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2017 Joy Billiards World Chinese 8-Ball Masters Day One Review

Gareth Potts

There were mixed fortunes for the big names taking part during Day 1 of the fifth annual Joy Billiards World Chinese 8 Ball Masters.
Reigning two time champion Yang Fan (China) was immediately pushed to the Losers Bracket when he was ousted 13-9 by fellow countryman Wan Tongle. He did however keep himself in the event with a comfortable 13-2 win over Canadian Shannon Ducharme afterwards.
Also on the chase for a hat-trick of titles is 2013 & 2014 champion Gareth Potts (England, pictured above) who came through both his matches with change to spare.
Overall, it was a fine day for the British players as Jack Whelan (England), Liam Dunster (Scotland) and Zak Shepherd (Wales) all got wins on the board.
Some of the world's greatest 9 Ball players are on show in Qinhuangdao, but for 5 times US Open Champion Shane Van Boening and reigning World Champion Albin Ouschan, Tuesday offered up problems for the pair in the form of Chinese opposition.
SVB was comprehensively put away 13-4 by Yu Ting, whilst Ouschan went down 13-8 to Zhao YunBiao.
Despite this slow start, though, both made amends in their following games, therefore keeping hopes alive of another big tournament victory.
Current Chinese 8 Ball World Champion Shi Hanqing and national ranked number 1 Zheng Yubo began their quests successfully with First Round wins; although then lost their first lives when beaten by Gong Haifeng and Corey Deuel respectively in the next round.
It is double elimination all the way through until the Grand Final, which will then be a one-off Championship match. 
In total, after just Day 1 of the event, 16 of the 64 starting field are out.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS – First to 13 with a 140 minute time limit
Yang Fan (China) 9-13 Wan Tongle (China)
Shannon Ducharme (Canada) 2-13 Xie Zhaohui (China)
Xia Hongyan (China) 13-8 Hayato Hijikata (Japan)
Li Bo (China) 11-13 Shen Chongyang (China)
Albin Ouschan (Austria) 8-13 Zhao YunBiao (China)
Marc Bijsterbosch (Holland) 5-13 Chen Qiang (China)
Christophe Lambert (France) 4-13 Jeffrey Ignacio (Philippines) 
Denis Grabe (Estonia) 13-9 Richard Halliday (South Africa)
Wu Hao (China) 9-13 Gareth Potts (England)
Wang Peng (China) 13-6 Li Heng (China)
Xi Hongyu (China) 11-10 Fabio Petroni (Italy)*TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Xi Shouxin (China) 13-10 Stephen Holem (Canada)
Fan Zhisong (China) 13-9 Aoki Ryoii (Japan)
Lv Xin (China) 6-13 Li Xiaopeng (China)
Velly Diamond (South Africa) 10-12 Justin Campbell (Australia) *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Liu Yin (China) 13-7 Zak Shepherd (Wales)
Jack Whelan (England) 13-9 Yin Hongxing (China)
Liu Yang (China) 10-13 Li Hui (China)
Zhang Kunpeng (China) 13-5 Dharminder Singh Lilly (India)
Zhao Ruliang (China) 13-4 Jimmy Jusman (Indonesia)
Zhang Guanghao (China) 13-6 Young Hwa Jeong (South Korea)
Dai Yong (China) 13-12 Wang Yun (China)
Jorge Llanos (Argentina) 12-13 Mohammadli Pordel (Iran)
Yu Ting (China) 13-4 Shane Van Boening (USA)
Abdulla Alameri (Saudi Arabia) 13-8 Mohamed Essaid (Morocco)
Dong Yi (China) 7-13 Wu Zhenyu (China)
Zhang Daowei (China) 9-13 Gong Haifeng (China)
Phone Myint Kyaw (Myanmar) 10-12 Shi Hanqing (China) *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Zheng Yubo (China) 13-6 Andrey Seroshtan (Russia)
Alejandro Carvajal (Chile) 5-13 Corey Deuel (USA)
Joao Silva (Portugal) 5-13 Liam Dunster (Scotland)
Waleed Majid (Qatar) 5-13 Francisco Jose Diaz Pizarro (Spain)
LOSERS SIDE RESULTS (losers in this round are eliminated from the competition)
Velly Diamond 7-13 Zak Shepherd
Aoki Ryoii 3-13 Lv Xin
Fabio Petroni 9-11 Stephen Holem
Wu Hao 13-12 Li Heng
Christophe Lambert 12-9 Richard Halliday *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Albin Ouschan 13-4 Marc Bijsterbosch
Hayato Hijikata 6-13 Li Bo
Yang Fan 13-2 Shannon Ducharme
Joao Silva 9-13 Waleed Majid
Andrey Seroshtan 13-8 Alejandro Carvajal
Zhang Daowei 10-11 Phone Myint Kyaw  *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Mohamed Essaid 3-13 Dong Yi
Jorge Llanos 6-13 Shane Van Boening
Young Hwa Jeong 6-13 Wang Yun
Dharminder Singh Lilly 11-12 Jimmy Jusman *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Yin Hongxing 9-13 Liu Yang
Justin Campbell 11-10 Liu Xin *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Fan Zhisong 13-7 Li Xiaopeng
Xi Hongyu 13-8 Xi Shouxin
Gareth Potts 13-8 Wang Peng
Jeffrey Ignacio 11-12 Denis Grabe *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Zhao Yunbiao 13-10 Chen Qiang 
Xia Hongyan 6-13 ShenChongyang
Wan Tongle 13-7 Xie Zhaohui
Liam Dunster 7-13 Francisco Jose Diaz Pizarro 
Zheng Yubo 11-12 Corey Deuel *TIME LIMIT BREACHED*
Gong Haifeng 13-7 Shi Hanqing
Abdulla Alameri 3-13 Wu Zhenyu
Mohammadli Pordel 2-13 Yu Ting
Zhang Guanghao 10-13 Dai Yong
Zhang Kunpeng 13-2 Zhao Ruliang
Jack Whelan 5-13 Li Hui

