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Upsets and Tight Finishes as Predator World 10-Ball Championship Narrows Down to Final 16

Shane Van Boening (JP Parmentier)

Heading into the third and final day of Predator World 10-ball Championship’s first phase, it appeared American Shane Van Boening and reigning World Pool and Billiards Association 9-ball champion Joshua Filler could be heading towards an afternoon showdown.
With both competitors working their ways through the one-loss side of the bracket, Filler had to survive Fedor Gorst of Russia while it appeared Van Boening had drawn the easier of the competitors: Gerson Martinez of Peru. With Van Boening leading Martinez 4-1 and Filler comfortably ahead of Gorst, 6-2, the duel between the prolific American and the rising, young German seemed inevitable.
That was until the wheels came off for Van Boening.
Plagued by a series of uncharacteristic misses along with an ineffective break, Van Boening watched as Martinez came from behind and won, 8-6, in front of a stunned crowd that had gathered to watch. The Van Boening loss was part of a topsy-turvy day of pool at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino as the tournament field narrowed down to the final 16 players.
“I didn’t feel comfortable. That’s all I can say,” said Van Boening. “Probably too tired. It’s been a long trip in Vegas.”
The South Dakotan struck early, capitalizing on a foul and scratch on the break by his opponent to build an early lead. Van Boening was at the table and appeared in position to increase his 5-3 lead but missed two makeable shots on the 4-ball not, but twice. Martinez tied the match at five games each then added a break and run to take the lead.
Meanwhile, Van Boening’s break refused to cooperate, failing to secure a shot on the 1-ball after his opening shot in the last three games that he broke – including what ultimately became the final rack of the match. After a brief safety exchange on the 1-ball, Van Boening attempted a one-rail kick in of the ball and left it in the pocket’s jaws. Taking deep breaths and playing cautiously, the Peruvian worked his way through the clinching rack for the victory.
Two hours later, the upset-mindEd Martinez was promptly eliminated from the tournament by Filler, 8-2.
Fellow American Skylar Woodward would meet a fate similar to Van Boening’s later in the afternoon.
Woodward began his day fending off a late charge by Naoyuki Oi of Japan, who erased a 6-3 deficit to force a deciding game that he ultimately lost, 8-7. Oi fought back to even with well-placed safeties and a break-and-run. The two battled to a 7-7 deadlock and Oi was at the table in the deciding game but missed a long shot on the 2-ball. Woodward would clear the table but not before making things interesting, as he missed position on the 8-ball. The rising star from Kentucky executed a flawless bank shot on the object ball to help clinch the game and the match.
Facing Li-Wen Lo on the same table, Woodward found a different result. He quickly found himself down 6-1 as he struggled with safety play while he opponent worked his way through racks. The reigning Derby City Classic Master of the Table tacked on a pair of racks to cut the deficit to 7-3 and appeared positioned to narrow the gap more in the 11th game but misplaced the cue ball for positioning on the 5-ball, losing the game and the match, 8-3.
The good news for United States pool fans is that Billy Thorpe and Tyler Styer are alive and doing well.
The undefeated Thorpe built an early 4-1 advantage and held on to defeat Marc Bijsterbosch of the Netherlands, 8-5. Trailing 5-2, Bijsterbosch used a dry break and a missed shot by his opponent to cut the deficit to 6-4. Thorpe tacked on a break and run to push his advantage back to three games and appeared to have the match locked up but left the 10-ball sitting in the jaws of the corner pocket. Thorpe broke and ran in the next game to clinch a spot in Thursday’s final 16. 
Bijsterbosch rebounded in the next match, defeating Mario He of Austria, 8-5, to advance to Thursday.
Styer had a bit more work to do in order to secure one of the remaining 16 spots, defeating Raymund Faraon, 8-1; John Morra, in a hill-hill match and Maximilian Lechner, 8-4.
Another player who remains undefeated of the eight remaining players is Ralf Souquet, who battled and survived a hill-hill match with Alex Kazakis of Greece, 8-7. Playing in his usual deliberate and analytical style, Souquet worked his way to a 7-3 lead but Kazakis fought back with victorious safety exchanges to tie the score. The young Greek, who won the EuroTour’s Ballazo Open last year, controlled the break in the deciding game but failed to pocket a ball. Souquet worked his way through the rack to secure the win. 
Kazakis was sent to the one-loss side of the bracket where he was easily defeated by Filler, 8-2.
Speaking of Filler, the young German played some of his best pool at a time when he needed it most, besting Fedor Gorst, 8-4; then overwhelming Martinez and Kazakis by matching, 8-2 scores.
The eight remaining undefeated players in the event include Souquet, Thorpe, Jayson Shaw, Diamond Las Vegas Open champion Niels Feijen, Ping-Chung Ko, Masato Yoshioka, Jung-Lin Chang and Johann Chua. Competitors from the one-loss side include Filler, Styer, Bijsterbosch, Alex Pagulayan, Denis Grabe, Pin-Yi Ko, Yu-Hsuan Cheng and Wojciech Szewczyk.
With the first phase of the tournament completed, the remaining 16 players will now enter the single-elimination portion of the event – with the race lengths also increasing from eight games to 10. Additionally, the player seedings will be re-drawn, with the eight players from the winner’s side matched with players from the one-loss side.
The Predator World 10-ball Championship is a presentation of CueSports International and sponsored by Predator Group. Predator Group is an international billiard industry leader with a focus on high-performance cues and shafts as well as bringing constant innovation and game-improving equipment to billiard players worldwide. 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
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 or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
The Predator World 10-ball Championships are sponsored by:
Predator Cues:
Diamond billiard tables:
Omega Billiards:
Kamui Brand:

Souquet Survives Strickland and Comebacks Galore at Predator World 10-ball Championship

Earl Strickland and Ralf Souquet (JP Parmentier)

