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Pinegar wins second 2019 Bar Table title at Midwest Bar Table Classic in Indianapolis

Jonathan Pinegar

Orcollo takes top prize in 10-Ball Saturday Night Midnight Madness
 
In what has been something of a slow year for him, Jonathan Pinegar (the ‘artist’ formerly known as “Hennessee from Tennessee”) recently chalked up his second 2019 Bar Box title. In late March, Pinegar won the 32-entrant, Super Billiards Expo’s Pro Am Bar Box Championships and on the weekend of October 13-14, he went 7-1 through a field of 128 competing at the $7,500-added 39th annual Midwest Bar Table Classic, hosted by John Wayne’s Bar and Grill in Indianapolis, IN. He lost the opening set of a true double elimination final to runner-up Jason Klatt. Pinegar’s only other recorded earnings for the year stemmed from his participation in the 2019 Derby City Classic at which he finished in the money in three separate disciplines; 9-Ball (17th), One Pocket (21st) and 9-Ball Banks (91st).
 
As if a 128-player field wasn’t madness enough, the Midwest Bar Table Classic included a 10-Ball Saturday Night Midnight Madness tournament, which featured a single elimination ‘winner and runner-up take all’ format. It drew an extraordinarily short field of 10 entrants and lasted (no surprise) until 3 a.m., which might have had something to do with why the winner, Dennis Orcollo, finished in the eight-way tie for 17th place in the main event to take home $1,500. Tommy Stephenson was the $500 runner-up.
 
The main event saw a number of ‘marquee’ players eliminated earlier than anticipated (by themselves probably more than anybody). These included 2020 Mosconi Cup Team USA member, Billy Thorpe and the Midwest Bar Table Classic’s defending champion, Alex Olinger, both of whom shared in the four-way tie for 13th. Also out early (among others) were Dennis Hatch (25-32), Justin Bergman (17-24) and Shane McMinn (9/12).
 
Pinegar faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals; one of them, having sent the other to the loss side. Josh Roberts sent Jason Klatt to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal from where Klatt would launch a five-match winning streak that would earn him a shot against Pinegar in the finals. Roberts advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Jordan Davis, as Pinegar squared off against Chris Szuter in the other one.
 
Pinegar downed Szuter 9-6, as Roberts was busy sending Davis to the loss side 9-5. Pinegar claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Roberts and waited on Klatt’s return.
 
Klatt opened his loss-side campaign with a victory over Can Salim, who’d been responsible for sending Dennis Orcollo to the loss side (Kevin Hall would eliminate Orcollo). Klatt then went on something of a ‘tear’ as he shut out his next two opponents; Robert Frost and (fresh from his loss to Pinegar) Szuter. Davis picked up and defeated John Morra 7-5; Morra having been responsible for eliminating Shane McMinn and Jeremy Seaman.
 
Klatt took the quarterfinal match over Davis 7-2 and then, in a match that came within a game of double hill, downed Roberts 7-5 in the semifinal.
 
Klatt and his sidekick, Momentum took the opening set of the true double elimination final 9-6. Pinegar came back to win the second set 7-4 and claim the Midwest Bar Table Classic title.
 
Event directors John Klotz and Miranda Babcock thanked John Wayne’s Bar & Grill owner Chuck Thomas and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Meucci Cues, Simonis Cloth and for the live streaming, BilliardNet.TV. The next Midwest Bar Table Classic has been scheduled for April 3-5, 2020.

Draw Made For US Open 9-Ball Championship

The draw for the 43rd US Open 9-Ball Championship has been made, with Jayson Shaw to begin his defense against Marcus Weston at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas on Sunday, April 21.
 
The draw was seeded with a golf-style category system adopted, which took in rankings from across the pool world including WPA World Ranking, BCA Standings and Fargo Rating. As defending champion Shaw was seeded No.1, while five-time US Open champion Shane Van Boening is seeded second as the highest ranked American player.
 
Broadcast details for the 2019 US Open 9-Ball Championship will be announced shortly. Live rack-by-rack scoring will be available throughout the event at www.matchroompool.com thanks to Matchroom Multi Sport’s partnership with CueScore.
 
The draw, brackets and match schedule can be viewed now at https://cuescore.com/tournament/US+Open+9-ball+Championship/5185877
 
Note: Should any players featured in the draw not participate in the event, they will be replaced directly by the first player on the event waiting list to accept a spot in the tournament, irrespective of where the new player would have featured in any seeding category.
 
All matches at the US Open 9-Ball Championship takes place April 21-26 at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas. Matches are race to 11, winner breaks, except the final which is race to 13. The draw and match schedule for the first stage of the tournament is available now at www.matchroompool.com.
 
Tickets for the 43rd US Open 9-Ball Championship are still available at www.matchroompool.com from as little as $10 with VIP packages also available for the final three days of the tournament.
 
The tournament will be split into two stages with the full field playing double elimination down to the final 16 from Sunday April 21st until Tuesday April 23rd across multiple tables. From Wednesday April 24th until Friday April 26th the final 16 players will play straight knockout in the TV Arena in front of a global television audience.
 
