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Judgement Day Casts Out The Weak As Fantastic Final 64 Gets Set To Do Battle

John Morra

Judgement Day at the 2018 World 9-ball Championship in Doha came and went in a flash, with just two sessions on the losers side of each of the 16 groups. And while there were the usual jangling nerves rattling throughout the cavernous Al Arabi Sports Club, one thing that was definitely missing from this year’s final day of the group stages was the complete lack of upsets.
 
This means that the 64 players left in the competition, who begin a single elimination, race to 11 format on Monday at 10am Doha time(GMT +3), comprise the absolute best of the very best in professional pool. Over the next several days these greats of the game will duel it out for the most prestigious prize in the sport and a $40,000 top prize. If you are a fan of 9-ball pool, buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life.
 
A look at the players still standing tells us a lot about the state of pool, and where the world’s best practitioners come from. The Taiwanese lead the way with nearly 15% of the players left, 9 to be exact. Next up might be a surprise to some fans but not to those who follow the sport intimately: six players from Poland qualified, proof that the sport of pool in Poland is perhaps the most vibrant in the world at the moment.
 
The Philippines, Japan and China come in next with five players each. The Philippines is an interesting story because many Pinoy players stayed away from this year’s championship to play in boxer Manny Pacquiao’s event in his home town in the southern Philippines. If you are hard core fan that is no doubt a disappointing development. But the 5 Pinoy’s left, including defending champion Carlo Biado, all have a shot at going far.
 
The Japanese have put in their best showing in years, while the Chinese players have also looked strong. A Chinese player has never won a World 9-ball Championship.(Wu Jiaqing played for Chinese-Taipei when he won in 2005).
 
One of the most watched matches of the day came between the Philippines Roland Garcia, a runner up here last year, and American Billy Thorpe. The two stayed close throughout the first half of the match, splitting the first 8 racks. But Garcia pounced on several mistakes by Thorpe and then piled on the racks, winning 9-5.Garcia breathed a massive sigh of relief afterward because he had lost his very first match in Doha and had to win two straight to qualify.
 
In a battle of two former world champions, Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann took on China’s Wu Jiaqing. Wu jumped out to a big early lead, 6-2, before the German mounted a brief fight back. But Hohmann admittedly let the match slip away with too many unforced errors, as Wu advanced 9-6.
 
It was a proud day for the Kuwaitis who once again showed their prowess as a pool playing nation. Bader Alawadhi pulled off what could be the day’s biggest surprise when he shocked Spain’s David Alcaide, 9-7. Omar Alshaheen also booked his spot in the knockout rounds with a handy 9-6 win over Bosnia’s Sanjin Pehlivanovic.
 
It was also a good day for Finland. Petri Makkonen advanced with his second straight win, after taking down the always strong Chang Yu Leung, 9-6. Casper Matikainen put a halt to Filipino Marlon Manalo’s comeback with an easy 9-2 victory.
 
Austria’s former world champion Albin Ouschan struggled early but qualified with a 9 – 5 win over Myanmar’s Aung Moe Thu. Fellow Austrian Maximilian Lechner put an end to the hopes of South African Jason Theron, winning 9-5 after an early struggle.
 
Lebanon doesn’t often feature in the business end of things here, but Mazen Berjaoui held his nerve with a break and runout in the final frame to eliminate the USA’s Hunter Lombardo, 9-8.
 
Canada’s John Morra looked very strong in his 9-3 win over American Tommy Tokoph. Venezuela’s Jalal Al Sarisi(formerly Yousef), who went all the way to the quarterfinals last year, also qualified after handily beating the Netherland’s Ivar Saris, 9-6.
 
Monday’s action will be comprised of three sessions, with both the rounds of 64 and 32 being completed. The tournament will have a day off on December 18th due to it being the National Day of Qatar. The round of 16 and the quarterfinals will be held on December 19th, while the semis and final will take place on December 20th.
 
Play on Monday begins at 10am Doha time(GMT +3)
 
Fans around the world can watch four tables on our free live stream which can be accessed via the live scoring page here; http://www.esnooker.pl/live/en/tsnew.php
 Click the tables where you see the word "Video" and you will be taken to Youtube to watch the match. Tables 1, 7,8,9. Please visit the WPA Facebook Page for more information.
 
The winner of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
To view the Final 64 bracket, please CLICK HERE.
 
*The 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 10-20, 2018. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
The WPA is on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
Media coverage of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship is being supported by the American Poolplayers Association(APA).  Join the world’s largest pool league today. Please visit join.poolplayers.com
 
Day 3 Results.
 
Losers Side Matches. Losers are out. Winners qualify for the final 64 knockout stage.
 
Group 1
Vitaliy Patsura(UKR)   9 – 6 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Woo Seung Ryu(KOR) 9 – 3 Meshaal AL Murdhi(KUW)  
 
Group 2
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 7 Matt Edwards(NZL)  
Mazen Berjaoui(LEB) 9 – 8 Hunter Lombardo(USA)     
 
Group 3
Roland Garcia(PHL) 9 – 5 Billy Thorpe(USA)
Bader Alawadhi(KUW) 9 – 7 David Alcaide(ESP)
 
Group 4
Omar Alshaheen(KUW) 9 – 6 Sanjin Pehlivanovic(BOS)
Johann Chua Gonzales(PHL) 9 – 3 Jeong Young Hwa(KOR)
 
Group 5
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 6 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)
Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP)   9 – 5 Ahmed Tanvir(BAN)
 
Group 6
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 6 Satoshi Kawabata(JPN)
Ruslan Chinahov(RUS) 9 – 2 Abdullah Alenzi(KUW)
 
Group 7
Ko Ping Han(TPE) 9 – 7 Xu Xiacong(CHN)
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 9 – 5 Hayato Hijikata(JPN)
 
Group 8
Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN) 9 – 4 Roman Hybler(CZE)
Toru Kuribayashi(JPN) 9 – 6 Hasan Idan(IRQ)
 
Group 9
Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET) 9 – 5 Hoang Duong Quoc(VET)
Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 9 – 7 Sergey Lutsker(POL)
 
Group 10
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 9 – 2 Marlon Manalo(PHL)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 6 Martin Daigle(CAN)
 
Group 11
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 6 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)
Maximilian Lechner(AUT) 9 – 5 Jason Theron(RSA)
 
Group 12
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 3 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
Wojciech Sroczynski(POL) 9 -3 Richard Halliday(RSA)
 
Group 13
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 9 – 6 Ivar Saris(NED)
Nikolaos Malaj(GRE) 9 – 8 Marek Kudlik(POL)
 
Group 14
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 6 Denis Grabe(EST)
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 6 Lo Ho Sum(HKG)
 
Group 15
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 5 Aung Moe Thu(MYR)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 3 Tommy Tokoph(USA)
 
Group 16
Bing Chen Gao(CHN) 9 – 7 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)
Wen Lo Li(TPE) 9 – 5 Kwon Hojun(KOR)

Pool’s Best Push Through To The Final 64

Jung Lin Chang

A veritable armada of pool’s biggest stars pushed their way through to the Final 64 knockout stage at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha today, as the business end of proceedings quickly started to take shape at the 2018 World 9-ball Championship.
 
It was a very busy day which saw 32 players qualify for the money rounds, and another 32 players see their dreams of glory come to a screeching halt.
 
Of course it was quite expected when the tournament began on Friday that over half the original field of 128 players from over 40 countries had no chance at actually winning the event. But the outcomes today were somewhat surprising in that we saw few of the upsets fans have come to expect in the group stages over the years. The only big name to fall by the wayside and get a pink slip was 2001 World 9-ball Champion and Hall of Famer Mika Immonen, who lost his second straight match in as many days.
 
Otherwise the day’s action saw one superstar and rising star after the next take their place in the final 64. When the field is filled at the end of the day’s play on Sunday, fans around the world can expect one of the finest runs to the gold in many years.
 
World number one Klenti Kaci hasn’t looked his sharpest so far. But the 19 year old Albanian did what he had to do in a steady 9-6 win over Kuwaiti Meshaal Al Murdhi.
 
Defending champion Carlo Biado of the Philippines seemed to be on cruise control in his 9-5 win over Russia’s Sergey Lutsker. Despite being the reigning 9-ball king, the Filipino great benefits from being so humble and so low key that he plays almost unnoticed.
 
The biggest winners Saturday in terms of countries was Taiwan, which saw a whopping seven of its players qualify for the round of 64.  2015 World 9-ball champion Ko Pin Yi looked the goods today as he handily beat Czech Republic’s Roman Hybler, 9-4. 2017 semi-finalist Lin Wu Kun grinded out a solid 9 – 7 victory over former champion Yukio Akagariyama of Japan. Ko’s younger brother Ko Ping Chung took a 9 – 6 win over Greece’s Nikolas Malai.  Hsieh Chia Chen beat Russian strongman Ruslan Chinhov 9-8 to make it through.vLui Ri Ten beat American Billy Thorpe 9-7 to make it through.
 
Taiwan’s biggest monster right now—and that is saying something– is surely Chang Jung Lin who is currently ranked number 2 in the world. Chang did win his second straight match to qualify today, but he once again had to go to the limit to get there. Chang blew an 8-5 lead to Greece’s Damianos Giallourakis and had to eke out victory with a nervy clear in the very last rack for a second straight 9-8 win.
 
The USA’s Shane Van Boening, who is one of the heavy favorites this week in Doha, didn’t have as easy a time today as he did on day one. But he was never in real trouble against Venezuelan veteran Jalal Al Sarisi, winning 9-7. SVB’s Mosconi Cup teammate Corey Duel played steady 9-ball and easily defeated Finland’s Petri Makkonen 9-4 to make the knockout stage.
 
World number six and 2014 champion Niels Feijen had another solid day, defeating Spain’s Francisco Diaz-Pizarro, 9-7. The Dutchman’s Mosconi teammate Albin Ouschan didn’t fare as well as he took a thumping from Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn, 9-4.  Juszczyszyn may not be a household name to pool fans but it should be noted that he is the current European 9-ball champion. Another Pole who scored a very big victory was Mateusz Sniegocki who took down a very tough Filipino, Jeffrey Ignacio, 9-5. Tomasz Kaplan made it three for Poland today with a win over South Africa’s Jason Theron.
 
It was good day for the Germans as both Ralf Souquet and Joshua Filler won their second straight matches to qualify for the final 64.  18 year old Russian Fedor Gorst continued to impress as he qualified with a handy 9-1 win over Jeong Young Hwa of Korea.
 
It was a very big day for the Japanese side as three players made it through with impressive wins. Takano Tomoo took down former world champion Wu Jiaqing 9-8. Naoyuki Oi was a 9 – 4 winner over Finland’s Casper Matikainen. And Tomoya Iima took a 9 – 7 win over Hoang Guong Quoc of Vietnam.
 
Other winners who qualified for the knockout rounds included the Philippines Jeffrey De Luna, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp, Canada’s Alex Pagulayan, Myanmar’s talented Phone Myint Kyaw, Spain’s Fracisco Sanchez Ruiz, Greece’s Alex Kazakis, China’s Wang Can and Russia’s Konstantin Stepanov.
 
Chris Melling, the lone Brit in the field, again looked the goods as he easily beat South Africa’s Richard Halliday, 9-3. Qatar’s Waleed Majid also won his second straight to make it through, beating China’s Xu Xiacong, 9-6.
 
Play continues on Sunday in Doha at the Al Arabi with the action beginning at 12pm local time(GMT +3.) All matches on Sunday will be do or die, losers side matches with the winners advancing to the knockout round and the losers going out of the event.
 
