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Sanchez-Ruiz moves closer to Mosconi Cup selection with undefeated win on home felt in Spain

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz

Going into the PRP Nineball Open last weekend (Sept. 14-18) at the Exe Boston Hotel in Zaragoza, Spain, the struggle for a 3rd place spot on the Mosconi Cup’s European team, defined, as of August 31, by the Nineball World Rankings, was something of a race between Austria’s Mario He and Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz. Both made it undefeated through two separate knockout rounds of the 128-entrant field in Spain. They both went on, undefeated to the finals where Sanchez-Ruiz prevailed to claim the event title, his fourth major title of the year.

With the USA’s Shane Van Boening and Germany’s Joshua Filler holding the top two spots in those Nineball World Rankings and being too far ahead in the rankings to be unseated, each Mosconi Cup team will select two more from the list at the conclusion of the final three ranking events; The Euro Tour Dynamic Billiards Slovenia Open in Lasko, Slovenia (Oct. 1-3), the Sandcastle 9-Ball Open at Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ (Oct. 6-8) and the US Open Pool Championship at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, NJ (Oct. 10-15). With Austria’s Albin Ouschan, who did not compete in Spain, currently in the #3 position in the World Rankings and in the driver’s seat to claim a second spot on the Mosconi Cup team, the third selected seat continues to be a struggle between Sanchez-Ruiz (currently #4) and He (#5). Though at the moment, Sanchez-Ruiz has a commanding lead and seems likely to draw the third pick, it might well continue into next week’s Slovenia Open and depending on whether the two opt for a trip to New Jersey afterwards, it could end up on this side of the Atlantic. 

Sanchez-Ruiz and He emerged from separate brackets to advance to the PRP Nineball Open’s final draw of 32. Sanchez-Ruiz, after being awarded an opening round bye, defeated two of his fellow countrymen, Manuel Fernandez and Gabriel Carral 9-2 to qualify for the single-elimination Phase Two (well over 50% of the field was from Spain). He was joined from the winners’ side of the bracket by countrymen Jose Alberto Delgado and Jose Castillo, Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis, Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski and Mieszko Fortunski, Marc Bijsterbosch from the Netherlands and Hungary’s Oliver Szolnoki. 

In the other Phase 1 bracket, Mario He (also awarded a bye) defeated Spaniards Amalia Matas 9-4 and Mayte Ropero 9-7 to be among the winners’ side competitors to advance. Germany’s Ralf Souquet was on that list, too, as were Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn, Switzerland’s Ronald Regli, Spain’s David Alcaide and Jonas Souto, Estonia’s Denis Grabe and, also in the running for that 3rd spot on the Mosconi Cup team, behind He, Alex Kazakis from Greece.

Sanchez-Ruiz’ toughest battle advancing to the event’s quarterfinals came in the opening round of the single-elimination Round 2, when Francisco Diaz chalked up eight racks against him. From there, it was relatively smooth sailing through Ivan Nunez 11-3 for Sanchez-Ruiz to arrive at his quarterfinal matchup versus Delgado. He, on the other hand, began his single-elimination advancement with two double hill matches against Portugal’s Sara Rocha and Spain’s Iker Echeverria, which he successfully negotiated to face Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Sanjin Pehlivanovic. Three competitors lurking behind Sanchez-Ruiz and He on the rankings list, appeared in the other two quarterfinals. Kazakis, immediately below He on the list, faced Denis Grabe (in the 20s on the list), as Szolnoki, immediately below Kazakis, met up with Zielinski, immediately behind him.

Sanchez-Ruiz downed Delgado 11-5 and in the semifinals, picked up Zielenski, who’d eliminated Szolnoki 11-8. He defeated Pehlivanovic 11-2 and drew Kazakis, who’d eliminated Grabe 11-7.

Assuring their spots on the rankings list, Sanchez-Ruiz and He advanced to the finals; Sanchez-Ruiz 11-5 over Zielinski and He 11-2 over Kazakis. 

It was clear from the outset of the finals that Sanchez-Ruiz and He were playing for more than bragging rights at their local pub. He broke the initial rack and ran the table to open the scoring. Sanchez-Ruiz broke and won the second to create the first of only two ties in the race to 13. 

Sanchez-Ruiz won the next four to go ahead 5-1, at which point the two of them embarked on a series of runs that narrowed that lead down to between two and three racks. He got within a single rack three times in that stretch, at 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7, but He’s win of rack #15 opened the door for Sanchez-Ruiz to head on out on a four-match run that put him on the hill, ahead by five at 12-7. 

He, though, came right back and matched Sanchez-Ruiz’ longest run of the game at the start, winning five racks to force a single deciding game. He broke, but left himself with a low-percentage shot at the 1-ball, sitting north of and at a sharp angle to a side pocket. He played safe and began a two-ball safety battle that took up nearly half of the final match-time. Sanchez-Ruiz broke it up after He had given him an opening on the 2-ball that also opened the table. Sanchez-Ruiz ran them from there and claimed the event title.

The battle for the two remaining European Mosconi Cup slots (not counting the coach’s two wild-card picks), moves on to Lasko, Slovenia.

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Ouschan And Van Boening To Contest 2022 European Open Final

Albin Ouschan (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Albin Ouschan and Shane Van Boening will contest the inaugural European Open Pool Championship final in a repeat of the 2022 World Pool Championship final for the $30,000 first place prize at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda in Germany live on  Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia, Poland, and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries.

