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Wilkie double dips Ussery in finals of Delaware State 10-Ball Bar Box Championships

Shaun Wilkie, Tarek Elmalla and BJ Ussery

Shaun Wilkie and BJ Ussery entered the AZBilliards database for the first time at the turn of the century. Wilkie’s first recorded payout finish came when he finished 9th at a stop on the Planet Pool Tour in June, 2000. Ussery’s came in September that year, when he finished in a tie for 65th place in the 25th annual US Open 9-Ball Championships; won for the fifth and last time by Earl Strickland. 

Together, Wilkie and Ussery are part of a core group of Mid-Atlantic elite players whose names have appeared consistently, registering victories and cash payout finishes for over two decades. Together, along with a number of other well-known, consistent performers among the Mid-Atlantic pool community (Brett Stottlemeyer, Steve Fleming and Chris Wilburn, among others) and a few from the further-North-Atlantic community (Raphael Dabreo and Miguel LaBoy, among others), they signed on to compete in the 1st Annual Delaware State 10-Ball Bar Box Championships, held last weekend (May 7-8). Together, they advanced to the hot seat match and later, played in the finals. Ussery claimed the hot seat before, together, they appeared in the finals, treating spectators and viewers on a live stream to a pair of double elimination matches that eventually earned Wilkie the event title. The event drew 57 entrants to Milford Billiards in Dover, DE.

Ussery’s path to the hot seat match went through five opponents, who, combined, chalked up only 10 racks against him; Henry Taylor (2), Nelson Tull (1), Steve Fleming (3), Miguel Laboy (3) and, in a winners’ side semifinal, Vinny Cimarelli (1). Wilkie’s opponents on his way to the hot seat match chalked up 14; Mike Saleh (1), Zachary Paitsel (3), Dave Barnes (3), Marty Ciccia (2) and, in the other winners’ side semifinal, Lukas Fracasso-Verner (5). 

The opponent racks-against tipped even further in Ussery’s direction, as he claimed the hot seat 7-4. Ussery was in the hot seat with a 42-14 record (a 75% game-winning average), as Wilkie headed off to the semifinals at 39-20 (66%). 

Neither of them, as it turned out, would have to face the one competitor who’d recorded the most racks against either of them, Fracassso-Verner. He moved to the loss side and picked up Raphael Dabreo, who’d lost his second-round match to Rick Miller and embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak, which would end in the semifinals against Wilkie. Dabreo had just recently eliminated Miguel Laboy 7-4 and Russ Redhead 7-3. Cimarelli drew a re-match against Kirill Rutman Kenny, whom he’d defeated in a winners’ side third round match and had gone on five-match winning streak that had recently included the elimination of two of the aforementioned Mid-Atlantic elites;  Brett Stottlemeyer 7-5 and Steve Fleming 7-1.

Dabreo eliminated Fracasso-Verner 7-5, as Kenny extended his loss-side streak to six matches with a 7-4 win over Cimarelli. Kenny didn’t give up his streak easily, as he and Dabreo fought to double hill in the quarterfinals; the first of four straight double hill matches at the very end of the championship event. The second came in the semifinals, as Dabreo battled Wilkie to a single deciding game before Wilkie earned his rematch against Ussery. 

One can’t ask much more of a regional event final than to have two of its strongest competitors battling to double hill. Twice. And they did. By winning the hot seat match, Ussery had, in effect, extended Wilkie’s match count by one. Wilkie made him pay for that extra match he’d had to play, defeating him twice in what was described as “a very wonderful two sets of pool” that closed out the 1st Annual Delaware State’s 10-Ball Bar Box Championships with Wilkie in possession of the title.

Tour director Tarek Elmalla extended thanks to Leo and Sherrie Weigand and their Milford Billiards staff for their hospitality and to all of the players who came from near and far (New York, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and more) to compete. He also thanked the folks at https://www.amateursportsstream.com, including Ray Netta and to everyone who joined him in the booth for the live streaming, which, for feature matches, utilized three camera angles that heightened the experience for all of its viewers. And in the ‘keeping everything smooth’ department, Elmalla also acknowledged the assistance of Travis Parker, Ran Ji, Jennifer Benton Boxwell and Eric Probst.

