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Smooth Hungary leave China reeling

Miko Balazs and Gabor Solymosi

Japan 7-4 Sweden
Hungary 7-2 China
Russia 7-5 Hong Kong

 
The 2013 888.com World Cup of Pool received its first major shock today at the York Hall in East London as European qualifiers Hungary dumped two-time World Cup champions China out of the competition with a clinical 7-2 win.
 
The Hungarian duo of Gabor Solymosi and Mikos Balazs had scrapped their way through a European qualifying event in Croatia last month, but their respective careers to date have been fairly low key.
 
On the other hand, the Chinese pair of Li Hewen and Liu Haitao, have excellent track records with Li in particular, a twice winner of this event and also a bronze and silver medallist at the World Pool Championship in 2006 and 2012 respectively.
 
However, pedigree counted for nothing as the Hungarians played flawlessly to move into a 5-0 lead. Despite the Chinese grabbing a couple of racks, to give themselves a slim chance in the winner breaks format, they could do nothing with the break and the Hungarians cruised to the win.
 
“We were really confident we could beat China,” said a delighted Balazs.
 
“They are very strong but we practiced a lot and we knew if it came together and we played well that we would win the match.
 
“We have practiced a lot together to get the feel of playing together; it was practice, practice, practice. We are very happy to get through to the second round and we can win this tournament.
 
“The tables are great, we have been practicing a lot since we arrived here to get the feel of the table and they are superb to play on.” He added.
 
In the next round they face Russia, who completed an error-strewn 7-5 win over a Hong Kong team who went to pieces in the closing stages.
 
Stepanov and Chinakhov, who have represented Russia in all but one year of this competition, opened up a 4-0 lead as Hong Kong barely got to the table. That soon became 4-3 as the Russians derailed and at 5-5, Hong Kong (Lee Chenman and Kong Bo Hong) had a chance.
 
A series of inexplicable shots though in the pressurised final stages did for the Asian pairing as Russian took the match.
 
The 2013 888.com World Cup of Pool runs from Tuesday September 17 to Sunday, September 22 at the famous York Hall in Bethnal Green, East London. The field features 32 teams from 31 countries in a single elimination format. The total prize fund is US$250,000 with $60,000 going to the eventual champions.
 
Play continues this evening three more first round matches:
 
USA v Kuwait
Poland v Singapore
Canada v India
 
For live streaming of the 888.com World Cup of Pool go to http://www.pool.livesport.tv/home
 
The 2013 World Cup of Pool runs from 17 – 22 September and takes place at the York Hall, London. For those wanting to watch the action in person, all tickets are available from www.seetickets.com (Search ‘World Cup of Pool’)

World Cup of Pool Announces Stellar Lineup

Star-studded line up revealed

 

WITH THE eighth running of the annual World Cup of Pool now a month away, the full line-up of players competing in the $250,000 event can be revealed. 32 pairs of players representing 31 countries will be coming to London from the 17th – 22nd September as the fabled pool and boxing venue of the York Hall plays host to one of the biggest events on the pool calendar.

 

15 of the world’s top 20 ranked players will be in attendance in what arguably is the event’s strongest line up yet. Among favourites for the title will be two-time World Cup winners China – represented by Li Hewen and Liu Haitao – and the highly dangerous Filipino pairing ofDennis Orcollo and Lee Vann Corteza.

 

Other notable duos from the Far East include the Chinese Taipei representatives, Ko Pin-yi and Chang Jung-lin, and Japan’s Naoyuki Oi and Lo Li-wen.

 

Mosconi Cup legend Johnny Archer will be partnered by Shane Van Boeing as the USA look to repeat the feat of Shane and Rodney Morris in Rotterdam in 2008 by winning the trophy for the second time.

 

English hopes come in the shape of World No.1 Darren Appleton andKarl Boyes, as well as Daryl Peach and Chris Melling. Both will be fancied to make a big impact in London.

 

Nick Van Den Berg and Niels Feijen will be carrying orange hopes on their shoulders, while veteran Ralf Souquet will be partnered by young gun Dominic Jentsch as Germany attempt to win for the second time in three years.

 

Finally, can the Finnish pair of Mika Immonen and Petri Makkonenstage a repeat of their brilliant run to the title in Manila last year?

 

Matchroom Sport chairman Barry Hearn said, “Looking at the teams for this year’s event, I reckon that at least half of them are in with a shout if the balls roll their way.

 

“However, you’d have to look at the track record of China, the sheer class of the Filipinos, the pedigree of the United States and of course the two high-quality English teams.

 

“As we’ve seen in the past though, there are always unfancied sides that emerge from the pack and make serious challenges for the title. Either way, the World Cup of Pool will be a feast for cue sports fans and with the York Hall playing host, this one should be the best yet!”

 

Each session will consist of three matches and all tickets can be obtained from Matchroom Sport’s trusted ticketing partnerhttp://www.seetickets.com/event/world-cup-of-pool/york-hall-bethnal-green/724442

 

A full list of fixtures can be found at http://www.matchroompool.com/news/article/1ehx2u6i6g7rw1siu7xurd42xg/title/world-cup-of-pool-schedule

 

The Teams

 

Europe (18)

 

1. Finland – Mika Immonen & Petri Makkonen

2. England A – Darren Appleton & Karl Boyes

3. England B – Daryl Peach & Chris Melling

4. Holland – Niels Feijen & Nick Van den Berg

5. Germany – Dominic Jentsch & Ralf Souquet

6. Greece – Nick Ekonomopoulos & Alexander Kazakis

7. Poland – Radoslaw Babica & Tomasz Kaplan

8. Austria – Albin Ouschan & Jasmin Ouschan

9. Russia – Konstantin Stepanov & Ruslan Chinakhov

10. Italy – Fabio Petroni & Bruno Muratore

11. Spain – David Alcaide & Juan Carlos Exposito

12. Sweden – Andreas Gerwen & Marcus Chamat

13. Croatia – Karlo Dalmatin & Ivica Putnik

14. Belgium – Serge Das & Moritz Lauweryns

15. Hungary – Miko Balazs & Gabor Solymosi

16. Scotland – Jayson Shaw & Jonni Fulcher

17. Qualifier 1 – TBA

18. Qualifier 2 – TBA

 

