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Day Two Completes In Treviso

Szymon Kural

DAY TWO OF the Dynamic Billard Italian Open played out today (Saturday) at the Best Western Premium BHR Treviso Hotel. With 230 players and 20 tables, there are plenty of matches to get through and as a consequence the Italian Open is extended to four days, concluding on Monday evening with the live televised semi-finals and final.

There are 32 players remaining on the winner’s side of the bracket including Poland’s Szymon Kural who earlier this week triumphed in the WPA Predator World U19 Championship. The 18-year-old from Krakow went undefeated through that tournament, and after a brief pit stop in home town Krakow, hit the road bound for Treviso.

So far, he has three wins from three matches and defeated French No.1 Alex Montpelier 9-6 in the main arena to book his spot in the winners’ qualification round where he will face Alex Kazakis (Greece) at midday on Sunday.

Commented Kural; “It feels fine, nice, because again, I played very well. I beat a very good player and Alex also played very well. His break though, didn’t work so good and my break was a bit better so overall I’m happy and looking forward to playing Alex Kazakis tomorrow.

“I’m tired but I’ll fight till the end and we’ll see how that works. I will do my best as always and I will try to play my best pool. I’m feeling quite confident because four days ago I won the best title of my life – the World Junior Championship – so I’m confident and I’ll have a lot of fun,” he added.

Another Pole, Wiktor Zielinski, is still on course to usurp the No.1 spot from Francisco Sanchez Ruiz as he too finds himself in the winners’ qualification draw where he will face Tomasz Kaplan. Other big guns still undefeated include Mario He, Eklent Kaci, Niels Feijen, Ronni Regli, Dennis Grabe and veteran Ralf Souquet.

Jonas Souto

On the losers’ side of the draw, the final featured match was a cracker between another former WPA World Junior Champion in Spain’s Jonas Souto and experienced Romanian Babken Melkonyan. The Bucharest man played at a high level as he led throughout but struggled as the finishing line approached.

Souto’s break wasn’t working to any great effect and it was Melkonyan who reached the hill first at 8-6, having led 4-1 in the early stages.  A snooker from Souto saw Melkonyan escape but scratch in the process. With ball-in-hand, the Spaniard made hard work of it but soon found himself level at 8-8. Breaking for the match, Souto found something and delivered his best of the match and from there he ran out for a tight victory.

He said afterwards, “I don’t know how I won that! It was strange in the beginning as I didn’t make a miss and I was 4-1 down as he didn’t miss a ball. He was playing perfect and I managed to comeback under pressure and he missed a little bit more but he played unbelievable. I tried my best all the time and I won 9-8 but it was a difficult, tough match. I think I was breaking well but just didn’t get the rolls but in the last rack I had the luck and made the run out.

“At this Euro Tour, if you lose in the first or second rounds, you need a lot of energy for all those matches because there’s five or six of them to get through but I’ll give it my best and if I do, I do. And if not then it’s onto the next one,” he added.

Play continues tomorrow (Sunday) with the remainder of Losers’ Round Three, followed by two more Losers’ Side rounds, then the last 32 qualification matches on both sides of the bracket. Play commences at 9.00am.

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

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

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

Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com

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Chang, Van Boening Among Winners As Predator World 8-Ball Championship Begins in Puerto Rico

Defending champion Chang Jung-Lin made it through the first round of the Predator World 8-Ball Championship with an 8-6 success over Dutchman Tim de Ruyter on the opening day of play at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan.

There were wins for Americans Shane van Boening and Tyler Styer, Germany’s Joshua Filler and Great Britain’s Jayson Shaw on the TV tables, with the former defeating Puerto Rico’s Alan Rolon.

The eventual winner will collect $60,000 of the $250,000 total prize fund from the event, which is part of the first annual Caribbean CueSports International Expo.

Rolon’s home crowd came out in force to support their local favorite, putting Van Boening in the rare spot of being the player less favored by those spectating. The Puerto Rican, who reached the knockout stages of the Medallla Light Puerto Rico Open during the week, took down the first rack and despite conceding the second, moved ahead again at 2-1 to a loud roar inside the arena.

But Van Boening’s quality ultimately showed. Rolon fouled by moving the 5 ball as he bridged over it and the American was able to level. A great break opened up the fifth rack for Van Boening, and before Rolon knew it he was 6-2 down in the race to eight.

A dry break afforded Rolon an opportunity to claw back the deficit. He found trouble with four balls left but made the 12 with position on the 15 to bring the match to 6-3. However, his next break shot was his final visit as he came up dry, turning the table to Van Boening.

