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Kuwait’s Al Shaheen Guts Out Wins to Stay Alive at Predator World 10-Ball Championship

Omar Al Shaheen

Omar Al Shaheen’s Wednesday had more twists and turns than a bag of gummi worms.

Just when he looked out of it, he’d bounce back just in time to pull off a win. Just when he appeared a lock to close out a match, the Kuwaiti who finished second to Albin Ouschan at last year’s World Pool Championships stumbled, stammered and allowed his opponent back into the match.

Despite the extra drama, Al Shaheen pulled off a come-from-behind as well as a nearly-blew-it win to advance in the World 10-Ball

Championships at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, defeating Roberto Gomez and Ping-Chung Ko in hill-hill battles on the one-loss side. The Kuwaiti will now play Chris Reinhold Thursday at noon.

Facing Gomez in an 11 a.m. local time match, the two competitors split the first 10 games thanks to a handful of safety exchanges paired with an occasional missed shot. After Gomez tacked on two victories to build a 7-5 advantage and move to within a game of advancing, Al Shaheen broke and ran to cut the lead to a game then used a victorious safety battle to gut out another win and tie the score. As two competitors again traded safeties in the deciding 15th rack, Gomez committed a foul and gave his opponent a wide-open table, which the Kuwaiti took full advantage of by pocketing the remaining balls and sneaking out with an 8-7 win.

Playing against Ko later in the evening, the 2019 World 10-Ball champion turned a missed shot by his opponent into an early 3-1 lead until a missed shot of his own. Suddenly it was Al Shaheen who could do no wrong, mixing in shot making and safety play to win five straight racks and build a 6-3 advantage. Ko would use a missed 8 ball by his opponent to steal a win but Al Shaheen returned serve with a win of his own to climb onto the hill, 7-4. Much like Al Shaheen in his previous match, Ko refused to go away quietly, breaking and running to cut the deficit to 7-5, then taking advantage of a 7 ball which Al Shaheen left on the corner pocket’s shelf to cut the lead to 7-6.

After a lengthy safety exchange in the 14th game, Al Shaheen left another opening for his opponent when he committed a foul by failing to touch a rail with a ball while attempting a safety. Ko cleared the table again to tie the score at 7-7 and send the match to a deciding 15th game in which Al Shaheen had the break. The Kuwaiti pocketed a ball on the opening shot and left the cue ball and 1 ball aligned perfectly for a textbook run out, which Al Shaheen completed to escape near-collapse, 8-7.

While the pool population continues to learn about Al Shaheen and his game, spectators have been familiar with Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Darren Appleton for nearly two decades. Wednesday afternoon, Appleton defeated John Schmidt, 8-4, to advance to the final 32, part of a continued recent resurgence by the Englishman that’s seen him place in the top 10 of last month’s Wisconsin Open as well as earn a runner-up finish in last year’s World Cup of Pool as he

The two competitors battled missed shots and open opportunities throughout the match as they split the first eight games evenly. Appleton claimed the ninth rack to take a 5-4 lead and his opponent left a window of opportunity in the next game when he kicked at the 2 ball, allowing the Hall of Famer to pocket the ball then use a safety on the 3 ball to close out the rack and increase his lead to two games. He added another win when Schmidt failed to pocket a ball on the break in the 11th rack then used another safety exchange after the break to close out the match.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Eric Roberts of Tennessee and Yukio Akagariyama pulled two of the biggest upsets of the tournament Wednesday afternoon. Roberts defeated former World 9-Ball Champion Niels Feijen, 8-4, and Akagariyama took down reigning Ohio Open champion Mario He, 8-5. So, it only made sense that the two of them meet up in the next round.

It turned out to be a match where both struggled to find their top games throughout the match until the end, with Roberts gutting out an 8-7 victory. The two young competitors took turns trading missed balls and chances throughout the match as neither held a lead of more than one game throughout. With Roberts clinging to an 7-6 advantage, Akagariyama broke and ran to tie the match at seven games apiece. Roberts, who had been struggling with shot making throughout the match, saved his best for last, breaking and methodically running the balls off of the table to secure an 8-7 victory.

