Archive Page

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.

Go to thread

New Spot on Calendar Not the Only Change at Diamond Las Vegas Open

Ozzy Reynolds and the staff at CueSports International didn’t exactly have an abundance of time when planning this year’s Diamond Las Vegas Open. With CSI moving the CueSports International Expo from late July in 2019 to mid-March this year, the planning and scheduling began almost immediately after last year’s edition completed.
 
The good news, according to Reynolds, is that there wasn’t much that needed to be changed for this year’s version of the four-day tournament that is scheduled to get under way today at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. “The good news is that we did a lot right last year,” said Reynolds. “The Schedule was right on target. It was just a matter of fine tuning.”
 
Live coverage begins at 10 a.m. local time with Darren Appleton taking on defending World 10-Ball champion Ko Ping-Chung. Immediately following this contest, reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player Skyler Woodward will face former World 9-Ball champion Carlo Biado, with the match tentatively scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. The afternoon sessions will kick off with Billiards Congress of America Hall of Famer Francisco Bustamante matching up against five-time US Open 9-Ball champion Shane Van Boening. Competition will continue with 2016 World 9-Ball champion Albin Ouschan of Austria meeting the reigning champion, Russia’s Fedor Gorst.
 
Other notable Wednesday matches include former World 10-Ball champion Ko Pin-Yi playing Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski, who finished second at last year’s Diamond Las Vegas Open. Later in the day, former Aramith Masters champion Eklent Kaci of Albania faces Masato Yoshioka of Japan, a final eight finisher in last year’s World 10-Ball Championship.
 
The biggest change which players and fans alike will notice in this year’s version of the Diamond Las Vegas Open is the switch to 10-ball from 9-ball, a move that was made in order to better align the double-elimination tournament with next week’s World 10-Ball Championship as well as eliminate some of the rules and formatting issues that come with 9-ball. “Nine-ball is somewhat problematic on the pro level,” said Reynolds “The change also stays consistent with the Predator World 10-Ball Championship and the other things that we plan to build in the future.”
 
This consistency also allows tournament organizers to use the event as the final qualifier for next week’s 10-ball championship. Initially, the top two finishers in the Diamond Las Vegas Open who weren’t already entered in the championship were guaranteed bids into the event. However, with a handful of regional qualifiers unable to be held worldwide for a variety of reasons – most notably, restrictions in different countries due to the coronavirus precautions – Reynolds said that at least three at-large spots will be up for grabs this week at the Rio.
 
Those vying for the remaining entries as well as a $17,000 top prize will be facing a bracket that features some of professional pool’s best, with 39 of the top 50 players in the World Pool and Billiard Association’s rankings matching up in Las Vegas this week. The only two players ranked in the top 20 not competing in this 128-player, double-elimination event are China’s Jiaqing Wu and Haitao Liu, both of whom were prohibited to travel due to coronavirus monitoring.
 
One player who will be back at the table this week is returning champion Niels Feijen. The former World 9-ball champion used a pair of break and runs coupled with some unforced errors by opponent Fortunski to claw back from a 7-5 deficit and win, 9-8, in the inaugural event last year. The Dutchman, who opens play against Mickey Krause at 7 p.m. local time, posted an undefeated record in last year’s 9-ball formatted, 106-player tournament.
 
Another change made to this year’s event was the addition of a 30-second shot clock on the main arena table. “We felt like that was necessary to pick up the pace of play and not bore the fans,” Reynolds said.
 
The Diamond Las Vegas Open is a presentation of CueSports International and Predator and title-sponsored by Diamond Billiard Products, an industry leader in pocket billiard table manufacturing. Co-sponsors are Omega Billiards and Kamui. The event is being hosted by the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino and will be broadcast live on YouTube by CSI Media, a division of CueSports International. For more information, visit www.world10ball.com.
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international billiards organization which produces amateur and professional events around the world. CSI, which also operates amateur pool leagues, has three divisions: CSI Leagues, CSI Events and CSI Media. CSI Leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI Events produces numerous amateur and professional events and CSI Media division creates live video billiards content. For more information about CSI, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
 

The WPA Players Championship Returns April 7-11 in Las Vegas

The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) and CueSports International (CSI) are excited to announce that the WPA Players Championship will once again be held at Griff’s Billiards in Las Vegas April 7-11, 2020. The event will be staged at Griff’s Billiards just ahead of the US Open 9-Ball Championship, which will be held April 13-18 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. This WPA Category 3 Ranking event, with $53,000 added prize money, will provide players, especially those competing in the US Open 9-Ball Championship, even more opportunity in Las Vegas.
 