The matchup looked like something right out of 1999, instead of 2019.
Earl Strickland and Ralf Souquet share a lot of common ground. Both have had long, decorated careers in pool that have resulted in multiple world championships as well as induction into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.
Tuesday afternoon, they shared center stage in the main arena of the Predator World 10-ball Championship in a winner’s side matchup, with Souquet taking advantage of a pair of late Strickland mistakes to wipe out a 6-4 deficit and win, 8-6, at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Both worked to overcome some rust in the early stages. Strickland built an early 2-0 lead when Souquet failed to pocket a ball on the break in the first game and then missed a 6-ball in the second rack. The German said he felt good after opening warm ups but struggled with coldness in his hands as well as the speed of the cloth when the match began.
“I couldn’t get comfortable with the whole situation,” Souquet said.
Strickland appeared poised to increase his lead in the third game but missed a table-length shot on the 9-ball. The German tied the match in the fourth game and the two competitors split the next four games until Strickland used a break and run and a Souquet scratch on the break to jump out ahead 6-4 in a standing room and very pro-Strickland audience.
Down the stretch, Souquet regained control of the match in the same way that Strickland had obtained it: maximization of opponent mistakes. The German narrowed the deficit to 6-5 when Strickland fouled in the 11th game after attempting a combination shot with the 2-ball and pocketed the wrong ball, then added a break-and-run to tie the score. Souquet took the lead when Strickland deposited the cue ball into the side pocket on the break in the 13th game. 
“You have to hope for any chance that he gives you,” said Souquet. “He probably played a little better throughout the whole match. You just have to wait for a mistake. Maybe a scratch on the break or maybe he takes position for granted and you just have to go from there.”
Souquet saved his best break for last as he landed four balls – causing even Strickland to let out a “wow” from his chair. Souquet then closed out the rack and the match.
The German now advances to the final 16 on the winner’s side where he will face Alex Kazakis of Greece at 5:30 p.m. local time Wednesday. 
Competition opened Tuesday with eight matches on the winner’s side of the bracket, including Chris Melling using some stellar shooting along with some breaking struggles by opponent Toru Kuribayashi to cruise to an 8-1 victory. After trading the first two racks, the Englishman used the next three racks to stifle Kuribayashi with safety play then run out after his opponent provided an opening. Meanwhile, Kuribayashi struggled with his break, failing to pocket balls three times.
“I played nearly perfect. I didn’t miss a ball,” said Melling after the match. “My only mistake was when I scratched on the break.”
Tuesday’s late afternoon and early evening was reserved for the one-loss side of the bracket, with two sets of win-or-go-home matches taking place.
One of those who survived was Raymund Faraon, who trailed throughout his match with Fan Yang except at the most important time: the end. Using a handful of tactical safeties and some clutch shot-making, the Filipino overcame a 6-3 deficit to defeat the 2015 World Chinese 8-ball champion, 8-7.
With 120,000 spectators watching online in his native China, Yang used his powerful break shot and a couple of mistakes by Faraon to build a commanding 6-3 lead in a race to eight. Faraon tacked on two games to cut the deficit to 6-5 after Yang came to the table in both games and failed to clear the racks. After the two players traded breaks-and-runs to push the score to 7-6, Yang had the break and a chance to finish the match in the 14th game. However, Yang lost a safety exchange on the 1-ball and Faraon tied the score at seven games each.
History would repeat itself in the deciding game, with Faraon breaking and failing to find an open shot on the 1-ball. The Filipino played safe, pushing the cue ball to the opposite end of the table of the 1-ball with the 3-ball blocking the path. Yang missed his attempt at a jump shot and left Faraon the opening he needed for the victory.
Russia’s Fedor Gorst also staved off elimination with a comeback of his own, capitalizing on a handful of unforced errors by opponent Matt Edwards of New Zealand to erase a 6-2 deficit and win, 8-6. Trailing 6-5, Gorst was given an opportunity to tie the score when his opponent fouled on a jump shot attempt. It appeared the young Russian’s comeback attempt might be halted in the 13th game when he pushed a 3-ball right of the corner pocket, but was given new life when Edwards missed the 8-ball. The New Zealander had an opportunity to run out and tie the score in the following game but missed the 2-ball in the corner pocket.
The third day of the Predator World 10-ball Championship begins at 10 a.m. local time on Wednesday. The live broadcast feed gets underway at 12:30 p.m. with Mario He taking on Liu Cheng Cheh. The 3 p.m. match will be determined by the winners of earlier matches and the 5:30 p.m. match will involve Chris Melling facing Jung-Lin Chang in a winner’s side matchup. The 8 p.m. broadcast pairing will also be announced later in the day.
The Predator World 10-ball Championship is a presentation of CueSports International and sponsored by Predator Group. Predator Group is an international billiard industry leader with a focus on high-performance cues and shafts as well as bringing constant innovation and game-improving equipment to billiard players worldwide. 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
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 or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
The Predator World 10-ball Championships are sponsored by: Predator Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Omega Billiards and Kamui Brand.

Predator World 10-ball Championship Delivers Full House and Compelling Matches on First Day

Billy Thorpe – JP Parmentier

At many professional pocket billiards tournaments, the opening rounds sometimes have a bit of a perfunctory feel to them.
As the pros jockey early to either stay in stroke or get in stroke to avoid an early trip over to the one-loss side of the bracket, crowds are many times sparse until an event reaches the later stages.
This wasn’t the case when fellow Americans Billy Thorpe and Shane Van Boening squared off in the opening round of the Predator World 10-ball Championship Monday night. With the event being played right in the heart of the Billiard Congress of America Pool League championships, amateur players and fans began filling the arena more than an hour the match was scheduled to begin.
“I like a crowd myself,” said Thorpe. “It sparks a bit of a fire in me.”
The two competitors didn’t disappoint, combining for eight breaks and runs as Thorpe defeated his friend and roommate for the week, 8-4, at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The match was one of many tightly-contested pairings during the first act of this five-day, $100,000 added competition – with eight of the 32 first round matchups needing a deciding 15th game.
With two of the most decorated players in the United States squaring off, the matchup felt more like a quarterfinal or a semifinal match rather the beginning of the tournament. Van Boening and Thorpe split the first six games of the set, with each using two breaks-and-runs each along with effective safety play to maintain serve. The young man from Ohio edged ahead 4-3 when Van Boening left a 1-ball in the corner pocket’s jaws, then increased his lead to two games when he used a jump shot to run out in the eighth rack. The two competitors again traded breaks and runs for the next three games, with Thorpe maintaining a 6-5 lead.
“We broke well. I thought it might be different with the referees racking the balls with the template,” Thorpe said. “For a while I thought that it was going to be break and run the whole match.”
And it essentially was until the 12th game when Thorpe missed a 3-ball in the corner pocket.
“I really thought that I hit it good but the ball hopped on me,” Thorpe said.
Although Thorpe had left the window open for his friend, establishing position on the 4-ball would be a challenge thanks to two object balls providing cover. Van Boening pocketed the 3-ball then failed to land the 4-ball. Using a clutch jump shot, Thorpe pocketed the ball, cleared the table then added in one final break-and-run to clinch the victory.
Thorpe now heads to the second round where he will face Canadian John Morra Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. local time. Van Boening moves to the one-loss side where he will face Hunter Lombardo Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Also advancing to the winner’s side second round is current World Pool and Billiards Association 9-ball champion Joshua Filler of Germany, who survived a scare from Fan Yang, 8-5.
Playing in one of the opening matches of the tournament, Filler opened competition with a break-and-run then failed to capitalize on a Yang dry break the following game. Yang took the lead in the race-to-eight set after Filler fouled on the break. The young German used a break-and-run and a missed 2-ball to take a 3-2 lead but gave his opponent an opportunity when he missed an 8-ball in the following game. The two split the next four games before Filler used two breaks-and-runs and a Yang foul to pull away and close out the match.
With the competition now equally divided into 32 winners and losers, Tuesday’s schedule begins at noon local time with eight matches on the winner’s side of the bracket – including Chris Melling meeting Toru Kuribayashi on the live broadcast table. A second round of winner’s side matches will begin at 2:30 p.m. in a matchup of BCA Hall of Famers as Earl Strickland takes on Ralf Souquet. Other matches of note in this timeslot include Alex Kazakis meeting Skylar Woodward and Pin-Yi Ko matching up with Alex Pagulayan. The evening session broadcast schedule includes Fan Yang matching up against Raymund Faraon at 5 p.m. and Fedor Gorst going up against Matt Edwards at 7:30 p.m.
The Predator World 10-ball Championship is a presentation of CueSports International and sponsored by Predator Group, one of the world’s premier cue makers and billiards accessory manufacturers. The event is being hosted by the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and broadcast live on YouTube by CSI Media, a subsidiary of Cue Sports International. The event is also sponsored by Diamond Billiards Products, Omega Billiards and Kamui Brand. For more information, visit
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 or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Styer Leads US Contingent at Diamond Las Vegas Open

