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Jayson Shaw Wins his Eighth Career Turning Stone Title

Jayson Shaw

The record for career Turning Stone Classic titles is now eight, and Jayson Shaw made number eight look easy.

Shaw cruised through the first three days of play with notable wins over Earl Strickland and Danny Hewitt on his way to Sunday play, still on the winners side. Shaw kicked off Sunday with a 9-3 win over regional player Jimmy Rivera, followed up with a 9-1 shellacking of Mika Immonen for the hot-seat.

On the one loss side, Donny Mills avenged his earlier loss to Immonen and eliminated the Finnish World Champion in 3rd place with a 9-6 scoreline in the semi-finals. 

The extended race to 13 final match between Shaw and Mills saw Mills take an early 1-0 lead, but it would not last long as Shaw won six straight racks to take a lead that he would not give up for the rest of the match. Mills fought back to a 6-4 scoreline, but Shaw then took control and won seven of the next eight racks for a 13-5 win and his eighth career Turning Stone Classic title. 

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Turning Stone Classic Final Four

Mika Immonen

The Turning Stone Classic XXXV is now down to just four players. Mika Immonen and Jayson Shaw will face off for the hot-seat, while Donny Mills takes on Bucky Souvanthong on the one loss side. 

The hot-seat match is an interesting contest, when you consider that Immonen won the first ever Turning Stone Classic 22 years ago, while Shaw won the last Turning Stone Classic back in January. Shaw will be trying to extend his record to eight Turning Stone Classic career titles, while Immonen is looking for his third. 

Mills dropped a match to Shaw on the winner’s side Sunday morning, but outlasted Jesse Engel on the one loss side to keep his tournament hopes alive. Souvanthong lost a one sided 9-1 match to Immonen on Saturday, but has won three matches so far on the left side of the board. 

Fans who can’t make it to Turning Stone can watch selected matches online as part of Upstate Al’s Free streaming coverage, and can watch online brackets and live scoring courtesy of AzBilliards and Digital Pool. 

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Turning Stone Classic Day Three Underway

Earl Strickland

Saturday play at the Turning Stone Classic XXXV is underway and the field has been cut in half from 128 players down to just 64 remaining players. Saturday play will cut that field down to just eight players. 

Most of the usual suspects who were expected to excel at this event have lived up to their expectations so far. Players still on the winners side include Shane Van Boening, Jayson Shaw, Mika Immonen, Earl Strickland, Jeremy Sossei, Donny Mills, Bucky Souvanthong, Kevin West and Danny Hewitt. Those players are going to start running into each other today, with Van Boening facing Sossei and Shaw playing Strickland at 2pm ET.

Fans who can’t make it to Turning Stone can watch selected matches online as part of Upstate Al’s Free streaming coverage, and can watch online brackets and live scoring courtesy of AzBilliards and Digital Pool. 

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Turning Stone Classic XXXV Underway

The Turning Stone Classic XXXV is underway at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Verona, NY.

Jayson Shaw is back and looking to win a record 8th Turning Stone Classic title. He will have to get by Shane Van Boening, who is looking to match Shaw’s current record of seven Turning Stone titles. Other top players competing in this event include Earl Strickland, Mika Immonen, Jeremy Sossei, Donny Mills, Bucky Souvanthong, Danny Hewitt, Frankie Hernandez and Matt Krah.

Fan’s who can’t make it to Turning Stone can watch selected matches online as part of Upstate Al’s Free streaming coverage, and can watch online brackets and live scoring courtesy of AzBilliards and Digital Pool.

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International Open Big Foot Challenge Field Announced

Joshua Filler

Pat Fleming has released the player list for the 2022 International Open Diamond Big Foot Invitational and it reads like a “who’s who” of the top players in the game today.

Reigning Champion Joshua Filler will be back to defend his title on the 10 foot Diamond table. Filler is the defending champion from both the 2021 International and the 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge, but he will have the runner-up finishers from each event in the field challenging him again this year as both International runner-up Mika Immonen and Derby City runner-up Fedor Gorst will be back this year looking to dethrone the young German champion.