The next item on the Delaware State Championship agenda will entail a switch to 8-Ball, when the 1st Annual DE State 8-Ball Bar Box Championships, scheduled for the weekend of June 25-26, opens the doors, once again, at Milford Billiards in Dover, DE.

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Accu-Stats Announces May Premier Schedule

Accu-Stats Video Productions has released their MAY schedule of YouTube Premiere matches. They focus on the 2022 Derby City Classic and the 2015 US Open 9-Ball Championships. Fans can enjoy the world’s greatest players including Shane Van Boening, Fedor Gorst, Jayson Shaw, Joshua Filler, Ko Ping Chung, Earl Strickland, Mike Dechaine, and many, many more.

Accu-Stats premieres a new match from their immense archive of New and Historic content three times a week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights at 8pm EST. There is a lively chat during each premiere. Pat Fleming will host most nights in May. Viewers can find the Accu-Stats YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/AccuStatsVideoProductionsTV

May Premiere Schedule:
May 1st – 2022 Derby City Classic One Pocket – John Gabriel vs Alex Pagulayan
May 3rd – 2015 US Open 9-Ball Championship – Earl Strickland vs Scott Frost
May 5th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Jayson Shaw vs Omar Al-Shaheen
May 8th – 2022 Derby City Classic One Pocket – Josh Roberts vs Darren Appleton
May 10th – 2015 US Open 9-Ball Championship – Shane Van Boening vs Roberto Gomez
May 12th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Joshua Filler vs Alex Kazakis
May 15th – 2022 Derby City Classic One Pocket – Jayson Shaw vs Anthony Meglino
May 17th – 2015 US Open 9-Ball Championship – Ivica Putnik vs Ko Ping Chung
May 19th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Shane Van Boening vs Lee Vann Corteza
May 22nd – 2022 Derby City Classic One Pocket – Fedor Gorst vs Darren Appleton
May 24th – 2015 US Open 9-Ball Championship – Kai-Lun Hsu vs Mike Dechaine
May 26th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Roberto Gomez vs John Morra
May 29th – 2022 Derby City Classic One Pocket Finals – Fedor Gorst vs Joshua Roberts
May 31st – 2015 US Open 9-Ball Championship – Karl Boyes vs Liu Hai-Tao

For over 30 years, Accu-Stats has been the leader in Professional Tournament Match Videos. The entire collection is available on DVD at http://www.accu-stats.com.

You can also watch more than 400 Accu-Stats matches from the 2018 and 2019 INTL 9-BALL OPEN; 2016-2020 Derby City Classic; 2015-2017 US Open 9-Ball Championships, as well as the Accu-Stats “Make It Happen” Invitationals via the Accu-Stats’ Vimeo Subscription service: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/asvod/

Website: http://www.accu-stats.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/accustats/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/accustatspool
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/accu_stats_pool
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/asvod/
International Open Website: https://www.intlopen.com

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Shaw wins final battle versus Appleton in Open NineBall Pro Players Championship

Jayson Shaw

Nearly 2,000 entrants, with some event crossovers, compete in Amateur events

As of March 31, three weeks before the Super Billiards Expo opened its doors, the Diamond Open NineBall Professional Players Championship was designated as an Official Nineball World Ranking event, and while it did not literally draw its entrance field from everywhere, there was a very evident sense of international competition. The final 16 featured representation from the US (five) and 11 competitors from seven foreign countries – Austria, Germany (2), Russia, the UK (2), Canada (2), the Philippines and Hong Kong (2). The international ‘feel’ of the event was most evident in what was easily among (if not “the”) most anticipated matchup of the four-day event, between the UK’s Jayson Shaw and Russia’s Fedor Gorst. The matchup, which occurred in the single-elimination quarterfinals, lived up to its billing, as the two battled to double hill before Shaw advanced. More on this later, along with the final matchup between Shaw and Darren Appleton, which waited until the 17th of its potential 21 games before Shaw pulled away to win the next two and claim the title. 