Tyler Styer (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

The Diamond Las Vegas Open begins day three on Friday with just sixteen players still on the winner’s side. 
Tyler Styer is one of four remaining American players without a loss. Styer will face Chinese Taipei’s Kun Lin Wu on Friday evening.  Wu already has wins over Shane Van Boening, Jung-Lin Chang and Ralf Souquet in this event, but Styer will be looking to bring that winning streak to an end. 
Other winner’s side matches on Friday are 
Niels Feijen vs Alex Pagulayan
Eklent Kaci vs Corey Deuel
Omar Al Shaheen vs Carlos Ariel Castro
Raymund Faraon vs Jeffrey Ignacio
Justin Hall vs Mieszko Fortunski
Maximilian Lechner vs Skyler Woodward
Ko Ping-Chung vs Nguyen Phuc Long
Friday will also see a slew of eliminations as the field is narrowed to just 32 players by day’s end, and the left side of the board is filled with top talent. James Aranas, Van Boening, Souquet, Roberto Gomez, Ko Pin-Yi, Alex Kazakis, Carlo Biado, Albin Ouschan, Thorsten Hohmann, Joshua Filler and Francisco Bustamante are just a few of the players still fighting it out with one loss in this event. 
Fans who can’t make it to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to watch this event in person, can follow all of the action with online brackets at and free streaming coverage of select matches at

Aranas goes undefeated to win Diamond 10-Ball Pro Players Championship at 27th SBE

James Aranas

With just a touch of exaggeration, in about as much time as it takes to state the official tournament name – The 27th Annual Allen Hopkins’ Super Billiards Expo’s Diamond Open 10-Ball Pro Players Championships (or, AHSBEDO10-BPPC), held on the last weekend in March at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA – Zoren “James” Aranas from the Philippines went undefeated through a full field of 64 entrants to capture the event title, its $10,000 first-place prize and the Waterford Crystal trophy that went along with it. Aranas had won last year’s SBE ProAm Bar Box Championships. The trek to the winners’ circle entailed seven matches for Aranas; the first three, in a double elimination bracket that advanced him to a single-elimination, final round of 16 that featured four matches. He faced Oscar Dominguez in the finals, who played one extra loss-side match, which advanced him to the final 16, and eventually, after winning three, earned his slot in the finals against Aranas.

With some overlap (players in multiple events), the 2019 SBE drew over 3,000 entrants to its 11 events, which included a warm-up event, a Second Chance event and two junior events. A separate report will be posted regarding the results of the Ladies Open Event (47 entrants), the ProAm Bar Box Championships (32), the Open Amateur (1,024 entrants), Open Seniors (384), Super Seniors (192) and Women Amateurs (188). According to Allen Hopkins, it was the highest attendance figure in the event’s 27-year history.

There were, this year, a number of pro players, who were conspicuous by their absence, including (in the 10-Ball Open) the defending champion, Mike Dechaine, who, after registering, had to bow out for personal reasons. As a random example of those among the missing, of the 10 players who competed in the 2018 Mosconi Cup for the European and American teams, only three (all Americans) competed in this year’s SBE. All five of the European 2018 Mosconi Cup team members (as well as recent German ‘phenom,’ Joshua Filler) and two of the Americans (Shane Van Boening & Skyler Woodward) spent the same weekend in close proximity to the Rock of Gibraltar, competing in the 27th annual Dafabet World Pool Masters Championship, which featured a total prize fund ($100,000) that was over twice the total prize fund ($48,000) for the SBE’s marquee event – the Diamond Open 10-Ball Pro Players Championship – and featured less than half the players (24) of the SBE event (64). Last year’s World Pool Masters event was held in the first week of March and there is little or no information as to why that date was changed in a way that conflicted with the (scheduled way ahead of time) SBE.

The end result more or less allowed Aranas to navigate his way through a field that, for him, did not feature anyone with a higher FargoRate and no one closer than 20 points on that scale. With a FargoRate of 805 (going in), Aranas’ average opponent (of the seven he faced) had a FargoRate of 740. His closest competitor in that regard was Mika Immonen (785) and Aranas opened his seven-match run against a competitor (Matt Krah) with a 677 rating. It should be noted that pool has something of an “Any Given Sunday” rule, which dictates that at the upper levels of competition, with players sporting wide disparities in FargoRates, anything can and often does happen. This is not to say that Aranas wasn’t challenged in his seven-match march to the finish line, because he was, primarily in the single elimination phase of the event.

Though he would enter the finals with a 66.3% game-winning average (69-35), Aranas’ average over the three matches in the single elimination phase of the event was 59% (39-27). Once Aranas had sent Matt Krah to the loss side 10-1 in the double-elimination opening round, he went on to defeat Hunter Lombardo 10-5 and Jeremy Sossei 10-2, which moved him among the winners’ side final eight for advancement to single elimination. Joining him on the winners’ side final eight were ‘young gun’ Chris Robinson, Mika Immonen, Martin Daigle, Roberto Gomez, Jason Klatt, Ralf Souquet and Raymund Faraon, who’d just sent Oscar Dominguez to the loss side 10-7.

