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Efren Reyes To Represent Philippines at 2022 World Cup Of Pool in Essex, England

One of the games’ greatest, Efren “Bata” Reyes will represent the Philippines alongside US Open champion Carlo Biado at the 2022 World Cup of Pool this June 14-19 at the Brentwood Centre, Essex, England with tickets available from £10.

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The 2022 World Cup of Pool line-up is now complete with all 32 countries confirmed as they do battle for the lucrative prize pot of $250,000 plus the pride of representing their country in one of the sports most unique format with Germany looking to defend their title led by newly crowned World Pool Masters champion Joshua Filler and BCA Hall of Famer Thorsten Hohmann.

Great Britain’s charge for a first World Cup of Pool crown on home soil will see Great Britain A form a new pairing of two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw and debutant Elliott Sanderson who was selected based on performances so far this year on the Live Nineball World Rankings. Mosconi Cup winner Imran Majid and 2012 Mosconi Cup MVP Chris Melling will represent the red, white, and blue for Great Britain B.

The USA’s assault on the title will come in the form of Nineball World No.1 and World Champion Shane Van Boening with two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Skyler Woodward whilst Austria, two-time winners of the World Cup of Pool, will see Albin Ouschan partner with Nineball World No. 5 and close friend Max Lechner.

Reyes will compete at the World Cup of Pool for the first time since 2012 when the tournament was hosted in the Philippines. The Magician is a two-time winner of the cup claiming the inaugural title in 2006 with Francisco Bustamante before repeating that result three years later on home turf.

Along with the launch of the Nineball World Rankings, the WPA received x16 allocations for various federations seeing countries make their debut this year including Peru with Christopher Tevez and Gerson Martinez as well as Argentina with Ariel Casto and Sebastian Rodriguez for a strong South American contingent. Chinese Taipei return to the fold after missing out last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will look to replicate its success of 2015 with the Ko Brothers of Pin Yi and Ping Chung pairing up.

The first 16 countries were decided by WPA federations from around the world before eight countries were selected based on the 2022 Nineball World Rankings. The final eight came as wild cards from Matchroom. Players have been selected based on both the 2022 and live 2023 Nineball World Rankings. The final team will be revealed during the final day of the UK Open Pool Championship this May 22 at the Copper Box Arena, London.

 

WPA FINLAND Mika Immonen Jani Uski
WPA POLAND Mieszko Fortuński Wojciech Szewczyk
WPA SERBIA Andreja Klasović Aleksa Pecelj
WPA CZECH REPUBLIC Roman Hybler Petr Urban
WPA ITALY Daniele Corrieri Francesco Candela
WPA KUWAIT Omar Al Shaheen Bader Al Awadhi
WPA CHINESE TAPEI Ko Pin Yi Ko Ping Chung
WPA SINGAPORE Aloysius Yapp Toh Lian Han
WPA QATAR Waleed Majid K Alars Ali Nasser Al Obaidli
WPA VIETNAM Duong Quoc Hoang Dang Thanh Kien
WPA ARGENTINA Ariel Casto Sebastian Rodriguez
WPA PERU Gerson Martinez Cristopher Tevez
WPA AUSTRALIA Justin Sajich Ivan Meng Li
WPA SOUTH AFRICA Jason Theron Craig Bouwer
WPA MOROCCO My Cherif Zine El Abidine Imad lagnaoui
WPA CYPRUS Anthony Brabin Christos Meligaliotis.
RANKING USA Shane Van Boening Skyler Woodward
RANKING AUSTRIA Albin Ouschan Max Lechner
RANKING SPAIN David Alcaide Francisco Sanchez Ruiz
RANKING PHILIPPINES Carlo Biado Efren Reyes
RANKING JAPAN Naoyuki Oi Masato Yoshioka
RANKING GREECE Alexander Kazakis Nikos Ekonomopulous
RANKING GERMANY Joshua Filler Thorsten Hohmann
RANKING HUNGARY Oliver Snolnoki Vilmos Földes
WILDCARD NETHERLANDS Niels Feijen Marc Bijsterbosch
WILDCARD CANADA Alex Pagulayan John Morra
WILDCARD SWITZERLAND Dimitri Jungo Ronald Regli
WILDCARD HONG KONG, CHINA Lo Ho Sum Robbie Capito
WILDCARD NEW ZEALAND Matthew Edwards Simon Singleton
WILDCARD GREAT BRITAIN A Jayson Shaw Elliott Sanderson
WILDCARD GREAT BRITAIN B Imran Majid Chris Melling
WILDCARD TO BE DETERMINED

