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“Game On” in Austria

The first matches of the Dynamic Billard Euro-Tour have started after an absence of almost 16 months. The players were eager to finally measure their skills against each other again.

Wojciech Szewczyk (POL)

At first glance, the tournament started like many others in previous years. Only if you looked closely, you could notice a few small but subtle changes that became necessary due to the current pandemic situation. For example, after each match, the balls were collected and replaced by freshly disinfected ball sets. The hygiene concept also included that each player could only take one coach or relative with him into the venue. The general number of spectators was limited to 50. At the tables themselves, the players did not have to wear masks, but as soon as they took a time- out or moved inside the hall to or from their table, the mask had to be worn. In this way, the organisers helped to ensure that everyone was as safe as possible.
But let’s get to the matches.

It is always difficult to talk about surprises in the first round. Many of the participants are players who either come from the region or cannot necessarily be counted among the top. Therefore, the focus is directly on the matches of the first winners’ round. One of the first exciting encounters was the match between Wojciech Szewczyk (POL) and Mark Magi (EST). Both players have been active on the Euro Tour for several years and come from the youth work of the EPBF. At the beginning of the match it was also an exciting exchange of blows. However, Szewczyk found his rhythm faster and played better safeties than Magi. Thus he managed to gain a small lead which he did not give away until the end of the match. 9:5 was the final score in favour of the Pole.

Thorsten Hohmann

Former World Champion Thorsten Hohmann (GER) had to face his compatriot Luca Menn. Hohmann was considered the heavy favourite in this match. But as always, the young guns should not be underestimated.This was also the case in this match. Menn gave Hohmann a run for his money and turned the match into an open exchange of blows, which culminated at 8:8. Here, however, Menn found his master when Hohmann played out all his routine and showed no nerves. With a very close 9:8, Hohmann defeated Menn and moved on to the next winners’ round, while Menn will have to seek his fortune in the losers’ round after a hard struggle.

Another all-German match involving a former World Champion took place on table 5 between Ralf Souquet and Valery Kuloyants. Souquet, 9-Ball World Champion 1996, had problems to find his game. His opponent was certainly considered an outsider, even though Kuloyants has been a well- known name in the German pool scene for many years. Souquet was not going to have an easy game at all and Kuloyants dominated the match from the beginning.He gained a 3-point lead, which he maintained until 8:5. He was always one step ahead of Souquet, but the “Kaiser” did not dream of surrendering so easily to his fate. Knowing him, Souquet fought to the last drop of blood.He was always one step ahead of Souquet, but the ” Kaiser ” did not dream of surrendering so easily to his fate. Knowing him as he does, Souquet fought to the last drop of blood.It came as it had to come: with sharp claws Souquet kept himself in the match and forced the decision at 8:8. Kuloyants had the break and pocketed a ball, but afterwards had no position on the 1 ball. It was time for a good safety. He opted for a chance, which Souquet gave back to him.

Valery Kuloyants (GER)

Then the drama occurred for Kuloyants: he tried to play a safety shot and scratched with the cue ball into the side pocket. With ball-in-hand Souquet cleared the rack and finally won the game 9:8 after a fierce fight.

Tomorrow’s matches will begin at 09:00 CET with action from the loser’s round. All matches can be viewed LIVE with a premium pass at www.kozoom.com.

Down To Last 64 At World Pool Championship

Jasmin Ouschan

The World Pool Championship is down to the last 64 after the conclusion of the double elimination group stage at Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.

Among the high-profile casualties of the group stage were USA’s two-time Mosconi Cup winner Tyler Styer, former US Open Champion Corey Deuel and former World Champion Mika Immonen, who suffered a 7-9 defeat to Ralf Souquet.

Three of the eight female entries have advanced to the last 64 including Women’s World Champion Kelly Fisher. Germany’s Veronika Ivanovskaia went through with wins over Nick Malia and Tim De Ruyter, while Jasmin Ouschan won a hill-hill thriller against Mark Gray from 7-1 down to beat the Brit to a place in the knockout stages.

US Open Champion Joshua Filler came through the losers side of the group brackets win a 9-6 win over Sergey Lutsker, and Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw also made it through thanks to a 9-6 win over fellow Brit Imran Majid.

Shaw will now face Shane van Boening in a mouth-watering Last-64 clash, which will follow Fedor Gorst against Skyler Woodward on the TV table.

The last 64 begins at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports, DAZN and Matchroom.Live. Away from the TV table, matches include Darren Appleton vs Joshua Filler, Alex Kazakis vs Naoyuki Oi and young Bosnian rising star Sanjin Pehlivanovic against Albin Ouschan.

Albin’s sister Jasmin will face Aleksa Pecelj, Fisher is up against Jeremy Sossei and Ivanovskaia will face Max Lechner.

The full draw and brackets for the knockout stages can be found at matchroompool.com, along with live scoring throughout the event. For all the latest news and announcements follow Matchroom Pool on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram.

Chang Takes Advantage of Aranas Mistakes to Win Diamond Las Vegas Open

Chang Jung-Lin (Courtesy JP Parmentier – Cue Sport International)

Jung-Lin Chang stood at the table Saturday night, clinging to a 6-5 lead. His opponent, James Aranas of the Philippines, had won four of the last five racks to shave Chang’s lead down to a single game. With Chang controlling the break, he could either increase his lead or let Aranas all the way back into the match. 
 
“I didn’t think too much because it was my break,” Chang said. “After that, I had a chance to run out.” 
 
Chang took full advantage of the opportunity, as the powerful player from Chinese Taipei ran out and then used a handful of unforced errors by Aranas down the stretch to win the four of the final six games and claim the Diamond Las Vegas Open championship at Rio Hotel and Casino. Chang’s 9-5 victory in the finals avenged an earlier 7-4 loss to the previously unbeaten Aranas the finals on the winner’s side of the bracket.  
 
“(Aranas) made a lot of mistakes on some easy shots and that allowed me to get more points,” Chang said after the match. 
 
The Filipino opened the title match by using a victorious safety exchange to run out and take an early lead. Aranas appeared positioned to tack another rack onto his lead in the second game but misplayed position on the 9 ball, rolling the cue ball into the blocking 10 ball. He missed a kick shot on the object ball and Chang seized on the opportunity, using two breaks and runs along with an Aranas scratch on the break to build a 5-1 lead in a race to nine. 
 
