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Maxifantasincredulous action at 41st Annual Texas Open 9-ball Championship

Great 9-ball pool action finished Tuesday morning September 2nd as 128 elite players from around the US and Texas competed for over $10,000 in Open Division prizes at the longest running 9-ball tournament in US history in Round Rock, TX.


No one was falling asleep this time as the action kept the spectators on the edge of their chair all evening.


The big story was the super play of the newcomers and local players. After 16 years, James Davis Jr.(Austin) had his best finish losing to Sean King (Oklahoma City) in the quarter-finals to grab 4th place. The match went back and forth, but Sean got the break he needed to face professional pool player Rob Saez in the Semi-finals. Sean is a Desert-storm vet making his first Texas Open appearance.


Rob and Sean were wearing the same shade of red shirt and it was difficult to tell them apart from a distance. Fortunately, every seat in the house at Skinny Bob’s billiards was a great seat and many people were standing on the bleachers watching the finals from the other side. Rob was wearing the latest edition championship pocket polo shirt that was sold in 6 colors this year.


Sean never trailed the entire match, but broke dry Hill-7. Rob was hooked on the 1 ball and had to jump to make the 1 ball and drew it back perfectly for shape on the 2 ball, then made perfect shots back to back, including a 3 ball bank to side pocket to tie the match 8-8. Rob made the 1 ball on the break and ran to the 8 but the cue ball ran a little too long. After cutting the 8 ball thin to the corner, the cue ball hit the edge of the side pocket preventing perfect shape on the 9 which is unusual for Rob as his 9 ball shots are usually perfect. Rob had missed a 9 when it was tied 5-5 with similar shape, but this time he made it. The crowd erupted in appreciation for both players who played their hearts out for the respectful crowd of about 150 patrons.


Charlie Bryant, professional pool player/instructor at American Pool Players Association, was competing with a new custom-made James Hanshew cue stick during the tournament. Rob was kicked to the elimination side by Charlie Bryant (Houston) in the hot-seat match and had to win twice if he was to claim the championship a second time in 4 years. Charlie Bryant was down 5-7 when Bryant breaks dry (nothing falls). Rob cuts the 1 thin to the corner, and cue ball runs too far for good shape on 2. The 2 and 7 were tied up on the side rail, and he plays a carom to pocket the 7 ball. He kicks the 2 ball two rails for side pocket and it falls but the 3 ball is hooked, and he kicks it safe leaving cue ball hidden behind the 8 and the 3 is near the 9 ball. Bryant is hooked on the 3 ball after the classic Rob Saez safety he had been making successfully all weekend. Bryant made a seemingly impossible jump-carom 3-9 ball combination across the length of the table to pocket the 9 in the corner pocket! The crowd goes wild! And yes he did plan it; it was not luck. Holy 9-ball combination batman! Maxifantasincredulous! Really, there ain’t enough superlatives in the Texas book to describe how great that shot was, y’all. šŸ˜‰


The finals game-1 match was nearing the 2-hour mark and Bryant was down 7-8 when Rob breaks and makes the 7. Rob runs to the 9 and cue ball runs long of perfect shape. He makes the 9 in the corner but the cue ball spins off the side rail and falls in the top right-hand corner pocket for a foul and loss of game.   And yes Bryant did yell “Hillbilly-on-the-hill after all” in a modest kind of drawl realizing that he might have had to fight it out another 2-hours if Rob had made that shot.


Hill-Hill. Bryant breaks and makes the 5 but the 1 ball appears to be hooked because the 6 and 7 are tied up with the cue ball. Bryant cuts the 1 ball thin enough to make it in the corner, but the cue ball kisses the 4 ball near the side pocket on its way to the 2 ball and almost scratches. His shape comes up short, but he cuts the 2 ball that was frozen against the side rail down the rail to the corner with perfect speed and angle, and makes the 6-7 combo, then has perfect position on the 8 ball. He makes a fist pump after making the 6-ball and points to the sky to thank the heavens for his good fortune after the 9 ball falls. He was presented with the beautiful Bob Vanover Trophy by Skinny Bob’s John Cielo at 2:20am Tuesday morning and smiling under that huge hillbilly beard. All competitors deserve a tremendous amount of applause for fantastic action all weekend, the 41st year of the annual championship.


