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Pin-Yi goes undefeated, downs Zielinski in finals of 256-entrant Predator Bucharest Open

Ko Pin-Yi (IDM Pool Tour)

Zielinski takes top prize in 16-entrant Kamui Invitational

Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski has been on something of a roll over the past couple of months, and we all know how important ‘rolls’ are in any billiards game you care to name. He defeated the male half of the Killer Fillers (Joshua) in the finals of the Dynamic Billiard Lasko Open in February and then came across the ocean to down Aloysius Yapp in the finals of CSI’s Alfa Las Vegas Open in March. Last weekend (May 13-15), chalking up his flight miles, he headed back east and landed in Bucharest, Romania, where he claimed the 16-entrant, single-elimination Kamui Invitational title, defeating Boznia-Herzegovina’s Sanjin Pehlivanovic in the finals.

He also appeared in the finals of the concurrently-run, 256-entrant Predator Bucharest Open, but had his winning streak stopped by Taipei’s Ko Pin-Yi, who went undefeated through four rounds of double elimination and five rounds of single elimination play to snatch what would have been Zielinski’s third straight title from him in the finals. Though he’d been cashing in major tournaments all over the world (also on something of a roll and also chalking up his flight miles), it was Pin-Yi’s first recorded major victory since he laid claim to the 2018 China Open Men’s Division title.

Both events were hosted by the 20-year-old IDM Club in downtown Bucharest, about a mile or so east of the Dambovita river, which flows through the city for about 13 miles and is its main water supply. The IDM is a multi-functional sports club that offers members everything from fitness, body-building, swimming pools (a children’s leisure and a “semi-Olympic”), locker rooms, bowling, billiards, snooker, table tennis, darts and a restaurant, bar and children’s playground. US venues, take note.

Each of the 42 Brunswick Gold Crown IV pool tables in the IDM club was employed six times (+4) to get through the event’s opening round. Pin-Yi got through his opening rounds against Levent Kurtulus, Adi Petruscu and Michal Olech with an aggregate score of 27-4 to arrive at the winners’ side qualification round for single-elimination play against David Alcaide. Zielinski, in the meantime, found himself battling increased challenges. He allowed his first opponent, Albert Gabos, only a single rack but gave up six to Maor Shalom, before getting caught up in a double hill battle against Kevin Lannoye, which did eventually send him to the qualifying round versus Mustafa Alnar.

Among those also advancing to the qualifying round on the winners’ side were Shane Van Boening, Oliver Szolnoki, Denis Grabe, Thorsten Hohmann, Alex Kazakis, Mario He and Ko Pinc-Chung (who played each other), and Ralf Souquet and Nick Economopolous (who also played each other). There were 16 who advanced on the winners’ side to be among the 32 who would compete in the first single-elimination round. They were joined by the final 16 on the losers’ side of the bracket.

Two rounds later, the field was down to 8 in the quarterfinals. Ko Pin-Yi faced Souquet, who’d won his only loss-side match and come back to defeat Ko Ping-Chung. Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz faced Dimitri Jungo, Zielinski drew Petri Makkonen and Van Boening took on Mario He.

Ko Pin-Yi got by Souquet and Sanchez-Ruiz downed Jungo, both 11-3. Zielinski eliminated Makkonen 11-8 and Van Boening defeated He 11-9. In the semifinals that followed, Ko Pin-Yi defeated Ruiz 11-7, as Van Boening and Zielinski locked up in only the fourth double hill fight since the opening round of single-elimination play, with Van Boening involved in two of them. Zielinski advanced to face Ko Pin-Yi in the finals. 

Pin-Yi had come to the finals with a 70% game-winning average (79-34). He won 72% of the games he played in the race-to-13 finals against Zielinski, claiming the Predator Bucharest Open title 13-5.

Two out of four matches for Zielinski go double hill in Kamui Invitational

The Kamui Invitational, which required less than 20% of the 42 Brunswick Gold Crown IV’s in the IDM Club, once, to complete its 15-entrant opening round, featured 12 competitors who participated in the open event, Zielinski, Van Boening and David Alcaide among them. Ko Pin-Yi, however, was not on the roster.

Zielinski got by his opening opponent, Davy Piergiovanni well enough, but ran immediately into a double hill match against Naoyuki Oi in the quarterfinals. From the bottom half of the bracket, Zielinski’s eventual opponent in the finals, Sanjin Pehlivanovic, who’d gotten by Alex Montpelier, drew Alex Lely. Ralf Souquet, who’d drawn a bye in the opener, faced Ko Ping-Chung, while Van Boening and Alcaide rounded out the quarterfinal matchups.