“In the final I wasn’t comfortable,” Aranas said. 
 
The Filipino broke and ran in the seventh game to cut the deficit to three games and closed the gap even more when Chang missed a jump shot on the 4 ball in the following rack. Aranas appeared to be on the verge of slicing the lead down to one game but missed a makeable 8 ball in the corner pocket. 
 
“That was the chance for me to get closer,” said Aranas. “I was thinking about the shot clock and I was kind of like rushing and I missed it.” 
 
Chang cleared the table to push the lead to 6-3 but the Filipino continued to battle, taking advantage of a dry break by his opponent and adding a break-and-run to again narrow the gap to one game. Chang, who won the 2018 International Open, broke and ran in the 12th game, gutted out a win in the following game and closed out the match in the 14th rack when Aranas overran position on the 3 ball and ultimately overcut the shot. 
 
“The most important thing of all is mentality. You have to go through the pressure,” said Chang. “The last thing is the gods. The gods give you something, you take it.” 
 
The second-place finish is one of Aranas’s best in a 128-player tournament with an international field. The Filipino, who is reigning Super Billiards Expo 10 ball champion, opened the event with three consecutive 7-5 victories against Rory Hendrickson, Chris Melling and Maximillian Lechner. After defeating Ian Costello, 7-3, Aranas worked his way past Justin Bergman, 7-5, then jumped out to a 6-1 lead against Ralf Souquet only to see the German battle back and cut the lead to one. During a lengthy safety exchange with Souquet in the final game, the Filipino jumped in the 1 and 2 balls then ran out the rack to secure the match. 
 
“Ralf is such a great player, he’s a legend to me,” Aranas. “It’s hard to give him a chance to get back on the table.”  
 
Aranas then advanced to face Chang in their first matchup of the way, using two breaks and runs and a dry break from his opponent to jump out to an early 4-0 lead. After Chang used two breaks and runs and a scratch on the break by the Filipino to narrow the gap to 4-3, Aranas cleared the table in the eighth game then took advantage of two dry breaks by Chang to close out the match. 
 
“I’m proud of myself for what I’ve done,” said Aranas. “This is probably the first time I’ve come this close in an event like this. This was a big opportunity for me.”  
 
Justin Bergman is adamant that he didn’t play well during the event. Whatever game he did have was good enough for third place, as the young man from Illinois gutted his way past opponents until fatigue took its toll.
After a 7-4 decision against Kengo Suzuki in the opening round, Bergman took down John Morra, 7-5; Ta-Li Lin, 7-1 and Ko Pin-Yi, 7-5. After falling to Aranas 7-5 late early Saturday morning around 2 a,m., Bergman grabbed about an hour of sleep and was back at the table Saturday morning at 10 a.m. He gutted out back-to-back hill-hill matches against Corey Deuel and Poland’s Karol Skowerski before taking down Chris Robinson, 7-4. Now playing in the quarterfinals on the one-loss side, Bergman split the first six games with Souquet before a missed 5 ball by the German in the seventh game opened the floodgates. 
 
“I changed my mind right before the shot,” said Souquet. “That basically threw me off completely afterwards. It wasn’t a tough runout, I just needed good shape on the 6 ball and, for whatever reason, I changed my mind.”
Bergman cleared the table to take a 4-3 lead, then took advantage of a couple additional missed shots by Souquet to close out the match, 7-3. His luck – and energy – would run out in the next round against Chang as he failed to pocket a ball on the break in his first three attempts. Chang built a commanding 6-0 then held off a late rally by his opponent, ultimately winning 7-3. 
 
“I wasn’t comfortable and he’s such a great player, you have to do everything perfect to beat him,” Bergman said. 
 
It was a turn-back-the-clock weekend for the 51-year-old Souquet, who used his first trip to American soil in 2020 to land a fourth-place finish. After an opening round forfeit by his opponent, the German rattled off four straight wins to reach the final four on the winner’s side before falling to Aranas. Souquet then defeated Ko Pin-Yi on the one-loss side of the bracket before falling to Bergman. 
 
The Diamond Las Vegas Open is a presentation of Cue Sports International and sponsored by Diamond Billiard Products, an industry leader in pocket billiard table manufacturing. The event is being hosted by the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and broadcast live on YouTube by CSI Media, a subsidiary of Cue Sports International. For more information, visit www.world10ball.com 
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international billiards organization which produces the United States Open 8-ball, 10-ball, one pocket, bank pool and straight pool championships. CSI, which also operates national amateur pool leagues, has three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, the events division produces numerous amateur and professional events and the media department creates live video billiards content. For more information about CSI, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
 
The Diamond Las Vegas Open is sponsored by: Predator Group, Omega billiard supplies and Kamui cue tips. 

Filler Falls in Dramatic Upset, while Van Boening Also Crashes Out

Finland’s Casper Matikainen takes down the defending champion in wild day in Doha as 32 players set for a sprint to the World 9-ball crown.

 

Casper Matikainen

Finland’s Casper Matikainen came into his round of 64 match at the World 9-ball Championship today versus the defending champion and world number 1 Joshua Filler feeling relaxed and ready for battle. He figured the German great would bring his usual fire, but he also knew that Filler might also take his eye off the proverbial ball. After all, the 23 year old Finn wasn’t exactly the most feared name in a field of absolute monsters.

So even when the self-described “King” of pool jumped out to a 4-1 lead, Matikainen never lost hope, as Filler had gotten a few lucky rolls and wasn’t playing all that great, while the Finn had a few rolls go against him.

The mental strategy soon started to bear fruit for the cool-headed blonde. Slowly, and increasingly surely, Matikainen crawled even, and then took the lead while at the same time Filler started to get sloppy, lose focus and even showed some signs of panic. From 4-1 down Matikainen calmly won 9 out of the next ten frames.  After a brief hiccup on the hill that allowed Filler to claim two quick racks, the steady Finn held his nerve and closed out the biggest shock of the tournament so far, an 11-7 upset of the defending champion.

“He’s the world champion and he’s playing and I’m not there in the big tournaments and maybe he’s thinking it’s an easy win,” the 22 year old Matikainen said afterward.  “I felt that Joshua had the pressure because he’s the world champion and I was really relaxed at the table and that helped me and I just got it done.”

