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Kaci and Fisher Go for the Kill in Klagenfurt

Eklent Kaci and Kelly Fisher

It is the final day of the Austria open in Klagenfurt, the first European event in the Probilliardseries. 4 women and 8 men left in the two respective tournaments, all 12 players with a chance to grab that 15K first prize and the honour of becoming the winner of the inaugural event on European soil.

Before a single ball has been struck on this final day, we know that pool is the winner. A triple-A production and a format designed to bring viewers all around the world to the edge of their seat. In the short sets to 4, 3-0 or 3-1 deficits are relatively easy to overcome. Every set is close and if the two sets are drawn, a shootout will be played.

And did we see a shootout?!?! In the first match of the day between the tournament favourite Kelly Fisher and Veronika Ivanovskaia, the two players were absolutely perfect for 5 minutes. It came down to a shootout and it was the most intense 5 minutes that we have had in the arena. Each responding to the pressure and making their shootout-shot. After 4 shots the cueball was moved back a diamond and it came down to a sudden death. Ivanovskaia made 6 in a row….Fisher made 7!

Fisher’s opponent in the final was to be decided in the match between Tkach and the revelation from Serbia, Borana Sarac. It turned out that there would be no rematch of the Michigan-final, where Tkach and Fisher met. Sarac beat her much heralded Moscovite opponent in two straight sets and would have an incredible opportunity to cement her place in history and shift her carreer into overdrive.

After the valaint display in the semi’s, many would have thought young Sarac could go all the way. Such was not the case. As they say “the lesson comes after the exam”. The confidence and decisiveness that have been characteristic for Sarac throughout the tournament deserted her in the final. And then, what other to expect than for Kelly Fisher’s experience and pure grit to overpower Sarac. Fisher’s performance in the final was an example of the saying that a chains strength is determined by its weakest link. Her form did not allow her to run away with the match. But by being acceptant of that and playing purely ball-for-ball, the two-time world champion crawled her way to the finish line. What a champion Kelly Fisher is, winning the first Probilliards stop in Europe, right after snapping off the previous stop in Michigan, USA.

In the mens division the days’ play commenced with the quarterfinals. When the smoke cleared after the noon-session, we read Van Lierop – Styer and Kaci – Sniegocki in the semi-finals. The surprise semi-finalist jan van Lierop had his breakthrough tournament. What a headstrong showing from the Dutchman, overcoming so many hurdles on the way to the semi-final. And so he did in the match with the American as well. In the first match on the TV-table, he had difficulty adjusting to the conditions, and the first set went astray. But he buckled down, got that cueball under control and managed to force a shootout decider.It turned out to be another cracker. The pressure was so thick, you could cut it and serve it as an afternoon snack. Man o man, did Jan come close to a major final. But alas, former Kremlin Cup winner Tyler Styer had one more pot in him than Jan. Styer would be Kaci’s opponent in the final. Because Kaci…Kaci…Kaci…won again in two straight sets. Exit Sniegocki, the ‘Snowball’ Sniegol got halted by the Albanian World 10-ball Champion.

Eklent Kaci, the World 10-ball champion and Tyler Styer, former winner of the Kremlin Cup and Mosconi Cup revelation in 2018 were to play the final. An early miss on the 2-ball in rack 1 by Styer kicked off Kaci’s last push to tournament victory. He ran away with first set with a score of 4 – 1. He played with a combination of ease and precision that we only get to see with absolute elite players who are on a run of form for an extended period of time. His cueball control is second to none, he breaks as hard as he is big and he has the temperament and patience of a sniper. Two major wins in the Probilliardseries by Eklent Kaci in a brief period of time and if the 22-year old keeps prioritizing his poolgame, he is expected to extend this streak well into 2022.

Action continues in Klagenfurt on Sunday the 10th of October with the final stages of the 2021 Predator WPA World 9-Ball Junior Championships. As always you can watch the feature table LIVE on BILLIARD TV https://streamstak.com/billiardtv/ , or watch all tables LIVE on KOZOOM https://www.kozoom.com/en/pool-billiard/

The Predator Austria Open and Austria Women’s Open are sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association and guaranteed prize funds of 52,000€ and 38,400€ respectively. The events take place alongside the Predator World Junior 9-Ball Championships at the Sportpark Klagenfurt in Klagenfurt, Austria from October 6th to 10th, 2021.

The Predator Pro Billiard Series, is a series of open/pro events held around the world to provide more opportunities for professional and aspiring pool players to compete in high-quality events, earn more income, sharpen their skills, and earn their way into the $125,000 added Predator World 10-Ball Championship held in Las Vegas each year as part of the CueSports International Expo.

These events will be played on Predator Pro tables covered with Predator Arcadia Performance Cloth, with Predator Arcos II balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights.

Our official partners are:

Tough Matches, Luck and Misfortune in Sankt Johann

Mateusz Sniegocki

The second day of the Dynamic Billiards St. Johann im Pongau Open Euro Tour was once again full of action-packed matches.

Michael Schneider (SUI) faced Oliver Szolnoki (HUN) in the second winners round. After he already won 9:7 against David Larsson (SWE) yesterday evening, he wanted to continue his good performance from last night today. His opponent, Szolnoki, has been known as a dark horse since his youth. He often plays unspectacularly, but is also capable of top performances. You never know what you get when you face him. Today, however, Schneider was out of his league for Szolnoki. The Swiss kept the upper hand during the match and in the end drove the match home clearly with 9:6. Schneider is now in the winners’ qualifying round and will have to face Roman Hybler (CZE) tomorrow. The winner of the match books a spot among the best 32 players of the tournament.