Rest of World (4)

 

19. USA – Shane Van Boening & Johnny Archer

20. Canada – Alex Pagulayan & John Morra

21. Kuwait – Omar Al Shaheen & Khaled Al Mutairi

22. Australia – James Delahunty & David Rothall

 

Asia (10)

 

23. China – Le Hewen & Liu Haitao

24. Philippines – Lee Van Corteza & Dennis Orcollo

25. Taiwan – Chang Jung-lin & Ko Pin-yi

26. India – Raj Hundal & Amar Kang

27. Japan – Naoyuki Oi & Lo Li-wen

28. Korea – Ryu Sueng Woo & Ham Won Sik

29. Indonesia – Ricky Yang & Irsal Nasution

30. Malaysia – Alan Tan & Ibrahim Bin Amir

31. Singapore – Aloysius Yapp & Chan Keng Kwang

32. Hong Kong – Lee Chenman & Kong Bu Hong

 

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The 2013 World Cup of Pool Masters is delighted to work with our valued suppliers – Official Cloth: Iwan Simonis; Official Balls: Super Aramith; Official Cue: Predator.

World Cup of Pool – Teams announced for international team showdown

THE PARTYPOKER.NET World Cup of Pool will be making a welcome return to the Manila next month as pocket billiards’ premier international team event takes place for the seventh time. Scheduled to run from Tuesday 4th to Sunday 9th September, the World Cup will be at its 2010 venue at Robinsons Place Mall in Ermita.
 
There are a total of 32 teams competing with 31 nations represented – host nation the Philippines has two sides in the event. The defending champions are Germany as Ralf Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann attempt to become the first team ever to retain the title.
 
Once again the total prize fund is US$250,000 with $60,000 going to the eventual champions. Tickets for the extravaganza will be available at the venue on the day of play but with plentiful balconies offering superb views of the playing arena, organisers are anticipating crowds in the thousands rather than hundreds.
 
This year’s teams are:
 
Europe (15 teams)
 
Austria (12) – Albin Ouschan & Mario He
Belgium – Serge Das & Cliff Castelmein
Croatia – Karlo Dalmatin & Philipp Stojanovic
England (3) – Chris Melling & Darren Appleton
Finland (16) – Mika Immonen & Petri Makkonen
Germany (1) – Ralf Souquet & Thorsten Hohmann
Holland (7) – Nick Van den Berg & Huidji See  
Hungary – Miko Balázs & Gabor Solymosi
Italy (15) – Bruno Muratore & Fabio Petroni
Poland (10) – Karol Skowerski & Wojciech Szewcyk
Russia – Konstantin Stepanov & Vitaly Pavlukhin
Serbia – Andrea Klasovic & Zoran Svilar
Spain (13) – David Alcaide & Francisco Diaz Pizarro
Sweden – Marcus Chamat & Andreas Gerwen
Switzerland – Dimitri Jungo & Ronni Regli
 
Asia (13 teams)
 
China (4) – Liu Haitao & Lee Hewen
Chinese Taipei (6) – Han En Hsu & Hsin Ting Chen
Hong Kong – Lee Chenman & Kenny Kwok
India – Raj Hundal & Amar Kang
Indonesia – Roy Apancho & Muhammad Bewi Simanjuntak
Japan (11) – Naoyuki Oi & Satoshi Kawabata           
Korea – Ryu Seung Woo & Lee Wan Su
Malaysia – Patrick Ooi Fook Yuen & Ibrahim Bin Amir
Philippines A (2) – Dennis Orcollo & Lee Vann Corteza
Philippines B (8) – Efren Reyes & Francisco Bustamante
Singapore – Aloysius Yapp & Chan Keng Kwang
Thailand (14) – Nitiwat Kanjanasri & Kobkit Palajin
Vietnam – Nguyen Anh Tuan & Do The Kien
 
Rest of the World (4 teams)
 
Australia – Dave Reljic & Ian Barber
Canada (9) – Alex Pagulayan & John Morra
Kuwait – Abdullah Al Yousef & Omar Al Shaheen
USA (5) – Shane Van Boening & Rodney Morris
 
*Seeding in brackets
 
 
The 2012 World Cup of Pool is sponsored by PartyPoker.net, the world’s leading online poker school. Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc, tables by Diamond Billiards and the Official Cue is Predator.
 
Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: luke.riches@matchroom.com  +44 7785 395688  www.matchroompool.com
 
Notes: Matchroom Sport are one of the world’s leading producers of televised sport and are responsible for over 1,000 hours of original programming across a range of sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, the World Cup of Pool is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Pool Masters and the Mosconi Cup.

Bearing Down for Survival


32 PLAYERS SAY GOODBYE TO DOHA AS ALL BUT ONE OF THE TOP PLAYERS STAY ALIVE AT THE 2012 WORLD 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP

(Doha, Qatar)–32 players saw their dreams of glory crash and burn after a busy day 2 of the 2012 WPA World 9-ball Championship came to a close here in searing hot Doha, Qatar.

The proceedings inside the Al Sadd Sports Club went pretty much to the script, unlike day 1 where upsets were the order of the day.  All but one of the sport’s big name players won and will continue on in the group stages.

The day started with Groups 13 through 16 seeing their first action of  the tournament. The Philippines’ Ronnie Alcano, runner up last year in this event, easily took down Singapore’s Toh Kian Han, 9-3.  The USA’s Hunter Lombardo, one of only two Americans in this year’s championship, sprinted past Morrocan youngster Al Masskini, 9-2.

World number 8, Lee Van Corteza of the Philippines blanked Croatia’s Ivica Putnik 9-0.  Japan’s Tohru Kurbayashi defeated New Zealand’s Ceri Worts, 9-6.

The Philippines’s Dennis  Orcullo, definitely one of the top five favorites to win this event, had a tight tussle early with the UAE’s  Ali Saeed Alsuwaidi, but prevailed 9-6. Also claiming wins were Germans Oliver Ortmann, and Ralf Souquet.  The Netherland’s Nick Van den Berg had a tough opening match against the Philippines Joven Alba, but prevailed, 9-7.