WPA President, Ian Anderson said, “The WPA is delighted to hold its own ranking event once again. It helps make a solid month of pool events in Las Vegas which includes the Predator World 10-Ball Championship and US Open 9-Ball Championship. We have also added a couple of great bonus incentives for players who enter the qualifiers.”
 
The event is comprised of two stages – the Stage 1 Qualifiers and Stage 2 Main Event. The Stage 1 Main Event, April 9-11, is limited to 64 players in a single elimination format with a 32-player consolation tournament for those eliminated in the first round. 48 of the 64 players will be chosen by the WPA rankings and WPA member federations. A single $275 entry fee will cover the main event and the consolation tournament. The main event will be a race to seven with the semi-final and final being a race to nine. The consolation tournament will be a race to five with the semi-final and final being a race to seven.
 
The remaining 16 spots in the main event will be filled by two Stage 1 Qualifier tournaments, one per day, held April 7-8. The top eight finishers from each qualifier will receive a paid spot in the Stage 2 Main Event. A single $275 entry fee allows players to compete in both qualifiers and will also gain free entry into the main event for those who qualify. Alternatively, a daily entry of $175 is also an option. Qualifiers will be single elimination, race to five and open to anyone not already entered in the main event.
 
There are two additional bonuses for those who compete in the Stage 1 Qualifiers. Two of the 16 players who qualify from Stage 1 will also win paid entries into the 2020 US Open 9-Ball Championship (April 13-18 in Las Vegas). The highest placing player in Stage 2 from the eight players who qualify on April 7, and the highest placing player in Stage 2 from the eight players who qualified on April 8, who are not already entered in the US Open 9-Ball Championship, will win a paid entry. In addition, two of the 16 players who qualify from Stage 1 will also win paid entries into the 2020 International 9-Ball Open (Oct 25-31 in Norfolk, VA). The highest placing U.S. player in Stage 2 from the eight players who qualify on April 7, and the highest placing U.S. player in Stage 2 from the eight players who qualified on April 8, and did not win the other bonus, will win a paid entry. Neither bonus can be sold or transferred to another player
 
Anyone may register for Stage 1 now at www.playcsipool.com/2020-wpa-players-championship.
 
“We are honored to once again assist the WPA in producing this event,” said CSI CEO, Ozzy Reynolds. ”The inaugural 2019 event was a huge success and we are excited to build upon that and make 2020 even better."
 
​Prize funds are guaranteed by the WPA, and the payouts for the main event and consolation tournament will be as follows.
 
Main Event Payouts
1 – $10,000
2 – $7,000
3/4 – $5,000 ea.
5/8 – $3,000 ea.
9/16 – $1,500 ea.
17/32 – $400 ea.
 
Consolation Tournament Payouts
1 – $1,500
2 – $1,000
3/4 – $500 ea.
5/8 – $250 ea.
9/16 – $150 ea.
 
As noted, the WPA Players Championship does help solidify a great series of events in Las Vegas in the Mark-April timeframe as shown below. Players are highly encouraged to participate in each of these great events.
 
EVENT DATES LOCATION LINKS
Diamond Las Vegas Open March 11-14 Rio Hotel & Casino www.playcsipool.com/2020-lv-open
Predator World 10-Ball Championship March 16-20 Rio Hotel & Casino www.world10ball.com
WPA Players Championship April 7-11 Griff’s Billiards www.playcsipool.com/2020-wpa-players-championship
US Open 9-Ball Championship April 13-18 Mandalay Bay www.matchroompool.com/usopen9ball
 
 
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the international governing body for pocket billiards and is comprised of six member federations representing North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The WPA is the world-recognized body for sanctioning World Championship events. It is also one of the three member organizations of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), representing the billiard disciplines of pool, snooker and carom.  For more information about the WPA, visit www.wpapool.com.
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content. Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.” For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

CueSports International Expo to Launch in March 2020

CueSports International (CSI) is proud to announce the launch of the CueSports International Expo in March 2020. The event, which will feature thousands of league players, hundreds of professional players, more than 300 Diamond pool tables, a slew of exhibitors and more, will be held March 11-21 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
 
The 2020 version of this global pool spectacle will consist of the BCA Pool League World Championships, USA Pool League National Championships, Diamond Las Vegas Open, Predator World 10-Ball Championship, industry exhibitors, meetings, seminars and more. The entire Rio Convention Center, which includes more than 160,000 square feet of floor space, will be taken over by this event.
 