Tickets start from only £10 per session and £15 for an all-day ticket to both the afternoon and evening sessions. Fans can also enjoy the whole week of action for only £85.
Tickets

The World Cup of Pool brings 32 nations together as two-player teams compete for national pride, the title, and their share of a $250,000 prize fund from June 14 to 19. The tournament is a straight-knockout format leaving no room for error. Germany are the reigning champions with one of the world’s best in Joshua Filler spearheading their defence. The likes of World Number One Albin Ouschan of Austria, the USA’s finest Shane Van Boening, and Great Britain’s two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw will all look to lead their sides to the title over six action-packed days.

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Van Boening Pulls Off Historic Comeback To Book Last 16 Spot

A drained Shane Van Boening (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Shane Van Boening produced a comeback for the ages as he came from 10-3 down to defeat Hall of Famer and former World Champion Mika Immonen 11-10 to reach the Last 16 of the 2022 World Pool Championship at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes. Coverage live on Sky Sports in the UK/Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria as well as Viaplay and networks worldwide.

Scores and Bracket

Van Boening will face Chinese Taipei’s Ko Pin Yi who downed Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw in a hill-hill finish as action heated up dramatically. Shaw had taken the early lead, but it was Pin Yi who hit back to lead 8-6 before reaching the hill first at 10-7. The Brit was never down and out though after a huge fluke on the 9 ball after he kicked the 2 ball into it and in. Pin Yi though is a former World Champion, and he showed the qualities that won him that title in 2015 to beat Shaw by a slender margin to meet Van Boening next.

Elsewhere, last year’s runner-up Omar Al Shaheen made a remarkable comeback from 10-1 down to beat Daniel Guttenberger in the last rack in the Last 32 before making lightwork of Masato Yoshioka in the Last 16 to set up a clash with Oliver Szolnoki who reached the semi-finals in 2021.

Two-time champion Thorsten Hohmann will meet fellow two-timer Albin Ouschan in the opening Last 16 match tomorrow morning on Table 1 after Hohmann knocked out Live 2023 Nineball World No.1 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz in the afternoon and Ko Ping Hang in the evening. Ouschan meanwhile got the better of Nicholas De Leon and Norweigan Mats Schjetne who gave Ouschan one of his toughest matches of the tournament so far sneaking through 11-8.

Darren Appleton keeps rolling back the years overcoming Tomasz Kaplan and Lo Ho Sum only dropping three racks in the process. The former World Champion will face his sternest test to date though tomorrow against the Killer, Joshua Filler. There was drama wherever you looked at the Marshall Arena and Naoyuki Oi‘s match with Oscar Dominguez for a place in the Last 16 delivered.

Oi had cantered in front against Oscar Dominguez at 8-1 before it was the American who reached the hill first with Oi trailing by two racks at 10-8. The Japanese stalwart though showed why he renowned as one of the world’s best to book a Last 32 spot against the last remaining Pole, Konrad Juszczyszyn. Juszczyszyn proved no match for Oi who had found his groove though and now meets Chang Jung-Lin who slew Niels Feijen.

Feijen, a previous winner of the tournament himself, was frozen to his chair and 6-0 before he knew it after losing the lag, but he fought back to 6-4. It did prove to be all in vain though as Jung-Lin pushed back to make it two Chinese Taipei players in the Last 16.

SATURDAY 10, APRIL 11 am 

Table 1 – Where to Watch 

Albin Ouschan vs Thorsten Hohmann

Shane Van Boening vs Ko Pin Yi

Table 2 – Live on Matchroom Pool YouTube 

Joshua Filler vs Darren Appleton

Naoyuki Oi vs Chang Jung-Lin

For all the latest news and announcements follow Matchroom Pool on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram.

