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Orcollo Takes Two! Gabriel Takes It Down In Peoria!

Dennis Orcollo

Racks On The Rocks was the place to be this past weekend. Located in West Peoria, IL and owned by Rob and Heather Williams, the Aramith/Simonis Pro Classic had three divisions – ten ball, one pocket and bar box eight ball.

Sponsors contributing to this $17,000 added event were Aramith, Simonis & Diamond.

The $7,500 added ten ball division started on Wednesday night. Seventeen players anted up their $300 entry fees for this double elimination, race to eleven, winner breaks format played on nine foot tables.

All but two of the players received a first round bye except for Warren Kiamco and Jared Brahler. Unfortunately for Jared, he was defeated 11-1 and headed west. Warren’s next match was a lot closer – he survived an 11-10 squeaker against the always tough Fedor Gorst as did John Morra over Abrahan Martinez. Roberto Gomez blistered Evan Lunda 11-1 and Dennis Orcollo battled “The Great Dane,” Mickey Krause, eventually posting an 11-9 win. Jeremy Seaman also notched an 11-5 win over John Gabriel.

Next match, Seaman ran into a buzz saw named Alex Pagulayan and was soundly defeated 11-1. Round three also saw Jeffrey de Luna defeat Kiamco 11-5 while Dennis Orcollo defeated Corey Deuel 11-8. Gomez didn’t have such an easy time with Morra but pulled out an 11-9 victory.

By the fourth round, it was an all-Filipino winner’s side final four. After trailing or being tied almost the entire match, Pagulayan finally overtook de Luna to win the match 11-9 as did Orcollo over Gomez 11-7. Alex and Dennis advanced to the hot seat match. This match was all Dennis as he locked up his seat in the finals thumping Alex 11-5.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the chart, de Luna dismantled Gomez 11-8 leaving him in fourth place and then Pagulayan 11-6 to face Orcollo in the finals. Alex finished third.

The finals was to be one match – an extended race to fifteen. The match was close with both players trading racks with Dennis reaching the hill first. He pocketed game ball to take the match 15-13. Congratulations, Dennis!!! Great job, Jeff!!!

The one pocket division of the event drew nine players – each paying an entry fee of $1,000. The format in this event was also double elimination – alternate break with races to four. All but two of the players received a first round bye except for Corey Deuel and John Morra. In a hard fought match, Morra edged out Deuel for the win. Round two saw Morra defeat John Gabriel 4-1, Dennis Orcollo edge out Evan Lunda 4-3, Roberto sink Alex Pagulayan 4-2 and Warren Kiamco sneaked by Ike Runnels 4-3.

In the third round, Orcollo beat Morra 4-2 and Kiamco blitzed Gomez 4-0. This set up the hot seat match with Warren eking out the win 4-3 sending Dennis over to the one loss side to await an opponent.

Battling it out, Morra defeated Gomez 4-3 leaving him in fourth place. Looking to avenge his loss to Kiamco, Orcollo smoked Morra 4-1 to face Warren in the finals. John finished in third place.

The final match was an one extended race to six. A close match all the way and going down to the last ball of the case game, Dennis claimed the title!!! Congratulations again, Dennis!!! Good tournament, Warren!!!

The $2,000 added Open Bar Table Eight Ball began on Friday night and ran all weekend. Drawing 94 players paying a $25 entry fee, this double elimination event had races to seven on both sides with winner breaks. By the time the smoke cleared, the field had been whittled down to four players. After losing to Mickey Krause in the fourth round 7-6, Abrahan Martinez went on a tear mowing down six opponents before he reached Krause again. Taking revenge, he beat him 7-5 and moved into the finals against the undefeated John Gabriel. Krause finished in third place.

Since this was true double elimination, Martinez would have to defeat Gabriel twice to win the tournament but it was not to be – Gabriel only needed one set to claim the title 7-5!!! Great tournament, John!!! Good job, Abrahan!!!

Congratulations to all!!!

Thanks to Tournament Director Josh Suits for keeping everything running smoothly. We’d also like to thank the Racks On The Rocks staff for taking great care of players and fans alike.

Thanks to Jeremy Jones, Larry Schwartz, John Gabriel, Jeremy Seaman, Rob Williams, Ray Hansen and Mary Kenniston for their great commentary!

And last, but not least, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors! Our sponsors include JB Cases, Diamond Billiard Products, Lomax Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Hanshew Jump Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore in Fort Worth, TX, The Action Palace of Dayton, OH and our venue, Racks On The Rocks.

