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Gorst Repeats as Arcadia Arizona Open Champion

Fedor Gorst

Last July, Fedor Gorst helped to kick off the first-ever Arcadia Arizona Open, the first of four events in the newly-created U.S. Pro Billiard Series, by posting an undefeated record and taking down eventual U.S. Pool champion Carlo Biado in the finals.

Six months later, the Arizona Open was back – kicking off the first of six tournaments being held in the United States by equipment manufacturer Predator Group and CueSports International in 2022 – and so was Gorst. The 21-year-old delivered a similar result as he did last summer, as he battled his way back from the one-loss side of the bracket to defend his title, holding off a fierce battle by Filipino Roland Garcia in straight sets, 4-3. 4-2.

With the victory, Gorst earned $25,000 and automatic entry into the 2023 World 10-Ball Championships in Las Vegas.

After his opening break shot of the championship match resulted in an effective spread of the balls, the young man from Moscow appeared positioned to draw first blood but missed a routine 7 ball in the corner pocket. He would tie the match at a game each when his opponent failed to pocket a ball on the break in the next game, then tacked on another rack when Garcia missed the 1 ball on a jump shot. The Filipino would claim two of the next three games thanks victorious safety exchanges and appeared to be in position to steal the first set but struggled with cue ball positioning down the stretch and missed the 8 ball, allowing Gorst to steal the set, 4-3.

The second set tilted in Garcia’s favor early, after Gorst missed the 1 ball in the first game and the Filipino knocked in a combination on the 10 ball then broke and ran to build a 2-0 advantage. Momentum shifted in the third game when Garcia scratched on the break, allowing Gorst to climb onto the scoreboard and then tie the match when his opponent misplayed the 6 ball. The Russian then used a break-and-run to take his first lead but failed to pocket a ball on the break in the next rack. Looking to tie the match and send it to a sudden death shootout, Garcia attempted a table-length jump shot to pocket the 1 ball and missed, leaving a wide-open table for his opponent. Gorst calmly pocketed the remaining balls to repeat as Open champion.

Gorst, who opened his day with straight set victories against Ralf Souquet in the round of 16 and Kang Lee in the quarterfinals, needed to beat Mieszko Fortunski of Poland in the semifinals to secure a spot in the championship. Fortunski, who is routinely reaches the late stages of big events, was undefeated through the first three days and had already disposed of World Pool Champion Albin Ouschan in the quarterfinals. After the 29-year-old Fortunski swiped the first rack of the first set, Gorst rattled off three straight wins thanks to a dry break and a missed shot by his opponent. Fortunski won a safety exchange to cut the deficit to 3-2 but failed to pocket a ball on the break in the sixth game, handing Gorst the table and a combination shot on the 10 ball for the match-winner.

The second set was all Gorst, who took advantage of multiple misses by his opponent to build an early 2-0 advantage. The young Russian forfeited the table in the third game when he missed the 7 ball but his opponent would miss the ball as well, allowing Gorst to climb to within one game of another trip to the finals. The former World Pool champion capped off the set with a winning combination shot on the 10 ball, defeating Fortunski 4-2, 4-0.

The Russian earned the victory despite struggling with his breaking throughout the final day, failing to pocket a ball on the break three times against Fortunski and twice in the finals against Garcia.

The Russian suffered his lone defeat in the event to Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, who finished tied for third after losing in a semifinal shootout to Garcia. The Filipino displayed complete control during in the opening set against the Spaniard, as he mixed in a couple of run outs along with a Sanchez Ruiz miss to pitch a 4-0 shutout.

Sanchez Ruiz found his bearings in the following frame, building a 2-0 advantage thanks to a much-needed break-and-run before scratching on the break in the third game. Garcia won three straight games thanks to a break-and-run and a missed cut shot on the 1 ball by his opponent in the fifth game. After Garcia executed tough cut shots on the 3 and 4 balls in the sixth rack, it appeared that his victory might be a foregone conclusion – until he missed the 5 ball in the corner pocket. Sanchez Ruiz cleared the remaining balls to tie the score at 3-3, then used a bank shot on the 1 ball in the seventh game to run out the rack, win the set, 4-3 and force a shootout.

