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Shane is a two-time Master

Shane Van Boening

The Final
Shane Van Boening (USA) 8-2 Darren Appleton (ENG)
Shane Van Boening (USA) 8-0 Liu Haitao (CHN) 
Darren Appleton (ENG) 8-4 Mark Gray (ENG)
SOUTH DAKOTA’S Shane Van Boening became the first player in the 23 year history of the PartyPoker World Pool Masters to retain the title as he beat Darren Appleton (England) 8-2 at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester.
Alex Lely and Dennis Orcollo had reached the final in their defence of the title but Van Boening went one better with a blistering display of breaking to take the title and the $20,000 winner’s cheque. Van Boening also joins Ralf Souquet, Francisco Bustamante and Thomas Engert as multiple winners of the Masters.
Commented Van Boening; “It feels awesome to win. Before I came here I practiced for almost a week and that work has paid off, it is amazing. The more you practice the better you get and that has really built up my confidence.
“I don’t know what happened with the golden breaks. The ball came around and hit the 9 ball and it went in. I hit the break hard so it can happen.
“It is very hard to win the Masters. You have all the best players in the world, 16 top players and especially playing against Darren Appleton in the final, who is one of the very best pool players.
“I got a lot of fortunate rolls, I made three golden breaks tonight with the one in the semi-final. It is very exciting for me to be the first player to win the Masters in consecutive years,” he added.
Van Boening flew into a 3-0 lead, albeit with the help of a couple of errors by Appleton. A dry break in the third game from Van Boening left a tough run out for his opponent but he composed himself to get on the scoreboard.
Appleton pushed out in the next but Van Boening’s attempt at a snooker left Darren with a look at the 2 ball and he rolled it in up table. From there he cleared up to get to 2-3. He missed another ball in the next, a routine 4 ball at a slight angle, and that gave Van Boening the chance to increase his lead at 4-2.
Appleton was looking increasingly agitated by his errors and could only look on as Van Boening kicked the 9 ball in off the break – his second golden of the evening session – to move to 5-2.
It soon became 6-2 with a tidy 6/9 combo as things looked bleak for Appleton. And even bleaker in the next as another crunching Van Boening break saw the 9 ball kicked in off the side rail as he reached the hill at 7-2. It ended with a 2/9 combination as Van Boening crowned a fabulous evening.
“He broke unbelievably in the semi-finals so I knew I had to break well in the final,” said Appleton.
 “I didn’t really come down from the semi-final and never really felt comfortable. I had chances at the start of the game and he wasn’t breaking well but I didn’t capitalise. I went 3-0 down but could have been 3-0 up.
“I started to feel good and had ball in hand at 3-2. It wasn’t an easy finish but I played a bad positional shot and missed the 4 ball. From there at 4-2 he broke and got a 9 on the break and he ran the next rack, got another golden break for 7-2 and in the last rack he smashed the balls and fluked the 6 ball to come out perfect for the 2/9 combo. When things like that happen it is his tournament.
“Looking back on the tournament I am really happy to have got to the final. I would have liked to have got more involved in the final but he is a great player and hopefully in the next five or so years we will play in more finals.
“Going into the match I felt I just wasn’t ready because I had just finished my semi-final and didn’t have time to get focussed for the match. I missed a couple of balls I should make just because of a lapse of concentration.”
Earlier Van Boening had recorded the fastest 8-0 win in Masters history as he beat Liu Haitao in less than 30 minutes. After taking the first two racks, Van Boening then broke and ran six on the spin to record a whitewash in 27 mins and 40 secs.
Appleton had enjoyed a tussle with countryman Mark Gray which looked to be anyone’s at 4-4 before Appleton ran away with, ending the match with a golden break.
Shane Van Boening (USA) 8-6 John Morra (CAN)
Niels Feijen (HOL) 8-6 Marcus Chamat (SWE)
Liu Haitao (CHN) 8-7 Karl Boyes (ENG)
Waleed Majid (QAT) 8-4 Daryl Peach (ENG)
Ko Pin Yi (TPE) 5-8 Mark Gray (ENG)
Darren Appleton (ENG) 8-4 Mateusz Sniegocki (POL)
Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GRE) 3-8 Ralf Souquet (GER)
Johnny Archer (USA) 8-2 James Georgiadis (AUS)
Quarter Finals
Niels Feijen (HOL) 6-8 Liu Haitao (CHN)
Shane Van Boening (USA) 8-5 Waleed Majid (QAT) 
Darren Appleton (ENG) 8-5 Johnny Archer (USA)
Ralf Souquet (GER) 6-8 Mark Gray (ENG)
Shane Van Boening (USA) 8-0 Liu Haitao (CHN) 
Darren Appleton (ENG) 8-4 Mark Gray (ENG)
The Final
Shane Van Boening (USA) 8-2 Darren Appleton (ENG)

The Drama of 9-Ball


(Doha, Qatar)–There was something special in the air throughout the day today at the Al Sadd Sports Club in Doha, and it wasn’t the crisp cool air conditioning offering comfort to fans and players alike.

It was an intangible, what we used to call on the east coast of the USA, “that certain something,” an unknowable, hard to describe feeling, when you know  something is good, but you can’t quite figure out why. You just know it’s good, and it’s only going to get better. You just know it.

Perhaps it was the sheer volume of high quality and tight matches that took place, the incredible talent on display that is as good as has ever been seen in pool, all combined with the fact that on Day 3 of the 2012 World 9-balll Championship, the gravity of the moment, of the stakes involved, started to dawn on players and fans alike.

This part of the tournament is all about getting through to the next round. 32 players did just that today as they cashed in their chips to the next stage, the single elimination knockout round of 64 which will begin on Wednesday June 27.  Some had it easy, others not so much. But all who made it breathed a massive sigh of relief. Just get through, wipe the slate clean, and start fresh on Wednesday.

