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Longoni 9-Ball League – Poland Take Inaugural Title

Wiktor Zielinski and Wojciech Szewczyk

POLAND, COMPRISED OF Wiktor Zielinski and Wojciech Szewczyk, has won the first-ever Longoni 9-Ball League following an 11-5 victory over Spain in the final which took place at the BHR Best Western Hotel in Treviso, Italy. From an initial entry of 12 national teams based on Euro Tour rankings, the Polish duo, who were ever-present throughout the competition, had too much for their Spanish rivals, opening up a 7-1 lead, which despite a mini-comeback, proved too much for their opponents.

With current EuroTour rankings determining the selection of teams playing at any time during the course of the event, the regular Spanish duo of Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz and David Alcaide were forced to miss the final, as both are representing Europe in the Mosconi Cup. That allowed Jose Alberto Delgado and Jonas Souto to take the main stage in the final. However, despite trying to turn the match around at the mid-point, they didn’t have enough in the tank to upset the Poles.

Having arrived back from the World 8-Ball in the Caribbean on Wednesday, there was a possibility that tiredness could have played a part in the proceedings.

Commented Szewczyk, “We were aware that fatigue can be a factor here but both me and Wiktor are quite experienced. We know what to expect from our bodies and our mental game and we were as ready as possible for the final.

“You never consider it closed until it’s over but a 7-1 lead we were very happy about. We also saw a difference in the break which always gives you extra confidence so even if they steal a couple of racks, if you have that break advantage you know it will be harder for them to streak racks.”

The match itself was all Poland. With their break working for them while the Spaniards floundered, they lead 5-0 then 7-1 which seemed insurmountable for Delgado and Souto. However, they dug in and clawed their way back to 7-5 to give themselves a glimmer of hope.

That was to be their last contribution as the Polish duo came on strong down the stretch as the closed it out with an 11-5 victory.

For Zielinski, it was one in the win column after a heart-break loss in the World 8-Ball final earlier this week, “I just wanted to finally get a first place and after we took a big lead in the game, I was feeling quite confident that we could make it so I’m just happy that me and Wojciech managed to win.

“It will be tough to make the team next year as I will be defending two first places in a row and then a third place so it’s not going to be easy and I’m sure other Polish players will do well. We have a lotof great players so I was lucky that I could play with Wojciech all the way through,” he added,

Pierluigi Longoni of Longoni Cues was on hand to present the trophy to the winners and confirmed that the Longoni 9-Ball League would be back next year, starting at the opening Euro Tour event in Tallinn, Estonia in February.

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Longoni 9-Ball League – Poland v Spain for The Title

Team Poland

FOLLOWING A YEAR of competition, the Inaugural Longoni 9-Ball League concludes next Friday 25th November when Poland takes on Spain in the championship match. Starting out in Lasko, Slovenia in February, there were 12 national teams split into four groups who have played down to the final two.

With current EuroTour rankings determining the selection of teams playing at any time during the course of the year, the dynamic Spanish duo of Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz and David Alcaide have led the way for their country. However, with both having been called up to represent Europe in the Mosconi Cup, it opens the window for the next two highest ranked players to step forward.

That means that Jose Alberto Delgado and Jonas Souto, who are ranked 17th and 37th on the EuroTour respectively, will be handed the golden opportunity of taking on Team Poland. Both Spaniards are playing well this year having both made it to the last 16 at the Tour stop in Slovenia and Souto making the same grade a few more times since.

They’re up against a formidable duo though, in Wiktor Zielinski and Wojciech Szewczyk, who are both enjoying stellar seasons. After the Polish pair came through a tough group consisting of Austria and Italy, they then beat a strong German side in the semi-finals and are surely now favourites to lift the Longoni 9-Ball League title.

Team Spain

The Longoni 9-ball league is a scotch doubles format involving 12 countries highest on the EuroTour rankings at the beginning of the year. The countries were split into four groups of three teams with each group winner proceeding to the semi-finals.

The winning team will receive €4,500 which includes prize money for wins in the group stages. The runners-up receive 2500 Euro plus group earnings and as with all the teams, the total prize money will be divided into match shares with one share for each team appearance.

The Final between Poland and Spain can be viewed live on the platform, TV. kozoom as well as on the Longoni 9 Ball League & EPBF Facebook pages
on Friday 25th November starting at approximately 9pm.

