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Superman Rules

Roberto Gomez

Buffalo’s Billiards in Jefferson, LA – just outside New Orleans – is firmly establishing itself as the high dollar one pocket venue on the planet! 

Over this past weekend, owner James Leone (“Buff”), his manager, Steve Tesvich (“Bullseye”) and his staff hosted the latest One Pocket Champions Challenge. Featuring Corey Deuel and Roberto Gomez with a five figure prize fund in the middle, the format was races to five – best out of seven sets.

No stranger to the finals in several disciplines, Corey (“The Prince of Pool”) has won over forty titles since turning pro in 1995. The 2001 US Open 9 Ball champion, he won both the Derby City Classic One Pocket title and the US Amateur Snooker Championship in 2013. Corey played on the International Pool Tour and was selected seven times to represent the United States on the Mosconi Cup – he was named MVP in 2006.

Unknown to most of his American fans, Roberto (“Superman”) is university educated with a major in broadcasting and worked as a reporter for the ABS-CBN network for a couple years before returning to his first love – pool. His first appearance on the world stage was at the 2007 World 9 Ball Championship where he reached the finals against Daryl Peach. It was a close match but Peach prevailed 17-15 to take the title. Three years later, he and Dennis Orcollo reached the finals of the World Cup of Pool but lost to Team China. Breaking through in 2018, Roberto took the Derby City Classic Bigfoot 10 Ball Challenge and followed that with several more ten ball and one pocket titles. He is the reigning International Open One Pocket champion as well as Bogies Billiards East’s house pro in Houston, TX.

Play began on Friday night and the first set started out neck and neck. Tied at 3-3, Roberto won the next two games to claim the first set.  He also won the next one with an identical score of 5-3 – putting him up 2-0 in the race to four sets.

Saturday started out with both players trading games until tied at two games apiece. Corey took the next two to make it 4-2 but Roberto clawed his way back to tie it up 4-4!  It looked like Roberto was going to win this one also but Corey finally notched his first win – he trailed 2-1 in sets. Set four also went down to the wire and again, Corey pulled it out. Two sets apiece!!!

Looking to close it out on Sunday afternoon, Roberto went on a tear and won the fifth set 5-1. Only needing one more set for the win, they ducked and moved to a 3-3 tie but Roberto closed it the match out with a 5-3 win.

Congratulations to Roberto for another one pocket notch on his belt! Good effort, Corey! would like to thank our expert commentators – Tony Chohan, Larry Schwartz, Jeremy Jones, Eddie Brown and Ray Hansen – for another excellent job!

We’d also like to thank our fans and sponsors without whom none of this would be possible. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, CR’s Sports Bar, Lomax Custom Cues, Environmental Assessments, Diveney Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is the $26,000 added HEX.COM Pro/Am to be held at CR’s Sports Bar in Coon Rapids, MN – a suburb of Minneapolis. Dates are August 17th-21st – hope to see you there!!!

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USA To Take On England

Team USA will take on England in a Mosconi Cup style challenge match in London on Wednesday, November 28th.
The match will be broadcast live for free over two sessions on the partypoker Mosconi Cup Facebook page from 2pm (UK time) on Wednesday, November 28th and forms an important part of America’s preparations for the 25th annual partypoker Mosconi Cup.
The England team will be captained by Daryl Peach with Darren Appleton, Karl Boyes, Mark Gray, Imran Majid and Chris Melling forming the five-player squad.
Team USA is led by coach Johan Ruijsink alongside vice-coach Jeremy Jones with a playing squad of Corey Deuel, Tyler Styer, Billy Thorpe, Shane Van Boening and Skyler Woodward.
Taking part at Spots & Stripes in London, the event will feature a mix of up to 13 singles and doubles matches, with the winning team the first to seven points. Each match is a race to five with an alternative break format.
The match will be streamed live throughout at There will be no public admittance to the match.