PoolActionTV.com’s next stop is the Action Palace Open in Huber Heights, OH. The dates are November 3rd-7th. Hope to see you there!!!

Diamond Open 2021 Kicks Off With 10-Ball and Speed Pool

Shane Van Boening

The Omega Billiards Inaugural Diamond Open 2021 kicks off today at Rack and Grill III in Aiken, South Carolina. This weeklong event features seven different divisions and $48,000 in added prize money. 

Things get started with two days of 10-Ball and Speed Pool. The 10-Ball division features $10,000 in added prize money and the field is a who’s who of top pro talent that was in the states for the US Open 9-Ball. Shane Van Boening, Alex Pagulayan, Alex Kazakis, Billy Thorpe, Dennis Orcollo, Eklent Kaci, Fedor Gorst, Jayson Shaw, Jeffrey De Luna, Joshua Filler, Robert Gomez and Warren Kiamco are just a sampling of the players who are competing in this event. 

Online bracket coverage of this event will be handled by Digital Pool and online streaming coverage will be available at https://www.omegabilliards.com/

Strickland, Pagulayan And Fisher Amongst Casualties On US Open Day 3

Jeffrey De Luna (Erwin Dionisio – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Earl Strickland, Alex Pagulayan, Mika Immonen, Thorsten Hohmann, and Kelly Fisher were amongst the names to have their US Open Pool Championship campaigns cut short as the field went to the last 64 on day three at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City.

See the scores

Fans inside the Diamond Arena were treated to a fantastic spectacle in the opening session of the day as reigning champion Joshua Filler beat Sanjin Pehlivanović 11-8 when at eight all it looked like the Bosnian would take the lead if it wasn’t for a miss on the six. Filler does find himself on the losers’ side though going into the fourth day after a loss to World-10 ball runner-up Aloysius Yapp 11-3. It will not be unfamiliar territory for Filler though, after tasting defeat on his way to winning in 2019.

Jayson Shaw beat Hsieh Chia Chen in a hill-hill thriller to set up a battle of the Brits against Judd Trump in the evening after Trump had beaten Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Al-Shammari 11-5 earlier in the day.

When it came down to it, Shaw prevailed emphatically cleaning up for an 11-1 win to send Trump into the losers’ round 6 whilst Eagle Eye became the first name into the winners’ qualification section.

One of the standout matches of the day came late on as Jeffrey De Luna downed Pagulayan 11-0 as he potted 99 balls along the way with Pagulayan failing to pot a single ball in the whole contest and the Bull potting 99% of his shots only missing once. That result kept De Luna’s hopes of going better than his third-place finish in 2019.

American No.1 Shane van Boening remains unbeaten in his search for a sixth US Open crown after beating BJ Ussery to set up a winners’ qualification clash with Francisco Sanchez Ruiz live tomorrow evening on Table 1. It was the end of the road for Strickland though as he looked for his sixth title losing out to Alan Rolon Rosado.

2019 World Champion Fedor Gorst underlined his intentions with a crushing win over Niels Feijen 11-1 to meet Darren Appleton for a place in the last 16 after Appleton beat World 10 ball champion Eklent Kaçi.

The morning session gets underway at 10 am ET with Billy Thorpe (USA) vs Mario He (AUT),  Aloysius Yapp (SIN) vs Mickey Krause (DEN), and Albin Ouschan (AUT) vs Alex Kazakis (GRE).

By the end of tomorrow, only 16 players will remain. Fans can take in Table 1 live on the TV broadcast wherever you are in the world on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Sky Sports in the UK. Find out where you can watch the US Open Pool Championship in your country right here.

Table 2 is free to watch and available on the Matchroom Pool YouTube here.

Ticket prices start from $31.24 per session for the single-elimination stage and $31.24 for the day during the double-elimination stage.

All tickets are subject to booking and processing fees. Each ticket includes a $5.50 transaction fee which is only applied once per order. Orders of multiple tickets will therefore save $5.50 per additional ticket purchased.

Get your tickets here. 

The 2021 US Open Pool Championship will be partnered by Diamond, who supply the Official Table; the Official Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are ARAMITH Tournament BLACK pool ball set with Duramith™ Technology by Saluc. Predator is the Official Cue of the event and Kamui are the Official Chalk and Tip. The US Open Pool Championship is sanctioned by the WPA.

Germany To Meet Estonia In World Cup Of Pool Semi-Finals

QUARTER-FINALS
Denmark 5-9 Germany
Philippines 4-9 Estonia

Germany will meet Estonia in the World Cup of Pool semi-finals after beating Denmark and Philippines respectively at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes on Thursday evening.

