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Gorst goes undefeated to claim 1st Annual Hannah Choi Memorial Title

Fedor Gorst, Shane Wolford, Kristina Tkach, Paul Oh and room owner Anthony Luong

There are times when words are insufficient to the task that they have been set out on a page to perform. So it is with reporting on the B & L Billiard Tournaments’ 1st Annual Hannah Choi Memorial, a $10,000-added event that drew 64 entrants to First Break Sports Bar in Sterling, VA last weekend (June 11-12). Spearheaded by a trio of Hannah Choi’s close friends – Paul Oh, Kristina Tkach and Fedor Gorst – the memorial was organized to commemorate Choi, who went missing from her home in early March and was discovered dead in a Maryland park weeks later. The person currently being sought in connection with her death, classified as murder, has still not been apprehended. 

Choi was an active player at Street Light Billiard Academy in Alexandria, VA, where Tkach, Gorst, Ruslan Chinakhov and other members of “Roy’s Basement,” along with players like Shane Van Boening, Efren Reyes and Nick Varner would gather along with Academy members, offering clinics, challenge matches and exhibitions.

“Hannah became Kristina’s handler, like a family member,” said Oh. “Hannah wasn’t like a professional player, although she was an APA 6, and she became close to Kristina. She was probably Kristina’s closest friend, lived with her whenever she was in-country.”

As a loosely-organized group engaged in the Virginia (and surrounding areas) pool community, the players would discuss any number of things around meals, table practice and tournaments. On more than one occasion, Choi had mentioned to the group the idea of organizing a Virginia-based ProAm tournament, which, for a variety of different reasons, had never really advanced beyond casual talk about it being a good idea.

“We’d had conversations about it,” said Oh, “wanting to hold a tournament in the area, so when Hannah passed, it was a no-brainer.”

Oh reached out to B&L Billiard Tournaments, in the persons of Brian Kilgore and Lai Li, within a matter of days after Choi’s passing. In less than three months, the circle of friends that had known Choi personally, organized the 1st Annual event that would bear her name.

“It meant a lot to Paul, Fedor and Kristina, who was her best friend,” said Kilgore. “Kristina talked to the players (at length) before the tournament began, telling them all of the things that Hannah Choi had done for her.”

Kilgore and the 64-entrant field were all on-hand to hear Tkach’s impassioned words. In retrospect, Kilgore regretted that the moments had not been recorded. Tkach did, though, write about Choi’s passing in an on-line post.

“I didn’t lose my best friend,” she wrote. “No…I lost so much more than that. I lost my soulmate, my partner, life mentor, my whole world.”

“But you didn’t leave me, right?” she went on to ask. “No, it just can’t be… you are somewhere here now, by my side, kindly looking at me, smiling, listening to me just like you always did.”

Tkach continued, eventually confronting the chasm of grief that lay before her; “the pain that doesn’t go away no matter what you do, eating you up from inside.

“But I can’t give up,” she added. “I have to keep grinding, growing and trying to be the best I can possibly be, because that’s what you would want me to do. I promise you will be proud of me.”

At the risk of presumption, one can only imagine that Hannah Choi would have accepted the need and impetus to discuss her passing and the memorial tournament arranged on her behalf, and then, expected all of us to proceed; “grinding, growing, trying to be the best that we can possibly be because that’s what (she) would want us to do.”

The 64-entrant, double elimination bracket that opened the proceedings had a proverbial ‘boat load’ of pool talent on board, including the very people responsible for the tournament’s existence; Paul Oh, Kristina Tkach and Fedor Gorst. Two of those three (Tkach and Gorst) would advance to the single elimination phase of the event and Gorst would win it. Things were set up through the event semifinals for Tkach and Gorst to square off in the final match, but Shane Wolford stepped in and left Tkach in the tie for 3rd place.

In one of the more entertaining matches of the event, Gorst opened up the double-elimination phase against junior competitor, Joey Tate. Live-streamed (as were selected matches throughout the weekend) by Omega Billiards, Tate encountered some early issues, arguably brought on by an initial concern that he might not make it to the event at all. He’d called Brian Kilgore to relate some ‘timing’ issues and assured him that though he was running late, he would be there in time. He made it on-time, by a matter of minutes and found himself facing Gorst in his opening round.

