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Magic Melling is Champion of Champions

Chris Melling

Chris Melling claimed his second major Ultimate Pool televised title with victory at the thrilling end-of-season Champion of Champions Shootout.

The 16-player one-day spectacular brought together the winners and best performing players from this year’s Professional and Challenger Series’, testing them in a quickfire format consisting of best-of-nine frames matches and a 25-minute match-clock.

Melling won the first trophy of the inaugural Ultimate Pool season back in the spring with the Champions League, and he bookended his campaign beautifully with another big triumph on Sunday night. Despite being a champion on the circuit, he was a wildcard for this invitational tournament, selected for finishing fifth in the professional rankings.

‘The Magician’ was the best player throughout the day and looked comfortable with the fast-paced atmosphere, banking a cool £5,000 for less than 100 minutes work.

The two-time world champion broke off the event with a 5-2 win over Challenger Event 1 victor Adam Bassoo in round one. Returning for the evening session at the Players Pool & Snooker Lounge, he continued his pursuit with a fantastic 5-0 sweep of Challenger 7 champion Hiten Patel before ending the hopes of professional number one Shane Thompson 5-2 in the semi-finals.

His opponent in the final was the tenacious Chris Day. One of the outsiders for the competition, Challenger 4 winner Day was enjoying a brilliant week having confirmed his pro status and won Group 14 of the Eative Pairs Cup.

The Sudbury cueist ousted close friend, Pairs Cup teammate and Pro Series 5 winner Shaun Storry via a 6-reds shootout in round one. In the quarter-finals he squeezed past youngster Luke Gilbert 4-3 but had an even more nail-biting climax in his semi-final against last week’s tier one Professional Series event winner Gareth Potts.

Four-time world champion Potts led 3-2 with time winding down, but Day managed to level before constructing a memorable break clearance to snatch the tie – timing his run to perfection as he sank the 8-ball just before the buzzer. The finish was one of several dramatic conclusions during the day’s entertainment.

The finalists had faced each other a few weeks previously in an early round on the World Rules Pool Tour in an encounter that Day shaded via a deciding frame. However, in a very different environment, Melling was not to be denied the glory, stringing together the final four frames to record a 5-1 success. It meant that he dropped just five frames in four matches in the event – a dominant performance.

