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Quarter Final Line-Ups Set In Treviso

Wiktor Zielinski

AFTER THREE DAYS of play, we’re down to the last eight at the Dynamic Billard Italian Open, taking place at the Best Western Premium BHR Treviso Hotel. Starting out at 9.00 on Sunday morning, there have been seven rounds of matches today, the majority on the one-loss side of the draw, concluding with two rounds of single elimination.

The lowest ranked player into the last eight is Iker Echeverria at No.56 and his terrific efforts this week have kept the Spanish flag flying in the absence of Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and David Alcaide. All the other quarter-finalists are either previous Euro Tour winners or have gone deep in previous events.

Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski, currently ranked No.2 on the tour, stayed on track to steal the top spot from Sanchez Ruiz as he eased his way into the last eight with a 9-4 victory over Michael Schneider (Switzerland). The in-form Pole has yet to be extended this week in Treviso and can look forward to Iker Echeverria tomorrow.

Commented Wiktor, “I’ve been playing quite good and I think with the jet lag and being tired, I’m playing quite well.  I can make some stupid mistakes but overall, I’m breaking really well and so far, I haven’t had a really tough match – the worst I’ve lost by is 9-4 with Tomasz Kaplan and then Michael just now so hopefully I will continue like this tomorrow.

“I’m sleeping well but not deep sleep so I think I need two or three more days to adjust to the European time zone. All my results have been good so I’m confident and hopefully I can continue like this tomorrow,” he added.

Alex Kazakis

Another big gun who will be fighting it out in the quarter-finals is Alex Kazakis who enjoyed wins this evening over Marco Cordova (Italy) and Switzerland’s Dimitri Jungo, 9-2 and 9-7, respectively. He now faces Pole Mieszko Fortunski who won a thrilling hill-hill match over Roam Hybler that saw multiple attempts on the 9-ball in the deciding rack.

Kazakis, like many players in the Italian Open, has just returned from the World 8-Ball in the Caribbean and is grappling with the effects of jetlag.

“I’m pretty happy when you consider that most of the players came her from Puerto Rico and we have jet lag, me included. Today I slept only three hours but I was playing good. I made some easy mistakes but overall, I’m happy and I’ll keep fighting and this is what matters,” said Kazakis.

“I hope I can sleep five or six hours tonight and then I’m going to be happy. It’s only three more wins but there are a lot of good players and you can lose in any round but it can go the same with me; I can win any round and I can win the tournament so it would be nice to win here in Treviso.”

Mario He

Mario He also advanced to the final day, courtesy of a brace of 9-8 wins in the single elimination stage. Firstly, he overcame impressive World Junior Champion Szymon Kural of Poland in the last 32 and then Sanjin Pehlivanovic in the next round. The Bosnian looked set for victory but missed a 7-ball to clear a path for a He victory.

Commented Mario, “When you win 9-8, it’s always a good feeling and when you lose 9-8, it’s a bad feeling. I was down 8-6 in both matches and I don’t know how I turned them around, especially against Sanjin because he had me. It was a very tricky situation and I didn’t think that he’d miss the 7-ball so I guess I got lucky to get through but I feel I’m playing really good.

“I’m not really thinking about winning the tournament and right now I have some time off so I’ll try -to refocus tomorrow on my next match. I hope I can sleep tonight but I’ll just try to grind tomorrow but it’s been going well up till now,” he added.

Play continues tomorrow (Monday) with the four quarter-finals taking place at 10am and then the semi-finals at 16.00 and 17.30. The final breaks off at 19.00.

As well as the prize money, there are Tour ranking points on offer as well as world ranking points, so there is everything to play for. All Euro Tour tournaments are 9-ball and players compete in a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 32 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are races to 9 racks with alternate break.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com as well as selected matches on Facebook Live on the EPBF page. In addition, the semi-finals and final will be live or highlights on the following television stations across Europe;

SportKlub HD – Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia,
Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece
Eyecons – Netherlands)
SportKlub – Poland
ORF – Austria
B1B Box – Bulgaria

Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com

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Shaw goes undefeated to claim International Open 9-Ball Title

Jayson Shaw

Junior International Championship series crowns two new 18 & Under champions

It was a primal roar.

Shocking in its volume, its intensity, its contagious enthusiasm for the moment. He stood there, back arched, gripping his cue, his off-hand tightened to a fist, roaring to the rooftops. He put his cue down, pivoted in a single spot, his fierce glare and ongoing roar inviting the 200 or so people surrounding him in the Iwan Simonis Arena at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside in Virginia to join him in his triumph. They did.