There were quite a few “wish I coulda been there” matches throughout the event’s four days, up to and including matches among the final 16, which were, for obvious reasons, witnessed by the SBE’s largest crowds in the Pro arena. Pre-single-elimination, there was the double hill battle between Shaw and Billy Thorpe, which moved Shaw into the final 16, the Fedor Gorst and Ralf Souquet (new school/old school) match that sent Gorst to the final 16, and Appleton’s two straight double hill matches; one win (Jeff Beckley) and one loss (Mhet Vergara), which sent “Dynamite” to the loss side, where a single win, over Bucky Souvanthong, sent him (Appleton) to the final 16. And, as always, any match featuring Earl Strickland as a competitor is always entertaining, whether because of exuberant antics or just plain rock-solid shooting.

The Shaw/Gorst match followed a Shaw “Sweet 16” victory over John Morra 11-6 and a Gorst win over Thorsten Hohmann 11-8. Gorst opened with two straight racks and kept that as a minimum lead until rack #17. By the 12th rack, Gorst was leading by four. Two straight racks that featured Shaw dropping a combination shot that dropped the 9-ball cut that lead in half. Gorst went three-up at 9-6, but Shaw came right back with a break and run that reduced it to two again.

Off a Gorst break, Shaw narrowed the lead to one until that 17th rack, when Shaw came within one. Shaw broke the 18th, but turned the table over briefly, before, with a second chance, he dropped a 3-9 combination that yielded the match’s first tie. Gorst dropped two balls on his break, but Shaw came through to get on the hill with his first lead of the match. Gorst, with a scratch-on-the-break assist from Shaw, made it interesting by winning the 20th, double hill rack.

Gorst broke dry in the deciding rack, but Shaw turned the table back over to Gorst, who promptly scratched shooting at the 2-ball. Shaw ran to the 8-ball and Gorst conceded the game and match. 

Moving into the semifinals, Shaw drew Mario He, who’d earlier defeated Jonathan Pinegar 11-7 and Oscar Dominguez 11-9. Appleton’s path to the finals from the final 16 started out against Earl Strickland. He got by him 11-6 and then downed Joseph Spence 11-3. In the semifinals, Appleton drew Billy Thorpe, who’d recently eliminated Robbie Capito 11-9 and Souquet 11-8. 

Shaw downed He 11-7, as Appleton was busy dispatching Thorpe 11-4. The all-UK battle was on.

In the early going of the finals, it appeared as though neither of them was going to win a rack off their own break. Appleton won the lag, broke dry and Shaw ran the table to take a 1-0 lead. Shaw broke, dropping two balls and scratching. Appleton set up a 1-9 combination to tie it up. They went back and forth like this, winning the other’s break to a single game lead for Shaw at 4-3.

Shaw broke the 8th rack, dropped one, and after giving the table back to Appleton briefly, won the rack, his first off his own break, to take the game’s first two-game lead. He made it a three-game lead (his first of two), before Appleton chalked up two in a row to make it 6-5. Shaw used a terrific jump shot at the 2-ball to maintain his run of rack #12. On Appleton’s break of rack #13, he dropped one ball, but almost immediately gave the table to Shaw, who missed hitting the 1-ball, completely. Shaw saw an obvious 1-9 combination awaiting Appleton’s arrival at the table, so, gentleman that he was, he picked up the cue ball and placed it in the position it needed to be for Appleton to make the combination. He did so without handling the cue ball Shaw had set for him.

Shaw dropped two balls on the break of rack #14 and used another terrific jump shot to jumpstart his third win off his own break and then, off Darren’s break, established his second three-rack lead at 9-6. Appleton fought right back, winning the next two and including his own terrific jump shot at the 1-ball that started his 8th game win.

Ahead by a single rack at 9-8, Shaw broke and ran the 18th (his fourth win off his own break) to reach the hill first. Darren broke the 19th rack, sinking one ball, but couldn’t see the 1-ball. He pushed (the one and only time that happened all match) and Shaw finished the game to claim the event title. 

Amateur events draw 35 shy of 2,000 entrants

Not including the two junior events for ages 17/Under and 12/under, the total entrants for which were not recorded, the nine amateur events of the 2022 SBE drew a total of 1,965 entrants (with some crossover between events). This brought the total number of participating pool players to 2,101. The two Pro events (73 Open and 63 Women) thus represented just 6% of the total number of players who competed this year. Trying to detail 9 events, especially the 996-entrant Open Amateur would be unwieldy, so we offer some information about and congratulations to the 94% percent who were the largest participating contingent of pool players at the 2022 SBE.

