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Draw Made For UK Open Pool Championship

The draw has been made for the inaugural UK Open Pool Championship taking place at the Copper Box Arena, London from May 17-22 with tickets available from only £15 to enjoy the action as 256 players battle it out for a share of $200,000.

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Nineball World No.1 Shane Van Boening heads into the tournament as the newly crowned World Champion and starts his bid to become the first-ever UK Open winner against James Channon of Great Britain. 2022 World Pool Masters champion Joshua Filler meets Robert Hart whilst British favourites Jayson Shaw and Chris Melling face Ali Hirji Kheraj and Petr Urban, respectively. Albin Ouschan will take on Sergio Lagunas whilst the World Snooker Tour’s duo of Martin Gould and Gary Wilson take on Tashunka Schultz and Blaine Barcus.

Players were seeded based on the combination of the 2022 Nineball World Ranking and 2023 Nineball World Ranking alongside the WPA Rankings.

Live rack-by-rack scoring will be available throughout the event at www.matchroompool.com

From Tuesday, 17 May to Friday, 20 May fans will be able to enjoy the action globally on the Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube pages as well as Matchroom.Live with two tables streamed. The tournament will also be live on betting websites around the world.

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Day 1 Streamed Matches Below 09:00 am to 06:00 pm

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

Match 1: Ko Pin-Yi (13) vs Chun Hao Man

Match 2: Chris Melling (59) vs Petr Urban

Match 3: Joshua Filler (7) vs Robert Hart

Match 4: Albin Ouschan (2) vs Sergio Lagunas

Match 5: Martin Gould (74) vs Tashunka Schultz

Match 6: Shane Van Boening (1) vs James Channon

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

Match 1: Kelly Fisher (35) vs Tayfun Teber

Match 2: Ko Ping Chung (11) vs Dominic Clemens

Match 3: Naoyuki Oi (5) vs Adam Humphries

Match 4: Gary Wilson (61) vs Blaine Barcus

Match 5: Lo Ho Sum (78) vs Kinga Rauk

Match 6: Jayson Shaw (14) vs Ali Hirji Kheraj

The week will begin with a Press Conference live from the Copper Box Arena, London on Monday 16, May at 5 pm UK time live on Facebook and YouTube.

Tickets start from £15 for the day and £85 for the week using the code UKOPEN at checkout. Secure yours here

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Joshua Filler Claims 2022 World Pool Masters Title

Joshua Filler has won the 2022 World Pool Masters beating Lo Ho Sum in the final at the Europa Point Sports Complex, Gibraltar live on Sky Sports, DAZN, Viaplay, and Matchroom.Live in selected countries for the first time.

FINAL

Joshua Filler (8) 9-6 Lo Ho Sum

SEMI-FINALS

Joshua Filler (8) 7-3 Ko Pin Yi

Mieszko Fortunski 5-7 Lo Ho Sum

Filler set up a final with Lo after coming from 3-0 behind to win the following seven racks to clinch a 7-3 victory against former world champion Ko Pin Yi at the start of the evening. The German claimed his first World Pool Masters crown in a 9-6 win to become one of very few to win the World Pool Championship, US Open Pool Championship, Mosconi Cup, World Cup of Pool, and World Pool Masters in their career at just the age of 24.

The opening rack didn’t go to plan for Filler after winning the lag, he scratched off the break to hand Lo the early advantage. Breaking in the second, Lo was full of confidence as he rack the rack to lead 2-0 against the previous US Open champion. Into the third rack and Lo had a chance on the two but it was obscured by the seven. Filler duly got to the table and made it 2-1. Before too long, Filler was back on top turning it around to lead 3-2 and looking like putting on the performance that saw him down Dennis Orcollo in the quarter-finals 7-0. The Killer soon hit 4-2 at a breeze but this wasn’t going to be as easy for him after he underestimated the speed of the table when playing safe on the two ball. That move was costly to allow Lo back at 4-3 and soon 4-4 with his first break and run of the match.

Lo’s stroke was getting better and better and another break and run in the following rack put him back in front for the first time since 2-1. Filler was frozen to his chair as the road map became even clearer for Lo who broke and run again in the 11th rack to put a two-rack buffer between the pair, the shot of the rack coming on the seven after losing position on the cue ball briefly.

Filler got back at the table in the 11th after Lo missed a tricky two ball, but the current World Cup of Pool holder couldn’t put pay by making the 2 7 combo. However, the rack wasn’t done yet as Lo left himself with a horrible cut on the three. From there, Filler ran out the rest of the rack to be behind by one at 6-5.

The reputation of nerve and grit is what makes Filler one of the most feared players on tour and he was far from done in the contest as he ran the 12th rack to level again at 6-6.

As the 13th rack began, Lo was back at the table after Filler broke but he blew it as quick as the chance came on the six ball after losing the cue ball forcing him to play an awkward cut to keep the rack going in his favour. It didn’t happen though, and Filler led once again at 7-6, a smart shot on that six freed up the seven which was frozen to the rail to complete the rack and break in the 14th.