Massive Surprises On The First Day Of The Euro-Tour

Dennis Jansen, Kristina Tkach, Sara Rocha and Daryl Peach

The first day of the Dynamic Billard Veldhoven Open 2018 saw lots of surprises. Many high class players got defeated and were sent to the loser’s side of the draw.
Some remarkable results in the Dynamic Billard Veldhoven Open 2018 include Dimitri Jungo (SUI) steamrolling the #1 Euro-Tour player Mario He (AUT) with 9:1. Evangelos Vettas (GRE) creamed Ruslan Chinakhov (RUS) with 9:5. In a fierce fight, Mieszko Fortunski (POL) remained the upper hand over Francisco Diaz-Pizarro (ESP) with 9:7. Daryl Peach (GBR), former World Champion in 9-ball, got pipped to the post by Christian Sparrenloev-FIscher (SWE) with 4:9. He went to the loser’s side and destroyed Emil-Andre Gangfløt (NOR) with 9:4. Eklent Kaci (ALB), superstar from Albania, was completely surprised when he got beat by unheralded Stephan Weihnacht (GER) with 5:9. Maksim Dudanets (RUS) wrestled down # 4 ranked player Wiktor Zielinski (POL) after a long and tough struggle.
In the EPBF Veldhoven Open, the women’s Euro-Tour event, one outstanding match was the encounter between Sara Rocha (POR) and Christina Jaeger (GER). Rocha found her way into the match much better and after nine racks found herself on the hill, leading 6:3 over Jaeger. But then the match started to turn in favour of the German. Jaeger pulled some racks back from Rocha and before she knew it, Rocha found herself in a hill-hill match with the score tied at 6:6. Rocha had the final break in that tense situation. She pocketed the 5-ball and had a long thin cut on the 1-ball. Rocha missed the shot but was lucky in leaving no shot for Jaeger. The German hit the 1-ball but could not pocket it. Rocha went for the 1-ball, 2-ball and 3-ball and lined the 4-ball up into the corner pocket. The 9-ball was lying very close to the 4-ball. Rocha sunk the 4-ball in the intended pocket and the 9-ball few in the other side’s corner pocket. With a bit of lady luck’s help, Rocha finished the match and advances on the winner’s side into her next match tomorrow against Marharyta Fefilava (BLR). Jaeger may continue her tournament on the loser’s side and will have to go up against Simona Milisauskaite (LTU) in her next match.
Other remarkable results in the EPBF Veldhoven Open 2018 include Ortenzia Haefliger (SUI) very surprisingly winning against Ina Kaplan (GER) with 7:4. Ewa Bak (POL) just reached the finish line when she overran Yana Shut (BLR) with 7:6. Jasmin Ouschan (AUT) once more proved her domination over an opponent and whitewashed Sabrina Cisternino (SUI) 7:0. Kristina Tkach (RUS) is also still in the count on the winner’s side. She took down Svenja Heide (GER) with 7:2 and will now be up against against Vania Franco (POR).
The Dynamic Billard Veldhoven Open 2018 and the EPBF Women’s Veldhoven Open 2018 both will continue tomorrow morning at 10:00 CET with matches from the loser’s round.
The tournaments are played on 60 tables which are all streamed LIVE throughout the whole event. In order to be able to follow all the action LIVE, premium membership can be obtained at Once a premium membership is held, all events for the respective period of time can be viewed LIVE. Additionally, a huge video gallery is contained in the website.
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 visit us on Facebook for regular news clips or contact our press office

