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

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

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

2018 US Open 8-Ball Championship Matches Released on YouTube

CSI is pleased to announce that recorded matches from the 2018 US Open 8-Ball Championship have been released on the CSI YouTube Channel. Seventeen (17) videos featuring many of the world's best players such as Shane Van Boening, Alex Pagulayan, Skyler Woodward, Thorsten Hohmann, Dennis Orcollo, Corey Deuel, Eklent Kaci and more can be viewed in their entirety – absolutely free!
The 2018 US Open 8-Ball Championship was held July 21-24 at Griff's Billiards in Las Vegas, NV and was made possible by the following sponsors:
CueSports International (CSI):
Griff's Bar & Billiards:
​Simonis Cloth:
Cyclop Balls:
Match 1: Mitch Ellerman (USA) vs Chris Robinson (USA)
Match 2: Eklent Kaci (Albania) vs Rory Hendrickson (USA)
Match 3: Skyler Woodward (USA) vs Omar Al-Shaheen (Kuwait)
Match 4: Ernesto Dominguez (Mexico) vs Alex Olinger (USA)
Match 5: Chris Robinson (USA) vs Jeffrey De Luna (Philippines)
Match 6: Billy Thorpe (USA) vs Dennis Orcollo (Philippines)
Match 7: Dennis Hatch (USA) vs Brandon Shuff (USA)
Match 8: Corey Deuel (USA) vs Josh Roberts (USA)
Match 9: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Eklent Kaci (Albania)
Match 10: Oscar Dominguez (USA) vs James Aranas (Philippines)
Match 11: Dennis Orcollo (Philippines) vs James Aranas (Philippines)
​Match 12: Alex Pagulayan (Canada) vs Eklent Kaci (Albania)
Match 13: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Oscar Dominguez (USA)
Match 14: Alex Pagulayan (Canada) vs Thorsten Hohmann (Germany) HOT SEAT MATCH
Match 15: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Dennis Orcollo (Philippines)
​Match 16: Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Thorsten Hohmann (Germany) SEMI-FINAL MATCH
Match 17: Alex Pagulayan (Canada) vs Shane Van Boening (USA) FINAL MATCH
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CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media.  CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content.  Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.”  For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Bergman takes two out of three over Van Boening to win Upper Midwest Pro Am 8-Ball event

Justin Bergman

Styer comes from the loss side to capture 10-Ball title
Three competitors split $14,000 in prize money in the Upper Midwest Pro Am 8-Ball Tournament; a $6,000-added Pro event, restricted to eight players, each of whom paid a $1,000-entry fee. Played out on 7-ft. Diamond tables, the event, held under the auspices of the Midwest Poolplayers Association, and hosted by CR's Sports Bar in Coon Rapids, MN, ended up in a three-match contest between Justin Bergman and Shane Van Boening. Bergman took two out of the three to claim the event title, and first-place prize of $9,000.
In a concurrently-run, $2,000-added 10-ball event that drew 47 entrants to the same location, Tyler Styer took two out of three against Michael Perron, Jr. Styer came back from a shutout in the hot seat match to double dip Perron, Jr. in the finals.
The Pro event, in races to 15, saw Bergman and Van Boening advance through a single match to face opponents in a winners' side semifinal; Bergman versus Lee Heuwagen and Van Boening squaring off against Corey Deuel. Bergman got into the hot seat match 15-11 over Heuwagen, as Van Boening downed Deuel 15-13. Bergman took the first of three over Van Boening 15-12 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting his return.
On the short-list loss side, Heuwagen picked up Jesse Engel, who'd eliminated Brandon Shuff 15-7 to reach him. Deuel drew Larry Nevel, who'd defeated Ryan Solleveld 15-7. Engel ended Heuwagen's bid for a share of the event's $14,000 with a 15-9 win, as Deuel was busy eliminating Nevel 15-3.
Deuel then dropped Engel in the quarterfinals 15-11 and squared off against his former Mosconi Cup teammate, Van Boening, in the first money round ($1,000), the semifinals. Van Boening took the match against Deuel 15-12 to earn a second, and as it turned out, third shot against Bergman.
Down 7-1, and later, 11-3, Van Boening fought back in the opening set to tie and eventually pull off a double hill win that forced a second set. Bergman won the second set 15-10 to claim the event title.
Styer double dips Perron, Jr.
Tyler Styer returned from a loss in the hot seat match to Michael Perron, Jr. to double dip him in the finals and claim the top prize in the weekend's 10-ball event. Styer, after being awarded an opening round bye, advanced through three matches to face Mark Weaver in one of the winners' side semifinals. Perron, in the meantime, advanced through four matches, including an opening round double hill fight, to face T.J. Steinhaus in the other winners' side semifinal.
Styer downed Weaver 9-4, as Perron was sending Steinhaus to the loss side in his second double hill match. Perron claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Styer and waited for what proved to be his fateful return.
On the loss side, Steinhaus picked up Tony Zierman, who'd defeated Dustin Morris 7-5 and Tony Hilla 7-4 to reach him. Weaver drew Tim Tonjum, who'd defeated Dan Voller 7-1 and Rory Hendrickson 7-5. Zierman handed Steinhaus his second straight loss 7-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Tonjum, who fought to double hill and then handed Weaver his second loss.
It would be hard to know who watched the quarterfinals with more interest; Perron in the hot seat, or Styer, waiting to play the winner in the semifinals. Both watched as Tonjum shut Zierman out. Styer was up first, and eliminated Tonjum 7-4 in those semifinals.
Styer and Perron battled in the opening set, with Styer pulling out in front to win it 9-5. In the second set, Styer took a page out of Tonjum's book, and shut Perron out to claim the event title.

