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Gorst and Sanchez-Ruiz Top 2022 BCA Points List; Styer Top American Player

The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) has released their final points list for 2022, and while it is a familiar and expected name on top of the list, it’s a new group of American names making their presence known on the list. 

Russia’s Fedor Gorst sits at the top of the list, after wins in Arizona and Ohio, with Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz riding his wins at Derby and the US Open to second place on the list. Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski finished in 3rd place, while Mika Immonen and Jayson Shaw fill out the top five places on the list. 

As for the American players, it is Tyler Styer leading the pack in 19th place overall, with Hunter Lombardo, Kang Lee, Joven Bustamante and Shane Wolford filling out the top five American players. 

The Billiard Congress of America uses the BCA ranking system to rank players and to use a fair and transparent system for determining which American players get invited to WPA sanctioned international events such as: the World Pool Championship and other World Championship events. 

For players to get points in the BCA ranking system they must play in BCA ranking events. These events include: The Turning Stone Classic, Derby City Classic, US Open, US International Open, the Predator Pro Series events, and the American 14.1. Each event is then weighed and adjusted based on field size, purse total and how many top 20 players competed in the event.

The top fifteen World players on the list are as follows:

Current ranking Player Names Event
1
Event
2
Event
3
Event
4
Event
5
Event
6
Event
7
Event
8
Event
9
Event
10
Adj. Total
1 Fedor Gorst (RUS) 96 126 60 45 0 63 26 112 17 130 675
2 Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (ESP) 0 90 168 0 32.5 0 182 56 42.5 65 636
3 Wiktor Zielinski (POL) 0 0 72 0 182 0 26 20 102 156 558
4 Mika Immonen (FIN) 64 27 84 45 130 63 0 56 17 26 512
5 Jayson Shaw (SCO) 112 0 96 0 0 63 26 0 29.75 182 508.75
6 Roland Garcia 0 108 120 45 65 31.5 65 0 29.75 39 503.25
7 Aloysius Yapp (SNP) 0 0 0 90 156 126 26 40 0 65 503
8 Mario He (AUS) 0 27 96 22.5 32.5 0 65 56 85 91 475
9 Bader Al Awadi (KUW) 32 18 72 108 0 45 45.5 20 59.5 45.5 445.5
10 Alexandros Kazakis (GRE) 0 18 42 126 32.5 0 91 40 29.75 65 444.25
11 John Morra (CAN) 56 27 84 31.5 45.5 45 45.5 0 59.5 32.5 426.5
12 Denis Grabe (EST) 0 63 48 63 45.5 0 26 80 29.75 32.5 387.75
13 Carlo Biado (PHL) 0 31.5 72 0 45.5 31.5 130 0 42.5 32.5 385.5
14 Lee Van Corteza (PHI) 0 0 48 90 91 0 65 0 42.5 32.5 369
15 Joshua Filler (GER) 0 0 144 0 0 0 65 0 59.5 91 359.5

 

The top ten American players on the list are:

Current ranking Player Names Event
1
Event
2
Event
3
Event
4
Event
5
Event
6
Event
7
Event
8
Event
9
Event
10
Adj. Total
19 Tyler Styer 48 31.5 42 22.5 45.5 22.5 45.5 0 0 39 296.5
29 Hunter Lombardo 40 31.5 36 18 45.5 31.5 0 0 0 32.5 235
35 Kang Lee 0 63 0 31.5 32.5 45 0 40 0 0 212
38 Joven Bustamante 0 45 0 27 32.5 63 26 0 0 0 193.5
40 Shane Wolford 0 0 84 0 45.5 0 26 0 0 32.5 188
45 Danny Olson 0 18 60 45 45.5 0 0 0 0 0 168.5
46 Chris Reinhold 0 45 42 27 0 0 26 0 0 26 166
48 Justin Martin 0 0 36 22.5 32.5 31.5 0 40 0 0 162.5
50 Shane Van Boening 0 0 84 0 45.5 0 26 0 0 0 155.5
53 Nicholas De Leon 0 31.5 72 18 32.5 0 0 0 0 0 154

With the release of the final points list, the BCA has also announced the calendar of events that will be used in 2023. Those events are:

·  Turning Stone (9-Ball), NY, Jan. 2023
·  Derby City Classic (9-Ball), IN, Jan. 2023
·  PBS Las Vegas Open, (10-Ball), NV, Feb. 2023
·  PBS Wisconsin Open, (10-Ball), WI, May 2023
·  PBS Michigan Open, (10-Ball), MI, Sept 2023
·  Turning Stone (9-Ball), Sept 2023
·  US Open (9-Ball), NJ, Oct. 2023
·  American 14.1 (14.1), VA, Oct. 2023
·  US International Open (9-Ball), VA, 2023

 

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Gorst Tops BCA Ranking System; Van Boening Still Top American

Fedor Gorst

With the completion of last weeks Seyberts Michigan Open, the BCA ranking system continues to see players jockeying for position. 

Former #1 ranked Mika Immonen dropped one spot, swapping positions with Fedor Gorst. Aloysius Yapp’s win in the event propelled him 3 spots from #6 to #3 with Roland Garcia and Wiktor Zielinski filling in the top five place. 

#1 ranked American player, Shane Van Boening, remained in 16th place overall, but the 2nd and 3rd ranked American players swapped places with Hunter Lombardo moving into 18th place overall with fellow American Tyler Styer one spot below him in 19th place. Danny Olson and Corey Deuel fill out the top five American players. 

The BCA (Billiard Congress of America) ranking system is used to determine American invitations to WPA sanctioned International events such as the World Pool Championship, World 10-Ball Championship and World Games. 