US OPEN | ROUND ONE DRAW
 
Jayson Shaw vs. Marcus Westen
Tom Staveley vs.Jason Williams
Hunter Lombardo vs. Kosuke Tojo
Radwan Jameel R Sorouji vs. Tommy Tokoph
Naoyuki Oi vs. Marco Vignola
Alex Montpellier vs. Jason Klatt
Martin Daigle vs. Patrick Flemming
Angelo Salzano vs. Corey Deuel
Petri Makkonen vs. Marcel Price
Peter Busarac vs. Amar Kang
Franklin Hernandez vs. Ellis Brown
Paul Jaurez vs. Justin Bergman
James Aranas vs. Roderick Malone
Masato Yoshioka vs. Erik Hjorleifson
Stephen Folan vs. Jochen Kluge
Jon Demet vs. Toru Kurabayashi
Fedor Gorst vs. Gary Onomura
Stanley Walton vs. Paul Duell
Omar Al-Shaheen vs. David Dimmitt
Amer Al-Darbani vs. Mateusz Sniegoki
Dali Lin vs. Fabio Rizzi
Jason Hitzfeld vs. Jeremy Jones
Philipp Stojanovic vs. Steve Van Ness
Dalibor Nikolin vs. Francisco Sanchez Ruiz
(Kevin) Cheng Yu Hsuan vs. Christopher Lawson
Mohammed Ali N Al Eid vs. Ivo Aarts
Rodney Morris vs. Ken Kuwana
Deomark Alpajora vs. Radoslaw Babica
Marc Bijsterbosch vs. Ritchie Ogawa
Gary Urinoski vs. Danny Olson
Toan Nguyen vs. Bahram Lofty
Giuseppe Iacobucci vs. Ko Pin-Yi
Carlo Biado vs. Fahad Salem N Alharbi
Kenichi Uchigaki vs. Tyler Fleshman
Matt Edwards vs. Marco Penta
Hideaki Arita vs. Maksim Dudanets
Jeff De Luna vs. Torsten Schmitt
Chris Robinson vs. Rob Hart
Marco Teutscher vs. Raymund Faraon
Yip Kin Ling Leo vs. Dennis Orcollo
David Alcaide vs. Jorg Kellner
Blake Baker vs. Mitch Ellerman
Siming Chen vs. Mohamed Baabad
Jamal Oussi vs. Hoang Duong Quoc
Liu Haitao vs. Patrick Griess
Mike Stalk vs. John Schmidt
Justin Espinosa vs. Nguyen Phuc Long
Koh Yong Lee Randolph vs. Eklent Kaci
Ko Ping-Chung vs. Sami Koylu
Cole Gibbons vs. Brian Sanders
Brandon Shuff vs. Michael Yednak
Robert Hewings vs. Michael Dechaine
Konrad Juszczyszyn vs. John Chapman
Luis Guerrero vs. Hayato Hijikata
Kenny Loftis vs. Corey Harper
Michael Hutcheson vs. Thorsten Hohmann
Johnny Archer vs. Kurt Kobayashi
Konrad Piekarski vs. Roberto Gomez
Jani Siekkinen vs. Damian Pongpanik
Bora Anar vs. Alex Pagulayan
Sangin Pehlivanovic vs. Bryan Farah
Ching-Shun Yang vs. Milos Verkic
Kings Santy vs. Michael Delawder
Jason McClain vs. Alexander Kazakis
Joshua Filler vs. Matt Krah
Thomas Welle vs. David Anderson
Jalal Yousef vs. Henrik Larsson
Tom Griffith vs. Roman Hybler
Jeffery Ignacio vs. Lefteris Georgiou
James Davee vs. Kostas Koukiadakis
Hsu Kai-Lun vs. Adam King
Ralph Eckert vs. Mika Immonen
Wu Kun Lin vs. Kuo Szu-Ting
Kang Lee vs. Ernesto Dominguez
Darren Appleton vs. Terry Spalding
Patrick Holtz vs. Richard Halliday
Tyler Styer vs. Kelii Chuberko
Che-Wei Fu vs. Josh Roberts
John Barton vs. Zachary Bos
Johann Dominik Hiber vs. Wu Jiaqing
Dennis Grabe vs. Lee Heuwagen
Jeffrey Jimenez vs. Ronald Regli
Liu Ri Teng vs. Gwyn Spooner
Arnar Peterson vs. Chang Yu-Lung
Wang Can vs. Dejan Sipkovski
Jonathan Mcdowell Pakieto vs. Francisco Bustamante
Max Eberle vs. Robert Goddard
Florida Pro Tour vs. Aloysius Yapp
Skyler Woodward vs. Luu Minh Phuc
Stephen Holem vs. Imran Majid
Jason Theron vs. Katsuyuki Yamamoto
Stan Tourangeau vs. Ruslan Chinakov
Wojciech Szewczyk vs. Renato Camantigue
James Adams vs. Marek Kudlik
Brendan Ng vs. Paddy McLoughlin
Brian Parks vs. Niels Feijen
Chang Jung-Lin vs. Roland Stock
John Moody Sr vs. Adam Lilley
Nick Malaj vs. Dimitri Jungo
Francesco Candela vs. Tomasz Kaplan
Mario He vs. Michael Pruitt
Cheng-Chieh Liu vs. Tommy Kennedy
Vilmos Foldes vs. Marc Vidal Claramunt
Max K Reyes vs. Billy Thorpe
Dang Jin Hu vs. Ben Crawley
Jamie White vs. Tony Chohan
Gabe Owen vs. Gary Lutman
Elliot Sanderson vs. Robbie Capito
Warren Kiamco vs. Mark Showalter
Brendon Bektashi vs. Hsu Jui-An
Patrick Mannillo vs. Melinda Huang
Ryo Yokawa vs. Chris Melling
Ralf Souquet vs. Molrudee Kasemchaiyanan
Seiji Kuwajima vs. Simon Pickering
Earl Strickland vs. Pedro Botta
Steve Lingelbach vs. Dennis Hatch
Donny Mills vs. Eugene Villena
Mark Foster vs. Shaun Wilkie
Kim Laaksonen vs. Chris Alexander
Steven Lingafelter vs. Albin Ouschan
John Morra vs. Marco Spitzky
Adam Mscisz vs. Marlon Manalo
Alejandro Carvajal vs. Dustin Dixon
Philipps Yee vs. Johann Chua
Mieszko Fortunksi vs. Chris McDaniel
Robby Foldvari vs. Yukio Akagariyama
Manny Perez vs. Nicolas Charette
Abdullah Saeed O Alshammari vs. Shane van Boening

