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Aranas Over Ussery In a Nailbiter at Star City 10-Ball Shootout

James Aranas, Wolf Den Owner Kory Wolford and BJ Ussery

It was a small, but strong field that traveled from the International 9-Ball Open to Wolf’s Den Billiards in Roanoke, Va for the Star City 10-Ball Shootout on November 6th – 10th. 
The Philippines’ James Aranas looked like he might run away with this one, after winning his first three matches (Derek Radford, Kent Lacy and Dylan Carr) by an average margin of 9-2. He was put to more of a test in his quarter-final 9-5 win over Jesus Atencio,  but then rolled over Jalal Yousef for the hot-seat 9-4. Aranas trailed that match 4-3 before winning six racks for the win. 
BJ Ussery was the player to beat on the one loss side. He dropped a final eight match to Aranas’ countryman Roberto Gomez, but came back with four wins on the left side of the board. Ussery was challenged by both Atencio and Gomez, beating Atencio 9-7 and then Gomez 9-8. The semi-final match between Ussery and Yousef started out close, tied at 3-3, before Ussery took control and won the match 9-5. 
The finals was one extended race to thirteen, and even with the alternating break format, the momentum of the match went back and forth. With Ussery leading 4-2, Aranas won five straight racks for a 7-4 lead. At 8-5 Aranas, Ussery took control and won seven straight racks to take the hill at 12-8. Ussery’s break abandoned him at 12-8 though, and Aranas took over control of the match. Aranas broke and ran two racks off his break, ran one from a dry Ussery break and ran out from a missed 2-ball by Ussery to tie things up at 12-12. Aranas had the break for the final rack, and he took full advantage with another break and run for the 13-12 win and first place. 

Hohmann backs up Steinway Classic title with NYC Singles 8-Ball Championship title

Tony Robles, Thorsten Hohmann and Tournament Director John Leyman (Erwin Dionisio)

Soto, Rosario, Sugiyama, Musser and Karwas win other division 8-ball titles
Three days after winning the 7th Steinway Classic in a thrilling, double hill final match against Fedor Gorst (Oct. 17), Thorsten Hohmann, at the same location, won the Grand Master Division of the NYC 8-Ball Championships (Oct. 20) with a slightly less dramatic 6-1 finals victory over Ruslan Chinakhov. The Grand Master division of the annual event, which drew 22 entrants to Steinway, was one of six division 8-ball tournaments held on the weekend of October 19-20. In all, under the sponsorship of Michael Fedak, the NYC Singles 8-Ball Championships added $15,000, divided among the six divisions, which drew 151 unique entrants.
It was Jose Soto who won in the 16-entrant Mixed Master’s Division, Abel Rosario in the 32-entrant Mixed Advanced Division, Akiko Sugiyama in the 32-entrant Women’s Leisure Division, and Maxwell Musser in the 32-entrant Men’s Leisure Division. The largest field, 48 entrants, was the Mixed Open Division, won by Sebastian Karwas.
Hohmann’s path to the winners’ circle in the Grand Masters event went through Chinakhov twice. He opened with a double hill win over Joey Korsiak and then, sent Chinakhov to the loss side 6-4. Hohmann then defeated Del Sim 6-4, to draw Damianos Giallourakis in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Nick Ekonomopoulos in the meantime, after being awarded an opening round bye, downed the Steinway Classic’s runner-up, Fedor Gorst 6-2 and Jalal Yousef 6-4 to draw Jimmy Rivera in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Hohmann defeated Giallourakis 6-3 and in the hot seat match, faced Ekonomopoulos, who’d sent Rivera west 6-1. Hohmann claimed the hot seat 6-3 and waited on the return of Chinakhov.
On the loss side, Chinakhov was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would give him a second chance against Hohmann. He got by Raphael Dabreo 6-2, Ryan Hsu 6-4, Tony Robles 6-2 and survived a double fight versus Burgos to draw Giallourakis, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Rivera picked up Roland Garcia, who after being defeated by Giallourakis ended Gorst’s run 6-1 and  by the same score, Del Sim’s.
Chinakhov and Giallourakis battled to double hill before Chinakhov advanced to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Garcia, who’d eliminated Rivera 6-2. Chinakhov took the quarterfinal match 6-2.
He completed his loss-side run with a double hill win over Ekonomopoulos in the semifinals. Hohmann, though, shut Chinakhov down early in the finals and completed his undefeated run with a 6-1 victory over Chinakhov.
Soto is the only competitor to come from the loss side to win Mixed Masters Division
Five of the six divisions of the NYC Singles 8-Ball Championships featured winners who went undefeated through their respective fields. Jose Soto, in the smallest field (16), competing in the Mixed Masters division, was the only competitor to win a division by coming from the loss side to defeat the hot seat occupant. And he did so, by losing in his first round and winning six loss-side matches to down Cesar Turcios in the finals.
Soto lost 5-1 to Tim Edmonds in the opening round of play. Edmonds was subsequently defeated by Brooke Meyers, who advanced to face Turcios in the hot seat match. Turcios claimed the hot seat in a double hill win over Meyers. On the loss side, three of the six matches Soto played, forced him to play a single deciding game to advance; matches against Eddie Kunz, Matthew Harricharan and his quarterfinal match against Miguel Laboy. Soto downed Meyers 6-3 in the semifinals and then, claimed the title with an 8-4 win over Turcios.
The largest field of 48, in the Mixed Open division, was won by Sebastian Karwas, who went undefeated. It took Karwas as many matches on the winners’ side of the Mixed Open bracket to claim the title, as it took Soto on both sides of the Mixed Masters bracket to win his. Karwas got by Jim Gutierrez, Keith Stefanowitz, Omar Chavez, Alex Kent and Marco Daniele to face Paul Lyons in the hot seat match. He claimed the hot seat 6-1 over Lyons, who moved to the loss side and downed Daniele in the semifinals 5-3. Karwas took their second match 6-4 to claim the title.
Rosario and Schreiber battle it out for Mixed Advanced title
Two of the New York area’s better competitors in their respective ranking divisions battled twice to claim the 32-entrant Mixed Advanced title. Abel Rosario and Thomas Schreiber hold top positions in the standings of both the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tours. Rosario is #10 on the Tri-State’s A+/A standings list and the #3 B+ player on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Schreiber is #5 on the Tri-State’s list of B players and # 2 on the Predator Pro Am Tour’s list of B players.
After four victories each, they met first in the hot seat match. Rosario claimed the hot seat 6-3. Schreiber moved to the loss side and downed Matthew Rezendes 5-1. He and Rosario fought to an appropriate double hill game 11 before Rosario finished it to claim the title.
In the 32-entrant Women’s Leisure division, Akiko Sugiyama won five straight to claim that title. She faced Melissa Schleifer twice and gave up only a single rack over the two matches; that one, coming in Sugiyama’s victory in the hot seat match. Schleifer shut Debra Pritchett out in the semifinals, but punctuating her undefeated run through the field, Sugiyama shut Schleifer out in the finals.
Completing the six-tournament event, it was Maxwell Musser, who went undefeated through the 32-entrant Men’s Leisure field. Musser faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals, defeating Brian Schell to claim the hot seat, and after Henry Chan had downed Schell double hill in the semifinals, Musser shut him out to take the title.
As always, event director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as Dr. Michael Fedak for his continuing financial support for this event (Fedak finished in the tie for 13th place in the Mixed Open tournament). Robles also noted sponsorship support from Predator Cues, and Blatt Billiards. According to Robles, the 2020 NYC 8-Ball Championships are going to be even better. It’s being planned as a three-day event on Columbus Day weekend and Dr. Fedak will be adding $20,000.
“This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of Michael and Marilyn Fedak,” said Robles.

