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Title Defended: Liu ShaSha Crowned World Champion

Sha Sha Liu (Photo Courtesy of Alison Chang)

Liu ShaSha of China successfully defended her title and proved to the world that she is the best in women’s pool by snatching the World 9-Ball Championship title for a third time. A tight tug-of-war would be expected between the defending champion and the current Euro Tour champion Jasmine Ouschan (Austria), but the final resulted with a rather surprising and preposterous score of 9-4.
 
In the playoff, Chieh-Yu Chou of Chinese Taipei took the 2nd runner-up place by beating Chihiro Kawahara 9-7.
 
When the battle reached the semi-finals, Liu was then the only player from China left in the field. If she goes out at that stage, record would be made for the first time ever that no Chinese players were in the final since the tournament had moved to China in 2009. Immense pressure then on Liu’s shoulders.
 
Nervousness also came from other sources, such as being in the final again, the burden of defending the title, the desire to lift the trophy up for the third time, the possibility of winning the most world titles amongst team China players,… all these contributed to Liu’s tension and it was shown on her face during the final match.
 
“All along I was playing from behind throughout the whole tournament. I did not perform well. The thought of defending the title had been haunting me. Too much nerves and pressure. My coach was trying to adjust my thoughts by asking me to focus on one ball at a time; but with him being on the bench not much could be changed anything while I was out there at the table…” said the champion after the match.
 
The night before the final, Liu was telling us about her desire to defend the title in Guilin. “70% of the performance will depend on psychological, if I could clear my mind then I could play well. Judging on the regular training, being in the top 4 is already satisfactory. The final tomorrow will be mere expectation. Whether win or lose I’ll just play my game.”
 
In the double-elimination stage, Liu beat Bai Ge and Han Fang to move into the next round. After that, she knocked out Akimi Kajitani of Japan (9-0), Wei Zih-Chian of Chinese Taipei (9-5), her Chinese colleague Gao Meng (9-2), and then the 3-times Amway Cup champion Chieh-Yu Chou in the semi to reach the final against Ouschan.
 
In the group round, Jasmin Ouschan won over Jennifer Barretta and Kelly Fisher with 7:5 and 7:3 qualified for the single-knockout stage. After that, Ouschan defeated Park Eun-Ji (KOR) 9:4、Chezka Centeno (PHI) 9:8、Pan Xiaoting (CHN) 9:6 and Chihiro Kawahara (JPN) 9:8 to booked her seat in the final.
 
Having successfully defended her title, Shasha had already won the World Women 9-Ball Championship three times, passing Kim Ga-Young of Korea (2), and fell short with just one from the all time legend the “Duchess of Doom” Allison Fisher of England.

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 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.

GROUP A

Thorsten Hohmann
Yu Lung Chang

Radoslaw Babica
Tomasz Kaplan

Seung Woo Ryu
Basher Hussain Abdul Majed

Hamzaa Saeed Ali
Ronglin Chang

GROUP B

Chris Melling
Corey Deuel

Robbie Foldvari
Shaun Wilkie

Xihe Zhu
Jurgen Jenisi

Abdullah Al Yousef
Pin-Yi Ko

GROUP C

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

GROUP E

Carlo Biado
Hajato Hijikata

Mohamed Al Hosani
Ahmad Taufiq

Bing Jie Chu
Konstantin Stepanov

Albin Ouschan
John Morra

GROUP F

Dennis Orcollo
Mateusz Sniegocki

Brent Wells
Ralf Souquet

Daryl Peach
Jalal Yousef

Jason Klatt
Nick Ekonomopoulos

GROUP G

Darren Appleton
Hoang Quan Do

Nico Erasmus
Hunter Lombardo

Chi Dung Luong
Aloysius Yapp

Hewen Li
Shane Van Boening

GROUP H

Jiaqing Wu
Yong Dai

Karol Skowerski
Zbynek

Haitoa Liu
Kenny Kwok

Takhti Zarekani
Lee Van Corteza

The draw for the Women’s Division is:

GROUP A

Han Yu
BYE

Yichen Liu
Jennifer Barretta

Charlene Huey
Zhiting Wu

BYE
Jasmin Ouschan

GROUP B

Allison Fisher
BYE

Huyen This Ngoc
Jing Wu

Kyoko Sone
Mariya Levova

BYE
Yuan-Chun Lin

GROUP C

Siming Chen
BYE

Jiao Ma
Shu Wah Hoe

Qiuyue Ren
Iris Ranola

BYE
Xiao-Ting Pan

GROUP D

Xiao-Fang FU
BYE

Narantuya Bayarsaikhan
Kristina Zlateve

Nataliya Seroshtan
Ana Mazhirina

BYE
Sha Sha Liu

GROUP E

Rubilen Amit
BYE

Akami Kajatani
Joanne Ashton

Tianqi Shit
Bai Ge

BYE
Chichiro Kawahara

GROUP F

Ga Young Kim
BYE

Xiaotong Wang
Moirudee Kasemchaiyanan

Brittany Bryant
Meng Gao

BYE
Chieh-Yu Chou

GROUP G

Pei Chen Tsai
BYE

Szu-Ting Kuo
Judy Walia

Emily Duddy
Sijia Wang

BYE
Yu Ram Cha

GROUP H

Ziglan Wei
BYE

Carlynn Sanchez
Katarzyna Wesolowska

Xinmei Liu
Xin Run He

BYE
Kelly Fisher

 