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Woodward and Shaw To Be Playing Vice-Captains For Mosconi Cup

Skyler Woodward and Jayson Shaw will be playing vice-captains for the 2022 Mosconi Cup at Bally’s Las Vegas from November 30 to December 3 live on Sky Sports as well as on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, and Italy and on Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Poland.

Limited Day Tickets Available Here

Woodward will provide extra assistance to Jeremy JonesTeam USA side of Shane Van Boening, Oscar Dominguez, Tyler Styer, and Earl Strickland with the two-time Mosconi Cup MVP feeling like it’s a natural position for him to take up within the team: “I feel honoured to be in this position to represent my country as vice-captain. To know people are counting on me to help lead is a great feeling. I grew up playing all team sports. I always helped with lineups and pay attention to things needed in the lineup that is best for the team. I always do my homework to make sure things are the best they can be.”

“Fans and the team can expect a leadership role from me. I will be keeping everybody loose and supporting them on and off the table to help the team. I’m here for the team and to help take this cup back!”

Shaw relishes the opportunity to support Alex Lely as Team Europe’s Joshua Filler, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Albin Ouschan and David Alcaide look for their third successive title and their first on US soil since 2017 with last year’s MVP taking up the extra role: “It feels great to have a lead role in the team as vice-captain. Everyone knows I’m not scared to say what I think and I have a good bond with the players so I feel can get them ready and pumped up and keep them feeling confident if things are going wrong out there.”

“I’m looking forward to this Mosconi Cup even more now having been selected as vice-captain it’s an honour to be picked for this role. I bring passion fire and calmness when needed. I can help Alex get them fired up and help in the back room keeping things in shape so we are focused on the job ahead. We are coming for revenge in Vegas after 2018 and 2019 mark my words we will be 110% ready to punish every mistake they make,” added a triumphant Shaw.

Only 13 days remain until battle commences at Bally’s Las Vegas in a packed-out arena with the Mosconi Cup returning to the USA for the first time since 2019 where it was the Americans who reigned supreme 11-8 with a gutsy performance. Limited tickets are available for each day here.

The 2022 Mosconi Cup will be live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland as well as on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, and Italy and on Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, the Netherlands, and Poland. See where to watch in your country here. Live coverage also set to be live on Matchroom.Live for those without a broadcaster in their country.

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International Open Advances 16 to Single Elimination Phase

JIC series begins its 18 & Under Boys and Girls Championships 

The winners’ side final 8 has been set for the beginning of the single elimination phase of the International Open’s 9-Ball tournament tomorrow (Fri., Nov. 4). As this report is being compiled (10 p.m., Thursday night), the eight competitors who will advance to the final 16 from the loss side are still competing. If Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz emerges victorious from his match against Bader Alawahdi, the final 16 in the event will contain seven of the top eight finishers (half the field) from the recently-concluded Big Foot 10-Ball Challenge, including Fedor Gorst, who won it and runner-up Joshua Filler.

Also advancing from the winners’ side into the final 16 will be Albin Ouschan, Wictor Zielinski, Jayson Shaw, Konrad Juszczyszyn, Roberto Gomez, and Alex Kazakis.

Already advancing from the loss side are Aloysius Yapp, who (very) recently defeated Jesus Atencio 10-8 and Mario He, who downed Sky Woodward 10-4. Still to be decided were matches between Robbie Capito/Ko Pin Yi, Jonas Souto/Noayuki Oi, Jani Uski/Moritz Neuhausen, Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz/Bader Alawahdi, Ping Chung Ko/Mieszko Fortunski and David Alcaide/Abdullah Alyousef

JIC underway; Boys will play winners’ side final four and 7/8 matches, Girls to play hot seat and quarterfinals

A total of 16 boys (18 & Under) and 8 girls (18 & Under) came to Norfolk to compete in the final events of the 2022 Junior International Championship series. In the course of the eight-event season, which began in January, the competitors amassed points which, at the end of the eighth stop on the series, yielded a ‘top players’ list, which led to invitations to the Championship events for the 18 & Under Boys and Girls. 