Zielinski survived his double hill encounter with Oi and in the semifinals, drew Souquet, who’d eliminated Ping-Chung 8-3. Van Boening defeated Alcaide 8-4 to pick up Pehlivanovic, who’d shut Lely out.

Zielenski walked right into his second straight double hill match, against Souquet, but did advance to the finals. Pehlivanovic dropped Van Boening 8-5 to join him. Zielenski defeated Pehlivanovic 8-5 to claim the Kamui Invitational title and his third victory in as many months.

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Szewczyk Survives to Win Predator World 10-Ball Championship

Wojciech Szewczyk

Things weren’t looking so great for Wojciech Szewczyk Friday evening. In fact, they were looking downright bad.

Facing defending champion Eklent Kaci in the semifinals of the World 10-Ball Championships, the 31-year-old from Poland had just watched his opponent break-and-run to build a 9-7 lead in a race to 10.

Approximately five hours later, Szewczyk was in the arena at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, letting out a primal yell and raising his fists in the air as the new World 10-Ball champion. Szewczyk had been close in major events before – including a runner-up finish at this year’s European Championships in men’s10-Ball and placing in the top-10 at the 2019 World 10-Ball Championships – so his championship is hardly a surprise. But, making the title more impressive is the route the Pole took, wiping away deficits in the semifinals against Kaci and the championship against young upstart Christopher Tevez of Peru to earn his first major and the $60,000 that comes with it.

Using a powerful and smashing break, Tevez had been pounding people on his path through the final stage of the event, beating David Alcaide 10-5 in the rond-of-32 and Darren Appleton in the quarterfinals. So, when the Peruvian jumped out to an early 3-1 on Szewczyk and was in the process of clearing the table again, it appeared that the finals could be yet another quick match.  Then Tevez left the 10-ball on the shelf of the corner pocket, quickly turning a possible 4-1 lead into a 3-2 score instead. Szewczyk took full advantage of the opening, using of a pair of unforced errors by his opponent to win four straight racks and build a 5-3 lead.

After Tevez tacked on two wins thanks to a victorious safety exchange and a missed shot by his opponent, Szewczyck regained the lead thanks to successful jump and combination shots. He had a chance to open up a two-rack lead but missed a 10 ball of his own, handing the table and an easy shot back to his opponent. The two players traded racks for the next four games until Szewczyck scratched on the break in the 17th rack with the score tied 8-8. With the balls clustered on the table a safety exchange ensued, and when Tevez attempted a jump shot after a safety he scratched. Rather than attempt a run out, the crafty European tied the cue ball up in safeties and forced his opponent to foul three time in the game, an automatic loss which put the Pole on the hill at 9-8.

When Tevez broke in the 18th rack he pocketed a ball but again didn’t have an open shot at the 1 ball. The Peruvian initiated a safety exchange on the 1 ball, then missed a kick shot on the object ball that left an opening. Szewczyck used a combination shot on the 2 ball to methodically run out the rack to clinch the win. Overcome with emotion, he stared at the ceiling with his arms raised in victory then sat in his chair with a look of joy as well as relief.

The start of the semifinals was delayed by a couple of hours as the quarterfinals turned into a logjam, with multiple matches taking close to three hours to complete. Two of the competitors who were tangled in such long battles were defending champion Kaci and Szewczyck, who had both gutted out hill-hill thrillers. Kaci came from behind to defeat last year’s runner-up Naoyuki Oi, clearing the table in the deciding 19th rack with a run-out that included a lengthy safety battle on the 1 ball, a near scratch after pocketing the two and a table length cut on the 4 ball. A couple of tables away, Szewczyck was straining through a duel of his own, coming from behind to defeat Edgie Geronimo 10-9.

So, it only made sense that Kaci and Szewczyck face each other in the semifinal mere minutes after their quarterfinal matches concluded.

The two again found themselves in a topsy-turvy struggle that saw momentum turning over as frequently as the cards in the Rio’s casino. The 27-year-old from Poland struck early, taking advantage of Kaci failing to pocket a ball on the break as well as missing a shot and fouling to build an early 4-1 advantage. The Albanian then used a break-and-run followed by a victorious safety exchange to pull within 4-3, only to fail to pocket a ball on the break in the eighth rack. Szewczyck cleared the table to push his lead to 5-3, then watched as his opponent took advantage of a dry break and a missed 7 ball in the 10th rack by the Pole to tie the score.