Dominguez opened his runner-up campaign by defeating Tommy Tokoph 10-8, and then, downing Jeremy Seaman 10-7. Raymund Faraon then sent him to the loss side 10-7, where he defeated Mahmut Sami Koylu 10-2 to qualify for the losers’ bracket final eight. Joining him from the loss side of the bracket among the Final 16 were John Morra, Thorsten Hohmann, Mosconi Cup USA team member Tyler Styer, Zion Zvi, another Mosconi Cup team member Billy Thorpe, Shaun Wilkie and Omar Alshaheen.

The final 16 featured two former US Open 9-Ball Champions – two-time champion Mika Immonen (‘08/’09) and Ralf Souquet (2002). Among those who competed, and conspicuous by their absence from the event’s final 16, were four other US Open champions; Johnny Archer (1999), Tommy Kennedy (1992), Corey Deuel (2001) and Gabe Owen (2004). Also MIA from the final 16 were Tony Robles, and Billy Thorpe. Former two-time US Open champion Darren Appleton (‘10/’11) was among the original 64 competitors, but after winning his opening round 10-8 over Robert Casanzio, he learned that his mother had passed away and went home to be with his family.

The first four to drop from the winners’ side final eight were Chris Robinson (to Aranas 13-11), Martin Daigle (to Immonen 13-9), Jason Klatt (to Gomez 13-7) and Ralf Souquet (to Faraon 13-5). This set up a winners’ side bracket set of semifinals that saw Aranas down Immonen 13-5, as Faraon eliminated Gomez 13-7. In the winners’ side final, Aranas defeated Faraon 13-11.

To the best of our knowledge, linked to the accuracy of SBE’s published brackets, there were only 12 matches in this entire event that went to double hill. As it turned out, Thorsten Hohmann was involved in three of them. Two of those three occurred during his three-match run among the final 16. He was one of the four who advanced to the losers’ bracket semifinal, defeating John Morra, double hill (the SBE Web site has this match result wrong). It was Hohmann’s second, double hill match; his first was in the event’s opening round against Chris Robinson. Hohmann’s losers’ bracket, semifinal opponent was Tyler Styer, who’d defeated Zion Zvi 13-16. Oscar Dominguez, in the meantime, bound for the event finals, had gotten by Billy Thorpe 13-9 and in his losers’ side semifinal, faced Omar Alshaheen, who’d eliminated Shaun Wilkie 13-6.

Dominguez downed Alshaheen 13-6 and in the twelfth and final double hill match of this Pro Players Championship, Oscar Dominguez eliminated Hohmann in a true, nail-biting, double hill match that never for a moment seemed in complete control by either of them.

For those seeking further information about the match specifics of any individual players or a more thorough understanding of the overall progress of the event toward its eventual outcome, you can visit the Super Billiards Expo Web site ( You should be made aware, however, that while it features a preliminary, double elimination bracket that shows the final 16 that advanced to single-elimination play, and the winners’ and losers’ side brackets of that single-elimination play, it does not indicate that a final match between Aranas and Dominguez ever happened.

It did. Aranas completed his undefeated run with 13-10 victory over Dominguez (another very entertaining match) to claim the 2019 AHSBEDO10-BPPC.

Allen Hopkins thanked the management staff of the Greater Philadelphia Convention center, as well as his two tournament directors; Doug Ennis for the two Pro events and C.C. Strain for the Pro Am Bar Box and all Amateur events. Sponsors for this 27th Annual SBE were Tiger Products, Diamond Billiards Products, Simonis Cloth, TAP League and Run Out Sportswear.

Ussery wins the 1st Chris Walsh Memorial on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

BJ Ussery

It’s been a long time since BJ Ussery sported a pool resume that could be contained on a single page. Available records indicate that it’s been 19 years now, and while there have been some lean years (2017, for example, when his only reported cash prize came with a 5th place finish at that year’s NC State 10-Ball Open), there have been some really good ones, like 2005 and 2011, his first and second-best earnings year, to date. His 2005 reported earnings were $5 better than his 2011 earnings. On the weekend of February 23-24, Ussery added an undefeated run on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour to his multi-page resume. It was his first win on the tour since August of last year. The event, the first Chris Walsh Memorial Tournament, held to commemorate the loss of a member of the tour who passed away recently, drew 67 entrants to Walsh’s home room, Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC. The event raised $600 for the Walsh family.
Ussery faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals. After an 11-3 victory over Matt Harrell in a winners’ side semifinal, Ussery squared off against Stevie McClinton, who had just defeated teenager Casey Cork 7-1. Ussery claimed the hot seat 11-4 over McClinton and waited on the return of Filippino competitor Francisco Felicilda.
On the loss side, Felicilda worked his way closer to his eventual matchup against Ussery by downing Dalton Messer 11-3 and Matt Lucas, double hill (11-4 with Lucas racing to 5). This set Felicilda up to face Harrell. Cork, in the meantime, met up with Brian Francis, who’d defeated Marcio Smith 6-2 and another Filippino competitor, Raymund Faraon 6-1 (Faraon racing to 12).
Felicilda eliminated Harrell 11-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Francis, who’d downed Cork 6-1. After giving up only four racks over his last three matches, Francis had the tables turned on him by Felicilda, who shut him out to advance to the semifinals.
Felicilda completed a fairly impressive run over five loss-side matches with an 11-2 victory over McClinton in the semifinals. He entered the finals against Ussery having won 85% of his games (64-11) over the past six matches. He proved to be no match for Ussery, however, who completed his undefeated run with an 11-5 win; his first of 2019.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph Billiards for hosting the 1st Chris Walsh Memorial, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (March 2-3), will be hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.

Surging Towards the Finish Line

Jung Lin Chang

Photos By Takayama Takao


(Kuwait City)–With the biggest prize fund in 9-ball pool this year, the Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship predictably attracted as good a collection of the professional games’ best to this Gulf nation of just over 4 million people. And on the third and penultimate day of the sport’s newest event, all that talent and all that promise came to a dramatic head.


It was a day that saw the game’s best engage in one epic battle after the next, with match after match taking unexpected twists, with many going right down to the very last rack, and even the very last ball.  64 players commenced battle at 10am, and when it was over close to midnight, eight warriors were left standing, ready for what surely will be a thrilling showdown to the finish on the final day Saturday.