Mateusz Sniegocki (POL) and former World Champion Oliver Ortmann (GER) also delivered a thriller. Both opponents did not give each other anything and the match was open for a long time. Sniegocki always had his nose a bit in front, but Ortmann managed to keep his foot in the door. After Ortmann had bravely fought his way back to 8:8, the last decisive game had to determine the winner. After a few safety shots, Ortmann left a long shot on the 2-ball for Sniegocki.The Pole took the measure and kicked the 2-ball on the 9-ball, which fell into the corner pocket. What a dramatic end to a passionately contested match.

The Dynamic Billard St. Johann i.P. Open 2021 will continue tomorrow morning at 09:00 CET with matches from the loser’s round.

Shaw takes first Euro-Tour event in 2020

Jayson Shaw

Jayson Shaw (GBR) just won the Dynamic Billard Treviso Open 2020 with an impressive 9:8 victory over Eklent Kaci (ALB) in the final match.
 
First of all, both contestants of the final match would have had deserved to be the winner tonight. But as always in sports, there can only be one winner in the end. Today, Jayson Shaw had the better end on his side. While both players took racks in turn without anyone of them being able to create a bigger advantage for himself, the match went along with high class performance. Hardly any shot was missed by Shaw or Kaci. The break shot worked also equally for both of them. In total, Shaw can be regarded as the player who played more aggressively in the match. He went for more "do-or-die" shots and tried things instead of going for the safety option. "I had some 9:8 wins during the tournament and every time I tried and played the tactical safety game, my opponent went for the shot and either made it or left me with no position. So I changed my game and decided to be more aggressive. This worked out for me, also in the final match", Shaw analysed his own game after the final match. In fact, Kaci was on the hill first and took some defensive decisions. He passed an illegal break shot back to Shaw and later on played a safety on the 2-ball which he could have gone for and run the rack to win. "I think Eklent took the wrong decision when he was 8:7 up", Shaw stated,"he should have gone for the 2-ball. Sometimes this game punishes you if you do not make use of your chances." Instead of trying to pocket the 2- ball, Kaci went for a safety which Shaw returned and got the chance to win the 16th rack to tie the match at hill-hill. In the end, Kaci needed to come up with a good safety in rack 17 with the score being 8:8. He left a long and tough shot for Shaw who did not hesitate but fired the ball in the pocket and ran the remaining balls to win the match with 9:8 and the tournament.
 
Top Eight Finishers
1. Jayson Shaw GBR

2. Eklent Kaci ALB

3. Fedor Gorst RUS

Mateusz Sniegocki POL

5. Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz ESP

Tomasz Kaplan POL

Maximilian Lechner AUT

Mickey Krause DEN
 
That concludes the coverage of the Dynamic Billard Treviso Open 2020.
 
The Dynamic Billard Treviso Open 2020 were played in the Best Western Premier BHR Treviso Hotel in Treviso, Italy, on up to 21 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 was 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.epbf.com or visit us on Facebook for regular news clips or contact our press office press@epbf.com.

World 9-Ball Championship Comes Down To Four

Ko Ping-Chung

Ko Ping Chung, Fedor Gorst, Chang Jung Lin and Liu Haitao stand on the brink of history in Doha.

 

After nearly ten hours of some of the most grueling and pressure packed pool seen in years, the 2019 World 9-ball Championship has now come down to the Final 4.

 
The four players left, Taiwan’s Ko Ping Chung and Chang Jung Lin, Russia’s Fedor Gorst, and China’s Liu Haitao are, to a man, already proven monsters of the game. Now each is poised on the cusp of history and will get their crack at pool immortality.
 
In one semi-final, the current World 10-ball Champion Ko will battle it out against Gorst. In the other semi-final, Chang will match wits with Liu.   Both semis, which will be race to 11, alternate break, will begin at 11am Tuesday in Doha(GMT +3) at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation.  The Final, which will be race to 13, alternate break, will begin at 3pm Doha time.
 
Pool fans around the world looking at that list of talent on their betting sheet might be hard pressed to pick who to put their money on to take the sport’s most coveted crown. But anyone who has been lucky enough to be on hand in Doha for the last week, or watch the action online, would probably not hesitate to favor the man fondly known as “Little Ko.”
 
Ko got that endearing moniker by being the sweet younger brother to the great Ko Pin Yi, himself a two time former world champion. Fans have known Little Ko to have as much prodigious talent as his older brother, but it wasn’t until he won the World 10-ball Championship in Vegas in July this year that the diminutive 24 year old clearly had stepped out of that long shadow and started to establish his own greatness.
 
Indeed over the last four days in Doha, the 24 year old Ping Chung has exhibited an almost surreal-like confidence to do whatever it takes to win. His shot making is from another planet, he never, ever gets flustered, and he seemingly can do what he wants, when he wants. 
 
These other-worldly skills were on full display in his three tough matches over ten hours today. In the round of 32 match against talented compatriot Lin Wu Kun, Ko got out to an early lead and held off Lin at every turn to win 11-8. In the round of 16, Ko came up against Russian veteran Ruslan Chinakhov who was playing some of his best pool in years. But Ko was in no mood to play nice, and he dominated Chinakhov 11-4.
 
By the time his quarterfinals battle against Vietnam upstart Do The Kien began, Ko looked a bit worn, and he fell behind 6-2.  But as he did against Hungary’s Oliver Slzolnoki the night before in the round of 64, Ko grinded his way back in the match. In this case the Taiwanese absolutely put his boot down hard, winning 9 racks in a row for an emphatic 11-6 win and a spot in the semi-finals.
 
