Archive Page

US Open Pool Championship Down To 8 With Van Boening Out

Aloysius Yapp

Home favourite Shane Van Boening is out of the US Open Pool Championship at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City at the Last 16 stage as Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp secured a comprehensive 11-5 victory over the five-time champion.

Van Boening went into the penultimate day with eyes firmly set on becoming the most successful player ever at the US Open but Yapp came to spoil the party on the TV table winning the lag and proceeding to break and run in the opening two racks.

It was all one-way traffic as Yapp marched into a 5-0 lead before drama struck in the sixth rack when a discussion took place over whether a shot clock extension had been called before the clock was reset and Van Boening continued the rack.

Yapp continued his ascendancy to an eight-nil lead where Van Boening finally got to show a piece of brilliance taking the ball around two rails after potting the one to get back in position for the table. The American made the next three racks to force a fightback but in truth, it was a tall order against a confident Yapp fresh off the back of finishing runner-up at the World 10-ball last week. He went on the hill at 10-3 before Van Boening took two racks but it wasn’t to be as Yapp sealed a place in the quarter-finals 11-5.

Max Lechner continued his impressive debut by being the first name into the quarters by beating Poland’s Mieszko Fortuński 11-4 to set up a tantalizing clash with Dennis Orcollo. Orcollo overcame Mario He 11-6 live on the Matchroom Pool YouTube as the Filipino joined compatriot Rodrigo Geronimo in the last eight.

Geronimo was involved in one of the biggest battles of the last 16 against Denis Grabe who was fresh off beating former champion Jayson Shaw. It went to hill hill with Geronimo fluking a safety with three balls on the table in the last rack. Grabe scratched after hitting the seven leading to Geronimo having ball in hand to clear up and win.

After the first spectacle on Table 1, there was a lot for David Alcaide and Carlo Biado to live up to and they did just that in a thriller that saw Biado come out on top 11-10 in a dramatic contest. Punches were thrown from each side as they level pegged at various points from 1-1 to 3-3 to 4-4, 6-6, 7-7, 9-9 before going hill hill.

Biado had turned things around against Alcaide before nearly letting it slip at 9-9. A straight miss on the six put Alcaide back at the table who found himself breaking for the match in the last rack, but the Spaniard found himself positionally out of sorts from the break as he missed the two ball as he tried to cut it.

Naoyuki Oi came from behind to beat Francisco Sanchez Ruiz 11-7 where it did look like at one stage Sanchez Ruiz would run away with it. Fedor Gorst meanwhile beat the last remaining Dutchman Marco Teutscher 11-7. Johann Gonzales Chua became the fourth Filipino in the last eight beating John Morra 11-8 despite a fightback from the Canadian late on.

QUARTER-FINAL FIXTURES FROM 3:30 PM (ET)

Aloysius Yapp vs Rodrigo Geronimo (Table 1)
Max Lechner vs Dennis Orcollo (Table 2)
Johann Gonzales Chua vs Carlo Biado (Table 2)
Fedor Gorst vs Naoyuki Oi (Table 1)

WATCH
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.

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.

Defending Champion Joshua Filler Out As US Open Last 16 Draw Made

Defending champion Joshua Filler bowed out of the US Open Pool Championship at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City as 9-ball’s toughest tournament moved down to the last 16.

Scores

Alexander Kazakis, Billy Thorpe, and Judd Trump were amongst the names to depart in the morning session before the afternoon and evening action got underway with Francisco Sanchez Ruiz coming from 5-0 down to defeat Shane Van Boening 11-6 to join the last 16.

The Spaniard pounced on an uncharacteristic scratch from Van Boening in the 10th rack and then did the same in the 15th after it looked like the five-time champion would clear the table to cut the deficit to 8-7. Instead, Sanchez Ruiz went 9-6 up and completed a memorable comeback.

Reigning champion Filler followed up from that match knocking out America’s Skyler Woodward in an 11-4 victory that saw the German continue his route towards the last 16. Mieszko Fortuński was next in Filler’s way. Fortuński has battled away throughout the week and put in arguably one of his biggest wins of his career so far to defeat Filler 11-3 in front of a packed crowd around table two. That result saw Filler’s tournament end whilst Fortuński continued his march.

David Alcaide joined his compatriot Sanchez Ruiz in the last 16, the 2019 World Pool Masters champion was trailing for large parts of his match against the Netherlands’ Marc Bijsterbosch but came through 11-8 to put himself in the draw.

There will be four Filipinos come Friday, Dennis Orcollo had wrapped his place up earlier on against Olivér Szolnoki and was swiftly joined by Johann Gonzales Chua who got the better of Mieszko Fortuński in winners’ qualification. Rodrigo Geronimo bypassed Niels Feijen 11-6 to become the third name in the hat.

Jayson Shaw’s US Open title efforts took an almighty dent early on losing out to Denis Grabe of Estonia meaning the Scotsman had to do battle in the losers’ qualification round where he came against a hungry Carlo Biado. Biado came fresh off the back of beating Jeffrey De Luna and he continued his demolition work to come out on top 11-4 to send Shaw home.

Max Lechner has gone about his business quietly all week and that work has paid dividends as he beat Rodrigo Geronimo 11-2 to make the last 16 on his US Open debut.

Van Boening came back after defeat to Filler to face Albin Ouschan later in the evening after Ouschan had defeated Chang Jung-Lin 11-1. In front of the biggest crowd of the tournament to date, Van Boening put on a masterclass in cueing, safety, and everything in-between as the five-time champion downed the World Champion in an 11-2 crushing to keep those eyes firmly set on becoming the most successful player ever at the US Open.

Other Losers Qualification Results

John Morra 11-6 Mickey Krause
Niels Feijen 6-11 Rodrigo Geronimo
Mario He 11-5 Olivér Szolnoki
Naoyuki Oi 11-4 Marc Bijsterbosch
Marco Teutscher 11-6 Darren Appleton

The Last 16 Draw
Aloysius Yapp vs Shane Van Boening (Table 1)
Denis Grabe vs Rodrigo Geronimo (Table 3)
Max Lechner vs Mieszko Fortuński (Table 4)
Dennis Orcollo vs Mario He (Table 2)
Johann Gonzales Chua vs John Morra (Table 3)
David Alcaide vs Carlo Biado (Table 1)
Fedor Gorst vs Marco Teutscher (Table 4)
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz vs Naoyuki Oi (Table 2)

Watch
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.

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.

Final Four Set at World 10-Ball Championships

Aloysius Yapp

During the day on Wednesday and the early part of Thursday, Shane Van Boening continued to flirt with disaster.

Facing Mario He Wednesday night with a spot in the final 16 on the line, the South Dakotan missed a couple of shots early, spotted He a quick 3-1 lead, then came back and defeated the Austrian, 8-6. Van Boening had a similar start in his round of 16 match against Kuwait’s Bader Al Awadhi, who took a quick 3-0 lead in the race-to-10 quarterfinals, only to watch Van Boening win 10 of 11 racks to advance to the quarterfinals.

The slow starts finally caught up with South Dakotan Thursday night in the semifinals of the Predator World 10-Ball Championships, as Johann Chua jumped out to a big lead then survived a mid-match charge before closing out the five-time United States Open 9-Ball champion, 10-6 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. Chua, who defeated Alex Pagulayan to advance to the quarterfinals, will now face Naoyuki Oi of Japan in the semifinals Friday morning.