2019 NYC 8-Ball Championship – Jalal Yousef vs Nick Ekonomopoulos

Hohmann chalks up final, double hill thriller to capture 7th Steinway Classic

Tony Robles, Thorsten Hohmann, Manny Stamatakis and tournament director John Leyman (Erwin Dionisio)

They were an odd couple, left standing on Thursday evening, October 17. Not . . . strange, or all that unexpected, or even odd enough to be characterized as a surprise, just . . . odd. In the 45-entrant field at the $7,000-added, 10-Ball 7th Steinway Classic, hosted, of course, by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY from October 15-17, Thorsten Hohmann and Fedor Gorst were unlikely to have been the two players deemed most likely to appear in the event final. In fact, the euphemistic spectator choices for the two most likely candidates were, as one might have expected, Shane Van Boening and Dennis Orcollo.
There were three members of the USA Mosconi Cup Team that were competing (Van Boening, Billy Thorpe and Tyler Styer), and two members of Team EUROPE – Jayson Shaw and Alex Kazakis. There was also, among others, Mike Dechaine, Lee Van Corteza, James Aranas, Jeremy Sossei, Tony Robles, Ruslan Chinakhov, Chris Melling and a boatload of serious local talent, like Frankie Hernandez, Joey Korsiak, Michael Yednak, Hunter Lombardo and Raphael Dabreo, to name just a few. Any one of them capable of winning the event on the proverbial “any given Sunday,” but this was mid-week, Tuesday through Thursday, and Hohmann went undefeated through the field, downing Gorst twice to claim the title.
Hohmann didn’t back into the title with a series of easy draws and just luck out. He faced the ‘meat’ of that entrant list and in spite of being occasionally off-stride in the early going of several matches, hung in to win it all, including a breathtaking comeback in an “all you could ask for” final match.
Hohmann did have something of an easy time in his opening match against local talent Elvis Rodriguez, but a shutout over him led to a nail-biting, double hill match against “Fireball” Mike Dechaine, which Hohmann won and followed with a 9-6 win over Venezuela’s Jalal Yousef. He then downed Greece’s Alex Kazakis 9-3 to draw Dennis Orcollo in a winners’ side semifinal; Orcollo having just sent Van Boening to the loss side 9-6.
Gorst’s path went through Chris Melling 9-3, local talents Michael Badstseubner and Zion Zvi, both 9-4, before arriving at a winners’ side quarterfinal match against Polish 18-year-old Wiktor Zielinski, the youngest player to ever win a Euro Tour event (the 2017 Treviso Open). Zielinski battled him to double hill before giving way and allowing Gorst to advance to his winners’ side semifinal match against Jeremy Sossei.
Hohmann and Orcollo locked up into a somewhat predictable double hill match that eventually sent Hohmann to the hot seat match. He was joined by Gorst, who’d sent Sossei to the loss side 9-6. Gorst took the opening rack of the hot seat match, but he and Hohmann battled back and forth to a 5-5 tie, before Hohmann broke out to win the next four and claim the hot seat. He waited in it to see how the youngster fared against Van Boening in the semifinals.
After his defeat at the hands of Orcollo in the winners’ side quarterfinal, Van Boening moved over and ran right into Mike Dechaine, who was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had included, most recently, a 9-3 win that took James Aranas out of the picture. Van Boening ended Dechaine’s streak 9-7 and then, in a double hill fight, ended Alex Kazakis’ brief loss-side run to draw Sossei. Orcollo drew the youngster, Zielinski, who, following his defeat at the hands of Gorst had picked up loss-side wins over Hsu Jui-An 9-4 and much (one would assume) to the surprise of Jayson Shaw, defeated him double hill to face Orcollo.
Van Boening and Sossei fought to double hill before Van Boening prevailed and advanced to the quarterfinals. Orcollo earned the rematch by prevailing 9-5 over the youngster Zielinski, whose performance and finish in this event is bound to increase his spectator popularity in events ahead.  Van Boening was picking up speed as he approached the finish line and eliminated Orcollo 9-3 in the quarterfinals.
It was clear from the outset that the much-younger Gorst was going to give Van Boening all he could handle in the semifinals that followed. It was something of a cautionary tale for Van Boening, as he prepares for the Mosconi Cup next month, as he went down to defeat against Gorst 9-7.
As had been happening, more or less throughout the tournament, Hohmann got off to a bit of a bad start in the finals; a five-rack bad start at the end of which he had failed to chalk up so much as one. But then, as though someone had flipped a switch, Hohmann settled in to win the next five racks. Gorst slipped a rack in to make it 6-5, before Hohmann came back to win two and take his first lead at 7-6.
Hohmann missed a chance to go ahead by two, rattling a 9-ball in a corner pocket and allowing Gorst to tie things up at 7-7. They traded racks to an 8-8 tie before Gorst chalked up rack 17. It was a critical juncture in the match, as Gorst got out in front by a first, second and then, a third, and a fourth rack to put himself on the hill at 12-8 for extending the race to 15 games.
Hohmann came back with some extraordinary shooting in the 21st rack to chalk up his 9th (12-9); the crowd reaction (including comments from the booth in the live stream broadcast) was muted, as though they were encouraging someone who’s doing their best in a losing battle. Gorst moved on and over the course of the next two racks, made two critical unforced errors, which Hohmann took full advantage of to pull within one at 12-11.
And suddenly, it was 12-12, and calm as you please, Hohmann chalked up the win in the final rack and claimed the 7th Steinway Classic title.
Silent Assassin Production’s Tony Robles (who competed, was sent to the loss side by Roland Garcia and eliminated by Tyler Styer) thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as the event’s official director, John Leyman. He extended thanks, as well, to the usual members of his own staff, including his own “lovely wife, Gail,” and Irene Kim. He also acknowledged the work of UpstateAL and his broadcast crew for their streaming coverage of the event throughout the three days, the photograph work of Ernest Dionisio and thanked title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards,, The DeVito Team,, Capelle (, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest.
The next event, to be held under the auspices of Robles’ Silent Assassin Productions, scheduled to begin today (Saturday, Oct. 19) and continue through tomorrow will be the 6th Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships, sponsored by Dr. Michael Fedak and hosted by Steinway Billiards. The Predator Pro Am Tour will return to Steinway the following weekend (Oct. 26-27).

