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Corr to face Tkach in 5 p.m. Women’s final at American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships

Karen Corr

Jungo will face either Miesko Fortunski or Wictor Zielinski in final Men’s match at 8 p.m.

Prior to this year, Ireland’s Karen Corr had not recorded a payout with us here at AZBilliards since 2019. When she returned in August to make an appearance on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour, finishing 4th and a month later, at the WPBA’s Michigan Women’s Open, she finished in a tie for 3rd with Allison Fisher. Last week at the 1st Annual Sledgehammer Open at Janet Atwell’s room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN, Kelly Fisher and Russia’s Kristina Tkach played a pair of matches; Tkach winning the first in a winners’ side semifinal and Fisher winning the final. When pool-watchers woke up this morning (Sat.Oct. 29), with their eyes focused to the ongoing brackets of the American 14:1 Straight Pool Championships being held at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA this week, they would have noticed that Fisher and Tkach were still a possibility for a repeat final. 

They reckoned without Karen Corr. Making her way into the event’s final 24 with a 4-1 record in the Round Robin stage, Corr moved through the single elimination phase, downing Billie Billing 80-42 and in the semifinals, Kelly Fisher, the event’s defending champion, 100-36. Tkach, who’d defeated Bethany Sykes 80-1 in the quarterfinals and Bean Hung 100-49 in her semifinal will now have the chance to meet Corr at 5 p.m. EDT, a match that could run live (via links) on the American 14:1 Straight Pool Championships’ Web site (www.americanstraightpool.com.

Waiting in the wings for an 8 p.m EDT men’s final will be Switzerland’s Dimitri Jungo, who defeated Mario He 175-85. Jungo will play someone from Poland; either Mieszko Fortunski or Wictor Zielinski, who are continuing their semifinal match; a race to 175, with Zielinski ahead 29-13 at approximately 4 p.m, EDT.

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Down To The Final Four At Petrich Open

Eklent Kaci

After a hectic day’s play at the Petrich Arena in southern Bulgaria, we are down to the final four players. With a slightly altered schedule to take into account the start of the European Open, there were four rounds of play on the losers’ side of the bracket, one winners’ qualification round and then the last 32 played down to just four players who will return on Monday afternoon to contest the business end of the tournament.

And it is some of the big names of European pool who will gunning for the trophy as Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz takes on Alexander Kazakis and then Eklent Kaci goes up against Mario He.

For Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, it will be his sixth Euro Tour semi-final in a little over 13 months and he seems to be in unstoppable form going into the last four. He defeated Kuwait’s Abdullah Alyousef 9-5 to secure his berth in tomorrow evenings line-up.

Commented the Spaniard, “It feels so good and I feel so confident, and also so confident with my break which is working and I’m really happy with my performance. I’ll stay focused just on my game and tomorrow is the semi-final and I prefer to take it game-by-game.

“I had a few moments today; against Spasov of Bulgaria, the score was close and also the quarter-final was close. It was 5-5 and in the end I won it but it’s always tough. I’ll be trying my best but my focus is on the semi-final.”

Alexander Kazakis enjoyed a 9-3 victory over Miesko Fortunski to book his last four match against Sanchez-Ruiz, a game he is relishing.

“I’m really happy with my performance. I played four matches today and in all matches I played almost perfect and also, I had all the rolls on my side so you can’t ask for anything else! Francisco is having a great year and it all started for him when he won his first Euro Tour against me in the final last year.

“He won hill-hill and played really well and deserved it and after that he was just smashing everything. But every day is a different day and I’m going to try to do my thing, he’s going to try and do his thing and whoever has the most rolls and plays the best will win.”

It turned into an endurance test for Albania’s Eklent Kaci, who went to the one-loss side after his opening game of the tournament. That meant a busy schedule and today he came through an incredible six matches, capping it with a 9-5 quarter-final win over David Alcaide.

He said, “I was just trying play each match as it came. Six matches are a lot but I just tried to keep it going; win this one, then on to the next one and just keep moving forward. I got a bit sleepy and was travelling around the table just to stay awake. But to be honest I shot good – I made a couple of mistakes through tiredness I think but the important thing is that I’m in the semi-final and playing tomorrow.”

He will be facing Austria’s Mario He who is hoping for his first Euro Tour title since the heady days of 2018 when he triumphed twice that year. He sneaked over the line in his quarter-final match, beating Oliver Szolnoki 9-8.

