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Great Britain A and Austria Out of 2022 World Cup of Pool

Chris Melling and Imran Majid (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Great Britain B’s Imran Majid and Chris Melling whitewashed their counterparts Great Britain A 7-0 to reach the Last 16 of the 2022 World Cup of Pool at the Brentwood Centre, Essex live on Sky Sports Arena in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. Matchroom.Live in territories without a broadcaster.

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Great Britain A (Jayson Shaw and Elliott Sanderson) won the lag, but Shaw’s break proved to be an early downfall scratching to get Great Britain B to the table early on to run out to lead 1-0 before a break and run in the second rack. Imran Majid was returning to the GB fold for the first time since 2019 whilst Chris Melling was looking to put pay to his old teammate away. Majid and Melling’s breaks were exemplary as they rallied up ahead of steam with relative ease whilst Shaw and Sanderson were rooted to their chairs as B went 3-0 up, 4-0 up, and 5-0 up. A dry break from Melling in five gave A their first chance since early on.

A brief safety exchange on the two ball could’ve helped GB A but Majid and Melling were not relenting as they kept their counterparts knotted up. Majid’s safety play and Melling’s magic came to play throughout and eventually, they freed the table up to lead 6-0. It was truly exhibition stuff with the pair loving every moment in front of a raucous crowd.

The closing rack was a clinic and summed up GB B’s performance. A huge jump shot on the one ball from Majid set the tone before a tricky safety left Sanderson having to kick on the six ball only to leave it hanging over the pocket and leave Great Britain B their moment to seal a memorable win to meet either South Africa or Thailand next.

Melling: “I thought we played really well. The break was our friend. We controlled the cue ball well and got shots on the one and two. Nineball can be cruel sometimes.

Unfortunately for the A team in Jayson and Elliott, they didn’t really get a chance and when they did, they didn’t really get a shot. It’s tough for them, I have been there myself. To become great, you must take the defeats and learn from them. He will learn (on Sanderson), he is only going to get better and better. I am going to play all the events. I haven’t been at my best for some time, but I know when it clicks, I can beat anybody on the planet. I haven’t done well in the last few events. That’s not where I am at in my mind, I know I am better than that. You have to let defeats spur you on.”

Majid: “It was a pretty good performance I have to say. I didn’t expect to play like that. Chris kept potting balls, I potted balls. We broke well and that was the key. I thought if we got 40/50 people behind us, it would spur us on and that’s exactly what they did. I was interacting with them. It was great. I said in my pre-match interview we’re the fattest team, we eat players alive and that’s what we did, we had a full English breakfast there.”

Serbia’s Aleksa Pecelj and Andreja Klasović made a quick start to lead 3-0 over Estonia’s Denis Grabe and Rainer Laar. Estonia’s first chance came in the fourth after a foul from Pecelj Pecelj gave Estonia their first chance to pull a rack back at 3-1. Two outrageous flukes from Grabe and Laar respectively pulled Estonia back into it at 3-2. Grabe kicking the one somehow caused the six to roll onto the three and in before being hooked on the one still. Laar then kicked the one into the two which ended up putting the eight-ball in. Before Serbia knew it, their lead was cut to one.

Soon the contest went four all, Serbia’s Pecelj looked to be in with two balls left but a costly miss on the eight ball made it four apiece. Laar sank the 9-ball in the previous rack to level, but he scratched on the break in the middle pocket to hand the ball back to Serbia in the ninth. Klasovic failed to make that pay though on the four ball letting Grabe to the table who duly obliged with the help of Laar for the Estonians to lead after a brief safety battle.

At 5-4, anything could’ve happened, and it did as Grabe missed the seven when trying to screw back to leave Laar plumb on the eight. Klasovic and Pecelj sank the remaining balls on the table to make it 5-5. The seven proved key in the next rack as Serbia struggled to contain the cue ball, Klasovic missed a bank and Estonia were on the hill first. Pecelj, a recent quarter-finalist at the UK Open, along with Klasovic had their moments in the tie and they made sure it went all the way as they levelled in the penultimate rack for hill-hill. A elongated battle on the one and two led to ball in hand for Estonia but they couldn’t make it pay with the one and two locked up. Serbia got out of jail to force it.