Al Shaheen Wins Texas Open

Omar Al Shaheen and ladies champion Ming Ng (Pool Action TV)

Congratulations to Omar Alshaheen for winning the 45th Annual Texas Open 9-Ball Championships at Skinny Bob's Billiards in Round Rock, TX! It was also Omar's Birthday, Happy Birthday!
The main event kicked off Friday night with a 128 player full stellar field. When it was all said and done, the action boiled down to two determined players in the Finals match.
The match would be an epic true double elimination battle between Omar and The Iceberg Justin Bergman. First set in the finals ended with a hill hill thriller with Justin on the winning end 9-8. Second set Omar Cruised to an 8-5 lead with Justin winning one more game before the set was closed out 9-6. Excellent job guys, was a pleasure to watch and enjoy.
The Warrior Warren Kiamco earned a very respectable third place finish, he played really strong for the entire event. Jalal Yousef scored 4th place in this stellar field, great job everyone.
Congratulations are also in order to Ming Ng for winning the Ladies 9-ball! Jennifer Kraber earned a tough fought 2nd. Scoring a well earned third was Emily Duddy and fourth went to Tam Trinh for her good efforts. Great showing Ladies!
Kelly Isaac & Roberto Gomez won the Scotch Doubles Jack & Jill 9-Ball, with a close second by Jennifer Kraber & James Davis Sr, congrats! Claiming third prize was Gail Eaton & James Davis Jr. Fourth was earned by Kimberly Brown & Omar Alshaheen, Thanks to everyone who participated and helped make the scotch doubles a successful turnout.
Mr. Smooth John Morra earned First place in the Mini tournament Wednesday night with some fantastic left handed playing against the Young Gun Sky Woodward. Amazing job fellas.
Gratz to Manny Chau and Ian Bowling for winning the banks ring game on Thursday, they ended splitting the prize.
Special thanks to Skinny Bob's Billiards and staff for hosting this longest running prestigious event! Sincere thanks to Double J Jeremy Jones, for bringing his world class commentary for everyone to enjoy. would also like to thank our fans and sponsors for another great event! Our sponsors include Steve Lomax of Lomax Custom Cues, Aramith, John Barton of JB Cases, James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues, Mike Durbin of Durbin Custom Cues, Kamui, Simonis, Champs Bar & Grill and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS.
Join us this weekend for The Houston Open, 7th-9th at Legend's Billiards in League City,TX. See you all then!

Four Left Go For World 9-Ball Crown On Thursday

Taiwanese star Wu Kun Lin

Pool will get a new king as Kaci, Garcia, Biado and Wu chase glory in Doha


After a day of intense pool drama mostly played at the highest levels of the sport, the 2017 World 9-ball Championship has come down to just four players remaining. And what a final four it promises to be.