Gomez goes undefeated to take sixth stop on the Action Pool Tour

(l to r): Roberto Gomez, Raymond Walters (TD) & Chris Bruner

As fellow Filipino pool players competed in tournaments from Raleigh, NC (at the Doug Beasley Custom Cues 9-Ball Open) and Dallas/Ft. Worth (at the DFW 9-Ball Tour), Roberto Gomez landed in Midlothian, VA for the sixth stop on the Action Pool Tour. Gomez went undefeated through a field of 38 at the June 16-17 event, hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian.
Gomez is on track to have his best recorded earnings year, ever. To date, according to our records, his best earnings year was 11 years ago, in which, though he didn’t win an event, he did finish as runner-up in the WPA World Championships in the Philippines, sandwiched between winner Daryl Peach and third-place finisher, Vilmos Foldes. The runner-up finish earned him $40,000, $5,700 short of his total that year, and more than any single year’s earnings since he entered the AZBilliards database 13 years ago.
In addition to going undefeated, Gomez ended the weekend with a 73% winning game average, just shy of three out of every four games he played. The percentage was bolstered by a shutout against his hot seat opponent; a rarity at almost any level of the sport.
Gomez opened with what turned out to be one of his strongest challenges in the event; a 9-5 win over Soo Emmett. He followed that with a 9-2 win over Bethany Sykes, and a 9-4 win against Greg Sabins, which set him up to face Cameron Lawhorne in one of the winners’ side semifinals. In the meantime, Gomez’ separate opponents in the hot seat and finals – Scott Roberts and Chris Bruner – advanced to face each other in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Gomez sent Lawhorne to the loss side 9-3 and was joined in the hot seat match by Roberts, who’d defeated Bruner 9-5. Then came the hot seat shutout, which sent Roberts to the semifinals against Bruner and left Gomez in the hot seat.
On the loss side, Bruner started his brief trip to the finals against Sabins, who, following his defeat at the hands of Gomez, had downed Tuan Chau 9-7 and Cary Dunn 9-5. Lawhorne picked up Larry Kressel, who was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. Kressel had, most recently, eliminated one of the APT’s strongest players, Shaun Wilkie 9-3, and Mat LeMire 9-2.
Bruner downed Sabins 9-6, as Kressel was eliminating Lawhorne 9-2. Bruner then ended Kressel’s loss-side run (and weekend) with a 9-3 victory in the quarterfinals. Bruner completed his loss-side run with a 9-4 victory over Roberts in the semifinals.
Though Bruner would chalk up seven racks in the race-to-11 finals, making him Gomez’ toughest challenge, Gomez prevailed 11-7 to claim the APT title.
Steve Fleming, the APT’s current points leader, won the Second Chance event, which drew a short field of eight entrants. Fleming lost his opening round, and then, four on the loss side to challenge hot seat occupant Cameron Lawhorne. He defeated Lawhorne 6-2 to claim the Second Chance title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, as well as sponsors Kamui, Diamond Billiard Products, Viking Cues, Predator Cues, Tiger Products, Ozone Billiards, Aramith Balls, Simonis Cloth and George Hammerbacher Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for July 14-15, will be hosted by Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD.

2018 World Cup of Pool – Wins for Greece, England and USA

Nick Malaj & Alex Kazakis

Greece (14) 7-0 Hong Kong
England (13) 7-2 South Korea
USA (6) 7-5 Singapore
The three evening session matches went true to the seeding as Greece, England and the USA enjoyed victories in the opening round of the 2018 World Cup of Pool at the Luwan Arena, Huangpu District in Shanghai.
The $250,000 tournament originated in 2006 and has since moved around the world before touching down in Shanghai. The World Cup features 32 pairs from across the globe including two from host nation China. Running from 15th to 20th May, the event is on live TV in over 100 countries around the world.
The Greek pairing of Nick Malaj and Alex Kazakis whitewashed their Hong Kong opponents 7-0 and looked in excellent shape as they look to mount a realistic challenge for the title. Hong Kong by contrast looked relative novices as they struggled to make an impact.
England eased into the second round where they will play the Philippines after a comfortable win against South Korea. Mosconi Cup veterans Imran Majid and Mark Gray had the match under control as Jeong struggled to keep him cueing arm under control.
Commented Imran, “It is great to get the W in the first match. We had some help from them, they missed two or three balls.”
Gray continued, “We both played well, until the last rack none of us had missed a ball in open play. English players pride themselves on not missing shots, I know that’s not what the game is about in general but in a short race to seven you can’t afford to be missing balls and not taking out clearances.
“Me and Daryl Peach beat Philippines en route to the final a few years ago. They are one of the biggest nations in pool so we know we are in for a tough time and we will be underdogs but I like being the underdog.”
In the final match, the USA pair of Shane Van Boening and Sky Woodward enjoyed a tussle against Singapore as they bumped their way over the line with a 7-5 win. Breaking at 5-5, the Singaporean pair of Toh Lian Han and Aloysius Yapp were favourites for the win but Woodward stepped up a bit after a shaky early part of the match.
Van Boening said, “I travel all over the world and the first match is always the toughest – you have to get use to the atmosphere and get more comfortable and after we won we have a day off now so we will think it over a little more and do the best we do.”
Play continues on Thursday afternoon with three more first round matches.
Finland (11) v Malaysia
Japan (10) v Sweden
Russia (15) v Australia
2018 World Cup of Pool sponsored by Iwan Simonis who supply the Official Cloth; the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc, and Predator is the Official Cue of the event.