All winners in the group stages need one more win to advance to the knockout stage in the final 64. The losers of each match headed over to the left side of the bracket where they would need to win twice to advance.

The rest of the day was given over to that left side of the bracket, where a single roll of the ball can spell ultimate  doom for any visions of pool grandeur. In other words, one more loss and you’re history.

The most surprising early exit from this year’s event was from England’s Mark Gray. Gray is one of his country’s and Europe’s top talents and was a semi-finalist here last year, where he played gutsy pool in brutally pressure packed situations.  But in his do or die match against Hong Kong’s very capable Lee Chenman, Gray fell victim to that mysterious malady that lurks throughout this sport; play great but the balls don’t behave.

“I didn’t miss a pot today,” Gray said afterward. “But I guess I didn’t get the rolls.” Gray’s only consolation is that he’ll be playing with Team England next week in Beijing at the brand new World Team Championship.

For the rest of pool’s top names, the afternoon and evening session of do or die matches spelled pure redemption. The Netherland’s Huidji See and Niels Feijen, Finland’s Mika Immonen, the USA’s Shane Van Boening, and England’s Chris Melling all put in solid efforts  to win handily. All are still on the chopping block but will need one more win to advance to the single elimination stage.   

The Philippines contingent, which is backed by a vocal throng of overseas Filipinos who work and reside in Doha,  bounced back nicely on day 2. Elvis Calasang, Joven Alba, Israel Rota and Raymond Faraon all won in do or die matches are still alive in the event.

The Al Sadd Sports Club is sure to back packed to the rafters on day 3 as Filipino and world pool legend Efren “Bata” Reyes sees action in round two of the winner’s side.   Reyes is sure to be received like a rock star by his fellow Filipinos.   

The group stages continue on Day 3 with winners’ side matches.  All winners of these matches advance to the final 64, while the losers will get one more shot.

The final 64 will begin single elimination play on June 27th. The semi-finals and finals will take place on June 29th. The winner will receive $40,000, while the runner up with take home $20,000.

The WPA will be providing full up to the minute coverage of the 2012 World 9-ball Championship via its website at www.wpapool.com.   There you can follow the action through our live scoring platform, articles with insights and analysis, and updated brackets.  Fans can also get updates via the WPA Twitter page, @poolwpa.com.

*Note: The WPA has experienced technical difficulties with its live scoring platform. We expect to have it fixed by Day 3. In the meantime, fans can also access live scoring through the official website of the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation at: http://www.qbsf.net/en/live_score.php.

*The World Pool And Billiard Association(WPA) is the international governing of the sport of pocket billiards.   

Day 2 Results, Group Stages, Opening Matches

Group 13
Ronnie Alcano(PHI) 9 – 3 Toh Lian Han(SIN)
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 – 2 Al Masskini(MAR)
Antonio G.bica(PHI) 9 – 4 Andrea Klasovic(CRO)
Denis Grabe(EST) 9 – 7 Salaheldeen Alrimawi(UAE)

Group 14
Lee Van Corteza(PHI) 9 – 0 Ivica Putnik(CRO)
Marlon Caneda(PHI) 9 – 6 Francisco Diaz Pizarro(ESP)
Tohru Kurbayashi(JPN) 9 – 6 Ceri Worts(NZL)
Majed Alazmi(KUW) 9 – 3 Nguyen Anh Tuan(VIE)

Group 15
Dennis Orcullo(PHI) 9 – 6 Ali Saeed Alsuwaidi(UAE)
Oliver Ortmann(GER) 9 – 6 Richard Jones(GBR)
Jonny Martinez(VEN) 9 – 8 Raymond Faraon(PHI)
Andrew Kong(HKG) 9 – 6 Hori Ryouji(JPN)

Group 16
David N. Anderson(RSA) 9 – 4 Henrique Correia(POR)
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 2 Israel Rota(PHI)
Nick Van Den Berg(NED) 9 – 7  Joven Alba(PHI)
Nayf Abdel Afou(JOR) 9 – 5  Lee Wan Su(KOR)

 

Day 2 Results, Group Stages, Losers Bracket
Winner stays in, Loser is out of the tournament

Group 1
Huidji See(NED) 9 – 6 Philipp Stojanovic(CRO)
Mohammed Ali Berja(LIB) 9 – 7  Hwang Yong(KOR)

Group 2
Hsu Kai Lun(TPE) 9 – 4 Abdulwahed Al Awad(KSA)
Mika Immonen(FIN) 9 – 5 Sundeep Gulati(IND)

Group 3
Chris Melling(GBR) 9 – 5 Aloysius Yapp(SIN)
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 0 Abdulatif Fawal(QAT)

Group 4
Waleed Majeed(QAT) 9 – 1 Rajandran Nair(RSA)
Lee He Wen(CHN) 9 – 4   Edwin Montal(CAN)

Group 5
Do The Kien(CHN) 9 – 5 Mohd Buainain(QAT)
Takashi Uraoka(JPN) 9 – 6 Marcus Chamat(SWE)

Group 6
Niels Feijen(NED) 9 – 1 Mohd Al Bin Ali(QAT)
Dmitri Jungo(SUI) 9 – 5 Robby Foldavi(AUS)

Group 7
Jalal Yousef(VEN) 9 – 2 Dang Jin Hu(CHN)
Ryu Seung Woo(KOR) 9 – 8 Hanni Alhowri(UAE)

Group 8
Lee Chenmen(HKG) 9 – 5 Mark Gray(GBR)
Serge Das(BEL) 9 – 5 Luis Lemus(GUA)

Group 9
Lo Li Wen(TPE) 9 – 3 Oliver Medenilla(PHI)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 2 Mazen Berjawi(LIB)

Group 10
Takhti Zarekani(IRI) 9 – 7 Alaa Bata(QAT)
Dominic Jentsch(GER) 9 – 4 Harvey Shognosh(CAN)