Both of those events got underway today, Thursday, Nov. 3. At the end of the day, there were six boys and four girls left. The top two girls in the year-long rankings – Bethany Tate #1 and Sofia Mast #2 – will square off tomorrow afternoon (Friday, Nov. 4; 2 p.m.) in the 18 & Under Girls hot seat match. At noon, Precilia Kinsley and Noelle Tate will square off in the quarterfinals, to be followed by the semifinals at 7 p.m., pitting whoever did not claim the hot seat and the winner of the quarterfinals. The finals are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5 at noon.

At 10 a.m., tomorrow morning (Friday), the #2 and #3-ranked competitors from the 18 & Under Boys division – Landon Hollingsworth and Payne McBride will meet in one of the winners’ side semifinals. In the other one, #13 Garrett Vaughan and #15 Justin Maywin will meet. On the loss side, also at 10 a.m., playing in the two 7/8 matches, the #1-ranked Joey Tate will meet the #14-ranked Logan Whitaker.

Of the remaining six, three of them (Worth, McBride & Tate) competed in the International Open’s 9-Ball Tournament, with Brent Worth drawing what was arguably the toughest draw. He faced Hall of Fame German Ralf Souquet in the opening round and then, on the loss side, faced and lost to former junior competitor Chris Reinhold. McBride lost a winners’ side match to one of the semifinalists in last week’s American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship, Mieszko Fortunski and fell to Alecsa Pecelj on the loss side. Tate lost to Abdullah Alyousef on the winners’ side and Sullivan Clark on the loss side.

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Gorst Wins International Open Big Foot Event

Fedor Gorst

Fedor Gorst turned in a phenomenal performance and won the International Open Big Foot 10-Ball event on Wednesday night at the Sheraton Waterside in Norfolk, Va. 

Even for Gorst, this was a an astounding display on the tight Diamond 10’ table that had humbled players this week. Gorst played like he was on a practice table though. His Total Performance Average (TPA) was 970 for his first two matches, against David Alcaide and Jayson Shaw. Those two performances were just one or two shots away from the best any player has ever performed on the Big Foot table. 

Gorst’s semi-final match against Albin Ouschan was his worst match of the event, where he only shot a 934,  on his way to scoring an 11-6 win. 

The final match saw Gorst back in top form, as he looked to be on his way to crushing Joshua Filler, leading 9-2 in the race to 11 match. The talk at the event was whether Gorst could better his 970 TPA from the first two rounds, but the pool gods had other ideas and punished Gorst with scratches on the break in his next two breaks. Filler is not someone who needs much of a late match opening to steal a match from someone and he quickly got back to within two racks at 9-7. 

That was as close as Filler would be able to get though, as Gorst won the next two racks for the 11-7 win and his first major event win on the Big Foot table.

Play at the International Open now focuses on 9-ball with just 48 players remaining in the open 9-Ball event at the beginning of play on Thursday. Those  players will compete in races to ten until the final sixteen players are redrawn into a single elimination bracket. 

Fans can watch not only the featured table with full commentary, but also any other table at the event with the Accu-Stats PPV coverage. They can also follow all of the action online with real-time scoring and online brackets all week long.

PPV Coverage
One Pocket Stage One Online Brackets
One Pocket Stage Two Online Brackets
Big Foot 10-Ball Brackets
9-Ball Brackets
Real Time Scoring

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Round One of Pat Fleming’s International Open 9-Ball Tournament in the books

Some expected and not-so expected advances highlight Day One of the 128-entrant 9-ball event  

Surprises?

At the level of talent on display at this week’s (Oct. 28-Nov. 5) International Open in Norfolk, VA, it’s hard to single out any one match in the event’s opening round of play and call the result a surprise. One’s reaction to a given result will depend largely on an individual’s perception of the players involved and their own sense of how a match between them would play out. This, in turn, might reveal more about the person being surprised (or not) than it might about the match result.

As a random example from the International Open’s first event of the week, the $10,000-added One Pocket tournament won by T-Rex (Tony Chohan; see story elsewhere in our News). If you haven’t already seen the results, imagine the semifinal match between Sky Woodward and Fedor Gorst, won by Woodward. Surprised? 

Round one of the Open’s $50,000-added, 128-entrant 9-Ball tournament is over. We offer a short and not comprehensive list of matches from the round, and without looking it up through our links to the bracket, pick a winner, find the result and then determine whether it’s a surprise to you. An indication (J) identifies the player as a junior competitor. Results at the end of the report.

