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Thorpe Downs Hall for Derby One Pocket Title

Billy Thorpe (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
 
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
 
David Thomson
 
DIAMOND ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Race to 3, 365 entries, 1 man standing.
 
Billy Thorpe and Justin Hall put on a competitive one-pocket display that will be praised for decades. It can truly be said that it was unfortunate that there was only one winner. They both played their hearts out.
 
There were no signs of the weakness that being in a final can sometimes induce. No unnecessary tension created by considering the outcome. These free-stroking athletes were celebrating their mastery in the moment!
 
The two gallant young guns, aggressive from the get-go, could not be contained. In the opening racks, they both ran 8.
 
Yet, it was the intrepid Billy “Torpedo” Thorpe, now a 2 time DCC One Pocket Champion, who prevailed.
 
And, like a torpedo, he attacked from the depths to undermine the one-pocket skillset that Justin employed to tie the match at 2.
 
Hall also had the benefit of the break. The break is huge in one pocket. It’s like the power of the opening move in chess, You have to defend. Billy became the underdog.
 
Hall spread the balls well as they rippled toward his pocket.
 
Billy leapt to the table. It appeared that one may have leaked out.
 
This was no time for doubt. His Cuetec carbon fiber shaft powered the Cyclop across the ice blue Simonis. The audience gasped at his spunk.
 
Justin was first to observe as the ball sped, unobstructed,  into the back of the tight, Diamond pro-cut pocket.
 
What Billy proceeded to achieve is a rack for the ages. 
 
Justin’s strategy couldn’t be faulted. One millimeter of a roll and he was rendered powerless as he experienced Billy’s superlative ability in action, Only moments ago, Justin was in the vanquishing seat. Now, he saw his hopes vanish, one ball at a time.
 
8 and out. 3-2. Billy’s dream accomplished; Justin’s nightmare corroborated. 
 
Justin’s road to the finals included an encounter with Joshua Filler in the Accu-Stats TV Arena. Joshua’s Straight Pool pattern play, bank power, and shotmaking were in fine form. And, his “moving” improving. This match would be the test. 
 
Justin “Hollywood” Hall, 2012 Southern Classic Bank Pool and One-Pocket Champion, unblemished, still had his buy-back. The reason being he had obliterated everyone in his path.
 
He can, obviously, bank, he’s aggressive and will attack with calculated risk, as long as there is an exit plan. It’s “moving” where he excels.
 
That’s what got him to 2.1, and ahead 7 balls to 6 in the 3rd.
 
The moment that swung the match was when Filler’s fine execution of a formidable bank incurred a truly freaky scratch. Instead of 2-2, Hall had ball-in-hand anywhere behind the headstring. And, a spot shot! He hasn’t missed one of those since the Clinton era. 3-1. 
 
Filler should be commended for garnering such a high finish in this field of landmines. With some expert guidance, like Melling and Shaw, he could be a one-pocket contender.
 
Meanwhile, out in the Diamond Arena, The rumors that the, aforementioned, Melling’s prowess is improving were rumbling thru the hallways. Just ask the baffled 2013 Southern Classic One-Pocket Champion Justin Bergman who had just shaved a few whiskers from Al Shaheen. And, Gomez, who outblasted Jayson Shaw’s ambitions.
 
Hall had also routed the personable Robert Frost who had waxed poetic to the final 6.
 
And, what about this 21-year-old, Jesus Atencio who had swum so far upstream in his first ever DCC 1-Pocket event? It had taken Billy to tame the fearless Latino invader.
 
Then, there were 4. 
 
Melling and Gomez found each other again on the Accu-Stats TV table while Thorpe and the unbeaten Hall were designated in the Diamond Arena.
 
Both Melling and Gomez had rallied on their excellent safety, banking, and shotmaking skills. But, now that they were alone, Without the guidance of a “mover,” you could see they were fish out of water. They were first to admit, in some instances, they had no idea what to do.
 
It was Melling who committed the ultimate one-pocket cardinal sin. With ball-in-hand, he pocketed a ball in his opponent’s pocket while playing shape on another which left a perfect bank for Gomez. Those 2 balls, cost him that game and any further advancement.
 
You can be sure that they will enter, again, next year.  Success is addicting.
 
And then there were 3, Billy, Justin, and Roberto.
 
Billy’s 3-1 defeat of Justin demanded that he buy back.
 
Billy drew the bye. Justin derailed Roberto’s route at 3-0…in 37 minutes. They were playing real one-pocket now.
 
And, that’s how Thorpe and Hall rode to the hottest seat in Caesars Southern Indiana.
 
The All Around Champion points are adding up with Billy’s One-Pocket and Orcollo’s Banks results bounding up the leaderboard.
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Efren got handed his first loss in the 2nd round by John Demet who also had a decent finish in the Banks event. Efren laughed, “He played good. I no lucky.”
 
Jeffrey DeLuna moved Maksim Dudanets to the one loss side, ditto with Tyler Styer and Michael Delawder.
 
The ladies are competing in the cosmopolitan field including: Kristina Tkach, Pia Filler, and, our very own, Jennifer Barretta.
 
We’ll have plenty more tomorrow.
 
9-Ball commences at noon. Check out the schedule at Accu-Stats.com
 
FRIDAY NIGHT BANKS RING GAME
 
Derby’s most casual cutthroat assembly clash in the murderer’s row of bankers in the, no safeties allowed, winner-take-all bloodfest.
 
Not to be missed!
 
Featuring Skyler Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Jayson Shaw, Jonathan Demet, Justin Hall, Omar Al Shaheen.
 
Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.
 
 
 

Austria’s Lechner, Finland’s Siekkinen and Spain’s Ruiz lead the pack at 14.1 Championships

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (Erwin Dionisio)

Three of the 2019 American 14:1 Straight Pool Championships’ competitors made it through the event’s three-day Round Robin phase (Oct. 22-24) with undefeated (6-0) records. They were arguably not the names you might have expected from this particular field of 42 entrants, which included six former winners of the championship title – Mika Immonen (2007), Johnny Archer (2011), John Schmidt (2012), Thorsten Hohmann (2013), Darren Appleton (’14 & ’15), and Neils Feijen (2016). Two-time runner up Danny Barouty (to Ed Hodan in 2006 and Bob Maidhof in 2008) was competing, as were runner-ups Shaun Wilkie (to Danny Harriman in 2010), John Schmidt (to Archer, 2011), Archer (to Hohmann, 2013), Hohmann (to Schmidt in 2012, Darren Appleton in 2015 & Klenti Kaci in 2018), Immonen (to Feijen in 2016) and Dennis Orcollo (to Konrad Juszczyszyn in 2017).
 