The five-time US Open champion had a straight shot on the 14 which set him up for the rack. Breaking at 7-3 ahead, Van Boening had the 12 down but opted to shoot the 2 owing to the layout of the table. A runout followed for the South Dakota Kid, who returns on Sunday to face Johnny Salas.

While Van Boening was winning on Table 1, on Table 2 a battle was heating up between two member’s of USA’s World Teams Championship roster from September.

Joey Tate and Tyler Styer are close friends off the table and with neither player able to build a substantial lead throughout the match it was Styer who arrived first on the hill before just a second dry break of the match by Styer allowed Tate to the table. The 17-year-old, who is also competing in Under-19 division of the Predator World Juniors 9-Ball Championships this week, played the 15 brilliantly to bring the 10 away from the side rail and from there had no problems in reaching the hill.

A dry break came at the worst possible time for Tate but when Styer missed a 4 he’d usually expect to make, the younger of the two Americans was back at the table. However, he missed the 9 to the middle pocket with three balls and the 8 remaining.

Styer showed he was feeling the pressure when the cue clipped the 10 as he looked for position on the 4. He played the shot well but again the cue kicked another ball, this time the 11, as it came through for position on the 7. The former Kremlin Cup winner held his nerve, though, and made a testy shot up table to come back and make the match-winning 8.

“I’d rather play Shane or Jayson, anybody else but Joey,” said Styer. “I have helped him out a lot and taken him under my wing, so to draw him in the first round sucked. I believe in him but I have to forget about that when I play him because he is like a little brother to me.”

Later in the day, Tate advanced to the quarter-finals of the Predator World Juniors 9-Ball Championship. Playing in the Under-19 division, he defeated Germany’s Dennis Laszkowski 9-5 to progress from the winners’ side. His sister Bethany is through to the last eight of the Girls division, along with Savannah Easton, Lena Primus and Alara Ghaffari. The other Under-19 quarter-finalists are Keane Derek Rota, Szymon Kural and Yannick Pongers.

Riku Romppanen, Mika van Berkel, Felix Vogel and Lazar Kostic made it four Europeans in the last eight of the Under 17s. The losers’ qualification matches of all three divisions take place on Sunday, followed by the quarter-finals. All matches are broadcast live on Kozoom.com and all three Junior finals will be on World Billiard TV YouTube Channel and watchbilliard.tv on Monday.

Predator World 8-Ball Championship reigning champion Chang Jung-Lin has waited ten years to defend his title and was given a tough examination by Tim de Ruyter before eventually winning 8-6. There was a hill-hill win for Jayson Shaw against Dimitris Loukatos while former World 8-Ball Champion Ralf Souquet will face Konrad Juszczyszyn on Sunday after beating Juan Carlos Exposito of Spain in his opening match.

Matches from the Predator World 8-Ball Championship are streamed from Table 1 on Billiard TV,  the World Billiard TV YouTube channel and at Kozoom.com.

Table 2 has full coverage and commentary on the Predator Pro Billiard Series Facebook Page. All tables, including matches from the Predator World Juniors 9-Ball Championships, can be watch live for FREE at Kozoom.com

Brackets and scores can be found at www.probilliardseries.com

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter.

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International Open Advances 16 to Single Elimination Phase

JIC series begins its 18 & Under Boys and Girls Championships 

The winners’ side final 8 has been set for the beginning of the single elimination phase of the International Open’s 9-Ball tournament tomorrow (Fri., Nov. 4). As this report is being compiled (10 p.m., Thursday night), the eight competitors who will advance to the final 16 from the loss side are still competing. If Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz emerges victorious from his match against Bader Alawahdi, the final 16 in the event will contain seven of the top eight finishers (half the field) from the recently-concluded Big Foot 10-Ball Challenge, including Fedor Gorst, who won it and runner-up Joshua Filler.

Also advancing from the winners’ side into the final 16 will be Albin Ouschan, Wictor Zielinski, Jayson Shaw, Konrad Juszczyszyn, Roberto Gomez, and Alex Kazakis.

Already advancing from the loss side are Aloysius Yapp, who (very) recently defeated Jesus Atencio 10-8 and Mario He, who downed Sky Woodward 10-4. Still to be decided were matches between Robbie Capito/Ko Pin Yi, Jonas Souto/Noayuki Oi, Jani Uski/Moritz Neuhausen, Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz/Bader Alawahdi, Ping Chung Ko/Mieszko Fortunski and David Alcaide/Abdullah Alyousef

JIC underway; Boys will play winners’ side final four and 7/8 matches, Girls to play hot seat and quarterfinals

A total of 16 boys (18 & Under) and 8 girls (18 & Under) came to Norfolk to compete in the final events of the 2022 Junior International Championship series. In the course of the eight-event season, which began in January, the competitors amassed points which, at the end of the eighth stop on the series, yielded a ‘top players’ list, which led to invitations to the Championship events for the 18 & Under Boys and Girls. 

