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Defending Champion Zielinski Still Alive at Alfa Las Vegas Open

Wiktor ZIelinski

One year ago, Wiktor Zielinski became the first player from Poland to break through at a large-scale event, defeating Aloysius Yapp to win the Alfa Las Vegas Open.

Heading into the final day of this year’s Open, Zielinski’s hopes to repeat as champion remain firmly in tact, as the Pole defeated 2020 champion Jung-Lin Chang in straight sets Saturday night at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino. The Pole will now face Vietnam’s Duong Quoc Hoang, who came from behind to beat Shane Van Boening.

After Zielinski won the first set, 4-2, the two competitors split the first two games of the second frame until the Pole clawed ahead with a victorious safety exchange. He failed to pocket a ball on the break in the following game but forced Chang into fouling, allowing him to tack on another win and climb onto the hill. Chang, who reached the quarterfinals by defeating Albin Ouschan and Joshua Filler, cut the deficit to 3-2 when he forced Zielinski into a foul with a safety but lost the next game and the match when his opponent used the same strategy, finding an opening to run out after multiple safeties on the 2 ball.

On an adjacent table, Hoang was taking advantage of a handful of unforced errors by Van Boening to grind his way into the semifinals.

The American won the first two racks of the opening set then took advantage of a missed cut shot on the 2 ball by his opponent to build an early 3-0 advantage. Van Boening, who reached the quarterfinals with victories over Eklent Kaci and Konrad Juszczyszyn, closed out the set in the next game when he forced Hoang into a foul with a safety.

He drew first blood in the second set when his opponent missed the 1 ball but again failed to make a ball on the break, allowing Hoang to drill home a combination shot on the 10 ball. Hoang climbed ahead after Van Boening missed a soft 7 ball in the side pocket, then increased his lead when he pocketed another combination after forcing the American into committing another foul. Van Boening had a chance to pull to within a game of the lead but missed the 6 ball, allowing his opponent to sail to a 4-1 second set win.

In the deciding set, Van Boening took advantage of a Hoang miss in the opening game to take an early lead but both players continued to be plagued by breaking struggles, failing to land a ball on the opening shot. Hoang tied the score after trading safeties, gave away a chance at the lead when he scratched but recovered in the next game when Van Boening scratched on the break. With the score now knotted at two, Hoang closed out the set by taking advantage of a missed 3 ball by Van Boening in the fifth game then breaking and running.

Zielinski will have familiar company in the semifinals, with fellow countryman Daniel Maciol defeating Bader Alawadhi 4-3, 4-1 in the quarterfinals, meaning half of the event’s remaining four competitors are from Poland. Maciol will face Sanjin Pehlivanovic, who defeated Vitaliy Patsura in straight sets as well.

Semifinals are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. local time and the finals are slated to start at 4 p.m.

Watch Live on World Billiard TV YouTube channel, Billiard TV and at tv.kozoom.com

Brackets and scores can be found at https://probilliardseries.com/2023-men/2023-alfa-las-vegas-open/

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

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Polish Power and Fisher Back to Defend Crowns at Alfa Opens and World 10-Ball

For the past five years or so, competitors from Poland had been going deep in large professional pocket billiards tournaments and challenging the world’s best.

Polish competitors like Mieszko Fortunski, Wiktor Zielinski and Konrad Juszczyszyn would routinely reach the final 16 or quarterfinals of a major tournament or world championship – like in 2021, when eight Poles qualified for the 64-player, single-elimination phase of a world championship.

“Everyone is chasing after each other here and working on their game and it makes it very difficult for anyone to stand out,” said Wojciech Szewczyk. “We have a lot of passion for the game and we take it very seriously.”

Despite this passion, no one from the European nation had managed to earn a major victory –until last year, when Zielinski took home first place at Predator’s Pro Billiard Series Alfa Las Vegas Open and Szewczyk came from behind to win the Predator World 10-Ball Championship six days later. Both players along with women’s Alfa Las Vegas Open champion Kelly Fisher will be back to defend their titles beginning this week, with the Cue Sports International Expo kicking off this week. The 11-day event, which also includes the 3-Cushion World Cup, will begin Wednesday with the men’s Alfa Las Vegas Open and the women’s Open starting on Friday.