As the crowd at Casino Del Sol gathered around the arena, the spot shot competition turned into two players who challenged each other to blink, with each pocketing four straight balls without a miss. When the cue ball was moved back a diamond and the format switched to sudden death, the balls continued falling into pockets as if almost routine. After Garcia had made his eighth straight shot, Sanchez Ruiz struck the cue ball and watched as the 10 ball rattled in the pocket’s jaws and then popped out, giving Garcia the victory.

Find the Final Arcadia Arizona Open draw on the Predator US Pro Billiard Series FargoRate’s dedicated page

The Predator US Pro Billiard Series returns to action next month with the Apex Wisconsin Open, which will be held in conjunction with the CSI Wisconsin State Championships February 9-12 at Ho-Chunk Gaming in Wisconsin Dells.

The Arcadia Arizona Open was streamed for free all week on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.
Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device
Follow @probilliardseries on social media for future events information, or visit to register.

Garcia and Orcollo, singly and together, win One Pocket, Scotch Doubles at Iron City Open

Dennis Orcollo

In the opening two days (Wed., Thurs. August 4-5) of the second Iron City Open (the first was held in April), Roland Garcia and Dennis Orcollo combined to win the One Pocket and Scotch Doubles events. They faced each other in the finals of the $3,000-added One Pocket event that drew a short field of six entrants and then, together, downed the team of Josh Roberts and Raed Shabib in the finals of the $1,000-added Scotch Doubles tournament that drew 17 teams.

Still ongoing are the $3,000-added 9-Ball main event, which has drawn 77 entrants, including Garcia and Orcollo and a 10-Ball Mini event (also with Garcia and Orcollo) with 18 entrants, both of which commenced on Friday night. Orcollo was sent to the loss side after dropping a preliminary round, double hill match against Tony Chohan at the start of last night’s 9-ball tournament. 

Today (Saturday, Aug. 7), a $2,000-added Ladies 9-Ball event will begin around 4 p.m., with a $1,000-added 9-Ball Banks tournament set to begin shortly thereafter.

Wednesday’s One Pocket event was contested by Josh Martin, Tony Chohan, Dennis Orcollo, Justyn Cone, Josh Roberts and Roland Garcia. Chohan and Orcollo advanced in a preliminary round after Chohan downed Martin and Orcollo got by Cone. Chohan got into the hot seat match by downing Roberts 4-3 and was joined by Garcia, who’d shut Orcollo out. Garcia claimed the hot seat, double hill over Chohan. Orcollo won three straight on the loss side, downing Martin, Roberts and Chohan, only to be bested a second time by Garcia, 6-3, to claim the One Pocket title.

As a team, Orcollo and Garcia went 5-0 in the Scotch Doubles event, beginning with victories over the teams of Matt Littleton & Luke Wilkins, Kevin Ping and Louis Altes, along with Andy Warren and Dan Picard. They sent Manny Chau and Justyn Cone to the semifinals and claimed the hot seat. On the loss side, Josh Roberts and Raed Shabit, who’d been sent over in the opening round by Chau and Cone, won five in a row, including their semifinal rematch against Chau and Cone and Louis Altes. Orcollo and Garcia stopped their run 5-2 in the final to claim the Scotch Doubles event title. 

Brackets for the various division are available online at, and online streaming coverage of three tables from this event will be available all weekend at

Midwest Billiards & Cue Expo A Roaring Success

Alex Pagulayan and Skyler Woodward

Big Dog Billiards in Des Moines, IA hosted their sixth annual extravaganza and, as usual, it was a huge success. In addition to the Cue Expo, there were four events – One Pocket, Ten Ball, Open Nine Ball and a Banks Ring Game.

For one pocket aficionados, the star-studded lineup couldn’t get much better. A very tough field of sixteen arrived and were ready to rumble. The $3000 added event had a $500 entry fee. Format was races to four, alternate break and double elimination. After the players meeting, auction and draw, play began.

Shane Van Boening drew tough but defeated all in his march to the hot seat match. Billy Thorpe was skunked 4-0, Fedor Gorst was sent packing 4-2 and Warren Kiamco went down 4-0.