Little Ko’s battle with Russia’s Gorst promises to be a fascinating match up of two of pool’s great young talents. Gorst, just 19 year’s old, is a former  World Junior Champion and has also won one Euro Tour event. His game and his personal demeanor appear well beyond his years, and this is not surprising when you discover that he has traveled and played extensively, especially in the US. He even speaks excellent English.
 
Like Ko, Gorst has a rock-solid game and low-key demeanor that serves him well when under pressure.  His three fine performances today showed he is certainly ready for the big time. Should he win here in Doha, he would become the second youngest player, after 16 year old Wu Chia Ching in 2005, to win the World 9-ball Championship.
 
Gorst started the day with a very impressive 11-7 win over Taiwan’s Kevin Chang. In the round of 16 he blew a 7-1 lead over Poland’s Mateusz Sniegocki, and the match headed for the cliff and a sudden death rack. Gorst held his nerve with a very fine break and run to advance to the quarterfinals.
 
Without so much as having a bite to eat, he met up with Ko Pin Yi for what promised to be another slug fest. The early part of the match remained tight and nervy, but the young Russian stayed loose and calm and pounced on the few mistakes by Ko for an impressive 11-6 win.
 
The other semi final between Liu and Chang could well be described as pool’s battle of the hard core men. Both players are known for their tough, grinding style and it will be fascinating to see who blinks first.
 
With his many trips to the US and other countries over the years, Chang has certainly endeared himself to worldwide fans. Over the last few years the 34 year old Chang, the 2012 World 8-ball champion, has taken his game to new heights, including a win at the International in 2018. Another world title for Chang would certainly surprise nobody.
 
Chang played like a champion today, at least up until the end where he literally limped over the finish line. In the round of 32 he manhandled Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski, 11-5. In the round of 16 Chang came back from an early deficit to beat Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, 11-7. Then in the quarters he looked to be in total control over Finland upstart Casper Matikainen, with an 8-2 lead.
 
Matikainen, who had defeated defending champion Joshua Filler in the round of 64, and had just beaten 2016 World 9-ball Champion Albin Ouschan in the round of 16, was a total revelation this week in Doha. And just when the quiet Finn looked like he would run out of gas, he began a glorious fight back against Chang. The pair ended up tied at 10 in a battle of sheer will and stamina. Chang, though, mustered one last bit of energy and skill and held on to break and run the very last rack for a nail-biting ticket to the semis.
 
China’s Liu has been knocking on this door of greatness for the last several years, and his three matches today showed he is ready to finally kick it in. In the round of 64, he came from two down late against Greece’s Alexander Kazakis to win 11-9. In the final 16 he came back from 6 -2 down to defeat Japan’s Naoyuki Oi, 11-9. In the quarters the Chinese went toe to toe with a streaking Alex Pagulayan. The pair had nothing between them for the first half, until Liu decided this time was his, and he put the Filipino-Canadian away, 11-8.
 
Should Liu win it all on Tuesday, he would become the first Chinese player to ever win the WPA World 9-ball Championship.
 
The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,000.
 
*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. 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 live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.
 
 
SEMI-FINALS
Tuesday, December 17 11am, GMT +3
Race to 11, Alternate Break
 
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) vs. Lui Haitao(CHN)
Ping Chung Ko(TPE) vs. Fedor Gorst(RUS)
 
FINALS
3PM Doha
Race to 13, Alternate Break
 
 
 
RESULTS QUARTERFINALS
 
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 10 Casper Matikainen(FIN) 
Lui Haitao(CHN) 11 – 8 Alex Pagulayan(CAN)
 
Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 11 – 6 Do The Kien(VET)
Fedor Gorst(RUS) 11- 6 Pin Yi Ko(TPE)
 
 
 
RESULTS FINAL 16
 
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 11 – 6 Albin Ouschan(AUT)
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 7 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP)
 
Lui Haitao(CHN) 11 – 9 Naoyuki Oi(JPN)
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 9 Billy Thorpe(USA)
 
Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 11 – 4 Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)
Do The Kien(VET) 11 – 8 Waleed Majid(QAT)
 
Pin Yi Ko(TPE) 11 – 9 Aloysius Yapp(SIN)
Fedor Gorst(RUS) 11 – 10 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)
 
 
 
RESULTS FINAL 32
 
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 11 – 8 Yip Kin Ling(HKG)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 8 Denis Grabe(EST)
 
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 5 Mieszko Fortunski(POL)
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 11 – 5 Xu Xiaocong(CHN)
 
Liu Haitao(CHN) 11 – 9  Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 11 – 6 Johann Chua(PHL)
 
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 7 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)
Billy Thorpe(USA) 11 – 10 Carlo Biado(PHL)
 
Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 11 – 8 Lin Wu Kun(TPE)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS) 11 – 8 Maximilian Lechner(AUT)  
 
Do The Kien(VET) 11 – 7 Chris Melling(ENG)  
Waleed Majid(QAT) 11 -10 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) vs.
 
Pin Yi Ko(TPE) 11 – 9 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL)
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 11 – 5 Darren Appleton(ENG)
 
Fedor Gorst(RUS)11 – 7 Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 11 – 7 Liu Ri Teng(TPE)

Filler Falls in Dramatic Upset, while Van Boening Also Crashes Out

Finland’s Casper Matikainen takes down the defending champion in wild day in Doha as 32 players set for a sprint to the World 9-ball crown.

