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Worldwide Billiard Industry Comes Together to Support the New USA Blackball Pool Association

Blackball Pool is a very similar variation of English 8-Ball which produced American Pool champions like Jayson Shaw, Darren Appleton, and Chris Melling all from Great Britain.  Now for the first time the USA will attempt to enter the world of Blackball by sending a team of five American pool players to compete in the 2022 World Blackball Championships in Tangier, Morocco October 8-15, 2022 in the Senior Division.  This world class event is sanctioned by the World Pool and Billiards Association (WPA) under their Blackball International (BI) division.  Other WPA divisions include Artistic Pool (WPA-APD), Pyramid Pool (IPC), and Chinese Pool (ICEA).

The President of BI and World Blackball tournament promotor MYcherif Zine Elabidine nominated, with BI board approval, Steve Lillis to be the first President and Founder of the USA Blackball Pool Association (USA BPA) and also to occupy a seat on the (BI) Blackball International Board of Directors as General Secretary.  Steve served as the first Chairman of the WPA (APD) Artistic Pool Division back in the early 2000’s when WPA Artistic Pool was just starting out under the direction of founder Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman.  Steve Lillis has played professional tournament pool for almost 50 years and has traveled the world as a professional trick shot artist with Gospel Trick Shot for the past 25 years.  Mike Massey won the first of many WPA World Artistic Pool Championships back in 2000 with Tom Rossman eventually won the world title as well.  Both Mike and Tom appeared many times on ESPN’s Trick Shot Magic and the World Cup of Trick Shots and won numerous titles while Steve served as Chairman of the WPA APD.    Tom, Mike, and Steve have been partnering for decades doing Artistic Pool tournaments and Gospel Trick Shots in 30 countries and are once again united on the USA Blackball Pool team in the Senior Division.

This first USA Blackball team has four American WPA Artistic Pool players, a French translator, and a top coach from South Africa who will not play but will coach and manage the USA team.  Other USA players that were considered will be competing at the same time in the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships in Atlantic City, NJ with Matchroom Pool under the WPA banner as well.  Co-Captains of this USA Blackball team will be BCA Hall of Famers Mike Massey and Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman.  Steve Lillis and Michael Hewitt a good player from the Midwest who has experience in both pro Artistic Pool and pro tournament 9-Ball make up the first four players on the USA Blackball team.  Local pool player from New Jersey Phil Ball will serve as the 5th player and the team’s French translator as the language of business in Morocco is French.  Top Blackball pool player Wayne Parker from South Africa has been selected as the team’s coach and manager.  Coach Wayne Parker also has many international connections and experiences in the World of Blackball.  All five of the USA Blackball team players are 50 and over and will play in the seniors (over 40) and the masters (over 50) divisions. 

A host of USA and International sponsors have stepped up to help launch the USA (BPA) Blackball Pool Association.  The main sponsors are McDermott Cues, CSI USA Pool Leagues of California, and Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc.  Other sponsors include the Tweeten Fibre Co., Inc. of Chicago, IL, AZBilliards.com and the Buzz Magazine of Phoenix, AZ, Accu-Stats Video Productions of Pheonix, AZ, United Pool Tables of Johannesburg, South Africa, Corsair Custom Cues of Fountain Valley, CA, Meucci Cues of Byhalia, MS, Good Times Family Billiards of Lakewood, CA, Anaheim Senior Center and BobbleBall.com of Anaheim, CA, Indiana Wesleyan University of Marion, IN, Dr. Cue Promotions of Cloverdale, IN, Chino’s Billiards of Riverside, CA, Mega Pool of Tangier, Morocco, and www.HoroTips.com of Lisboa, Portugal.  In addition to the WPA and BI we have also partnered with the South African Pool Union (SAPU) which has under its umbrella Blackball South Africa, South Africa 9-Ball, Artistic Pool South Africa, and Chinese Pool South Africa.  We also plan to work closely with WPA (APD) Artistic Pool Division to help promote Artistic Pool using Blackball tables and equipment worldwide. 

The USA Blackball Team has already begun training under the leadership of USA Blackball Pool Association President Steve Lillis with the help and guidance of Coach Wayne Parker of South Africa.  The first training site was set up in the home of John English of Downey, CA, owner of the CSI CA USA Pool League and Good Times Family Billiards in Lakewood, CA, in August 2022 with the first known Blackball table made in America by Chino’s Billiards of Riverside, CA.  Tom Rossman and Steve Lillis used 9 mm McDermott Blackball/Snooker shafts on their McDermott cues with Mike Massey using a 10 mm custom Blackball cue made by Meucci.  Training sites will also be in New Jersey where a Blackball table will be delivered to Steve Lillis from Tangier, Morocco compliments of Mega Pool and MYcherif Zine Elabidine the President of Blackball International (BI).  Another training site will be at the Rising Hope Church in Muncie, IN which has three 7-foot pool tables and a set of Blackball Pool balls in their recreation center and where USA Blackball team player Michael Hewitt now resides and ministers as a pastor.  Two other churches are involved in supporting and hosting Blackball players and assisting with rides and accommodations when and where needed.  Steve Lillis, who also serves as the President and Founder of Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc., has his home church the Hawthorne Gospel Church hosting in New Jersey and in South Africa the Acts Church in Johannesburg where Coach Wayne Parker attends, stands ready to assist as well in the future.  With all these partners, sponsors, and supporters, we are hoping for success in the USA for Blackball Pool as we become part of the more than 25 countries that will be represented at the 2022 World Blackball Championships in Tangier, Morocco October 8-15.        

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European Open Day 3 | Hometown Hero Hohmann Heads Home

Thorsten Hohmann (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

The inaugural European Open Pool Championship in Fulda, Germany at Hotel Esperanto hit the midway point as the field was reduced to the Last 64 live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live.