Van Boening’s troubles started from the very beginning, pocketing three balls on his first break of the set only to miss an opening bank shot on the 2 ball. Chua would give his opponent another chance after he fouled, but Van Boening again missed, handing the table back to the Filipino. Chua had built a 6-2 lead when the South Dakotan attempted to mount a comeback, taking advantage of a scratch by his opponent to half the deficit, then breaking and running to narrow the gap to 6-4. He had a chance in the 11th rack to trim the lead to a single game but misplayed position on the 4 ball, then scratched when he kicked at the ball.

Chua tacked on back-to-back racks to increase the lead to 8-4, then added another game when Van Boening scratched on the break in the 14th game. Leading 9-5, the Filipino had an opportunity to close out the match but missed the 6 ball in the corner pocket. Van Boening cleared the table to cut the lead to 9-6, but again scratched on the break in the very next game, which Chua closed out with ball-in-hand.

Meanwhile, on the event’s main table, Oi and Carlo Biado of the Philippines were staging an epic battle.

Much like Chua’s match with Van Boening, Oi was able to capitalize on a couple of unforced errors by his opponent to build an early 5-2 lead, taking advantage of a foul in the second rack and a foul in the subsequent game. Oi, who reached the semifinals by cruising past Cristopher Tevez Ocampo, had an opportunity to increase his lead to 6-2 but missed a 4 ball in the corner pocket. After Biado tacked on a pair of games to cut the lead to 6-4, Oi added three more of his own thanks to a missed shot by his opponent and a victorious safety exchange.

Just as the Filipino was tacking on a game to narrow the deficit to 8-5, Oi was beginning to struggle with his break, failing to pocket a ball in the 14th and 16th games. Biado took full advantage, running out both racks and adding a break-and-run to tie the game at eight games each, then using a safety battle to reclaim the lead, 9-8. Oi retaliated with a victorious safety exchange of his own to even the match again, forcing match-deciding rack.

The bad news for Oi was that his opponent had breaking honors. The good news was that Biado failed to land a ball, allowing Oi to clear the table, breathe a sigh of relief and head to the semifinals.

There would be no such drama in the next quarterfinals match between reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player Jayson Shaw and Aloysius Yapp of Singapore, who took advantage of a slew of mistakes and dry breaks by his opponent and coasted to a 10-5 victory.

After splitting the first two racks, Yapp took the lead for good in the third game when Shaw failed to pocket the 2 ball in the side pocket, then won six straight games thanks in large part to two unforced errors and three dry breaks from his opponent. Trailing 8-1 with match already feeling decided, Shaw broke and ran twice and took advantage of a missed shot by Yapp to halve the lead, 8-4. The two competitors traded the next two games but Yapp, who advanced to the quarterfinals with a win over Oscar Dominguez, was able to stop any potential rally with a break-and-run which closed out the set.

In the remaining semifinal match of the night, Albania’s Eklent Kaci spotted Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn a 2-0 advantage, then won six games and held on at the end to advance to the semifinals, 10-7.

Competition begins at 11 a.m. local time when Oi and Chua face off in the first semifinal and continues at 1 p.m. local time when Kaci meets Yapp. The winners will advance to the finals, which are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. local time. Admission to the event is free at the venue and live streaming is available on YouTube and Billiard TV.

The World 10-Ball Championship is a proud part of the CueSports International Expo in Las Vegas. The CueSports International Expo is also home to the BCA Pool League World Championships, USA Pool League National Championships and numerous industry exhibitors. The 11-day billiard extravaganza attracts more than 6,000 pool players from around the world, consumes 150,000 square feet, and uses over 300 Diamond pool tables with the goal of always providing the greatest pool experience in the world.

This competition is played on Diamond Pro-Am pool tables covered with Predator Arcadia Performance Cloth, with Predator Arcos II balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights. Kamui and Omega Billiard Supplies are also partners of the event.

For the latest information on the Predator Pro Billiard Series action, follow @ProBilliardSeries on Facebook and Instagram. For Live broadcasting watch Billiard TV  or follow WorldBilliardTV on YouTube for replays.

World 9-Ball Championship Comes Down To Four

Ko Ping-Chung

Ko Ping Chung, Fedor Gorst, Chang Jung Lin and Liu Haitao stand on the brink of history in Doha.

 

After nearly ten hours of some of the most grueling and pressure packed pool seen in years, the 2019 World 9-ball Championship has now come down to the Final 4.

 
The four players left, Taiwan’s Ko Ping Chung and Chang Jung Lin, Russia’s Fedor Gorst, and China’s Liu Haitao are, to a man, already proven monsters of the game. Now each is poised on the cusp of history and will get their crack at pool immortality.
 
In one semi-final, the current World 10-ball Champion Ko will battle it out against Gorst. In the other semi-final, Chang will match wits with Liu.   Both semis, which will be race to 11, alternate break, will begin at 11am Tuesday in Doha(GMT +3) at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation.  The Final, which will be race to 13, alternate break, will begin at 3pm Doha time.
 
Pool fans around the world looking at that list of talent on their betting sheet might be hard pressed to pick who to put their money on to take the sport’s most coveted crown. But anyone who has been lucky enough to be on hand in Doha for the last week, or watch the action online, would probably not hesitate to favor the man fondly known as “Little Ko.”
 
Ko got that endearing moniker by being the sweet younger brother to the great Ko Pin Yi, himself a two time former world champion. Fans have known Little Ko to have as much prodigious talent as his older brother, but it wasn’t until he won the World 10-ball Championship in Vegas in July this year that the diminutive 24 year old clearly had stepped out of that long shadow and started to establish his own greatness.
 
Indeed over the last four days in Doha, the 24 year old Ping Chung has exhibited an almost surreal-like confidence to do whatever it takes to win. His shot making is from another planet, he never, ever gets flustered, and he seemingly can do what he wants, when he wants. 
 
These other-worldly skills were on full display in his three tough matches over ten hours today. In the round of 32 match against talented compatriot Lin Wu Kun, Ko got out to an early lead and held off Lin at every turn to win 11-8. In the round of 16, Ko came up against Russian veteran Ruslan Chinakhov who was playing some of his best pool in years. But Ko was in no mood to play nice, and he dominated Chinakhov 11-4.
 
By the time his quarterfinals battle against Vietnam upstart Do The Kien began, Ko looked a bit worn, and he fell behind 6-2.  But as he did against Hungary’s Oliver Slzolnoki the night before in the round of 64, Ko grinded his way back in the match. In this case the Taiwanese absolutely put his boot down hard, winning 9 racks in a row for an emphatic 11-6 win and a spot in the semi-finals.
 
Little Ko’s battle with Russia’s Gorst promises to be a fascinating match up of two of pool’s great young talents. Gorst, just 19 year’s old, is a former  World Junior Champion and has also won one Euro Tour event. His game and his personal demeanor appear well beyond his years, and this is not surprising when you discover that he has traveled and played extensively, especially in the US. He even speaks excellent English.
 
Like Ko, Gorst has a rock-solid game and low-key demeanor that serves him well when under pressure.  His three fine performances today showed he is certainly ready for the big time. Should he win here in Doha, he would become the second youngest player, after 16 year old Wu Chia Ching in 2005, to win the World 9-ball Championship.
 