Zaja takes down Kazakis on Euro-Tour

Left to right: Alexander Kazakis, Edmond Zaja and Joshua Filler

In winner’s round 2 of the Dynamic Billard Sankt Johann im Pongau Open 2018 Euro-Tour, underdog player Edmond Zaja (ALB) took down favoured Alexander Kazakis (GRE) with 9:6.
The late match between Zaja and Kazakis started just before midnight. Due to the large amount of participants, this late round was necessary. In the beginning, Kazakis was in complete control of the match. But Zaja stood tall and gave Kazakis a hard time. After six racks, the scoreboard displayed 3:3. In rack 7, Zaja even got in control of the match and got a 4:3 advantage over favoured Kazakis. From that time onwards, the match emerged into a close combat between the two contestants. They both took their racks in turns and kept the score tight. It was Edmond Zaja who managed to break that rhythm when he won the 14th rack in order to get an 8:6 lead over Kazakis, being on the hill. He had his own break shot coming up. The break was good and he sailed smoothly through the rack, winning the match with 9:6 over Kazakis.
Earlier today, Joshua Filler (GER) stormed over Daryl Peach (GBR) with 9:1. Filler played very fast but also had several mistakes. However, Peach did not benefit from them at all. Instead, he played very negligent and it looked like he did not want to win that match at all. Maybe Filler’s performance had destroyed him in the early stage of the match already. When Filler committed some positional errors in the first racks, he still cleared the rack using rails and jump shots in order to finish the table to his liking. That was too much for Peach. Trailing 1:8, he even missed an easy 9-ball which was lying close to the corner pocket.
If a trophy for the best sportsmanship would be awarded at the Euro-Tour, today Jan Kjetil Nordrum (NOR) would definitely have achieved it. In his winner’s round 1 match against Friedrich Rassi (AUT) the score was 8:8 when Rassi was at the table after the break shot. The table was completely open. Rassi was aiming at the 2-ball, ready to fire it in. In that moment, Nordrum informed him before the shot that the 1-ball was still on the table. Rassi thanked him and ran the table so that Nordrum lost that match with 8:9. However, he has won a lot of respect from everybody who could witness that action of true sportsmanship.
Tomorrow, the event will continue at 09:00 CET with matches from winner’s round 2.
Every day, two matches from the event will be shown LIVE on the Facebook page of the EPBF for free. All Facebook users may check out the high standard of quality which is provided for all the events and see what the Kozoom members receive all the time. You can see all the matches live via who stream the whole event on 20 tables on the internet LIVE. The FB live matches are announced on the EPBF Facebook page every day. Results and schedules can be found at  so why not come and check out all the LIVE action of the Dynamic Billard Treviso Open.
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  visit us on Facebook or check out our youtube channel for regular news clips or contact our press office

Action about to start at the Dynamic Billard Sankt Johann im Pongau Open Euro-Tour