If Gorst and Immonen can’t stop Filler, the Spanish double threat of Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz and David Alcaide might have something to say about this year’s event, as well as the four players from the Philippines, Roberto Gomez, Lee Vann Corteza, Jeffrey De Luna and Roland Garcia. Well, five if you count Alex Pagulayan.

Filling out the field this year are defending International 9-Ball Winner Albin Ouschan, Shane Van Boening, Jayson Shaw, Omar Al-Shaheen, Alex Kazakis and Aloysius Yapp.

The 2022 International Open will take place October 28th – Nov 5th at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, Virginia and seating is still available. Interested fans can go to www.intlopen.com to purchase their seats for this prestigious event. Fans who can’t make it to Virginia will be able to enjoy the event again online with the Pay Per View coverage provided by Pat Fleming Video Productions.

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Turning Stone XXXV On Tap for September 1st – 4th

Mike Zuglan‘s Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino are proud to present our 2021/2022 Season Finale, The $25,000 Added “Turning Stone Classic XXXV 9-Ball Open” on September 1-4, 2022. Turning Stone has once again invited us to compete in their beautiful and spacious Event Center which is most definitely one of the best arenas in the world. There is not a bad seat in the house and multiple matches can be viewed comfortably from everywhere. The intimate layout in this world class arena allows you to mingle with your favorite players and lets you feel like you are a part of the action as well. Turning Stone Resort Casino is a full service resort with everything needed for a relaxing, fun filled and enjoyable experience. Check them out and look for our ad notice at www.turningstone.com

Our 35th Turning Stone Classic will once again have a full roster of 128 players competing for the title. The field will include a wide range of talent from our regular tour players to some of the best in the game. Some of the notable players signed up to play include Jayson Shaw, Shane Van Boening, Johnny Morra, Mika Immonen, and our own regulars Jeremy Sossei and Bucky Souvanthong. These are just a few to be in attendance along with many other notable and not so notable but great players nonetheless. The complete player will be posted later at www.joss9balltour.com . Until then anyone can contact me and I will be glad to tell you if your favorite player(s) is in. mzjosstour@aol.com This promises to be yet another memorable event in our long running Turning Stone Classic series. Our $25,000 added “Turning Stone Classic XXXVI 9-Ball Open” is scheduled for January 5-8, 2023 and could possibly be a Mosconi Cup qualifying event once again. I will begin taking entries for that event at the September 1-4, 2022 TS event but not before. FYI, there is every reason to believe that the event will fill to capacity many months prior to the event, so seriously interested players need to sign up early to avoid being shut out as I am not able to wait for anyone. Also, I am raising the future TS entry fees as follows: $200 for current season members or $250 for all others. This will allow me to raise first place to $10,000 as well as raising some of the other pay outs. Please keep in mind that I am no longer in a position to give “free” seasonal memberships to those that prepay for a TS event. The only way to become a seasonal Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour member is to come and play in any pool room event and pay the $40 seasonal fee. Our complete schedule can be found at www.joss9balltour.com

Once again at Turning Stone there will be a second chance tournament on Sunday September 4th at 10AM. This is an event for those Non Pro level players (I will decide) eliminated from the main event. The event format will be as follows: $60 Entry Fee – 32 Player Max – same rules as main event – Single Elimination – Races to 4, best 2 of 3 sets, with the deciding set being a single game sudden death. This means that if each player wins a race to 4, there will be a lag for the break and a 1 game playoff to determine the match winner. Entries will be taken for this tournament as players are eliminated from the main event and will be treated as first paid – first in until the event is full.

The equipment for our world class event will once again be 16 Diamond Pro Tables covered with 860 Simonis (“The Cloth Of Champions”) tournament blue cloth and Aramith balls. Once again only the best equipment in the world will be used at our event!

As always, fans coming to Turning Stone for our event will be treated to Free Admission, Free collectible posters while supplies last, and some of the best pool you will ever see. All of this is brought to you courtesy of Turning Stone Resort Casino and the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour!