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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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Pehlivanovic Upsets Ko on Day Two of Predator World 10-Ball Championship

Sanjin Pehlivanovic

When it comes to the game of 10-ball, Sanjin Pehlivanovic has been a force to be reckoned with recently – especially in Europe.

Earlier this month, the 20-year-old Bosnian won the 10-ball division of this year’s European Championships and finished second to former World 9-Ball champion Fedor Gorst in the 10-ball division of the Midwest Open in Ohio. Last year, Pehlivanovic finished in the top of the Predator Austria Open while making his presence felt on the EuroTour, finishing in the top 10 of both the Lasko and Sankt Johann in Pongau Opens.

Tuesday, during the second day of play at Predator’s World 10-Ball Championships, the young Bosnian’s showed the versatility and perseverance which has helped him earn the junior European Pool Championship eight times, as Pehlivanovic gutted out a hill-hill victory against 2019 World 10-Ball Champion Ping-Chung Ko at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The Bosnian will now face Qatar’s

Ali Al Obaidii today at 10 a.m. local time while Ko moves over to the one-loss side to face Ernesto Dominguez.

The two competitors played nip-and-tuck throughout the first half of the match, with neither player holding more than a one-game advantage. With the scored tied 5-5, Pehlivanovic broke and ran to climb ahead by a game, then returned to the table in the next game when his opponent failed to pocket a ball on the break. When the Bosnian misplayed a safety on the 4 ball, it appeared Ko was positioned to tie the match but left the object ball in the jaws of the corner pocket. Pehlivanovic used a tight cut shot on the 5 ball and a straight in draw shot on the 6 ball to clear the table, open up the first two-game lead of the match and pull to within a single rack of victory.

Except that Ko wasn’t in the mood to go quietly, using a safety exchange on the 5 ball in the next rack to pull to within a single game again at 7-6 then took advantage of a missed 5 ball by his opponent in the next rack to tie the score. When Pehlivanovic missed a combination shot on the 7 ball in the 15th and deciding game, it appeared that Ko was going to escape with a victory until he mangled cue ball position for the 6 ball, leaving a sharp cut shot into the side pocket. The young man from Chinese Taipei missed, handing the Bosnian a routine run out and an 8-7 victory.

While Pehlivanovic, who is still five months away from legally being able to drink in the United States, gave spectators a glimpse of the future, 73-year-old Jose Parica was showing that he still had plenty of game left as he battled Oscar Dominguez down to the wire before falling, 8-6.
Taking advantage of a couple of misses and adding a break-and-run, Dominguez built an early 5-2 advantage before experiencing some struggles of his own, missing a 4 ball in the eighth rack and failing to pocket a ball on the break in the following game. Parica, who was elected to the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 2014, turned a three-rack deficit into a tie score but Dominguez regained the lead with a break-and-run in the 11th game. He appeared to be in position to add to his lead when Parica was unable to pocket a ball on the break until he scratched in the side pocket while working his way through the rack. Handed an open table, Parica was on the verge of tying the game again when he missed the game-winning 10 ball in the corner pocket and lifted his cue and staring at the ceiling in frustration. The Filipino continued to battle, using a bank on the 1 ball and a long straight-in shot on the 2 ball to run the rack and cut the lead to 7-6.

Standing at the table with the break and a chance to tie the score in the 14th game, Parica did not have a shot at the 1 ball and was forced to play a safety. After a lengthy safety exchange, the Hall of Famer left an opening which his opponent walked right through, running out the rack to secure the match.

In other notable matches, Shane Van Boening pitched an 8-0 shut-out against Jason Theron, only to have Theron move to the one-loss side of the bracket and eliminate Billy Thorpe, 8-3. BCA Hall of Famer Darren Appleton remained undefeated with an 8-4 victory over Sharik Sayed while Fellow Hall of Famer Mika Immonen defeated Corey Deuel, 8-4. Former International Open champion Jayson Shaw was upset in a hill-hill battle with Roman Hybler of the Czech Republic.