WHERE TO WATCH 

Ouschan was looking to reach another Matchroom final on his birthday whilst his opponent and close friend Mario He was making his first semi-final appearance. Ouschan won the lag and came up dry in the first rack to allow He in to take the initial lead. A dry break from He in the following rack wasn’t enough for Ouschan to get on the board just yet as He made it 2-0 after a brief safety battle. On his birthday, Ouschan was being left no presents be He who soon rose up to a 4-0 lead with the first break and run of the match in the fourth rack.

At 5-3, He missed the two leaving it over the pocket for Ouschan only for the two-time World Champion to scratch when screwing back for position on the three to put He back at the table to establish a three rack buffer aided by an expert double kiss on the four ball to loosen it free of the eight. At 6-3 up, it was He’s turn to scratch in the middle pocket when coming back for position on the eight, it was a gift that Ouschan needed to get back in at 6-4.

Ouschan was struggling on the break but got it going in the 11th to be one away thanks to a break and run as he crunched the balls. The Austrian duo know each other’s game better than most around thanks to their winning World Cup of Pool partnership and it was He taking the upper hand making four balls on the break in the 13th rack to establish a three rack lead again at 8-5 with Ouschan faltering on a 1-8 combo to open the table up.

In the following rack, He made his own error overcooking the cue ball when trying to tuck it safe at the opposite end of the table. Ouschan from there had a routine run out to get the break back. The break was becoming easy for Ouschan but it came to his downfall in the 15th rack as the 9-ball looked destined to go in off the break after being kicked by the two only for it to hang over the pocket and leave He and easy combination to be two away.

Ouschan was pinpoint in his quarter-final win over Konrad Juszczyszyn but it wasn’t so true in this encounter as he missed the five ball to leave what seemed to be a routine runout for He only for the Panda to lose position moving from the seven to eight. He opted to cut it only to miss it and leave Ouschan an easy eight and nine ball to be back in it.

The contest ebbed and flowed but ultimately it was He edging it at 9-8 as the closing racks approached. Ouschan left a golden chance for He to get to the hill after breaking but it was the latter who scratched to allow Ouschan in to reach the hill first and lead for the first time. In the final rack, Ouschan broke dry but He pushed out left the man who had led for the most part back at the table only to leave Ouschan in the prime position to complete a nervy victory with four racks in a row.

Shane Van Boening (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

World Champion Shane Van Boening met with rising Spanish star Jose Alberto Delgado and it was the former who looked to have control of the opening rack after a dry break from Delgado. The dry break wasn’t the whole story of the opener though as Van Boening misjudged his route on the five to miss it and hand Delgado an easy table to lead 1-0.

It was a nervy opening affair as they shared the opening four. Into the fifth and Delgado played a brilliant kick behind the one but totally messed up the table speed on the two to leave it hanging in the jaws to bring SVB back to the table to lead at 3-2 and soon 4-2. In the seventh, Van Boening scratched off the break to allow Delgado back to the table and it looked like he’d close the deficit again only to scratch himself with the nine left.

Van Boening’s break was causing a whole heap of problems for the American great and he scratched again at 5-2 up. Delgado pulled another back to 5-3. At 6-3 up, Van Boening scratched on the break again and from there Delgado got another on the board at 6-4, it was the case of the five-time US Open champion being his own worst enemy.

Despite his issues on the break, Van Boening has been in this situation far more often than most and Delgado was hooked on the break to leave his opponent in the optimum position to lead 7-4. Delgado stole another rack at 7-5 to be right behind the USA man.

The new break box was causing both players and at 9-5, Van Boening scratched for the fourth time much to his despair as Delgado got within three again. Delgado made three balls on the next break but he couldn’t close the table out meaning Van Boening got to the hill at 10-6. It was brought back alive after another scratch from Van Boening gave Delgado another rack. Breaking at 10-7, Delgado left on a 1-9 combo to narrow the gap to two again.

In the end, Van Boening did see it out 11-8 in the end thanks to another dry break from Delgado to meet Ouschan in the first-ever European Open Pool Championship final.

The Final @ 6:30pm (CEST)

Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Albin Ouschan (AUT)

Sunday, action is available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia, Poland, and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

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Filler Falls In Fulda As Four Remain

Mario He (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Joshua Filler crashed out of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship as only four remain at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda in Germany live on  Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia, Poland, and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries.

Joshua Filler 5-11 Mario He

Mieszko Fortunski 10-11 Jose Alberto Delgado 

Shane Van Boening 11-7 Matuesz Sniegocki

Albin Ouschan 11-5 Konrad Juszczyszyn


Filler came into the quarter-finals off the back of a dominant display over Jayson Shaw and the home country favourite was looking to get the better of Mario He, someone who had flew under the radar so far this week. He let Filler make the mistakes to let him in early doors and he lead 2-1 after three racks. The Austrian was strolling around the table with ease leading 5-1 when he opened up a chance for Filler after a miss on the one ball brought the Mosconi Cup star his chance to get back on the board at 5-2.

It seemed that Filler would pull back into the contest at this stage but Filler wasn’t at his best and He was back in during the eigth rack after a dry break. He was relentless and playing almost perfect pool as he ran the racks up to leave Filler in a perilous position at 9-2 down needing only two more to book a maiden semi-final appearance in a Matchroom singles event.

