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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)

Souquet Survives Strickland and Comebacks Galore at Predator World 10-ball Championship

Earl Strickland and Ralf Souquet (JP Parmentier)

The matchup looked like something right out of 1999, instead of 2019.
 
Earl Strickland and Ralf Souquet share a lot of common ground. Both have had long, decorated careers in pool that have resulted in multiple world championships as well as induction into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.
 
Tuesday afternoon, they shared center stage in the main arena of the Predator World 10-ball Championship in a winner’s side matchup, with Souquet taking advantage of a pair of late Strickland mistakes to wipe out a 6-4 deficit and win, 8-6, at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
 
Both worked to overcome some rust in the early stages. Strickland built an early 2-0 lead when Souquet failed to pocket a ball on the break in the first game and then missed a 6-ball in the second rack. The German said he felt good after opening warm ups but struggled with coldness in his hands as well as the speed of the cloth when the match began.
 
“I couldn’t get comfortable with the whole situation,” Souquet said.
 
Strickland appeared poised to increase his lead in the third game but missed a table-length shot on the 9-ball. The German tied the match in the fourth game and the two competitors split the next four games until Strickland used a break and run and a Souquet scratch on the break to jump out ahead 6-4 in a standing room and very pro-Strickland audience.
 
Down the stretch, Souquet regained control of the match in the same way that Strickland had obtained it: maximization of opponent mistakes. The German narrowed the deficit to 6-5 when Strickland fouled in the 11th game after attempting a combination shot with the 2-ball and pocketed the wrong ball, then added a break-and-run to tie the score. Souquet took the lead when Strickland deposited the cue ball into the side pocket on the break in the 13th game. 
 
“You have to hope for any chance that he gives you,” said Souquet. “He probably played a little better throughout the whole match. You just have to wait for a mistake. Maybe a scratch on the break or maybe he takes position for granted and you just have to go from there.”
 
Souquet saved his best break for last as he landed four balls – causing even Strickland to let out a “wow” from his chair. Souquet then closed out the rack and the match.
 
The German now advances to the final 16 on the winner’s side where he will face Alex Kazakis of Greece at 5:30 p.m. local time Wednesday. 
 
Competition opened Tuesday with eight matches on the winner’s side of the bracket, including Chris Melling using some stellar shooting along with some breaking struggles by opponent Toru Kuribayashi to cruise to an 8-1 victory. After trading the first two racks, the Englishman used the next three racks to stifle Kuribayashi with safety play then run out after his opponent provided an opening. Meanwhile, Kuribayashi struggled with his break, failing to pocket balls three times.
 
“I played nearly perfect. I didn’t miss a ball,” said Melling after the match. “My only mistake was when I scratched on the break.”
 
Tuesday’s late afternoon and early evening was reserved for the one-loss side of the bracket, with two sets of win-or-go-home matches taking place.
 
One of those who survived was Raymund Faraon, who trailed throughout his match with Fan Yang except at the most important time: the end. Using a handful of tactical safeties and some clutch shot-making, the Filipino overcame a 6-3 deficit to defeat the 2015 World Chinese 8-ball champion, 8-7.
 
With 120,000 spectators watching online in his native China, Yang used his powerful break shot and a couple of mistakes by Faraon to build a commanding 6-3 lead in a race to eight. Faraon tacked on two games to cut the deficit to 6-5 after Yang came to the table in both games and failed to clear the racks. After the two players traded breaks-and-runs to push the score to 7-6, Yang had the break and a chance to finish the match in the 14th game. However, Yang lost a safety exchange on the 1-ball and Faraon tied the score at seven games each.
 
History would repeat itself in the deciding game, with Faraon breaking and failing to find an open shot on the 1-ball. The Filipino played safe, pushing the cue ball to the opposite end of the table of the 1-ball with the 3-ball blocking the path. Yang missed his attempt at a jump shot and left Faraon the opening he needed for the victory.
 
Russia’s Fedor Gorst also staved off elimination with a comeback of his own, capitalizing on a handful of unforced errors by opponent Matt Edwards of New Zealand to erase a 6-2 deficit and win, 8-6. Trailing 6-5, Gorst was given an opportunity to tie the score when his opponent fouled on a jump shot attempt. It appeared the young Russian’s comeback attempt might be halted in the 13th game when he pushed a 3-ball right of the corner pocket, but was given new life when Edwards missed the 8-ball. The New Zealander had an opportunity to run out and tie the score in the following game but missed the 2-ball in the corner pocket.
 