Instead, Austria’s Max Lechner, Finland’s Jan Siekkinen and Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz went undefeated through the Round Robin phase of the event and were awarded a bye in the 24-entrant single elimination phase which began today (Friday) and will continue through tomorrow (Saturday) at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA. Lechner was paired in his seven-entrant round robin flight and won his six race-to-125 matches by an average of 102 balls. He gave up, in order, one to David Alcaide, 66 to Marc Vidal, 24 to Tom Walter, seven to Blair Levandowski and 41 to Don Polo
 
Siekkinen competed in what was arguably the event’s toughest group of seven and went through Thorsten Hohmann (43), Johnny Archer (81), Lee Van Corteza (59), Sean Morgan (21), Neil Gold (65) and Pascal Dufresne (44); an average of 52. Ruiz got by John Schmidt (66), Petri Makkonen (25), Bob Hunter (55), Mike Badsteubner (27), Reymart Lim (72) and Michael Frank (-1); average of 40.
 
The remaining five competitors to receive opening round byes into single elimination were all 5-1 in the round robin competition. Ruslan Chinakhov lost his opening round match to Neils Feijen, one of two matches that Feijen won by shutout, 125-0 (the other was against Bob Madenjian). Chinakhov went on to down Albin Ouschan, Ralph Eckert and deliver a second shutout to Madenjian, before defeating Holden Chin and Darren Frank. Dennis Orcollo lost his opening match to Darren Appleton in one of the round robin’s closest games, 125-116. Orcollo went on to meet and defeat Maksim Dudanets, Marco Teutscher, Danny Barouty, Earl Herring and Steve Matthieu.
 
Feijen was the only member of this year’s European Mosconi Cup team who competed in this event, and while he did chalk up two shutout victories, he did lose his opening match to Albin Ouschan 125-44. In addition to the shutouts, he defeated Ralph Eckert, Holden Chin and D. Frank. The sport’s acknowledged comedian, Alex Pagulayan opened the round robin proceedings against Mika Immonen, and together, they produced the round robin’s official closest game, won by The Lion 125-119. Pagulayan went on to defeat Max Eberle before losing his one match to Shaun Wilkie in another close match 125-104. He finished with victories over Michael Yednak, Steve Lillis and Jay McWorter.
  
As noted above, Immonen’s path to his 5-1 round robin record began with a defeat by Pagulayan. The Iceman would go on to down Eberle, Wilkie, Yednak, Lillis and McWorter.
 
Friday morning competition in the single elimination phase saw eight matches scheduled. Five of the 16 competitors had also logged 5-1 records in the round robin phase; tie breakers were head-to-head results and beyond that, total ball counts. John Schmidt was scheduled to face Maksim Dudanets, who finished the round robin phase with a 3-3 record. The marquee match was likely to be Albin Ouschan (5-1) against Johnny Archer (4-2), who closed out Thursday evening’s matches with a necessary win of Sean Morgan that gave him the record he needed to advance.
 
The Darren Appleton (5-1) and Shaun Wilkie (4-2) combination was garnering interest and was selected as the Billiard Sports Network’s Friday morning choice for live broadcast. Ralf Souquet, competing in the round robin flight with the 6-0 Lechner, advanced with his 5-1 match record to face Reymart Lim (3-3). Marco Teutscher (5-1) was scheduled to face Ralph Eckert (3-3). 
 
Remaining matches pitted Lee Van Corteza against Petri Makkonen, Thorsten Hohmann versus Marc Vidal, and David Alcaide squaring off against Max Eberle. 
 

Bad night for Austrian Team at Klagenfurt Open

Clockwise: Kazakis, Kaci, Filler and Dudanets

In the round of the last 32 players single elimination of the Dynamic Billard Klagenfurt Open 2019, all remaining three Austrian players have been eliminated,
 
Albin Ouschan (AUT) was up against young Wiktor Zielinski (POL). The Polish youth player has demonstrated last year when he won the Euro-Tour in Treviso, Italy, how strong he can perform. That also happened tonight. he succeeded in playing his A-game, using his chances and keeping Ouschan always at a distance. After 2:2, Zielinski dominated the match and did not allow Ouschan to get back into it. He made no mistakes while the Austrian struggled and could not find a recipe to break Zielinski’s run. 9:6 was the clear result in favour of Zielinski which leaves a 17th rank finish for Ouschan.
 
Ouschan’s teammates Mario He and Max Lechner had even worse experiences in the same round. Both of them lost with 1:9. Mario He fell against Eklent Kaci (ALB) while Lechner was overpowered by Ruslan Chinakhov. Having three top class players in the round of the last 32 players with all of them losing more or less clearly is definitely not the result that the Austrian organiser would have wished to see at the end of this day.
 
Loser’s Round 2
 
The day started with most matches displaying „business as usual“. Ruslan Chinakhov (RUS) seemed to be back on track and eliminated Adam Stankiewicz (POL) 9:4. Wiktor Zielinski (POL) handed a doughnut to Marco Schmitt (GER) winning his match 9:0. The first small upset was provided by Pierfrancesco Garzia (ITA) when he ousted teammate Fabio Petroni (ITA) surprisingly with 9:5. Another interesting result was Marcus Chamat (SWE), the captain of the European Mosconi Cup Team, winning with 9:5 over Imran Majid (GBR). The next round however brought a huge surprise. Ralf Souquet (GER), multiple World, European and Euro-Tour Champion, was kicked out by Michael Huetter (AUT), local player from Austria. That exit came completely unexpected for Souquet and does also not help him to advance in the rankings. While Souquet was out, other high profile players on the loser’s side such as Tomasz Kaplan (POL), Thorsten Hohmann (GER) and Darren Appleton (GBR) continued their quest through the loser’s rounds.
 
Loser’s Round 3
 
The next capital casualties were recorded in loser’s round 3. Thorsten Hohmann fell to the sharp blade of Alex Montpellier (FRA) with 7:9. The same round saw Pijus Labutis (LTU) fall to Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GRE) with 0:9. Francesco Candela (ITA), dark horse from Italy ended Darren Appleton’s journey here at the Dynamic Billard Klagenfurt Open 2019 with an impressive 9:7 victory over the former World Games Gold Medallist.
 
Loser’s Round 4
 
This round saw the end of Europe’s Mosconi Cup captain Marcus „Napoleon“ Chamat (SWE) who was defeated by Konstantinos Koukiadakis (GRE) with 9:8. Karol Skowerski (POL) took down „The Terminator“ Niels Feijen (NED) with 9:6 in the same round.
 
Last 16 players single elimination
 
Joshua Filler GER v Oliver Szolnoki HUN
Wojciech Szewczyk POL v Marc Bijsterbosch NED
Miguel Silva POR v Mark Gray GBR
Maksim Dudanets RUS v Denis Grabe EST
Sanjin Pehlivanovic BIH v Wiktor Zielinski POL
Damianos Giallourakis GRE v Mats Schjetne NOR
Ruslan Chinakhov RUS v Fedor Gorst RUS
Alexander Kazakis GRE v Eklent Kaci ALB
 
Tomorrow, the Dynamic Billard Klagenfurt Open 2019 will continue at 10:00 CET with matches from the round of the last 16 players single elimination. The final match is scheduled for 18:00 local time.
 
Every day, up to two matches will be streamed LIVE over the EPBF Facebook page and on the EPBF YouTube channel. Check for updates and announcements.
 