Aranas goes undefeated to win Diamond 10-Ball Pro Players Championship at 27th SBE

James Aranas (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

With just a touch of exaggeration, in about as much time as it takes to state the official tournament name – The 27th Annual Allen Hopkins’ Super Billiards Expo’s Diamond Open 10-Ball Pro Players Championships (or, AHSBEDO10-BPPC), held on the last weekend in March at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA – Zoren “James” Aranas from the Philippines went undefeated through a full field of 64 entrants to capture the event title, its $10,000 first-place prize and the Waterford Crystal trophy that went along with it. Aranas had won last year’s SBE ProAm Bar Box Championships. The trek to the winners’ circle entailed seven matches for Aranas; the first three, in a double elimination bracket that advanced him to a single-elimination, final round of 16 that featured four matches. He faced Oscar Dominguez in the finals, who played one extra loss-side match, which advanced him to the final 16, and eventually, after winning three, earned his slot in the finals against Aranas.
 
With some overlap (players in multiple events), the 2019 SBE drew over 3,000 entrants to its 11 events, which included a warm-up event, a Second Chance event and two junior events. A separate report will be posted regarding the results of the Ladies Open Event (47 entrants), the ProAm Bar Box Championships (32), the Open Amateur (1,024 entrants), Open Seniors (384), Super Seniors (192) and Women Amateurs (188). According to Allen Hopkins, it was the highest attendance figure in the event’s 27-year history.
 
There were, this year, a number of pro players, who were conspicuous by their absence, including (in the 10-Ball Open) the defending champion, Mike Dechaine, who, after registering, had to bow out for personal reasons. As a random example of those among the missing, of the 10 players who competed in the 2018 Mosconi Cup for the European and American teams, only three (all Americans) competed in this year’s SBE. All five of the European 2018 Mosconi Cup team members (as well as recent German ‘phenom,’ Joshua Filler) and two of the Americans (Shane Van Boening & Skyler Woodward) spent the same weekend in close proximity to the Rock of Gibraltar, competing in the 27th annual Dafabet World Pool Masters Championship, which featured a total prize fund ($100,000) that was over twice the total prize fund ($48,000) for the SBE’s marquee event – the Diamond Open 10-Ball Pro Players Championship – and featured less than half the players (24) of the SBE event (64). Last year’s World Pool Masters event was held in the first week of March and there is little or no information as to why that date was changed in a way that conflicted with the (scheduled way ahead of time) SBE.
 
The end result more or less allowed Aranas to navigate his way through a field that, for him, did not feature anyone with a higher FargoRate and no one closer than 20 points on that scale. With a FargoRate of 805 (going in), Aranas’ average opponent (of the seven he faced) had a FargoRate of 740. His closest competitor in that regard was Mika Immonen (785) and Aranas opened his seven-match run against a competitor (Matt Krah) with a 677 rating. It should be noted that pool has something of an “Any Given Sunday” rule, which dictates that at the upper levels of competition, with players sporting wide disparities in FargoRates, anything can and often does happen. This is not to say that Aranas wasn’t challenged in his seven-match march to the finish line, because he was, primarily in the single elimination phase of the event.
 
Though he would enter the finals with a 66.3% game-winning average (69-35), Aranas’ average over the three matches in the single elimination phase of the event was 59% (39-27). Once Aranas had sent Matt Krah to the loss side 10-1 in the double-elimination opening round, he went on to defeat Hunter Lombardo 10-5 and Jeremy Sossei 10-2, which moved him among the winners’ side final eight for advancement to single elimination. Joining him on the winners’ side final eight were ‘young gun’ Chris Robinson, Mika Immonen, Martin Daigle, Roberto Gomez, Jason Klatt, Ralf Souquet and Raymund Faraon, who’d just sent Oscar Dominguez to the loss side 10-7.
 
Dominguez opened his runner-up campaign by defeating Tommy Tokoph 10-8, and then, downing Jeremy Seaman 10-7. Raymund Faraon then sent him to the loss side 10-7, where he defeated Mahmut Sami Koylu 10-2 to qualify for the losers’ bracket final eight. Joining him from the loss side of the bracket among the Final 16 were John Morra, Thorsten Hohmann, Mosconi Cup USA team member Tyler Styer, Zion Zvi, another Mosconi Cup team member Billy Thorpe, Shaun Wilkie and Omar Alshaheen.
 