After Szewczyck used a break-and-run to win two of the next three racks to take a 7-6 lead, Kaci came alive. He used a jump shot on the 1 ball in the 14th rack to run out and tie the match, cleared the table in the next game after his opponent jumped the cue ball off of the table on the break, then tacked on a break-and-run to build a 9-7 advantage and climb to within a game of advancing to the finals.

Just when it appeared Kaci was on his way to defending his title, the wheels came off. After Szewczyck won the 17thgame on a safety exchange, the young man from Poland tied the score in the next rack when his opponent failed to pocket a ball on the break. With the match now tied 9-9, it was Szewczyck’s turn to break and not land a ball in a pocket. With the rack clustered together, Kaci pocketed the 1 ball and then played safe on the 2 ball. His opponent would eventually land the 2 ball and knock the 3 ball up table for another safety. The Albanian kicked at the ball and missed completely, handing ball-in-hand to Szewczyck, who broke up a tied up 5 and 8 balls for the win, collapsing to the floor after pocketing the game-winning 10 ball.

The next semifinal matched Tevez against reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player Jayson Shaw, who had breezed through the event the entire week and continued to make things look easy in the early stages of the final day. Shaw opened the day with a 10-5 defeat of Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz in the round of 16 and qualified for the semifinals with a 10-4 victory against reigning European 10-ball champion Sanjin Pehlivanoic.

This time, it would be the unknown underdog Tevez who seemed to be in cruise control. He built an early 3-1 lead until Shaw used a pair of missed shots by his opponent to tie the score. As the match progressed, Tevez powerful break consistently pocketed balls while his opponent struggled with his opening shot throughout, as Shaw broke dry five times in eight attempts. The Peruvian capitalized, winning four straight racks to build a commanding 7-3 advantage until Shaw took advantage of a dry break and a missed shot by his opponent to win three straight and close the gap to 7-6. Tevez, who had shown no fear throughout the five-day tournament, pocketed four balls on the break in the 14th rack and ran out to increase his lead to 8-6 and then cleared the table again when Shaw again failed to pocket a ball on the break. Standing at the table with a chance to close out the match, Tevez again pocketed a ball on the break and closed out the match with a victorious safety exchange on the 1 ball.

The Predator World 10-Ball Championship ran March 28-April 1 and also taking place is The Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, which runs March 30-April 2.

The events coincide with the CueSports International Expo, which brings thousands of amateur pool players for the BCA Pool League World Championships as well as the USA Pool League National Championships.

Find the Predator World 10-Ball Championship brackets with live scores on the Predator Pro Billiard Series website.

The Predator World 10-Ball Championship is streamed for free on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.

Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the events.

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Shaw Stellar On His Way To Final 16 In Predator World 10-Ball Championship

Jayson Shaw

Scotland’s Jayson Shaw has been busy during the opening third of 2022.

He began the new year by winning yet another Turning Stone Classic – his seventh career victory at the event – and earned over $22,000 at the Derby City Classic a couple of weeks later, finishing second in Master of the Table honors to Fedor Gorst by mere points. In between these tournaments, Shaw made his way to Virginia and broke John Schmidt’s record for straight pool, pocketing consecutive 714 balls.

As he now heads into the final day of competition at the Predator World 10-Ball Championship, the reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player appears to again be in top form. Needing two victories to qualify for the final 16 knockout phase, Shaw delivered a knockout of his own, shutting out Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Thorsten Hohmann, 8-0. Playing again hours later against Jonas Souto, the Scotsman again made the game look easy as he disposed of the Spaniard at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.

Hohmann, who turned in a top-10 finish at the 192-player Alfa Las Vegas Open last weekend, struggled from the start as he failed to pocket a ball on the break twice and missed a 4 ball in the third game. Shaw took full advantage, building an early 3-0 advantage that just continued to snowball. Holding a suffocating 7-0 lead, Shaw failed to pocket a ball on the break and it appeared Hohmann was about climb onto the scoreboard. As he worked his way through the rack, the former World 9-Ball champion missed a 5 ball in the corner pocket and handed a wide-open table back to Shaw, who closed the rack to finish out the shutout.

Facing Spaniard Souto in his second match of the day, Shaw used solid shot making along with stellar safety play which gave his opponent fits, as the former International Open champion won six of the first seven games in the race-to-10 match. After Souto took advantage of a couple of openings left by Shaw to narrow the deficit, the Spaniard had a chance to narrow cut into the lead more in the 11th game but scratched after pocketing the 1 ball. Shaw cleared the table, then took advantage of a foul and another miss by his opponent in subsequent racks to close out the match, 10-3.