2012/2013 Women’s Classic champion Vivian “The Texas Tornado” Villarreal (San Antonio, TX) faced a rematch of the hot-seat match against Julie Comitini in their race-to-7 final game 1. Vivian won the 1st meeting 7-4, and had to sit waiting for the elimination side final to finish. That game went Hill-Hill with Belinda Calhoun getting an early lead, but Julie kept her head down and stayed focused to come from behind. Comitini couldn’t get enough height on a jump shot in the Hill-1 game after an amazing safety by Vivian. Vivian had to break up a 7/8/9 tie-up to get shape and run out that last game to win 7-1 and claim her third Women’s championship in a row! Popular local ladies Nichole McDaniel G.t 4th place and Michelle Cortez and Emma Stewart-Davis got 5-6 place prizes.


Another big story that had everybody talking was popular young-gun player Junior Jueco (Austin, TX) who beat favorite 2012 champion Chip Compton (Oklahoma City) in a late Sunday winner-side match after being down 0-7. He won 9 in a row and will be an instant classic match on the replays. Jueco lost to Sean King and received the 7-8 place prizes. Jueco looks like he has so much fun when he plays week after week, no wonder he’s so popular .


Congratulations to all!


Again this year they provided players with the Magic Ball Rack which is a diamond-shaped, thin vinyl template that has holes where you place the Aramith Belgium tournament billiard balls and get a perfect rack every time. The table has 2 spots marked on the felt where you align the top and the bottom hole, then just place the ball on a hole, and it self-centers itself to perfect spot. On TV, they have a surrogate racking specialist, but here the loser racks for the winner. It is important to have the head ball (one) touching the two balls directly behind it to get a good solid break. It is required to drive 4 balls to a rail on the break, else it is a foul.


Thursday night, the warm-up tournament was held and it was won by Tommy Tokoph (Albuquerque, NM) .  Tommy was working on running his second rack in a row and missed a 9-ball in the 3rd game that would have won the match, but let his competitor James Davis Sr. (Austin, TX) to the table for a safety and Tommy fouled and conceded the game. In the 5th game, tied 2-2, Davis runs to the 6b and missed a tough rail shot to let Tokoph back to the table, who then made the 6b on a tough cut to the corner pocket and used 3 rails to get shape on the 7 ball and ran out to make a great comeback victory 3-2 in the single-elimination race-to-3 format.


Bob also raffled a handmade “41st Annual Texas Open Championship” cue from James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues. The lucky winner was Jeremy Jones.  This cue will be part of the Open history and Charlie Bryant donated a new jump cue to the raffle making it doubly special. 


Trivia question: Who made the Texas Open famous by running out 11 racks in a row in the championship bracket without missing a shot? The Texas Open trophy is named after him: The Bob Vanover trophy.



Daniel and Chen split top prizes on Tri-State Tour

Meshak Daniel, Keith Diaz and Rhys Chen

Meshak Daniel stopped a five-match, loss-side winning streak by Rhys Chen without use of his cue, during the October 26 stop on the Tri-State Tour. Daniel had advanced to the hot seat in the $1,500-added, B-D handicapped event that had drawn 45 entrants to Gotham Billiards in Brooklyn, NY. Chen advanced through the loss side to challenge him in the finals, but due to the lateness of the hour, the two decided to call it a night and split the top prizes. Daniel, in the hot seat, was awarded the official event title, his first on the Tri-State Tour.
Daniel advanced to one of the winners' side semifinals with victories over Chumreon Sutcharitaku, Jaydev Zaveri and Samantha Adler. As Daniel squared off against Richard Anderson, Keith Diaz and Eddie Perez met in the other semifinal. Daniel sent Anderson west double hill, and in the hot seat battle, faced Diaz, who'd defeated Perez double hill. Daniel G.t into the hot seat with a second straight double hill win, this time over Perez.
On the loss side, having just been defeated, double hill, by Diaz, Chen defeated Ben Casteneros 7-4 and George Poltorak, double hill, to face Anderson. Akbar Karmoceddien, who'd gotten by Tornike Khaduridze 6-3 and Tony Ignomirello 6-4, drew Perez. Chen and Karmoceddien handed Anderson and Perez their second straight losses; Chen 7-4 over Anderson and Karmoceddien 6-4 over Perez.
Chen took the quarterfinals against Karmoceddien 8-6 to earn himself a re-match against Diaz, who'd sent him to the loss side five matches ago. Chen returned the double-hill favor, defeating Diaz and turning for a shot against Daniel in the hot seat. It was at this point that the two opted out of playing a final match, and chose to split the top two prizes.
Tour representatives thanked Kevin and Isabella Buckley, the owners of Gotham City Billiards, for their hospitality and continuing support of the tour, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Heptig Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour is scheduled for Saturday, November 3, at BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights, NY.