An unbelievable number of 208 players from 38 countries have registered for the upcoming Euro-Tour event in Austria. After his victory at the recent event in Italy, Eklent Kaci (ALB) definitely wants to repeat that success. His opponent in the final match was Albin Ouschan (AUT) who is one of the local heroes here in Austria. Ouschan is currently ranked #1 on the Euro-Tour rankings, followed by his fellow countryman and teammate Mario He (AUT). Will these two get additional wind under their sails since they are playing on their home turf? Can the spectators support them in their endeavour? Will the fresh air of the Alp mountains do the Austrians any good? Having Ralf Souquet (GER) and Ekelent Kaci hot on their heels in the rankings, some high quality matches can be expected here in the Alpina Sports & Wellness Hotel in St. Johann i.Pg., Austria. But also other premium players have found their way to the village in the Alps in order to get their shot at the 36.000,-€ prize pot. Since the Euro-Tour is the qualification criteria for many international events such as Mosconi Cup or World Cup of Pool, just to name a few, of course the British and Polish and Spanish contingencies are very well represented here as well. Names of former World and European Champions like Daryl Peach (GBR), Mark Gray (GBR), David Alcaide (ESP), Niels Feijen (NED) and many others can be spotted on the list of participants. Whoever will cross swords on Saturday afternoon around 18:00 will have some really tough battles behind him. Matches start tomorrow morning at 09:00 CET.
Friday through Sunday, EPBF will show two feature matches LIVE on the EPBF Facebook page. The complete tournament is shown on for premium pass holders.
Once again, Kozoom and the EPBF will feature the „Crazy Thursday“. Just like in Treviso, on Thursday all matches will be free on to watch. All one needs to do is to register with Kozoom and then chose one of the 22 tables of the event. Additionally, one match per round will be featured LIVE on the EPBF Facebook page. Since we have so many participants here in Sankt Johann im Pongau, there will be 11 rounds of high class pool live on Facebook tomorrow.
On Saturday morning, the women will also join the stage and start their tournament with 45 participants so far. Saturday at 18:00 local time, the open event will see the final match coming up. The women’s final will be played on Sunday afternoon at 14:30.
The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organised by International Billiard Promotion (IBP).  Play starts Thursday at 09:00 local time, for further information and reference please go to the federation website under the Eurotour tab. You can also visit us on our Facebook page or check out the EPBF YouTube channel for regular news clips or contact our press office