Also exhibiting a dominating performance on Thursday was defending champion Eklent Kaci, who ran away early in his match against Alex Pagulayan – thanks in large part to a tardiness gaffe by the BCA Hall of Famer.

After arriving 10 minutes late for the start of his match, Pagulayan was issued a two-game penalty – one for every five minutes that he was late – which spotted his opponent a 2-0 advantage. After the Filipino missed shots in the first and third games played and Kaci added a break-and-run, the Albanian had increased his lead to 5-0. Pagulayan cobbled together a couple of wins after Kaci jumped the cue ball off of the table in the seventh game but lost momentum when he rolled the cue ball behind the 8 ball while attempting to secure position on the 7 ball.

After missing the shot, Kaci finished off the rack to increase his lead to 8-2, then took advantage of a dry break by his opponent to climb onto the hill. After Pagulayan added on another rack to cut the lead to 9-3, Kaci again ran out the rack in the 13th game when his opponent again failed to pocket a ball on the break.

The evening’s round of 32 competition concluded with a Turn Back the Clock matchup between two undefeated Hall of Famers, Mika Immonen and Darren Appleton, who struggled at times with shot making and but gutted out a 10-5 victory.

After splitting the first four racks, Appleton took advantage of back-to-back dry breaks and a pair of missed shots by his opponent to win four out of five games and build a commanding 7-3 lead. The Englishman had a chance climb onto the hill at 9-3 but missed a makeable 10 ball in the corner pocket. Immonen cleared the table to cut the deficit to 8-4 and added another win in the 11 rack, but breaks and runs by Appleton in the 10th and 12th rack sealed the deal.

With the final 16 set, competition will resume tomorrow at 10 a.m. local time with eight matches, including Naoyuki Oi meeting Chris Reinhold; Lee Vann Corteza facing Kaci; Daniel Maciol matching up against Edgie Geronimo and Wojciech Szewczyck squaring off against Denis Grabe. Other notable matches include Mieszko Fortunski tangling with Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Shaw taking on Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, who advanced to the round of 32 by defeating World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis in a hill-hill battle.

The Predator World 10-Ball Championship runs March 28-April 1 and also taking place is The Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, which runs March 30-April 2.

The events coincide with the CueSports International Expo, which brings thousands of amateur pool players for the BCA Pool League World Championships as well as the USA Pool League National Championships.

Find the Predator World 10-Ball Championship brackets with live scores on the Predator Pro Billiard Series website.

The Predator World 10-Ball Championship is streamed for free on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.

Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the events.

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Predator World 10-Ball Championship Kicks Off Today

Eklent Kaci

In a way, Eklent Kaci’s biggest victory of 2021 was the fact that he made it to Las Vegas at all.

The big Albanian had spent more time in his home country than he had hoped, missing a spring Matchroom event in England when his teammate couldn’t get a visa in time then missing a handful of additional events while waiting nearly three months for his “expedited” visa. Once he finally secured the proper credentials, Kaci was denied the opportunity to board his flight to the United States on August 29due to a reservation mix-up and was forced to skip the Diamond Las Vegas Open.

Finally, three days later, Kaci was cleared to travel and made the most of his opportunity, working his way through a field of 64 of the world’s best pocket billiards competitors and took home the World 10-Ball Championship, defeating Naoyuki Oi 10-6 for the title at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.

“This hasn’t been the best year,” he said after the finals were completed. “But this makes it worth the trouble.”

Although 2021 won’t be one that Kaci looks back on with much fondness, it was a revolutionary year for professional pool overall with the creation of numerous new tournaments throughout the world – including the U.S. Pro Billiard Series.

When billiard equipment manufacturer Predator Group and worldwide pool league operator CueSports International announced plans to launch the Series last summer, the strategy could have been interpreted as both aggressive and unconventional. The Pro Billiard Series launched with four new competitions spread out over three months while also producing the World 10-Ball Championships. Adding intrigue was the fact that the Series would be eschewing longer race formats which have long been a staple at major events and opting instead to implement a two-set, race-to-four that concluded with a sudden-death shootout if two competitors finished tied. As an added bonus, the champion of each Pro Billiard Series event in 2021 earned automatic entry into this week’s 2022 Predator World 10-Ball Championships, held again at the Rio beginning today.

“We need to make the sport more exciting,” said Predator Owner Karim Belhaj over the summer. “We’re trying to find outside sponsors while keeping people’s attention.”