Both of those events got underway today, Thursday, Nov. 3. At the end of the day, there were six boys and four girls left. The top two girls in the year-long rankings – Bethany Tate #1 and Sofia Mast #2 – will square off tomorrow afternoon (Friday, Nov. 4; 2 p.m.) in the 18 & Under Girls hot seat match. At noon, Precilia Kinsley and Noelle Tate will square off in the quarterfinals, to be followed by the semifinals at 7 p.m., pitting whoever did not claim the hot seat and the winner of the quarterfinals. The finals are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5 at noon.

At 10 a.m., tomorrow morning (Friday), the #2 and #3-ranked competitors from the 18 & Under Boys division – Landon Hollingsworth and Payne McBride will meet in one of the winners’ side semifinals. In the other one, #13 Garrett Vaughan and #15 Justin Maywin will meet. On the loss side, also at 10 a.m., playing in the two 7/8 matches, the #1-ranked Joey Tate will meet the #14-ranked Logan Whitaker.

Of the remaining six, three of them (Worth, McBride & Tate) competed in the International Open’s 9-Ball Tournament, with Brent Worth drawing what was arguably the toughest draw. He faced Hall of Fame German Ralf Souquet in the opening round and then, on the loss side, faced and lost to former junior competitor Chris Reinhold. McBride lost a winners’ side match to one of the semifinalists in last week’s American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship, Mieszko Fortunski and fell to Alecsa Pecelj on the loss side. Tate lost to Abdullah Alyousef on the winners’ side and Sullivan Clark on the loss side.

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Round One of Pat Fleming’s International Open 9-Ball Tournament in the books

Some expected and not-so expected advances highlight Day One of the 128-entrant 9-ball event  

Surprises?

At the level of talent on display at this week’s (Oct. 28-Nov. 5) International Open in Norfolk, VA, it’s hard to single out any one match in the event’s opening round of play and call the result a surprise. One’s reaction to a given result will depend largely on an individual’s perception of the players involved and their own sense of how a match between them would play out. This, in turn, might reveal more about the person being surprised (or not) than it might about the match result.

As a random example from the International Open’s first event of the week, the $10,000-added One Pocket tournament won by T-Rex (Tony Chohan; see story elsewhere in our News). If you haven’t already seen the results, imagine the semifinal match between Sky Woodward and Fedor Gorst, won by Woodward. Surprised? 

Round one of the Open’s $50,000-added, 128-entrant 9-Ball tournament is over. We offer a short and not comprehensive list of matches from the round, and without looking it up through our links to the bracket, pick a winner, find the result and then determine whether it’s a surprise to you. An indication (J) identifies the player as a junior competitor. Results at the end of the report.

Tapei’s Hsieh Chia-Chen vs. Switzerland’s Dimitri Jungo (winner of last week’s American Straight Pool Championships in Virginia Beach)? Jesus Atencio vs. (J) Kashton Keeton? Earl Strickland vs. Taipei’s Hsuan Wei Kuo? Brandon Shuff vs. Russia’s Kristina Tkach, crowned as the Women’s 2022 Straight Pool Champion last week in Virginia Beach? Hunter Lombardo vs. Shane Wolford? BJ Ussery, Jr. vs. Chris Rienhold? Corey Deuel vs. Sharik Sayed? Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski (semifinalist at the Straight Pool Championships) vs. Matt Krah? Vietnam’s Brian Vu vs. (J) Payne McBride? Justin Martin vs. Lukas Fracasso-Verner (former J)? 

Among those whose victories in the opening round were not likely have been a surprise to anybody were: Jayson Shaw’s win over John Francisco, Spain’s David Alcaide (the last piece added to Europe’s Mosconi Cup team puzzle), who defeated USA’s Sullivan Clark 10-6, Sky Woodward’s victory (albeit, double-hill victory) over Italy’s Francesco Candela, Fedor Gorst’s win over Curucao’s Bryan Farah 10-7 and Joshua Filler’s shutout victory over USA’s Christopher Pyle. There are, of course, others who have advanced on the winners’ side, which, for purposes of brevity, we’ll restrict to those not listed above who are among the top 10 in our Money Leaderboard: Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, Greece’s Alex Kazakis, Austria’s Albin Ouschan and the Philippines’ Roberto Gomez.