There are four events remaining this year for players to accumulate points: 

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Hogue goes undefeated to claim 2022 Sandcastle Open in Edison, NJ

Greg Hogue and Danny Olson

Conflict between expectations and event reality stirs controversy 

Greg Hogue of Tulsa, OK, has had two good (recorded) earning years at the tables. They stand as bookends to a 15-year pool career that began in 2006, which remains on record with us here at AZBilliards as his best earnings year. It continues with what is now his second-best earnings year, this one, thanks in large measure to his undefeated performance at the 2022 Sandcastle Open last weekend (June 4-5). The $2,500-added event drew 32 entrants to Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ.

Hogue had to face South Dakota’s Danny Olson twice in this event. Olson, as it happens, is in the midst of his best recorded earnings year since he first showed up in our player database back in 2011. At the end of the Sandcastle Open, while Hogue had moved up to a career-high spot on our AZB Money Leaderboard (#100), Olson moved up to his career-high spot on the board to #72.

They met first in the winners’ side second round. As Hogue was working on an opening round, 7-4 victory over Alex Vangelov, Olson had his hands full with a double hill fight against one of the top players in the world, Jayson Shaw. Olson won that battle, only to be sent west by Hogue 7-4. Hogue advanced to win his third straight 7-4 victory, over Levie Lampaan and pick up Jonathan Pinegar (aka Hennessee from Tennessee) in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Meanwhile, Oscar Dominguez from the West Coast had been busy downing his young protege Adrian Prasad, Alex Osipov and Josh Thiele to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal battle against Raymond Linares.

Dominguez added another 7-4 win to the batch of them, downing Linares to earn his spot in the hot seat match. Hogue joined him after sending Pinegar to the loss side 7-5. Hogue sent Dominguez to the semifinals, claiming the hot seat 7-5.

On the loss side, Pinegar picked up Danny Olson, four matches into the seven-match, loss-side streak that would end in the finals against Hogue. He’d recently eliminated Mhet Vergara 7-2 and Shane Wolford 7-3. Linares drew Derek Daya, who was working on a six-match, loss-side streak that included victories over Lampaan 7-5 and knocked Jayson Shaw out of the tournament 7-4.

Daya chalked up his sixth in a row against Linares 7-5, while Olson was defeating Pinegar 7-3. Olson then stopped Daya’s run 7-3 in the subsequent quarterfinals.

Olson punched his ticket to the finals with a 7-5 win over Dominguez in the semifinals. Though Olson would chalk up one more rack than he’d managed against Hogue in the second round, Hogue claimed the Sandcastle Open title 7-5.

Old story, new day . . .

The 32-entrant field, which resulted in the promotional, expected figure of ‘$5,000-added’ being reduced to the reality of ‘$2,500-added,’ didn’t sit well with the players who showed up. Sandcastle Billiards owner, Ed Liddawi, wasn’t too happy about it either. Prior to the event, 55 players had registered to compete. By the time the event started, that number had dwindled to 32, with only two of the 23 players who did not compete, providing reasonable explanations regarding their inability to attend.  The flyer promoting the event made it clear that the ‘$5,000-added’ figure was contingent upon a field of 64 entrants and in the end, Liddawi returned the entry fees to all of the players who had submitted an entrance fee, to include some who reached out to him, in less than reasonable ways, while he was in the middle of conducting the event they had failed to attend.

In comments that surfaced on our own AZBilliards Forums, some players made the point (in a variety of ways) that financial considerations dictate whether or not someone is going to sign on to compete (entry fees, green fees, calculated travel and living expenses, weighed against the potential for winning enough cash to offset those expenses and hopefully, more). Thus, plans to compete are often contingent on there being sufficient money at stake to make attendance worthwhile. A subsequent and substantial reduction in the amount of prize money available has a way of altering the cost/benefit analysis to the point where not only might a player have to face the reality of not making any money, he/she might end up losing money.

That said, room owners, tour directors and event promoters, like Ed Liddawi, are conducting the same sort of cost/benefit analysis built on the financial burdens they have to assume when considering the creation and promotion of a given event. When, through no fault of their own, some of the math is thrown off track, then they, too, have to face the reality that instead of an event, that as planned, was designed to benefit their own financial expectations, as well as the  expectations of the players, they have to make hard decisions that inevitably impact both sides of the financial equations. Just like the players, they can end up losing money, too. 

Not an ideal set of situations for anybody. 

The debate, articulated in the Forums and in some cases, personally to us here at AZBilliards is not new and in a polarizing way, familiar to anyone who follows politics these days. It’s not enough apparently to just state a given case, it becomes necessary to demonize one’s opponents; to call a room owner/event promoter ‘greedy,’ or complain, in general, about how much ‘these people’ work toward making a player’s life miserable by ‘stealing’ from them with no regard as to what they, the players have to deal with, or, conversely, that players ‘don’t understand or care’ about what it takes to organize and ultimately run an event and are ‘only interested in themselves.’

Those are NOT quotes from any particular individuals, merely examples of the sort of close-minded debate that contributes little or nothing to the solution of a central problem that has plagued pool longer than AZBilliards has been around. Part of the problem is, of course, that there have been in the past and continue to be room owners/event promoters who are greedy, cheat players out of money and act in bad faith, caring little about the fate of the players they’re hosting at a given event. But there are also players who act out of bad faith, too, assume they’re being cheated and start with that as a premise when they engage in any sort of discussion about a specific controversy.

The specifics of this decades-old controversy, to include actual quotes from players and room owners can be found in our Forums, stretching back over the years, with a great deal of regularity. Complaining falls under the umbrella of individual and “inalienable rights,” afforded to greedy room owners/event promoters and self-centered, whining pool players alike. But you can’t paint all room owners/event promoters and players with the same brush. It should be noted, as well, that many room owners are players themselves at varied levels of proficiency (Jayson Shaw and Oscar Dominguez, who attended this event, as two examples, and Ed Liddawi, who put it on). Responsible, reasonable room owners/event promoters and responsible, reasonable players do not tend to join the acrimonious debate, especially when it devolves into senseless name-calling and baseless accusations. It is not anyone’s intent to censor the commentary or the Forum community, but it should be incumbent on individuals in both ‘camps’ to seek reasonable solution(s) to the varied and apparently intractable problems represented in the debates themselves.   