In the lower half of the bracket, Roland Garcia also had a tough draw – all fellow Filipinos! One by one, they went down – Carlo Biado was defeated 4-3, Alex Pagulayan also beaten 4-3 and Roberto Gomez was blistered 4-0.

Shane and Roland met in the hot seat match where Shane locked up his seat in the finals 4-2. Roland headed west to await the results of the Tony Chohan-Alex Pagulayan match. Tony emerged the victor 4-2 leaving Alex in fourth place.

Looking for another shot at Shane, Roland handily dispatched Tony 4-0 leaving him with a third place finish and moved on to the finals.

Since this event was true double elimination, Shane would have to be beaten twice. It was a hard fought match but Shane took it down 4-3. Congratulations, Shane! Good tournament, Roland!

Friday night saw the $10,000 added Ten Ball event kick off with a players meeting, a twenty player auction & draw. Like the one pocket event, it was double elimination with a $500 entry fee. Format was races to 11 on 9 foot tables and winner break.

Two players shredded the field in their march to the hot seat match. Fedor Gorst defeated Tyler Styer 11-9, Tom Tan 11-0, Devin Poteet 11-5 and squeaked by Warren Kiamco 11-10. Sky Woodward defeated Tony Chohan 11-7, Danny Olson 11-1, Billy Thorpe 11-7 and Alex Pagulayan 11-5.

The hot seat match was a close one but Sky edged out Fedor to claim his seat in the finals. Fedor headed west to await an opponent.

Alex’s defeat by Sky must’ve gotten his attention as he bore down and defeated Roberto Gomez 11-9, Shane 11-7 and finally Fedor 11-7 for another chance at Sky.

Again, since it was true double elimination, Alex would have to beat Sky twice for the title.

The match started out neck and neck but slowly Alex built a small lead and maintained it until the end – defeating Sky 11-8 and forcing a second set.

The second set was almost all Alex as he seemed to find his groove and took the second set and the title 11-5. Congratulations, Alex! Good shooting, Sky!

Saturday night was for the bank fans. A field of eight competed in the Banks Ring Game. After several hours, defending champ Sky Woodward and Tony Chohan were the last two standing. A repeat was not in the cards as Tony eliminated Sky for the winner take all cash. Congrats, Tony! Good effort, Sky!

There were 160 players in the $2000 added bar table event. The entry fee was $25 and the format was races to seven, alternate breaks and double elimination. When the smoke cleared, it was Kristina Tkach and Nick Hanson in the finals with Kristina winning the event 7-5! Congratulations to Kristina! Well played, Nick!

Congratulations to Shane, Alex, Tony & Kristina for becoming the 2021 Big Dog champions!

In addition, many thanks to Jim Landrum and Randy Hanson, owners of Big Dog Billiards, for hosting such a great event. They and their staff rolled out the red carpet for both players and fans. It wouldn’t have been possible without them or without their sponsors. They are Diveney Custom Cues, Anderson Animal Clinic, Jacoby Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Kamui and, of course, Big Dog Billiards and would like to thank Tournament Directors Dusti Bushbaum (9 ball) and Ray Hansen (pro events) for keeping things going without a hitch. Additional thanks to Jason Hill for keeping the brackets up to date.

We’d also like to thank our commentators Jeremy Jones, Larry Schwartz and Mary Kenniston for a great job.

Last, but not least, thanks to our fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include Lomax Custom Cues, JB Cases, Hanshew Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Aramith, Simonis, Durbin Custom Cues, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore and the Action Palace of Dayton, OH.

Our next event is the Champions Eight Ball Challenge featuring Scott Frost and Bobby McGrath. To be held at Rocks On The Rocks in West Peoria, IL, it will be played on seven foot Diamonds and is a race to 80 with each paying an entry fee of $20,000! Dates are August 17th-19th! Hope to see you there!

