Archive Page

Hollingsworth chalks up sixth win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Landon Hollingsworth

Still just practicing.

As this appears on the page, Junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth is either on his way or at Pat Fleming’s International Open in Norfolk, VA to compete in the 18 & Under Boys’ championship event of the 2022 Junior International Championship (JIC) series. As a warm-up to the event this past weekend (Sat., Oct. 29), he travelled to Columbia, SC to compete in a stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour at Overtime Billiards. He went undefeated through the $500-added event that drew 33 entrants and marked his sixth victory on the tour since 2020. It’s his second tour victory of this year (he won the last stop on the tour a month ago), to go along with finishing first in the JIC’s ProAm Division (which earned him a paid entry to Puerto Rico’s 10-Ball Open later this month), the Dynaspheres Cup’s Junior 9-Ball event (20 & Under) and a third place finish in Shane Van Boening’s Junior Open, held in conjunction with Matchroom Sport’s US Open last month.

The clearest sign of his progress since he first came on the scene is not just the visible improvement of his skills. On the Q City 9-Ball Tour (and elsewhere), his ranking, based on the number of games he has to win to complete a match has steadily increased.

“Four years ago,” noted Q City 9-Ball Tour director Herman Parker, “he came into our events as a ‘5.’ He’s a ‘10’ now.”

Hollingsworth and Hunter White (himself, a recently-former junior competitor, also a ‘10’ now) battled twice for this event title; hot seat and finals. Hollingsworth won them both.

They advanced through the field from opposite ends of the bracket with Hollingsworth facing Jason Blackwell in one winners’ side semifinal and White squaring off against Jesse Draper in the other. Hollingsworth fought a double hill battle before advancing to the hot seat match against Jason Blackwell. Hunter gave up only a single rack to Draper. Hollingsworth then gave White a taste of his own ‘winners’ side semifinal’ medicine, allowing him only a single rack to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, in the first money round, Blackwell picked up Calvin Lee, who’d recently defeated Will Hammer and Josh Miller, both 6-4, which, versus Miller, was double hill. Draper drew Phil Stalls, who’d eliminated Stevie McClinton and Matt Lucas, both 6-3.

Draper advanced with a double hill win over Stalls. Blackwell did not, falling to Lee 6-3. Lee then defeated Draper 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

Lee almost made the semifinals ‘double hill’ interesting, but fell a game short, as Hunter White won 10-4 (Lee racing to 6). The likelihood of White falling to Hollingsworth a second time with only a single rack to show for it was slim. As had happened in the semifinals, the final match came within a game of double hill. Hollingsworth, though, completing what could only be described as good practice for this coming week on his schedule, completed his undefeated run through the field with a 10-8 victory for his sixth Q City 9-Ball Tour win.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Overtime Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC), BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Nov. 5-6) will be hosted by Janet Atwell’s Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

Go to thread

Switzerland downs Poland in 17th American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships

Dimitri Jungo

Jungo wins roller coast final vs. Zielinski/Tkach defeats Corr in Women’s event.

You had to be there.

As it’s been for a number of years, the annual American Straight Pool Championships, held this past week (Oct. 24-29) at Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA were not just about who beat who, by how much. Or the specifics of about how the male and female fields whittled down from 56 men and 15 women to Switzerland’s Dimitri Jungo, who won the Men’s event and Russia’s Kristina Tkach, who won the Women’s event; each, right after it was over, holding their 17th annual traditional clock and collecting their envelopes with $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

It was, too, about the gathering of world-class competitors, kicking back in the highly-congenial atmosphere of this country’s largest pool room, regaling each other with stories of past exploits, current battles in their individual matches and where they’re headed next. It’s a pool player knocked out of the competition early, preparing for this week’s International Open, about 20 miles away, by practicing one type of shot (a corner-to-corner, stop shot) for hours. Or a female competitor describing the dancing skills of two female friends in a long-ago moment after an event that had an entire table of people in stitches. It’s about the photos of all the US Open Champions crowned in the room, the commendations from 50+ years of pool players, and of course, scores aside, the quality of play.

“The quality of play this year was just unbelievable,” founder and Chairman of the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships, Peter Burrows told a packed arena at the conclusion of the Men’s event. “It’s why we come here every year.”

“(Jungo and Zeilinski) had a number of exquisite safety battles tonight that were really remarkable,” he added of the final match.

In his first time competing in these straight pool championships, Jungo revealed that it was only the second time that he had played the game competitively all year. He recalled being here in the US in 2001; a year he referenced as ‘9-11.’

“And now,” he said, shortly after claiming the Men’s title, “here I am, 18 years later.”

Though hesitant to single out one particular discipline as his ‘favorite,’ he admitted to an affection for straight pool that has lasted for a long time. He admits to playing it a lot more by himself than in competition.

“I like it,” he said. “When I play it alone, I can challenge myself.”