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Earl the Pearl tops Friday night battles in the Diamond Open 9-Ball Players Championship

Earl Strickland

Fishers still alive in the WPBA 9-Ball Pro Players Championship. 

He’d played twice already. On Friday night at 9:30, Earl Strickland stepped to the tables of the Super Billiards Expo’s arena in search of his second win in the Diamond Open 9-Ball Professional Players Championship. On Thursday, after a bye, he’d lost his opening match, double hill, to Alan Rolon Rosada and at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, downed Tyler Henninger 9-6. Both matches were very lightly attended. Modest crowds, dotting the three-level risers to either side of the 16 tables, laid end to end, side by side.

Friday night, though, was different. This was weekend-is-here Earl the Pearl time. And he got himself an audience. While there were certainly people in the crowd of some 200 or so spectators who were itching to see a show; not a pool show necessarily, but an Earl show, as only he can bring it. Instead, they got the professional ‘Earl’s here to win’ show, full of rock-solid shooting that saw him take control of a 2-2 match and win six in a row before some of the audience had even settled in. People (though not many) started leaving, like baseball fans leaving a stadium when the score is 12-0 in the seventh inning, wanting to get ahead of the traffic jam. Those who remained were switching their attention between what was left of Earl’s match and what was going on at the tables on either side of him (Shannelle Lorraine and Ada Lio were playing south of him, while Jesus Atencio and Mason Koch were battling it out north of him). 

Gomez managed to chalk up three racks and the remaining crowd went wild. Very quietly and not for long.

Earl finished off Gomez, quickly, only giving up one more rack and moved to the lobby outside the arena where folks gathered around the hand-written brackets to see who was coming up against who in today’s (Saturday) matches. Earl was scheduled to play Bart Czapla at noon, in a match that will determine whether he advances to the 16-player, single elimination phase of the event. The first round of that phase will play out at 6 p.m.

Earl was among those looking to see what was coming up next, and he took the opportunity to play to the audience that had been relatively quiet during his win over Gomez. They were lined up two or three deep around him, cameras at the ready, as he gave them a genteel comedian to play with. Standing for one shot with a broad grin on his face, he said that the woman to his left was prettier than he was, riffing on this to talk about his sagging limbs and a “face that looked like a truck hit me and then backed up.” Manifestly not true, but it got a laugh. He embellished on that central joke for a while before moving on to chat with spectators who’d obviously been paying strict attention to his match as it played out; questions and comments about shot situations and potential solutions, back and forth.

Jayson Shaw, still on the winners’ side of the bracket, looking to advance to the final 16 today, as well (2:30 p.m. against Billy Thorpe), joined the throng gathered around him and it took about two seconds for them to launch into a discussion about the tables and how they ‘played’ in a given match.

“I hit this shot,” said Shaw at one point, “that went into the hole and bounced out. The cue ball jumped up onto the rail, travelled all the way down table, jumping over the side pocket and then went back on the table, giving me a straight shot at the 4-ball.”

Lives of the legends playing out in one of their homes away from home.

There’ll be 32 competitors in the Players Championship facing advancement to pool’s version of the Sweet 16 today. Among those 32, on the winners’ side of the bracket, will be Thorsten Hohmann, Warren Kiamco, Ralf Souquet, Fedor Gorst, Darren Appleton and Shane Wolford.  In addition to Strickland, other loss-side competitors looking to make the cut and who’ll have to play two rounds to do it (or not), will be Danny Olson, Lukas Fracasso-Verner, Joe Dupuis, Landon Hollingsworth, BJ Ussery, Jr. and Bucky Souvanthong. As of noon today, the potential for Strickland to face Rosado a second time remained alive, as Rosado stepped to the tables, looking for advancement beyond Eric Roberts.

The two Fishers continue to play for advancement to the final 16 of the WPBA Pro Players event 

Competition at the WPBA 9-Ball Pro Players Championship will dominate the afternoon schedule at the pro player arena. All 16 women who step to the tables at 2:30 p.m. today, haven’t played a match since Thursday; half of them on Thursday afternoon and the other half on Thursday night.

On Friday afternoon, the Fishers, Allison and Kelly, squared off in a game of 8-ball that was not part of the official proceedings and did not involve cue sticks, felt cloth or actual pockets. Instead, they settled into another kind of table to play an 8-Ball Pool Board Game that’s on display and being pre-sold (prior to publication) to attendees at the SBE from a vendor booth surrounded by cue manufacturers. Kelly is acting as the game’s Brand Ambassador and has been at the booth where it’s being demonstrated a number of times, playing against, among others, Darren Appleton, who reportedly broke and ran the first game of it he played. 

While the game doesn’t employ any of pool’s tactile qualities with cues or aiming skills (there are basically no missed shots if you’ve lined up the cue and target properly), it does manage to offer a degree of strategy and tactics, very similar to the kinds of decision-making involved in the actual game of 8-ball. There are opportunities for bank shots (played out on strict horizontal/vertical target paths) safety play and you can scratch, for example, all of which plays out in ways unique to the board game.   

Though new to the game, Allison won the single game against Kelly. They could play a real game of 9-ball against each other before the end of the women’s tournament, but only, for starters, if both of them advance to the event’s final 16. Kelly, who’s only played a single match so far, defeating Jessica Barnes on Thursday night, was to play Liz Taylor at 2:30 today and if successful, would play the winner of an Ashley Burrows/Emily Duddy match in the opening round of the single-elimination phase at 8:30 p.m. Allison, who played two women from the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) on Thursday (Judie Wilson and Kathy Friend) will be facing Angela Janic at 2:30 and if successful, will also play at 8:30, against the winner of a Monica Webb/Kim Newsome match (check the SBE Web site for streaming options).