The Dynamic Billard Klagenfurt Open are played in the Sportpark Klagenfurt Arena in Klagenfurt, Austria, on up to 20 tables which are all streamed LIVE throughout the whole event. In order to be able to follow all the action LIVE, premium membership can be obtained at www.kozoom.com. Once a premium membership is held, all events for the respective period of time can be viewed LIVE. Additionally, a huge video gallery is contained in the website.
 
The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website www.eurotouronline.com or visit us on Facebook for regular news clips or contact our press office press@epbf.com.

32 Advance, 32 Out As Day 1 Of The WPA Players Championship Is Complete

Darren Appleton (Photo courtesy of JP Parmentier)

The first ever WPA Players Championship got underway at Griffs Billiards in Las Vegas on Tuesday, and the quality of the match ups on offer out of the box certainly didn’t disappoint. That’s because the 64 player field is one of the highest quality gatherings of pool’s current and rising stars. 
 
The format of the event is designed to offer plenty of excitement as well.   Matches through the quarterfinals are all race to 7, alternate break. In addition, the tournament is single elimination. Thus, every shot matters and one mistake early one can spell curtains even for pool’s biggest names.
 
This is exactly what befell world number two Alexander Kazakis in his opening round match against Japan’s Toru Kuribayashi. The Japanese veteran took advantage of several early errors by the Greek star and led throughout, eventually winning 7-2.
 
Two time world champion and two time US Open 9-ball champion Darren Appleton opened up proceedings with a tasty showdown against three time world champion Thorsten Hohmann.  Appleton, who’s had to take significant time away from the game in the last two years because of several family issues, looked like a renewed man today, and took down the German great, 7-5.
 
Defending US Open champion Jayson Shaw came to Vegas looking fit and ready to defend his title next week across town at the Mandalay Bay. Shaw cruised to an opening round win over Gerson Martinez, 7-3.
 
It was a good day from the Ko family from Taiwan. Two time world champion Ko Pin Yi and his younger brother Ko Ping Chung both won their matches. Compatriot Chang Jung Lin had high hopes coming into this event, but fell to Russia’s Maksim Dudanets of Russia, 7-3. Veterans Yang Ching Shun and Chang Yu Leung both notched victories today.
 
USA great Shane Van Boening led the American contingent and advanced with a 7-5 win over Kai Lun Hsu of Taiwan. Skylar Woodward advanced with a handy 7-2 win over Qatar’s Bashar Hussain.  Shawn Wilkie had to bear down against fellow American Billy Thorpe, and hung on to win 7-5. Corey Duel faced off with Mosconi foe Niels Feijen of the Netherlands and emerged victorious, 7-2.
 
It was a solid start for the always stingy team Philippines. World number 3 Carlo Biado  led the charge with an easy win over Ruben Bautista Escaler, 7-3. 2017 WPA World 9-ball champion joins James Aranas, Johann Chua, Raymond Faroun and Jeffrey De Luna in the final 32. Jeffrey Ignacio proved the lone loser for the Philippines today, losing to two time world champion, Mika Immonen, 7-5.
 
Other winners today include Albania’s Klenti Kaci, the Netherlands Marc Bijsterbosch, England’s Chris Melling, Germany’s Ralf Souquet and  Poland’s Wojciech Szewczyk.
 
In perhaps the most exciting match of the day, Japan’s Nayouki Oi went to the limit with young Russian Fedor Gorst. The match went into extra innings as neither player could get the two rack advantage needed to win. Oi took the sudden death rack to advance with a 10-9 win.
 
Play in the WPA Players Championship continues on Wednesday at 12 noon local time.
 
The format will be single elimination race to 7 (win by 2), with the semi-final and final being a race to 9 (win by 2). 
 
WPA Players Championship Payouts
 
1 – $10,000
2 – $7,000
3/4 – $5,000 ea.
5/8 – $3,000 ea.
9/16 – $1,500 ea.
17/32 – $400 ea.
 
Consolation Tournament Payouts
 
1 – $1,500
2 – $1,000
3/4 – $500 ea.
5/8 – $250 ea.
9/16 – $150 ea.
 
ONLINE BRACKETS
 
The online tournament brackets can be found at www.CTSonDemand.com.
 
WATCH LIVE
The entire event is being streamed live by CSI media, a division of CueSports International (CSI). The production, complete with full-time commentary led by former World 8-Ball Champion, Karl Boyes, begins each day at noon pacific time. To watch live, visit www.playcsipool.com/watch-live.
 
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the international governing body for pocket billiards and is comprised of six member federations representing North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
 
The WPA is the world-recognized body for sanctioning World Championship events. It is also one of the three member organizations of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), representing the billiard disciplines of pool, snooker and carom. For more information about the WPA, visit www.wpapool.com.
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool Leagueand USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content. Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.” For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
 
The WPA Players Championship is made possible by the following sponsors:
 
Andy Billiard Cloth • Cyclop Balls • Diamond • Griff’s Billiards • HOW Tips • Predator • Master Billiard Chalk

Bustamante Defends Derby City One Pocket Title

Francisco Bustamante – Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson (Mediumpool.com)

Derby City Classic XXI, January 25 – February 2nd, 2019
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth IN.
 
DIAMOND DCC ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
RACE to 3. $12,000, $6,000, $3300.
 
410 entrants are now culled to ONE!
 
In the final moments of the Derby City Classic One-Pocket Championship, Francisco Bustamante, down zero to two to the courageous Corey Deuel, manifested true grit, and sustained stamina as his never-say-die attitude drove the last ball into his pocket.
 
The 55-year-old veteran, in his 8th day of the Derby City Classic’s brutal dawn to dawn schedule, now sits atop the leader board in his search for back-to-back All-Around Champion titles…and the additional $20,000 bonus money!
 
Corey Deuel had an extraordinary day. Not only did he defeat Shane Van Boening and Alex Pagulayan, with three players left he, luckily, drew the bye.  That left a Pagulayan – Bustamante semifinal.
 
The day had begun with 7 men, mostly, of equal caliber in search of the title. Pagulayan, still undefeated, had two lives. Van Boening, Bustamante, Deuel, Gomez, Gorst, and Orcollo had one.
 
First, Alex gutted Gomez. Then, Corey equalized Alex obliterating the first of his lives.
 
Meanwhile, Orcollo got Gorst, only to run afoul of Francisco. That left 3.
 
In the, aforementioned, semifinal round draw, Corey scored the bye leaving Bustey to face, and ultimately eliminate, Alex.
 
In the finals, Bustamante’s performance was sublime, even exhilarating. At 2-zero, Corey’s crafty, creative, aggressive cue ball, finally, derailed and left Francisco an opening. Bustey ran a mesmerizing 8 and out.
 
At 2-1, it was Corey’s break. It was now Bustey’s turn to get creative. With a blistering bank that, intentionally, kissed off a ball into his pocket, Bustey had the audience in awe as he ran another 8 and out. 2-2.
 
Game 5, the decider: Bustey’s break. Deuel took a timeout. 
 
Recomposed, he approached the table. His attempt at a safe ran a little too far leaving Francisco the finest of cuts into his pocket.
 
It wobbled back and forth before falling into his pocket. Fortune didn’t favor the brave. He had nothing.
 