Matikainen’s massive win was but one huge result on a dramatic day in Doha that saw some of pool’s biggest names dumped out, while others were taken to the absolute limits. With the field now down to the final 32, the next two days promises to be one of the most exciting and fascinating Battle Royale’s of 9-ball we’ve seen in years.

America’s Shane Van Boening had come to Doha a heavy favorite this year and for good reason. His last three starts here ended with two runner ups and a spot in the semis last year. But several early mistakes against Taiwan’s Liu Ri Teng was all it took for the Taiwanese to grab a commanding lead at 10-4. The American mounted a valiant fight back, but the alternate break format meant the hole was too deep. Liu sent Van Boening packing in the round of 64 with a humbling 11-8 defeat.

After his runner up finish at the US Open in Las Vegas last April, former champion Wu Jiaqing figured to go far here in Doha. But Wu came up against fellow compatriot Xu Xiaocong, who is one of a slew of quality young talents coming out of China. Xu has impressed all week here and  against Wu he turned his game up several notches, crushing the former Boy Wonder 11-5.

The Taiwanese are almost sure to have one, possibly two players in the semis after tomorrow as Team Taipei looked absolutely marvelous today. It isn’t easy picking a favorite out of these world beaters but World 10-ball Champion Ko Ping Chung would probably be at the top of most punters betting sheets.  The slightly built and painfully shy 22 year old is clearly at the top of his game but he even he barely escaped in a harrowing match against Hungary’s talented Oliver Szolnoki.

Szolnoki, another bright European prospect, played the match of his young career and had “Little” Ko on the ropes, shooting out to a 7-3, then 8-5 lead. The fresh-faced Hungarian reached the hill first, but Ko then displayed the courage and guts that only champions can pull off.  In a nervy and tense sudden death rack, the Taiwanese made a series of surreal pressure shots to eek out the victory.

Little Ko’s older brother and two-time former world champion Pin Yi also won today, easily defeating Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama, 11-5. Fellow Taiwanese Chang Jung Lin, Chang Yu Lung, Lin Wu Kun and Kevin Chang all won their round of 64 matches today. In all seven Taiwanese made it through to the round of 32.

2016 World 9-ball champion Albin Ouschan of Austria looks to be in very fine form this year, as he easily defeated Taiwan’s Lin Ta Li 11-5.  Fellow Austrian Max Lechner continued his rise this year with an 11-4 win over Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis.

The Russian contingent also put in solid performances today. Veteran Ruslan Chinakhov took down American Corey Duel 11-3, while youngster Fedor Gorst stayed alive with an 11-8 win over Slovakia’s Jakub Koniar.

2012 World 9-ball Champion Darren Appleton has been quietly playing himself back into game shape over the last few months and his solid victory today over Albanian star and European Mosconi team member Eklent Kaci could be a portent for the rest of the field. The Englishman battled back from a 4-0 deficit, and then turned the screws on the Albanian for a quality 11-6 win. In his remarkable heyday from 2008 to 2015, Appleton famously grinded out championships by the truckload and that bulldog mentality definitely was on display this afternoon.

The Philippines had only three players in the final 64 but all three made it through today. 2017 World 9-ball champion Carlo Biado got taken to the limit by Qatari veteran Bashar Hussein, before breaking and running the last rack for an 11-10 win. Also winning today for the Team Pinoy were Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ignacio.

The Polish contingent has been getting stronger by the year and they showed their quality today with three of their stars pushing through to the final 32. Mieszko Fortunski, Wojciech Szewczyk, and Mateusz Sniegocki all won handily.

Also advancing today were the USA’s Billy Thorpe, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp, China’s Liu Haitao, Greece’s Alexander Kazakis, Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Estonia’s Dennis Grabe, England’s Chris Melling, Canada’s Alex Pagulayan, Qatar’s Waleed Majid, Vietnam’s Do The Kien, and Hong Kong’s young upstart Yip Kin Ling.

The penultimate day of the World 9-ball championship will be extremely busy as the field will be whittled down to the final four at the end of the days’ action.

Play on day 3, Monday, Dec. 16th will begin at 10am Doha time(GMT +3). All matches will be single elimination knockout race to 11, alternate break.

The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,00.

*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.

Fans around the world will be able to view live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.

Results Final 64

Casper Matikainen(FIN) 11 – 7 Joshua Filler(GER)
Yip Kin Ling(HKG) 11 – 5 John Morra(CAN)

Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 5 Lin Ta Li(TPE)
Denis Grabe(EST) 11 – 8 Marc Bijsterbosch(NED)

Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 9 Dang Jinhu(CHN)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 11 – 8 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 11 – 6 Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL)
Xu Xiaocong(CHN) 11 – 5 Wu Jiaqing(CHN)

Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 11 – 8 Radoslaw Babica(POL)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 11 – 9  Jalal Al Sarisi (VEN)

Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 11 – 7 Petri Makkonen(FIN)
Johann Chua(PHL) 11 – 5 Enrique Rojas(CHL)

Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 3 Karol Skowerski(POL)
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 11 – 9 Masato Yoshioka(JPN)

Billy Thorpe(USA) 11 – 6 Kong Dejing(CHN)
Carlo Biado(PHL) 11 – 10 Bashar Hussain(QAT)

Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 11 – 10  Oliver Szolnoki(HUN)
Lin Wu Kun(TPE) 11 – 7 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)

Maximilian Lechner(AUT) 11 – 4 Pijus Labutis(LTH)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)  11 – 3 Corey Duel(USA)

Chris Melling(ENG)  11 – 7 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Do The Kien(VET) 11 – 5 David Alcaide(ESP)

Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 11 – 6 Jang Moonseok(KOR)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 11 – 10 Ralf Souquet(GER)

Pin Yi Ko(TPE) 11 – 5 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 11 – 6 Stephen Holem(CAN)

Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 11 – 9  Xue Zhenqi(CHN)
Darren Appleton(ENG) 11 – 6 Eklent Kaci(ALB)

Fedor Gorst(RUS) 11 – 8 Jakub Koniar(SVK)
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 11 – 10 Tomasz Kaplan(POL)

Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 11 – 7 Ivar Saris(NED)
Liu Ri Teng(TPE) 11 – 8 Shane Van Boening(USA)