Gareth Potts Interview

Gareth Potts

With the lack of events to report on at the moment, we are teaming with the Supr Charged Agency to feature interviews with various European and American players. Hopefully this will give all of the readers a chance to get to know these players better. 
This time, we have Chinese 8-Ball Star, Gareth Potts.
You mainly play English and Chinese pool. 
What is the main differences from American pool when it comes to the tables, rules, balls and cue?
I started my career playing English 8-ball where I won 4 world titles. These, along with numerous other tournaments, meant I was the most successful English 8-ball pool player ever at the time when I finished in 2014 to pursue a new career in China.
The small ball game is run by two different governing bodies that play by two very different rule sets. One being more chess like and the other being a more attacking rule set. I am still currently the only player to win world titles at both World rules and Blackball rules respectively. 
My English 8-ball career was relatively short due to Chinese 8-ball bursting into the scene and into my life in 2013. 
I won the first ever Joy Chinese 8-ball final masters in 2013, also in 2014 and 2017. Off the back of winning the first masters in 2013, I fell in love with Chinese pool and I signed a long term contract with Joy Billiards that has allowed me to focus solely on Chinese 8-ball. Stephen Hendry, Shane Van Boening, Chris Melling and Zhang KunPeng are a few that are currently signed with Joy billiards. 
The 3 main Cue sport disciplines around the world are American Pool, English pool and snooker. They are all obviously very different in every way. Balls, tables, cloth rules and equipment all vary, but Chinese 8-ball is basically where they all meet in the middle. 
There are so many different forms of Pool across the world and this for me is one of the problems.  I personally believe that Chinese pool is the perfect hybrid cue sport that appeals to all cue sport players from every discipline, wherever you play and wherever you're from – it’s the middle ground of them all! 
It’s played on almost the same size table as American pool, with the same size and weight balls with almost the same rule set as the American BCA rules. 
The table aesthetically looks like a snooker table. The pockets are a similar cut and nap Strachan6811 cloth is used. 
Predominantly it’s 8-ball that is played. 
This is backed up even more so by the fact that players use different cues to play Chinese pool. For example, the American players feel as though an American type cue is the right equipment to use. Some Chinese players use a snooker type cue with a 10mm tip. Some English players even use their English 8-ball cue. And others use something in the middle of all those. 
I personally believe that none of these cues are perfect for Chinese pool. You wouldn’t play tennis with a badminton racket or you wouldn’t play squash with a ping pong bat. Obviously, using the right equipment is vital. I Have my own cue range out on the market (Potts Cue), which is effectively a hybrid cue for a hybrid cue sport…. 
But either way my point being is that if you were going to abolish all cue sports and just keep one, it would surely have to be Chinese pool as a compromise to every cue sport player or fan around the world, because it’s simply right in the middle of them all! 
The prize money for pool in China is the highest anywhere in the world. The two biggest Chinese 8-ball tournaments now are the Joy Masters at $150,000 to the winner and the Star World Championships which is $100,000 to the winner. These are snooker type first prizes, but there needs to be more events and more of these types of events outside of China. This then would make Chinese 8-ball more accessible to the world! 
Who was your inspiration/idol when you were younger? 
Definitely my father, who passed away when I was 21. 
Regarding players I grew up watching, Stephen Hendry. A lot of people naturally don’t like winners but I personally do, and he was the ultimate winner! 
Who do you admire amongst today's players?
There are a lot of very good players around the world from all different forms of cue sport and all have their own great traits. You have to be at the top of any sport. But when It comes to pure talent, Ronnie o Sullivan is the daddy. 
What are your greatest accomplishments? Tell us about the feeling of those wins.
Winning my first major junior title at 13 years old, which was the European championships in France, with my father there watching. 
My first world title age 21, 3 months after my father had passed away. 
All the world titles and masters titles at Chinese pool have all been special in their own way. 
I think what defines special is the timing of that particular win to that individual. 
I don’t really think too much about what I have won, I think it’s important to not live off the back of previous wins and achievements. Maybe the time for that is at retirement! 
How often did you practice at an early age and how often now?
I’ve always worked hard at my game from an early early age. 
I have always practiced hard. I believe you only get out what you put in – nothing comes for free – you have to earn it. 
I’ve been lucky over the years to have had a lot of top players to practice with, which is important. Mark Selby is my brother in law so I’ve spent many hours picking balls out, lol. Growing up I had a lot of top players around me to learn from. This is invaluable! 
I’m lucky that I always enjoyed the practice and I think when that day comes that I stop enjoying, it will be the day when I hang my cue up. 
Do you use drills when you practice? – Which drills?
Yes I use drills, they are important. A combination of solo work and practice with other top players. Finding that balance is important. 
As for what drills; there are loads. You can look on YouTube or on my social media. I have posted loads over the years at English pool and Chinese pool. 
What should newcomers practice most? – What are newcomers doing wrong?
The most important thing is constructive practice. Just hitting the balls around the table is pointless. There needs to be routine and structure to what you're doing. Adding pressure even in solo practice is important,  if you're doing a routine or drill, set yourself a target. So for example – I would say I’m not stopping for lunch until I’ve completed it 5 times in a row. ( Many days I went hungry. lol) This adds pressure and purpose to what you're doing! 
What is the strongest part of your game?
I play 8 ball and always have done so. So I would say the strongest party of my game is my patterns and my finishing. Taking the balls in the correct order is the most important part of 8-ball.