As Predator and CSI work to produce the toughest and fairest tests in professional pool, this year’s Pro Billiard Series events will see a format change. The single-elimination final stage of the Open tournaments will expand to three sets of a race-to-four from the two sets that it was previously. If the third set finishes in a 3-3 tie, a sudden-death shootout will occur. Competition in the double-elimination opening stage will remain a two-set race-to-four with ties decided by a shootout.

The format for the 128-player World 10-Ball Championship will remain unchanged, with players competing in race-to-eight double-elimination during the first half of the event before expanding to a race-to-10 during the single-elimination portion of the competition.

Zielinski survived a rollercoaster of a final day in last year’s Alfa Open, defeating Dimitri Jungo and Mika Immonen in shootouts to reach the finals where he took down Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp in straight sets. Six days later, Szewczyk trailed Edgie Geronimo 9-6 in the quarterfinals of the World 10-Ball Championships before taking advantage of a pair of open opportunities to come from behind and defeat his opponent. He then took down Albania’s Eklent Kaci and Christopher Tevez of Peru to earn Poland’s first world title. The weekend concluded with Fisher continuing a hot streak that would result in her earning a gold medal at the World Games later that summer and Player of the Year honors with Billiards Digest as AZBilliards, as the Hall of Famer posted an undefeated record and defeated Canada’s Britany Bryant in the finals of the women’s Alfa Las Vegas Open.

Professional events will be played on 18 nine-foot Predator Apex tables while over 6,000 competitors from the CSI Leagues will be competing on 276 of the seven-foot Apex table.

The prize fund for this year’s World 10-Ball Championship is also expanding to a total of $250,000 – up from $225,000 the previous year – with the winner’s share remaining $60,000. The two-week-long event kicks off third year of the Pro Billiard Series, which will include 21 total events this year that will pay out over $2 million in prize money.

Matches can be watched on Billiard.TV and on World Billiard TV, the official YouTube channel of CueSports International. A schedule of televised matches will be posted daily on the Pro Billiard Series and CSI Facebook and Instagram pages.

The Alfa Las Vegas Open starts at 9am local time tomorrow. Watch Live on World Billiard TV YouTube channel, Billiard TV and at tv.kozoom.com

Brackets and scores can be found at https://probilliardseries.com/2023-men/2023-alfa-las-vegas-open/

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

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Earl Strickland Leads a Star-Studded Premier League Pool Field From March 6-13

Earl Strickland to compete in 16-player wild card Premier League Pool

Matchroom Pool is delighted to announce Premier League Pool return this March 6-13 at the Morningside Arena, Leicester with 16 wild cards set to compete for the $100,000 prize fund.

Premier League Pool pits 16 of the best against each other in an exhilarating league format that sees players guaranteed at least $2,500.

Newly crowned world champion and Nineball World No.1 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz will lead the field alongside defending champion Albin Ouschan of Austria and current Nineball World No. 2 Shane Van Boening. Veteran USA legend Earl Strickland will also return to the UK for the first time since being cruelly ruled out of the 2021 Mosconi Cup and his first appearance in an invitational Matchroom event since the 2018 World Pool Masters.

The field will offer viewers a spectacle to behold with some of the sport’s most exciting names set to compete such as Alex Pagulayan, SVB Junior Open champion Khalid Alghamdi, two-time Mosconi Cup MVPs Jayson Shaw and Skyler Woodward,World Pool Championship semi-finalist Wu Kun Lin and Poland’s World Top 20 Konrad Juszczyszyn. South Korea’s female star Seo Seoa will make her Matchroom debut whilst further names are set to be announced in the coming weeks. A minimum of 12 countries will be represented in the field.

The final names to complete the field will be announced in the coming days. Fans can hear more on these names soon by following Matchroom Pool on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok here.

Fans will be able to enjoy both tables live globally with Table 1 live on broadcasters worldwide including DAZN in the USA and Spain, Viaplay in the UK, Scandinavia, Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland, SportKlub in the Balkan region as well as on Matchroom.Live. See where to watch in your country here.

Plus, Table 2 will be live to fans through Matchroom.Live worldwide, and the Matchroom Pool YouTube channel

Premier League Pool Format

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64 Remain In Poland At World Pool Championship 2023 Inbox

Joshua Filler (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Joshua Filler survived being knocked to the loser’s side by Alex Pagulayan on day two of the World Pool Championship 2023 in Kielce, Poland as only 64 remain after two days of action live on Sky Sports, Viaplay, DAZN, Matchroom.Live and TV networks worldwide.