Schedule / Scores

Joshua Filler‘s encounter with wife Pia was the talk of the tournament as the pair met on the biggest stage for the first time live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook page. Joshua started out strongest to take the opening rack before Pia came back with her own rack to level at 1-1. The contest was played out in great spirit as the pair embraced before lagging with various applause and fist bumps keeping the atmosphere light-hearted despite a spot in the Last 64 resting on the match. It was Joshua who did steal the advantage though as he settled it in a 9-1 win.

Joshua and Pia Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Pia was back out in the Losers’ Qualification where she ran Chris Melling close up to 6-6 before Melling pulled through to book his place in the Last 64 and send Pia home. Other casualties included US Open runner-up Aloysius Yapp who lost out to Tyler Styer who had taken the inital initiative before Yapp pulled it back to 7-7. Mika Immonen was on the end to a 9-3 defeat to Dimitri Jungo to exit whilst Skyler Woodward faltered in a 9-4 loss to Bader Alawadhi. Alawadhi had been sent to the losers side by Jayson Shaw who came up trumps in a 9-1 win to book his own place in the Last 64.

“I played really good in that match a 9-1 win over a really good player. I tried to stay focused and I did just that. I prepared for about two months for this event. I prepared like I was going for a boxing fight really. I’ve been putting in a lot of time in on and off the table. I feel mentally a lot tougher than I did in previous events and I wasn’t really with it i if I am being honest. I am enjoying it so far.” – Jayson Shaw speaking to Phil Yates after beating Alawadhi

“It’s a really nice place (Fulda), the venue is super nice. The city is really nice too. It’s a good mix to have that around. You can go out and have a walk around. All in all it’s been a good start to the event,” Shaw added.

World Champion Shane Van Boening was made to sweat my Finland’s national champion Jani Uski as Van Boening ensured he remained blemish-free on the way to the Last 64 9-7 whilst it was a similar set of circumstances for Naoyuki Oi who side-stepped past Jan van Lierop 9-6. US Mosconi Cup hopeful Oscar Dominguez progressed with a 9-4 win over Daniel Maciol and 2021 World Pool Masters winner Alexander Kazakis overcame Tyler Styer in a hill-hill thriller to avoid the Losers side of the draw.”

Thorsten Hohmann‘s bid for hometown glory was ended by Karol Skowerski in a whitewash loss for the former World Champion. Hohmann had been left on the losers side of the draw early on after defeat to Senharip Azar and the German was up against it ever since before coming against Skowerski who was in no mood in letting the local man take a hold of things.

The Last 64 draw was made at the completion of play today – see the draw above.

Day 4 Streamed Matches Below 10 am (CEST)

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

10am – Joshua Filler (GER) vs Eklent Kaçi (ALB)

NB 11:30am – Alexander Kazakis (GRE) vs David Alcaide (ESP)

NB 1:00pm – Oscar Dominguez (USA) vs Tyler Styer (USA)

NB 2:30pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 4:00pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 6:30pm – TBC – Last 32

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

10am – Albin Ouschan (AUT) vs Bader Alawadhi (KUW)

NB 11:30am – Oliver Szolnoki vs Khalid Alghamdi (KSA)

NB 1:00pm – Mieszko Fortunski (POL) vs Lo Ho Sum (HKG)

NB 2:30pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 4:00pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 6:30pm – TBC – Last 32

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Tickets start from €15 for the day. Secure yours here

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Josh And Pia Filler To Meet In European Open Winners Qualification Round

Joshua Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Joshua and Pia Filler will meet in Winners Qualification tomorrow after the Posh and Becks of Pool overcame two matches apiece to make it through day two of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda in Germany live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live.

Bracket / Scores

Joshua began his tournament with an emphatic 9-0 win over GJ Oyangoren in one of the opening encounters of the day to make the winners’ side whilst Pia came from behind to defeat Talal Abdullah Shaheen in a hill-hill finish. The stars were beginning to align as the evening got into full swing as Pia got her second W of the day, this time against Ramazan Akdag 9-6.

At the same time as Pia’s win, Joshua was under the cosh, and 5-0 down to fellow compatriot and former sparring partner Raphael Wahl. Wahl reached the hill first at 8-4 and it looked like he would get the better of Joshua like old times but the pair have had different paths since their juniors days. Joshua showed his grit and experience with over 100 fans crowding around their table to see the conclusion as the recent UK Open and World Pool Masters champion closed out an impressive comeback to steal it and meet his wife Pia for the first time at this level of the sport.

“I am super excited. I really wanted to play Josh in this tournament. I was fighting hard to get here and now here we are. I can’t wait.” – Pia Filler

Pia Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

“That match was almost in jepordy. I knew she was winning and I was sown. I was more nervous then. We wanted to play each other. I gave it my best and luckily I won it. I was 6-1 down. I’ve known Raph since we were juniors. He won a few finals against me and I won a few against him. The atmosphere was crazy. I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it. I got luck on my side in the end. I am delighted to be through.” – Joshua Filler

“We just do business as usual. It’s no secret he’s the love of my life but tomorrow he will be my biggest rival for 90 minutes.” – Pia Filler

Tony Drago returned to the Nineball arena with a win over Ivan Nunez Perez 9-2 before losing out to Sanjin Pehlivanovic to be sent to the Losers side whilst the Bosnian moves into Winners’ Qualification tomorrow. Neils Feijen overcame  Harold Stolka and Flavian Glont to make lightwork of his day to meet José Alberto Delgado tomorrow for a spot in the Last 64.