Commented He, “I’m happy that I’m in the semis but I didn’t play my best game and didn’t break that well. I have to fight with myself a little bit. I feel like I need more motivation and will-to-win. I’m just a little bit easy and not caring too much and that’s usually not who I am. Tomorrow I’m going to try and get myself motivated. I need to improve my break, keep playing good and win my next Euro Tour, hopefully.”

Play continues 17:00 on Monday 8th on one table with the two semi-finals playing consecutively followed by the final at 20:00.

As well as the prize money, there are Tour ranking points on offer as well as world ranking points, so there is everything to play for. All Euro Tour tournaments are 9-ball and players compete in a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 32 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are races to 9 racks with alternate break.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com as well as selected matches on Facebook Live on the EPBF page. In addition, the semi-finals and final, played out on Monday night, will be live or highlights on the following television stations across Europe;

SportKlub HD – Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia,
Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece
Eyecons – Netherlands)
SportKlub – Poland
ORF – Austria
B1B Box – Bulgaria

Results, live scoring and draw are available at
www.epbf.com/tournaments/eurotour/draw-results/

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Derby City Days 6 & 7 – One Pocket Final 9, 9-Ball Underway, 14.1 Split and Onepocket.com HOF Dinner

Keith McCready with Scott Frost and Shannon Daulton (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson-Mediumpool.com)

Derby City Classic XX, January 19-27, 2018
 
LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Casino, Elizabeth, IN
 
DCC ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
393 entrants have been depleted to 9.
 
Shannon Daulton is the man with the momentum. By Round 11, he had a buy-back and had gotten a bye! 
 
At press time, those 9 players were still in action.
 
Bustamante and Bergman, who like Daulton is undefeated, were dueling in the Accu-Stats TV Arena. Chohan was jousting with Orcollo, as was Jeff DeLuna with Justin Hall. Billy Thorpe was contending with Warren Kiamco who had given Bustey his first loss by dispensing a blistering 8-and-out and 9-and-out!
 
Earlier, like in a flashback, Billy Thorpe and Alex Pagulayan had clashed in the TV pit in a near repeat performance of last year’s finals.
 
Alex, drained, then had to fade his 3-0 defeat as he entered into combat with Kiamko who calmly put him out of his misery.
 
Joshua Oneal waved bye-bye to Brumback who had been sent to buy back by Orcollo. Dennis had been given his first loss by the unshakable Billy Thorpe.
 
Jayson Shaw put a dent in Deuel’s hopes before Orcullo disposed of him. DeLuna had leveled Corey’s first loss.
 
Justin Hall, while quietly slipping up the ranks, ended Alcano’s aspirations as Ronnie had done to newly inducted One Pocket Hall of Fame member, Jeremy Jones.
 
BIG Foot Champion Roberto Gomez managed John Schmidt’s exit strategy as Bergman did for both Van Boening and Joey Gray.
 
Justin Hall delivered Kiamco to the buy-back booth as Bustey had to Tony Chohan.
 
It’s around this time that the All-Around Championship points enter into the equation. They are, currently, too close to tell, yet, with his 120 for first in Bank Pool, Corey remains a contender.
 
Due to scheduling delays created by the sheer volume of competitors, the Semis and Finals originally planned for Thursday evening will be broadcast on Friday.
 
Visit Accu-Stats.com for match times.
 
DCC BANKS RING GAME
 
The highly entertaining, 6 players, “all-in,” action packed short-rack Bank game, hosted by banking living legend, Truman Hogue, is not to be missed. Schedule permitting, the festivities should begin around 8 pm Friday..
 
DCC 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
363 entries are well underway and, with no player draws of distinction, we begin with a road story.
 
When there are 363 players from far and wide, you can’t know them all. There lies the caveat: Not knowing your opponent can cause confusion, just ask, Dan Koste.
 
Tony Chohan walked over to his designated table and presumed that the player practicing was his match.
 
“It’s you and me,” he said.
 
When Tony was ahead around 7-2, Josh Roberts approached the table. Well-aware of who Chohan was, he inquired of his opponent, “Are you Dan Koste?”
 
“I am,” Dan replied. “Well, you are supposed to be playing me.”
 
“Oh,” said Dan, secretly relieved as he pondered the score beads. Tony, always a gentleman, quietly excused himself from the match. Roberts proceeded to administer similar punishment as Chohan.
 
6 women are in contention, including World Champions Karen Corr and Loree Jon Hasson, pro tour players Allison Fisher, Kelly Isaac, Stacy Sinclair and, the recently wed Mrs. Pia Filler: Congratulations to her and Josh on tying the knot just after the Mosconi Cup.
 