The final 16 featured two former US Open 9-Ball Champions – two-time champion Mika Immonen (‘08/’09) and Ralf Souquet (2002). Among those who competed, and conspicuous by their absence from the event’s final 16, were four other US Open champions; Johnny Archer (1999), Tommy Kennedy (1992), Corey Deuel (2001) and Gabe Owen (2004). Also MIA from the final 16 were Tony Robles, and Billy Thorpe. Former two-time US Open champion Darren Appleton (‘10/’11) was among the original 64 competitors, but after winning his opening round 10-8 over Robert Casanzio, he learned that his mother had passed away and went home to be with his family.
 
The first four to drop from the winners’ side final eight were Chris Robinson (to Aranas 13-11), Martin Daigle (to Immonen 13-9), Jason Klatt (to Gomez 13-7) and Ralf Souquet (to Faraon 13-5). This set up a winners’ side bracket set of semifinals that saw Aranas down Immonen 13-5, as Faraon eliminated Gomez 13-7. In the winners’ side final, Aranas defeated Faraon 13-11.
 
To the best of our knowledge, linked to the accuracy of SBE’s published brackets, there were only 12 matches in this entire event that went to double hill. As it turned out, Thorsten Hohmann was involved in three of them. Two of those three occurred during his three-match run among the final 16. He was one of the four who advanced to the losers’ bracket semifinal, defeating John Morra, double hill (the SBE Web site has this match result wrong). It was Hohmann’s second, double hill match; his first was in the event’s opening round against Chris Robinson. Hohmann’s losers’ bracket, semifinal opponent was Tyler Styer, who’d defeated Zion Zvi 13-16. Oscar Dominguez, in the meantime, bound for the event finals, had gotten by Billy Thorpe 13-9 and in his losers’ side semifinal, faced Omar Alshaheen, who’d eliminated Shaun Wilkie 13-6.
 
Dominguez downed Alshaheen 13-6 and in the twelfth and final double hill match of this Pro Players Championship, Oscar Dominguez eliminated Hohmann in a true, nail-biting, double hill match that never for a moment seemed in complete control by either of them.
 
For those seeking further information about the match specifics of any individual players or a more thorough understanding of the overall progress of the event toward its eventual outcome, you can visit the Super Billiards Expo Web site (superbilliardsexpo.com). You should be made aware, however, that while it features a preliminary, double elimination bracket that shows the final 16 that advanced to single-elimination play, and the winners’ and losers’ side brackets of that single-elimination play, it does not indicate that a final match between Aranas and Dominguez ever happened.
 
It did. Aranas completed his undefeated run with 13-10 victory over Dominguez (another very entertaining match) to claim the 2019 AHSBEDO10-BPPC.
 
Allen Hopkins thanked the management staff of the Greater Philadelphia Convention center, as well as his two tournament directors; Doug Ennis for the two Pro events and C.C. Strain for the Pro Am Bar Box and all Amateur events. Sponsors for this 27th Annual SBE were Tiger Products, Diamond Billiards Products, Simonis Cloth, TAP League and Run Out Sportswear.

Rivas comes from the loss side to win NAPT’s inaugural 10-Ball Invitational

Sergio Rivas

Former Junior National Champion Sergio Rivas (2013; 14 and under Boys) navigated his way through a series of round robin matches and came from the loss side of a subsequent double elimination bracket to win the North American Pool Tour’s inaugural Open Pro 10-Ball Invitational Tournament, held on the long weekend of September 27-30. Rivas downed five-time Canadian Champion and US Bar Table Champion (2013), Jason Klatt twice in a double elimination final to claim the title. The $6,000-added event drew 14 entrants to Shooter’s Sports Bar & Billiards in Grayslake, IL.
 
The North American Pool Tour was initially conceived and launched two years ago to offer female players further opportunities to compete. It was, however, right from the start, designed to eventually encompass events for all players, men included.
 
“We’re trying to get six (events) for ladies and two for men next year,” said co-founder and current NAPT President Adrianne Beach in an interview with Billiards Digest in 2016. “It’s about building a tour system, moving players from the amateur to the professional, like a lot of other sports do.”
 
They didn’t get to the ‘Open’ (men included) part of the plan until this year, and while they knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy transition, they expected more participation than they got. But, noted Beach afterwards, this first Open Pro event, accomplished what it set out to do.
 
“The turnout was less than expected, but we still happily added the guaranteed money,” she said. “Our goal in this first event was to show the Open players what we’re all about. While we didn’t get to show that to as many players as we hoped, the ones who were there definitely appeared to love the event and what we’re doing.
 
“With that in mind,” she added, “we consider the event to have been a success.”
 
The 14 entrants were initially split into two groups of seven for the round robin phase of the tournament. Each group played seven rounds, each player facing an opponent in their group once, with one ‘bye’ in the mix. The matches were a race to a combined total of 13 games. At the end of the seven rounds, the top eight players, selected by total games won, were advanced to a double elimination bracket.
 
Jason Klatt emerged from the round robin phase as the only undefeated player (6-0) in either group and topped the total winning-game tally with 66. Max Eberle (with 61 wins), Neil Vichlensaen (with 51) and Thomas Karabatsos (with 46) all finished with 5-1 records. Rivas and Larry Nevel joined the double elimination bracket with 4-2 records; Rivas with a winning-game total of 50 and Nevel with 46. Rounding out the field of advancing competitors were Neal Jacobs and Marvin Guss, both with 3-3 records. Jacobs had chalked up 44 wins, while Guss recorded 38.
 