One loss side group matches
Winner moves on to final 64 KO stage. Loser is out

Group 1
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 4 Hasan Hwaidi(IRQ)
Bashar Hussain(QAT) 9 – 6 Jerico Bonus(PHL)

Group 2
Fedor Gorst(RUS) 9 – 2 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS) 9 – 3 Kong Bu Hong(HKG)

Group 3
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 1 Gerson Martinez(PER)
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 3 Saki Kanatlar(TRK)

Group 4
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 9 – 8 Matt Edwards(NZL)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 1 Marc Vidal(ESP)

Group 5
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 9 – 8 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 5 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)

Group 6
Do The Kiem(VET)  9 – 6 Ali Alobaidli(QAT)
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 9 – 4 Ricky Yang(IND)

Group 7
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 6 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Liu Ri Teng(TPE) 9 – 1 Nadim Okbani(ALG)

Group 8
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 4 Hassan Shahada(JOR)
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 6 Abdullah Alyusef(KUW)

Group 9
Stephen Holem(CAN) 9 – 4 Khaled Alghamdi(KSR)
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 9 – 5 Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR)

Group 10
Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB) 9 – 5 Max Eberle(USA)
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 4 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)

Group 11
Karol Slowerski(POL) 9 – 4 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Eklent Kaci(ALB)  9 – 3 Ahmad Aldelaimi(KUW)

Group 12
Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 9 – 5  Niels Feijen(NED)
Daminanos Giallourakis(GRE)  9 – 3 Abdullah Alshammari(KSR)

Group 13
Masato Yoshioka(JPN) 9 – 4 Clark Sullivan(NZE)
Xue Zhenqi(CHN) 9 – 7 Luis Lemus(GTM)

Group 14
Darren Appleton(ENG) 9 – 6 Richard Halliday(RSA)
Jakub Koniar(SLV) 9 – 3 Fayaz Hussain(MAL)

Group 15
Jang Moonseok(KOR) 9 – 2 Robbie Capito(HKG)
Corey Duel(USA) 9 – 8 Wang Can(CHN)

Group 16
Xu Xiaocong(CHN) 9 – 0 Mohamed El Raousti(ALG)
Lin Wu Kun(TPE) 9 – 3 Riccardo Sini(ITA)

32 Players Book Their Spots In The KO Rounds In A Roller Coaster First Day In Doha

Ko Ping-Chung

If the first day’s play of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship is any indication–and by all measures it certainly is just that–then fans around the world better be prepared for a wild roller coaster ride over the next three days.  Drama, upsets, nerves, revelations, suprises, excitement and downright brilliant 9-ball at the highest levels were all on display as play commenced in the 28th running of pool’s premier crown. And with a loaded field just getting warmed up, it’s only going to get better leading to the final on Tuesday.
 
With 64 matches played on 16 tables at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Day 1 saw 32 players book their spots in the final 64 knockout stage which begins Sunday.  None of the 96 players have yet to see the exits, but there were plenty of upsets, near upsets, and upstarts making their mark on pool’s biggest stage.
 
The top 32 seeds were given a bye in the first round of their groups, so these players only had to win one match to reach the single elimination knockout rounds.  Defending champion Joshua Filler of Germany did just that, but not before a shaky start which saw him tied at 4-4 in the race to 9 alternate break match against Qatari veteran Bashar Hussain. The World number one was never in trouble, though, and cruised to a 9-5 win.
 
2017 champion and runner up last year Carlo Biado of the Philippines didn’t fair as well as he got dumped over to the one loss side of his group with a shocking 9-3 loss to Chile’s Enrique Rojas. It was Rojas’ second straight victory of the day, the first coming over Kuwait’s Abdullah Alyusef. Rojas now books his well deserved spot in the Final 64 tomorrow.
 
The USA’s Shane Van Boening is one of the favorites here this week, but he looked a bit cold early on in his match with young talented Chinese player Xu Xiaocong. Xu is part of a large crop coming from China’s youth movement and he had the American down three quarters of the way through their match.  But SVB pulled it together at the last minute and squeaked by the Chinese, 9-8. Xu will get one more chance on Sunday.
 
Fellow American and Mosconi teammate Billy Thorpe also booked his spot in the final 64 with a 9-5 win over Canada’s Stephen Holem.
 
It was a solid day for team Taiwan. World 10-ball Champion Ko Ping Chung went up against Myamar’s rising star Phone Myint Kyaw, who also goes by the moniker, Muang Muang. Kyaw is a player that pool fans will want to pay attention to. He’s a former snooker player who has been winning regularly on the brutally tough Chinese 8-ball circuit, and he just grabbed two gold medals in the Southeast Asian games in Manila.  His stroke is one of the most solid in the game and anyone who watches him play instantly can see the potential in this young man.
 
But of course, Ko is a young prodigy who has already proven his metal in American pool with his recent win at the World 10-ball in July in Vegas.  Little Ko didn’t have much trouble with Muang Muang, winning handily, 9-4.
 
Little Ko will join his older brother Pin Yi in the final 64, who defeated the always stingy Jalal Al Sarisi of Venezuela, 9-4.  Other Taiwanese cruising into the final 64 include Chang Jung Lin, Chang Yu Lung, and Kevin Cheng.
 
The Philippines is surprisingly unrepresented in Doha this year with only four players in the field. With Biado losing early it was up to Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ingacio to save the day for the Pinoys. Both looked the goods and nabbed spots in the final 64.
 
It was a mixed bag for the European Mosconio Cup team. Greece’s Alexander Kazakis is one of Europe’s top bets here this week and he qualified for the knockout round with an easy 9-5 win over Qatar’s Waleed Majid.  But Albania’s Eklent Kaci and former World 9-ball Champion Niels Feijen of the Netherlands weren’t so fortunate. Kaci lost big to the Netherlands’ Ivar Saris, who had earlier looked solid in a 9-6 win over Poland’s Karol Skowerski. Feijen went down to upstart Hong Konger Yip Kin Ling, 9-7, who took his spot in the Final 64 with his second  win of the day.
 
The surprises kept coming throughout the day. Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis first squeaked by Peru’s Gerson Martinez, 9-8. Then he took on former World 9-ball Champion Wu Jiaqing, and shocked the Chinese great with a 9-7 upset, and a spot in the knockout rounds.
 