After Great Britain and Slovakia had won through in the afternoon session, Germany saw off Denmark 9-5 with both Joshua Filler and Christof Reintjes performing strongly, and the story was the same for Estonia as Denis Grabe and Mark Magi eliminated Philippines 9-4.

There was nothing to split Denmark (Mickey Krause & Bahram Lotfy) and Germany (Joshua Filler & Christof Reintjes) after the first eight of a potential 17 racks. Germany took the ninth and then Filler delivered his second golden break of the tournament to put his country two ahead, the first time either of them had a lead of more than one.

Denmark pulled one back but Germany extended their lead again, and then made it 8-5 with a 7/9 combo left for Filler by Lotfy.

Germany didn’t have a shot after breaking on the hill but got the better of the safety exchange and once they had a chance, Filler and Reintjes didn’t allow Denmark back to the table.

“We made twice as many balls on the break as they did, I think that and our safety game was our big advantage in the match,” said Filler. “The focus is playing the best you can. In this format, with winner breaks, your opponent can make five or six runouts but you just have to focus on yourself.

“The golden break was a big 9-ball because it took us two ahead. In a long tournament you need to improve in every match and that’s what we will continue to do hopefully.”

Reintjes added: “To play with the best player in the world is amazing; every shot goes right into the heart of the pocket. We wanted to do better in this match because in the first two matches we had a lot of things to improve, but in this match we had better chemistry.”

Germany will meet Estonia in the semi-finals after Denis Grabe and Mark Magi completed a confident 9-4 win over Filipino duo Roberto Gomez and Jeff De Luna.

Estonia started off strong, leading 2-0 and 3-1. De Luna then pulled off a highlights reel jump to bank the 1 up table. However, Gomez then missed the four and Estonia were back to the table to lead 4-1. Grabe and Magi continued to turn the screw, extending the lead to 5-1.

At 6-1 up Estonia allowed Philippines a route back when Grabe lost control of the cue ball in making the 4. It left Magi with a difficult cut which he didn’t make, and Gomez and De Luna got out of their seats to steal the rack.

It wasn’t the start of a momentum swing, however, as Estonia took the next for a 7-2 lead. Philippines hit back with two racks to close the gap but a brilliant Grabe safety helped Estonia open up the table at 7-4 and he and Magi cleared to reach the hill.

Philippines had a great chance to cut the gap and make Estonia sweat, but De Luna missed the 8. Grabe then made it but Magi hit the 9 hard down table and it rattled out. The cue was tied to the bottom rail and Gomez couldn’t make it up table and Grabe cut the 9-ball home.

Both semi-finals will be played on Friday afternoon before the race-to-11 final in the evening session from 5:30pm. The World Cup of Pool is broadcast live globally including on Sky Sports, DAZN and Matchroom.Live. Full broadcast details can be found at matchroompool.com.

For all the latest news and announcements follow Matchroom Pool on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram.

Dramatic Night Sees Great Britain A And USA Crash Out Of World Cup Of Pool

ROUND TWO
Great Britain C 7
-4 Greece
USA 5–7 Philippines
Estonia 7
–6 Great Britain A

 

Great Britain A crashed out of the World Cup of Pool in the most agonising of circumstances as Jayson Shaw scratched with two balls remaining at hill-hill against Estonia.

Earlier in the evening Philippines had won seven consecutive racks to come from 5-0 down to beat USA in a match that had it all and will live long in the memory, while Great Britain C’s comeback continued with a 7-4 success over Greece to reach the quarter-finals.

Shaw and Chris Melling had beaten Belarus in the first round to face Estonia (Denis Grabe and Mark Magi) in the final second round fixture. Neither team were at their best in the first half of the match and after eight racks it was 4-4. The hosts looked set to move ahead until Melling scratched on the 6. Estonia did the rest and reached the hill in rack ten after some good safety play. Magi’s break wasn’t firm enough and to add insult to injury, not only did he fail to make a ball but he left a shot at the 1 for Shaw.

Great Britain A took that rack and the next to join Estonia on the hill, and though Grabe and Magi had a chance in the last, it was Shaw and Melling who were at the table when only the 5 and 9 remained. The two balls were tied close to each other and Shaw didn’t have great position. He cut the five in with pace, but the cue came off the side rail to scratch in the top pocket and Magi had a simple 9 to dramatically take a place in the quarter-finals.