Van Boening unleashed “Beast Mode” in US Open 8-Ball Finals

Photo courtesy of JP Parmentier

When asked what it took for Shane Van Boening to win ten straight matches on the one loss side in order to win the US Open 8-Ball Championship title, his answer was simple. “A lot of work on my break, and I just put myself into beast mode” Van Boening said. “Beast Mode” was on full display on day three of the tournament, at the Rio All Suites Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada.
The day started with Van Boening winning his seventh straight match on the one loss side. This time over Amar Kang hill-hill. At the same time, South Carolina’s Josh Roberts was eliminating Mike Dechaine 9-4. 
The next match saw Van Boening beat Roberts 9-6, in a match that was one shot shy of a perfect match. Van Boening made a ball and ran out on each of his breaks. Roberts made a ball and ran on out on all but one of his breaks. That one break saw Robert’s cue ball kicked into a pocket, and Van Boening ran that rack with ball in hand. 
Next up for Van Boening was bar table 8-ball specialist Jesse Bowman. Van Boening scratched on back-to-back breaks, but Bowman was unable to win games on his own break, as four of the first six racks were won by the player who didn’t break. The players then swapped racks until rack 10. Trailing 5-4, Bowman missed a shot he would make any other day, and Van Boening ran out for the first multi rack lead at 6-4. From there, Van Boening won the next three racks via table runs (one on a Bowman dry break), for the 9-4 victory. 
The extended race to 11 final match was a battle of the Dakota’s, with Van Boening hailing from South Dakota and Rory Hendrickson hailing from North Dakota. With that proximity, it was no surprise that the two players were friends who spend a fair amount of time together off the green baize. 
Hendrickson came out on fire, and took advantage of an early Van Boening mistake, to take a quick 3-0 lead. Then it was Van Boening's turn to wrap table runs around his opponents mistake (scratch on the break), and the score was tied at 3-3. Van Boening took his first lead at 5-4, and then extended it to 6-4 when Hendrickson couldn’t take advantage of a missed bank by Van Boening in rack ten. Hendrickson had the chance to tie the score at 7-7, but again failed to get out, and Van Boening went back ahead by two at 8-6. That rack seemed to take the wind out of Hendrickson’s sails, and Van Boening won the next three racks for the 11-6 win. 
The tournament win was Van Boening’s second title of the week, as he defeated Rodney Morris in the finals to win the US Open 10-Ball title three nights ago. Van Boening admitted that the two titles was his goal for the week. “I wanted to win two tournaments in Vegas. That was my goal and I made it happen” said Van Boening.
Hendrickson had nothing to be ashamed of with his performance all week. “If you watch how Shane beat Josh, and how he got back there to win every match, you have to play perfect to beat him.” he said. Hendrickson continued “I hit the ball good, but I don’t play pool more than once a week.” When asked about how he keeps his game at a top level with such little practice, Hendrickson’s response was “watching”. “My practice today was watching Shane play two matches in my room, alone and focusing.”
[photo id=45125|align=right]Hendrickson had nothing but compliments for Van Boening after the match. “Midwest 8-ball showed a big sign. That is where the best bar table players come from. They say when you go to the barbox, it’s kiddie land. It’s the exact opposite. You have to have a better cue ball on the barbox than you do on the big table, because you play to bigger areas on a big table. Here, you can’t make mistakes. Your cue ball has to be that good. There is a reason why Shane is the best player in the country, arguably the best player in the world.”
Van Boening’s win will move him to third place on the US Mosconi Cup points list. Aside from Corey Deuel moving up one spot to 9th place, no other changes took place on the list. 
Predator is the official cue of the US Open 8-Ball Championship. They are joined by Kamui (the official tip), Cyclop (the official balls), Omega Billiards (the official online store) and Diamond (the official table) as major sponsors of this event.