There was no sign of jet lag for Nineball World No.1 and World Champion Shane Van Boening who beat Martin Breuer and Aref Awadi 9-1 and 9-0 respectively to barely break sweat and set up a Winners’ Qualification match live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook page with Jani Uski tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz fresh off the back of snapping off another EuroTour title on Monday beat Christian Prager and Ioan Ladanyi to be one away from the Last 64 and compatriot David Alcaide reached the same stage with wins over Fabian Breuer and Great Britain’s Benji Buckley.

Hometown favourite Thorsten Hohmann kept his tournament alive with a 8-2 win over Cyprus’ Antonis Brabin whilst German legend Ralf Souquet stayed alive after defeating Veronika Ivanovskaia 8-5 on the losers bracket.

Day 3 Streamed Matches Below 10 am (CEST)

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

10am – 319 – Chris Melling (GBR) vs Uwe Kaiser (GER) – Losers Round 3

NB 11:30am – Francisco Sanchez Ruiz vs Michael Schneider (SUI) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 1:00pm – Joshua Filler (GER) vs Pia Filler (GER) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 2:30pm – Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Jani Uski (FIN) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 4:00pm – TBC

NB 6:30pm – TBC

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

10am – Robbie Capito (HKG) vs Mika Van Berkel (NED) – Losers Round 3

NB 11:30 – Thorsten Hohmann (GER) vs Rattapol Sassmann (THA) – Losers Round 3

NB  1:00pm – Aleksa Pecelj (SRB) vs Ronald Regli (SUI) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 2:30pm – Jayson Shaw (GBR) vs Bader Alawadhi (KUW)  – Winners’ Qualification

NB 4:00pm – TBC

NB 6:30pm – TBC

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Tickets start from €15 for the day or €90 for the week. Secure yours here

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Day 1 Of Inaugural European Open in Record Books

Thorsten Hohmann (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

The opening day of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda in Germany live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live is complete.

Bracket / Scores

256 players headed to Fulda with hopes and dreams in Thorsten Hohmann’s hometown of becoming the first-ever European Open winner as they look for their name to be etched into the record books and a share of the $200,000 prize fund as the Opening Round, Winners and Losers Round 1 got underway with 36 players heading home.

Hohmann got action underway live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook match in front of a raucous home crowd looking to see their man get off to the best of starts but it wasn’t to be as Senharip Azar upset the apple cart to secure an unlikely victory.  The 9-5 defeat for Hohmann meant he faces the gruelling task of four matches to make it through to the last 64 and he ticked one of those off to defeat Muhummed Daydat 8-2 and keep hometown glory alive.

“I can only give my best. I would’ve liked to have won my first match with all my Fulda people behind me. It was amazing to see. My opponent played well, and I made a few mistakes. I wasn’t as relaxed as I should’ve been. I didn’t feel nervous but there’s always a tightness, so you’re not relaxed. We have some history in Fulda for pool, we used to play in the German Bundesliga. We always had 100 spectators there are some pool fans here. We hope to mobilise some of the Fulda crowd who are perhaps not pool fans.” – Hohmann after progressing to Losers Round 2.

Compatriot Ralf Souquet had the home backing against Juri Pisklov in an all-German affair that saw the latter take the victory 9-5 no part down to a huge 4-rail kick on the four ball in one of the shots of the year let alone day or tournament. That defeat for Souquet appeared to spur him on though as he whitewashed Rafał Stępnik 8-0 to keep his tournament going.

Two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw survived an early scare in the morning against Ingo Lamberti to win 9-7 before making light work of Cristian Surdea of Romania 9-1 to book his spot in Winners Qualification on Thursday. There wasn’t such fortune for US Open runner-up Aloysius Yapp who was pushed onto the losers’ side of the draw by German Valery Kuloyants.

Finland’s Jani Uski announced himself onto the big stage at the recent World Cup of Pool alongside Mika Immonen and his stock is ever-growing after booking his spot in Winners Qualification thanks to wins over Tobias Hirt and Chris Melling 9-1/9-4 respectively.

Melling is not the only big name to be alongside Yapp on the losers’ bracket with Dimitri Jungo, Robbie Capito, and Matt Edwards all facing the prospect of Losers Round 2 tomorrow.

Action continues tomorrow morning from 10 am – see the full list of matches upcoming below

Day 2 Streamed Matches Below 10 am (CEST)

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

10am – Tony Drago (MAL) vs Ivan Nunez Perez (ESP)

NB 11:30am – Albin Ouschan (AUT) vs Sander Kont (EST)

NB 1:00pm – Joshua Filler (GER) vs Garry Oyangoren (GBR)

TBC

TBC

TBC

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

10am – Veronika Ivanovskaia (GER) vs Tuberiu Iorgulescu (ROM)

NB 11:30am – Eklent Kaçi (ALB) vs Matthew Rigley (GBR)

NB 1:00pm – Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Martin Breuer (GER)

TBC

TBC

TBC

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Tickets start from €15 for the day or €90 for the week. Secure yours here

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USA and Spain Complete Semi-Final Line-Up at 2022 World Cup Of Pool

David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

The USA and Spain knocked out Switzerland and Great Britain respectively to reach the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup of Pool at the Brentwood Centre, Essex live on Sky Sports Arena in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. Matchroom.Live in territories without a broadcaster. 

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Live Scores 

The USA won the lag and Van Boening broke in the first only to be left with no shot on the one. The push-out was played before a brief safety battle ensued that the USA got on top of. Van Boening played the cue ball in behind the five only for it to be pushed up table and in striking distance for Regli who cooly dispatched it and the eventual nine to lead 1-0. A break and run from the Swiss in the next rack put them two up. 

Regli broke in the third but left Jungo jacked up to make the one. He rattled the pocket, and the USA came to the table to get their first rack on the board. Van Boening and Woodward kept their opponents in the chair to level with a break and run in the fourth. 