Gorst started the day with a very impressive 11-7 win over Taiwan’s Kevin Chang. In the round of 16 he blew a 7-1 lead over Poland’s Mateusz Sniegocki, and the match headed for the cliff and a sudden death rack. Gorst held his nerve with a very fine break and run to advance to the quarterfinals.
 
Without so much as having a bite to eat, he met up with Ko Pin Yi for what promised to be another slug fest. The early part of the match remained tight and nervy, but the young Russian stayed loose and calm and pounced on the few mistakes by Ko for an impressive 11-6 win.
 
The other semi final between Liu and Chang could well be described as pool’s battle of the hard core men. Both players are known for their tough, grinding style and it will be fascinating to see who blinks first.
 
With his many trips to the US and other countries over the years, Chang has certainly endeared himself to worldwide fans. Over the last few years the 34 year old Chang, the 2012 World 8-ball champion, has taken his game to new heights, including a win at the International in 2018. Another world title for Chang would certainly surprise nobody.
 
Chang played like a champion today, at least up until the end where he literally limped over the finish line. In the round of 32 he manhandled Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski, 11-5. In the round of 16 Chang came back from an early deficit to beat Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, 11-7. Then in the quarters he looked to be in total control over Finland upstart Casper Matikainen, with an 8-2 lead.
 
Matikainen, who had defeated defending champion Joshua Filler in the round of 64, and had just beaten 2016 World 9-ball Champion Albin Ouschan in the round of 16, was a total revelation this week in Doha. And just when the quiet Finn looked like he would run out of gas, he began a glorious fight back against Chang. The pair ended up tied at 10 in a battle of sheer will and stamina. Chang, though, mustered one last bit of energy and skill and held on to break and run the very last rack for a nail-biting ticket to the semis.
 
China’s Liu has been knocking on this door of greatness for the last several years, and his three matches today showed he is ready to finally kick it in. In the round of 64, he came from two down late against Greece’s Alexander Kazakis to win 11-9. In the final 16 he came back from 6 -2 down to defeat Japan’s Naoyuki Oi, 11-9. In the quarters the Chinese went toe to toe with a streaking Alex Pagulayan. The pair had nothing between them for the first half, until Liu decided this time was his, and he put the Filipino-Canadian away, 11-8.
 
Should Liu win it all on Tuesday, he would become the first Chinese player to ever win the WPA World 9-ball Championship.
 
The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,000.
 
*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.
 
 
SEMI-FINALS
Tuesday, December 17 11am, GMT +3
Race to 11, Alternate Break
 
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) vs. Lui Haitao(CHN)
Ping Chung Ko(TPE) vs. Fedor Gorst(RUS)
 
FINALS
3PM Doha
Race to 13, Alternate Break
 
 
 
RESULTS QUARTERFINALS
 
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 10 Casper Matikainen(FIN) 
Lui Haitao(CHN) 11 – 8 Alex Pagulayan(CAN)
 
Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 11 – 6 Do The Kien(VET)
Fedor Gorst(RUS) 11- 6 Pin Yi Ko(TPE)
 
 
 
RESULTS FINAL 16
 
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 11 – 6 Albin Ouschan(AUT)
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 7 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP)
 
Lui Haitao(CHN) 11 – 9 Naoyuki Oi(JPN)
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 9 Billy Thorpe(USA)
 
Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 11 – 4 Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)
Do The Kien(VET) 11 – 8 Waleed Majid(QAT)
 
Pin Yi Ko(TPE) 11 – 9 Aloysius Yapp(SIN)
Fedor Gorst(RUS) 11 – 10 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)
 
 
 
RESULTS FINAL 32
 
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 11 – 8 Yip Kin Ling(HKG)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 8 Denis Grabe(EST)
 
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 5 Mieszko Fortunski(POL)
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 11 – 5 Xu Xiaocong(CHN)
 
Liu Haitao(CHN) 11 – 9  Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 11 – 6 Johann Chua(PHL)
 
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 7 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)
Billy Thorpe(USA) 11 – 10 Carlo Biado(PHL)
 
Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 11 – 8 Lin Wu Kun(TPE)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS) 11 – 8 Maximilian Lechner(AUT)  
 
Do The Kien(VET) 11 – 7 Chris Melling(ENG)  
Waleed Majid(QAT) 11 -10 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) vs.
 
Pin Yi Ko(TPE) 11 – 9 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL)
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 11 – 5 Darren Appleton(ENG)
 
Fedor Gorst(RUS)11 – 7 Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 11 – 7 Liu Ri Teng(TPE)

Filler Falls in Dramatic Upset, while Van Boening Also Crashes Out

Finland’s Casper Matikainen takes down the defending champion in wild day in Doha as 32 players set for a sprint to the World 9-ball crown.

 

Casper Matikainen

Finland’s Casper Matikainen came into his round of 64 match at the World 9-ball Championship today versus the defending champion and world number 1 Joshua Filler feeling relaxed and ready for battle. He figured the German great would bring his usual fire, but he also knew that Filler might also take his eye off the proverbial ball. After all, the 23 year old Finn wasn’t exactly the most feared name in a field of absolute monsters.

So even when the self-described “King” of pool jumped out to a 4-1 lead, Matikainen never lost hope, as Filler had gotten a few lucky rolls and wasn’t playing all that great, while the Finn had a few rolls go against him.

The mental strategy soon started to bear fruit for the cool-headed blonde. Slowly, and increasingly surely, Matikainen crawled even, and then took the lead while at the same time Filler started to get sloppy, lose focus and even showed some signs of panic. From 4-1 down Matikainen calmly won 9 out of the next ten frames.  After a brief hiccup on the hill that allowed Filler to claim two quick racks, the steady Finn held his nerve and closed out the biggest shock of the tournament so far, an 11-7 upset of the defending champion.

“He’s the world champion and he’s playing and I’m not there in the big tournaments and maybe he’s thinking it’s an easy win,” the 22 year old Matikainen said afterward.  “I felt that Joshua had the pressure because he’s the world champion and I was really relaxed at the table and that helped me and I just got it done.”

Matikainen’s massive win was but one huge result on a dramatic day in Doha that saw some of pool’s biggest names dumped out, while others were taken to the absolute limits. With the field now down to the final 32, the next two days promises to be one of the most exciting and fascinating Battle Royale’s of 9-ball we’ve seen in years.

America’s Shane Van Boening had come to Doha a heavy favorite this year and for good reason. His last three starts here ended with two runner ups and a spot in the semis last year. But several early mistakes against Taiwan’s Liu Ri Teng was all it took for the Taiwanese to grab a commanding lead at 10-4. The American mounted a valiant fight back, but the alternate break format meant the hole was too deep. Liu sent Van Boening packing in the round of 64 with a humbling 11-8 defeat.

After his runner up finish at the US Open in Las Vegas last April, former champion Wu Jiaqing figured to go far here in Doha. But Wu came up against fellow compatriot Xu Xiaocong, who is one of a slew of quality young talents coming out of China. Xu has impressed all week here and  against Wu he turned his game up several notches, crushing the former Boy Wonder 11-5.