Filler had the brilliance to spot a 3-6 combination and help him clear the table despite a poor break to reach the hill at 8-6. Victory was in Filler’s hands as he ran the last rack for a memorable win.

“I want to get better and better; I still made many mistakes, I still want to do better. I will try to be better. I will come back to defend this title for sure! I wanted to fight until the end and that’s what I did. Fair play to Lo Ho Sum who played a great week beating the World Champion Shane Van Boening. Since Matchroom announced they’d changed the pockets, I did the same in my home. It’s a different game. I felt great. I hope this is the future of pool. When I am back home, I will work hard on my safety game and be ready to go again at the UK Open.

Lo said: “It was the best experience ever this week. I would like to have more tournaments like this to get more experience. I am speechless this week. Kelly Fisher has helped me a lot for the upcoming events. ”

Next Up

The inaugural UK Open Pool Championship gets underway from May 17-22 at the Copper Box Arena, London as 256 players battle out for a prize fund of $200,000 in the Nineball World Ranking Event.

Newly crowned World Champion and current 2023 Live Nineball World No.1 Shane Van Boening will lead the field along the likes of two-time World Champion Albin Ouschan and Team Europe’s two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw. Fans will also get to see some familiar names from the world of snooker turn to Nineball.

Fans will be able to take in every single table at the Copper Box Arena as 256 battle through the double-elimination stage led by the top 32 on the Nineball World Rankings. Lending its format from the US Open, only the last 16 will make it through to the straight knockout stage.

Get your tickets here from only £15 using the code UKOPEN

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Shaw and Kelly take Pro Championship titles on closing night of the SBE

Jayson Shaw and Kelly Fisher

Bruner and Malm capture Amateur titles

The Annual Super Billiards Expo (SBE), like other tournaments of similar size and length, has a way of building momentum and speed as the week of it goes by. This varies slightly, depending on whether you’re a spectator or a player. As an example, Kelly Fisher, who emerged from a 63-entrant field and went on to become the undefeated WPBA Women’s Pro Players Champion on Sunday, played a single match on Thursday (she’d been awarded an opening round bye) and didn’t play again until Saturday, when she played twice. On Sunday, already among the event’s 16 players to enter the single-elimination phase, she played three times in a row to claim the title. Jayson Shaw, who went on to become the undefeated, 73-entrant Diamond Open 9-Ball Pro event winner had the same experience. In both cases, the Thursday and Friday experience was a little slower. The Saturday and Sunday experience seemed to flash by like proverbial greased lighting.

The Amateur Players Championship, which featured four short of 1,000 entrants (by far, the most heavily attended event) began on Wednesday and like the Pro events, ended on Sunday. That single-elimination process began with a lot of layover time for the competitors; time which narrowed and eventually, went flying by. Its champion, Chris Bruner, though, was used to it. As a participant at the SBE for about 20 years, he’d finished third at the last one and over the years, had five or so finishes of 5th or better. But playing in the APA, he’d also been a veteran of similar, large-entrant fields, requiring days and days of non-stop pool, or in the early going of such competition, waiting for the non-stop pool to begin.

“It’s tough,” he said, “but with things like the APA Nationals in Vegas, you get used to those long days. You get accustomed to it; the mindset that you have to chill out, relax and go play your game.”

“I’ve been doing it for so long that in the last five or six years, I’ve learned what to do and what not to do,” he added. “Get as much rest as you can, get enough sleep, and just take it day by day.”

Bruner ended up winning 10 matches and only lost two sets. Only once did he compete against someone he knew; Brent Hensley, with whom he has been friends for a long time. To him, the reward had less to do with the $5,000 in cash that he received as the Amateur Champion, than it was about, after all of the years he’d been attending, finally winning it. 

“I’m still on Cloud Nine,” he said, about three hours after the event had ended, around 6:30 on Sunday night. “I’ve been so close for so many years.”

A field of 166 entrants competed in the Women’s Amateur Players Championship. Tina Malm went undefeated through that field to claim the title, downing Ashley Benoit in the finals.

By Saturday night, the WPBA’s 63-entrant Women’s 9-Ball Professional Championship had whittled down to its 16-entrant single elimination phase. The 16 women advancing (in fact, the entire field of the event) featured many of the most highly recognizable names in women’s pool and with the exception of two from the UK (the Fishers, Kelly and Allison), all were from the North American continent; two, being Canadians (Brittany Bryant and Veronique Menard). Among the 47 who did not make the cut were a few junior competitors – Skylar Hess, Savannah Easton and Hayleigh Marion – along with Jeri Engh, who, in her 80s, was the event’s oldest participant. Women of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour were well-represented, along with the presence of, though not participation on the part of the tournament’s director, Linda Shea. Along with Kia Burwell and Caroline Pao, who did become two of the final 16, and C.C. Strain, who acted as the tournament director for all of the SBE’s Amateur events, tour members Ada Lio, Kathy Friend, Eugenia Gyftopoulos, Judie Wilson and Shanna Lewis competed.