In the more-than-just-winning-or-losing department, he was impressed with the milieu associated with Q Master Billiards. He admitted to being enchanted by it and used a somewhat dated expression to describe it.

“I like the ‘groove’ here,” he said. “It’s like. . . pool, where it’s born. I feel like it’s home. The way they treat the people here is very special.”

“I was very comfortable here,” he added of the week he’d spent at the tables, moments after that week was over, “and I’m feeling good.”

As well he might have, having just won a tournament that at its start a week ago, had other competitors ‘pegged’ for the win; among the others – Jayson Shaw, Fedor Gorst, the surging-in-Europe Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, final European member of the 2022 Mosconi Cup Team, David Alcaide, Josh Filler and Filipino Lee Van Corteza, who would finish the Round Robin Phase of the event with the highest point differential (504) of the eight groups of seven players each. Jungo would finish third overall in that department at 460, behind Van Corteza and Josh Filler (498).

Jungo finished #1 in his seven-man group, downing Jasmin Ouschan, Corey Deuel, Bob Madenjian, Ed Culhane and countryman Michael Schneider (who would later introduce himself as the “other one from Switzerland.”) Jungo’s loss came at the stick of Darren Appleton.

Poland’s Wictor Zielinski, in the meantime, was #1 in his group, as well, downing his own list of top-ranked pros – Thorsten Hohmann, Ralf Souquet, Denis Grabe, Bart Czapla and the USA’s Pascal Dufresne, who, when he done competing, became a statistician for the event, seated behind a computer, using a 14:Straight Pool program he had written to input analytic data about each match he was able to witness. Zielinski’s loss in the Round Robin phase was to Finland’s Jani Uski.

All four of the event’s semifinalists – Jungo, Zielinski, Mario He and Mieszko Fortunski – were #1 in their Round Robin groups. They, along with the other four top competitors to come out of the Round Robin phase – Josh Filler, John Morra, Francisco Candela and Lee Van Corteza were awarded opening round byes as second- and third-place competitors (16 of them) squared off in the opening round of the single elimination phase of the event, racing to 150. Gone at the conclusion of that opening round were (among others) Jayson Shaw, Darren Appleton and Albin Ouschan. In the final 16 round, Lee Van Corteza, Ralf Souquet, Sanchez-Ruiz (downed by Zielinski), The Lion (Alex Pagulayan) and Carlo Biado (defeated by Jungo) were gone as well.

The quarterfinal matches saw Jungo eliminate Morra, Mario He defeat Lebanon’s Bader Alawadhi, Mieszko Fortunski get by David Alcaide in the closest match of the tournament 150-148, and Zielinski wave goodbye to Joshua Filler (not literally) in the most lopsided match of the single elimination phase, 150-38.

The racing-to-175 semifinals, which guaranteed that one of the finalists would be from Poland, saw Zielinski down Fortunski 175-55. Jungo joined him after defeating Austria’s Mario He 175-85.

As noted by Burrows earlier, the final match was a bit of a roller coaster ride. If you weren’t aware that fouls can send scores moving in the opposite direction, you might have been surprised if you stepped away when the score was tied at 55-55 and returned to find out it had backed up to 54-53 in favor of Jungo.

“(Zielinski) got out to a lead early,” noted Jungo. “but I made it to 67 (ahead by 14), and then, we had those safety battles in the middle; four or five of them.”

Zielinski kept fighting back and took the lead back at the 131-130 stage of the game, at which point, the scores went backwards again, to 129-128. Jungo re-established the lead and expanded it to 147-136. With 28 balls to go, he got them all. At 162-136, right after his break had left 14 on the table, with only 13 to go, Jungo ran the table to claim the title.

Kristina Tkach

After protracted absence since 2019, Ireland’s Karen Corr makes it to Women’s final

Ireland’s Karen Corr has been making her presence known on the women’s circuit since her somewhat unofficial return from an unofficial absence since 2019. She’d appeared on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour this year, finished 3rd at the WPBA’s Michigan Open (tied with Allison Fisher) and made an appearance at last week’s Sledgehammer Open, the 1st memorial tournament for Helena Thornfeldt. She ‘chose’ to record her highest return-finish in Virginia Beach at an event not without its favored competitors. Some were looking ahead almost from the start to a rematch between Tkach and the event’s defending champion, Kelly Fisher, who had matched up twice against each other at the Sledgehammer Open; Tkach taking the first in a winners’ side semifinal and Kelly, the second in the final.

Not so fast. There were three round robin ‘flights’ with five players each, from which Corr, Tkach and Fisher emerged undefeated. Joining them in an opening, single-elimination round were Bethany Sykes (vs. Tkach), Dawn Hopkins (vs. Corr), Billie Billing (vs. Fisher) and Bean Hung, squaring off against Pia Filler. Racing to 80, Tkach allowed Sykes one ball, Hung gave up 23 to Filler, Fisher gave Billing 42, while Corr and Hopkins played the closest match; won by Corr 80-50.

