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He Starts FargoRate Ohio Open Defense As Big Names Defeated On Day One

Mario He

Defending champion Mario He is through to the winners’ qualification round of this year’s FargoRate Ohio Open but some of pool’s biggest names crashed to the losers side on the opening day of play at the Roberts Center in Wilmington, Ohio.

Played alongside the CSI Ohio State Championships, the FargoRate Ohio Open has a $75,000 prize fund and is streamed live on the World Billiard TV YouTube channel and at Watchbilliard.tv.

He began his tournament with a 4-1, 4-3 win against Lian Han Toh. Germany Open winner Dimitris Loukatos was waiting in the next round. The Austrian took the first set 4-1 and was playing well to reach the hill 3-0 in the second set before he missed an easy 4. Loukatos cleared the table but his hopes of a comeback were ended by a dry break and He completed the set for a 4-1, 4-1 win.

He faces Michael Schneider next and said: “I got a little injured so I cannot walk fast but I am feeling good and playing good at the moment. I will try my best to get deep and maybe defend my title.”

Some big names have found themselves on the losers’ side early in the tournament, such is the quality of this week’s field. Ko Ping Han and Ko Pin Yi may have to face each other on Thursday after both lost shootouts in the opening round. Ping Han was beaten 2-4, 4-3, 4-2 by Petri Makkonen after missing the 9 at hill-hill in the second set, while Pin Yi was beaten 4-3, 3-4, 6-5 by Dutchman Jan van Lierop.

World 10-Ball Champion Wojiech Szewczyk was beaten by Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, Darren Appleton lost a shootout to Kang Lee, and Wiktor Zielinski suffered defeat to Albin Ouschan.

Eklent Kaci was beaten 4-3, 4-1 by Chang Jung-Lin, who himself later lost to Justin Martin. The 23-year-old from North Carolina took the first set against Chang 4-1 and the second 4-2, and will face Sanchez-Ruiz in winners’ qualification tomorrow. “This is a huge win for me because I have an insane amount of respect for Chang,” said Martin. “I played solid throughout and was blessed to have enough chances to win the match.”

The players yet to suffer defeat now have two chances to qualify for the last 16. Alex Kazakis faces David Alcaide in the winners’ qualification round, Seybert’s Michigan Open winner Aloysius Yapp will take on Jani Uski while Fedor Gorst will face Mika Immonen on Friday.

The FargoRate Ohio Open continues from 10am ET on Thursday with six matches streamed free on Billiard TV,  the World Billiard TVYouTube channel and at Kozoom.com

Brackets and scores can be found at https://probilliardseries.com/2022-fargorate-ohio-open/

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter.

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Three Brits Make Seybert’s Michigan Women’s Open Semi-Finals

Karen Corr

Karen Corr will face Kelly Fisher and Allison Fisher will take on Wei Tzu-Chien in the Seybert’s Michigan Women’s Open semi-finals, while the open division is down to the last eight with Jayson Shaw, Chang Jung-Lin, Fedor Gorst and defending champion Aloysius Yapp all still standing.

Vitaly Patsura, Joven Bustamante, Robbie Capito and Mika Immonen are also into the quarter-finals at the Kellogg Arena, on what is the fourth stop of the year on the Predator US Pro Billiard Series, presented by CSI.

Both the open and women’s events will play to a conclusion on Saturday, and the semi-finals on the women’s side have a very British feel after a trio of decorated Hall of Famers all made it through.

On the TV table, Corr was up against Margaret Fefilova. After the first two racks were shared, Corr took the third and banked the 1 for a 1/7 combo to open up the fourth rack and run the table for a 3-1 lead. Fefilova pulled one back but a scratch on the break brought the Brit back to the table, and the three-time Women’s World Snooker Champion took advantage of an open table to take the set 4-2.

Corr had stayed on the winners’ side to qualify for the last 16 and had claimed some big wins on her way to the quarter-finals, including a shootout victory against Canada Open champion ‘Amber’ Chia Hua Chen.

She began the second set as she ended the first, adding two racks to the board to leave Fefilova needing a quick turnaround. However, a foul during a safety battle allowed Corr to line up the 1/10 with ball in hand to reach the hill 3-0 up.

A dry break afforded Fefilova an opportunity she couldn’t afford to let slip. The 25-year-old, who has played so well this week, didn’t have a clear path and both players had several visits during the rack before Corr attempted and brilliantly executed an 8/10 combo to the middle to wrap up a 4-2, 4-0 win.

“It’s amazing,” said Corr. “It’s one match at a time and I have been nervous all the way through but in that match I felt comfortable. I felt like I have nothing to lose; I didn’t expect a lot of myself coming into this event because I haven’t played for four years.”

Corr is certainly no stranger to her semi-final opponent, fellow Hall of Famer Kelly Fisher. The pair have met many times in major pool and snooker events over the last three decades and will face off for a place in the final after Fisher won four matches on Friday.

Starting the day on the losers’ side of the brackets, the three-time Pro Billiard Series champion beat Cristina Schneider 4-1, 4-0 and then knocked out Kristina Tkach 3-1 in a shootout. The Brit was then forced to come from behind to defeat Silviana Lu 3-4, 4-3, 3-1 by shootout but she ended the day with a straight-sets win against Angeline Ticoalu, 4-1, 4-0.

Allison Fisher will face Wei Tzu-Chien in the streamed semi-final after both won quarter-final shootouts. Wei was runner-up in the Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship earlier this month and made the semi-finals with a win against Amalia Matas. Wei took the first set 4-2 but Matas inflicted Wei’s first set defeat of the week by taking the second 4-3, only to lose 3-0 in the shootout after missing her first two spot shots.

Fisher lost the first set of her quarter-final 4-2 to Jasmin Ouschan but a reversal of that scoreline in the second set took the match to a shootout, and the Brit, finalist at last month’s Canada Open, made all four of her spot shots for a 4-2 shootout success.

“I’m ecstatic to be in the semi-final,” said Fisher. “Today wasn’t my best day at the table so I am really, really delighted. I have come through two good shootouts this week and made four in a row tonight; I can’t believe it.”

In the open event, Aloysius Yapp’s defense of his title continued with a shootout win over John Morra. Yapp took the first set 4-1 but Morra clinched a hill-hill second set after the 2021 champion conceded ball in hand by failing to hit a rail after a safety shot.

Both players were faultless with their first two spot shots, as many in attendance at the Kellogg Arena gathered around the TV table to witness the drama. Yapp made it three out of three before the first mistake was made by Morra, allowing the Singaporean a spot shot for a place in the quarter-finals, which he made to complete a perfect shootout.

Yapp will face Jayson Shaw in the quarter-finals after the Scot defeated Sharik Sayed 4-1, 4-2. A monster semi-final is in store in the bottom half of the draw with Shaw or Yapp to face the winner of the Chang Jung-Lin vs. Fedor Gorst quarter-final. Chang has only lost one set all week while Gorst has won two shootouts to remain undefeated.

Ukraine’s Vitaliy Patsura recently won the biggest tournament check of his career so far at the Texas Open and has carried his form on to Michigan. Like Chang, he has only lost one set this week, against Alex Pagulayan, and will face Jovan Bustamante in the quarter-finals.

Robbie Capito takes on Mika Immonen in the other quarter final after both players won shootouts in the last 16. Immonen was 4-2, 1-4, 4-3 winner over Kang Lee while Capito defeated Wu Kun Lin 3-4, 4-2, 4-3.

Play continues from 10am local time on Saturday, with six more matches to be broadcast live on watchbilliard.tv and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.

Brackets and scores for the Men’s event can be found at https://probilliardseries.com/seyberts-michigan-open/

Brackets and scores for the Women’s event can be found at: https://probilliardseries.com/seyberts-michigan-womens-open/ 

The Seybert’s Michigan Open is streamed for free on Billiard TV,  the World Billiard TV YouTube channel and at Kozoom.com

Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device
Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the next events.

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Las Vegas World Cup Groups Drawn

Hugo Patino and Pedro Piedrabuena from the 2021 Silver Cup

The UMB has drawn the groups for the March 27 to April 2 World Cup in Las Vegas.  The groups, player list, and timetable can be found on the UMB website (https://www.umb-carom.org) under the Active Events tab.  Twenty-two (22) USBA players will participate in the World Cup.

The Las Vegas World Cup, sponsored by Predator, will be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Per the UMB rules, Predator has selected Pedro Piedrabuena and Hugo Patiño as its wildcard entries into the 1/16 main tournament round at the World Cup. Piedrabuena won his 10th national championship crown in December 2021, and Patiño is a four-time USA title holder.
Joining Piedrabuena and Patiño in the World Cup are twenty (20) other USBA enthusiasts. Ten (10) USBA players have been placed into the groups per the UMB rules. Tae Kyu Lee and Miguel Torres, based on their world rankings, were placed into the PQ round. Lee won the 2020 US national tournament and finished second in the 2021 nationals. Torres has won the US national tournament twice. Five (5) USBA players, based on their finish in the 2021 US National tournament, have been placed into the PPQ round: Young Kyu Lee, Edward Gomez, John Park, Kang Lee, and Eric Kwon. Raymond Groot, who was selected by the USBA, has also been placed in the PPQ round. Mazin Shooni and Frank Torres, each a former national champion chosen by the USBA to participate in the World Cup, have been placed in the PPPQ round.
Ten (10) spots remain to be chosen for USBA entries into the World Cup. Eight (8) will be chosen on March 25 in a qualifier, and the other two (2) will be determined on March 26 in a second qualifier. The following USBA players are entered into the March 25 qualifier.

 

Mario Garcia
Quoc Vo
Seungkwon Hong
Raye Raskin
Ricardo Carranco
Jesus Corona
Ertan Tarhan
Carlos Villegas
Jorge Hernan John Patarroyo
Andres Fernandez
Jose Pelayo
Andres Mora
Vicke Pineda
Jairo Lenis
Zoel A Kehrt Matta
Camilo Medina
Chang Pyun
Jose Cruz
Julian Banol Molina
Ahmet Ozan
Jay Karahan
Ricky Carranco Sr.
Young Gul Lee
Henry Ugartechea
Guillermo Alejandro Sosa
Jovanny Caballos
Elmer Meza
Jose Delatorre
Ho Ahn
Bilal Khalifa
Olegario Gonzalez
Trinidad Espinosa

 

These thirty-two (32) players will be drawn into 8 groups of 4, with the winner of each group qualifying. On March 26, there will be a single elimination bracket to determine the final two (2) qualifiers. The players will play in a single-elimination bracket, with the two (2) finalists earning spots in the World Cup. SOME SPOTS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THE MARCH 26 QUALIFIER. REGISTER ON THE USBA WEBSITE.

For any questions about the USBA qualifiers for the World Cup, or for the World Cup, call 410 599 8177.

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Wilkie goes undefeated to claim inaugural B & L 2022 Open 10-Ball Championship

Brian Kilgore, Shaun Wilkie and Lai Li

Inaugural events in the pool world, can be fraught with any number of issues. It takes a clear idea of what needs to be done and an extraordinary amount of perseverance and assistance to assure that it does. It requires the patience of a saint and the temperament of a seasoned psychiatrist, especially when the inaugural event draws a long list of Atlantic coast pool veterans, as the inaugural $5,000-added B & L Open 10-Ball Championships did this past weekend (Feb. 19-20), drawing 106 entrants to Center Pocket Café and Billiards in Bowie, MD.

“I think they did a great job,” said the event’s winner, Shaun Wilkie, who went undefeated to claim the title, downing runner-up, Raphael DaBreo twice; in the fourth round and again, in the finals.

Wilkie noted that while the inaugural B & L Open 10-Ball Championships weren’t Kilgore and Li’s ‘first rodeo,’ from his perspective, their previous tournament experience tended towards smaller venues and decidedly smaller crowds. The Center Pocket Café and Billiards venue helped, too, in that with 29 tables, they were able to keep matches moving throughout the two-day event.

“Those extra tables can get you more players, moving through the bracket,” said Wilkie. “Speeds it up.”

“Sometimes, too, you get pool rooms wanting their tables back (for use by the general public),” he added, “but the room made sure that all of the tables were available. We had tables available for the whole first day.”

Runner-up Raphael DaBreo, who has, as he put it, “dabbled’ in the experience of running tournaments himself, noted that the B & L organization was “very punctual and professional the way they ran it.”  

“From the player meetings right on through getting everyone playing by noon,” he said. “They were super transparent, too, and if they keep going in the direction of their inaugural event, they have a bright future ahead of them, in my opinion.”

DaBreo also noted that the ongoing proliferation of tournaments and operators is likely a reaction to what players in these tournaments perceive about them; that they’re not done well, and that they, personally, could do a better job.

“I’ve always felt that you wouldn’t have so many tournaments and operators, if someone was doing it right,” he said. “But sometimes you run into situations where it’s not being done well; funds are disappearing or there are discrepancies with skill levels or with local tournaments, maybe someone hasn’t paid. There always seems to be something that comes up.”

“They did it right,” he added of B & L’s inaugural efforts at a much larger event.

They join a wealth of tournament organizations, promoters and tournament directors who get it right, as well, more often than not. Once established, though, the good ones rarely get the credit they deserve. Their efforts can be taken for granted in tournament narratives that focus on the players, so here and now, at B & L’s inaugural ‘big’ event, credit where credit’s due. 

Wilkie and DaBreo ran through a gauntlet of the aforementioned Atlantic coast’s best to reach the finals. The five competitors Wilkie defeated on his journey to the hot seat match could have been the final five in any number of Atlantic coast tournaments over the past decade. Wilkie opened against Brian Dietzenbach and Joey Mastermaker, defeating them both 7-2, before running into DaBreo, whom he sent to the loss side 7-4. And as if that wasn’t enough, he drew BJ Ussery in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Ussery got to within a game of double hill, but Wilkie finished it at 7-5 to draw Thomas Haas in one of the winners’ side semifinals. 

Kang Lee, in the meantime, got off to a shaky start, with Josh Thiele battling him to double hill. Lee prevailed to send Coen Bell, Henry Cha and John Moody, Sr. to the loss side and face Thomas Zippler in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Wilkie downed Haas 7-4, as Lee dispatched Zippler 7-5. Wilkie gave up just a single rack in the battle for the hot seat and waited in it for DaBreo’s return.

On the loss side, the two Thomases (Haas and Zippler) ran right into their second straight loss. Haas had the relative misfortune of running into DaBreo, who was four matches into his loss-side streak, that had most recently included the elimination of John Moody, Sr. 6-2 and Derek Benavides. 6-3. Zippler picked up a re-match against Paul Krimes, who’d sent him to the loss side in a match that kept Krimes out of the winners’ side quarterfinals. Krimes won five straight to get to the rematch, including victories over Justin Muller 6-4 and to the surprise of many (likely, his opponent among them), BJ Ussery 6-4.

DaBreo downed Haas 6-1, while Krimes was wreaking his 6-1 vengeance on Zippler for the earlier defeat. Krimes’ satisfaction with the results of his rematch was short-lived, as DaBreo didn’t grant him a rack in the quarterfinals that followed.

The semifinals weren’t really the ‘pre-party’ to the finals that DaBreo was hoping for. Lee battled tooth and nail to double hill before DaBreo prevailed for his second shot against Wilkie, waiting for him in the hot seat. 

The finals weren’t too much of a ‘party’ for DaBreo, either. Wilkie completed his undefeated run with a 7- 2 win over DaBreo to claim the inaugural B + L 10-Ball Championship title.

It was Wilkie’s first win since he won the MD State Bar Table 10-Ball Championship this past November. A tumultuous couple of months followed that saw him place 25th in Turning Stone XXXIV last month (Jan. 6-9). On January 25, the man who’d started him playing pool, his grandfather, passed away. He’d been spending a lot of time, before and especially after, with his grandmother, and in a way, brought his grandfather with him to the tournament.

“I had him in my heart the whole time,” he said, “and I was really happy to pull it off, for me and him.”

Brian Kilgore and Lai Li thanked the ownership and staff at Center Pocket for their hospitality, as well as all of the players who signed on to make their inaugural B & L 10-Ball Championship a success. 

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Ten Spots Remain for USBA World Cup

Mazin Shooni (Rick Schmitz – Rixx Images)

The USBA field for the Las Vegas World Cup is rounding out. The USBA has selected Mazin Shooni, Frank Torres and Raymon Groot to participate in the tournament. With their selection, ten spots remain for USBA players. These will be determined on March 25 and 26 at two qualifying tournaments to be held in Las Vegas prior to the start of the World Cup.

Three players selected by USBA

Shooni and Torres are past USBA national champions. Groot finished second in the 2020 USBA national tournament. All three have extensive international playing experience, with Torres’ second place finish in the 1987 World Championship being the most-notable highlight. They join nine other USBA players who have been selected to play in the tournament.

Two players have been selected by Predator, the host organizer for the World Cup, as its wildcards: Pedro Piedrabuena and Hugo Patiño. Piedrabuena finished first in the 2021 USBA national tournament. Patiño is a four-time USBA national champion. The USBA had previously selected the following players based on their top-eight placement in the 2021 National tournament: Tae Kyu Lee, Young Kyu Lee, Edward Gomez, John Park, Miguel Torres, Kang Lee, and Eric Kwon.

The Las Vegas World Cup, scheduled from March 27 to April 2, 2022 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, is one of eight similar tournaments on the UMB calendar for 2022. Each tournament is limited to 149 players.

Ten to be determined at qualifying tournament

Jonathan Smith Wins Joss NE 9-Ball Tour Stop 5

Jonathan Smith and Nelson Oliveira

Jonathan Smith held off a late charge from Nelson Oliveira to win the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour's stop at Raxx Pool Room Sports Bar & Grill in West Hempstead, NY on October 22nd – 23rd.

 

Smith's path through the brackets saw him defeat Jeff Mosimann, Oliveira and Bruce Nagle for the hot-seat. After the loss to Smith, Oliveira went on a one loss side winning streak that saw him eliminate Holden Chin, Kang Lee and Nagle. 

 

Oliveira kept his strong play going in the first set of the double elimination finals, where he defeated Smith 9-5. The second set of the finals saw Smith bounce back with a one sided 9-2 win for first place.

 

George Florides was the lucky winner of the drawing for the $1,500 custom engraved Joss cue.

 

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour is back at it on November 5th – 6th, with the Al Conte Memorial at Hippo's House of Billiards in Utica NY. Players who wish to compete in the upcoming Turning Stone Classic XXVII should contact Zuglan at 518-356-7163 to lock up their place in the event. 

Turning Stone Classic XXVI Day One Complete

Rodney Morris

Day one of the Turning Stone Classic XXVI is complete, and matches went mostly as expected. 

 

Three time Turning Stone winner Jayson Shaw looked like he might have a challenge on his hands in his first round match with Korean Champion Kang Lee. Lee came out strong and led the match 2-1 early. Eight racks later, Shaw was putting his cue away after another lopsided match win. 

 

Joss Tour regular Willie Oney made his bid for "comeback win of the day", as he trailed Jerome Rockwell 7-2 and 8-5 before coming back to win the match 9-8.

 

Kevin Guimond was well on his way to notching the tournament's first big upset as he led Rodney Morris through most of their match. Morris did hold a brief lead at 4-2, but Guimond controlled the majority of the match and took the hill at 8-7. Guimond would be unable to close out the match though, and Morris stayed undefeated with the 9-8 win. 

 

The fans were treated to Canadian battle on the TV table as Erik Hjorliefson faced off against Martin Daigle. It was looking good for Hjorliefson, as he led early at 3-0. Daigle would then win nine of the next ten games for a 9-4 win. 

 

The final round of play on Thursday night held multiple tight matches. Shaun Wilkie won a 9-6 battle with Jorge Rodriguez, and Tom D'Alfonso sent Brandon Shuff to the one loss side with the same 9-6 score. 

 

The ladies were well represented on day one with wins scored by Jennifer Barretta, Dawn Fox and Karen Corr. Corr's win was no "gimme" though. She trailed Sean Morgan 5-1, but came back to score a hill-hill win to close out the night. 

 

Friday play begins at 10am EST, and will run until roughly midnight. Our free video stream will kick off at noon, and fans can follow all of the action with our real time scoring and online brackets at http://www.azbilliards.com/tours_and_events/1-joss-northeast-9-ball-tour/7292-turning-stone-classic-xxvi/live/