It was only fitting that some of the most exciting young players today in professional pool brought home championships in this first season of the Series, as rising stars like Taiwan’s Kun-Lin Wu, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp and Austria’s Mario He earned breakthrough titles. Even more impressive than the roster of champions was the quality of play, as competitors used a variety of methods to earn their championships – clutch shot making, pinpoint position play and stifling safeties.

“I believe we will one day look back on the inaugural season of the US Pro Billiard Series as a historic turning point for professional pool,” said Ozzy Reynolds, owner of CueSports International, the co-creator of the Series. “Several companies joined forces, bringing their own unique assets to the table, to build a better sport.”

The year was also a historic turning point for Wu, who had flirted with victory at big events in recent years only to come up short – finishing in third at the 2016 China Open and turning in a handful of top-10 performances at the Japan Open.

Competing at September’s Diamond Las Vegas Open, the 25-year-old notched his first win of his career, defeating Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen in straight sets, 4-3, 4-1. The young man from Taiwan, who posted an undefeated record during the four-day, 128-player event, eliminated Kremlin Cup champion Tyler Styer and Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz to reach the semi-finals. Facing Estonia’s Dennis Grabe with a chance to go to the finals, he watched as his opponent pocketed back-to-back pocketed 10 balls on the break to sail to an opening set 4-0 win. Wu bounced back, closing out the second set with back-to-back victories after Grabe missed a jump shot in the fifth game and then the deciding shootout to advance to the finals where he took down Al Shaheen.

“I talked to myself to get off of the pressure in the final day,” said Wu. “I felt much pressure because of the title match. Both me and Omar had not won a title yet.”

That drought ended for Wu thanks to a break-and-run paired with two victorious safety exchanges, as he built a 3-0 advantage in the first set. The Kuwaiti battled back to tie the score but missed a combination shot in the seventh game, allowing his opponent to clear the table and take the set. In the next frame, the young man from Taiwan capitalized on a handful of missed shots by Al Shaheen, who earlier this year placed second at the World Pool Championships, to coast a 4-1 victory and earn his first victory.

Last September, Yapp grabbed the attention of the pool world when the 25-year-old reached the finals of September’s U.S. Open Pool Championships and built an 8-3 lead in the title match before ultimately falling to Carlo Biado. The young man from Singapore continued his ascension at the CSI Michigan Open, bouncing back from an early round loss to Roberto Gomez Jr. to defeat the Filipino in the championship match in straight sets, 4-0, 4-2.

Yapp, who struggled with his break throughout the day, gutted out victories against World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis of Greece and Konrad Juszczyszyn of Poland, then survived a second half scare in the semifinals against Hungary’s Oliver Szolnoki. After Yapp won the first set, the match appeared headed to a sudden death shootout as the Hungarian controlled the table with an open table layout. That was before Szolnoki missed the 3 ball, allowing Yapp to run out and advance to the finals, where he capitalized on a handful of Gomez errors to breeze to his first championship on United States soil.

At the Pro Billiard Series season finale, October’s FargoRate Ohio Open in Dayton, Mario He continued to survive but struggled to get a feel for the table being used to televise matches, with the radiant lights causing a different playing condition than he was accustomed to on the outside tables. In the finals against Gomez, the Austrian would barely need to shoot at times, pocketing back-to-back 10 balls on the break to build a quick 3-0 lead in the first set. The Austrian would during a Gomez comeback and win the frame 4-3, then take advantage of a handful of missed shots by the Filipino to pitch a 4-0 shutout and secure the championship.

All three Pro Billiard Series champions will be in competition this week along with reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player Jayson Shaw, five-time U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion Shane Van Boening, 2019 World 10-Ball champion Ping-Chung Ko and his older brother, 2015 World 10-Ball champion Pin-Yi Ko. Also competing will be World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis, reigning World Pool and International Open champion Albin Ouschan and U.S. Open pool champion Biado.

Competition is scheduled to begin this afternoon and will be broadcast live on Billiard TV and World Billiard TV, the official YouTube channel of CueSports International.

The Predator World 10-Ball Championship  runs March 28-April 1 and still to come is The Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, which runs March 30-April 2.

The events coincide with the CueSports International Expo, which brings thousands of amateur pool players for the BCA Pool League World Championships as well as the USA Pool League National Championships.

Find the Predator World 10-Ball Championship brackets with live scores on the Predator Pro Billiard Series website.

The Predator World 10-Ball Championship is streamed for free on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.

Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the next events.