Also booking a spot in the final 64 was Canada’s John Morra, who continued his return to fine form with a 9-8 win over Poland’s Mateusz Sniegocki. Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp showed that he’s clearly a dark horse to watch here in Doha with a 9-4 drubbing of China’s talented Dang Jinhu.  England’s Chris Melling came back from 6-2 down to defeat Vietnam’s Do The Kien, 9-7. Also advancing today were Japan’s Naoyuki Oi, Austria’s Max Lechner, China’s Lui Haitao, Estonia’s Dennis Grabe, Finland’s Petri Makkonen, Germany’s Ralf Souquet,  and Spaniards David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz.
 
Play on day 2 on Sunday, Dec. 14th will begin at 10am Doha time(GMT +3). The field will be whittled down to 64 players playing single elimination knockout race to 11.  The round of 64 will be completed in the first two session, and by the end of the day, the field will be down to the final 32. 
 
The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,00.
 
*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.
 
 
Results
 
Group 1
Bashar Hussain(QAT) 9 – 6 Hasan Hwaidi(IRQ)  
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 7 Jerico Bonus(PHL)
 
Group 2
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)  9 – 5 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 9 – 6  Kong Bu Hong(CHN)
 
Group 3
Pijus Labutis(LTH) 9 – 8 Gerson Martinez (PER)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 7 Saki Kanatlar(TKY)
 
Group 4
Kong Dejing(CHN) 9 – 6 Matt Edwards(NZL)  
Jalal Al Sarsi(VEN)  9 – 7 Marc Vidal(SPN)
 
Group 5
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 5 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
Oliver Szolnoki(HUN) 9 – 3 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)
 
Group 6
Tomasz Kaplan(POL)  9 – 5 Ali Alobadili(QAT)
Do The Kien(VET) 9 – 3 Ricky Yang(IND) 
 
Group 7
Liu Ri Teng(TPE)  9 – 5 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 1 Nadim Okbani(ALG)
 
Group 8
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 1 Hassan Shhada(JOR)
Enrique Rojas(CHL) 9 – 7 Abdullah Alyusef(KUW)
 
Group 9
Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR) 9 – 3  Khaled Alghamdi(KSR)
Stephen Holem(CAN) 9 – 6 Casper Matikainen(FIN) 
 
Group 10
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 7 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Max Eberle(USA) 9 – 7 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
 
Group 11
Ivar Saris(NET) 9 – 6 Karol Skowerski(POL) 
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 – 1 Ahmad Aldelaimi(KUW)
 
Group 12
Damianos Giallourakis(GRE) 9 – 7 Marck Bijsterbosch(NED)  
Yip Kin Ling(HKG) 9 – 8 Abdulla Alshemari(KSR)
 
Group 13
Xue Zhenqi(CHN) 9 – 5 Clark Sullivan(NZE)
Masato Yoshioka(JPN) Luis Lemus(GUY)
 
Group 14
Jakub Koniar(SLV) 9 – 8 Darren Appleton(ENG) 
Richard Halliday(RSA) 9 – 4 Fayaz Ussain(MAL)
 
Group 15
Konrad Juszcayszyn(POL) 9 – 7 Robbie Capito(HKG) 
Jang Moonseok(KOR) 9 – 6 Wang Can(CHN)
 
Group 16
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 0 Mohamed El Raousti(ALG)
Xu Xiaocong(CHN) 9- 2  Riccardo Sini(ITL)
 
 
Winners Side Matches Day 1.
Winner is through to the Final 64, Loser goes to one loss side of their group for one more chance
 
 
 
Group 1
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 5 Bashar Hussain(QAT)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 8 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)
 
Group 2
Denis Grabe(EST) 9 – 7 Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 9 – 4 Fedor Gorst(RUS)
 
Group 3
Pijus Labutis(LTH) 9 – 7 Wu Jiaqing(CHN)  
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 4 Dang Jinhu(CHN)
 
Group 4
Kong Dejing(CHN) 9 – 6 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)
Pin Yi Ko(TPE) 9 – 5 Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN)
 
Group 5
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 5 Waleed Majid(QAT)
Oliver Szolnoki(HUN) 9 – 3 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
 
Group 6
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 6 Tomasz Kaplan(POL)
Chris Melling(ENG) 9 – 7 Do The Kien(VET)
 
Group 7
Johann Chua(PHL) 9 – 3 Liu Ri Teng(TPE)
Max Lechner(AUT) 9 – 6 Radoslaw Babica(POL)
 
Group 8
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 3 Lin Ta Li(TPE)
Enrique Rojas(CHL) 9 – 3 Carlo Biado(PHL)
 
Group 9
Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 9 – 4 Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR)
Billy Thorpe(USA) 9 – 5 Stephen Holem(CAN)
 
Group 10
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 9 – 8 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 3 Max Eberle(USA)
 
Group 11
Ivar Saris(NED) 9 – 4 Eklent Kaci(ALB)
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 1 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
 
Group 12
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 7 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)
Yip Kin Ling(HKG) 9 – 7 Niels Feijen(NED)
 
Group 13
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 8 Xue Zhenqi(CHN)
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 8 Masato Yoshioka(JPN)
 
Group 14
David Alcaide(ESP) 9 – 7 Jakub Koniar(SLV)
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 9 – 4 Richard Halliday(RSA)
 
Group 15
Konrad Juszcayszyn(POL) 9 – 8 Corey Deuel(USA)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 4 Jan Moonseok(KOR)
 
Group 16
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 5 Lin Wu Kun(TPE)
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 8 Xu Xiaocong(CHN)

The 28th WPA World 9-ball Championship Set For Break Off In Doha

Pia and Josh Filler at the 2018 World 9-Ball Championship

96 players from over 40 countries will battle for a ticket to pool’s pantheon of legends

For three decades it has been the sport of pool’s premier stamp of greatness. The WPA World 9-ball Championship is, for any player who captures this most coveted of crowns, an instant ticket to a pantheon of legends, a list of supreme talent signifying not just one singular accomplishment, but of eternal pool glory.

 
Just look at the list of names who have captured this crown; Strickland(’90, ’91, ’02),Hohmann(’03, ’13), Chao(’93, ’00), Reyes,  Okumura, Ortmann, Takahashi, Immonen, Archer, Varner, Souquet, Pagulayan, Wu, Alcano, Peach, Bustamante, Akagariyama, Appleton, Feijen, Ouschan, Biado,  Ko, and most recently Filler. Each and every one a superstar who, when they won, were at the top of their craft in a pool world always stacked with a slew of incredible and hungry talent. Nobody gets there by being lucky, nobody is handed the golden crown.
 