6-Ball Amateur Players Championship (200) – 1st Danny Mastermaker, 2nd Fred Goodman III, 3rd Jared Demalia/Daniel Dagotdot

Early Bird Super Seniors (58) – 1st Ike Runnels, 2nd Martin Ciccia, 3rd Al Muccilli/Flaco Rodriguez

Open Amateur (996) – 1st Chris Bruner, 2nd Pat McNally, 3rd Jomax Garcia/Derick Daya

Senior Amateur (364) – 1st Raymond McNamara, 2nd Chris Sutzer, 3rd Javier Perez/Efrain Morales

Super Seniors (149) – 1st Gene Rossi, 2nd Ed Matushonek, 3rd Frank Sorriento/Ace Aughty

Women’s Amateur (166) – 1st Tina Malm, 2nd Ashley Benoit, 3rd Nicole Nester/Bethany Tate

Junior (12 & Under) – 1st Jim Powell, 2nd D’Angelo (“Jaws”) Spain, 3rd Noah Majersky, 4th Evan Demelo

Junior (18 & Under) – 1st Brent Worth, 2nd Payne McBride, 3rd Landon Hollingsworth, 4th Yan Pena

ProAm BarBox (32) – 1st Joe Dupuis, 2nd Alan Rolan Rosado, 3rd Bart Czapla/Joey Tate

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

Earl Strickland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Danny Mastermaker collects first Super Billiards Expo title in debut of 6-Ball

The competition is starting to heat up at the 2022 Super Billiards Expo being held at the Greater Philadelphia Convention Center in Oaks, PA. The doors opened on Monday (April 18) with TAP League’s National Championships and by Tuesday, the SBE had crowned its first champion. Emerging from a field of 204 entrants, initially spread out over four single-elimination brackets, Danny Mastermaker grabbed that first title in the game format of 6-Ball, downing Fred Goodman in the finals 6-2, 6-2.

Though not by any means a new format, it made its debut here as an SBE event, playing out on Diamond ‘bar box’ tables. Utilizing the same rules as 9-Ball, with, as one might imagine, the 6-ball as the game’s ‘money’ ball, it has some advantages and disadvantages over the more popular standards; 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball. It is, also as one might imagine, a much quicker game. Here, at the SBE, it played out in races to six, best two out of three sets for advancement. For some, it was a familiar game, while for others, like Daniel Dagotdot, who was one of the four competitors emerging from the four brackets, it was a new experience. His thoughts on the game itself highlighted aspects of the game, which are something of a good news, bad news situation.

“It is so hard to make a ball on the break,” he noted of his first experience, “and if you break and don’t drop a ball, 90% of the time, you lose.”

It also creates a ‘do or die’ scenario, where if you step to the table after your opponent has broken, you better be prepared to finish the game from that point. An alternate break format softens the ‘do or die’ consequences somewhat, though Dagotdot made note of the same cautionary note about the nature of the game.

“Unless there’s a pack somewhere,” he said, “if you miss, you’re done, too.”

“I do like the game,” he added, “and you can’t ever really say you don’t get a chance.”

The game format appears to be attracting its share of ‘side action’ matchups at the SBE. Apparently, Dagotdot noted, players on the amateur end of the player spectrum like the odds better in a game that’s “fast-paced, with very little safety play and (not much) strategy.

“It might develop as a format with that action angle to it,” said Dagotdot. “I saw a lot of players doing that in the first two days.”

Loye Bolyard, tour director of the Maryland State Championships series of events, played 6-ball growing up, but at this stage, doesn’t see it showing up on his event calendar any time soon. Like Dagotdot, he noted the most obvious difference that it makes in game play.

“It’s all about the break, but there’s really no downside to it,” he said. “The good thing is that anybody can play.”