Gorst, Tkach, Garcia and Geronimo win events at 7th Annual Junior Norris Memorial Shootout

Fedor Gorst and Kristina Tkach

Tkach and Gorst share All-Around Player Award, Saez wins Sportsmanship Award

What started out as a Texas-style family barbecue held to honor two birthdays, eventually developed into an annual barbecue/multiple pool tournament event –  The Junior Norris Annual Memorial Shootout, named after one of the two people celebrating a birthday. The other birthday celebrant was Junor Norris’ Mom, Sadie. Junior’s birthday was June 30. Sadie’s was on July 4th, so the family found ways to split the date difference and hold a “little party,” 

In 2014, in preparation for Junior Norris’ 89th birthday (Sadie had passed in 1966), they thought they’d try something a little different.

“We thought, instead of a barbecue,” recalled Junior’s daughter, Sherrie Glenn, “what about we do the barbecue at the pool hall and do a tournament?”

This past (long) weekend, eight years later, from Wednesday, July 7 to Sunday, July 11, at the 7th Annual Junior Norris Memorial Shootout (the 7th event was initially cancelled last year due to COVID restrictions), the family played host to five separate events, with a total of $7,000-added that drew over 200 entrants (some cross-event duplications) to the Maskat Shrine Ballroom in Wichita Falls, TX.

And then fed them.

“I feed all my players for free,” said Sherrie Glenn of the paid players, VIP guests and event support staff that chowed down on Texas barbecue over the weekend.

They also played a lot of pool. From a single 9-ball event that was won in 2015 (when they started to keep records) by Las Vegas, NV’s Walter Glass, this year’s Junior Norris Memorial Shootout’s featured four events that were won by Fedor Gorst (10-Ball Ring Game), Edgie Geronimo with Justin Espinosa as runner-up (Open 9-Ball), Roland Garcia with Carlo Biado as runner-up (Open 10-Ball) and Russia’s Kristina Tkach with Minnesota’s April Larson as runner-up (Women’s 9-Ball Open). As a result of their efforts, Tkach and Fedor Gorst shared, and for the cameras, wrestled over the Memorial’s All-Around Player Award. 

Defending champs ‘in the house,’ included Efren Reyes, who is on his Farewell Tour throughout the US, and who won the Open 9-Ball event in 2019. He finished in 4th place this year, just after winning a double-hill battle versus Kristina Tkach. He was eliminated by Tkach’s fellow Russian, Fedor Gorst in the quarterfinals. Tara Williams also won in 2019 and she, too, finished in 4th place this year, ousted by April Larson 7-4 in the quarterfinals. Also competing again this year was Robb Saez, who won the 9-Ball Open in 2018. Listing the number of total returning competitors would take far too long, as would a list of notable players who’ve competed over the years since 2015, so instead, we’ll start at the beginning. 

Things got under way on Wednesday night, July 7, with a “VIP” night that included reserved seats for the 10-Ball Ring Game with dinner. The $500-added Ring Game followed and was won by Fedor Gorst, who pocketed $1,700. Carlo Biado was the runner-up ($1,275), with Shane McMinn ($850) and Roland Garcia ($425) finishing third and fourth.

Thursday and Friday featured the Open 10-Ball event that drew 53 entrants. Representing the Philippines, Roland Garcia went undefeated to claim the title. Local favorite Rick Stanley battled for the hot seat and then, in the semifinals, lost to another Filipino, Carlo Biado, who won seven on the loss side, including the semifinals versus Stanley, to face Garcia in the finals. Fedor Gorst finished fourth.

The largest event of the long weekend was the 104-entrant 9-Ball Open, which began on Friday. Edgie Geronimo defeated Justin Espinosa twice, in the hot seat and finals, to complete an undefeated run. Espinosa fought a double hill battle in the semifinals, versus Fedor Gorst, who finished third. Gorst had earlier eliminated Warren Kiamco, and in the quarterfinals, had defeated Efren Reyes, who finished fourth.