In the early going, Tate missed some ‘9’s and ‘10’s and found himself in a 3-1 hole after four. But he fought back to be within a single game at 6-5. Gorst prevailed and Tate would go on to lose his first loss-side match. 

Gorst advanced and ran into an immediate double hill battle against Atlantic Coast veteran Steve Fleming. He survived that battle as well, and then shut out Kevin West to become one of the eight winners’ side competitors advancing to single elimination. He was joined by fellow ‘winners’ side’ competitors Warren Kiamco, Greg McAndrews, Manny Chau, Roberto Gomez, Shane Wolford, Brandon Shuff and Chris Hansen. From the loss side, Rafael Reyes, Danny Mastermaker, Deo Alpajora, Kevin West, Dylan Spohr, BJ Ussery, Jr., Mhet Vergara and Kristina Tkach advanced to the final 16. Tkach, sent to the loss side by Manny Chau, had worked her way through William Moon, Lukas Fracasso-Verner and Roger Halder to join the loss-side’s group in the final 16.

Tkach got by Roberto Gomez in the opening round of single elimination and in the quarterfinals, drew Kevin West, who’d eliminated Chris Hansen. Gorst defeated Mhet Vergara and picked up Manny Chau, who’d sent Greg McAndrews home. Wolford, in the meantime, had knocked out Brandon Shuff and faced BJ Ussery, who’d defeated Rafael Reyes to reach him. Kiamco got by Deo Alpajora in the single-elimination opening round and squared off against Dylan Spohr, who’d ended Danny Mastermaker’s run.

Tkach downed West 9-7 and in the semifinals, drew Wolford, who’d defeated Ussery 9-7. Gorst eliminated Chau 9-4 and picked up Kiamco, who’d defeated Spohr 9-4. 

Wolford put an end to speculation and hopes for two of Hanna Choi’s best friends to meet in the finals with a 9-6 win over Tkach. Gorst downed Kiamco 9-5. In the extended race-to-9, Gorst and Wolford came within a game of double hill. Gorst pulled out in front in the end to win by two, 11-9. 

The 1st Annual Hannah Choi Memorial was in the books, with Gorst and Tkach proud to have played their part in making it a success. Paul Oh, though less than pleased with his finish ‘out of the money,’ as it were, was pleased at how well the entire affair had been arranged and executed, as was Brian Kilgore.

“It’s amazing to me how it turned out,” said Oh, noting that it was a combined effort on the part of the group of friends around Hannah Choi, who, over the years, “had eaten together, travelled together and worked together,” to include Anthony Milanesi (who’d donated a cue that he’d made for one of the raffles that helped bring money to the event), Ken Tranh and his wife, Linda, Joonick Jun and of course, the central trio of Tkach, Oh and Fedor Gorst. 

That core group along with Brian Kilgore and Lai Li thanked Anthony Luong and his First Break staff for their hospitality and a portion of the added money, as well as Cuetec Cues. They applauded the efforts of all 64 players who’d made Hannah Choi’s first memorial a memorable occasion. As something of an extended tour-promotion unit, they are already looking forward to the 2nd Annual Hannah Choi Memorial. While it’s a bit too early to determine how that will shape up, there is consideration being given to another Open event, as well as a Women’s tournament.

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Accu-Stats Announces June Premier Schedule

Accu-Stats Video Productions has announced their YouTube premiere schedule for June, and they are premiering matches from the 2022 Derby City Classic and 2015 Derby City Classic. Matches for June feature some of the best players in the world, including Efren Reyes, Shane Van Boening, Joshua Filler, Fedor Gorst, Alex Pagulayan, Jayson Shaw and many more. 

Accu-Stats premieres a new match from their immense archive of New and Historic content three times a week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights at 8pm EST. There is a lively chat during each premiere. Pat Fleming will host most nights in June. Viewers can find the Accu-Stats YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/AccuStatsVideoProductionsTV