He played safe…he thought. With the courage and foresight that only Corey would adopt in such a foray, he attacked. Out of nowhere, a ball fell in his hole.
 
He can’t believe it, with the spheres spread far and wide, he too, is left safe. He pocketed a ball to be repotted while sending whitey, safely, towards his opponent’s hole. It rolled high leaving Bustey a sliver of a shot. The ball fell.
 
His confidence now in full bore. Failure wasn’t an option. With unwavering focus and calm determination, his indomitable spirit rose to the occasion. All Deuel could do is wonder what could have been as, ball by ball, the title slipped away. 
 
But wait, there’s hope. Needing one ball, Bustey’s bust into the cluster didn’t leave a direct shot to his pocket.
 
Formerly slumped, Corey now sat erect in his seat. 
 
Francisco scanned his options. The remaining balls were openly available to his opponent’s pocket. One error here, and Deuel was more than capable of running out the rack…and stealing the title.
 
Bustey espied a bank, a long, slow trickle towards his corner and, if it didn’t fall, Corey would be left safe.
 
At a snail’s pace, the orb slowly rolled, and rolled, and rolled. Francisco, animate now, talking to it, “Come, come,” coaxing it along until, on its last revolution, it finally dropped.
 
The arena was a madhouse. Screams, and yells, and a’hollerin’ roar to the rafters. Deuel, devastated, yet graciously accepted Bustey’s high-five.
 
Thank you Accu-Stats. This one’s a keeper.
 
After the $12,000 check presentation, Bustey was immediately rushed to a 9-Ball match with Shawn Murphy. No rest for the victorious. That’s the Derby.
 
DIAMOND DCC 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP 
  
407 entrants; Another attendance record broken!
 
Race to 9. 3 balls, minus those pocketed, must make the kitchen on the break.
 
$16,000, $8,000, $3950.
 
The Accu-Rack is in use.
 
47 exhausted combatants are left. 10 have buybacks: Lee Vann Corteza, Chris Melling, Maksim Dudanets, James Aranas, Josh Roberts, Sky Woodward, Danny Olsen, Kevin Cheng, Tim De Ruyter, and Dennis Orcollo.
 
With his One-Pocket win, Bustamante leapt into the lead. Billy Thorpe, Omar Al Shaheen, Deuel, Orcollo, and Woodward are hot on the trail.
 
Earlier in the event, Francisco, had been beaten by Mika. To maintain his Master of the Table points, at all costs, Bustey must protect that life. One ball at a time, one ball at a time.
 
Johnny Archer, after feeding Fedor Gorst to the buyback booth, fell afoul of the Nederland’s Marc Bijsterbosch. He was later eliminated by Billy Thorpe.
 
The-19-year old, Fedor Gorst had a 6-0 intimidating lead over Banks Champ Billy Thorpe. Billy adopting full combat mode, battled back to tie. But, to no avail. Fedor advanced.
 
Jung-Lin Chang ran into Neils Feijen in fine form, too fine a form. Then, the jousting Josh Roberts put the BIG Foot 10-Ball Champ out of his misery.
 
Bobby Hunter had an interesting encounter with Tony Chohan. Fresh from One Pocket, Tony hadn’t quite found his 9-Ball stroke and was missing makeable balls.
 
Bobby put a 3 pack on him. Tony, despondent, disinterested, unscrewed his shaft and muttering that he had better things to do, places to go, people to see, left the arena. Bobby moved on.
 
Mike Dechaine put Alex Pagulayan in the one loss division.
 
Jayson Shaw, still strong, faced Joshua Filler. Down 4-6, Shaw broke and ran out the set. Shaw’s onslaught continued through Marek Kudlik and Alex Olinger.
 
Poland’s best, Konrad Juszczyszyn, down 5-7, showed Shane he’s no slouch. When ahead 8-7, and breaking, Shane didn’t get out.
 
Konrad, manifesting the pattern skills that had won him the 2017 American Straight Pool Championship, was fazed as they fought for control of the cue-ball.
 
Shane, not quite as sharp as usual–it’s day 8 remember–gave Konrad opportunity.  Maintaining the poise of a champion Konrad had SVB fedexed to the buyback booth.
 
You can be sure of one thing, Shane will get some sleep tonight. Like all true professional athletes, he is driven to win.
 
Much more to come.
 
View the remaining matches at accu-stats.com
 
THE DCC Friday Night BANKS RING GAME
 
The most boisterous Bank Pool Party on earth attracted Billy Thorpe, Skyler Woodward, Shane Van Boening, Jayson Shaw, Neal Jacobs and Mike Delawder in the winner-take-all funfest.
 
Warming up at 50 bucks a ball, not so surprisingly, Delawder then Jacobs were the soon to falter. Surprisingly, SVB was next to go bust.
 
Skyler strung enough to leave Shaw, ALL IN, with a lonely c-note. Sky bounced a few more, and bye, bye Jayson.
 
He and Billy had garnered $6k apiece. Skyler, still in revenge mode from their Banks encounter, with extraordinary skill, in one inning, ran out the balls ’til Thorpe ran out of cash. All Billy could do was smile.
 
Sky, on cloud 9, walked away with that wry grin, and the 12 large.
 
THE DIAMOND STRAIGHT POOL CHALLENGE
 
The final Draw:
 
Neils Feijen 125, Joshua Filler 56
Immonen 125, Schmidt 26 
 
Melling vs. Van Boening
Orcollo vs. Corteza
 
The 6 remaining contenders are finding time between their 9-Ball schedule to finish the 14.1 tournament.
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues.
 
 

Derby City Day Seven Update

Alex Pagulayan (Photo courtesy of David Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Derby City Classic XXI, January 25 – February 2nd, 2019
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth IN.
 
DIAMOND DCC ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
410 entrants are now culled to 7.
 
Alex Pagulayan is one of them. As the 2016 One-Pocket winner, Alex is ready to reinstate his status as the best one-hole strategist around. Being, singularly, undefeated adds to his odds.
 
He closed out the night of the Accu-Stats TV coverage with a convincing win over Florida’s Anthony Meglino. 3-1.
 
Meglino, a tall, streak of a man, had just upset the flow chart by freezing Scott Frost.
 
Alex, in the previous round, ousted Justin Bergman who had been given his first loss by last year’s Master of the Table, Francisco Bustamante.
 
Banks runner-up Omar Al Shaheen, still on a roll, chilled Tony Chohan. Later, Omar was cornered by Corey Deuel, in round 10, his run was ended by Van Boening who continued to round 11. 
 
At around midnight, Alex showed Shane the buyback booth.
 
After his loss to Omar, Chohan drove Hohmann to buy back, then, ended Woodward’s aspirations.
 
Tony’s confrontation with Corey, the DCC two time Banks Champion, didn’t end well. Neither did Orcollo’s, who had just enabled Kevin Cheng to concentrate on his game of choice, 9-Ball.
 
Danny Smith, who finished 5th in Banks, had an incredible early morning meeting with John Schmidt. His power banking ability totally reversed positions that John had considered safe.
 
Danny was handed his first loss by Corey, and as the day continued, beat Bustey. Then, maybe the upset of the day, he faced Fedor Gorst.
 
