) 7 – 6 Chen Xue(CHN)
 
 
Group D
Yu Ram Cha(KOR) 7 – 6 Eunji Park(KOR)  
Ga Young Kim(KOR) 7 – 4 Allison Fisher(GBR)
 
Group E
Chen Siming(CHN) 7 – 0 Li Jia(CHN)
Lan Hiushan(TPE) vs Zhu Tingting(CHN)
 
 
Group F
Han Yu(CHN) 7 – 2 Bi Zhu Qing(CHN)
Chou Chieh Yu(TPE) 7 – 3 Jing Jia(CHN)
 
 
Group G
Tsai Pei Chen(TPE) 7 – 4 Wu Jing(CHN)
Keiko Yukawa(JPN)
Liu Yichen(CHN)
Jasmin Ouschan(AUT) 7 – 3 Akimi Kajatani(JPN)
 
 
Group H
Zhou Doudou(CHN) vs Liu Shin Mei(TPE)
Bai Ge(CHN)
Han Fang(CHN)
Rubelin Amit(PHL)
Fu Xiaofang(CHN)

Filipino Lee Van Corteza scores back-to-back wins in China 9-Ball Open

Lee Van Corteza

Filipino Lee Vann Corteza scored back-to-back wins in the 2013 China 9-Ball Open in Shanghai, China.

 
His latest victory was against Naoyuki Oi of Japan, 9-3, in Group G. The Davao City native Corteza, also beat Marcus Chamat of Sweden, 9-5 in the first round. His next opponent will be Cheng Chieh Liu of Chinese-Taipei, who brought down compatriots Ying Chieh Chen, 9-6, and Fu Che-wei, 9-7, respectively.
 
Also with two wins were Kenny Kwok of Singapore and Thorsten Hohmann of Germany in Group A; Chang Jung-lin and Lu Hui Chan of Chinese-Taipei in Group B; Liu Wei and Wang Can of China in Group C; Yukio Akagariyama of Japan and Fu Jian Bo of China in Group D; Nick Ekonomopoulous of Greece and Dang Jin Hu of China in Group E and Jason Klatt of Canada and Yang Ching-shun of Chinese-Taipei in Group F.
 
In other Filipino results, Alex Pagulayan beat Carlo Biado, 9-7, but fell to Dang Jin Hu, 9-4, in the next round in Group E. Dennis Orcollo yielded to Andreas Gerwen of Luxembourg, 9-8, but bounced back in contention after edging Nick Van Den Berg of the Netherlands, 9-7, in Group G.
 
Biado will meet Ko Pin-Yi of Chinese-Taipei, who lost to Nick Ekonomopoulous, 9-3. Ko, earlier beat Mike Dechaine of the USA, 9-2. Pagulayan, meantime goes up against Hui Kai Lun of Chinese-taipei while Orcollo will play Wang Ming of China.
 
Iris Ranola subdued Jiang Teng, 7-2, in the first match but succumbed to Chen Siming and Charlene Chai Huey, in similar 7-4, loses in Group H. Rubilen Amit lost her first match to Wu Zhi Ting, 7-5, and prevailed in her second match to Wei-Tzu-Chien, 7-2, in Group A.