Estonia will face Philippines in the last eight after Jeff De Luna and Roberto Gomez staged a dramatic comeback against America’s Skyler Woodward and Billy Thorpe.

At 2-0 down De Luna executed a great up-table bank on the 7, only to see the cue ball scratch and award USA hall-in-hand with only the 9 remaining on the table. The Americans ran the next rack for a 4-0 lead and the Filipino mountain was growing.

They had a chance in the fifth but the 7 rattled out of the jaws for Gomez, who was lucky not to scratch. That made it too tough for Thorpe to pot, but Woodward would then get a chance after De Luna’s hit-and-hope wasn’t executed. The drama wasn’t over yet though; this time the two-time Mosconi Cup MVP failed to remove the 7 from the table. It finally went to a Gomez cut, but position was tough for De Luna who couldn’t cut it to the corner; Thorpe knocked in the gimmie and USA had a 5-0 advantage.

But Philippines weren’t done, and began to climb the mountain. The ninth was the most dramatic as again both teams struggled with the stubborn 7, but Philippines came out on top after Thorpe left it in the jaws and in the tenth the Filipinos levelled up against the odds.

They didn’t have a shot after the next break but still managed to reach the hill, and USA didn’t return to the table. The match was one of the World Cup’s best; drama, top play, and in part a story of USA failing to close out from 5-0 up, while Philippines capitalised to run a seven pack to win the match from the jaws of defeat.

Earlier in the session, comeback kids Darren Appleton and Karl Boyes took advantage of a despondent Greece (Alex Kazakis and Nick Malai). Appleton and Boyes lifted the World Cup in 2014 and were returning as a late replacement for Canada, who had been blighted with travel issues. Having beaten South Africa in the first round, their task in round two looked harder against the 2019 quarter-finalists.

However, Greece struggled at the table and though Great Britain C weren’t faultless, they did enough, with Boyes in particular not looking like a player who officially retired in 2017. With Great Britain B having gone out to Philippines in round one, and the ‘A’ team succumbing to Estonia, GB C are now flying the flag alone for the hosts after completing a 7-4 win over Greece.

All four quarter finals will be played out on Thursday, with two in the afternoon session and two in the evening. The action begins at 12noon with Slovakia vs. Japan before Great Britain C face Netherlands. The World Cup of Pool is broadcast live globally including on Sky Sports, DAZN and Matchroom.Live. Full broadcast details can be found at matchroompool.com.

For all the latest news and announcements follow Matchroom Pool on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram.

Draw Made For World Pool Masters

The draw for the World Pool Masters has been made, with defending champion David Alcaide set to begin his defense against either Billy Thorpe or Skyler Woodward in the event, which runs from May 22-25 at Europa Point Sports Complex, Gibraltar.

The all-American clash between Thorpe and Woodward was the standout match from the preliminary round draw, and the pair, currently representing USA in the World Cup of Pool, know the defending champion lies in wait in the last 16.

Alcaide and the top 7 players on the Matchroom Pool World Ranking were seeded through to the last 16, while the remaining 16 players in the field will battle it out in the preliminary round.

Other fixtures include Women’s World Champion Kelly Fisher against Justin Sajich, with the winner set to face Alex Kazakis in the last 16. World Champion Fedor Gorst will face either Shane Van Boening or debutant Jakub Koniar of Slovakia.

Albanian Masters rookie Max Lechner will meet either Mieszko Fortunski or Kristina Tkach, while Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw will face either Niels Feijen or Jeffrey De Luna.

The World Pool Masters begins on Saturday, May 22 and will be broadcast globally, including on Sky Sports, DAZN and Matchroom.Live. All matches are race to 7, winner breaks, except the final, which will be a race to 9.

Alcaide won the 2019 Masters in dramatic fashion with a memorable up-table bank to make the winning 9 at hill-hill against Kazakis, who he could meet in this year’s quarter-finals.

The World Pool Masters marks the return of spectators to Matchroom Pool Series events. Tickets are available exclusive to residents of Gibraltar via BuyTickets.gi. The full match schedule can be found at MatchroomPool.com.

For all the latest news and announcements follow Matchroom Pool on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram.