“It’s like a battle field out there,” said a England’s Darren Appleton, clearly relieved after beating Saudi Arabia’s  Abdul Rahman Al Amar and advancing. “You just want to get through. There’s a lot of great, great, great players in this event. In years past you kind of knew who would get through. But not anymore. There’s a lot of surprises, but no shocks. I’m just happy. These tournaments are getting tougher and tougher.”

With 17 Filipinos in the field of 128 players, including the legendary Efren Reyes, and Francisco Bustamante, the venue is never short of large and vocal crowds of Filipino overseas workers and this certainly spices up the already pressure filled atmosphere. They came out in force today as the winners of each group faced off for a quick chance out of the danger zone of the group stage and into the final 64, including Reyes who played in the first session.

Reyes did his part as he easily defeated Kuwait’s Badr Al Awadi 9-2 to advance to the next round.  Afterward Reyes offered his patented line for why he won.

“I get lucky,” he said with his toothless grin. “He’s a good player but the break is against him, he never get a shot. Me I always get a shot after the break.”

Several players clearly stepped up their game early on. Malta’s popular Tony Drago sprinted past the Philippines Ramil Gallego, 9-6. Afterward, pool’s version of Speed Racer said he’s primed and ready to wreak havoc in the coming days and welcomes the pressure that is sure to come.

“I’m playing fantastic,” Drago said. “I’m enjoying myself. I like coming to the Middle East. The people are fantastic. I know pressure, and I know how to handle pressure. So I’m ready.”

2003 World 9-ball Champion Thorsten Hohmann put in a solid performance, as did France’s Vincent Faquet, who fought back from 4-2 down to beat the Philippines very tough Jundel Mazon, 9 – 5. Scotland’s Jason Shaw, a former English 8-ball World Champion, smothered China’s Fu Jian Bo, 9-5.

A great story has developed out of New Zealand as 24 year old Matthew Edwards continued his fine run in this year’s tournament, advancing to the knockout stage with an impressive 9-5 win over Malaj Nikolaos of Albania. Edwards, who’s playing in his first world championship,  first took down the USA’s Shane Van Boening.  He now becomes the first ever Kiwi to make it this far in a world championship.

“Nobody’s an easy player,” Edwards said. “This whole tournament is everything I thought it would be. There’s a lot of excitement here.”

As the day wore on the matches just got better, tighter and more pressure packed. World 8-ball Champion Chang Jung Lin came back from 8-6 down to Naouki Ohi of Japan, and won 9-8. 2007 World 9-ball Champion Daryl Peach of England was 5-0 down to Croatian Bozo Primic but clawed back to win a thriller, 9-8. Taiwan’s Chang Yu Lung and Austria’s Albin Ouschan, the brother of women’s star Jasmine Ouschan, went all the way with Chang prevailing 9-8. The USA’s Hunter Lombardo had the Philippines Ronnie Alcano on the ropes, but lost a cliff hanger 9-8.

One of the more entertaining matches happened between Greece’s Nick Ekonomopoulos and China’s Liu Haitao, two very solid rising talents.  Ekonomopoulos was down 7-2 but ended up winning 9-8. The confident Greek, who’s playing in his first world championship, looks to be an interesting dark horse in this event. He recently won the Austrian Open on the Euro Tour. He was so confident in his abilities that he flew to Qatar without an entry into the tournament and entered the brutally tough qualifiers, where he won one event and made it into the main draw.  With the pressure way too intense late his match with Liu, he looked positively deadly.

Also advancing today were Hall of Famer Ralf Souquet  of Germany, the Netherland’s Nick Van den Berg, England’s Karl Boyes, Filipinos Francisco Bustamante, Lee Van Corteza, Carlo Biado and Antonio G.bica, Taiwan’s Fu Che Wei, and Russian Konstantin Stepanov, who beat defending champion Yukio Akagariyama.

The surprise of the evening was Dennis Orcullo going down to Hong Kong’s Andrew Kong, 9-5. Kong advances while Orcullo has to come back Tuesday for one last try.

That’ll happen on Tuesday, Judgement Day, when all matches will be do-or-die.  As the action heats up inside the Al Sadd Sports Club, the nerves will surely start to fray, easy pots will become testers, and dreams will be made and shattered on the smallest turn of the balls.

The WPA will be providing full up to the minute coverage of the 2012 World 9-ball Championship via its website at   There you can follow the action through our live scoring platform, articles with insights and analysis, and updated brackets.  Fans can also get updates via the WPA Twitter page,

Fans can also access live scoring through the official website of the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation at:

*The World Pool And Billiard Association(WPA) is the international governing of the sport of pocket billiards.   

Day 3 Results
All Matches Winners Side of the Brackets
Winner advances to the round of 64, loser goes to the losers side of the bracket for one last chance

Group 1
Efren Reyes(PHI) 9 – 2 Bader Al Awadi(KUW)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 8 Joyme Vicente(PHI)

Group 2
Tony Drago(MLT) 9 – 6 Ramil Gallego(PHI)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 4 Ali Pordel(IRI)

Group 3
Vincent Faquet(FRA) 9 -5 Jundel Mazon(PHI)
Matthew Edwards(NZL) 9 – 4 Malaj Nikolaos(ALB)

Group  4
Carlo Biado(PHI) 9 – 3 Roman Hybler(CZE)
Thomas Engert(GER) 9 – 5 Chao Fong Pang

Group  5
Jason Shaw(GBR) 9 – 5 Fu Jianbo(CHN)
Fu Chei Wei(TPE) 9 – 3 Karlo Dalmatin(CRO)

Group 6
Aki Heiskanen(FIN) 9 – 3 Al Mutairi, Khaled GH(KUW)
Chang Jun Lin(TPE) 9 – 8 Naouki Ohi(JPN)

Group 7
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 8 Albin Ouschan(AUT)
Karl Boyes(GBR) 9 –3 Yang Ching Shun(TPE)