The potential Fisher/Tkach final was still on, but not for long. In the semifinals, Tkach downed Hung 100-49, as Corr was likely surprising Kelly Fisher with a 100-36 win that put her in her first (recorded) final in two years.

Tkach has won the European straight pool championships twice, though like many others, it’s not a discipline that she gets to play that often.

“When I was very young, about 16 or 17, I played a full-year of straight pool every day,” she said, noting that her coach at the time was trying to get her to that oft-elusive first run of 100 balls, “but I was at a different level back then, too.”

“It is a game that you play maybe once a year,” she added, “but once you learn how to play it, it’s like riding a bicycle. Once you understand it, it’s really just about making balls.”

She got on the bike, made the balls and claimed the second American Women’s 14.1 Straight Pool Championship Title.

Many of the competitors who were in Virginia Beach over the past week have already moved on to Norfolk, VA, about 20 miles west of Q Master Billiards, to compete in Pat Fleming’s International Open, which began on Friday, Oct. 28 with a $10,000-added One Pocket tournament (to which many knocked out of the straight pool at Q Master Billiards migrated). The One Pocket will conclude today (Sunday, Oct. 30) and give way to the $50,000-added 9-Ball Tournament set to begin tomorrow (Monday, Oct. 31), which should make for an interesting Halloween night. Later in the week, the Junior International Championships will conclude their 2022 season with championship tournaments for the 18 & Under Boys and Girls divisions of the series.

And a final unofficial and unquoted word from Peter Burrows about the 18th Annual American 14.1 Straight Pool Tournament next year, which he has promised (with a little help from his friends) will be bigger and better with more players and more money.

“You have to be there!”

Go to thread

Getting in practice, Hollingsworth goes undefeated on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Landon Hollingsworth

It’s shaping up as a pretty busy month for junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth. As October moves on and rolls into November, he’ll compete in the Shane Van Boening Junior Open in Atlantic City (Oct.13-15), in the Junior International Championships (JIC) 18 & Under Boys Championship (Nov. 3-5) as part of Pat Fleming’s International Open in Norfolk, VA and a little later in the month, he’ll be competing in Puerto Rico’s 10-Ball Open, the entry to which he earned by being one of the top two competitors in the final rankings of the Junior International Championships’ ProAm division. On his way, sort of, to the first of these events, Landon Hollingsworth stopped off to get a little practice on the regional tour circuit. This past weekend (Oct. 8-9), he went undefeated on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, whose $1,000-added event drew 41 entrants to Action Billiards in Inman, SC.

It’s been kind of an up and down year for Hollingsworth, who finished among the top five in 10 events, including victories in the season-opening ProAm division of the JIC, and the Dynaspheres Cup Junior 9-Ball (20 & Under). Though he’s cashed now in four events on the Q City 9-Ball Tour this year, this past weekend marked his first 2022 win.

Hollingsworth and Matt Lucas battled twice for this most recent title. They advanced on their different ends of the bracket to arrive at the winners’ side semifinals, in which Hollingsworth faced Mike Parkins and Lucas squared off against Marc Rochester.

Hollingworth defeated Parkins 9-3, while Lucas was busy sending Rochester west 6-4. Hollingsworth made his intent clear with a shutout over Lucas in the hot seat match.

On the loss side, Parkins picked up Mani Suri, who’d recently survived a double hill battle against Steven Ellis and eliminated Brandon Brock 7-2. Rochester drew Steve Loftis, who, in his previous 11 games, racing to 5, had given up only a single rack; one to Chris Cody and none at all to Junior Gabriel.

In the first money round, in what must have seemed like a sudden deluge of ‘racks against,’ Loftis downed Marc Rochester, allowing him three racks. Parkins, in the meantime, gave up that many as well, downing Suri 6-3.

Loftis took the quarterfinals that followed, chalking up his five, while allowing Parkins (racing to 6) to chalk up five, as well. The ‘racks against’ caught up to him in the semifinals. Matt Lucas, looking for a rematch against Hollingsworth, earned it with a 6-2 victory over Loftis.

Hollingsworth, perhaps thinking about some of the expenses ahead of him in this very busy month, closed the door. He wasn’t able to shut Lucas out this time around, but Hollingsworth gave up only three racks in the final match and claimed his first 2022 Q City 9-Ball Title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Action Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC), BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division.

The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will take off this week and be back in action the following weekend. It will return to Action Billiards, in Inman, SC on the weekend of Oct. 22-23 for a $750-added Scotch Doubles event.

Go to thread

Yapp backs up Michigan Open win with undefeated run at Sandcastle Open

Jung-Lin Chang, Ed Liddawi and Aloysius Yapp

It’s that time of year. When the leaves start to turn in northern parts of the USA, you can bet pool players from all over the world are starting to gather at a series of pool tournaments leading up to Matchroom Sports US Open, now underway (Oct. 10) at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, or Pat Fleming’s International Open later in the month. It’s a combination of things, really. It’s not just that savvy promoters and independent event folk position themselves to take advantage of the incoming players, it’s also about these players positioning themselves to compete in the US Open and/or International Open and in some cases, to elevate their Matchroom Sports 9-Ball ranking for a shot to be on either the European or USA Mosconi Cup Teams. 

Latest in the line of events that could impact the choices made by the Mosconi Cup captains Jeremy Jones (US) and Alex Ley (Europe), was this past (early) weekend’s (Oct. 6-8) Sandcastle 9-Ball Open in Edison, NJ, where the aforementioned players from all over the world, 64 of them, came together to compete. With Shane Van Boening and Joshua Filler having secured the first spots on Team USA and Europe, respectively, the most likely candidates for the two remaining automatic picks for team Europe were Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz and Austria’s Albin Ouschan. With Ouschan not in attendance in New Jersey, Francisco, who did compete, moved ahead of him (for the moment) to secure the second spot on the list. There is a possibility that dependent on how Ouschan and Sanchez-Ruiz finish in the US Open that they could switch positions (3rd/4th), but they’d still be in the last two spots for the automatic Team Europe pick.

One of the two potential picks for Team USA (aside from Van Boening) did compete in the Sandcastle Open (Sky Woodward), while the other (Oscar Dominguez) did not. Given their relative positions on the WPBA ranking list, they are both poised to be the last two automatic picks for the team. All of the above players are currently in Atlantic City and though the three  automatic picks are fairly secure for both teams, the two remaining spots (to be made by the team captains) are still up for grabs and many of the potential candidates are hoping to impress one or the other captains with their performance(s) at the US Open.

One of the names not in contention for either Mosconi Cup team went undefeated at the Sandcastle Open; Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp. In the finals, Yapp defeated Chinese Tapei’s Chang Jung-Lin, who had eliminated the Philippines’ Lee Van Corteza in the semifinals. They, too, have joined the 128-entrant field in Atlantic City this week.

Yapp’s path to the winners’ circle began with a double hill battle against Chinese Tapei’s Ko Ping-Han. Once he successfully navigated that potential ‘side track,’ Yapp downed two straight Americans, Billy Thorpe (7-2) and Mhet Vergara (7-3), to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Austria’s Mario He, who, just below Ouschan and Sanchez-Ruiz on the WPA ranking list, was (and is) looking to make an impression on Team Europe’s captain and perhaps earn himself a pick for the team. 

Lee Van Corteza, in the meantime, had something of an opposite problem on his trip to the hot seat match. He got by Aidan Wagner 7-4, Naoyuki Oi 7-5, shut out Liu Ri Teng and defeated Carlo Biado 7-1 to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Moritz Neuhausen, who put up a double hill fight that did eventually advance Corteza to the hot seat match. Yapp joined him after defeating Jung-Lin 7-5, and then claimed the hot seat over Van Corteza by the same score.

Jung-Lin moved over and picked up countryman Wu Kun Lin, who’d eliminated Sanchez-Ruiz 7-3 and in a double hill match, Biado, to reach him. Newhausen drew Konrad Juszczyszyn, who was working on a seven-match, loss-side run that was about to end. He’d recently defeated Ronald Regli 7-5 and in another double hill match, Sky Woodward.

Jung-Lin downed Kun Lin 7-4 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Neuhausen, who’d stopped Juszczyszyn’s streak 7-5. Jung-Lin ended Neuhausen’s single-match loss-side streak 7-4 in those quarterfinals and completed his single-loss work with a 7-3 victory over Van Corteza in the semifinals.

The rematch of the winners’ side semifinal – Yapp versus Jung-Lin  – lived up to expectations. The final went double hill before Yapp prevailed, adding to his already-best (recorded) earnings year to date. The two could meet again at the ongoing US Open, as could any number of possible combinations between those who signed on to both events. The Open is the last of Matchroom Sports’ ranking events, so the two automatic picks for the Mosconi Cup will be determined in the days ahead.

Go to thread

Hollingsworth and Mast win respective 18U boys and girls division at JIC regular season finale

Landon Hollingsworth

Hollingsworth adds ProAm title, Mast adds 13U final event and 13U Championship

It was quite a weekend for two of the top names in the pool world of junior competition. There were seven total events at the last regular season stop (#8) on the Junior International Championship (JIC) series, held last weekend (Sept. 23-25) at Wolf’s Den in Roanoke, VA. Between them, Landon Hollingsworth and Sofia Mast won five of them; Hollingsworth, chalking up the win in the 18U Boys and ProAm divisions, as Mast (just a little busier) won both the 18U & 13U Girls titles and then went on to win the 13U Championship event, which was run concurrently with that division’s final regular season competition. Mast did not compete in the other division (ProAm) for which she was eligible, but given the strength of her performance in the three for which she was eligible, there was idle speculation that she might have taken that title as well.