Andreuzzi Over Ibric Like a Hurricane

Nino Andreuzzi (GER)

Khodjaeva once again on the loser's side

Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina: With an 8:0 whitewash, Nino Andreuzzi (GER) finished Azur Ibric's (BIH) hopes in the 9-ball competition.


The game was 9-ball and the round was the single elimination round of the final 32 junior players. 9-ball is a short rack game and is said to be the fastest of all pool-billiard games. However, Andreuzzi took that probably a bit too literally in his match with Ibric. He played fluently and quick, coming to a 5:0 lead after only 23 minutes. The Bosnian definitely was the underdog in this encounter from the very beginning. Andreuzzi had already taken two medals this week – Bronze in straight pool and Gold in 10-ball. But still Ibric was playing on his home turf having the support of the vivacious Bosnian crowd. But that did not seem to impress Andreuzzi at all. He consequently played his rhythm and punished Ibric for his mistakes. In the 6th rack, Ibric got to the 9-ball and had a good chance to finally open his account and avoid a complete demolition by Andreuzzi. However, Ibric dogged the 9-ball and Andreuzzi said thank you, pocketing the 9-ball to get him on the hill. That was the last time that Ibric was allowed to the table in that match. The next rack was another break-and-run from Andreuzzi and he finished Ibric with 8:0 in a pretty one-sided face-off. Andreuzzi will continue to play in the round of the final 16 players in the 9-ball individuals while Ibric will have to settle for 17th rank.


Other notable results from today's 9-ball individuals include Sabrina Hammer (GER) getting the better of Kamila Khodjaeva (BEL) with 6:5 in the girl's division. While Hammer makes it to the single elimination stage, Khodjaeva needs another victory on the loser's side where she will be facing Russia's Ksenia Karkavina.

In the pupil's division, Andreas Madsen (DEN) booked his seat in the single elimination round with a 7:2 victory over Florian Zuewert (GER). Can Salim-Giasar (GER) powered past Ben Dvash (BUL) with 7:0. Local hero Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH) defeated newly crowned 10-ball Champion Daniel G.ttenberger by a whisker with 7:6. Germany's Raphael Wahl managed to achieve the same result over Cyriel Ledoux (NED). All winners will go straight into the single elimination while the losers will get another chance on the left side of the draw.

Today, 9-ball individuals will be played until 17:00 CET when all quarterfinalists are determined. The quarter-finals will be played tomorrow morning. At 17:00 CET, the team competition continues. You can follow all the action LIVE on 20 tables at pool-billiard/ .


The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website or contact our press office.

Gold Medals for Khodjaeva, Guttenberger and Andreuzzi

The 10-Ball Champions left to right: Nino Andreuzzi, Kmaila Khodjaeva and Daniel Guttenberger

Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina: The finals of the 10-ball competitions have been decided. 
In the girl's division, favored Kamila Khodjaeva (BEL) overcame Germany's Veronika Ivanovskaia with 5:3.
In the pupil's division, Daniel G.ttenberger (AUT) snatched the gold medal, handing a 6:1 defeat to brave Kamil Szaszor (POL). Both players came to the final match very much unexpected. 
In the junior's division, Nino Andreuzzi (GER) really had to work to claim his medal against Daniel Tangudd (SWE). He needed 13 racks to bring the second gold medal to Germany with 7:6.
That puts Germany in first place of the medal table after two of five events.
Medal table after 2 of 5 events
Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1. Germany 2 2 4 8
2. Poland 1 2 1 4
3. Austria 1     1
  Belgium 1     1
5.  Sweden   1   1
6. Russia     2 2
7. Norway     1 1
  Hungary     1 1
  Bulgaria     1 1
The Dynamic Billard EPBF European Championships Youth will continue tomorrow morning at 09:00 CET with the 8-ball competition.
You can follow all the action LIVE on 20 tables at .
The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website or contact our press office.