Group 11
Bruno Muratore(ITA) 9 – 6 Hamza Alsaeed(ERI)
Elvis Calasang(PHI)9 – 8 Kuo Yi Che(TPE)  

 Group 12
Mario He(AUT) 9 – 5 Alok Kumar(IND)
Imran Majid(GBR) 9 – 6 Mohamed Elassal(EGY)

Group 13
Andrea Klasovic(CRO) 9 – 0 Salaheldeen Alrimawi(UAE)
Toh Kian Han(SIN) 9 – 3 Al Masskini(MAR)

Group 14
Francisco Diaz Pizarro(ESP) 9 – 5 Ivica Putnik(CRO)
Ceri Worts(NZL) 9 – 8 Nguyen Anh Tuan(VIE)

Group 15
Hori Ryouji(JPN) 9 – 3 Ali Saeed Alsuwaidi(UAE)
Raymond Faraon(PHI) 9 –  6 Richard Jones(GBR)

Group 16
Joven Alba(PHI) 9 – 4 Henrique Correia(POR)
Israel Rota(PHI) 9 – 4 Lee Wan Su(KOR)

New Talents and Old Hands Shine in Doha


DAY 1 AT THE 2012 WORLD 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP PRODUCES SURPRISING UPSETS AND SOLID OUTINGS FROM THE GAME’S BEST

(Doha, Qatar)–With 128 of the world’s best pool players on hand contesting  the 2012 World 9-ball Championship, and all playing a slew of matches in their groups and trying, over the next few days, to whittle the field down to 64, it’s nearly impossible to predict who exactly will emerge as the new king of 9-ball.

But as day one here in blazing hot Doha, Qatar has come to a close, certain important trends have already revealed themselves. Perhaps most important among them is the fact that the talent level throughout the world of pool has risen dramatically in the last few years.

We all know that the Philippines, Taiwan, England and many European countries produce serious pool talent. But what about not so known hotbeds of pool such as Iran, Lebanon, Finland, Albania, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, New Zealand, UAE and right here in Qatar?

The first 48 matches held Saturday inside the Al Sadd Sports Club have proven one thing and that is that the sport of 9-ball has literally gone viral, with solid players  emerging from the most unlikely of places. Which means known players cannot take any match for granted. And that, of course, brings to us another trend we will witness this week in Doha; fans should prepare themselves for lots of upsets.

The first surprising result of the day came in the very first group out of the gates, when Kuwait’s Badr Al Awadi defeated former World 10-Ball champion Huidji See of the Netherlands, 9-7.  It should be noted that Kuwait seems to be one of the big beneficiaries of the presence of big time pool tournaments being played year after year in the Middle East. Many of the Kuwaiti players are very competitive out on the table and seem to be gaining confidence with each passing year.

Also during the first session another upset caused waves around the arena, this one coming from Down Under.  24 year old Matthew Edwards  from New Zealand knew his odds against American great Shane Van Boening were long.  And at 5-1 down in the race to 9, alternate break match things were looking bleak indeed for the young Kiwi.    But a massive fight back coupled with plenty of heart brought Edwards back into the match. He ended beating Van Boening 9-7 for the biggest win of his career.

Afterward, as many of the players do, Edwards went straight to his Facebook page to tell the world about his accomplishment. His comments are printed as is because, well, they speak volumes about how fascinating the sport of 9-ball at the professional level can be.

Edwards wrote:  “I came into the match feeling very excited and a little out of depth… After our 5min warm up I was shocked to find out how tight the pockets were and how different the cushions reacted!!! What a confidence blower the warm up was 🙁 ! It was clear that Shane was more than comfortable on the American made Diamond pool table! Shane jumped out to a 5-1 lead without me doing too much wrong… I then kept telling myself I would stick to my initial game plan and never give up , try my best and fight to the end! At 5-1 I remember only seeing the ball in front of me and focusing on the sinking the ball! As weird as it sounds I was so nervous I was afraid to miss which drove me to focus harder and harder… I knew I didn’t know the cushions well enough so I would play basic position even if it meant playing a longer tougher pot on relying on my potting skills! I ended up winning 9-7!! I was very happy to beat such a great player and happy with myself that I didn’t give up and fought right to the finish line !!! I was playing on all heart despite the odds! I kept the belief in myself no matter what!!”

Folks, if you can’t get excited about the excitement of Matthew Edwards then it’s time to turn to following competitive hot dog eating to get your thrills.

As the day wore on, a few more surprising results kept coming in.  Aki Heiskanen, a fresh face out of Finland, handily defeated Dutch star Niels Feijen . 9-4.   Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen got the crowd pumped up with his nervy 9-8 win over Belgium’s Serge Das.   

Many of the games big names had solid outings on day one. The Philippines Efren “Bata” Reyes beat Croatia’s Philipp Stojanovic, 9-3. Defending champion  Yukio Akagariyama of Japan won  9 – 7 over Dominic Jentsch of Germany. 2010 World 9-ball Champion Francisco Bustamante beat Taiwan’s Lo Li Wen, 9-6. 2007 World 9-ball Champion Daryl Peach of England prevailed  9 – 7 over a very tough Sniegocki Mateusz  of Poland.  Current World 8-ball champion Chang Jun Lin of Taiwan defeated Dimitri Jungo of Switzerland, 9-7. Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann, the 2003 World 9-ball Champion, beat Taiwan’s Hsu Kai Lun 9-5.

Two time US Open Champion and former World 10-ball champion Darren Applenton of England nearly made it to our upset list as he had a very difficult time with Hamza Alsaeed of Eritrea, coming back from a 6-4 deficit to win 9-7.

Several high quality matchups produced some interesting results. Malta’s Tony Drago was leading Finland’s great Mika Immonen 7-1, only to see  Immonen storm back to tie the match. The two went to the hill where Drago broke and ran the last rack for the win.

The Philippines talented but underrated Jundel Mazon beat England’s  number one Chris Melling, 9-7.  Two time World 9-ball Champion Fong Pang Chao of Taiwan beat China’s Le He Wen, 9-7.  Taiwan’s Yang Ching Shun returned to competitive pool after a several year hiatus and beat  the UAE’s  Hanni Alhowri, 9-2.