The winner of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
*The 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 10-20, 2018. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform. Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public. Please visit the WPA Facebook Page for more information.
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
Media coverage of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship is being supported by the American Poolplayers Association(APA).  Join the world’s largest pool league today. Please visit join.poolplayers.com
 
 
 
Results Losers Side Matches
 
Group 1
Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT) 9 – 4 Alejandro Carvajal(CHL)
Woo Seung Ryu(KOR) 9 – 3 Fayaz Hussain(MAL)
 
Group 2
Matt Edwards(NZL) 9 – 5 Ruslanov Stanimir(BUL)
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 – 7 Sami Koylu(TUR)
 
Group 3
Roland Garcia(PHL) 9 – 5 1 Ahmed Nizam Uddin(BAN)
David Alcaide(ESP) 9 – 2 Ahmed Aleqaly(JOR)
 
Group 4
Omar Alshaheen(KUW) 9 – 6 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Johann Chua Gonzales(PHL) 9 – 3 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
 
Group 5
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 5 Israel Rota(PHL)
Ahmed Tanvir(BAN) 9 – 4 Fawaz Al Rashedi(KUW)
 
Group 6
Satoshi Kawabata(JPN) 9 – 4 Mika Immonen(FIN)
Abdullah Alenzi(KUW) 9 – 1 Vincent Halliday(RSA)
 
Group 7
4 Ko Ping Han(TPE) 9 – 4 Jakub Koniar(SVK)
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 9 – 2 Ahmad Mohamad Silah(JOR)
 
Group 8
Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN) 9 – 6 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Hasan Idan(IRQ) 9 – 6 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
 
Group 9
Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET) 9 – 2 Llanos Jorge(ARG)
Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 9 – 8 Ameer Ali(IRQ)
 
Group 10
Marlon Manalo(PHL)  9 – 2 Ali Abdulhadi(QAT)
Martin Daigle(CAN) 9 – 3 Abdullah Falah(IRQ)
 
Group 11
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 7 Takhti Zarekani(IRA)
Maximilian Lechner(AUS) 9 – 6 Jimmy Worung(NED)
 
Group 12
Ali Maghsoud(IRA) 9 – 8 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
Wojciech Sroczynski(POL) 9 – 7 Maksim Dudanets(RUS)
 
Group 13
Ivar Saris(NED) 9 – 3 Robert Hart(USA)
Marek Kudlik(POL) 9 – 8 Oliver Szolnoki(HUN)
 
Group 14
Denis Grabe(EST) 9 – 2 Toh Lian Han(SIN)
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 8 Enrique Rojas(CHL)
 
Group 15
Aung Moe Thu(MYN) 9 – 3 Roberto Brillantes(PHL)
Thomas Tokoph(USA) 9 – 8 Kong Bu Hong
 
Group 16
Bing Chen Gao(CHN) 9 – 6 Mohammed Hassan(MAL)
Kwon Hojun(KOR) 9 – 4 Bashar Abdulmajeed(QAT)
 
 
 
Results Winners Side Matches
 
Group 1
Eklent Kaci(ALB) 9 – 6 Meshaal AL Murdhi(KUW)  
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 8 Vitaliy Patsura(UKR)   
 
Group 2
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 5 Mazen Berjaoui(LEB)   
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 6 Radoslaw Babica(POL) 
   
 
Group 3
Hsu Jui An(TPE) 9 – 1 Bader Alawadhi(KUW)
Lui Ri Teng(TPE) 9 – 7 Billy Thorpe(USA)   
 
Group 4
Fedor Ghorst(RUS) 9 – 1 Jeong Young Hwa(KOR)
Robbie Capito(HKG) 9 – 5 Sanjin Pehlivanovic(BOS)
 
 
Group 5
Niels Feijen(NED) 9 – 7 Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP)  
Corey Duel(USA) 9- 4 Petri Makkonen(FIN)
 
Group 6
Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE) 9 – 8 Ruslan Chinhov(RUS)  
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 5 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL)   
 
Group 7
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 8  Hayato Hijikata(JPN)  
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 7 Xu Xiacong(CHN) 
 
 
Group 8
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 8 Toru Kurbayashi(JPN)    
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 4 Roman Hybler(CZE)
 
Group 9
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 5 Sergey Lutsker(RUS)    
Tomoya Iima(JPN) 9 – 7 Hoang Guong Quoc(VET)   
 
Group 10
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 6 Liu Haitao(CHN)  9 – 6 
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 4 Casper Matikainen(FIN)  
 
Group 11
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 9- 5 Jason Theron(RSA)   
Takano Tomoo(JPN) 9 – 8 Wu Jiaqing(CHN)  
 
Group 12
Chris Melling(GBR) 9 – 3 Richard Halliday(RSA) 
Lin Wu Kun(TPE)  9 – 7 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)    
 
Group 13
Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 9 – 6 Nikolas Malaj(GRE)   
Shane Van Boening(USA)  9 – 7 Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN)   
 
Group 14
Phone Myint Kyaw(MYN) 9 – 4 Lo Ho Sum(HKG)     
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS)  9 – 4 Dang Jinhu(CHN)  
 
Group 15
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 2 John Morra(CAN)
Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL) 9 – 4 Albin Ouschan(AUS)  
 
 
Group 16
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 –2 Wen Lo Li(TPE)   
Chang Jung Lin(TPE) 9 – 8 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)   

Van Boening, Other Top Stars Cruise On Day One In Doha

Shane Van Boening

Shane Van Boening has never won a World 9-ball Championship. He did, of course, come ever so close, finishing runner up in 2015, and 2016. After skipping last year’s championship, however, there is a palpable sense in Doha that the American star is absolutely destined to finally grab the world crown in 2018.
 
Interestingly there are eight former World 9-ball Champions in this year’s field, all of them still highly capable of pulling off the impossible feat yet again. But nobody is yet talking about them. It’s the moniker ‘SVB’ who is on everyone’s lips.
 
Van Boening has admitted that he is playing his best pool perhaps ever. After a grueling six month training regime, he led Team USA to a thrilling victory in the Mosconi Cup last week. He showed up in Doha saying he intends to win, and that he is playing with zero pressure on his shoulders.
 
Fans in Doha, and the pro pool community itself seem to agree something is afoot. While most players played in the relative obscure quiet of the cavernous Al Arabi Sports Club on day 1 of this year’s championship, Van Boening’s time in the arena today actually drew a fair amount of watchers. Everyone and anyone who likes pro pool around here seems to feel something special is afoot. 
 
The American didn’t disappoint in his first outing, as he crushed Poland’s Marek Kudlik 9-1. Good breaking, solid potting, deft safeties all showed up in Van Boening’s arsenal today. Combined with his quiet confidence, SVB laid down an early marker stating that nothing short of victory in Doha will suffice.
 
As all 128 players saw action on the first day of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship, it’s clear, though, that Van Boening will have plenty of serious contenders just as eager and capable of taking the crown on December 20. This year’s field is positively stacked with ferocious talent, both young and not so young. With the Wiraka tables breaking fairly easily—wing ball down, 1 in or near the side pocket—it’s all going to come down to who can handle the almost impossible pressure. Pool fans are in for a real treat over the next six days.
 
In the group stages it’s all about just winning two matches, to make it through to the final 64, where the tournament becomes single knockout all the way to the final. Defending champion Carlo Biado of the Philippines had an easy time of it today, easily taking down Argentina’s Llanos Jorge, 9-3. The man who lost in last year’s final to Biado, fellow Filipino Roland Garcia, came into Doha one of the hottest players in Asia and with high expectations. Garcia, though, stumbled out of the blocks to Taiwan’s Hsu Jui An, 9-8. Garcia will move over to the one loss side of his group where he needs two wins to advance.
 
World number one Klenti Kaci came out looking tired against the always tough Chilean Alejandro Carvajal. The Albanian teen was down four racks early but battled back to clip Carvajal at the wire, 9-7.
 
Pool’s young guns get more numerous and more dangerous year after year. 21 year old German sensation Joshua Filler played his usual brand of solid, care free pool in a 9-6 win over Bulgaria’s Ruslanov Stanimir. 17 year old Russian Fedor Gorst handled the always tough Kuwaiti Omar Al Shaheen, winning 9-6. 17 year old Pole Wiktor Zielinski came in with some expectations on his shoulders but he fell to Japan’s Tomoya Iima, 9-7.
 
It was a good day for the USA Mosconi Cup team as both Billy Thorpe and Corey Duel notched victories, and moved with one win of making the final 64. Canada’s Alex Pagulayan, a winner in 2004, barely scraped by Lebanon’s Mohammad Berjaoui, 9 – 8.  Fellow Canadian John Morra has an easier time of it today, blanking the Philippines Roberto Brillantes, 9-0.
 
Taiwan’s Chang Jung Lin is considered one of the tournament favorites but he struggled mightily against Korea’s Kwon Hojun. Chang was actually down 6-2 at one point but stormed back and won at the wire, 9-8.
 
Chang was one of eight Taiwanese notching victory today, including 2015 champion Ko Pin Yi, Ko’s younger brother Ko Ping Chun, Hsieh Chia Chen and Lin Wu Kun.  The Ko’s actually have an even younger brother in the event, Ko Ping Han, but he lost to Japan’s  Hayato Hijikata.
 
The four European Mosconi Cup players on hand all won today. Besides Kaci, Austria’s Albin Ouschan continued to look rock solid with a 9-4 win over the USA’s Thomas Tokoph. The Netherlands’ Niels Feijen waltzed to victory with a neat 9-5 win over the always stingy Taiwanese Chang Yu Lung. Greece’s Alexander Kazakis barely got by Slovakia’s Jakub Koniar, 9-8.
 
England’s Chris Melling is someone people seem to be talking about as a possible champion, and the lone British representative on hand didn’t disappoint, winning easily over the Netherlands Marc Bijsterboch, 9-2.
 
Former world champion Wu Jiaqing of China cruised with a 9-1 win over the Netherlands’ Jimmy Worung. China went 5 out of six today with wins also by Dang Jinhu, Liu Haitao, Wan Can and Xu Xiacong.
 
Former world champion and hall of famer Ralf Souquet found victory today with a 9-3 win over the Maldives’ Mohammed Hassan.  But former world champion and fellow hall of famer Mika Immonen fell to Russia’s Ruslan Chinahov, 9-5.
 
Qatar’s favorite player made a splash today. Waleed Majid, who made it to the quarterfinals here in 2014, showed that he has clawed his way back into championship form with a 9-5 win over former US Open champion, Yu Hsuan “Kevin” Cheng.
 
Play continues on Saturday in Doha at the Al Arabi with the action beginning at 10am local time(GMT +3.) After the four sessions on Saturday, 32 players will be out and 32 players will be through to the final 64.
 
The winner of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
*The 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 10-20, 2018. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform. Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public. Please visit the WPA Facebook Page for more information.
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
Media coverage of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship is being supported by the American Poolplayers Association(APA).  Join the world’s largest pool league today. Please visit join.poolplayers.com
 
Results Day 1
 
Group 1
Eklent Kaci(ALB) 9-7 Alejandro Carvajal(CHL)
Meshaal AL Murdhi(KUW) 9 – 5 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 3 Fayaz Hussain(MAL)
Vitaliy Patsura(UKR) 9 – 5 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)
 
 
Group 2
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 6 Ruslanov Stanimir(BUL)
Mazen Berjaoui(LEB) 9 – 6 Matt Edwards(NZL)
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 5 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 7 Sami Koylu(TUR)
 
 
 
Group 3
Hsu Jui An(TPE) 9 – 8 Roland Garcia(PHL)
Bader Alawadhi(KUW) 9 – 1 Ahmed Nizam Uddin(BAN)
Billy Thorpe(USA) 9 – 4 Ahmed Aleqaly(JOR)
Lui Ri Teng(TPE) 9 – 1 David Alcaide(ESP)
 
 
 
Group 4
Fedor Ghorst(RUS) 9 – 6 Omar Alshaheen(KUW)
Jeong Young Hwa(KOR) 9 – 7 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Robbie Capito(HKG) 9 – 5 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
Sanjin Pehlivanovic(BOS) 9 – 7 Johann Chua Gonzales(PHL)
 
 
Group 5
Niels Feijen(NED) 9 – 5 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)
Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP) 9 – 2 Israel Rota(PHL)
Corey Duel(USA) 9- 5 Ahmed Tanvir(BAN)
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 3 Fawaz Al Rashedi(KUW)
 
Group 6
Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE) 9 – 3 Satoshi Kawabata(JPN)
Ruslan Chinhov(RUS) 9 – 5 Mika Immonen(FIN)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 7 Vincent Halliday(RSA)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 6 Abdullah Alenzi(KUW)
 