What is your weakest part of the game?
Probably doubles ( Or bank shots in America). On English tables and Chinese tables, there is not a marked diamond system and the cloth is nap. So judging the slide off the cushions isn’t easy, that's my excuse anyway. Or maybe I’m just generally rubbish at them. lol 
What is your favorite game(s) and why?
Chinese pool without a doubt. It’s the toughest form of Pool in the world. 
The pockets are extremely tight (3.35 inches) 
Any sport in the world that is at the top of the ladder always has the highest degree of difficulty. Golf, tennis, football, basketball, motor racing just to name a few. 
So the high skill level required combined with the relatively simplicity of the rules is the reason it can be, by far, the biggest pool game in the world, with the biggest prize money. 
Is fitness important for pool players?
Fitness is something I have been into since an early age, and is without doubt massively important. I go to the gym most days and work to a strict training and diet plan. 
In some tournaments, you play a lot of matches over a lot of days over big races. Going to the gym isn’t about being just physically fit, it’s about being mentally fit too. 
Cue sports is evolving all the time and the standard is getting higher all the time. Anything that gives you even a 1% edge can be the difference between winning and losing.
Also, cue sports aside, why wouldn’t you want to keep fit and healthy. 
What are the 3 most important factors? Who has the best stroke in pool today?
This is a tough question because all cue sports are different and they require different strokes and hits on the cue ball, which in turn requires different cue actions. 
American pool players tend to be very loose and loopy. Most don’t even hold the cue tight to their chest. Everything is played with a lot of spin and the cue ball does a lot of travelling. 
Chinese pool is very different, your cue action needs to be straight. The cue needs to be firm on the chest and you need to be very accurate. Your fundamentals and being ‘textbook’ technically is much more important.
Also playing on nap cloth as opposed to Simonis is also very different, which also makes the strike on the cue ball different. 
There are a lot of variants in techniques, stances and cue actions from cue sport to cue sport. So what is right for one doesn’t necessarily mean it is right for another! 
How is your mental strength? Do you have any advice/tricks?
I think my mental strength is also one of the strongest parts of my game. I have won a lot of matches from behind. But it’s not only about this; it goes much deeper. 
Having the ability to deal with making mistakes. We all make mistakes during matches. It's how you mentally deal with it and limiting what that mistake costs you. 
If you make a mistake, it can’t cost you any more than that one rack. You see so many players make a mistake and it affects them for the next 1,2,3  4 frames, which in turns ends up costing you the match, because you never mentally recovered from that first initial mistake. I’m sure a lot of players can relate to that. 
Then there is the side of if you draw a player that you think is better than you. (In some cases you’ve lost before you’ve even took your cue out of its case) 
The mental side of the game is just as, if not more important, than any other. 
How important is the equipment and why do you use the equipment that you do? 
Using the correct equipment is vital. If you're using the wrong gear, then you're never going to play to your full potential. 
As stated above I have endorsed my own cue range for Chinese pool and that’s what I use 
The other vital thing you get right is the tip and chalk. I understand with tips, it’s personal preference among top players. Some prefer harder tips some prefer softer, some prefer the tips higher, some lower. Some have them over hanging some prefer them flush to the ferrule. So it’s what works for you regarding tips.
I personally use a Soft pro Taom tip. 
This brings me into chalk. – Now this is one thing that should not be about personal preference. You have to use Taom chalk.. FACT! 
Almost all of the top snooker players use it and so do almost all of the top English 8-ball players.
Gone are the days of chalk making a mess of the table, transferring onto the cue ball and object balls and causing bad contacts, big bounces, kicks and skids. 
Taom chalk is a complete game changer and has in many ways revolutionised cue sports. Why would you not use chalk that stops all of the above? So if you miss or make a mistake it’s because you did it not your chalk. Cue sports is hard enough workout fighting against certain equipment that don’t do their job properly. 
Chalk is abrasive so therefore wears the cloth more easily. 
It is without doubt the best thing to happen to cue sports for a long time. 
The thing that needs to happen now is it should be made mandatory that everyone has to use it! 
What should the billiard industry in general do to get more recognition outside the industry?
There are players out there that are also marketable away from the table, and as pool grows with tv etc, there will become opportunities that come along for players. 
In my opinion it’s all about TV, endorsements and viewing figures. 
Tournaments and organisations need professionals in charge that know what they are doing and that run it as a business.
I suppose the more events that are on tv for higher prize money makes people sit up and take note 
What are you goals for 2020?
I set myself the goal to win the Chinese Pool International Masters again this year, which was held in China in January. I finished 5th losing to Chu Bingjie, who went on to win. So, not the result I was after, but for 95% of it I played pretty good. This was the last tournament I played and the last Chinese pool tournament  due to the Coronavirus.
Your thoughts on the Covid-19 situation and what should players do?
The situation with Covid-19 has not only stopped cue sports but it has stopped the whole world. These are unprecedented times which certainly puts things into perspective for all of us. 
Winning or losing a pool match is not so important anymore. Things that once seemed important to us no longer do or are. 
I would like to wish all fellow players, amateur or professional, from every cue sport discipline from around the world, all the best during these uncertain times. 
We can all get through this and cue sports will come out the other side of it, stronger I’m sure. 
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my sponsors for their continued support  
The most important thing above all right now is staying safe 
Take care of yourselves and your loved ones