AZBilliards Picks the Players of the Year

Shane Van Boening & Kelly Fisher, AZB’S picks for 2013
©JP Parmentier / T. Chengzhe

AZBilliards has named Shane Van Boening as the Male Player of the Year for 2013. Our Female Player of the Year is Kelly Fisher.

Shane Van Boening had an exceptional year. In the last year he won 15 events and played in the final match twenty times. He won 75% of the finals in which he participated. He had 37 Top Ten finishes in the year. So he had three top ten finishes every month on average. He won his second U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship in a row and is now poised to become the first player ever to win three times on the trot. In the finals of the Open Van Boening took down Lee Vann Cortezza 13-10.

Van Boening stepped up in a lot of major events this year. He won the US Open 8-Ball Championship at the Rio, The Super Billiards Expo Players Championship, and Turning Stone XX. Plus, he added the Andy Mercer Memorial, The Decider, the Steinway Classic, the Accu-Stats One Pocket invitational, the Wyoming Open and five TAR events where he was perfect for the year. With TAR he took on and shot down Efren Reyes, Dennis Orcullo, Corey Deuel, Darren Appleton and Mike Dechaine. These are all truly great players and the races at TAR are long enough to be meaningful. None of these are short-race luck-outs.

On only the earnings that have been reported to AZBilliards Mr. Van Boening earned $153,400 for the year.
.
The only place we can find for Van Boening to improve is in his presence overseas. Like many wines, Van Boening does not travel well. Players who do not beat him here in the USA wind up ‘upsetting’ him overseas. His best finish off of American soil is a fifth-place finish he took at the World Pool Masters. At the World Cup of Pool he partnered with Johnny Archer (another player who has struggled of late with travel) and could fare no better than 9th. At the WCOP they barely edged the team from Kuwait 6-5 and then lost by the same margin to Team Japan made up of Naoyuki Oi and Lo Li-wen. Finally, he came in 17th at the World 9-Ball Championship where he lost in the second round of the event to Carlo Biado 11-10. Van Boening had defeated Biado in the finals of the US Open 8-Ball Championship some three months earlier. He had also beaten him during the Ultimate Ten Ball Championships (again on the hill).

But Van Boening more than balanced out his overseas troubles with domination at home. In 2013 he was either first or second nearly half of the time. He only came in worse than tenth four times out of 41 events. That pretty much defines consistency and demands the description of dominating.

Kelly Fisher also has a lot to say about consistency. As the opportunities for women were scanty in 2013 Ms. Fisher only had seven events in which she could compete. She won two of them and finished in the top five in six of them. In the other she took 9th. Top Ten in every event played.

Her first-place finishes came at big events with nice paydays. When she won the Amway eSpring Open (The Amway Cup) she brought home $34,000 and the Challenge of Champions garnered her another $17,500. Those two wins alone took her earnings for the year far above any of her competitors in tournament play. In tournament competitions reported to AZBilliards MS. Fisher earned $75,000 last year while her closest competitors (Yu Han and Liu Sha Sha ) were shy of the $50,000 mark.

Fisher comes with displays of cueing power that amaze and delight. At the Amway Open she cruised through her initial group with a 4-0 record, winning 28 of the 35 racks that she played there. In the final elimination stage she went unscathed with victories over Chihiro Kawahara, Xiao Ting Pan, Chieh Yu Chou and Jasmin Ouschan.  Then, at the Women’s World 10-Ball in Manila, Fisher was undefeated going into the final match and favored to win. But on that day the balls favored home-town hero Rubilen Amit and Amit played a very solid final to leave Fisher in second place 10-7.

Kelly Fisher was only one match away from yet another finals at the China Open. She had won the event in 2012 and was knocking players over consistently with wins over quality players like Tsai Pei Chen (9-3) and Lan Hiushan (9-5).  But when she played Siming Chen her cue ball speed slipped just the tiniest amount. Always the realist, Fisher afterward admitted she missed her standard in the match. “It was a quality match. She played solid but I made a few mistakes in the middle of the match that cost me. In the last rack I thought the safety I played on the 2 was perfect but I guess she could see just a little bit of that ball.”  