In other matches of note, Shane Van Boening remained undefeated by defeating Roland Garcia in a hill-hill match and Skyler Woodward was eliminated from the tournament by Max Eberle, 8-7.  Pijus Labutis eliminated reigning World Pool Champion Albin Ouschan, 8-2, and Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski took down Jesus Atencio, 8-4.

Competition resumes today at 10 a.m. local times with notable matches including Alex Kazakis meeting Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Pin-Yi Ko squaring off with Sharik Sayed and Jung-Lin Chang facing Alex Pagulayan.

The Predator World 10-Ball Championship runs March 28-April 1 and still to come is The Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, which runs March 30-April 2.

The events coincide with the CueSports International Expo, which brings thousands of amateur pool players for the BCA Pool League World Championships as well as the USA Pool League National Championships.

Find the Predator World 10-Ball Championship brackets with live scores on the Predator Pro Billiard Series website.

The Predator World 10-Ball Championship is streamed for free on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.

Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the events.

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Foldes wins his third straight Andy Mercer Memorial Tournament at Rum Runner in Vegas

Run Runner Owner Geno Hill and Vilmos Foldes

About eight years ago, when Hungary’s Vilmos Foldes shifted his pool-competition activity to these United States, settling in Las Vegas, he started to make appearances on the Mezz West Tour, chalking up two wins in four cash-payout performances on that tour in 2014. The following year, he cashed in 11 appearances on that tour, including one victory. He also began a string of appearances on the Jay “Swanee” Swanson Memorial Tournament, finishing as runner-up to Rodrigo Geronimo that year. He has cashed in every “Swanee” Memorial since then, winning it finally in 2019.

In 2016, Foldes appeared in six memorial tournaments, winning the Chuck Markulis and Bob Stocks Memorial, and cashing in the “Swanee” (4th), the Don Coates (9th), the Cole Dickson (5th), and in his first cash finish on the Las Vegas-based Andy Mercer Memorial, he finished 7th. 

In 2017, Foldes added attendance at the Cole Dickson and Brendan Crockett Memorials, at which he finished as runner-up to Beau Runningen. In the same year that he chalked up his first, and so far, his only win on the “Swanee,” Foldes won his first of three straight titles at the Andy Mercer Memorial Tournament, downing Shane Van Boening in the finals. In 2020, he defended that title, winning nine on the loss side to down Chad Vilmont in the finals, leaving such pool luminaries as Dennis Orcollo, Warren Kiamco and Van Boening in the dust, so to speak.

In all, since 2015, he’s cashed in 17 memorial tournaments, winning six of them. He won the 6th this past weekend (March 18-20), going undefeated at the $3,750-added, 31st Annual Andy Mercer Memorial, hosted by Rum Runner in Las Vegas, NV. He may not be the only person to have appeared in all of the mentioned memorial tournaments (the actual number of them, being hard to determine), but he is certainly doing his part to keep the memories of eight esteemed members of the US pool community alive. 

Foldes’ path to the winners’ circle that saw him win 24 of the first 34 games he played, went through Goran Mladenovic, Sal Butera, Donnie Branson and Max Eberle to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal versus Sam Cordova. Dave Datillo, in the meantime got by Gary Onomura, Tommy Baker, Jeff Gray and, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, Gary Lutman, who’d return to challenge Foldes in the finals. This set Datillo up to face Blake Baker in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Datillo moved into the hot seat match with a double hill win over Baker. Foldes downed Cordova 6-1 to join him. Foldes checked in with another 6-1 victory, this time over Datillo, to claim the hot seat, sporting a ‘three out of every four,’ game-winning percentage (75%).

On the loss side, Baker picked up Ian Costello, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Cordova and then defeated John Farris 6-3 and Max Eberle 6-4. Cordova ran into Lutman, who’d followed his loss to Datillo with a double hill win over Mladenovic and a shutout over Donnie Branson, who’d just knocked Shane Van Boening out of the tournament 6-4.

Lutman chalked up his second loss-side double hill win, against Cordova and advanced to the quarterfinals. Baker joined him after knocking Costello out 6-4.

In his third double hill match of four played on the loss side, Lutman downed Baker in those quarterfinals and then, gave up only one to Datillo in the semifinals. Foldes completed his undefeated run with a 6-4 victory over Lutman in the finals to claim his third straight Andy Mercer Memorial title.