Open Amateur tournaments are underway, as are the two Pro events

The SBE’s Open Amateur event, with 962 registered entrants got underway on Wednesday, sporting 16 double-elimination brackets. The TAP League National Championships concluded, while its Rally in the Valley event began. On Thursday, the two Pro events got underway; the Diamond Open 9-Ball Professional Players Championship and the WPBA 9-Ball Pro Players Championships. Today (Friday), as the Open Amateur Players championship entered its third day, the Seniors Amateur Players Championship and the Women’s Amateur Player Championships got underway. 

The 74-entrant Diamond Open 9-Ball Pro event finished two rounds of play on Thursday, with a list of the ‘usual suspects’ advancing. The only real (apparent) surprise in the early rounds, which included a lot of opening round byes, was Earl Strickland’s second round (after a bye), double-hill loss to Alan Rolon Rosado. Among those advancing to a third round today (Friday) were Darren Appleton, Mika Immonen (downing junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth), Thorsten Hohmann, Warren Kiamco, Ralf Souquet, BJ Ussery, Fedor Gorst, Jayson Shaw, Billy Thorpe, John Morra and Kristina Tkach, who was the only one who played two matches, albeit one, a forfeit win over Lukas Fracasso-Verner.

The 63-entrant WPBA 9-Ball Pro Players Championships had much fewer byes in its opening round and played a single round, followed by eight matches of a second round. Like the Open event, it featured its own set of ‘usual suspects’ advancing. Kelly Fisher was the only player to receive a bye and won her opener. Winning two and advancing to a third round were (among others) Kelly Fisher, Allison Fisher, Monica Webb and Kim Newsome. Playing their second round today (Friday) were (also among others) were Jennifer Baretta, Janet Atwell, Brittany Bryant, Carolyn Pao and Loree Jon Brown.

Junior players like Landon Hollingsworth, Payne McBride, Skylar Hess and Savannah Easton (among others) are competing in the Pro events and will be competing in two separate junior events (17 & Under, 12 & Under), beginning on Saturday. The winner of each division will win paid entry to Billiards Education Foundation’s Junior Nationals. The top 16 in each division will qualify for the event. Each division’s winner will be recognized by the BEF as the Pennsylvania Jrs. State 9-Ball Champion. 

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Ouschan And Van Boening To Contest 2022 World Pool Championship Final

Shane Van Boening (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Albin Ouschan and Shane Van Boening will contest the 2022 World Pool Championship final this evening at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes live on Sky Sports Arena in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria as well as other networks worldwide from 5:30 pm UK time.

Ouschan headed into the day looking to become only the second player in history to defend his title and win it three times emulating Earl Strickland. The Austrian set up a semi-final clash with Kuwait’s Abdullah Alyousef after victory over Mosconi Cup teammate Joshua Filler yesterday evening. Alyousef meanwhile came through a dramatic quarter-final showing with Max Lechner of Austria.

It was Ouschan that got off to the quicker starts after winning the lag, the Mean Machine took the opening eight racks without reply to leave Alyousef, playing in his first World Pool Championship semi-final, glued to his chair. Into the ninth rack and Ouschan found himself struggling for position off the break allowing Alyousef back to the table to put a mini run of three racks together.

In truth, Ouschan was always in control of proceedings despite the mini comeback from Alyousef. In the 12th rack, Alyousef missed what looked to be a simple 2 ball and that was his last chance at the table as Ouschan ran out a comfortable winner to meet Van Boening in the final.

Van Boening won the lag against Kazakis and took the opening two racks, two more racks than he had achieved against the Greek in last year’s World Pool Masters final. Kazakis did hit back though to make it two all before hitting the front for the first time at 3-2.

At 3-2, it would’ve been easy for Van Boening to start seeing last year’s World Pool Masters final in his periphery vision, but he took the match by the scruff of its neck to run into a rampant 8-3 lead including a golden break in the ninth rack. Dry breaks have been rare this week for Van Boening, but he made one in the 12th rack to allow Kazakis back to the table and make it 8-4. A break and run in the next made Kazakis’ difference only three and it quickly became two after Van Boening scratched after being offered an opportunity in the 14th. Kazakis kept his momentum flowing to be to cut the deficit to one rack when he scratched on the break gifting Van Boening a two-rack advantage once again.