On Sunday morning, the final eight paired up in four quarterfinal matches. The marquee pairing among them featured the Fishers, who’d last met in the finals of the WPBA’s Northern Lights Classic last month. Joann Mason-Parker took on Caroline Pao, Jennifer Baretta faced Kim Newsome and Canada’s Veronique Menard matched up with Teruko Cucculelli.

In races to 11, Kelly Fisher defeated Allison Fisher 11-8 and Joann Mason Parker downed Caroline Pao 11-2. “9mm” Baretta shot down Kim Newsome 11-6 and Cucculelli eliminated Menard 11-9. In the semifinals that followed, Kelly Fisher defeated Mason-Parker 11-4 and in the finals, met Baretta, who’d defeated Cucculelli 11-4.

Fisher and Baretta traded racks through the first five games, after which Kelly was ahead 3-2. She added a rack, off Baretta’s break for a two-rack lead before Baretta came back with two to tie things for the third time at 4-4. Fisher won seven of the next eight games to claim the title.

Look for a report on the Diamond Open NineBall Professional Players Championship and the top finishers from the eight Amateur events in a separate report on these pages. 

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Danny Mastermaker collects first Super Billiards Expo title in debut of 6-Ball

The competition is starting to heat up at the 2022 Super Billiards Expo being held at the Greater Philadelphia Convention Center in Oaks, PA. The doors opened on Monday (April 18) with TAP League’s National Championships and by Tuesday, the SBE had crowned its first champion. Emerging from a field of 204 entrants, initially spread out over four single-elimination brackets, Danny Mastermaker grabbed that first title in the game format of 6-Ball, downing Fred Goodman in the finals 6-2, 6-2.

Though not by any means a new format, it made its debut here as an SBE event, playing out on Diamond ‘bar box’ tables. Utilizing the same rules as 9-Ball, with, as one might imagine, the 6-ball as the game’s ‘money’ ball, it has some advantages and disadvantages over the more popular standards; 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball. It is, also as one might imagine, a much quicker game. Here, at the SBE, it played out in races to six, best two out of three sets for advancement. For some, it was a familiar game, while for others, like Daniel Dagotdot, who was one of the four competitors emerging from the four brackets, it was a new experience. His thoughts on the game itself highlighted aspects of the game, which are something of a good news, bad news situation.

“It is so hard to make a ball on the break,” he noted of his first experience, “and if you break and don’t drop a ball, 90% of the time, you lose.”

It also creates a ‘do or die’ scenario, where if you step to the table after your opponent has broken, you better be prepared to finish the game from that point. An alternate break format softens the ‘do or die’ consequences somewhat, though Dagotdot made note of the same cautionary note about the nature of the game.

“Unless there’s a pack somewhere,” he said, “if you miss, you’re done, too.”

“I do like the game,” he added, “and you can’t ever really say you don’t get a chance.”

The game format appears to be attracting its share of ‘side action’ matchups at the SBE. Apparently, Dagotdot noted, players on the amateur end of the player spectrum like the odds better in a game that’s “fast-paced, with very little safety play and (not much) strategy.

“It might develop as a format with that action angle to it,” said Dagotdot. “I saw a lot of players doing that in the first two days.”

Loye Bolyard, tour director of the Maryland State Championships series of events, played 6-ball growing up, but at this stage, doesn’t see it showing up on his event calendar any time soon. Like Dagotdot, he noted the most obvious difference that it makes in game play.

“It’s all about the break, but there’s really no downside to it,” he said. “The good thing is that anybody can play.”

Open Amateur tournaments are underway, as are the two Pro events

The SBE’s Open Amateur event, with 962 registered entrants got underway on Wednesday, sporting 16 double-elimination brackets. The TAP League National Championships concluded, while its Rally in the Valley event began. On Thursday, the two Pro events got underway; the Diamond Open 9-Ball Professional Players Championship and the WPBA 9-Ball Pro Players Championships. Today (Friday), as the Open Amateur Players championship entered its third day, the Seniors Amateur Players Championship and the Women’s Amateur Player Championships got underway. 

The 74-entrant Diamond Open 9-Ball Pro event finished two rounds of play on Thursday, with a list of the ‘usual suspects’ advancing. The only real (apparent) surprise in the early rounds, which included a lot of opening round byes, was Earl Strickland’s second round (after a bye), double-hill loss to Alan Rolon Rosado. Among those advancing to a third round today (Friday) were Darren Appleton, Mika Immonen (downing junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth), Thorsten Hohmann, Warren Kiamco, Ralf Souquet, BJ Ussery, Fedor Gorst, Jayson Shaw, Billy Thorpe, John Morra and Kristina Tkach, who was the only one who played two matches, albeit one, a forfeit win over Lukas Fracasso-Verner.