In the first hill-hill contest of the week, Pecelj scratched on the break and from there on Grabe and Laar closed out a memorable win to reach the Last 16. Estonia meet Finland next up.

Austria headed into the World Cup with a new pairing as Max Lechner made his debut alongside the formidable two-time winner Albin Ouschan. Finland meanwhile had the ever-impressive Mika Immonen lined up with young Jani Uski for the first time. Finland got off to a better start to lead 2-1 at the first break. It was a shutout from then on for Immonen and Uski who potted ball after ball after ball to take a commanding lead. The fourth rack was Austria’s downfall as Lechner missed the five ball to get Finland back at the table for 3-1.

The fifth rack became the big talking point after Ouschan fouled by shaving the nine on his way to trying to reach the three. It was a hairline of a touch that referee Marcel Eckardt had spotted giving Finland ball in hand who made the most of it to lead 4-1. In the sixth, Immonen tried to cut the one only for it to end up safe and leave Austria hooked. It was a stroke of fortune, but one gratefully received by Immonen and Uski who were soon 5-1 up.

A momentous night was soon wrapped up with Finland producing the second shock of the night sealing a memorable 7-1 win and a spot in the Last 16.

Action returns from 11am tomorrow morning with Thailand’s snooker duo of Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Noppon Saengkham meeting South Africa live on Sky Sports Arena at 11 am as well as live on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. See the full list of broadcasters here including Matchroom.Live if no broadcaster is available.

11am Session

Round 1

Thailand vs South Africa
Singapore (6) vs Qatar
Kuwait (11) vs Vietnam

5pm Session 

ROUND 1

Japan (7) vs Switzerland

ROUND 2

Spain (4) vs Albania (13)
USA (2) vs Poland (15)

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Efren Reyes To Represent Philippines at 2022 World Cup Of Pool in Essex, England

One of the games’ greatest, Efren “Bata” Reyes will represent the Philippines alongside US Open champion Carlo Biado at the 2022 World Cup of Pool this June 14-19 at the Brentwood Centre, Essex, England with tickets available from £10.

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The 2022 World Cup of Pool line-up is now complete with all 32 countries confirmed as they do battle for the lucrative prize pot of $250,000 plus the pride of representing their country in one of the sports most unique format with Germany looking to defend their title led by newly crowned World Pool Masters champion Joshua Filler and BCA Hall of Famer Thorsten Hohmann.

Great Britain’s charge for a first World Cup of Pool crown on home soil will see Great Britain A form a new pairing of two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw and debutant Elliott Sanderson who was selected based on performances so far this year on the Live Nineball World Rankings. Mosconi Cup winner Imran Majid and 2012 Mosconi Cup MVP Chris Melling will represent the red, white, and blue for Great Britain B.

The USA’s assault on the title will come in the form of Nineball World No.1 and World Champion Shane Van Boening with two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Skyler Woodward whilst Austria, two-time winners of the World Cup of Pool, will see Albin Ouschan partner with Nineball World No. 5 and close friend Max Lechner.

Reyes will compete at the World Cup of Pool for the first time since 2012 when the tournament was hosted in the Philippines. The Magician is a two-time winner of the cup claiming the inaugural title in 2006 with Francisco Bustamante before repeating that result three years later on home turf.

Along with the launch of the Nineball World Rankings, the WPA received x16 allocations for various federations seeing countries make their debut this year including Peru with Christopher Tevez and Gerson Martinez as well as Argentina with Ariel Casto and Sebastian Rodriguez for a strong South American contingent. Chinese Taipei return to the fold after missing out last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will look to replicate its success of 2015 with the Ko Brothers of Pin Yi and Ping Chung pairing up.

The first 16 countries were decided by WPA federations from around the world before eight countries were selected based on the 2022 Nineball World Rankings. The final eight came as wild cards from Matchroom. Players have been selected based on both the 2022 and live 2023 Nineball World Rankings. The final team will be revealed during the final day of the UK Open Pool Championship this May 22 at the Copper Box Arena, London.