The evolution of this event began in the 1970's with the BCA Pool League National Championships which became one of the largest league events in the world. In the early 2000's, the USA Pool League National Championships and various professional events were added. In 2019, the Diamond Las Vegas Open and Predator World 10-Ball Championship, the only true World Championship on U.S. soil, was also added. In the future, even more events and activities will be included. Therefore, the overall event needed an identity to reflect what it has become – a large international cue sports industry exposition.
 
CueSports International Owner and CEO, Ozzy Reynolds, explains that "the vision is for the CueSports International Expo to become the largest and most anticipated pool 'experience' in the world. Whether you are an amateur league player, professional player, spectator, manufacturer, retailer or service provider, you will never want to miss it. We are not just building an event, we are building an experience."
 
For more information about the CueSports International Expo including how to register for any of the events, how to reserve your room at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino or how to become an exhibitor, visit www.cuesportsinternationalexpo.com.
 
CueSports International is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content. Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.” For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com.
 

CSI Is The Official Sponsor Of Team USA

Team USA to take on Team CSI in warm-up match at Griff’s Billiards
 
Matchroom Multi Sport are delighted to announce that CueSports International (CSI) will be the Official Sponsor of Team USA at the 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup, this November 25-28 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center, Las Vegas.
 
CSI is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content. In addition to supporting Team USA at the partypoker Mosconi Cup, ‘Team CSI’ will take on Team USA in an official warm-up match to be staged at Griff’s Billiards, Las Vegas on Wednesday, November 20.
 
Team CSI will be made up of Karl Boyes, Vilmos Foldes, John Morra, Oscar Dominguez and Alex Pagulayan. The match will feature a mixture of race-to-five singles and doubles matches following the partypoker Mosconi Cup format with the winners to be the first team to win five matches.
 
Team USA vs Team CSI will be shown free on the Matchroom Pool YouTube page, www.youtube.com/MatchroomPool1 from 2pm PT on November 20.
 
Ozzy Reynolds, CEO of CSI, said: “We are honored to support Team USA and partner with our friends at Matchroom to stage the Team USA warm-up match. The Mosconi Cup is an important event in our industry. Each year, pool fans across the globe watch with anticipation, excitement and sometimes agony. It’s an event packed with pressure and intensity and we are very proud to be part of it.”
 
Emily Frazer, COO of Matchroom Multi Sport, said: “We are delighted that CSI will be supporting Team USA as they defend their partypoker Mosconi Cup title in Vegas and we are excited to work with CSI on staging USA’s warm-up match this year.
 
“USA were brilliant in London last year and helped give the fans one of the most memorable Mosconi Cups of all time. They look even stronger this year with each member of the team having had a great year and we know they will be ready to defend their title against Europe. Their warm-up match is an important part of preparations and we are grateful to CSI for their support of this event.”
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup will take place at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas this November 25-28, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
 
Limited tickets remain available now at www.mosconicup.com. Prices start at $48 per day with silver season tickets at $161. Additional gold seating has now been released with day tickets at $70 and a season ticket available for $239.
 
VIP Platinum packages are available priced $225 per day or $950 for all four days and include a breakfast buffet, unlimited drinks, VIP seating in the front three rows and much more.
 
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Saluc is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip and Ultimate Team Gear provide all partypoker Mosconi Cup apparel. CSI is the official sponsor of Team USA.

“It’s Happening!” Predator World 10-ball Championship Kicks Off Today With Full Slate of Competition

In 2014, as Predator Group was celebrating its 20th anniversary as a cue maker and billiards innovator, company president Karim Belhaj was already looking ahead to the manufacturer’s silver anniversary in five years.
 