The third day of the Predator World 10-ball Championship begins at 10 a.m. local time on Wednesday. The live broadcast feed gets underway at 12:30 p.m. with Mario He taking on Liu Cheng Cheh. The 3 p.m. match will be determined by the winners of earlier matches and the 5:30 p.m. match will involve Chris Melling facing Jung-Lin Chang in a winner’s side matchup. The 8 p.m. broadcast pairing will also be announced later in the day.
 
The Predator World 10-ball Championship is a presentation of CueSports International and sponsored by Predator Group. Predator Group is an international billiard industry leader with a focus on high-performance cues and shafts as well as bringing constant innovation and game-improving equipment to billiard players worldwide. The event is being hosted by the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and broadcast live on YouTube by CSI Media, a subsidiary of Cue Sports International. For more information, visit www.world10ball.com
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international billiards organization which produces the United States Open 8-ball, 10-ball, one pocket, bank pool and straight pool championships. CSI, which also operates national amateur pool leagues, has three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, the events division produces numerous amateur and professional events and the media department creates live video billiards content. For more information about CSI, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
 
The Predator World 10-ball Championships are sponsored by: Predator Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Omega Billiards and Kamui Brand.
 

Predator World 10-ball Championship Delivers Full House and Compelling Matches on First Day

Billy Thorpe – JP Parmentier

At many professional pocket billiards tournaments, the opening rounds sometimes have a bit of a perfunctory feel to them.
 
As the pros jockey early to either stay in stroke or get in stroke to avoid an early trip over to the one-loss side of the bracket, crowds are many times sparse until an event reaches the later stages.
 
This wasn’t the case when fellow Americans Billy Thorpe and Shane Van Boening squared off in the opening round of the Predator World 10-ball Championship Monday night. With the event being played right in the heart of the Billiard Congress of America Pool League championships, amateur players and fans began filling the arena more than an hour the match was scheduled to begin.
 
“I like a crowd myself,” said Thorpe. “It sparks a bit of a fire in me.”
 
The two competitors didn’t disappoint, combining for eight breaks and runs as Thorpe defeated his friend and roommate for the week, 8-4, at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The match was one of many tightly-contested pairings during the first act of this five-day, $100,000 added competition – with eight of the 32 first round matchups needing a deciding 15th game.
 
With two of the most decorated players in the United States squaring off, the matchup felt more like a quarterfinal or a semifinal match rather the beginning of the tournament. Van Boening and Thorpe split the first six games of the set, with each using two breaks-and-runs each along with effective safety play to maintain serve. The young man from Ohio edged ahead 4-3 when Van Boening left a 1-ball in the corner pocket’s jaws, then increased his lead to two games when he used a jump shot to run out in the eighth rack. The two competitors again traded breaks and runs for the next three games, with Thorpe maintaining a 6-5 lead.
 
“We broke well. I thought it might be different with the referees racking the balls with the template,” Thorpe said. “For a while I thought that it was going to be break and run the whole match.”
 
And it essentially was until the 12th game when Thorpe missed a 3-ball in the corner pocket.
 
“I really thought that I hit it good but the ball hopped on me,” Thorpe said.
 
Although Thorpe had left the window open for his friend, establishing position on the 4-ball would be a challenge thanks to two object balls providing cover. Van Boening pocketed the 3-ball then failed to land the 4-ball. Using a clutch jump shot, Thorpe pocketed the ball, cleared the table then added in one final break-and-run to clinch the victory.
 
Thorpe now heads to the second round where he will face Canadian John Morra Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. local time. Van Boening moves to the one-loss side where he will face Hunter Lombardo Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
 
Also advancing to the winner’s side second round is current World Pool and Billiards Association 9-ball champion Joshua Filler of Germany, who survived a scare from Fan Yang, 8-5.
 
Playing in one of the opening matches of the tournament, Filler opened competition with a break-and-run then failed to capitalize on a Yang dry break the following game. Yang took the lead in the race-to-eight set after Filler fouled on the break. The young German used a break-and-run and a missed 2-ball to take a 3-2 lead but gave his opponent an opportunity when he missed an 8-ball in the following game. The two split the next four games before Filler used two breaks-and-runs and a Yang foul to pull away and close out the match.
 