This is why for the past 30 years pool fans all over the world so eagerly await this annual slug fest of pool’s very best.  Drama, classic comebacks, amazing upsets, nervy action, brilliant pressure packed performances are always on full display.  And it will happen once more over the next week in Doha, Qatar, when once again the heavyweights of the pool world will gather for the 28th time to contest the most prestigious prize in pool.
 
2019 marks the tenth straight year that the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation(QBSF) has hosted the World 9-ball Championship. This year’s tournament has been scaled back somewhat, from 128 players down to 96, but that only means each match will more than likely feature showdowns between the greats, which means the margin for error will be even slimmer, and the pressure to perform will be even more immense from the beginning.  
 
The defending champion is World number 1 Joshua Filler, who by all accounts, is the favorite to become only the second man to ever win back-to-back World 9-ball crowns (Earl Strickland won in ’90 and ’91). The then 21 year old German arrived in Doha last year battle-ready and loaded with prodigious talent. Filler then clocked in a glorious week of pool, never tasting defeat, sometimes crushing opponents with breathtaking speed and total cue ball mastery, coming from behind in several pressure packed situations, and closing the door when it counted, as all champions do.  In the final he held off a furious fight back from the then defending champion Carlo Biado of the Philippines, to win his first world crown, 13-10.
 
While pool history is not kind to those trying to win back their title for the second straight year, Filler has so turned the pool world on its head that nobody would be surprised if he was standing on the winner’s podium again this year. But the German will be up against a Murderer’s Row of  pool talent who have gathered here in Doha, and each and everyone has their eyes on this prize.
 
One of the favorites this week has to be the American great Shane Van Boening. Like last year Van Boening, currently ranked number 2 in the world, is coming off a brilliant winning performance in the Mosconi Cup, and is positively brimming with confidence. The American has won just about everything there is to win in pool, except this event, and based on his showings the last few years here, the odds are saying that he is due to finally reach the mountain top. Just look at his recent results in Doha. Van Boening took runner up in 2015 and 2016. He skipped the 2017 championship, but last year he was once again on a serious roll, until he got taken down by Biado in the semis. For Van Boening, it’s not a matter of ‘if’, it’s simply a matter of ‘when.’
 
If you are looking to place your money on some other favorites, look no further than the Taiwanese contingent. World 10-ball champion and current world number 2 Ko Ping Chung leads a pack of world beaters from Taipei, which also includes heavy favorites Chang Jung Lin, Ko’s older brother Ko Pin Yi, Kevin Cheung, Chang Yu Lung and Wu Kun Lin. With this kind of talent in the field, it’s almost a certainty that at least one Taiwanese player will be in the final four.
 
China has yet to win a world 9-ball title but they usually put in a solid performance in Doha. Wu Qia Jing(who won the 2015 title playing under Chinese-Taipei) is once again in the field. Dang Jinhu and Liu Haitao also stand out among the  Chinese players.
 
Biado, World number four, leads the charge for a somewhat reduced Philippine contingent. He’ll be joined by World number 14 Johann Chua, Jeffrey Ignacio and several others.
 
After a several year absence, 2012 World 9-ball champion and Hall of Famer Darren Appleton has made his return. He’ll be joined by one other fellow Brit, Chris Melling.
 
One noticeable absence this year is Scotland’s Jayson Shaw, who has had to withdraw due to some health issues. But the rest of this year’s European Mosconi Cup team will be fully represented as 2014 World 9-ball Champion Niels Feijen of the Netherlands is joined by Greece’s Alexander Kazakis and Albania’s Eklent Kaci
 
Other former World 9-ball champions in the field include Austria’s Albin Ouschan, Germany’s Ralf Souquet, Thorsten Hohmann, Canadian-Filipino Alex Pagulayan, and Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama.
 
And, as always happens at the World 9-ball Championship, unknowns and newcomers are sure to shock the field with a few amazing upsets.
 
The first day’s play on Saturday, Dec. 14th will begin at 1pm Doha time(GMT +3). Players are divided into 16 groups playing double elimination, alternate break, race to 9 until the final 64, where all matches will be single elimination, alternate break, race to 11. The race to 13 final will take place on December 17th.
 
The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,000.
 
*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.

Lechner’s Win over Van Boening Highlights International Open Day Three

Max Lechner

Wednesday morning at the International 9-Ball Open, began with a round from the one-loss side. Here, the winners stay in the tournament while the losers pack for home. Che-Wei Fu sent David Tickle home 11-5 while Roland Garcia rolled over Frankie Alvarez 11-1. Roberto Gomez defeated Raphael Debreo 11-6 and Naoyuki Oi won over Donny Mills 11-8.  Maxim Dudanets ruined the day for Johnny Archer 11-5 and Tommy Kennedy did the same for Jeremy Jones at 11-4. Albin Ouschan beat Matt Krah 11-3  while Niels Feijen danced over Dario Woodside 11-3. Finally, Billy Thorpe lost a close one to Ta Li Lin 11-9.
 
The next round was back on the winner’s side and featured Mika Immonen against Shane Van Boening. The famous SVB break wasn’t quite there today, but he still cleared Immonen 11-7. John Schmidt wasted no time in beating Bryan Farah 11-2 as Lee Van Corteza beat Chen-Yu Chang 11-3.
 
Max Eberle helped his Mosconi Cup hopes by putting down Skyler Woodward 11-6 and Thorsten Hohmann mowed the tall grass by besting Ko Pin-Yi 11-7. Another match worth noting was World #1 Joshua Filler taking down Ruslan Chinakhov 11-9. Filler has gained quite a fan base this week for his honor at the table. He called a foul on himself that no one else saw on Monday and then called himself on an illegal break yesterday. Two very close matches worth noting were Darren Appleton escaping from Kenny Cheng 11-9 while Denis Grade nipped David Alcaide 11-10.
 