Yu Haitao, Chinese Pool Million Yuan Champion

Yu Haitao

The final battle of the World Chinese Pool Masters 7th Grand Finals took place in Qinhuangdao on Januray 21st, where China’s Yu Haitao defeated Wang Yun in the final, and became the 4th player to win the title of World Chinese Pool Masters. (The previous six titles were won by Britain’s Gareth Potts and Chinese countrymen Yang Fan and Zheng Yubo.
Prize money of 1 million Chinese yuan was close at hand and both players looked nervous at the start. In the first rack, Yu Haitao took the lead with a beautiful trickshot, but Wang Yun fought back and won the following 2 racks. In the 6th rack, Wang Yun missed a bank shot on the 8-ball, but Haitao couldn’t convert the open table. Wang Yun won that game for a 3-3 scoreline and then capitalized on Wang Yun’s dry break for a 4-3 lead before the first time-out.
As the match went on both players were plagued by crucial mistakes. One rack saw Wang Yun miss a shot to the side pocket in a safety battle and leave an easy 8-ball to Haitao. Another saw Haitao fail to complete a table run that allowed Wang Yun to extend his lead. Haitao was able to claw back into the match and the score was knotted at 6-6 at the second break. With the finish line in sight, both players tightened up their game, refusing to allow their opponent any advantage at the table. With 15 minutes to play in this timed match, the score was tied at 8-8. There was 15 minutes before the end of the match. Under the huge pressure of playing for this title, both players displayed to the worldwide audience what top level Chinese pool looks like. 
Yu Haitao saved his best for last as he broke and ran his first rack for a 9-8 lead. Wang Yun was unable to level the score in the following rack and time expired, with Yu Haitao defeating Wang Yun 9-8 and won the prize money of 1 million Yuan with honor

Gareth Potts is out at Chinese Pool Masters Grand Final

Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH)