Included in the Event Center at Turning Stone is a full service snack bar serving all of our favorite foods and adult beverages. There will be billiard product vendors and on site cue repairs available for all your needs. Mike Burton of www.josscues.com will have a wide range of Joss Cues and Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Shirts. Andrea Duvall, owner of Utica Billiards on The Boulevard, will be here with an extensive cue, case and supplies display. Mark Rosner will be on hand with his cues and expert on site cue repairs. Feng Zhao of www.lite-systems.com will be there with his custom LED billiard lighting and other billiard products and Victor Conte will be on site promoting his new game as well. I will also have a collection of Phil Capelle’s books for sale at 20% off the cover prices.

Dan, Debbie and Stephen Janes of Joss Cues, have once again upped the ante and provided us with two gorgeous, custom engraved Joss cues for raffle. These cues are valued at $1,900 each and will be raffled off on Saturday just before the 8 PM matches, and the second will go on Sunday immediately prior to the final match at approximately 7 PM. Dan, Debbie and Steve can’t be thanked enough for everything they have, and continue to do for all of us!!

We invite everyone to come to Turning Stone Resort & Casino September 1-4, 2022 for a great experience, and 4 full days of some of the best pool you will ever witness. If for some reason you are unable to make it, there will be free live scoring and a free live stream expertly provided by Alan Leon, aka Upstate Al and Mike Howerton at www.azbilliards.com , the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour and Turning Stone Resort Casino. Match times are as follows: Thursday at 4,6,8 & 10pm. Friday at 10am, noon, 2,4,6,8 & 10pm. Saturday at 10am, noon, 2,4,6,8 & 10pm. Sunday at 11am, 1,3,5 & the final match at 7pm. The second chance tournament on Sunday will begin at 10am and run continuously until completed.

I would like to ask all of you to please publicize our event through social media etc. so more people may be informed about this great and free event. And, as always, I remind all of you how important it is to please frequent your local billiard parlors and promote and utilize the fine products of our most generous sponsors listed below. They are the backbone of our sport!

I hope to see all of you at Turning Stone

Mike Zuglan

The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Is Proudly Sponsored By;

Joss Cues – http://www.josscues.com
Turning Stone Resort Casino – http://www.turningstone.com 
Simonis Cloth – http://www.simoniscloth.com
Poolonthenet.com – http://www.poolonthenet.com
AzBilliards.com – http://www.azbilliards.com
Aramith – http://www.aramith.com
Billiards Press – http://www.billiardspress.com
World Class Cue Care – http://www.jnj-industries.com

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European Open Day 3 | Hometown Hero Hohmann Heads Home

Thorsten Hohmann (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

The inaugural European Open Pool Championship in Fulda, Germany at Hotel Esperanto hit the midway point as the field was reduced to the Last 64 live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live.

Schedule / Scores

Joshua Filler‘s encounter with wife Pia was the talk of the tournament as the pair met on the biggest stage for the first time live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook page. Joshua started out strongest to take the opening rack before Pia came back with her own rack to level at 1-1. The contest was played out in great spirit as the pair embraced before lagging with various applause and fist bumps keeping the atmosphere light-hearted despite a spot in the Last 64 resting on the match. It was Joshua who did steal the advantage though as he settled it in a 9-1 win.

Joshua and Pia Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Pia was back out in the Losers’ Qualification where she ran Chris Melling close up to 6-6 before Melling pulled through to book his place in the Last 64 and send Pia home. Other casualties included US Open runner-up Aloysius Yapp who lost out to Tyler Styer who had taken the inital initiative before Yapp pulled it back to 7-7. Mika Immonen was on the end to a 9-3 defeat to Dimitri Jungo to exit whilst Skyler Woodward faltered in a 9-4 loss to Bader Alawadhi. Alawadhi had been sent to the losers side by Jayson Shaw who came up trumps in a 9-1 win to book his own place in the Last 64.

“I played really good in that match a 9-1 win over a really good player. I tried to stay focused and I did just that. I prepared for about two months for this event. I prepared like I was going for a boxing fight really. I’ve been putting in a lot of time in on and off the table. I feel mentally a lot tougher than I did in previous events and I wasn’t really with it i if I am being honest. I am enjoying it so far.” – Jayson Shaw speaking to Phil Yates after beating Alawadhi

“It’s a really nice place (Fulda), the venue is super nice. The city is really nice too. It’s a good mix to have that around. You can go out and have a walk around. All in all it’s been a good start to the event,” Shaw added.