Other competitors, still on the winners’ side of the bracket, looking for a slot among the final 16 women, include Emilyn Callado, Brittany Bryant, Caroline Pao and LoreeJon Brown. On the loss-side of the bracket, at noon today, also looking for advancement to the final 16, will be,  among others, Janet Atwell, Jennifer Baretta, and both Kia Burwell and Judie Wilson, representing the JPNEWT. Matches at 6 p.m. on the loss-side of the bracket will determine the eight loss-side competitors among the Sweet 16.

Super Seniors get underway, as Amateur Ladies, Seniors continue, with Juniors in the wings 

The original Super Seniors tournament, with long lines hoping for a waiting-list entry, gathered early this morning, while the 996-entrant Open Amateur event looked to enter its Final 16 phase at 1 p.m. today. The four-brackets of the Amateur Ladies event is still ongoing, as is the (plain, so to speak) Seniors tournament. Two junior competitions (17U & 12U) are set to begin today, as well. 

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Chohan & Frost Nab US Open Titles – Biado Takes All-Around

Tony Chohan

After Fedor Gorst and Carlo Biado snapped off the US Open 10 Ball and 8 Ball Championships, the US Open One Pocket and Bank Pool Championship rounded out the action packed series at Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV.

The US Open One Pocket Championship opened with 44 players – the format was alternate break with races to four. After the players auction, players meeting and draw, play commenced.

Opening round action saw Roberto Gomez defeat fellow countryman Edgie Geronimo 4-1 as did Josh Roberts over legendary John Hennigan (“Cornflakes”). Evan Lunda battled it out with recently crowned US Open 8 Ball champ Carlo Biado – Carlo escaped with a 4-3 win. Coming out of retirement, veteran BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer, Jose Parica, pounded the always tough Tres Kane 4-1.

Next round had Biado sending One Pocket Hall of Famer Scott Frost west 4-2, Ian Costello beating Jim Tomassoni 4-1, Josh Roberts blitzing James Davee 4-0 and Tony Chohan defeating Warren Kiamco 4-2 as did Lee Vann Corteza over Robert Frost by the same score. Roland Garcia smoked young gun Kash Keaton 4-0 and newly minted US Open 10 Ball champ Fedor Gorst sent Gomez packing 4-2.

In the top half of the chart, favorite Justin Hall quietly made his way through the bracket smoking all in his way – Alex Montpelier 4-1, Bart Czapia 4-0 and Lee Vann Corteza, Ronnie Wiseman and Roland Garcia – all 4-1.

After winning his first two matches easily, Roberts breezed past Danny Olson 4-0 and followed that by beating Las Vegas’s own Ian Costello 4-2 and Bob Herchik 4-1.

While Justin & Josh were taking care of business up north, Garcia was destroying the southern part of the chart.

After rolling over his first two matches, Roland tore through Gorst 4-0 and then Chohan 4-2. Garcia finally met his demise at the hands of Hall 4-1.

This set up the hot seat match between Hall and Roberts with Josh easily taking the match 4-1. Justin headed west to await an opponent.

After losing to Garcia earlier in the tournament, Chohan won four in a row on his march towards his match with Hall. He defeated Danny Olson and Tim De Ruyter – both 4-2. Getting stronger as he went, Herchik was next – 4-1 but battled down to the wire with Biado. Tony prevailed 4-3 leaving Carlo in fourth place.

Nothing stopping him now, Hall was next! Down he went 4-2 – Justin finished third. 

The undefeated Josh Roberts was waiting for Tony in the one set extended finals. There was no stopping the Chohan train as he steamed to a 5-0 victory! Good tournament, Josh! And congratulations to Tony for his third consecutive one pocket championship and his second US Open One Pocket Championship!

Scott Frost

And finally, the last event of the US Open Championship Series – the US Open Bank Pool Championship! Featuring 48 players, the format was alternate break with races to 5/4. As usual, after a players auction, players meeting and draw, play began.

After drawing a coveted bye, Roberto Gomez shot out of the gate with victories over Kash Keaton 5-0, Fedor Gorst 5-4, Tony Chohan 5-3 and Scott Frost 5-2 to reach the hot seat match.

Fellow Filipino Carlo Biado was doing the same in the bottom half of the chart. He escaped a close one with Caleb Schumacher 5-4 but then defeated Tony Bloom 5-0. He then edged out Chris Lulek, Robert Frost and Stephen Holem – all with 5-4 scores!

Now in dead punch, he smashed Roberto 5-1 to lock up his seat in the finals! Gomez went to the one loss side to await an opponent.

After losing their earlier matches, Stephen Holem and Scott Frost were working their way through the fray and finally bumped heads. Scott put an end to Stephen’s march 4-2 – Holem finished fourth.

Frost then thumped Gomez 4-1 and advanced to the finals! Roberts finished in third place.

Again, the finals were to be one set – an extended race to six.

Facing the undefeated Carlo Biado, Frost had his hands full. Neck and neck until four game apiece, Scott took the lead 5-4 and then won the final game to win this year’s US Open Bank Pool Championship! Congratulations to Scott! Good tournament, Carlo!

And, finally, Carlo Biado was the points leader of all four events so became the All-Around champ for 2022! Congratulations!!!

PoolActionTV.com would like to thank Griff’s owner, Mark Griffin, and his staff for going the extra mile to make both players and fans feel at home during this grueling US Open Championship Series. We’d like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill and his assistant, Eric Kintzer, for doing such a great job running things!

Promoted by Cue & A Promotions, we’d once again like to thank the sponsors for the US Open Championship Series. They were OB Cues, Griff’s Billiards, Simonis, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, JB Cases, Keller Billiard Products and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

We’d like to thank Mary Kenniston, Robert LeBlanc, Larry Schwartz, John Henderson, Jeremy Jones, Josh Roberts, Mike DeLawder and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary.