The Taiwanese are almost sure to have one, possibly two players in the semis after tomorrow as Team Taipei looked absolutely marvelous today. It isn’t easy picking a favorite out of these world beaters but World 10-ball Champion Ko Ping Chung would probably be at the top of most punters betting sheets.  The slightly built and painfully shy 22 year old is clearly at the top of his game but he even he barely escaped in a harrowing match against Hungary’s talented Oliver Szolnoki.

Szolnoki, another bright European prospect, played the match of his young career and had “Little” Ko on the ropes, shooting out to a 7-3, then 8-5 lead. The fresh-faced Hungarian reached the hill first, but Ko then displayed the courage and guts that only champions can pull off.  In a nervy and tense sudden death rack, the Taiwanese made a series of surreal pressure shots to eek out the victory.

Little Ko’s older brother and two-time former world champion Pin Yi also won today, easily defeating Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama, 11-5. Fellow Taiwanese Chang Jung Lin, Chang Yu Lung, Lin Wu Kun and Kevin Chang all won their round of 64 matches today. In all seven Taiwanese made it through to the round of 32.

2016 World 9-ball champion Albin Ouschan of Austria looks to be in very fine form this year, as he easily defeated Taiwan’s Lin Ta Li 11-5.  Fellow Austrian Max Lechner continued his rise this year with an 11-4 win over Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis.

The Russian contingent also put in solid performances today. Veteran Ruslan Chinakhov took down American Corey Duel 11-3, while youngster Fedor Gorst stayed alive with an 11-8 win over Slovakia’s Jakub Koniar.

2012 World 9-ball Champion Darren Appleton has been quietly playing himself back into game shape over the last few months and his solid victory today over Albanian star and European Mosconi team member Eklent Kaci could be a portent for the rest of the field. The Englishman battled back from a 4-0 deficit, and then turned the screws on the Albanian for a quality 11-6 win. In his remarkable heyday from 2008 to 2015, Appleton famously grinded out championships by the truckload and that bulldog mentality definitely was on display this afternoon.

The Philippines had only three players in the final 64 but all three made it through today. 2017 World 9-ball champion Carlo Biado got taken to the limit by Qatari veteran Bashar Hussein, before breaking and running the last rack for an 11-10 win. Also winning today for the Team Pinoy were Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ignacio.

The Polish contingent has been getting stronger by the year and they showed their quality today with three of their stars pushing through to the final 32. Mieszko Fortunski, Wojciech Szewczyk, and Mateusz Sniegocki all won handily.

Also advancing today were the USA’s Billy Thorpe, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp, China’s Liu Haitao, Greece’s Alexander Kazakis, Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Estonia’s Dennis Grabe, England’s Chris Melling, Canada’s Alex Pagulayan, Qatar’s Waleed Majid, Vietnam’s Do The Kien, and Hong Kong’s young upstart Yip Kin Ling.

The penultimate day of the World 9-ball championship will be extremely busy as the field will be whittled down to the final four at the end of the days’ action.

Play on day 3, Monday, Dec. 16th will begin at 10am Doha time(GMT +3). All matches will be single elimination knockout race to 11, alternate break.

The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,00.

*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.

Fans around the world will be able to view live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.

Results Final 64

Casper Matikainen(FIN) 11 – 7 Joshua Filler(GER)
Yip Kin Ling(HKG) 11 – 5 John Morra(CAN)

Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 5 Lin Ta Li(TPE)
Denis Grabe(EST) 11 – 8 Marc Bijsterbosch(NED)

Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 9 Dang Jinhu(CHN)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 11 – 8 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 11 – 6 Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL)
Xu Xiaocong(CHN) 11 – 5 Wu Jiaqing(CHN)

Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 11 – 8 Radoslaw Babica(POL)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 11 – 9  Jalal Al Sarisi (VEN)

Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 11 – 7 Petri Makkonen(FIN)
Johann Chua(PHL) 11 – 5 Enrique Rojas(CHL)

Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 3 Karol Skowerski(POL)
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 11 – 9 Masato Yoshioka(JPN)

Billy Thorpe(USA) 11 – 6 Kong Dejing(CHN)
Carlo Biado(PHL) 11 – 10 Bashar Hussain(QAT)

Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 11 – 10  Oliver Szolnoki(HUN)
Lin Wu Kun(TPE) 11 – 7 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)

Maximilian Lechner(AUT) 11 – 4 Pijus Labutis(LTH)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)  11 – 3 Corey Duel(USA)

Chris Melling(ENG)  11 – 7 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Do The Kien(VET) 11 – 5 David Alcaide(ESP)

Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 11 – 6 Jang Moonseok(KOR)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 11 – 10 Ralf Souquet(GER)

Pin Yi Ko(TPE) 11 – 5 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 11 – 6 Stephen Holem(CAN)

Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 11 – 9  Xue Zhenqi(CHN)
Darren Appleton(ENG) 11 – 6 Eklent Kaci(ALB)

Fedor Gorst(RUS) 11 – 8 Jakub Koniar(SVK)
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 11 – 10 Tomasz Kaplan(POL)

Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 11 – 7 Ivar Saris(NED)
Liu Ri Teng(TPE) 11 – 8 Shane Van Boening(USA)

One loss side group matches
Winner moves on to final 64 KO stage. Loser is out

Group 1
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 4 Hasan Hwaidi(IRQ)
Bashar Hussain(QAT) 9 – 6 Jerico Bonus(PHL)

Group 2
Fedor Gorst(RUS) 9 – 2 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS) 9 – 3 Kong Bu Hong(HKG)

Group 3
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 1 Gerson Martinez(PER)
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 3 Saki Kanatlar(TRK)

Group 4
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 9 – 8 Matt Edwards(NZL)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 1 Marc Vidal(ESP)

Group 5
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 9 – 8 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 5 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)

Group 6
Do The Kiem(VET)  9 – 6 Ali Alobaidli(QAT)
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 9 – 4 Ricky Yang(IND)

Group 7
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 6 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Liu Ri Teng(TPE) 9 – 1 Nadim Okbani(ALG)

Group 8
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 4 Hassan Shahada(JOR)
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 6 Abdullah Alyusef(KUW)

Group 9
Stephen Holem(CAN) 9 – 4 Khaled Alghamdi(KSR)
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 9 – 5 Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR)

Group 10
Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB) 9 – 5 Max Eberle(USA)
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 4 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)

Group 11
Karol Slowerski(POL) 9 – 4 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Eklent Kaci(ALB)  9 – 3 Ahmad Aldelaimi(KUW)

Group 12
Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 9 – 5  Niels Feijen(NED)
Daminanos Giallourakis(GRE)  9 – 3 Abdullah Alshammari(KSR)

Group 13
Masato Yoshioka(JPN) 9 – 4 Clark Sullivan(NZE)
Xue Zhenqi(CHN) 9 – 7 Luis Lemus(GTM)

Group 14
Darren Appleton(ENG) 9 – 6 Richard Halliday(RSA)
Jakub Koniar(SLV) 9 – 3 Fayaz Hussain(MAL)

Group 15
Jang Moonseok(KOR) 9 – 2 Robbie Capito(HKG)
Corey Duel(USA) 9 – 8 Wang Can(CHN)

Group 16
Xu Xiaocong(CHN) 9 – 0 Mohamed El Raousti(ALG)
Lin Wu Kun(TPE) 9 – 3 Riccardo Sini(ITA)

32 Players Book Their Spots In The KO Rounds In A Roller Coaster First Day In Doha

Ko Ping-Chung

If the first day’s play of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship is any indication–and by all measures it certainly is just that–then fans around the world better be prepared for a wild roller coaster ride over the next three days.  Drama, upsets, nerves, revelations, suprises, excitement and downright brilliant 9-ball at the highest levels were all on display as play commenced in the 28th running of pool’s premier crown. And with a loaded field just getting warmed up, it’s only going to get better leading to the final on Tuesday.
 