WORLD POOL MASTERS DRAW

LAST 16 MATCHES

David Alcaide vs. Billy Thorpe/Skyler Woodward
Alexander Kazakis vs. Kelly Fisher/Justin Sajich

Naoyuki Oi vs. Eklent Kaci/Petri Makkonen
Jayson Shaw vs. Niels Feijen/Jeffrey De Luna

Fedor Gorst vs. Shane van Boening/Jakub Koniar
Max Lechner vs. Mieszko Fortunksi/Kristina Tkach

Joshua Filler vs. Chris Melling/Sanjin Pehlivanovic
Albin Ouschan vs. Denis Grabe/Roberto Gomez

Brilliant Netherlands Into Quarter Finals But Great Britain B Out At World Cup Of Pool

ROUND 1
Philippines 7
-3 Great Britain B

ROUND 2
Finland 1-7 Netherlands
Slovakia 7-6 Czech Republic

Netherlands fired a warning shot to the rest of the field as they stormed into the quarter-finals of the World Cup of Pool with a near-perfect 7-1 victory over an out-of-sorts Finland.

Slovakia are also through to the last eight having beaten Czech Republic in the tournament’s first hill-hill match, while Great Britain B’s Allison and Kelly Fisher crashed out 7-3 in round one to the Filipino pairing of Jeff De Luna and Roberto Gomez.

Niels Feijen has twice been a World Cup runner up, in 2013 and 2014, both playing alongside Nick van den Berg. Marc Bijsterbosch stepped up in 2017 after Van den Berg retired, and their 7-1 drilling of Petri Makkonen and Casper Matikainen was probably the best performance the new Dutch duo have put in together.

Finland, and particularly their rookie Matikainen, struggled at the table but in contrast the Netherlands were near faultless in booking their place in the quarter-finals.

“We played well, with confidence and we did a good job,” said Bijsterbosch. “We can’t complain today, but we aren’t there, we have to prepare for the next match and we have to keep going.

“We know Finland are a really good team but we looked at our own game and we really, really hit it off today, it was a great match,” said Feijen. “We are really enjoy this, we played a great match and we get some time to enjoy that.

“I felt really good, Marc, if you leave him tough he is still central so that gives me a lot of confidence too. If we keep playing like this, we are dangerous.”

Czech Republic lead their match against Slovakia 4-2 but with the chance to go 5-3 ahead failed to capitalise when Polach missed the 9; Gavenciak also failing to conclude the rack with a long pot. Koniar took the easy 9 left for him, and Slovakia led for the first time in the match when they went 5-4 up.

The tenth went the way of the Czechs, but Slovakia regained their lead after a dry break to reach the hill at 6-5 up. The next rack was a reversal of its predecessor; this time Slovakia breaking dry and Czech Republic taking advantage to join their opponents on the hill.

Gavenciak was breaking but again came up dry. Polach played safe and though Urban’s reply seemed to have done enough, Koniar played off the side rail to make the 1. It didn’t present his side with the opportunity to clear, though, and at his next visit he scratched on the 2.

The table didn’t look easy and even when Urban missed a straight 4, Czech Republic fell safe. Koniar then benefited from a bit of fortune in making the 4 trying to escape a snooker and this time the roadmap was there, and Slovakia cleared the table for a place in the quarter-finals where either Russia or Japan will await.

The session had opened with a highly-anticipated round one match between Great Britain B and Philippines. The all-female British pairing looked to have settled quickly and took the second rack to keep the scores level early on. However, De Luna and Gomez were breaking well and managed to open up a 5-1 lead before Great Britain B next won a rack. Despite falling further behind, Fisher and Fisher cut the gap to 6-3 but that was to be their last rack as Philippines took the next to close out a 7-3 win.

“We had a great time out there,” said Allison. “it has been a while for me and I really enjoyed it. There were some good shots in there but we never got going. We had a nice start to the match and we were never really frozen out but some of the games were a bit awkward. At this stage for me the most important thing is to have fun out there and I really enjoyed it.”

“We are competitors so we are disappointed, of course,” said Kelly. “In the match we never really got the chance to get going, everything fell a bit awkward. Me and Allison are great friends off the table, we gel well together, and we have loved every moment and had fun.”

Round one concludes on Tuesday evening with USA taking on Australia, Great Britain C in action against South Africa and Great Britain A up against Belarus.

The World Cup of Pool is broadcast live globally including on Sky Sports, DAZN and Matchroom.Live. Full broadcast details can be found at matchroompool.com.

For all the latest news and announcements follow Matchroom Pool on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram.

Orcollo & Morra Take It Down

Dennis Orcollo

Tallahassee, FL was the place to be for the past few days as Zingale’s Billiard Room & Sports Bar hosted The Southeastern Triple Crown of Billiards.

Inspired by the Derby City Classic, three different events were held – nine ball, nine ball banks & one pocket with another $1000 going to the all around player.