 

Casper Matikainen

Finland’s Casper Matikainen came into his round of 64 match at the World 9-ball Championship today versus the defending champion and world number 1 Joshua Filler feeling relaxed and ready for battle. He figured the German great would bring his usual fire, but he also knew that Filler might also take his eye off the proverbial ball. After all, the 23 year old Finn wasn’t exactly the most feared name in a field of absolute monsters.

So even when the self-described “King” of pool jumped out to a 4-1 lead, Matikainen never lost hope, as Filler had gotten a few lucky rolls and wasn’t playing all that great, while the Finn had a few rolls go against him.

The mental strategy soon started to bear fruit for the cool-headed blonde. Slowly, and increasingly surely, Matikainen crawled even, and then took the lead while at the same time Filler started to get sloppy, lose focus and even showed some signs of panic. From 4-1 down Matikainen calmly won 9 out of the next ten frames.  After a brief hiccup on the hill that allowed Filler to claim two quick racks, the steady Finn held his nerve and closed out the biggest shock of the tournament so far, an 11-7 upset of the defending champion.

“He’s the world champion and he’s playing and I’m not there in the big tournaments and maybe he’s thinking it’s an easy win,” the 22 year old Matikainen said afterward.  “I felt that Joshua had the pressure because he’s the world champion and I was really relaxed at the table and that helped me and I just got it done.”

Matikainen’s massive win was but one huge result on a dramatic day in Doha that saw some of pool’s biggest names dumped out, while others were taken to the absolute limits. With the field now down to the final 32, the next two days promises to be one of the most exciting and fascinating Battle Royale’s of 9-ball we’ve seen in years.

America’s Shane Van Boening had come to Doha a heavy favorite this year and for good reason. His last three starts here ended with two runner ups and a spot in the semis last year. But several early mistakes against Taiwan’s Liu Ri Teng was all it took for the Taiwanese to grab a commanding lead at 10-4. The American mounted a valiant fight back, but the alternate break format meant the hole was too deep. Liu sent Van Boening packing in the round of 64 with a humbling 11-8 defeat.

After his runner up finish at the US Open in Las Vegas last April, former champion Wu Jiaqing figured to go far here in Doha. But Wu came up against fellow compatriot Xu Xiaocong, who is one of a slew of quality young talents coming out of China. Xu has impressed all week here and  against Wu he turned his game up several notches, crushing the former Boy Wonder 11-5.

The Taiwanese are almost sure to have one, possibly two players in the semis after tomorrow as Team Taipei looked absolutely marvelous today. It isn’t easy picking a favorite out of these world beaters but World 10-ball Champion Ko Ping Chung would probably be at the top of most punters betting sheets.  The slightly built and painfully shy 22 year old is clearly at the top of his game but he even he barely escaped in a harrowing match against Hungary’s talented Oliver Szolnoki.

Szolnoki, another bright European prospect, played the match of his young career and had “Little” Ko on the ropes, shooting out to a 7-3, then 8-5 lead. The fresh-faced Hungarian reached the hill first, but Ko then displayed the courage and guts that only champions can pull off.  In a nervy and tense sudden death rack, the Taiwanese made a series of surreal pressure shots to eek out the victory.

Little Ko’s older brother and two-time former world champion Pin Yi also won today, easily defeating Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama, 11-5. Fellow Taiwanese Chang Jung Lin, Chang Yu Lung, Lin Wu Kun and Kevin Chang all won their round of 64 matches today. In all seven Taiwanese made it through to the round of 32.

2016 World 9-ball champion Albin Ouschan of Austria looks to be in very fine form this year, as he easily defeated Taiwan’s Lin Ta Li 11-5.  Fellow Austrian Max Lechner continued his rise this year with an 11-4 win over Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis.

The Russian contingent also put in solid performances today. Veteran Ruslan Chinakhov took down American Corey Duel 11-3, while youngster Fedor Gorst stayed alive with an 11-8 win over Slovakia’s Jakub Koniar.

2012 World 9-ball Champion Darren Appleton has been quietly playing himself back into game shape over the last few months and his solid victory today over Albanian star and European Mosconi team member Eklent Kaci could be a portent for the rest of the field. The Englishman battled back from a 4-0 deficit, and then turned the screws on the Albanian for a quality 11-6 win. In his remarkable heyday from 2008 to 2015, Appleton famously grinded out championships by the truckload and that bulldog mentality definitely was on display this afternoon.

The Philippines had only three players in the final 64 but all three made it through today. 2017 World 9-ball champion Carlo Biado got taken to the limit by Qatari veteran Bashar Hussein, before breaking and running the last rack for an 11-10 win. Also winning today for the Team Pinoy were Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ignacio.

The Polish contingent has been getting stronger by the year and they showed their quality today with three of their stars pushing through to the final 32. Mieszko Fortunski, Wojciech Szewczyk, and Mateusz Sniegocki all won handily.

Also advancing today were the USA’s Billy Thorpe, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp, China’s Liu Haitao, Greece’s Alexander Kazakis, Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Estonia’s Dennis Grabe, England’s Chris Melling, Canada’s Alex Pagulayan, Qatar’s Waleed Majid, Vietnam’s Do The Kien, and Hong Kong’s young upstart Yip Kin Ling.

The penultimate day of the World 9-ball championship will be extremely busy as the field will be whittled down to the final four at the end of the days’ action.

Play on day 3, Monday, Dec. 16th will begin at 10am Doha time(GMT +3). All matches will be single elimination knockout race to 11, alternate break.

The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,00.

*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. 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 live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.