Hendrickson Takes the Point at US Open 8-Ball Championship

Rory Hendrickson (Photo courtesy of JP Parmentier)

Day two of the US Open 8-Ball Championship, at the Rio All Suites Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada, saw a field of 29 remaining players whittled down to just six players.
In a field of players that included some of the top names in the game today, the winner’s side came down to two bar-table specialists from the midwest, in Jesse Bowman and Rory Hendrickson. Bowman had wins over Rodney Morris and Amar Kang early on Sunday, while Hendrickson beat Thorsten Hohmann and Josh Roberts to get his day started. 
The hot-seat match was a battle between two players of contrasting styles at the table. Hendrickson has a very calculated approach at the table, as he studies the angles and calculates exactly where he wants his cue ball for any particular shot. Bowman, on the other hand, couldn’t look any more loose as he maneuvers around the table as if he were practicing at home, never stopping to study any shot or position for long. 
The early match was “Advantage Hendrickson”, as he cruised to a 5-1 lead. Just as quickly as he took that lead, Bowman took advantage of dry breaks from Hendrickson and came back to make things close. The players traded racks until the final rack at 8-8, when Hendrickson made a ball on the break and methodically ran out for the match win. 
After the match, Hendrickson commented on how it felt to be playing a player that he was so familiar with in such an important match. “I’m super glad that I played Jesse. It made me much more relaxed, because we’ve been playing each other for years.” Crediting his lack of playing time to his job as housepro at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub in Fargo, ND, Hendrickson indicated that his success so far in this event might get him out on the tournament trail more. “This is awesome, absolutely the best tournament”, he commented. 
While Hendrickson and Bowman were fighting it out on the winner’s side, a “who’s who” of top talent was in action on the one loss side. Shane Van Boening had five win’s on the left side of the board, and ended his day with a hill-hill victory over Francisco Bustamante to earn a match with Amar Kang on Monday morning.  Van Boening’s fellow Mosconi Cup hopeful, Mike Dechaine, had four wins on Sunday and ended his day with a 9-5 win over Brandon Shuff. Dechaine will face Josh Roberts early Monday morning and a final tournament winner will be crowned Monday evening. 
Predator is the official cue of the US Open 8-Ball Championship. They are joined by Kamui (the official tip), Cyclop (the official balls), Omega Billiards (the official online store) and Diamond (the official table) as major sponsors of this event. 

2015 US Bar Table Championships 8-Ball Matches Released on YouTube

CSI is pleased to announce that the 2015 US Bar Table Championships 8-Ball Division matches have been released on the CSI YouTube channel.  Twenty-One (21) matches featuring some of the best players in the world can be viewed in their entirety absolutely free!
The 2015 US Bar Table Championships were held February 16-22, 2015 at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, NV.  The matches were recorded in “The Kamui Arena” with high definition equipment and full-time commentary by Ken Shuman and other special guests. CSI would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to our primary sponsors:
Kamui: “The Official Tip of the 22nd US Bar Table Championships!”
OB: “The Official Cue of the 22nd US Bar Table Championships!”
Below are the matches on this YouTube playlist:
Match 1: Alex Olinger vs Josh Roberts
Match 2: Dan Louie vs Jeremy Sossei
Match 3: Jayson Shaw vs Robb Saez
Match 4: Mark Tadd vs Justin Bergman
Match 5: Rory Hendrickson vs Jeffrey Ignacio
Match 6: Danny Olson vs Tristan Hansen
Match 7: Taylor Hansen vs Liz Lovely
Match 8: Oscar Dominguez vs Tim Baron
Match 9: David Gomez vs Mike Massey
Match 10: Nick Kruger vs Derek Pogirski
Match 11: Justin Bergman vs Josh Roberts
Match 12: Jayson Shaw vs Jeffrey Ignacio
Match 13: Skyler Woodward vs Joven Bustamante
Match 14: Jason Shaw vs Joven Bustamante
Match 15: Scott Frost vs Justin Bergman
Match 16: Shane Van Boening vs Corey Deuel
Match 17: Corey Deuel vs Steve Knoll
Match 18: Jeffrey Ignacio vs Sean McKay (Hot Seat Match)
Match 19: Justin Bergman vs Sean McKay (Semi-Final)
Match 20: Jessica Frideres vs Liz Lovely (Women’s Final)
Match 21: Justin Bergman vs Jeffrey Ignacio (Men’s Final)
2015 US Bar Table Championships 8-Ball Division Playlist: 
CSI YouTube Channel:
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Jason Brown gets by Deuel twice to capture SBE One-Pocket title