In one semi-final, Taiwan’s newest pool playing super hero, 22 year Wu Kun Lin, will take on Filipino veteran Carlo Biado, who at 34 years old seems more ready than ever to ascend to the mountain top.
In the other semi-final sits another Filipino, Roland Garcia, who once studied at the foot of the legendary Efren Reyes and has, this week, been showcasing similar magician-like skills. The 36 year old Garcia will square up against pool’s new wunderkind in 18 year old Albanian Klenti Kaci.
Both semi-finals will be race to 11, alternate break and will be played concurrently at 10am Doha time(GMT +3) at the Al Arabi Sports Club. The finals will be a race to 13, alternate break and will begin at 2pm Doha time.
Not only did Wednesday’s action ensure that pool will have a brand new, first time champion come Thursday evening, but it also proved that old axiom that seems to be a common occurrence in pool; once you think you’ve seen it all, something else quickly comes along to prove you wrong.
In this case, unfortunately, that something else had absolutely nothing to do with pool skills played out on the blue pitch. The incident in question happened right at the start of the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Biado had come off a grueling test against fellow Filipino Jeffrey Ignacio, outlasting his younger compatriot 11-7 to advance to the final 8. After a 90 minute rest, Biado sat in his chair waiting for his opponent, China’s Liu Haitao, who had earlier stormed back from a 10-8 deficit to win his final 16 match, 11-10 against Taiwan’s Ko Ping Chung. The veteran Liu, however, was nowhere to be found.
As it turned out, Liu had gone back to his nearby hotel between sessions for a bit of a rest and had likely forgotten to wake up in time. Tournament officials at the hotel were able to roust Liu and put him in a van to try and beat the clock, where rules stated that players get a 15 minute grace period to show up for a match.  But Liu arrived at the Al Arabi Sports Club ten minutes past the grace period and found himself disqualified. A shell shocked Liu couldn’t believe what had just happened, and neither could Biado, who was awarded the match by an 11-0 score line without firing in a single ball.
Whether the lack of a match in the quarterfinals will help or hurt the Filipino is anyone’s guess. Certainly, however, Biado is well positioned to finally ascend to the mountain top of the sport after over 15 years of taking his lumps in all corners of the globe. For many years he was seen as this super talented nice guy who kept banging on the door of success, but without much luck. But in 2015 Biado started to crack the door open, especially when he came within a few racks of winning the World 10-ball championship against Taiwan’s Ko Pin Yi. Then earlier this year, Biado achieved his biggest success to date when he captured a coveted gold medal at the World Games in Poland. The Filipino is clearly not afraid to win and win big, and Thursday could see him finally grab pool’s ultimate prize.
Biado will first have to match wits with rising Taiwanese star Wu Kun Lin. The 22 year old has quietly been making a name for himself this year amongst the stacked talent field that is Taiwanese professional pool.  Several months back he traveled to the US and reached the semi-finals in the World Pool Series in New York. On Wednesday, Wu proved himself by first crushing defending champion Albin Ouschan, 11 – 3. He then poured it on against fellow Taiwanese Hsieh Chia Chen, winning handily, 11 – 7.
Wu’s silky smooth stroke and dead-eyed potting ability make him a serious threat in any match he enters and his showdown with Biado promises to be tight. Biado, however, certainly has the edge in terms of experience.
Garcia is less well known than Biado but those who follow pool know the special talent and promise that the 36 year old has always possessed. Garcia hails from the same region of the Philippines as the legend Reyes, and in fact learned the game as a kid by hanging around with the Hall of Famer.  At one point about 12 years ago, Garcia was considered a protégé of Efren and had the one of a kind pool skills to wow any audience.
Like many Filipinos, Garcia had long concentrated on the money game circuit, but it’s only in the last three years that he has turned his attention to serious tournament play. He also moved to Pattaya, Thailand where he works as a pro at the Megabreak pool hall. These changes have brought Garcia’s rare skills to the fore,  and he has started to climb the ladder of tournament success.  
This week in Doha, Garcia has lit up the arena in breathtaking style. He came into his round of 16 match against Taiwan’s Ko today an underdog, but he blew past the former world champion as if Ko didn’t even exist, winning 11-8.
In the quarters Garcia met up with Venezuelan-Jordanian Jalal Yousef. The veteran Youself was having his best ever world championship and came into the match clearly in the zone, having just disposed of China’s Dang Jinhu, 11 -7. But Garcia’s was in even more rarefied territory and tore through Yousef like a hot knife through butter, winning the match 11-4 and claiming a spot in the semi-finals.
Garcia will have to maintain his incredible pace on Thursday for he is up against a player in Kaci who appears absolutely unstoppable.  The 18 year old Albanian’s superb skills and seemingly impenetrable armor were on full display again today in his two matches. Kaci first dismantled Canada’s John Morra, 11-6. He then faced off with one of the young surprises of the event, the 23 year Maung Maung from Myanmar.
Maung Maung had earlier taken down Germany’s brash 20 year old phenom Joshua Filler, 11-6, in the round of 16. Against Kaci, the sharp shooting Maung, who has lived in China for the last three years, took an early lead. But the methodical and clinical Albanian held his ground and smothered Maung going away in an 11-7 victory.
With two World Pool Series wins and a runner up finish at the US Open under his belt this year alone, the unflappable Kaci would seem to be the favorite of the four semi-finalists ready to chase pool history on Thursday.  He is clearly a rare pool talent, a prodigy of the likes of Wu Chia Ching, who won the World 9-ball and World 8-ball crowns in 2005 at the age of 16. Should he pull off two wins on Thursday and claim world 9-ball supremacy, Kaci will surely go down in pool history.
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Complete Brackets:
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 is 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;
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Semi Finals World 9-ball Championship
Thursday Dec. 14, 2017, 10am Doha(GMT +3)
Race to 11, Alternate Break
Wu Kun Lin(TPE) vs. Carlo Biado(PHI)
Roland Garcia(PHI) vs. Klenti Kaci(ALB)
Dec. 14, 2pm(GMT+3)
Race to 13, Alternate Break
Results Final 16
Wu Kun Lin(TPE) 11 – 3 Albin Ouschan(AUT)    
Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE) 11 – 7 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)  
Carlo Biado(PHI) 11 – 7 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHI)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 11 – 10 Ko Ping Chung(TPE)     
Roland Garcia(PHI) 11 – 8 Ko Pin Yi(TPE)   
Jalal Al Sarisi(Yousef)(VEN) 11 – 7 Dang Jinhu(CHN)  
Maung Maung(MYR) 11 – 6 Joshua Filler(GER)
Klenti Kaci(ALB) 11 – 6 John Morra(CAN)
 Results Quarterfinals
Wu Kun Lin(TPE) 11- 7 Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE)
Carlo Biado(PHI) 11 – 0 Liu Haitao(CHN)
Roland Garcia(PHI) 11 – 4 Jalal Al Sarisi(Yousef)(VEN)
Klenti Kaci(ALB) 11 – 7 Maung Maung(MYR)

World 9-Ball Down To The Final 16 In Doha

Thorsten Hohmann (Photo courtesy of Bo Bader)