Group 8
Manuel Gama(POR) 9 – 6 Hayato Hijikata(JPN)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE)9 – 3 Omar Al Shahen(KUW)

Group 9
Daryl Peach(GBR) 9 – 8 Bozo Primic(CRO)
Francisco Bustamante(PHI) 9 – 4 Abdullah Al Yousef

Group 10
 Roberto Gomez(PHI) 9 – 1 Mohammad Saeed(QAT)
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS) 9 – 7 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)

Group 11
Darren Appleton(GBR) 9 – 2 Abdul Rahman Al Amar(KSA)
Han Hao Xiang(CHN) 9 -1 Bashar Hussain(QAT)

Group 12
Jason Klatt(CAN) 9 – 1 Ali Obaidli(QAT)
Nick Ekonomopoulos(GRE) 9 – 8 Liu Haitao(CHN)

Group 13
Ronnie Alcano(PHI) 9 – 8 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Antonio Gabica(PHI) 9 – 7 Denis Grabe(EST)

Group 14
Lee Van Corteza(PHI) 9 – 5 Marlon Caneda(PHI)
Majed Alazmi(KUW) 9 – 6 Torhu Koribayashi(JPN)

Group 15
Jonny Martinez(VEN) 9 -8 Oliver Ortmann(GER)   
Andrew Kong(HKG) 9 – 5 Dennis Orcullo(PHI)

Group 16
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 1Nayf Abdel Afou(JOR)
Nick Van den Berg(NED) 9 – 6 David Anderson(RSA)

New Talents and Old Hands Shine in Doha


(Doha, Qatar)–With 128 of the world’s best pool players on hand contesting  the 2012 World 9-ball Championship, and all playing a slew of matches in their groups and trying, over the next few days, to whittle the field down to 64, it’s nearly impossible to predict who exactly will emerge as the new king of 9-ball.

But as day one here in blazing hot Doha, Qatar has come to a close, certain important trends have already revealed themselves. Perhaps most important among them is the fact that the talent level throughout the world of pool has risen dramatically in the last few years.

We all know that the Philippines, Taiwan, England and many European countries produce serious pool talent. But what about not so known hotbeds of pool such as Iran, Lebanon, Finland, Albania, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, New Zealand, UAE and right here in Qatar?

The first 48 matches held Saturday inside the Al Sadd Sports Club have proven one thing and that is that the sport of 9-ball has literally gone viral, with solid players  emerging from the most unlikely of places. Which means known players cannot take any match for granted. And that, of course, brings to us another trend we will witness this week in Doha; fans should prepare themselves for lots of upsets.

The first surprising result of the day came in the very first group out of the gates, when Kuwait’s Badr Al Awadi defeated former World 10-Ball champion Huidji See of the Netherlands, 9-7.  It should be noted that Kuwait seems to be one of the big beneficiaries of the presence of big time pool tournaments being played year after year in the Middle East. Many of the Kuwaiti players are very competitive out on the table and seem to be gaining confidence with each passing year.

Also during the first session another upset caused waves around the arena, this one coming from Down Under.  24 year old Matthew Edwards  from New Zealand knew his odds against American great Shane Van Boening were long.  And at 5-1 down in the race to 9, alternate break match things were looking bleak indeed for the young Kiwi.    But a massive fight back coupled with plenty of heart brought Edwards back into the match. He ended beating Van Boening 9-7 for the biggest win of his career.

Afterward, as many of the players do, Edwards went straight to his Facebook page to tell the world about his accomplishment. His comments are printed as is because, well, they speak volumes about how fascinating the sport of 9-ball at the professional level can be.

Edwards wrote:  “I came into the match feeling very excited and a little out of depth… After our 5min warm up I was shocked to find out how tight the pockets were and how different the cushions reacted!!! What a confidence blower the warm up was 🙁 ! It was clear that Shane was more than comfortable on the American made Diamond pool table! Shane jumped out to a 5-1 lead without me doing too much wrong… I then kept telling myself I would stick to my initial game plan and never give up , try my best and fight to the end! At 5-1 I remember only seeing the ball in front of me and focusing on the sinking the ball! As weird as it sounds I was so nervous I was afraid to miss which drove me to focus harder and harder… I knew I didn’t know the cushions well enough so I would play basic position even if it meant playing a longer tougher pot on relying on my potting skills! I ended up winning 9-7!! I was very happy to beat such a great player and happy with myself that I didn’t give up and fought right to the finish line !!! I was playing on all heart despite the odds! I kept the belief in myself no matter what!!”

Folks, if you can’t get excited about the excitement of Matthew Edwards then it’s time to turn to following competitive hot dog eating to get your thrills.

As the day wore on, a few more surprising results kept coming in.  Aki Heiskanen, a fresh face out of Finland, handily defeated Dutch star Niels Feijen . 9-4.   Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen got the crowd pumped up with his nervy 9-8 win over Belgium’s Serge Das.   

Many of the games big names had solid outings on day one. The Philippines Efren “Bata” Reyes beat Croatia’s Philipp Stojanovic, 9-3. Defending champion  Yukio Akagariyama of Japan won  9 – 7 over Dominic Jentsch of Germany. 2010 World 9-ball Champion Francisco Bustamante beat Taiwan’s Lo Li Wen, 9-6. 2007 World 9-ball Champion Daryl Peach of England prevailed  9 – 7 over a very tough Sniegocki Mateusz  of Poland.  Current World 8-ball champion Chang Jun Lin of Taiwan defeated Dimitri Jungo of Switzerland, 9-7. Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann, the 2003 World 9-ball Champion, beat Taiwan’s Hsu Kai Lun 9-5.

Two time US Open Champion and former World 10-ball champion Darren Applenton of England nearly made it to our upset list as he had a very difficult time with Hamza Alsaeed of Eritrea, coming back from a 6-4 deficit to win 9-7.