Group 7
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 8  Jakub Koniar(SVK) 
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 9 – 4 Ko Ping Han(TPE)
Xu Xiacong(CHN) 9 – Ahmad Mohamad Silah(JOR)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 5 Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE)
 
Group 8
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 8 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Toru Kurbayashi(JPN) 9 – 5 Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN)
Roman Hybler(CZE) 9- 8 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 4 Hasan Idan(IRQ)
 
Group 9
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 3 Llanos Jorge(ARG)
Sergey Lutsker(RUS) 9 – 8  Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET)
Tomoya Iima(JPN) 9 – 7 Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 
Hoang Guong Quoc(VET) 9 – 5 Ameer Ali(IRQ)
 
Group 10
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 2 Ali Abdulhadi(QAT)
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 6 Marlon Manalo(PHL)  
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 9 – 8 Martin Daigle(CAN)
Naoyuki Oi(JPN)  9 – 2 Abdullah Falah(IRQ)
 
Group 11
Jason Theron(RSA) 9 – 6 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 9 – 6 Takhti Zarekani(IRA)
Takano Tomoo(JPN) 9 – 7 Maximilian Lechner(AUS)
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 1 Jimmy Worung(NED)
 
Group 12
Chris Melling(GBR) 9 – 2 Marc Bijsterboch(NED)
Richard Halliday(RSA) Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 6 Maksim Dudanets(RUS)
Lin Wu Kun(TPE) 9 – 5 Wojciech Sroczynski(POL)
 
Group 13
Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 9 – 6 Ivar Saris(NED)
Nikolas Malaj(GRE) 9 – 3 Robert Hart(USA)
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 9 – 5 Oliver Szolnoki(HUN)
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 1 Marek Kudlik(POL)
 
Group 14
Phone Myint Kyaw(MYN) 9 – 3 Denis Grabe(EST) 
Lo Ho Sum(HKG) 9 – 3 Toh Lian Han(SIN) 
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS) 9 – 8  Enrique Rojas(CHL)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 8 Lin Ta Li(TPE)
 
Group 15
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 6 Aung Moe Thu(MYN)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 0 Roberto Brillantes(PHL)
Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL) 9 – 4 Kong Bu Hong(HKG)
Albin Ouschan(AUS) 9 – 4 Thomas Tokoph(USA)
 
Group 16
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 3 Mohammed Hassan(MAL)
Wen Lo Li(TPE) 9 – 5 Bing Chen Gao(CHN)
Damianos Giallourakis(GRE) 9 – 7 Bashar Abdulmajeed(QAT) 
Chang Jung Lin(TPE) 9 – 8 Kwon Hojun(KOR) 

Chang, Ouschan, Lead The Way On World 9-Ball Day 1

Jung Lin Chang

Select group of veterans and newcomers aim to make their mark in Doha

 

The long hard slog to the pool world’s most prestigious title began on Saturday here in Doha, as 128 players from nearly 35 countries began the first of six days of action that will culminate in the crowning of the next WPA World 9-ball Champion on December 14th.

 
124 players competing in 62 first round matches on 14 Wiraka tables saw action on Day 1 at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha. The players have been divided up into 16 groups of 8 playing a double elimination format, race to 9, alternate break. A player needs two wins in his group to advance to the final 64, where the format will become single elimination knockout, race to 11, alternate break,  all the way to the finals. The final, which will be played along with the two semis on December 14th, will be a race to 13 alternate break.
 
The first thing pool fans may notice when looking at the player roster is some glaring absences for this year’s championship. American Shane Van Boening, who finished runner up here the last two years, did not make the trip. Van Boening just competed for Team USA in the Mosconi Cup in Las Vegas and opted to stay there to compete in the US Bar Table Championships. There are, in fact, only two Americans in the field this week; Hunter Lombardo and Robert Hart.
 
Incredibly, not a single British player has made the trip this year. The Brits have been a mainstay in the World 9-ball Championship going back nearly 20 years, but for various reasons, none have entered the event this week. Perhaps the most noticeable absences are Scotland’s Jayson Shaw and 2012 World 9-ball Champion, Darren Appleton, who had to attend to his ailing mother back in England.
 
Fans might notice a lack of players from rising pool playing countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. These countries had been making great strides in their pool development in recent years, but due to ongoing political issues, players from those countries were not allowed to travel to Qatar. Many talented overseas Filipino players, who work as house pros in pool halls in these countries, were also prevented from entering the event.
 
But while the lack of Americans and Brits, and others, may have drained some good talent from the field, it’s still clear that there are plenty of amazing, world class players on hand that will be competing for the world title.
 
Defending World 9-ball Champion Albin Ouschan got his 2017 campaign off to a flying start with a relatively easy 9-5 win over Qatar’s Abdulatif Alfawal.  2013 World 9-ball Champion Niels Feijen, who’s been battling a bad elbow for several months, cruised to an easy win on Saturday with a 9-0 whitewash of Bangladesh’s Ahmed Tanvir. Veteran players in Spain’s David Alcaide and Germany’s Ralf Souquet will be in action on Sunday.
 
Several top young Europeans are expected to make some serious noise here in Doha. 19 year old Albanian Klenti Kaci, who earlier this year won two World Pool Series events, got his first ever World 9-ball Championship off to a good start with a 9-2 win over the Maldives Mohammed Hassan. Rising Russian star Fedor Gorst, who recently won the WPA World Jr. Championship, stumbled on his first ever outing at the World 9-ball Championship, losing to Chinese veteran Liu Haitao, 9-5. Germany’s 20 year old Joshua Filler, who just a few days ago won the MVP award for Team EUROPE at the Mosconi Cup, will see his first action on Sunday.
 
Other Europeans had good starts to their 2017 campaigns. Among the first round winners on Saturday were Russians Ruslan Chinakov and Konstanin Stepanov, Poland’s Radoslaw Babica, Tomasz Kaplan, and Mateusz Śniegocki, Finland’s Petri Makkonen, Greece’s Alex Kazakis, and Estonia’s Dennis Grabe. Former World 9-ball Champions Thorsten Hohmann and Mika Immonen both suffered first round loses.
 
The Philippines, Taiwan and China have big hopes for a high finishes this year. World number one Chang Jung Lin had a hard battle with Australia’s James Georgiadis, and prevailed, 9-6. 2015 World 9-ball Champion Ko Pin Yi took down Kuwait’s Fawaz Al Rashedi, 9-6. Ko’s younger brother, Ko Ping Chung, defeated Henrique Correia of Portugal, 9-5.
 
The Philippines’ Carlo Biado comes into this year’s Championship with high expectations and got off to a fine start with a 9-6 win over China’s Xu Xiao Cong.  Fellow Filipinos Warren Kiamco, Jeffrey Ignacio, Johann Chua, Roland Garcia and Jeffrey De Luna all won their first round matches.
 
China brings its usual power lineup to the proceedings, led by former World9-ball Champion Wu Jia Qing, who beat Taiwanese veteran Yang Ching Shun, 9-5.
 
Also posting first round wins on Saturday were Japan’s Naoyuki Oi and Hayato Hijikata.
 
Group stage play continues on Sunday at the Al Arabi Sports Club beginning at 10am Doha time(GMT +3).
 
**The 2017 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 5-15,2017 
 
The winner of the 2015 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The runner up will receive $15,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform. Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public. 
 
For live stream, live scoring and updated brackets, please go to the following links:
 
Live stream: 
http://www.esnooker.pl/live/en/video_new.php?stol=1
Live scoring:
http://www.esnooker.pl/live/en/tsnew.php
Double Elimination Brackets:
http://www.esnooker.pl/turnieje/2017/w9bc/en/show_drabinka_2KO.php?id_t=196
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
The 2017 World 9-ball Championship is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and was sanctioned by the The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolbilliardassociation/
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com

Filler Steamrolls Into The World 9-Ball Knockout Rounds

Joshua Filler

Young German star joins 31 other players in the final 64 as the field is cut in half after Day 2 of the World 9-ball Championship.

The action at the 2017 World 9-ball Championship picked up apace on Day 2, as 32 players out of the field of 128 were shown the exits, while another 32 punched their tickets to the Final 64 single elimination knockout stage.

The remaining 32 players to vie for pool’s most prestigious crown will be determined on Monday at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha. From there all eyes will be on the prize, as whoever wins six straight matches over three days will be crowned the new champion of the world in 9-ball come December 14th.
 
For those who hastily got their pink slips on Sunday, there wasn’t too much misery to speak of. This was due to the fact that most of the 32 players who took their second defeats really had no hope of making much noise in the first place.  However, there were several shockers that still turned some heads throughout the pool world.
 
Mika Immonen is normally a player fans expect to make a run in big events. But the 44 year old Hall of Famer never seemed to get it together this week. In a do or die match against Korea’s  Woo Seung Ryu, Immonen fell flat for the second day in a row, bowing out of the tournament in the group stage  via a 9-5 score line.
 
Alex Pagulayan reached the semi-finals last year here in Doha, but 2017 in Doha turned out to be a stinker for the Fil-Canadian. The gregarious 39 year old fell to Lebanon’s Mohammad Berjawi , 9-7, and was knocked out barely after the proceedings had begun.
 
Other notable players who were shown the exits included China’s Wang Can, and Japan’s Toru Korubiyashi.
 
For the Americans, the 2017 campaign will go down as perhaps the worst in the illustrious 25 year history of the World 9-ball Championship. No big name American players bothered to make the trip to the Middle East this year. And the two that did, Hunter Lombardo and Robert Hart, both went two matches and out. This could be the first time in history that the last 64 of the World 9-ball Championship will not feature one single American player.
 
The field that is taking shape for the final 64 is, however, looking very deep indeed. One thing that is certainly quite apparent already is that the youth movement throughout the sport will continue and expand this week in Doha.
 
20 year old German Joshua Filler has been generating tons of excitement throughout the pool world lately. His incredible talent and devil-may-care shooting style has many proclaiming that the German youngster is destined to be the Ronnie O’Sullivan of the pool world.  Despite a long trip from Vegas where he won the Mosconi Cup and captured the MVP prize for Team EUROPE, Filler hasn’t missed a beat here in Doha. On Sunday he played without a care in the world, first taking down Greece’s Damianos Giallourakis, 9-6, and then handily defeating China’s Kong Dejing by the same score for a spot in the final 64.
 
“I feel really exhausted and not quite the same,” Filler said after his second win. “I won both matches 9-6. I just have to improve my break and let’s see what happens over the next few days.
 
“You can’t really compare this to the Mosconi Cup where you play in front of 1500 people and millions at home. There is so much pressure because you play for your team and your country. Here I play more relaxed and there’s not too much pressure.
 
“Inside I feel very confident, I say to myself I’m the best player but I need that. I just play my best game and I want to win this world championship. At 20 years old it would be perfect. At the beginning of this year I had two dreams. One was to win the Mosconi Cup and the other was to win the World Championship.”
 
Another youngster grabbing a lot of attention is 19 year old Albanian Klenti Kaci. While the exact opposite of Filler in terms of speed and style, the talented Kaci always seems to find a way to win, no matter the opponent. On Sunday, the Albanian star defeated Chu Bingjie of China to qualify for the final 64.
 
In terms of countries, Taiwan easily had the best day on Sunday with six players qualifying for the final 64. World number one Chang Jung Lin, Chang Yu Lung, Ko Pin Yi, Ko Ping Chung, Lin Wu Kun and Chieh Liu Cheng all won their second straight matches to make the knockout rounds.
 
The Philippines is looking like it will send its usual armada to the knockout rounds. Carlo Biado, Jeffrey De Luna and Jeffrey Ignacio all won their second straight matches and qualified for the final 64. Warren Kiamco, Johann Chua, Francisco Felicilda, and Roland Garcia all lost on the winners side of their groups and will have one more chance on Monday to try and make the knockout rounds.
 