In a result that won’t get too much attention outside of Tirana, Malaj Nikolaos notched  the  first  ever win for Albania in the World 9-ball Championship when he squeaked by Qatar’s Abdulatif Fawal, 9-8.  Nikolaos is actually a rising talent on the European scene. In 2011 he won the Kremlin Cup, defeating Mika Immonen in the final, an event that was sponsored by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

 The 2012 World 9-ball Championship continues in the group stages on Sunday. All first round matches will be played as will several on the losers’ side bracket of each group.

The final 64 will begin single elimination play on June 27th. The semi-finals and finals will take place on June 29th. The winner will receive $40,000, while the runner up with take home $20,000.

The WPA will be providing full up to the minute coverage of the 2012 World 9-ball Championship via its website at www.wpapool.com.   There you can follow the action through our live scoring platform, articles with insights and analysis, and updated brackets.  Fans can also get updates via the WPA Twitter page, @poolwpa.com.

Fans can also access live scoring through the official website of the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation at:  http://www.qbsf.net/en/live_score.php.  

*The World Pool And Billiard Association(WPA) is the international governing of the sport of pocket billiards.   

Results from Day 1, Group  Stages
Winner goes to winner’s side of the bracket and needs one more win to advance
Loser goes to losers side of the bracket and needs two wins to advance

Group 1
Badr Al Awadi(KUW) 9 – 7 Huidji See(NED)
Efren  Reyes(PHI) 9 – 3 Philipp Stojanovic(CRO)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – Hwang Yong(KOR)
Loyme Vicente(PHI) 9 -4  Mohammad Berjawi(LEB)

Group 2
Tony Drago(MLT) 9 – 8 Mika Immonen(FIN)
Ramil Gallego(PHI) 9 – 6 Sundeep Gulati(IND)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 5 Hsu Kai Lun(TPE)
Ali Podel(IRI) 9 – 2 Abdulwahed Al Awad(KSA)

Group 3
Jundel Mazon(PHI) 9 – 7 Chris Melling(GBR)
Matthew Edwards(NZL) 9 – 7 Shane Van Boening(USA)
Vincent Faquet(FRA) 9 – 7 Aloysius Yapp(SIN)
Malaj Nikolaos(ALB)  9 – 8 Abdulatif Fawal((QAT)

Group 4
Chao Fang Pong(TPE) 9 – 7 Lee He Wen(CHN)
Thomas Engert(GER) 9 – 4 Edwin Montal(CAN)
Carlo Biado(PHI) 9 – 1 Rajandran Nair(RSA)
Roman Hybler(CZE) 9 – 3 Waleed Majeed(QAT)

Group 5
Fu Chei Wei(TPE) 9 – 8 Do The Kien(VIE)
Karlo Dalmatin(CRO) 9 – 2 Mohd Buainain(QAT)
Fu Jianbo(CHN) 9 – 7 Marcus Chamat(SWE)
Jason Shaw(GBR) 9 – 5 Takashi Uraoka(JPN)

Group 6
Aki Heiskanen(FIN) 9 – 4 Niels Feijen(NED)
Khaled Al Mutairi(KUW) 9 – 4 Mohd Al Bin Ali(QAT)
Chang Jun Lin(TPE) 9 – 7 Dimitri Jungo(SUI)
Naoyuki Ohi(JPN) 9 – Robby Foldvari(AUS)

Group 7
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 3 Jalal Yousef(VEN)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 7 Dan Jingu(CHN)
Karl Boyes(GBR) 9 – 5 Ryu Seung Woo(KOR)
Yang Ching Shun(TPE) 9 – 2 Hanni Alhowri(UAE)

Group 8
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 9 – 3 Mark Gray(GBR)
Manuel Gama(POR) 9 – 7 Lee Chenman(HKG)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 1 Luis Lemus(GUA)
Omar Al Shaheen(KUW) 9 – 8 Serge Das(BEL)

Group 9
Daryl Peach(GBR) 9 – 7 Sniegocki Mateusz(POL)
Bozo Primic(CRO) 9 – 8 Mazen Berjaoui(LIB)
Francisco Bustamante(PHI) 9 – 6 Lo Li Wen(TPE)
Abdullah Al Yousef(KUW) 9 – 3 Oliver Medenilla(PHI)

Group 10
Roberto Gomez(PHI) 9 – 6 Takhti Zarekani(IRI)
Mohammad Saeed(QAT) 9 – 8 Alaa Bata(QAT)
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 7 Dominic Jentsch(GER)
Konstantine Stepanov(RUS) 9 – 3Harvey Shognosh(CAN)

Group 11
Abdul Rahman Al Amar(KSA) 9 – 7 Bruno Muratore(ITA)
Bashar Hussain(QAT) 9 – 1 Kuo Yi Che(TPE)
Han Hao Hang(CHN) 9 – 6 Elvis Calasang(PHI)
Darren Appleton(GBR) 9 – 7 Hamza Alsaeed(ERI)

Group 12
Jason Klatt(CAN) 9 – 3 Imran Majid(GBR)
Ali Obaidly(QAT) 9 – 8 Mohamed Elassal(EGY)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 3 Mario He(AUT)
Nick Ekonomopoulos(GRE) 9 – 5 Alok Kumar(IND)

WPA World 9-Ball Championship Underway

Reigning Champion Yukio Akagariyama

The Big One is finally here.

The WPA 2012 World 9-ball Championship, considered perhaps the most prestigious title in men’s professional pool, has gotten underway at the beautiful Al Sadd Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.

The action over the next 8 days promises to be as scorching hot as the weather is outside, where searing hot winds sweeping in off the desert combine with the blazing Middle Eastern sun to send temperatures into the mid-40’s celcius.

Indeed the event has attracted 128 of the best pool players from over 50 countries, who are vying for $300,000 in prize money, with $40,000 going to the eventual winner.

The tournament is run in two stages.  The first stage has the players divided up into 16 groups of 8.  There the players will play a double elimination format, race to 9, alternate break. The top four players in each group, two from the winners side, and two from the losers side, will advance into the final 64, which begins on June 27th. 