2018 GB9 Midlands Classic – Event Report

Karl Boys

Main event
With Christmas and new year soon passing by, the event on the mind of all self-respecting pool players was soon upon us – the 2018 GB9 Midlands Classic! A healthy glut of new players assembled at the Park Inn by Radisson in Telford, all hoping to get their hands on the Main Event trophy.
With brand new sponsorship for 2018 courtesy of Cyclop Balls and Andy Cloth, continued sponsorship by Rasson Billiards and McDermott Cues, a tweaked tournament format and fresh table layout, anticipation was at it’s very highest. The round one matches were soon underway, and the random draw threw up a clash of two titans on the TV table – The Magician Chris Melling and Dynamite Darren Appleton, back on the tour after dominating the international scene for a number of years. Melling was the favourite on paper, as Appleton has taken some leave of competition in recent months. The match itself panned out that way too – Appleton showing his class with some tough run-outs, but Melling looked that touch sharper. His kicking was also on form; the highlight being a slow one-railer to make a ball in the side pocket. 9-6 to Melling was a fair result. The Magician then faced a tough test in the face of Karl Boyes, who's GB9 record is phenomenal. 25 minutes and no mistakes later, Karl had despatched Chris to the one-loss side 9-2.
Adam Collins and Bob Harris were both involved in two final rack deciders – but losing out to Lee Noble and Alan Bell respectively. Kurtis Weaver then held his nerve, in a very solid performance to knock Chris Melling out of the event.
Barry "The Baguette" French then showed why he's been knocking on the door of the top UK players, with a very solid win over Damian Overton. Joni Holden put up a very respectable fight against former World Champion Darren Appleton, taking seven racks off him. Stewart Colclough then edged out Tom Staveley in a high quality battle – Tom coming in with three break and runs, but Colclough just holding firm to win the final-rack decider.
Mark Foster continued to show why he's arguably the most improved player of late, taking down Derby-based Kev Simpson. Simpson, a solid rhythm player who's a threat to anyone on his day, was barely allowed an opening to get off the mark, as Foster put on an absolute clinic.
As we got to the business end of things, Stewart Colclough edged out Mark Gray, and Karl Boyes was making light work of his run to the final – two 9-2 and two 9-3 wins respectively – Chris Fraser, Stewart Colclough, Mark Foster and Martyn Taylor all falling by the wayside.
Adam Stevens then ran 'The Terminator', Damian Overton close, 9-7. Overton then went on a storming run to the final, taking out former World Champion Daryl Peach, Marcel Price, and Craig Osborne. By his own admission though, his break was his achilles heel and his back was against the wall in the opening stages of most racks against Karl Boyes in the final, who's break was working very well. An 11-1 win was harsh on Overton, but certainly deserved for Boyes, who continued his impressive GB9 form with yet another Main Event trophy to add to his cabinet. Well done Karl!
Rasson Billiards Super Cup
The first ever Rasson Billiards Super Cup was soon underway at the Park Inn by Radisson. The spiritual successor to the Pro Cup, it pulls in the hot players of the moment in an elite level clash of talent. All 14 entrants were the players who reached the last 16 of the Main Event. No easy games in this field!
Michael Beeston had a very tough opening match in Mark Foster, who broke and ran three racks early doors. Few balls were missed by either player, but Foster took it 10-8, in this slightly longer-race format.
Barry French will no doubt have been frustrated at the harshness of this game, having broke and ran three racks to Damian Overton's none, and still came away 10-8 loser. Morray Dolan then scooped a very impressive 10-1 victory over UK number one Craig Osborne. Scot Chris Fraser battled hard against Damian Overton, but Overton was a tough nut to crack this weekend. Despite Fraser matching him for firepower, Overton kept things a little bit tighter when needed and squeezed through 10-8.
Young talent Kurtis Weaver then held his nerve against GB9 stalwart Stewart Colclough, in a hill-hill thriller that would have hurt Colclough. His break was working, breaking and running three times to Weaver's none, but Weaver kept finding ways to win racks.
Kristian Phillips had a tough start against Chris Fraser losing 10-6, before sending Barry French packing. Kurtis Weaver also then shortly after inflicting the pain of a hill-hill defeat on someone, had to endure it himself, courtesy of Chris Fraser.
Mark Foster and Imran Majid both made steady advances towards the final stages, dispatching of Craig Osborne and Martyn Taylor respectively. It was Morray Dolan who would put an end to Foster's run, beating him 10-8, and meanwhile, a familiar sight was beckoning – Karl Boyes heading towards yet another final. On paper he was favourite against Dolan in the final, but he had to get past Imran Majid first. With nearly half of the total racks played being break and runs, it was a high quality affair, but Boyes prevailed. In the final, Dolan put up a good fight, but was really struggling with his break, both with making balls and making three points. This proved to be the deciding factor and Karl cruised to victory, 11-6. Karl's going to have to invest in a new trophy cabinet!
Cyclop Challenge Cup
The Cyclop Challenge Cup is for many the highlight of the weekend. A chance to pit their abilities against players at their own ability level, and for many, an opportunity to break through and make a name as a top UK shooter.
Tier 1
Tier 1 competition got off to a fierce start, with Jamie Brennan coming in with three break and runs for a rock solid win against smooth cueist Robin Cripps. Coach extraordinaire and fine player himself Alan Bell sneaked through hill- hill against Andy Lester, and Kev Simpson took out his anger at his morning mauling on Neil Margossian, with three break and runs and a 9-1 score line being the result.
Elliott Sanderson soon undid any momentum that Jamie Brennan was carrying, with a convincing 9-2 victory, showing a ruthlessness whenever he got in.
Lee Creighton was to go on and make a run for the final, but his tournament got off to a tighter start with a hill-hill win over Ryan O'Neil. Dave Garden then sent Ryan packing 7-4 on the one-loss side. Up next was Terry Davies facing Benji Buckley. Buckley wasn't in full free-flowing form, but he defeated the Welshman 9-7.
Joni Holden took a very respectable six racks off elite cueman Mark Gray, and Neil Margossian got back to winning ways with a 7-4 victory over Andy Lester.
Into the last sixteen, GB9 stalwart Alan Coton did his best to let Tom Staveley back into the match after at one point gaining a four rack lead. Staveley took his chances though and battled back to hill-hill, but stumbled in the decider with a chance amongst the balls to take the win. Coton held his nerve and made no mistakes with a tense run-out.
Shane O'Hara continued to show his face at the business end of most tournaments he enters, and dispatched of Neil Margossian and Lee Noble. Elliott proved to be too hot to handle in the Quarters however, who took him out 9-7.
Mark Gray looked as solid as ever however, taking out both Benji and Elliott, and faced Lee Creighton in the final. Lee had had an impressive tournament, but had to hold his nerve in another hill-hill battle against Terry Davies.
Sadly for him though, taking the trophy proved to be a bridge too far, with 'Granite' Mark Gray pulling away after Lee kept things tight in the early racks. Creighton has certainly cemented a name for himself as one to watch, but for now there was no shame in second place to Mark Gray on this occasion.
Tier 2
The first Tier 2 event of the year got off to an action packed start, with lots of faces eager to make the jump to the higher echelons of the tour.
Tony Weafer raced out of the blocks, impressively taking care of David Worrow, breaking and running out three racks in a 9-3 victory. Elsewhere Chris Teahan was no doubt disappointed to break and run twice and still be edged out by Rikki Hatherly in a deciding rack.
Meanwhile, Craig Seeney and Mark Shepherd played out an extremely edgy affair which went down right to the wire, with lots of chances missed to seal victory. The tight, professional conditions and the slick new Andy cloth were demanding the highest of standards, and the pressure was firmly on them both to progress to the next round. Seeney took advantage of a dramatic miss on the seven ball by Shepherd, despite him landing inch-perfect on it due to his previous ball in band. Shepherd in bits, Seeney pulled off a spectacular table-length draw shot to land plum on the nine. Relief all around that it was over, a friendly embrace ensued!
Bradley Holt also put in a solid performance with two break and runs against Kevin Rowles, who himself went on to lose to a commanding performance by Chris Teahan. Chris was then right up against it however, facing off against an in-form Dean Thompson. Thompson came with two break and runs, and
impressively managed to hold things together in the final hill-hill rack.
Meanwhile our two finalists were quietly going about their work, with a degree of ease that showed why they were the last two standing. Young Turner took down Richard Fullwell 9-5, Craig Seeney 9-1, Allan Brown 9-6 and John Chapman 9-6. Bob Harris was equally as impressive, beating Carl Weaver 9-4, James Glendenning 9-3, Dean Thompson 9-5 and Paul Ratcliffe 9-2. In the final, it was all one way traffic, with Harris setting up a solid early lead and never really looking back. Congratulations Bob on your first Challenge 2 trophy!