Some of the brightest and youngest female stars in the pool ‘sky’ were on hand, and fittingly, had to eliminate the Ladies 9-Ball event’s defending champion, Tara Williams, to claim the title. Russia’s Kristina Tkach did not end up competing against Williams, but did claim the title, going undefeated through the 36-entrant field that had gotten underway on Saturday. Tkach had to get by WPBA competitor and former BEF Junior National Champion, April Larson twice to claim the title; once, in a winners’ side semifinal and later, in the finals. Tkach downed Midwest veteran, Brittany Maynard in the hot seat match. On the loss side, Larson, who’d defeated Williams in a winners’ side quarterfinal, drew a re-match against Williams, who was in the midst of a three-match, loss-side winning streak that had eliminated two of the younger competitors – Aryana Lynch and Chris Fields. Larson defeated Williams a second time, dropping her into 4th place 7-5 and then downed Maynard in the semifinals. Tkach completed her undefeated run 7-5 over Larson in the finals to claim the event title.

Saturday’s events included a 96th Birthday BBQ Celebration for the late Junior Norris. 

Event organizer and promoter, Sherrie Glenn thanked the ownership and staff at the Maskat Shrine Ballroom, as well as sponsors Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, OB Cues, GoPlayPool, David Norris Equipment Co., Players Lounge, Jerry Olivier Cues (and Jerry Olivier, who was on hand throughout the weekend with cue repairs), JB Cases, Outsville, (which broadcast a live stream throughout the weekend), High Country Promotions (for the 7’ ft. Valley Tables), Club Billiards, Broad St. Billiards, Gem Cues and Wichita Raceway Park.

Morra, Lunda & Kiamco Take It Down In Illinois

Devin Poteet and John Morra

The Racks On The Rocks Classic was the place to be this past weekend. Located in West Peoria, IL and owned by Rob and Heather Williams, they hosted three divisions – one pocket, eight ball and a nine ball mini.

Local sponsors C-N-C Fireworks, Kinner Excavating, Pip-N-Tree, Inc., Glad’s Tire Service, Elite Custom Services, Denbesten Real Estate and Beast Mode Products contributed to the $11,000 added event.
The $5,000 added one pocket division started on Wednesday night and by Friday afternoon was down to two players – Scott Frost and Evan Lunda. Scott came out of the gate firing but when it was all over, Evan had claimed the title with a 6-3 score.
The $5,000 added Open Bar Table Eight Ball began on Friday night and ran all weekend. By Sunday night, the field had been whittled down to John Morra and Devin Poteet. John was too much for Devin as he grabbed the trophy 7-5.

One Pocket Winner Evan Lunda

Meanwhile, the $1,000 Nine Ball Mini kicked off with nine players putting up $500 each. Although the field was small, the talent was huge. Racing to nine, the single elimination event came down to Roland Garcia and Warren Kiamco. The Warrior has been on a tear in the last few events and this one was no different. Final score – 9-7 Warren.

Congratulations to all!!!
Thanks to tournament directors Ray Hansen for the one pocket and nine ball divisions and Josh Suits for the eight ball division. We’d also like to thank the Racks On The Rocks staff for taking good care of players and fans alike.
Thanks to Larry Schwartz and Mary Kenniston for their great commentary!
And last, but not least, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors! Our sponsors include JB Cases, Diamond Billiard Products, Castillo Leather Goods, Lomax Custom Cues, Simonis, 1PKT, Hanshew Jump Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore in Fort Worth, TX, The Action Palace of Dayton, OH and our venue, Racks On The Rocks.’s next stop is Buffalo’s Pro One Pocket and Open Nine Ball in New Orleans, LA. The dates are May 26th-30th. Hope to see you there!!!

Garcia and Martin split top prizes on 1st stop back for the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Roland Garcia

Five days before the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour got back to the business of pool tournaments, the governor of South Carolina, Henry McMaster, gave restaurants in the state the ‘green light’ to open up at 50% capacity. A day later (May 12), he signed an Executive Order extending South Carolina’s specific State of Emergency for 15 days, while noting that as of that day, the state had identified 7,927 cases of COVID-19, to include 355 deaths. According to Tour Director Herman Parker, that occupancy percentage was adhered to during the tour’s two-day stay at Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC, where, this past weekend (May 16-17), Roland Garcia and Justin Martin split the top prizes at the $500-added event that drew 52 entrants. Parker estimated that total occupancy at any given time during the two-day event was about 80 people and that while no one was utilizing masks, an informal social distance protocol was able to be maintained.