 

WPA FINLAND Mika Immonen Jani Uski
WPA POLAND Mieszko Fortuński Wojciech Szewczyk
WPA SERBIA Andreja Klasović Aleksa Pecelj
WPA CZECH REPUBLIC Roman Hybler Petr Urban
WPA ITALY Daniele Corrieri Francesco Candela
WPA KUWAIT Omar Al Shaheen Bader Al Awadhi
WPA CHINESE TAPEI Ko Pin Yi Ko Ping Chung
WPA SINGAPORE Aloysius Yapp Toh Lian Han
WPA QATAR Waleed Majid K Alars Ali Nasser Al Obaidli
WPA VIETNAM Duong Quoc Hoang Dang Thanh Kien
WPA ARGENTINA Ariel Casto Sebastian Rodriguez
WPA PERU Gerson Martinez Cristopher Tevez
WPA AUSTRALIA Justin Sajich Ivan Meng Li
WPA SOUTH AFRICA Jason Theron Craig Bouwer
WPA MOROCCO My Cherif Zine El Abidine Imad lagnaoui
WPA CYPRUS Anthony Brabin Christos Meligaliotis.
RANKING USA Shane Van Boening Skyler Woodward
RANKING AUSTRIA Albin Ouschan Max Lechner
RANKING SPAIN David Alcaide Francisco Sanchez Ruiz
RANKING PHILIPPINES Carlo Biado Efren Reyes
RANKING JAPAN Naoyuki Oi Masato Yoshioka
RANKING GREECE Alexander Kazakis Nikos Ekonomopulous
RANKING GERMANY Joshua Filler Thorsten Hohmann
RANKING HUNGARY Oliver Snolnoki Vilmos Földes
WILDCARD NETHERLANDS Niels Feijen Marc Bijsterbosch
WILDCARD CANADA Alex Pagulayan John Morra
WILDCARD SWITZERLAND Dimitri Jungo Ronald Regli
WILDCARD HONG KONG, CHINA Lo Ho Sum Robbie Capito
WILDCARD NEW ZEALAND Matthew Edwards Simon Singleton
WILDCARD GREAT BRITAIN A Jayson Shaw Elliott Sanderson
WILDCARD GREAT BRITAIN B Imran Majid Chris Melling
WILDCARD TO BE DETERMINED

Tickets start from only £10 per session and £15 for an all-day ticket to both the afternoon and evening sessions. Fans can also enjoy the whole week of action for only £85.
Tickets

The World Cup of Pool brings 32 nations together as two-player teams compete for national pride, the title, and their share of a $250,000 prize fund from June 14 to 19. The tournament is a straight-knockout format leaving no room for error. Germany are the reigning champions with one of the world’s best in Joshua Filler spearheading their defence. The likes of World Number One Albin Ouschan of Austria, the USA’s finest Shane Van Boening, and Great Britain’s two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw will all look to lead their sides to the title over six action-packed days.

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE

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UK Open Day 2 | Big Hitters Progress With Relative Ease

Dennis Orcollo (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Day 2 of the UK Open Pool Championship at the Copper Box Arena, London live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube pages as well as Matchroom.Live brought plenty of success for the top seeds as only Ko Pin Yi, Naoyuki Oi, and Eklent Kaci came unstuck in Winners’ Round 1.

Live Scores 

Bracket

The action began live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook with the two young guns of Lo Ho Sum and Mickey Krause head to head with Ho Sum looking to build on his runner-up finish at the World Pool Masters just a few weeks ago. Krause is far from a pushover though and the Dane showed his credibility and rise through the ranks to dispatch the Hong Kong, China player to Losers Round 2 in a 9-5 win.

Dennis Orcollo went up to Solihull, Birmingham between the World Pool Masters and the UK Open to keep in stroke playing in a local tournament which he won on Sunday evening and that decision seems to have paid off so far as he came good in a 9-4 win against Chris Seville of Great Britain.

One of the upsets of the day came on one of the back tables as 2015 World Champion Ko Pin Yi was on the end of a 9-4 loss to Luke Garland. Garland was only a few frames away from a World Snooker Tour card a few years back before defeat to UK Championship winner Zhao Xintong at the final hurdle and it showed his pedigree to run seven racks on the way to an 8-0 lead over Pin Yi. Pin Yi did come back but it proved too much of a hill to climb putting him into the next stage in the Losers bracket.