With the competition now equally divided into 32 winners and losers, Tuesday’s schedule begins at noon local time with eight matches on the winner’s side of the bracket – including Chris Melling meeting Toru Kuribayashi on the live broadcast table. A second round of winner’s side matches will begin at 2:30 p.m. in a matchup of BCA Hall of Famers as Earl Strickland takes on Ralf Souquet. Other matches of note in this timeslot include Alex Kazakis meeting Skylar Woodward and Pin-Yi Ko matching up with Alex Pagulayan. The evening session broadcast schedule includes Fan Yang matching up against Raymund Faraon at 5 p.m. and Fedor Gorst going up against Matt Edwards at 7:30 p.m.
 
The Predator World 10-ball Championship is a presentation of CueSports International and sponsored by Predator Group, one of the world’s premier cue makers and billiards accessory manufacturers. The event is being hosted by the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and broadcast live on YouTube by CSI Media, a subsidiary of Cue Sports International. The event is also sponsored by Diamond Billiards Products, Omega Billiards and Kamui Brand. For more information, visit www.world10ball.com
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international billiards organization which produces the United States Open 8-ball, 10-ball, one pocket, bank pool and straight pool championships. CSI, which also operates national amateur pool leagues, has three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, the events division produces numerous amateur and professional events and the media department creates live video billiards content. For more information about CSI, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Great Britain Through as Canada And Greece Advance at World Cup of Pool

The Great Britain A Team of Jayson Shaw and Chris Melling

Canada 7-2 France
Greece 7–3 New Zealand
Great Britain A 7-5 Malta
 
Hosts Great Britain A progressed safely into the second round of the BetVictor World Cup of Pool after seeing off Malta at the Morningside Arena, Leicester on Wednesday evening, when there were also wins for Canada and Greece.
 
Jayson Shaw and Chris Melling were flying the flag for the host nation and were up against Malta – Clayton Castaldi and billiards legend Tony Drago – and avoided the potential banana skin and a Maltese fightback as they moved into round two with a 7-5 win. Earlier in the evening Canada had beaten France 7-2, while Greece were 7-3 victors over New Zealand.
 
The hosts were well supported but it was Malta who took the first rack, before Great Britain levelled. Malta had a chance to go 2-1 ahead but Drago missed a tricky cut to the middle on the frame ball. Shaw had a long pot but secured the rack and instead it was Great Britain A who moved in front.
 
They built a 5-1 advantage before Malta were back on the board, and looked set to reach the hill at 6-2 before Melling missed an elementary 9 ball. Instead it was 5-3 and it wasn’t long until there was only one rack between the teams after Shaw failed to make a 4/9 which he’d usually expect to sink.
 
Great Britain had some thinking to do and in the next rack they found a way and finally got to the hill. Castaldi, though, have been breaking well all match and again gave his team a roadmap as they looked to stay in the match.
 
The Maltese runout piled the pressure on the hosts, who would break next knowing that if they let their opponents take the rack, it would be the visitors to break at hill-hill. But Shaw and Melling, who had looked strong early in the match, eliminated their mistakes when it mattered and booked their place in the second round.
 
“We played perfectly to get 5-1 up but then it was a bad 9 I missed,” said Melling. “We have played enough tournaments around the world to know that when you do make a mistake you can’t take it back, so you can’t dwell on it, you have to forget it straight away.”
 
Shaw added: “Every match is going to be tough, so it’s one match, one ball at a time. There is a lot of play left in this tournament and a lot of good teams.”
 
Earlier in the evening France were defeated by Canada, who had John Morra back in the side after missing last year’s World Cup in Shanghai, alongside Alex Pagulayan. The 30-year-old has switched style and is now playing left-handed due to back issues and looked just as good as ever as a southpaw. Canada took a quick 2-0 lead and despite being pegged back in the third, gave their French opponents Alex Montpellier and Fabio Rizzi a mountain to climb as they move to 5-1 ahead.
 
France got their second rack on the board to narrow the gap to 5-2, but Canada responded to reach the hill and took little extra time in securing the victory and a second-round clash with Estonia.
 