World Champion Shane Van Boening was made to sweat my Finland’s national champion Jani Uski as Van Boening ensured he remained blemish-free on the way to the Last 64 9-7 whilst it was a similar set of circumstances for Naoyuki Oi who side-stepped past Jan van Lierop 9-6. US Mosconi Cup hopeful Oscar Dominguez progressed with a 9-4 win over Daniel Maciol and 2021 World Pool Masters winner Alexander Kazakis overcame Tyler Styer in a hill-hill thriller to avoid the Losers side of the draw.”

Thorsten Hohmann‘s bid for hometown glory was ended by Karol Skowerski in a whitewash loss for the former World Champion. Hohmann had been left on the losers side of the draw early on after defeat to Senharip Azar and the German was up against it ever since before coming against Skowerski who was in no mood in letting the local man take a hold of things.

The Last 64 draw was made at the completion of play today – see the draw above.

Day 4 Streamed Matches Below 10 am (CEST)

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

10am – Joshua Filler (GER) vs Eklent Kaçi (ALB)

NB 11:30am – Alexander Kazakis (GRE) vs David Alcaide (ESP)

NB 1:00pm – Oscar Dominguez (USA) vs Tyler Styer (USA)

NB 2:30pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 4:00pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 6:30pm – TBC – Last 32

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

10am – Albin Ouschan (AUT) vs Bader Alawadhi (KUW)

NB 11:30am – Oliver Szolnoki vs Khalid Alghamdi (KSA)

NB 1:00pm – Mieszko Fortunski (POL) vs Lo Ho Sum (HKG)

NB 2:30pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 4:00pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 6:30pm – TBC – Last 32

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Tickets start from €15 for the day. Secure yours here

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Day 1 Of Inaugural European Open in Record Books

Thorsten Hohmann (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

The opening day of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda in Germany live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live is complete.

Bracket / Scores

256 players headed to Fulda with hopes and dreams in Thorsten Hohmann’s hometown of becoming the first-ever European Open winner as they look for their name to be etched into the record books and a share of the $200,000 prize fund as the Opening Round, Winners and Losers Round 1 got underway with 36 players heading home.

Hohmann got action underway live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook match in front of a raucous home crowd looking to see their man get off to the best of starts but it wasn’t to be as Senharip Azar upset the apple cart to secure an unlikely victory.  The 9-5 defeat for Hohmann meant he faces the gruelling task of four matches to make it through to the last 64 and he ticked one of those off to defeat Muhummed Daydat 8-2 and keep hometown glory alive.

“I can only give my best. I would’ve liked to have won my first match with all my Fulda people behind me. It was amazing to see. My opponent played well, and I made a few mistakes. I wasn’t as relaxed as I should’ve been. I didn’t feel nervous but there’s always a tightness, so you’re not relaxed. We have some history in Fulda for pool, we used to play in the German Bundesliga. We always had 100 spectators there are some pool fans here. We hope to mobilise some of the Fulda crowd who are perhaps not pool fans.” – Hohmann after progressing to Losers Round 2.

Compatriot Ralf Souquet had the home backing against Juri Pisklov in an all-German affair that saw the latter take the victory 9-5 no part down to a huge 4-rail kick on the four ball in one of the shots of the year let alone day or tournament. That defeat for Souquet appeared to spur him on though as he whitewashed Rafał Stępnik 8-0 to keep his tournament going.

Two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw survived an early scare in the morning against Ingo Lamberti to win 9-7 before making light work of Cristian Surdea of Romania 9-1 to book his spot in Winners Qualification on Thursday. There wasn’t such fortune for US Open runner-up Aloysius Yapp who was pushed onto the losers’ side of the draw by German Valery Kuloyants.

Finland’s Jani Uski announced himself onto the big stage at the recent World Cup of Pool alongside Mika Immonen and his stock is ever-growing after booking his spot in Winners Qualification thanks to wins over Tobias Hirt and Chris Melling 9-1/9-4 respectively.