The 63-entrant WPBA 9-Ball Pro Players Championships had much fewer byes in its opening round and played a single round, followed by eight matches of a second round. Like the Open event, it featured its own set of ‘usual suspects’ advancing. Kelly Fisher was the only player to receive a bye and won her opener. Winning two and advancing to a third round were (among others) Kelly Fisher, Allison Fisher, Monica Webb and Kim Newsome. Playing their second round today (Friday) were (also among others) were Jennifer Baretta, Janet Atwell, Brittany Bryant, Carolyn Pao and Loree Jon Brown.

Junior players like Landon Hollingsworth, Payne McBride, Skylar Hess and Savannah Easton (among others) are competing in the Pro events and will be competing in two separate junior events (17 & Under, 12 & Under), beginning on Saturday. The winner of each division will win paid entry to Billiards Education Foundation’s Junior Nationals. The top 16 in each division will qualify for the event. Each division’s winner will be recognized by the BEF as the Pennsylvania Jrs. State 9-Ball Champion. 

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“Kwikfire” goes undefeated to win second straight WPBA title

Kelly Fisher

Fresh off her undefeated win two weeks ago at the WPBA’s Northern Lights Classic in Minnesota, where she faced Allison Fisher for the first time in a final match since 2016, Kelly Fisher came to the CSI/Predator US Pro Billiard Series’ Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, held this past weekend (March 31-April 3) and went undefeated a second time to capture her second straight WPBA title. Though Allison Fisher was, once again, ‘in the house,’ the two did not meet up at this latest event. Allison was eliminated in the opening round of the single-elimination final phase to which they’d both advanced. The event drew 64 entrants to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The event was divided into two phases; an opening, 64-entrant, double-elimination Phase 1, followed by a 16-entrant, single-elimination Phase 2 that eventually crowned Kelly as the champion. The format was best-two-out-of-three races to 4. If the competitors were tied after two matches, a “spot shootout’ followed to determine the winner.

Kelly, who was in a 16-player, Phase 1 bracket that included eventual runner-up, Brittany Bryant, advanced to be among the eight winners’ side entrants in Phase 2 without having to play a third match. She played a total of 27 games against three opponents in Phase 1 and gave up only three of them, downing Sarah Kapeller (4-0, 4-1), Ashley Burrows (4-0, 4-0) and Cathy Metzinger (4-1, 4-1). To join Kelly in advancement to Phase 2, Bryant, in the meantime, had to play 44 games and lost 18 of them. She got by Anna Riegler and junior competitor Savannah Easton, both 4-2, 4-2, before facing Jennifer Baretta, who won the opening set 2-4. Bryant came back to win the second set and the “spot shootout,” both double hill.

Angela Ticoalu got by Jeannie Seaver, Nicole Keeney and Woojin Lee with an aggregate score of 24-15 to qualify for Phase 2, as did Susan Williams from the same 16-entrant section of the opening bracket. Williams sent June Maiers, Vang Bui Xuan and Joanne Ashton to the loss side to join Ticoalu in the winners’ side advancement to Phase 2.

Allison Fisher chalked up an even more impressive Phase 1 than Kelly had. She, too, advanced to Phase 2 without having to play a third match against any of her three opponents, downing Susan Wilbur, Veronique Menard and Naomi Williams and giving up only two racks (to Menard, in their second race-to-4). Kyoko Sone joined Allison in advancement to Phase 2 from the same 16-entrant section of the opening bracket, downing Sandy Badger, 13-year-old junior competitor Sofia Mast and Amalia Matas Heredia.

Rounding out the field of eight winners’ side competitors to advance to Phase 2 were Jasmin Ouschan and Line Kjorsvik. Ouschan got by two of her opponents without having to play a “spot shootout” third match, downing Tamami Okuda 4-2, 4-1 and Beth Fondell 4-1, 4-2, before splitting her first two against Mary Tam 1-4, 4-3. Ouschan won the shootout 3-2 to advance. Kjorsvik did not play a third, tie-breaking “spot shootout” against any of her first three opponents either, joining Ouschan in advancement after defeating Gigi Callejas (4-1, 4-2), Camille Campbell (4-2, 4-0) and Melissa Helland (4-0, 4-1).

After five losers’ side rounds, Kaylee McIntosh, Woojin Lee, Angela Janic, Heather Cortez, Melissa Helland, Mary Tam, Amalia Matas Heredia and Ashley Burrows joined the eight winners’ side competitors in advancement to Phase 2, which in some ways, was notable for those left behind as much as for those who advanced. Among those who failed to make the cut were long-time WPBA veterans (in no particular order) Stephanie Mitchell, Teruko Cucculelli, Monica Webb, Jeannie Seaver, Liz Cole, Kim Newsome, Emily Duddy, Dawn Hopkins, Loree Jon Brown, Janet Atwell and Caroline Pao. It should also be noted that while both 13-year-old junior competitors, Sofia Mast and Skylar Hess, failed to advance, one (Mast) fell to an opponent (Angela Janic) who was among the final 16 and the other (Hess) was eliminated by someone (Cucculelli) who arguably should have been. It was the first appearance for these two extraordinarily talented and professionally-composed young women and WPBA competitors should be on notice that these two will be back and barring any unforeseen life changes, for many years to come.