Oi is still in search of his first Matchroom title and his work will be cut out if he is to get rid of that hoodoo this week. The Japanese star fell at the hands of Pole Mariusz Skoneczny in the opening match of the day live on the Matchroom Pool Youtube. Kaci also missed out to Skoneczny’s compatriot Daniel Maciol 9-6. Maciol will face Pijus Labutis in the next round on the winners’ side whilst Kaci faces Rich Jones on the other side of the bracket to keep his hopes alive.

The USA’s Chris Reinhold survived an inspired fightback from Pia Filler to set up a clash with Pia’s husband Joshua in the next phase. Reinhold had amassed an initial advantage, but Filler came back into the contest most notably with a brutal hook early on in the 14th rack. Filler ran it close to get one away from Reinhold at 8-7 but it was the two-time Mosconi Cup player who pulled through to meet Joshua next.

It was the end of the road for Martin Gould on day two as the former World Snooker ranking event winner faced two defeats. Firstly, to Great Britain’s rising star Elliott Sanderson despite hitting the front first and looking in control before being dumped out of the competition in the evening to the vastly experienced Daniele Corrieri who will represent Italy at the World Cup of Pool next month from June 14-19 at the Brentwood Centre in Essex, England.

The journey for Gary Wilson continued though as the former Crucible semi-finalist bounced back from defeat to Chris Alexander to beat Gianluca Cappella and set up a tie with Romania’s Babken Melkonyan tomorrow.

Top seeds Shane Van Boening, Albin Ouschan, David Alcaide, Max Lechner, and Jayson Shaw amongst others all sailed through their respective contests to keep their run on the Winners’ Side continue. Alcaide yet to drop a rack this week whilst Van Boening has only dropped two so far.

There’s plenty of action for fans to get their teeth into tomorrow as Losers Round 3, 4 and 5 all take place as well as Winners Round 2, and 3. Over 100 players will be out of the tournament by the close of play tomorrow.

Day 2 Streamed Matches Below From 11:00 am

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

Dennis Orcollo vs Jonas Souto Comino (W3)
Ko Ping Chung vs Benji Buckley (W3)
Robbie Capito vs Riku Romppanen vs (W3)

TBC Match (Winner Round 4)
TBC Match (Winner Round 4)
TBC Match (Winner Round 4)

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

Alex Kazakis vs Chris Melling (W3)
Dimitri Jungo vs Wojciech Szewczyk (W3)
John Morra vs Billy Thorpe (W3)

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 using the code UKOPEN at checkout. Secure yours here

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UK Open Day 1 | Sanchez Ruiz Avoids Early Exit From 6-0 Down

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz avoided an early exit coming from 6-0 down on the opening day of the inaugural UK Open Pool Championship at the Copper Box Arena, London live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube pages as well as Matchroom.Live worldwide.

Live Scores 

Bracket

256 players descended on one of London’s most iconic sporting venues for a piece of history as they gun to become the first player to claim the UK Open title and a share of the $200,000 prize fund as the opening round and Losers Round 1 saw the first 16 players leave the tournament and leave many in a perilous position with the remaining losers round matches set to get underway tomorrow morning ahead of Winners Round 1.

Fans were treated to two live streams for free wherever they are in the world thanks to the Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube pages as well as on Matchroom.Live and on betting websites around the world and they were not disappointed.

Sanchez Ruiz lost his opening match of the tournament against South Africa’s Jason Theron from 6-3 up to face Ashik Nathawani in one of the opening Losers Round encounters to keep his spot in the tournament. The Spaniard has had a good year of it so far and is one of the Mosconi Cup Team Europe hopefuls, but it was nearly curtains as Nathwani took hold with a 6-0 lead and only three from victory, but Sanchez Ruiz rallied from that point onwards to put on the performance of the opening day in a dramatic hill-hill victory.