Tournament director Jack Murray thanked Geno Hill and his Rum Runner staff for their hospitality, as well as all of the players who have in the past and did, this year, gather to pay homage to Andy Mercer, who passed away in 1990.

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Dominguez goes undefeated to claim 26th Annual ‘Swanee’ Classic at Griff’s in Vegas

Oscar Dominguez, Tim Kovacs and Ruben Bautista

In the absence of the event’s defending champion and runner-up, Shane Van Boening and Corey Deuel, the 26th Annual Jay Swanson “Swanee” Memorial’s 2022 champion was Oscar Dominguez, who went undefeated through a field of 64. Advancing to the hot seat against him was the 2019 winner, Max Eberle, who was ousted in the semifinals by runner-up, Ruben Bautista. The $4,000-added event was hosted by Griff’s in Las Vegas.

As is always the case, the annual memorial to someone who is remembered in the pool community, leads to conversations about him. Jay “Swanee” Swanson, referred to as a ‘Gentle Giant,’ was, by all accounts, one of the best ‘money’ players of all time, before he passed in 1996. In June, 2008, a Forum thread was initiated on AZBilliards, entitled “Tell me about Jay Swanson.” If you weren’t at the tournament and/or know nothing about the man, use the opportunity and read that thread, in lieu of a moment of silence in his honor, to learn what many in the existing pool community already know. 

As it turned out, Oscar Dominguez’ undefeated seven-match march to the finish line of the “Swanee” Memorial was not the longest string of wins at the event. Jordan Holman also had a seven-match winning streak, in between his opening match loss and his final loss in the battles for 5th/6th. The ‘most wins in a row’ prize went to Ronnie Wiseman, who finished 4th, also sandwiching his eight wins between an opening round loss and his last match.

Dominguez’ seven-match march to the finish line started out with a shutout and until the hot seat match, no one chalked up more than four racks against him in the races to 8. Tom Whitten was the opponent he shut out before he gave up three each to Richard Burns and Vilmos Foldes. It was Ernie Rivas who managed the four, which brought Dominguez to a winners’ side semifinal against Ian Costello. 

Eberle, in the meantime, opened with back-to-back 8-2 victories over Charles Joseph Jacques and Scott Bush, before James Davee threw a one-game-away-from-double-hill scare into him with six racks. The ‘scare’ appeared to inspire him, as he shut out his next opponent, Matt Hardwick, and moved on to a winners’ side semifinal against Ruben Bautista.

Dominguez got into the hot seat match with an 8-1 victory over Costello. Eberle joined him after downing Bautista 8-5 and sending him to the loss side from which he would return to challenge Eberle again, in the semifinals, and Dominguez in the finals. 

On the loss side, Bautista picked up Jordan Holman, who’d lost to Jeff Gray in the opening, winners’ side round and was six matches into his loss-side run, that had included recent victories over Ernie Rivas 7-2 and a shutout win over Tim Daniel. Costello drew Ronnie Wiseman, who was six matches into his eight-in-a-row, loss-side run. He’d eliminated Jeff Gray (for Holman), had recently handed Matt Hardwick his second straight shutout and sent Bret Huth home 6-2.

Bautista ended Holman’s loss-side streak, though not before Holman had forced a 13th deciding game. Wiseman, in the meantime, extended his streak to its eighth win, downing Costello 7-2. Bautista left Wiseman in the 4th place dust (7-2) and then, in a rematch, defeated Eberle 7-4 in the semifinals. 

Entering the finals, Oscar Dominguez was sporting a 73% game-winning average through six matches (48-17). Bautista stepped to the table with a 66% average through eight matches (58-29); his loss to Eberle and his first loss-side, double hill match versus Holman had dropped that percentage down from the 78% it had been before he’d run into Eberle. Dominguez won the game-winning percentage in the finals by a fair amount (66%). Bautista’s game-winning average in the finals was dramatically low at 38%, much more dramatic than the actual score. Dominguez completed his undefeated run with an 11-7 win over Bautista to claim the 26th Annual “Swanee” Memorial title.