Among the key matchups highlighting Round Two today (Tuesday, Nov. 1) will be 6 p.m. battles between Alex Kazakis and veteran US competitor Raymond Linares, junior competitor Joey Tate’s matchup against Kuwait’s Abdullah Alyousef, Sanchez-Ruiz versus Justin Martin,  Roberto Gomez against Alex Pagulayan and junior competitor Payne McBride taking on Straight Pool Championship runner-up, Mieszko Fortunski. At 8 p.m., Albin Oushcan will take on Thorsten Hohmann, David Alcaide faces Josh Roberts, Hungary’s Vilmos Foldes will go up against Taipei’s Ko Pin Yi, and the winner of the Strickland/Hsuan Wei Kuo match (revealed below) versus Taipei’s Hsieh Chia-Chen (all 8 p.m.). At 10 p.m., Round Two’s winners’ bracket will continue with Tony Chohan against last week’s Straight Pool Championship runner-up Wiktor Zielinski, Jayson Shaw will meet the winner of the Shuff/Tkach match (revealed below), Ralf Souquet will go up against BJ Ussery, Alex Pagulayan will take on Roberto Gomez and Sanchez-Ruiz will battle Justin Martin. 

(‘Surprise?’ results from above: Junior competitor Kashton Keeton defeated Jesus Atencio 10-6,  Strickland got by Wei Kuo 10-5, Taipei’s Chia-Chen sent Dimitri Jungo to the loss side 10-7, Shuff beat Tkach 10-8, Lombardo over Wolford 10-6. Ussery over Reinhold 10-9, Sayed downs Deuel 10-6, Fortunski gets by Krah 10-7, Junior competitor Payne McBride defeats Brian Vu 10-2 and Justin Martin moves on with a double hill win over Lukas Fracasso-Verner.) 

Fans can watch not only the featured table with full commentary, but also any other table at the event with the Accu-Stats PPV coverage. They can also follow all of the action online with real-time scoring and online brackets all week long.

PPV Coverage
One Pocket Stage One Online Brackets
One Pocket Stage Two Online Brackets
Big Foot 10-Ball Brackets
9-Ball Brackets
Real Time Scoring

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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!”

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Only 16 Remain At US Open Pool Championship With Van Boening Out

Alex Kazakis (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Shane Van Boening crashed out of the 2022 US Open Pool Championship in a hill-hill defeat to Alexander Kazakis as only 16 remain at Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City ahead of the final two days of action.

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Van Boening began the day on the hunt for a record-breaking sixth US Open but it was the case of the champagne being put on ice for at least another year. The World Champion came up Kazakis in full steam ahead mode as the Greek rattled up a 5-0 lead without breaking stride against the American great. Kazakis has had mixed fortune against Van Boening in recent times, defeating him in the final of the 2021 World Pool Masters in a whitewash before tasting defeat at the World Pool Championship semi-final stage back in April.

Kazakis lost his way in the middle of the match as Van Boening rallied to 5-5 and soon 7-5 to lead with an opportunity to reach the hill first. A scratch on the break for Van Boening though brought Kazakis back into it and 7-7. In the next rack, Kazakis missed the two ball and Van Boening reached the hill first.

At times, Kazakis has been doubted and questioned but today wasn’t going to be one of those days, back at the table at 8-8 breaking for the match, he was hooked when looking to make the two ball. One bank later from Kazakis and the table was clear for him to run out and secure a memorable win. For Van Boening, the wait goes on but all is not lost with the conclusion of the inaugural SVB Junior Open set to unfold tomorrow afternoon.

In the last 64, saw Jayson Shaw toppled by Lee Vann Corteza 9-2 whilst Wojciech Szewczyk downed Albin Ouschan. David Alcaide fell down to Ko Ping Chung 9-5 with one of the stories of the stage coming from Table 1 live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook where Tyler Styer staked his claim for a Mosconi Cup spot on Team USA by ending Fedor Gorst‘s hopes of reaching the next round 9-7. It was a watershed showing from Styer but he faced Joshua Filler to reach the Last 16. Last year’s runner-up Aloysius Yapp was spectacularly knocked out by Sanjin Pehlivanovic 9-1.

Skyler Woodward will have mixed emotions after today after the two-time Mosconi Cup MVP fell at the hands of Chang Jung-Lin who was on a rampage at times in a 9-4 win but with results going his way, the Kentucky Kid ensured a Mosconi Cup automatic spot to avoid leaving it up to Jeremy Jones‘ wild card picks. Greg Hogue was also in the Mosconi Cup reckoning for an automatic spot until defeat to Marc Bijsterbosch saw the American bow out 9-2. That news was good for Oscar Dominguez though who will return to the Mosconi Cup for the first time in five years off the Live Nineball World Rankings.