The 12th rack saw He break well but leave no potting angle on the one, he opted to push out only for Filler to force him back in, with that He left it open for Filler to get back in at 9-3. A quick break and run in the resulting rack put the difference to only five racks, something Filler wouldn’t be too fazed by. Filler was struggling at times with the table and a cut on the five illustrated just that to bring He back to the table who took full advantage to get on the hill at 10-4.

He broke dry in the 15th rack to bring Filler back to the table. Filler laid a brutal hook on the six which opened up the table for the German to get another rack on the scores and gather some momentum once again. Both have won the World Cup of Pool in recent times and the drama wasn’t done just yet, Filler looked to be clear through to take another rack off He only to rattle both sides of the middle pocket on the six leaving a simple table for He to book his spot in the semi-finals against former World Cup of Pool winning partner Albin Ouschan.

“I am very happy. I know it would be tough to beat Filler. I played him three or four times and it’s so hard to beat him. I had some lucky shots which helped me get off my feet. I felt like he was coming back, he always does that but then he missed the six ball and he gave me two games and let’s say, it was an easier win than it could’ve been. I was kicking good. The balls went for me. It could’ve gone the other way. I am happy I played good and the luck was on my side.” He said.

“It means a lot to be in the last eight. It is always my goal. Maybe two more matches! I hope I play like today!” – Mario He speaking to Hannah Wilkes after victory

With He and Filler doing battle, another story was unfolding on Table 2 where Spain’s Jose Alberto Delgado was making his intentions clear against Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski. The pair traded blow after blow as the contest got heated and Fortunski took control for the first time at 4-3. Fortunski came into the competition looking to go on better than his best performance in a Matchroom event to date at the World Pool Masters where he reached the semi-finals earlier this year. The Butcher had the full length of the table to deal with to make the eight on the bottom rail at 4-4 and he couldn’t do that as Delgado came back to the table to soon establish a two rack lead at 6-4 for the first time.

Fortunski wasn’t going away that easy though as it went 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, and 9-9 before Delgado seized his change to reach the hill and be one away from his first-ever Matchroom semi-final. Delgado came up dry in the penultimate rack for Fortunski to level and force a hill-hill finish. With Fortunski breaking in the last rack, he had his chance to steal it only to be caught up in a safety battle on the four which Delgado made him pay for to seal victory to shouts of ‘VAMOS!’ in the arena.

World Champion Shane Van Boening came up against a spirited Mateusz Sniegocki who was looking to cause an upset on the main table. Van Boening struggled early on despite leading 4-0 after the opening exchanges. Sniegocki breathed a sigh of relief as he got on the board at 4-1 and soon 4-2 to be closing in on the American. The South Dakota kid though already has one huge title to his name this year and he soon lead 6-2. Sniegocki had chances on a plate to keep on Van Boening’s tail and a major one came when he aimed to kick the seven ball only to scratch and put Van Boening back in to be 7-4 up.

Van Boening’s break is usually the pièce de résistance of his game but it was causing him a heap of problems as he scratched in the resulting rack. It was his second scratch of the match so far with five dry breaks, much to the USA hero’s bemusement. Sniegocki cut the deficit to two at this stage at 7-5.

SVB has been pushed hard already in this tournament and he wasn’t going to let Sniegocki get the better of him as he broke and run for the second time to make it 9-5 and be two away from the magic 11 racks. The work of Van Boening wasn’t done yet though after reaching the hill, Sniegocki pounced on another Van Boening dry break to be four away and with the break in his favour.

At 10-7, Sniegocki was left to rue bad time management that left him to rush the one ball and let the table open for Van Boening to seal his passage to the final day.

Albin Ouschan became the last player into the semi-finals minutes after Van Boening thanks to an 11-5 win over Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn. Ouschan took the opening few racks and after five he led 3-2. The Austrian’s pedigree can’t be understated and he was running racks for fun to lead 7-2 and seemingly already put the contest past Juszczyszyn in no part thanks to a 98% pot success rate at that stage.

Juszczyszyn had his moments but Ouschan was too strong and was two away from victory after 12 racks. The contest looked done for the most part as Juszczyszyn come back at 9-5 only for safety on the four to be in ample range for an Ouschan bank which aided him to the hill. A routine break and run gave Ouschan his victory to meet He in the first semi-final tomorrow.

Schedule – Sunday, 14 August @ 12 pm (CEST) 

Semi-Final 1 – Albin Ouschan vs Mario He

Semi-Final 2 – Shane Van Boening vs Jose Alberto Delgado

Final – Race to 13 – @ 6:30pm 

Sunday, action is available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia, Poland, and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

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Eight Remain At European Open Pool Championship

Shane Van Boening (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Nineball World Numbers One and Two in Shane Van Boening and Joshua Filler both made it through to the quarter-finals of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda in Germany live on  Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries.

SCORES / BRACKET

Filler came up against Mosconi Cup teammate Jayson Shaw in the opening contest on Table 1 with the Killer looking to make it through to the next stage on home soil whilst his opponent was looking for their first taste of singles glory in a Matchroom event since 2017. Shaw took an early lead with a golden break in the first rack but Filler came back including a golden break of his own to lead 3-1 and set early pace.