 There will be Europeans aplenty in the final 64. Defending champion Albin Ouschan of Austria handily beat Taiwan’s Hsieh Chia Chen 9-5 to advance. Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Russia’s Konstantin Stepanov, Sweden’s Fischer Sparrenlov, Greece’s Nikolas Malai  and Alexander Kazakis, the Netherlands Marco Teutscher, Czech’s Roman Hybler, Polish veteran Radoslaw Babica,  and 19 year old Lithuanian Pijus Labutis all won their second matches to make the grade.
 
It was a good day for South America at the World 9-ball Championship. Venezuela’s Jalal Al Sarisi(Yousef) beat the Philippines Johann Chua 9-8 to advance. Peru will have its first ever player in the knockout rounds after Martines Gerson defeated Germany’s Andre Lackner 9-8.
 
Japan’s Naoyuki Oi barely squeaked by Canada’s John Morra, 9-8, to qualify. While compatriot Hayato Hijikata took down Estonia’s Dennis Grabe on the winners side to make the knockout rounds.
 
Play in the group stages continues at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha on Monday beginning at 10am Doha time(GMT +3). All matches will be do-or-die on the one loss side of the brackets. The winners will advance to the final 64, while the losers will be out of the tournament.
 
The Final 64, single elimination round begins on Tuesday Dec. 12. All matches will be a race to 11, alternate break. The final will be a race to 13, alternate break.
 
**The 2017 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 5-15,2017 
 
The winner of the 2015 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The runner up will receive $15,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform. Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public. 
 
For live stream, live scoring and updated brackets, please go to the following links:
 
Live stream: 
http://www.esnooker.pl/live/en/video_new.php?stol=1
Live scoring:
http://www.esnooker.pl/live/en/tsnew.php
Double Elimination Brackets:
http://www.esnooker.pl/turnieje/2017/w9bc/en/show_drabinka_2KO.php?id_t=196
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
The 2017 World 9-ball Championship is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and was sanctioned by the The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolbilliardassociation/
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 

Day 2 Results, One loss side matches

Group 1
Jorge Llanos(ARG)  9 – 7 James Georgiadis(AUS)
Takhti Zarekani(IRA) 9 – 5 Kong Bu Hong(HKG)

Group 2
Hassan Zeraatgar(IRA) 9 – 6 Zine El Abidine Cherif(MOR)
Maung Maung(MYR) 9 – 6 Takano Tomoo(JPN)

Group 3
Junho Lee(KOR) 9 – 1 Mohamed El Raousti(ALG)
Woo Seung Ryu(KOR) 9 – 5 Mika Immonen(FIN)

Group 4
Majed Alazmi(Kuwait) 9 – 8 Jason Theron(RSA)
Teck Goh Chin(SIN) 9 – 4 Robert Hart(USA)

Group 5
Fawaz Al Rashedi(Kuwait) 9 – 3 Farahat Bouchaib(MOR)
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 9 – 6 Ahmed Tanvir(Bangladesh)

Group 6
Han Haoxiang(CHN) 9 – 4 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Damianos Giallourakis(GRE) 9 – 2 Dharminder Lilly(IND)

Group 7
Mohammad Berjawi(LEB) 9 – 7 Alex Pagulayan(CAN)
Maksim Dudanets(RUS) 9 – 5 Aayush Kumar(IND)

Group 8
Lo Li Wen(TPE) 9 – 4 Tao Ying Duo(TPE)
Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 9 – 3 Mazin Berjawai(LEB)

Group 9
Mohammadali Pordel(IRA) 9 – 5 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Fedor Gorst(RUS) 9 – 7 Wang Can(CHN)

Group 10
Ali Alobaidli(QAT) 9 – 4 Ip Tung Pong(HKG)
Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET) 9 – 6 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)

Group 11
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 2 Nadim Okbani(ALG)
Hiroshi Takenaka(JPN) 9 – 2 Mohammed Hassan(MAL)

Group 12
Mhanaa Alobaidli(QAT) 9 – 4 Hashim Ahusanu(MAL)
Henrique Correia(POR) 9 – 8 Toru Kuribayashi(JPN)

Group 13
Xu Xiao Cong(CHN) 9 – 2 Kong Hojun(KOR)
Samuel Santos(POR) 9  – 3 Osama Anga(LIB)

Group 14
Yu Li Si(TPE) 9 – 0 Abderrahmane Mebarki(ALG)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 6 Bashar Abdulmajeed(QAT)

Group 15
Daniel Tangudd(UKR) 9 – 3 Mohammed Alkhashawi(KUW)
Ariel Castro(ARG) 9 – 6 Yang Shing Shun(TPE)

Group 16
Israel Rota(PHI) 9 – 1 Jermiah Naidoo(RSA)
Abdullah Alyusef(KUW) 9 – 8 Meshaal Al Murdhi(KUW)

Day 2 results, Winner Side Matches

Group 1
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 9 – 8 Francisco Felecilda(PHI)
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 5 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)

Group 2
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 9 – 8 Johann Chua(PHI)
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 5 Mieszko Fortunski(POL)

Group 3
Jeffrey De Luna(PHI) 9 – 3 Muzammil Hussain(QAT)
Kwang Chan Keng(SIN) 9 – 7 Bader Alawadhi(KUW)

Group 4
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS) 9 – 7 Warren Kiamco(PHI)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHI) 9 – 6 Dang Jinhu(CHN)

Group 5
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 8 Luu Minh Phuc(VIE)
Fischer Sparrenlov(SWE) 9 – 8 Niels Feijen(HOL)

Group 6
Nikolas Malai(GRE) 9 – 7 Ahmad Naiem (JOR)
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 6 Kong Dejing(CHN)

Group 7
Lo Ho Sum(HKG) 9 – 7 Yukio Akagariyam(JPN)
Maximilian Lechner(AUT) 9 – 5 Roland Garcia(PHI)

Group 8
Hoang Duong Quoc(VIE) 9 – 8 Mario He(AUT)  
Martin Daigle(CAN) 9 – 7 Keven Cheng(TPE)

Group 9
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 5 Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 5 Chih Nien Rong(TPE)

Group 10
Roman Hybler(CZE) 9 – 7 Ralf Souquet(GER)
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 9 – 8 Ruslan Chinakov(RUS)

Group 11
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 7 Sebastian Ludwig(GER) 
Klenti Kaci(ALB) 9 – 6 Chu Bingjie(CHN)

Group 12
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 4 David Alcaide(ESP)
Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 9 – 5 Md Al Amin(BAN)

Group 13
Carlo Biado(PHI) 9 – 4 Richard Halliday(RSA)
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 9 – 4 Dennis Grabe(EST)

Group 14
Lin Wu Kun(TPE) 9 – 7 Petri Makkonen(FIN)
Pijus Labutis(LIT) 9 – 4 Abdulkhizar Hasanin(IRQ)

Group 15
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 8 John Morra(CAN)
Marco Teutscher(NED) 9 – 2 Wu Jiaqing(CHN)

Group 16
Chieh Liu Cheng(TPE) 9 – 7 Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL)
Martines Gerson(PER) 9 – 8 Andre Lackner(GER)

 

2017 Joy Billiards World Chinese 8-Ball Masters Day One Review

Gareth Potts

There were mixed fortunes for the big names taking part during Day 1 of the fifth annual Joy Billiards World Chinese 8 Ball Masters.
 
Reigning two time champion Yang Fan (China) was immediately pushed to the Losers Bracket when he was ousted 13-9 by fellow countryman Wan Tongle. He did however keep himself in the event with a comfortable 13-2 win over Canadian Shannon Ducharme afterwards.
 
Also on the chase for a hat-trick of titles is 2013 & 2014 champion Gareth Potts (England, pictured above) who came through both his matches with change to spare.
 
Overall, it was a fine day for the British players as Jack Whelan (England), Liam Dunster (Scotland) and Zak Shepherd (Wales) all got wins on the board.
 
Some of the world's greatest 9 Ball players are on show in Qinhuangdao, but for 5 times US Open Champion Shane Van Boening and reigning World Champion Albin Ouschan, Tuesday offered up problems for the pair in the form of Chinese opposition.
 
SVB was comprehensively put away 13-4 by Yu Ting, whilst Ouschan went down 13-8 to Zhao YunBiao.
 
Despite this slow start, though, both made amends in their following games, therefore keeping hopes alive of another big tournament victory.
 
Current Chinese 8 Ball World Champion Shi Hanqing and national ranked number 1 Zheng Yubo began their quests successfully with First Round wins; although then lost their first lives when beaten by Gong Haifeng and Corey Deuel respectively in the next round.
 
It is double elimination all the way through until the Grand Final, which will then be a one-off Championship match. 
 
In total, after just Day 1 of the event, 16 of the 64 starting field are out.
 
 
FIRST ROUND RESULTS – First to 13 with a 140 minute time limit
Yang Fan (China) 9-13 Wan Tongle (China)
Shannon Ducharme (Canada) 2-13 Xie Zhaohui (China)
Xia Hongyan (China) 13-8 Hayato Hijikata (Japan)
Li Bo (China) 11-13 Shen Chongyang (China)
Albin Ouschan (Austria) 8-13 Zhao YunBiao (China)
Marc Bijsterbosch (Holland) 5-13 Chen Qiang (China)
Christophe Lambert (France) 4-13 Jeffrey Ignacio (Philippines) 
Denis Grabe (Estonia) 13-9 Richard Halliday (South Africa)
Wu Hao (China) 9-13 Gareth Potts (England)
Wang Peng (China) 13-6 Li Heng (China)
Xi Hongyu (China) 11-10 Fabio Petroni (Italy)*TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Xi Shouxin (China) 13-10 Stephen Holem (Canada)
Fan Zhisong (China) 13-9 Aoki Ryoii (Japan)
Lv Xin (China) 6-13 Li Xiaopeng (China)
Velly Diamond (South Africa) 10-12 Justin Campbell (Australia) *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Liu Yin (China) 13-7 Zak Shepherd (Wales)
Jack Whelan (England) 13-9 Yin Hongxing (China)
Liu Yang (China) 10-13 Li Hui (China)
Zhang Kunpeng (China) 13-5 Dharminder Singh Lilly (India)
Zhao Ruliang (China) 13-4 Jimmy Jusman (Indonesia)
Zhang Guanghao (China) 13-6 Young Hwa Jeong (South Korea)
Dai Yong (China) 13-12 Wang Yun (China)
Jorge Llanos (Argentina) 12-13 Mohammadli Pordel (Iran)
Yu Ting (China) 13-4 Shane Van Boening (USA)
Abdulla Alameri (Saudi Arabia) 13-8 Mohamed Essaid (Morocco)
Dong Yi (China) 7-13 Wu Zhenyu (China)
Zhang Daowei (China) 9-13 Gong Haifeng (China)
Phone Myint Kyaw (Myanmar) 10-12 Shi Hanqing (China) *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Zheng Yubo (China) 13-6 Andrey Seroshtan (Russia)
Alejandro Carvajal (Chile) 5-13 Corey Deuel (USA)
Joao Silva (Portugal) 5-13 Liam Dunster (Scotland)
Waleed Majid (Qatar) 5-13 Francisco Jose Diaz Pizarro (Spain)
 
 
LOSERS SIDE RESULTS (losers in this round are eliminated from the competition)
Velly Diamond 7-13 Zak Shepherd
Aoki Ryoii 3-13 Lv Xin
Fabio Petroni 9-11 Stephen Holem
Wu Hao 13-12 Li Heng
Christophe Lambert 12-9 Richard Halliday *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Albin Ouschan 13-4 Marc Bijsterbosch
Hayato Hijikata 6-13 Li Bo
Yang Fan 13-2 Shannon Ducharme
Joao Silva 9-13 Waleed Majid
Andrey Seroshtan 13-8 Alejandro Carvajal
Zhang Daowei 10-11 Phone Myint Kyaw  *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Mohamed Essaid 3-13 Dong Yi
Jorge Llanos 6-13 Shane Van Boening
Young Hwa Jeong 6-13 Wang Yun
Dharminder Singh Lilly 11-12 Jimmy Jusman *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Yin Hongxing 9-13 Liu Yang
 
 
WINNERS SIDE RESULTS
Justin Campbell 11-10 Liu Xin *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Fan Zhisong 13-7 Li Xiaopeng
Xi Hongyu 13-8 Xi Shouxin
Gareth Potts 13-8 Wang Peng
Jeffrey Ignacio 11-12 Denis Grabe *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Zhao Yunbiao 13-10 Chen Qiang 
Xia Hongyan 6-13 ShenChongyang
Wan Tongle 13-7 Xie Zhaohui
Liam Dunster 7-13 Francisco Jose Diaz Pizarro 
Zheng Yubo 11-12 Corey Deuel *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Gong Haifeng 13-7 Shi Hanqing
Abdulla Alameri 3-13 Wu Zhenyu
Mohammadli Pordel 2-13 Yu Ting
Zhang Guanghao 10-13 Dai Yong
Zhang Kunpeng 13-2 Zhao Ruliang
Jack Whelan 5-13 Li Hui

Surging Towards the Finish Line

Jung Lin Chang

Photos By Takayama Takao

 

(Kuwait City)–With the biggest prize fund in 9-ball pool this year, the Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship predictably attracted as good a collection of the professional games’ best to this Gulf nation of just over 4 million people. And on the third and penultimate day of the sport’s newest event, all that talent and all that promise came to a dramatic head.