New Zealand took the lead in their match against the Greek team of Alexander Kazakis and Nick Malaj, Matt Edwards playing a smart plant for the 4/9 combo. His playing partner, Simon Singleton, was born in the UK and had plenty of support in attendance in Leicester. But the New Zealand followers would be disappointed, as Greece responded to going behind with five consecutive racks.
 
When Malaj missed the 3 with a jump shot, New Zealand cleared for their second rack. They broke dry but Kazakis scratched on the 1 and the Kiwis worked the table for their third. The comeback was short lived, however, and Greece were soon scoring again and took the next two racks for the match. They will face Chinese Taipei in round two. 
Play continues with the remaining four first-round matches and the first two second-round fixtures played across two sessions on Thursday. 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.

Global Stars Complete World Cup Of Pool Line-Up

Germany’s formidable pairing of Josh Filler and Ralf Souquet (JP Parmentier)

The final teams have been confirmed for the 2019 World Cup of Pool with powerhouse nations such as Philippines, Germany and Holland all set to compete at the Morningside Arena, Leicester this June 25-30.
 
Tickets are on sale now at www.matchroompool.com for pool’s biggest doubles event with the draw to be announced shortly.
 
A further 15 teams have been added to the line-up with the final nation to be the winner of a European qualifying event, which will take place over the weekend of June 1-2 at IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania.
 
US Open and World Champion Joshua Filler will again compete alongside Ralf Souquet for Germany, with another Mosconi Cup legend in Niels Feijen being joined by Marc Bijsterbosch for Holland. Alex Pagulayan teams up with John Morra to represent Canada, and Ko brothers Pin-Yi and Ping-Chung will be aiming to win Chinese Taipei’s second World Cup title.
 
Other Asian nations will include Japan (Naoyuki Oi and Toru Kuribayashi), Hong Kong (Lo Ho Sum and Yip Kin Ling Leo), Singapore (Aloysuis Yapp and Sharik Aslam Sayed) and three-time World Cup winners Philippines (Carlo Biado and Jeff De Luna).
 
European representation is completed by France (Alex Montpellier and Fabio Rizzi), Russia (Fedor Gorst and Ruslan Chinakhov) and Poland (Konrad Juszczyszyn and Mateusz Sniegocki).
Elsewhere South American Champions Chile will be represented by Enrique Rojas and Alejandro Carvajal, while there will also be teams from Brazil and Saudi Arabia, with players to be confirmed shortly.
 
2019 World Cup of Pool Confirmed Teams:
Albania               Eklent Kaci / Besar Spahiu
Australia            Justin Sajich / Danny Stone
Austria                Albin Ouschan / Mario He
Brazil                   TBC / TBC
Canada               Alex Pagulayan / John Morra
Chile                    Enrique Rojas / Alejandro Carvajal
China                   Wu Jiaqing / Liu Haitao
Chinese Taipei  Ko Pin-Yi / Ko Ping-Chung
Czech Republic Roman Hybler / Michal Gavenčiak
European Qualifier
Estonia               Denis Grabe / Mark Magi
Finland               Petri Makkonen / Mika Immonen
France                 Alex Montpellier / Fabio Rizzi
Germany            Joshua Filler / Ralf Souquet 
Great Britain A Jayson Shaw / Chris Melling
Great Britain B Mark Gray / Imran Majid
Greece                Alexander Kazakis / Nick Malaj
Holland               Niels Feijen / Marc Bijsterbosch
Hong Kong         Lo Ho Sum / Yip Kin Ling Leo
Italy                     Fabio Petroni / Daniele Corrieri
Japan                  Naoyuki Oi / Toru Kuribayashi
Malta                  Tony Drago / Clayton Castaldi
New Zealand     Matt Edwards / Simon Singleton
Philippines         Carlo Biado / Jeff De Luna
Poland                Konrad Juszczyszyn / Mateusz Sniegocki
Russia                 Fedor Gorst / Ruslan Chinakhov 
Saudi Arabia      TBC / TBC
Singapore           Aloysuis Yapp / Sharik Aslam Sayed
South Africa       Richard Halliday / Jason Theron
Spain                   David Alcaide / Francisco Sanchez Ruiz
Sweden              Marcus Chamat / Tomas Larsson
USA                     Shane Van Boening / Skyler Woodward
 
Tickets for the 2019 World Cup of Pool are on sale now priced at £5 for weekday afternoons and £10 for weekday evenings and weekend sessions. A season ticket is available for £75 with premium ticket packages available for weekend days including food and unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks.
 