Tapei’s Hsieh Chia-Chen vs. Switzerland’s Dimitri Jungo (winner of last week’s American Straight Pool Championships in Virginia Beach)? Jesus Atencio vs. (J) Kashton Keeton? Earl Strickland vs. Taipei’s Hsuan Wei Kuo? Brandon Shuff vs. Russia’s Kristina Tkach, crowned as the Women’s 2022 Straight Pool Champion last week in Virginia Beach? Hunter Lombardo vs. Shane Wolford? BJ Ussery, Jr. vs. Chris Rienhold? Corey Deuel vs. Sharik Sayed? Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski (semifinalist at the Straight Pool Championships) vs. Matt Krah? Vietnam’s Brian Vu vs. (J) Payne McBride? Justin Martin vs. Lukas Fracasso-Verner (former J)? 

Among those whose victories in the opening round were not likely have been a surprise to anybody were: Jayson Shaw’s win over John Francisco, Spain’s David Alcaide (the last piece added to Europe’s Mosconi Cup team puzzle), who defeated USA’s Sullivan Clark 10-6, Sky Woodward’s victory (albeit, double-hill victory) over Italy’s Francesco Candela, Fedor Gorst’s win over Curucao’s Bryan Farah 10-7 and Joshua Filler’s shutout victory over USA’s Christopher Pyle. There are, of course, others who have advanced on the winners’ side, which, for purposes of brevity, we’ll restrict to those not listed above who are among the top 10 in our Money Leaderboard: Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, Greece’s Alex Kazakis, Austria’s Albin Ouschan and the Philippines’ Roberto Gomez.

Among the key matchups highlighting Round Two today (Tuesday, Nov. 1) will be 6 p.m. battles between Alex Kazakis and veteran US competitor Raymond Linares, junior competitor Joey Tate’s matchup against Kuwait’s Abdullah Alyousef, Sanchez-Ruiz versus Justin Martin,  Roberto Gomez against Alex Pagulayan and junior competitor Payne McBride taking on Straight Pool Championship runner-up, Mieszko Fortunski. At 8 p.m., Albin Oushcan will take on Thorsten Hohmann, David Alcaide faces Josh Roberts, Hungary’s Vilmos Foldes will go up against Taipei’s Ko Pin Yi, and the winner of the Strickland/Hsuan Wei Kuo match (revealed below) versus Taipei’s Hsieh Chia-Chen (all 8 p.m.). At 10 p.m., Round Two’s winners’ bracket will continue with Tony Chohan against last week’s Straight Pool Championship runner-up Wiktor Zielinski, Jayson Shaw will meet the winner of the Shuff/Tkach match (revealed below), Ralf Souquet will go up against BJ Ussery, Alex Pagulayan will take on Roberto Gomez and Sanchez-Ruiz will battle Justin Martin. 

(‘Surprise?’ results from above: Junior competitor Kashton Keeton defeated Jesus Atencio 10-6,  Strickland got by Wei Kuo 10-5, Taipei’s Chia-Chen sent Dimitri Jungo to the loss side 10-7, Shuff beat Tkach 10-8, Lombardo over Wolford 10-6. Ussery over Reinhold 10-9, Sayed downs Deuel 10-6, Fortunski gets by Krah 10-7, Junior competitor Payne McBride defeats Brian Vu 10-2 and Justin Martin moves on with a double hill win over Lukas Fracasso-Verner.) 

Fans can watch not only the featured table with full commentary, but also any other table at the event with the Accu-Stats PPV coverage. They can also follow all of the action online with real-time scoring and online brackets all week long.

PPV Coverage
One Pocket Stage One Online Brackets
One Pocket Stage Two Online Brackets
Big Foot 10-Ball Brackets
9-Ball Brackets
Real Time Scoring

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Switzerland downs Poland in 17th American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships

Dimitri Jungo

Jungo wins roller coast final vs. Zielinski/Tkach defeats Corr in Women’s event.

You had to be there.