Results Final 64

Casper Matikainen(FIN) 11 – 7 Joshua Filler(GER)
Yip Kin Ling(HKG) 11 – 5 John Morra(CAN)

Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 5 Lin Ta Li(TPE)
Denis Grabe(EST) 11 – 8 Marc Bijsterbosch(NED)

Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 9 Dang Jinhu(CHN)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 11 – 8 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 11 – 6 Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL)
Xu Xiaocong(CHN) 11 – 5 Wu Jiaqing(CHN)

Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 11 – 8 Radoslaw Babica(POL)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 11 – 9  Jalal Al Sarisi (VEN)

Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 11 – 7 Petri Makkonen(FIN)
Johann Chua(PHL) 11 – 5 Enrique Rojas(CHL)

Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 3 Karol Skowerski(POL)
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 11 – 9 Masato Yoshioka(JPN)

Billy Thorpe(USA) 11 – 6 Kong Dejing(CHN)
Carlo Biado(PHL) 11 – 10 Bashar Hussain(QAT)

Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 11 – 10  Oliver Szolnoki(HUN)
Lin Wu Kun(TPE) 11 – 7 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)

Maximilian Lechner(AUT) 11 – 4 Pijus Labutis(LTH)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)  11 – 3 Corey Duel(USA)

Chris Melling(ENG)  11 – 7 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Do The Kien(VET) 11 – 5 David Alcaide(ESP)

Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 11 – 6 Jang Moonseok(KOR)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 11 – 10 Ralf Souquet(GER)

Pin Yi Ko(TPE) 11 – 5 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 11 – 6 Stephen Holem(CAN)

Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 11 – 9  Xue Zhenqi(CHN)
Darren Appleton(ENG) 11 – 6 Eklent Kaci(ALB)

Fedor Gorst(RUS) 11 – 8 Jakub Koniar(SVK)
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 11 – 10 Tomasz Kaplan(POL)

Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 11 – 7 Ivar Saris(NED)
Liu Ri Teng(TPE) 11 – 8 Shane Van Boening(USA)

One loss side group matches
Winner moves on to final 64 KO stage. Loser is out

Group 1
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 4 Hasan Hwaidi(IRQ)
Bashar Hussain(QAT) 9 – 6 Jerico Bonus(PHL)

Group 2
Fedor Gorst(RUS) 9 – 2 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS) 9 – 3 Kong Bu Hong(HKG)

Group 3
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 1 Gerson Martinez(PER)
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 3 Saki Kanatlar(TRK)

Group 4
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 9 – 8 Matt Edwards(NZL)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 1 Marc Vidal(ESP)

Group 5
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 9 – 8 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 5 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)

Group 6
Do The Kiem(VET)  9 – 6 Ali Alobaidli(QAT)
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 9 – 4 Ricky Yang(IND)

Group 7
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 6 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Liu Ri Teng(TPE) 9 – 1 Nadim Okbani(ALG)

Group 8
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 4 Hassan Shahada(JOR)
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 6 Abdullah Alyusef(KUW)

Group 9
Stephen Holem(CAN) 9 – 4 Khaled Alghamdi(KSR)
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 9 – 5 Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR)

Group 10
Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB) 9 – 5 Max Eberle(USA)
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 4 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)

Group 11
Karol Slowerski(POL) 9 – 4 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Eklent Kaci(ALB)  9 – 3 Ahmad Aldelaimi(KUW)

Group 12
Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 9 – 5  Niels Feijen(NED)
Daminanos Giallourakis(GRE)  9 – 3 Abdullah Alshammari(KSR)

Group 13
Masato Yoshioka(JPN) 9 – 4 Clark Sullivan(NZE)
Xue Zhenqi(CHN) 9 – 7 Luis Lemus(GTM)

Group 14
Darren Appleton(ENG) 9 – 6 Richard Halliday(RSA)
Jakub Koniar(SLV) 9 – 3 Fayaz Hussain(MAL)

Group 15
Jang Moonseok(KOR) 9 – 2 Robbie Capito(HKG)
Corey Duel(USA) 9 – 8 Wang Can(CHN)

Group 16
Xu Xiaocong(CHN) 9 – 0 Mohamed El Raousti(ALG)
Lin Wu Kun(TPE) 9 – 3 Riccardo Sini(ITA)

32 Players Book Their Spots In The KO Rounds In A Roller Coaster First Day In Doha

Ko Ping-Chung

If the first day’s play of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship is any indication–and by all measures it certainly is just that–then fans around the world better be prepared for a wild roller coaster ride over the next three days.  Drama, upsets, nerves, revelations, suprises, excitement and downright brilliant 9-ball at the highest levels were all on display as play commenced in the 28th running of pool’s premier crown. And with a loaded field just getting warmed up, it’s only going to get better leading to the final on Tuesday.
 
With 64 matches played on 16 tables at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Day 1 saw 32 players book their spots in the final 64 knockout stage which begins Sunday.  None of the 96 players have yet to see the exits, but there were plenty of upsets, near upsets, and upstarts making their mark on pool’s biggest stage.
 
The top 32 seeds were given a bye in the first round of their groups, so these players only had to win one match to reach the single elimination knockout rounds.  Defending champion Joshua Filler of Germany did just that, but not before a shaky start which saw him tied at 4-4 in the race to 9 alternate break match against Qatari veteran Bashar Hussain. The World number one was never in trouble, though, and cruised to a 9-5 win.
 
2017 champion and runner up last year Carlo Biado of the Philippines didn’t fair as well as he got dumped over to the one loss side of his group with a shocking 9-3 loss to Chile’s Enrique Rojas. It was Rojas’ second straight victory of the day, the first coming over Kuwait’s Abdullah Alyusef. Rojas now books his well deserved spot in the Final 64 tomorrow.
 