Gorst has to be considered in the most improved category. His actions exited the well respected Evan Lunda, the aforementioned Smith, and lastly, grazed the other very much improved one-holer, Roberto Gomez.
 
Bustamante, in round 11, moved Hohmann homeward
 
So, we are at 7: Pagulayan with two lives, Van Boening, Bustamante, Deuel, Gomez, Gorst, and Orcullo in the win or walk division.
 
One Pocket matches, concluding with the Finals, will air at accu-stats.com
 
DIAMOND DCC 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
  
407 entrants; Another attendance record broken!
 
140 are left with 47 of them having buy-backs.
 
Race to 9. 3 balls, minus those pocketed, must make the kitchen on the break.
 
Johnny continued his assault after bludgeoning Morra by bouncing Brumback to the booth. Mika Immonen mandated that Bustey buy back, then ran into Albanian bulldozer Eklent Kaci.  Mika had to pay a visit to the buy-back booth.
 
James Aranas snuck up on Jayson Shaw, John Schmidt won the Deuel duel, Filler applied his killer on Ralf, while Sky Woodward changed Chinakhov’s chances.
 
Young Russian EuroTour titlist Kristina Tkach charged into the 3rd round undefeated. Jennifer Barretta and Pia Filler are still in with one.
 
Some of the usual suspects with two are Justin Bergman, Konrad Juszczyszyn, Dee Adkins, Eklent Kaci, Maksim Dudanets, Niels Feijen (still trying to find the time to finish the 14.1 event), Justin Hall, Jeremy Jones, Rob Saez, Johnny, Alex Olinger, Josh Roberts, Vann Corteza, Orcollo, Melling, Shane, Cheng, and Chang.
 
The All-Around points are mounting. Thorpe, Al Shaheen, and Bustamante leading the hunt with Deuel, Orcollo, and Woodward hot on the trail.
 
Much more to come.
 
View the remaining matches at accu-stats.com
 
THE DCC Friday Night BANKS RING GAME
 
Hosted by the inimitable Truman Hogue, the most boisterous Bank Pool Party on earth will challenge the world’s best to a winner-take-all funfest.
 
Warming up at 50 bucks a ball, you can be assured that by night’s end, in search of a winner, the all-in finalists will play for, at least, $500 a ball.
 
Don’t miss it at accu-stats.com
 
THE DIAMOND STRAIGHT POOL CHALLENGE
 
The final Draw:
 
Neils Feijen 125, Joshua Filler 56
Immonen 125, Schmidt 26 
 
Melling vs. Van Boening
Orcollo vs. Corteza
 
Are finding time between their One-Pocket and 9-Ball to finish the 14.1 tournament.
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues.
 
 

Pool’s Best Push Through To The Final 64

Jung Lin Chang

A veritable armada of pool’s biggest stars pushed their way through to the Final 64 knockout stage at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha today, as the business end of proceedings quickly started to take shape at the 2018 World 9-ball Championship.
 
It was a very busy day which saw 32 players qualify for the money rounds, and another 32 players see their dreams of glory come to a screeching halt.
 
Of course it was quite expected when the tournament began on Friday that over half the original field of 128 players from over 40 countries had no chance at actually winning the event. But the outcomes today were somewhat surprising in that we saw few of the upsets fans have come to expect in the group stages over the years. The only big name to fall by the wayside and get a pink slip was 2001 World 9-ball Champion and Hall of Famer Mika Immonen, who lost his second straight match in as many days.
 
Otherwise the day’s action saw one superstar and rising star after the next take their place in the final 64. When the field is filled at the end of the day’s play on Sunday, fans around the world can expect one of the finest runs to the gold in many years.
 
World number one Klenti Kaci hasn’t looked his sharpest so far. But the 19 year old Albanian did what he had to do in a steady 9-6 win over Kuwaiti Meshaal Al Murdhi.
 
Defending champion Carlo Biado of the Philippines seemed to be on cruise control in his 9-5 win over Russia’s Sergey Lutsker. Despite being the reigning 9-ball king, the Filipino great benefits from being so humble and so low key that he plays almost unnoticed.
 
The biggest winners Saturday in terms of countries was Taiwan, which saw a whopping seven of its players qualify for the round of 64.  2015 World 9-ball champion Ko Pin Yi looked the goods today as he handily beat Czech Republic’s Roman Hybler, 9-4. 2017 semi-finalist Lin Wu Kun grinded out a solid 9 – 7 victory over former champion Yukio Akagariyama of Japan. Ko’s younger brother Ko Ping Chung took a 9 – 6 win over Greece’s Nikolas Malai.  Hsieh Chia Chen beat Russian strongman Ruslan Chinhov 9-8 to make it through.vLui Ri Ten beat American Billy Thorpe 9-7 to make it through.
 
Taiwan’s biggest monster right now—and that is saying something– is surely Chang Jung Lin who is currently ranked number 2 in the world. Chang did win his second straight match to qualify today, but he once again had to go to the limit to get there. Chang blew an 8-5 lead to Greece’s Damianos Giallourakis and had to eke out victory with a nervy clear in the very last rack for a second straight 9-8 win.
 
The USA’s Shane Van Boening, who is one of the heavy favorites this week in Doha, didn’t have as easy a time today as he did on day one. But he was never in real trouble against Venezuelan veteran Jalal Al Sarisi, winning 9-7. SVB’s Mosconi Cup teammate Corey Duel played steady 9-ball and easily defeated Finland’s Petri Makkonen 9-4 to make the knockout stage.
 
World number six and 2014 champion Niels Feijen had another solid day, defeating Spain’s Francisco Diaz-Pizarro, 9-7. The Dutchman’s Mosconi teammate Albin Ouschan didn’t fare as well as he took a thumping from Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn, 9-4.  Juszczyszyn may not be a household name to pool fans but it should be noted that he is the current European 9-ball champion. Another Pole who scored a very big victory was Mateusz Sniegocki who took down a very tough Filipino, Jeffrey Ignacio, 9-5. Tomasz Kaplan made it three for Poland today with a win over South Africa’s Jason Theron.
 
It was good day for the Germans as both Ralf Souquet and Joshua Filler won their second straight matches to qualify for the final 64.  18 year old Russian Fedor Gorst continued to impress as he qualified with a handy 9-1 win over Jeong Young Hwa of Korea.
 
It was a very big day for the Japanese side as three players made it through with impressive wins. Takano Tomoo took down former world champion Wu Jiaqing 9-8. Naoyuki Oi was a 9 – 4 winner over Finland’s Casper Matikainen. And Tomoya Iima took a 9 – 7 win over Hoang Guong Quoc of Vietnam.
 
Other winners who qualified for the knockout rounds included the Philippines Jeffrey De Luna, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp, Canada’s Alex Pagulayan, Myanmar’s talented Phone Myint Kyaw, Spain’s Fracisco Sanchez Ruiz, Greece’s Alex Kazakis, China’s Wang Can and Russia’s Konstantin Stepanov.
 