Several high quality matchups produced some interesting results. Malta’s Tony Drago was leading Finland’s great Mika Immonen 7-1, only to see  Immonen storm back to tie the match. The two went to the hill where Drago broke and ran the last rack for the win.

The Philippines talented but underrated Jundel Mazon beat England’s  number one Chris Melling, 9-7.  Two time World 9-ball Champion Fong Pang Chao of Taiwan beat China’s Le He Wen, 9-7.  Taiwan’s Yang Ching Shun returned to competitive pool after a several year hiatus and beat  the UAE’s  Hanni Alhowri, 9-2.

In a result that won’t get too much attention outside of Tirana, Malaj Nikolaos notched  the  first  ever win for Albania in the World 9-ball Championship when he squeaked by Qatar’s Abdulatif Fawal, 9-8.  Nikolaos is actually a rising talent on the European scene. In 2011 he won the Kremlin Cup, defeating Mika Immonen in the final, an event that was sponsored by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

 The 2012 World 9-ball Championship continues in the group stages on Sunday. All first round matches will be played as will several on the losers’ side bracket of each group.

The final 64 will begin single elimination play on June 27th. The semi-finals and finals will take place on June 29th. The winner will receive $40,000, while the runner up with take home $20,000.

The WPA will be providing full up to the minute coverage of the 2012 World 9-ball Championship via its website at   There you can follow the action through our live scoring platform, articles with insights and analysis, and updated brackets.  Fans can also get updates via the WPA Twitter page,

Fans can also access live scoring through the official website of the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation at:  

*The World Pool And Billiard Association(WPA) is the international governing of the sport of pocket billiards.   

Results from Day 1, Group  Stages
Winner goes to winner’s side of the bracket and needs one more win to advance
Loser goes to losers side of the bracket and needs two wins to advance

Group 1
Badr Al Awadi(KUW) 9 – 7 Huidji See(NED)
Efren  Reyes(PHI) 9 – 3 Philipp Stojanovic(CRO)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – Hwang Yong(KOR)
Loyme Vicente(PHI) 9 -4  Mohammad Berjawi(LEB)

Group 2
Tony Drago(MLT) 9 – 8 Mika Immonen(FIN)
Ramil Gallego(PHI) 9 – 6 Sundeep Gulati(IND)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 5 Hsu Kai Lun(TPE)
Ali Podel(IRI) 9 – 2 Abdulwahed Al Awad(KSA)

Group 3
Jundel Mazon(PHI) 9 – 7 Chris Melling(GBR)
Matthew Edwards(NZL) 9 – 7 Shane Van Boening(USA)
Vincent Faquet(FRA) 9 – 7 Aloysius Yapp(SIN)
Malaj Nikolaos(ALB)  9 – 8 Abdulatif Fawal((QAT)

Group 4
Chao Fang Pong(TPE) 9 – 7 Lee He Wen(CHN)
Thomas Engert(GER) 9 – 4 Edwin Montal(CAN)
Carlo Biado(PHI) 9 – 1 Rajandran Nair(RSA)
Roman Hybler(CZE) 9 – 3 Waleed Majeed(QAT)

Group 5
Fu Chei Wei(TPE) 9 – 8 Do The Kien(VIE)
Karlo Dalmatin(CRO) 9 – 2 Mohd Buainain(QAT)
Fu Jianbo(CHN) 9 – 7 Marcus Chamat(SWE)
Jason Shaw(GBR) 9 – 5 Takashi Uraoka(JPN)

Group 6
Aki Heiskanen(FIN) 9 – 4 Niels Feijen(NED)
Khaled Al Mutairi(KUW) 9 – 4 Mohd Al Bin Ali(QAT)
Chang Jun Lin(TPE) 9 – 7 Dimitri Jungo(SUI)
Naoyuki Ohi(JPN) 9 – Robby Foldvari(AUS)

Group 7
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 3 Jalal Yousef(VEN)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 7 Dan Jingu(CHN)
Karl Boyes(GBR) 9 – 5 Ryu Seung Woo(KOR)
Yang Ching Shun(TPE) 9 – 2 Hanni Alhowri(UAE)

Group 8
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 9 – 3 Mark Gray(GBR)
Manuel Gama(POR) 9 – 7 Lee Chenman(HKG)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 1 Luis Lemus(GUA)
Omar Al Shaheen(KUW) 9 – 8 Serge Das(BEL)

Group 9
Daryl Peach(GBR) 9 – 7 Sniegocki Mateusz(POL)
Bozo Primic(CRO) 9 – 8 Mazen Berjaoui(LIB)
Francisco Bustamante(PHI) 9 – 6 Lo Li Wen(TPE)
Abdullah Al Yousef(KUW) 9 – 3 Oliver Medenilla(PHI)

Group 10
Roberto Gomez(PHI) 9 – 6 Takhti Zarekani(IRI)
Mohammad Saeed(QAT) 9 – 8 Alaa Bata(QAT)
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 7 Dominic Jentsch(GER)
Konstantine Stepanov(RUS) 9 – 3Harvey Shognosh(CAN)

Group 11
Abdul Rahman Al Amar(KSA) 9 – 7 Bruno Muratore(ITA)
Bashar Hussain(QAT) 9 – 1 Kuo Yi Che(TPE)
Han Hao Hang(CHN) 9 – 6 Elvis Calasang(PHI)
Darren Appleton(GBR) 9 – 7 Hamza Alsaeed(ERI)

Group 12
Jason Klatt(CAN) 9 – 3 Imran Majid(GBR)
Ali Obaidly(QAT) 9 – 8 Mohamed Elassal(EGY)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 3 Mario He(AUT)
Nick Ekonomopoulos(GRE) 9 – 5 Alok Kumar(IND)

WPA World 9-Ball Championship Underway

Reigning Champion Yukio Akagariyama

The Big One is finally here.

The WPA 2012 World 9-ball Championship, considered perhaps the most prestigious title in men’s professional pool, has gotten underway at the beautiful Al Sadd Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.