Tournament director Tim Kovacs thanked Mark Griffin (“for adding the $4,000 and for all (he) does for pool) and his “always awesome” Griff’s Staff for their hospitality. He thanked Daniel Krupinski, as well, for filling in on short notice and doing a good job running the free stream. Kovacs also thanked Mike Moyer for helping things run smoothly ‘on the board.’ He broadened the scope of general thanks, to include any and all who’d supported the event.

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2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Max Eberle vs Konrad Juszczyszyn

Gomez, Filler, Immonen and Alcaide Bigfoot Wins Spotlight Derby Day Two

David Alcaide (David Thomson – Medium Pool)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXIII, January 21-29, 2022

Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN

David Thomson

The Diamond BIG Foot Challenge

LIVE from the Accu-Stats TV Arena

Format: Race to 11, single-elimination, alternate break, foul on all balls, no jump cues. 10-Ball caroms and combos win. Mosconi Cup captains Jeremy Jones and Mark Wilson are in the Accu-Stats’ commentary booth: Enjoy and learn.

Accu-Stats is happy to report that re consummate commentator Danny DiLiberto’s recent health issues, he is well on the way to full loquacity.

Saturday’s action commenced with 2012 DCC Bank Pool master John Morra and 2018 BIG Foot maestro Roberto Gomez.

Morra couldn’t quite find his Mr. Smooth stroke while Gomez caught a gear that led to a convincing 11-7 win.

Joshua Filler, always in “Killer” stroke, made it near impossible for Alex Kazakis to find his. 11-6 tells all.

Mezz Cues sponsored, former World 9-Ball and back-to-back US Open Champion Mika Immonen in a heated contest with 2-time World 14.1 semi-finalist Max Eberle.

Eberle had the better of the opening racks and was truly living up to the title of his respected instructional, “Playing in the Zone.”

His Accu-Stats’ TPA was 1.000 until Mika finally was allowed to the table. Then, the battle began. Back-and-forth they traded racks until Mika was first to the hill at 10-9.

Max was well on his way to tying it up until leaving precariouss position on the 9-Ball. Safety not being an option required cutting the dodgy 9 then, spinning the cue-ball 4 to 5 rails round the horn to arrive near the 10 lying a few inches from the bottom cushion.

Max stroked firmly thru the cue ball and the yellow stripe powered crisply into the corner.

What lies 3.5 rails ahead? The corner pocket. The new Diamond spotted orb kept rolling, and rolling, and rolling until, around its final rotation, it dropped into the bucket.

See the brutal conclusion for yourself: The Accu-Stats PPV OnDemand service.

Multiple DCC titlist and newly bespectacled Alex Pagulayan went toe-to-toe with 2-time World Pool Master and regular Mosconi Cup member David Alcaide.

Alex knows better than to take the Spaniard lightly though his entertaining spirit could not be suppressed.

While Alex was down on a shot, a spectator’s cell phone blared. Without missing a beat, he declared, “I told you to call when he shooting: Wrong game plan.”

Soon they were 9-9. Then, with Alcaide running out on the hill, and Alex a little slumped in his seat, it looked like it was over.

Wait; daylight. Alcaide missed a combo that left the 7 buried deep in the Diamond pro-cut pocket..

Pagulayan sprang from his chair. He now had a seemingly, simple combo on the buried orb. He rolled the connecting ball so slowly that it didn’t have enough power to drop the 7.

Alas, that’s all she rolled.

Their very respectable, Accu-Stats TPAs tell all: .924 and .891 respectively.

David moves on to meet Mika in the Semis.

Diamond BANK POOL CHAMPIONSHIP

Short Rack. Race to 3.

From 457 now 50 remain in round 7 at press time on Sunday.

EFREN REYES will have to return next year to resume his DCC Bank Pool Champion aspirations, In round 6, he was ousted by a very pleased Kevin Ping.

A revived John Morra is still undefeated as are Tony Chohan, Fedor Gorst, Mieszko Fortinski, Shannon Murphy, Manny Chau, Tim DeRuyter,  Pijus Labutis, Alex Pagulayan, Shane Van, Lee Vann, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and, MC Cup US team member Chris Reinhold.

The Semis and Finals will be live-streamed via Accu-Stats PPV OnDemand on Tuesday evening.

DIAMOND BIG FOOT 10-BALL CHALLENGE: Fri. Jan. 21 – Sun. Jan 23. 2022.