The 2019 World Cup of Pool features 32 two-player teams battling for the $60,000 first prize from a total prize fund of $250,000. Matches are race to 7 in the first two rounds, race to 9 in the quarter and semi-finals and, for the first time, race to 11 in the final.
 
The 2019 World Cup of Pool is sponsored by the following partners: Iwan Simonis (Cloth), Saluc (Aramith Balls), Rasson (Table), Predator (cues), Kamui (chalk and tip).

First Teams Confirmed For World Cup Of Pool

China’s Wu Jiaqing and Liu Haitao (JP Parmentier)

The first 16 teams to participate in the 2019 World Cup of Pool have been confirmed ahead of the event at Morningside Arena, Leicester which takes place from Tuesday, June 25 until Sunday, June 30 with tickets on sale at midday this Friday, May 24 at www.worldcupofpool.com.
 
The line-up includes three pairs who have previously won the event together; defending champions Wu Jiaqing and Liu Haitao of China, 2017 winners Albin Ouschan and Mario He of Austria and Finland’s Petri Makkonen and Mika Immonen.
 
As host nation Great Britain can enter two teams, with Scotland’s Jayson Shaw and Yorkshire’s Chris Melling making up Great Britain A and Mark Gray and Imran Majid on Great Britain B. Team USA will be among the favourites after defeating Europe at December’s Mosconi Cup in London; Shane Van Boening, a World Cup winner in 2008, returns and is partnered by Mosconi MVP Skyler Woodward for a third time. They reached the World Cup final two years ago before losing out to Austria.
 
Also familiar to Mosconi Cup fans will be team Sweden, led by European captain Marcus Chamat with Tomas Larsson as his partner. Eklent Kaci is joined by Besar Spahiu for Albania, with Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and World Pool Masters winner David Alcaide playing for Spain.
 
Former Mosconi MVP Tony Drago pairs with Clayton Castaldi for Malta while Italy’s Fabio Petroni, who memorably played for Europe in the 1998 Mosconi Cup, joins Daniele Corrieri on the Italian team.
Justin Sajich and Danny Stone won their national qualifier to earn the right to represent Australia, and Matt Edwards will this year be paired with Simon Singleton for New Zealand. Richard Halliday returns for South Africa and is this year partnered by Jason Theron while Czech Republic (Roman Hybler and Michal Gavenčiak) and Estonia (Denis Grabe and Mark Magi) have also been confirmed.
 
More teams will be announced in the coming days with draw and schedule information to follow in due course.
 
The 2019 World Cup of Pool features 32 two-player teams battling for the $60,000 first prize from a total prize fund of $250,000. Matches are race to 7 in the first two rounds, race to 9 in the quarter and semi-finals and for the first time race to 11 in the final.
 
Tickets for the 2019 World Cup of Pool go on pre-sale to Matchroom Pool Club members from midday on Thursday, May 23. Membership of the Matchroom Pool Club is free of charge and new members can register now at http://www.matchroompool.com/pool-club/.
 
General sale begins at midday on Friday, May 24 with tickets priced at £5 for weekday afternoons and £10 for weekday evenings and weekend sessions. Season tickets and premium ticket options are also available.
 
2019 World Cup of Pool Confirmed Teams:
Albania               Eklent Kaci / Besar Spahiu
Australia             Justin Sajich / Danny Stone
Austria                Albin Ouschan / Mario He
China                  Wu Jiaqing / Liu Haitao
Czech Republic  Roman Hybler / Michal Gavenčiak
Estonia               Denis Grabe / Mark Magi
Finland               Petri Makkonen / Mika Immonen
Great Britain A  Jayson Shaw / Chris Melling
Great Britain B  Mark Gray / Imran Majid
Italy                     Fabio Petroni / Daniele Corrieri
Malta                  Tony Drago / Clayton Castaldi
New Zealand     Matt Edwards / Simon Singleton
South Africa       Richard Halliday / Jason Theron
Spain                   David Alcaide / Francisco Sanchez Ruiz
Sweden              Marcus Chamat / Tomas Larsson
USA                     Shane van Boening / Skyler Woodward
 
The 2019 World Cup of Pool is sponsored by the following partners: Iwan Simonis (Cloth), Saluc (Aramith Balls), Rasson (Table), Predator (cues), Kamui (chalk and tip).