And, last but not least, PoolActionTV would like to thank our fans and sponsors. They include JB Cases, Lomax Custom Cues, Keller Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Hanshew Jump Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next stop is the Action Palace in Dayton, OH for the $50,000 Champion’s Challenge featuring Chris Reinhold and Shane McMinn! It’s ten ball – race to 100 on nine foot Diamonds! Hope to see you there!

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Gorst & Biado New US Open 10 & 8 Ball Champs!!!

Carlo Biado (Pool Action TV)

Las Vegas, NV was pool player central for the last couple weeks! Starting this past Sunday and immediately following the CSI Nationals, the WPA World 10 Ball Championship and the CSI/Predator US Pro Billiard Series’ Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, OB Cues presented the $45,000 added US Open Championship Series. 

Hosted by Griff’s owner, Mark Griffin, the US Open Championship Series was comprised of four events – Ten Ball, Eight Ball, One Pocket and Bank Pool. $10,000 was added to each event plus $5,000 for the All-Around. Players paid a $330 entry for each event. 

Players included BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer Jose Parica who was joined by fellow countrymen Roberto Gomez, Carlo Biado, Lee Vann Corteza, Edgie Geronimo, Roland Garcia, Warren Kiamco and Joven Bustamante. Current Andy Mercer Memorial Champ Vilmos Foldes and One Pocket Hall of Famer Scott Frost were joined by Tony Chohan, Justin Hall, Josh Roberts, Ronnie Wiseman, Bob Herchik, Tres Kane, Jim Tomassoni, John Hennigan, Evan Lunda, Ian Costello, Robert Frost, Shane Winters, Danny Olson, Donny Branson, Redgie Cutler and James Davee. Young guns Jesus Atencio, Sergio Rivas, Kash Keaton and Justin Espinosa joined the fray as well as Canada’s Stephen Holem and Joe Spence, Russia’s Fedor Gorst and Kristina Tkach and Australia’s Justin Sajich. WOW!!! 

Promoted by Cue & A Promotions, the sponsors for the US Open Championship Series were OB Cues, Griff’s Billiards, Simonis, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products, JB Cases, Keller Billiard Products and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

The US Open 10 Ball started on Sunday afternoon with 51 players entering this double elimination, race to nine, alternate break event. PoolActionTV’s Ray Hansen conducted the players auction which was followed by a players meeting and the draw. 

Superstar-in-the-making Jesus Atencio charged out of the gate with wins over veterans Ronnie Wiseman 9-1, Warren Kiamco 9-3. Tony Chohan 9-2 and young Canadian Joe Spence 9-3 until he ran head on into another young star-in-the-making, Canada’s Stephen Holem. Holem had just defeated recent back-to-back Andy Mercer Memorial champ, Vilmos Foldes 9-5, and sent Jesus packing 9-4. 

Meanwhile, another young champ was methodically dismantling everyone in his path until he ran into the always tough Roberto Gomez. They duked it out and Roberto was finally toppled 9-7. However, Fedor was sent west by Roberto’s fellow Filipino, Lee Vann Corteza, by the same score – 9-7. 

After starting out with that coveted bye, Corteza had much tougher opponents to get to his match with Fedor but he blistered both Evan Lunda 9-2 and Sergio Rivas 9-1. Shane Winters gave him a harder time but Lee Vann prevailed 9-6 and went on to vanquish Gorst 9-7. 

Corteza and Holem made it to the hot seat match. Stephen shot out to a 2-0 lead and then 4-2 until Lee Vann caught a gear. He took off from there to win his spot in the finals 9-4. Stephen headed over to the one loss side to await an opponent. 

After losing his third round match to Joe Spence 9-6, Roland Garcia was tearing the west side apart with wins over Lunda 9-4, Frost 9-0, Gomez 9-4, Winters 9-5 and Atencio 9-4 until he ran into that buzz saw named Gorst. Fedor put an end to the hopes of Roland 9-4 leaving him in fourth place and squashed young Holem’s title dreams 9-0. Stephen finished in a well-earned third place and Fedor marched into familiar territory – the finals. 

The final match was one extended race to thirteen. Although close, Corteza lead for most of the match until Gorst pulled away in the second half to win the match 13-8! Great event, Lee Vann! And, congratulations to Fedor as he wins once more – his first US Open Ten Ball title!!! 

The US Open Eight Ball Championship started on Wednesday following the players auction, players meeting and draw. 48 players paid their entries into this double elimination, race to eight, alternate break tournament. 

Carlo Biado began his march to the hot seat with victories over Jonny Siraphong 8-2, Tony Chohan 8-6, Redgie Cutler 8-0, Roberto Gomez 8-4 and Jesus Atencio 8-6. Justin Sajich began his run with wins over Eric Vargas 8-2, squeaked by Edgie Geronimo 8-7, Evan Lunda 8-6, Danny Olson 8-4 and smoked Josh Roberts 8-2. 

The hot seat match was a battle with Sajich getting to the hill first – 7-6. Running out for the win, he hooked himself on the last ball before the eight! Biado jumped out of his chair to tie it up & escaped with an 8-7 win! A disappointed Sajich headed west to await an opponent. 

Roland Garcia emerged from the pack to face Justin – the winner of this match would advance to the finals. Garcia came out of the gate strong and was just too much for Justin to overcome. He rallied a bit at the end and got close but Roland was just too strong – final score 8-6. Justin finished in third place. 

The finals were an extended race to eleven and everyone expected it to be a real dogfight but it was just the opposite. Carlo cruised to an easy 11-3 victory! Great tournament, Roland, and congratulations to Carlo on his first US Open Eight Ball title! 

There’s more great pool coming so stay tuned for the US Open One Pocket and the US Open Bank Pool Championships! If you haven’t already, get your pass at PoolActionTV.com!!!