 

It was a day that saw the game’s best engage in one epic battle after the next, with match after match taking unexpected twists, with many going right down to the very last rack, and even the very last ball.  64 players commenced battle at 10am, and when it was over close to midnight, eight warriors were left standing, ready for what surely will be a thrilling showdown to the finish on the final day Saturday.

 

In one quarterfinal, surprise entrant Marc Bijsterbosch of the Netherlands will face off with 2015 World 9-ball Champion Ko Pin Yi. In another quarterfinal, one of the sport’s hottest players , Scotland’s Jayson Shaw, will try to keep his trajectory flying higher as he does battle with Filipino veteran Warren Kiamco.

 

The other quarterfinal features what looks to be a titanic showdown of two of pool’s best, as the current World 9-ball Champion, Austria’s Albin Ouschan, squares off with Taiwan’s Chang Jun Lin, who arguably has played the best pool all week.

 

The last quarterfinal will feature Filipino journeyman Roland Garcia taking on white hot Dang Jinghu of China.

 

The quarterfinals, which begin at 11am Kuwait time(GMT +3) will be race to 11, alternate break.

 

Although the topsy turvy nature of today’s proceedings would indicate a complete toss up in terms of favorites, several players today let it be known that they intend to be standing in the winner’s circle come Saturday evening.

Certainly nobody would be surprised to see Taiwan’s Chang raising the trophy high and pocketing the $50,000 first prize check. Chang has been one of the sport’s top players for over a decade, but found himself in a bit of a lull going back two years. This year, however, the 31 year old Taiwanese has once again found his stride, as his runner up finish in October’s US Open showed.

 

Chang has kept the momentum going in Kuwait and has been nothing short of sensational. In the round of 64 today Chang played what might be the finest match of the tournament, crushing two time World 9-ball Champion Thorsten Hohmann, 11-1. Chang kept up the onslaught in his round of 32 match versus Russia’s Maksim Dudanets, lapping the Russian 11-2. 

 

The Taiwanese finally found some resistance in the round of 16 when he came up against England’s Darren Appleton. The Brit had barely escaped a hill-hill encounter with Spain’s David Alcaide in the round of 64  and looked to have found his stride in an easy win over Czech Roman Hybler. Appleton and Chang duked it out for 2 and a half hours and the Yorkshireman seemed to have the advantage late in the match. But one mistake from the Brit cost him the tournament, as Chang put the nail in the coffin for a gritty 11-9 win.

 

Things won’t get any easier for Chang on Saturday as he matches up with Ouschan in what looks to be an epic battle. Ouschan wasn’t at his best today but he persevered through three difficult slogs, culminating in a 3 and a half hour duel with China Open champion Wu Jia Jing of China. The Austrian had numerous chances to close out Wu, but kept letting the Chinese back in the match. The battle between these two stars went straight to the cliff with Ouschan barely able to make it across the finish line first and winning, 11-10.

 

Although Ouschan is the current World 9-ball champion, the question remains whether he has anything left in the gas tank to take on and defeat a super confident Chang.

 

Another player catching many a fancy is Scotland’s Shaw, who appears to have everything going his way at the moment. After two solid wins earlier in the day, Shaw was headed to his match table to do battle with young Singaporean Aloysious Yapp when he got word that he had just made the European Mosconi Cup team next month. Already bubbling with confidence that has been building for over one year, Shaw’s demeanor soared on the good news and he handled Yapp without so much as a care in the world, winning 11 – 7.

 

Afterward a smiling and relaxed Shaw indicated he was more than ready and able to be the last man standing in Kuwait.

 

“I came into this year and my one goal was to get on the Mosconi,” Shaw said, “and right before my last match I found out that I had made the team. So I was really happy during the match. I’ve won a few tournaments this year, done pretty well in others and I’m still in here, the last eight. These days I feel that any tournament I enter I can win, and right now I feel I can win this.”

 

Shaw, however, will have to contend with Kiamco first. The 45 year old Filipino has been at the game for over two decades, and has been playing the best pool of his career in the last year and a half. The low key Filipino often plays under the radar, but as he showed in his three solid wins today, he can take any match at any time, no matter the opponent. Kiamco, though, has never won a major tournament and he’ll have to raise his game considerably to stop the streaking Scotsman.

 

Since winning the World 10-ball and World 9-ball in 2015, the 27 year old Ko is always a top favorite to win any tournament he enters. Ko, however, played hot and cold today and was lucky to escape with a nerve rattling come from behind 11-10 win over the Philippines’ Oliver Mendenilla in the round of 32.  But his steady and solid 11-7 win over the Philippines Jundel Mazon in the round of 16 showed that Ko always has the ability to bounce back.

 

The Taiwanese great will be squaring off with relative newcomer Bijsterbosch. The 22 year old Dutchman, a member of his country’s national team, may not have the notoriety of his more famous teammates, Niels Feijen and Nick Van Den Berg, but his three pressure wins today proved the youngster not only has heart, but loads of talent as well. His confidence is rising at the perfect time and he is playing without expectations.

 

“I’ve been playing really well this year,” Bijsterbosch said. “I have a lot of confidence now. My coach Alex Lely has really helped me with my thinking game, safeties and strategy. I don’t really think about winning, I just take it one match at a time, one rack at a time.”

 

China’s Dang Jinghu pulled of the biggest upset of the day when he took down the USA’s fancied Shane Van Boening in an 11-10 mind bender in the round of 32.  Dang has proved his mettle in past events, but he took it up several notches against Van Boening, who had a sizeable crowd rooting for him here in Kuwait. The win spurred Dang on, as he then flattened countryman Han Hao Xiang, 11-3, in the final 16.

 

In the quarters Dang will face surprise entrant Roland Garcia of the Philippines. The 35 year old Garcia grabbed his spot in the Kuwait Open by flying to Kuwait City from Thailand, where he works as a house pro, and entering and winning one of the brutally tough qualifiers.

 

Garcia has always been known as a superb and even rare talent, but one who would often let the pressure get to him in big matches. Today, though, Garcia showed immense maturity and skills with wins over fellow Filipino Carlo Biado, then Greece’s Alexander Kazakis. In the round of 16 Garcia came from behind to take down Alex Pagulayan in a dramatic showdown, 11-10. After 20 years of effort and plenty of heartbreak, Garcia finds himself in his first ever quarterfinals of a major tournament.

 

“I feel I have a lot more experience than in the past,” Garcia said after beating Pagulayan. “Before I don’t have the discipline. But now I’m trying to practice discipline. Before maybe I used to think too much. But now, I’m just trying to enjoy the game. I don’t really worry about it if I miss. It’s just a game. Sure I feel the pressure, but because of my experience, I just go back to the basics, and stay composed.”

 

The quarterfinals begin at 11am Kuwait time(GMT +3). The Semis will kick off at 2pm, while the finals will start at 7pm.

 

* The 2016 Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Ardiya Youth Center in Kuwait City from October 24 to November 5, 2016. The winner of the Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship will receive $50,000. The runner up will receive $25,000. The total prize fund is $275,000.

 

The 2016 Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship is being played under the patronage of the Kuwait Olympic Committee. The WPA will be on hand in Kuwait throughout this year’s Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship  providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner.  Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolbilliardassociation/ The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa 

 

Quarterfinals, November 5, 10am


Marc Bijsterbosch(NED  vs. Ko Pin Yi(TPE)      
Jayson Shaw(GBR)  vs.  Warren Kiamco(PHL)   
Albin Ouschan(AUT) vs. Chang Jun Lin(TPE)   
Roland Garcia(PHL) vs. Dang Jinhu(CHN)  

 

RESULTS, FINAL 16


Marc Bijsterbosch(NED)  11 – 6 Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)     
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 6  Jundel Mazon(PHL)    

Jayson Shaw(GBR)    11 – 7  Aloysius Yapp(SIN)    
Warren Kiamco(PHL)   11 – 3 Edwin Gamas(PHL)  

Albin Ouschan(AUT)  vs. Wu Jia Jing(CHN)     
Chang Jun Lin(TPE)  11 – 9 Darren Appleton(GBR)    

Roland Garcia(PHL) 11 – 10 Alex Pagulayan(CAN)   
Dang Jinhu(CHN)  11 – 3  Han Hao Xiang(CHN)  

 

Final 32


Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 11 – 6  Ko Ping Chung(TPE)  
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)  11 – 10 Karl Boyes(GBR) 

Jundel Mazon(PHL) 11 -10  Mark Gray(GBR)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE)  11 – 10 Oliver Medenilla(PHL)  

Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 11 – 7  Mike Dechaine(USA)  
Jayson Shaw(GBR)  11 – 6 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 


Edwin Gamas(PHL)  11 – 7 Ralf Souquet(GER 
Warren Kiamco(PHL)  11 – 10 Yang Ching Shun(TPE)  

Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 5  Lee Vann Corteza(PHL)   
Wu Jia Jing(CHN)    11 – 5 Hayato Hijikata(JPN)  

Darren Appleton(GBR)  11 – 5 Roman Hybler(CZE) 
Chang Jun Lin(TPE) 11 – 2 Maksim Dudanets(RUS) 

Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 10 Corey Deuel(USA)  
Roland Garcia(PHL)   11 – 7 Alexander Kazakis(GRE)  

Dang Jinhu(CHN) 11 – 10  Shane Van Boening(USA)
Han Hao Xiang(CHN) 11 – 9 James Aranas Zoren(PHL)

 

Results Final 64

 

Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 11 -4 Alan Cuartero(PHL)
Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 11 – 6 Raymond Faraon(PHL)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS) 11 – 4 Imran Salem(KUW)
Karl Boyes(GBR) 11 – 5 Mishari Buhaimed(KUW)


Jundel Mazon(PHL) 11 – 8 Niels Feijen(NED)
Mark Gray(GBR) 11 – 8 Salahaleldeen Alrimawi(KUW)
Oliver Medenilla(PHL) 11 – 4 Mark Anthony(PHL)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 6 Liu Haitao(CHN)


Mike Dechaine(USA) 11 – 7 Hiroshi Takenaka(JPN)
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 11 – 4 Dennis Grabe(EST)
Jayson Shaw(GBR) 11 – 7 Wu Kun Lin(TPE)
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 11 – 9 Wang Can(CHN)


Ralf Souquet(GER) 11 – 6 Radislaw Babica(POL)
Edwin Gamas(PHL) 11 – 2 Abdulrahman Alammar(KSA) 
Yang Ching Shun(TPE) 11 – 9 Imran Majid(GBR)
Warren Kiamco(PHL) 11 – 7 Artem Koshoviy


Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 -9 Mario He(AUT)
Lee Vann Corteza(PHL)  11 – 7 Payual Valeriano(PHL)
Wu Jia Jing(CHN)  11 – 6 William Millares(PHL)
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 11 – 5 Jeffrey De Luna(PHL)


Darren Appleton(GBR) 11 – 10 David Alcaide(ESP)
Roman Hybler(CZE) 11 – 3 Bruno Muratore(ITA)
Maksim Dudanets(RUS)11 – 7 Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL)
Chang Jun Lin(TPE) 11 – 1 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)


Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 7 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 
Corey Deuel(USA) 11 – 7 Franciso Sanchez-Ruiz(ESP)
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 11 – 8 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Roland Garcia(PHL) 11 – 9 Carlo Biado(PHL)


Shane Van Boening(USA) 11 – 5 Toru Kuribayashi(JPN)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 11 – 6 Anton Raga(PHL)
Han Hao Xiang(CHN) 11 – 10 Konstantine Stepanov(RUS) 
James Aranas Zoren(PHL) 11 – 6 Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE)

A Fine, Fun Start In Kuwait City

Pin Yi Ko

It was a busy day of high caliber pool  in Kuwait City on Wednesday, as the inaugural Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship got underway at the Al Ardiya Youth Center, with all 128 players seeing action on 16 tables.
 