The third day of play begins at 10 a.m. local time with notable matches including Omar Al Shaheen of Kuwait taking on Filipino Roberto Gomez and Shaw facing Marco Teutscher on the one-loss side while Van Boening meets Roland Garcia and Lee Vann Corteza squares off with Pin-Yi Ko on the winner’s side.

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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Predator World 10-Ball Championship Kicks Off Today

Eklent Kaci

In a way, Eklent Kaci’s biggest victory of 2021 was the fact that he made it to Las Vegas at all.

The big Albanian had spent more time in his home country than he had hoped, missing a spring Matchroom event in England when his teammate couldn’t get a visa in time then missing a handful of additional events while waiting nearly three months for his “expedited” visa. Once he finally secured the proper credentials, Kaci was denied the opportunity to board his flight to the United States on August 29due to a reservation mix-up and was forced to skip the Diamond Las Vegas Open.

Finally, three days later, Kaci was cleared to travel and made the most of his opportunity, working his way through a field of 64 of the world’s best pocket billiards competitors and took home the World 10-Ball Championship, defeating Naoyuki Oi 10-6 for the title at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.

“This hasn’t been the best year,” he said after the finals were completed. “But this makes it worth the trouble.”

Although 2021 won’t be one that Kaci looks back on with much fondness, it was a revolutionary year for professional pool overall with the creation of numerous new tournaments throughout the world – including the U.S. Pro Billiard Series.

When billiard equipment manufacturer Predator Group and worldwide pool league operator CueSports International announced plans to launch the Series last summer, the strategy could have been interpreted as both aggressive and unconventional. The Pro Billiard Series launched with four new competitions spread out over three months while also producing the World 10-Ball Championships. Adding intrigue was the fact that the Series would be eschewing longer race formats which have long been a staple at major events and opting instead to implement a two-set, race-to-four that concluded with a sudden-death shootout if two competitors finished tied. As an added bonus, the champion of each Pro Billiard Series event in 2021 earned automatic entry into this week’s 2022 Predator World 10-Ball Championships, held again at the Rio beginning today.

“We need to make the sport more exciting,” said Predator Owner Karim Belhaj over the summer. “We’re trying to find outside sponsors while keeping people’s attention.”

It was only fitting that some of the most exciting young players today in professional pool brought home championships in this first season of the Series, as rising stars like Taiwan’s Kun-Lin Wu, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp and Austria’s Mario He earned breakthrough titles. Even more impressive than the roster of champions was the quality of play, as competitors used a variety of methods to earn their championships – clutch shot making, pinpoint position play and stifling safeties.

“I believe we will one day look back on the inaugural season of the US Pro Billiard Series as a historic turning point for professional pool,” said Ozzy Reynolds, owner of CueSports International, the co-creator of the Series. “Several companies joined forces, bringing their own unique assets to the table, to build a better sport.”

The year was also a historic turning point for Wu, who had flirted with victory at big events in recent years only to come up short – finishing in third at the 2016 China Open and turning in a handful of top-10 performances at the Japan Open.

Competing at September’s Diamond Las Vegas Open, the 25-year-old notched his first win of his career, defeating Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen in straight sets, 4-3, 4-1. The young man from Taiwan, who posted an undefeated record during the four-day, 128-player event, eliminated Kremlin Cup champion Tyler Styer and Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz to reach the semi-finals. Facing Estonia’s Dennis Grabe with a chance to go to the finals, he watched as his opponent pocketed back-to-back pocketed 10 balls on the break to sail to an opening set 4-0 win. Wu bounced back, closing out the second set with back-to-back victories after Grabe missed a jump shot in the fifth game and then the deciding shootout to advance to the finals where he took down Al Shaheen.

“I talked to myself to get off of the pressure in the final day,” said Wu. “I felt much pressure because of the title match. Both me and Omar had not won a title yet.”

That drought ended for Wu thanks to a break-and-run paired with two victorious safety exchanges, as he built a 3-0 advantage in the first set. The Kuwaiti battled back to tie the score but missed a combination shot in the seventh game, allowing his opponent to clear the table and take the set. In the next frame, the young man from Taiwan capitalized on a handful of missed shots by Al Shaheen, who earlier this year placed second at the World Pool Championships, to coast a 4-1 victory and earn his first victory.