At the Ultimate Ten Ball Championship Kelly Fisher had to fight for her bread. She dropped her second-round contest to Melissa Little 7-4. That loss must have opened up a large can of kickbutt in Ms. Fisher because she then went on a march that left her victims ravaged.  She demolished Emily Duddy 7-2. Elanor Callado fought hard to lose 7-4. Janet Atwell lost 7-2  and Angel Paglia was unceremoniously dumped 7-1.

Jasmin Ouschan was the next victim at 7-4. World Champion Siming Chen was tossed aside 7-3. Monica Webb would fall next (7-4) and it was only then that Fisher proved herself fallible when Line Kjoersvik was able to send her to the sidelines with a hotly contested double-hill thriller of a match.

Ms. Fisher finished in third-place at the World Games in Cali, Colombia. In this single-elimination format she lost only to the Champion, Chieh-Yu Chou of Chinese Taipei. But she paid that little debt with a victory over Karen Corr to take the title of 2013 Champion of Champions.

Our congratulations go out to both of these Professionals not only for their performance in the past year but also for the manner in which they choose to represent the game. They are acutely aware of their positions in the sport and they lead their professional lives accordingly.

2013 in Review – Part Five – It’s a Wrap!

Thorsten Hohmann had an impressive run in late summer. He’ll be one to watch in 2014 for sure!

The shrinkage that pro pool underwent in 2013 was perhaps forecast by the WPBA. In 1993 the WPBA had seventeen professional events. By the end of the decade they were a fixture on ESPN and the best women in the world were coming to America to be part of the growing feminine pool scene. The men were often chastised for not just following in the footsteps of the women. They were on TV, they had big-money sponsors, they had a real tour with real money and the future was looking bright. In 2003 they had eight events and they were all on ESPN. The following year they went up to eleven events and most of them were televised as well. But in 2005 Brunswick pulled up and that brought the beginnings of trouble. By 2010 the Tour was down to three events and it stayed down thee until 2013 when it went down to just two. Both of those, Soaring Eagle Masters and the Ultimate 10-Ball Championships were won by Ga-Young Kim. The WPBA website calendar for 2014 lists two events for 2014. One is not a pro event, the Regional Tour Championships, but the other one is and that is the Soaring Eagle Masters in February. We are told there are several other events in the planning stages and we will let you know when we receive details.

One player who will look back upon 2013 with a smilie is Thorsten Hohmann. Hohmann’s game intensified to the point he looked unbeatable, and for a while there he was. Between the middle of August and the end of September Hohmann won four consecutive major pro events. He won the Accu-Stats 14.1 Invitational, the World Tournament of 14.1, the Maryland 14.1 Championships and, just to show he is not mono-disciplined, he crowned the run with a World Championship when he won the WPA World 9-Ball Championship. Hohmann had a very consistent year. He enjoyed fifteen top-ten finishes and ended it with a win at the Kremlin Cup.

Other events of note in 2013 included the move of the CSI US Bar Box Championships to the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. As with many CSI events this one goes out of the way to be inclusive as it has 8-Ball and 9-Ball and 10-Ball events for both Men and Women as well as an Open division.

In May the Worlds elite players met in Shanghai for the China OpenLee Vann Corteza pocketed $40,000 for that win over Che-Wei Fu and in the Women’s Division Sha-Sha Liu grabbed $30,000 for her victory over Siming Chen.


Every four years we have the World Games where pool gets as close to the Olympics as it has ever gotten. This year the event was held in Cali, Colombia in late July. Chieh-Yu Chou of Chinese Taipei won the Gold medal in the Women’s Division with a squeaky 9-8 victory over Ga-Young Kim. The Men’s Crown fell to Darren Appleton by the same narrow margin as he got past Jung-Lin Chang 11-10. Marco Zanetti took the Gold for Caroms and Aditya Metha became the Snooker Champion.

September grabbed our attention with the World Cup of Pool. This doubles-format event is produced by Matchroom Sport and it is a very popular event in those countries where it is aired live on TV. This year Team Philippines consisting of Dennis Orcollo and Lee Vann Corteza snapped off Team Holland of Niels Feijen and Nick Van Den Berg to split the $60,000 first prize. This event, as with all the Matchroom events, is not afraid of being a bit different. This year they awarded $500 to the team of Karl Boyes and Darren Appleton for being the ‘Best Dressed’ team!

Niels Feijen had taken down fourth place at the U.S. Open and he was hungry for a win. He found it at the World Pool Masters when he bested Darren Appleton 8-6 in the final to claim the $20,000 first place prize. It is fitting that this was the crown he took as he and his teammate Nick Van Den Berg had come in second only weeks before in another Matchroom showpiece, the World Cup of Pool. With is year-end win at the Mosconi Cup, he added yet another Matchroom trophy to his collection when he was awarded the prestigious 20th Mosconi Cup MVP award. The 'Terminator' showed his place is on the big stage once and for all.