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz had a day to remember, before he even played Ralf Souquet in the Last 64, he knew he would be making his Mosconi Cup debut for Team Europe come November 30 to December 3 as the Spaniard secured the second automatic spot off the Live Nineball World Rankings due to Ouschan’s defeat to Szewczyk. On a high, Sanchez Ruiz took down Souquet and Wu Kun Lin to reach the Last 16.

Styer’s journey ended at the hands of Mosconi Cup foe Filler leaving his Mosconi Cup hopes in Jones’ hands. The American put on a gutsy display to push Filler all the way before the World Pool Masters champion pulled away to a 9-6 win.

Defending champion Carlo Biado will go again on his hunt for the crown in back-to-back years against Konrad Juszczyszyn. Biado coming through in a repeat of last year’s semi-final against Naoyuki Oi 9-6.

The Union Jack of Great Britain will be kept flying tomorrow by Chris Melling who is experiencing something of a renaissance in the Diamond Arena. Melling seeing off Joven Bustamante 9-4 before an impressive 9-1 win over Badar Alawadhi. The Magician’s match-up with Corteza will kick off the TV coverage tomorrow from 10am ET.
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TV Table (SEE BELOW WHERE TO WATCH TV TABLE) 

Chris Melling (GBR) vs Lee Vann Corteza (PHI)

Joshua Filler (GER) vs Eklent Kaçi (ALB)

Table 1 – Matchroom.Live and Facebook 

Ko Ping Chung (TPE) vs Jani Uski (FIN)

Hsieh Chia Chen (TPE) vs Mario He (AUT)

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz (ESP) vs Chang Jung-Lin (TPE)

Table 2 – Matchroom.Live and Facebook

Max Lechner (AUT) vs Roland Garcia (PHI)

Alexander Kazakis (GRE) vs Marc Bijsterbosch (NED)

Carlo Biado (PHI) vs Konrad Juszczyszyn (POL)

From tomorrow, the TV table will be live on Sky Sports in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Spain, and Italy as well as Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics and Poland, and other broadcasters worldwide which can be found here including on Matchroom.Live in countries without a broadcaster.

Tickets for the final day are now sold out. Sign up for 2023 Ticket Alerts here

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Filler’s Double Lasko Delight

Joshua Filler

Joshua Filler is the Dynamic Billard Slovenian Open Champion as he  defeated Francisco Sanchez Ruiz by 9-5 to claim his fourth Euro Tour crown Lasko. It was a high-quality match but Filler just had a little  too much for Sanchez Ruiz as one or two mistakes crept into the  Spaniard’s game. Joshua went into an early 3-1 lead and never  relinquished that advantage as he motored to the finishing line.

It was a massive day for the Fillers as Joshua’s wife Pia had earlier  claimed her first Predator Ladies Euro Tour title in the same venue.

Commented Filler, “Myself and Pia winning was so special; it never  happened before and making history is just unbelievable. Now we’re  driving six hours home so not much time to celebrate tonight. Then we  have three days so that will be good and then we’re flying to the US so  not much time. We both enjoyed it and luckily, we both won which is  amazing!”

There was expectation in the air as two of the world’s finest pool  proponents faced off. In the semi-final matches, Filler put an end to  Ralf Souquet’s wonderful run here with a 9-4 victory, while Sanchez Ruiz  put paid to Mario He’s hopes by a similar scoreline.

A good break and run from Joshua opened the proceedings. He also took  the next before a missed 4-ball got Sanchez Ruiz back in with a  rack-scoring opportunity, from where he made no mistakes to get on the  board at 2-1.

With two balls down off the break Francisco elected to push and Joshua  followed with a nice safety. They then traded safeties and escapes before Sanchez Ruiz left the  1-ball out in the open and Joshua cleared the table nicely for a 3-1  lead.

Sanchez Ruiz took the next against the break to keep in touch but in the  sixth game, the cueball got snagged up with the 1-ball and he pushed  out. Filler put him back in and disastrously, he scratched into the  centre pocket. It was a heaven-sent chance for Filler and he ran out for  a 4-2 lead.

A miss on the red 3 from the Spaniard got Filler back to the table but  he could only play safe. Both then missed difficult pots on the 3-ball before it fell clearly for  Filler. He ran through the balls to establish a three-rack lead at 5-2.

Sanchez Ruiz needed to strike back in the next and he did so to get the  score to 5-3. Filler though, ran out from the break to restore his  three-rack lead. Both players had visits in the next before Sanchez Ruiz  took the chance to clear the table for 6-4.