Last September, Yapp grabbed the attention of the pool world when the 25-year-old reached the finals of September’s U.S. Open Pool Championships and built an 8-3 lead in the title match before ultimately falling to Carlo Biado. The young man from Singapore continued his ascension at the CSI Michigan Open, bouncing back from an early round loss to Roberto Gomez Jr. to defeat the Filipino in the championship match in straight sets, 4-0, 4-2.

Yapp, who struggled with his break throughout the day, gutted out victories against World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis of Greece and Konrad Juszczyszyn of Poland, then survived a second half scare in the semifinals against Hungary’s Oliver Szolnoki. After Yapp won the first set, the match appeared headed to a sudden death shootout as the Hungarian controlled the table with an open table layout. That was before Szolnoki missed the 3 ball, allowing Yapp to run out and advance to the finals, where he capitalized on a handful of Gomez errors to breeze to his first championship on United States soil.

At the Pro Billiard Series season finale, October’s FargoRate Ohio Open in Dayton, Mario He continued to survive but struggled to get a feel for the table being used to televise matches, with the radiant lights causing a different playing condition than he was accustomed to on the outside tables. In the finals against Gomez, the Austrian would barely need to shoot at times, pocketing back-to-back 10 balls on the break to build a quick 3-0 lead in the first set. The Austrian would during a Gomez comeback and win the frame 4-3, then take advantage of a handful of missed shots by the Filipino to pitch a 4-0 shutout and secure the championship.

All three Pro Billiard Series champions will be in competition this week along with reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player Jayson Shaw, five-time U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion Shane Van Boening, 2019 World 10-Ball champion Ping-Chung Ko and his older brother, 2015 World 10-Ball champion Pin-Yi Ko. Also competing will be World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis, reigning World Pool and International Open champion Albin Ouschan and U.S. Open pool champion Biado.

Competition is scheduled to begin this afternoon and will be broadcast live on Billiard TV and World Billiard TV, the official YouTube channel of CueSports International.

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 next events.

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Bigger Alfa Las Vegas Open Brings Star-Studded Field and Ko Brothers Return

The Ko Brothers

Wu Kun-Lin had been close to the finish line in a handful of major events in recent years only to stumble when he reached the finish line.

So, when he reached the last day of September’s Diamond Las Vegas Open, Wu was resolute to finish the job this time. So determined, that the 22-year-old found himself walking around the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, host facility for the tournament, giving himself pep talks to try and remain composed.

“I talked to myself to get off of the pressure in the final day,” Wu said. “I felt much pressure because in the title match, both me and Omar had not won a title yet.”

Wu survived a strong performance by Estonia’s Denis Grabe in the semifinals and coasted past Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen in the championship match to post an undefeated record and win the third annual Las Vegas Open, ending his title drought and picking up $15,000.

“Sometimes I was very close to winning so the only thing that I thought of was winning a title,” said Wu. “That was my goal and I made it.”

Now Wu is back to try and repeat as champion, as the Alfa Las Vegas Open opens play today, kicking off 11 days of professional and amateur pool at the CueSports International Expo at the Rio. This year’s Expo features a new title sponsor for the professional open events – cryptocurrency Alfa – added a professional women’s tournament while expanding the men’s field from 128 players to 192 – with three of those registered being the Ko brothers, who are making their return to international competition for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic begin in 2020.

Three years ago, in the very same arena where he will be competing this week, a 23-year-old Pin-Yi Ko, used a combination of tight safety play and sound shot making to upend Germany’s Joshua Filler and earn the World 10-Ball championship – his first major championship after a handful of close finishes. Helping the young Ko battle his nerves was older brother, Ping-Chung Ko, who walked and talked with his younger sibling during timeouts. When COVID-19 began spreading in March of 2020 and lockdowns occurred, the brothers from Chinese Taipei found themselves sequestered at home for nearly two years. With restrictions lifting worldwide, these two competitors, 2020 Las Vegas Open winner Jung-Lin Chang and a handful of top-flight competitors from the Far East Asian country are now back in town and ready to compete after the long layoff.