June Premiere Schedule

June 2nd – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Max Eberle vs Mika Immonen
June 5th – 2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Darren Appleton vs Corey Deuel
June 7th – 2015 Derby City Classic Straight Pool Challenge – Ruslan Chinakhov vs Jayson Shaw
June 9th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – David Alcaide vs Alex Pagulayan
June 12th – 2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Joshua Filler vs Mieszko Fortunski
June 14th – 2015 Derby City Classic One Pocket – Double Header
Alex Pagulayan vs Efren Reyes
Mike Dechaine vs Alex Pagulayan
June 16th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Darren Appleton vs Fedor Gorst
June 19th – 2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Fedor Gorst vs Shane Van Boening
June 21st – 2015 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Alex Pagulayan vs Shane Van Boening
June 26th – 2022 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Roland Garcia Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz
June 28th – 2015 Derby City Classic One Pocket – Double Header
Shannon Daulton vs Shane Van Boening
Justin Hall vs Alex Pagulayan
June 30th – 2022 Derby City Classic Big Foot Challenge – Jayson Shaw vs Shane Van Boening

For over 30 years, Accu-Stats has been the leader in Professional Tournament Match Videos. The entire collection is available on DVD at http://www.accu-stats.com.

You can also watch more than 400 Accu-Stats matches from the 2018 and 2019 INTL 9-BALL OPEN; 2016-2022 Derby City Classic; 2015-2017 US Open 9-Ball Championships, as well as the Accu-Stats “Make It Happen” Invitationals via the Accu-Stats’ Vimeo Subscription service: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/asvod/

Website: http://www.accu-stats.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/accustats/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/accustatspool
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/accu_stats_pool
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/asvod/
International Open Website: https://www.intlopen.com

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Final Eight set at International Open

Dennis Orcollo (Karl Kantrowitz)

JIC Boys & Girls, 18 & Under, down to Super Six

As Pat Fleming’s 2021 International Open in Norfolk, VA has dwindled down to a Final Eight in its Phase Two, single-elimination rounds, it has retained its international flavor, advancing players from seven different countries to its winners’ side quarterfinals. Day Five of the event saw 11 different countries represented by 16 competitors battle it out for advancement to the Final Eight.

Also on Day Five, Ra Hanna’s On the Wire Media brought two of his Junior International Championships (JIC) to the stage, whittling down the fields of 15 Boys (18 & Under) and 8 Girls (18 & Under) to six in each division. All of the JIC competitors hail from the US of A.

All matches today (Saturday) are being scheduled around the annual Hall of Fame banquet, where this evening, both Kelly Fisher and Thorsten Hohmann will be indicted into that Hall of Fame after a dinner at 5 p.m.

First up in the eight matches that brought the Open field down to eight players were Japan’s Naoyuki Oi and Estonia’s Denis Grabe, who checked in mid-afternoon with the first of four 10-7 matches in the single elimination phase’s top half of the bracket. Grabe won it. Originally scheduled for late morning, the match between the Philippines’ Dennis Orcollo and Fedor Gorst was moved to be the final match of the day, and as it turned out, they’d apparently saved the best for last. 

Tied at 7-7, the match featured a number of short exchanges between Orcollo and Gorst that made note of each other’s more prominent unforced errors; balls rattling in holes, excellent shots that drew applause from the packed-house audience in the Accu-Stat arena, that turned into gasps, as a number of good shots from both of them were followed by cue-ball rolls that put them in the unenviable position of being unable to see their next shot. They were both more amused than annoyed as the match progressed. At the 7-7 juncture, Orcollo pulled out in front with two racks and though Gorst made a bid in rack #17, a scratch put the cue ball in Orcollo’s hand and he closed it out. Orcollo and Grabe are scheduled to face each other at 2:30 this afternoon (Oct. 29).

Two early evening matches rounded out the 10-7 scoring. Kuwait’s Omar Al-Shaheen downed the Philippines’ Lee Van Corteza, and the Philippines’ James Aranas defeated Greece’s Alex Kazakis. Aranas and Al-Shaheen are scheduled to meet just after noon today.

In the lower bracket, USA’s Shane Van Boening kept himself in contention for the top prize by defeating Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski 10-6. Russia’s Ruslan Chinahov, who was knocked out late trying to defend his 14.1 Straight Pool Championship title by fellow countryman Fedor Gorst last week, remained in the running here, after downing Kuwait’s Bader Al-Awadhi 10-8. Van Boeing and Chinahov are scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. today.

Austria’s Albin Ouschan advanced to the Final Eight with a 10-6 victory over last week’s 14.1 Straight Pool Champion, Germany’s Joshua Filler. Finland’s Iceman, Mika Immonen rounded out the final field of eight by defeating Austria’s Max Lechner, also 10-6. Ouschan and Immonen are scheduled to square off at around 5:20 p.m.