In one quarterfinal, surprise entrant Marc Bijsterbosch of the Netherlands will face off with 2015 World 9-ball Champion Ko Pin Yi. In another quarterfinal, one of the sport’s hottest players , Scotland’s Jayson Shaw, will try to keep his trajectory flying higher as he does battle with Filipino veteran Warren Kiamco.


The other quarterfinal features what looks to be a titanic showdown of two of pool’s best, as the current World 9-ball Champion, Austria’s Albin Ouschan, squares off with Taiwan’s Chang Jun Lin, who arguably has played the best pool all week.


The last quarterfinal will feature Filipino journeyman Roland Garcia taking on white hot Dang Jinghu of China.


The quarterfinals, which begin at 11am Kuwait time(GMT +3) will be race to 11, alternate break.


Although the topsy turvy nature of today’s proceedings would indicate a complete toss up in terms of favorites, several players today let it be known that they intend to be standing in the winner’s circle come Saturday evening.

Certainly nobody would be surprised to see Taiwan’s Chang raising the trophy high and pocketing the $50,000 first prize check. Chang has been one of the sport’s top players for over a decade, but found himself in a bit of a lull going back two years. This year, however, the 31 year old Taiwanese has once again found his stride, as his runner up finish in October’s US Open showed.


Chang has kept the momentum going in Kuwait and has been nothing short of sensational. In the round of 64 today Chang played what might be the finest match of the tournament, crushing two time World 9-ball Champion Thorsten Hohmann, 11-1. Chang kept up the onslaught in his round of 32 match versus Russia’s Maksim Dudanets, lapping the Russian 11-2. 


The Taiwanese finally found some resistance in the round of 16 when he came up against England’s Darren Appleton. The Brit had barely escaped a hill-hill encounter with Spain’s David Alcaide in the round of 64  and looked to have found his stride in an easy win over Czech Roman Hybler. Appleton and Chang duked it out for 2 and a half hours and the Yorkshireman seemed to have the advantage late in the match. But one mistake from the Brit cost him the tournament, as Chang put the nail in the coffin for a gritty 11-9 win.


Things won’t get any easier for Chang on Saturday as he matches up with Ouschan in what looks to be an epic battle. Ouschan wasn’t at his best today but he persevered through three difficult slogs, culminating in a 3 and a half hour duel with China Open champion Wu Jia Jing of China. The Austrian had numerous chances to close out Wu, but kept letting the Chinese back in the match. The battle between these two stars went straight to the cliff with Ouschan barely able to make it across the finish line first and winning, 11-10.


Although Ouschan is the current World 9-ball champion, the question remains whether he has anything left in the gas tank to take on and defeat a super confident Chang.


Another player catching many a fancy is Scotland’s Shaw, who appears to have everything going his way at the moment. After two solid wins earlier in the day, Shaw was headed to his match table to do battle with young Singaporean Aloysious Yapp when he got word that he had just made the European Mosconi Cup team next month. Already bubbling with confidence that has been building for over one year, Shaw’s demeanor soared on the good news and he handled Yapp without so much as a care in the world, winning 11 – 7.


Afterward a smiling and relaxed Shaw indicated he was more than ready and able to be the last man standing in Kuwait.


“I came into this year and my one goal was to get on the Mosconi,” Shaw said, “and right before my last match I found out that I had made the team. So I was really happy during the match. I’ve won a few tournaments this year, done pretty well in others and I’m still in here, the last eight. These days I feel that any tournament I enter I can win, and right now I feel I can win this.”


Shaw, however, will have to contend with Kiamco first. The 45 year old Filipino has been at the game for over two decades, and has been playing the best pool of his career in the last year and a half. The low key Filipino often plays under the radar, but as he showed in his three solid wins today, he can take any match at any time, no matter the opponent. Kiamco, though, has never won a major tournament and he’ll have to raise his game considerably to stop the streaking Scotsman.


Since winning the World 10-ball and World 9-ball in 2015, the 27 year old Ko is always a top favorite to win any tournament he enters. Ko, however, played hot and cold today and was lucky to escape with a nerve rattling come from behind 11-10 win over the Philippines’ Oliver Mendenilla in the round of 32.  But his steady and solid 11-7 win over the Philippines Jundel Mazon in the round of 16 showed that Ko always has the ability to bounce back.


The Taiwanese great will be squaring off with relative newcomer Bijsterbosch. The 22 year old Dutchman, a member of his country’s national team, may not have the notoriety of his more famous teammates, Niels Feijen and Nick Van Den Berg, but his three pressure wins today proved the youngster not only has heart, but loads of talent as well. His confidence is rising at the perfect time and he is playing without expectations.


“I’ve been playing really well this year,” Bijsterbosch said. “I have a lot of confidence now. My coach Alex Lely has really helped me with my thinking game, safeties and strategy. I don’t really think about winning, I just take it one match at a time, one rack at a time.”


China’s Dang Jinghu pulled of the biggest upset of the day when he took down the USA’s fancied Shane Van Boening in an 11-10 mind bender in the round of 32.  Dang has proved his mettle in past events, but he took it up several notches against Van Boening, who had a sizeable crowd rooting for him here in Kuwait. The win spurred Dang on, as he then flattened countryman Han Hao Xiang, 11-3, in the final 16.


In the quarters Dang will face surprise entrant Roland Garcia of the Philippines. The 35 year old Garcia grabbed his spot in the Kuwait Open by flying to Kuwait City from Thailand, where he works as a house pro, and entering and winning one of the brutally tough qualifiers.


Garcia has always been known as a superb and even rare talent, but one who would often let the pressure get to him in big matches. Today, though, Garcia showed immense maturity and skills with wins over fellow Filipino Carlo Biado, then Greece’s Alexander Kazakis. In the round of 16 Garcia came from behind to take down Alex Pagulayan in a dramatic showdown, 11-10. After 20 years of effort and plenty of heartbreak, Garcia finds himself in his first ever quarterfinals of a major tournament.


“I feel I have a lot more experience than in the past,” Garcia said after beating Pagulayan. “Before I don’t have the discipline. But now I’m trying to practice discipline. Before maybe I used to think too much. But now, I’m just trying to enjoy the game. I don’t really worry about it if I miss. It’s just a game. Sure I feel the pressure, but because of my experience, I just go back to the basics, and stay composed.”


The quarterfinals begin at 11am Kuwait time(GMT +3). The Semis will kick off at 2pm, while the finals will start at 7pm.