There were some tetchy moments from both players and after five racks Filler edged it 3-2 and took control from then on opening up an assertive lead at 8-2 to put him only two away from a clash with either Mario He of Austria or Besar Spahiu of Albania for a spot in the semi-finals tomorrow. Shaw played a full-length bank to make the one in the 11th rack and from there ran out to cut the deficit but it was short-lived as Filler came true appeasing the home fans with a break and run in the final rack which included an inch-perfect jump shot on the one.

Van Boening’s task to reach the quarter-finals was one of trials and tribulation against Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Sanjin Pehlivanović. The pair couldn’t be split after four racks in a high-quality encounter in a meeting of generations. Pehlivanović trailed 4-2 when Van Boening had seemingly left the youngster hooked but he had other ideas playing a full-length bank of his own whilst jumping the six ball only for SVB to get back to the table and establish a three-rack lead at 5-1. The performance from Van Boening wasn’t what he would describe as clinical and it’s something that Pehlivanović bayed on to level matters back up swiftly at 5-5 and sending a warning sign to the World Champion.

Pehlivanović had his chances to take the game to Van Boening and establish a lead of his own but a scratch on the break from the former Junior World Champion put him under the cosh and Van Boening in the commanding position to run out and amass an 8-5 lead. Van Boening broke dry in the next rack to allow Pehlivanović a chance to get back in it again at 8-6. Another scratch on the break later from Pehlivanović and Van Boening was on the hill.

On the hill, Van Boening and Pehlivanović faltered with varying degrees of opportunity to take it one way or another only for the former to have the final say on things and book a quarter-final date with Mateusz Sniegocki tonight. Sniegocki was rampant at times against Jonas Souto Comino who was playing in his first Matchroom Last 16 tie but the experience of Sniegocki made Souto Comino head home before the evening session.

Elsewhere, Mieszko Fortunski got the better of fellow Pole Tomasz Kaplan on Table 2 10-4 to meet Jose Alberto Delgado in the last eight who had overcome Ronald Regli in a spirited fightback where it looked like it would be Regli who would face Fortunski next only for Delgado to dig deep from behind to defeat the Swiss cueist 10-7. Mario He meanwhile made lightwork of Besar Spahiu of Albania to meet Filler next whilst Konrad Juszczyszyn became the third Polish player into the quarter-finals with a win against Canada’s John Morra.

Albin Ouschan (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Albin Ouschan became the final name into the quarter-finals after the two-time World Champion got the better of Denis Grabe in a hill-hill thriller that saw him from behind on several occasions to dispatch the Estonian. Ouschan got to the hill first but it was Grabe who was breaking for the match only to scratch and leave the Austrian with a routine run out for victory.

Quarter-Finals from 18:00 (CEST)

Table 1

Joshua Filler (GER) vs Mario He (AUT)

Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Mateusz Sniegocki (POL)

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

Mieszko Fortunski (POL) vs José Alberto Delgado (ESP)

Albin Ouschan (AUT) vs Konrad Juszczyszyn (POL)


This evening and Sunday, Table 1 action is available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. Table 2 will be on the Matchroom Pool YouTube channel this evening. See the full where to watch list here.

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2022 European Open Day 4 – Only 16 Remain In Germany

Joshua Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Joshua Filler passed the test of Mosconi Cup teammate Eklent Kaçi and the USA’s Oscar Dominguez to reach the Last 16 of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda, Germany live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live.

Schedule / Scores

Filler had a good day of it coming from behind to defeat Kaçi 9-8 when his goose had looked cooked when Kaçi had a 5-9 combo to seal victory at 8-7 only for the Albanian to offer the gift that the Killer needed to get back into it. Kaçi didn’t get a look in from then on as Filler broke in the final rack but it was far from easy with the 7, 8 and 9 all glued together and the rack penned underneath it. Filler kept his cool in the moment though despite the glaring problem to complete victory and set up a Last 32 tie with Oscar Dominguez of the USA.

Dominguez had came from 4-1 down against Tyler Styer to peg him back at 5-5 and 6-6 before pulling through to meet his old Mosconi Cup rival to reach the Last 16.

Filler came into the contest on the back of two hill-hill showings in his last three matches in the tournament and he was in no mood for a similar scenario. Filler hit the front early on but Dominguez was playing freely and causing the German a whole heap of problems. The home crowd were out for their star man and he delivered a 10-7 victory to book his spot in the Last 16 in what proved to be a successful day that also saw him become the first player on Team Europe for the 2022 Mosconi Cup off the Live Nineball World Rankings.

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz was the only player who could beat Filler to the first Mosconi Cup spot with $14,000 separating the pair heading into the tournament but his hopes were ended in the Last 32 at the hands of Albania’s Besar Spahiu who mounted an impressive comeback to steal it 10-8 and confirm Filler’s spot on Team Europe for the 2022 Mosconi Cup at Bally’s Las Vegas from November 30 to December 3.

Jayson Shaw (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Jayson Shaw is next up for Filler after the two-time Mosconi Cup MVP saw off Petri Makkonen earlier on in the day before a grueling battle with Italy’s Daniele Corrieri to book his place in the Last 16. Corrieri took the game to Shaw and had the better of the opening exchanges with a 1-9 combo the pick of the bunch as he found his rhythm early doors with Shaw not doing too much wrong.

Eagle Eye found his mojo at the midway stage and he didn’t do too much wrong from then on as he led for the first time in the match at 7-6. Shaw from there was imperious as he set up a mouthwatering clash on Table 1 with Filler next.