Other than that, there is not much to report. Friday and Saturday will be jam-packed.
 
LIVE 9-Ball Play continues at Accu-Stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Lucasi Custom, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy, and Samsara Cues
 
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge And, after 4 full days of scrambling for tables, waiting patiently for someone to miss, the top 8 high-runs recorded were:
 
Dennis Orcollo, 227, who tied Jayson Shaw’s Historical record.
John Schmidt, 183
Ruslan Chinakhov, 182
Marek Kudik 155
Maksim Dudanets, 127
Miesko Fortunski,125
Konrad Juszczyszyn, 118
Jayson Shaw, 110.
 
Unfortunately, as the top 8 high-run finishers were still in both the One Pocket and 9-Ball events, it was deemed impossible to schedule the hours it would have taken to complete the event.
 
The 8 players opted to split the $22.300 tournament prize money.
 
ONE POCKET HALL OF FAME DINNER
 
On Wednesday, Jan 24th, Jeremy Jones and the late Eugene “Clem” Metz were honored for their propagation of the chess game of pool, One Pocket.
 
There are no more opposite personalities than the precocious and boisterous, living legend Keith McCready and the more subdued and suave Charles “Country” Martin. Both, deservedly, were honored with the “Lifetime Pool in Action Award!
 
One Pocket Hall of Famers Shannon Daulton and Scott Frost entertained the sold-out crowd with their personal encounters with the honorees as they anchored the evening’s festivities.
 
1998 One Pocket Champion Jeremy Jones, proved he was more than a “mover” when, in 2003, he captured the US Open 9-Ball Championships and earned membership on the Mosconi Cup’s Team America.
 
Jeremy praised the infamous Jersey Red as his primary mentor and thanked Johnny Archer for guiding him to compete on the pro tour. “If you want to improve, that’s where you need to be,” Johnny advised. Jones took the journey and, with his acquired knowledge of both action and tournament play, became one of the game’s great communicators.
 
Pat Fleming, whom Jeremy also acknowledged as inspiration, was aware of Jeremy’s One Pocket prowess and invited him to compete in the 2016 Accu-Stats “Make It Happen” One Pocket Invitational.
 
During conversation, Fleming observing “Double J”’s communication skills invited him into the booth. His clearly stated concepts of pool’s most abstruse discipline determined that he return to commentate with Danny Diliberto on the 2017 “Make It Happen” 8-Ball and 14.1 Invitationals. Jeremy’s contribution to the Accu-Stats Vimeo On Demand series is more than commentary, it’s instruction.
 
Jeremy ended his stint at the podium by recalling a simple statement that had a lifetime effect. While under the tutelage of Jersey Red, Jones committed a one pocket cardinal sin, he had lost concentration and scratched. “Scratched?” said Red, “One time, I didn’t scratch for 8 years!” That’s a good mentor.
 
On a more somber moment, Mr. Incardona’s son Anthony’s untimely passing was honored by a minute of silence.
 
One Pocket Hall of Fame creator Steve Booth, always delving into history for the most deserving inductees, discovered Charles “Country” Martin.
 
His smooth demeanor, compounded by sartorial elegance allowed “Country” to gain trust wherever he went. Billy Incardona had heard many a tail of the impeccably dressed, spit-polished shoes, Italian knit sweater swagger of the handsome Martin.
 
“He was perhaps the smartest gambler ever. His six-figure wins were legendary. Country was clearly one of pool’s very special characters.”
 
He didn’t always play. He, for example, discovered Cisero Murphy and backed him on the road.
 
Martin was more than a gambler, he was a winner. Who else would invest the money made wagering and put his daughter, Sonya, through college.
 
“My father was my hero,” beamed Sonya.
 
Eugene “Clem” Metz, born in 1931, was renowned as one of the most patient safety players on the planet. Referring to the new breed of brash, like Ronnie Allen, he asserted he would “…stick all those hustlers in the shit house.”
 
Billy Incardona was invited to comment, “I didn’t know him too well but the word was that he was considered the best player in the world.”
 
Booth had then introduced Metz’ son Donny who thanked the room for honoring his father. “My dad always stated that,”You don’t have to be the best player, you just have to be the best game maker.”
 
Eddie Taylor, considered to be the greatest bank player ever, always left broke.
 
Game making is everything.
 
Let’s hear what McCready has to say.
 
“You always have to find a way to get the money.”
 
From about 10 years old, that was what it was all about from him. 
 