With many ace players already in the loser’s bracket yesterday, the matches were obviously getting intenser. As an old saying goes: when two tigers fight, one is sure to lose. Matches today definitely illustrated it.
Gareth Potts (GBR) met his Waterloo in the match against Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH). The 18-year-old youngster got a flying start by 5-1. Under the pressure, Gareth won the next 3 racks, but the miracle comeback didn’t happen for Potts. Sanjin got an earned victory by 13-7 and became the first international player to knock Gareth out in Grand Finals. Acclaimed player Jeffrey Ignacio (PHI) survived in the loser’s bracket smoothly by winning two matches. Another fierce match took place between Zhang Kunpeng, top of the ICEA World Rankings and Zhao Ruliang, champion of Xiushui Station. Zhao eliminated Kunpeng in the semi-finals of the Xiushui Station event. Surprisingly, Kunpeng got this revenge over Zhao by a score of 13-2 in this event. 
Winning or going home, Sanjin then met Kunpeng in a battle on the one loss side. Kunpeng was definitely in form and broke and ran continuously. The scoreline of 13-5 showed his excellent form. Shane Van Boening played against Tang Chunxiao, a strong female player. Shane struggled to build any lead against Tang, and the score seesawed to stand at 6-5. At this point in the match, Shane took control and won the following 5 racks. Shane won by the final score of 13-6.
Zheng Yubo and Liu Chuang battled in another close match. They were neck and neck at the beginning. In the third rack, Yubo missed an easy shot, which allowed Liu Chuang to take the lead. Yubo bounced back after that missed shot and fought back to take a 7-5 lead. Liu Chuang did all he could to catch up, but Yubo didn’t allow that to happen as he won the match 13-10. Johann Chua (PHI) got a victory over Moh Keen Hoe (MYS) by the narrowest margin. With the match tied at 11-11 it went to a shootout. Although Moh Keen Hoe made one shot, the cue ball dropped into the pocket as he fell short against Chua.
There will be more exciting matches tomorrow. Fans can follow ICEA Chinese Pool on Facebook for more information from the 7th World Chinese Pool Masters Grand Finals.

Chinese Pool Masters Grand Final Underway

Wang Ye

The Chinese Pool Masters Grand Finals main event kicked off on January 17th. The event sees thirty nine international players and twenty five Chinese players with hopes of clinching the final crown.
Shane Van Boening (USA), who just won the Mosconi Cup in December, met Zhao Ruliang (CHN), champion of Xiushui Station in his first match. After a fierce battle of 21 racks, Shane won the match. Defending champion Zheng Yubo (CHN) was in hot water. On the winner’s side, he clashed with Lei Weimin, a Grand Finals debutant. Lei held a slender lead over Yubo the whole match and got on the hill first at 12-11. In the end Yubo fell into the loser’s side unexpectedly. 
Johann Chua defeated Aurelian Ungureanu (ROM) by 13-5 and met Chinese veteran Shi Weida. Johann held an enormous advantage at first , but Weida didn’t give up and narrowed the gap. Ultimately, Johann’s outstanding performance saw him to the next round. Jeffrey Ignacio met his old rival Wan Tongle in the following match. Jeffrey was leading by 12-9 only to see Wan level the score at the last moment. The match finally went to the shootout, where Wan made his first and the last shot for a 2-0 victory. 
Wang Ye, Champion of Shijiazhuang Open was on form and beat Clint I'anson (GBR), champion of Chinese Pool UK Championships by 13-5. She then kept her momentum and sent Wu Zhenyu to the loser’s bracket.
A true clash of the titans today took place today between the 3-time champion Gareth Potts (GBR) and former Chinese national team member Chu Bingjie. Gareth did not do much wrong in the match, only to lose to Chu who was in a better form.
There is more to come as ICEA Chinese Pool brings you on-site coverage of the most prestigious event in the field of Chinese Pool.