Team USA‘s charge for glory on home soil will be led by Nineball World No.1 Shane Van Boening who came through his own tests against Germany’s Sebastian Staab in the Last 64 before Wojciech Szewczyk stood in his way of a weekend appearance. Szewczyk took the early initiative to lead 2-0 before Van Boening pulled back to 2-2. The pair were entertaining the crowd with some of the best safety play witnessed all week as Van Boening came back to lead only for Szewczyk to soon lead 5-4 and be at the halfway point. Van Boening was dominant to lead 9-5 only to break dry in the next and Szewczyk to bite back. The Pole was struggling for position on the 1 ball. and had to play safe and from there Van Boening played a kick and stick that would rival any in history to leave Szewczyk in knots. A short safety battled ensued for Van Boening to come on top and meet Sanjin Pehlivanovic in the Last 16 tomorrow.

Alexander Kazakis defeated David Alcaide 9-2 to reach the Last 32 and meet John Morra. The Greek had a battle on his hands against Morra who lead at various points and most importantly was 8-6 up in the Race to 10. The Canadian looked to have control but Kazakis has demonstrated in recent times his steely nature with some clutch pots to pull it back and looked to be in to level at 9-9. Kazakis lost position on the penultimate ball to leave it over the pocket and give Morra the easiest route into the Last 16 to meet Konrad Juszczyszyn next.

Session 1 from 12pm (CEST)

Table 1 – Sky Sports / DAZN / Viaplay / Matchroom.Live / See the full where to watch list here

Joshua Filler (GER) vs Jayson Shaw (GBR)

Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Sanjin Pehlivanović (BOS)

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

Mieszko Fortunski (POL) vs Tomasz Kaplan (POL)

Jonas Souto Comino (ESP) vs Mateusz Sniegocki (POL)

Albin Ouschan (ESP) vs Denis Grabe (EST)

Table 3

Ronald Regli (SUI) vs Jose Alberto Delgado (ESP)

John Morra (CAN) Vs Konrad Juszczyszyn (POL)

Mario He (AUT) vs Besar Spahiu (ALB)


Tomorrow and Sunday, Table 1 action is available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. Table 2 will be on the Matchroom Pool YouTube channel. See the full where to watch list here.

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Ouschan Shocked By Wan, Fisher Makes Winning Start In Predator Germany Open 2022 Women’s Division

Katrina Wan (Hong Kong)

Kelly Fisher has enjoyed the addition of the Predator Pro Billiard Series to the international calendar; the Brit has won both previous Women’s events on the series.

On Tuesday, she began her efforts to win a third as the Women’s division of the Predator Germany Open began at ATLANTIC Hotel Galopprennbahn, Bremen. Staged alongside the Open event, the Women’s division has equal added money of €45,400 and an international field including Austria’s Jasmin Ouschan and Alfa Las Vegas Open runner-up Brittany Bryant of Canada.

Fisher’s first match was against Sukmawaty Facquet of Indonesia, on the winners’ side of the backets after a bye through the first round. The Alfa Las Vegas Women’s Open champion was shooting sharp and gave Facquet very few chances at the table in the opening set, save for some difficult shots on the 1 which weren’t taken after push outs by Fisher. An attempted bank of the 9 ball went wrong for Facquet in the first game of the second set and just 20 minutes later Fisher had completed a 4-0, 4-0 shutout.

Ouschan, also beginning on the winners’ side, suffered a surprise Sudden Death shootout defeat by Katrina Wan of Hong Kong. Taking the first set 4-1, Ouschan was held to a 3-3 tie after six games of the second set and it was Wan who was first to escape a series of safeties around the 8 ball to take it to shootout. Both players made three of their initial four shots but it was Wan who prevailed in Sudden Death when Ouschan missed in her seventh innings.

In the Open division, Tuesday’s play was reserved for the losers’ side of the bracket. After an opening round defeat to friend and fellow Spanish player Jose Alberto Delgado, Jonas Souto was sent home after a shootout defeat by Hong Kong’s Ip Tung Pong. Souto won the first set 4-0 but the second set finished 4-1 to Tung Pong, who won the shootout 5-4 at Sudden Death.

Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn is also heading home after defeat by a player from Hong Kong. Yip Kin Ling lost in the first round to Vincent Gomez but a 2-0 win against Juszczyszyn, a former EuroTour winner and 2018 European 9-Ball Champion, means the Asian player progresses to face Jani Siekkinen next.

Oliver Ortmann’s tournament continues after he defeated Richard Halliday of South Africa, and Finnish junior player Riku Romppanen claimed victory against Thorben Brunnen. Play resumes at 11am local time on Wednesday as the winners’ side taking stage in the Open event. The Women’s division will see matches from both sides of the bracket.

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the next events.

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Dynamic Billard Treviso Open – 16 Players Remain

Joshua Filler

There are now just 16 players left in the Dynamic Billard Treviso Open as a further 118 competitors were eliminated following an intensive day’s play at the BHR Treviso Hotel. Wiktor Zielinski (Poland) is still on track for his third successive Euro Tour title as he beat Besar Spahiu of Albania 9-6 to give himself a match against the Netherlands’ Marc Bijsterbosch tomorrow morning (Monday).