Fresh off the back of claiming the title at Nineball Ranking Event, the Bucharest Open on Sunday, Ko Pin Yi made light work of Chun Hao Man 9-2 to kick off Table 1 action before one of the home favourites in Chris Melling put on a fine display to hand a donut to Petr Urban in a cruising 9-0 victory inside 40 minutes. The speediness of Melling’s showing wasn’t the last performance of such nature as both recent World Pool Masters winner Joshua Filler and two-time World Champion Albin Ouschan rattled off emphatic wins of the same scoreline against Robert Hart and Sergio Lagunas, respectively.

With over 38% of the field British, there was plenty of support for the home nations as World Snooker Ranking Event winner Martin Gould got off to a winning start in his first appearance in a Nineball tournament since the early 2000s to beat Tashunka Schultz to set up an all Brit affair with Elliott Sanderson in the Winners Round 1 tomorrow whilst fellow World Snooker Tour player Gary Wilson, a former Crucible semi-finalist showed off his first forway into another cue sport discipline in a 9-6 win over America’s Blaine Barcus. Another notable name from the world of snooker in Fraser Patrick overcome fellow Scot David Black.

Wilson said: “It was getting a bit twitchy. It was too close for my liking. I was 4-1 up. It was a scrappy game. I am trying to get used to the conditions and work out what’s going on. I tried my best to keep potting balls and getting onto the next one. The tables are so different, it is skiddier and more reactive. It took us a few racks to work it out. I am learning as a go and hopefully, I can improve”

Two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw comfortably pulled through against Ali Hirji Kheraj whilst newly crowned World Champion Shane Van Boening didn’t seem to break swear in another 9-0 win on Table 1 over James Channon.

Action continues tomorrow morning from 9am in the arena before streaming coverage begins from 10am on Table 1 and 2. See below the schedule of matches.

Day 2 Streamed Matches Below 10:00 am to 07:00 pm

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

Lo Ho Sum vs Mickey Krause

Dennis Orcollo vs Chris Seville

Elliott Sanderson vs Martin Gould

Chris Reinhold vs Pia Filler

Eklent Kaçi vs Daniel Maciol

Jayson Shaw vs Stephen Folan

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

Naoyuiki Oi vs Moriusz Skoneczny

Imran Majid vs Jeff Beckley

Oliver Szolnoki vs Fraser Patrick

Gary Wilson vs Chris Alexander

Mika Immonen vs Adam Smith

Shane Van Boening vs Matthew Rigley

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 and £85 for the week using the code UKOPEN at checkout. Secure yours here

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64 Remain At 2022 World Pool Championship | Alcaide And Woodward Out

Skyler Woodward (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

David Alcaide and Skyler Woodward became two of the biggest exits so far as the 2022 World Pool Championship field was whittled down to the Last 64 at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes. Coverage live on Sky Sports in the UK/Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria as well as Viaplay and networks worldwide.

LAST 64 BRACKET

Losers’ Round 1 saw the first few scalps of the day as both Woodward and Alex Pagulayan were punished as they exited without a win to their name. Woodward lost out to Daniele Corrieri in the opening match, and he went hill-hill with Qatar’s Ali Al Obaidli who fluked the 9 in the penultimate rack to hold the break in the final one. Elsewhere, Pagulayan was much fancied heading into the tournament, but he faltered against former EuroTour winner Craig Osborne of Great Britain to exist early on the second day.

Rolling into the evening, it was Losers’ Qualification with 32 final players set to join the Last 64 and 32 going home. On Table 1, Jayson Shaw demolished Jakub Koniar 9-3 to see the two-time Mosconi Cup draw Finland’s Petri Makkonen in the Last 64. Alcaide was a World Pool Championship semi-finalist just under 12 months ago and his cueing suggested it would be straightforward’s against Hong Kong’s Lo Ho Sum who was knocked into the losers’ bracket by defending champion Albin Ouschan. Ho Sum though, held his nerve in some cagey early moments to pull through and find himself in the Last 64.

Pia Filler put in a stellar day to beat Ivan Meng Li in the afternoon and Bashar Hussein Abdulmajeed 9-6 to make the Last 64 for the first time and set up an enticing Table 1 match with Mario He at 11 am.

Things didn’t get much better for Mosconi Cup captain Jeremy Jones as he witnessed Billy Thorpe, Chris Reinhold, and Tyler Styer all exit on day two, but positives were taken from seeing Nicholas De Leon beat So Shaw and Toh Lian Han by 9-2 and 9-7 scores respectively. De Leon will now face Ouschan. There was also no such luck for Chris Melling who exited at the hands of Bahram Lotfy who will now meet Shane Van Boening tomorrow.