The Final Four in this event competed in plenty of time for those so inclined to turn their attention to the NCAA Final Four, which got started well after the four ladies in Vegas got underway at about 2 p.m. on Saturday. It was an International Final Four, which was absent representation from the United States.  Kelly Fisher, representing the UK was matched up against Austria’s Jasmin Ouschan. Spain’s Amalia Matas Heredia, who, in February, chalked up her first win on the European Ladies’ Tour, faced Canada’s Brittany Bryant.

Kelly Fisher had kept her no-third-match streak going through the opening round against Heather Cortez, whom she defeated 4-1, 4-0 before drawing Angeline Ticoalu, who took the opening set against Fisher 4-2. Fisher came back to win the second set 4-1 and then, in something of a nail-biter, the “spot shootout” 6-5. Ouschan, who got by Kaylee McIntosh 4-0, 4-1 in the opening round of Phase 2 had her own nail-biter in the second round, where she won two straight double hill fights against Kyoko Sone to draw Kelly.

Advancing to the other semifinal, Bryant had played 24 games against two opponents, eliminating Woojin Lee 4-2, 4-1 and then Ashley Burrows 4-2, 4-3 to advance. Heredia proved to be Allison Fisher’s downfall in the opening round of Phase 2. Fisher took the opening set, double hill, but Heredia came back to win the second set and the “shootout,” double hill. Heredia went on to down Mary Tam 4-1, 4-3 to pick up Bryant.

Kelly Fisher downed Ouschan 4-2, 4-1 in their semifinal matchup. She was joined in the finals by Bryant, who’d defeated Heredia 4-2, 2-4 and 4-2 in the “shootout.” 

It’s not hard to imagine Fisher’s “I’ve got this,” and Bryant’s “Uh, oh, trouble right here in Sin City” when Fisher shut Bryant out in the opening set of the final. It’s also not hard to imagine the spectator’s rooting for Bryant in the second set when she and Kelly finished the 6th game, tied at 3 apiece. Fisher, though, completed her undefeated run by winning the second set to claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, as well as sponsors and partners the WPBA, Alfa Coin, CueSports International, Predator Group, Kamui, Seybert’s, Medalla Light, Rums of Puerto Rico, BCA Pool League and the USA Pool League.

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Kelly Fisher goes undefeated, Allison Fisher is runner-up at WPBA Northern Lights Classic

Allison Fisher and Kelly Fisher (Photo courtesy WPBA)

There are any number of back stories to the $20,000-added, WPBA Northern Lights Classic, held this past weekend (March 16-20) that offer a striking ‘snapshot’ of the WPBA’s past, present and future. Encompassing all three of those time periods, at the event to which 64 entrants were invited to the Northern Lights Casino Hotel and Event Center in Walker, MN, were the competitors who squared off in the event finals; the Fishers, Kelly and Allison, who’ve played so many matches against each other over the years, that they have no idea how many times it has actually happened. 

The last time they faced each other in an event final was a little hazy to them, as well. Two days after the Northern Classic, from Allison’s home in Charlotte, NC, they pondered the question together over coffee. Kelly came up with a possibility, and after a moment or two of mutual reflection, they both settled on 2016 as the last time they’d met in a final. At that event – the 19th Annual International Women’s Tournament of Champions, held in September at the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City – Kelly started both sets of the races-to-four finals, up 2-0, but Allison came back to win four straight, twice, and claimed the title.

“We’ve played against each other since then,” said Allison, “and the last time was pre-COVID, of course, but I think that was the last time we were in a final together.”

Kelly had won the WPBA’s Sondheim Kiwanis Invitational Tournament last year, while it had been just weeks over three years since Allison had last appeared in a WPBA event, which, as it turned out, was the last time they’d faced each other in a match that wasn’t a final. It was the 2019 WPBA Masters Tournament, held in September at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Michigan. Kelly had been sent to the loss side of the event in the second round by the eventual winner (Siming Chen) and went on a nine-match, loss-side run that would propel her to the finals. Six matches into that loss-side run, Kelly ran into Allison, who’d been sent to the loss side by Kristina Tkach in a winners’ side semifinal. Kelly advanced and was eventually defeated by Chen in the finals.

Noting something of a protracted absence away from a more regular schedule of WPBA events, together, they made note of the fact that it was good to gather with their mutual WPBA friends and acquaintances, old and new. 

“The WPBA competition is back on schedule and it was great to see a lot of the old faces, and some new faces, some youngsters, too,” said Kelly, “and the future is bright.”

“I think it’s wonderful that we had juniors at this event, especially by WPBA invitation,” said Allison. “It’s nice for us to see them, because they represent well, they look good, they’re playing great. . . 

“Professional,” Kelly interjected.

“Yes, they’re very professional,” Allison said, “and I think that’s the move, anyway. To invite more younger players as much as we can.”