The South Dakota Kid’s grappled to keep his dominance on the match and broke and run to get to the hill first at 10-7. Despite a dry break from Van Boening in what proved to be the final rack, it was the American who managed to get the better of Kazakis in a brief safety battle luring the Nineball World No. 12 into a thin cut on the 1 ball that he left over the pocket.

Van Boening from there on cleared the table to reach his third World Pool Championship final, in a repeat of the 2016 final. 

Sunday, 10 April – 5:30 pm UK time – Race to 13 – Final

Albin Ouschan vs Shane Van Boening

The 2022 World Pool Championship final gets underway from 5:30 pm UK time as Ouschan takes on Van Boening to claim the newly increased £60,000 first-place prize and to move to No.1 on the 2023 Live Nineball World Rankings.

See where you can watch in your country here.

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2022 Mosconi Cup Captains: Jones Vs Lely

Jeremy Jones and Alex Lely

Jeremy Jones and Alex Lely will return as captains for Team USA and Team Europe respectively at the 2022 Mosconi Cup, Bally’s Las Vegas from November 30-3 December with only limited tickets available for fans to soak in the action at pool’s biggest event.

LIMITED TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE HERE | BOOK YOUR EXCLUSIVE BALLY’S HOTEL ROOM RATE HERE

Jones returns to lead the United States for the first time on home soil after leading the side for the last two years in Europe as he guns to return the trophy to American hands for the first time since 2019 in Las Vegas.

Europe’s two-time winning captain Lely will return for a third stint as chief as he looks to seal a three-peat and a first victory in the USA since 2017 when Europe ran out 11-4 victors.

The USA put up a spirited display last year with Jones having to step up to playing captain after losing Earl Strickland just 24 hours before the action got underway and will be seeking to take inspiration from their showing last year, in Las Vegas this time around.

Jones is fired up more than ever to deliver success for the home fans: “I am grateful. I wanted this opportunity again to put the last two years to bed and show what the USA is all about. I can’t freakin’ wait to get revenge on Europe in front of a home crowd. I want to give them something to cheer about.”

“Fans, be prepared. We’re red, white, and blue all the way through and we will deliver a year to remember for the USA and most importantly Lely. This will be the best Mosconi Cup ever.”

Lely led his side to a dramatic turnaround after a slow opening two days in 2021 to seal an 11-6 win at Alexandra Palace with Jayson Shaw starring as MVP for the second year in a row.

The Dutchman is aware this year will be a much sterner challenge though: “It feels great. I am honoured and I am looking forward to going to the USA. I am happy, I get the chance to defend the cup in Las Vegas. I will fight for it more than ever before. The atmosphere will be intimidating, and my players must react to it. In 2019, it was the first time the fans got into the European player’s faces.”


“I know how much the USA want to take the Mosconi Cup trophy back. I’m not willing to let them get their hands on it. We have so much more to give, and we will silence the USA crowd.”

After record sales, there are only limited seats now available to watch the teams compete live. The new theatre-style arena will be created at Bally’s Las Vegas to accommodate the biggest seating capacity staged for a Pool event in the USA, catering for 2,000 supporters travelling from far and wide to catch a glimpse of the action. Remaining tickets start from $69 right here.

News on both sides Vice-Captains will come soon.

Selection Process

For the first time, the Live Nineball World Rankings will come into play, with three players from each side who will qualify on order of merit from the Nineball World Rankings. The Live (2023) Nineball World Rankings are updated after every event recognised by the Nineball World Rankings Schedule this year and still poised to grow further. The final two players from each side will be wild cards.

The Cutoff

The top two players from each team off the Live (2023) Nineball World Rankings will be selected after the conclusion of the 2022 US Open Pool Championship at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City October 10-15.

The final three players from each team will be picked after the conclusion of the European Open Pool Championship from November 15-20 with one further player from each side joining from the Live (2023) Nineball World Rankings followed up by two wild card picks.

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The 2022 Mosconi Cup returns stateside for the first time since 2019 when the USA secured a famous 11-8 victory over their European counterparts, and they will be looking for a similar scoreline come this fall at Bally’s after back-to-back defeats in 2020 and 2021.