Whenever this many of the very best pool players in the world gather in one building to do battle, two things always seem to stand out. First, in professional pool the talent level gets more varied and better each and every year. Secondly, because of this first fact, and the nature of the game itself, you can never, ever take anything for granted.  The minute you think you’ve got a match won or you are cruising to victory, is probably the moment when the pool gods will begin to conspire against you.
 
Both of these facets of championship pool were on full display over 12 long hours of play today. And when the proceedings concluded,  32 relieved players had notched two wins and booked their spots into the final 64 knockout stage that begins on Friday.  Those 32 players will enjoy a well -deserved rest on Thursday, which will see all losers side matches in the 16 groups and the field cut in half.
 
Of course that’s when the real fun begins. From there the tournament will be a two day sprint to the finish line and the $50,000 first prize. The total prize fund of $275,000 is the largest in professional 9-ball in 2016.
 
Perhaps it’s the thought of 9-ball’s biggest prize of the year that had early nerves jangling.  Spain’s David Alcaide looked to have former World 9-ball Champion Darrren Appleton on the ropes in their stellar first round match, but at 8-8 and breaking for the match, the Spaniard watched in horror as the cue ball dropped straight into the side pocket off the break. Appleton proceeded to clear and stayed on the winners’ side. The Yorkshireman came back later in the day to beat Indonesia’s Muhammad Bewi to book his spot in the final 64 knockout stage.
 
The Philippines rising young gun Jeffrey Ignacio must have thought he had a clear run to the final 64 after first thrashing Polish veteran Radislaw Babica 9 -4, then standing on the hill with an 8-3 lead over Saudi Arabia’s very capable Abdulrahman Alammar.  But from there it all fell apart for the fancied Filipino, as Alammar clawed back into the match and won at the wire, 9-8, to advance.  
 
 
Two time world champion Thorsten Hohmann had one of those days where he surely felt he had taken out a long term lease on a high wire. The German great first had to fend off a furious fight back from talented Filipino Roland Garcia to barely win, 9-8. Then in the winner’s side match later, Hohmann again got taken to the limit by the USA’s Corey Duel. Tied at 8 and breaking for the match, Hohmann scratched off the break, leaving a clear for the American, who moved on.
 
The USA’s Shawn Wilkie could almost taste his best result in an overseas tournament as he was up 8-5 over former World 9-ball champion Alex Pagulayan in a winner’s side match. But some crafty jumping by the Canadian-Filipino led to some hair raising clears and it was Pagulayan who advanced instead. Wilkie will get another shot at the final 64 on Thursday.
 
A similar fate befell Poland’s Mateusz Sniegocki. Up 8-6 in his winners’ side match versus Russia’s Konstantine Stepanov, the Pole couldn’t close the deal. The Russian stormed back and ran the final rack for a well-deserved spot in the knockout rounds.
 
Not everyone had to put out fires today and, in fact, some looked downright cool as a cucumber in a chest full of ice.  Current World 9-ball Champion Albin Ouschan advanced  with two solid wins today, first over Czech Republic’s Roman Hybler, 9-7, and then the Philippines Elmer Haya, 9-1.   Former World 9-ball champion Niels Feijen of the Netherlands easily handled the Philippines Jeffrey De Luna, 9-4, then took down strong Japanese Naoyuki Oi, 9-6. 
 
2015 World 9-ball champion Ko Pin Yi won two matches to advance, as did recent US Open runner up Chang Jung Lin. Their veteran countryman Yang Ching Shun had a confidence boosting day, first cutting down the Philippines Tommy Dato-On 9-7, then taking a big scalp in top Filipino Dennis Orcollo, 9 – 5.
 
The Philippines needn’t worry about not being represented well in the final 64 as Warren Kiamco, Carlo Biado, Lee Van Cortea, James Aranas Zoren, Oliver Mederilla, and Allan Cuartero all advanced with two wins each today.
 
Everyone expects the recent US Open champion Shane Van Boening to be there when the field reaches the money rounds. But the American great has some difficult work left. After an easy first round win, the Van Boening came up against his traveling buddy and roommate, fellow American Mike Dechaine, in a winner’s side match.  The two played a high quality match but it was Dechaine avenging a recent loss to Van Boening in the US Open who pulled out the win, 9-6. Van Boening will get one more chance on Thursday.
 
While it’s nigh impossible to pick a winner at this early stage, many eyes and bets this week are on Scotland’s Jayson Shaw.  Shaw has been building up a head of steam in pool circles over the last year. He’s won several notable events, recently placed third in the US Open, and is currently a near shoo-in to m
 
Jayson ShawBut it’s not just his actions on the blue pitch that speak volumes about where this man is going. Just listen to Shaw speak about the state of his actual game and his mental game, and you’ll get an idea of where he may very well be headed this week in Kuwait.ake the European Mosconi Cup team.  The Scotsman seems to possess all the right ingredients to go on a memorable tear through the sport. Today in Kuwait, he appeared to be just warming up for bigger things with two easy wins.
 
“I've put a lot of time in over the last year practicing hard and I've got that confidence,” Shaw said after his second win of the day. “Right from the start of the year I won some tourneys and I just kept going, not stopping or taking any little breaks like that.
 
“I’m playing really well and I can see that sometimes my opponents get uncomfortable and I feel people see that in me now, the confidence. So I think I have an edge over a few players now, which is massive. I actually feel that some players want to avoid me now.
 
“Pool is 60% mental, 30% skill and 10% luck.  If you can go out there and you got your head right and you're just in the zone and you play real good, there's only one person that can beat you and that's yourself.  Over the last year I've worked on the psychology of the game by not getting mad, enjoying it, not over-thinking things, just going out there and doing my thing. Last year if I'd been a mistake I’d just blow up and then lost the match. But this year there has been a lot of situations where I've made mistakes and I stayed calm. And then great things happen.”
 
* The 2016 Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Ardiya Youth Center in Kuwait City from October 24 to November 5, 2016. The winner of the Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship will receive $50,000. The runner up will receive $25,000. The total prize fund is $275,000.
 
The 2016 Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship is being played under the patronage of the Kuwait Olympic Committee.
 
The WPA will be on hand in Kuwait throughout this year’s Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship  providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner. 
 
Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolbilliardassociation/
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Day 1 Results, Group Stages
 
Group 1
Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE) 9 – 6 Mark Anthony(PHL)
Allan Cuartero(PHL) 9 – 3 Abdulla Falah(KSR)
Aref Ali Awadhi(KUW) 9 – 8 Ameur Abdelati Riad(MOR)
Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 9 – 7 John Morra(CAN)
 
Group 2
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 -8 Mika Immonen(FIN)
Imran Salem(KUW) 9 – 8 Ahmed Acana Okaily(JOR)
Anthony Raga(PHL) 9 – 6 Khalid Al Mutairi(KUW)
Karl Boyes(GBR) 9 – 6 Abdullah Al Yousef(KUW)
 
Group 3
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 4 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)
Niels Feijen(NED) 9 – 4 Jeffrey De Luna(PHL)
Salahaleldeen Alrimawi(KUW) 9 – 4 Saeed Aseeri(KSA)
Nick Van Den Berg(NED) 9 – 5 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP)
 
Group 4
Han Hao Xiang(CHN) 9 – 6 Tareq Al Mulla(KUW)
Olliver Mederilla(PHL) 9 – 3 So Shaw(GBR)
Payual Valeriano(PHL) 9 – 2 Francisco Diaz Piarro(ESP)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 2 Andreja Klasovic(CEZ)
 
Group 5
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 3 Mohammad Saleh(KUW)
Mike Dechaine(USA) 9 – 1 Khalid Sayaf(KUW)
Artem Koshoviy(UKR) 9 -5 Marcus Juva(FIN)
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 5 Daryl Peach(GBR)
 
Group 6
Jayson Shaw(GBR) 9 – 1 Raymund Faraon(PHL)
Mishari Buhaimed(KUW) 9 – 6 Abdullah Alsheha(KUW)
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 5 Muhammad Al Gumaiz(KSR)
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 2 Hamza M. Saeed Ali(ERI)
 
Group 7
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 1 Abdulla Alshammari(KSR)
Ricky boy Godez(PHL) 9 – 4 Omar Al Shaheen(KUW)
Abdulrahman Alammar(KSA) 9 -5 Nadim Okbani(ALG)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 4 Radislaw Babica(POL)
 
Group 8
Yang Ching Shun(TPE) 9 – 7 Tommy Dato-on(PHL)
Dennis Orcollo(PHL) 9 – 1 Mohammad Alhmoud(KUW)
Warren Kiamco(PHL) 9 – 7 Mario He(AUT)
Lui Haitao(CHN) Irsal 9 – 0 Nasution(INA)
 
Group 9
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 7 Roman Hybler(CEZ)
Elmer Haya(PHL) 9 – 3 Dario Hopilito(PHL)
Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE) 9 – 5 Fahad Aljassas(BAH)
Lee Vann Corteza(PHL) 9 -5 Mark Gray(GBR)
 
Group 10
Johann Chua(PHL) 9 – 2 Meshall Al Murdhi(KUW)
William Millares(PHL) 9 – 5 Rodney Morris(USA)
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 9 – 2 Fawal Abdul Latifal
Ko Ping Chun(TPE) 9 – 5 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
 
Group 11
Darren Appleton(GBR) 9 – 8 David Alcaide(ESP)
Muhammad Bewi(INA) 9 – 6 Mohammed Alhosani(KUW)
Bruno Muratore(ITA) 9 – 3 Majed Al Azmi(KUW)
Richard Alinsub(PHL) 9 – 5Wu Kun Lin(TPE)
 
Group 12
Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL) 9 – 6 Ruslan Chinakov(RUS)
Marcus Chamat(SWE) 9 – 1 Cherif Zine-El Abidine(MOR)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 0 Robert Hart(USA)
Chang Jung Lin(TPE) 9 – 5 Jundel Mazon(PHL)
 
Group 13
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 3 Bouchaib Farhat(MOR)
Shaun Wilkie(USA) 9 – 4 Masser Al Mujaibel(KUW)
Corey Duel(USA) 9 – 7 Nick Malai(GRE)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 8 Roland Garcia(PHL)
 
Group 14
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 4 Mieszko Fortunski(POL)
Edwin Gamas(PHL) 9 – 4 Brandon Shuff(USA)
Takenaka Hirishi(JPN) 9 – 5 Ali Hadi Al Marri(QTR)
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 3 Ong Zhao Chieng(SIN)
 
Group 15
Dennis Grabe(EST) 9 – 5 Bader Al Awadhi(KUW)
Toru Kuribayashi(JPN) 9 – 6 Imran Majid(GBR)
Ivica Putnik(CRO) 9 – 5 Jalal Yousef(VEN)
Dang Jin Hu(CHN) 9 – 3 Wiktor Zielinski(POL)
 
Group 16
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS) 9 – 5 Li Hewen(CHN)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 7 Ahmed Naim Ali(JOR)
James Aranas Zoren(PHL) 9 – 2 Mohamed Chakib El Raousti(ALG)
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 6 Maksim Dudanet(NED)
 
 
 
Day 1 Winners Side Matches
 
Group 1
Allan Cuartero(PHL) 9 – 6 Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE) 
Marc Bijsterbosch(NED)   9 – 3 Aref Ali Awadhi(KUW)  
 