Scotland’s Jayson Shaw had just won the 9-Ball tournament at the 2022 International Open and he wanted everybody to know, including, it would seem, the folks working at the General Dynamics shipyard across the bay from the hotel. Though somewhat familiar to any and all who’d watched him win tournaments before, it had reached a level that according to close friend and teammate on the 2016 Mosconi Cup team, Darren Appleton, was new and unique to the moment.

“I’d never seen that before,” said Appleton afterwards. “I’d seen him do it in team play, like the Mosconi Cup, but never like that before.”

Speaking to the crowds immediately following his 13-10 victory over Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski, Shaw tried to explain. He’d been asked what elevated this win above others. He didn’t reference the roar directly, but as he spoke, it added meaning and context to it. He shared the moment and everyone in the arena, who hadn’t needed or expected the explanation, understood it.

“I’ve struggled the last 12 months,” he said. “Just wasn’t feeling it.”

This might have come as a bit of a surprise to the listeners who knew something about his last 12 months; the back-to-back wins at Turning Stone, his victories at the 12th New England Pool & Billiards Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open and the Pro Players Championship at the Super Billiards Expo. But the acknowledged champion was thinking about the other 14 events at which he’d not done so well, during which time the pressure within him to ‘get back’ to where he wanted to be was strong, bottled up in a human vessel that burst like a huge champagne cork when the final 9-ball dropped.

He was definitely feeling it now, as six years, to the day, after he’d defeated Jung Lin-Chang at the Kuwait Open, he laid claim to the 2022 International Open 9-Ball title.

But so was Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski when he stepped to the table at the start of the match, with his own set of demons to exorcise, including, exactly one week ago, his runner-up finish to Dimitri Jungo at the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships. He more than made up for that disappointment, eliminating Joshua Filler and Fedor Gorst in the single elimination stage.  Shaw had eliminated Kuwait’s Abdullah Alyousef 10-4, Spain’s Jonas Souto 10-3 and in the semifinals, Ko Pin Yi 10-3 to join him in the finals.

For those who’d been following the two finalists’ trips through the bracket, it was setting up to be a tight match between Zielinski’s resilience and Shaw’s raw and visible determination. Determination won.

The crowd had to wait a while for the two to settle in. Zielinski opened the proceedings with a dry break, which Shaw was unable to take advantage of. Zielinski then missed the 2-ball completely, giving Shaw ball-in-hand. Shaw ran the table to draw first blood. Shaw broke the second rack and scratched, giving Zielinski the opportunity to run the table and tie things up, which he did.

Things got better quickly, although when Zielinski broke and ran the third rack, it’d prove to be the last time that he would lead in the match. Shaw broke and ran rack four, running to the 3-ball and using it to drop the 9-ball and tie things. Though Zielinski would get within one, twice, at 7-6 and 8-7, the proverbial writing was on the wall. 

Zielenski got the crowd stirring right after Shaw had reached the hill, ahead by four. Shaw scratched in the next rack and Zeilinski dropped a 2-9 combination to finish rack #17, quickly, and then, after Shaw smacked three balls home on the break, Zielinski used a long bank shot on the 1-ball to start a run that brought him to within two at 12-10. 

Zielinski broke dry on the next rack and Shaw used a 2-9 combination to finish.

And then, there was the roar.

Tate and Hollingsworth meet for 2nd time in JIC final, Mast and Noelle Tate meet in girls’ final

It is indicative of the entire JIC program that the two girls who squared off in the finals of the Junior International Championships’ (JIC) 18 & Under Girls final were 14 and 12 years of age. The program made the distinction between 13 & Under and 18 & Under to keep burgeoning skills at the table in separate divisions, but the younger competitors weren’t interested. Sofia Mast (14) and Noelle Tate (12) advanced through the short field of eight entrants at the 2022 JIC’s 18 & Under Championships and though, there was a possibility that this year’s final would feature Tate sisters Bethany (16) who finished at the top of the 18 & Under Girls rankings, and Noelle, who finished 6th, that didn’t happen.. 

Mast had defeated Bethany, double hill, to claim the hot seat, but much to Noelle and Bethany’s surprise, the younger sibling defeated the older 7-5 in the semifinals. Noelle, who hadn’t given being in the finals a single thought on her way, fell 9-2 in the finals, and ‘besties’ that they tend to be, they hugged warmly when it was all over.