Melling is not the only big name to be alongside Yapp on the losers’ bracket with Dimitri Jungo, Robbie Capito, and Matt Edwards all facing the prospect of Losers Round 2 tomorrow.

Action continues tomorrow morning from 10 am – see the full list of matches upcoming below

Day 2 Streamed Matches Below 10 am (CEST)

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

10am – Tony Drago (MAL) vs Ivan Nunez Perez (ESP)

NB 11:30am – Albin Ouschan (AUT) vs Sander Kont (EST)

NB 1:00pm – Joshua Filler (GER) vs Garry Oyangoren (GBR)

TBC

TBC

TBC

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

10am – Veronika Ivanovskaia (GER) vs Tuberiu Iorgulescu (ROM)

NB 11:30am – Eklent Kaçi (ALB) vs Matthew Rigley (GBR)

NB 1:00pm – Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Martin Breuer (GER)

TBC

TBC

TBC

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Tickets start from €15 for the day or €90 for the week. Secure yours here

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Chinese Taipei And Singapore Into Semi-Finals Of 2022 World Cup of Pool

Ko Ping Chung and Ko Pin Yi (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Chinese Taipei and Singapore are into the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup of Pool at the Brentwood Centre, Essex live on Sky Sports Arena in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. Matchroom.Live in territories without a broadcaster.

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Live Scores

Niels Feijen and Marc Bijsterbosch were fresh off the back of defeating defending champions Germany and it was the Dutchmen who won the lag against Chinese Taipei before taking the first rack despite Ko Pin Yi’s best efforts with the jump cue. In the second rack, Bijsterbosch laid a snooker that Pin Yi couldn’t get out of to foul opening it up for a quick second rack for the Netherlands.

Pin Yi accompanied by brother Pin Chung on the Chinese Taipei side got back into things just before the commercials at 2-1, thanks to Bijsterbosch scratching when playing a kick on the one. The pair struggled in their win over Greece yesterday morning, but they looked more themselves as they turned the contest around to lead 4-2 thanks to some exquisite cueing.

The Dutch were sat in their seats for a while, but they changed after Ping Chung scratched when making the four ball by going in off the six in the middle pocket. The chance that was presented was converted and they were one back. Ball in hand came to the forefront of the next rack for the Netherlands as Feijen missed a thin cut to give Chinese Taipei control of the table once again to run out and be 5-3 up and over halfway.

Bijsterbosch played a lovely kick and combo on the 3-7 to give the Netherlands a fighting chance in the following rack. Feijen proceeded to play a safety and Pin Yi exposed the three for the Netherlands to come back again at 5-4 and 5-5 thanks to a break and run.

Chinese Taipei were looking to reach their eighth semi-final in the competition’s history, and they were moving one step closer to being within a shout of winning the title again after Bijsterbosch missed the six up the table in the 11th rack to hand Pin Yi and Ping Chung their moment to string three racks together and be on the hill. It was relatively plain sailing for Chinese Taipei, and it seemed they were going to run away with it.

At 8-5 up, Ping Chung missed the 3-8 combo to bring Feijen back to the table who delivered where his opponent couldn’t to keep the Netherland’s hopes alive as they trailed by two. That mistake was costly as Bijsterbosch and Feijen ran the next rack to be one behind. A further Dutch break and run brought the match to a hill hill conclusion.

Bijsterbosch broke in the decider but left Feijen with a tricky effort to stay at the table. A brief safety exchange later and Ping Chung had a shot on the one only for it to collide with the seven up table and leave the table just a complicated. After putting away the one, another safety battle ensued on the two with Feijen tucking the cue ball neatly behind the five away from the two. Ping Chung got a good hit on the two but too cleanly allowing Bijsterbosch back to slow roll the two in but again leaving Feijen short of a clear shot on the three ball this time.

Pin Yi played a beautiful safety to keep the cue ball locked up but this time behind the eight. Bijsterbosch fouled and in the process potted the six to open the table even further. Ping Chung and Pin Yi’s hopes of another title for Chinese Taipei were kept alive as they wrapped up a 9-8 victory.