The last time Greece’s Alex Kazakis competed in the U.S. Pro Billiard Series, nothing seemed to be easy. The Greek needed not one, not two, but four consecutive victorious extra-inning shootouts to edge Kuwait’s Bader Al Awadhi and win the inaugural Wisconsin Open last month. The reigning World Pool Masters champion returns to action this week while in the midst of a stellar start to 2022, having followed up his Wisconsin win with a sixth-place finish in the Predator Premier League Pool event in England and having won February’s Cajun Coast Classic 9-ball tournament.

Earning top honors at Premier League Pool for the second consecutive year was Austria’s Albin Ouschan, who is back in Las Vegas looking to build upon a 2021 which saw him take home three major events, including a second career World Pool Championship and the International Open. Ouschan, who has a pair of 17th place finishes at the Las Vegas Open, was so dominant in big events last year that he earned the Player of the Year award from Billiards Digest magazine.

With the competition now expanded to 192 players spectators will have a non-stop roster of top pros to watch throughout the four-day event, including five-time United States Open 9-Ball champion Shane Van Boening, reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player Jayson Shaw, former United States Open 9-Ball and World 9-Ball Champion Joshua Filler and former Mosconi Cup MVP Skyler Woodward. Also making the trip are reigning World 10-Ball champion Eklent Kaci, four-time Mosconi Cup competitor Billy Thorpe and reigning Kremlin Cup champion Tyler Styer. Previous Pro Billiard Series champions slated for competition include reigning Ohio Open champion Mario He and rising young superstar Aloysius Yapp of Singapore, who won last year’s Michigan Open.

The Alfa Las Vegas Open takes place March 23-26. The Alfa Las Vegas Open is followed by the Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which runs March 28-April 1 and 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 Alfa Las Vegas Open draw on the Predator Pro Billiard Series website.

The Alfa Las Vegas Open 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 next events.

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2022 World Pool Championship Tickets On Sale Now

The 2022 World Pool Championship will return to the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes from Wednesday, April 6 to Sunday, April 10, with tickets on sale now from only £20 per day or £100 for the week.

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This year’s event will see a substantial increase in prize money, with the total set at $325,000 from $250,000 in 2021.

Two-time winner and Nineball World No.1 Albin Ouschan will lead the field as defending champion after overcoming Kuwait’s Omar Al-Shaheen in last year’s final.

Entry criteria for the 2022 World Pool Championship will be distributed as follows:

  1. The 40 ranked players on the 2022 Nineball World Rankings
  2. 50 World Pool-Billiard Association allocations
  3. The remaining spots will taken up by wild cards

Fans will be able to get up close and enjoy action across all 16 tables from only £20 for the day and £100 for the whole week.

For the first time, fans can also enjoy the VIP experience for the semi-finals and final for only £150 with canapes on arrival, free programme, a two-course meal between the sessions plus an open private bar for eight hours along with a premium front three row seat to soak in the action.

Tickets are on sale right now. Buy yours here.

As well as an increased prize fund, the format for the World Pool Championship will see an alteration to the early rounds. This format will be revealed in the coming days.

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Apex Wisconsin Open Down to Final 16

The 21-year-old Russian Fedor Gorst is certainly not a stranger to the U.S. Pro Billiard Series’ format, having won back-to-back Arcadia Arizona Opens.

Friday evening, Gorst saw plenty of the dramatic twists and turns that can occur in the short-race, shootout-deciding matches as he jumped out to big advantages in the first set only to lose the second and have to survive a shootout to advance.  It wasn’t easy, but he punched his ticket for the final day of play of this weekend’s Apex Wisconsin Open, defeating American Chris Reinhold and Canadian John Morra to advance at Ho-Chunk Resort and Casino to advance.