Noelle’s older brother, Joey and Landon Hollingsworth in the 18 & Under Boys final, not so much.

They’d met in the 18 & Under Boys finals last year, when Hollingsworth came out of a 5-5 tie and won the last five racks in a row to claim the 2021 title. This year, the two battled back and forth through five ties, the last of which set the stage for a double hill last game. Tate took his first lead since being ahead 2-1 when he won the 15th rack that made it 8-7. A tension-filled 16th rack saw them both miss shots that elicited gasps from the assembled spectators. Tate’s miss of the 6-ball gave Landon the chance to run the rest of the balls and he did for the 8-8 tie.

They ran through the final rack pretty quickly and it was Tate who got the first look at the 9-ball, but it was like a galaxy, far, far away. The audience seemed to be literally holding its breath and before he moved into his pre-shot routine, Tate was, too. But he settled into a stance, stroked and banked the 9-ball into a corner pocket to claim the JIC’s 18 & Under Boys title.

(Editor’s note: We’ll be working on expanded coverage of both the International Open and the JIC’s two Championship events, soon. Stay tuned. 

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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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Corr to face Tkach in 5 p.m. Women’s final at American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships

Karen Corr

Jungo will face either Miesko Fortunski or Wictor Zielinski in final Men’s match at 8 p.m.

Prior to this year, Ireland’s Karen Corr had not recorded a payout with us here at AZBilliards since 2019. When she returned in August to make an appearance on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour, finishing 4th and a month later, at the WPBA’s Michigan Women’s Open, she finished in a tie for 3rd with Allison Fisher. Last week at the 1st Annual Sledgehammer Open at Janet Atwell’s room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN, Kelly Fisher and Russia’s Kristina Tkach played a pair of matches; Tkach winning the first in a winners’ side semifinal and Fisher winning the final. When pool-watchers woke up this morning (Sat.Oct. 29), with their eyes focused to the ongoing brackets of the American 14:1 Straight Pool Championships being held at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA this week, they would have noticed that Fisher and Tkach were still a possibility for a repeat final. 

They reckoned without Karen Corr. Making her way into the event’s final 24 with a 4-1 record in the Round Robin stage, Corr moved through the single elimination phase, downing Billie Billing 80-42 and in the semifinals, Kelly Fisher, the event’s defending champion, 100-36. Tkach, who’d defeated Bethany Sykes 80-1 in the quarterfinals and Bean Hung 100-49 in her semifinal will now have the chance to meet Corr at 5 p.m. EDT, a match that could run live (via links) on the American 14:1 Straight Pool Championships’ Web site (www.americanstraightpool.com.

Waiting in the wings for an 8 p.m EDT men’s final will be Switzerland’s Dimitri Jungo, who defeated Mario He 175-85. Jungo will play someone from Poland; either Mieszko Fortunski or Wictor Zielinski, who are continuing their semifinal match; a race to 175, with Zielinski ahead 29-13 at approximately 4 p.m, EDT.

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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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Carlo Biado Starts US Open Defense In Style

Carlo Biado (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Carlo Biado got the defense of his US Open Pool Championship title off to the best of starts as he won two from two on the opening day of play at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City to reach Winners’ Qualification.

DRAW / BRACKET

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The Filipino cueist followed in the footsteps of the great Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes to clinch last year’s title against Aloysius Yapp and a routine 9-1 over Dalibor Nikolin of Serbia meant he avoided an early banana skin before overcoming the returning Kristina Tkach by the same scoreline to be only one match away from the single elimination stage when he faces Joven Bustamante in Winners’ Qualification on Wednesday.

Pool’s most historic major returned for a second year to New Jersey as fans poured in to see the world’s best in the 256-player field competing for a slice of the $300,000 prize fund and they were not disappointed as number eight seed Alexander Kazakis got pushed to the Losers’ side at the hands of Jesus Atencio

Two-time Matchroom event winner this season Joshua Filler booked his place in Winners’ Qualification after wins over Jeffrey Kennedy and Sharik Sayed whilst Fedor Gorst‘s return to the Nineball Arena was convincing with victories against Coen Bell and Aleksa Pecelj with the latter making him sweat 9-7.

Elsewhere, former champion Jayson Shaw made lightwork of Vincent Beaurivage and Joshua Roberts to be one away from the Last 64 whilst it was a similar story for fellow Brit Chris Melling who overcame Samuel Disse running five racks along the way 9-1, and Billy Thorpe 9-3.