2018 MansionBet World Pool Masters – First round wins for Pag, Shane and Dyno

Alex Pagulayan

Alex Pagulayan (Canada) 8 – 4 Alex Lely (Holland)
Shane Van Boening (USA) 8 – 2 Daryl Peach (England)
Darren Appleton (England) 8 – 6 Earl Strickland (USA)
THERE WAS MORE first round action at the 25th annual Mansion Bet World Pool Masters and there were wins for Alex Pagulayan, Shane Van Boening and Darren Appleton, who came from behind to beat Earl Strickland in a thrilling encounter.
In the opening match, Alex Pagulayan, a winner in Las Vegas in 2008 beat 1999 champion Alex Lely in a confrontation that saw both players struggle to get to grips with the conditions. With a high level of humidity currently in Gibraltar, the Rasson table was running a little slower than usual. That said, Pagulayan had a little too much for his veteran opponent.
He said, “The table is fine, we just aren’t used to it yet. I was a bit lost at the beginning but towards the end I got the table a little bit. When you make a mistake, you can’t put yourself down, you have to keep fighting hard, keep your composure and do the best that you can.
“I am fortunate to get through because Alex Lely didn’t play his game and I got a few rolls towards the end of the match and a little bit in the middle.”
In the second match, Shane Van Boening, a two-time winner of this event, made light work of England’s Daryl Peach, champion in 1995, back when the tournament was known as the European Pool Masters.
8-2 was the scoreline but Peach didn’t do a whole lot wrong as Van Boening took advantage of the winner breaks format to assert himself.
The final match was the best of the session as Earl Strickland and Darren Appleton faced off for the chance to play Shane Van Boening in the quarter-finals. It was a match of two halves as Earl the Pearl pulled away into a 6-2 lead, rolling back the years with his rapid-fire play.
It unravelled though in the ninth game, when Strickland missed a 5 ball and Appleton took the rack against the head to go 3-6. Not playing his best, ‘Dynamite’ held it together, rode his luck and took the next five racks for the win.
Said Appleton, “Things went against me after the second rack and he was playing really well. I missed an easy 8-ball to go 6-3 down and I thought that was me done. I relaxed a little bit then and started to play well. I got a couple of rolls at the end to get over the line.
“I have been a bit quiet over the last 12 months because of some personal issues, so I haven’t played as much as I would like so I’m not as competitive as I should be. At the end there I was starting to feel it but I held myself to get over the line.
“It is tough playing against Earl. He is a great player but he can be quite intimidating when he gets going – it can be hard to keep up with him.”
Strickland was disappointed to lose from such a strong position, “He is very fortunate. He can talk all he wants about how great I am and how good he played but he had a lot of luck there.
“He is fortunate I missed the 5-ball. But he is a good player. How lucky was he when he left his cue ball down here? He is like a leprechaun. He made some good shots but I can’t believe I missed that match.”
Play continues with the final two first round matches plus the first quarter-final.
2018 Mansion Bet World Pool Masters is sponsored by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator is the Official Cue of the event and Ultimate Team Gear provide all World Pool Masters apparel.