Danny DiLiberto told the story of when one of the few days he was in school, for security, Keith asked the gym teacher to hold some money for him. The wad would have choked the proverbial horse. The story goes that they thought he was a drug dealer and he never went back.
 
Others, realizing his talent, took him on the road when he was 15. He, soon, fell into the improvised post “Hustler,” drink on, drug out, 70’s culture.
 
Sure, he attended tournaments but rarely entered. He went there to make games.
 
“You always have to find a way to get the money.”
 
He’s reputed to have matched up with Fats. They are cut from the same cloth: Hold their attention ’til you hold their money; Never let them think that you took it, make them feel that they gave it to you.
 
He was immortalized in The Color of Money with his line, “It’s like a nightmare, isn’t it.”
 
Taking the podium, Mary Kenniston shared when, in her pool room in Vegas, “He’d bring in these cute girls and tell them he was a movie star.” She’d put on the movie and propagate the myth.
 
By the 90s, battered and bruised by drugs and booze, he fell off the radar.
 
Rumor had it that he met a girl.
 
He resurfaced on Facebook. He maxed out at 5,000 “friends.” It’s no surprise, really: Keith McCready–social media mogul.
 
And here he is, now 60, honored as one of the greatest game makers of all time.
 
Maybe, there’s an extra C in Keith’s surname. Maybe, it should be McREADY. Never known to shy away from action, last night from the altar, he woofed at anyone in the building to step up. “I’m ready. Are you?
 
“I can look at the guys in here right now, I got games for all of them.
 
“I have my millionaire lawyer with me. He has told me to go right ahead.”
 
Tuning in to a more serious note, Keith acknowledged that he had a really good woman behind him, ”And, without her, I might not even be here, right now.”
 
McCready’s life became a veritable disaster. To survive, he certainly had to clean up his act. “I’ve been drug-free for 13 years. I quit smoking 4 1/2 years ago,” he paused and reflected fondly, “And it’s all because of her.”
 
Keith continued that in life there were always four or five guys that don’t really agree with what you do then, you have the 95 guys who love you like a brother so, I’m so happy to be here and thank you all for being here.”
 
Nothing has changed, “I got about 18 more hours here and, me and my big lawyer here, we’re ready. So get it together!”
 
He then signed autographs and reminisced with old friends who made the trip just to be with him. He also made a lot of new ones before wandering off into the night.

2016 Mosconi Cup – Fortunski wins in Italy to head MC ranking

Miesko Fortunski is yet another in a long line of Polish players to make an impact in Europe as he won the Italian Open on the Euro Tour last week to take the early lead in the 2106 Team EUROPE Mosconi Cup rankings. The young Pole defeated seasoned vet Ralf Souquet who is himself looking to make his record-equalling 17th appearance in the annual Europe v USA 9 ball challenge.
 
Other high finishers were two-time Mosconi Cup winner Nikos Ekonomopoulus and Jayson Shaw who both reached the semi-finals. Shaw has made his Mosconi Cup intentions clear this year by competing in the opening qualifying event. Niels Feijen and Mark Gray were also in the points as was Konstantin Stepanov, a Mosconi Cup winner in 2007.
 
There will be three separate ranking lists with the top player in each ranking gaining an automatic spot on Team Europe for the 23rd annual Mosconi Cup which takes place at the Alexandra Palace, London from 6th to 9th December.
 
The first ranking will comprise the nine European events – ‘European Ranking’; the second will be the three WPA international events – ‘World Ranking’; the third will be made up of all 12 events – ‘Combined Ranking’.
 
 
1. Mieszko Fortunski (POL) –                         50
2. Ralf Souquet (GER)                40
T3. Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GRE)    30
T3. Jayson Shaw (SCO)               30
T5. Niels Feijen (HOL)                  23
T5. Mark Gray (ENG)                   23
T5. Nick Malai (GRE)                   23
T5. Konstantin Stepanov (RUS)           23
T9.  Eight players                            15
 
Due to an irregular points being attributed for the Derby City Classic, below is the revised Team USA ranking after five events. 
 
Ranking after five events
 
1. Oscar Dominguez      68
2. Rodney Morris                       57
3. Shane Van Boening             50
4. Shaun Wilkie                 48
5. Mike Dechaine                         38
6. Hunter Lombardo      37
7. Skyler Woodward    33
8. Scott Frost                    24
T9. Brandon Shuff                       20
T9. Junior Jueco               20
 
For full rankings go to www.matchroompool.com/mosconi-cup
 
Mosconi Cup tickets are available from www.matchroompool.com/mosconi-cup/#tickets