Subscribers on Matchroom Pool socials got to see one of the rounds of the first round so far to end the day as Skyler Woodward and Jeff De Luna were at loggerheads for the distance as the former ran out on top in the final rack with a 4-9 combo to seal a passage to Winners Qualification.

Badar Alawadhi, Imran Majid, and Dimitri Jungo are among some of the names who will have to fight through the losers bracket to make their way into the Last 64 after defeats on day one whilst 38 players went home after back-to-back defeats.

Acton returns from 10 am ET tomorrow morning with Eklent Kaçi and Long Nguyen before World Champion Shane Van Boening gets his campaign underway to secure a sixth US Open crown underway against Joey Tate live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook Page at 11:30 am ET. Table 2 begins with Johann Chua against Brandon Shuff before Wiktor Zielinski takes on Tyrel Blowers.

From Monday, 10 October to Thursday, 13 October fans will be able to enjoy the action globally on the Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube pages as well as Matchroom.Live with two tables streamed. Fans in China can enjoy all the action on our Weibo page.

The final two days will be live on Sky Sports in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Spain, and Italy as well as Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics and Poland, and other broadcasters worldwide which can be found here including on Matchroom.Live in countries without a broadcaster.

A range of ticket packages are available including an event pass giving you access to all six days of action for only $155, a saving of up to $55. A premium event pass gives you reserved front two seats for the single-elimination stage at $205. Limited seats are available for the final day.

Ticket Types – BUY TICKETS HERE

Fans can also take advantage of our exclusive room rate. Stay side-by-side with the stars of pool at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.

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All tickets are subject to booking and processing fees.

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European Open Day 3 | Hometown Hero Hohmann Heads Home

Thorsten Hohmann (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

The inaugural European Open Pool Championship in Fulda, Germany at Hotel Esperanto hit the midway point as the field was reduced to the Last 64 live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live.

Schedule / Scores

Joshua Filler‘s encounter with wife Pia was the talk of the tournament as the pair met on the biggest stage for the first time live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook page. Joshua started out strongest to take the opening rack before Pia came back with her own rack to level at 1-1. The contest was played out in great spirit as the pair embraced before lagging with various applause and fist bumps keeping the atmosphere light-hearted despite a spot in the Last 64 resting on the match. It was Joshua who did steal the advantage though as he settled it in a 9-1 win.

Joshua and Pia Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Pia was back out in the Losers’ Qualification where she ran Chris Melling close up to 6-6 before Melling pulled through to book his place in the Last 64 and send Pia home. Other casualties included US Open runner-up Aloysius Yapp who lost out to Tyler Styer who had taken the inital initiative before Yapp pulled it back to 7-7. Mika Immonen was on the end to a 9-3 defeat to Dimitri Jungo to exit whilst Skyler Woodward faltered in a 9-4 loss to Bader Alawadhi. Alawadhi had been sent to the losers side by Jayson Shaw who came up trumps in a 9-1 win to book his own place in the Last 64.

“I played really good in that match a 9-1 win over a really good player. I tried to stay focused and I did just that. I prepared for about two months for this event. I prepared like I was going for a boxing fight really. I’ve been putting in a lot of time in on and off the table. I feel mentally a lot tougher than I did in previous events and I wasn’t really with it i if I am being honest. I am enjoying it so far.” – Jayson Shaw speaking to Phil Yates after beating Alawadhi

“It’s a really nice place (Fulda), the venue is super nice. The city is really nice too. It’s a good mix to have that around. You can go out and have a walk around. All in all it’s been a good start to the event,” Shaw added.

World Champion Shane Van Boening was made to sweat my Finland’s national champion Jani Uski as Van Boening ensured he remained blemish-free on the way to the Last 64 9-7 whilst it was a similar set of circumstances for Naoyuki Oi who side-stepped past Jan van Lierop 9-6. US Mosconi Cup hopeful Oscar Dominguez progressed with a 9-4 win over Daniel Maciol and 2021 World Pool Masters winner Alexander Kazakis overcame Tyler Styer in a hill-hill thriller to avoid the Losers side of the draw.”

Thorsten Hohmann‘s bid for hometown glory was ended by Karol Skowerski in a whitewash loss for the former World Champion. Hohmann had been left on the losers side of the draw early on after defeat to Senharip Azar and the German was up against it ever since before coming against Skowerski who was in no mood in letting the local man take a hold of things.

The Last 64 draw was made at the completion of play today – see the draw above.