Garcia and Martin opted to split the event’s top two prizes shortly after Martin won the first set of a true double elimination final on Sunday evening, thereby evening their match results at that point to 1-1. Garcia was declared the official winner of the event.


They’d met first in a winners’ side semifinal, as Justin Duncan and Landon Hollingsworth met in the other one. Garcia sent Martin to the loss side 12-4 (Martin racing to 10). Duncan dispatched Hollingsworth to the left bracket 6-4, and then, followed him over when Garcia downed him 6-4 to claim the hot seat.


On the loss side, Martin began his trek back to the finals against Sammy Manley, who’d defeated Clint Clark 5-6 (Clark racing to 8) and Billy Fowler 5-7 (Fowler, racing to 9). Hollingsworth picked up Hunter White, who’d lost his opening match to Romy Malonzo, and then embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included victories over Jacob Brooks 9-4 and Kelly Piercy 9-2.


The four of them played 22 games for the right to advance to the quarterfinals. Manley and Hollingsworth won only three of those 22; Manley chalking up two against Martin and Hollingsworth managing only one against White.


Martin ended White’s eight-game winning streak 10-6 in those quarterfinals and then, spoiled Duncan’s hopes for a re-match against Garcia with a 10-4 victory over him. With that ever-intangible, though never underestimated ‘loss-side momentum,’ Martin battled Garcia to double hill in the opening set of the true double elimination final and then won it, to force a second set.


They didn’t play it. They opted to split the top two prizes and allow Garcia to claim the official event title.


Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break & Run Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards, and Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour is being planned. Visit the tour’s Facebook page for specific information on the date and time.


Bergman over Van Boening Finishes Up International 9-Ball Open Day Four

Francos Sanchez-Ruiz (Erwin Dionisio)

Day four at the International 9-Ball Open got started with both of the Team USA Mosconi Cup hopefuls playing on neighboring tables. Corey Deuel and Max Eberle are battling to see who fills the final slot on the team. Yu-Lung Chang bested Max Eberle 11-7, while Corey won over Ri Teng Liu 11-8. Advantage Deuel? We all have to just wait for the announcement. 
Elsewhere, world #1 Joshua Filler notched up another win by taking down Denis Grabe 11-7. The feature match was Alex Kazakis versus James Aranas. Both men showed a few early-day arm struggles but Kazakis woke up first and won this one 11-6.
The second round of the day saw only four matches. The first to finish award for this round would go to Ruslan Chinahov of Russia, who only took a little over an hour to defeat Naoyuki Oi of Japan 11-4. Next to finish was our defending champion Jung-Lin Chang, who took care of business by winning 11-7 over Fedor Gorst.
Aloysius App and Roland Garcia kept it close throughout their match with rarely more than one game separating them. Yapp managed to be the last man standing when he won the hill-hill match to claim the win 11-10. Another tight one was the TV match between Albin Ouschan and Nick Ekonomopoulos. They also went head to head on every rack and wound up tied at 9 games apiece in their race to 11 games. Ouschan got to the hill first and won a brief safety battle for the 11-9 win.
The 2:30 session also had four matches. John Morra took down Marco Teutscher 11-6 and Denis Grabe won a tight one with Mika Immonen. The two champions were tied at 9 games apiece when Grabe took control of the next two racks to win 11-9. Our third match was not so close as James Aranas kept his hot game going and defeated Yu-Lung Chang 11-6.
The final match of the day session was Corey Deuel against Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz. Francisco began like a house on fire and went out to an 8-0 lead before Corey won eight racks of his own to tie us at 8 apiece. What began as a race to 11 was now a race to three.
After two more racks we were tied at nine games each. What a  battle this had become! Deuel broke and ran the next rack to be the first to ascend to the hill. In the next rack Deuel was running out before hanging the 7-ball in the corner. Sanchez-Ruiz ran the remaining three balls to stand beside Deuel atop the hill. The most dramatic match of the day had come down to a one-rack decider. Sanchez-Ruiz broke dry and Deuel was forced to play a safety when he could not get on the two ball. The safety war that ensued was won by Deuel when he finally gained a shot on the two ball. The cluster of  the five and six stopped his run and again he sought safety. Another war of safes began.This time it was Sanchez-Ruiz who got the first shot and he made the most of it, winning the rack and one of the most exciting  matches this reporter has seen in thirty years of watching tournament pool.
Coming back from the dinner break, six matches were scheduled for 6:30. The two winners side matches saw Ko Ping-Chung make quick work of Jayson Shaw 11-5 and Max Lechner having a slightly more comfortable 11-7 win over Dennis Orcollo than he did Wednesday night against Van Boening. On the one loss side, Chinahov, Chris Robinson, Aloysius Yapp and Albin Ouschan were all eliminated in 17th place. 
The 8:30 round featured Darren Appleton vs Joshua Filler. Despite Appleton struggling with the break, the match went 10-10 before a Filler safety left Appleton with no alternative but to try to tie up a ball. With Appleton failing to do so, Filler took ball in hand and ran out for the 11-10 win. Sanchez-Ruiz may have still been brimming with confidence from his win over Deuel, as he eliminated Denis Grabe in a quick 11-3 match. Other matches saw James Aranas eliminate John Morra and Alex Kazakis sending Thorsten Hohmann to the one loss side. 
The final round of the night only held two matches with defending champion Chang Jung-Lin playing Alex Pagulayan and the last two remaining US players facing off with Justin Bergman battling Shane Van Boening. While Pagulayan made relatively quick work of Chang 11-4, Van Boening and Bergman engaged in another extended battle. Both players came out of their corners looking a little tired, but it was Bergman who took control and Van Boening struggling to find his "A-Game". . Bergman led the match by four racks at 10-6, before Van Boening came back to 10-9 with an open table to tie things at 10-10. Van Boening navigated the table, but left a tricky 8-ball that he was obviously not happy with. Van Boening settled for a long shot on the 9-ball and it proved to be his doom, as the ball never even challenged the pocket and Bergman cleaned up for the 11-9 win. 
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