Every pool player has a lucky charm, a secret superstition, a favorite cue or shaft, a special gadget or pendant that they take with them wherever they go to try and give them that extra edge. For Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann that lucky charm this week is his ‘old lady.’
No, the two time World 9-ball champion didn’t bring his girlfriend to Qatar this week. The ‘old lady’ Hohmann refers to is a cue stick that brought him his original glory in the sport and helped him to make a Hall of Fame career for himself.
It was back in 2003 when the pool world had yet to hear of this young hot shot from Germany. But then one week in late July in Cardiff, Wales, playing with a cue from German cue maker Michael Vollmer, the then 24 year old Hohmann went on a tear through the toughest field of the year and shocked the pool world, winning his first World Pool Championship. 
Success brought sponsors and Hohmann put away the Michael Vollmer cue for a Lucasi, who sponsored ‘the Hitman’ for the last 12 years. Recently, though, the contract with the cue maker ended, and with few successes to speak of in the last two years, Hohmann decided to dig into his closet and bring out his old friend. It was love at second sight.
Together with his ‘old lady,’ Hohmann today advanced to the final 16 at the 2017 World 9-ball Championship, winning two matches and exuding the confidence and joy for the game he exhibited in 2003 and again in 2013 when he won his second World 9-ball crown in this very venue. Can the ‘Hitman’ do it again, over the next two days, and become only the second man, with Earl Strickland, to capture three World 9-ball crowns? Hohmann knows better than to get ahead of himself. But with the ‘old lady’ in his hands, the German great is feeling better than he has in years, and clearly can’t wait to get out on the blue pitch and compete at the highest levels.
“I’m happy with the way I played,” Hohmann said after a heart thumping 11-10 win against Taiwan’s Chang Yu Lung in the final 32. “I’m breaking pretty good. I made a few mistakes and if I want to win I can’t make those kinds of errors.
“There are so many great players in this tournament so anything can happen. But I’m very confident now. I got my old cue back, the one I used to win my first World 9-ball Championship back in 2003. My contract with Lucasi ended, 12 years I’m grateful for the time with them, but now I’m back to my old lady and I’m just enjoying it, hitting the ball solid and I’m really having fun playing the game. That’s what I’m really looking forward to. Everyday I’m really looking forward to playing. I’m excited, I got my cue back, I like the tables, I like the conditions, but I take it match by match.”
Hohmann is right to keep his expectations in check , for there are 15 other monsters left out of the 64 who started the days play at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha who could just as well find themselves lifting pool’s most prestigious crown come Thursday. Hohmann will face off with Taiwan’s Hsieh Chia Chen, who is one of four Taiwanese to make up the final 16 players.
Defending champion Albin Ouschan certainly knows how to get the job done, and his two wins today will certainly bolster his confidence from here on in. The Austrian first grinded out a win over Kuwaiti Abdullah Alyusef, 11-6, in the round of 64. He then went toe to toe with Korea’s Woo Seung Ryu, winning 11-9 in a match that took nearly three hours. In the final 16 Ouschan will duke it out with up and coming 23 year old Taiwanese Wu Kun Lin.
Ko Pin Yi preceded Ouschan on the winner’s podium here in 2015 and has been quietly showing his superb class in Doha this week. Today the amazing Ko first manhandled Austria’s Max Lechner, 11-3. The former World 9-ball and World 10-ball champion then went out and crushed fellow Taiwanese Chih Nien Rong, 11-4. In the final 16 Ko will take on the Philippines Roland Garcia. Garcia, who was once a protégé of the legendary Efren Reyes, and even comes from the same hometown as Reyes, has reached his best effort at a world championship this week in Doha.
Ko’s younger brother Ping Chung had a heart stopping day as he first squeaked by Lithuanian Pijus Labutis, 11 – 10, then outlasted Polish veteran Radislaw Babica, 11-9.
The Philippines’ Carlo Biado and Jeffrey Ignacio will square off in an all-Pinoy final 16 match. This is an intriguing matchup as the 34 year old Biado is the veteran in the group who’s been knocking on the door of big time success for three years, while the 25 year Ignacio has wowed Filipino fans with his awesome talent, but has yet to produce long term success. Biado will certainly come in as the favorite, as several months back he won a gold medal in the World Games and seems to have finally picked up a knack for closing out big matches.
A massive surprise in the final 16 is Myanmar’s Maung Maung. The 23 year old has been a revelation all week and kept up the superb play under immense pressure today.  In the round of 32, the Philippines’ Jeffrey De Luna threw everything he could at Maung, but Maung never flinched and closed out the match nicely, 11-9.
Venezuelan-Jordanian Jalal Yousef is very well known on the pro circuit. Yousef is enjoying his best ever success this week in Doha. After his second straight win today, Yousef revealed that he came to Doha brimming with confidence.
“I’m playing good,” Youself said. “I’m breaking good. I was in the States for two months I played in a lot of tournaments. Ten days ago I played in a tournament in Dubai I played really good. I’ve been practicing a lot and I’m playing good and I’m excited to play. I feel like I’m in shape. I’m playing my best game right now. I hope I can keep it up.”
Yousef will match wits with China’s Dang Jinhu, another hard-nosed player who plays under the radar.  Chinese veteran Liu Haitao joins Dang in the final 16. Today Liu barely escaped the round of 32 with an 11-10 win over Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz.
Despite the plethora of upstarts, veterans and current and former world champions in the final 16, fans in Doha and around the world can’t help but keep turning their attentions to the two young superstars remaining in the field; Germany’s 20 year old Joshua Filler, and Albania’s 18 year old Klenti Kaci.
Filler continued to cruise at his usual lightning pace in two matches today, seemingly playing without a care in the world, shooting lights-out pool, and keeping that determined look that speaks of a champion in the making.
In terms of styles, Kaci is the polar opposite of Filler; clinical, methodical and deliberate. But the Albanian seems absolutely impervious to pressure and exudes pool playing class at all times during a match. Nobody would be surprised if Kaci found himself raising the trophy come Thursday evening.  
Kaci, however, will have his hands full against Canadian John Morra, whose confidence seems to be soaring. Morra first turned back world number one Chang Jun Lin, 11-9, then beat Russia’s Konstantin Stepanov by the same score line to advance.
The final 16 and quarter finals will take place on Wednesday, December 13. The round of 16 begins at 10am Doha time(GMT +3), while the quarterfinals begins at 2pm. All matches will be race to 11, alternate break.
Live stream:
Live scoring:
Double Elimination Brackets:
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;
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
Visit the official website of the WPA at

Final 16
December 12, 2017
10am Doha(GMT +3)
Race to 11, Alternate Break

Albin Ouschan(AUT)  vs. Wu Kun Lin(TPE)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) vs. Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE)
Carlo Biado(PHI) vs. Jeffrey Ignacio(PHI)
Liu Haitao(CHN) vs. Ko Ping Chung(TPE)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) vs. Roland Garcia(PHI)
Jalal Al Sarisi(Yousef)(VEN) vs. Dang Jinhu(CHN)  
Maung Maung(MYR) vs. Joshua Filler(GER)
Klenti Kaci(ALB) vs. John Morra(CAN)

