Archive Page

Hunt goes undefeated, downs Kirshnitz twice to claim NE 9-Ball Series title

(l to r):George Palmer, Gabriel Kirshnitz & Gene Hunt.

According to our records, while Gene Hunt has been competing at the tables for about a decade now, he hasn’t had a payout at a regional tournament since May of 2016, when he finished 9th at a stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Those same records now indicate that on Saturday, June 1, Hunt chalked up an undefeated win on the New England 9-Ball Series, downing Gabriel Kirshnitz twice to claim the event title. The event (stop #21) drew 56 entrants to Crow’s Nest Pub and Grill in Plaistow, NH.
On his way to his first meetup versus Kirshnitz in the hot seat match, Hunt, working in the event’s upper bracket, dispatched Phil Russo and Javier Fantauzzi to the loss side, before facing one of the event’s two highest Fargo-rated players, Kerry McAuliffe (648). The highest Fargo-rated player at this event was Ryan Cullen (673), who’d show up later on the loss side. Hunt (559) battled McAuliffe to double hill before sending him to the loss side 5-6. He then defeated Soel Quinones 6-2 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Steve Sutton.
Kirshnitz (488), in the meantime, working in the lower bracket got by Don Roy, Kim Orr, Mark Pulsifer and shut out Chris Richard to draw George Palmer in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Both of the winners’ side semifinals went double hill with Hunt, in a straight-up race to 6, downing Sutton and Kirshnitz, in a straight-up race to 5, sending Palmer to the loss side. The battle for the hot seat went double hill, as well. With Hunt racing to 6 and Kirshnitz to 5, Hunt claimed the hot seat 6-4.
On the loss side, it was Sutton who drew the event’s top Fargo-rated player, Cullen, who was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. He’d recently shut out Quinones and picked up a forfeit win from Eric Lim. George Palmer drew Mark Small, who, like Cullen, was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. He’d most recently defeated Chris Richards, double hill and shut out Catherine Ong. Small’s elimination of Ong and Cullen’s forfeit over Lim sent Ong and Lim, who are married, home at the same time, with the same $80 payout for the two-way tie for 7th place.
Sutton and Palmer got right back to work. Sutton downed Cullen 4-4 (Cullen racing to 6) and Palmer eliminated Small, double hill (4-3). With Sutton racing to 5, Palmer then defeated him 4-2 in the quarterfinals.
In a straight-up race to 4 in the semifinals, Kirshnitz earned himself a second shot at Hunt in the hot seat with a 4-1 victory over Palmer. In a repeat of their hot seat match, Hunt and Kirshnitz battled to double hill a second time, with the same result. Hunt claimed his first NE 9-Ball Series title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Crow’s Nest for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell with Lease Fundings, Master Billiards and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#22), scheduled for July 14, will find the tour back at Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.