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. 

Hohmann backs up Steinway Classic title with NYC Singles 8-Ball Championship title

Tony Robles, Thorsten Hohmann and Tournament Director John Leyman (Erwin Dionisio)

Soto, Rosario, Sugiyama, Musser and Karwas win other division 8-ball titles
Three days after winning the 7th Steinway Classic in a thrilling, double hill final match against Fedor Gorst (Oct. 17), Thorsten Hohmann, at the same location, won the Grand Master Division of the NYC 8-Ball Championships (Oct. 20) with a slightly less dramatic 6-1 finals victory over Ruslan Chinakhov. The Grand Master division of the annual event, which drew 22 entrants to Steinway, was one of six division 8-ball tournaments held on the weekend of October 19-20. In all, under the sponsorship of Michael Fedak, the NYC Singles 8-Ball Championships added $15,000, divided among the six divisions, which drew 151 unique entrants.
It was Jose Soto who won in the 16-entrant Mixed Master’s Division, Abel Rosario in the 32-entrant Mixed Advanced Division, Akiko Sugiyama in the 32-entrant Women’s Leisure Division, and Maxwell Musser in the 32-entrant Men’s Leisure Division. The largest field, 48 entrants, was the Mixed Open Division, won by Sebastian Karwas.
Hohmann’s path to the winners’ circle in the Grand Masters event went through Chinakhov twice. He opened with a double hill win over Joey Korsiak and then, sent Chinakhov to the loss side 6-4. Hohmann then defeated Del Sim 6-4, to draw Damianos Giallourakis in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Nick Ekonomopoulos in the meantime, after being awarded an opening round bye, downed the Steinway Classic’s runner-up, Fedor Gorst 6-2 and Jalal Yousef 6-4 to draw Jimmy Rivera in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Hohmann defeated Giallourakis 6-3 and in the hot seat match, faced Ekonomopoulos, who’d sent Rivera west 6-1. Hohmann claimed the hot seat 6-3 and waited on the return of Chinakhov.
On the loss side, Chinakhov was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would give him a second chance against Hohmann. He got by Raphael Dabreo 6-2, Ryan Hsu 6-4, Tony Robles 6-2 and survived a double fight versus Burgos to draw Giallourakis, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Rivera picked up Roland Garcia, who after being defeated by Giallourakis ended Gorst’s run 6-1 and  by the same score, Del Sim’s.
Chinakhov and Giallourakis battled to double hill before Chinakhov advanced to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Garcia, who’d eliminated Rivera 6-2. Chinakhov took the quarterfinal match 6-2.
He completed his loss-side run with a double hill win over Ekonomopoulos in the semifinals. Hohmann, though, shut Chinakhov down early in the finals and completed his undefeated run with a 6-1 victory over Chinakhov.
Soto is the only competitor to come from the loss side to win Mixed Masters Division
Five of the six divisions of the NYC Singles 8-Ball Championships featured winners who went undefeated through their respective fields. Jose Soto, in the smallest field (16), competing in the Mixed Masters division, was the only competitor to win a division by coming from the loss side to defeat the hot seat occupant. And he did so, by losing in his first round and winning six loss-side matches to down Cesar Turcios in the finals.