Junior championships come down to final six boys and girls

In what is a championship invitational set of matches, following a year-long season of qualifiers which began in January, and a pair of double elimination brackets, which began early today, six boys and six girls (18 and under) will meet today to determine a male and female winner of On the Wire Creative Media’s 2021 Junior International Championships.

In the 18 & Under Girls Division, a total of eight competed. Scheduled to meet in the hot seat match today, Kennedy Meyman, who got by Savanna Wolford and Sofia Mast, both 8-6, will face Tatum Cutting, who defeated Bethany Tate and Skylar Hess, both 8-4. On the loss side, Precilia Kinsley eliminated Savanna Wolford and will face Hess, scheduled for around 8:30. Tate downed Hayleigh  Marion 8-3 and will meet Hess.

In the 18 & Under Boys division, which drew 15 entrants, Joey Tate got by Gabe Martinez, double hill, Brent Worth 8-3 and Payne McBride 8-5 to earn a spot in today’s hot seat match. He’ll be joined by Landon Hollingsworth, who, following victories over Trenton White 8-6, Riley Adkins 8-3 and a long-standing rivalry, 8-5 win over Nathan Childress, who’d defeated him in a loss-side battle in the Open event.

Tate, Childress and Hollingsworth, having finished as the top three competitors in the JIC’s Pro Am division, were awarded entry into the International Open. Hollingsworth and Tate were defeated in the opening winners’ side round in the double elimination Phase 1 of the event. Childress won his opener against Raphael DaBreo before joining them.

They all won their opening loss-side matches. Tate lost his second loss-side match to Tony Robles 10-8. Hollingsworth won his first and second loss-side match, eking out a double hill win in the second one against Brandon Shuff. He lost his third to Childress.

Hollingsworth was Childress’ second loss-side match. He also won his third against Konrad Juszczyszyn. The three loss-side wins allowed him to advance to the opening round of the single elimination Phase 2, where he had the misfortune to run immediately into Josh Filler, who allowed him only a single rack to win 10-1.

On the loss side for the boys, at noon today (Saturday, Oct. 29) McBride will compete against Lazaro Martinez, who defeated his brother Gabe 8-5 and Riley Adkins, double hill to reach him. Childress will square off against Trenton White, who eliminated Ivo Linkin 8-6 and Brent Worth 8-5.

By the end of the day, either Tate or Hollingsworth will be in the hot seat. The one who isn’t will face the quarterfinal winner tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 29); either Lazaro Martinez, Payne McBride, Trenton White or Nathan Childress. 

Good rolls, guys and gals!!

Follow all of the action with Live Scoring and online brackets for the 9-Ball, Boys Junior 9-Ball and Girls Junior 9-Ball. AzBilliards is working along with digitalpool.com to help put those brackets online.

The International 9-Ball Open will continue play all of this week and can be watched as part of the online PPV for this event at https://www.onsitepool.com/accustats/. For the first time in the history of this event, fans can watch action on any table as part of the PPV coverage.

 

Joshua Filler completes a strong week at the tables to win American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships

Joshua Filler (File photo courtesy Euro Tour)

Germany’s Joshua and Pia Filler – The Killer Fillers – finished their week in Virginia Beach, VA by appearing in both finals of the 16th Annual American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships. Joshua faced Russia’s Fedor Gorst in the Men’s final, while Pia met an undefeated Kelly Fisher, playing in her first professional straight pool tournament (see separate report on the Ladies event). Joshua downed Gorst to claim the men’s title, while Pia finished as the Ladies event runner-up to Fisher.

Joshua finished 9-1, overall. He lost his last Round Robin match to Alex Kazakis in what proved to be one of the closest matches of the week 125-114. He also finished with a +897 ball differential, in spite of that single loss. That differential was boosted substantially by his 125-to-minus-one match against Alex Pagulayan and his 150-and-out match against arguably the strongest European competitor in attendance, Albin Ouschan. His opponents averaged about 48 balls per match, even with Kazakis’ 125 balls in that last Round Robin match.

Day Five of the Championships began at noon today (Saturday) with four semifinal matches; two each in the Men’s and Ladies events. Filler faced Mieszko Fortunski in one of the men’s semifinals, while the event’s defending champion (from 2019), Ruslan Chinahov squared off against countryman Fedor Gorst. 