2017 Joy Billiards World Chinese 8 Ball Masters – The Big Preview

Yang Fan

The fifth annual Joy Billiards World Chinese 8 Ball Masters is set to be the most cosmopolitan and competitive edition yet.
64 players from 28 different countries spread across all six continents will travel to the North East Chinese city of Qinhuangdao aiming for a slice of the $110,000USD (approx just under £90,000) total prize fund.
2017's final line up has been determined after months of qualifying in the host nation and beyond, as well as a selection process by the tournament organisers for the chosen wildcards.
The history of this event has been dominated by two players. England's Gareth Potts, a four time World Champion in the English Pool discipline, won the inaugural championship in 2013 and then successfully defended it the following year.
Potts' streak was ended in 2015 when home cueist Yang Fan (pictured above) beat him in the Last 4 before then completing the job in the final. Yang proved it was no fluke by retaining the title in 2016.
However, as the popularity and profile of Chinese 8 Ball increases globally, the standard, and the potential possibility of a different champion has risen too.
Potts and Yang will indeed be back in their attempts to claim a hat-trick, but both will face fierce opposition from a number of multi-discipline Cuesports stars with significant career accolades.
5 times US Open 9 Ball Champion Shane Van Boening, recently signed up by Joy Billiards, has shown his commitment and dedication to Chinese 8 Ball by having a table installed at his home venue in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Van Boening's fellow countryman, Corey Deuel, will also be representing the USA after coming through a qualifier held in New Jersey at the back end of last year. The former Mosconi Cup winner is familiar to playing snooker (competed in Q-School and has been a national champion), and makes a return to China having appeared here 12 months ago.
In fact, a number of well known names from the international American Pool circuit will feature, but the highlight entry will surely be reigning WPA World 9 Ball Champion Albin Ouschan of Austria, who is fresh from becoming the Mosconi Cup MVP before Christmas. 
It will be Ouschan's debut in this tournament, but he has history of success in the country after winning the prestigious China Open 9 Ball in 2015.
The world of English 8 Ball Pool will also be handsomely represented. 
Reigning BI World Champion Liam Dunster (Scotland) will try his hand, whilst 2015 IPA World Champion Jack Whelan (England) – who has some previous Chinese 8 Ball experience, advanced as the UK qualifier. French small table legend Christophe Lambert has also been invited to make his debut. 
India's Dharminder Singh Lilly has a wealth of experience in different formats; only a couple of months ago he became the IBSF World Seniors Snooker Champion in Qatar.
Of these 32 'Overseas' entries, 19 will be making their debut in the venue stages of this competition. Such is the expansion of this cuesport into new territories, qualification events were held in Argentina, Canada, England, Morocco, South Africa and the USA. To read up on some of these events, please visit our 'Professional Pool' column here.
The other half of the field is made up of players from the host nation.
Shi Hanqing, the reigning World Chinese 8 Ball Champion, will be looking to go one better than his runners-up place in 2014 and take his first Masters trophy. Shi is the only Chinese player to have featured in every edition.
The national ranked Number 1, Zheng Yubo, (beaten finalist in 2015 to Yang) is also likely to be one of the pre-tournament favourites.
Chinese 8 Ball is somewhat a hybrid of a number of different Cuesports rules and equipment. Around 80 million people play in China, with table manufacturer Joy Billiards having 3000 clubs in the country alone.
For more information on the sport, and how to buy equipment, please visit Joy Billiards' new English language website here.
The Cue View aim to keep you updated throughout the event. Please like our Facebook page, where we hope to post live stream links and scores.
Li Xiaopeng, Dong Yi, Shen Chongyang, Dai Yong, Wu Hao, Wang Peng, Li Hui, Yang Fan, Liu Yang
Xie Zhaohui, Liu Xin, Wan Tongle, Xi Hongyu, Zhang Guanghao, Xi Shouxin, Zhang Daowei, Zhao 
Ruliang, Yin Hongxing, Wu Zhenyu, Xia Hongyan, Shi Hanqing, Wang Yun, Lu Xin, Fan Zhisong, 
Zhang Kunpeng, Gong Haifeng, Chen Qiang, Li Bo, Zhao Yunbiao, Yu Ting, Zheng Yubo, Li Heng
AFRICA – Velly Diamond (South Africa), Richard Halliday (South Africa), Mohamed Essaid (Morocco)
ASIA – Dharminder Singh Lilly (India), Abdulrahman Alammar (Saudi Arabia), Jimmy Jusman (Indonesia), Jeffrey Ignacio (Philippines), Mohammadali Pordel (Iran), Ryojo Aoki (Japan),  Hayato Hijikarta (Japan), Waleed Majid (Qatar), Phone Myint Khaw (Myanmar), Jeong Young-Hwa (Korea)
EUROPE – Gareth Potts (England), Jack Whelan (England), Liam Dunster (Scotland), Zak Shepherd (Wales), Denis Grabe (Estonia), Albin Ouschan (Austria), Marc Bijsterbosch (Netherlands), Andrey Seroshtan (Russia), Fabio Petroni (Italy), Christophe Lambert (France), Joao Silva (Portugal), Francisco Diaz Pizarro (Spain)
NORTH AMERICA – Shane Van Boening (USA), Corey Deuel (USA), Stephen Holem (Canada), Shannon Ducharme (Canada)
OCEANIA – Justin Campbell (Australia)
SOUTH AMERICA – Jorge Llanos (Argentina),  Alejandro Carvajal Ossandon (Chile)

2016 Canadian Championships

Naomi Williams, John Morra, Alex Pagulayan and Brittany Bryant

From May 5th to May 10th, le Tapis Vert in Quebec City hosted the Canadian Billiards & Snooker Association’s (CBSA) 21st annual Canadian Pool Championships.  The six-day event consisted of 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball tournaments open to any person holding a Canadian passport. The CBSA is affiliated with the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA), through the WPA’s North American affiliate, the Billiard Congress of America (BCA). With these affiliations, it grants Canada the opportunity to be represented at all World Pool Championships, and most other major International pool events.
The restructured CBSA Board of Directors made a wise decision this year in selecting Quebec as the host province for 2016.  The Province of Quebec has a great attitude towards billiards, they produce a great number of top calibre players, and there was a significant increase the attendance from previous years.
Women’s Events
Naomi Williams and Brittany Bryant continue to dominate this sport in the Women’s Canadian field.  Year after year, these ladies share titles and this year was no different.  Brittany and Naomi played each other in the finals of both events (9-Ball and 10-Ball).  After losing to Brittany in the A-side finals, Naomi returned from the B-side to win her forth Canadian 9-Ball title with an 11-6 win.
In the 10-Ball event, it was Brittany’s turn to shine.  Both players traded racks for the first 8 games and the score was tied 4-4.  All of a sudden, Brittany took control and went into dead stroke winning the next 6 games in a row to take the 10-Ball title.  Well done girls.
Open 8-Ball
Earlier in the year the organizing committee for the 2016 World 8-Ball Tournament announced that the event would be held in Toronto at The Corner Bank.  It was disappointing to recently learn that the event was moved from Toronto to China.  A large number of players had high hopes of competing at the international level in front of their fellow countryman.  In any event, the show must go on.
In the Canadian event, the crowd favourite, Alex Pagulayan looked unstoppable only losing 6 games in his first 4 matches.  Alex outscored his opponents 36-6.  Alex’s then faced 3-time Canadian 8-Ball Champion Jason Klatt.  Klatt was also having a good day with wins over Jason Thomas, Alain Martel, Sylvain Gingras and John Morra.  A very focussed Klatt got the 9-5 win over Alex in their 5th round match.
In the finals, Jason faced Alex Pagulayan for the second time.  Both players traded racks in the alternate break format and the score remained close until the end.  With the score tied 10-10, Jason broke and ran the final rack to take the match and the title.  An impressive start for Klatt as he went undefeated to claim his fourth Canadian 8-ball title.
Open 9-Ball
A few weeks before this event, it was announced that the 9-Ball would be racked on the spot.  This rule was implemented to follow the lead of the World Pool-Billiard Association which will be enforced at the World Championships.  All participants needed to adapt to this break format on short notice.
Although Alex fell one game short in the 8-ball event, “The Lion” reigned in the 9-ball.  Three days into this event, Alex was well adjusted to the conditions of the room.  Alex dominated his opponents and reached the finals with wins over Jeff Blais, Danny Hewitt, John Morra, Sylvain Grenier and Alain Martel.  It was John Morra who had the last opportunity to dethrone Alex.  John has been travelling the planet and is currently ranked 5th in the world rankings.  Unfortunately for John, the break shot was not cooperating with him and he had very few opportunities to gain any momentum.  Pagulayan stayed in control the entire match and won the 9-ball title with a solid 15-6 performance.
Open 10-Ball
In this event, “The Dancing Bear” Alain Martel proved he still has what it takes to compete with the best players in the country.  His gentle, finesse style put him in the A-bracket semi-finals with wins over Randy Bagot, Charles Castonguay, Shannon Ducharme and Stephan Doiron.  Alain continued his clinic against Alex Pagulayan and mounted a 6-2 lead.  Unfortunately for Alain, no lead is safe against Alex.  Pagulayan somehow managed to comeback and win 10-9.  Martel was eventually eliminated by John Morra and settled for a respectable 4th place finish.
The final match would see John Morra face off against Alex Pagulayan.  This was a rematch of the 9-ball finals and John wanted revenge.  Morra got off to a great start winning the first 4 games.  In the 5th rack, John committed an early foul and Alex pounced at the opportunity to get on the scoreboard 4-1.  John scratched on the next break in this alternate break format and Alex ran out again to bring the score to 4-2.  From there, the smooth stroke of John Morra took over.  John kept the pressure on Alex as he won 9 of the next 10 racks to clinch the title with a dominating 13-3 score.  A fabulous finish to a great tournament.
“The CBSA very much needed a bounce-back year, and the numbers were big enough to say that this event should help pave the way for better things in the future”, said Randall Morrison President, Canadian Billiards & Snooker Association.  Check out their website for full brackets from the event –
A special thanks to all the special people that made this event happen.  The CBSA Secretary, Candace Campbell, did an excellent job as tournament director and had a great time doing it.  Volunteers Barry Hetherington and Alain Parent were gracious to offer their assistance in helping conduct the bracket, calling matches and officiating shots.  Acknowledgement should also be given to the sponsors for contributing to the costs associate with running these national events:  Tiger, Simonis/Aramith, Kamui, Chalk-Cube, F.G. Bradley’s, Think Green Industries and Jostens.

From Singapore, With Serious Talent

Aloisius Yapp (Photo courtesy of Richard Walker)

Singapore's Aloysius Yapp arrives on pool's biggest stage with a dominating win over England's Darren Appleton on day 2 at the World 9-ball Championship.


(Doha, Qatar)– Each year at the World 9-ball Championship seems to bring pool fans a revelation, a new talent who makes his mark on the scene with such aplomb and style that you just know that big time success is surely in this young man’s future. This year in Doha it only took until the beginning of day 2 for one such player to arrive.

Singapore’s 19 year old Aloysius Yapp has been on the international scene for about a handful of years, but was never really noted for much more than an interesting sounding name.  Then late in 2014 the teenager pulled off his biggest success to date; capturing the WPA World Junior 9-ball Championship in Shanghai. 
Still, while winning the junior world title is quite the accomplishment, it’s a whole different ball game playing and winning against the big boys.  But today at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha, Yapp showed he truly has the goods to be a serious star on the world pool scene.  Paired against World number 2 Darren Appleton in a race to 9, first round match in group play, Yapp put on a memorable performance, taking everything the multi-titled world champion could give and dishing out a beating of his own, winning the match going away, 9 – 5.
Rest assured this result was not a fluke, or the result of Appleton having an off day. The English great actually played a near flawless match. But he was up against an opponent who had an answer for everything thrown at him. On top of terrific shot making, Yapp also showed an ice cold demeanor and confidence that belied his years. The Singaporean led from the start and turned the screws on Appleton seemingly at will. When it was over, Appleton suddenly found himself one loss away from a shock exit, while Yapp was basking in the tournament’s biggest upset.
Afterwards, Yapp revealed how he had gone from a relative unknown to a player clearly on the rise.  He has been playing pool since he was 9 years old. For the last five years he’s been a member of the Singaporean national pool team, a program funded by the government of the prosperous island state. In the last year his game started to seriously improve as he has traveled and played pool extensively overseas, including several events in China and even joining a Euro Tour event in Portugal. 
The experiences have not just helped Yapp’s game but his mental skills as well. Responding to a question about how he could possibly be so cool when playing against a monster like Appleton in the year’s biggest tournament, Yapp revealed a mindset that seemed downright alien to his baby faced looks.
“It was a good match,” Yapp said. “We both played well. I think there was only one mistake during the whole match. I didn’t think I was going to win and I didn’t think I was going to lose. I just went in with an empty mind, and just played my game and tried to do my best.
“I wasn’t nervous when I found out I was playing Appleton. I was actually quite excited. I wanted to draw him a long time ago. I looked forward to playing with him. All I told myself was ‘just be calm and do your best. Don’t think about winning and don’t think about losing. Just think about what’s on the table, and you’ll handle it from there.’
“I feel I can play and beat anybody in this event. In 9-ball the ball is round, anything can happen. Everyone stands an equal chance to win the world title.”
Appleton, who would later rebound with a solid losers side win to stay in the tournament, was genuinely impressed by Yapp’s ability.
“He played really well,” Appleton said. :I was never in the match. If he plays the rest of the way like he did against me he can win the tournament. But the problem is he is very young and inexperienced. He’s well capable of the getting into the quarters. You can see when he’s playing that he doesn’t fear anyone, he just plays the game which is the right thing to do.
“He’s a good player, he’s got a good future. Obviously the deeper he goes in the tournament, it adds more pressure. He’s a long shot but he if got to the quarterfinal then it wouldn’t surprise me. We all know the potential he’s got.”
Day 2 at the 2015 World 9-ball Championship saw the completion of all first round matches in the double elimination group stages, followed by second round matches on the one loss side of each group. By the end of the day, 32 players had been given their walking papers from the event.
The Philippines Dennis Orcollo looked very strong against Spain’s capable Francisco Diaz Pizarro, winning easily, 9-4. Two time world 9-ball champion Thorsten Hohmann also found victory with an easy 9-3 win over Jordan’s Nizar Mosbah Tamimi.
Taiwan’s Fong Pang Chao, who has also won this event twice, the first time 22 years ago, has clearly rolled back the years. Chao came to Doha without a spot and won one of the brutal qualifiers to gain entry into the main event. Today in his first match Chao manhandled China’s top player, Liu Haitao, 9 – 5.
The Philippines Antonio Gabica, who lives in Qatar and coaches the Qatar national pool team, always seems to perform well in this event, and today he showed he is going to be a stingy opponent as he easily beat one of the Middle East’s best players, Kuwait’s Omar Alsheen, 9 – 3.  One of the Philippines rising young players, Jeffry Ignacio, who gained entry into the event by winning a qualifier, looked solid today, in a 9-7 win over Sweden’s Andreas Gerwen.
Other players winning their first round matches today were Taiwan’s Chang Yu Lung, England’s Mark Gray, Canada’s Jason Klatt, Poland’s Karol Skowerski, Englan’s Imran Majid, and New Zealand’s Matt Edwards.
With all matches on the losers side do or die, the tension began to rise, but most of the name players pulled through to give themselves one more chance to make the Final 64 single elimination stage. Japan’s Kuribayashi Tohru, Qatar’s Waleed Majid, the Philippines Lee Vann Corteza, Tawain’s Chang Jun Lin, the Netherland’s Nick Van Den Berg, England’s Karl Boyes, China’s Liu Haitao and Kuwait’s Al Shaheen all won their second matches to stay alive.
The World 9-ball Championship of course, is not all about the name players. Each year the talent level from all corners of the globe becomes deeper and better. This year’s field includes players from non-traditional 9-ball locales such as Bangladesh, the Maldives, Iran, Peru, Egypt and even one player from Palestine, a first for this championship.
Play continues at the Al Arabi Sports Club on Monday with three sessions, all with winners’ side matches in group play. Winners of these matches will qualify for the Final 64 single elimination knockout stage, while the losers will get one more chance to qualify on Tuesday.  
**The 2015 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from September 7-18, 2015. The winner of the 2015 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The runner up will receive $15,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
The players will be competing on Wiraka New Model Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Super Pro TV Balls.
The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), which is once again hosting and organizing the World 9-ball Championship, will be providing free live streaming of the entire tournament, in cooperation with Kozoom. Fans can watch the action live on the QBSF website at, With all 14 tables streamed live, fans can select which table they want to watch and switch between tables at their convenience.
Complete up to date brackets can be found here:
The WPA will be on hand in Doha throughout this year’s World 9-ball Championship providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner. 
Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
1st Round Matches
Group 13
Dennis Orcollo(PHL) 9 – 4 Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP)
Hosain Sayeem(BAN) 9 – 7 Fahad Al Hejeli(KSA)   
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 3 Nizar Mosbah Tamimi(JOR)
Jalal Al Saris(VEN) 9 – 7 Goh Chin Teck(SIN)   
Group 14
Lo Ho Sum(HKG) 9 – 5 Karl Boyes(GBR)   
Imran Majid(GBR) 9 – 4. Sameer Al Madhi(BRN)
Chao Fong Pang(TPE) 9 – 5 Liu Haitao(CHN)   
Karol Skowerski(POL) 9 – 4  Meshal Al Murdhi(KUW)
Group 15
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 4 Sundeep  Gulati(IND)
Matt Edwards(NZL) 9- 8 Petri Makkonen(FIN)
Jason Klatt(CAN) 9 – 4 Ali Hussein Ali(IRQ)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHI) 9 – 7 Andreas Gerwen(SWE)
Group 16
Antonio Gabica(PHL) 9 – 3 Omar Alshaheen(KUW)
Sinha Fahim(BAN) 9 – 3 Bader Al Hamdan(KSA)
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 5 Darren Appleton(GBR) 
Mark Gray(GBR) 9 – 1 Mohamed S.A. Elmola(EGY)
Group 1
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 – 5 Khaled A.M. Farag(EGY) 
Irsan Afrinneza Nasution(INA) 9 – 5 Konstantin Stepanov(RUS)        
Group 2
Kuribayashi Tohru(JPN) 9 – 8 Mohd Al Bin Ali(QAT)
Abdullah Al Yousef(KUW) 9 – 6 Bader Al Awadhi(KUW)
Group 3
Roman Hybler(GER) 9 – 7 Rasekhi Medhi(IRI)
Waleed Majid(QAT)9 – 5 Sanchez-Ruiz Franscisco(ESP)
Group 4
Mohammad Saeed(QAT)9 – 3 Francois Ellis(RSA)
Marco Teutscher(NED) ) 9 – 0 Mohamed Shareef(MDV)
Group 5
Vegar Kristiansen(NOR) 9 – 7  Jeong Young Hwa(KOR)
Shannon Ducharme(CAN) 9 – 8 Mohanna Obaidly(QAT)
Group 6
Chang Jun Ling(TPE) 9 – 4 Mohammad Sharif(PAL)
Ali Obaidly(QAT) 9 – 3 Hichem Benaissa(ALG)
Group 7
Nick Van Den Berg(NED) 9 – 3 Abdultif Fawal(QAT)
Lee Van Corteza(PHL) 9 – 7 Mohamed Al Hosani(UAE)
Group 8
Muhammad Bewi Simanjuntak(INA)  9 – 5 Alejandro Carvajal(CHI)
Mishel Turkey(QAT) 9 – 5 Fahad Khalaf(BRN)
Group 9
Denis Grabe(EST) 9 – 4 Rajandran Nair(RSA)
Zhu Xi He(CHN) 9 – 8 Amir Rota(QAT-PH)
Group 10
Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE) 9 – 6  Marcus Chamat(SWE)
Omran Salem(UAE) 9 – 8  Hassan Shafraz(MDV)
Group 11
Mario He(AUT)9 – 6 Mazen Berjaoui(LEB)
Chu Bing Jie(CHN)9  – 6 Khalid Yousuf Esbttam(UAE)
Group 12
Ryu Seang Woo(KOR)9 – 2 Hamzaa M. Saeed Ali(ERI)
Francisco Felicilda(QAT-PH)9 – 7 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Group 13
Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP) 9 – 3 Fahad Al Hejeli(KSA)   
Goh Chin Teck(SIN)  9 – 5 Nizar Mosbah Tamimi(JOR)
Group 14
Karl Boyes(GBR) 9 – 2 Sameer Al Madhi(BRN)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9- 2 Meshal Al Murdhi(KUW)
Group 15
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 -8 Sundeep  Gulati(IND) 
Andreas Gerwen(SWE) 9 – 4 Ali Hussein Ali(IRQ)
Group 16
Omar Alshaheen(KUW)9 – 4 Bader Al Hamdan(KSA)
Darren Appleton(GBR) 9- 3 Mohamed S.A. Elmola(EGY)

Top Guns Show Their Class

John Morra (Photo courtesy of Richard Walker)

Amidst some of the toughest competition ever assembled, pool's best shine on day 1 of the World 9-ball Championship in Doha.


(Doha, Qatar)–Like all the top players, Canada’s John Morra just wanted to get out of the starting gates on Day 1 of the 2015 World 9-ball Championship with a win. A loss on the first day of  group play can be a total downer as you’re now suddenly faced with a pressure packed, do-or-die match in the double elimination format. If you don’t get your head in the game and your game in gear, you can quickly be headed for the exits in a New York second, you’re dreams of pool glory gone for another 12 months.

That’s the prospect the 26 year old from Toronto surely faced as he found himself down 6-1 and then 7-3 and playing miserably in his opening race to 9 match against Austria’s tough Mario He. Morra, however, has built up a steady stream of high finishes in the last 18 months and understood that winning in championship pool often requires patience, a positive attitude, and the ability to pounce when you’re opponent shows even the slightest bit of weakness.
 And so when  the big Austrian made a few mistakes, and showed his disgust with himself, Morra took it as his cue that he had life remaining. Slowly Morra fought back, gained confidence, while He became more frustrated with the mounting mistakes. Tied at 8-8 Morra had the Austrian by the throat, played a  lockdown safety, and won the match 9-8.
“I was down 7-3, I just couldn’t find my stroke,” a clearly pumped Morra said after match. “I was getting some bad rolls and that’s expected when you’re not playing well. I just clawed my way back game by game. I was saying to myself ‘you’re going to get your opportunities so just stay calm.’   I started breaking well and I trusted my instincts under the pressure and just committed to each shot. Every little mistake he made gave me energy because he was getting upset with himself. I just fed off of that.”
Having turned near failure into opportunity and success, the talented Canadian suddenly feels the experience bodes well for his chances this year.   
“I feel like I have a new life now. I was facing defeat and then maybe elimination if I lose my next one so that would’ve been a lot of pressure. But I managed to come back and win. So now I can just come out and play without pressure because I had my back against the ropes and I didn’t expect to win that one but I did.”
Morra’s gritty victory was easily the comeback of the day as the 2015 World 9-ball Championship got under way with 36 matches played out over four sessions at the sparkling Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha.  Fans used to stunning upsets in the early going in this event got nothing of the sort. What they did get was a quick reminder of the sheer amount of incredible talent from all corners of the globe and that over the next week, we are surely going to be treated to some of the highest level of pool ever seen.  
Defending champion Niels Feijen found himself down 3-0 early to Qatar-based Filipino Francisco Felicilda, who has recently been playing some of the best pool in the Middle East. But the Dutchman stormed back and played brilliantly, routing the talented Pinoy 9 – 4. Only one player in history, Earl Strickland, has ever won back to back World 9-ball titles. Feijen’s opening salvo today showed he has every intention of trying to become the second player to accomplish the feat.
Plenty of other top names and favorites looked exceptional today as well. Mika Immonen has been showing his old Hall of Fame form in the last few weeks. The Finn put in a terrific performance today against another solid Qatar based Filipino, Amir Rota, winning handily 9-4. Last year’s runner-up Albin Ouschan of Austria won handily. Taiwan’s Ko Pin Yi, the current World 10-ball champion, won easily over Estonia’s Denis Grabe, 9-2. Ko’s 19 year old brother Ko Pin Chung looked solid in defeating Sweden’s Marcus Chamat. Former 9-ball champion and legend Ralf Souquet squeaked by Taiwan’s Chang Jung Lin, 9-8. American Shane Van Boeing struggled against the UAE’s Omran Salem but eventually prevailed 9-6. The Philippines’ Carlo Biado, who has been knocking on the door of big time success in the last two years, also saw victory today.
While Biado represents the best of the younger generation of great Pinoys, 45 year old Warren Kiamco is ably carrying the flag for the older generation of Filipino greats, especially with the absence of legends Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante.  As expected Kiamco easily beat Norway’s Vegar Kristiansen today.
Filipino fans looking for one of their own to go far can surely look to the low key Kiamco to deliver the goods this week. The 20 year veteran has been playing the best pool of his long career this year, as evidenced by his win at the Derby City 9-ball event back in January and quarter final finish at the World 10-ball in February. Kiamco, who spends nearly five months out of the year honing his game in the US, says his recent resurgence in pool is a result of a renewed commitment to the sport.
“I’m dedicated to this game,” Kiamco said. “I’m still practicing hard for the tournaments and also I’m quite disciplined and focused on my game. I need it. I have to make a living. This is the job that I know. I am also a member of the Philippine national team so I need to practice hard.
“In 2006 I stopped playing pool for a while but I got a new interest in pool. And now I practice all the time because I really want to do well. But in the World 9-ball you need to not just play good, you also need luck. If I can win this tournament that would really mean a lot to me. This is one of my dreams to be a world champion some day.  But it’s really tough. Too many good players, too many young players. And you have to be able to compete with all of them.”
Mike DechaineOne of those young players Kiamco could be referring to is the USA’s Mike Dechaine. Except for Shane Van Boening, top Americans have been scarce at the World 9-ball Championship for six years running, a sorry fact that nobody in pool wants to see continue. The 28 year old from the US state of Maine has been one of the USA’s best players for the last several years, and his recent string of near misses seems to indicate he is on to something big. This is the young American’s first ever time to play in the World 9-ball Championship. After defeating Chile’s Alejandro Carvajal today 9-4, Dechaine said he was thrilled with the experience and that it will be the first of many testing the waters overseas.
“I played Ok but not as good as I wanted to, probably 60 to 70 percent, but I’m just getting over my first World 9-ball Championship jitters,” Dechaine said. “I’m very pleased with the atmosphere, it’s incredible. You’ve got a big arena, every table is in perfect condition and they do it right here. The atmosphere is right. The jet leg is what hurts me but hopefully I’ll get past that and do well.
“I’m trying to expand my horizons. I want to start traveling a lot more overseas and getting more experience playing in different atmospheres and playing against different people who have different techniques. I think more of these trips are going to be in the future. I think I’m going to team up with Shane, maybe go to Moscow, go to Japan.
“I definitely think I can win this tournament. I play rotation pool with the best in the world. I think it comes down to the break. It’s very important that you get a shot after the break. That’s a little bit of luck. I just have to think positive and continue to make balls.”
The group stages continue on day 2 on Sunday at the Al Arabi Sports Club. Players in the remaining 4 groups will play their first round matches followed by losers bracket matches which will see two dozen players head for the exits.
 **The 2015 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from September 7-18, 2015. The winner of the 2015 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The runner up will receive $15,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
The players will be competing on Wiraka New Model Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Super Pro TV Balls.
The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), which is once again hosting and organizing the World 9-ball Championship, will be providing free live streaming of the entire tournament, in cooperation with Kozoom. Fans can watch the action live on the QBSF website at, With all 14 tables streamed live, fans can select which table they want to watch and switch between tables at their convenience.
The WPA will be on hand in Doha throughout this year’s World 9-ball Championship providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner. 
Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
Group 1
Albin  Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 5 Khaled A.M. Farag(EGY)
Kawabata Satoshi(JPN) 9 – 6 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Bashar Hussain(QAT)  9 – 5 Irsan Afrinneza Nasution(INA)   
Wu Kun Lin(TPE) 9 – 7 Konstantin Stepanov(RUS)   
Group 2
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 6 Kuribayashi Tohru(JPN)
Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 9 – 4 Mohd Al Bin Ali(QAT)
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9- 3 Abdullah Al Yousef(KUW)
Bautista Ruben(MEX) 9 – 7 Bader Al Awadhi(KUW)
Group 3
Li Hewen(CHN)  9 – 8 Roman Hybler(GER)
Justin Campbell(AUS) 9 – 2 Rasekhi Medhi(IRI)
Yang Ching Shun(TPE) 9 – 6 Waleed Majid(QAT)
Yukio Akagariyama (JPE) 9 – 8 Sanchez-Ruiz Franscisco(ESP)
Group 4
Raymund Faraon(PHL ) 9 – 3 Francois Ellis(RSA)
Pordel Mohammadali(IRI) 9 – 6 Mohammad Saeed(QAT)
Nik Ekonomopoulos(GRE) 9 – 1 Mohamed Shareef(MDV)
Zhou Long(CHN) 9- 7 Marco Teutscher(NED)
Group 5
Warren Kiamco(PHL) 9 – 2 Vegar Kristiansen(NOR)
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 9 – 2 Jeong Young Hwa(KOR)
Wu Jia Qing(CHN) 9 – 5 Shannon Ducharme(CAN)
Oliver Medenilla(PHL) 9 – 2 Mohanna Obaidly(QAT)
Group 6
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 8 Chang Jun Ling(TPE)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)  9 – 8 Mohammad Sharif(PAL)
Johann Gonzales Chua(PHL) 9 – 7 Ali Obaidly(QAT)
Abdulrahman Al Amar(KSA) 9- 3 Hichem Benaissa(ALG)
Group 7
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 5 Nick Van Den Berg(NED) 
Tom Teriault(CAN) 9 – 7 Abdultif Fawal(QAT)
Ruslan Chinakov(RUS) 9 – 6 Lee Van Corteza(PHL) 
Liu Ching Chieh(TPE) 9 – 8 Mohamed Al Hosani(UAE)
Group 8
Daryl Peach(GBR) 9- 2  Muhammad Bewi Simanjuntak(INA)
Mike DeChaine(USA) 9 – 4 Alejandro Carvajal(CHI)
Calro Biado(PHL) 9 – 6 Fahad Khalaf(BRN)
Daniele Corrieri(ITA) 9 – 6 Mishel Turkey(QAT)
Group 9
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 2 Denis Grabe(EST)
Matey Ullah(NOR) 9 – 6  Rajandran Nair(RSA)
Mika Immonen(FIN) 9 – 4 Amir Rota(QAT-PH)
Oliver Ortmann(GER) 9 – 2 Zhu Xi He(CHN)
Group 10
Ko Pin Chung(TPE) 9 – 5 Marcus Chamat(SWE)
Christopher Teves(PER) 9 – 5Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE) 
Shane Van Boening(SVB) 9 – 6 Omran Salem(UAE)
Richard Jones(GBR) 9 – 1 Hassan Shafraz(MDV)
Group 11
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 8 Mario He(AUT) 
Toh Lian Han(SIN) 9 – 6 Mazen Berjaoui(LEB)
David Alcaide(ESP) 9 – 3 Chu Bing Jie(CHN)
Hesam S.A. Abdulaziz(EGY) 9 – 8 Khalid Yousuf Esbttam(UAE)
Group 12
Dan Jin Hu(CHN) 9 – 5 Ryu Seang Woo(KOR)
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 9 – 5 Hamzaa M. Saeed Ali(ERI)
Niels Feijen(NED) 9 – 4 Francisco Felicilda(QAT-PH)
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 1 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)

John Morra Sweeps Canadian Championships

John Morra (Photo courtesy of

The 2015 CBSA Canadian Professional Pool Championships ran from March 30 to April 4 at the Hilton in Mississauga, Ontario. This event was held in conjunction with the Amateur CCS Nationals. This is the second year that the CBSA and CCS have joined forces to put together this combined Canadian Championships. Players from across the country entered these events with the hopes of being titled the next Canadian Champion.
VenueThe venue was equipped with 8 Diamond tables which allowed for the timely scheduling of matches. The entire event was streamed live via Randall Morrison from Calgary, Alberta. There were always plenty of spectators throughout the week which created a fitting environment for a national event.
In the Women’s events, Naomi Williams reached the 10-ball finals with victories over Hanna Kwon (7-3), Joanne Ashton (7-2) and Brittany Bryant (7-5). In the B-side finals Brittany Bryant earned a rematch with Naomi after she eliminated Joanne Ashton. In the finals, Brittany managed to stay ahead for most of the match. With a chance to go up 9-7, Bryant missed a difficult cut shot on the 10-Ball. Naomi seized the opportunity and tied the match at 8. They traded the next two racks before Naomi sealed the deal in the case game with a 10-9 win. This is Naomi’s fourth 10-Ball title in 5 years.
In the Women’s 9-Ball event, Brittany Bryant was eager to defend her title once again. In the finals, Brittney trailed Kayla Jones early in the match (4-1). As the match went on, it looked like Canada would have a new champion. However, a few opportunities slipped away from Kayla and experience prevailed. A reputable second place finish for Kayla and another feather in the hat for Brittany with her 11-8 win.
In the Men’s Open events, some fresh faces decided to test their skills competing in this national event. Dan Lewis proved that he was more than “just a hack”. Dan finished in the top 8 of the 8-ball division and looked very sharp doing so. Unfortunately, there were no prizes for the best dressed player. Another player getting a lot of attention was Sumon Sarker. The part time singer has recently been playing plenty of challenge matches all throughout southern Ontario. He is known as a fierce competitor with a strong desire to improve. Sumon finished in the top 6 of the 9-ball division with wins over some of the top players in the country.
“I learnt a lot from this tournament, I will be playing better as soon as I employ them and get my errors minimized”, said Sumon.
It was John Morra who certainly stole the show this week. John became the first player in Canadian history to capture all three titles (8-Ball, 9-Ball, and 10-Ball). John’s only loss happened in the 8-Ball event against Erik Hjorleifson. John came back strong to avenge his loss, winning 11-4 in the finals. Erik also had a great week finishing second in two events 
In the 10-Ball event, John dominated Adrian Fragoso and Jesse Piercy by the same score (10-2). John’s next encounter was against his father Mario Morra. This thrilling match went right down to the wire. In the last game, Mario executed a perfect break only to witness the cue ball getting kicked into the pocket. John promptly ran the table and went on to beat Tom Theriault (10-5) and Erik Hjorleifson (13-8) for the title.
The last event was the 9-Ball event which drew the highest number of entries at 33. Shannon Ducharme, the 28 year old from Winnipeg, Manitoba added plenty of excitement to this event with his aggressive style. Shannon was sent to the B-Side after a heartbreaking 11-10 loss to Jason Klatt in the fourth round. Shannon held his composure and played great to recover as he had wins over Jason Kisheyinew (11-10), Tom Theriault (11-2), Sumon Sarkar (11-5), Andy Aupin (11-4) and Mario Morra (11-8). The finals were now set against John Morra.
The contrasting styles between Morra and Ducharme set the stage for an electrifying match. After a week of competition, both players were well adjusted to the conditions as they were making plenty of balls off the break. John held the lead for most of the match while Shannon kept it close with his banking skills and fine cut shots. In the end, a break and run in the 27th rack for John Morra ended Shannon`s run. It was truly a great performance by both players.
Steve Cooper, president of the CBSA, added the following, “I understand that there are some hurdles to improve on for future years, such as lighting and low entries, especially in the 10-ball, but I feel that the positives of these championships did out way the negatives. Our stream was very well received by most. CBSA Vice President, Kyle Richard has put a lot of effort into the sponsorship committee this year, & his work is starting to show results. A very special thanks to our major sponsors for the event, CCS, Diamond Billiards Products, Simonis Cloth & Tiger Cues.”
See you all again next year.