From there, the tournament becomes a straight knockout, with all matches single elimination race to 11, alternate break. The finals, which will be played on June 29th, will be race to 13, alternate break. 

The list of names assembled here in Doha is a who’s who of the games top stars, with literally dozens of world championships and major victories among them.  In all there are 10 current or former world 9-ball champions in the field, including defending champion Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama who won in this very venue last year. 

Other world 9-ball champions include the Philippines Francisco Bustamante(2010), England’s Daryl Peach(2007), the Philippines Ronnie Alcano(2006), Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann(2003), Finland’s Mika Immonen(2001), Taiwan’s Fong Pang Chao(2000, 1993), the Philippines Efren “Bata” Reyes(1999), Germany’s Ralf Souquet(1996), Germany’s Oliver Ortmann(1995).

The list of pool champions in the field doesn’t include just 9-ball. Current World 8-ball champion Chang Jun Lin of Taiwan is here.  Also vying for glory will be two time US Open Champion and former World 10-Ball Champion Darren Appleton of England, 2011 World 8-ball Champion Dennis Orcullo of the Philippines, 2010 World 8-ball champion Karl boyes of England, 2010 World 10-ball champion Huidji See of the Netherlands, and former US Open Champion and the USA’s number one player, Shane Van Boening.

But of course as in every World 9-ball Championship, part of the fun is witnessing the rise of new talents from across the globe, as the game of 9-ball has spread far and wide over the last ten years.  Fans are guaranteed train loads of nerve jangling drama throughout the event, with plenty of upsets sure to rock the Al Sadd and the pool world. 

Once again the Philippines has the most number of entries with 16 players.  Last year, more than a quarter of the players in the final 64 were from the Philippines. Considering the numbers entered this year, and with the high standard of all the Filipino players, expect a similar scenario this week. It would even be a fair bet to say a Filipino will probably make it at least to the semi-finals. 

In order to stop players from soft breaking, the WPA has instituted the Illegal Break rule this year. On the break shot, a player must get three balls past the head string, or get a combination of 3 balls past the head string and/or pocketed.

The 2012 World 9-ball Championship is being hosted by the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation. The official tables are once again Diamond Tables, and the pockets have been set extremely tight as befits a world championship.    

This is now the third straight year that Qatar has hosted the World 9-ball Championship.    Qatar, which has the world’s third largest natural gas reserves and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, hosting the prestigious pool world championship is adding yet another milestone in its sporting achievements.

Qatar emerged as the leading centre for sports. The country has been a major hub for big time international sporting events, including the 2006 Asian Games, the 2011 Asian Cup Football Championships, and the MotoGP World Championship.

The small but oil-rich country will also host the 2022 FIFA World Cup of Football and the 2015 World IHF Handball Championship.

The WPA will be providing full up to the minute coverage of the 2012 World 9-ball Championship via its website at www.wpapool.com.   There you can follow the action through our live scoring platform, articles with insights and analysis, and updated brackets.  Fans can also get updates via the WPA Twitter page, @poolwpa.com.

 The prize breakdown is as follows:
Champion – $40,000
Runner-up – $20,000
3- 4 – $12,000
5-8 -$8,000
9-16 -$5,000
17-32 – $3,500
33-64- $2,000
65-96 – $1000 (loser of 2nd round in the loser’s bracket of Stage 2)
Total – $300,000

FACT FILE
Sponsored by – Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC)
Co-sponsored by – Simonis (cloth)
Organised by – Qatar Billiards & Snooker Federation (QBSF)
Sanctioned by – World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) & Asian Pocket
Billiard Union (APBU)
Official Hotel: Wyndham Grand Regency

EQUIPMENT:
Diamond Tables
Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color.
Aramith Super Pro TV Ball