The USA’s Shane Van Boening is one of the favorites here this week, but he looked a bit cold early on in his match with young talented Chinese player Xu Xiaocong. Xu is part of a large crop coming from China’s youth movement and he had the American down three quarters of the way through their match.  But SVB pulled it together at the last minute and squeaked by the Chinese, 9-8. Xu will get one more chance on Sunday.
 
Fellow American and Mosconi teammate Billy Thorpe also booked his spot in the final 64 with a 9-5 win over Canada’s Stephen Holem.
 
It was a solid day for team Taiwan. World 10-ball Champion Ko Ping Chung went up against Myamar’s rising star Phone Myint Kyaw, who also goes by the moniker, Muang Muang. Kyaw is a player that pool fans will want to pay attention to. He’s a former snooker player who has been winning regularly on the brutally tough Chinese 8-ball circuit, and he just grabbed two gold medals in the Southeast Asian games in Manila.  His stroke is one of the most solid in the game and anyone who watches him play instantly can see the potential in this young man.
 
But of course, Ko is a young prodigy who has already proven his metal in American pool with his recent win at the World 10-ball in July in Vegas.  Little Ko didn’t have much trouble with Muang Muang, winning handily, 9-4.
 
Little Ko will join his older brother Pin Yi in the final 64, who defeated the always stingy Jalal Al Sarisi of Venezuela, 9-4.  Other Taiwanese cruising into the final 64 include Chang Jung Lin, Chang Yu Lung, and Kevin Cheng.
 
The Philippines is surprisingly unrepresented in Doha this year with only four players in the field. With Biado losing early it was up to Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ingacio to save the day for the Pinoys. Both looked the goods and nabbed spots in the final 64.
 
It was a mixed bag for the European Mosconio Cup team. Greece’s Alexander Kazakis is one of Europe’s top bets here this week and he qualified for the knockout round with an easy 9-5 win over Qatar’s Waleed Majid.  But Albania’s Eklent Kaci and former World 9-ball Champion Niels Feijen of the Netherlands weren’t so fortunate. Kaci lost big to the Netherlands’ Ivar Saris, who had earlier looked solid in a 9-6 win over Poland’s Karol Skowerski. Feijen went down to upstart Hong Konger Yip Kin Ling, 9-7, who took his spot in the Final 64 with his second  win of the day.
 
The surprises kept coming throughout the day. Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis first squeaked by Peru’s Gerson Martinez, 9-8. Then he took on former World 9-ball Champion Wu Jiaqing, and shocked the Chinese great with a 9-7 upset, and a spot in the knockout rounds.
 
Also booking a spot in the final 64 was Canada’s John Morra, who continued his return to fine form with a 9-8 win over Poland’s Mateusz Sniegocki. Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp showed that he’s clearly a dark horse to watch here in Doha with a 9-4 drubbing of China’s talented Dang Jinhu.  England’s Chris Melling came back from 6-2 down to defeat Vietnam’s Do The Kien, 9-7. Also advancing today were Japan’s Naoyuki Oi, Austria’s Max Lechner, China’s Lui Haitao, Estonia’s Dennis Grabe, Finland’s Petri Makkonen, Germany’s Ralf Souquet,  and Spaniards David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz.
 
Play on day 2 on Sunday, Dec. 14th will begin at 10am Doha time(GMT +3). The field will be whittled down to 64 players playing single elimination knockout race to 11.  The round of 64 will be completed in the first two session, and by the end of the day, the field will be down to the final 32. 
 
The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,00.
 
*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. 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 live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.
 
 
Results
 
Group 1
Bashar Hussain(QAT) 9 – 6 Hasan Hwaidi(IRQ)  
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 7 Jerico Bonus(PHL)
 
Group 2
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)  9 – 5 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 9 – 6  Kong Bu Hong(CHN)
 
Group 3
Pijus Labutis(LTH) 9 – 8 Gerson Martinez (PER)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 7 Saki Kanatlar(TKY)
 
Group 4
Kong Dejing(CHN) 9 – 6 Matt Edwards(NZL)  
Jalal Al Sarsi(VEN)  9 – 7 Marc Vidal(SPN)
 
Group 5
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 5 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
Oliver Szolnoki(HUN) 9 – 3 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)
 
Group 6
Tomasz Kaplan(POL)  9 – 5 Ali Alobadili(QAT)
Do The Kien(VET) 9 – 3 Ricky Yang(IND) 
 
Group 7
Liu Ri Teng(TPE)  9 – 5 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 1 Nadim Okbani(ALG)
 
Group 8
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 1 Hassan Shhada(JOR)
Enrique Rojas(CHL) 9 – 7 Abdullah Alyusef(KUW)
 
Group 9
Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR) 9 – 3  Khaled Alghamdi(KSR)
Stephen Holem(CAN) 9 – 6 Casper Matikainen(FIN) 
 
Group 10
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 7 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Max Eberle(USA) 9 – 7 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
 
Group 11
Ivar Saris(NET) 9 – 6 Karol Skowerski(POL) 
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 – 1 Ahmad Aldelaimi(KUW)
 
Group 12
Damianos Giallourakis(GRE) 9 – 7 Marck Bijsterbosch(NED)  
Yip Kin Ling(HKG) 9 – 8 Abdulla Alshemari(KSR)
 
Group 13
Xue Zhenqi(CHN) 9 – 5 Clark Sullivan(NZE)
Masato Yoshioka(JPN) Luis Lemus(GUY)
 