Our third round of the day found Alex Pagulayan in form as he ran over Marco Teutscher 11-3. Ko Ping-Chung got by Kai Lin Hsu 11-9 and Jayson Shaw managed to catch a gear after he and Quac Hoang Duong were tied at 8 and Shaw took control to win 11-8. James Aranas had a great match where he destroyed defending champion Chang Jung-Lin 11-3 and Tommy Kennedy blasted Maxim Dudanets 11-5.
 
John Morra defeated Petri Makkonen 11-4 and Alex Kazakis continued his fine week taking off Fedor Gorst 11-7. Finally, Justin Martin just slid by Niels Feijen 11-10 and Dennis Orcollo edged Corey Duel 11-10 when Deuel hung the 5 in the corner on his way to clear the final rack.
 
There were only five matches on the one loss side at 6:30, and the feature match was Aloysius Yapp vs Ko Pin-Yi. Readers might want to remember the name of Aloysius Yapp. The Singapore native has had a great week here in Norfolk. First he beat the younger Ko brother Ko Ping-Han and then tonight on the TV table he had to take on the older Ko, one of the few players who can claim two World Championships in the same year. 
 
Yapp was not concerned though. He went out and played flawless pool and dominated Pin-Yi throughout the match. He took an early lead and just kept stretching it out farther and farther. In the end he was leading 10-5 when Ko tried to draw for position on the 9 ball and drew his rock into the corner pocket, giving Yapp ball-in-hand on the 9 for the 11-5 victory. Yes, Yapp should be a name in this game for years to come. 
 
In other matches, Ruslan Chinahov beat Lin Ta-Li 11-4 in a match that wasn’t even that close, and Roberto Gomez lost to Nick Ekonomolous. Gomez had a very vocal cheering section this week, but they had very little opportunity to make any noise as he quietly dropped his match to Ekonomopolous 11-4. 
 
The 8:30 round eliminated another thirteen players with Chris Melling, John Schmidt, Ralf Souquet, Tommy Kennedy, Petri Makkonen and US young gun Justin Martin all dropping matches. 
 
The final round of play on Wednesday featured four matches on the winner’s side. While last year’s runner-up Ko Ping-Chung was beating BCA Hall of Famer Alex Pagulayan on the feature table, Austria’s Max Lechner and Shane Van Boening were putting on a show on one of the outer tables. Lechner had already gotten the attention of the crowd in Norfolk with his 11-4 opening match win over Skyler Woodward. The fan’s hadn’t seen anything yet though. Lechner held an early 2-0 lead over Van Boening when he ran six straight racks for an 8-0 lead. He extended that lead to 9-0, before Shane started doing what he does. Van Boening started creeping back into the match and although Lechner had opportunities at the table, he wasn’t able to capitalize on them. Nine racks later, the score was tied at 9-9 and every eyeball in the room was glued to this match. Van Boening took the hill first at 10-9, but Lechner dug down deep and took control of his nerves to tie the score at 10-10 with him breaking. The break turned out to be very important as Lechner broke the balls and watched along with the standing room only crowd as the 9-ball made a beeline to the corner pocket, giving Lechner the 11-10 win. 
 
Lechner now joins Ko, Dennis Orcollo and Jayson Shaw in the final eight on the winner’s side. The other four players in that round will be determined Thursday morning. 

International 9-Ball Open Day One Complete

Max Lechner (Erwin Dionisio)

The International 9-Ball Open began Monday, October 28 with 96 players prepared to battle for the title. Two side stories that fans were watching this week were that Max Eberle and Corey Deuel are both shooting for the final spot on the Mosconi Cup team. With the final decision due immediately following this event, their play this week could be the deciding factor. One other interesting tidbit is that we are getting to see all three of the Ko brothers in competition for the first time here in Norfolk. Pool fans are familiar with the games of Ko Pin-Yi and his younger brother Ko Ping-Chung, but this will be most US fans first chance to see the youngest, Ko Ping-Han in action.
 
The opening round kicked off Monday morning with some great matches. Austrian young gun Maximillian Lechner took down Team USA member Skyler Woodward 11-4, by simply denying Woodward opportunities at the table. Justin Bergman came from four games down to defeat John Schmidt on the hill. Other notable scores from the opening round were Johnny Archer winning 11-8 over Ivo Linkin, and Jeremy Jones over Yu-Lun Chang 11-5.
 
The second round of the day saw Ko Ping-Chung take down Ernesto Dominguez 11-5 and Alex Pagulayan besting Michael Yednak 11-6. 
 
The third round also had some matches of interest, with Alex Kazakis and Fedor Gorst both shooting perfect matches with Kazakis over Chris Lawson 11-0 and Gorst giving the snowball to William Brewer. James Aranas went past Mark Vidal 11-4 and Donny Mills owned William Collins 11-3.
 
Coming back from the dinner break, the crowd was treated to a battle between Roberto Gomez and Ko Pin-Yi. Ko took an early 2-0 lead, but Gomez came back to take his first lead at 5-4. Gomez held that lead until 10-10 when a miss on the 8-ball left the table and match for Ko 11-10. In another 6:30 match, Ralf Souquet found himself in a 7-3 hole against Matt Krah. Ralf came back to 7-6 down, but hung an 8-ball that would have tied things at 7-7. Souquet did get back to a tie at 8-8 and traded racks with Krah until he pocketed the final 9-ball for the 11-10 win. 
 
In the 8:30 round, Earl Strickland had his hands full with the event’s lone Japanese competitor, Kengo Suzuki. The match was tied at 6-6 when Strickland won two for an 8-6 lead. Suzuki came right back to tie things at 8-8 before Strickland took control and won the match 11-9. Another battle in the 8:30 round saw Tommy Kennedy take American 14.1 Straight Pool Champion Ruslan Chinahov to hill-hill before Chinahov won the match 11-10. 
 
The final round of the night was not pretty for US players, as Billy Thorpe, Donny Mills and Frankie Hernandez were all sent to the one loss side. Neither Thorpe or Mills looked to be comfortable at the table in their matches, as Thorpe dropped an 11-3 match to Vietnam’s Quoc Hoang Duong and Mills couldn’t stay with a free wheeling Chris Melling in an 11-4 match. While Frankie Hernandez’s match was more competitive, he still fell to Marco Teutscher 11-6.
 