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Dynamic Billard Lasko Open – Day One Complete

Chris Melling

Day one is complete at the Dynamic Billiard Laško Open as a whopping 215 matches took place across 28 tables in double elimination play. With a big field of 217 players gathered in Slovenia, the play was unrelenting as stars of the game, seasoned pros and young up-and-comers battled to avoid an early trip to the one loss side.

An opening match defeat generally means a minimum of a further six wins to reach the last 32 single elimination stage, while staying on the winners’ side throughout means that only three victories are needed to reach a similar stage.

Hosted by the smart Hotel Thermana Park, there were a few big names that succumbed on the opening day. English duo of Chris Melling and Darren Appleton both lost; to Spain’s evergreen David Alcaide and rising Polish star Daniel Maciol respectively, which puts them both under pressure on day two. Former Euro Tour winner, Finland’s Petri Makkonen, also fell early, losing 9-8 to young Greek player Nick Chatoupis. The Finn bounced back winning his next match but has it all to do on Sunday.

Petri Makkonen

The seasoned Polish duo of Karol Skowerski and Mateusz Sniegocki also suffered defeats. Wiktor Zielinski, winner of the last Euro Tour event – in Treviso last November – was beaten 9-2 in a shock upset by fellow countryman Kamil Szaszor. 2021 Euro Tour finalist and European Under 21 Champion Aleksa Pecelj of Croatia also lost his opener and will have it all to do on Sunday.

On the winners’ side, most of the big names here in Lasko progressed without a stutter including Joshua Filler, Eklent Kaci, Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, and Alexander Kazakis. Play gets underway in earnest on Sunday morning as the field play down to the final 16 competitors.

The tournament concludes on Monday 28th February, starting at the round of 16 and playing down to the championship match. This is a new time slot for the tour, made to accommodate a live TV broadcast, initiated for 2022.

This the first of six events in the 2022 Dynamic Billiard Euro Tour series and players battle for Tour ranking points, as well as world ranking points for the newly implemented system operated by Matchroom Sport.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com
Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com

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Zielinski Triumphant In Treviso

Wiktor Zielinski

Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski took the honours in the final Dynamic Billiard Euro Tour of the year as he defeated Mats Schjetne of Norway 9-4 in the championship match at the BHR Treviso Hotel in the northern Italian city. It was the 20 year-old’s second Euro Tour title, his first coming in the same venue in 2017 when Zielinski became the youngest ever player to win an ET title.

“Treviso is a really nice place for me; I’ve won two Euro Tours here now, I met my girlfriend here, so yes, I really like this place!’ commented a delighted Zielinski.

“My girlfriend really helped me a lot here as I was playing five matches a day for two days in a row and I didn’t have time to eat so she bought me some pizza so I’m really thankful to her.

“I lost my first match of the tournament and was on the losers’ side so I had to win five matches yesterday so I was exhausted but I felt better today though. I felt I could have been out of the event yesterday so this morning I thought, ‘let’s see what happens’”, he added.

Seemingly from a never-ending production line of top-drawer Polish players, Zielinski always had too much for his opponent in the final. Ironically, Zielinski lost his opening match of the tournament to local player Filippo Cataldi, but from there he put his foot down.

A win 9-5 win over Ralf Souquet put him into the single elimination last 32 where he beat Fedor Gorst 9-8. The winning shot, a 3/9 combination into the centre pocket saw the 9-ball wobble in the jaws before rolling across the table and falling into the bag opposite.

A comfortable win over countryman Daniel Maciol put him into the last eight before successive 9-8 victories against Alexander Kazakis and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz advanced him to the final.  In fact, he derailed Sanchez Ruiz’s ambition of winning three consecutive Euro Tour titles, squeaking through by the narrowest of margins.

Schjetne enjoyed some high-quality wins en route to the final defeating the likes of Mariusz Skoneczny before going down to Dennis Grabe in the winners’ qualification round. A do-or-die 9-8 win over the highly commendable teenager Bojana Sarac saw him through to the last 32.

Wins over Nikos Ekonomopoulos, Francesco Candela and Sergey Lutsker put him into the semi-final where he also defeated a Spaniard in the last four; this time David Alcaide by a 9-6 margin.

The final was finely poised at 4-3 to Zielinski with Schjetne breaking, but the Norwegian failed to make contact with the object ball kicking off the side rail and Zielinski ran out to go 5-3. The Pole capitalised on it as he ran the next to put three racks between him and his opponent.