Straight pool down to finals in Sarajevo

The semi-finalists: Batkowski, Lutsker, Heimsjoe, Cwikla, Andreuzzi, Filler, Zielinski

Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina: Both, pupil's and junior's division, are down to the final matches here in Radon Plaza Hotel at the Dynamic Billard EPBF European Championships Youth 2013.

In the pupil's division, defending Champion Joshua Filler (GER) delivered and outstanding performance. He outplayed Maksim Dudanets (RUS) in the quarter-final with 75:29. In the semi-final, he dealt with Dudanets' teammate Sergey Lutsker and handed him a 75:53 defeat. Filler will meet Krystian Cwikla (POL) in the final. The young Pole clearly ousted Daniel G.ttenberger (AUT) in the quarter-final with 75:15 and eliminated his teammate Wiktor Zielinski with 75:41 in the next round.
In the junior's division, Sebastian Batkowski (POL) rightfully deserved his seat in the final match. He just made it over Berk Mehmetcik (TNC) with 100:95 in the quarter-final. Then, in the semi-final he met Germany's Nino Andreuzzi who never saw a chance against Batkowski. 100:22 was the result that earned Batkowski a spot in the gold medal match. He will be joined there by Tobias Bongers (GER). Bongers, who lost his opener against Tian Zhang (SWE) made his way all through the loser's side. He crushed his teammate Sven Hagen with 100:41 in the quarter-final and went on to win the semi-final with 100:42 over Audun Risan Heimsjoe (NOR).
The finals in straight pool will be an affair between Germany and Poland. 
This is the line up:
Krystian Cwikla (POL) v Joshua Filler (GER)
Sebastian Batkowski (POL) v Tobias Bongers (GER)
The final matches in the straight pool division will begin at 20:30 CET.
The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website or contact our press office.


Mehmetcik powers past Ferreira

Berk Mehmetcik (TNC)

Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina: Berk Mehmetcik (TNC), formerly a "dark horse" but nowadays one of the favored players, just defeated Kevin Ferreira (LUX) with 100:64.

Mehmetcik was definitely favored. Ferreira gave him a tough fight in the early stage of the match and did not allow Mehmetcik to get away. When the score was 53:45 for Mehmetcik, he carried the ball and made his high run of the match with 27 points in order to get an 80:45 lead over Ferreira. The defense line of the youngster from Luxembourg seemed to be broken. He could not get back into action and fell to the sharp blade of the shooter from North Cyprus with 100:64. It took Mehmetcik 16 innings to oust his opponent from the round of the last 32 players in junior's straight pool.
Other notable results include Daniel Schneider (SUI) continuing his quest for glory with a victory over Haris Amini (NOR), 100:42. Earlier, Krystian Cwikla (POL) managed to defeat the defending Champion in the pupil's division, Raphael Wahl (GER) with 75:39. Daniel G.ttenberger (AUT) remained victorious over Sandro Kupper (SUI) with 75:20. The pupils are still in the double elimination stage of their 14/1 tournament while the juniors are already in the single elimination.
The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website or contact our press office.


Team competition started at Dynamic Billiards European Youth Championships

Team Russia (l.t.r.: Andrey Seroshtan, Vitaly Pavlukhin, Vladislav Zaborovskii Foto: EPBF/DK

Sunday, 29 July 2012: Starting today, the team competition will be played almost every day besides the individual matches.

The first round of junior’s team matches showed some clear and some close results. Team Russia won expectedly clear with 3:0 over Team Sweden. Andrey Seroshtan won 100:39 in straight pool over Daniel Tangudd. Vitaly Pavlukhin creamed Tian Zhang in 9-ball with 8:3, and Vladislav Zaborovskii won the 8-ball match with 7:6 over Christian Fischer.

More exciting was the team encounter in the pupil’s division between Team Netherlands and Team Austria. Austria won with 2:1 but the match was fiercely contested. Daniel G.ttenberger got the opening point for Austria with his 7:3 victory in 9-ball over Sahin Sayim. A little bit later, Jan van Lierop won the straight pool match with 75:11 over Moritz Engl and tied the match at 1:1. The decision had to come from the 8-ball match between Cyriel Ledoux and Manuel Kapeller. Ledoux was up 4:2 and 5:4 over Kapeller but could not keep his nerves together to close the book on the match. He missed important shots and allowed Kapeller to stay in the match. At 5:5, Kapeller shot great pool and won the deciding rack, winning the 8-ball 6:5 and the team match with 2:1. 