Aloysius Yapp and Toh Lian Han were looking to venture into unfamiliar territory for Singapore as they met Finland’s Mika Immonen and Jani Uski for a spot in the semi-finals.

Singapore won the lag before a quick break and run helped them to an early lead. Lian Han had a wild go at the three ball to offer Finland their first chance at the table in the second rack but they couldn’t make it pay after Immonen fouled with the ball off the table when locked up behind the seven. From there, it was a relatively routine run out to put the Southern Hemisphere side two up. Rack three was more of the same as far as Singapore were concerned and they were three up at the commercials.

To his frustration, Yapp missed the cut on the three in the fourth rack and Finland had their chance only for Singapore to end up back at the table. Lian Han missed the nine and Immonen had the chance to pot Finland’s first ball of the match only to miss it. Yapp tried to slow roll it in but missed it as Uski closed it out for 3-1. Lian Han’s nerves were tested in the next rack too as he missed the two to allow Finland back in to snatch another at 3-2.

The contest seemed to be turning at that point but Yapp and Lian Han stole the next rack to asset a two-rack buffer once again. Into the seventh and Lian Han broke dry to allow Finland back to the table where Immonen and Uski reduced the scoreline to one once again at 4-3. Singapore were trying their best to pull away and they asserted a three rack gap again after the ninth rack for 6-3.

Lian Han was struggling out in the arena and a scratch on the break brought Immonen and Uski back in again at 6-4. It was a nervy affair throughout with so much on the line and Singapore couldn’t quite contain them as they lost the 11th rack. With the safety laid, Immonen went airborne and delivered a majestic jump shot on the one only to leave Uski hooked. Uski fouled to give Singapore ball in hand, but they failed to make it count as Lian Han twitched on the five.

Finland went level again at 6-6 but that was their last real moment of the match as Singapore came good eventually to seal a 9-6 victory and reach the semi-finals. Singapore taking their moment in the 13th after Immonen’s break left the Fins hooked. Lian Han’s earlier nerves were arrested, and Singapore closed it out.

Action returns from 5 pm with the USA in action against Switzerland before Great Britain meet Spain live on Sky Sports Arena as well as live on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. See the full list of broadcasters here including Matchroom.Live if no broadcaster is available

Saturday 18, June – Evening Session

Sunday 19, June – Morning Session 

Sunday 19, June – Evening Session 

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Finland, Switzerland, and Great Britain Complete Saturday Line-Up

Jani Uski and Mika Immonen (Taka Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Finland, Switzerland, and Great Britain have completed the quarterfinal line-up at the 2022 World Cup of Pool at the Brentwood Centre, Essex live on Sky Sports Arena in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. Matchroom.Live in territories without a broadcaster. 

Buy Tickets 

Live Scores 

Seeded Estonia came up against Finland with the winner set to face Singapore in the quarterfinals tomorrow morning. Estonia’s Denis Grabe and Rainer Laar struggled early on as Finland’s duo of Mika Immonen assembled a 2-0 lead that could’ve been three if it wasn’t for a poor safety from Immonen that allowed their opposition in to make it 2-1. 

Estonia continued to struggle as Immonen and Uski gathered momentum to take the first rack after the break to lead 3-1 and soon 4-1. Grabe and Laar had their work cut out but came back in it sharpish no part down to an error on positioning on the nine in the sixth rack from Immonen to allow the Estonians to steal the rack and get the break in their hand. 

At 4-2, Finland had their opportunity to move two away when back at the table only for Uski to miss the eight ball and leave Estonia again with a simple out to only trail by one. The key phrase of cue ball control was key in this contest, and it lacked at times from both sides. A routine break and run from Grabe and Laar levelled matters at 4-4. 

Laar broke in the ninth, but he was warned for a soft break in the process, with the two hooked, Grabe called the push out and Immonen played a quality kick to leave Estonia punished for their push out call. It was Laar who was then up and he fouled to give Finland ball in hand and they made them pay to lead again at 5-4. Neither Grabe or Laar covered themselves in too much glory but the latter missed what proved to be a pivotal four in the 10th rack to allow Finland their moment to get on the hill. Uski cued with the confidence of someone who was enjoying every moment on the big stage. 