Euro Tour legend Ralf Souquet defines the term ‘fighting spirit’. Having gone to the losers’ side early on at the hands of young Spaniard Jonas Souto, he battled through and avenged that defeat, beating Souto 9-3 before coming from behind to defeat Thorsten Hohmann 9-8 and set up a last 16 clash with in-form Alexander Kazakis of Greece.

The feature match on Table 1 was between the 3 and 4 ranked players on the Euro Tour; Germany’s Joshua Filler and David Alcaide (Spain). It was great while it lasted as Filler, who seems to enjoy complete freedom when he is at the table, took a large 6-1 lead as he raced through the racks, seizing any opportunity that came his way.

Alcaide, with the match in danger of running away from him, fired back, taking the next two to reduce the deficit to 6-3. The German star though, steamed through the next rack to take a 7-3 lead. Filler broke and ran the next, coming with some great shots on a messy table to reach the hill at 8-3.

Alcaide took no time in winning the next to get to 8-4 but with the alternate break format, his chances were slim. An illegal break from Filler – two balls were potted but the third never made it past the headstring – gave Alcaide an opportunity. A safety battle ensued before Alcaide came out on top and cleared to get to 8-5 with the break.

The Spaniard took the next for 8-6 before Filler broke off in the next. It wasn’t all easy but he made no errors to close the match out 9-6. He can now look forward to facing Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn in the round of 16 tomorrow.

In what was always likely to be a close-run thing, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, the European No.1, beat Oliver Szolnoki (Hungary) 9-8 to keep his potential hold on the number one spot intact. Make no mistake, the Hungarian youngster is one of the fastest rising stars in world pool, and his scalp will give Sanchez a load of confidence for his last 16 match against Tomasz Kaplan on Monday.

The tournament continues at 10.00 local time on Monday morning with the last 16 round. The tournament concludes on Monday evening with the televised final stages.

All Euro Tour tournaments are 9-ball and players compete in a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 32 competitors, and
then single elimination until the finish. All matches are races to 9 racks with alternate break.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com
Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com

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Van Boening Pulls Off Historic Comeback To Book Last 16 Spot

A drained Shane Van Boening (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Shane Van Boening produced a comeback for the ages as he came from 10-3 down to defeat Hall of Famer and former World Champion Mika Immonen 11-10 to reach the Last 16 of the 2022 World Pool Championship at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes. Coverage live on Sky Sports in the UK/Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria as well as Viaplay and networks worldwide.

Scores and Bracket

Van Boening will face Chinese Taipei’s Ko Pin Yi who downed Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw in a hill-hill finish as action heated up dramatically. Shaw had taken the early lead, but it was Pin Yi who hit back to lead 8-6 before reaching the hill first at 10-7. The Brit was never down and out though after a huge fluke on the 9 ball after he kicked the 2 ball into it and in. Pin Yi though is a former World Champion, and he showed the qualities that won him that title in 2015 to beat Shaw by a slender margin to meet Van Boening next.

Elsewhere, last year’s runner-up Omar Al Shaheen made a remarkable comeback from 10-1 down to beat Daniel Guttenberger in the last rack in the Last 32 before making lightwork of Masato Yoshioka in the Last 16 to set up a clash with Oliver Szolnoki who reached the semi-finals in 2021.

Two-time champion Thorsten Hohmann will meet fellow two-timer Albin Ouschan in the opening Last 16 match tomorrow morning on Table 1 after Hohmann knocked out Live 2023 Nineball World No.1 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz in the afternoon and Ko Ping Hang in the evening. Ouschan meanwhile got the better of Nicholas De Leon and Norweigan Mats Schjetne who gave Ouschan one of his toughest matches of the tournament so far sneaking through 11-8.

Darren Appleton keeps rolling back the years overcoming Tomasz Kaplan and Lo Ho Sum only dropping three racks in the process. The former World Champion will face his sternest test to date though tomorrow against the Killer, Joshua Filler. There was drama wherever you looked at the Marshall Arena and Naoyuki Oi‘s match with Oscar Dominguez for a place in the Last 16 delivered.

Oi had cantered in front against Oscar Dominguez at 8-1 before it was the American who reached the hill first with Oi trailing by two racks at 10-8. The Japanese stalwart though showed why he renowned as one of the world’s best to book a Last 32 spot against the last remaining Pole, Konrad Juszczyszyn. Juszczyszyn proved no match for Oi who had found his groove though and now meets Chang Jung-Lin who slew Niels Feijen.

Feijen, a previous winner of the tournament himself, was frozen to his chair and 6-0 before he knew it after losing the lag, but he fought back to 6-4. It did prove to be all in vain though as Jung-Lin pushed back to make it two Chinese Taipei players in the Last 16.

SATURDAY 10, APRIL 11 am 

Table 1 – Where to Watch 

Albin Ouschan vs Thorsten Hohmann

Shane Van Boening vs Ko Pin Yi

Table 2 – Live on Matchroom Pool YouTube 

Joshua Filler vs Darren Appleton

Naoyuki Oi vs Chang Jung-Lin

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

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Predator World 10-Ball Championship Kicks Off Today

Eklent Kaci

In a way, Eklent Kaci’s biggest victory of 2021 was the fact that he made it to Las Vegas at all.