Day 4 Streamed Matches Below 10 am (CEST)

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

10am – Joshua Filler (GER) vs Eklent Kaçi (ALB)

NB 11:30am – Alexander Kazakis (GRE) vs David Alcaide (ESP)

NB 1:00pm – Oscar Dominguez (USA) vs Tyler Styer (USA)

NB 2:30pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 4:00pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 6:30pm – TBC – Last 32

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

10am – Albin Ouschan (AUT) vs Bader Alawadhi (KUW)

NB 11:30am – Oliver Szolnoki vs Khalid Alghamdi (KSA)

NB 1:00pm – Mieszko Fortunski (POL) vs Lo Ho Sum (HKG)

NB 2:30pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 4:00pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 6:30pm – TBC – Last 32

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Tickets start from €15 for the day. Secure yours here

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Day 1 Of Inaugural European Open in Record Books

Thorsten Hohmann (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

The opening day of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda in Germany live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live is complete.

Bracket / Scores

256 players headed to Fulda with hopes and dreams in Thorsten Hohmann’s hometown of becoming the first-ever European Open winner as they look for their name to be etched into the record books and a share of the $200,000 prize fund as the Opening Round, Winners and Losers Round 1 got underway with 36 players heading home.

Hohmann got action underway live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook match in front of a raucous home crowd looking to see their man get off to the best of starts but it wasn’t to be as Senharip Azar upset the apple cart to secure an unlikely victory.  The 9-5 defeat for Hohmann meant he faces the gruelling task of four matches to make it through to the last 64 and he ticked one of those off to defeat Muhummed Daydat 8-2 and keep hometown glory alive.

“I can only give my best. I would’ve liked to have won my first match with all my Fulda people behind me. It was amazing to see. My opponent played well, and I made a few mistakes. I wasn’t as relaxed as I should’ve been. I didn’t feel nervous but there’s always a tightness, so you’re not relaxed. We have some history in Fulda for pool, we used to play in the German Bundesliga. We always had 100 spectators there are some pool fans here. We hope to mobilise some of the Fulda crowd who are perhaps not pool fans.” – Hohmann after progressing to Losers Round 2.

Compatriot Ralf Souquet had the home backing against Juri Pisklov in an all-German affair that saw the latter take the victory 9-5 no part down to a huge 4-rail kick on the four ball in one of the shots of the year let alone day or tournament. That defeat for Souquet appeared to spur him on though as he whitewashed Rafał Stępnik 8-0 to keep his tournament going.

Two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw survived an early scare in the morning against Ingo Lamberti to win 9-7 before making light work of Cristian Surdea of Romania 9-1 to book his spot in Winners Qualification on Thursday. There wasn’t such fortune for US Open runner-up Aloysius Yapp who was pushed onto the losers’ side of the draw by German Valery Kuloyants.

Finland’s Jani Uski announced himself onto the big stage at the recent World Cup of Pool alongside Mika Immonen and his stock is ever-growing after booking his spot in Winners Qualification thanks to wins over Tobias Hirt and Chris Melling 9-1/9-4 respectively.

Melling is not the only big name to be alongside Yapp on the losers’ bracket with Dimitri Jungo, Robbie Capito, and Matt Edwards all facing the prospect of Losers Round 2 tomorrow.

Action continues tomorrow morning from 10 am – see the full list of matches upcoming below

Day 2 Streamed Matches Below 10 am (CEST)

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

10am – Tony Drago (MAL) vs Ivan Nunez Perez (ESP)

NB 11:30am – Albin Ouschan (AUT) vs Sander Kont (EST)

NB 1:00pm – Joshua Filler (GER) vs Garry Oyangoren (GBR)

TBC

TBC

TBC

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

10am – Veronika Ivanovskaia (GER) vs Tuberiu Iorgulescu (ROM)

NB 11:30am – Eklent Kaçi (ALB) vs Matthew Rigley (GBR)

NB 1:00pm – Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Martin Breuer (GER)

TBC

TBC

TBC

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Tickets start from €15 for the day or €90 for the week. Secure yours here

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Nineball Rankings Update: Niels Feijen On The March

Niels Feijen (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Niels Feijen’s 11th EuroTour title at the weekend in Austria sees the Dutchman move up to 11th in the Live Nineball World Rankings after a 9-4 win over Francisco Sanchez Ruiz in the final of the St Johan im Pongau Open.