Along the way, in the finals of her three events, Mast faced and defeated two members of the Tate family (Bethany in the 18U Girls division and her sister, Noelle in the 13U Girls division) and her perennial rival in both female divisions, Skylar Hess, in the 13U Girls championship. Bethany Tate (17th) and Hess (13th) were among the seven young women who competed in the ProAm event, along with Savanna Wolford, Courtney Hairfield (13th), Kennedy Meyman (17th), Skylynn Elliot (17th) and Precilia Kinsley (17th).

The ProAm event, the last of the 2022 JIC season, drew the weekend’s largest field (27) and seemed destined to feature a battle or two between the top two competitors in the division’s standings; Joey Tate and Landon Hollingsworth, who, between them, had won six of the division’s eight events, including the last one, won by Hollingsworth. But a funny thing happened on the way to the event finals. Tate was sent to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal battle versus Brent Worth (7-5) and lost his first match on that side of the bracket to Grayson Vaughan 7-5.

Hollingsworth’s undefeated path to the hot seat and finals was not an easy one. It started out well, with 7-1 victories over two of the seven females in the field, Bethany Tate and Skylynn Elliott. It moved on from there to successive double-hill battles versus Jayce Little in a winners’ side quarterfinal and Nathan Childress in a winners’ side semifinal, which put Hollingsworth into the hot seat match. Jas Makhani in the meantime, who’d sent Brent Worth to the loss side immediately after Worth had sent Joey Tate over, joined Hollingsworth in the hot seat match. Hollingsworth, apparently tired of having to play two successive double hill matches, gave up only a single rack to Makhani and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Logan Whitaker, who’d lost his opening round match to Payne McBride, embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him to the finals against Hollingsworth. He’d recently defeated Cameron Hollingsworth (Landon’s brother), double hill and Grayson Vaughan 7-3 to draw Nathan Childress. Worth drew Hayden Ernst (eventual winner of the 13U Boys division tournament), who’d defeated McBride, double hill, and Cole Lewis 7-5 to reach him.

Worth and Whitaker advanced to the quarterfinals, won by Whitaker 7-1, who advanced to down Makhani in the semifinals 7-5.  

Whitaker, appearing in only his third ProAm event of the JIC series (previously 5th and 7th) gave Hollingsworth a run for his money in the finals. He came within a game of forcing a deciding 17th game. Hollingsworth claimed the ProAm’s last 2022 JIC title 9-7. He and Joey Tate, who finished 2nd and 1st, respectively, in the final ProAm standings were awarded entry fees to a Pro event of their choice. Tate will attend next month’s International Open in Norfolk, VA, while Hollingsworth opted to attend the Puerto Rico Open 10-Ball event in mid-November.

The expected matchup of the two top competitors in the 18U Boys division – Hollingsworth and Tate – happened in that division’s 23-entrant regular season finale, twice. Hollingsworth’s path to the finals took an unexpected turn when he lost his opening match in a double hill fight against Niko Konkel, who’d entered the tournament outside of the division’s top ten in the standings and finished in 5th place. It took Tate five matches to get into the hot seat. It took Hollingsworth eight loss-side matches to reach him in the finals.

Joey Tate got by Cole Lewis, Jas Makhani and Payne McBride to get into the hot seat match against Logan Whitaker. Runner-up in the ProAm event, which finished some three hours after the 18U tournament, Whitaker would figure prominently in this event, as well. Right after Konkel had sent Hollingsworth to the loss side, Whitaker sent him over and advanced through D’Angelo Spain and Brent Worth to reach the hot seat match against Tate. Tate claimed the hot seat 7-2, sending Whitaker to a semifinal matchup against Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth’s loss-side run faced its most serious challenge when Payne McBride, in his first loss-side match, forced a double-hill deciding match. Hollingsworth advanced to successfully navigate his rematch against Konkel in the quarterfinals 7-2 and then dropped Whitaker into third place 7-3 in the semifinals.

Anticipation of the final was probably stronger than the match itself. Hollingsworth downed Tate 9-4 to claim the last regular season event for the 18U Boys division. They’ll both be moving onto the 18U Boys Championship in Norfolk, VA at the end of the month.

Sofia Mast

Mast played in all three of the events she won, simultaneously

The “Pink Dagger,” Sofia Mast, struck three times on the weekend, winning the 13U Girls Championship at 8 p.m. on Saturday night, the 13U Girls regular season finale at 1 p.m. on Sunday and the 18U Girls title at 4 p.m. on Sunday. She went undefeated in all three, downing Skylar Hess in the finals of the first, Noelle Tate in the finals of the second and Noelle’s sister Bethany in the finals of the third.