FULL PLAYERS LIST

1            Akagariyama Yukio                          JPN
2            Chang Jung Lin                                 TPE
3            Chris Melling                                      GBR
4            Fu Che Wei                                         TPE
5            Huidji See                                           NED
6            Dennis Orcollo                                   PHI
7            Darren Appleton                                GBR
8            Lee Van Corteza                               PHI
9            Ronnie Alcano                                   PHI
10           Ko Pin Yi                                               TPE
11           Liu Haitao                                            CHN
12           Carlo Biado                                         PHI
13           Thorsten Hohmann                         GER
14           Ralf Souquet                                      GER
15           Chang Yu Lung                                   TPE
16           Daryl Peach                                        GBR
17           Fu Jianbo                                             CHN
18           Roberto Gomez                                  PHI
19           Shane Van Boening                         USA
20           Mark Gray                                           GBR
21           Mika Immonen                                 FIN
22           Lo Li Wen                                             TPE
23           Hwang Yong                                       KOR
24           Alok Kumar                                         IND
25           Sundeep Gulati                                 IND
26           Kuribatashi Tohru                            JPN
27           Hori Ryouji                                          JPN
28           Kuo Yi Che                                           TPE
29           Hsu Kai Lun                                         TPE
30           Ryu Seung Woo                                 KOR
31           Lee Wan Su                                        KOR
32           Toh Lian Han                                      SIN
33           Aloysius Yapp                                    SIN
34           Do The Kien                                        VIE
35           Nguyen Anh Tuan                              VIE
36           Francisco Bustamante                    PHI
37           Jundel Mazon                                    PHI
38           Efren Reyes                                        PHI
39           Antonio G.bica                                 PHI-QAT
40           Israel Rota                                         PHI-QAT
41           Kong Andrew                                    HKG
42           Lee Chenman                                    HKG
43           Lee He Wen                                       CHN
44           Han Hao Xiang                                   CHN
45           Dan Jing Hu                                         CHN
46           Edwin Montal                                    CAN
47           Jason Klatt                                          CAN
48           John Morra                                         CAN
49           Harvey Shognosh                             CAN
50           Hunter Lombardo                            USA
51           Tony Drago                                         MLT
52           Philipp Stojanovic                            CRO
53           Ivica Putnik                                         CRO
54           Karlo Dalmatin                                   CRO
55           Bozidar Primic                                    CRO
56           Malaj Nikolaos                                  ALB
57           Roman Hybler                                   CZE
58           Vincent Facquet                                  FRA
59           Francisco Diaz-Pizarro                    ESP
60           Andrea Klasovic                                SRB
61           Marus Chamat                                  SWE
62           Aki Heiskanen                                   FIN
63           Mario He                                             AUT
64           Albin Ouschan                                   AUT
65           Manuel Gama                                   POR
66           Henrique Correia                             POR
67           Dimitri Jungo                                      SUI
68           Nick Van Den Berg                           NED
69           Niels Feijen                                        NED
70           Jason Shaw                                         GBR
71           Imran Majid                                       GBR
72           Jones Richard                                    GBR
73           Karl Boyes                                           GBR
74           Oliver Ortmann                                 GER
75           Jentsch Dominic                               GER
76           Thomas Engert                                  GER
77           Serge Das                                            BEL
78           Sniegocki Mateusz                          POL
79           Konstantin Stepanov                      RUS
80           Bruno Muratore                               ITA
81           Denis Grabe                                       EST
82           Luis Lemus                                          GUA
83           Jonny Martinez                                 VEN
84           Jalal Yousef                                         VEN
85           Ceri Worts                                           NZL
86           Matthew Edwards                           NZL
87           Robby Foldvari                                  AUS
88           Mohammad Ali Berjaoui               LIB
89           Mazen Berjaoui                                LIB
90           Takhti Zarekani                                 IRI
91           Ali Pordel                                             IRI
92           Badr Al Awadi                                    KUW
93           Abdullah Al Yousef                          KUW
94           Abdulwahed Al Awad                    KSA
95           Abdul Rahman Al Amar                 KSA
96           Hanni Alhowri                                    UAE
97           Salaheldeen Alrimawi                    UAE
98           Ali Saeed Alsuwaidi                         UAE
99           Nayf Abdel Afou                              JOR
100         Rajandran Nair                                  RSA
101         David N. Anderson                          RSA
102         Hamza Alsaeed                                 ERI
103         Mohamed Elassal                             EGY
104         Al Masskini                                         MAR
105         Bashar Hussain                                  QAT
106         Mohd Al Bin Ali                                 QAT
107         Abdulatif Fawal                                 QAT
108         Mohd Buainain                                 QAT
109         Ali Obaidly                                           QAT
110         Waleed Majeed                                  QAT
111         Mohammad Saeed                         QAT
112         Hayato Hijikata                                  JPN
113         Yang Ching Shun                               TPE
114         Joyme Vicente                                  PHI-UAE
115         Nick Ekonomopoulos                     GRE
116         Naoyuki Ohi                                       JPN
117         Olver Medanilla                                PHI-UAE
118         Ramil Gallego                                     PHI
119         Joven Alba                                          PHI-UAE
120         Chao Fang Pang                              TPE
121         Majed Alazmi                                    KUW
122         Marlon Caneda                                 PHI-KSA
123         Omar Al Shahen                               KUW
124         Takashi Uraoka                                 JPN
125         Elvis Calasang                                   PHI-UAE
126         Khaled Al Mutairi                                KUW
127         Raymound Faraon                           PHI-UAE
128         Alaa Bata                                             QAT

Day one wrap-up from World 8-Ball Championship

Darren Appleton

With a long day one in the books here at the 2012 World 8-ball Championship in Fujairah, UAE, certain trends are already becoming crystal clear. 

The break shot is going to play a massive factor throughout the week in determining who stays and who takes a walk. With super tight pockets and responsive rails, the seven Knight Shot tables inside the Fujairah Tennis and Country Club are playing extremely difficult.  Which translates to any player not playing with an extra fine touch can forget about contending for the title.  

All this clearly means that only those with the most developed skills, and the deepest experiences handling extreme pressure will be standing towards the end. And this is at it should be at the World Championship of 8-ball.

One of those who looked the goods tonight was England’s Darren Appleton. Appleton, ranked number 3 in the world and the current back-to-back US Open champion, didn’t get the easiest of draws, as he came up against Hungary’s very capable Vilmos Foldes in the race to 7 alternate break match. It was Appleton’s first effort on the floor and he came into the match nursing a burgeoning head cold. Foldes meanwhile had already won a tough qualifier over the weekend and had loosened up with a narrow 7-6 win over Australia’s Stuart Lawler earlier in the day.

Foldes started out on fire, breaking and running his first three racks for a 4-2 lead. On the table and about to go to 5-2, though, Foldes made a mistake and from there the match turned in favor of Appleton. The hardcore Brit methodically took control of the match and won 7-5 booking his place in the final 64 beginning Wednesday.

Keen observers of the pro circuit, as well as punters, have to figure that Appleton is one of the top five favorites in Fujairah. Although he’s made his name in the American game in 10-ball, 9-ball and straight pool, Appleton’s pedigree comes from 8-ball. He started his cue career player English 8-ball and was number 1 in that game for 7 years in the late 1990’s and 2000’s. He has made it to the semis of the World 8-ball two years in a row, losing to eventual  runner up Niels Feijen.  

Appleton knows what it takes to win in pro pool and he believes he has all the ingredients to add the World 8-ball trophy to his growing collection of titles.

“The break is massive in 8-ball,”Appleton said afterward. “ I’m one of the best and most consistent breakers in this game. And with these tight pockets, you have to be accurate. You have to have perfect cue ball speed. You can’t punch the ball on these tables. And there’s no slide in the rails.” And of course Appleton is supremely confident in his ability to utilize that intangible that all great players bring to big time tournament play.

 “My mental game is my main asset. You really have to beat me.”

In all, 17 players punched their ticket through today to the final 64 knockout stage which begins on Wednesday.  Defending Champion Dennis Orcullo of the Philippines had a few shaky moments on the TV table in his match vs.  Kuwait’s Nasser Al Mujaibel. The match was tied at 4 and Orcullo didn’t look all too comfortable. But the Filipino star pulled it together for a 7-4 win and a spot in the final 64.