Results Final 64
Albin Ouschan(AUT)  11 – 6 Abdullah Alyusef(KUW)
Woo Seung Ryu(KOR) 11 – 10 Samuel Santos(POR)
Warren Kiamco(PHI) 11 – 4 Kong Dejing(CHN)
Wu Kun Lin(TPE) 11 – 4 Hiroshi Takenaka(JPN)

Bader Alawadhi(KUW) 11 – 8 Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 
Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE) 11 – 8 Martin Daigle(CAN) 
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 11 – 8 Mieszko Fortunski(POL)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 11 – 5 Xu Xiao Cong(CHN)

Carlo Biado(PHI) 11 – 6 Daniel Tangudd(Sweden)
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 11 – 9 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHI) 11 – 4 Lo Ho Sum(HKG)
Francisco Felicilda(PHI) 11 – 7 Naoyuki Oi(JPN)

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 11 – 6 Martinez Gerson(PER)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 11 – 3 Israel Rota(PHI)
Radislaw Babica(POL) 11 – 8 Yu Li Si(TPE)
Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 11 – 10 Pijus Labutis(LIT)

Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 3 Max Lechner(AUT)
Chih Nien Rong(TPE) Hayato Hijikata(JPN)
Niels Feijen(NED) 11 – 9 Kwang Chan Keng(SIN)
Roland Garcia(PHI) 11 – 4 Md Al Amin(BAN)

Jalal Al Sarisi(Yousef)(VEN) 11 – 6 Ruslan Chinakov(RUS)
Hoang Duong Quoc(VIE) 11 – 10 Chieh Liu Cheng(TPE) 
Lo Li Wen(TPE) 11 – 7 Nguyen Anh Tuan(VIE)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 11 – 8 Fischer Sparrenlov(SWE)

Jeffrey De Luna(PHI) 11 – 7 Maksim Dudanets(RUS)
Maung Maung(MYR) 11 – 8 Chu Bingjie(CHN)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 11 – 10 Nikolaos Malai(GRE) 
Joshua Filler(GER) 11 – 6 Ahmad Naiem(JOR)

Klenti Kaci(ALB)11 – 6 Roman Hybler(CZE)
David Alcaide(ESP) 11 – 5 Wiktor Zielinkski(POL)
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS) 11 – 7 Marco Teutscher(NED)
John Morra(CAN) 11 – 9 Chang Jung Lin(TPE)

Results Final 32
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 9 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)
Wu Kun Lin(TPE) 11 – 8 Warren Kiamco(PHI)
Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE) 11 – 3 Bader Alawadhi(KUW)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 11 – 10 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)

Carlo Biado(PHI) 11 -8 Tomasz Kaplan(POL)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHI) 11 – 9 Francisco Felicilda(PHI)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 11 – 10 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP)
Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 11 – 9 Radislaw Babica(POL)

Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 4 Chih Nien Rong(TPE)
Roland Garcia(PHI) 11 – 7 Niels Feijen(NED)
Jalal Al Sarisi(Yousef)(VEN) 11 – 3 Hoang Duong Quoc(VIE)
Dang Jinhu(CHN)  11 – 5 Lo Li Wen(TPE)

Maung Maung(MYR) 11 – 9 Jeffrey De Luna(PHI)
Joshua Filler(GER) 11 – 7 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)
Klenti Kaci(ALB) 11 – 4 David Alcaide(ESP)
John Morra(CAN) 11 – 9 Konstantin Stepanov(RUS)


Davis navigates through a field of 98, goes undefeated to take Stop #11 on Omega Billiard Tour

(l to r): Robert Clark, TJ Davis & Crispian Ng

According to records available to us, until May of this year, TJ Davis hadn’t cashed in a tournament in four years. His last recorded payout came when he was runner-up in a Lone Star Billiard Tour stop in July, 2013. He broke that absence chain and got busy again this past May on the fifth stop of The Omega Billiards Tour when he finished fifth. He followed that with a 9th place finish in June, a 17th place finish in September and last month (October), took third on the tour’s 10th stop. All of which put him in 16th place in the tour rankings. On the weekend of November 11-12, Davis leapfrogged over 11 competitors on that ranking list (from 16th to 6th place) with an undefeated run through 98 entrants on the tour’s 11th (second-to-last) stop. Davis’ opponent in the finals, Crispian Ng, did a little leapfrogging of his own, jumping from eighth place to two ahead of Davis in 4th place. The $1,700-added event drew its 98 entrants to The Billiard Den in Richardson, TX.
Davis opened his undefeated run with a victory over Tony Sulsar (8-4), who started the weekend 11 spots ahead of Davis in the tour rankings and ended up one spot behind him in 7th place. Davis moved on to defeat Hector Guerrero, Jersey Jack Lynch, and Albert Nieto, who started and finished the weekend in third place in the tour rankings. This set Davis up in a winners’ side semifinal against Ricki Casper, who’d just sent Ng to the loss side. Robert Clark, in the meantime, faced Jalal Yousef in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Davis defeated Casper 8-3 and was joined in the hot seat match by Clark, who’d sent Yousef to the loss side 8-6. In a straight-up race to 8, Davis claimed the hot seat 8-5 over Clark, and waited for Ng to complete a five-match, loss-side run and face him in the finals.
On the loss side, Ng opened his five-match march to the finals with an 8-6 win over Justin Whitehead, and followed it with an 8-3 win over Nieto, to pick up Yousef. Casper drew Chris Rickman, who’d much earlier, on the winners’ side, handed the tour’s #1-ranked player, Rick Stanley, his first loss, and then, on the loss side, defeated Juan Bastista 6-5 (Batista racing to 7) and Mike Voelkering 6-4 (Voelkering, #2 in tour rankings before and after this stop, had handed Stanley his second loss).
Ng advanced to the quarterfinals with a double hill win over Yousef (8-8; Yousef, racing to 9). He was joined by Rickman, who’d eliminated Casper 6-2. Ng gave up only one rack to Rickman in the quarterfinals and in a straight-up race to 8 in the semifinals, gave up only three to Clark. Davis completed his undefeated run with an 8-6 win over Ng in the finals.
Tour director Melinda Bailey thanked the ownership and staff at The Billiard Den for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Michael Hoang of OMEGA Billiards Supply, and OB Cues. The next stop on the Omega Billiard Tour will be the tour’s Season Finale, restricted to players who have played in at least five stops on this year’s tour. The $5,000-added event will be hosted by Rusty’s Billiards in Fort Worth, TX on December 16-17. 