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Earl Strickland Booking Appearances Across The Country

Earl Strickland

Fans of five time US Open 9-Ball Champion, Earl Strickland, are getting more and more opportunities to hear his thoughts on the game and interact with him in their local rooms. 

In addition to his massively popular “Earl Strickland Presents” series of videos on the Billiard Network’s YouTube channel, Strickland has also been booking appearances all over the country. 

Strickland is recently back from trips to Pennsylvania, Montana, and Idaho where he appeared alongside Josh Brothers, Shane Van Boening and Oscar Dominguez. These appearances have included challenge and exhibition matches, Q&A sessions, autograph signings and private lesson opportunities from one of the top players that the game has ever seen. 

Strickland already has the following upcoming appearances booked:

March 23rd – Yale Billiards Wallingford, Connecticut
March 26th – Racks Billiards Vernon, Connecticut
August 13th – Keys Pool Hall, Winnemucca, Nevada

Earl is also scheduled to compete in the Diamond Open 10-Ball Pro Players Championship at the Super Billiards Expo, as well as the Earl Strickland Invitational Open in Montego Bay, Jamaica on July 25th – 27th.

Strickland thanked all of the fans that he has met out at the events. “I would like to take time to thank everyone involved in my exhibitions recently. It has been a blessing to me, especially after the disappointment of not being able to play for the Mosconi Cup last year. 

I also want to thank all the pool fans everywhere. Pockets billiards is a wonderful game and it excludes no one. I still play everyday and can’t get enough of it.

It’s great that I have the opportunity to work with these poolrooms because we need to help the pool rooms and pool in general. We all love this game and we have to do everything we can to keep it strong and thriving. 

Thanks again to all the pools fans.” 

If your local poolroom is interested in booking an appearance from Strickland, they can contact Diana Hoppe at (828) 674-6485. 

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Shaw Breaks 14.1 World Record With 714 Ball Run

Jayson Shaw Photo: Pete Marovich/American Reportage

In March of 1954, Willie Mosconi ran 526 balls during an exhibition match in Springfield, Ohio. After pocketing that 526th ball, the great Mosconi unscrewed his cue and called it a day. Sixty-five years later, that record was broken by US Open 9-Ball Champion John Schmidt when he ran 626 balls during an attempt to break the longstanding record. Less than three years later, the bar has been set even higher after “Eagle Eye” Jayson Shaw ran 714 on January 18th as part of the Legends of Pocket Billiards 14.1 High Run challenge at the Street Lights Billiards Academy in Alexandria, Virginia.

Legends of Pocket Billiards founder Bobby Chamberlain was the man to make all of this happen, as he combined his love for 14.1 Straight Pool with an assist from Street Lights owner Deon Chapman. “I love pool itself. I’ve been wanting to put something together special for 20 years” said Chamberlain. “I’ve played a lot of straight pool. What would happen if we let top players finish their runs and really see what they can do. Other events always got stopped because of time constraints. So let’s see what happens if these runs had the chance to continue. Mosconi used to run 100 or 150 in an exhibition and then quit. What could he have ran if he had a chance to continue all of those runs” he continued.

The final part of the challenge came together with local player Deon Chapman opened up his private academy, The Street Lights Billiards Academy. “I finally had a facility to get it done” said Chamberlain. With Chapman on board for “whatever you want to do”, Chamberlain started reaching out to players.

Shaw was not the first top pro to visit Street Lights Billiards Academy to take a swing at breaking Schmidt’s record. Shane van Boening was the first when he spent a week in Virginia shooting for the record back in November. The best that the South Dakota Kid could do though, was a run of 308.

Russian World Champion Ruslan Chinahov was next and he also came up short, not able to score a run higher than 300 in November.

Earl Strickland combined exhibitions with attempts to break the record over five days, but could only manage a run of 238 balls.

Jayson Shaw was scheduled to give it a try back in December but taking his place as Most Valuable Player at the Mosconi Cup again was a higher priority. “I saw Shane and Earl try it, and Bobby was asking me to go. I didn’t have time after Mosconi Cup so I canceled the trip” said Shaw. After seeing Chamberlain in January at the Turning Stone Classic, Jayson re-scheduled a five-day attempt to break the record.