Group 2
Imran Salem(KUW) 9 – 7 Hunter Lombardo(USA)  
Karl Boyes(GBR )  9 – 8 Anthony Raga(PHL)
 
Group 3
Niels Feijen(NED)  9 – 6 Naoyuki Oi(JPN)  
Salahaleldeen Alrimawi(KUW) 9 – 6  Nick Van Den Berg(NED
 
Group 4
Olliver Mederilla(PHL)   9 – 2 Han Hao Xiang(CHN)  
Ko Pin Yi(TPE)   9 – 7 Payual Valeriano(PHL)  
 
Group 5
Mike Dechaine(USA)   9 – 6 Shane Van Boening(USA)  
Aloysius Yapp(SIN)   9 – 4 Artem Koshoviy(UKR)  
 
Group 6
Jayson Shaw(GBR)  9 – 3 Mishari Buhaimed(KUW)  
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 8 Joshua Filler(GER)    
 
Group 7
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 7 Ricky Boy Godez(PHL)  
Abdulrahman Alammar(KSA) 9 – 8 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL)  
 
Group 8
Yang Ching Shun(TPE) 9 – 5  Dennis Orcollo(PHL)  
Warren Kiamco(PHL) 9 – 7 Lui Haitao(CHN
 
Group 9
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 1  Elmer Haya(PHL)  
Lee Vann Corteza(PHL)   9 – 1 Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE)   
 
Group 10
 William Millares(PHL)  9 – 5 Johann Chua(PHL 
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 9 – 6  Ko Ping Chun(TPE)  
 
Group 11
Darren Appleton(GBR)  9- 4 Muhammad Bewi(INA)  
Bruno Muratore(ITA)  9 – 3 Richard Alinsub(PHL)  
 
Group 12
Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL)  9 – 7 Marcus Chamat(SWE)   
Chang Jung Lin(TPE)  9 – 7 Waleed Majid(QAT)  
 
Group 13
Alex Pagulayan(CAN)  9 – 8 Shaun Wilkie(USA)  
Corey Duel(USA) 9 – 8  Thorsten Hohmann(GER)  
 
Group 14
Alexander Kazakis(GRE)  9 – 6 Edwin Gamas(PHL)  
Carlo Biado(PHL)  9 – 5 Takenaka Hirishi(JPN)  
 
Group 15
Toru Kuribayashi(JPN)  9 – 3 Dennis Grabe(EST)  
Dang Jin Hu(CHN)   9 – 7 Ivica Putnik(CRO)  
 
Group 16
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS) 9 – 8 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)  
James Aranas Zoren(PHL)  9 – 7 Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 

Pressure Becomes The Great Equalizer On Judgement Day

Omar Al Shaheen. photo by Bader

(Doha, Qatar)-Omar Al Shaheen knows that success in championship pool is as much about perseverance as it is about being an amazing shot maker.  Sometimes, when things aren’t going your way, you just have to be patient.  When your time finally does come, you have to be ready to grab the cherry.

 

Today at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha, that cherry came in the form of a brilliantly played match against former World 9-ball Champion Darren Appleton. Today was Judgement Day at the 2016 World 9-ball Championship, the last chance to make it into the Final 64, the knockout rounds and the real road to 9-ball glory. 

 

Of course Appleton, one of pool’s giants, was the heavy favorite. But the 23 year old Kuwaiti played flawlessly and completely carefee, while the Brit couldn’t find the measure of the break shot and looked tight. Al Shaheen won in a master class, 9-5, putting Appleton out, and himself in the money rounds of pool’s biggest event.

 

To understand just how Al Shaheen got to this point of being able to oust one of pool’s best players, it helps to look back over the last few days.  The talented and good looking youngster didn’t even have a spot in the tournament a few days ago. He entered the brutally tough qualifiers last week, reached the finals two times, only to lose to two top players. But as he was lamenting what could have been this year, he got the call that another player had dropped out and, as the leading point holder of the qualifiers, he got the very last spot in the world championship.

 

Al Shaheen then lost his very first match and was forced over to the losers’ side of his group bracket. But then the Kuwaiti found his groove, handily beating Sweden’s Marcus Chamat, to set up a showdown with Appleton. He suddenly realized all the tough competition and, yes, the losing, had prepared him for this moment.

“I think it’s good that I lost many times,” an ecstatic Al Shaheen said after disposing of Appleton. “In the qualifiers I lost three times, two of them in finals to very good players. In the group stages I lost my first match. So that’s four times. So now I can accept losing. And it was good practice. Today I just play my game and I am relaxed. Darren is a very good player and I feel very good right now.”

 

31 one other players left the Al Arabi with similar wide grins today as they booked their spots in the Final 64 which begins Tuesdaymorning here.  They  join the 32 players who qualified on Sunday in what is a brutally stellar  field of pool greats ready to do battle  over the next three days  for  pool’s most prestigious prize.

 

Leading the way, as usual, are the Taiwanese and the Filipinos. Taiwan brings 10 heavyweights into the knockout stages, including defending champion Ko Pin Yi, Chang Yu Lung and Chang Jun Lin. Filipino fans will have nine players to get behind  including Dennis Orcollo, Warren Kiamco, Lee Vann Corteza, Carlo Biado, Jeffrey De Luna and Johann Chua. Filipino Alex Pagulayan, who won the World 9-ball crown in 2004, plays out of Canada and also made it through to the knockout rounds.

 

It wouldn’t be surprising if China finally takes its first World 9-ball title. Former champion Wu Jiaqing(formerly Wu Chia Ching) is playing rock solid pool, while Lui Haitao has consistently been raising his game over the last few years. Six Chinese players will be featured in the Final 64.

 

Poland has proved this year that it could arguably be Europe’s leading pool country with four players qualifying. A slew of other Europeans make up the field as well. 

Perhaps the most notable statistic this year is the rise of the Middle Eastern players.  Six players from the Middle East have qualified for the knockout rounds, a first in the history of this prestigious event. Clearly having the World 9-ball Championship in Qatar for the last seven years has significantly helped the sport grow.

 

Judgement Day always brings with it plenty of jangling nerves and high drama as players wilt under the gravity of the circumstances. One small roll of the ball can spell the difference between a player going 2 games and out, and perhaps a run at a world title.  If there was ever a sport where whole careers rest on a razor’s  edge, pool is it.

 

The Philippines young Jeffrey Ingacio has given Pinoy fans high hopes for the young generation to make their mark, but he had to get very lucky in holding off tough Canadian Francis Crevier to advance, 9-7. 
 

Great Britain’s Jayson Shaw has played himself into being one of the top players in the world over the last six months, but today he had to come from way behind against a stingy Justin Campbell of Australia to qualify, 9-7. 
 

2007  World 9-ball Champion Daryl Peach had to go toe to toe with the Philippines Antonio Gabica, but the Brit prevailed 9-7 in a high quality match.

 

Bangladesh isn’t the first country to come to mind when one thinks of great pool players. Today, however, will stand as a monumental day in Bangladeshi cue sports history. 29 year old MD Alim became the first player from Bangladesh to make it to the knockout rounds of the World 9-ball Championship. Alim, who owns a business installing satellite TV services in Dhaka, was playing in his very first world championship this week. Today, he went to the wire with Italy’s Bruno Muratore and showed major league poise and skills in crossing the finish line to qualify.

 

Another player to look out for is Iran’s Ali Maghsoud. A few days ago Maghsoud took down the great Mika Immonen. Today the Iranian sucked up the massive pressure and beat Japan’s Hiroshi Takenaka, 9-7 to make his first Final 64.

 

Other Middle Eastern players continued to impress. Abdul Rahman Al Amar of Saudi Arabi continues to show maturity beyond expectations. Today he came from behind to win at the wire against Poland’s Konard Juszczyszym, 9-8, and move on to the money rounds.

 

Last year’s runner up Shane Van Boening again had the break mastered as he trounced the Philippines Francisco Felicilda, 9-3. Oscar Dominguez made it two Americans in the final 64 with a win today.

 

Other notable players bouncing back from defeats and advancing today include the Netherlands’ Niels Feijen, Germany’s Ralf Souquet, the Philippines Dennis Orcollo, Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama and Taiwan’s Chang Yu Lung. 
 

One particular match at the end of today’s play seemed to encapsulate the drama and pressure of Judgement Day to a “T.”  The Philippines Carlo Biado was not playing well and found himself down to Japan’s Hayato Hijikata, 7-4 in a race to 9. Hijikata pushed the score to 8-6, but with the finish line and a qualification in sight, the Japanese began to wilt and the match went to 8- 8 and a pressure packed one rack decider, with Hijikata breaking.

 

The Japanese sank a ball on the break and then proceeded to make a superb full table bank on the two, with an open table to the win. But just as Biado started to slink down in defeat in his chair, Hijikata missed a wide open shot on the 4-ball. The Filipino bounced out of his chair but even then his legs looked weak from the pressure. Biado held it together and cleared the table for an unlikely spot in the knockout stages.

 

“When he made that 2-ball, I just knew the match was over,” a seriously relieved Biado said after the match. “But then he missed the 4-ball and I knew this was my chance. My heart was beating and it was pressure.  Now that I won the match, I have a lot of confidence. I’m in the Final 64. Anything can happen, and anyone can win. May the best man win.”

 

Play in the first day of the group stages begins Tuesday at 10am(GMT +3). All matches now become race to 11, alternate break. The round of 64 and round of 32 will be played on Tuesday. The round of 16 and quarterfinals will be played on Wednesday. The Semi-finals and Finals will be played on Thursday. The final will be a race to 13, alternate break.

 

**The 2015 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from July 30-August 4, 2016. The winner of the 2015 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.

 

The players will be competing on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.

 

The 2016 World 9-ball Championship is being hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.

 

Up to date brackets and live scoring can found at this link: 
http://www.online-brackets.com/view/user/wpc9ball/1010

 

The WPA will be on hand in Doha throughout this year’s World 9-ball Championship providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner. 

 

Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolbilliardassociation/

 

The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa 

 

RESULTS DAY 3
Winners advance to the Final 64
Losers are out.

Group 1
Jeong Young Hwa(KOR) 9 – 1 Mazen Berjuai(LEB) 
Mario He(AUT) 9 – 4 Waleed Majid(QAT)

Group 2
Karol Skowerski(POL) 9 – 8 Petri Makkonen(FIN)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 7 Francis Crevier(CAN) 

Group 3
MD Alim(BAN) 9 – 8 Bruno Muratore(ITA) 
Omar Al Shaheen(KUW) 9 – 5 Darren Appleton(GBR)

Group 4
Daryl Peach(GBR) 9 – 7 Antonio Gabica(PHL)
Roberto Gomez(PHL) 9 – 3 Francisco Sanchez(ESP)

Group 5
Artem Koshovoj(UKR)9 – 8 Luong Chi Dong(VIE)
Yang Ching Shun(TPE)  9 – 6 John Morra(CAN)  

Group 6
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 1 Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 
Ali M Saeed Hamzaa(ERI) 9 -7 Wang Can(CHN)

Group 7
Irsal Nasution(INA) 9 – 5 Imran Majid(GBR) 
Dennis Orcollo(PHL)9 – 7 Christian Goetmann(GER) 

Group 8
Abdul Rahman Al Amar(KSA) 9 – 8 Konard Juszczyszym(POL)  
Jayson Shaw(GBR) 9 – 7 Justin Campbell(AUS) 

Group 9
Niels Feijen(NED) 9 – 3 Shaun Wilke(USA)   
Satoshi Kawabata(JPE) 9- 7 Jalal Yousef(VEN)

Group 10
Ali Maghsoud(IRN) 9 – 7 Hiroshi Takenaka(JPN)  
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 9 – 5 Ruben Bautista(MEX)

Group 11
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 9 – 5 Skyler Woodward(USA) 
Ralf Souquet(GER)  9 – 7 Oliver Ortmann(GER)

Group 12
Muhammad Bewi(INA) 9 – 4 Nick Van Den Berg(NED) 
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 8  Hayato Hijikata(JPN)

Group 13
Oscar Dominguez(USA) 9 – 6 Ali Al Obaidli(QAT)  
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 5 Ryu Ceung Woo(KOR)

Group 14
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 1 Marco Teutscher(NED)  
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 3 Francisco Felicilda(QAT-PHL)

Group 15
Salah Eldeen Al Remawi(UAE)   9 – 5 Rogelio Selleca Sotero(PHL) 
Chang Yu Lung(TPE)  9 – 3 Abdulla Al Shemmari(KSA)

Group 16
Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE) 9 – 3 Joshua Filler(GER)  
Ahmed Mohammad Salah(JOR)  9 – 5 Bashar Hussain(QAT)

Fit, Fresh And Fabulous

Nikos Ekonomopoulus, photo by Bo Bader

Greece's Nikos Ekonomopoulus plays perfect pool to book his place with 31 others in the knockout rounds at the World 9-ball Championship.