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Apex Wisconsin Open Down to Final 16

The 21-year-old Russian Fedor Gorst is certainly not a stranger to the U.S. Pro Billiard Series’ format, having won back-to-back Arcadia Arizona Opens.

Friday evening, Gorst saw plenty of the dramatic twists and turns that can occur in the short-race, shootout-deciding matches as he jumped out to big advantages in the first set only to lose the second and have to survive a shootout to advance.  It wasn’t easy, but he punched his ticket for the final day of play of this weekend’s Apex Wisconsin Open, defeating American Chris Reinhold and Canadian John Morra to advance at Ho-Chunk Resort and Casino to advance.

After a straight sets victory against Mason Koch to begin his day, Gorst was able to take advantage of two scratches and a missed shot by Reinhold to cruise to a 4-1 opening set victory. The script completely flipped in the following set, with Reinhold breaking and running the opening rack and winning the next game when Gorst missed a 2 ball in the side pocket. The Russian appeared to be positioned to climb onto the scoreboard after a Reinhold error but missed a 3 ball in the corner pocket in one trip to the table and scratched in the side pocket in the next, handing his opponent a 3-0 lead.

Gorst clawed out two victories thanks to a Reinhold scratch and a safety exchange in the fifth rack. He had a chance to tie the match in the next game but missed a combination shot on the 10 ball. He had another opportunity after Reinhold scratched during a safety battle but missed the 8 ball, allowing the American to close out the set, 4-2, and force a shootout. The two competitors were perfect through the first four innings of the spot shot contest, but when the format moved the cue ball back a diamond and switched to sudden death, Gorst pocketed his first shot while Reinhold missed.

A couple of hours later, Gorst was facing Morra for a chance to reach Saturday’s single-elimination phase. The first set was nearly a carbon copy of his opening round against Reinhold, with the Russian using two break and runs, a victorious safety exchange and a Morra miss to pitch a 4-0 shutout. After he used a risky bank shot on the 1 ball to run out the opening rack of the second set, it appeared Gorst could be making quick work of his Canadian counterpart. That was until Morra used a safety battle along with a break-and-run to take a 2-1 lead.
Gorst took advantage of a scratch on the break by his opponent to tie the score then used a successful table-length jump shot on the 1 ball to run the rack and take a 3-2 lead. As he cleared the balls in the sixth game, Gorst appeared to be closing out the set but drew the cue ball halfway down the table and into the corner pocket while trying to secure position on the 5 ball. Morra made him pay for the mistake, clearing the rack to tie the score and then using a carom shot on the 10 ball to steal the game, win the set, 4-3, and force a shootout.
Although he struggled with ball pocketing in the second set, Gorst was robotic in the spot shot contest, pocketing four straight balls while his opponent missed twice.

The Russian began the tournament with an opening round victory against Eklent Kaci, who also advanced to the final 16 with three consecutive straight sets victories over Justin Martin, Thorsten Hohmann and Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen.

Kaci was virtually perfect in his opening set against Al Shaheen, breaking and running three consecutive times and surviving a short safety exchange to pitch a 4-0 shutout. The Kuwaiti, who was a runner-up in last year’s World Pool Championships, used a break-and-run and a misplayed safety on the 8 ball by Kaci to win the first two matches of the second set. Kaci’s opportunity to mount a comeback arrived in the third rack when his opponent failed to pocket a ball on the break, as the Albanian cleared the table and then won the next two racks to take a 3-2 lead. Al Shaheen had an opportunity to tie the set but wasn’t able to secure position on the 9 ball, then misplayed a safety on the ball which allowed his opponent to close out the rack for a 4-2 win.

Meanwhile, Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Darren Appleton continues to play more and more like the competitor who won the World 9-Ball championship a decade earlier, defeating former U.S. Open 9-Ball champion Mika Immonen in straight sets, 4-1, 4-2. Immonen, who has been appearing at the top of leaderboards more frequently himself in recent months, rallied on the one-loss side by defeating Evan Lunda in straight sets to earn a spot of his own in Saturday’s final day of competition.

Qualifying for the single-elimination phase from the winner’s side are Appleton, Dimitris Loukatos, Filipino Lee Van Corteza, Michigan Open champion Aloysius Yapp, Robbie Capito, South Dakotan Danny Olson, Jesus Atencio and World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis. The remaining eight players on the one-loss side include Kaci, Gorst, Immonen, Denis Grabe, Roland Garcia, Jeremy Seaman, Mickey Krause of Demark and Kuwait’s Bader Alawadhi.

The seeding will be re-drawn and competition will begin Saturday morning.

The Apex Wisconsin Open is the second event of the year for the Predator U.S. Pro Billiard Series and the first ever to be staged at Ho-Chunk Resort, a sprawling facility north of Madison which offers a 302-room hotel as well as spacious gaming and convention space.
Follow the Apex Wisconsin Open draw on the Predator US Pro Billiard Series FargoRate’s dedicated page

The Apex Wisconsin Open is streamed for free all week on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.
Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the event.

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Ouschan Ousted on Second Day of Apex Wisconsin Open

Jasmin Ouschan

It’s been a while since World Champion Jasmin Ouschan has competed in the United States.

Having fewer professional women’s events domestically than what were available years ago doesn’t lend itself to traveling to America frequently. Mix in a pandemic and a newly developed second career as a dancing television celebrity in her native Austria and it doesn’t help matters. Total it all up and the last time Ouschan played in the U.S. prior to this week’s Apex Wisconsin Open was the 2019 Women’s Professional Billiards Association Masters, where she placed fifth.

After her two matches on Thursday, she might be wishing she had waited even longer to return. The multiple-time European champion started her day undefeated after a straight set victory over Zach Bos in the opening round. By the end of the evening, she was reduced to a spectator, having suffered back-to-back grueling losses to Denis Grabe of Estonia and Joven Bustamante at the Ho-Chunk Resort and Casino in the Wisconsin Dells.