Group 14
Jakub Koniar(SLV) 9 – 8 Darren Appleton(ENG) 
Richard Halliday(RSA) 9 – 4 Fayaz Ussain(MAL)
 
Group 15
Konrad Juszcayszyn(POL) 9 – 7 Robbie Capito(HKG) 
Jang Moonseok(KOR) 9 – 6 Wang Can(CHN)
 
Group 16
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 0 Mohamed El Raousti(ALG)
Xu Xiaocong(CHN) 9- 2  Riccardo Sini(ITL)
 
 
Winners Side Matches Day 1.
Winner is through to the Final 64, Loser goes to one loss side of their group for one more chance
 
 
 
Group 1
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 5 Bashar Hussain(QAT)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 8 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)
 
Group 2
Denis Grabe(EST) 9 – 7 Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 9 – 4 Fedor Gorst(RUS)
 
Group 3
Pijus Labutis(LTH) 9 – 7 Wu Jiaqing(CHN)  
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 4 Dang Jinhu(CHN)
 
Group 4
Kong Dejing(CHN) 9 – 6 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)
Pin Yi Ko(TPE) 9 – 5 Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN)
 
Group 5
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 5 Waleed Majid(QAT)
Oliver Szolnoki(HUN) 9 – 3 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
 
Group 6
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 6 Tomasz Kaplan(POL)
Chris Melling(ENG) 9 – 7 Do The Kien(VET)
 
Group 7
Johann Chua(PHL) 9 – 3 Liu Ri Teng(TPE)
Max Lechner(AUT) 9 – 6 Radoslaw Babica(POL)
 
Group 8
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 3 Lin Ta Li(TPE)
Enrique Rojas(CHL) 9 – 3 Carlo Biado(PHL)
 
Group 9
Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 9 – 4 Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR)
Billy Thorpe(USA) 9 – 5 Stephen Holem(CAN)
 
Group 10
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 9 – 8 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 3 Max Eberle(USA)
 
Group 11
Ivar Saris(NED) 9 – 4 Eklent Kaci(ALB)
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 1 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
 
Group 12
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 7 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)
Yip Kin Ling(HKG) 9 – 7 Niels Feijen(NED)
 
Group 13
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 8 Xue Zhenqi(CHN)
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 8 Masato Yoshioka(JPN)
 
Group 14
David Alcaide(ESP) 9 – 7 Jakub Koniar(SLV)
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 9 – 4 Richard Halliday(RSA)
 
Group 15
Konrad Juszcayszyn(POL) 9 – 8 Corey Deuel(USA)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 4 Jan Moonseok(KOR)
 
Group 16
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 5 Lin Wu Kun(TPE)
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 8 Xu Xiaocong(CHN)

Appleton Comes Back And Leaves A Mark At EPBF Antalya Open

Nick Malai (left) and Darren Appleton

The first day in Antalya of the Dynamic Billard Antalya Open 2019 started sunny as expected. Most players of the first round matches were on time for the beginning of their competition. In the first round, Nick Malai (GRE) and Marcel Price (GBR) had the toughest challenges. Both of them won their opening matches with 9:8 over their respective opponents which took a lot of energy out of them at such an early time of the day.
 
As the day continued, more remarkable matches could be witnessed. In the first winner’s round, Nick Malai took down Ruslan Chinakhov (RUS) surprisingly clear with 9:1 and sent him to the loser’s side of the bracket. Jan Rempe (NED), young player from the dutch contingency, managed to overpower Fedor Gorst (RUS) with 9:5 in the same round. Jani Siekkinen (FIN) wasted no time with Alex Montpellier (FRA) wiping the floor with him with 9:0. Siekkinen’s teammate Jani Uski (FIN) also won his match against Mateusz Sniegocki (POL) with 9:7. One of the two big clashes in the first winner’s round was the all British match between Mark Gray and Darren Appleton. Both players have earned their merits in the past and it was clear that the one with the better daily form would probably succeed over the other. Additionally, Appleton had been absent for a long time and just started his Euro-Tour play again last tournament in Klagenfurt, Austria, while Gray has been a regular on the tour for many years now. Today, the match went in favour of Appleton since Gray had no break at all. Appleton took him down 9:5 and Gray stated on his facebook page later: „Horrible game that lost 9-5 to Darren Appleton. Better player undoubtedly won. Break killed me but didn’t feel good so good luck to Daz… Granite back to the beach!!“ The other „big match“ in that round was the encounter between Pijus Labutis (LTU) and Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (ESP). That match was controlled by the Spaniard and won with 9:6 by Sanchez-Ruiz.
 
The Dynamic Billard Antalya Open 2019 will continue tomorrow morning at 09:00 local time with matches from winner’s round 2.
 
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 Antalya Open are played in the Limak Atlantis Resort in Belek, Turkey, 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.

Dynamic Billard Klagenfurt Open Ready for Kick-Off

The fifth tour stop of the Euro-Tour series, the Dynamic Billard Klagenfurt Open is ready for kick-off. 177 participants have enlisted for the event which is played in Carinthia in beautiful southern Austria.
 
Europe’s top pool athletes are currently gathering together and preparing themselves for the upcoming Euro-Tour event. Starting Thursday, October 10th at 09:00 CET, the tournament will unfold on 24 tables with top class billiard action. Having all top ranked players in the house, the Klagenfurt Arena will once more be the host for a prestigious pool billiard tournament. After 2017 and 2018, the Euro-Tour is once more returning to the hometown of Jasmin and Albin Ouschan, the Austrian powerhouse siblings. After there days of amazing matches, the final will be played on Saturday, October 12th at 18:00 CET.
 