It should be noted before moving on to the event itself, that in addition to its junior contingent which included 12-year-old Savannah Easton, it also featured 84-year-old Jeri Engh, making the demographic representation at this WPBA event, span almost four generations of the WPBA’s ongoing history.

Appearing in the same half of the upper bracket, the Fishers meet in the only two places possible 

They knew from the start, that they were not going to play in the hot seat match. Positioned in the upper half of the 64-entrant bracket, it put the Fishers in a possible first match against each other in the winners’ side semifinals. The second possibility was in the finals and both were exactly what happened.

Kelly Fisher got by Kelly Isaac (forfeit), Bonnie Arnold 8-4 and Dawn Hopkins 8-1 to reach Allison Fisher. Allison Fisher shut out Peg Haggerty and Catherine Tschumper before downing Kim Newsome 8-3 and Monica Webb 8-6, to draw Kelly. From the lower half of the bracket, Joann Mason Parker, who, prior to winning a stop on the Garden State Pool Tour, a 3rd place finish on the Tri-State Tour and cashing in three events of a New Jersey-based Women’s Invitational event last year, had not won or even cashed in a tournament in over a decade, sent LoreeJon Brown, Cathy Metzinger, Janet Atwell (double hill) and Brittany Bryant to the loss side, drawing Jennifer Baretta in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kelly sent Allison to the loss side 8-6, as Baretta and Parker locked up in a double fight that eventually sent Parker to the loss side. Kelly claimed the hot seat 8-4 over Baretta and waited for Round 2 of Fisher v. Fisher.

On the loss side, Allison picked up Bryant, who’d followed her loss to Parker with a victory over Sara Miller 8-5 and survived a double hill battle against Ashley Burrows. Parker drew Monica Webb, who’d followed her loss to Allison Fisher in a winners’ side quarterfinal with victories over Sarah Rousey 8-2 and Angela Janic 8-4.

Parker’s somewhat improbable run was ended by Webb 8-5. Allison advanced to the quarterfinals after eliminating Bryant 8-5. Fisher leap-frogged over the quarterfinals on a Webb forfeit and then, defeated Baretta 8-5 for a second shot at Kelly, waiting for her in the hot seat.

In a race to 10, the two Fishers came within of game of forcing a 19th deciding game, but Kelly pulled out in front to claim the WPBA’s Northern Classic title 10-8.

“She’s at the top of her game,” said Allison of Kelly. “She’s always improving, rarely misses a shot. She’s a tough opponent and you have to be in top form to play her.”

“All the stuff she’s been doing in the past year is showing up in her game,” she added. “We’re good friends, so she’s helped me out with my game, too. It’s always fun playing her.”

“Both matches we played were really good, high standard, great quality matches,” said Kelly, “and the final was very, very exciting for spectators, I’d say; a high standard match.”

“Allison’s thoughts of retiring are going to have to go out the window,” she added. “She’s playing too good for that, to be honest. She’s playing great.”

Kelly will be headed for Las Vegas to be competing in both the WPA 10-Ball World Championships (March 28-April 1) and the WPBA Predator Event (March 31-April 3), both being held at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino. Allison will follow to participate in the later of those two events. 

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Only Ten Remain At Predator Cues Premier League Pool

Alex Kazakis (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Six players were eliminated after the conclusion of Day 5 of the Predator Cues Premier League Pool at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, broadcast live on DAZN in the USA and networks worldwide including Matchroom.Live.

SCORES AND TABLE

On what promised to be an action-packed last day of the opening stage, only Eklent Kaçi knew his fate with only Albin Ouschan, Joshua Filler, Jayson Shaw, David Alcaide, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, and Shane Van Boening sure of making the Second Stage.

Skyler Woodward, Alexander Kazakis, Omar Al-Shaheen, Oliver Szolnoki, Kelly Fisher, Mieszko Fortunski, Aloysius Yapp, Naoyuki Oi, and Max Lechner all held hopes of making the top ten with Lechner facing the biggest uphill battle of them all.

Lechner was quickly eliminated after defeat to Van Boening. Van Boening steamrollered through day five after a small blip in the earlier days perhaps most notably getting the better of Mosconi Cup rival Shaw at the top of the evening session 5-2. The South Dakota Kid looks well placed in second place after 15 matches with 11 wins on the card alongside Ouschan who struggled after not dropping a point in his opening ten encounters.

Two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Woodward cruised through in the end after downing Ouschan, Al-Shaheen, and Fisher to finish his opening stage. The pick of the bunch being a whitewash win over Fisher 5-0.

Oi struggled after initially starting the week with three wins from four and the Nineball World No.7 ended up finishing 13th. Fisher meanwhile did hold some hope with three matches to play today but never truly got going after a 5-1 defeat to Al-Shaheen in the morning session.

Players into Stage Two

Players Eliminated

Al-Shaheen lived dangerously after beating Fisher with three straight defeats to start the evening session meaning he was relying on other results to secure his place in Stage Two which he duly did.