It looked like Finland would close things out in the following rack, but Immonen missed the six to give Estonia a glimmer of hope, and all be it a glimmer with the six now at the opposite end of the table and cue ball in front of the seven at the opposite end. Grabe pulled off the pressure pot but left Laar with a tester on the seven which he couldn’t make only for Uski to scratch when trying to bank the seven the full length of the table. Estonia was still alive. 

The last rack wasn’t without drama, a costly miss from Laar handed Finland the opportunity to complete their win and face Singapore in the quarterfinals. 

Hungary were next up taking on a Switzerland side who had barely missed a ball in their win over Japan yesterday evening. Oliver Szolnoki and Vilmos Foldes were keen to reach the quarterfinals for only a second time in their nation’s World Cup history whilst Switzerland could be counted of something of a dark horse. 

It was the case of two missed pots for Switzerland in the opening rack though as the costly one on the nine from Ronald Regli handed Hungary the opening advantage. A break and run completed by Foldes gave the seeded side the upper hand put them 2-0 up. Rack three was more of the same as Hungary put their stamp on proceedings. 

Switzerland got their chance after the commercials after Hungary scratched on the break. From there, Dimitri Jungo went in off the nine when playing the six and it was 4-0 Hungary. Another break and run left Switzerland reeling and Hungary two away from victory and one eye on the quarterfinals. 

Szolnoki broke dry in the sixth rack and it gave Jungo and Regli their moment to reduce the scoreline to 5-1, there was still plenty of work to be done if they were to have any slight chance of progressing. 

The seventh rack was scrappy as the Swiss looked to build a pack, but it wasn’t going to be easy. Hungary got back to the table and Szolnoki put the eight away but left Foldes with a tricky attempt on the nine. One miss on the nine later and Jungo made it to cut their opponent’s advantage to three. Jungo and Regli pieced together a break and run in the next rack to do the damage with Regli making five balls on the break to help them along their way. 

Switzerland’s idea of running a few packs came true with another break and run to make it 5-4 in the ninth. The almighty comeback gathered ahead of steam with a golden break from Regli to go level. Szolnoki had a chance to stop the drought, but he missed the three when cueing over the seven. Jungo and Regli did the rest to lead for the first time and be on the hill. 

Hungary was presented a golden chance early on in what was ultimately the last rack after Jungo miscued when playing the one. Szolnonki potted the one but left Foldes short of a clear pot for the two. Foldes got fortunate and left Switzerland hooked but Regli did the exact same back to leave Szolnoki in a difficult position. One foul later and Switzerland completed a huge comeback to reach the quarterfinals. 

Great Britain was imperious in knocking out their fellow countrymen in the opening round and Chris Melling with Imran Majid was looking for more of the same as they come against South Africa’s Jason Theron and Kyle Akaloo. Theron won the lag, but it was GB who took the opening two racks, a golden break from Melling in the second to take the early initiative. Theron and Akaloo stole the third rack to be trailing by one at the break and stop Great Britain from winning ten racks in a row overall in the tournament.  

With Great Britain leading 4-1, South Africa needed something, they were chasing the nine combo early on but left the same chance for their opponents. Melling missed the 5-9 combo but hooked Akaloo in the process. Akaloo fouled but then Majid scratched with the ball in hand. South Africa did the rest, and it was 4-2.  

At 4-2, Melling missed the bank on the six ball and South Africa was able to close GB’s lead to just one in a tricky rack for both sides.  

Great Britain didn’t hang around much after South Africa’s third rack with a quick run out in the eighth before making the most of an error-prone ninth rack from their opposition. Melling missed the two and left it over the pocket for Akaloo to make it only for the debutant to leave the cue ball slap bang behind the three. Theron’s effort saw the three-land plumb over the pocket at the opposite end to Great Britain’s rejoice who profiteered to be one away. 

Theron has South Africa’s last say on the match. Majid broke dry in the final rack but Theron had no shot on the one. He fouled when trying to jump and from then on, Melling and Majid did the rest to meet Spain in the quarterfinals tomorrow evening. 

Saturday 18, June – Morning Session 


Saturday 18, June – Evening Session 

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