You can follow the action all week long, with our online brackets and real time scoring. Select matches will also be streamed online as part of Accu-Stats PPV coverage of the event

Austria’s Lechner, Finland’s Siekkinen and Spain’s Ruiz lead the pack at 14.1 Championships

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (Erwin Dionisio)

Three of the 2019 American 14:1 Straight Pool Championships’ competitors made it through the event’s three-day Round Robin phase (Oct. 22-24) with undefeated (6-0) records. They were arguably not the names you might have expected from this particular field of 42 entrants, which included six former winners of the championship title – Mika Immonen (2007), Johnny Archer (2011), John Schmidt (2012), Thorsten Hohmann (2013), Darren Appleton (’14 & ’15), and Neils Feijen (2016). Two-time runner up Danny Barouty (to Ed Hodan in 2006 and Bob Maidhof in 2008) was competing, as were runner-ups Shaun Wilkie (to Danny Harriman in 2010), John Schmidt (to Archer, 2011), Archer (to Hohmann, 2013), Hohmann (to Schmidt in 2012, Darren Appleton in 2015 & Klenti Kaci in 2018), Immonen (to Feijen in 2016) and Dennis Orcollo (to Konrad Juszczyszyn in 2017).
 
Instead, Austria’s Max Lechner, Finland’s Jan Siekkinen and Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz went undefeated through the Round Robin phase of the event and were awarded a bye in the 24-entrant single elimination phase which began today (Friday) and will continue through tomorrow (Saturday) at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA. Lechner was paired in his seven-entrant round robin flight and won his six race-to-125 matches by an average of 102 balls. He gave up, in order, one to David Alcaide, 66 to Marc Vidal, 24 to Tom Walter, seven to Blair Levandowski and 41 to Don Polo
 
Siekkinen competed in what was arguably the event’s toughest group of seven and went through Thorsten Hohmann (43), Johnny Archer (81), Lee Van Corteza (59), Sean Morgan (21), Neil Gold (65) and Pascal Dufresne (44); an average of 52. Ruiz got by John Schmidt (66), Petri Makkonen (25), Bob Hunter (55), Mike Badsteubner (27), Reymart Lim (72) and Michael Frank (-1); average of 40.
 
The remaining five competitors to receive opening round byes into single elimination were all 5-1 in the round robin competition. Ruslan Chinakhov lost his opening round match to Neils Feijen, one of two matches that Feijen won by shutout, 125-0 (the other was against Bob Madenjian). Chinakhov went on to down Albin Ouschan, Ralph Eckert and deliver a second shutout to Madenjian, before defeating Holden Chin and Darren Frank. Dennis Orcollo lost his opening match to Darren Appleton in one of the round robin’s closest games, 125-116. Orcollo went on to meet and defeat Maksim Dudanets, Marco Teutscher, Danny Barouty, Earl Herring and Steve Matthieu.
 
Feijen was the only member of this year’s European Mosconi Cup team who competed in this event, and while he did chalk up two shutout victories, he did lose his opening match to Albin Ouschan 125-44. In addition to the shutouts, he defeated Ralph Eckert, Holden Chin and D. Frank. The sport’s acknowledged comedian, Alex Pagulayan opened the round robin proceedings against Mika Immonen, and together, they produced the round robin’s official closest game, won by The Lion 125-119. Pagulayan went on to defeat Max Eberle before losing his one match to Shaun Wilkie in another close match 125-104. He finished with victories over Michael Yednak, Steve Lillis and Jay McWorter.
  
As noted above, Immonen’s path to his 5-1 round robin record began with a defeat by Pagulayan. The Iceman would go on to down Eberle, Wilkie, Yednak, Lillis and McWorter.
 
Friday morning competition in the single elimination phase saw eight matches scheduled. Five of the 16 competitors had also logged 5-1 records in the round robin phase; tie breakers were head-to-head results and beyond that, total ball counts. John Schmidt was scheduled to face Maksim Dudanets, who finished the round robin phase with a 3-3 record. The marquee match was likely to be Albin Ouschan (5-1) against Johnny Archer (4-2), who closed out Thursday evening’s matches with a necessary win of Sean Morgan that gave him the record he needed to advance.
 
The Darren Appleton (5-1) and Shaun Wilkie (4-2) combination was garnering interest and was selected as the Billiard Sports Network’s Friday morning choice for live broadcast. Ralf Souquet, competing in the round robin flight with the 6-0 Lechner, advanced with his 5-1 match record to face Reymart Lim (3-3). Marco Teutscher (5-1) was scheduled to face Ralph Eckert (3-3). 
 
Remaining matches pitted Lee Van Corteza against Petri Makkonen, Thorsten Hohmann versus Marc Vidal, and David Alcaide squaring off against Max Eberle. 
 

American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship Final Sixteen

Ralf Souquet (File photo courtesy of EPBF)

The 2019 14:1 Straight Pool Championships has come down to its final 16 players. Eight matches that got underway at 11 a.m. were completed just in time for the 2 p.m. second round of the tournament’s single elimination phase.
 
As this was being written, Lee Van Corteza and Petri Makkonen were still trying to complete their match to determine who would face the undefeated (thus far) Max Lechner from Austria. John Schmidt advanced to meet Ruslan Chinakhov with a 150-54 win, while Thorsten Hohmann and Marc Vidal competed in what turned out to be the closest contest of the single elimination phase’s opening round; a 150-129 victory for Hohmann.
 
Johnny Archer was eliminated 150-44 by Albin Ouschan, who advanced to meet Neils Feijen. Darren Appleton advanced to meet one of the other undefeated competitors, Jani Siekkinen, with a 150-21 victory over Shaun Wilkie, who spent a good deal of the early part of the match in negative numbers.
 
“I had my opportunities, but couldn’t get anything done with them,” Wilkie said. “I didn’t get back to the table for five racks. He ran, like 70 on me.”
 
Ralf Souquet recorded the opening round’s largest margin of victory, eliminating Reymart Lim 150-12. Souquet moved into a match against Alex Pagulayan. Marco Teuscher eliminated Ralph Eckert 150-57 and moved into a meetup with Mika Immonen. David Alcaide downed Max Eberle 150-66 and prepared to meet the last of the round robin’s undefeated players, Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz.
 
Lee Van Corteza moved right into his match against Lechner, once he had completed his 150-98 victory over Petri Makkonen.
 
Straight pool fans who can’t attend the event in person can watch free streaming coverage online at Billiard Sports Network.