Currently, German reigning World 9-Ball Champion Joshua Filler is leading the rankings with 2490 points. He is followed by Albania’s Eklent Kaci who has already a small distance to cover, having 2275 point in his account. Third ranked player before the event is Mateusz Sniegocki (POL) whines currently on 2160 points. While Filler and Sniegocki do not lose many points after this event, Kaci will have to defend a second place finish from Leende in 2018. This makes his mission harder than his competitor’s tasks.
 
As always, 38.000,-€ in prize money and coveted ranking points for the announcements to other events like World Championships and Mosconi Cup are at stake in Klagenfurt this week.
 
On Saturday morning, the women will enter the stage and start their tournament, the Predator Klagenfurt Open Women’s Euro-Tour at 09:00 CET. Their final match is scheduled for Sunday, October 13th at 16:00 CET.
 
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 24 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.

Players Arriving In Veldhoven For The Upcoming Euro-Tour Event

The Dynamic Billard Veldhoven Open 2019 is throwing its shadows ahead. The next event of the Euro-Tour series will commence tomorrow morning at 09:00 CET with the final match scheduled for Saturday, August 3rd, at 18:00 CET.
 
193 players have enlisted for the Veldhoven edition of Europe’s most prestigious pool series. Once again, coveted ranking points as well as prize money is at stake for the contestants. Currently, Eklent Kaci is leading with 2455 points but he already feels Joshua Filler’s breath in his neck with 2400 points. Kaci will lose 480 points from last year while Filler only loses 330 points. Filler just finished runner-up at the recently held World 10-ball Championships, in Las Vegas,  USA. It will be interesting to see whether this will provide him with the wind underneath his wings that might help him to come up with a good finish here at the Euro-Tour. Depending on their performance here in Veldhoven, there might be a change at the top of the rankings. Mateusz Sniegocki (2130 pts) and Ralf Souquet (2105 pts) are also still within striking distance.
 
On Saturday morning, the women will enter the stage and start their tournament, the Predator Veldhoven Open Women’s Euro-Tour at 09:00 CET. Their final match is scheduled for Sunday, August 4th at 16:00 CET.
 
Every day, up to two matches will be streamed LIVE over the EPBF Facebook page. Check for updates and announcements.
 
The Dynamic Billard Treviso Open are played in the NH Conference Centre Koningshof in Veldhoven, The Netherlands, on up to 24 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.

Great Britain Fight Back To Reach World Cup of Pool Last Eight

Team Great Britain

Hong Kong, China 5–7 Austria
Spain 7-5 Finland
Poland 5–7 Great Britain 
 
Hosts Great Britain battled from 4-1 down to beat Poland 7-5 and secure their place in the quarter-finals of the BetVictor World Cup of Pool at the Morningside Arena in Leicester, England.
 
There were Friday evening wins too for Spain over Finland, and Austria, who defeated Hong Kong, China with both matches also ending 7-5 and the last eight is now set as the tournament moves into its closing stages on Saturday and Sunday, live on Sky Sports, DAZN and networks worldwide.
 
With Great Britain’s Chris Melling and Jayson Shaw having the home crowd on their side, it was Poland (Konrad Juszczyszyn and Mateusz Sniegocki) who took the first rack, ran the second and then benefited when Great Britain again couldn’t take advantage of having the break in the third.
 
The hosts got on the board after Shaw executed a good safety from a push out, and Poland then left the 1 on. But Britain again couldn’t take advantage of having the break, this time Melling missing a 6 when they looked to be heading to 3-2, and instead Poland made it 4-1
 
After their faltering start, Great Britain battled back to level the match and then led for the first time at 5-4. They moved to the hill soon after, but Poland weren’t done yet and pulled a rack back before Shaw and Melling closed out the match to complete the quarter-final line-up.
 
“They played really well at the start but we didn’t really come out firing,” said Shaw. “We played a couple of silly shots, letting them get in front but we told each other we would get a chance and when we did we took it to go in front.”
 
Melling added: “I struggled there; early on I was struggling with confidence. Luckily for me I have one of the best players in the world on my team. If we can win playing like that who knows what can happen when we play well.”
 
The session opener saw Mario He and Albin Ouschan in ruthless form for Austria. Finalists last year and winners in 2018, they ran to a commanding 6-1 lead, capitalising on some sloppy pool by Hong Kong, China.
 
Knowing they couldn’t afford another mistake, and would probably need some luck along the way as well, Lo Ho Sum and Yip Kin Ling took out the next rack and when Austria broke dry in the next, a 5/9 combo presented itself and Sum took advantage. They took the next rack on their own break and had another chance almost immediately as Austria broke dry. From 6-1 down Hong Kong, China had pulled to within one.
 
But at that stage Austria regained control of the table, and eventually got their seventh match on the board to progress to a quarter-final clash with Greece.
 
The last of the quarter-finals will see Spain face Great Britain, after David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz won a match in which momentum’s pendulum swung first to Spain, then to Finland and finally back to Spain.
 
The Spanish pair established a 4-1 lead over Petri Makkonen and Mika Immonen, only for the 2012 champions to fight back and go 5-4 up. At that point, though, the impetus switched again and Spain levelled before reaching the hill and then coming out on top after an error-strewn 12th to book their spot in the last eight.
 
The quarter-finals are race to 9 and take place over two sessions on Saturday with the semi-finals and final on Sunday. The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is broadcast live in over 100 countries around the world, including on Sky Sports and DAZN.
 
The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is sponsored by Rasson Billiards, who supply the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator are the Official Cue of the event and Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip.