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2024 UK Open Pool Championship – Rocky Start For Kaci In Title Defence

Eklent Kaci

Defending Champion Eklent Kaçi’s title defence kicked off with tough battle against Jose Alberto Delgado on the opening day of the BetVictor 2024 UK Open Pool Championship at the Telford International Centre, with the likes of Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Fedor Gorst, Shane Van Boening, and Duong Quoc Hoang amongst the list of top names to not fumble yet live on broadcasters worldwide, including DAZN, Viaplay, and Sky Sports in the UK.



Kaçi faced a testing start on day one, locked in a neck-and-neck matchup with Spanish player Jose Alberto Delgado. Delgado took an early lead, but Kaçi rallied back after a series of rack wins exchanged between the two. Despite miscuing the 9-ball in rack 16, Kaçi managed to regain control after a scratch from break, securing his first win of the tournament.

Top-ranked players like No.1 WNT Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Shane Van Boening, Fedor Gorst, Joshua Filler, and Mario He had smooth victories in their opening matches. However, the Austrian, Max Lechner faced his first defeat against Cypriot Antonis Brabin, who finished the day with two consecutive wins.

Duong Quoc Hoang continued his winning streak from the Scottish Open, defeating Spencer Oliver from Great Britain and the American Danny Olsen with scores of 9-2 each. Meanwhile, last year’s World Cup of Pool winner, Johann Chua, dominated Vincent Facquet 9-0 and later secured a close 9-7 win against fellow Filipino Bernie Reglario.

The Ko brothers, Pin Yi and Ping Chung, sailed through their initial rounds in the UK Open, while Ko Ping Han made a remarkable comeback against Korean star Seo Seoa. However, Ping Han fell short against the Brit Imran Majid in his second match, losing 9-7.

2023 World Pool Championship finalist, Mohammad Soufi faced off against Lin Tsung Han from Chinese Taipei, narrowly clinching a 9-7 victory. However, Soufi struggled in his following match against the rising star Sam ‘Ryno’ Henderson, who capitalised on Soufi’s errors to secure a well-fought win.

Adding to the excitement, Kledio Kaçi, the younger brother of the defending UK Open champion, made a memorable impression on day one, with a decisive 9-1 victory against Ali Asgar Merchant, followed by a 9-5 win against the Estonian, Denis Grabe.

Pia Filler, the first signed woman WNT professional, delivered a strong performance against Chris Wattanawonna, winning 9-5 against the Thai player. However, Filler faced a challenging match against Dutch cueist, Marc Bijsterbosch, losing in a tense hill-hill battle.

Commentating duo Jeremy Jones and Karl Boyes had mixed results on day one; Jones lost to Babken Melkonyan in a hill-hill match, while ‘Box Office’ Boyes defeated Konrad Juszczyszyn with a commendable 9-6 win. However, Boyes failed to maintain his momentum against the Indonesian Alvin Anggito, who showcased his skill with a dominant 9-2 victory in the pair’s second match.

Live rack-by-rack scoring will be available throughout the event at

Wherever you are in the world, you will be able to catch the action with broadcasters globally and live on the Matchroom Pool and Multi Sport YouTube channels in selected territories and on Matchroom.Live. UK-based fans can see the final two days on Sky Sports with the opening four on Matchroom.Live and the Matchroom YouTube. Fans in the USA and Brazil will be able to watch all six days live on DAZN whilst those in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Poland, Netherlands, and Iceland can watch live on Viaplay.

See where to watch in your country here.

Spectators will be able to catch the action live from the Telford International Centre throughout the week, with day tickets available from £22 and weekend passes for fans to take in the final two days for just £50.
Secure your ticket here

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Amit Uses A Little Luck To Survive Women’s World 9-Ball Opening Day

Rubilen Amit

Chia Hua Chen was sailing along in her second-round match against Rubilen Amit, holding a decisive 5-0 advantage in a race-to-7, when she played a safety on the 2 ball after the break in the sixth game.

Needing some luck to get back into the match, Amit kicked at the ball and watched as it crossed the table twice then fell into the side pocket. The Filipino took full advantage of the fortuitous kick, clearing the table then winning six of the next seven racks to snatch a 7-6 victory and remain on the winner’s side of the Kamui World Women’s 9-Ball Championship at Harrah’s Resort and Casino in Atlantic City.

Amit was both lucky and good throughout the second half of the match, breaking and running four consecutive racks to tie the score, then using a successful safety exchange on the 1 ball to take the lead for the first time in the match, 6-5. Chen was able to tie the match in the following rack when she locked down her opponent with a safety of her own but then failed to pocket a ball on the break in the deciding match. Amit worked her way through the balls and left a mild cut on the 9 ball into the corner pocket for the win which she missed but watched as the ball bounced two rails and dropped into the side pocket, leaving her stunned and also victorious.

Margaret Fefilova Styer was in a similar situation in her opening round match against another Filipino, Chezka Centeno, on Thursday morning.

After the Filipino snagged the first game, she a missed 2 ball in the following rack and her opponent used the opportunity to take control of the match with five straight wins. At the table again with a chance to increase her lead in the seventh rack, Fefilova Styer missed a sharp cut on the 1 ball and the Filipino rallied, rattling off four straight wins to tie the match until a scratch on the break in the 11th game halted her momentum.

After the American used the unforced error to regain the lead, Centeno was able to use a victorious safety exchange to tie the match once more, then tacked on another break-and-run to close out the set and send her opponent to the one one-loss side of the bracket.

Centeno remained in stroke in the second round, defeating Dawn Hopkins, 7-4.

Later in the evening, reigning Predator World 10-Ball champion Chieh-Yu Chou literally jumped into the third round with a 7-3 victory over South Korea’s Seoa Seo.

Thanks to the accuracy of her jump cue abilities, Chou was able to build an early 4-2 advantage but missed a long 2 ball in the seventh game. Seoa cleared the table to cut the deficit to a single game and had a chance to tie the match in the eighth rack but left the 3 ball in the corner pocket’s jaw. With the cue ball blocked by the 5 ball, Chou again picked up her trusty jump cue, pocketed the ball and cleared the table, then used a break-and-run and a safety exchange to secure the victory.

In other notable matches from the first day of play, reigning champion Kelly Fisher trailed early in her second-round match against Germany’s Ina Kaplan but survived, 7-5, and Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Karen Corr jumped out to an early leads of 4-0 and 5-1 in her second-round match against Jasmin Ouschan but the Austrian battled back to win the set, 7-6.

Play resumes tomorrow at 9 a.m. local time with the first round of play from the one-loss side, with American Jennifer Barretta taking on Canadian Brittany Bryant and Margaret Fefilova Styer meeting Elise Qiu.

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European Youth Team Wins Two Out Of Three Titles

Tomas Brikmanis, Moritz Neuhausen, Valeriia Trushevskaia, Sanjin Pehlivanovic, Jonas Souto, Gabi Ham

The European Youth squad won two out of three titles during the recent WPA World 9-Ball Championships. Moritz Neuhausen (GER) took the title in the Under 17 division while Jonas Souto (ESP) defeated Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH) in the final of the Under 19 division. Valeriia Trushevskaia (RUS) won the bronze medal in the girls division.
The WPA Youth World 9-Ball Championships 2019 were held in Nicosia, Cyprus. Team EUROPE consisted of 7 local players plus 13 players from the EPBF nomination system. The team was accompanied by the Youth Sports Director of the EPBF, Tomas Brikmanis from Estonia and Germany’s Gabi Hammer. The nominated players through the EPBF were:
My Nguyen (SWE), Aleksandra Guleikova (RUS), Valeriia Trushevskaia (RUS), Nina Torvund (NOR) and Bojana Sarac (SRB)
Emil-Andre Gangfløt (NOR), Dominik Jastrzab (POL), Szymon Kural (POL) and Moritz Neuhausen (GER)
Christoffer Lentz (DEN), Froehlich (GER), Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH) and Jonas Souto (ESP)
The draw was generally not in favour of the Europeans since they played each other pretty early during the event. However, the result is more than successful for team Europe. The nomination of the players took place after this year’s European Youth Championships in Veldhoven, The Netherlands. The EPBF covered all costs for players and both coaches such as travel, transfer and daily allowances. Hotel costs were covered by the organiser so all participants were able to have all costs being taken care of.
In the Under 17s, there was no real favourite before the event. Neuhausen, who took the title in the end was among the stranger players together with Joey Tate (USA) and Khalid Alghamdi (KSA). The field however was pretty levelled and saw many close results. To his horror, Neuhausen lost his first round match to Alghamdi with 6:7. He had to go to the loser’s side straight away. There, he eliminated teammate Szymon Kural 7:2 and whitewashed Haydar Capo (CAN) 7:0. In the loser’s qualification round, Neuhausen once more had a close encounter. He barely stayed alive against Dominik Jastrzab and won 7:6 to advance to the single elimination stage. There, he took down Yushi Muramatsu (JPN) 9:0. He went on and took revenge from Alghamdi, winning 9:6 in the semi-final. The final match was won by Neuhausen with 9:5 over Huan Fu (CHN).
In the Under 19s, Jonas Souto funnily enough also lost his opening match. He fell to the sharp blade of Shamir Tremus (CURACAO) with 5:9. Then he took down Stylianos Loukaides (CYP) 9:1 to then eliminate last year’s Champion Makheal Parris (USA) 9:5. The victory in his next match with 9:8 over Lukas Fracasso-Verner (USA) booked Souto a seat in the single elimination stage. He continued his quest to take down Kaiden Hunkins (USA) 11:8 and Robbie Capito (HKG) 11:9 to enter the final match against teammate Sanjin Pehlivanovic. Some favourites like Christian Froehlich and Robbie Capito started their tournament out very well but their performance went down towards the end of the eevnt. Pehlivanovic and Souto were the last two athletes standing in the Under 19 division. The final match turned into a thriller one more time with Souto having the better ending on his side. 11:9 was the final result that brought the title for the Spaniard.
The girls division saw a deserved victory of Yi-Hsuan Lu (CHN). The Chinese dominated the field together with last year’s runner-up Seoa Seo (KOR). Lu finally defeated Sea in the semi-final with 9:7. Valeriia Trushevskaia lost her semi-final match also 7:9 to Tamami Okuda (JPN). In the final match, Lu defeated Okuda 9:5.
Stated EPBF Youth Sports Director Tomas Brikmanis after the event: „The end result for team Europe was very good. 2 golds out of three is a fantastic result. Unfortunately, some players were not able to get medals, but this is sports. Maybe high hopes did not help Emil Andre Gangflot, My Nguen and Christoffer Lentz. There is a good potential with Alexandra Guleikova and Bojana Sarac and both polish athletes. If they get some experience, then I am sure they will win something in the future.“
The President of the EPBF, Gre Leenders, congratulated also all participants for a great job representing Europe: „Looking at the results of the EPBF delegation I can only congratulate all athletes with their achievements. 2 Gold medals (U17) & (U19), 1 silver medal (U19) and one bronze medal (Girls), is a proof of the high playing level these young athletes already have. The competition is not easy with high quality athletes from continents like Asia and North America. Also the “younger” continental bodies like Latin America and Africa presented already a good level of athletes. These results also mark that the structures, build in the 40 years history of the EPBF, are working. The work done in the national federations is very important and the seamless cooperation between the National EPBF Federations and the EPBF itself does help these young athletes to develop in the best environment. Therefore, we must also express our appreciation towards these National bodies who are responsible for this tremendous job. Congratulations also to all our EPBF members.“