He wanted to do something bold. Afterall, the company’s motto is “innovate and inspire.” While Belhaj searched for methods to celebrate the milestone and to promote the game of professional pool, efforts to maintain a world 10-ball championship were stuck in the mud. The World Pool and Billiards Association’s world championship had not been staged since 2015 when Ko Pin-Yi defeated Carlo Biado in the Philippines and tentative plans for a tournament in Manilla last year fell through at the last minute.
 
That’s when the light bulb went off for Belhaj – why not grab the reigns and produce their own world major. He reached to Ozzy Reynolds, president of Cue Sports International, and asked what was needed to put on world event while also discussing his ideas for professional pool. The two of them began working on a plan to develop not just an event, but eventually a tour.
 
“I shared with him my vision and Ozzy shared with me his vision for building a bridge between the amateur players, league players and pro events,” Belhaj said. “We found a synergy between CSI and Predator that was just natural.”
 
A partnership was reached and the Predator World 10-ball Championship was announced last December.
 
After five years of dreaming and the last eight months of planning, the event begins this afternoon at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The $100,000 added tournament features 64 players from 24 countries in what could be considered one of the strongest fields of any event in recent years. This five-day competition is part of a three-year agreement between Predator and CSI and will be taking place right along side of amateurs competing at the Billiard Congress of America Pool League Championships. Admission is free and the event will be streamed live for no charge on YouTube.
 
The Predator World 10-ball Championship will be the first world championship held in the United States since 1997 when Johnny Archer won the WPA 9-ball championship in Chicago.  
 
The roster of players is smorgasbord of youth, experience and championships. Of the players set to compete this week, 11 of them either currently hold or previously held a WPA title –  including Ko, Biado, reigning World 9-ball champion Joshua Filler, former 8-ball and 9-ball champion Ralf Souquet, 2014 World 9-ball champion Niels Feijen, three-time World 9-ball champion Earl Strickland and the winner of the inaugural World 10-ball event in 2008, Darren Appleton.
 
Additionally, four of the entrants have already punched their ticket to the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame – Darren Appleton, Strickland, Ralf Souquet and Alex Pagulayan, who will be inducted into the Hall this fall.
 
Nine of the players competing this week hail from the United States – including Shave Van Boening, one of the most decorated 10-ball players in the world. The South Dakotan has won the last three United States Open 10-ball Championships and earned top honors in the 10-ball division of the Derby City Classic in 2014 and 2015. Joining Van Boening are fellow Americans Corey Deuel, Oscar Dominguez, Hunter Lombardo, Danny Olson, Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Earl Strickland, Tyler Styer, Billy Thorpe, and reigning Derby City Classic Master of the Table Skylar Woodward
 
The world championship will be held in two stages. The first stage will involve all players competing in race to 8 matches within a double-elimination format until only 16 competitors remaining. Those remaining players will then compete in a single-elimination format during the second half of the event, with the races now increased to 10 games. Additionally, there will be a re-drawing of the brackets during the final phase – with competitors from the winner’s side of the bracket taking on players from the one-loss side.
 
The Predator World 10-ball Championship is a presentation of Cue Sports International and sponsored by Predator Group, one of the world’s premier cue makers and billiards accessory manufacturers. The event is being hosted by the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and broadcast live on YouTube by CSI Media, a subsidiary of Cue Sports International. For more information, visit www.world10ball.com
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international billiards organization which produces the United States Open 8-ball, 10-ball, one pocket, bank pool and straight pool championships. CSI, which also operates national amateur pool leagues, has three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, the events division produces numerous amateur and professional events and the media department creates live video billiards content. For more information about CSI, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
 
The Predator World 10-ball Championships are sponsored by: Predator Cues, Diamond billiard tables and Kamui cue tips.

Predator Becomes the Official Cue of CueSports International and the BCA Pool League

CueSports International (CSI) is proud to announce a new three-year partnership in which Predator has become the Official Cue of CueSports International and the BCA Pool League.
 
Predator has long been an industry leader in cue design and manufacturing. Since its inception in 1994, Predator's commitment to innovation has created a legacy of high performance, supported by scientific discovery and proven results. Enhancing performance is what inspires them, drives their research, and defines their mission of making the best performing low-deflection shafts, playing cues, and break cues in the world.
 