The First Day of the Predator Grand Final Has Arrived

Carlo Biado

The past couple of years have been rather lucrative for Filipino Carlo Biado. In 2017, the 35-year-old earned top honors at the World Pool and Billiards Association’s World 9-Ball Championships in Doha, Qatar and also placed in the top five at a half-dozen prestigious events – including the Derby City Classic 10-Ball Challenge, the Super Billiards Expo Professional Championship and World Pool Series’ Aramith Masters. Last year, Biado won Indonesia’s Jogja Open and came within a few racks of becoming the first back-to-back World 9-Ball champion since Earl Strickland, falling to Joshua Filler in the finals.
Biado looks to carry the momentum from his performance in Qatar into this weekend’s Predator Grand Final, which gets underway today in Astoria, Queens. The Filipino will square of against Omar Alshaheen, who is coming off of his most productive year in professional pool. The Kuwaiti was crowned champion of the 45th Texas Open over Labor Day weekend, was the runner-up at the Freezer’s Ice House 10-ball Challenge and placed ninth at the United States Open 10-Ball Championships.
Biado and Alshaheen – who will be the showcase match on the live streaming table – will kick off this morning’s first round of play in the four-day, double-elimination tournament. Nine of the 18 matches will get underway at 11 AM Eastern time and the remaining contests are scheduled to begin at 1 PM – with reigning Super Billiards Expo professional champion Mike Dechaine slated to face Lebanon’s Mohammed Ali Berjaoui on the streaming table.
Fourteen players in this weekend’s competition were awarded first-round byes, including past champions Filler, Klenti Kaci, Chris Melling, Denis Grabe, and Ruslan Chinahov. Filler, who claimed top honors in June’s 10-ball Players Championship, is scheduled to play at 6:30 PM against the winner of the afternoon match between American Eric Lim and Pia Filler, Joshua’s wife.
Kaci, who won the 2017 Aramith Masters as well as that year’s Grand Final, awaits the winner of a morning match between Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn and Morocco’s Jamal Oussi. Melling won August’s 8-Ball Classic Championship and will face either American James Lee or Russian rising junior female superstar Kristina Tkach in his opening match.
Also receiving byes are Finland’s Petri Makkonen, Alex Kazakis of Greece, American Straight Pool Championship runner-up Thorsten Hohmann, Filipino Dennis Orcullo, Zion Zvi of Israel, and former United States Open 9-ball champions Ralf Souquet, Jayson Shaw, Darren Appleton, and Mika Immonen.
The 16 second round matches will be spread throughout the afternoon, with six contests beginning at 4 PM, five scheduled to start at 6:30 PM, and the final five matches getting underway at 9 PM.
Fans looking to watch the action can purchase a pay-per-view online streaming package – with one-day viewing passes costing $8.95 and four-day tournament access costing $24.95. As a special teaser, the first match will be available via our Facebook page.
This last event of the 2018 World Pool Series, The Predator Grand Final, is being held at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, New York City from January 17-20, 2019. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Predator, Poison, Aramith, Rasson, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui. Our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Let’s Go Print, Outsville, UpState Al, and the WPA.
For more information on the World Pool Series, please visit
Follow the World Pool Series on social media:
Twitter: @WorldPoolSeries
Instagram: @WorldPoolSeries

Thompson goes undefeated to capture 12th Annual Robert Dionne Memorial title

Tim Schroeder, Eric Lim and Jodie

Thanks, in part, to the absence of a number of B (and above) players who opted to compete in Turning Stone XXIX, scheduled on the same weekend, Jodie Thompson (C+) began the 12th Annual Robert Dionne Memorial Tournament by competing in the upper bracket, normally reserved for the B (and above) players. He was one of six C/C+ players among the 22 to compete in the upper bracket. None of the B or above competitors made it as far as the winners’ side semifinals, while on the loss side, only two B/B+ players made it to the money rounds. Thompson worked his way, undefeated, through the field of 43, on-hand for the $1,500-added Dionne Memorial, held under the auspices of the New England 9-Ball Series and hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH on the weekend of January 6-7.
Victories over one fellow C+ player, a B and a B+ player put Thompson into the winners’ side semifinal against another C+ player, Buddy Oldham. Tom Schroeder (C), in the meantime, squared off against D+ player, Richard Comeau. Thompson got into the hot seat match with a 5-2 win over Oldham. He was joined by Schroeder, who’d downed Comeau in a double hill match. Thompson claimed the hot seat 6-2 over Schroeder and waited on the return of what turned out to be the last B player, Eric Lim.
Having been sent to the loss side by Xavier Libby in a winners’ side quarterfinal, Lim was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the finals. He’d defeated Tyler Campbell 6-1 to move into the money rounds, and then shut out Thomas Hood to draw Oldham. Comeau picked up Dan Martis, who’d defeated Ambriory Minyety 5-2 and Matt Eline 5-1 to reach him.
Lim advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-1 victory over Oldham. He was joined by Comeau, who’d eliminated Martis 4-2 (Martis, as a C+, was racing to 6). As the last D+ representative in the event, Comeau put up a double hill fight, but it wasn’t enough. Lim advanced to the semifinals, where a 7-2 win over Schroeder gave him a shot at Thompson in the hot seat.
Lim had to win one extra game in the finals that followed (a 6-5 race) and he almost made it. They battled to 5-4, before Thompson closed out his undefeated run to win it 5-5 and claim the 12th Annual Robert Dionne Memorial title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Crow’s Nest for their hospitality, along with sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop (#12) on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for January 13, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Legends Sports Bar in Auburn, ME.