Van Boening’s break wasn’t helpful for Woodward as he was left hooked on the one ball which halted the USA momentum and brought Switzerland back to the table only for Regli to scratch on the one after some safety. The USA had the lead for the first time after five racks. A break and run in the sixth extended the USA’s lead to 4-2. 

At 5-2 up, the USA seemed to be holding all the aces in the rack with Switzerland hooked on all angles only for Jungo to play the deliberate foul and make the USA ponder their next move. With the four tied up, Regli kicked it out of trouble and in the process opened it up for a Van Boening shot. Van Boening’s cut was missed, and he scratched. With the cue ball in hand, Switzerland made it through to the eight before an error only for Woodward to also not make it safe. Eventually, Switzerland took it and it was 5-3. 

The next rack was quick but beautiful, Woodward jumped to make a 1-9 combo worthy of being shot of the tournament. Woodward’s magic in the previous rack was the opposite to his next time at the table in the next shot as missed the four ball from distance to open the table up for Switzerland to be back in reach at 6-4. 

Van Boening and Woodward were soon two away from victory, Jungo scratched when trying to bank the five ball after an unfortunate double kiss followed by the cue ball hitting the seven and five to roll into the bottom pocket and the USA did the damage. 

The USA reached the hill in the following rack despite breaking dry. Jungo left the one open in a congested table and Van Boening and Woodward did the rest to be one away from the semis. A battle ensued on the two for some time in the following rack where eventually Switzerland came out on top to get back in it at 8-5. 

Jungo was having a game of it, and he scratched off the break as the USA completed a 9-5 victory to meet Singapore in the semi-finals. 

The long-awaited last quarter-final saw home favourites Great Britain (Chris Melling and Imran Majid) meet one of the tournament favourites in Spain’s David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz. The two teams shared the early spoils going into the third rack where a costly miss from Majid on the one gave Spain the initiative to take the lead at the commercials. 

A brief safety battle in the next rack saw Great Britain with a chance at the table only for the Spaniards to hook the Brits well and truly causing Melling to foul and give Spain ball in hand to go 3-1 up. Alcaide scratched on the break in the next rack and Great Britain were only one back. Into the next rack and Sanchez Ruiz played an expert bank on the two ball the length of the table before being left of a clear potting angle on the four causing him to jump and keep the table open. Majid couldn’t make the most of it with his own bank on the six though and Spain led 4-2. 

Great Britain had their chances but in truth, Spain were in an imperious mood as they rattled in two further racks to be leading at 6-2 and only three away from the finish line. The ninth rack was more of the same for Spain as they continued to fire on all cylinders with a 2-8 combo in another break and run. 

The hopes of Melling and Majid were firmly in Sanchez Ruiz and Alcaide’s hands as the two continued to batten down the hatches on any fight back with solid positional play and no errors. Melling did have a shot on the two in the tenth rack but he caught the seven and that was the end of that for Spain to be on the hill. One final break and run wrapped up a special performance from Spain to face Chinese Taipei tomorrow morning. 

Action returns from 11 am in the morning with the semi-finals live on Sky Sports Arena as well as live on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. See the full list of broadcasters here including Matchroom.Live if no broadcaster is available. 

See the full list of broadcasters here including Matchroom.Live if no broadcaster is available. 

Sunday 19, June – Morning Session  – 11am

Semi-Final 1 – Spain (4) vs Chinese Taipei (9) 

Semi-Final 2 – USA (2) vs  Singapore (6) 

Sunday 19, June – Evening Session – 6pm

Semi-Final 1 winner vs Semi-Final 2 winner – Race to 11

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Finland, Switzerland, and Great Britain Complete Saturday Line-Up

Jani Uski and Mika Immonen (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Finland, Switzerland, and Great Britain have completed the quarterfinal line-up at the 2022 World Cup of Pool at the Brentwood Centre, Essex live on Sky Sports Arena in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. Matchroom.Live in territories without a broadcaster. 

Buy Tickets 

Live Scores 

Seeded Estonia came up against Finland with the winner set to face Singapore in the quarterfinals tomorrow morning. Estonia’s Denis Grabe and Rainer Laar struggled early on as Finland’s duo of Mika Immonen assembled a 2-0 lead that could’ve been three if it wasn’t for a poor safety from Immonen that allowed their opposition in to make it 2-1. 

Estonia continued to struggle as Immonen and Uski gathered momentum to take the first rack after the break to lead 3-1 and soon 4-1. Grabe and Laar had their work cut out but came back in it sharpish no part down to an error on positioning on the nine in the sixth rack from Immonen to allow the Estonians to steal the rack and get the break in their hand. 

At 4-2, Finland had their opportunity to move two away when back at the table only for Uski to miss the eight ball and leave Estonia again with a simple out to only trail by one. The key phrase of cue ball control was key in this contest, and it lacked at times from both sides. A routine break and run from Grabe and Laar levelled matters at 4-4. 

Laar broke in the ninth, but he was warned for a soft break in the process, with the two hooked, Grabe called the push out and Immonen played a quality kick to leave Estonia punished for their push out call. It was Laar who was then up and he fouled to give Finland ball in hand and they made them pay to lead again at 5-4. Neither Grabe or Laar covered themselves in too much glory but the latter missed what proved to be a pivotal four in the 10th rack to allow Finland their moment to get on the hill. Uski cued with the confidence of someone who was enjoying every moment on the big stage. 

It looked like Finland would close things out in the following rack, but Immonen missed the six to give Estonia a glimmer of hope, and all be it a glimmer with the six now at the opposite end of the table and cue ball in front of the seven at the opposite end. Grabe pulled off the pressure pot but left Laar with a tester on the seven which he couldn’t make only for Uski to scratch when trying to bank the seven the full length of the table. Estonia was still alive. 