A rock-hard snooker from Filler gave himself ball-in-hand when Sanchez  Ruiz’s two-rail escape failed to make contact with the 2-ball. With a  cluster of balls around the spot, Filler laid another snooker that had  his opponent reaching for his jump stick. He made contact with the four  ball but it left it out in the open for Filler. It wasn’t the easiest  layout but the German star found a way and the score moved to 7-4.

The Euro Tour No.1 wasn’t done as he knuckled down and ran the next rack  but with alternate break, it was Filler’s match to lose. The 2-ball  wasn’t available to pot in the next so Filler laid a safety. The escape  was an easy one but with the balls clustered, the outcome was not.

Filler had the table and another snooker, this time on the 4-ball, saw  Sanchez Ruiz scratch. It was a comfortable ball-in-hand opportunity for  Filler and he took it to reach the hill at 8-5. A good break from the  Spaniard spread the balls nicely and he nudged the 2-ball in off the 3  to keep himself at the table.

Calamitously, he snookered himself unnecessarily to end his visit.  Filler came to the table with a difficult long cut on the 4 and he  missed it. With nothing clear, Sanchez Ruiz had a bit of a hit-and-hope  as he sent the pink 4 flying up and down the table. He left it on and  Filler needed no second chances as he dished up for glory.

Added Filler, “The table was playing much, much better today but in the  first match against Ralf today I made a few mistakes because I wasn’t  really used to the table but in the final, I felt more comfortable  because I’d had one match already on the table. My break wasn’t really  that good in the whole tournament, but I won, surprisingly. I’m just  over the moon that I won!”

Sanchez Ruiz was circumspect in defeat; “I’m not that disappointed  because I think I played good these last couple of days but today I  didn’t play so good. Against Mario in the semi-final, I got so lucky,  that’s why I won but in the final, I didn’t feel so confident but Filler  always plays good. For me, he’s the best right now.”

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

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

Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com

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

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Dynamic Billard Slovenian Open – Down To The Final Four In Lasko

Ralf Souquet

There were seven rounds of matches today at the Dynamic Billards Slovenian Open, and we’re down to the last four men standing. After a heavy day’s play, the semi-finals are made up of Mario He against Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and Joshua Filler v Ralf Souquet.

Veteran Souquet was the story of the day as he went through the winners side, and then defeated Oliver Szolnoki of Hungary in the last 16 before taking care of Holland’s Marc Bijsterbosch 9-4 to make it through to the final day.

Souquet, 53, has won every title pool has to offer but he is still as competitive as they come, even if the results don’t come quite as often.

Commented Ralf, “It was definitely a pleasant day for me, no doubt! I had four matches and although I didn’t play perfect, I‘m quite happy with my performance today. It seems like I have found the old Ralf Souquet inside again; he was probably a little bit asleep and I woke him up and it looks like the old Ralf is back to the table.

“I always do the same preparation, I always try to practice hard, a lot and I have more practice nowadays than I ever had. I feel way more comfortable. I’ve tried several things over the years to improve my game and change some things, some for good, some not so but I’m in a good way. Being in the semi-final may bring a bit of extra pressure but on the other hand, it’s just another match like any of the other thousands I’ve played.”

He will play Joshua Filler who beat Niels Feijen 9-8 in a match where the table played a significant part in the proceedings. With some of the cushions acting a little bouncy, both players struggled with the speed.

Filler said, “The table was so bouncy and you couldn’t really calculate any shots and then it’s tough to play good. We both tried our best and both wanted to win but it wasn’t a good match as we couldn’t adjust to the table

“I’m happy to win and be in the semi-final but I want to play like it’s just for fun but if conditions are bad, I’m struggling. I’m happy for Ralf as he seemed to be struggling the last few tournaments but he’s playing well and I’ve always watched Ralf as he’s a great player,” he added.

The second semi-final will be between Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, who has stormed the Euro Tour in recent times, racking up three titles and Austria’s Mario He who will be looking to go one better than last time out in Petrich where he fell at the semi-final stage. This time he won a hard-fought contest over Sanjin Pehlivanovic.

“I’m playing very good at the moment; I’m feeling good and my break is working well so I’m very confident playing tomorrow against Sanchez. I’m looking forward to semis and give my all and I’ll try to win it this time.  Sometimes you get tired but today I felt really good, didn’t get tired and I could have played another set. Tomorrow, I’ll try to relax and focus on the semi-final.”

For Sanchez-Ruiz, tomorrow presents a golden opportunity to win his fourth Euro Tour title in 14 months but he knows Mario He represents a difficult challenge.

“It was tough day! In the last 32 I had to come back and win on the hill and now with Sanjin I played really good and felt confident but I’m so tired right now! I’ll try and get some rest tonight but don’t play till late afternoon so that will give me plenty of time. I’m really happy with my performance. I’m playing really good this year and on the Euro Tour, I like the format and the break and I really enjoy it,” said the Spaniard.