“I wanted to play for 10 days, but I only had 5 days with Derby coming up” Shaw explained. “I was
trying to play 12-13 hours a day to get it done. On the first day, I had over five 200 ball runs. Lots of big runs, but I kept getting stuck in weird situations. I’d get jammed in the stack or stuck on a ball” he said.

Shaw said he started seeing things more clearly on day two and he started running balls like he knew he was capable of, but he still kept coming up short. The longest run that Shaw could muster over his five days was 407 balls and Shaw had to get back home. “He was done trying,” said Chamberlain. “We went to eat and Jayson said he thought he was close but he didn’t want to miss getting his daughter to school.”

“I couldn’t keep going. My body was sore. I thought maybe I just need to come back another time” said Shaw. Stopping for dinner on the way home, Shaw had what would be an important conversation with his wife Ara. “I felt like I was right there. I thought when I get to 30, it will all change” he reached out to Chamberlain to try one more day. “Jayson texted and said he wanted to try it for one more night. I couldn’t stand it. He wanted to run 500”

Shaw ran eleven racks in his first attempt (154 balls) but missed his break ball. Then it happened. “I didn’t know he was keeping track, but when he made 527 he stopped and celebrated, “ said Chamberlain. “I was just worried that I might have kept the wrong score. I hoped he would just keep running. Jayson knew it and he was the one who celebrated”. “I was always keeping track of the score. Even if I don’t want to see it, it’s right there at my feet. I saw it every time I walked back to the chair,” said Shaw.

As the balls kept falling, the records were toppled. “626 was not his only target,” Chamberlain said.

“At 680 or 690, the way the balls were opening up, I thought I could run 1,000,” said Shaw. “I had already beat all the numbers that were out there. There was no pressure and I was free stroking. I broke the balls open at 714 and the cue ball went through the stack, bottom rail, and the length of the table to scratch. If that doesn’t go, who knows what I could run”.

Shaw commented after he got back home and got his daughter to school, “I don’t think it has really sunk in what I did. I felt drunk after I finished. It feels like it was five days of torture. I have blisters on my fingers and my feet, and I slept for twelve hours when I got home”.

Chamberlain has made a public statement regarding the video of this amazing run: “We have a perfect unedited original high-definition recording that is secure and ready for the BCA to validate and certify, this is our first objective. Once that task is complete, we will look at the best options to showcase this world record-breaking run to the world.”

Chamberlain says that Shaw’s record-breaking run is not the end of his 14.1 challenge. He has Fedor Gorst scheduled for March and says he has interest from Darren Appleton and Corey Deuel. “Filler wants to play for 2-3 weeks,” he says. “And I have put out feelers to Niels and Thorsten” Until then though. Chamberlain says he is “Happy for Jayson and for the pros getting interested in straight pool again”.

Shaw vs Gorst for Turning Stone Hot Seat

Jayson Shaw (Karl Kantrowitz)

Jayson Shaw and Fedor Gorst will face off at 3pm EST for the Turning Stone Classic XXXIV hot-seat. 

Things were not looking good for Shaw in his early match on Sunday, as he trailed Kuwait’s Abdullah Al Youssef 8-4 in the race to 9. To the crowd’s delight though, Shaw put together another comeback and won five straight games for the 9-8 win. It was Shaw’s second comeback of this nature this week, as he also came back from a 5-0 deficit to defeat Earl Strickland on Saturday. 

Gorst defeated Mika Immonen in his early match on Sunday in a true dogfight. The players exchanged the lead multiple times with Immonen getting the hill first at 8-7. A scratch on the break in the sixteenth rack was Immonen’s last trip to the table as Gorst ran out the next two racks for the 9-8 win. 

On the one loss side on Sunday morning, Strickland defeated Joss Tour regular Dave Dreidel and recent NBL 10-Ball Champion John Morra dominated Tyler Styer 9-1. Those matches left Dreidel and Styer in 7th place, while Morra will now take on Al Youssef while Strickland faces Immonen. Those matches will take place at 1pm EST. 

Upstate Al is streaming this event for free on his Facebook account and AzBilliards is providing online brackets and live scoring with help from Digitalpool.com.