Chris Melling, the lone Brit in the field, again looked the goods as he easily beat South Africa’s Richard Halliday, 9-3. Qatar’s Waleed Majid also won his second straight to make it through, beating China’s Xu Xiacong, 9-6.
 
Play continues on Sunday in Doha at the Al Arabi with the action beginning at 12pm local time(GMT +3.) All matches on Sunday will be do or die, losers side matches with the winners advancing to the knockout round and the losers going out of the event.
 
The winner of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
*The 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 10-20, 2018. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform. Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public. Please visit the WPA Facebook Page for more information.
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
Media coverage of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship is being supported by the American Poolplayers Association(APA).  Join the world’s largest pool league today. Please visit join.poolplayers.com
 
 
 
Results Losers Side Matches
 
Group 1
Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT) 9 – 4 Alejandro Carvajal(CHL)
Woo Seung Ryu(KOR) 9 – 3 Fayaz Hussain(MAL)
 
Group 2
Matt Edwards(NZL) 9 – 5 Ruslanov Stanimir(BUL)
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 – 7 Sami Koylu(TUR)
 
Group 3
Roland Garcia(PHL) 9 – 5 1 Ahmed Nizam Uddin(BAN)
David Alcaide(ESP) 9 – 2 Ahmed Aleqaly(JOR)
 
Group 4
Omar Alshaheen(KUW) 9 – 6 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Johann Chua Gonzales(PHL) 9 – 3 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
 
Group 5
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 5 Israel Rota(PHL)
Ahmed Tanvir(BAN) 9 – 4 Fawaz Al Rashedi(KUW)
 
Group 6
Satoshi Kawabata(JPN) 9 – 4 Mika Immonen(FIN)
Abdullah Alenzi(KUW) 9 – 1 Vincent Halliday(RSA)
 
Group 7
4 Ko Ping Han(TPE) 9 – 4 Jakub Koniar(SVK)
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 9 – 2 Ahmad Mohamad Silah(JOR)
 
Group 8
Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN) 9 – 6 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Hasan Idan(IRQ) 9 – 6 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
 
Group 9
Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET) 9 – 2 Llanos Jorge(ARG)
Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 9 – 8 Ameer Ali(IRQ)
 
Group 10
Marlon Manalo(PHL)  9 – 2 Ali Abdulhadi(QAT)
Martin Daigle(CAN) 9 – 3 Abdullah Falah(IRQ)
 
Group 11
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 7 Takhti Zarekani(IRA)
Maximilian Lechner(AUS) 9 – 6 Jimmy Worung(NED)
 
Group 12
Ali Maghsoud(IRA) 9 – 8 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
Wojciech Sroczynski(POL) 9 – 7 Maksim Dudanets(RUS)
 
Group 13
Ivar Saris(NED) 9 – 3 Robert Hart(USA)
Marek Kudlik(POL) 9 – 8 Oliver Szolnoki(HUN)
 
Group 14
Denis Grabe(EST) 9 – 2 Toh Lian Han(SIN)
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 8 Enrique Rojas(CHL)
 
Group 15
Aung Moe Thu(MYN) 9 – 3 Roberto Brillantes(PHL)
Thomas Tokoph(USA) 9 – 8 Kong Bu Hong
 
Group 16
Bing Chen Gao(CHN) 9 – 6 Mohammed Hassan(MAL)
Kwon Hojun(KOR) 9 – 4 Bashar Abdulmajeed(QAT)
 
 
 
Results Winners Side Matches
 
Group 1
Eklent Kaci(ALB) 9 – 6 Meshaal AL Murdhi(KUW)  
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 8 Vitaliy Patsura(UKR)   
 
Group 2
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 5 Mazen Berjaoui(LEB)   
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 6 Radoslaw Babica(POL) 
   
 
Group 3
Hsu Jui An(TPE) 9 – 1 Bader Alawadhi(KUW)
Lui Ri Teng(TPE) 9 – 7 Billy Thorpe(USA)   
 
Group 4
Fedor Ghorst(RUS) 9 – 1 Jeong Young Hwa(KOR)
Robbie Capito(HKG) 9 – 5 Sanjin Pehlivanovic(BOS)
 
 
Group 5
Niels Feijen(NED) 9 – 7 Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP)  
Corey Duel(USA) 9- 4 Petri Makkonen(FIN)
 
Group 6
Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE) 9 – 8 Ruslan Chinhov(RUS)  
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 5 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL)   
 
Group 7
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 8  Hayato Hijikata(JPN)  
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 7 Xu Xiacong(CHN) 
 
 
Group 8
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 8 Toru Kurbayashi(JPN)    
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 4 Roman Hybler(CZE)
 
Group 9
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 5 Sergey Lutsker(RUS)    
Tomoya Iima(JPN) 9 – 7 Hoang Guong Quoc(VET)   
 
Group 10
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 6 Liu Haitao(CHN)  9 – 6 
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 4 Casper Matikainen(FIN)  
 
Group 11
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 9- 5 Jason Theron(RSA)   
Takano Tomoo(JPN) 9 – 8 Wu Jiaqing(CHN)  
 
Group 12
Chris Melling(GBR) 9 – 3 Richard Halliday(RSA) 
Lin Wu Kun(TPE)  9 – 7 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)    
 
Group 13
Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 9 – 6 Nikolas Malaj(GRE)   
Shane Van Boening(USA)  9 – 7 Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN)   
 
Group 14
Phone Myint Kyaw(MYN) 9 – 4 Lo Ho Sum(HKG)     
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS)  9 – 4 Dang Jinhu(CHN)  
 
Group 15
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 2 John Morra(CAN)
Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL) 9 – 4 Albin Ouschan(AUS)  
 
 
Group 16
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 –2 Wen Lo Li(TPE)   
Chang Jung Lin(TPE) 9 – 8 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)   

Van Boening, Other Top Stars Cruise On Day One In Doha

Shane Van Boening

Shane Van Boening has never won a World 9-ball Championship. He did, of course, come ever so close, finishing runner up in 2015, and 2016. After skipping last year’s championship, however, there is a palpable sense in Doha that the American star is absolutely destined to finally grab the world crown in 2018.
 
Interestingly there are eight former World 9-ball Champions in this year’s field, all of them still highly capable of pulling off the impossible feat yet again. But nobody is yet talking about them. It’s the moniker ‘SVB’ who is on everyone’s lips.
 
Van Boening has admitted that he is playing his best pool perhaps ever. After a grueling six month training regime, he led Team USA to a thrilling victory in the Mosconi Cup last week. He showed up in Doha saying he intends to win, and that he is playing with zero pressure on his shoulders.
 
Fans in Doha, and the pro pool community itself seem to agree something is afoot. While most players played in the relative obscure quiet of the cavernous Al Arabi Sports Club on day 1 of this year’s championship, Van Boening’s time in the arena today actually drew a fair amount of watchers. Everyone and anyone who likes pro pool around here seems to feel something special is afoot. 
 
The American didn’t disappoint in his first outing, as he crushed Poland’s Marek Kudlik 9-1. Good breaking, solid potting, deft safeties all showed up in Van Boening’s arsenal today. Combined with his quiet confidence, SVB laid down an early marker stating that nothing short of victory in Doha will suffice.
 