Soto lost 5-1 to Tim Edmonds in the opening round of play. Edmonds was subsequently defeated by Brooke Meyers, who advanced to face Turcios in the hot seat match. Turcios claimed the hot seat in a double hill win over Meyers. On the loss side, three of the six matches Soto played, forced him to play a single deciding game to advance; matches against Eddie Kunz, Matthew Harricharan and his quarterfinal match against Miguel Laboy. Soto downed Meyers 6-3 in the semifinals and then, claimed the title with an 8-4 win over Turcios.
The largest field of 48, in the Mixed Open division, was won by Sebastian Karwas, who went undefeated. It took Karwas as many matches on the winners’ side of the Mixed Open bracket to claim the title, as it took Soto on both sides of the Mixed Masters bracket to win his. Karwas got by Jim Gutierrez, Keith Stefanowitz, Omar Chavez, Alex Kent and Marco Daniele to face Paul Lyons in the hot seat match. He claimed the hot seat 6-1 over Lyons, who moved to the loss side and downed Daniele in the semifinals 5-3. Karwas took their second match 6-4 to claim the title.
Rosario and Schreiber battle it out for Mixed Advanced title
Two of the New York area’s better competitors in their respective ranking divisions battled twice to claim the 32-entrant Mixed Advanced title. Abel Rosario and Thomas Schreiber hold top positions in the standings of both the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tours. Rosario is #10 on the Tri-State’s A+/A standings list and the #3 B+ player on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Schreiber is #5 on the Tri-State’s list of B players and # 2 on the Predator Pro Am Tour’s list of B players.
After four victories each, they met first in the hot seat match. Rosario claimed the hot seat 6-3. Schreiber moved to the loss side and downed Matthew Rezendes 5-1. He and Rosario fought to an appropriate double hill game 11 before Rosario finished it to claim the title.
In the 32-entrant Women’s Leisure division, Akiko Sugiyama won five straight to claim that title. She faced Melissa Schleifer twice and gave up only a single rack over the two matches; that one, coming in Sugiyama’s victory in the hot seat match. Schleifer shut Debra Pritchett out in the semifinals, but punctuating her undefeated run through the field, Sugiyama shut Schleifer out in the finals.
Completing the six-tournament event, it was Maxwell Musser, who went undefeated through the 32-entrant Men’s Leisure field. Musser faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals, defeating Brian Schell to claim the hot seat, and after Henry Chan had downed Schell double hill in the semifinals, Musser shut him out to take the title.
As always, event director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as Dr. Michael Fedak for his continuing financial support for this event (Fedak finished in the tie for 13th place in the Mixed Open tournament). Robles also noted sponsorship support from Predator Cues, and Blatt Billiards. According to Robles, the 2020 NYC 8-Ball Championships are going to be even better. It’s being planned as a three-day event on Columbus Day weekend and Dr. Fedak will be adding $20,000.
“This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of Michael and Marilyn Fedak,” said Robles.

2019 NYC 8-Ball Championship – Roland Garcia vs Alex Kazakis