When the designated 32-player field for the 23rd Annual Super Billiards Expo's One-Pocket event was filled about two weeks ahead of schedule, event representatives expanded the field to 48. Jason Brown went undefeated through that field to win the $2,200-added event, held on the weekend of April 16-19, and hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Center in Oaks, PA. The One-Pocket tournament was one of three main events and four Amateur events held on the weekend (see separate story about 10-Ball Players Championship and results of Women's Tournament).
The One-Pocket event featured a double elimination format until a final eight players, four from the winners' side and four from the loss side, advanced to a single elimination format. All four of the  players who qualified from the loss side for the final eight (Phillip Wines, Adam Kielar, Sean Morgan and Corey Deuel) had been defeated in the second round of play and won five (or three) on the loss side to advance. Corey Deuel, who'd advance to challenge Brown in the finals, had been awarded a bye in the opening round and had to face only three loss-side opponents.
Brown's path to the finals opened (after being awarded a Bye) with a victory over Kielar, advanced with a win over Deuel, and qualified for the single elimination phase with a victory over Bernie Pettipiece. Deuel was awarded an opening round bye, and defeated Dennis Barouty, before being sent to the loss side by Brown. He then defeated Michael Huffman, Bill Hendrixson, and like Brown, used a victory over Pettitpiece to advance to the final eight.
Also advancing from the winners' side were Warren Kiamco, who'd defeated Omar Santiago, Jamie Ruff, Gilbert Ballet, and Brandon Harland. Justin Hall advanced among the winners with victories over Joe Dupuis, Martin Ciccia, Jeff Abernathy and Bob Jewett. Skyler Woodward, who had suffered back-to-back defeats in the 10-Ball Championship at the hands of Rodney Morris and Earl Strickland, defeated Josh Keller, Paul Kim Helms, and Raphael Dabreo to make the cut in the One Pocket event. 
After defeating Ben Crocker in the opening round, Phillip Wines was sent to the loss side by Raphael DaBreo. He then handed Dennis Orcollo (winner of the 10-Ball Players Championship) his second straight loss, and defeated Rory Hendrickson, Len Gianfrante, Jeff Abernathy and Bob Jewett to qualify for the final eight. Kielar opened with a victory over Sean Morgan, and was then, like Deuel, sent to the loss side by Brown. He then got by Stephen Todd, Dan Barouty, Paul Spaanstra, Joe Dupuis, and Brandon Harland to qualify for the final eight. Sean Morgan's path went through Kielar, who in the opening round, sent him to the loss side, where he defeated Kevin Bauccio, Chris England, Michael Rinella, Paul Kim Helms, and Raphael DaBreo to qualify for the single elimination phase.
In the single elimination phase, winners met winners, and one-loss players faced one-loss players; Kiamco faced Hall, while Brown squared off against Woodward. Kielar and Wines met, as did Deuel and Morgan. Kiamco shut Hall out, while Brown survived a double hill encounter against Woodward. Wines and Deuel defeated Kielar and Morgan, respectively, both 4-2.
For the semifinals and finals, the race was expanded to five. Brown faced Kiamco, while Deuel and Wines met. Both semifinals went double hill with Brown and Deuel advancing in search of the $2,000 first prize. Brown prevailed for the second time against Deuel, 5-3, to claim the event title.