The big Albanian had spent more time in his home country than he had hoped, missing a spring Matchroom event in England when his teammate couldn’t get a visa in time then missing a handful of additional events while waiting nearly three months for his “expedited” visa. Once he finally secured the proper credentials, Kaci was denied the opportunity to board his flight to the United States on August 29due to a reservation mix-up and was forced to skip the Diamond Las Vegas Open.

Finally, three days later, Kaci was cleared to travel and made the most of his opportunity, working his way through a field of 64 of the world’s best pocket billiards competitors and took home the World 10-Ball Championship, defeating Naoyuki Oi 10-6 for the title at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.

“This hasn’t been the best year,” he said after the finals were completed. “But this makes it worth the trouble.”

Although 2021 won’t be one that Kaci looks back on with much fondness, it was a revolutionary year for professional pool overall with the creation of numerous new tournaments throughout the world – including the U.S. Pro Billiard Series.

When billiard equipment manufacturer Predator Group and worldwide pool league operator CueSports International announced plans to launch the Series last summer, the strategy could have been interpreted as both aggressive and unconventional. The Pro Billiard Series launched with four new competitions spread out over three months while also producing the World 10-Ball Championships. Adding intrigue was the fact that the Series would be eschewing longer race formats which have long been a staple at major events and opting instead to implement a two-set, race-to-four that concluded with a sudden-death shootout if two competitors finished tied. As an added bonus, the champion of each Pro Billiard Series event in 2021 earned automatic entry into this week’s 2022 Predator World 10-Ball Championships, held again at the Rio beginning today.

“We need to make the sport more exciting,” said Predator Owner Karim Belhaj over the summer. “We’re trying to find outside sponsors while keeping people’s attention.”

It was only fitting that some of the most exciting young players today in professional pool brought home championships in this first season of the Series, as rising stars like Taiwan’s Kun-Lin Wu, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp and Austria’s Mario He earned breakthrough titles. Even more impressive than the roster of champions was the quality of play, as competitors used a variety of methods to earn their championships – clutch shot making, pinpoint position play and stifling safeties.

“I believe we will one day look back on the inaugural season of the US Pro Billiard Series as a historic turning point for professional pool,” said Ozzy Reynolds, owner of CueSports International, the co-creator of the Series. “Several companies joined forces, bringing their own unique assets to the table, to build a better sport.”

The year was also a historic turning point for Wu, who had flirted with victory at big events in recent years only to come up short – finishing in third at the 2016 China Open and turning in a handful of top-10 performances at the Japan Open.

Competing at September’s Diamond Las Vegas Open, the 25-year-old notched his first win of his career, defeating Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen in straight sets, 4-3, 4-1. The young man from Taiwan, who posted an undefeated record during the four-day, 128-player event, eliminated Kremlin Cup champion Tyler Styer and Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz to reach the semi-finals. Facing Estonia’s Dennis Grabe with a chance to go to the finals, he watched as his opponent pocketed back-to-back pocketed 10 balls on the break to sail to an opening set 4-0 win. Wu bounced back, closing out the second set with back-to-back victories after Grabe missed a jump shot in the fifth game and then the deciding shootout to advance to the finals where he took down Al Shaheen.

“I talked to myself to get off of the pressure in the final day,” said Wu. “I felt much pressure because of the title match. Both me and Omar had not won a title yet.”

That drought ended for Wu thanks to a break-and-run paired with two victorious safety exchanges, as he built a 3-0 advantage in the first set. The Kuwaiti battled back to tie the score but missed a combination shot in the seventh game, allowing his opponent to clear the table and take the set. In the next frame, the young man from Taiwan capitalized on a handful of missed shots by Al Shaheen, who earlier this year placed second at the World Pool Championships, to coast a 4-1 victory and earn his first victory.

Last September, Yapp grabbed the attention of the pool world when the 25-year-old reached the finals of September’s U.S. Open Pool Championships and built an 8-3 lead in the title match before ultimately falling to Carlo Biado. The young man from Singapore continued his ascension at the CSI Michigan Open, bouncing back from an early round loss to Roberto Gomez Jr. to defeat the Filipino in the championship match in straight sets, 4-0, 4-2.

Yapp, who struggled with his break throughout the day, gutted out victories against World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis of Greece and Konrad Juszczyszyn of Poland, then survived a second half scare in the semifinals against Hungary’s Oliver Szolnoki. After Yapp won the first set, the match appeared headed to a sudden death shootout as the Hungarian controlled the table with an open table layout. That was before Szolnoki missed the 3 ball, allowing Yapp to run out and advance to the finals, where he capitalized on a handful of Gomez errors to breeze to his first championship on United States soil.

At the Pro Billiard Series season finale, October’s FargoRate Ohio Open in Dayton, Mario He continued to survive but struggled to get a feel for the table being used to televise matches, with the radiant lights causing a different playing condition than he was accustomed to on the outside tables. In the finals against Gomez, the Austrian would barely need to shoot at times, pocketing back-to-back 10 balls on the break to build a quick 3-0 lead in the first set. The Austrian would during a Gomez comeback and win the frame 4-3, then take advantage of a handful of missed shots by the Filipino to pitch a 4-0 shutout and secure the championship.

All three Pro Billiard Series champions will be in competition this week along with reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player Jayson Shaw, five-time U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion Shane Van Boening, 2019 World 10-Ball champion Ping-Chung Ko and his older brother, 2015 World 10-Ball champion Pin-Yi Ko. Also competing will be World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis, reigning World Pool and International Open champion Albin Ouschan and U.S. Open pool champion Biado.