As all 128 players saw action on the first day of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship, it’s clear, though, that Van Boening will have plenty of serious contenders just as eager and capable of taking the crown on December 20. This year’s field is positively stacked with ferocious talent, both young and not so young. With the Wiraka tables breaking fairly easily—wing ball down, 1 in or near the side pocket—it’s all going to come down to who can handle the almost impossible pressure. Pool fans are in for a real treat over the next six days.
 
In the group stages it’s all about just winning two matches, to make it through to the final 64, where the tournament becomes single knockout all the way to the final. Defending champion Carlo Biado of the Philippines had an easy time of it today, easily taking down Argentina’s Llanos Jorge, 9-3. The man who lost in last year’s final to Biado, fellow Filipino Roland Garcia, came into Doha one of the hottest players in Asia and with high expectations. Garcia, though, stumbled out of the blocks to Taiwan’s Hsu Jui An, 9-8. Garcia will move over to the one loss side of his group where he needs two wins to advance.
 
World number one Klenti Kaci came out looking tired against the always tough Chilean Alejandro Carvajal. The Albanian teen was down four racks early but battled back to clip Carvajal at the wire, 9-7.
 
Pool’s young guns get more numerous and more dangerous year after year. 21 year old German sensation Joshua Filler played his usual brand of solid, care free pool in a 9-6 win over Bulgaria’s Ruslanov Stanimir. 17 year old Russian Fedor Gorst handled the always tough Kuwaiti Omar Al Shaheen, winning 9-6. 17 year old Pole Wiktor Zielinski came in with some expectations on his shoulders but he fell to Japan’s Tomoya Iima, 9-7.
 
It was a good day for the USA Mosconi Cup team as both Billy Thorpe and Corey Duel notched victories, and moved with one win of making the final 64. Canada’s Alex Pagulayan, a winner in 2004, barely scraped by Lebanon’s Mohammad Berjaoui, 9 – 8.  Fellow Canadian John Morra has an easier time of it today, blanking the Philippines Roberto Brillantes, 9-0.
 
Taiwan’s Chang Jung Lin is considered one of the tournament favorites but he struggled mightily against Korea’s Kwon Hojun. Chang was actually down 6-2 at one point but stormed back and won at the wire, 9-8.
 
Chang was one of eight Taiwanese notching victory today, including 2015 champion Ko Pin Yi, Ko’s younger brother Ko Ping Chun, Hsieh Chia Chen and Lin Wu Kun.  The Ko’s actually have an even younger brother in the event, Ko Ping Han, but he lost to Japan’s  Hayato Hijikata.
 
The four European Mosconi Cup players on hand all won today. Besides Kaci, Austria’s Albin Ouschan continued to look rock solid with a 9-4 win over the USA’s Thomas Tokoph. The Netherlands’ Niels Feijen waltzed to victory with a neat 9-5 win over the always stingy Taiwanese Chang Yu Lung. Greece’s Alexander Kazakis barely got by Slovakia’s Jakub Koniar, 9-8.
 
England’s Chris Melling is someone people seem to be talking about as a possible champion, and the lone British representative on hand didn’t disappoint, winning easily over the Netherlands Marc Bijsterboch, 9-2.
 
Former world champion Wu Jiaqing of China cruised with a 9-1 win over the Netherlands’ Jimmy Worung. China went 5 out of six today with wins also by Dang Jinhu, Liu Haitao, Wan Can and Xu Xiacong.
 
Former world champion and hall of famer Ralf Souquet found victory today with a 9-3 win over the Maldives’ Mohammed Hassan.  But former world champion and fellow hall of famer Mika Immonen fell to Russia’s Ruslan Chinahov, 9-5.
 
Qatar’s favorite player made a splash today. Waleed Majid, who made it to the quarterfinals here in 2014, showed that he has clawed his way back into championship form with a 9-5 win over former US Open champion, Yu Hsuan “Kevin” Cheng.
 
Play continues on Saturday in Doha at the Al Arabi with the action beginning at 10am local time(GMT +3.) After the four sessions on Saturday, 32 players will be out and 32 players will be through to the final 64.
 
The winner of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
*The 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 10-20, 2018. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform. Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public. Please visit the WPA Facebook Page for more information.
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
Media coverage of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship is being supported by the American Poolplayers Association(APA).  Join the world’s largest pool league today. Please visit join.poolplayers.com
 
Results Day 1
 
Group 1
Eklent Kaci(ALB) 9-7 Alejandro Carvajal(CHL)
Meshaal AL Murdhi(KUW) 9 – 5 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 3 Fayaz Hussain(MAL)
Vitaliy Patsura(UKR) 9 – 5 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)
 
 
Group 2
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 6 Ruslanov Stanimir(BUL)
Mazen Berjaoui(LEB) 9 – 6 Matt Edwards(NZL)
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 5 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 7 Sami Koylu(TUR)
 
 
 
Group 3
Hsu Jui An(TPE) 9 – 8 Roland Garcia(PHL)
Bader Alawadhi(KUW) 9 – 1 Ahmed Nizam Uddin(BAN)
Billy Thorpe(USA) 9 – 4 Ahmed Aleqaly(JOR)
Lui Ri Teng(TPE) 9 – 1 David Alcaide(ESP)
 
 
 
Group 4
Fedor Ghorst(RUS) 9 – 6 Omar Alshaheen(KUW)
Jeong Young Hwa(KOR) 9 – 7 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Robbie Capito(HKG) 9 – 5 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
Sanjin Pehlivanovic(BOS) 9 – 7 Johann Chua Gonzales(PHL)
 
 
Group 5
Niels Feijen(NED) 9 – 5 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)
Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP) 9 – 2 Israel Rota(PHL)
Corey Duel(USA) 9- 5 Ahmed Tanvir(BAN)
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 3 Fawaz Al Rashedi(KUW)
 
Group 6
Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE) 9 – 3 Satoshi Kawabata(JPN)
Ruslan Chinhov(RUS) 9 – 5 Mika Immonen(FIN)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 7 Vincent Halliday(RSA)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 6 Abdullah Alenzi(KUW)
 
Group 7
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 8  Jakub Koniar(SVK) 
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 9 – 4 Ko Ping Han(TPE)
Xu Xiacong(CHN) 9 – Ahmad Mohamad Silah(JOR)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 5 Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE)
 
Group 8
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 8 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Toru Kurbayashi(JPN) 9 – 5 Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN)
Roman Hybler(CZE) 9- 8 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 4 Hasan Idan(IRQ)
 
Group 9
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 3 Llanos Jorge(ARG)
Sergey Lutsker(RUS) 9 – 8  Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET)
Tomoya Iima(JPN) 9 – 7 Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 
Hoang Guong Quoc(VET) 9 – 5 Ameer Ali(IRQ)
 
Group 10
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 2 Ali Abdulhadi(QAT)
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 6 Marlon Manalo(PHL)  
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 9 – 8 Martin Daigle(CAN)
Naoyuki Oi(JPN)  9 – 2 Abdullah Falah(IRQ)
 