Eliminated in the round robin phase were the tournament’s three women – Marian Poole, Darlene Dantes and Adrianne Beach – along with Mason Koch, Paul Scott, and Alex Shapshevich.
 
As the event moved into its double elimination (all money rounds) phase, Neil Vichlensaen matched up with Neal Jacobs, Max Eberle faced Marvin Guss, Jason Klatt squared off against Larry Nevel and the eventual winner, Sergio Rivas met up with Thomas Karabatsos. Jacobs moved into a winners’ side semifinal match against Eberle with a 9-5 win over Vichlensaen. Eberle had defeated Guss 9-3. Klatt earned his winners’ side semifinal spot against Rivas with a 9-4 win over Nevel. Rivas had sent Karabatsos to the loss side 9-3.
 
Klatt advanced to the hot seat match with a 9-7 victory over Rivas, and was met by Eberle, who’d sent Jacobs over 9-4. Klatt then defeated Eberle 9-5, and with a 9-0 record, sat in the hot seat awaiting the return of Rivas.
 
On the loss side, Rivas picked up Guss, who’d defeated Vichlensaen 9-5 to reach him. Jacobs drew Nevel, who’d eliminated Karabatsos 9-3. Rivas defeated Guss 9-4 and in the quarterfinals, met up with Nevel, who’d given up only a single rack to Jacobs.
 
Rivas then defeated Nevel 9-3 and in the semifinals, Eberle 9-7 to earn a shot against Klatt in the hot seat. Rivas took the opening set 7-5 and then duplicated that effort in the second set to claim the first NAPT Open Pro 10-Ball Invitational.

The “Kid” chalks up another one, going undefeated at the 3rd Annual 8-Ball Classic in Duluth

Efren Reyes – Photo courtesy of On The Wire Media

 

Efren Reyes, in the midst of a ‘retirement tour,’ scheduled to conclude this August, chalked up the latest in an incredibly long list of US and world championship titles with an undefeated run on the 3rd Annual 8-Ball Classic, held on the weekend of June 2-3. The event drew 16 of the world’s best talents at the table to The Break Room in Duluth, MN.
 
He’s known as “Bata,” which translates into “Kid,” because when he was younger, there was another player with the same name. As the younger of the two, he was designated “Bata” to distinguish him from the other player. The need to make that distinction disappeared a long time ago, as year after year, the “Kid” morphed into “the man” at the tables. In spite of eye surgery in 2005 and his own admission that he’s been ‘slowing down,’ the only difference between the younger and older versions of “Bata” Reyes can be found in his motion as he moves around the table. He’s never been a speedball at the table strolls, when he’s assessing the lay of the balls and choosing his target, but he’s a little slower and deliberate now. What hasn’t changed is what has often been described as his ‘genius’ in making shots, which has earned him a secondary nickname as “The Magician.’ To many of us otherwise normal human beings, some of these magical shots can seem downright impossible. He made more than just a few of his signature ‘genius’ shots at this 8-Ball Classic, including some in his second and finals match against Dennis Hatch. His pre-shot routine doesn’t vary much, and motionless beyond the movement of his right arm in the practice strokes, he’s the same as he ever was, up to and including a monster break.
 
Reyes opened strong with a 15-7 victory over Danny Olson, allowed Vince Chambers to get a little closer, but advanced with a 15-13 victory over him to face fellow countryman, “The Lion” – Alex Pagulayan – in a winners’ side semifinal. Hatch, in the meantime, after downing Sergio Rivas 15-11, defeated Shane Van Boening 15-12 to draw Corey Deuel in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
By identical 15-11 scores, Reyes and Hatch sent Paguyalan and Deuel to the loss side. By a third 15-11 score, Reyes claimed the hot seat over Hatch, and waited for his return.
 
On the loss side, “The Lion” drew Can Salim, who’d been defeated on the winners’ side by Deuel and then eliminated Danny Olson 15-9 and Billy Thorpe 15-11. Deuel drew a re-match against Jason Klatt, whom he’d defeated in the event’s opening round, and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He eliminated Michael Perron, Jr. 15-10, Vince Chambers 15-9 and Roberto Gomez 15-13 to earn a re-match against Deuel.
 
Klatt wreaked his vengeance on Deuel for the earlier loss with a 15-13 win that sent him to the quarterfinals against Pagulayan, who’d sent Salim home 15-8. Klatt then downed Pagulayan 15-13 and squared off against Hatch in the semifinals.
 
Hatch, who was instrumental in the production of this event, stopped Klatt’s loss-side run 15-11 in those semifinals, and then turned to face the “Kid” a second, and if he wanted to take home the title, a third time in the double elimination finals.
 
The two started out with a typical trading of racks through the opening rounds, until Reyes began to pull out in front, eventually to a 9-4 lead. Hatch mounted a comeback, slowly but surely, to draw within two at 11-9. Reyes, though, re-widened that lead and reached the hill, five racks ahead (14-9). Hatch closed that gap with four in a row to draw within one at 14-13. Hatch broke what proved to be the final rack but came up dry. Reyes, significantly sunk his first high ball, and broke a solid ball away from the 8-ball, which had, until that moment, presented him with his toughest challenge of the layout.
 