From now, it is single elimination with matches becoming Race to 11 up until the final. The draw saw the 32 players who won in Winners’ Qualification drawn against the 32 players who won in Losers’ Qualification this evening.

Mosconi Cup USA hopeful Shane Wolford has been drawn against Masato Yoshioka whilst Live (2023) Nineball World Rankings No.1  Francisco Sanchez Ruiz faces two-time World Champion, Thorsten Hohmann. Elliott Sanderson overcome a hill-hill finish with fellow Brit Tom Staveley to set up a clash with Chinese Taipei’s Chang Jung-Lin tomorrow.

FRIDAY 8, APRIL 11 am 

Table 1 – Where to Watch 

Mario He vs Pia Filler

Shane Van Boening vs Bahram Lotfy

Table 2 – Live on Matchroom Pool YouTube 

Darren Appleton vs Tomasz Kaplan

Joshua Filler vs Sanjin Pehlivanovic

For all the latest news and announcements follow Matchroom Pool on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram.

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Defending Champion Ouschan Off To Winning Start

Albin Ouschan (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Albin Ouschan got off to the perfect start as he began the defence of his World Pool Championship title at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes live on Sky Sports in the UK/Ireland and DAZN in the USA, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy as well as other networks worldwide including Matchroom.Live and Viaplay.

Live Scores / Bracket

Tickets available for the rest of the week

The Austrian faced a tricky opening encounter against Hong Kong’s Lo Ho Sum to begin proceedings on Table 1 and he lived up to expectations to deliver a 9-3 victory. Ouschan came into the tournament in hot form after winning the inaugural Premier League Pool title and he got off to the best of starts to amass a 6-3 lead in the Race to 9 contest. The Mean Machine continued his way to set up a Winners’ Qualification match against Daniel Maciol in which the Pole was no match for the two-time world champion as he romped into the Last 64 in a 9-1 win.

This year sees the World Pool Championship take on a new double elimination structure. The afternoon session saw all 128 players play their opening match. The losing 64 moved to tomorrow’s Losers’ Round 1 whilst winners faced off in Winners’ Qualification in tonight’s session. The losing players from the evening moved immediately into tomorrow evening’s Losers’ Qualification where they will meet the winners of tomorrow’s Losers’ Round 1 matches.

Two upsets involved two potential 2022 Mosconi Cup prospects for the USA as Skyler Woodward found himself on the end of a defeat to Italy’s Daniele Corrieri to fall into Losers’ Round 1 whilst there was joy for Shane Wolford. Wolford faced 2021 semi-finalist David Alcaide to book a place in the Last 64 and the American admitted after a thrilling 9-7 win from behind 7-5 down. Afterward, Wolford admitted it was perhaps his biggest win to date. Alcaide could have to face compatriot Jose Alberto Delgado but that’s only if Delgado beats Ho Sum.

Matchroom Pool YouTube fans were treated to a vintage Jayson Shaw display in the afternoon as he overcome Vincent Halliday 9-2 on Table 2, but the two-time Mosconi Cup MVP faltered against Michal Gavenciak in a 9-7 loss. The loss means Shaw will face the winner of Jakub Koniar and Roman Hybler in Losers’ Qualification tomorrow evening.

Live (2023) Nineball World No.1 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz danced through his opening matches relatively unscathed with a 9-0 whitewash over Albania’s Besar Spahiu before closing out Table 1 action in a satisfying 9-3 win over Dang Thanh Kien of Vietnam. Sanchez Ruiz’s efforts see him get a day off tomorrow and a Last 64 tie with Corrieri on Friday morning.

Action returns tomorrow with Wiktor Zielinski in Table 1 action against Bulgaria’s Kristina Zlateva from 11 am UK time on Sky Sports Arena, DAZN, Viaplay, and networks worldwide.