In what proved to be her final title-claiming event, Mast faced and successfully navigated two double hill challenges, from Precilia Kinsley in the second round and Bethany Tate in the battle for the hot seat. Until she reached the hot seat match, Tate hadn’t faced an opponent who’d chalked up more than two racks against her, including her sister, Noelle, who chalked up that many in their winners’ side semifinal matchup.

Mast’s victory in the hot seat match sent Tate to the semifinals, where she ran into Courtney Hairfield, who chalked up two against her, as well. In the finals, when Mast chalked up her second rack, on her way to a title-claiming 9-5 victory, she had already won more games against Tate than all of Tate’s opponents combined.

As it happened, while Mast drew a lot of the weekend’s spotlight, it was Bethany Tate who ended up at the top of the 18U Girls division standings, significantly ahead of Mast in 2nd place. Tate won four of the division’s eight events, to Mast’s three; all in a row, including one in which she defeated Mast in the finals and two in which Mast finished in the tie for 5th place. Precilia Kinsley, Skylar Hess and Kennedy Meyman rounded out the division’s top five. Meyman won the only event that Tate and Mast, both of them competing, did not; the first, in January. They’ll all move on to Norfolk, where they’ll compete in the 18U Girls Championship, in the latter days of Pat Fleming’s 9-day International Open between October 28- November 5.

(Editor’s Note: Details on the two (each) 13U Girls and 13U Boys events, can be found elsewhere in our News section.) 

Go to thread

Hollingsworth, Mast win five of seven at final 2022 JIC regular season and championship events

Sofia Mast

Ernst and Vondereau complete winners list on final regular season weekend

It was, for all five divisions of the Junior International Championships (JIC), sponsored by Viking Cues, the last stop of the 2022 regular season, which had begun in January and will conclude in early November for two of the five divisions. The 18U girls and boys divisions will compete in respective championship events as part of Pat Fleming’s International Open, the two tournaments scheduled towards the end (Nov. 3-5) of the week-long Open in Norfolk, VA.

This past weekend (Sept. 23-25), the ProAm division played its final event. The 13U boys and girls division did as well, but as had been done in the inaugural season, this entailed two separate events during the single weekend; the final event of the season and the division championships.

Competitors in the ProAm division were competing for the top two spots in the division standings at the end of the season, occupied at the end of the weekend by Joey Tate and Landon Hollingsworth. Hollingsworth won the final ProAm event of the season and Tate finished in the tie for 9th place. Tate, though, had won three of the division’s eight stops and been runner-up three times to finish at the top of the standings. Hollingsworth had won three, as well, but had only two runner-up finishes and three events at which he’d finished third or lower. The prize for the top two spots in the standings was an entry fee to a Pro event of the players’ choice. Tate will compete in the International Open at the end of the month and Hollingsworth opted for entry into the Puerto Rico 10-Ball Open in mid-November.   

We’ll be reporting separately on the JIC’s last regular season events in the two 18U divisions and the final event of the ProAm division (look for that report elsewhere in our News section). For now, though, we will focus our attention on the four events that comprised the official end of the 13U girls and boys divisions. The two events in each division ran concurrently and in fact, the championship was over before the regular season came to an official end on Sunday afternoon. 

The two younger divisions may be comprised of small human beings, but they sport some of the biggest hearts and are among the JIC’s most fierce competitors. Many of them compete in JIC (and regional) events outside of their age range and compete against the opposite sex in the JIC’s ProAm division. 

Three of the younger division’s fiercest female competitors – Sofia Mast, Skylar Hess and Noelle Tate – would bring the last event of the 13U girls division to a three-way, three-match conclusion that would see them finish 1, 2 & 3 in both the final event and the standings. Though Mast won five of the eight regular events, including the final one this past weekend, she had not competed in one of them. Hess won three, including the one in which Mast did not compete, chalked up four runner-up finishes to Mast’s one and just did stay atop of the division standings with a third-place finish ahead of Mast and Noelle Tate in the last regular season event.

That last event, which drew 10 entrants got underway just after noon on Friday, Sept. 23 and by 5:30, the hot seat opponents had been determined. Mast had met and defeated Hess in a winners’ side semifinal, while Noelle Tate had sent Franki Spain to the loss side to join Mast in the hot seat match, scheduled for Saturday morning. Hess moved to the loss side and moving from Friday night to Saturday morning, shut out both Gia Fiore and in the quarterfinals, Franki Spain. On Saturday morning, as Hess was shutting out Franki Spain, Mast was battling and eventually defeating Tate to claim the hot seat. Hess and Tate each wanted a shot at Mast in the hot seat and a predictable double-hill, semifinal fight got underway to see which of them it would be. Tate prevailed. Mast claimed the event title with a second victory over Tate, 9-5.