The real drama came in the last match though as Szolnoki and Fortunski faced off. Yapp had earlier beaten Sanchez Ruiz 5-0 meaning if Szolnoki beat Fortunski 5-1 or 5-2 he would take the tenth spot. Any sort of victory for Fortunski would book his spot whilst Szolnoki needed to win 5-0 to take the final spot. It proved to be too much to ask for Szolnoki though who lost the opening rack to Fortunski. Yapp still had hope though after Fortunski had gone 2-1 up, Szolnoki levelled it to two all. But that is when Fortunski hit the front and booked his place. The Butcher failed to win on the opening day but had done enough leg work to win 5-4.

Predator Premier League Pool sees 16 players compete in a league format with an increased prize fund of $100,000 guaranteeing each player $2,500 and the winner taking home $20,000. Stage two gets underway with Filler against Al-Shaheen.

WHERE TO WATCH

Morning Session 10:00 am (UK Time)

Evening Session 17:00 pm (UK Time)

Matchroom.Live – UK and Ireland

Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube – UK and Ireland

FreeSports (selected evening sessions) and Premier Sports 2 (selected evening sessions) – UK and Ireland

DAZN  – Canada, USA, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland

Fox Sports – Australia

Nova – Czech Rep & Slovakia

MBC – the Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

Sky Network – New Zealand

Supersport  – South Africa & Africa

Tap – Philippines

Viaplay – Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden

Matchroom.Live – Rest of the World

Find out more about Predator Premier League Pool here

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Filler Remains On Top At Predator Cues Premier League Pool

Joshua Filler (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Joshua Filler remains on top after day four of Predator Cues Premier League Pool at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes live on DAZN in the USA and networks worldwide including Matchroom.Live.

Scores and Table

Filler began the day on top and it’s where he remained after the 2021 World Cup of Pool winner dispatched both Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and Max Lechner in hill hill finishes. The Killer rode his luck in both contests but pulled through perhaps most fortunate against Lechner after the Austrian left the eight ball hanging over the pocket in the final rack.

Albin Ouschan is close on Filler’s heels though with only a handful of games remaining until the bottom six drop out of the tournament at the conclusion of play on Friday evening. Ouschan started the day still unbeaten, and he made it ten from ten early on when cleaning up 5-3 against Naoyuki Oi before it was David Alcaide who ended Ouschan’s blemish-free record. Jayson Shaw compounded the end of Ouschan’s winning streak to deliver a 5-3 win that moved the two-time Mosconi Cup MVP into the top four.

Tomorrow is judgment day though and it’s getting tight. Eklent Kaçi is the only player so far eliminated with all of Lechner, Oi, Aloysius Yapp, Mieszko Fortunski, and Kelly Fisher currently occupying the bottom six spots. Lechner started yesterday with zero wins but with two wins on day four, the Austrian is still somehow in the picture. Fisher went the distance and was unfortunate not to mark up another point after missing out in a decider to Oliver Szolnoki. Szolnoki and Fisher were locked in a deep safety battle with the nine ball hovering over the bottom left pocket when it was the Hungarian who found the winning shot to screw back the cue ball to take it.

Kaçi’s day didn’t get off to the best of starts after a late arrival meant he was docked a rack against Van Boening and it finished in a 5-4 defeat to Alcaide where every rack was a break and run in a remarkable contest.

Skyler Woodward, Omar Al-Shaheen, and Szolnoki all face nervy final days as the three take up spots 7-10 and five points each. It can be said though, that Filler and Ouschan are through to Stage Two. The rest is all up for grabs.

Predator Premier League Pool sees 16 players compete in a league format with an increased prize fund of $100,000 guaranteeing each player $2,500 and the winner taking home $20,000. Judgement Day gets underway from 10 am UK time with Filler against Shaw on Table 1 and Ouschan against Woodward on Table 2.

WHERE TO WATCH

Morning Session 10:00 am (UK Time)

Evening Session 17:00 pm (UK Time)

Matchroom.Live – UK and Ireland

Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube – UK and Ireland

FreeSports (selected evening sessions) and Premier Sports 2 (selected evening sessions) – UK and Ireland

DAZN  – Canada, USA, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland

Fox Sports – Australia

Nova – Czech Rep & Slovakia

MBC – the Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

Sky Network – New Zealand

Supersport  – South Africa & Africa

Tap – Philippines

Viaplay – Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden

Matchroom.Live – Rest of the World

Find out more about Predator Premier League Pool here

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Filler Takes Top Spot At Predator Cues Premier League Pool

Joshua Filler (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Joshua Filler has gone top of the Predator Cues Premier League Pool at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes after day three of action live on DAZN in the USA and networks worldwide including Matchroom.Live.

Scores and Table

Filler sits there on rack difference having suffered his only defeat of the tournament so far against the still unbeaten Albin Ouschan. The Killer had a busy evening of it by firstly downing both Shane Van Boening and Skyler Woodward at the top of the evening session before recovering from defeat to Ouschan against Kelly Fisher.