Group 11
Jason Theron(RSA) 9 – 6 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 9 – 6 Takhti Zarekani(IRA)
Takano Tomoo(JPN) 9 – 7 Maximilian Lechner(AUS)
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 1 Jimmy Worung(NED)
 
Group 12
Chris Melling(GBR) 9 – 2 Marc Bijsterboch(NED)
Richard Halliday(RSA) Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 6 Maksim Dudanets(RUS)
Lin Wu Kun(TPE) 9 – 5 Wojciech Sroczynski(POL)
 
Group 13
Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 9 – 6 Ivar Saris(NED)
Nikolas Malaj(GRE) 9 – 3 Robert Hart(USA)
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 9 – 5 Oliver Szolnoki(HUN)
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 1 Marek Kudlik(POL)
 
Group 14
Phone Myint Kyaw(MYN) 9 – 3 Denis Grabe(EST) 
Lo Ho Sum(HKG) 9 – 3 Toh Lian Han(SIN) 
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS) 9 – 8  Enrique Rojas(CHL)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 8 Lin Ta Li(TPE)
 
Group 15
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 6 Aung Moe Thu(MYN)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 0 Roberto Brillantes(PHL)
Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL) 9 – 4 Kong Bu Hong(HKG)
Albin Ouschan(AUS) 9 – 4 Thomas Tokoph(USA)
 
Group 16
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 3 Mohammed Hassan(MAL)
Wen Lo Li(TPE) 9 – 5 Bing Chen Gao(CHN)
Damianos Giallourakis(GRE) 9 – 7 Bashar Abdulmajeed(QAT) 
Chang Jung Lin(TPE) 9 – 8 Kwon Hojun(KOR) 

Kazakis Wins Player Relief Open

Alex Kazakis (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

With the last minute cancellation of the 2018 Tornado Open, a large number of top players who were in the states for the event found themselves with in search of a place to play and an event to play in. It would have been easy for anyone to just shake their head and think that it was another bad roll for the players. Sandcastle Billiards’ owner Ed Liddawi isn’t just anyone though. 
 
On short notice, Liddawi put together the Player Relief Open 9-Ball Tournament at Sandcastle on November 8th and drew a talented field of international players. “I felt real bad about the tragic situation with the cancellation of the Tornado Open not only for Vivian Villarreal but for all the struggling traveling players that spent so much money on flights and hotels just to get to New Jersey. Not only were they out money but they also had no competition to enjoy or try to make up for their losses.”, Liddawi said. “Being a premier pool room in NJ dedicated to the serious player, I just HAD to do something while all the top players from around the World were already in the same state.”
 
The field of players was a who’s who of top talent including such notables as Alex Kazakis, Casper Matikainen, James Aranas, Johann Chua, John Morra, Konrad Juszczyszyn, Kristina Tkach, Maksim Dudanets, Ruslan Chinakhov and Mieszko Fortunski
 
The two players who were able to navigate this field of tough players without a loss were James Aranas and Casper Matikainen. Aranas had wins over 14 year old Ivo Linkin, Juszczyszyn and Chinakhov, while Matikainen had wins over Chua, Morra, Eric Bayhon and Fortunski. Aranas then took the hot-seat with a 7-4 win over Matikainen. 
 
Alex Kazakis had lost his second match of the day to Fortunski 7-5, but was cruising through the left side of the board. To get to the semi-final match against Matikainen, Kazakis had wins over Tkach, Joey Korsiak, Chinakhov and Dudanets. He then scored a 7-4 win over Matikainen to earn his spot in the finals. 
 
With the momentum of his one loss side winning streak, Kazakis defeated Aranas 7-3 in the first set of the finals and then again hill-hill in the second set to earn first place and $1,200 in prize money. 
 
After the tournament, Liddawi expressed his gratitude to Iwan Simonis, Aramith Billiard Balls, Outsville Inc., Accu-Stats Video Productions, Erwin Dionisio, Ivan Lee, Roy's Basement Ariel Roy Francisco, Jerry Forsyth, Mike Howerton, Billiards Digest, Michael Panozzo, GoPlayPool.com, Ramin Bakhtiari, Patrick Fleming, Jim Fredericks,  Jose Burgos, Paul Lieb, Michael Sasso, Alyssa Solt, Saliba Liddawi, Nawal Liddawi, Alex Liddawi and Anastasia Beaverhausen. 
 
With all of those thanks, he forgot the most important thanks. That was a thanks to Liddawi himself for coming through for the players like he did. It’s room owners like Liddawi that keep this game alive. 

Day Two Sees First International Open Eliminations

Tommy Kennedy (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

Day two is complete at the International 9-Ball Open. 
 
Morning matches on day two were one loss side matches, and the first group of players were shown to the doors. While most of those players were of the regional variety, two surprising names were eliminated with Zion Zvi’s elimination of The Netherlands’ Marc Bijsterbosch and Muhammed Alghumayz’s elimination of Bosnia’s Sanjin Pehlivanovic. 
 
The evening session saw action on the right side of the board, and plenty of top players were sent to the one loss side. Alex Kazakis started the evening session on the TV table with a tough match against crowd favorite Earl Strickland. Strickland was much more subdued than normal, in an 11-9 loss to Kazakis. John Schmidt won a back and forth match with Poland’s Radoslaw Babica. Babica took a 2-0 lead, but Schmidt then ran six racks for a 6-2 lead. Babica clawed back to 6-6 and the match eventually went hill-hill before Schmidt broke and ran the final rack for the win.
 
Shane Van Boeing remained undefeated, but was tested by Russia’s Maksim Dudanets. The final score of 11-7 does not accurately represent how close this match really was. Ko Pin-Yi was also tested, in a hill-hill match against Phuc Long Nguyen from Vietnam. Nguyen led the majority of the match, but Ko buckled down to earn the late win. 
 
Tommy Kennedy surprised the large number of Filipino players and fans in his day two win over Johann Chua. Chua had been in action all night and looked to be dialed in at the start of the match, but Kennedy quickly took control and ran off to an 11-6 win. When asked about his success in this event, Kennedy was his usual humble self. “I want to win this event, of course, but I really want to just cash for my sponsors” Kennedy said. Kennedy has an appointment with Van Boening on Tuesday evening, and the winner will be in the money. 
 
In the final match of the night, recently converted southpaw John Morra took on Brandon Shuff. Morra had considered quitting the game due to physical issues related to his left eye dominance. Instead of quitting though, he converted in May to shooting the majority of his shots left handed. (He still breaks right handed). While Morra considers his game to be about 70% of what it used to be, that was just enough to earn him an 11-9 win over Shuff. Morra will face Corey Deuel on Tuesday. 
 
Day three see’s a number of marquee matches. Those matches include…
 
Johnny Archer vs Denis Grabe
John Schmidt vs Alex Pagulayan
Ko Ping Chung vs Albin Ouschan
Joshua Filler vs Jung Lin Chang
Dennis Orcollo vs Mika Immonen
James Aranas vs Carlo Biado
Thorsten Hohmann vs Skyler Woodward
 
Watch select matches with the online PPV coverage from Accu-Stats and follow all of the action at this year's event with our online coverage including real time scoring and live brackets