With 64 matches played on 16 tables at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Day 1 saw 32 players book their spots in the final 64 knockout stage which begins Sunday.  None of the 96 players have yet to see the exits, but there were plenty of upsets, near upsets, and upstarts making their mark on pool’s biggest stage.
 
The top 32 seeds were given a bye in the first round of their groups, so these players only had to win one match to reach the single elimination knockout rounds.  Defending champion Joshua Filler of Germany did just that, but not before a shaky start which saw him tied at 4-4 in the race to 9 alternate break match against Qatari veteran Bashar Hussain. The World number one was never in trouble, though, and cruised to a 9-5 win.
 
2017 champion and runner up last year Carlo Biado of the Philippines didn’t fair as well as he got dumped over to the one loss side of his group with a shocking 9-3 loss to Chile’s Enrique Rojas. It was Rojas’ second straight victory of the day, the first coming over Kuwait’s Abdullah Alyusef. Rojas now books his well deserved spot in the Final 64 tomorrow.
 
The USA’s Shane Van Boening is one of the favorites here this week, but he looked a bit cold early on in his match with young talented Chinese player Xu Xiaocong. Xu is part of a large crop coming from China’s youth movement and he had the American down three quarters of the way through their match.  But SVB pulled it together at the last minute and squeaked by the Chinese, 9-8. Xu will get one more chance on Sunday.
 
Fellow American and Mosconi teammate Billy Thorpe also booked his spot in the final 64 with a 9-5 win over Canada’s Stephen Holem.
 
It was a solid day for team Taiwan. World 10-ball Champion Ko Ping Chung went up against Myamar’s rising star Phone Myint Kyaw, who also goes by the moniker, Muang Muang. Kyaw is a player that pool fans will want to pay attention to. He’s a former snooker player who has been winning regularly on the brutally tough Chinese 8-ball circuit, and he just grabbed two gold medals in the Southeast Asian games in Manila.  His stroke is one of the most solid in the game and anyone who watches him play instantly can see the potential in this young man.
 
But of course, Ko is a young prodigy who has already proven his metal in American pool with his recent win at the World 10-ball in July in Vegas.  Little Ko didn’t have much trouble with Muang Muang, winning handily, 9-4.
 
Little Ko will join his older brother Pin Yi in the final 64, who defeated the always stingy Jalal Al Sarisi of Venezuela, 9-4.  Other Taiwanese cruising into the final 64 include Chang Jung Lin, Chang Yu Lung, and Kevin Cheng.
 
The Philippines is surprisingly unrepresented in Doha this year with only four players in the field. With Biado losing early it was up to Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ingacio to save the day for the Pinoys. Both looked the goods and nabbed spots in the final 64.
 
It was a mixed bag for the European Mosconio Cup team. Greece’s Alexander Kazakis is one of Europe’s top bets here this week and he qualified for the knockout round with an easy 9-5 win over Qatar’s Waleed Majid.  But Albania’s Eklent Kaci and former World 9-ball Champion Niels Feijen of the Netherlands weren’t so fortunate. Kaci lost big to the Netherlands’ Ivar Saris, who had earlier looked solid in a 9-6 win over Poland’s Karol Skowerski. Feijen went down to upstart Hong Konger Yip Kin Ling, 9-7, who took his spot in the Final 64 with his second  win of the day.
 
The surprises kept coming throughout the day. Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis first squeaked by Peru’s Gerson Martinez, 9-8. Then he took on former World 9-ball Champion Wu Jiaqing, and shocked the Chinese great with a 9-7 upset, and a spot in the knockout rounds.
 
Also booking a spot in the final 64 was Canada’s John Morra, who continued his return to fine form with a 9-8 win over Poland’s Mateusz Sniegocki. Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp showed that he’s clearly a dark horse to watch here in Doha with a 9-4 drubbing of China’s talented Dang Jinhu.  England’s Chris Melling came back from 6-2 down to defeat Vietnam’s Do The Kien, 9-7. Also advancing today were Japan’s Naoyuki Oi, Austria’s Max Lechner, China’s Lui Haitao, Estonia’s Dennis Grabe, Finland’s Petri Makkonen, Germany’s Ralf Souquet,  and Spaniards David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz.
 
Play on day 2 on Sunday, Dec. 14th will begin at 10am Doha time(GMT +3). The field will be whittled down to 64 players playing single elimination knockout race to 11.  The round of 64 will be completed in the first two session, and by the end of the day, the field will be down to the final 32. 
 
The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,00.
 
*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.
 
 
Results
 
Group 1
Bashar Hussain(QAT) 9 – 6 Hasan Hwaidi(IRQ)  
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 7 Jerico Bonus(PHL)
 
Group 2
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)  9 – 5 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 9 – 6  Kong Bu Hong(CHN)
 
Group 3
Pijus Labutis(LTH) 9 – 8 Gerson Martinez (PER)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 7 Saki Kanatlar(TKY)
 
Group 4
Kong Dejing(CHN) 9 – 6 Matt Edwards(NZL)  
Jalal Al Sarsi(VEN)  9 – 7 Marc Vidal(SPN)
 
Group 5
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 5 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
Oliver Szolnoki(HUN) 9 – 3 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)
 
Group 6
Tomasz Kaplan(POL)  9 – 5 Ali Alobadili(QAT)
Do The Kien(VET) 9 – 3 Ricky Yang(IND) 
 
Group 7
Liu Ri Teng(TPE)  9 – 5 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 1 Nadim Okbani(ALG)
 
Group 8
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 1 Hassan Shhada(JOR)
Enrique Rojas(CHL) 9 – 7 Abdullah Alyusef(KUW)
 
Group 9
Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR) 9 – 3  Khaled Alghamdi(KSR)
Stephen Holem(CAN) 9 – 6 Casper Matikainen(FIN) 
 
Group 10
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 7 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Max Eberle(USA) 9 – 7 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
 
Group 11
Ivar Saris(NET) 9 – 6 Karol Skowerski(POL) 
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 – 1 Ahmad Aldelaimi(KUW)
 
Group 12
Damianos Giallourakis(GRE) 9 – 7 Marck Bijsterbosch(NED)  
Yip Kin Ling(HKG) 9 – 8 Abdulla Alshemari(KSR)
 
Group 13
Xue Zhenqi(CHN) 9 – 5 Clark Sullivan(NZE)
Masato Yoshioka(JPN) Luis Lemus(GUY)
 
Group 14
Jakub Koniar(SLV) 9 – 8 Darren Appleton(ENG) 
Richard Halliday(RSA) 9 – 4 Fayaz Ussain(MAL)
 
Group 15
Konrad Juszcayszyn(POL) 9 – 7 Robbie Capito(HKG) 
Jang Moonseok(KOR) 9 – 6 Wang Can(CHN)
 