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;
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) 

Battle Hardened Hohmann Slugs His Way Through

Thorsten Hohmann

This Gulf nation of 4.2 million people is considered one of the richest countries on earth, a place where big business thrives.  And big business is exactly what the Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship will be all about for the next two days, as the race to 9-ball pool’s biggest prize of the year kicks into high gear.
The stellar field of 128 of the world’s best players that began battle yesterday at the Al Ardiya Youth Center in Kuwait City has now been cut in half to 64. The always difficult and dreaded double elimination group stages are now history, and from here on in over the course of the next two days, all matches will be single elimination knockout.   The player that wins six matches will take home this brand new title, and 50,000 tax fee US dollars.
With a total of $275,000 on offer, the inaugural Kuwait Open 9-ball naturally attracted a field that was as good as anyone will ever see in this game. Several big names bit the proverbial dust today, –among them Dennis Orcollo, Mika Immonen, Daryl Peach, Rodney Morris and Nick Van Den Berg. But the field that remains has some of the biggest names the game has to offer, along with plenty of rising stars, and upstarts who crashed this prestigious Middle Eastern pool party.
It all came into shape after yet another day of tense action, as all 64 matches today were played on the losers’ side of the group stage brackets. That meant all matches were do or die, with one small roll of the ball possibly meaning either quick and brutal elimination, or perhaps a wild ride all the way to 9-ball glory. Pool is perhaps the cruelest and hardest sport to earn one’s living at, and paydays like this don’t come along every day. It’s no wonder the tension in the arena throughout today’s play was palpable.
Former World 9-ball Champion Mika Immonen had high hopes coming into the event  this week. But after a stinging 9-8 loss to American Hunter Lumbardo yesterday, the flying Finn had to win two today. Immonen handily won his first match  and was a prohibitive favorite against 18 year old debutante Aton Raga of the Philippines, who was playing in his very first international tournament.
Surprisingly, the boyish Raga stayed with Immonen throughout their tight match. Then, down 8-7 in the race to 9 contest, Raga showed the grit of a wily veteran and hung on for a scintillating 9-8 win and a spot in the Final 64.
Raga is another in a long list of products from the Filipino pool school of hard knocks. From the southern city of Cebu, he dropped out of school after the 6th grade to earn money for his family playing money games. He makes enough bread playing 10-ball money games that he didn’t even give a thought to playing in international events, until his manager, Rolly Baron, convinced him to give it a try. Here in Kuwait, Baron had booked Raga’s ticket for the day after the group stages. 
“I will have to purchase him a new ticket,” Baron said. “I truly believe that this kid will be the new face of Philippine pool.”
The Philippines will be well represented in the Final 64 as Pinoys make up one fourth of the remaining field with 16 players. Among those still standing are veterans Warren Kiamco, Lee Vann Corteza, Jeffrey De Luna and young talents Carlo Biado and Jeffrey Ignacio. One disappointment for the Philippines was the surprise exit of Dennis Orcollo.  Orcollo went to the wire in a very tough do or die match with Austria’s steady Mario He, before flubbing an 8-ball in the very last rack, and allowing He to take the match and advance.
The USA’s Shane Van Boening got back on the winning track today, outlasting former World 9-ball champion Daryl Peach, 9-6, to advance.  The only other Americans to move on are Hunter Lombardo, who has shown excellent improvement in his game lately, and veteran Corey Duel. Newly minted Hall of Famer Rodney Morris came to Kuwait looking to notch some Mosconi Cup points. But he went away empty handed when he got dumped out of the tournament by top Tawainese youngster Ko Ping Chun, 9-4.
Six Taiwanese players  make up the final 64, including 2015 World 9-ball Champion Ko Pin Yi, recent US Open runner up Chang Jun Lin, and current world number 1, Cheng Yu Hsuan. Cheng looked the goods today with a 9-4 drubbing of Canadian John Morra.
China’s top two players, Wu Jia Jing and Liu Haitao, came through the losers side today to qualify for the final 64.
Fans may want to pay close attention to those top players who have not had an easy ride to the knockout rounds.  Spain’s David Alcaide has been through the gauntlet in the last two days. After a bitter hill-hill loss to Darren Appleton on day 1, Alcaide came back and won two matches today to quality. His last match against the Philippines Richard Alinsub went down to the last rack, with the Spaniard barely holding on for a clutch 9-8 win and a spot in the final 64.
The same could be said for England’s Mark Gray. Gray is ranked number one on the Euro tour and his rock steady stroke is always dangerous. After losing his first match yesterday, Gray had two solid wins today against tough opponents to advance to the knockout stage.