A dry break from Schjetne cost him dearly in the tenth game as Zielinski cleared the table to continue his sprint to the line at 7-3. The next rack was make or break for Schjetne and both players executed some high-quality safeties but it was the Pole who prevailed to reach the hill.

Schjetne showed some great heart to run out the next but it was too big a gap to bridge as the young Polish star composed himself after a solid break shot to take his second Euro Tour title.

For Mats Schjetne, it was his best ever finish in a Euro Tour event following three previous semi-final appearances; “Right now it feels a little bad but tomorrow it will feel awesome I hope so! Wiktor played almost perfect in the final and there wasn’t much I could do. I’ve had a lot of support though, and it’s been an amazing ride this week.”

Play continues tomorrow, Sunday, in the third and final event of the Predator Ladies Euro Tour. Play will commence at 9.00 local time with the losers’ qualification round, followed by the last 16 and plays to a conclusion on Sunday evening.

The matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com

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

Treviso Open – Day Two – Down To The Final 16

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz

Play continued today in Treviso as 181 starters were reduced down to 16 players in the final Euro Tour event on the 2021 schedule. With a very strong field in attendance, there were some big names who left the event prematurely.

Joshua Filler was beaten in the losers’ qualification round, a victim of Spain’s Jose Luis Delgado. Likewise, veteran Niels Feijen fell by the wayside in the last 32 at the hands of Germany’s up-and-coming Tobias Bongers. Other stars on their way home include 2019 WPA World Champion Fedor Gorst, Dennis Grabe and two-time WPA World Champion Thorsten Hohmann.

Euro Tour No.1 ranked player, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz (Spain) is enjoying another terrific run here in Italy as he goes for his third consecutive ET championship, a feat not achieved since Oliver Ortmann took down four consecutive titles 27 years ago. The Spaniard has breezed through the winners’ side and now faces a very strong Max Lechner in the last 16.

There are three Poles in the top half of the draw; Mieszko Fortunski faces the ever-dangerous Swiss/Filipino Ronnie Regli while the fast-improving Daniel Maciol faces compatriot Wiktor Zielinski. It’s been well over two years since a Polish player won a Euro Tour championship – Konrad Juszczyszyn at this same venue – which could be some sort of omen.

Two stand-out matches in the bottom half of the drawer are David Alcaide, preparing for the Mosconi Cup in a couple of weeks, against Austria’s Mario He and two of the brightest young talents on the tour.

Hungary’s Oliver Szolnoki has had a real break-out year and he faces young Serbian Aleksa Pecelj who is coming off a terrific run of form, having finished runner-up to Sanchez Ruiz last time out in Turkey and then winning the gold in the Men’s Under 23 division at the recent European Championships.

Play resumes on Saturday 26th November at 12 midday local time with the final getting underway at 17.30.

Starting tomorrow is the third and final event of the Predator Ladies Euro Tour. An outstanding field of 50 players has assembled including the likes of Kristina Tkach, Margareta Fefilova, Bojana Sarac, who made it through to the 33-48 round in the men’s event this week, as well as No.1 ranked player Olivia Zalewska of Poland. The ladies’ event concludes on Sunday.

The matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com

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

Day One Action Complete In Final 2021 Euro Tour Stop

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz

With 181 Players gathered at the BHR Treviso Hotel in Northern Italy, the final stop on the 2021 Euro Tour schedule got underway today (Thursday). Due to the disastrous effects of Covid, this is the fourth tournament on the tour since this same event in February 2020. That said, a full calendar is in place of 2022.

All eyes this week have been on the current Euro Tour No.1, Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz who is going for his third consecutive ET title, and, should he be successful, he would be the first man to achieve that feat since Oliver Ortmann won four back-to-back championships way back in 1994.

The Spaniard completed just one match today; a comfortable 9-3 win over Christos Papageorgiou of Greece to set up a round two match against Italy’s Alessandro Giordani tomorrow. All the big guns are intact in what is a stellar field when play recommences at 9.00 on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the third and final event of 2021 gets underway on Saturday on the Predator Ladies Euro Tour and some of the competitors have been readying themselves by playing in the men’s event.

There are seven rounds of matches here on Friday as the field play down to the last 16 which plays to a conclusion on Saturday 27th November.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com

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

Eurotour Title No.2 For Sanchez Ruiz

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz made it two-out-of-two Euro Tour titles as he took down the Dynamic Billiard Turkish Open presented by the Turkish Billiard Federation with a confident 9-5 victory over emerging young Serbian player Aleksa Pecelj.