After a straight sets victory against Mason Koch to begin his day, Gorst was able to take advantage of two scratches and a missed shot by Reinhold to cruise to a 4-1 opening set victory. The script completely flipped in the following set, with Reinhold breaking and running the opening rack and winning the next game when Gorst missed a 2 ball in the side pocket. The Russian appeared to be positioned to climb onto the scoreboard after a Reinhold error but missed a 3 ball in the corner pocket in one trip to the table and scratched in the side pocket in the next, handing his opponent a 3-0 lead.

Gorst clawed out two victories thanks to a Reinhold scratch and a safety exchange in the fifth rack. He had a chance to tie the match in the next game but missed a combination shot on the 10 ball. He had another opportunity after Reinhold scratched during a safety battle but missed the 8 ball, allowing the American to close out the set, 4-2, and force a shootout. The two competitors were perfect through the first four innings of the spot shot contest, but when the format moved the cue ball back a diamond and switched to sudden death, Gorst pocketed his first shot while Reinhold missed.

A couple of hours later, Gorst was facing Morra for a chance to reach Saturday’s single-elimination phase. The first set was nearly a carbon copy of his opening round against Reinhold, with the Russian using two break and runs, a victorious safety exchange and a Morra miss to pitch a 4-0 shutout. After he used a risky bank shot on the 1 ball to run out the opening rack of the second set, it appeared Gorst could be making quick work of his Canadian counterpart. That was until Morra used a safety battle along with a break-and-run to take a 2-1 lead.
Gorst took advantage of a scratch on the break by his opponent to tie the score then used a successful table-length jump shot on the 1 ball to run the rack and take a 3-2 lead. As he cleared the balls in the sixth game, Gorst appeared to be closing out the set but drew the cue ball halfway down the table and into the corner pocket while trying to secure position on the 5 ball. Morra made him pay for the mistake, clearing the rack to tie the score and then using a carom shot on the 10 ball to steal the game, win the set, 4-3, and force a shootout.
Although he struggled with ball pocketing in the second set, Gorst was robotic in the spot shot contest, pocketing four straight balls while his opponent missed twice.

The Russian began the tournament with an opening round victory against Eklent Kaci, who also advanced to the final 16 with three consecutive straight sets victories over Justin Martin, Thorsten Hohmann and Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen.

Kaci was virtually perfect in his opening set against Al Shaheen, breaking and running three consecutive times and surviving a short safety exchange to pitch a 4-0 shutout. The Kuwaiti, who was a runner-up in last year’s World Pool Championships, used a break-and-run and a misplayed safety on the 8 ball by Kaci to win the first two matches of the second set. Kaci’s opportunity to mount a comeback arrived in the third rack when his opponent failed to pocket a ball on the break, as the Albanian cleared the table and then won the next two racks to take a 3-2 lead. Al Shaheen had an opportunity to tie the set but wasn’t able to secure position on the 9 ball, then misplayed a safety on the ball which allowed his opponent to close out the rack for a 4-2 win.

Meanwhile, Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Darren Appleton continues to play more and more like the competitor who won the World 9-Ball championship a decade earlier, defeating former U.S. Open 9-Ball champion Mika Immonen in straight sets, 4-1, 4-2. Immonen, who has been appearing at the top of leaderboards more frequently himself in recent months, rallied on the one-loss side by defeating Evan Lunda in straight sets to earn a spot of his own in Saturday’s final day of competition.

Qualifying for the single-elimination phase from the winner’s side are Appleton, Dimitris Loukatos, Filipino Lee Van Corteza, Michigan Open champion Aloysius Yapp, Robbie Capito, South Dakotan Danny Olson, Jesus Atencio and World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis. The remaining eight players on the one-loss side include Kaci, Gorst, Immonen, Denis Grabe, Roland Garcia, Jeremy Seaman, Mickey Krause of Demark and Kuwait’s Bader Alawadhi.

The seeding will be re-drawn and competition will begin Saturday morning.

The Apex Wisconsin Open is the second event of the year for the Predator U.S. Pro Billiard Series and the first ever to be staged at Ho-Chunk Resort, a sprawling facility north of Madison which offers a 302-room hotel as well as spacious gaming and convention space.
Follow the Apex Wisconsin Open draw on the Predator US Pro Billiard Series FargoRate’s dedicated page

The Apex Wisconsin Open is streamed for free all week 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 event.