7th World Chinese Pool Masters Grand Finals Boasts International Field

On January 12, 2019, the World Chinese Pool Masters Grand Finals will be held  in Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province, China. This event, the longest running International Chinese Pool Championship,  will feature top players from more than 50 countries.
The finals will consist of 64 players, including 24 Chinese players and 40 international players. The 64 finalists emerged from tens of thousands of players who competed to earn this honor. Players qualified through the following six channels…
1 Masters International Points
Five Master’s International Points events were held in Linyi, Siping, Shuangyashan, Xiushui and Shijiazhuang in China. Each event rewarded points based on player finishes with the top eight players earning spots in the Finals. 
This group of players includes such notables as Yang Fan, Zhang Kunpeng, Liu Chuang, Zhao Ruliang and Wang Yun.
2 China Regional Selection Competition
At the end of the aforementioned points events, the top eight players from the each event competing to earn a spot in the Finals. 
Players earning their spots through this method included Zheng Yubo, Wu Zhenyu, Li Hewen and  Wang Ye.
3 National Chinese Pools Tournament Year-end Championship
At an international level, more than 30 countries have established their own Chinese pool points system. Regional champions from this system earned their positions in the finals. 
Examples of playing qualifying through this system are Shane Van Boening from American, Bosnia-Herzegovina Champion Sanjin and Myanmar Champion Yang Shaojie.
4 Foreign Players Trials
International players could also qualify through a qualifying stage that took place just before the finals with 8 players being awarded spot in the finals. 
This group of players included Philippine players Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ignacio, Mongolian B. Narantuya and Thailands  P. Boonmoung.
5 Overseas International Open Competition
In addition to the four methods mentioned above, the Masters Competition also hosted high-level international events such as the Japanese Open, the American Open and the British Championships. Players who won those events include American Open Champion Li Henwen and British Champion Clint Ianson.
6 Joint Recommendation by International Associations
The world Chinese pool masters grand finals is strongly supported by the World Billiards Association (WPA) and the International Chinese Eight Balls Association (ICEA). In cooperation with the event, these two international associations recommend one players from each association who earns a spot in the finals. 
The ICEA recommended Chinese Pool World Champion Gareth Potts and the  WPA recommended Albin Ouschan.
Watch AzBilliards for daily updates from this great International event. 

Chinese Pool China Team To Compete in English Eight Ball World Championship

November 20 to 26, 2018, the English Eight ball world championships will be staged in Bridlington, Yorkshire, England. As an Asian member of this tournament, the ICEA has selected a team consisting of Zhang Kunpeng, Liu Chuang, Wang Peng, Qiu Paomou and Chen Zhigang to participate in the tournament.
Five players will represent China in the World Championship’s Team match. They will also participate in the JOY Chinese Pool UK Championships at the same time. Although JOY Chinese Pool is popular all over the world, the players feel that it is incumbent upon them to defend the honour of the Chinese players in this event.
When it comes to the English Eight-ball game, many fans think of Gareth Potts, who is the double “Triple Crown” winner of two top international competitions, Chinese Pool and English eight-ball. In fact, the game of English Eight-Ball has a longer history in UK than Snooker, and was considered the "National Cue Sport“ of the UK at its peak.
Mark Selby, Chris Merlin and Darren Appleton are all past winners of the Blackball International World Championships . At present, nearly 40 countries and regions participate in the Blackball International World Championships every year.
For anyone wondering how a team of Chinese Pool players is competing in the UK Blackball Championship, in 2017 the International Chinese Eight-Ball Association (ICEA), initiated by JOY Chinese Pool, won the authorization of the World Pool Association (WPA) under the International Olympic Committee and became the authority on Chinese Pool worldwide. Subsequently, BI, the Blackball International, within the framework of the WPA, actively welcomed the new members of the WPA and reached agreements with the ICEA in terms of resource sharing of players and mutual cooperation in events.
On this basis, the BI requested the ICEA to serve as the chairman of the Asian Association and manage the Asian business of English Eight-Ball. JOY Chinese Pool has taken on this important task. After careful selection and comprehensive evaluation, five Chinese Pool players, Zhang Kuipeng, Liu Chuang, Wang Peng, Qiu Paomou and Chen Zhigang, were selected by the chairman of the BI Asia Association JOY Chinese Pool.
As a part of cooperation, the BI and ICEA jointly organized the JOY Chinese Pool UK Championships. On the stage with the best English eight-ball players, pool masters from all over the world can also experience the popular worldwide sport of Chinese Pool. The China Dragon Team, which represents Chinese Pool, can also show the essence of this Chinese sport to the UK fans.