The 29 year-old has been playing on the Euro Tour for the best part of a decade and may have been thinking that elusive title may never come but he won in August in Slovenia and followed it up today with a string of imposing performances to become the first man to win consecutive Euro Tour titles since Dennis Grabe in 2014.

Perhaps the confidence of winning his maiden title has elevated Sanchez Ruiz to a higher level and it certainly showed over the past three days here at the Venezia Palace Hotel on Turkey’s south coast. In tip-top form throughout, the Spaniard never conceded more than five racks in any of his matches.

Afterwards he said, “I feel very excited as I didn’t expect to win this tournament but I felt really good and played it round by round so I’m really happy.

“I’m going to try for a hat-trick in Treviso next month. I know it’s going to be tough but I’ll give it 100%. It’s practice, practice, practice and if you believe in your dream, you can do it!”

21 year-old Aleksa Pecelj make have got second prize but his performances these last three days have made plenty of people sit up and take notice.

Afterwards he said, “I didn’t expect such a good result. I was fighting throughout the whole tournament. I was losing in every match 5-2, 5-3, but I managed to get to the final. Francisco played amazing pool so he
deserved the win for sure.”

Sanchez Ruiz and Pecelj stepped into the championship match courtesy of solid semi-final wins over Marc Bijsterbosch and Mariusz Skoneczny respectively. However, it was the Spaniard who got the better of the
opening exchanges to open up a 3-1 lead in the race to 9, alternate break final.

In the fifth game, the Serbian missed a bank on the 2 ball to leave an open table and Sanchez Ruiz made no mistakes to run out for 4-1. That became 5-1 as he laid a tight safety on the 1 ball which Pecelj made contact with but left on.

Pecelj stopped the rot in the seventh as he won against the break and made it 5-3 following a good safety on the 4 ball and a nerveless run out. Sanchez Ruiz took the next and then downed three off the break to set up an easy run out and take the score to 7-3.

Pecelj wasn’t done and fired back in the next with an excellent run out under pressure but Sanchez Ruiz reached the hill in the next game as he ran out from the break. The young Serbian wasn’t finished as he took the next to make it 8-5 but with Sanchez Ruiz breaking on the hill, the signs were ominous.

Another big break from the Spaniard saw four balls drop and the title was within his grasp. With no problem balls on the table, he composed himself and ran through them for his second title in a little over two months.

The next stop on the Dynamic Billiard Euro Tour is the Treviso Open in Italy, commencing on 25th November.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com

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

EPBF Antalya Open Day Two – Big Names Fall as Field Reduces to 16

Ronnie Regli

The field is down to the last 16 at the Dynamic Billiard Turkish Open with some of the heavyweight favourites for the title suffering shock losses in the round of 32. Played out at the Venezia Palace Hotel on the Antalyan coast in Turkey, this is the third stop on the Euro Tour in 2021.

With some names absent from the event this time around, it was a terrific opportunity for others to climb the rankings but for No.2 ranked Eklent Kaci, WPA World No.2 David Alcaide, and veteran champion Niels Feijen it was all over in the last 32.

Kaci (Albania) who recently triumphed in the WPA World 10 Ball Championship in Las Vegas, went out 9-6 to Finland’s Kim Laaksonen while Feijen departed 9-5 to Mariusz Skoneczny, another in a very long line of strong Polish players.

David Alcaide had the misfortune to run into Switzerland’s ever-dangerous Ronnie Regli who prevailed via a 9-6 scoreline.

There are some exciting matches set for tomorrow (Saturday) as the event concludes with four more rounds to find a champion. The picks of the round of 16 are the talented Pole Wojciech Szewczyk against Czech/German veteran Roman Hybler, dangerman Ronnie Regli against up-and-coming Dane Mickey Krause and Norway’s Matt Schnetje v Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz as the Spaniard hunts back-to-back Euro Tour victories.

Play gets underway at midday local time with the championship match scheduled for 17.30.

Meanwhile, alongside the men’s’ event is the Antalya Open on the Predator Euro Tour Women.

Starting with 32 runners, the event is now down to the final four who play off tomorrow (Saturday) at 10.00 local time, with the final following at midday.

Russia’s Kristina Tkach looks to be the favourite following an intensive summer competing in men’s events with some success, but she will need to overcome Ana Gradisnik (Slovenia) first. In the other semi-final, Kamila Khodjaeva, who had the unenviable job of beating her sister Diana in the quarter finals, takes on Poland’s Oliwia Zalewska, who is the defending champion following her win here in 2019.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com

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