Draw Made For World Pool Masters XXV

Defending Champion David Alcaide

The draw for the 25th World Pool Masters has been made, with some mouth-watering first-round matches in prospect for Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar this March 2-4.
Old Mosconi Cup hostilities are set to be renewed as the legend Earl ‘The Pearl’ Strickland faces Darren Appleton in round one. The winner of that clash will face the victor of Shane Van Boening versus Daryl Peach, raising the prospect of Peach and Strickland come head-to-head again, 11 years after the pair infamously clashed at the 2007 Mosconi Cup.
Elsewhere in the draw Jayson Shaw will take on Filipino legend Francisco Bustamante, who proved he can still mix it at the elite level when he was crowned Master of The Table at the Derby City Classic last weekend.
Defending World Pool Masters champion David Alcaide will open the tournament against Tony Drago on Friday, March 2 with record-breaking six-time Masters winner Ralf Souquet also in action during the first session – ‘The Kaiser’ faces Poland’s Karol Skowerski.
The 16-man field for the 25th World Pool Masters features 14 former tournament winners along with two wildcard picks – Jayson Shaw and Wu Jiaqing. Tickets are on sale now priced £7-12 per session with season tickets available for just £34.99 at
The World Pool Masters will be broadcast live for 20 hours in total on Sky Sports in the UK and on networks around the world. The World Pool Masters is sponsored by the following suppliers: RASSON (tables), IWAN SIMONIS (Simonis cloth), SALUC (Aramith balls), PREDATOR (cues) and ULTIMATE TEAM GEAR (clothing).
(1) David Alcaide (Spain) v Tony Drago (Malta)
(8) Ralf Souquet (Germany) v Karol Skowerski (Poland)
(5) Niels Feijen (Holland) v Raj Hundal (India)
(4) Wu Jiaqing (China) v Dennis Orcollo (Philippines)
(3) Shane Van Boening (USA) v Daryl Peach (England)
(6) Darren Appleton (England) v Earl Strickland (USA)
(7) Alex Pagulayan (Canada) v Alex Lely (Holland)
(2) Jayson Shaw (Scotland) v Francisco Bustamante (Philippines)
All matches are race to 8, winner breaks
Friday, March 2 – 7pm
Round One
David Alcaide (Spain) v Tony Drago (Malta)
Ralf Souquet (Germany) v Karol Skowerski (Poland)
Niels Feijen (Hollands) v Raj Hundal (India)
Saturday, March 3 – 1:30pm
Round One
Wu Jiaqing (China) v Dennis Orcollo (Philippines)
Shane Van Boening (USA) v Daryl Peach (England)
Darren Appleton (England) v Earl Strickland (USA)
Saturday, March 3 – 7pm
Round One
Alex Pagulayan (Canada) v Alex Lely (Holland)
Jayson Shaw (Scotland) v Francisco Bustamante (Philippines)
Alcaide/Drago v Souquet/Skowerski
Sunday, March 4 – 1:30pm
Feijen/Hundal v Wu/Orcollo
Van Boening/Peach v Appleton/Strickland
Pagulayan/Lely v Shaw/Bustamante
Sunday, March 4 – 7pm
Semi-final 1
Semi-final 2