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Red Hot Gorst Back in Action at Apex Wisconsin Open

There isn’t a professional pool player in the world who had a more fruitful month of January that Russia’s Fedor Gorst.

The 21-year-old from Moscow opened the year with a runner-up finish at the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour’s Turning Stone Classic then won his second straight Arcadia Arizona Open, cruising past Filipino Roland Garcia in straight sets to earn $25,000. Two weeks later, Gorst was in southern Indiana at the Derby City Classic where he earned top honors in the bank pool and one pocket events, on his way to becoming the youngest player in the event’s 20-year history to earn Master of the Table honors.

“When I’m winning, they usually come in a row,” said Gorst, who also won the World 9-Ball Championship in 2019.

Gorst hopes to continue is winning ways this weekend in the Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells at the inaugural Apex Wisconsin Open, the second event of this year’s U.S. Pro Billiard Series starting today at Ho-Chunk Gaming. This 64-competitor, double-elimination 10-ball tournament is bringing some of the game’s best to the upper Midwest, with Gorst, reigning World 10-Ball champion Eklent Kaci and current World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis of Greece scheduled to compete. The opening round of play will be broadcast live on Billiard TV, an online streaming channel available on numerous platforms such as XUMO, Distro and Sports.TV as well as the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.

The Wisconsin Open is Kaci’s first event of the new year after helping Europe retain the Mosconi Cup at London’s Alexandra Palace in December. No one could blame the Albanian for taking an extended period of time off after a fall that not only included Mosconi Cup and World 10-Ball wins but also a convincing victory in Predator’s Austrian Open, easily besting American Tyler Styer in straight sets. With Kaci adding third-place finishes at the World Pool Masters and Matchroom’s Championship League Pool, the Albanian earned a career-best $103,411 in prize money for the year.

Also making the trip for this weekend’s event is Garcia, who has spent the better part of the last 12 months nipping at the heels of some of the biggest names in professional pool. The Filipino, who turned in a top-three performance last month in the 9-ball division at Derby City and a 10th place finish in one-pocket, earned fifth place finishes at last year’s Arcadia Arizona Open and the Diamond Las Vegas Open. As a result, Garcia earned $26,136 in tournament winnings for the year – a career high. Thanks to his performances in Arizona and Derby City, the Filipino is on pace to eclipse that number this year, having already earned $24,545.

The last time that Mario He and Aloysius Yapp were in the United States, the two of them were barnstorming as part of a pack of pool players taking in the sights and competing throughout the country in action matches and tournaments for three months straight. The two of them, who return to action this weekend at the Open, made the most of their travel time, with He taking the title at September’s Michigan Open and Yapp earning top honors at the FargoRate Ohio Open. Yapp also finished third at the World 10-Ball Championship and advanced all the way to the finals of the U.S. Open Pool Championship in Atlantic City before falling to Carlo Biado in the finals.

During the last year, as tournament pool experienced a resurgence as the world started to reopen from the COVID-19 pandemic, Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Mika Immonen decided he wanted a renaissance of his own. Having struggled in recent years to advance deep in big tournaments, the 49-year-old decided to put himself on a new diet, practice and exercise regimen. The work both at the practice table and the gym has been paying off, with Immonen finishing in the top-five at the International Open last year and fourth at Turning Stone. The Hall of Famer, who is back in action in Wisconsin, had a productive week at Derby City as well, finishing third in the Big Foot Challenge and sixth in the 9-ball division.

Other competitors scheduled to compete this weekend include United States Mosconi Cup members Tyler Styer and Chris Reinhold, World Pool Championships runner-up Omar Al Shaheen and BCA Hall of Famer Darren Appleton, who is coming off of a third-place finish in the one pocket division at the Derby City Classic.

Follow the Apex Wisconsin Open draw on the Predator US Pro Billiard Series FargoRate’s dedicated page
The Apex Wisconsin Open is streamed for free all week 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 event.

2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Jayson Shaw vs Omar Al Shaheen