The last rack wasn’t without drama, a costly miss from Laar handed Finland the opportunity to complete their win and face Singapore in the quarterfinals. 

Hungary were next up taking on a Switzerland side who had barely missed a ball in their win over Japan yesterday evening. Oliver Szolnoki and Vilmos Foldes were keen to reach the quarterfinals for only a second time in their nation’s World Cup history whilst Switzerland could be counted of something of a dark horse. 

It was the case of two missed pots for Switzerland in the opening rack though as the costly one on the nine from Ronald Regli handed Hungary the opening advantage. A break and run completed by Foldes gave the seeded side the upper hand put them 2-0 up. Rack three was more of the same as Hungary put their stamp on proceedings. 

Switzerland got their chance after the commercials after Hungary scratched on the break. From there, Dimitri Jungo went in off the nine when playing the six and it was 4-0 Hungary. Another break and run left Switzerland reeling and Hungary two away from victory and one eye on the quarterfinals. 

Szolnoki broke dry in the sixth rack and it gave Jungo and Regli their moment to reduce the scoreline to 5-1, there was still plenty of work to be done if they were to have any slight chance of progressing. 

The seventh rack was scrappy as the Swiss looked to build a pack, but it wasn’t going to be easy. Hungary got back to the table and Szolnoki put the eight away but left Foldes with a tricky attempt on the nine. One miss on the nine later and Jungo made it to cut their opponent’s advantage to three. Jungo and Regli pieced together a break and run in the next rack to do the damage with Regli making five balls on the break to help them along their way. 

Switzerland’s idea of running a few packs came true with another break and run to make it 5-4 in the ninth. The almighty comeback gathered ahead of steam with a golden break from Regli to go level. Szolnoki had a chance to stop the drought, but he missed the three when cueing over the seven. Jungo and Regli did the rest to lead for the first time and be on the hill. 

Hungary was presented a golden chance early on in what was ultimately the last rack after Jungo miscued when playing the one. Szolnonki potted the one but left Foldes short of a clear pot for the two. Foldes got fortunate and left Switzerland hooked but Regli did the exact same back to leave Szolnoki in a difficult position. One foul later and Switzerland completed a huge comeback to reach the quarterfinals. 

Great Britain was imperious in knocking out their fellow countrymen in the opening round and Chris Melling with Imran Majid was looking for more of the same as they come against South Africa’s Jason Theron and Kyle Akaloo. Theron won the lag, but it was GB who took the opening two racks, a golden break from Melling in the second to take the early initiative. Theron and Akaloo stole the third rack to be trailing by one at the break and stop Great Britain from winning ten racks in a row overall in the tournament.  

With Great Britain leading 4-1, South Africa needed something, they were chasing the nine combo early on but left the same chance for their opponents. Melling missed the 5-9 combo but hooked Akaloo in the process. Akaloo fouled but then Majid scratched with the ball in hand. South Africa did the rest, and it was 4-2.  

At 4-2, Melling missed the bank on the six ball and South Africa was able to close GB’s lead to just one in a tricky rack for both sides.  

Great Britain didn’t hang around much after South Africa’s third rack with a quick run out in the eighth before making the most of an error-prone ninth rack from their opposition. Melling missed the two and left it over the pocket for Akaloo to make it only for the debutant to leave the cue ball slap bang behind the three. Theron’s effort saw the three-land plumb over the pocket at the opposite end to Great Britain’s rejoice who profiteered to be one away. 

Theron has South Africa’s last say on the match. Majid broke dry in the final rack but Theron had no shot on the one. He fouled when trying to jump and from then on, Melling and Majid did the rest to meet Spain in the quarterfinals tomorrow evening. 

Saturday 18, June – Morning Session 


Saturday 18, June – Evening Session 

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Great Britain A and Austria Out of 2022 World Cup of Pool

Chris Melling and Imran Majid (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Great Britain B’s Imran Majid and Chris Melling whitewashed their counterparts Great Britain A 7-0 to reach the Last 16 of the 2022 World Cup of Pool at the Brentwood Centre, Essex live on Sky Sports Arena in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. Matchroom.Live in territories without a broadcaster.

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Great Britain A (Jayson Shaw and Elliott Sanderson) won the lag, but Shaw’s break proved to be an early downfall scratching to get Great Britain B to the table early on to run out to lead 1-0 before a break and run in the second rack. Imran Majid was returning to the GB fold for the first time since 2019 whilst Chris Melling was looking to put pay to his old teammate away. Majid and Melling’s breaks were exemplary as they rallied up ahead of steam with relative ease whilst Shaw and Sanderson were rooted to their chairs as B went 3-0 up, 4-0 up, and 5-0 up. A dry break from Melling in five gave A their first chance since early on.

A brief safety exchange on the two ball could’ve helped GB A but Majid and Melling were not relenting as they kept their counterparts knotted up. Majid’s safety play and Melling’s magic came to play throughout and eventually, they freed the table up to lead 6-0. It was truly exhibition stuff with the pair loving every moment in front of a raucous crowd.

The closing rack was a clinic and summed up GB B’s performance. A huge jump shot on the one ball from Majid set the tone before a tricky safety left Sanderson having to kick on the six ball only to leave it hanging over the pocket and leave Great Britain B their moment to seal a memorable win to meet either South Africa or Thailand next.

Melling: “I thought we played really well. The break was our friend. We controlled the cue ball well and got shots on the one and two. Nineball can be cruel sometimes.