Potts Over Li Hewen For Chinese Pool Victory in Los Angeles

Gareth Potts with Li He Wen

Gareth Potts concluded his undefeated run through the field to win the Joy Chinese Pool U.S. Open on October 19th in Los Angeles. 
This event was the first major event held by Joy Chinese Billiards in the states and drew 64 players from the United States, Britain, Norway, Australia, Pakistan and other countries.
The finals were a race to 13 with a 150 minute time limit. Surprisingly, the final match was a one sided affair with Potts in top form and Li Hewen struggling as he made multiple mistakes at the table. At the first official timeout, Potts already held a dominating 7-1 lead. As the match continued, Li Hewen couldn’t find his “A-Game” while Potts continued his high level of play. By the end, it was Potts scoring a 13-4 win for first place. Since Potts has already qualified for the Joy World Chinese Pool Masters in January, Li earned the qualifier that was up for grabs at this event. 

JOY Chinese Pool U.S Open Enters Final Stage

Shane Van Boening

The Joy Chinese Pool US Open has advanced from it’s qualifying stage to the final double elimination 32 player bracket. The qualifying stage attracted a number of American Pro Players, Chinese Pro Players and local Los Angeles Chinese players. Notable players advancing to the final stage of the event included Gareth Potts, Shane Van Boening, Corey Deuel, Liu Wei, Li Hewen and Shi Hanqing.
Hosted by China's high-end billiards company, Joy Billiards Promotion Co., Ltd., this event is an important international event in the global system of the Joy Cup Chinese Pool Masters which is considered to be the world's largest professional pool league, successfully held in 54 countries, the prize money reached 1 million yuan (about 145,000 US dollars).
In 2016, Joy Chinese pool began global promotion of their events. In the same year, it entered the US market and participated in the BCA Pool League National Championship in Las Vegas for two consecutive years. Contemporary American pool leader Shane Van Boening is a signed player of Joy Chinese pool. On a global scale, Stephen Hendry, the greatest player in the history of snooker, is the spokesperson for Joy Chinese pool.
Follow the brackets from the final stage of the event with our online bracket coverage

Potts Falls to Zheng in China

Zheng Yubo

Gareth Potts fell just short of another Chinese Pool title with his second place finish at the Chinese Pool International Challenge held in Fushun China. 
The event’s sixteen player invitational field was comprised of eight Chinese players and eight “international” players. Potts was joined by such notables as Darren Appleton, Chris Melling, Albin Ouschan, Jeffrey Ignacio and Carlo Biado in the “international” field, while the Chinese contingent included such notables as Zheng Yubo, Yang Fan and Li Hewen.
Appleton, Melling and Ouschan all failed to make the final eight. Melling and Ouschan met on the one loss side after losses to Yang Fan and Chu Bingjie. Melling eliminated Ouschan 9-7 and was then eliminated in his next match 9-4 by Potts. 
Potts and Ignacio were the only “international” players to make the top 8. Ignacio defeated Li Hewen 9-3 and then sent Potts to the one loss side 9-8. In the single elimination final eight, he was defeated by Li Hewen 11-5.
Potts, a three time Joy Chinese Pool Masters winner, defeated Biado 8-5, lost to Ignacio 9-8 and then defeated Melling 9-4 to make the final eight. From there, he defeated Yang Fan 11-3 and Zhang Kunpeng 13-10 to earn his place in the finals. 
Zheng Yubo won the event with an undefeated record after wins over Zhao Ruliang, Appleton, Qiu Paomou and Li Hewen.
Zheng started the final match by taking a 2-0 lead, but Potts then won four straight racks to take the lead. Zheng regained the lead at 5-4 just before the first official timeout. Zheng extended his lead to 7-4 after the timeout and held a 10-8 lead at the second official 5 minute timeout. Both players took a less aggressive approach after the second timeout, leading to another rack for Potts who trailed 10-9. After losing that nineteenth rack, Zheng returned to his dominating aggressive style and closed the match out at 13-10 for first place.