Starting Thursday evening & ably directed by Marianne Raulerston of Marianne’s Tournaments, play commenced after a player auction & draw.

When the smoke cleared, John Morra had taken the one pocket title over Anthony Meglino after a six hour final match. Dennis Orcollo won the nine ball after defeating Jeffrey de Luna in the finals & Justin Hall in the nine ball banks – locking up the all around cheese. Congratulations to all!

Players & fans alike were well taken care of by owner Michael Zingale & his staff.

Zingale’s & PoolActionTV.com were joined in sponsorship by Bull Carbon Shafts, Outsville, Cuetec, 89Billiards.com, Straight Shooter Gear, JB Cases, Pool Dawg & JMR Auto Group. Thank you!

Thanks to Larry Schwartz, Tom Wirth, Jay Helfert and Jeremy Jones and for their excellent commentary.

We’d also like to thank our fans & sponsors – they include Hanshew Jump Cues, JB Cases, Durbin Custom Cues, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye & Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is the inaugural Bar Box Classic in East Moline, IL – May 5th-9th! Hope to see you there!
www.PoolActionTV.com

Draw Made For World Cup Of Pool

Austria will begin their World Cup of Pool title defence against Slovakia, while hosts Great Britain A will face debutants Belarus in the first round of the doubles tournament, which begins on Sunday, May 9 at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, live on Sky Sports.

Among the standout first-round ties is Great Britain B (Kelly Fisher & Allison Fisher) against three-time champions Philippines (Roberto Gomez & Jeff De Luna), while 2019 semi-finalists Spain will face Italy.

The 16 seeded teams were automatically placed into the draw brackets, with 16 unseeded teams drawn at random. The draw is set for the whole tournament, with some mouth-watering potential second-round match ups including USA vs. Philippines.

Defending champions Austria (Albin Ouschan & Mario He) also lifted the World Cup in 2017 and could become the first pairing to win the trophy three times.

The tournament will begin on Sunday, May 9 with fan-favourites Japan (Naoyuki Oi & Masato Yoshioka) in action against Croatia (Philipp Stojanovic & Roberto Bartol). All first round matches are race to 7, with three matches per session and two sessions per day. The first round will complete on Tuesday, May 11 with Great Britain A (Jayson Shaw & Chris Melling) facing Belarus’ all-female pairing of Margarita Fefilova & Yana Halliday. Halliday’s husband, Richard, will represent South Africa alongside brother Vincent. They face Canada (Alex Pagulayan & John Morra) in the first round.

The World Cup of Pool will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, DAZN and Matchroom.Live, with further international broadcasters to be confirmed.

For all the latest news and announcements follow Matchroom Pool on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram.

MATCH SCHEDULE

Sunday, May 9 (12:00-16:00)
R1: Japan vs. Croatia
R1: Czech Republic vs. Hungary
R1: Austria vs. Slovakia

Sunday, May 9 (17:30-21:30)
R1: Russia vs. Switzerland
R1: Greece vs. Serbia
R1: Canada vs. South Africa

Monday, May 10 (12:00-16:00)
R1: Netherlands vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina
R1: Finland vs. Iceland
R1: Albania vs. Denmark

Monday, May 10 (17:30-21:30)
R1: Spain vs. Italy
R1: Germany vs. Lithuania
R1: USA vs. Australia

Tuesday, May 11 (12:00-16:00)
R1: Philippines vs. Great Britain B
R1: Poland vs. Kuwait
R1: Estonia vs. Belgium

Tuesday, May 11 (17:30-21:30)
R2: Austria/Slovakia vs. Czech Republic/Hungary
R2: Canada/South Africa vs. Greece/Serbia
R1: Great Britain A vs. Belarus

Wednesday, May 12 (12:00-16:00)
R2: Russia/Switzerland vs. Japan/Croatia
R2: Finland/Iceland vs. Netherlands/B&H
R2: Spain/Italy vs. Albania/Denmark

Wednesday, May 12 (17:30-21:30)
R2: Germany/Lithuania vs. Poland/Kuwait
R2: USA/Australia vs. Philippines/Great Britain B
R2: Estonia/Belgium vs. Great Britain A/Belarus

Thursday, May 13 (12:00-16:00)
Quarter-final 1
Quarter-final 2

Thursday, May 13 (17:30-21:30)
Quarter-final 3
Quarter-final 4

Friday, May 14 (12:00-16:00)
Semi-final 1
Semi-final 2

Friday, May 14 (17:30-21:30)
Final

The stars came out in Florida to support the Black Widow Legacy Tournament, raise over $30k