* The 2016 Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Ardiya Youth Center in Kuwait City from October 24 to November 5, 2016. The winner of the Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship will receive $50,000. The runner up will receive $25,000. The total prize fund is $275,000.


The 2016 Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship is being played under the patronage of the Kuwait Olympic Committee. The WPA will be on hand in Kuwait throughout this year’s Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship  providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner.  Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link; The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa 


Quarterfinals, November 5, 10am

Marc Bijsterbosch(NED  vs. Ko Pin Yi(TPE)      
Jayson Shaw(GBR)  vs.  Warren Kiamco(PHL)   
Albin Ouschan(AUT) vs. Chang Jun Lin(TPE)   
Roland Garcia(PHL) vs. Dang Jinhu(CHN)  



Marc Bijsterbosch(NED)  11 – 6 Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)     
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 6  Jundel Mazon(PHL)    

Jayson Shaw(GBR)    11 – 7  Aloysius Yapp(SIN)    
Warren Kiamco(PHL)   11 – 3 Edwin Gamas(PHL)  

Albin Ouschan(AUT)  vs. Wu Jia Jing(CHN)     
Chang Jun Lin(TPE)  11 – 9 Darren Appleton(GBR)    

Roland Garcia(PHL) 11 – 10 Alex Pagulayan(CAN)   
Dang Jinhu(CHN)  11 – 3  Han Hao Xiang(CHN)  


Final 32

Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 11 – 6  Ko Ping Chung(TPE)  
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)  11 – 10 Karl Boyes(GBR) 

Jundel Mazon(PHL) 11 -10  Mark Gray(GBR)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE)  11 – 10 Oliver Medenilla(PHL)  

Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 11 – 7  Mike Dechaine(USA)  
Jayson Shaw(GBR)  11 – 6 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 

Edwin Gamas(PHL)  11 – 7 Ralf Souquet(GER 
Warren Kiamco(PHL)  11 – 10 Yang Ching Shun(TPE)  

Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 5  Lee Vann Corteza(PHL)   
Wu Jia Jing(CHN)    11 – 5 Hayato Hijikata(JPN)  

Darren Appleton(GBR)  11 – 5 Roman Hybler(CZE) 
Chang Jun Lin(TPE) 11 – 2 Maksim Dudanets(RUS) 

Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 10 Corey Deuel(USA)  
Roland Garcia(PHL)   11 – 7 Alexander Kazakis(GRE)  

Dang Jinhu(CHN) 11 – 10  Shane Van Boening(USA)
Han Hao Xiang(CHN) 11 – 9 James Aranas Zoren(PHL)


Results Final 64


Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 11 -4 Alan Cuartero(PHL)
Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 11 – 6 Raymond Faraon(PHL)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS) 11 – 4 Imran Salem(KUW)
Karl Boyes(GBR) 11 – 5 Mishari Buhaimed(KUW)

Jundel Mazon(PHL) 11 – 8 Niels Feijen(NED)
Mark Gray(GBR) 11 – 8 Salahaleldeen Alrimawi(KUW)
Oliver Medenilla(PHL) 11 – 4 Mark Anthony(PHL)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 6 Liu Haitao(CHN)

Mike Dechaine(USA) 11 – 7 Hiroshi Takenaka(JPN)
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 11 – 4 Dennis Grabe(EST)
Jayson Shaw(GBR) 11 – 7 Wu Kun Lin(TPE)
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 11 – 9 Wang Can(CHN)

Ralf Souquet(GER) 11 – 6 Radislaw Babica(POL)
Edwin Gamas(PHL) 11 – 2 Abdulrahman Alammar(KSA) 
Yang Ching Shun(TPE) 11 – 9 Imran Majid(GBR)
Warren Kiamco(PHL) 11 – 7 Artem Koshoviy

Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 -9 Mario He(AUT)
Lee Vann Corteza(PHL)  11 – 7 Payual Valeriano(PHL)
Wu Jia Jing(CHN)  11 – 6 William Millares(PHL)
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 11 – 5 Jeffrey De Luna(PHL)

Darren Appleton(GBR) 11 – 10 David Alcaide(ESP)
Roman Hybler(CZE) 11 – 3 Bruno Muratore(ITA)
Maksim Dudanets(RUS)11 – 7 Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL)
Chang Jun Lin(TPE) 11 – 1 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)

Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 7 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 
Corey Deuel(USA) 11 – 7 Franciso Sanchez-Ruiz(ESP)
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 11 – 8 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Roland Garcia(PHL) 11 – 9 Carlo Biado(PHL)

Shane Van Boening(USA) 11 – 5 Toru Kuribayashi(JPN)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 11 – 6 Anton Raga(PHL)
Han Hao Xiang(CHN) 11 – 10 Konstantine Stepanov(RUS) 
James Aranas Zoren(PHL) 11 – 6 Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE)

CSI Releases 2015 US Open 8-Ball Championship Matches on YouTube

CSI is pleased to announce that the 2015 US Open 8-Ball Championship matches have been released on the CSI YouTube Channel. Sixteen (16) matches featuring some of the best players in the world including Shane Van Boening, Dennis Orcollo, Thorsten Hohmann, Mike Dechaine, Jayson Shaw, Rodney Morris, Johnny Archer, Skyler Woodward, and many more can be viewed in their entirety – absolutely free!
The 2015 US Open 8-Ball Championship was held July 29-31 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The matches were recorded in “The Predator Arena” with high definition equipment and full commentary by Jay Helfert, Ken Shuman, and Robert LeBlanc.
CSI extends a huge THANK YOU to the sponsors of this exciting event:
Predator: The Official Cue of the 2015 US Open 8-Ball Championship!
Kamui: The Official Tip of the 2015 US Open 8-Ball Championship!
Omega Billiards: The Official Store of the 2015 US Open 8-Ball Championship!
Match 1: Rodney Morris vs Scott Frost
Match 2: Thorsten Hohmann vs Dennis Hatch
Match 3: Jeremy Sossei vs Maceo Butts
Match 4: Skyler Woodward vs Rodney Morris
Match 5: Shane Van Boening vs Dennis Orcollo
Match 6: Robb Saez vs Mark Tademy
Match 7: Johnny Archer vs Raymond Faraon
Match 8: Jayson Shaw vs Tony Robles
Match 9: Shane Van Boening vs Jeffrey Ignacio
Match 10: John Morra vs Rodney Morris
Match 11: Dennis Orcollo vs Jason Klatt
Match 12: John Morra vs Dennis Orcollo
Match 13: Dennis Orcollo vs Rafael Chavez Martinez
Match 14: Mike Dechaine vs Rodney Morris (Hot Seat Match)
Match 15: Rodney Morris vs Dennis Orcollo (Semi-Final)
Match 16: Mike Dechaine vs Dennis Orcollo (Final)
Make sure to “SUBSCRIBE” to the CSI YouTube Channel to be notified whenever we upload new content.
CSI YouTube Channel:

2015 US Open 10-Ball Championship Matches Released on YouTube

CSI is pleased to announce that the 2015 US Open 10-Ball Championship matches have been released on the CSI YouTube channel. Eighteen (18) matches featuring some of the best players in the world including Shane Van Boening, Dennis Orcollo, Thorsten Hohmann, Darren Appleton, Alex Pagulayan, Mike Dechaine, Johnny Archer, Justin Bergman and many more can be viewed in their entirety absolutely free!
The 2015 US Open 10-Ball Championship was held July 24-26 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV. The matches were recorded in “The Predator Arena” with high definition equipment and full-time commentary by Jay Helfert, Ken Shuman, and Robert LeBlanc.
CSI would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to the sponsors of this exciting event:
Predator: The Official Cue of the 2015 US Open 10-Ball Championship!
Kamui: The Official Tip of the 2015 US Open 10-Ball Championship!
Omega Billiards: The Official Store of the 2015 US Open 10-Ball Championship!
Match 1: Rodney Morris vs Skyler Woodward
Match 2: Josh Roberts vs Scott Frost
Match 3: Dennis Hatch vs Justin Bergman
Match 4: Alex Pagulayan vs Ernesto Dominguez
Match 5: Jeremy Sossei vs Shane Van Boening
Match 6: Jason Klatt vs Raymond Faraon
Match 7: Johnny Archer vs Oscar Dominguez
Match 8: Alex Pagulayan vs Shane Van Boening 
Match 9: Greg Harada vs Jeffrey Ignacio
Match 10: Thorsten Hohmann vs Mike Dechaine
Match 11: Shane McMinn vs Alex Pagulayan 
Match 12: Thorsten Hohmann vs Darren Appleton
Match 13: Sal Butera vs Shane Van Boening 
Match 14: Dennis Orcollo vs Darren Appleton
Match 15: Dennis Orcollo vs Shane Van Boening
Match 16: Thorsten Hohmann vs Justin Hall (Hot Seat Match)
Match 17: Thorsten Hohmann vs Shane Van Boening (Semi-Final Match)
Match 18: Thorsten Hohmann vs Justin Hall (Final Match)
CSI YouTube Channel:

It’s Knockouts For the New Guys

Al Amar, Photo courtesy Richard Walker, WPA

Saudi Arabia’s Abdulrahman Al Amar leads a crop of surprising players who have booked their spots in the Final 64 of the World 9-ball Championship.


(Doha, Qatar)–If the results of Day 3 at the 2015 World 9-ball Championship are any indication, change in the sport of pool is most definitely in the air.


Today’s three sessions were given over to all winners’ side matches in the 16 groups with 32 spots available in the coveted single elimination round of 64, which begins on Wednesday.  Losers in Monday’s matches knew they’d be given another chance to advance on Tuesday so the brutal pressure of judgement day, where every match is do-or-die, wasn’t quite as bad. Still, five former World 9-ball champions and the current defending champion all had chances to advance today. All lost and will have to come back again for one final go on Tuesday.


It was an excellent day for the Philippines, which sent five players through, as well as China and Taiwan, which each saw four of their players advance to the knockout rounds.


With the absence this year of legends Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante, Filipino overseas workers in Qatar haven’t turned out in quite the numbers that they have in the past to watch their fellow countrymen do battle. Still, Filipino fans are starting to warm up to the superb talents that are clearly ready to take their own place on the big stage.


Dennis Orcollo has won tournaments around the globe, and is a threat to win any event he enters. Orcollo faced a stingy opponent in Hosain Sayeem from Bangladesh, but overcame several errors to cruise, 9-6. Carlo Biado, another highly touted Filipino, has been knocking on the door of big time success for two years now. Biado looked impressive in his 9 – 5 win over Italy’s Daniele Corrieri


Two young guns from the Philippines who aren’t that well known to local Pinoys, but very well could be in the coming days, are Jeffrey Ingacio and Raymond Faraon. Both youngsters possess scary-good games and they showed it today as they advanced with solid wins.


Easily the most popular Filipino at the moment in Qatar is veteran Antonio Gabica. The superbly talented Gabica moved to Qatar several years ago and works as a coach for the Qatar national pool team.  Two years ago Gabica electrified both local Filipinos and Qataris when he made an incredible march to the finals, only to fall short to eventual championThorsten Hohmann. Gabica won his second straight match today to advance to the Final 64.


It’s been ten years since China’s Wu Jia Qing, then  known as Wu Chia Ching and playing for Taiwan, stunned the pool world by winning the World 9-ball Championship at just 16 years old. Wu grabbed a spot in the final 64 today, easily defeating one of the Philippines best unknown players, Oliver Medenilla, 9-2.


Joining Wu in the Final 64 is one of China’s most promising young talents, Wang Can, who defeated the Netherlands’ Marc Bijsterbosch, 9 -4. Dang Jin Hu and Lee Hei Wen, two other members of the China’s government funded national pool team, advanced to the knockout stage with victories.


Taiwan’s Ko Pin Yi, the current World 10-ball champion, is one of the top five favorites to win the World 9-ball Championship this year. Ko advanced today with his second straight win, beating Norway’s  Matey Ullah, 9-6.


As good as the 26 year old Ko is, his younger brother, 19 year old Ko Ping Chung, has talent that is simply off the charts. The rail thin and baby faced Ping Chung seems to go hardly noticed in the arena and his unfortunate opponents tend to pay the price for thinking he can barely hold a cue. The younger Ko booked his spot in the Final 64 today with an easy win over Peru’s Christopher Teves, 9 -2.


Also making it to the Final 64 for Taiwan was last year’s semi-finalist and former world number one, Chang Yu Lung, and Wu Kun Lin.


Part of the fun of this year’s World 9-ball Championship has been witnessing the rise of some great new talents from unlikely places who are ready to make a name for themselves. Greece’s Alexander Kazakis jumped out to a 4-0 lead over defending champion Niels Feijen only to see the Dutch great claw back into the match and take it to down to a one rack decider.  But the 24 year old Greek held his nerve to stave off Feijen’s fight back, and book his spot in the knockout rounds.