As it’s been for a number of years, the annual American Straight Pool Championships, held this past week (Oct. 24-29) at Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA were not just about who beat who, by how much. Or the specifics of about how the male and female fields whittled down from 56 men and 15 women to Switzerland’s Dimitri Jungo, who won the Men’s event and Russia’s Kristina Tkach, who won the Women’s event; each, right after it was over, holding their 17th annual traditional clock and collecting their envelopes with $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

It was, too, about the gathering of world-class competitors, kicking back in the highly-congenial atmosphere of this country’s largest pool room, regaling each other with stories of past exploits, current battles in their individual matches and where they’re headed next. It’s a pool player knocked out of the competition early, preparing for this week’s International Open, about 20 miles away, by practicing one type of shot (a corner-to-corner, stop shot) for hours. Or a female competitor describing the dancing skills of two female friends in a long-ago moment after an event that had an entire table of people in stitches. It’s about the photos of all the US Open Champions crowned in the room, the commendations from 50+ years of pool players, and of course, scores aside, the quality of play.

“The quality of play this year was just unbelievable,” founder and Chairman of the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships, Peter Burrows told a packed arena at the conclusion of the Men’s event. “It’s why we come here every year.”

“(Jungo and Zeilinski) had a number of exquisite safety battles tonight that were really remarkable,” he added of the final match.

In his first time competing in these straight pool championships, Jungo revealed that it was only the second time that he had played the game competitively all year. He recalled being here in the US in 2001; a year he referenced as ‘9-11.’

“And now,” he said, shortly after claiming the Men’s title, “here I am, 18 years later.”

Though hesitant to single out one particular discipline as his ‘favorite,’ he admitted to an affection for straight pool that has lasted for a long time. He admits to playing it a lot more by himself than in competition.

“I like it,” he said. “When I play it alone, I can challenge myself.”

In the more-than-just-winning-or-losing department, he was impressed with the milieu associated with Q Master Billiards. He admitted to being enchanted by it and used a somewhat dated expression to describe it.

“I like the ‘groove’ here,” he said. “It’s like. . . pool, where it’s born. I feel like it’s home. The way they treat the people here is very special.”

“I was very comfortable here,” he added of the week he’d spent at the tables, moments after that week was over, “and I’m feeling good.”

As well he might have, having just won a tournament that at its start a week ago, had other competitors ‘pegged’ for the win; among the others – Jayson Shaw, Fedor Gorst, the surging-in-Europe Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, final European member of the 2022 Mosconi Cup Team, David Alcaide, Josh Filler and Filipino Lee Van Corteza, who would finish the Round Robin Phase of the event with the highest point differential (504) of the eight groups of seven players each. Jungo would finish third overall in that department at 460, behind Van Corteza and Josh Filler (498).

Jungo finished #1 in his seven-man group, downing Jasmin Ouschan, Corey Deuel, Bob Madenjian, Ed Culhane and countryman Michael Schneider (who would later introduce himself as the “other one from Switzerland.”) Jungo’s loss came at the stick of Darren Appleton.

Poland’s Wictor Zielinski, in the meantime, was #1 in his group, as well, downing his own list of top-ranked pros – Thorsten Hohmann, Ralf Souquet, Denis Grabe, Bart Czapla and the USA’s Pascal Dufresne, who, when he done competing, became a statistician for the event, seated behind a computer, using a 14:Straight Pool program he had written to input analytic data about each match he was able to witness. Zielinski’s loss in the Round Robin phase was to Finland’s Jani Uski.

All four of the event’s semifinalists – Jungo, Zielinski, Mario He and Mieszko Fortunski – were #1 in their Round Robin groups. They, along with the other four top competitors to come out of the Round Robin phase – Josh Filler, John Morra, Francisco Candela and Lee Van Corteza were awarded opening round byes as second- and third-place competitors (16 of them) squared off in the opening round of the single elimination phase of the event, racing to 150. Gone at the conclusion of that opening round were (among others) Jayson Shaw, Darren Appleton and Albin Ouschan. In the final 16 round, Lee Van Corteza, Ralf Souquet, Sanchez-Ruiz (downed by Zielinski), The Lion (Alex Pagulayan) and Carlo Biado (defeated by Jungo) were gone as well.

The quarterfinal matches saw Jungo eliminate Morra, Mario He defeat Lebanon’s Bader Alawadhi, Mieszko Fortunski get by David Alcaide in the closest match of the tournament 150-148, and Zielinski wave goodbye to Joshua Filler (not literally) in the most lopsided match of the single elimination phase, 150-38.

The racing-to-175 semifinals, which guaranteed that one of the finalists would be from Poland, saw Zielinski down Fortunski 175-55. Jungo joined him after defeating Austria’s Mario He 175-85.