Ozzy Reynolds, CEO of CueSports International, said "Predator has literally changed the industry. When the original 314 shaft was introduced, it changed everything. Since that time, they have continued to push the envelope with game-changing products such as the BK Break Cue, Uni-Loc, the Z Shaft, and now the Revo. They continue to innovate and by the time others copy and catch up, they have innovated again. We are thrilled to have a partner that shares our innovative drive."
 
For more information about Predator, visit www.predatorcues.com or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.
 
CSI is an international pool league and event leader and is comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League, one of the oldest and largest pool leagues in the world. It also manages the USA Pool League, a newer but fast-growing amateur league completely powered by FargoRate. CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe, including the US Open 10-Ball, US Open 8-Ball, US Open One Pocket, US Open Straight Pool, US Open Bank Pool, and now they have partnered with Predator to produce the Predator World 10-Ball Championship. CSI media creates live streaming and digital content. To date, the CSI YouTube channel boasts over 800 full-length matches and more than 19.1 million people have watched 376.5 million minutes of video content on the channel. Through its progressive vision and strategic alliances such as this one, CSI is “Shaping the future of pool.”
 
We’re thrilled for the opportunity to be the official cue of the BCA Pool League and the BCAPL World Championships,” said Predator Group CEO, Karim Belhaj. “The BCAPL is a top caliber group in the U.S. with players who are passionate about the game and their equipment. This makes Predator a natural fit for the league as we’re passionate about those very same ideals. We’re grateful for this opportunity and excited for the future of this great league.”
 
For more information about CSI or its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Twitter.

JB Cases Becomes the Official Case of CueSports International

CueSports International (CSI) is thrilled to announce a three-year partnership in which JB Cases has become the Official Case of CSI events and leagues, including the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League.
 
JB Cases is an industry leader in custom cue case design and manufacturing. Using their user-friendly website, a person can specify every detail of the design and customization of a case. Everything from the size, color, material, pockets, straps, shoulder pads, rings, engraving and even the zipper and stitching can be completely customized to suit the individual. Additionally, JB Cases offers superior durability and protection for your cues.
 
John Barton, President and CEO of JB Cases, said this about the new partnership: "We are very excited to partner with CSI, the BCA Pool League and the USA Pool League to continue advancing the industry. CSI is establishing itself as a clear leader and we share a common vision for our sport. We can't think of a better partner.”
 
​For more information about JB Cases, visit www.jbcases.com or find them on Facebook and check out the testimonials of many happy customers. You will also find videos in which JB Cases attempts to destroy cases to prove the durability.
 
CSI is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content. Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.”
 
Ozzy Reynolds, CEO of CueSports International, said "We are happy to partner with a company that puts quality first and has a vision beyond selling product. Soon after we finalized our agreement, JB Cases asked to visit CSI headquarters to give our entire staff a presentation on how JB Cases are made and what the company stands for. We were first impressed that they cared enough to do such a thing but then we were blown away by their product. JB Cases is the real deal.”
 
For more information about CSI or its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

The WPA and CSI to Produce the 2019 WPA Players Championship in Las Vegas

The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) and CueSports International (CSI) are excited to announce a collaboration to produce the 2019 WPA Players Championship.  The event will be staged at Griff’s Billiards in Las Vegas, April 16-19, ahead of the US Open 9-Ball Championship, which will be held April 21-26 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.  This WPA Category 3 Ranking event, with $50,000 added prize money, will provide players, especially those competing in the US Open 9-Ball Championship, even more opportunity in Las Vegas.
 
WPA President, Ian Anderson said, “The WPA is delighted to be staging its own ranking event in the legendary hub of pool, Las Vegas.  Our goal is for this event to be the first of more to follow.”
 
The event will be limited to 64 players in a single elimination format with a 32-player consolation event for those eliminated in the first round.  The main event will be a race to seven with the semi-final and final being a race to nine.  The consolation event will be a race to five with the semi-final and final being a race to seven.  48 of the 64 players in the main event will be chosen by the WPA rankings and WPA member federations.  A single $250 entry fee will cover the main event and the consolation tournament.
 