Filler eliminated Fortunski 150-59, as Gorst was busy spoiling Chinahov’s plans for a second straight title 150-96. Filler got out in front in the finals versus Gorst and stayed there, finishing at 150-89 to claim the title.

In a brief award ceremony at the end – of the match and week – event founder Peter Barrows, as he’d done after the Ladies had completed their final match, thanked all of the players who’d attended and to the agreement of those who’d gathered in the gallery to watch the final match, told everyone that it was “nice to see straight pool coming back.” He advised everyone that the 17th Annual 14.1 Straight Pool Championship was “going to be bigger and better.”

“It’s one of the best events I’ve ever played in,” Joshua Filler commented, adding that the last time he played in a straight pool tournament was six years ago, when he entered the World Tournament of Straight Pool in New York, at which he finished fifth. 

Filler particularly liked the group stage of this event, which guaranteed participants at least five matches.

“Sometimes when you play straight pool,” he said, “you get two opponents who play straight to 100 and you’re out already.”

“(Straight pool) is my favorite game and I love to play it,” he added. “I wish we had more tournaments (with it).”

As Kelly Fisher had noted about her victory in the ladies event, Filler, too, found room for improvement. Though he conceded that his shot-making at this event was “just good enough to win,” there’s work to be done.

“To be honest,” he said, “my straight pool game needs to be improved, especially with my break shots, because (here) I misjudged every break shot. I really need to put more time into it and next year, I’ll be much better.”

Peter Burrows thanked the ownership and staff at Q Master Billiards for their hospitality, and the combined efforts of AZBTv and IStreamPool, which, in spite of a few Internet connection glitches during the week, kept the free live stream running smoothly and afforded (literally) thousands of viewers to watch the events unfold. Over 600 watched the Men’s finals and 2,300 (+/-) watched the two semifinals. A match early in the week, featuring Shane Van Boening and Earl Strickland drew over 4,000 viewers.

Burrows also thanked a number of individual and corporate sponsors, including but not restricted to Iwan Simonis, Aramith Billiard Balls, the Predator Group, Bob Jewett, Dennis M. Walsh (attorney at law), Billiards Digest, George Hart, Doug Desmond, John Lavin of Red Shoes Billiards, Richard Klein, Diamond Billiard Products, Rebecca Snow Burrows & Erik R. Addington, Michael Frank, Alex Borukhovich, Alan Duty (Gem Laser Printing), Nick Varner Cues & Cases, Richard Eselman, Bob & Vicki Paski and Ned & Karen Redick.

2021 American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship – Ruslan Chinahov vs Oliver Szolnoki

 

2021 American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship – Ruslan Chinahov vs Max Lechner

 

2021 American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship – Ruslan Chinakhov vs Oliver Szolnoki

 

Defending champ still standing as semifinals set for American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships

Ruslan Chinakhov

Filler highlights Day Four with 156-0 victory over Albin Ouschan

And then there were four. And four.

Highlighted by a 156-0 run by Joshua Filler that took just over half an hour, the men battled for most of Day Four at the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships to arrive at the event’s final four. At noon today (Sat., Oct. 23), Filler will meet Mieszko Fortunski in the event’s semifinals. Defending champion Ruslan Chinahov will take on Fedor Gorst at the same time. The men’s semifinals will coincide with the women’s semifinals, both of which will be streamed live in a collaboration between AZBTv and IStreamPool that will allow people to watch both of the men’s and women’s semifinals. 

The women played their first single elimination round last night (Friday), after a long day settling on the ‘who is and who isn’t’ advancing question (more on this later, as results occur).

As far as we have been able to determine, the 156-0 run by Joshua Filler was the first such 150-ball run (Filler dropped six balls after he’d hit 150) in a professional 14.1 straight pool setting since 1992, when Mike Sigel took down Mike Zuglan in the finals of the then 14.1 Straight Pool Championships in New York. There appeared to be some disagreement about this among the gathered crowd, but nobody disputed that it was a remarkable achievement. And it put Filler into the semifinals against Mieszko Fortunski at noon today (Saturday), Mieszko having defeated Wiktor Zielinski 150-44 in their quarterfinal matchup.

The other story of the quarterfinals was the advancement of the event’s defending champion, Ruslan Chinahov, who defeated Max Lechner 150-65. That will put him up against Fedor Gorst, who’d defeated Oliver Szolnoki 150-110 to become the tightest battle of the event quarterfinal.