The event  is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website , follow us on twitter @EPBF_News or contact our press office.

Straight Pool Down to Single Elimination Stage

Joshua Filler (GER) Foto: EPBF/DK

Filler eliminates Szolnoki in an epic thriller

Friday, 27 July 2012: In a real high level match in the pupils division, Joshua Filler
(GER) eliminated Oliver Szolnoki (HUN) from the straight pool tournament.

The early phase of the match belonged to Szolnoki. He got a 25:2 lead over Filler and seemed to dominate over the young German. But then Filler got into gear and it seemed as if he developed more and more self-confidence. However, whenever Filler was about to start shooting, he made a mistake and lost his rhythm through silly mistakes. Szolnoki benefitted from that. He managed to keep the match open for quite a long time. After several innings which were mainly determined by safety play, the score was tied at 35:35. Filler has equalized Szolnoki’s advantage and seemed to be on the role now. But whenever one thought that he would start shooting some balls, he made a mistake. However, Filler played the better safety shots and almost always came out as the winner from the safety duels that the two had. At a score of 57:54 for Filler, Szolnoki misses a makeable shot. Filler pockets one ball and then the balls were racked. He pocketed the break ball but found himself in an awkward position. Again, he played the better safeties and won another safety play over Szolnoki. This time Filler made no mistakes and got a advantage of 71:54 over Szolnoki before the next safety duel started. That was obviously too much for Szolnoki to handle. He succumbed again to Filler’s safety play and Filler took the match with 75:54. Filler advances to the quarter-finals of the straight pool discipline which will be played tomorrow at 15:00 CET while Szolnoki leaves the discipline and comes in 9th place.

Other notable results include Jan van Lierop (NED) defeating Daniel G.ttenberger (AUT) in the same round with 75:58

In the junior’s division, Wojciech Szewczyk (POL) creams Kenneth Ohr (AUT) 100:13 and advances to the last 16 players in the straight pool discipline. The dark horse of the event, Berk Mehmetcik (TNC) wins again. This time his victim was Marcel Fortunski (POL) with 100:47. Mehmetcik will meet Vitaly Pavlukhin (RUS) in the quarter-finals. Pavlukhin eliminated his fellow countryman Andrey Seroshtan with 100:37.

The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket
Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website , follow us on twitter @EPBF_News or contact our press office.

Pupils Show Strong Straight Pool Performances

Can Salim-Giasar (GER) Foto: EPBF / DK

Salim-Giasar over Guttenberger

Friday, 27 July 2012: The pupils demonstrate high quality skills in their straight pool competition so far. In one of the four matches of the winner’s qualification, Germany’s Can Salim- Giasar defeated Austria’s Daniel G.ttenberger without any problems with 75:39. Salim-Giasar, who only turned 15 years of age last week, only needed 14 innings, including safety play, to snatch the match off Guttenberger. The beginning of the match was a bit rough with several mistakes, but then Salim-Giasar found his rhythm and won the match without further problems.

Another remarkable straight pool match saw the two German players Joshua Filler and Raphael Wahl competing, with Wahl being the 75:71 winner in the end. Filler took a comfortable 36:7 lead over Wahl, who was not short of an answer. He made 41 balls and took himself a 48:36 lead over Filler. Then Filler could not make any ball, but instead Wahl added another 12 points to his account, enlarging his lead to 60:36. That somehow was hard to swallow for Filler. The match went along with both players playing much focussed. Filler was even able to recover and took another lead over Wahl, making 26 balls to turn the score 71:69 in his favour. He was only four balls away from victory! But then he missed a shot in the dramatic final phase of the match. Wahl, though only being 14 years of age, played like a cunning old bird and won the match 75:71.

Other notable results of that round include Patryk Statkiewicz (POL) winning 75:60 over Maksim Dudanets (RUS). Daniel Tangudd (SWE) was able to overcome Mikolaj Zabecki (POL) with 75:49.

The event will be hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website , follow us on twitter @EPBF_News or contact our press office.