Brackets / Scores

Filler faced Pagulayan early on for a spot in the Last 64 to avoid an extra match in Losers’ Qualification round this evening. The Killer fell to a 9-7 defeat, his second defeat to the Canadian in a matter of days after a loss at the Derby City Classic. It left Filler having to beat Daniele Corrieri to ensure his hunt for a second world title would continue and he did so in emphatic fashion in a 9-1 dismantling. Crucially, defeat to Pagulayan meant Filler lost his seeded position in the bracket ahead of the Last 64 redraw.

Other top seeds had less trouble as Shane Van Boening stepped past Mats Schjetne 9-2 whilst two-time winner Albin Ouschan put Khalid Alghamdi onto the losers side. Jayson Shaw meanwhile took out young German Tobias Bongers 9-5 and World Cup of Pool winner David Alcaide whitewashed Jani Uski to secure an afternoon off.

Last year’s semi-finalist Abdullah Alyousef suffered a 9-3 defeat to USA hotshot Shane Wolford to be sent home at the first major hurdle whilst Oliver Szolnoki suffered the same fate in a hill-hill finish against Ajdin Piknjac. 2021 runner-up Omar Al-Shaheen struggled for his groove against Denis Grabe as the Estonian came good to knock the 2021 runner-up out the competition. There was frustration for 1996 champion Ralf Souquet also, the Kaiser well beaten by Pole Daniel Maciol in Winners’ Qualification before defeat at the hands of Dimitri Jungo. Home favourite Mieszko Fortunski was also knocked out with the World Pool Masters semi-finalist knocked out by Lars Kuckherm.

The 32 players who qualified through Winners’ Qualification were seeded in the Last 64 redraw against an unseeded player who came through the Losers Qualification matches with Karl Boyes completing the draw with Rachel Casey on the Matchroom Pool YouTube page. Pagulayan and Filler will have to dance again after being drawn against each other whilst defending champion Van Boening will come up against Uski.

Action returns from midday local time tomorrow on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, Viaplay in Poland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, and the Netherlands, DAZN in the USA and Italy as well as on Matchroom.Live and broadcasters worldwide. Table 2 and Table 3 are on the Matchroom Pool and Multi Sport YouTube Channels respectively and Viaplay in above listed territories. See where to watch here.

Last 64 Draw

Shane Van Boening VS Jani Uski
Aloysius Yapp VS Chris Melling
David Alcaide VS Wojciech Szewczwk
Lo Ho Sum VS Duong Quoc Hoang
Max Lechner VS Ruben Bautista
Nick Van Den Berg VS Johann Chua
Naoyuki Oi VS Emil-Andre Gangflot
Alexander Kazakis VS Wu Kun Lin
Sebastian Batkowski VS Francesco Candela
Ali Nasser Al Obaidli VS James Aranas
Imran Majid VS Mika Immonen
Mariusz Skoneczny VS Mohammad Soufi
Gerson Martinez VS Lars Kukcherm
Mateusz Sniegocki VS Fabio Petroni
Daniel Maciol VS Dimitri Jungo
Albin Ouschan VS Tyler Styer
Alex Pagulayan VS Johshua Filler
Aleksa Pecelj VS Roman Hybler
Sanjin Pehlivanovic VS Petri Makkonen
Niels Feijen VS Adjn Piknjac
Eklent Kaci VS Mario He
Ko Ping Chung VS Shane Wolford
John Morra VS Luong Duc Thien
Jayson Shaw VS Besar Spahiu
Wiktor Zielinski VS Mickey Krause
Jose Alberto Delgado VS Moritz Neuhausen
Chang Jung-Lin VS Hunter Lombardo
Ko Pin Yi VS Jan Van Lierop
Konrad Juszczyszyn VS Nguyen Anh Tuan
Robbie Capito VS Denis Grabe
Thorsten Hohmann VS Khalid Alghamdi
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz VS Oscar Dominguez

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2023 Derby City Classic One Pocket Division – Josh Roberts vs Konrad Juszczyszyn

2023 Derby City Classic Bigfoot 10-Ball Challenge – John Morra vs Konrad Juszczysyzn

2023 Derby City Classic Bigfoot 10-Ball Challenge – Lee Vann Corteza vs Konrad Juszczyszyn

2023 Derby City Classic Bigfoot 10-Ball Challenge – Shane Van Boening vs Konrad Juszczyszyn

Reyes and Murphy Highlight Derby City Classic Days 7 & 8

Efren Reyes

Diamond Derby City Classic XXIV, January 20-28, 2023

Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN

Master of the Table points are accredited to the Banks, One Pocket, and 9-Ball divisions.