The first semi-final commences at 16.00 local time with the second following straight after at 17.30. The final gets underway at 19.00.

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

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

Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com

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

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Sanchez-Ruiz moves closer to Mosconi Cup selection with undefeated win on home felt in Spain

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz

Going into the PRP Nineball Open last weekend (Sept. 14-18) at the Exe Boston Hotel in Zaragoza, Spain, the struggle for a 3rd place spot on the Mosconi Cup’s European team, defined, as of August 31, by the Nineball World Rankings, was something of a race between Austria’s Mario He and Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz. Both made it undefeated through two separate knockout rounds of the 128-entrant field in Spain. They both went on, undefeated to the finals where Sanchez-Ruiz prevailed to claim the event title, his fourth major title of the year.

With the USA’s Shane Van Boening and Germany’s Joshua Filler holding the top two spots in those Nineball World Rankings and being too far ahead in the rankings to be unseated, each Mosconi Cup team will select two more from the list at the conclusion of the final three ranking events; The Euro Tour Dynamic Billiards Slovenia Open in Lasko, Slovenia (Oct. 1-3), the Sandcastle 9-Ball Open at Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ (Oct. 6-8) and the US Open Pool Championship at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, NJ (Oct. 10-15). With Austria’s Albin Ouschan, who did not compete in Spain, currently in the #3 position in the World Rankings and in the driver’s seat to claim a second spot on the Mosconi Cup team, the third selected seat continues to be a struggle between Sanchez-Ruiz (currently #4) and He (#5). Though at the moment, Sanchez-Ruiz has a commanding lead and seems likely to draw the third pick, it might well continue into next week’s Slovenia Open and depending on whether the two opt for a trip to New Jersey afterwards, it could end up on this side of the Atlantic. 

Sanchez-Ruiz and He emerged from separate brackets to advance to the PRP Nineball Open’s final draw of 32. Sanchez-Ruiz, after being awarded an opening round bye, defeated two of his fellow countrymen, Manuel Fernandez and Gabriel Carral 9-2 to qualify for the single-elimination Phase Two (well over 50% of the field was from Spain). He was joined from the winners’ side of the bracket by countrymen Jose Alberto Delgado and Jose Castillo, Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis, Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski and Mieszko Fortunski, Marc Bijsterbosch from the Netherlands and Hungary’s Oliver Szolnoki. 

In the other Phase 1 bracket, Mario He (also awarded a bye) defeated Spaniards Amalia Matas 9-4 and Mayte Ropero 9-7 to be among the winners’ side competitors to advance. Germany’s Ralf Souquet was on that list, too, as were Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn, Switzerland’s Ronald Regli, Spain’s David Alcaide and Jonas Souto, Estonia’s Denis Grabe and, also in the running for that 3rd spot on the Mosconi Cup team, behind He, Alex Kazakis from Greece.

Sanchez-Ruiz’ toughest battle advancing to the event’s quarterfinals came in the opening round of the single-elimination Round 2, when Francisco Diaz chalked up eight racks against him. From there, it was relatively smooth sailing through Ivan Nunez 11-3 for Sanchez-Ruiz to arrive at his quarterfinal matchup versus Delgado. He, on the other hand, began his single-elimination advancement with two double hill matches against Portugal’s Sara Rocha and Spain’s Iker Echeverria, which he successfully negotiated to face Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Sanjin Pehlivanovic. Three competitors lurking behind Sanchez-Ruiz and He on the rankings list, appeared in the other two quarterfinals. Kazakis, immediately below He on the list, faced Denis Grabe (in the 20s on the list), as Szolnoki, immediately below Kazakis, met up with Zielinski, immediately behind him.

Sanchez-Ruiz downed Delgado 11-5 and in the semifinals, picked up Zielenski, who’d eliminated Szolnoki 11-8. He defeated Pehlivanovic 11-2 and drew Kazakis, who’d eliminated Grabe 11-7.

Assuring their spots on the rankings list, Sanchez-Ruiz and He advanced to the finals; Sanchez-Ruiz 11-5 over Zielinski and He 11-2 over Kazakis. 

It was clear from the outset of the finals that Sanchez-Ruiz and He were playing for more than bragging rights at their local pub. He broke the initial rack and ran the table to open the scoring. Sanchez-Ruiz broke and won the second to create the first of only two ties in the race to 13. 