The 13U Girls Championship, with its eight entrants, got underway on Saturday morning, while the division’s top three were still battling in the season’s last stop. Mast and Hess, from opposite ends of the bracket, came together in the only two places possible, hot seat and finals. Noelle Tate had the misfortune of drawing Mast in the opening round of play and was sent to the loss side immediately 7-3. Mast and Hess advanced, sending Taylor Perkins and Arianna Houston to the loss side, respectively, by the same 7-2 score and squared off for their first meeting, battling for the hot seat. Mast gave up a single rack to claim it.

On the loss side, Tate had survived a double hill match versus Houston, only to be stopped by Perkins in the quarterfinals 7-4. Perkins battled Hess in the semifinals to a game away from double hill before Hess edged ahead to earn yet another shot at Mast. Mast claimed the division’s championship with a 9-6 victory over Hess in the finals.

Ernst wins second 13U title, as Vonderau, thanks to Makhani, loses his first

Like the girls event, the 13U Boys division’s final regular season event and the division Championships happened more or less simultaneously. Entering the regular season final with its 13 entrants, Eddie Vondereau had yet to lose any of the four events in which he had competed. Jas Makhani had not won any of the events in which he had competed, but having competed in all but two of the eight, and emerging as the runner-up in this latest one, he amassed enough standings points to finish second in the standings. It was Hayden Ernst, however, who’d won the event once before, in March, who emerged from the field to send Vondereau to the loss side in a winners’ side semifinal and then down Makhani in the finals to claim his second title. Ernst finished fourth in the division standings.

Vondereau and Makhani met first in the opening round, with Vondereau sending Makhani to the loss side 7-3. Vondereau advanced to the winners’ side semifinal, where Ernst, in a double hill fight, sent him to the loss side for a rematch against Makhani. Ernst won a second double hill battle, against Jayce Little, to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Makhani was working on a six-match, loss-side streak that would take him all the way to the finals. Along the way, he was offered a chance at redemption when he became the first competitor Vonderau faced on the loss side. He earned that redemption with a 7-4 rematch win, downed D’Angelo Spain 7-4 in the quarterfinals and survived a double hill match against Little in the semifinals. His quest for a first 13U Boys title was derailed by Ernst 9-3 in the finals.

In the 10-entrant division Championship, Vondereau went undefeated. He downed Makhani 7-3 in a winners’ side semifinal and claimed the hot seat over Timmy Cossey, appearing in his 6th event, 7-3.

On the loss side, Makhani lost his first match 7-5 to Landen Dunlap, as Grayson Vaughan was busy downing D’Angelo “Jawz” Spain by the same score. Vaughan shut Dunlap out in the quarterfinals and Cossey in the semifinals. He came within a game of forcing a 17th deciding match in the finals against Vondereau, who edged out in front to win 9-7 and claim the 13U Boys Championship title. 

Go to thread

Zeng goes undefeated to win MVP Raxx 9-Ball Classic (650 Under)

Erwin Jao, Max Watanabe, Mhet Vergara, Holden Chin, Elvis Rodriguez and Sean Zeng

As we noted in a Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour report last July (2021), Sean Zeng had made something of a habit of cashing in at least one stop on that tour per year. In fact, since 2018, he’d cashed in exactly one event per year (that we know about), commencing with his 7th place finish on the Joss NE tour that year and three years later, a tour win on the weekend of June 26-27, 2021. The single cash finish/win made 2021 his best earnings year to date. The cash he brought home after going undefeated this past weekend (Aug. 20-21) to win the Mhet Vergara ProAm (MVP) Tour’s Raxx 9-Ball Classic (for FargoRates of 650 and under) turned this year into his best earnings year. The $1,500-added event drew 63 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.

Runner-up Max Watanabe was looking to make the MVP Tour stop his first and only 2022 cash finish, as well. Though a veteran of both the former Tri-State Tour, the current Predator Tri-State Tour and the former Predator ProAm Tour, at which he has claimed numerous event titles over the years, dating back to 2015, and recording his best earnings year in 2019, he had yet to cash in 2022.

Zeng and Watanabe almost met in the hot seat of this MVP Tour stop. Zeng had gotten by Adrian Daniel, Aman Khan, Ricardo Mejia and Roberto Mendoza, to draw Luis Genao in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Watanabe, in the meantime, had sent Mike Callaghan, Glenn Ramsey and Shawn Sookhai to the loss side, before running into Horelbin Ramos, who put up a double hill fight against him. That double hill struggle may have taken all the ‘starch’ out of Watanabe’s game as he entered the other winners’ side semifinal against Erwin Jao.

Zeng got into the hot seat match with an 8-6 win over Genao. Watanabe fell to Jao 8-5, sending Jao up against Zeng. Zeng and Jao locked up in a double hill fight, as well, with Zeng eventually claiming the hot seat and packing Jao off to the semifinals against Watanabe.