Reyes proceeded to run the table to claim the event title. He concluded with a fist-pumping, smile-enhanced little dance around the table before stepping to Hatch for a handshake.
 
It is a final match worth watching and thanks to On the Wire Media, and its owners/commentators Ra Hanna and Beau Runningen, who streamed selected matches of the event throughout the weekend, can be found on On the Wire Media’s Facebook page.
 
Last summer., Reyes interrupted the early stages of his own retirement tour to return to the Philippines, citing fatigue. In an interview/article with a Filipino television station last summer, the author (Dominic Renor) noted that “Father Time has caught up with him; that his eyesight isn’t as dependable as it used to be, making long-range shots more difficult to convert. His wrist isn’t as steady as before.” That said, Reyes was back in form for this 3rd Annual 8-Ball Classic and looks to add a few more master strokes to his already considerable legacy as his retirement tour continues.
 

2018 World Cup of Pool – Team Scotland Scores First Upset

Scott Gillespie and Jayson Shaw

Canada 3 – 7 Scotland
Germany 7 – 0 Indonesia            
China B 7 – 2 South Africa
 
There was more action at the Luwan Arena, Huangpu District in Shanghai, as the World Cup of Pool continued with three more first round matches and there were wins for Scotland, Germany and the China B team.
 
The $250,000 tournament originated in 2006 and has since moved around the world before touching down in Shanghai. The World Cup features 32 pairs from around the globe including two from host nation China. Running from 15th to 20th May, the event is live in over 100 countries around the world.
 
The opening match looked fairly even on paper with only Jayson Shaw’s partner Scott Gillespie being the unknown quantity amongst the four players. Gillespie is well known as an English 8 Ball player north of the border but has little previous experience at 9 ball.
 
The Canadian duo of Jason Klatt and veteran Alex Pagulayan opened up a 3-0 lead but were soon left in the traps by the excellent Scots who eventually ran out 7-3 winners.
 
Commented Gillespie, “It’s my first ever appearance on Sky so I am delighted. When you have Jayson Shaw on your team it makes it a slight bit easier. We are over the moon to win.
 
“I play English 8-ball but the last few weeks I have been practising with Jayson so he has given me a lot of tips.”
 
Shaw said, “I have been in Scotland playing golf in the day and practicing at night. We have been putting in a lot of hours together and I knew if we could come here and settle a little bit we could do well.
 
“The first few racks we didn’t really settle and they got a good lead but I told Scott, let’s stay positive and we will get a few chances and we did. We are happy to be in the next round.”
 
In the second match, the German pair of elder statesman of European pool, Ralf Souquet and its newest young star Joshua Filler, fired out a warning shot to their rivals as they cantered past an inexperienced Indonesian pair by 7-0.
 
The final match of the evening saw the young China B team overcome some nerves before hitting their stride to beat an over-matched South Africa side. The score line was 7-2.
 
Wang said, “In the first rack I was really nervous and when I tried to pot the 9 ball it didn’t go in, but later it felt more relaxed.  The crowd was cheering for us and that helped us to improve.”
 
Play continues on Wednesday afternoon with three more first round matches.
 
Spain (7) v Vietnam
Philippines (4) v New Zealand
Chinese Taipei (3) v Albania
 
2018 World Cup of Pool sponsored by Iwan Simonis who supply the Official Cloth; the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc, and Predator is the Official Cue of the event.

Kazakis Shoots Himself into WPS Semifinal

Alex Kazakis (Photo courtesy of JP Parmentier)

Jason Klatt and Alex Kazakis spent the better part of their match Saturday evening giving a demonstration on running out.
 
In a match they see-sawed back and forth throughout, the Greek Kazakis ran five racks in a row on his way to defeating the Canadian Klatt 3-2 in a sudden death shootout period in the quarterfinals of the Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship. Overall, the two players combined for 11 break-and-runs in their match.
 
I feel really good. Also, Jason. We both played great. I think it was one of the best matches in the tournament,” Kazakis said.
 
He also added the match that being a native of Greece and playing at Astoria’s Steinway Billiards may have provided some extra incentive to advance in the tournament.
 
It’s a Greek-owned place and I never won a tournament here and I really want to. So, I think that made me try harder in this match,” Kazakis said. “It feels like home here.
 
However, Klatt looked poised to take control of the match early on, winning six of the first eight games to take a 6-2 lead. With a wide-open table, Klatt had the opportunity to win another rack to take a 7-2 lead but miscued on the 5- ball.
 
It was the positioning there. I shouldn’t have been there in the first place,” Klatt said after the match about the shot.
 
Kazakis finished off the rack to cut the lead to in half at 6-3. He would then put on one of the best displays of breaking and position play in the four-day World Pool Series event, running five racks in a row to jump out to an 8-6 advantage.
 
After Klatt missed a 6-ball in the 15th game, Kazakis strung together a couple more wins to take what appeared to be a commanding 10-6 lead.
 
I was just being patient to try and get an opportunity at the table,” Klatt said.
 
Klatt eventually did get an opportunity when Kazakis broke dry in the 15th game. Klatt then put together a run of his own, finishing off the rack then breaking and running three straight racks to tie the set at 10 games apiece. After Klatt broke dry in the 21st game, Kazakis methodically closed out the game then mixed in one final break and run to climb onto the hill and take a 12-10 lead.
 