Thursday 7th April – 11:00 am UK time – Afternoon Session

Table 1 – Where to Watch 

Wiktor Zielinski (31) vs Kristina Zlateva

Alex Pagulayan (24) vs Craig Osborne

Table 2 – Live on Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

Chang Yu Lung (19) vs Daniel Schneider (46)

Skyler Woodward (16) vs Ali Al Obaidli

Corey Deuel (43) vs Elliott Sanderson

For all the latest news and announcements follow Matchroom Pool on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram.

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2018 GB9 Midlands Classic – Event Report

Karl Boys

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

GB 9-Ball Tour Kicks Off 2016 Season

World class 9-ball pool is back on the calendar as the 9th season of the GB 9 Ball Tour gets under way at the Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Telford.
 
After a three month break since Craig Osborne sealed his spot at the top of the standings for the 2015 season, the 2016 season is shaping up to be one of the biggest in years for the domestic game in Great Britain. Following on from another resounding success for Team EUROPE at the Mosconi Cup back in December, the buzz around 9-ball pool is at its highest in some time. This buzz has been backed up by a fully subscribed 2016 season on GB9 with all available spots being sealed well before the turn of the year. The popular tour format remains the same as ever, with a double elimination main event at each tour weekend plus a Challenge/Pro divisional event where the best professionals and amateurs battle out against one another in their class. The tour is brought to you by those with a genuine love of the game, and with your continued support we will endeavour to create excitement and enjoyment in equal measure.
 
A number of exciting new faces will be gracing the tour for the 2016 season. To name but a few, they include Andy MacDonald – English Pool Top 8 Professional, Edward Poultney -newly crowned UPC 9-ball champion winning his way onto the tour for the first time, and Chris Seville who has been playing well on the amateur circuit and is stepping up to the GB9 Pro division. Also returning to the tour after time away are some of the real big guns, such as Daryl Peach, Phil Burford, Damian Massey and Elliott Sanderson. It all adds up to one of the strongest fields ever to sign up to play on the tour, and backs up the well held belief that this is one of the toughest national pool tours in existence.
 
Our thanks must also go to the magnificent Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Telford and all the staff who work on site. Their support of the tour over recent years has been of special note; few hotels are able to hold American pool events and so their continued efforts to host events should not go without mention. It goes without saying that without a venue there would be no events, so it should be put on record how grateful the tour is for their support back since they first hosted an event back in 2013.
 
Following feedback from a number of players, in recognition of increased popularity in the 2016 tour, we have taken the decision to increase the total trophies (salvers) up for grabs at each event of the season from five to eight. The finalist of all divisional events will now also receive a salver to commemorate their successes, meaning that both the winner and runner-up of all 4 events (Main, Pro, Challenge Tier 1 & Challenge Tier 2) now receive a coveted Salver to keep in recognition of their achievement. The winner of the Main event also gets their name engraved on the main trophy which will be displayed at the event.
 
And of course as an extra incentive to all players this season the two players ranked No.1 & No.2 on the end of season Main rankings will receive an additional prize of £1000 and £500 respectively.
 
Entry to this event closes tonight but if you know of friends who are interested in having a go on the tour this season please ask them to fill in an application form to join our reserve list to be kept up to date with space availability.
 
Play begins as ever on the afternoon of Friday with the opening rounds of the Midlands Classic, with play right through the weekend up until the early evening of Sunday 31st January. Entry to spectators is free of charge as ever and, with so many big names taking part in competition this year, now is the perfect opportunity to come and watch some of the stars of our sport in action. This is a season not too be missed, so even if you can’t be at the venue you can once again keep up to date with GB9’s innovative scoring system GB9-Live, alongside the ever popular Live-Stream of the TV table to fans across the world. We look forward to seeing you all in Telford ready for another season of world class pool.
 
In 2016 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls and Carlson Rezidor Hotels making the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.
 

European All-Star clash underway in Rotterdam

Niels Feijen (NED) will want to shine at the Longoni Open, one of his main sponsors

This week-end in Rotterdam (NED)  the Thurston Pool Café is host to the Benelux Longoni Open 2014.

After the qualification rounds played in 8 groups with a rebuy system, 28 players have joined the 4 invited stars in the 6th edition of the Benelux Longoni Open. Ralf Souquet (GER), Serge Das (BEL), defending champion Nick Van Den Berg (NED) and reigning World 9-Ball Champion and World Pool Master Niels Feijen (NED) are already in the main tournament.