Ouschan’s unbeaten momentum continued after beating Omar Al-Shaheen in a repeat of the 2021 World Pool Championship final and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz before a gripping contest against Filler. The World No.1 produced the match of the tournament so far against Filler with the pair grinding it out in a hill hill finish with some of the best safety play witnessed in recent years as Ouschan eventually prevailed to have nine wins from nine.

Max Lechner has had a horrible few days of it but found some light after delivering the first win over Jayson Shaw 5-3. There was also relief for Mieszko Fortunski as he got off the mark with three wins over Alcaide, Eklent Kaçi, and Van Boening, respectively. There were some comprehensive results during another fast-paced day of action as Shaw rattled in a whitewash over Alexander Kazakis and Aloysius Yapp did the same to Van Boening. Kazakis also downed Naoyuki Oi by the same scoreline.

With two days of Stage One remaining, things look bleak for Lechner and Kaçi who are cut adrift with one point each. Aloysius Yapp, Skyler Woodward, and Fortunski all hold three points each inside the elimination zone with Fisher. Fisher’s rack difference is unfavourable, but the Women’s World No.1 is level with Al-Shaheen and Oliver Szolnoki on four points.

Predator Premier League Pool sees 16 players compete in a league format with an increased prize fund of $100,000 guaranteeing each player $2,500 and the winner taking home $20,000. Day four gets underway from 10 am UK time with Van Boening against Kaçi on Table 1 and Ouschan against Oi on Table 2.

WHERE TO WATCH

Morning Session 10:00 am (UK Time)

Evening Session 17:00 pm (UK Time)

Matchroom.Live – UK and Ireland

Matchroom Pool Facebook and YouTube – UK and Ireland

FreeSports (selected evening sessions) and Premier Sports 2 (selected evening sessions) – UK and Ireland

DAZN  – Canada, USA, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland

Fox Sports – Australia

Nova – Czech Rep & Slovakia

MBC – the Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

Sky Network – New Zealand

Supersport  – South Africa & Africa

Tap – Philippines

Viaplay – Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden

Matchroom.Live – Rest of the World

Find out more about Predator Premier League Pool here

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Ouschan & Filler Remain Unbeaten At Predator Cues Premier League Pool

Joshua Filler (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Albin Ouschan and Joshua Filler both remain unbeaten at the top of the table after day two of the Predator Cues Premier League Pool at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes broadcast live on DAZN in the USA and networks worldwide including Matchroom.Live.

Scores and Table

Ouschan opened his day with a comfortable 5-2 display against Alexander Kazakis but found himself up against it in a battling hill hill finish against 2021 US Open runner-up Aloysius Yapp. The World No.1 made it six from six in the evening session against Mosconi Cup teammate Eklent Kaçi. Filler has also made a hot start with six wins from six in similar fashion to his European counterpart.

Kelly Fisher had one of the best days of all 16 players as the Women’s World No.1 moved into the top 10 on the league table. The top 10 will make stage two on Saturday and Fisher beat Kaçi and Max Lechner 5-3 and 5-4 respectively before agonisingly missing out to Shane Van Boening after being 4-1 up. Fisher scratched on the two ball allowing Van Boening to complete a comeback in the final rack.

Van Boening is the only other unbeaten player in the field with the American fending off Omar Al-Shaheen in a 5-4 win in the day session before overcoming Naoyuki Oi 5-3 off the back of his win over Fisher.

It was another day to forget for Max Lechner who is rooted to the foot of the table with seven defeats from seven matches, but it wasn’t for the want of trying. Lechner’s defeat to Fisher came in unfortunate circumstances after missing the six ball in the final rack. Francisco Sanchez Ruiz had a day to forget on Monday but recovered well to beat Al-Shaheen 5-4 and Szolnoki 5-1 before wrapping up a positive day against Lechner 5-3.

The evening was wrapped up with a Mosconi Cup stalwart contest between Skyler Woodward and Jayson Shaw. Woodward was 3-2 ahead against the 2021 Mosconi Cup MVP but it was Shaw who bounced back to seal a 5-3 win and sit fifth in the overall standings. Woodward meanwhile will need a big day three as he currently sits inside the bottoms six.

Predator Premier League Pool sees 16 players compete in a league format with an increased prize fund of $100,000 guaranteeing each player $2,500 and the winner taking home $20,000. Day three gets underway from 10 am UK time with Yapp against Oi on Table 1 and Alcaide against Fisher on Table 2.

WHERE TO WATCH

Morning Session 10:00 am (UK Time)

Evening Session 17:00 pm (UK Time)

Matchroom.Live – UK and Ireland

FreeSports (selected evening sessions) and Premier Sports 2 (selected evening sessions) – UK and Ireland

DAZN  – Canada, USA, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland

Fox Sports – Australia

Nova – Czech Rep & Slovakia

MBC Action – the Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen

Sky Network – New Zealand

Supersport  – South Africa & Africa

Tap – Philippines

Viaplay – Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden

Matchroom.Live – Rest of the World

Find out more about Predator Premier League Pool here

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