The player who accrues the most points from their highest finishes in the 3 disciplines is deemed All-Around-Champion.

Diamond generously delivers an additional $20,000 for first, plus, $3,000 and $2,000 respectively for 2nd and 3rd.

More on that later after the One Pocket final.

The Accu-Stats PPV OnDemand service has all of the above entertainment available for your viewing pleasure until Feb.28, 2023.

Diamond Derby City Classic ONE-POCKET Championship: Semis and Finals

Due to Diamond’s dedication to accommodating the incredible surge in entries –1569 in all – the ONE POCKET Semis and Finals will be completed, and streamed from the Accu-Stats TV Arena,

TODAY Saturday, Jan 28.

Let’s catch up: Highlights from Thursday

Pagulayan vs Schmidt

Alex ran 8-and-out to open his encounter with John Schmidt. It was do-or-die as each contender was down to one bullet.

After the second rack Alex was leading 2-0. Schmidt mustered his gumption to take it to 2-1

Alex, after leaving his 5th ball hanging near his pocket, allowed John an opening.

John, masterfully, manufactured a six ball run until the nudge to open a three ball cluster didn’t cooperate.

He made his 7th ball anyway knowing full well that shape on his game-ball wasn’t very possible.

Needing only one ball to tie the match, necessitated that John went full blooded, He sliced the paint off of it. And, lost the cue ball.

Alex calmly ran his last 4 balls.

Woodward vs Filler

Surely, the comeback of the One-Pocket Championship was when Skyler Woodward, who just joined Shane Van Boening and Fedor Gorst at team Cuetec, faced Joshua Filler.

Woodward fell afoul of his super aggressive play which left Filler opportunities to pull ahead.

Sure, had Skyler made the ball, chances are he was out. When the ball didn’t fall, Filler filled in the gaps.

So, now, they were tied at 2. With only one life left each: Someone’s gotta go.

Joshua, energized, jumped to a 5-2 lead.

Sky, disciplined now, had safety in mind. No more firing at fantasies. No silly sell-outs.

All the balls were soon driven upstream, not quite “the wedge” as they weren’t confined to a corner. 

But, for sure, there was no way to win in one inning. 

Either player must earn it – with pure banking skills. One rail, two railers at a time is how Sky reversed the seemingly insurmountable lead.

You have to see for yourself. The match is available OnDemand at Accu-Stats.com.

It’s must see TV!

Friday, JAN 27

Johnathon Pinegar vs Tony Chohan

Johnathon Pinegar is no stranger to Derby City, yet it might be this year’s superb performance by administering losses to Shane Van Boening, Tyler Styer, Anton Raga, Billy Thorpe, and the first loss to Tony Chohan that will be remembered best.

Thanks to the luck of the algorithm, Johnathon and Tony were chosen to meet again immediately, only this time, in the Accu-Stats Arena.

Here, Tony had home court advantage: He had a few matches “in the can.” He had experienced that the table played slower and banked a little shorter. Plus, he was familiar with the intensity of the 60-second shot clock.

Johnathon found this out the hard way; Mainly as his cue ball didn’t travel as far and interrupted the kind of run-outs he had completed earlier in the outer Diamond Arena.

Tony retuned the compliment and, in under hour, FedExed Pinegar to the buy-back booth.

Pinegar vs Reyes

No rest for Pinegar: He was immediately redrawn to face Efren…in the Accu-Stats arena.

The good news is that as we’re down to four players, he had opportunity to become acclimatized to it. It’s Semis and Finals time: There is nowhere to play but the Accu-Stats TV table.

After Efren defeated Alex, Skyler finished off Filler only to lose to Reyes who’s relentless will to win is truly inspiring.

He still has two lives and he’s been competing for six hours in Pool’s most cerebral discipline. Where is this stamina, both mental and physical, coming from?