As noted by Burrows earlier, the final match was a bit of a roller coaster ride. If you weren’t aware that fouls can send scores moving in the opposite direction, you might have been surprised if you stepped away when the score was tied at 55-55 and returned to find out it had backed up to 54-53 in favor of Jungo.

“(Zielinski) got out to a lead early,” noted Jungo. “but I made it to 67 (ahead by 14), and then, we had those safety battles in the middle; four or five of them.”

Zielinski kept fighting back and took the lead back at the 131-130 stage of the game, at which point, the scores went backwards again, to 129-128. Jungo re-established the lead and expanded it to 147-136. With 28 balls to go, he got them all. At 162-136, right after his break had left 14 on the table, with only 13 to go, Jungo ran the table to claim the title.

Kristina Tkach

After protracted absence since 2019, Ireland’s Karen Corr makes it to Women’s final

Ireland’s Karen Corr has been making her presence known on the women’s circuit since her somewhat unofficial return from an unofficial absence since 2019. She’d appeared on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour this year, finished 3rd at the WPBA’s Michigan Open (tied with Allison Fisher) and made an appearance at last week’s Sledgehammer Open, the 1st memorial tournament for Helena Thornfeldt. She ‘chose’ to record her highest return-finish in Virginia Beach at an event not without its favored competitors. Some were looking ahead almost from the start to a rematch between Tkach and the event’s defending champion, Kelly Fisher, who had matched up twice against each other at the Sledgehammer Open; Tkach taking the first in a winners’ side semifinal and Kelly, the second in the final.

Not so fast. There were three round robin ‘flights’ with five players each, from which Corr, Tkach and Fisher emerged undefeated. Joining them in an opening, single-elimination round were Bethany Sykes (vs. Tkach), Dawn Hopkins (vs. Corr), Billie Billing (vs. Fisher) and Bean Hung, squaring off against Pia Filler. Racing to 80, Tkach allowed Sykes one ball, Hung gave up 23 to Filler, Fisher gave Billing 42, while Corr and Hopkins played the closest match; won by Corr 80-50.

The potential Fisher/Tkach final was still on, but not for long. In the semifinals, Tkach downed Hung 100-49, as Corr was likely surprising Kelly Fisher with a 100-36 win that put her in her first (recorded) final in two years.

Tkach has won the European straight pool championships twice, though like many others, it’s not a discipline that she gets to play that often.

“When I was very young, about 16 or 17, I played a full-year of straight pool every day,” she said, noting that her coach at the time was trying to get her to that oft-elusive first run of 100 balls, “but I was at a different level back then, too.”

“It is a game that you play maybe once a year,” she added, “but once you learn how to play it, it’s like riding a bicycle. Once you understand it, it’s really just about making balls.”

She got on the bike, made the balls and claimed the second American Women’s 14.1 Straight Pool Championship Title.

Many of the competitors who were in Virginia Beach over the past week have already moved on to Norfolk, VA, about 20 miles west of Q Master Billiards, to compete in Pat Fleming’s International Open, which began on Friday, Oct. 28 with a $10,000-added One Pocket tournament (to which many knocked out of the straight pool at Q Master Billiards migrated). The One Pocket will conclude today (Sunday, Oct. 30) and give way to the $50,000-added 9-Ball Tournament set to begin tomorrow (Monday, Oct. 31), which should make for an interesting Halloween night. Later in the week, the Junior International Championships will conclude their 2022 season with championship tournaments for the 18 & Under Boys and Girls divisions of the series.

And a final unofficial and unquoted word from Peter Burrows about the 18th Annual American 14.1 Straight Pool Tournament next year, which he has promised (with a little help from his friends) will be bigger and better with more players and more money.

“You have to be there!”

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David Alcaide Completes Team Europe For 2022 Mosconi Cup

David Alcaide has completed Team Europe for the upcoming 2022 Mosconi Cup set to take place at Bally’s Las Vegas, live on Sky Sports, from November 30 to December 3 as well as on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, and Italy, and on Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Poland.

The 2022 World Cup of Pool winner joins his winning partner Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Joshua Filler, Albin Oushcan, and Jayson Shaw as the final wild card pick for Alex Lely‘s European side ahead of reigniting pool’s biggest rivalry with the USA next month.

Alcaide has been on the winning sides in two of his three appearances including last year and the last time Europe won in Sin City five years ago. He will link up with compatriot Sanchez Ruiz for Europe for the first time.