Final 16 Set In Vegas For The WPA Players Championship

Carlo Biado (Photo courtesy JP Parmentier)

The Philippines' Johann Chua pretty much knew his run in the WPA Players Championship was over. Playing in a round of 32 match against Hall of Famer Mika Immonen and down 6-2 in a race to 7 alternate break match, there was little chance for the talented Filipino to come back.
 
But the pool gods started to conspire against the great Finn, and Chua slowly clawed his way into contention. As that happened, Immonen clearly began to lose his composure, which only imbued the Filipino with confidence.  Chua tied the match at 6, sending proceedings into overtime, where he won the next two to advance 8-6.
 
“I saw him getting frustrated when I started to come back and that gave me a lot of confidence,” a relieved Chua said afterward. “Once he started to miss and give up the table, I knew I was back in the match. I’m very happy to advance.”
 
As 16 pool stars moved on at Griffs Billiards in Vegas, and 16 others got the boot, the WPA Players Championship moved to the business end for the final two days. The round of 16 and quarterfinals will be held on Thursday, with the semis and finals being contested on Friday.
 
The Philippine contingent continued to impress in the $65,000 event.  2017 WPA World 9-ball champion Carlo Biado dueled with the USA’s Skylar Woodward, with the pair of stars splitting the first 10 racks. Biado then took advantage of a lucky safe and advanced with a 7-5 win.
 
“I got lucky,” Biado said, echoing the favorite line of the always humble Filipino greats. But as he well knew in this case, he wasn’t just being polite.
 
Hot shooting 26 year old James Aranas and Raymond Faroun also won, giving Filipinos 25% of the spots in the final 16.
 
The USA’s Shaun Wilkie continued to impress with his second straight convincing victory today. Wilkie took down Japan’s Toru Kuribayashi 7-5 to grab a spot in the final 16. The only other American to take his place in the final 16 was Shane Van Boening, after a 7-5 win over Poland’s Wojciech Szewczyk.
 
The Taiwanese contingent equaled that of their neighbors in east Asia as four Taiwan players advanced to the final 16. Kevin Cheng, Ko Ping Chung, Chang Yu Lung and veteran Yang Ching Shun all won their round of 32 matches.
 
Scotland’s Jayson Shaw put in another convincing performance, taking down the Philippines Jeff de Luna, 7-2. Albania’s Elkent Kaci went toe to toe with New Zealand’s resurgent Matt Edwards, before pulling away for a 7-5 win. Greece’s Nick Malaj and hall of famer Ralf Souquet also advanced.
 
Play in the WPA Players Championship continues on Thursday 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

Four Left Standing At Dafabet World Pool Masters

Skyler Woodward (JP Parmentier – Matchroom Multi Sport)

QUARTER-FINALS
 
David Alcaide 7 – 3 Shane Van Boening
Alex Pagulayan 5 – 7 Eklent Kaci
Alexander Kazakis 7 – 1 Matt Edwards
Albin Ouschan 3 – 7 Skyler Woodward
 
AFTER 20 MATCHES the 2019 Dafabet World Pool Masters is left with just four players and what an exciting semi-final line-up it promises to be three European stars and one American go for the most prestigious invitational title in world pool.
 
The Victoria Stadium in Gibraltar is the venue where David Alcaide, Klenti Kaci, Alexander Kazakis and Skyler Woodward will do battle for the $25,000 first prize. 
 
David Alcaide kept on track for his second Masters title as he came from behind to take down David Alcaide with some outstanding play. The Spaniard trailed 3-0 as Van Boening’s break opened up the table each time.
 
A missed carom by the American allowed Alcaide back to the table and he took full advantage with some outstanding shot-making. Van Boening got to the table in what was the last rack but it was only to extricate himself from a safety.
 
With plenty of support in the arena Alcaide was delighted with the win; “When I play here and I have my fans, it is totally different. They give me a lot of power. I was three down but I never thought I would lose the match.”
 
The second match saw Klenti Kaci (Albania) take out an early 6-1 lead to make his semi-final appearance seem a formality before Alex Pagulayan mounted a stirring comeback to reduce the deficit to 6-5.
 