With a chance to close out the match in the 23rd game Kazakis missed a 2-ball. Klatt would then use a sharp cut shot on the same ball to complete the rack then win the 24th game to knot the set at 12 and send the match to a sudden death shootout.
 
Both players made their shots in the first two rounds of sudden death but Klatt missed a corner pocket cut shot in the third round while Kazekis pocketed his. Klatt had a chance to extend the overtime in the fifth round but missed
 
I got a couple of runs at the end to get back in it. I can’t be mad. I had an opportunity to win at the end,” Klatt said.
 
The Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship is the first event of the 2018 World Pool Series. This event is being held at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, New York City from April 19th to 22nd, 2018. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Aramith, Rasson, Predator, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui. Our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Let’s Go Print, On The Wire, Outsville, UpState Al, and the WPA.
 
For the complete draw and live scoring please CLICK HERE.
 
For more information on the World Pool Series, please visit www.worldpoolseries.com.
 
Follow the World Pool Series on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolseries/.
Twitter: @WorldPoolSeries
Instagram: @WorldPoolSeries
 
To watch our PPV livestream, you can visit www.worldpoolseries.com and click the “Live Stream” button to go to our streaming page.

Melling Makes the Final Four of the Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship

Chris Melling (Photo courtesy of JP Parmentier)

Whether he’s making an uncharacteristic runout look routine or sending the cue ball and object ball into multiple rails to lock down a creative safety, Chris Melling has always shown the ability to make the difficult look easy.
 
The 39-year-old from England had all aspects of his game on display in his quarterfinal match in the Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship Saturday night. Facing the previously undefeated Fedor Gorst of Russia, Melling jumped out to an early lead that he never relinquished – easily defeating Gorst 13-7 at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens to nail down the final spot in the event’s semifinals.
 
Overall, I thought I played as well as anybody could possibly play. I don’t think I missed a clear shot. I think every time I had a clear shot I made it,” Melling said.
 
Melling used a pair of breaks and runs to jump out to an early 6-3 lead in the winner-breaks, race-to-13 format. Gorst then won a safety battle and mixed in a pair of runouts of his own to knot the match at six games each. After Gorst missed a combination shot on the 2-ball in the 13th game Melling used a pair of victorious safety battles and a break and run to extend his lead to 10-6. Gorst would scratch out another victory to narrow the gap to 10-7 but was never again a factor as the Derby City Classic 9-ball champion took advantage of a pair of misplayed safeties and a run out to finish off the match.
 
Gorst, who was undefeated in the event, struggled with unforced errors throughout the match – many times either missing position on a ball or failing to execute a planned safety.
 
I didn’t feel comfortable before the quarterfinal. Actually, I made some stupid mistakes and that’s why I lost,” Gorst said after the match.
 
I’ve got nothing but the utmost respect for Fedor Gorst. What an unbelievable player. If he doesn’t win a couple major events by the time he’s 25 I’ll be amazed,” Melling said of his opponent after the match.
 
Melling will face Alex Kazakis of Greece in the semifinals Sunday at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Kazekis out-scored Jason Klatt in an overtime sudden death shootout to earn a spot in the Sunday section of the bracket.
 
The other semifinal will pair Denis Grabe of Estonia against Dennis Orcollo of the Philippines. Grabe advanced to the semifinals with a 13-3 pasting of Finland’s Petri Makkonen while Orcollo also needed sudden death to knock off Canada’s John Morra.
 
The Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship is the first event of the 2018 World Pool Series. This event is being held at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, New York City from April 19th to 22nd, 2018. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Aramith, Rasson, Predator, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui. Our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Let’s Go Print, On The Wire, Outsville, UpState Al, and the WPA.
 
For the complete draw and live scoring please CLICK HERE.
 
For more information on the World Pool Series, please visit www.worldpoolseries.com.
 
Follow the World Pool Series on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolseries/.
Twitter: @WorldPoolSeries
Instagram: @WorldPoolSeries
 
To watch our PPV livestream, you can visit www.worldpoolseries.com and click the “Live Stream” button to go to our streaming page.

Grabe First Player into the WPS Semifinals

Denis Grabe (Photo courtesy of JP Parmentier)

Leaving Astoria’s Steinway Billiards Friday night, Estonia’s Denis Grabe felt fortunate to avoid elimination in this weekend’s Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship.
 
Feeling fatigued, Grabe went back to his room and got a good night’s sleep. He arrived feeling rested and confident
and the performance difference Saturday morning was night and day.
 
Playing in the opening match, Grabe ran six consecutive racks and cruised past Petri Makkonen of Finland, 13-3, in a contest that took a mere hour and 15 minutes. After the match, Grabe felt the rest as well as a pinpoint accurate break shot were critical reasons for the turnaround.
 
I’ve been playing quite well the past month so my confidence was quite high and my break was working really well so that helps a lot in 9-ball,” Grabe said. “I was playing near perfect so I can’t ask for more.”
 
The dominating performance was a stark contrast to his previous match roughly 14 hours before. Playing in his fourth match of the day, Grabe and Ruslan Chinahov of Russia seemed to take turns with unforced errors. Chinakhov led 9- 8 but missed the 2-ball in the corner pocket during the 18th and 19th games, allowing Grabe to close out the match and advance to the weekend.
 
Yesterday wasn’t so good. Yesterday I was lucky to win against Ruslan. The match was not pretty,” Grabe said.
 