WORLD RANKINGS HERE

The St Johan im Pongau Open was the latest EuroTour tournament on the Nineball World Rankings schedule which also saw Sanchez Ruiz tighten his grip as Nineball World No.3 as Oliver Szolnoki and Dimitri Jungo formed runs to the semi-finals to cement their spots inside the top 32.

UK Open champion Joshua Filler reached the quarter-finals before defeat to Sanchez Ruiz. The Killer’s efforts sees him tighten his grip as World No.2 just under $10,000 behind World No.1 Shane Van Boening after the South Dakota Kid’s World Pool Championship win earlier this year.

2021 World Pool Masters champion Alexander Kazakis continued his good season so far in Austria whilst Mario He and Wiktor Zielinski also made inroads inside the Live Nineball World Ranking Top 10.

Attention now turns to Bulgaria for the EuroTour Petrich Open from August 6-8 ahead of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship at the Hotel Esperanto, Fulda in Germany from August 9-14 with 256 players set to battle it out for a slice of the $200,000 and vital ranking points that could well see them move into Mosconi Cup contention. Tickets start from €15 and are available right here.

The events below are all ranking events. The World Pool Masters, World Cup of Pool, and Mosconi Cup are all non-ranking events

Petrich Open – EuroTour – Petrich, Bulgaria – August 6-8 

European Open – Matchroom – Hotel Esperanto, Fulda, Germany – August 9-14 – Tickets on sale here

Slovenia Open – EuroTour – Slovenia – October 1-3 

Sandcastle 9-Ball Open – NBL – New Jersey – October 6-8

US Open Pool Championship – Matchroom – Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City – October 10-15 – Tickets on sale here 

International Open – Accu-Stats – Virginia, USA – October 30 – 5 November

Mosconi Cup – Matchroom – Bally’s Las Vegas – November 30-3 December – Limited availability

How the Live 2023 Nineball Rankings Impact the 2022 Mosconi Cup Selection Process

The top player from each team from the Live Nineball World Rankings will be selected after the conclusion of the 2022 European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto Fulda, August 9-14 2022.

A further two players for each team will then be taken off the Live Nineball World Rankings after the conclusion of the 2022 US Open Pool Championship at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City from October 10-15 2022.

Both Team Europe and the USA will then have two wild card picks each as selected by the two respective captains Alex Lely and Jeremy Jones.

Read more on Feijen’s win courtesy of the EPBF

It is 21 years since the Terminator’s maiden Euro Tour win and six years since his last, and this victory was a testimony to Feijen’s endurance as one of pool’s premier players.

Said a delighted Feijen; “It’s a great feeling! I was struggling for a long time on the Euro Tour, not getting any results. It’s not that the level is better, there’s just more really good players now. I love the game but it’s more up and down now than when I was in my 20s and 30s. Sometimes I don’t care and sometimes I really, really want to win and put the effort in like now, and that is super-rewarding when it pays off.”

Feijen had enjoyed some hard-fought wins as he progressed through the tournament, none more so than his come-from-behind 9-8 win over Wiktor Zielinski in the last eight but in Sanchez Ruiz he was facing, arguably the form player in the world currently.

After dropping the opener, Sanchez Ruiz reeled off the next three racks to open up an ominous lead before Feijen ran out from the break after leaving a very makeable table. In the next, they both had visits, trying to force the error from their opponent, before Feijen potted the pink 4 with some style and he cleared to level the match.

Feijen came with a marvellous table length bank to down the 6 in the next and set up a rack-winning opportunity. It was his third rack in a row and put him into a 4-3 lead. That became 5-3 after Feijen ran a difficult table following an illegal break from Sanchez Ruiz.

The unstoppable Dutchman took the next before a magical 3/9 kicked combo increased Feijen’s lead to 7-3 and his reaction showed just how much he enjoyed that one. Sanchez Ruiz wasn’t done and a low percentage 1/9 combination table-length jump shot was executed magnificently.

However, it was the Spaniard’s last positive contribution as an unlucky scratch in the next gave Feijen ball in hand and he ran the table to put himself on the hill. With the break, Feijen delivered a solid one and was able to run out for a marvellous win.

Feijen added, “It’s down to a bit more commitment, and more hard work. I haven’t been really, really motivated these past four or five years. Then Corona came, I started some different projects so I’m extremely busy when I’m home. I felt I was playing really good the last couple of Euro Tours. I was breaking better, I won at the Europeans so that was a boost. Me and Marc (Bijsterbosch) played pretty well at the World Cup, I played good at the UK Open so I felt I was gaining some momentum and the more I play, the better I play; that’s a fact.

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