The Women’s World Ten Ball Championship was held once again in Manila and this time a home-town girl grabbed the honors. Rubilen Amit defeated the very formidable Kelly Fisher 10-8 to own the World Title. It was a very special moment for Amit to win in front of the home crowd and when the last ball dropped she actually jumped up into the arms of Kelly Fisher to celebrate. You have to love moments like that. Amit followed this up a few days later with another win in a Dragon Promotions event as she and her team of Captain Ga-Young Kim, Pei Chen Tsai and Siming Chen won the inagaural Queens Cup by beating the team of  Allison Fisher, Kelly Fisher, Jasmin Ouschan and Vivian Villareal.


This year’s version of the longest-running event in pro pool, the All-Japan Open was won on the men’s side by Pin-Yi Ko while the Ladies winner was Akimi Kajitani.

…And 2013 folded it’s tent and went home. 2014 will be challenging for the professional game. But challenges present opportunities and perhaps this time the game can grab one that won’t slip away. Several different ‘Reality’ shows around pool are being talked up and there is the possibility that the professional game could be organized by a group that could provide leadership and care taking to help generate more events.

To say the least, 2014 will be ‘interesting’.
 

To read the previous parts of our 2013 Review, click on the following links:

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!

Chinese Taipei’s Pin-Yi Ko wins All Japan Championship for the second time; Akimi Kajitani takes Women’s title

Thorsten Hohmann, Pin Yi Ko, Jung Lin Chang and Johann Chua (Courtesy of Chinese Taipei Billiards)

Two years ago, Chinese Taipei’s Pin-Yi Ko was on a bit of a roll. It was his best (recorded) year, financially. He won the Guinness World Series of Pool in July that year, defeating Shane Van Boening in the finals. He went on in November to chalk up his first All Japan Championship, downing China’s Jia-Qing Wu (at one time, a high school classmate of his). The two victories represented 80% of his $87,500 (reported) year at the tables.

During the week of November 18-24, Ko joined 127 male competitors from around the world in the 45th Annual All Japan Championship, held in Archaic Hall in Amagasaki, Japan. Ko went  went undefeated to chalk up his second All Japan Championship, defeating fellow countryman Jung-Lin Chang in the finals.
In the Women’s Division finals, Japan’s Kajitani Akimi defeated fellow countrywoman Kawahara Chihiro to capture her first All Japan title. Unlike Ko in the Men’s event, though, Akimi had to come from the loss side of the 59-entrant field, during the double elimination portion of the event to win that title.
In the Men’s event, it took three winners’ side matches for competitors to reach the 64-entrant, single-elimination field and Ko did so with victories over Japan’s Norio Ogawa, Tachiki Toshinobu and Iwase Kengo. Among the international players entering the single elimination field from the winners’ side were John Morra and Rodney Morris. Dennis  Orcollo, Francisco Bustamante, Thorsten Hohmann, Efren Reyes, Carlo Biado, Mika Immonen, Alex Pagalayun, and Lee Van Corteza were among those who played a “one and done,” loss-side match to advance to the single-elimination final 64.
Ko downed Biado 11-9 to open his single elimination proceedings and then went on to defeat Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp and China’s Han Hao Xiang, to move among the final 16. Joining him were Hohmann, Lee Van Corteza (who’d eliminated Reyes), and The Iceman, Mika Immonen (who’d eliminated Morra). Along the way, Reyes had downed Orcollo, Japan’s Nishio Tasuka had finished Bustamante’s bid for a second All Japan title, and “The Lion” was dropped in the opening round by Korea’s Jeong Young Hwa.
In the final eight, Ko defeated Japan’s Kitatani Yoshihiro 11-8, Hohmann downed the Philippines’ Jeffrey Ignacio 11-3, Jung-Lin Chang ended Van Corteza’s bid 11-3 and The Iceman fell to the Philippines’ Johann Gonzales Chua 11-8.
It was Ko who eliminated Thorsten Hohmann 11-6 in one semifinal. Jung-Lin Chang defeated Chua, double hill, advancing to the finals against Ko. The two finalists battled to double hill, as well, before Ko completed his undefeated run to capture his second All Japan title.
In the Women’s event, Akimi overcame a short trip to the loss side in the double elimination phase, and defeated Japan’s Ebe Kaori (9-2) and Fujiwara Kazuko, double hill, to move among the final eight. The two semifinal matches pitted Chinese Taipei against Japan, as Akimi met up with Chieh-Yu Chou, and Kawahara (Japan) faced off against Pei-Chen Tsai.
Akimi defeated Chou 9-6, and was met in the finals by Chihiro, who eliminated Tsai 9-7. Akimi took the final match 9-7 over Chihiro to claim her first All Japan title.

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)