Tommy Kennedy, Jeanette Lee and Mika Immonen

The pool community at large has always been good at coming out to support members of its own extended pool family. At pool tournaments large and small, coast to coast, when a player is in need of help, his or her fellow players, and usually, lots of them, come out in support. This was especially true last weekend (April 10-11), when the player in need was the Black Widow, Jeanette Lee, whose diagnosis of ovarian cancer had galvanized the pool community into a flurry of benefit events, designed to assist Lee and her daughters. Lee, in the meantime, who visited the benefit event on Saturday, had already begun a fierce and determined battle to beat the cancer, with much the same style and verve that has characterized her entire career.

She entered Brewlands Bar and Grill of Carrollwood in Tampa, FL on a wheelchair to (literally) thunderous applause from the hundreds assembled, who stopped shooting pool long enough to welcome her. She thanked everyone and proceeded to tell them that she had already undergone three of six scheduled chemotherapy treatments, and that she was scheduled for surgery on Thursday (April 15). 

“From there,” she explained, noting that the surgery was going to require some extra healing time, “each cycle is about three weeks apart, so . . . I’m supposed to turn the big five-oh on July 9th and am supposed to be finished with chemo the first week of July.”

“The goal,” she added, “is to make it to 50.”

No stranger to pain, having spent the latter part of her career battling scoliosis and becoming the national spokesperson for the disease, she didn’t need to tell people about her courage and strength. Many of the people in the room had been eyewitness to the pain she would occasionally endure during competition. She went on to tell them from where that courage and strength emanated.

“I’m as stubborn as all get-out,” she said. “I plan to be here for my children.”

She paused for just a moment, looking at the crowd that had gathered to support her efforts.

“I could never have imagined this kind of support,” she added, “and I am humbled by it. We’re going to get through this and thank you guys for being on my team.”

Among her friends in the Tampa, FL area where she and her family live, are a number of people quite familiar with the process of organizing pool tournaments. One of them, Jeannie Seaver (the APA’s 2020-2021 Women’s US Amateur Champion, as of March 20) has had experience with benefit tournaments and along with Sonya Chbeeb, jumped at the chance to organize this one. Having become close friends with Lee since she relocated to Florida, they didn’t hesitate to give back, in return for all that Lee had done for them over the years.

“She’s an icon and a legend,” said Chbeeb, “and inspirational in so many ways. (People) can relate to so many of her experiences, with their own; the life struggles she’s gone through can touch so many people’s lives that way. She has always been supportive and helpful to people who want to learn or advance their game, always there for them.”

“We’re doing this for her and her family,” she added. “She’s always been focused on everybody else and now it’s time for her to focus on herself and her family. We wanted to have this event to allow her time to just relax and let someone else take over, to let someone do something for her.”

Though experienced at running benefits, Jeannie Seaver was used to somewhat smaller-in-scale events and thanks, in part, to the pandemic, she hadn’t actually organized one in quite some time. When she heard of the need, signing on to help put it together was obvious to her, and she came to it with what she believed to be reasonable expectations.

“I figured we’d be making $10 to $15k,” she said. “I didn’t think it would be over $30k.”

But it was. Closer to $32k when all was said and done, and thanks to the efforts of the co-tour directors of the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour (Janene Phillips & Bobby Garza), it went off smoothly. As Garza set up the streaming service that would broadcast throughout the event, Phillips, with the assistance of Rob McLaren, Leah Nusbaum and Cami Becker set themselves to the task of running not just one, but two tournaments. Having anticipated the large gathering that eventually did show up, they had decided beforehand to run two separate tournaments, one for higher-ranked competition (Open/Pro) and one for the lower ranks; A & B brackets, as it were. The Open/Pro competitors would compete on the venue’s 9-ft. tables, while everyone else would compete on 8-ft. tables. The A bracket held 63 players, while the B bracket had 89.

And now, as Jeanette likely thought, but didn’t actually say, ‘Let’s shoot some pool.’

Shawn Collie and the Iceman, Mika Immonen win B and A brackets, respectively

Shawn Collie, Carrie Vetrono and Allan Ellison

The competitor who won the larger tournament (the B bracket), Shawn Collie, had, until this weekend (according to our records), cashed in only four events since 2007. It looked as though he was going to struggle again, when he lost his opening match, in a double hill fight against Steven Krogh. Collie moved to the loss side and won 11 matches, concluding his loss-side run the way he’d started, in a double hill fight. He would go on to give up only a single rack in the finals and claim his fifth cash payout and his first-ever tournament win. 