Pinegar, too. He’d just succumbed to Chohan, the 2022 One-Pocket runner-up. Now he has to face the man the with more DCC wins than anyone.

And, his confidence is lagging as is the speed of his cue ball. It’s time to adjust.

His relaxed, yet focused, demeanor and superb defensive skills didn’t allow Reyes much of a look at anything, makeable, anyway.

Efren was definitely tiring. Then, he erred. John stole a ball. A few innings later Efren erred again. John ran 7-and-out.

At 1-0, it’s Reyes’ ball that isn’t reaching the pocket. John in two innings, by running four balls in each, surged ahead, 2-0.

Not to worry. How many times, this week, has Efren been down 0-2 and won the match?

In game 3, Pinegar erred. Reyes ran five, didn’t get the desired spread from the stack and, frustrated now, attempted a very low percentage combo. 

Luckily, he left little.

Yet, it was enough. Pinegar fired in a short rail bank and drew his cue ball to land perfectly on the next indicated sphere. He then ran out the necessary 8-balls to ensure his seat at tomorrow’s table. 

Efren visited the buy-back booth.

And then there were three: Chohan, Pinegar and Reyes – who was soon snoring like a baby.

At around noon on Saturday, he’ll be fresh as a daisy, ready for the redraw.

Someone is going to get a bye – straight into the hot seat.

Would you want it to be you, or would you prefer to win the opening match and be all warmed up for the finals?

Diamond Derby City Classic 9-BALL Championship: LAST DAY – Sat. 28.

Accu-Rack, 9 on the spot, winner breaks.

Since Matchroom deemed the Derby’s 9-Ball Championship a Mosconi Cup point garnering tournament, 9-Ball has become most populated DCC event.

527 entries smashed the previous attendance statistic!

Another record broken is the number of ladies competing this year: Margarita Fefilova, Sakura Muramatsu, Melissa “Sure Shot” Smith sponsored by Brutal Gear, Emily Sumrall, the up-and-coming Catherine Cool, and the ubiquitous Angela Mears, just to name a few of the approximately 20. Diamond thanks you all!

Efren Reyes suffered a first round loss to Robbie Capito and Roland Garcia got Dan Louie. 

Mezz-sponsored Mika Immonen opened the proceedings in the Accu-Stats Arena first thing Friday facing Derby City Classic stalwart Dee Adkins.

Mika was on fire. His early .980+ TPA seemed to intimidate Adkins who wasn’t getting out when he had the opportunity. The more he faltered, the more Mika gained confidence, and the more Dee’s TPA dropped. 

The Mezz player-rep of 21 years closed it out 9-0 with a stellar .958.

Thanks to fan demand, Pat Fleming was asked to explain how the Accu-Stats’ Total Performance Average(TPA) is calculated. During the Mieszko Fortunski vs. Brendan Shuff match, he tells all.

Undefeated are Mosconi Cup team player Oscar Dominguez, Fedor Gorst, Johnathon Pinegar, Skyler Woodward, Josh Roberts, Jesus Atencio, Jayson Shaw, SVB, Tony Chohan, Billy Thorpe, Ike Runnels, Joshua Filler, Mike Dechaine, Marc Vidal, John Morra, Margarita Fervilova, Tyler Styer, Konrad Juszczyszyn, Scott Frost, Donny Mills, Max Eberle, Brandon Shuff plus, the Filipino contingent; Alex, Gomez, Corteza, DeLuna, Garcia, and Raga,

DCC’s Friday Night Ring Game:

Culminating at $1,200 a ball, Shannon Murphy robbed them all banking $5,000. Billy fought gallantly to secure 2nd and $3000. Skyler Woodward claimed a distant 3rd. Shane Wolford began well. Justin Hall fell fast as did Jonathan Demet.

The captured match-ups are available via the Accu-Stats Pay-Per-View OnDemand, 4-camera HD production. Approximately, 60 action-packed hours of pro-pool are projected, PLUS reruns. After each match concludes, it is uploaded and available for your viewing pleasure. With PPV OnDemand, you choose when you watch, no matter what you’re timezone, until February 28, 2023.

Don’t miss a stroke: Visit accu-stats.com. Enjoy.

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2023 Derby City Classic Bigfoot 10-Ball Challenge – Joshua Filler vs Konrad Juszczyszyn