Diamond Derby City Classic BANK POOL Championship: Fri. Jan. 21 – Sun. Jan. 23. 2022. Semis and Finals in the Accu-Stats TV Arena: Tuesday evening, Jan 25.

Diamond Derby City Classic ONE-POCKET Championship: Sun Jan. 23 -Wed. Jan. 26. Semis and Finals  in the Accu-Stats TV Arena, Thursday evening, Jan 27.

Diamond Derby City Classic 9-BALL Championship: Wed. Jan 26 – Sat. 29.

And the cream of the mafch-ups available via the Accu-Stats Pay-Per-View OnDemand, 4-camera HD production. Approximately, 60 action-packed hours of pro-pool is projected, PLUS reruns. After each match concludes, it is uploaded and available to you. With PPV OnDemand, you choose when you view, no matter what you’re timezone.

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

Fedor Gorst vs Francisco Sanchez Ruiz: 11-6
Darren Appleton vs Roland Garcia: 11-7
Jayson Shaw vs Omar Al Shaheen; 11-4
Shane Van Boening vs Lee Van Corteza; 11-5
John Morra vs Roberto Gomez 7-11
Alex Kazakis vs Joshua Filler 6-11
Max Eberle vs Mika Immonen 9-11
Alex Pagulayan vs David Alcaide 9-11

Appleton, Gorst, Shaw and Van Boening Advance at Derby City Day One

Darren Appleton (David Thompson – Medium Pool)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXIII, January 21-29, 2022

Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN

David Thomson

The Diamond BIG Foot Challenge

LIVE from the Accu-Stats TV Arena

Format: Race to 11, single elimination, alternate break, no jump cues. 10-Ball caroms and combos win. Mosconi Cup captains Jeremy Jones and Mark Wilson are in the Accu-Stats’ commentary booth, so enjoy and learn.

We welcome Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz to the Accu-Stats TV Arena in opposition with Cuetec sponsored, 2019 World 9-Ball Champion Fedor Gorst.

Ruiz’s Eurotour resume´ has celebrated success culminating with his back to back 2021 wins. Francisco confided that during his first confrontation on BIG Foot, finding his break was the utmost challenge.

Fedor, no stranger to the 10-foot experience or the Accu-Stats’ lights, capitalized on every opportunity and soon sped to an insurmountable lead sporting a world-class 900+ Accu-Stats Total Point Average. (TPA)

As Francisco’s debut at the Derby includes all 3 disciplines, we’re sure we’ll see more of him this week.

Match two featured, fresh from a UK 9-Ball title, the resurrected former World Champion Dynamite Darren Appleton. With a spectacular performance that reduced the 2017 WPA World Nine-ball Championship runner-up; Roland Garcia’s expectations.

Darren’s superlative composure facilitated run-out after run-out to the point where Roland’s exemplary sportsmanship demanded he applauded Appleton’s powerful performance.

The evening commenced with 3-time Big Foot champion Jayson Shaw and 2019 DCC Banks Runner-up Omar Al Shaheen.

Shaw’s confidence, compounded by his current accolades, proved unstoppable. Omar strived to keep up before succumbing to a simple scratch that allowed Jayson to close out the match at 11-4.

No strangers to BIG Foot, the Van namesakes, Shane Van Boening and Lee Vann Corteza had the Accu-Stats TV Arena audience at capacity.

Shane, disciplined, had grabbed every opportunity to get some BIG Foot table-time between matches. 15 minutes before break-off, the cool and casual Corteza showed up. Was this the reason that the 11-5 final score was so disparate?

Maybe. We’ll let Corteza decide.

You can too: The Accu-Stats PPV OnDemand service has all of the above entertainment available for your viewing pleasure.

Diamond BANK POOL CHAMPIONSHIP

Short Rack. Race to 3.

457 entrants could not be restrained from returning to Indiana’s most treasured battlefield.

EFREN REYES, The 5-time DCC All-Around Champion and 6 time One-Pocket Champion, has one accomplishment missing from his DCC resumé; he has never captured the Bank Pool title.

With the DCC Buy-Back formula, after every round, entrant’s names are reshuffled and redrawn. As the DCC events are not seeded, that means that Efren could run into anyone.

It’s a potential minefield.