Unfortunately for the A team in Jayson and Elliott, they didn’t really get a chance and when they did, they didn’t really get a shot. It’s tough for them, I have been there myself. To become great, you must take the defeats and learn from them. He will learn (on Sanderson), he is only going to get better and better. I am going to play all the events. I haven’t been at my best for some time, but I know when it clicks, I can beat anybody on the planet. I haven’t done well in the last few events. That’s not where I am at in my mind, I know I am better than that. You have to let defeats spur you on.”

Majid: “It was a pretty good performance I have to say. I didn’t expect to play like that. Chris kept potting balls, I potted balls. We broke well and that was the key. I thought if we got 40/50 people behind us, it would spur us on and that’s exactly what they did. I was interacting with them. It was great. I said in my pre-match interview we’re the fattest team, we eat players alive and that’s what we did, we had a full English breakfast there.”

Serbia’s Aleksa Pecelj and Andreja Klasović made a quick start to lead 3-0 over Estonia’s Denis Grabe and Rainer Laar. Estonia’s first chance came in the fourth after a foul from Pecelj Pecelj gave Estonia their first chance to pull a rack back at 3-1. Two outrageous flukes from Grabe and Laar respectively pulled Estonia back into it at 3-2. Grabe kicking the one somehow caused the six to roll onto the three and in before being hooked on the one still. Laar then kicked the one into the two which ended up putting the eight-ball in. Before Serbia knew it, their lead was cut to one.

Soon the contest went four all, Serbia’s Pecelj looked to be in with two balls left but a costly miss on the eight ball made it four apiece. Laar sank the 9-ball in the previous rack to level, but he scratched on the break in the middle pocket to hand the ball back to Serbia in the ninth. Klasovic failed to make that pay though on the four ball letting Grabe to the table who duly obliged with the help of Laar for the Estonians to lead after a brief safety battle.

At 5-4, anything could’ve happened, and it did as Grabe missed the seven when trying to screw back to leave Laar plumb on the eight. Klasovic and Pecelj sank the remaining balls on the table to make it 5-5. The seven proved key in the next rack as Serbia struggled to contain the cue ball, Klasovic missed a bank and Estonia were on the hill first. Pecelj, a recent quarter-finalist at the UK Open, along with Klasovic had their moments in the tie and they made sure it went all the way as they levelled in the penultimate rack for hill-hill. A elongated battle on the one and two led to ball in hand for Estonia but they couldn’t make it pay with the one and two locked up. Serbia got out of jail to force it.

In the first hill-hill contest of the week, Pecelj scratched on the break and from there on Grabe and Laar closed out a memorable win to reach the Last 16. Estonia meet Finland next up.

Austria headed into the World Cup with a new pairing as Max Lechner made his debut alongside the formidable two-time winner Albin Ouschan. Finland meanwhile had the ever-impressive Mika Immonen lined up with young Jani Uski for the first time. Finland got off to a better start to lead 2-1 at the first break. It was a shutout from then on for Immonen and Uski who potted ball after ball after ball to take a commanding lead. The fourth rack was Austria’s downfall as Lechner missed the five ball to get Finland back at the table for 3-1.

The fifth rack became the big talking point after Ouschan fouled by shaving the nine on his way to trying to reach the three. It was a hairline of a touch that referee Marcel Eckardt had spotted giving Finland ball in hand who made the most of it to lead 4-1. In the sixth, Immonen tried to cut the one only for it to end up safe and leave Austria hooked. It was a stroke of fortune, but one gratefully received by Immonen and Uski who were soon 5-1 up.

A momentous night was soon wrapped up with Finland producing the second shock of the night sealing a memorable 7-1 win and a spot in the Last 16.

Action returns from 11am tomorrow morning with Thailand’s snooker duo of Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Noppon Saengkham meeting South Africa live on Sky Sports Arena at 11 am as well as live on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. See the full list of broadcasters here including Matchroom.Live if no broadcaster is available.

11am Session

Round 1

Thailand vs South Africa
Singapore (6) vs Qatar
Kuwait (11) vs Vietnam

5pm Session 

ROUND 1

Japan (7) vs Switzerland

ROUND 2

Spain (4) vs Albania (13)
USA (2) vs Poland (15)

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Efren Reyes To Represent Philippines at 2022 World Cup Of Pool in Essex, England

One of the games’ greatest, Efren “Bata” Reyes will represent the Philippines alongside US Open champion Carlo Biado at the 2022 World Cup of Pool this June 14-19 at the Brentwood Centre, Essex, England with tickets available from £10.

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The 2022 World Cup of Pool line-up is now complete with all 32 countries confirmed as they do battle for the lucrative prize pot of $250,000 plus the pride of representing their country in one of the sports most unique format with Germany looking to defend their title led by newly crowned World Pool Masters champion Joshua Filler and BCA Hall of Famer Thorsten Hohmann.

Great Britain’s charge for a first World Cup of Pool crown on home soil will see Great Britain A form a new pairing of two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw and debutant Elliott Sanderson who was selected based on performances so far this year on the Live Nineball World Rankings. Mosconi Cup winner Imran Majid and 2012 Mosconi Cup MVP Chris Melling will represent the red, white, and blue for Great Britain B.

The USA’s assault on the title will come in the form of Nineball World No.1 and World Champion Shane Van Boening with two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Skyler Woodward whilst Austria, two-time winners of the World Cup of Pool, will see Albin Ouschan partner with Nineball World No. 5 and close friend Max Lechner.

Reyes will compete at the World Cup of Pool for the first time since 2012 when the tournament was hosted in the Philippines. The Magician is a two-time winner of the cup claiming the inaugural title in 2006 with Francisco Bustamante before repeating that result three years later on home turf.