Grabe will play the winner of the 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time match between Dennis Orcollo of the Philippines and Canada’s John Morra.
 
With his match completed shortly after noon, Grabe now has plenty of time to rest before Sunday morning’s semifinal match. He said he might use the rest of the day to take in some of the city’s attractions before preparing for tomorrow.
 
Grabe and Makkonen were the first of four quarterfinal matches today. After the Orcollo and Morra match Greece’s Alex Kazakis will play Jason Klatt of Canada at 5 p.m. The action concludes with Russia’s Fedor Gorst taking on England’s Chris Melling at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
 
The winners of Saturday’s matches will move on to the semifinals Sunday.
 
As the Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship reaches its final stages the Simonis 9-Ball Players Challenge got underway, with 16 players including some who have been eliminated from the main event competing in a second- chance tournament.
 
For the complete draw and live scoring please CLICK HERE.
 
The first event of the 2018 World Pool Series, The Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship, is being held at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, New York City from April 19th to 22nd, 2018. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Aramith, Rasson, Predator, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui. Our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Let’s Go Print, On The Wire, Outsville, UpState Al, and the WPA.
 
For more information on the World Pool Series, please visit www.worldpoolseries.com.
 
Follow the World Pool Series on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolseries/.
Twitter: @WorldPoolSeries
Instagram: @WorldPoolSeries
 
To watch our PPV livestream, you can visit www.worldpoolseries.com and click the “Live Stream” button to go to our streaming page.

Orcollo Joins Grabe in the Semifinals

Dennis Orcollo (photo courtesy of JP Parmentier)

With a spot in the semifinals of the Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship on the line, John Morra and Dennis Orcollo battled back-and-forth in a match that was fitting for the tournament’s title match.
 
Any time one player would take a small lead the other would battle back, either tying the score or surging ahead himself. Ultimately, the set ended the way many tough contests have at the two-year-old World Pool Series: in a shootout.
 
My goal was to win the match because I was really hoping to not go to a shootout because I’m not really shooting well today,” said Orcollo, stating that he was having issues with his vision during the contest.
 
In the end, Orcollo shot well enough. The Filipino defeated the Canadian Morra 3-2 in the five-round sudden death shootout Saturday afternoon at Steinway Billiards. Orcollo will face Estonia’s Denis Grabe – who drilled Petri Makkonen 13-3 in the first quarterfinal match of the day – in the semifinals Sunday morning.
 
I’m not really happy with my game today but I used my experience to battle,” Orcollo said. “I’ve been playing a lot of tournaments lately so I just stayed focused.
 
Using a couple of breaks and runs and a scratch on the break by Orcollo, Morra jumped out to an early 4-1 lead. After a safety battle on the 2-ball in the sixth game, Orcollo was able to pocket the ball and run out – the first of four straight he would win. Morra would reclaim the lead after Orcollo missed a makeable 3-ball in the 10th game and had the chance to go up 7-5 but missed a 3-ball.
 
That changed everything in the match. He took the lead and I was fighting back the whole time,” Morra said.
 
The Filipino won three straight games after Morra’s miss to take an 8-6 lead. Morra once again fought back, taking advantage of an Orcollo dry break and misplayed safety to tie the score. Morra’s break was ruled illegal in the 19th game, and Orcollo ran out the rack and then executed two breaks and runs to get on the hill, 12-9.
 
But Morra wasn’t finished, taking advantages of a misplayed jump shot by Orcollo in the 22nd game a couple of misses in subsequent games to tie the score at 12 and send the match to a shootout.
 
He plays great and he has a lot of heart,” Orcollo said of his opponent.
 
Morra was able to force the match to hill-hill despite suffering some unfortunate rolls off of the break, with the cue ball twice rolling behind the 9-ball in the final three games.
 
I wasn’t drawing the cue ball enough to get over the 9-ball. That was the mistake I made,” Morra said. “The cue ball didn’t have to roll behind the nine both times but it did. That’s just how the balls roll sometimes.
 
After both players pocketed balls in the first round of the extra frame Morra missed shots in the second and third rounds while Orcollo made his shot in the second round. After both players made their shots in the fourth frame
 
Morra had a chance to extend the overtime but pushed the nine-ball to the left of the left-hand side corner pocket.
 
I just stayed focused and tried to make a ball when it was my turn and finally I made one,” Orcollo said of his performance in the shootout.
 
The action continues this evening with Canada’s Jason Klatt taking on Alex Kazakis of Greece at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and Chris Melling of England facing Fedor Gorst of Russia at 8 p.m. EST.
 
For the complete draw and live scoring please CLICK HERE.
 
The first event of the 2018 World Pool Series, The Aramith 9-Ball Players Championship, is being held at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, New York City from April 19th to 22nd, 2018. The World Pool Series is sponsored by Aramith, Rasson, Predator, Iwan Simonis, Tiger, and Kamui. Our suppliers and partners are Billiards Digest, CueScore, Let’s Go Print, On The Wire, Outsville, UpState Al, and the WPA.
 
For more information on the World Pool Series, please visit www.worldpoolseries.com.
 
Follow the World Pool Series on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolseries/.
Twitter: @WorldPoolSeries
Instagram: @WorldPoolSeries
 
To watch our PPV livestream, you can visit www.worldpoolseries.com and click the “Live Stream” button to go to our streaming page.