First round draw: Efren drew Victor Cobian. So far, so good. But not for Victor, yet surely it’s his most celebrated loss.

Efren’s 2nd match held a landmine: Michigan’s Tony Coleman.
The unrelenting, respected shortstop delivered Reyes his first loss.

Welcome to the buy-back booth. The resilient Reyes is scheduled to compete on Saturday.

Former Champs Billy Thorpe, Sky Woodward, and John Brumback are all still undefeated.

DIAMOND BIG FOOT 10-BALL CHALLENGE: Fri. Jan. 21 – Sun. Jan 23. 2022.

Diamond Derby City Classic BANK POOL Championship: Fri. Jan. 21 – Sun. Jan. 23. 2022. Semis and Finals in the Accu-Stats TV Arena: Tuesday evening, Jan 25.

Diamond Derby City Classic ONE-POCKET Championship: Sun Jan. 23 -Wed. Jan. 26. Semis and Finals in the Accu-Stats TV Arena, Thursday evening, Jan 27.

Diamond Derby City Classic 9-BALL Championship: Wed. Jan 26 – Sat. 29.

And the cream of the mafch-ups available via the Accu-Stats Pay-Per-View OnDemand, 4-camera HD production. Approximately, 60 action-packed hours of pro-pool is projected, PLUS reruns. After each match concludes, it is uploaded and available to you. With PPV OnDemand, you choose when you view, no matter what you’re timezone.

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

Fedor Gorst vs Francisco Sanchez Ruiz: 11-6
Darren Appleton vs Roland Garcia: 11-7
Jayson Shaw vs Omar Al Shaheen; 11-4
Shane Van Boening vs Lee Van Corteza; 11-5
John Morra vs Roberto Gomez 7-11
Alex Kazakis vs Joshua Filler
Max Eberle vs Mika Immonen
Alex Pagulayan vs David Alcaide

G.O.A.T. Seen Swimming with Sharks

Jayson Shaw (David Thompson – Medium Pool)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXIII, January 21-29, 2022

Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN

David Thomson

Are we glad to be back? You bet your life we are!

Nine days in the world’s greatest tournament as 500+ of the world’s greatest competitors vie for serious prize money – and then some…if you know what I mean: nudge, nudge, wink wink.

And guess who snuck up to surprise us all? Mr. Retirement (yeah, right): The G.O.A.T: Efren Reyes is in the Arena. And competing in the Bank Pool, One Pocket, and 9-Ball disciplines where points are awarded towards becoming Master of the Table; the 5-time title Reyes has captured more than any other mortal.

The Derby’s 4th event, the Diamond Big Foot 10-Ball Challenge gets the balls rolling today.

Here, Jayson Shaw is the man to beat. As a 3-time BIG Foot titlist, compounded by his recent courageous conquests, he is currently without peer.

Last weekend, Jayson shattered the 626 ball Straight Pool record that took years to be masterfully achieved by Mr. John Schmidt.

With true dedication and discipline, Jayson ran 714…after five tireless days of attempts : An extraordinary feat. With his effortless, raw power and unwavering “Eagle Eye,” it’s predicted that he’s not done; he will run a 1000.

But wait, there’s more: The weekend before that in the Turning Stone 9-Ball event, Shaw fought back from 0-5 against the mighty Earl to win 9-8. He was also deep in the hole against the much improved Kuwaiti, Abdullah Al Youssef to overcome in another nerve-racking hill-hill, encounter.

Then, finally, Fedor Gorst had him down 9-3 whom Shaw soon crushed before allowing Fedor only one more game to succeed at 13-10. And, secure his 7th record-breaking title.

More than records may be broken: Spirits, dreams, shafts, No wait; not shafts, most are using carbon fiber.

The Derby City Classic, 9-Day event has 4 components:

DIAMOND BIG FOOT 10-BALL CHALLENGE: Fri. Jan. 21 – Sun. Jan 23. 2022.

Diamond Derby City Classic BANK POOL Championship: Fri. Jan. 21 – Sun. Jan. 23. 2022. Semis and Finals in the Accu-Stats TV Arena: Tuesday evening, Jan 25.

Diamond Derby City Classic ONE-POCKET Championship: Sun Jan. 23 -Wed. Jan. 26. Semis and Finals  in the Accu-Stats TV Arena, Thursday evening, Jan 27.