Along with the launch of the Nineball World Rankings, the WPA received x16 allocations for various federations seeing countries make their debut this year including Peru with Christopher Tevez and Gerson Martinez as well as Argentina with Ariel Casto and Sebastian Rodriguez for a strong South American contingent. Chinese Taipei return to the fold after missing out last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will look to replicate its success of 2015 with the Ko Brothers of Pin Yi and Ping Chung pairing up.

The first 16 countries were decided by WPA federations from around the world before eight countries were selected based on the 2022 Nineball World Rankings. The final eight came as wild cards from Matchroom. Players have been selected based on both the 2022 and live 2023 Nineball World Rankings. The final team will be revealed during the final day of the UK Open Pool Championship this May 22 at the Copper Box Arena, London.

 

WPA FINLAND Mika Immonen Jani Uski
WPA POLAND Mieszko Fortuński Wojciech Szewczyk
WPA SERBIA Andreja Klasović Aleksa Pecelj
WPA CZECH REPUBLIC Roman Hybler Petr Urban
WPA ITALY Daniele Corrieri Francesco Candela
WPA KUWAIT Omar Al Shaheen Bader Al Awadhi
WPA CHINESE TAPEI Ko Pin Yi Ko Ping Chung
WPA SINGAPORE Aloysius Yapp Toh Lian Han
WPA QATAR Waleed Majid K Alars Ali Nasser Al Obaidli
WPA VIETNAM Duong Quoc Hoang Dang Thanh Kien
WPA ARGENTINA Ariel Casto Sebastian Rodriguez
WPA PERU Gerson Martinez Cristopher Tevez
WPA AUSTRALIA Justin Sajich Ivan Meng Li
WPA SOUTH AFRICA Jason Theron Craig Bouwer
WPA MOROCCO My Cherif Zine El Abidine Imad lagnaoui
WPA CYPRUS Anthony Brabin Christos Meligaliotis.
RANKING USA Shane Van Boening Skyler Woodward
RANKING AUSTRIA Albin Ouschan Max Lechner
RANKING SPAIN David Alcaide Francisco Sanchez Ruiz
RANKING PHILIPPINES Carlo Biado Efren Reyes
RANKING JAPAN Naoyuki Oi Masato Yoshioka
RANKING GREECE Alexander Kazakis Nikos Ekonomopulous
RANKING GERMANY Joshua Filler Thorsten Hohmann
RANKING HUNGARY Oliver Snolnoki Vilmos Földes
WILDCARD NETHERLANDS Niels Feijen Marc Bijsterbosch
WILDCARD CANADA Alex Pagulayan John Morra
WILDCARD SWITZERLAND Dimitri Jungo Ronald Regli
WILDCARD HONG KONG, CHINA Lo Ho Sum Robbie Capito
WILDCARD NEW ZEALAND Matthew Edwards Simon Singleton
WILDCARD GREAT BRITAIN A Jayson Shaw Elliott Sanderson
WILDCARD GREAT BRITAIN B Imran Majid Chris Melling
WILDCARD TO BE DETERMINED

Tickets start from only £10 per session and £15 for an all-day ticket to both the afternoon and evening sessions. Fans can also enjoy the whole week of action for only £85.
Tickets

The World Cup of Pool brings 32 nations together as two-player teams compete for national pride, the title, and their share of a $250,000 prize fund from June 14 to 19. The tournament is a straight-knockout format leaving no room for error. Germany are the reigning champions with one of the world’s best in Joshua Filler spearheading their defence. The likes of World Number One Albin Ouschan of Austria, the USA’s finest Shane Van Boening, and Great Britain’s two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw will all look to lead their sides to the title over six action-packed days.

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UK Open Day 2 | Big Hitters Progress With Relative Ease

Dennis Orcollo (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Day 2 of the UK Open Pool Championship at the Copper Box Arena, London live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube pages as well as Matchroom.Live brought plenty of success for the top seeds as only Ko Pin Yi, Naoyuki Oi, and Eklent Kaci came unstuck in Winners’ Round 1.

Live Scores 

Bracket

The action began live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook with the two young guns of Lo Ho Sum and Mickey Krause head to head with Ho Sum looking to build on his runner-up finish at the World Pool Masters just a few weeks ago. Krause is far from a pushover though and the Dane showed his credibility and rise through the ranks to dispatch the Hong Kong, China player to Losers Round 2 in a 9-5 win.

Dennis Orcollo went up to Solihull, Birmingham between the World Pool Masters and the UK Open to keep in stroke playing in a local tournament which he won on Sunday evening and that decision seems to have paid off so far as he came good in a 9-4 win against Chris Seville of Great Britain.

One of the upsets of the day came on one of the back tables as 2015 World Champion Ko Pin Yi was on the end of a 9-4 loss to Luke Garland. Garland was only a few frames away from a World Snooker Tour card a few years back before defeat to UK Championship winner Zhao Xintong at the final hurdle and it showed his pedigree to run seven racks on the way to an 8-0 lead over Pin Yi. Pin Yi did come back but it proved too much of a hill to climb putting him into the next stage in the Losers bracket.

Oi is still in search of his first Matchroom title and his work will be cut out if he is to get rid of that hoodoo this week. The Japanese star fell at the hands of Pole Mariusz Skoneczny in the opening match of the day live on the Matchroom Pool Youtube. Kaci also missed out to Skoneczny’s compatriot Daniel Maciol 9-6. Maciol will face Pijus Labutis in the next round on the winners’ side whilst Kaci faces Rich Jones on the other side of the bracket to keep his hopes alive.

The USA’s Chris Reinhold survived an inspired fightback from Pia Filler to set up a clash with Pia’s husband Joshua in the next phase. Reinhold had amassed an initial advantage, but Filler came back into the contest most notably with a brutal hook early on in the 14th rack. Filler ran it close to get one away from Reinhold at 8-7 but it was the two-time Mosconi Cup player who pulled through to meet Joshua next.