Group 16
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 0 Mohamed El Raousti(ALG)
Xu Xiaocong(CHN) 9- 2  Riccardo Sini(ITL)
 
 
Winners Side Matches Day 1.
Winner is through to the Final 64, Loser goes to one loss side of their group for one more chance
 
 
 
Group 1
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 5 Bashar Hussain(QAT)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 8 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)
 
Group 2
Denis Grabe(EST) 9 – 7 Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 9 – 4 Fedor Gorst(RUS)
 
Group 3
Pijus Labutis(LTH) 9 – 7 Wu Jiaqing(CHN)  
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 4 Dang Jinhu(CHN)
 
Group 4
Kong Dejing(CHN) 9 – 6 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)
Pin Yi Ko(TPE) 9 – 5 Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN)
 
Group 5
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 5 Waleed Majid(QAT)
Oliver Szolnoki(HUN) 9 – 3 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
 
Group 6
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 6 Tomasz Kaplan(POL)
Chris Melling(ENG) 9 – 7 Do The Kien(VET)
 
Group 7
Johann Chua(PHL) 9 – 3 Liu Ri Teng(TPE)
Max Lechner(AUT) 9 – 6 Radoslaw Babica(POL)
 
Group 8
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 3 Lin Ta Li(TPE)
Enrique Rojas(CHL) 9 – 3 Carlo Biado(PHL)
 
Group 9
Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 9 – 4 Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR)
Billy Thorpe(USA) 9 – 5 Stephen Holem(CAN)
 
Group 10
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 9 – 8 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 3 Max Eberle(USA)
 
Group 11
Ivar Saris(NED) 9 – 4 Eklent Kaci(ALB)
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 1 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
 
Group 12
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 7 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)
Yip Kin Ling(HKG) 9 – 7 Niels Feijen(NED)
 
Group 13
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 8 Xue Zhenqi(CHN)
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 8 Masato Yoshioka(JPN)
 
Group 14
David Alcaide(ESP) 9 – 7 Jakub Koniar(SLV)
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 9 – 4 Richard Halliday(RSA)
 
Group 15
Konrad Juszcayszyn(POL) 9 – 8 Corey Deuel(USA)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 4 Jan Moonseok(KOR)
 
Group 16
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 5 Lin Wu Kun(TPE)
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 8 Xu Xiaocong(CHN)

The 28th WPA World 9-ball Championship Set For Break Off In Doha

Pia and Josh Filler at the 2018 World 9-Ball Championship

96 players from over 40 countries will battle for a ticket to pool’s pantheon of legends

For three decades it has been the sport of pool’s premier stamp of greatness. The WPA World 9-ball Championship is, for any player who captures this most coveted of crowns, an instant ticket to a pantheon of legends, a list of supreme talent signifying not just one singular accomplishment, but of eternal pool glory.

 
Just look at the list of names who have captured this crown; Strickland(’90, ’91, ’02),Hohmann(’03, ’13), Chao(’93, ’00), Reyes,  Okumura, Ortmann, Takahashi, Immonen, Archer, Varner, Souquet, Pagulayan, Wu, Alcano, Peach, Bustamante, Akagariyama, Appleton, Feijen, Ouschan, Biado,  Ko, and most recently Filler. Each and every one a superstar who, when they won, were at the top of their craft in a pool world always stacked with a slew of incredible and hungry talent. Nobody gets there by being lucky, nobody is handed the golden crown.
 
This is why for the past 30 years pool fans all over the world so eagerly await this annual slug fest of pool’s very best.  Drama, classic comebacks, amazing upsets, nervy action, brilliant pressure packed performances are always on full display.  And it will happen once more over the next week in Doha, Qatar, when once again the heavyweights of the pool world will gather for the 28th time to contest the most prestigious prize in pool.
 
2019 marks the tenth straight year that the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation(QBSF) has hosted the World 9-ball Championship. This year’s tournament has been scaled back somewhat, from 128 players down to 96, but that only means each match will more than likely feature showdowns between the greats, which means the margin for error will be even slimmer, and the pressure to perform will be even more immense from the beginning.  
 
The defending champion is World number 1 Joshua Filler, who by all accounts, is the favorite to become only the second man to ever win back-to-back World 9-ball crowns (Earl Strickland won in ’90 and ’91). The then 21 year old German arrived in Doha last year battle-ready and loaded with prodigious talent. Filler then clocked in a glorious week of pool, never tasting defeat, sometimes crushing opponents with breathtaking speed and total cue ball mastery, coming from behind in several pressure packed situations, and closing the door when it counted, as all champions do.  In the final he held off a furious fight back from the then defending champion Carlo Biado of the Philippines, to win his first world crown, 13-10.
 
While pool history is not kind to those trying to win back their title for the second straight year, Filler has so turned the pool world on its head that nobody would be surprised if he was standing on the winner’s podium again this year. But the German will be up against a Murderer’s Row of  pool talent who have gathered here in Doha, and each and everyone has their eyes on this prize.
 
One of the favorites this week has to be the American great Shane Van Boening. Like last year Van Boening, currently ranked number 2 in the world, is coming off a brilliant winning performance in the Mosconi Cup, and is positively brimming with confidence. The American has won just about everything there is to win in pool, except this event, and based on his showings the last few years here, the odds are saying that he is due to finally reach the mountain top. Just look at his recent results in Doha. Van Boening took runner up in 2015 and 2016. He skipped the 2017 championship, but last year he was once again on a serious roll, until he got taken down by Biado in the semis. For Van Boening, it’s not a matter of ‘if’, it’s simply a matter of ‘when.’
 
If you are looking to place your money on some other favorites, look no further than the Taiwanese contingent. World 10-ball champion and current world number 2 Ko Ping Chung leads a pack of world beaters from Taipei, which also includes heavy favorites Chang Jung Lin, Ko’s older brother Ko Pin Yi, Kevin Cheung, Chang Yu Lung and Wu Kun Lin. With this kind of talent in the field, it’s almost a certainty that at least one Taiwanese player will be in the final four.
 
China has yet to win a world 9-ball title but they usually put in a solid performance in Doha. Wu Qia Jing(who won the 2015 title playing under Chinese-Taipei) is once again in the field. Dang Jinhu and Liu Haitao also stand out among the  Chinese players.
 
Biado, World number four, leads the charge for a somewhat reduced Philippine contingent. He’ll be joined by World number 14 Johann Chua, Jeffrey Ignacio and several others.
 
After a several year absence, 2012 World 9-ball champion and Hall of Famer Darren Appleton has made his return. He’ll be joined by one other fellow Brit, Chris Melling.
 
One noticeable absence this year is Scotland’s Jayson Shaw, who has had to withdraw due to some health issues. But the rest of this year’s European Mosconi Cup team will be fully represented as 2014 World 9-ball Champion Niels Feijen of the Netherlands is joined by Greece’s Alexander Kazakis and Albania’s Eklent Kaci
 
Other former World 9-ball champions in the field include Austria’s Albin Ouschan, Germany’s Ralf Souquet, Thorsten Hohmann, Canadian-Filipino Alex Pagulayan, and Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama.
 
And, as always happens at the World 9-ball Championship, unknowns and newcomers are sure to shock the field with a few amazing upsets.
 
The first day’s play on Saturday, Dec. 14th will begin at 1pm Doha time(GMT +3). Players are divided into 16 groups playing double elimination, alternate break, race to 9 until the final 64, where all matches will be single elimination, alternate break, race to 11. The race to 13 final will take place on December 17th.
 
The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,000.
 
*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.

Rasmechai takes two out of three over Shuff to win MD State 10-Ball Bar Table Championship

(l to r): Brandon Shuff & Grai (Pooky) Rasmechai

In most double elimination pool tournaments, the winner usually ends up taking down the runner-up, twice; again, usually in the hot seat match and finals. It’s what happened at the 2018 MD State 10-Ball Bar Table Championships, when Johann Chua defeated Jesus Atencio twice to claim the title. This year, on the weekend of November 30-December 1, a veteran of the mid-Atlantic pool scene returned to the tables after something of a protracted absence and a few appearances on the Action Pool Tour over the past few years. Formerly known as Pooky Rasmeloungon, he has returned to the scene as Grai Rasmechai, maintaining the "Pooky" as a nickname. Pooky had to defeat an opponent, Brandon Shuff, twice this past weekend, but had to face him three times to claim the 2019 MD State 10-Ball Bar Table Championships. They and a number of competitors in this event have been familiar opponents over the years on (among other tours/events) the Falcon Cue 9-Ball Tour. To get a sense of just how familiar the winner and runner-up in this event have been as been as opponents over the years, it should be noted that they tied for 5th place in the Pennsylvania State 9-Ball Championships, 15 years ago. The $2,000-added event this past weekend drew 103 entrants to Brews & Cues on the Blvd. in Glen Burnie, MD.
 
Rasmechai got by Heath Willard, Joey Scarlato, James Aranas, Clint Clayton and Brandon Sluzalis to face Shuff for the first time in a winners’ side semifinal. Shuff had defeated Joe Chester, Rick Miller, Alvin Thomas, Shane Wolford, and Shaun Wilkie to reach Rasmechai. In the meantime, Dylan Spohr and Chuck Sampson squared off in the other one. By identical 7-5 scores, Sampson and Rasmechai sent Spohr and Shuff to the loss side. Rasmechai followed his victory over Shuff with a 7-3 victory over Sampson to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Shuff picked up Thomas Haas, who’d defeated Rick Molineiro 7-1 and survived a double hill fight against Rob Cord to reach him. Spohr drew Shaun Wilkie, who, following his defeat at the hands of Shuff in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had eliminated Scott Haas 7-2 and Bob Pacheco 7-5.
 
Anyone familiar with the mid-Atlantic region pool scene who happened to be in attendance or possibly watching the live stream of the event (courtesy of Billiard Sports Network) could see a potential rematch between Shuff and Wilkie looming. Shuff did his part, downing Haas 7-4. Spohr, though, spoiled the reunion by defeating Wilkie 7-1.
 
Shuff defeated Spohr 7-2 in those quarterfinals and then found himself locked up in a double hill fight versus Sampson in the semifinals. Shuff eventually prevailed to earn himself a spot in the finals.
 
Shuff walked into a second straight double hill fight in the opening set of the true double elimination final and won it to force a second set. Rasmechai got out in front in the second set, winning it eventually 7-4 to claim his first event title since (according to our records) he won the opening stop of the Seminole Tour's 2005 season.
 
On The Hill Productions will return to Brews & Cues in Glen Burnie on the weekend of February 8-9 for the Maryland State 8-Ball Bar Table Championships.
 
Event directors Loye Bolyard and Rick Scarlato, Jr. thanked Anthony and Stefanie Manning and their Brews & Cues staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors McDermott Cues, Lights Out Billiards Apparel, TAP Pool League-Chesapeake Bay Region, Billiards Sports Network, AZBilliards, Aramith Balls and Simonis Cloth.

Upsets and Tight Finishes as Predator World 10-Ball Championship Narrows Down to Final 16

Shane Van Boening (JP Parmentier)

Heading into the third and final day of Predator World 10-ball Championship’s first phase, it appeared American Shane Van Boening and reigning World Pool and Billiards Association 9-ball champion Joshua Filler could be heading towards an afternoon showdown.
 
With both competitors working their ways through the one-loss side of the bracket, Filler had to survive Fedor Gorst of Russia while it appeared Van Boening had drawn the easier of the competitors: Gerson Martinez of Peru. With Van Boening leading Martinez 4-1 and Filler comfortably ahead of Gorst, 6-2, the duel between the prolific American and the rising, young German seemed inevitable.
 
That was until the wheels came off for Van Boening.
 
Plagued by a series of uncharacteristic misses along with an ineffective break, Van Boening watched as Martinez came from behind and won, 8-6, in front of a stunned crowd that had gathered to watch. The Van Boening loss was part of a topsy-turvy day of pool at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino as the tournament field narrowed down to the final 16 players.
 
“I didn’t feel comfortable. That’s all I can say,” said Van Boening. “Probably too tired. It’s been a long trip in Vegas.”
 
The South Dakotan struck early, capitalizing on a foul and scratch on the break by his opponent to build an early lead. Van Boening was at the table and appeared in position to increase his 5-3 lead but missed two makeable shots on the 4-ball not, but twice. Martinez tied the match at five games each then added a break and run to take the lead.
 
Meanwhile, Van Boening’s break refused to cooperate, failing to secure a shot on the 1-ball after his opening shot in the last three games that he broke – including what ultimately became the final rack of the match. After a brief safety exchange on the 1-ball, Van Boening attempted a one-rail kick in of the ball and left it in the pocket’s jaws. Taking deep breaths and playing cautiously, the Peruvian worked his way through the clinching rack for the victory.
 
Two hours later, the upset-mindEd Martinez was promptly eliminated from the tournament by Filler, 8-2.
 
Fellow American Skylar Woodward would meet a fate similar to Van Boening’s later in the afternoon.
 
Woodward began his day fending off a late charge by Naoyuki Oi of Japan, who erased a 6-3 deficit to force a deciding game that he ultimately lost, 8-7. Oi fought back to even with well-placed safeties and a break-and-run. The two battled to a 7-7 deadlock and Oi was at the table in the deciding game but missed a long shot on the 2-ball. Woodward would clear the table but not before making things interesting, as he missed position on the 8-ball. The rising star from Kentucky executed a flawless bank shot on the object ball to help clinch the game and the match.
 
Facing Li-Wen Lo on the same table, Woodward found a different result. He quickly found himself down 6-1 as he struggled with safety play while he opponent worked his way through racks. The reigning Derby City Classic Master of the Table tacked on a pair of racks to cut the deficit to 7-3 and appeared positioned to narrow the gap more in the 11th game but misplaced the cue ball for positioning on the 5-ball, losing the game and the match, 8-3.
 
The good news for United States pool fans is that Billy Thorpe and Tyler Styer are alive and doing well.
 
The undefeated Thorpe built an early 4-1 advantage and held on to defeat Marc Bijsterbosch of the Netherlands, 8-5. Trailing 5-2, Bijsterbosch used a dry break and a missed shot by his opponent to cut the deficit to 6-4. Thorpe tacked on a break and run to push his advantage back to three games and appeared to have the match locked up but left the 10-ball sitting in the jaws of the corner pocket. Thorpe broke and ran in the next game to clinch a spot in Thursday’s final 16. 
 
Bijsterbosch rebounded in the next match, defeating Mario He of Austria, 8-5, to advance to Thursday.
 
Styer had a bit more work to do in order to secure one of the remaining 16 spots, defeating Raymund Faraon, 8-1; John Morra, in a hill-hill match and Maximilian Lechner, 8-4.
 
Another player who remains undefeated of the eight remaining players is Ralf Souquet, who battled and survived a hill-hill match with Alex Kazakis of Greece, 8-7. Playing in his usual deliberate and analytical style, Souquet worked his way to a 7-3 lead but Kazakis fought back with victorious safety exchanges to tie the score. The young Greek, who won the EuroTour’s Ballazo Open last year, controlled the break in the deciding game but failed to pocket a ball. Souquet worked his way through the rack to secure the win. 
 
Kazakis was sent to the one-loss side of the bracket where he was easily defeated by Filler, 8-2.
 
Speaking of Filler, the young German played some of his best pool at a time when he needed it most, besting Fedor Gorst, 8-4; then overwhelming Martinez and Kazakis by matching, 8-2 scores.
 
The eight remaining undefeated players in the event include Souquet, Thorpe, Jayson Shaw, Diamond Las Vegas Open champion Niels Feijen, Ping-Chung Ko, Masato Yoshioka, Jung-Lin Chang and Johann Chua. Competitors from the one-loss side include Filler, Styer, Bijsterbosch, Alex Pagulayan, Denis Grabe, Pin-Yi Ko, Yu-Hsuan Cheng and Wojciech Szewczyk.
 
With the first phase of the tournament completed, the remaining 16 players will now enter the single-elimination portion of the event – with the race lengths also increasing from eight games to 10. Additionally, the player seedings will be re-drawn, with the eight players from the winner’s side matched with players from the one-loss side.
 
The Predator World 10-ball Championship is a presentation of CueSports International and sponsored by Predator Group. Predator Group is an international billiard industry leader with a focus on high-performance cues and shafts as well as bringing constant innovation and game-improving equipment to billiard players worldwide. The event is being hosted by the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and broadcast live on YouTube by CSI Media, a subsidiary of Cue Sports International. For more information, visit www.world10ball.com
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international billiards organization which produces the United States Open 8-ball, 10-ball, one pocket, bank pool and straight pool championships. CSI, which also operates national amateur pool leagues, has three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, the events division produces numerous amateur and professional events and the media department creates live video billiards content. For more information about CSI, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
 
The Predator World 10-ball Championships are sponsored by:
 
Predator Cues: www.predatorcues.com
Diamond billiard tables: www.diamondbilliards.com
Omega Billiards: www.omegabilliards.com
Kamui Brand: www.kamuibrand.com

Kevin Cheng Captures The WPA Players Championship In A Sudden Death Thriller Over Carlo Biado

Kevin Cheng (Photo courtesy JP Parmentier)

Taiwan’s Kevin Cheng captured the inaugural WPA Players Championship on Friday, storming back from the near dead to defeat the Philippines Carlo Biado, 12-11, in a thrilling final at Griffs Billiards in Las Vegas.
 
The victory capped a terrific week for the Taiwanese sharpshooter, who showed that not only is he one of pool’s hottest sharp shooters, but also that he is a resilient, never-say-die fighter that can grind it out with the best of them.
 
It was that trench warfare mentality that helped bring Cheng back from the dead, as he was down 8-5 in the race to 9 final and was sitting in his chair watching Biado clear for the title. It was only when the Filipino unexpectedly missed a 4-ball that Cheng felt a slight heartbeat. He proceeded to win the next four racks, and then slugged it out in a nervy 45 minute stretch with Biado in the win-by-two format, until the pair reached the limit of 11-11 all and played one rack for the title, which Cheng won.
 
The Taiwan-Philippines final seemed only fitting as the day began with two Taiwan-Philippine semi-finals.  In the first semi, Cheng squared off with Johann Chua and quickly got out to a 4-1. But as he had done all week, Chua stormed back to tie the match at 4-4. The pair stayed even for the next few racks, until the Filipino made several mistakes that opened the door for Cheng.  The Taiwanese then zeroed in on the finish line and won 9-6.
 
In the second semi-final Biado matched wits with the always daring Chang Yu Lung.  Nothing much separated the pair for the first half of the match. But despite having several chances to take the lead, Chang seemed to run out of gas. That was all the always-focused Biado needed to build up a head of steam and win 9-6.
 
The race to 9, win-by-2 final was everything one would expect between two of the best not only of their respective countries, but in the entire world of professional pool. After splitting the first 8 racks, Biado upped his game and won the next two to lead 6-4. Cheng got one back, but then the Filipino showed off his amazing potting and cue ball skills to go up 7-5. Cheng looked to be on the back foot when he missed the 4-ball in the next frame, which allowed Biado to clear and move one away from the title.
 
And it certainly looked like it was all over in the next rack with the Filipino at the table and a fairly straight forward clear right in front of him. Until he missed the 4-ball in the side.
 
As expected, the entire match turned on that one miss, with Cheng suddenly playing loose and free, and Biado retreating into a shell and looking nervous. Indeed Cheng won the next five racks, including two break and runs, to go up 9-8.
 
But Biado isn’t the World #3 ranked player for nothing, and he stormed back to take the next two to lead 10-9 and move one away from victory again. The pool gods, though, conspired against the Filipino as he broke dry in the next frame and allowed Cheng to clear to tie at 10-10.
 
Cheng inched closer in the next frame after winning a safety battle. But in the next rack, the Taiwanese left a safe open, and Biado cleaned up the colors. Tied at 11-11, the match and the title went to a one rack decider.
 
Biado won the lag, and the pair had a brief fight over the 2-ball until Cheng was left with a very difficult positional play, which he made. He had several nervy and difficult shots left before the last three balls opened up. The title, and $10,000, was soon his.
 
“When I was down 8-5 and he is shooting at an open table, I already know that I’m going to lose,” a relieved and delighted Cheng said afterward. “Then when he missed that 4-ball, I can play without stress and I played really good.
 
“The last few racks were very difficult and that’s when I got nervous again. I think I got lucky, but I also hit some very good shots at the end to take the match and the tournament.
 
“Overall, I’m very happy with the way I played this week. It was a great tournament, with a great field, and this gives me a lot confidence heading in the US Open.”
 
 
WPA Players Championship Payouts
1 – $10,000
2 – $7,000
3/4 – $5,000 ea.
5/8 – $3,000 ea.
9/16 – $1,500 ea.
17/32 – $400 ea.
 
Consolation Tournament Payouts
1 – $1,500
2 – $1,000
3/4 – $500 ea.
5/8 – $250 ea.
9/16 – $150 ea.
 
ONLINE BRACKETS
The online tournament brackets can be found at www.CTSonDemand.com.
 
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the international governing body for pocket billiards and is comprised of six member federations representing North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The WPA is the world-recognized body for sanctioning World Championship events. It is also one of the three member organizations of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), representing the billiard disciplines of pool, snooker and carom. For more information about the WPA, visit www.wpapool.com.
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool Leagueand USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content. Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.” For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
 
The WPA Players Championship is made possible by the following sponsors:
Andy Billiard Cloth • Cyclop Balls • Diamond • Griff’s Billiards • HOW Tips • Predator • Master Billiard Chalk