On the loss side, Watanabe opened up against Raymond Paragas, who’d lost a second-round battle against Elvis Rodriguez and then embarked on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Sylvester Palacios 7-3 and Pat Fleming 7-5. Genao drew Elvis Rodriguez, who, right after sending Paragas over, lost a third-round match to Roberto Mendoza and went on a five-match, loss-side streak that had just sent John Francisco and Starling Duverge home (7-4, 7-3).

Rodriguez did what he could to secure his place in a rematch quarterfinal against Paragas with a 7-3 win over Genao. Watanabe spoiled the table reunion with a 7-3 win over Paragas. Watanabe stopped Rodriguez’ loss-side run at five, with a 7-3 win in the quarterfinals.

Watanabe then spoiled Erwin Jao’s hopes for a second shot at Zeng, waiting in the hot seat, with a 7-4 semifinal win. In the only set that proved to be necessary, Zeng defeated Watanabe 8-2 to claim the event title.

Tour director Mhet Vergara thanked Holden Chin and his Raxx Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Peri Cues, OB Cues, Queens Bodega and Inthbx apparel. The next stop on the MVP Tour was underway as this report was being filed, the $5k-added, MVP Tour New York State Championships, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

Go to thread

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.

Go to thread

Pro Billiards Tour to Stream Coverage of 2022 International Open

PBT Media and Flame Productions Collaborating on Exclusive Content
The Pro Billiards Tour is proud to announce it will provide exclusive “behind the scenes” coverage of the 2022 International Open, pool’s most prestigious World Championship.
Pat Fleming, the Open’s creator and producer, and Don Mackey, PBT’s executive producer, agreed that offering in-depth insights into what goes on behind the scenes at a major professional championship will enhance fan experience.
PBT Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Pro Billiards Tour, has contracted Flame Productions, Fort Myers, Fl, to coordinate production, in collaboration with Pat Fleming Productions.
David Grey, CEO of Flame, issued the following statement:
“It’s a great honor to be invited to work with Pat Fleming and Don Mackey, two men who have done so much for the sport of professional pool. The International Open traces its roots back to the 90’s when the PBT and Flame collaborated on airing the U.S. Open 9-ball tournament produced, by the late, great Barry Behrman.
PBT Media and Flame will stream live coverage of all that goes on off the tournament floor, including interviews with players, fans, production staff, and sponsors. The idea is to give fans a unique look into what goes at a one of pool’s most coveted championships.”
The PBT coverage will be streamed on probilliardstour.com and the PBT HUB. More details will be made available as plans solidify. Check probilliardstour.com for updates.

Go to thread

Accu-Stats Announces June Premier Schedule

Accu-Stats Video Productions has announced their YouTube premiere schedule for June, and they are premiering matches from the 2022 Derby City Classic and 2015 Derby City Classic. Matches for June feature some of the best players in the world, including Efren Reyes, Shane Van Boening, Joshua Filler, Fedor Gorst, Alex Pagulayan, Jayson Shaw and many more. 

Accu-Stats premieres a new match from their immense archive of New and Historic content three times a week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights at 8pm EST. There is a lively chat during each premiere. Pat Fleming will host most nights in June. Viewers can find the Accu-Stats YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/AccuStatsVideoProductionsTV

June Premiere Schedule

June 2nd – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Max Eberle vs Mika Immonen
June 5th – 2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Darren Appleton vs Corey Deuel
June 7th – 2015 Derby City Classic Straight Pool Challenge – Ruslan Chinakhov vs Jayson Shaw
June 9th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – David Alcaide vs Alex Pagulayan
June 12th – 2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Joshua Filler vs Mieszko Fortunski
June 14th – 2015 Derby City Classic One Pocket – Double Header
Alex Pagulayan vs Efren Reyes
Mike Dechaine vs Alex Pagulayan
June 16th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Darren Appleton vs Fedor Gorst
June 19th – 2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Fedor Gorst vs Shane Van Boening
June 21st – 2015 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Alex Pagulayan vs Shane Van Boening
June 26th – 2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Roland Garcia Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz
June 28th – 2015 Derby City Classic One Pocket – Double Header
Shannon Daulton vs Shane Van Boening
Justin Hall vs Alex Pagulayan
June 30th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Jayson Shaw vs Shane Van Boening

For over 30 years, Accu-Stats has been the leader in Professional Tournament Match Videos. The entire collection is available on DVD at http://www.accu-stats.com.

You can also watch more than 400 Accu-Stats matches from the 2018 and 2019 INTL 9-BALL OPEN; 2016-2022 Derby City Classic; 2015-2017 US Open 9-Ball Championships, as well as the Accu-Stats “Make It Happen” Invitationals via the Accu-Stats’ Vimeo Subscription service: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/asvod/

Website: http://www.accu-stats.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/accustats/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/accustatspool
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/accu_stats_pool
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/asvod/
International Open Website: https://www.intlopen.com

Go to thread