Diamond Derby City Classic 9-BALL Championship: Wed. Jan 26 – Sat. 29.

And the cream of the mafch-ups available via the Accu-Stats Pay-Per-View OnDemand, 4-camera HD production. Approximately, 60 action-packed hours of pro-pool is projected, PLUS reruns. After each match concludes, it is uploaded and available to you. With PPV OnDemand, you choose when you view, no matter what you’re timezone.

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

Fedor Gorst vs Francisco Sanchez Ruiz
Darren Appleton vs Roland Garcia
Jayson Shaw vs Omar Al Shaheen
Shane Van Boening vs Lee Van Corteza
John Morra vs Roberto Gomez
Alex Kazakis vs Joshua Filler
Max Eberle vs Mika Immonen
Alex Pagulayan vs David Alcaide

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Barretta and Thorpe Wins Highlight Derby City Day Eight

Jennifer Barretta (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
 
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
 
This just in! The All Around Champion leaderboard has Billy Thorpe ahead of Orcollo by 4.2 points.
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
David Thomson
 
408 entrants. 9 on the spot, compliant break, Outsville Template Rack.
 
Jennifer Barretta vs. Joey Korsiak was the nail-biter of the day in the Accu-Stats Arena.
 
Jennifer proved fighting fit as she overcame a 4-1 deficit to tie the match at 7.
 
On the 8, which would have, put her on the hill, alas, she mis-cued. 
 
Joey, with only 2 balls to pocket, captured that spot and was soon breaking. Then, mid-rack, it was his turn to commit the unforgivable. He missed a makable ball in the side.
 
Jennifer, exercising perfect fundamentals, looked like she’d been coached at Mark Wilson’s pool school. With grace and poise, she, calmly, closed out the rack.
 
Barretta, now battle ready, broke the last rack. It was compliant. Composed and considerate, she negotiated the layout with extraordinary ease. Within moments, she was straight in on the 9. There was no chance of mishap now. Smiling and relaxed, she powered the remaining orb home. 9-8.
 
More action in the Accu-Stats TV Arena had Corey’s .887 Total Performance Average(TPA) over Mika’s .796 pretty much speak for itself. 9-5, 
 
Then, Skyler Woodward and Omar Al Shaheen had the audience’s attention.
 
Omar, empowered by his decent performance in Banks and One Pocket, was in his comfort zone and never wandered from the task.
 
Skyler, playing catch-up was about to tie the match at 7 when he hooked himself, missed the kick and Shaheen was on the hill and on his way upward. 9-6.
 
They would meet again in the evening’s Banks Ring game.
 
Shane Van Boening, Joshua Filler, Justin Bergman, LeeVann Corteza, Justin Bergman are all undefeated.
 
Efren Reyes was removed by John Demet and Mieszko Fortunski, who gave Melling his first loss as did Jayson Shaw to Konrad Juszczyszyn.
 
Konrad, having his best result ever, later eliminated Melling who had been sent to the booth by Jesus Atencio.
 
German Can Salim canned Jeff DeLuna, and Shaw, to be later eliminated by Filler.
 
Lee Vann Corteza exited Olinger, Immonen, and Bustamante. Dennis Orcollo got Gomez and Tyler Styer.
 
Chris Melling had sent Corey Deuel buying back.
 
Billy Thorpe, before being ejected by Japan’s Naoyuki Oi, had gotten Max Eberle who had sent Tim DeRuyter home.
 
Justin Bergman removed Marty Turpin and later handed Tyler Styer his 1st loss and much later, removed Omar.
 
Francisco Bustamante relieved Evan Lunda.
 
James Aranas got over Josh Roberts and, fellow countrymen be damned, killed Bustamante and Kiamko.
 
Last Chance for 9-Ball. It commences at noon, the Finals at night.
 
Check out the schedule at Accu-Stats.com.
 
FRIDAY NIGHT BANKS RING GAME
 
Featuring Skyler Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Jayson Shaw, Jonathan Demet, Justin Hall and Omar Al Shaheen.
 
Billy Thorpe strikes again. At $800 a ball, Skyler Woodward couldn’t contain him, but it took a while.
 
$1500 ante, Diamond added $3k, equals $12,000.
 