The comeback, however, was halted when an attempted bank on the 2-ball missed and allowed Kaci to the table to complete the run out for victory and a semi-final match-up against David Alcaide.
 
Alexander Kazakis made light work of New Zealand’s Matt Edwards to book his spot in the last four this evening. Edwards had worked wonders to get past Chris Melling and then European Champion Konrad Juszczyszyn but he came up short against current World No.2 Kazakis.
 
The Greek shooter looked comfortable throughout as his opponent struggled and, in the end, the score line of 7-1 told the story of the match.
 
The final quarter-final featured Albin Ouschan and Skyler Woodward in a clash of the Mosconi Cup MVPs. It was certainly a 50/50 match in advance but it was the American who took the plaudits with a confident performance to set up a clash with Kazakis.
 
Play continues on Sunday evening with the two semi-final matches followed by the final:
 
David Alcaide – Eklent Kaci
Alexander Kazakis – Skyler Woodward
 
2019 Dafabet World Pool Masters is sponsored by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui are the Official Chalk and Tip and Ultimate Team Gear provide all World Pool Masters apparel.

Seeds Fall In Gibraltar

Alex Kazakis (JP Parmentier – Matchroom Multi Sport)

LAST 16
 
Niels Feijen (NED) 3 – 7 David Alcaide (ESP)
Han Yu (CHN) 6 – 7 Shane Van Boening (USA)
Ko Pin-Yi (TPE) 6 – 7 Alex Pagulayan (CAN)
Alexander Kazakis (GRE) 7 – 3 Justin Sajich (AUS)
 
PLAY CONTINUED at the Dafabet World Pool Masters with four of the first round matches the Victoria Stadium in Gibraltar.  There was plenty of excitement with two matches going all the way as two-time winner Shane Van Boening came within a whisker of elimination.
 
David Alcaide enjoyed another 7-3 win as he coasted past defending champion Niels Feijen to keep on track for his second Masters title. The veteran Spaniard, a champion here in 2017, never really looked in trouble as he pulled away from the shaky Dutchman in the latter half of the game.
 
“This tournament, I remember two years ago I played not perfectly but at 95%. Today, I didn’t have a good break. It is very important when you play close to home to have the support from your home fans. When you play the World Pool Masters every player is a top player in the world so it doesn’t matter who you play.”
 
The most dramatic match of the session saw two-time winner Shane Van Boening crawl over the line as he narrowly escaped a first-round exit at the hands of China’s Ladies World No.1 Han Yu.
 
With Han starting the match at as much as 11/1 there were few who gave her much of a chance but she took the opening rack after a long safety battle with the six-ball tied up with the 9.
 
Van Boening took the next two racks but missed a relatively straight forward two ball to allow Han to level. She then surged ahead and at 6-3 and breaking had every chance of landing the upset. A misjudged safety allowed Van Boening back in and he ran out for 6-4 and he took racks 11 and 12 to make it hill-hill. Han got back to the table in the last but Van Boeing held on to survive a massive scare.
 
The next match also went down to a decider as Alex Pagulayan made it two wins in two days as he dislodged Ko Pin-yi by 7-6. The plucky Canadian-Filipino had a tough draw – he defeated Wu Jiaqing yesterday and was rewarded with Ko – but was in irrepressible form to dispose of those two world-beaters.
 
In the final match of the session, yesterday’s giant-killer, Justin Sajich of Australia, failed to make further progress as he was stopped in his tracks by Alex Kazakis of Greece.
 
Kazakis, who qualified for the Masters by virtue of being World No.1 at the close of 2018, had too much as he closed out the match for a 7-3 win and a quarter-final match against either Konrad Juszczyszyn or Matt Edwards.
 
Play continues on Saturday evening with the conclusion of the Last 16 matches:
 
Jayson Shaw (SCO) v Eklent Kaci (ALB)
Konrad Juszczyszyn (POL) v Matt Edwards (NZL)
Joshua Filler (GER) v Albin Ouschan (AUT)
Skyler Woodward (USA) v Fedor Gorst (RUS)
 
2019 Dafabet World Pool Masters is sponsored by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui are the Official Chalk and Tip and Ultimate Team Gear provide all World Pool Masters apparel.