 

(Doha, Qatar)–Misery and joy danced a sultry tango  today at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha on Day 2 of the 2016 WPA World 9-ball Championship, as 32 players headed for the exits, while another 32 players booked their place in the final 64 knockout stage.

 

As on Day 1, all 128 players saw action, but unlike the opening rounds, much more was at stake.  All 32 losers-side matches in the group stage were do-or-die.  All 32 winners-side matches offered the victor a massive sigh of relief, and a day off as they await the start of the single elimination knockout stage which begins on Tuesday.

 

For the 64 players remaining in this year’s World 9-ball Championship, that means Monday is the dreaded Judgement Day, when every roll of the ball could spell the difference between a career defining run at glory, or a career sullying walk into the lonely Qatari desert, head in hand, never wanting to show your face in public again. Yes, pool at this level can deliver the ultimate prize and the ultimate shame, and all at the same time. It’s why fans around the world love world championship 9-ball.

 

The day started early at 10am inside the icy cold Al Arabi Sports Club with the losers side matches.  A second loss meant an instant out, while a win meant one more chance at qualifying. You could sense the tension straight away as nobody, especially the top players, wanted to go 2 and out in a world championship.

 

Easily the biggest shock of the tournament so far came when former World 9-ball Champion and Hall of Famer Mika Immonen quickly got the big boot. Surprisingly the always ready for prime time Finn couldn’t get himself into the thick of the action this year. Today he fell behind early to Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski and never contended, getting blown out, 9-4. 
 

Day 1 had been a terrible day for the USA, but Shaun Wilke, Skylar Woodward and Shane Van Boening kept hope alive for the American side with impressive wins. Van Boening in particular looked the goods as he broke magnificently in his 9-2 drubbing of Argentina's Ariel Castro. Fans will recall it was Van Boening’s sensational break shot last year that saw him storm into the finals. 

 

2007 World 9-ball Championship Daryl Peach bounced back from a big collapse on day 1 and played perfect in a 9-5 win over Singapore’s Alyosius Yapp, who had made a run to the quarterfinals last year.  Interestingly Peach will play a Judgement Day match against the Philippines Roberto Gomez, the very man he beat in Manila in 2007 to win the world title.
 

Other notable names who survived to play another day include Germany’s Ralf Souquet, China’s Wang Can, the Philippines Carlo Biado, Poland’s Karol Skowerski and Japan’s Naoyuki Oi.

 

The winners side matches in the afternoon presented some brilliant face offs that would be worthy of a semis and even a finals any day of the week. Defending Champion Ko Pin Yi once again looked completely impervious as he took down Austria’s Mario He, 9-5. 

 

China’s Zhou Long and Canada’s John Morra squared off in a battle of young rising stars. Morra has been one of pool’s rising bright lights in the last two years and even made it to the quarterfinals last year in Doha with a sensational run.  But Zhou made a case for his superb skills today, playing what could be the match of the tournament so far, as he beat the Canadian handily, 9-2.

 

Perhaps the biggest matchup on the winners’ side took place between Greece’s Nikos Ekonomopoulus and Great Britain’s Jayson Shaw. Ekonomopoulus has been one of Europe’s best players over the last three years. Shaw recently won two straight events in Europe and currently leads the points race for the European Mosconi Cup squad.

 

Today, however, belonged to the Greek as he played absolutely perfect pool and beat the determined Scotsman, 9-5. Afterward, Ekonomopoulus attributed his stellar play to the fact that he has recently put aside his usual high life living and taken up a training regime. 
 

“I played a perfect set,” the friendly Greek said. “The last two months I made a good workout program for myself. I go to the gym every day, I practice pool for two hours, and I eat good. So I feel better.  It’s the first time in my life I have made a program like that so I feel really comfortable at the table.”  

 

Fans and future opponents should pay attention as Ekonomopolous new focus on fitness is clearly paying off. He’s reached the final in the last Euro Tour event, made two finals in other recent open European tournaments, and won an event in Cyprus. And now he’s in the Final 64 in Doha.

 

Also deserving a good look are the Russians, as veterans Konstantin Stepanov and Ruslan Chinakov barged into the Final 64 undefeated.  It should be noted that both Stepanov and Chinakov have spent the last year under the tutelage of coach Johan Ruysink, the Dutch pool coaching guru who led the European Mosconi Cup team to victory seven times.

 

Several big names failed to qualify today as 2012 World 9-ball Champion Darren Appleton and the Philippines Dennis Orcollo both went down to defeat.  Appleton couldn’t fend off the spirited play of Taiwan’s tiny Chu Hong Ming—nicknamed “Peter Pan”—losing 9-7. Orcollo faced fellow Filipino in veteran Ramil Gallego. Orcollo couldn’t get a groove and got swept aside, 9-4. Both players will be back for another go on Judgement Day.

 

The Philippines will be well represented in the knockout stages as along with Gallego, Lee Vann Corteza, Warren Kiamco, Alex Pagulayan(Can-Phl) and young gun Johann Chua all advanced.

 

Former world champion Wu Jiaqing(formerly Wu Chia Ching) once again looked superb and moved on. Already seven Chinese players, including Liu Haitao and Li Hewen, have made it through to the final 64.

 

Other notable players qualifying include two time World 9-ball Champion Thorsten Hohmann, Austria’s Albin Ouschan, Great Britain’s Karl Boyes, and Chang Jung Lin of Taiwan.

 

Play in the final day of the group stages begins tomorrow at 10am(GMT +3). 

 

**The 2015 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from July 30-August 4, 2016. The winner of the 2015 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.

 

The players will be competing on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.

 

The 2016 World 9-ball Championship is being hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.

 

The WPA will be on hand in Doha throughout this year’s World 9-ball Championship providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner. 

 

Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolbilliardassociation/

 

The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa

 

DAY 2 RESULTS, GROUP STAGE, LOSERS SIDE
Winners get one more chance
Losers are out of the tournament

Group 1
Mazen Berjuai(LEB) 9 – 3 Mohamed C. Elraousti(ALG) 
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 7 Shahbaz Adil Khan(IND)

Group 2
Karol Skowerski(POL) 9 – 5 Lo Ho Sum(HKG)
Francis Crevier(CAN) 9 – 2  Abdul Aziz Alawadhi(QAT)

Group 3
Bruno Muratore(ITA) 9 – 5 Henrique  Corriea (POR)
Omar Al Shaheen(KUW) 9 – 4 Marcus Chamat(SWE)

Group 4
Daryl Peach(GBR) 9 – 5 Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 
Roberto Gomez(PHL) 9 – 2 Mohannad Al Ghumayz(KSA)

Group 5
Artem Koshovoj(UKR) 9 – 8 Aoki Ryoji(JPN) 
Mohammad Al Kashawi(KUW) 9 – 5 Yang Ching Shun(TPE)   

Group 6
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 2 Mohammed Saeed(QAT)
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 7 Armin Mahmoudi(IRN)

Group 7
Imran Majid(GBR)9 -2  Abdullah Mohd Karmastaji(UAE)
Christian Goetmann(GER) 9  – 6 Ali Abdulhadi Almeri(QAT)

Group 8
Konard Juszczyszym(POL) 9 – 5 Karar Abdulwahed(IRQ)
Justin Campbell(AUS) 9 – 2 Robert Hart(USA)

Group 9
Shaun Wilke(USA) 9 – 1 Andrew Kong Bu Hong(HKG) 
Satoshi Kawabata(JPE) 9 – 6 Abdul Latif Al Fawal(QAT)

Group 10
Hiroshi Takenaka(JPN) 9 – 3 Nadim Okbani(ALG)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 9 – 4 Mika Immonen(FIN)

Group 11
Skyler Woodward(USA) 9 – 3 Omran Salem(UAE)  
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 4 Sayeem Hossain(BAN)

Group 12
Nick Van Den Berg(NED) 9 – 7 Abdulla Yousif(KUW)
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 1 Fahad Khalaf Al Jassas(BAH

Group 13
Ali Al Obaidli(QAT) 9 – 7 Manual Chau(PER)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 7 Toru Kuribayashi(JPN)

Group 14
Marco Teutscher(NED) 9 – 1 Mohammed Berjaui(LEB)
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 2 Ariel Castro(ARG)

Group 15
Salah Eldeen Al Remawi(UAE) 9 – 6 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 2 Do Hoang Quan(VIE)

Group 16
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 0 Abder Rehman Mebarki(ALG)
Ahmed Mohammad Salah(JOR) 9 – 6 Himanshu Jain(IND)

 

Winners side matches
Winners advance to the Final 64, Losers get one more chance 

Group 1
Ko Pin Yi(TPE)  9 – 5 Mario He(AUT)   
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 7  Jeong Young Hwa(KOR)   

Group 2
Chang Jun Lin(TPE)  9 – 7 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL)  
Johan Chua(PHL)  9 – 4 Petri Makkonen(FIN)  

Group 3
Chu Hong Ming(TPE) 9 – 7 Darren Appleton(GBR)        
Ruslan Chinakov(RUS)   9 – 4 MD Almin(BAN)

Group 4
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 6  Cristopher Tevez(PER)   
Albin Ouschan(AUT)  9 – 8 Antonio Gabica(QAT-PHL)   

Group 5
Zhou Long(CHN)   9 – 2 John Morra(CAN)   
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 4 Luong Chi Dong(VIE)   

Group 6
Karl Boyes(GBR)   9 – 3Hamzaa M Saeed Ali(ERI)  
Toh Lian Han(SIN)   9 – 5 Jeffrey De Luna(PHL)   

Group 7
Ramil Gallego(PHL)  9 – 4 Dennis Orcollo(PHL)   
David Alcaide(ESP)  9 – 8 Irsal Nasution(INA)

Group 8
Nikos Ekonomopoulos(GRE)  9 – 5  Jayson Shaw(GBR) 
Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 9 – 8 Abdul Rahman Al Amar(KSA)     

Group 9
Lui Haitao(CHN) 9 – 1 Jalal Yousef(VEN)   
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 6 Niels Feijen(NED)      

Group 10
Chu Bing Jie(CHN) 9- 1  Ruben Bautista(MEX)   
Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE)  9 – 5 Ali Maghsoud(IRN)   

Group 11
Waren Kiamco(PHL)  9 – 7 Oliver Ortmann(GER)   
Wu Kun Lin(TPE) 9 – 3 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)  

Group 12
Francisco Pizaarro Diaz(ESP) 9 – 3 Hayato Hijikata(JPE)   
Roman Hybler(CZE)  9 – 6 Muhammad Bewi Simenjuntak(INA)  

Group 13
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 5  Ryu Ceung Woo(KOR)   
Dennis Grabe(EST)  9 – 4 Oscar Dominguez(USA)    

Group 14
Li Hewen(CHN)  9 – 4 Francisco Olita Felicilda(QAT-PHL)   
Li Wen Lo(TPE)  9 – 5 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)   

Group 15
Lee Vann Corteza(PHL) 9 – 7 Abdulla Al Shemmari(KSA)   
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS) 9 – 6 Rogelio Belleca Sotero Jr(PHL)

Group 16
Dang Jin Hu(CHN)  9 – 3 Bashar Hussaiin(QAT)  
Han Hao Xiang(CHN)  9 – 3 Cheng Yu Husan(TPE)