Competition is scheduled to begin this afternoon and will be broadcast live on Billiard TV and World Billiard TV, the official YouTube channel of CueSports International.

The Predator World 10-Ball Championship  runs March 28-April 1 and still to come is The Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, which runs March 30-April 2.

The events coincide with the CueSports International Expo, which brings thousands of amateur pool players for the BCA Pool League World Championships as well as the USA Pool League National Championships.

Find the Predator World 10-Ball Championship brackets with live scores on the Predator Pro Billiard Series website.

The Predator World 10-Ball Championship is streamed for free on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.

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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Appleton Advances While Shaw Stunned on Day Two of Alfa Las Vegas Open

Darren Appleton

Of all of the vacation and convention destinations in the world, Las Vegas usually isn’t particularly kind to most of its visitors.

After all, most of the city’s legendary and luxurious casinos certainly aren’t able to stay open because visitors keep breaking them with big jackpots. “The house always wins,” as the saying goes.

But the city has been particularly unlucky as of late for Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Darren Appleton, who was winless in his two previous visits to Vegas, posting back-to-back two-and-outs before heading home.

Competing in the fourth annual Alfa Las Vegas Open this weekend, it appears his luck might be starting to change. Appleton survived back-to-back shootouts – including a sudden-death thriller against reigning United States Open Pool champion Carlo Biado – to remain unbeaten in the four-day, 192-player tournament being held at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.

After an opening round bye and a 4-3 sudden death win against Duong Quoc Hoang, Appleton reached the third round where he faced off against Biado, who drew first blood when his opponent scratched on the break in the opening rack. The Hall of Famer tied the score when the Filipino failed to pocket a ball on the break in the next rack, then rattled off three more wins to seal the set, 4-1.

The following frame was practically a photo negative, as Biado capitalized on two openings left by his opponent to an early 2-0 lead before Appleton narrowed the deficit with a successful combination shot on the 10 ball in the third game. Appleton appeared to tie the set at two games each when he pocketed the 10 ball again on a combination shot, but he failed to call the 10 ball to be pocketed. What looked like a tied set resulted in Appleton essentially playing a safety on himself when the 10 ball was re-spotted, with the cue ball’s path to the 1 ball now blocked. After Appleton scratched during a safety exchange, Biado cleared the table and then added another rack to close out the set, 4-1.

After each player missed a ball in the first two innings of the shootout, both competitors executed back-to-back shots to send the set into sudden death. With the cue ball now moved back a diamond, Appleton again made back-to-back shots while Biado missed his attempt in the seventh inning to hand his opponent the victory.

Appleton will now face Pin-Yi Ko in the next round, who needed a shootout of his own to defeat Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski.

Hours earlier, Appleton’s friend and reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player Jayson Shaw wasn’t as fortunate.

Facing Dimitri Jungo of Switzerland, the two competitors battled throughout the first set, with Jungo taking an early 2-0 advantage after his opponent left openings in back-to-back games. Shaw snagged a pair of games to tie the score thanks to a successful combination shot on the 10 ball in the third rack and a Jungo miss in the next game, but handed the table back to his opponent when he scratched in the fifth game. Jungo had an opportunity to close out the set but failed to pocket a ball on the break in the sixth game, as Shaw won back-to-back racks to seal the victory, 4-3.

The Scotsman climbed onto the scoreboard first in the second set when his opponent scratched, but Jungo would claim the next two games thanks to an unforced error by his opponent and a successful carom shot on the 10 ball in the third rack. Shaw tied the score in the fourth game after his opponent missed the 10 ball, but a missed 3 ball in the following game would relinquish the table to Jungo for the remainder of the set, as he cleared the table and then broke-and-ran to secure the set, 4-2, and send the match to a sudden death shootout.

After both competitors pocketed their opening shot of the extra frame, Shaw missed on his second attempt. Meanwhile, Jungo remained perfect throughout the deciding set, successfully executing four straight shots to pull off the upset.

In other notable matches that took place, Poland’s Wojciech Szewczyk fought back from an opening round 4-1 loss to Mika Immonen to claim the second set, 4-2, and beat the Hall of Famer in a shootout, 3-1. Spain’s Jonas Souto, who upset Shane Van Boening the day before, continued his hot play with a straight sets victory against Daniel Schneider, 4-1, 4-3. Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski defeated fellow countryman Konrad Juszczyszyn in straight sets, 4-1, 4-1 and Alex Montpellier took down Ping Han Ko in a shootout, 3-2.

Play resumes Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. local time with notable matches including Corey Deuel facing Juszczyszyn, Shane Wolford meeting Oscar Dominguez and Hunter Lombardo meeting Chris Reinhold in one-loss side matches.

Matches can be watched on Billiard.TV and also on World Billiard TV, the official YouTube channel of CueSports International.

The Alfa Las Vegas Open takes place March 23-26. The Alfa Las Vegas Open is followed by the Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which runs March 28-April 1 and The Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, which runs March 30-April 2.

The events coincide with the CueSports International Expo, which brings thousands of amateur pool players for the BCA Pool League World Championships as well as the USA Pool League National Championships.

Find the Alfa Las Vegas Open brackets with live scores on the Predator Pro Billiard Series website.

The Alfa Las Vegas Open is streamed for free on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.
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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