A preliminary round of qualifications played on the 27th of july, in which Ivo Aarts, Kamila Khodaeva, Visal Peou and Thomas Vanbroekhoven earned their spots in the main tournament to be played on sunday the 17th of august.

As the event has grown over the years, many big names of the european pool scene showed up in Rotterdam since friday the 15th of august. Frenchmen Alex Montpellier and Stephan Cohen were the first two players to qualify, and were soon joined by Elliott Sanderson and Huidji See in Group B. In the next groups, more and more players decided to use the rebuy option and therefore a record 240 entries were registered by the event promoter, Daswan promotion.

Amongst the many names who came out of the group stages to earn a spot in the final tournament and a possibility to claim the trophy are World Champions Karl Boyes (GBR), Daryl Peach (GBR) and Oliver Ortmann (GER). Tony Drago (MLT), Kevin Becker (GER), Andreas Roschkowsky (GER), Karlo Dalmatin (CRO), Marc Bijsterbosch (NED), are other top european players who made their way to the sunday event.

To follow the action, you can read promoter Çakti Aswan of Daswan promotions' scores updates on facebook and also go to the Free Livestream courtesy of EBillard.fr

Locomotive Powers To Second Win Of The Season

Phil Burford

The two finalists in the British Grand Prix had both contested finals earlier in the season – Phil Burford who won the season's opening event in thrilling fashion against Ralf Souquet, and Mark Gray who was runner up in the Northern Masters to the now two-time Mosconi Cup player Karl Boyes. Burford began his campaign against local competition; Kevin Uzzell putting up a brave fight before succumbing 9-5 to the Locomotive. This put Burford one win away from the single-elimination last 32 stage, but a resilient Ian McCormick stood in his way. Another tour battle followed, but Burford saw past the Ulsterman 9-7 to go through the winners’ side undefeated. Burford turned on the juice for his next match against Finlay Laing, whitewashing the Newmarket potter 9-0. However, Burford's first victim, Kevin Uzzell, wasn't done just yet. Having negotiated his way out of the one-loss side of the draw, he returned to face his nemesis once again. The only difference this time was one rack, with Burford securing his second victory over Uzzell 9-6 to set up a match with Tommy Donlon next.
 
Donlon had made his best run of the season to make his way into the quarter finals, but a 9-3 defeat ended his campaign and saw Burford into his second semi-final of the season. Here he faced Tony Drago, fresh off his first round defeat in the UK Championship snooker in York. Whilst faring much better on the American table, his competition was to come to an end at Phil's hand with a 9-7 win seeing Burford through to the final showdown.
 
Mark Gray started in emphatic fashion in his quest for a first title of the season. His first victim was Simon Gardner who suffered a heavy 9-1 defeat at Gray's hand. Gray then came up against the ponytailed Italian Bruno Muratore, the prize for the winner being. Place in the last 32. A closer match ensued with Gray running out the 9-5 winner. In the last 32, Gray faced young gun Sam Hirst. The student from Leeds suffered a similar fate to Gray's first opponent, with Hirst eliminated by 9 racks to 2. This sent Gray into a last 16 match with another Yorkshireman in the form of Barnsley's Elliott Sanderson. Sanderson's excellent run in the competition came to an end here, as Gray progressed to the quarter finals with a 9-4 win. A fellow tour stalwart in the form of Colchester's Shaun Storry was awaiting him in the last 8, but once again Gray came away victorious by 9 racks to 5 and in doing so reached his fourth consecutive GB9 semi-final. Standing in Gray's way of his second final was another tour stalwart, this time around Stewart Colclough. The score line from his previous game was matched here as Gray made it into his third British Grand Prix final with another 9-5 victory, leaving him just one win away from regaining the title he won back in GB9's inaugural season all the way back in 2008.
 
The final promised to be yet another classic battle with both players in their second finals of the year. It was Burford who squeaked home with an 11-9 winning score which saw him end the season as the British #3, just behind both Karl Boyes and Mark Gray who end this season with the guaranteed expenses paid berths in the European 9-Ball Championship in April 2014.