“I missed some easy shots,” Orcullo said. “The pockets are very tight and the table is new so I had to make some adjustments. I’m still focused and I’m confident I can win this thing again.”

Also making it through was the runner up in the last two World 8-ball Championships, the Netherland’s Niels Feijen who easily beat Hong Kong’s Lee Chenman, 7-3.  Current World 9-ball champion Yukio Akagariyama of Japan took down Poland’s Tomasz Kaplan 7-3. England’s Chris Melling looked strong in beating the UAE’s Majid Sultan 7-1.  The Philippines Lee Van Corteza and Joven Alba also made it through with wins.

It was a terrible day for the USA as the lone two players from the home of 8-ball suffered losses. Brandon Shuff came in confident of a win vs. Hajato Hijikata of Japan. But the American newcomer couldn’t keep pace and lost 7-5. Max Eberle simply couldn’t get out of the box vs. Spain’s Carlos Cabello and lost 7-3. 

The remainder of the final 64 will be determined at the conclusion of play on Tuesday. 

The WPA will be providing up to the minute coverage  of all the happenings on its website, www.wpa-pool.com, including live scoring of all matches, in depth articles on the goings on posted several times a day, as well as blow by blow coverage of big matches via the WPA’s Twitter page, @poolwpa.  

For updated brackets, CLICK HERE

For live scoring, CLICK HERE

 

*The World Pool and Billiard Association(WPA) is the world governing body of the sport of pool. The WPA is also the member organization for pool of the World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS), the international umbrella organization encompassing all the major cue sports.

 

Day 1 early matches of unseeded players

Group A

Nasser Al Mujaibel(KUW)  7 – 3 Kenny Kwok (HKG)
Karol Skowerski(POL) 7-0 Mohammed El Assal(EGY)

Group B

Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 7 – 2 Salah Al Awadi(UAE)
Salah Al-Rimawi(UAE)  7 – 4 Mohammed Alhosani(UAE)

Group C

Vilmos Foldes(HUN) 7 –6 Stuart Lawler(AUS)
Imran Majid(GBR) 7 – 1 Ali Saeed(UAE)

Group D

Mohammed Ali(IRI)  7 – 3 Elmer Haya(PHI)
Yousfi Chaouki (MAR ) 7 – 3 Ahmad Jallad(JOR)

Group E

Dominic Jentsch(GER) 7 – 3 Abdulla Juma(UAE)
Konstantin Stepanov 7(RUS) – 0 Pil Hyun Cho(KOR)

Group F

Hanni Al-Howri(UAE) 7 – 3 Sayeem Hossaien(BAN)
Elvis Calasang 7(PHI) – 5 Jason Shaw(GBR)

Group G

Majid Sultan 7(UAE) – 4 Lian Han Toh(SIN)
Serge Das 7(AUT) – 2 Omer Al Serkal(UAE)

Group H

Radislaw Babica(POL) 7 –2 Saleh Mohamed(KUW)
Meshaal Turki Al Ali(QAT) 7 – 6 Saleh Ibrahim Ali(UAE)

 

Group I

Lee Chen Man((HKG) 7 – 3 Abdulatef Fawal(QAT)
Noor Al Jarrah(JOR) 7 – 0 Mohammad Khaled Soufi(SYR)

Group J

Mario He(AUT) 7 – 0 Albin Ouschan(AUT)
Demosthenes Pulpul(PHI) 7 – 2 Bahram Lofty(BEL)

Group K

Jalal Yousef(VEN) 7 – 3 Shaker Wahdan(JOR)
Sundeep Gulati(IND) 7 – 4 (Mohammed Saed Saed(QAT)

Group L

Amin Fekry(UAE) 7 – 3 Majid Ghare Gozlu(IRI) 
Maghsoud Ali 7 — 3 Li Hewen(CHN)

Group M

Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP)  7—2 Omran Salem(UAE)
Luke Rollinson(GBR) 7 –1 Wetsi Morake(SA)

Group N

Hajato Hijikata(JPN) 7—5 Brandon Shuff(USA)
Raymund Faraon(PHI)  7 – 1 Ahmed Al Hosani(UAE)

Group O

Keng Kwang Chan(SIN)  7 –5 Hamzah Ali(ERI)
Carlos Cabello(ESP) 7 – 3 Max Eberle(USA)

Group P

Jayson Shaw(GBR) 7 –1 Reiner Wirsbitzki (GER)
Bruno Muratore(ITA) 7 – 3 Ryoji Aoki(JPN)

 

Winner’s Side(Winner moves on to final 64, loser goes to one loss side)

Group A

Dennis Orcullo(PHI) 7 – 4 Nasser Al Mujaibel(KUW)
Karol Skowverski(POL) 7 – 2 Marcus Chamat(SWE)

 

Group B

Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 7 – 3 Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 3
Salah Al Rimawi(UAE) 7 – 5 Nguyen Phuc Long(VET)

Group C

Darren Appleton(GBR) 7 – 5 Vilmos Foldes(HUN)
Imran Majid(GBR) 7 — 4  Oliver Ortmann(GER)

Group D

Toru Kuribayashi (JPN) 7 – 4 Yousfi Chaouki(MAR)
Huidji See(NED)7 – 5 Mohammed Ali(IRI)

Group E

Lee Van Corteza(PHI) 7 – 6 Dominic Jentsch(GER)
Yong Hwang(KOR) 7 – 5 Konstantin Stepanov(RUS)

Group F

Chang Jun Lin(TPE) 7 — 3  Sayeem Hossaien(UAE)
Joven Alba(PHI) 7 –2   Elvis Calasang(PHI)

Group G

Chris Melling(GBR) 7 – 1 Majid Sultan(UAE)
Serge Das(BEL)  7 –3 Takhti Zarekani(IRI)

Group H

Ralf Souquet(GER) 7 -4  Radislaw Babica(POL)
Omar Al Shaheen(KUW) 7 – 0 Turki Al Ali Meshaal(QAT)

Group I

Niels Feijen(NED) 7 — 3   Lee Chenman(HKG)