The final round of the Round Robin stage of the Ladies event started at 5 p.m. It finished up around 9:30, when Janet Atwell and Bethany Sykes closed out a 4-hour-plus struggle that had kept three or four women wondering if they’d qualify for the opening round of single elimination. There were at least three women ‘on the bubble’ and as they and the already-qualified gathered and chatted at the restaurant/bar, the Atwell/Sykes battle kept going, a room away.  The different win/loss scenarios at work in the Atwell/Sykes match would have an impact on the overall win/loss records, head-to-head matches and point differentials of all who hoped to advance and in professional sports parlance, they were relaxed and enjoying themselves, but engaging in a little ‘scoreboard watching,’ too.

Among the women who knew they’d qualified for advancement to the women’s final eight before the Atwell/Sykes match ended were the ones who’d finished 1st in their group; Kelly Fisher (4-0), Brittany Bryant (4-0), and Pia Filler (3-1). Three of the Pia Filler, Liz Taylor, Kia Burwell, Dawn Hopkins and April Larson group went 3-1, with Filler and Larson getting the automatic advance on the basis of their record, and overall better point differential. Filler at 113 and Larson at 96, had each dropped that many more balls than their opponents during the round robin phase. Hopkins advanced as a ‘wild card’ because she was the only competitor among all those who finished third in their groups with a 3-1 record.

Monica Webb, in Kelly Fisher’s group finished 2nd with a 3-1 record and advanced automatically. The final 2nd place finish and 2nd ‘wild card’ would await the finish of the Atwell/Sykes match. Without delving too deeply into the calculations, Mary Rakin Tam, Gail Eaton and of course, Atwell herself were invested in how that final Round Robin match played out.

Atwell won, 80-68 to finish 2nd in her group and advance automatically. Mary Rakin Tam picked up the 2nd ‘wild card’ slot, having allowed her opponents 20 balls less than Gail Eaton’s opponents had allowed her.

Less than an hour later, the first round of the first ladies single elimination phase got underway. 

Mary Rakin Tam tossed a wry grin and a raise of her eyebrows to the fact that she hadn’t even known she was going to advance, and then, realized that she’d drawn Kelly Fisher in the first single elimination round. Atwell made do with the short break she got and squared off against Pia Filler. April Larson faced Monica Webb and the undefeated Brittany Bryant took on the ‘wild card’ from the Filler, Taylor, Burwell, Hopkins and Larson group, Dawn Hopkins.

Kelly Fisher earned her spot in the noontime today (Saturday) semifinals with an 80-32 win over Mary Rakin Tam. Fisher will face April Larson, who downed Monica Webb in the tightest quarterfinal match 80-65. 

Hopkins defeated the previously undefeated Brittany Bryant 80-46. In the semifinals, Hopkins will meet Pia Filler, who defeated Janet Atwell 80-62.

So, to recap. . . Men’s and women’s semifinals at noon, women’s finals at 3 p.m. and men’s finals at 6 p.m. All will be streamed live on IStreamPool’s  and AZBTv’s Facebook, with links to be found on the 14.1 Straight Pool Championship Facebook page. 

Quarterfinals set for 2 p.m and 5 p.m. at American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships

Ruslan Chinahov

Defending champion, Ruslan Chinahov, still in hunt for second straight title.

As the 15 ladies in the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships prepared for their second day of round robin competition, the final 16 competitors opened their battles for advancement to the event quarterfinals, scheduled for 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. today (Friday, Oct. 22).

An ‘old school’/’new school’ matchup between defending champion Ruslan Chinahov and Ralf Souquet drew a growing crowd as they moved into the 100s, bound for 150. Chinahov kept his title defense intact with the third-lowest differential of the eight matches, eliminating Souquet 150-107. Chinahov is scheduled to play again at 5 p.m. against Max Lechner, who defeated the Iceman Mika Immonen 150-104, in a match that was tight going into the 120s.

The tightest game of the second, single elimination round went to the battle between Wiktor Zielinski and John Morra, who were separated by 22 balls when the match went to Zielinski 150-128. Zielinski will play again, also at 5 p.m., versus Mieszko Fortunski, who defeated Aloysius Yapp 150-53 to advance.

One of the more highly anticipated matches will see Albin Ouschan and Joshua Filler square off in a 2 p.m. match that is minutes away. Ouschan eliminated Konrad Juszczyszyn 150-118, while Filler downed Alex Kazakis 150-75. 