Perhaps no other top player has taken more heat on his way to the Final 64 then two-time World 9-ball Champion Thorsten Hohmann. After winning his first match 9-8 over the Philippines Roland Garcia on day 1, the German lost a hill-hill thriller to Corey Duel later in the day. Today Hohmann had to contend with stingy upstart Moroccan Bouchaib Farhat, who fought toe to toe with the German for 13 racks until Hohmann pulled away on a single mistake by his young opponent.
Whereas some players may prefer to waltz into the money rounds, Hohmann seems to feed off the rough and tumble. In fact, the German has been looking to recapture his mojo lately by doing battle in practice and in competition, and taking inspiration from one of the games hardest working and most successful players.
“I was very confident going into this tournament,” the 37 year old Hohmann said after his qualifying win today.  “I was in New York City lately practicing with Hunter Lombardo 8 hours a day at Amsterdam Billiards. I'm just hungry watching Shane win all of these tournaments. Watching him win the US Open for the 5th time was inspiring because he works the hardest in pool. He's the one that complains the least and does the job and that actually inspired me. I remember how it used to be playing that much and being hungry and wanting to win tournaments. And you lose that over the years. So watching him win the US Open inspired me to put in the hours and work.   I'm just happy to be in the last 64. I haven't had a tournament win in over a year and I need to prove myself.”
Play in the round of 64 begins on Friday at 10am Kuwait time, GMT +3. The rounds of 64, 32 and 16 will be played Friday, while the quarters, semis and finals will be played on Saturday. All matches in the knockout stage up to the final will be race to 11, alternate break. The final will be race to 13, alternate break.
* 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;
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa 
Day 2
Groups 1-8 First Session
Group 1
Mark Anthony(PHL) 9- 5 Abdulla Falah(KSR)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 2  Ameur Abdelati Riad(MOR)
 Group 2
Mika Immonen(FIN) 9 – 4 Ahmed Acana Okaily(JOR)
Abdullah Al Yousef(KUW) 9 – 4 Khalid Al Mutairi(KUW)
Group 3
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 7 Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 2 Saeed Aseeri(KSA)
Group 4
Tareq Al Mulla(KUW) 9 – 6 So Shaw(GBR)
Francisco Diaz Piarro(ESP) 9 – 8 Andreja Klasovic(CEZ)
Group 5
Khalid Sayaf(KUW) 9 – 5 Mohammad Saleh(KUW) 
Daryl Peach(GBR) 9 – 5 Marcus Juva(FIN)
Group 6
Raymund Faraon(PHL) 9 – 7 Abdullah Alsheha(KUW)
Muhammad Al Gumaiz(KSR) 9 – 6 Hamza M. Saeed Ali(ERI)
Group 7
Omar Al Shaheen(KUW) 9 – 4 Abdulla Alshammari(KSR) 
Radislaw Babica(POL) 9 – 3 Nadim Okbani(ALG) 
Group 8
Tommy Dato-on(PHL)9 – 3 Mohammad Alhmoud(KUW)
Mario He(AUT) 9 – 6 Irsal Nasution(INA)
Groups 1 to 8, 2nd Session
Group 1
Mark Anthony(PHL) 9 – 5 Aref Ali Awadhi(KUW)
Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE) 9 – 4 John Morra(CAN)
Group 2
Anthony Raga(PHL) 9 -8 Mika Immonen(FIN)
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 – 7 Abdullah Al Yousef(KUW)
Group 3
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 5 Nick Van Den Berg(NED) 
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 2 Naoyuki Oi(JPN)
Group 4
Han Hao Xiang(CHN) 9 – 8 Francisco Diaz Pizarro(ESP)  
Payual Valeriano(PHL) 9 – 1 Tareq Al Mulla(KUW)
Group 5
Artem Koshoviy(UKR) 9 – 1 Khalid Sayaf(KUW)
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 6 Daryl Peach(GBR 
Group 6
Raymund Faraon(PHL) 9 – 8 Joshua Filler(GER)
Mishari Buhaimed(KUW)  9 – 2 Muhammad Al Gumaiz(KSR)
Group 7
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 –6 Omar Al Shaheen(KUW)
Radislaw Babica(POL) 9- 7 Ricky boy Godez(PHL) 9 – 4 
Group 8
Lui Haitao(CHN) 9 – 6 Tommy Dato-on(PHL)
7 Mario He(AUT) 9- 8 Dennis Orcollo(PHL)  
Group 9 to 16 1st Session
Roman Hybler(CEZ) 9 – 6 Dario Hopilito(PHL)
Mark Gray(GBR) 9 – 4 Fahad Aljassas(BAH)
Group 10
Rodney Morris(USA) 9 – 0 Meshall Al Murdhi(KUW) 
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 9 – 0 Fawal Abdul Latifal
Group 11
David Alcaide(ESP)9 – 3 Mohammed Alhosani(KUW)
Wu Kun Lin(TPE) 9 – 6 Majed Al Azmi(KUW)
Group 12
Ruslan Chinakov(RUS) 9 – 3 Cherif Zine-El Abidine(MOR)
Jundel Mazon(PHL) 9 – 4 Robert Hart(USA
Group 13
Bouchaib Farhat(MOR) 9 – 8 Masser Al Mujaibel(KUW)
Roland Garcia(PHL)  9 – 6 Nick Malai(GRE)
Group 14
Mieszko Fortunski(POL)9 – 6 Brandon Shuff(USA)
Ong Zhao Chieng(SIN) 9 – 2 Ali Hadi Al Marri(QTR)
Group 15
Imran Majid(GBR) 9 – 3 Bader Al Awadhi(KUW) 
Jalal Yousef(VEN) 9 – 5 Wiktor Zielinski(POL)
Group 16
Ahmed Naim Ali(JOR) 9 – 7 Li Hewen(CHN) 
Maksim Dudanet(NED) 9 – 2Mohamed Chakib El Raousti(ALG)
Group 9 to 16, 2nd Session
Group 9
Roman Hybler(CEZ) 9 – 6 Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE)
 Mark Gray(GBR) 9 – 4 Elmer Haya(PHL )
Group 10
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 9 – 4 Johann Chua(PHL) 
 Ko Ping Chun(TPE) 9 – 4 Rodney Morris(USA)
Group 11
David Alcaide(ESP) 9 – 8 Richard Alinsub
Wu Kun Lin(TPE) 9 – 1 Muhammad Bewi(INA)
Group 12
Ruslan Chinakov(RUS) 9 – 6 Waleed Majid(QAT) 
Jundel Mazon(PHL) 9 – 2 Marcus Chamat(SWE)
Group 13
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 6 Bouchaib Farhat(MOR)
Roland Garcia(PHL)  9 – 4 Shaun Wilkie(USA)  
Group 14
Takenaka Hirishi(JPN) 9 – 4 Mieszko Fortunski(POL)
Edwin Gamas(PHL) 9 – 5 Ong Zhao Chieng(SIN)
Group 15
Imran Majid(GBR) 9 – 3 Ivica Putnik(CRO)
Dennis Grabe(EST) 9 – 4 Jalal Yousef(VEN)
Group 16
Wu Jiaqing(CHN)  9 – 4 Ahmed Naim Ali(JOR) 
Maksim Dudanet(RUS) 9 – 6 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)