It was the end of the road for Martin Gould on day two as the former World Snooker ranking event winner faced two defeats. Firstly, to Great Britain’s rising star Elliott Sanderson despite hitting the front first and looking in control before being dumped out of the competition in the evening to the vastly experienced Daniele Corrieri who will represent Italy at the World Cup of Pool next month from June 14-19 at the Brentwood Centre in Essex, England.

The journey for Gary Wilson continued though as the former Crucible semi-finalist bounced back from defeat to Chris Alexander to beat Gianluca Cappella and set up a tie with Romania’s Babken Melkonyan tomorrow.

Top seeds Shane Van Boening, Albin Ouschan, David Alcaide, Max Lechner, and Jayson Shaw amongst others all sailed through their respective contests to keep their run on the Winners’ Side continue. Alcaide yet to drop a rack this week whilst Van Boening has only dropped two so far.

There’s plenty of action for fans to get their teeth into tomorrow as Losers Round 3, 4 and 5 all take place as well as Winners Round 2, and 3. Over 100 players will be out of the tournament by the close of play tomorrow.

Day 2 Streamed Matches Below From 11:00 am

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

Dennis Orcollo vs Jonas Souto Comino (W3)
Ko Ping Chung vs Benji Buckley (W3)
Robbie Capito vs Riku Romppanen vs (W3)

TBC Match (Winner Round 4)
TBC Match (Winner Round 4)
TBC Match (Winner Round 4)

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

Alex Kazakis vs Chris Melling (W3)
Dimitri Jungo vs Wojciech Szewczyk (W3)
John Morra vs Billy Thorpe (W3)

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Tickets start from £15 for the day using the code UKOPEN at checkout. Secure yours here

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UK Open Day 1 | Sanchez Ruiz Avoids Early Exit From 6-0 Down

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz avoided an early exit coming from 6-0 down on the opening day of the inaugural UK Open Pool Championship at the Copper Box Arena, London live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube pages as well as Matchroom.Live worldwide.

Live Scores 

Bracket

256 players descended on one of London’s most iconic sporting venues for a piece of history as they gun to become the first player to claim the UK Open title and a share of the $200,000 prize fund as the opening round and Losers Round 1 saw the first 16 players leave the tournament and leave many in a perilous position with the remaining losers round matches set to get underway tomorrow morning ahead of Winners Round 1.

Fans were treated to two live streams for free wherever they are in the world thanks to the Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube pages as well as on Matchroom.Live and on betting websites around the world and they were not disappointed.

Sanchez Ruiz lost his opening match of the tournament against South Africa’s Jason Theron from 6-3 up to face Ashik Nathawani in one of the opening Losers Round encounters to keep his spot in the tournament. The Spaniard has had a good year of it so far and is one of the Mosconi Cup Team Europe hopefuls, but it was nearly curtains as Nathwani took hold with a 6-0 lead and only three from victory, but Sanchez Ruiz rallied from that point onwards to put on the performance of the opening day in a dramatic hill-hill victory.

Fresh off the back of claiming the title at Nineball Ranking Event, the Bucharest Open on Sunday, Ko Pin Yi made light work of Chun Hao Man 9-2 to kick off Table 1 action before one of the home favourites in Chris Melling put on a fine display to hand a donut to Petr Urban in a cruising 9-0 victory inside 40 minutes. The speediness of Melling’s showing wasn’t the last performance of such nature as both recent World Pool Masters winner Joshua Filler and two-time World Champion Albin Ouschan rattled off emphatic wins of the same scoreline against Robert Hart and Sergio Lagunas, respectively.

With over 38% of the field British, there was plenty of support for the home nations as World Snooker Ranking Event winner Martin Gould got off to a winning start in his first appearance in a Nineball tournament since the early 2000s to beat Tashunka Schultz to set up an all Brit affair with Elliott Sanderson in the Winners Round 1 tomorrow whilst fellow World Snooker Tour player Gary Wilson, a former Crucible semi-finalist showed off his first forway into another cue sport discipline in a 9-6 win over America’s Blaine Barcus. Another notable name from the world of snooker in Fraser Patrick overcome fellow Scot David Black.

Wilson said: “It was getting a bit twitchy. It was too close for my liking. I was 4-1 up. It was a scrappy game. I am trying to get used to the conditions and work out what’s going on. I tried my best to keep potting balls and getting onto the next one. The tables are so different, it is skiddier and more reactive. It took us a few racks to work it out. I am learning as a go and hopefully, I can improve”

Two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw comfortably pulled through against Ali Hirji Kheraj whilst newly crowned World Champion Shane Van Boening didn’t seem to break swear in another 9-0 win on Table 1 over James Channon.

Action continues tomorrow morning from 9am in the arena before streaming coverage begins from 10am on Table 1 and 2. See below the schedule of matches.

Day 2 Streamed Matches Below 10:00 am to 07:00 pm

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

Lo Ho Sum vs Mickey Krause

Dennis Orcollo vs Chris Seville

Elliott Sanderson vs Martin Gould

Chris Reinhold vs Pia Filler

Eklent Kaçi vs Daniel Maciol

Jayson Shaw vs Stephen Folan

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

Naoyuiki Oi vs Moriusz Skoneczny

Imran Majid vs Jeff Beckley

Oliver Szolnoki vs Fraser Patrick

Gary Wilson vs Chris Alexander

Mika Immonen vs Adam Smith

Shane Van Boening vs Matthew Rigley

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Tickets start from £15 for the day and £85 for the week using the code UKOPEN at checkout. Secure yours here

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