The action over the next 8 days promises to be as scorching hot as the weather is outside, where searing hot winds sweeping in off the desert combine with the blazing Middle Eastern sun to send temperatures into the mid-40’s celcius.

Indeed the event has attracted 128 of the best pool players from over 50 countries, who are vying for $300,000 in prize money, with $40,000 going to the eventual winner.

The tournament is run in two stages.  The first stage has the players divided up into 16 groups of 8.  There the players will play a double elimination format, race to 9, alternate break. The top four players in each group, two from the winners side, and two from the losers side, will advance into the final 64, which begins on June 27th. 

From there, the tournament becomes a straight knockout, with all matches single elimination race to 11, alternate break. The finals, which will be played on June 29th, will be race to 13, alternate break. 

The list of names assembled here in Doha is a who’s who of the games top stars, with literally dozens of world championships and major victories among them.  In all there are 10 current or former world 9-ball champions in the field, including defending champion Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama who won in this very venue last year. 

Other world 9-ball champions include the Philippines Francisco Bustamante(2010), England’s Daryl Peach(2007), the Philippines Ronnie Alcano(2006), Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann(2003), Finland’s Mika Immonen(2001), Taiwan’s Fong Pang Chao(2000, 1993), the Philippines Efren “Bata” Reyes(1999), Germany’s Ralf Souquet(1996), Germany’s Oliver Ortmann(1995).

The list of pool champions in the field doesn’t include just 9-ball. Current World 8-ball champion Chang Jun Lin of Taiwan is here.  Also vying for glory will be two time US Open Champion and former World 10-Ball Champion Darren Appleton of England, 2011 World 8-ball Champion Dennis Orcullo of the Philippines, 2010 World 8-ball champion Karl boyes of England, 2010 World 10-ball champion Huidji See of the Netherlands, and former US Open Champion and the USA’s number one player, Shane Van Boening.

But of course as in every World 9-ball Championship, part of the fun is witnessing the rise of new talents from across the globe, as the game of 9-ball has spread far and wide over the last ten years.  Fans are guaranteed train loads of nerve jangling drama throughout the event, with plenty of upsets sure to rock the Al Sadd and the pool world. 

Once again the Philippines has the most number of entries with 16 players.  Last year, more than a quarter of the players in the final 64 were from the Philippines. Considering the numbers entered this year, and with the high standard of all the Filipino players, expect a similar scenario this week. It would even be a fair bet to say a Filipino will probably make it at least to the semi-finals. 

In order to stop players from soft breaking, the WPA has instituted the Illegal Break rule this year. On the break shot, a player must get three balls past the head string, or get a combination of 3 balls past the head string and/or pocketed.

The 2012 World 9-ball Championship is being hosted by the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation. The official tables are once again Diamond Tables, and the pockets have been set extremely tight as befits a world championship.    

This is now the third straight year that Qatar has hosted the World 9-ball Championship.    Qatar, which has the world’s third largest natural gas reserves and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, hosting the prestigious pool world championship is adding yet another milestone in its sporting achievements.

Qatar emerged as the leading centre for sports. The country has been a major hub for big time international sporting events, including the 2006 Asian Games, the 2011 Asian Cup Football Championships, and the MotoGP World Championship.

The small but oil-rich country will also host the 2022 FIFA World Cup of Football and the 2015 World IHF Handball Championship.

The WPA will be providing full up to the minute coverage of the 2012 World 9-ball Championship via its website at   There you can follow the action through our live scoring platform, articles with insights and analysis, and updated brackets.  Fans can also get updates via the WPA Twitter page,

 The prize breakdown is as follows:
Champion – $40,000
Runner-up – $20,000
3- 4 – $12,000
5-8 -$8,000
9-16 -$5,000
17-32 – $3,500
33-64- $2,000
65-96 – $1000 (loser of 2nd round in the loser’s bracket of Stage 2)
Total – $300,000

Sponsored by – Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC)
Co-sponsored by – Simonis (cloth)
Organised by – Qatar Billiards & Snooker Federation (QBSF)
Sanctioned by – World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) & Asian Pocket
Billiard Union (APBU)
Official Hotel: Wyndham Grand Regency

Diamond Tables
Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color.
Aramith Super Pro TV Ball


1            Akagariyama Yukio                          JPN
2            Chang Jung Lin                                 TPE
3            Chris Melling                                      GBR
4            Fu Che Wei                                         TPE
5            Huidji See                                           NED
6            Dennis Orcollo                                   PHI
7            Darren Appleton                                GBR
8            Lee Van Corteza                               PHI
9            Ronnie Alcano                                   PHI
10           Ko Pin Yi                                               TPE
11           Liu Haitao                                            CHN
12           Carlo Biado                                         PHI
13           Thorsten Hohmann                         GER
14           Ralf Souquet                                      GER
15           Chang Yu Lung                                   TPE
16           Daryl Peach                                        GBR
17           Fu Jianbo                                             CHN
18           Roberto Gomez                                  PHI
19           Shane Van Boening                         USA
20           Mark Gray                                           GBR
21           Mika Immonen                                 FIN
22           Lo Li Wen                                             TPE
23           Hwang Yong                                       KOR
24           Alok Kumar                                         IND
25           Sundeep Gulati                                 IND
26           Kuribatashi Tohru                            JPN
27           Hori Ryouji                                          JPN
28           Kuo Yi Che                                           TPE
29           Hsu Kai Lun                                         TPE
30           Ryu Seung Woo                                 KOR
31           Lee Wan Su                                        KOR
32           Toh Lian Han                                      SIN
33           Aloysius Yapp                                    SIN
34           Do The Kien                                        VIE
35           Nguyen Anh Tuan                              VIE
36           Francisco Bustamante                    PHI
37           Jundel Mazon                                    PHI
38           Efren Reyes                                        PHI
39           Antonio G.bica                                 PHI-QAT
40           Israel Rota                                         PHI-QAT
41           Kong Andrew                                    HKG
42           Lee Chenman                                    HKG
43           Lee He Wen                                       CHN
44           Han Hao Xiang                                   CHN
45           Dan Jing Hu                                         CHN
46           Edwin Montal                                    CAN
47           Jason Klatt                                          CAN
48           John Morra                                         CAN
49           Harvey Shognosh                             CAN
50           Hunter Lombardo                            USA
51           Tony Drago                                         MLT
52           Philipp Stojanovic                            CRO
53           Ivica Putnik                                         CRO
54           Karlo Dalmatin                                   CRO
55           Bozidar Primic                                    CRO
56           Malaj Nikolaos                                  ALB
57           Roman Hybler                                   CZE
58           Vincent Facquet                                  FRA
59           Francisco Diaz-Pizarro                    ESP
60           Andrea Klasovic                                SRB
61           Marus Chamat                                  SWE
62           Aki Heiskanen                                   FIN
63           Mario He                                             AUT
64           Albin Ouschan                                   AUT
65           Manuel Gama                                   POR
66           Henrique Correia                             POR
67           Dimitri Jungo                                      SUI
68           Nick Van Den Berg                           NED
69           Niels Feijen                                        NED
70           Jason Shaw                                         GBR
71           Imran Majid                                       GBR
72           Jones Richard                                    GBR
73           Karl Boyes                                           GBR
74           Oliver Ortmann                                 GER
75           Jentsch Dominic                               GER
76           Thomas Engert                                  GER
77           Serge Das                                            BEL
78           Sniegocki Mateusz                          POL
79           Konstantin Stepanov                      RUS
80           Bruno Muratore                               ITA
81           Denis Grabe                                       EST
82           Luis Lemus                                          GUA
83           Jonny Martinez                                 VEN
84           Jalal Yousef                                         VEN
85           Ceri Worts                                           NZL
86           Matthew Edwards                           NZL
87           Robby Foldvari                                  AUS
88           Mohammad Ali Berjaoui               LIB
89           Mazen Berjaoui                                LIB
90           Takhti Zarekani                                 IRI
91           Ali Pordel                                             IRI
92           Badr Al Awadi                                    KUW
93           Abdullah Al Yousef                          KUW
94           Abdulwahed Al Awad                    KSA
95           Abdul Rahman Al Amar                 KSA
96           Hanni Alhowri                                    UAE
97           Salaheldeen Alrimawi                    UAE
98           Ali Saeed Alsuwaidi                         UAE
99           Nayf Abdel Afou                              JOR
100         Rajandran Nair                                  RSA
101         David N. Anderson                          RSA
102         Hamza Alsaeed                                 ERI
103         Mohamed Elassal                             EGY
104         Al Masskini                                         MAR
105         Bashar Hussain                                  QAT
106         Mohd Al Bin Ali                                 QAT
107         Abdulatif Fawal                                 QAT
108         Mohd Buainain                                 QAT
109         Ali Obaidly                                           QAT
110         Waleed Majeed                                  QAT
111         Mohammad Saeed                         QAT
112         Hayato Hijikata                                  JPN
113         Yang Ching Shun                               TPE
114         Joyme Vicente                                  PHI-UAE
115         Nick Ekonomopoulos                     GRE
116         Naoyuki Ohi                                       JPN
117         Olver Medanilla                                PHI-UAE
118         Ramil Gallego                                     PHI
119         Joven Alba                                          PHI-UAE
120         Chao Fang Pang                              TPE
121         Majed Alazmi                                    KUW
122         Marlon Caneda                                 PHI-KSA
123         Omar Al Shahen                               KUW
124         Takashi Uraoka                                 JPN
125         Elvis Calasang                                   PHI-UAE
126         Khaled Al Mutairi                                KUW
127         Raymound Faraon                           PHI-UAE
128         Alaa Bata                                             QAT

He Sends Jentsch to the Losers Side

Not a good round for Great Britain players

Friday, 01 June 2012: Local hero Mario He from Feldkirch, Austria, clearly smashed last Dynamic Euro-Tour winner Dominic Jentsch (GER) with 9:3.

In the end, He must be seen as the deserved winner. However, before the match probably many people would have expected a different outcome. But that’s sports! Jentsch did not find his break shot and that is a lethal disadvantage, especially in a short rack game as 9-ball. On the other side, Mario He was breaking Mario He (AUT) constant and solid and benefitted from his own break shot and his opponent’s mistakes. After seven racks, the score was already 6:1 in favour of He. Jentsch seemed not to be able to believe what happened to him on the TV-table. In the 8 rack, Jentsch broke the balls and again could not make a ball on the break. Both players played some safety shots and He missed a combination that allowed Jentsch back into the table again. Jentsch ran that rack and got his second point in his account. But he could not get momentum at all. He also did his share to prevent that from happening. After Jentsch had won his second rack, He played an extraordinary break shot and ran the rack, getting on the hill with 8:2. That definitely demoralized Jentsch. The German was able to play one more break and run but He answered that straight away with another run out from his side. The scoreboard in the end showed 9:3 in favour of He. Since this match was a winner’s qualification match, He advances to the final 32 players of the event while Jentsch has to win another match in the loser’s qualification round.

Other notable results from today’s winner’s qualification round include Huidji See (NED) defeating Chris Melling (GBR) 9:6. Jayson Shaw (SCO) just won by a hair’s width with 9:8 and sent Bruno Muratore (ITA) to the wrong side of the chart. Another close victory was achieved by Thomas Engert (GER) who defeated Mark Gray (GBR) also 9:8. In another Germany-England clash, Christian Reimering (GER) remained the upper hand over Daryl Peach (GBR) with 9:8.

The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website , follow us on twitter @EPBF_News or contact our press office.