The Spaniard cannot wait to return to the side alongside Sanchez Ruiz: “It’s impressive how you feel when you’re in the team, it’s very difficult to express, it is a dream come true every time, and even more so having the opportunity to play alongside my brother Francisco. It is a dream of both of ours to make it together and now we have done it and we will give our maximum for the team”

Alcaide added: “Playing together in the Mosconi Cup is something we have always dreamed of and for which we have worked very hard, and we are not going to miss this opportunity, we are going to give it our all to bring the cup back with us to Spain.”

Last year saw Europe come from behind to seal an 11-6 win with Alcaide at the heart of the victory securing 2.5 points for his team across singles and doubles action only being pipped by Shaw to the MVP crown: “The first one is very special (2006) but last year in London, which was my first time there, it was unique, this year will be better in Las Vegas. It’s a place I have fond memories of and I hope to make more come December 3.”

Lely is looking forward to the return of Alcaide on his side: “David is intense and he has a lot of heart. It’s nice to watch him when playing so well. He was one of the leaders in the team last year. It’s his age and experience but also his passion for the game and the passion he has for life. He is passionate to help others. He’s been the big brother of Francisco Sanchez Ruiz. It’s a bit like Batman and Robin. He’s a social guy and he doesn’t hold back. I picked him because he ticks so many boxes in the team. I believe his game is there. With his seniority, his experience, and his ability to stand tall in adversity, I think in Las Vegas we will be needing that. I appreciate what leadership he brings.”

“When you look for a fifth pick, you look for his level of play but also how he blends into the team. With FSR in his first Mosconi Cup getting his World Cup of Pool partner in there together will help him but I also think it’s important for the whole team to get another leader on board, a seasoned player who has the ability to carry others.”

Team USA now have the last remaining wild card to complete their side after Tyler Styer joined world number one Shane Van Boening, Skyler Woodward, and Oscar Dominguez on Jeremy Jones‘ side. Make sure you stay tuned to the Matchroom Pool social pages to get the latest news as Mosconi Cup news drops including the final American pick. FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

The 2022 Mosconi Cup will be live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland as well as on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, and Italy and on Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, the Netherlands, and Poland. Further broadcasters will be announced in the coming weeks with live coverage also set to be live on Matchroom.Live for those without a broadcaster in their country.

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Four Through In Ohio

Jung-Lin Chang

Alex Kazakis, Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, Mario He and Seybert’s Michigan Open champion Aloysius Yapp are through to the last 16 of the FargoRate Ohio Open, but big names including all three Ko brothers are already heading home.

Fedor Gorst will face Mika Immonen in winners’ qualification on Friday morning but Albin Ouschan, Robbie Capito and Wiktor Zielinski have been eliminated from the event, which carries a $75,000 prize fund and is played alongside the CSI Ohio State Championships at the Roberts Center in Wilmington, Ohio.

Ouschan suffered a shootout defeat to Finnish youngster Riku Romppanen and was then eliminated 4-3, 4-0 by Eklent Kaci. Romppanen takes on Roberto Gomez tomorrow morning for a place in the last 16, while Kaci must beat Predator World 10-Ball Champion Wojciech Szewczyk to remain in the event.

Four winners’ qualification matches have already played, with the remaining four to take place at 10am on Friday. Kazakis defeated David Alcaide 4-1, 4-3 for his place in the last 16, leaving the Spaniard with one more chance to qualify.

“I am feeling really happy that I won that match,” said Kazakis. “First set everything went my way, and in the second set it went both ways. David had a chance to run out at hill-hill but he missed it and I took my chance.”

Sanchez-Ruiz won 4-3, 4-3 over America’s Justin Martin while Aloysius Yapp, a two-time winner on the Predator Pro Billiard Series, defeated Finland’s Jani Uski 4-2, 4-3. Last year’s Fargorate Ohio Open champion Mario He needed a shootout to advance at the expense of Michael Schneider. The four players already qualified for single elimination share four Pro Billiard Series titles, with only Sanchez-Ruiz yet to win a stop.