With Collie already at work on the loss side, the eventual, mixed-gender hot seat opponents – Allen Ellison and Carrie Vetrono – advanced through the field. Ellison faced Kim Burbank in one of the winners’ side semifinals as Vetrono squared off against Anthony Rotenberry. Two double hill matches followed, with Vetrono and Ellison moving into the hot seat match, won by Ellison 4-2.

It was Rotenberry who had the misfortune of running into Collie, who was eight matches into his loss-side winning streak. Burbank drew Andrew Erb, who was working on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. Collie downed Rotenberry 3-1, as Burbank was busy surviving her double hill match versus Erb. Collie took the quarterfinal match versus Burbank 3-1 and then cleared his last hurdle for the finals, a double hill win over Vetrono in the semifinals.

Collie would put an exclamation point on his loss-side run. As noted at the outset, he gave up only a single rack to Ellison in the extended race-to-6 finals to claim the title.

The Open/Pro segment of the tournament ended with two classic battles between two of the sports more recognizable personalities; the ever-ebullient Tommy Kennedy and the Iceman, Mika Immonen. Behind them both and finishing in third place was ‘young gun,’ Trenton White.

The Iceman got himself into a winners’ side semifinal against Les Duffy, having given up only nine racks over four matches, including a winners’ side quarterfinal, 6-2 win over Tony Robles. Kennedy, rather unceremoniously, dropped event organizer and APA Women’s Amateur Champion, Jeannie Seaver, 6-3 in the opening round and then went on to shut out Mike Sullivan. He then gave up two to Ken Black, before defeating Jeffrey De Luna 6-4. This set him up in his winners’ side semifinal against Ray Linares, who was, when he wasn’t playing, doing duty in the stream booth as a commentator.

Immonen downed Duffy 6-1, as Kennedy was busy sending Linares to the loss side 6-4. Kennedy took the first of his two against Immonen 6-4 and waited in the hot seat for his return.

Duffy and Linares didn’t last a round on the loss side. Duffy was defeated by the ‘young gun,’ Trenton White, double hill. Linares fell to Robles 5-1. White and Robles locked up in a double hill, quarterfinal fight that eventually sent White to the semifinals, where he was shut out by the Iceman. Immonen claimed the Open/Pro side of the Jeanette Lee Legacy Tournament with an 8-3 victory in the finals.

The list of people who brought this event together and saw to it that it ran smoothly is long, and though it’s likely that none of those who contributed in one way or another, were or are interested in being recognized for their efforts, that is exactly the reason that we’ll mention them; beginning with Jeannie Seaver and Sonya Chbeeb, along with Brewlands owner, Larry Wathal and venue manager, Sammy Hewett.

“Larry and Sammy outdid themselves hosting this event,” wrote Janene Phillips. “Larry added $1,500 to the two events, 20% of which went to Jeanette. Sammy was one of the event coordinators and worked around the clock to make sure this event was perfect.”

Phillips, too, was among those who contributed to the success of this event, along with the previously-mentioned Rob McLaren, Leah Nusbaum, Cami Becker and, running the live stream, Bobby Garza and commentators Ray Linares and Cheryl Baglin. With apologies to a number of contributors who stopped into the venue and donated a variety of different items like merchandise, cues and autographed items, noted sponsors included Mezz Cues, Molinari, Roy’s Basement, Predator Cues, Sterling Gaming, Bass Pro Shops, Dunnski Dungeon, Kamui Products, Shells Restaurant of North Tampa, Joss Cues, N the Zone, Tiger Products, Ladies Florida Tiger Tour, Bulletproof Break Tips, and Sammy Hewitt’s Crew – Sara, Bri, Jamie, Mika, Lollipop, Dee, Millie, Mary, Mark, Lauren, Tony, Stephanie, Marci, Nick and the Egnatowski’s. Thanks went out, as well, to all of those who competed in both of the tournaments, including, but by no means limited to, Lee’s fellow professionals Mika Immonen, Tommy Kennedy, Janet Atwell, Jeffrey De Luna and Tony Robles. 

There are two more Black Widow Legacy benefit events scheduled. This coming weekend (April 17-18), Janet Atwell (who competed in this recent event) will host the Black Widow Open at her room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN. Seaver, Chbeeb and company will be on hand for another Legacy event that will be hosted by Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL on the weekend of May 8-9.