The Austrian got off to a hot start against Grabe in the opening match, jumping out to a quick lead after pocketing the 10 ball on the break in the first rack of the set. Things quickly unraveled, with Ouschan failing to pocket a ball on the break in the next rack and Grabe taking advantage by winning the next two games. The Austrian had another opportunity as she worked her way through the fourth rack after Grabe broke dry but she missed a routine shot on the game-winning 10 ball. The young man from Estonia then finished off the set, 4-1, after Ouschan scratched while kicking at the 3 ball in the fifth rack.

Grabe used a pocketed 10 ball on the break of his own and victorious safety exchange to build an early 2-0 advantage of the second set, but Ouschan climbed onto the scoreboard when her opponent committed a foul in the third rack. After tying the score 2-2, she used a carom shot involving the 5 and 10 balls to take the lead then used a missed 3 ball by Grabe in the next game to close out the set, 4-2.

After both competitors pocketed their first four shots in the overtime shootout, the cue ball was moved back a diamond and the format switched to sudden death. Grabe made the first shot while Ouschan missed, handing the Estonian the win and moving over to the one-loss side.

Later in the day, Ouschan squared off against Filipino Joven Bustamante, where the two split the first six racks of the first set. Bustamante broke in the set-deciding seventh rack, then played safe and appeared to be in position to run out the rack after a brief exchange – until he missed the 5 ball in the side pocket. Ouschan jumped the 6 ball to pocket the 5, then ran the remaining balls to survive the set, 4-3.
The Filipino jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage in the next set thanks to a combination shot after a dry break from Ouschan in the opening rack and a break-and-run in the following game. The Austrian cut the deficit to 2-1 after a victorious safety exchange in the third rack led to a combination shot on the 10-ball but Bustamante climbed onto the hill in the next rack when Ouschan again failed to pocket a ball on the break. Ouschan used victorious safety exchanges to gut out the next two games and tie the set and appeared to be in position to clinch the set after Bustamante left an opening after another misplayed safety. After pocketing the 8 ball in the corner pocket, she was left with a long straight shot on the 9 ball which Ouschan missed. Bustamante cleared the table to send the match to shootout, which he won 6-5.

In other notable matches, Jeremy Seaman used three pocketed 10 balls on the break to defeat former World 9-Ball champion Thorsten Hohmann in straight sets, 4-1, 4-2 on the winner’s side. South Dakotan Danny Olson took advantage of a handful of unforced errors by opponent Mario He – including a pair of missed 9 balls in the first set – and defeated the reigning Ohio Open champion in straight sets, 4-2, 4-2. Arcadia Arizona Open runner-up Roland Garcia earned a first set 4-1 victory against Robbie Capito, then watched as his opponent stormed back to claim the final set, 4-1, then won in a shootout, 3-2 to remain undefeated. Capito will now face Canadian John Morra, who needed a shootout victory of his own to squeak by American Michael Yednak.

Friday’s action begins at 11 a.m. eastern time with notable matches including Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Darren Appleton facing fellow Hall of Famer Mika Immonen in a winner’s side match and Chris Reinhold taking on Roberto Gomez Jr. on the one-loss side. Competitors will be jockeying for one of the 16 berths available in Saturday’s single-elimination phase of the event, with the remaining eight players on the winner’s and one-loss qualifying and the seeding being redrawn before play begins.

The Wisconsin Open is the second event of the year for the U.S. Pro Billiard Series and the first ever to be staged at Ho-Chunk Resort, a sprawling facility north of Madison which offers a 302-room hotel as well as spacious gaming and convention space.

Hours later, Gorst would pitch a 4-0 shutout in the first round of his match against Dimitris Loukatos, but lost the second set 4-3 and lost in a shootout to the Greek, 4-3. The Russian moves to the one-loss side of the bracket where he will play Friday morning.

England’s Darren Appleton appears to close to regaining the stroke that landed the former U.S. Open 9-Ball champion in the Billiards Congress of America Hall of Fame. Facing Mickey Krause of Denmark, Appleton played nearly flawless in a straight set second round victory.

After Krause used a break-and-run and a scratch on the break by his opponent to build an early 2-1 lead, Appleton took advantage of a foul by his opponent in the fourth rack to tie set then tacked on back-to-back breaks and runs to close out a 4-2 victory. The Brit, reached the second round with a straight sets victory over Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn, was equally crafty in the second set, using two victorious safety exchanges and a break-and-run to build a commanding 3-0 advantage. Krause had a chance to climb onto the scoreboard after his opponent scratched on the break in the fourth game but failed to secure position on the 6 ball and missed a bank shot. Appleton executed a sharp cut on the object ball then finished off the rack to pitch a 4-0 shutout and advance to the third round of the winner’s side of the bracket.
Appleton will face fellow Hall of Famer Mika Immonen in the third round Friday at 11 a.m. eastern time.

In other matches of the day, Roland Garcia took advantage of a handful of errors by three-time Mosconi Cup member Tyler Styer to earn a 4-0, 4-2 victory and Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Immonen needed an extra frame to survive a 7-6 shootout against Michael Schneider of Switzerland.

Competition resumes Thursday morning with notable matches including Denis Grabe of Estonia taking on Jasmin Ouschan at 11 a.m. eastern time, Garcia taking on Robbie Capito at 3 p.m. and Mieszko Fortunski of Poland meeting Hunter Lombardo on the one-loss side of the bracket at 6 p.m.

The Apex Wisconsin Open is the second event of the year for the Predator U.S. Pro Billiard Series and the first ever to be staged at Ho-Chunk Resort, a sprawling facility north of Madison which offers a 302-room hotel as well as spacious gaming and convention space.

Follow the Apex Wisconsin Open draw on the Predator US Pro Billiard Series FargoRate’s dedicated page
The Apex Wisconsin Open is streamed for free all week on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.
Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device
Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the event.