Brothers Ko Ping Han, Ko Pin-Yi and Ko Ping-Chung were all eliminated within hours of each other. Ping Han had suffered shootout defeat to Petri Makkonen on Wednesday and was again beaten from the spot on Thursday, this time by Badar Al Qrrayyan. Defeat yesterday to Jan van Lierop had left Pin-Yi on the losers’ side, where a 4-1, 4-1 win for Sharik Sayed meant that Ping-Chung was now the only member of the Ko family still in the event.

However, Ping-Chung was soon eliminated too. His tournament had opened with a shootout defeat to Robbie Capito on Wednesday. He responded with a 4-3, 4-1 win against Sanjin Pehlivanovic only to lose by shootout to New Zealand’s Sullivan Clark.

Zielinski’s tournament came to an end against Chang Jung-Lin, who won 4-2, 4-3 in the day’s final match on the TV table. Chang missed a 4 ball at 3-2 up in the second set, allowing his Polish opponent to level the match at 3-3, however when Zielinski missed the 5, Chang was back at the table and won the rack to avoid a shootout. Chang requires two more wins to reach the single elimination stage and faces Dimitri Jungo in his next match.

Among the other players coming back on the losers’ side is Konrad Juszczyszyn, who will face Aleksa Pecelj after beating Ernesto Dominguez in a lengthy shootout. Juszczyszyn took the first set 4-2 but a 4-0 shutout in the second took the match to a shootout. Neither player missed in their first four shots, before both missed their next two sudden death efforts. Another successful spot shot each took the shootout to 7-7, but Dominguez missed his next shot after Juszczyszyn had already sunk his.

The FargoRate Ohio Open continues from 10am ET on Friday with six matches streamed free on Billiard TV,  the World Billiard TVYouTube channel and at Kozoom.com

Brackets and scores can be found at https://probilliardseries.com/2022-fargorate-ohio-open/

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter.

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He Starts FargoRate Ohio Open Defense As Big Names Defeated On Day One

Mario He

Defending champion Mario He is through to the winners’ qualification round of this year’s FargoRate Ohio Open but some of pool’s biggest names crashed to the losers side on the opening day of play at the Roberts Center in Wilmington, Ohio.

Played alongside the CSI Ohio State Championships, the FargoRate Ohio Open has a $75,000 prize fund and is streamed live on the World Billiard TV YouTube channel and at Watchbilliard.tv.

He began his tournament with a 4-1, 4-3 win against Lian Han Toh. Germany Open winner Dimitris Loukatos was waiting in the next round. The Austrian took the first set 4-1 and was playing well to reach the hill 3-0 in the second set before he missed an easy 4. Loukatos cleared the table but his hopes of a comeback were ended by a dry break and He completed the set for a 4-1, 4-1 win.

He faces Michael Schneider next and said: “I got a little injured so I cannot walk fast but I am feeling good and playing good at the moment. I will try my best to get deep and maybe defend my title.”

Some big names have found themselves on the losers’ side early in the tournament, such is the quality of this week’s field. Ko Ping Han and Ko Pin Yi may have to face each other on Thursday after both lost shootouts in the opening round. Ping Han was beaten 2-4, 4-3, 4-2 by Petri Makkonen after missing the 9 at hill-hill in the second set, while Pin Yi was beaten 4-3, 3-4, 6-5 by Dutchman Jan van Lierop.

World 10-Ball Champion Wojiech Szewczyk was beaten by Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, Darren Appleton lost a shootout to Kang Lee, and Wiktor Zielinski suffered defeat to Albin Ouschan.

Eklent Kaci was beaten 4-3, 4-1 by Chang Jung-Lin, who himself later lost to Justin Martin. The 23-year-old from North Carolina took the first set against Chang 4-1 and the second 4-2, and will face Sanchez-Ruiz in winners’ qualification tomorrow. “This is a huge win for me because I have an insane amount of respect for Chang,” said Martin. “I played solid throughout and was blessed to have enough chances to win the match.”

The players yet to suffer defeat now have two chances to qualify for the last 16. Alex Kazakis faces David Alcaide in the winners’ qualification round, Seybert’s Michigan Open winner Aloysius Yapp will take on Jani Uski while Fedor Gorst will face Mika Immonen on Friday.

The FargoRate Ohio Open continues from 10am ET on Thursday with six matches streamed free on Billiard TV,  the World Billiard TVYouTube channel and at Kozoom.com

Brackets and scores can be found at https://probilliardseries.com/2022-fargorate-ohio-open/

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter.

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