Niels and Team Captains comment on Mosconi Cup

Niels Feijen

Niels Feijen – TEAM EUROPE
I think this year the tension for a place in the selection for the Mosconi Cup was building up to a peak. The top three points leaders were in for sure, but there were strong rumors that from both sides the first five would get picked.
I was working hard to get in stroke for the 3 events in Hungary, prior to the US Open, when 6 days before departure, a car knocked me off my bike during road bike training. Totally not my fault, but here I was on the couch… My knee was huge and purple, calf was purple, a piece of skin was torn from my left thumb, plus a bruised thumb and index finger. In other words, no tournaments! It could have been a lot worse and I was glad nothing was broken, but I still felt very depressed.

This was a big disappointment to me, because I also missed the World 14.1 event in NJ because of the Hurricane. My flight was cancelled and I couldn’t make it. This was an event I also prepared very hard for. The big thing was that I would not score one point in Hungary for the Mosconi ranking, so chances to make the top 3 were getting very slim. Plus I was not able to practice for weeks and as a result lost a lot of form.
After my lovely daughter was born on 26th October 2010, I missed a couple of events and started the Mosconi Cup 2011 rankings way behind. Then a big boost came my way with a runner spot in the WC 8 Ball and I was in the top 3. Then, I had 2 top 4 finishes on the Euro Tour and a 3rd place in Shanghai. This set me up nicely, but then I played bad in two Euro Tours and on top of that, I missed Hungary!! 

Even though I was rusty going into the US Open, my confidence grew with every match and I scored an important 6 points by beating Boyes, Souquet and Pinegar on the one loss side. This would prove massive, cause that kept me in 5th place and the first 5 got picked!! I’m very pleased to get picked!!!! Also because last year I was very sour to not get in at last minute. 

I had a good year in 2010, but did not make enough points to get on the team, mainly due to elements that were out of my hands. Like I said, I missed 3/4 events because of the birth of my beautiful daughter Lina, and oh, what a delivery it was! Over 100 hours for Katrine (and me). As you can imagine, the first months were very tough and we were totally worn out.
This made the coach decide to pick Nick van den Berg over me, which of course left me feeling pretty sour. Matchroom wanted us to play for it at first, but then made the coach decide on who to pick. But thinking back on it, it was the right choice. I was just worn out, but I started feeling like myself again by the end of December and played great at the Derby City Classic in January 2011. This was a big moment for me, because I had been doubting my game for two months. 

The Mosconi is a very different animal than any other event that we play in. It’s all about handling pressure and dealing with the many distractions. You have to prepare well for this one, because it can get quite intense in the arena. 
I feel we have an awesome team with Darren Appleton, who has just won his 2nd US Open in a row!!! Chris Melling, who has been on fire all year. Ralf, who has just come off an awesome 3 months and Nick van den Berg, the most street smart and creative player on our team! This will be my 7th Mosconi Cup, which gives me a lot of experience and I’m working really hard. I want to get in top stroke, have all aspects of my game in top gear and my mind and body ready for the competition. Great stuff !!!

It is very special for me to be involved in the pool worlds most prestigious team event. Not only because of the event, but as a coach I am given a chance to work with the best players on the face of the earth. They are (already) very highly motivated, so I don’t have to ignite the spark. My job is to steer the energy in the right direction and make sure the players have just one thing on their minds and that is of course: Playing well !!! 
Since the format change 2 years ago, the pairing up of the players has lost much of its tactical value, since from 10 possible combinations, 8 will have to play. So it’s more a case of watching which pair of players are not advisable, than which pairings are the best.

I have been involved officially since 2006, but before that I always followed this event, since there were often 1 or 2 Dutch players selected for the team. When Europe kept losing, I thought it was time to change things around and asked Matchroom to invite me to be the (non-playing) captain. It was a brave decision from Matchroom, since they only knew me by name, but it paid off. Since 2006 the Mosconi Cups have become real fights again, with no predictable outcome and I think that is the most important thing: that this great event turns into a great fight every year 

I think for me personally, I have been thrilled with every Mosconi Cup I have been involved with. The first one (in 2006) was a draw, but I (and the players) were able to take the lessons from that year and do better. Some of the great fights were: Mika v Davis in 2006, Drago v Morris in 2007, Darren v Dennis in 2010.
These are the moments that stand out, but I always smile thinking of Ralf (whom I like to call my anchorman), Niels, Mika, Nick and all the players that have played for me in the squad. They all carry their own stories. The event is so intense, that even when a player might not have played at his best, I still admire him for his input, fighting spirit or even the handling of his loss.
I remember Thomas Engert trying to lift the team in spirit in 2006. Unfortunately he didn’t get the results he wanted, but on the last day he stepped up, stopped worrying about the team spirit and made sure of himself. He was the first player to play in the singles and wrecked his opponent 6-1. Like I said, I have a hundred stories and they are all dear to my heart. But still: the past is history and now we will have to write some more stories.

One more thing: I hope our confidence doesn’t give anyone the impression that we are cocky or thinking we can win this by will, because that is not the case. We are confident, but know that we have to play a formidable opponent, that is ready to fight. We will have to be at our best to be sure to have a chance of winning this one. To all the spectators, viewers and followers: I hope we will be able to entertain you and that both teams show the high level of play that they are capable of.
Bring it on!

Charlie Williams – USA Team Captain
“Being a part of the USA Mosconi Cup team is one of the greatest honors there is in this sport. It’s a first class event and being appointed the captain is an unexpected and tremendous honor! Being my age and captaining such great veterans and talent, is to be honest, a lot of pressure. I do feel up to the task though for sure, as I have had a lot of experience coaching players, so it’s not an unknown territory to me. Fortunately, these guys are my friends on and off the table and they are giving me a lot of encouragement. It really is going to be a lot of fun!
The plan is to really shake things up. I’ve played on 5 Mosconi Cups myself, so I’m pretty familiar with the routines and as such, I really feel we need to revamp how we do things in Team USA this year. I can’t go into details, but I’ll say that this is going to be a very different USA Team than anything in the past. We are already working as a team, even right now as we speak. Communication is key!
I would definitely put this appointment right up there on my list of achievements. Even above some of my favorite title wins. What motivates the team, is representation of your country, support of your fans and the camaraderie of your team mates.
Playing at home is of course a help to us. Just like playing in England last year helped Europe. I played in UK the last time the cup was there before last year. It was awesome and scary at same time. My record is 6 wins and 2 losses at York Hall, in London, so I know what it takes to play in a hostile environment. ( I mean that in the nicest way, of course). As we are playing on home turf this year, so hopefully, it is a factor we will not have to face.