Sanchez-Ruiz won the next four to go ahead 5-1, at which point the two of them embarked on a series of runs that narrowed that lead down to between two and three racks. He got within a single rack three times in that stretch, at 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7, but He’s win of rack #15 opened the door for Sanchez-Ruiz to head on out on a four-match run that put him on the hill, ahead by five at 12-7. 

He, though, came right back and matched Sanchez-Ruiz’ longest run of the game at the start, winning five racks to force a single deciding game. He broke, but left himself with a low-percentage shot at the 1-ball, sitting north of and at a sharp angle to a side pocket. He played safe and began a two-ball safety battle that took up nearly half of the final match-time. Sanchez-Ruiz broke it up after He had given him an opening on the 2-ball that also opened the table. Sanchez-Ruiz ran them from there and claimed the event title.

The battle for the two remaining European Mosconi Cup slots (not counting the coach’s two wild-card picks), moves on to Lasko, Slovenia.

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Josh And Pia Filler To Meet In European Open Winners Qualification Round

Joshua Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Joshua and Pia Filler will meet in Winners Qualification tomorrow after the Posh and Becks of Pool overcame two matches apiece to make it through day two of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda in Germany live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live.

Bracket / Scores

Joshua began his tournament with an emphatic 9-0 win over GJ Oyangoren in one of the opening encounters of the day to make the winners’ side whilst Pia came from behind to defeat Talal Abdullah Shaheen in a hill-hill finish. The stars were beginning to align as the evening got into full swing as Pia got her second W of the day, this time against Ramazan Akdag 9-6.

At the same time as Pia’s win, Joshua was under the cosh, and 5-0 down to fellow compatriot and former sparring partner Raphael Wahl. Wahl reached the hill first at 8-4 and it looked like he would get the better of Joshua like old times but the pair have had different paths since their juniors days. Joshua showed his grit and experience with over 100 fans crowding around their table to see the conclusion as the recent UK Open and World Pool Masters champion closed out an impressive comeback to steal it and meet his wife Pia for the first time at this level of the sport.

“I am super excited. I really wanted to play Josh in this tournament. I was fighting hard to get here and now here we are. I can’t wait.” – Pia Filler

Pia Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

“That match was almost in jepordy. I knew she was winning and I was sown. I was more nervous then. We wanted to play each other. I gave it my best and luckily I won it. I was 6-1 down. I’ve known Raph since we were juniors. He won a few finals against me and I won a few against him. The atmosphere was crazy. I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it. I got luck on my side in the end. I am delighted to be through.” – Joshua Filler

“We just do business as usual. It’s no secret he’s the love of my life but tomorrow he will be my biggest rival for 90 minutes.” – Pia Filler

Tony Drago returned to the Nineball arena with a win over Ivan Nunez Perez 9-2 before losing out to Sanjin Pehlivanovic to be sent to the Losers side whilst the Bosnian moves into Winners’ Qualification tomorrow. Neils Feijen overcame  Harold Stolka and Flavian Glont to make lightwork of his day to meet José Alberto Delgado tomorrow for a spot in the Last 64.

There was no sign of jet lag for Nineball World No.1 and World Champion Shane Van Boening who beat Martin Breuer and Aref Awadi 9-1 and 9-0 respectively to barely break sweat and set up a Winners’ Qualification match live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook page with Jani Uski tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz fresh off the back of snapping off another EuroTour title on Monday beat Christian Prager and Ioan Ladanyi to be one away from the Last 64 and compatriot David Alcaide reached the same stage with wins over Fabian Breuer and Great Britain’s Benji Buckley.

Hometown favourite Thorsten Hohmann kept his tournament alive with a 8-2 win over Cyprus’ Antonis Brabin whilst German legend Ralf Souquet stayed alive after defeating Veronika Ivanovskaia 8-5 on the losers bracket.

Day 3 Streamed Matches Below 10 am (CEST)

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

10am – 319 – Chris Melling (GBR) vs Uwe Kaiser (GER) – Losers Round 3

NB 11:30am – Francisco Sanchez Ruiz vs Michael Schneider (SUI) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 1:00pm – Joshua Filler (GER) vs Pia Filler (GER) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 2:30pm – Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Jani Uski (FIN) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 4:00pm – TBC

NB 6:30pm – TBC

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

10am – Robbie Capito (HKG) vs Mika Van Berkel (NED) – Losers Round 3

NB 11:30 – Thorsten Hohmann (GER) vs Rattapol Sassmann (THA) – Losers Round 3

NB  1:00pm – Aleksa Pecelj (SRB) vs Ronald Regli (SUI) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 2:30pm – Jayson Shaw (GBR) vs Bader Alawadhi (KUW)  – Winners’ Qualification

NB 4:00pm – TBC

NB 6:30pm – TBC

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

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

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