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Yapp Avoids Elimination and Elder Statesmen Shine at FargoRate Ohio Open

Aloysius Yapp

As the second day of play got under way at this week’s FargoRate Ohio Open, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp found himself in unfamiliar territory: the one-loss side of a double-elimination bracket.

Defeat is a result that the 25-year-old hasn’t known too much recently, having spent his September winning the CSI Michigan Open and finishing second at the United States Open 9-Ball Championships. But after suffering a rare opening round loss at the hands of Switzerland’s Daniel Schneider, Yapp found himself in a win-or-go-home match against Ernesto Dominguez.

Thanks to some nifty safety play coupled with some timely bad breaks for his opponent, Yapp survived a straight set victory against Dominguez 4-1, 4-2 Thursday night at the Roberts Centre in Wilmington, Ohio. The young man from Singapore will now face American Allen Bain, who eliminated New York’s Mike Badsteubner on the loser’s side of the bracket Thursday evening.

Dominguez, who coincidentally suffered a first-round loss at the hands of Singapore’s Sharik Sayed, climbed onto the scoreboard first by successfully pocketing a combination shot on the 10 ball. When he left an open shot on the 2 ball after a safety exchange in the next rack, Yapp took advantage by clearing the table, then securing another win with a second successful safety battle. He secured the set with a break-and-run coupled with another successful safety volley after failing to pocket a ball on the break.

The second set again began with Dominguez pocketing the 10 ball on the break to take a quick lead, but Yapp would use a successful jump shot on the 1 ball in the second rack paired with a break-and-run to take the lead. After Dominguez tied the match 2-2, he broke and watched the cue ball get kicked into the corner pocket by an object ball. Now trailing to Yapp 3-2 in the sixth game, he won a safety battle on the 6 ball and looked to be in solid shape to tie the score and send the set to a deciding seventh rack. With the 9 and 10 balls at opposite ends of the table, Dominguez pocketed the object ball but drew the cue ball backwards into the corner pocket, giving Yapp control of the table and a sure victory.

The tournament’s Thursday competition also had a bit of a “turn back the clock” feel, as Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famers Thorsten Hohmann and Mika Immonen as well as a multi-time United States Mosconi Cup participant Tony Robles remained undefeated through two days of play. Both Hohmann and Robles secured straight set victories, with the German defeating American James Davee 4-1, 4-1, and Robles pulling an upset of Estonia’s Denis Grabe, 4-2, 4-2.

Mika Immonen

Immonen, on the other hand, would have to work for his victory a bit more.

After splitting the first two games of the opening set with American Danny Olson, the 2009 World 10-Ball champion took advantage of a handful of missed shots by his opponent to win three straight racks to close out the set, 4-1. When Immonen took advantage of a scratch and foul by Olson to build a 3-1 advantage in the next set, it appeared the Finland native had his ticket to the next round secured. That was until Immonen missed the 6 ball in the fifth game which allowed his opponent a routine run out and Olson converted a combination shot on the 10 ball to tie the set 3-3.

With a chance to send the match to a deciding shootout, Olson broke and failed to pocket a ball. Immonen executed a table-length bank shot on the 1 ball and attempted to work through a challenging table layout before missing the 5 ball, allowing his opponent to finish off the set and send the match to a spot shot finale.

Olson missed his first shot but made his next two while Immonen made his first two attempts but pushed his third shot wide. After both competitors made their shots in the fourth frame the cue ball was moved back a diamond length on the table. The Hall of Famer was able to sink his attempt while Olson missed his, giving Immonen the win.

Competition resumes Friday at noon local time, with notable matches including Austria’s Mario He facing Naoyuki Oi of Japan, Filipino Warren Kiamco taking on Oliver Szolnoki of Hungary and Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski matching up against Jeffrey De Luna of the Philippines. A live broadcast of the tournament begins at noon on Billiard TV and also will be available on the WorldBilliardTV YouTube channel.

The FargoRate Ohio Open is the fourth and final stop of the U.S. Pro Billiard Series, which features four open professional events between July and the end of the year. Created by Predator Group and amateur league operator CueSports International, these tournaments will run in tandem alongside of CSI league amateur events being held throughout the country. The winner of each competition receives a guaranteed spot in the $130,000-added 2022 Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which will be held March 28 through April 1 in Las Vegas at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

This competition was played on Predator Pro pool tables covered with Predator Arcadia performance cloth, with Predator Arcos II precision balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights.

For more information on the U.S. Pro Billiard Series or amateur leagues, visit www.playcsipool.com.

For the latest information on the Predator Pro Billiard Series action, follow @ProBilliardSeries on Facebook and Instagram. Watch replays on Billiard TV  or on the WorldBilliardTV YouTube channel.

Atencio’s Win Over Kiamco Highlights Diamond Las Vegas Open Day One

Jesus Atencio

Day one of the Diamond Las Vegas Open finished up with very few notable upsets. 

One of the big matches of the day on Wednesday saw Jesus Atencio trailing Warren Kiamco in the second set, after having already lost the first set to the Filipino legend. Atencio dug deep though, and forced a “spot shot shoot out” that he won, to send Kiamco to the one loss side early. Atencio’s reward for that win was a match against Chris Reinhold on Thursday evening. 

Clay Belvoir’s win over Danny Olson was one upset that took place on Wednesday. Belvoir will face Taipei’s Kun Lin Wu in the second round on Thursday. 

With the event scheduled right before the Predator World 10-Ball Championship, it is no surprise that the field is full of top talent, and Thursday will bring any number of marquee matches for the fans to follow. A sampling of those matches includes Fedor Gorst vs David Alcaide, Corey Deuel vs Billy Thorpe, Skyler Woodward vs Darren Appleton, Johann Chau vs Denis Grabe and Tony Chohan vs Jung-Lin Chang.

Fans can follow this event online with online brackets at http://ctsondemand.com and free streaming coverage of select matches at https://streamstak.com/billiardtv/