The final score will be – A SECRET FOR NOW! – But, I do have a number in mind. Let’s just say, I’ll pick the USA boys to come out on top with 11 wins first !!!!!
Thanks, Geoff!

Babica Through to Treviso Open Quarter-Finals

Radoslaw Babica (Foto: EPBF/AMM)

After a tough match against Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GRE), Radoslaw Babica (POL) secured a seat for himself in the quarter-finals of the Eurotour’s Treviso Open by winning the match 9-6.

It was a wire to wire victory for Babica. He took control of the match from the very beginning and Ekonomopoulos was always trailing behind. It seemed that Babica found the better safety shots and tactics that made the difference in that match. After the 12th rack, Ekonomopoulos was able to tie the match at 6-6. Then Babica went for his time out and obviously gained new strength. When he came back, Ekonomopoulos broke the rack but no ball went down. Babica played as cold as ice and ran the rack, taking a 7-6 lead. The next rack, Babica failed to pocket a ball on his break shot. Ekonomopoulos had a shot at the 1-ball and started pocketing balls but ran out of position for the 4-ball so he had to play a safety shot. Babica found the right answer for that and also won that rack, leading 8-6. The 15th and final rack turned out to be a bit unlucky for the Greek. He broke the rack, a ball went down but he had no shot on the 1-ball. He played a safety shot which Babica answered by playing a great safety shot himself. After thinking a while about the upcoming situation, Ekonomopoulos played an excellent safety shot and it looked very promising for him in that rack. Babica tried to fire the 1-ball in into the side pocket, missed it but got lucky since he fluked it in the side pocket on the opposite side of the table. He ran the rack from there, taking the match with 9-6. “It must be about two years ago that I have made it to this final stage of an event”, said Babica when asked after the tournament about his performance, “I practiced hard before this event since I will have to play two more events within the next two weeks. I also took a week off and spent it with my family. Sometimes that helps you generate new energy.”

Other notable results include Chris Melling (GBR) just making it to the quarter-finals 9-8 over Andreas Gerwen (SWE). Mario He (AUT) eliminated “Napoleon” Marcus Chamat (SWE) 9-4. Below are all results and matchups for the quarter-finals:

Final SIxteen Player Results:
Marcus Chamat vs Mario He 4-9
Dimitri Jungo vs Darren Appleton 5-9
David Alcaide vs Thomas Engert 9-4
Christian Reimering vs Noel Bruynooghe 3-9
Nick van den Berg vs Karl Boyes 9-8
Radoslaw Babica vs Nikos Ekonomopoulos 9-6
Mark Gray vs Karol Skowerski 9-5
Andreas Gerwen vs Chris Melling 8-9

Quarter Finals:
Mario He vs Darren Appleton
David Alcaide vs Noel Bruynooghe
Nick van den Berg vs Radoslaw Babica
Mark Gray vs Chris Melling

The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website , follow us on twitter @EPBF_News or contact our press office.

Peach Sends Petroni to the One-Loss Side at Treviso Open

Daryl Peach (Foto: EPBF/AMM)

Former World 9-Ball Champion Daryl Peach (GBR) has won against one of the last remaining Italian hopes at the Treviso Open, Fabio Petroni, with a clear result of 9-3.

His victory was never really in danger. The match looked like it would be close in the first four racks. After the score was 2-2, Peach played more solid and Petroni also got a bit unlucky in scratching with the cue ball and running out of position. Peach played merciless and did not get impressed by the fact that most people in the arena wanted to see him go down. Maybe that even motivated him more. Peach took five straight racks in a row, achieving a comfortable 7-2 lead over Petroni. “Fabulous” Fabio Petroni tried to fight back but all he could get was one more rack. His striking back was interrupted by another cue ball that scratched. Peach took his chances and ran two more racks, winning deservedly with 9-3. Since this was the winner’s bracket, Petroni will get one more chance to make it to the final 32 players while Peach has secured his seat in the single elimination part of the tournament.

Other notable results in the winner’s qualification round include Roman Hybler (CZE) destroying “Napoleon” Marcus Chamat (SWE) 9-4. Thomas Engert (GER), very experienced player and several time German and European Champion, fell to the blade of youngster Mario He (AUT) 7-9. Another favorite who had to give in was Darren Appleton (GBR). The US-Open and Champion of Champions winner was defeated by his fellow countryman Imran Majid 9-6. The matchups: Nick van den Berg (NED) v David Alcaide (ESP), Artem Koshovyi (UKR) v Christian Reimering (GER) and Manuel Ederer (GER) v Serge Das (BEL) all had one thing in common: They all ended 9-8 and made van den Berg, Reimering and Ederer walk to the loser’s side where they will need to win one more match in order to make it to the last 32.

Also notable was the match in the 4th loser’s round where Tony Drago (MLT) met with Alexander Kazakis (GRE). Tony “The Tornado” was almost there, being on the hill and leading 8-5 when Kazakis started an impressive comeback. He took rack after rack from Drago and achieved what no one would have believed: He won the match 9-8 over Drago and proceeded to the loser’s qualification round where he will fight Petri Makkonen (FIN) for a seat in the single elimination stage of the tournament whereas Tony Drago is eliminated.

The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website , follow us on twitter @EPBF_News or contact our press office.