Shane Van Boening was eliminated 150-95 by Oliver Szolnoki, who’ll face Fedor Gorst in the other 2 p.m. quarterfinal matchup. Gorst downed Mario He 150-90.

Free streaming is available on the American 14.1 Facebook page, the AZBtv Facebook page and from Istreampool on Youtube. Online brackets are available at Cuescore.com. All matches are played on Diamond Pro-Am tables with Simonis 866 cloth and Predator balls. Corner pockets are 4.5” and the sides are 5”.

Filler Runs 213 At American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship Day Two

Joshua Filler (Courtesy Predator Group)

Day 2 of the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship featured rounds 3 & 4 of round- robin competition. Saturday’s at golf tournaments are commonly referred to as “moving day”. The matches on Wednesday had a similar feel to them. Players were either cementing their chances to move into the 24 man single elimination phase, or fighting for the opportunity to keep those chances alive heading into the 5th and final round on Thursday afternoon. There are 7 players currently sporting a 4-0 record: Shane Van Boening, Alex Kazakis, Wiktor Zielinski, Aloysius Yapp, Max Lechner, Albin Ouschan and Earl Strickland.

The highlight of today’s action was provided by Joshua Filler. Filler, who yesterday lost a tight match to Alex Kazakis 125-114, started his day by defeating Mathias Arnold 125-9 and moving his record to 2-1. Next up was Alex Pagulayan, who was also 2-1. Then in less than 65 minutes, Filler produced a 213 ball run and defeated Pagulayan 125 to -1. The run easily outdistanced a 182 ball run posted earlier in the day by Mario He and it also bested the tournament high run of 210 posted yesterday by Van Boening. The run ended on a delicate, almost perpendicular cut on a ball located on the head rail. The object ball came to rest inside the jaws and deep on the shelf of the pocket. Shortly thereafter, Joshua displayed his versatility by teaming up with his wife Pia to provide the commentary on the final streamed match of the evening. Quite a day for the Filler’s.

The following is a breakdown of the advancement scenarios for each Group heading into Thursday’s final round-robin matches. The top 3 players in each flight head to the single elimination phase with the 8 flight winners receiving a 1st round bye. Head to head results break any tie between two players.

Group 1: Shane Van Boening has won the Group. Dennis Grabe (3-1) advances. Ralph Eckert advances with a win vs SVB. Otherwise Bader Alawadhi will advance with a win over Lee Van Corteza. If they both lose, tiebreakers will determine who advances amongst the 3.

Group 2: Ruslan Chinahov and Oliver Szolnoki (both 3-1) face off to determine the Group winner. The loser potentially faces tie breakers with John Morra, Hunter Lombardo and Abdullah Alyousef.

Group 3: Alex Kazakis has won the Group. Josh Filler (3-1) will advance. Alex Pagulayan advances with a win vs Mathias Arnold.

Group 4: Mario He wins the Group with a victory over Alan Duty, otherwise the winner of the Thorsten Holmann/ Mieszko Fortunski match will win the group. However all 3 players advance regardless of tomorrow’s results.

Group 5: Wiktor Zielinski has won the Group. Fedor Gorst and Mika Immonen will also advance.

Group 6: Aloysius Yapp has won the Group. Darren Appleton and Corey Deuel will also advance.

Group 7: Max Lechner has won the Group. Ralph Souquet also advances. Shawn Wilkie and Mohammad Ali Berjaoui face off for the final spot.

Group 8: Albin Ouschan and Earl Strickland (both 4-0) face off to determine the Group winner. The loser will also advance. The final spot will be awarded to the winner of the Konrad Juszczyszyn/Michael Yednak match.

On Thursday, for the first time in the history of this tournament there will be a Women’s division of the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship. It is being presented by the PREDATOR GROUP with 15 contestants competing for a purse of $12,000. The field features BCA HOF’s Kelly Fisher and LoreeJon Ogonowski. 3 groups of 5 players will compete in a round-robin format, leading to a single elimination format.

Free streaming is available on the American 14.1 Facebook page, the AZBtv Facebook page and from Istreampool on Youtube. Online brackets are available at Cuescore.com. All matches are played on Diamond Pro-Am tables with Simonis 866 cloth and Predator balls. Corner pockets are 4.5” and the sides are 5”.