“I’m feeling great,” a clearly pumped Kazakis said after his win. “In the game of pool anything can happen. Even the underdog can win, especially in alternate break, just a race to 9.  So it’s nice. I’m lucky for now. This win really helps my confidence. We’ll see what happens from here.”


Venezuela’s Jalal Yousef has been around the pro ranks for nearly a decade but his match today against two time World 9-ball champion Thorsten Hohmann was probably the biggest of his career. Yousef prepared himself for war and after jumping out to a sizeable lead on the German, that’s exactly what he got as the match went straight to the cliff and a one rack decider. Yousef held on for the career best victory.


“He wasn’t too lucky,” Yousef said afterwards. “ I caught the chance and I played my game and thanks to God I won. We are talking about Thorsten Hohmann. When you beat this guy in a tough match like that and you are playing your A game, that is the kind of match that gives you a lot confidence moving forward.”


Mexico will see its first player in over a decade in the Final 64 as Rueben Bautista held off Poland’s Radislaw Babica in a 9-8 thriller to advance. This is the 26 year old Mexico City native’s first World 9-ball Championship but the youngster is not short of experience. He’s been traveling the world for the last two years, including spending two months in the Philippines, honing his game.   


One of the biggest surprises of the day came from a country not normally associated with producing world class pool talents. Abdulrahman Al Amar, a 27 year old from Saudi Arabia, played a brilliant match against the Philippines and world number 12 Johan Chua. Al Amar, who is ranked number one in Saudi, and third in the Middle East, battled toe to toe with the Filipino and outfoxed Chua at the end to win 9-7. It’s only the second time ever that a player from Saudi Arabia has advanced to the Final 64.  


“I played very good today,” Al Amar said. But I was really nervous. For one month I was practicing very hard. My goal was to get a good finish in the tournament so I’m very happy to qualify for the final 64.  From here I will do my best. Just one game at a time.”


For the first time in many years, the USA will have two players in the knockout rounds. Mike Dechaine, playing in his first World 9-ball Championship, took down former world champion Daryl Peach, 9-5. Shane Van Boening also won going away, beating Great Britain’s Richard Jones by the same score.


“My break is working really well,” Van Boening said afterward. ”I need to work on a few shots to be more comfortable. I need to go practice more.


“This is the only tournament on my belt that I haven’t won yet. I’ve pretty much won every tournament there is to win, except this.   It would mean a lot to me. If I win the World 9-ball then I can just say to myself, ‘mission accomplished.’”


Several former champions made it through as Mika Immonen continued to impress with a 9-5 win over Germany’s Oliver Ortmann. Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama looked good in his 9-6 win over Taiwan’s  Yang Ching Shun.


Team Poland looks to make a bit of a splash this year as three Polish players advanced. Wojciech Szewczyks, Mateusz Sniegocki, and Karol Skowerski, will all continue on into the money rounds.


Also advancing today were England’s Mark Gray, Canada’s John Morra, Spain’s David Alcaide and Japanese Kawabata Satoshi and Naoyuki Oi.


Play continues on Tuesday with the final round of the group stages. All matches will be do or die as players vie for the last 32 spots in the single elimination round of 64, which begins on Wednesday. The semi-finals and finals will be held on Friday September 18th.


**The 2015 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from September 7-18, 2015. The winner of the 2015 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The runner up will receive $15,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.


The players will be competing on Wiraka New Model Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Super Pro TV Balls.


The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), which is once again hosting and organizing the World 9-ball Championship, will be providing free live streaming of the entire tournament, in cooperation with Kozoom. Fans can watch the action live on the QBSF website at, With all 14 tables streamed live, fans can select which table they want to watch and switch between tables at their convenience.


Complete up to date brackets can be found here:


The WPA will be on hand in Doha throughout this year’s World 9-ball Championship providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner. 


Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;


The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa 



All winners advance to the Final 64
Losers get one more chance on Tuesday

Group 1
Kawabata Satoshi(JPN)  9 – 8 Albin  Ouschan(AUT)  
Wu Kun Lin(TPE)  9 – 4 Bashar Hussain(QAT)  

Group 2
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 4 Marc Bijsterbosch(NED)  
Bautista Ruben(MEX)   9 – 8  Radoslaw Babica(POL)  

Group 3
Li Hewen(CHN)   9 – 2 Justin Campbell(AUS)  
Yukio Akagariyama (JPN)   9 – 6 Yang Ching Shun(TPE)  

Group 4
Raymund Faraon(PHL ) 9 – 4 Pordel Mohammadali(IRI) 
Nik Ekonomopoulos(GRE)  9 – 6 Zhou Long(CHN)  

Group 5
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)  9 – 5 Warren Kiamco(PHL)  
Wu Jia Qing(CHN)  9-  2 Oliver Medenilla(PHL)  

Group 6
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 1 Ralf Souquet(GER)     
Abdulrahman Al Amar(KSA)  9 – 7 Johann Gonzales Chua(PHL)  

Group 7
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 2  Tom Teriault(CAN)  
Liu Ching Chieh(TPE)  9 – 4 Ruslan Chinakov(RUS)    

Group 8
Mike DeChaine(USA)  9 – 5 Daryl Peach(GBR) 
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 5  Daniele Corrieri(ITA)  

Group 9
Ko Pin Yi(TPE)  9 – 6 Matey Ullah(NOR)  
Mika Immonen(FIN)  9 – 5 Oliver Ortmann(GER)  

Group 10
Ko Pin Chung(TPE)  9 – 3 Christopher Teves(PER)   
Shane Van Boening(SVB) 9 – 5  Richard Jones(GBR)  

Group 11
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 4 Toh Lian Han(SIN)  
David Alcaide(ESP)  9 – 6 Hesam S.A. Abdulaziz(EGY)  

Group 12
Dan Jin Hu(CHN)  9 – 4 Tomasz Kaplan(POL)  
Alexander Kazakis(GRE)  9 – 8 Niels Feijen(NED)  

Group 13
Dennis Orcollo(PHL) 9 – 6  Hosain Sayeem(BAN)     
Jalal Al Saris(VEN) 9 – 8 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)       

Group 14
Imran Majid(GBR) 9 – 6 Lo Ho Sum(HKG)  
Karol Skowerski(POL) 9 – 8 Chao Fong Pang(TPE)    

Group 15
Chang Yu Lung(TPE)  9 – 3 Matt Edwards(NZL)  
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHI)  9 – 6 Jason Klatt(CAN)  

Group 16
Antonio Gabica(PHL) 9 – 7 Sinha Fahim(BAN)  
Mark Gray(GBR) 9 – 7  Aloisius Yapp(SIN)