The difference this year, rather than the winner take all, they were paying $8k for first and $4k for second.
 
The last 2 standing played ’til one gutted the other and was declared the winner.
 
The action began at $50 a ball. Every 3 racks they would reshuffle the order and the $s would raise to 100, 200, 400, etc.
 
The shocker was that Shaw was the first to go, followed swiftly by Demet, then last year’s Banks semi-finalist Omar Al Shaheen. By $300 per orb, Hall was bankrupt. That left Skyler and Billy battling for the cash.
 
Woodward had $5700 and Billy had $3300. 3 racks later, The bank rolls were reversed and it was Sky $5700, Billy $3300.
 
That’s when the bloodbath began. at $700 a ball, Billy moved into slaughter mode. The sky was falling in on Woodward and with $2100 to Billy’s $6900, the action raised to $800.
 
Sky had 2 and a half bullets. Billy, smelling blood, upped it to smiling assassin mode and soon had the moolah!
 
Then it was all hugs and beers, back to good buddies and, “What time’s your 9-Ball match?”
 
Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.

Eberle comes from the loss side to win 24th Annual Jay Swanson “Swanee” Memorial

Max Eberle, Ben Sutherland, Tom Kovacs and Chris Robinson

The first evidence AZBilliards documented about Max Eberle was his 9th-place finish in the ESPN Ultimate Challenge (Men’s Division) in February, 1999. The single-elimination event was won by Efren Reyes, with Dennis Hatch as the runner-up. Eberle shared his 9th place finish with Allen Hopkins, Alex Pagulayan, and Johnny Archer, among others. Moving into his 21st year as a cash-earning entrant in the AZBilliards database, Max Eberle began 2020 with a bit of a bang,  working his way through to a winners’ side semifinal and then, three matches on the loss side to meet and defeat ‘young gun’ Chris Robinson-Reinhold in the finals of the 24th Annual Jay Swanson “Swanee” Memorial on the weekend of January 18-19. The $3,000-added event drew 64 entrants to Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV.
 
The field included the event’s current champion, Vilmos Foldes, but did not include last year’s runner-up, Oscar Dominguez. Alex Pagulayan, two-time winner of the event in ’11 and ’12 was registered, but forfeited his first two matches. The ‘old school’ versus ’new school’ meeting in the finals had its origins in the event’s winners’ side semifinals, when Eberle, after victories over Avelino Arciaga (8-1), Mike Hutcheson (8-5), Chris McDaniel (Forfeit) and Mitch Ellerman (8-6), faced Alfonso Moreno, Jr. (it was Ellerman who’d  sent Foldes to the loss side). Robinson-Reinhold, in the meantime, got by Victor Cucuzza (8-4), Ronnie Wiseman (8-3), Ian Costello (8-6) and Anthony Ortega (8-6) to face Tuan Tran in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Eberle and Moreno, Jr. locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Moreno to the hot seat match and Eberle off on his three-match, loss-side trip back. Robinson-Reinhold and Tran came within a game of having their match go to double hill, as well, but Robinson-Reinhold pulled ahead near the end and won it 8-6 to join Moreno, Jr. in the battle for the hot seat. Robinson-Reinhold won that fight, decisively, 8-2 and waited in the hot seat for the return of Eberle.
 
On the loss side, as the event moved into its first money rounds (13-16), Foldes, having won his first loss-side match 7-1 to KC Massey, continued to lurk. He’d win two more; to Chris McDaniel 7-5 and Tom Smith 7-3 before falling to Brian Begay 7-5. Begay would move on to face Eberle, coming over from his winners’ side semifinal fight. Tuan Tran picked up Ellerman, who, after his winners’ side quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Eberle had eliminated James Cabal 7-2 and Ian Costello 7-3.
 
Ellerman advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-4 win over Tran. Eberle earned the rematch with a 7-2 victory over Begay. Eberle downed Ellerman a second time, 7-5, in those quarterfinals and then, downed Moreno, Jr. 7-3 in the semifinals.
 
Eberle chalked up his first (recorded) major victory since he won the Derby City’s 14:1 Challenge in 2013. ‘Old School’ downed ‘New School’ (in the person of Chris Robinson-Reinhold) with a 10-6 victory in the finals.

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)