The remaining 16 spots will be filled by four qualifier tournaments, one per day, held at Griff’s Billiards April 12-15.  The top four finishers from each qualifier will receive a paid spot in the main event.  A single *$250 qualifier entry fee allows players to compete in all four qualifiers and will also gain free entry into the main event for those who qualify.  Qualifiers will be single elimination, race to five and open to anyone not already entered in the main event.  The field is limited to 96 players each day on a first come basis.  Details will be available soon on how and where to enter.
(*a daily entry of $100 is an option)
 
“We are honored to assist the WPA in producing this event,” said CSI CEO, Ozzy Reynolds.  “Professional pool is experiencing a resurgence in the U.S. and we are glad to be part of it.  This is great for the players and the entire industry."
 
​Prize funds are guaranteed by the WPA, and the payouts for the main event and consolation tournament will be as follows.
 
WPA Players Championship Payouts
1 – $10,000
2 – $7,000
3/4 – $5,000 ea.
5/8 – $3,000 ea.
9/16 – $1,500 ea.
17/32 – $400 ea.
 
Consolation Tournament Payouts
1 – $1,500
2 – $1,000
3/4 – $500 ea.
5/8 – $250 ea.
9/16 – $150 ea.
 
Mark Griffin, owner of Griff’s Billiards, said, “We are thrilled that the WPA chose Griff’s as the host location for this event and we are excited to be part of the continued growth of professional pool.”
 
All other details will be released in the coming weeks at https://wpapool.com/wpa-players-championship/.
 
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the international governing body for pocket billiards and is comprised of six member federations representing North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.  The WPA is the world-recognized body for sanctioning World Championship events.  It is also one of the three member organizations of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), representing the billiard disciplines of pool, snooker and carom.  For more information about the WPA, visit www.wpapool.com.
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media.  CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content.  Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.”  For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Predator and CueSports International Bring the World 10-Ball Championship to the U.S.

 

Predator Group and CueSports International (CSI) are excited to announce a partnership that will bring the World 10-Ball Championship to the United States for at least the next three years.  The event will be staged at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas during the BCA Pool League World Championships and USA Pool League National Championships.  The 2019 event will be held July 22-26.  The 2020 and 2021 dates will move to March with the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League events.
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA)-sanctioned Category 1 World Championship, with $100,000 added prize money, will be the first ever World 10-Ball Championship in the United States.  This is a great push for cue sports as no WPA-sanctioned World Championship in 8-ball, 9-ball or 10-ball has occurred in the United States since 1997, when Johnny Archer won the World 9-Ball Championship in Chicago.
“We’re excited to give back to the sport,” said Predator CEO Karim Belhaj. “Cue sports in the United States has lacked WPA events for quite some time and teaming up with CSI allows us to bring fans and top pros together.”
This prestigious event will be played on 9-ft pool tables in the Pavilion Ballroom of the Rio Convention Center and will be free for all spectators, including participants of the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League events.  Existing leagues not already sanctioned by the BCA Pool League are encouraged to do so immediately so all members can participate in the BCA Pool League World Championships and watch this incredible event live.  To join, simply visit www.playbca.com or call 866-USA-POOL.
“We are thrilled to partner with Predator on this project,” said CSI CEO, Ozzy Reynolds.  “CSI and Predator share the same passion and vision for pool, so this is a natural partnership.  We are both committed to elevating the entire sport and this will be a great step toward that goal.”
There will also be a preceding event, open to anyone, held July 17-20 on 9-ft pool tables.  All other details of the 2019 World 10-Ball Championship and the preceding event will be released in the coming weeks at www.world10ball.com.
Predator Cues, an international billiards industry leader, produces high-performance pool cues, break cues and accessories by developing revolutionary technology that enhances performance for billiard players worldwide.  A third of WPA top-twenty professionals trust their games to Predator®, the choice of champions.  Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., USA, Predator Cues is a division of Predator Group, whose core brands also include Poison Billiards and Uni-Loc®.  For more information regarding Predator Group’s products, visit www.predatorgroup.com.  For information on Predator Cues, visit www.predatorcues.com, or look for Predator Cues on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
CSI is an international pool league and event leader, and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media.  CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content.  Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.”  For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the international governing body for pocket billiards and is comprised of six member federations representing North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.  The WPA is the world-recognized body for sanctioning World Championship events.  It is also one of the three member organizations of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), representing the billiard disciplines of pool, snooker and carom.  For more information about the WPA, visit www.wpapool.com.