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Kaplan and Gindac Join Team Mezz

Ina Kaplan

Mezz Cues is pleased to announce that it has added two European Champions to their list of sponsored players.

German Ina Kaplan is a three time Women’s Euro Tour Champion and holds over ten career German National Championship titles in four different disciplines; 8-Ball, 9-Ball, 10-Ball, and Straight Pool.
When reached for comment Kaplan responded, “I feel truly honored to officially represent MEZZ Cues. I’m over the moon that I can play with all the great equipment MEZZ is producing.”
While Kaplan was already using the Mezz “Ignite Shaft,” she was excited about going “All Mezz” with the new sponsorship. “I have to say it is the best equipment I’ve ever played with. I’m really looking forward to the next tournaments with my new gear and feel that my my game is in its best shape now.“

Ciprian Gindac

Joining Kaplan on Team Mezz is Romanian Champion Ciprian Gabriel Gindac.

Gindac has been active as a professional player in Romania for well over a decade and commented that he has been impressed with Mezz for all of that time. “I am a fan of Mezz cues from 10 years ago, so it is amazing to start a collaboration!” said Gindac. “I think Mezz quality is one of best in the world.”
Kaplan and Gindac join such notables as Mika Immonen, Jeffrey De Luna, Mario He, Jason Klatt, Donny Mills, Caroline Pao, Sarah Rousey, Petri Makkonen, Wojciech Szewzcyk, Mateusz Sniegocki, and Jeannie Seaver as Mezz Sponsored players
Visit for more info.

Appleton, Hohmann, Immonen, Morra all in the last 16 at the Predator ‘Dynamite’ Open in Romania

Romania enjoys the visit of international stars

This first week-end of september marks the second edition of the Predator "Dynamite" Open in Brasov, Romania. The man himself after whom the event has been name – Darren Appleton – has brought along with him many international players who are on their way to the World 9-Ball Championships next week in Qatar. These top stars are treated like royalty and Romanians' passion for pool is here for all to see. Most of the international players are in Brasov for the first time and fell in love with this beautiful city.

During day one, we witnessed packed crowds from the 64-player double elimination round. With players from 14 countries at the start of the even, Romanians made their countrymen and themselves proud by placing 4 players into the final 16. Romanian champion Ladanyi Ioan looked very solid, along the way he beat Russian star Ruslan Chinahov to qualify. Euro tour regular Babken Melkonyan came through beating the former european star Sandor Tot and last year's runner up Ciprian Gandac. Later on Gandac did make it from the losers' bracket in a hard thought battle (7-6) against Ferdi from Turkey. Alexandru Cotescu, after losing to Darren Appleton 8-1 bounced back to qualify with a 7-1 scoreline.

The biggest surprise of the tournament so far was Turkey's player Saki Kanatlar beating the likes of Jason Klatt to get his place into the final 16. In the end, 13 out of the 16 seeded players qualified besides the two Marian from Romania and Jason Klatt Canada.

Today promises to be a great day for Romanian pool and the invited starts. 16 players remain representing 10 countries to make this a true international field. Exciting match-ups today. The single elimination rounds will be played to a finish, with races to 10 and a race to 11 for the final match.

Here's the line-up for the last 16 starting at 11am CET:

Darren Appleton v Nick Van Den Berg
Thorsten Hohmann v Saki Kanatlar
Imran Majid v Ciprian Gandac
Mika Immonen v Pedra Ionut
Nick Ekonopoulos v Nick Malaj
John Morra v Alexandru Cotescu
Daryl Peach v Denis Grabe
Babken Melkonyan v Ruslan Chinahov

Watch the free live stream at

Or follow the matches with our live scores brackets at

With a total prize fund of 10,000 euro, here is the breakdown:

Champion 2,500 €

Runner up 1,500 €

3-4th 1,000 €

5-8th 500 €

9-16 250 €

Appleton Wins Inaugural Dynamite Open

Darren Appleton

Darren Appleton visited Romania in early July to hold a training session with 20 Romanian players. Early in the training, impressed by the Romanian hospitality and player’s dedication, Darren proposed to organize a new tournament that bear his name – The Dynamite Open. This contest will be held every year in Brasov, Romania and will be organized by Darren Appleton in collaboration with Club Arta in Brasov. Next year the tournament should become an international one, and in a couple years hopefully one of the biggest Open tournaments in the European pool circuit.
The inaugural edition of the Dynamite Open was held Friday on July 4th 2014 at Club Arta, pool hall in Brasov, Romania. Because the contest was held on short notice, the event had a limited field of 32 players and a single elimination format. The participation of world champion Darren Appleton, was a big draw for players around the country to come to Brasov.
There were 4 seeded players in the field: Darren Appleton, Ciprian Gandac, Cristian Surdea and Babken Melkonian. All four of these players received byes into round 2.The game was 10 ball, alternate break, race to 6 until the quarter-final, race to 7 until the final, and the final a race to 9. Early matches were not easy for the favorites, surprisingly Babken lost his first game, and Darren Appleton struggled to win against Andrei Vulpe; a player from Brasov who was led Appleton 5-3 but missed the 9-ball at 5-5 to give the match to his opponent.  This close victory motivated Appleton, who went on to defeat Dan Moraru 7-3 in the quarter finals and Raul Maican 7-2 in the semi-finals.
The other finalist, Ciprian Gandac, had an easy 7-1 win in his semi-final match against Cristian Surdea 7-1. Cristian couldn’t find his game, and had problems getting used to the shimmed Dynamic III table.
The final match between Darren and Ciprian Gandac promised to be an exciting one with Darren relaxed and Ciprian very motivated to win. The spectators watched the confrontation with great interest and applauded every time the players made an exceptional shot. After a powerful start from the British player, the Romanian tied it up 3-3 before Appleton took control and won the match 9-3.
For the losers in the first 2 rounds, Appleton came up with the idea of organizing a secondary tournament with no entry fee. Appleton graciously donated 100 Euro to be awarded to the winner of this second event. The final of this event was won by Babken Melkonian against Andrei Vulpe.
At the end Darren said that he was happy to win, especially because this was the first edition of the ‘Dynamite Open”. After the final the players stayed in the venue to take pictures and sign autographs with the fans.
A video of the final match is available at