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Round One of Pat Fleming’s International Open 9-Ball Tournament in the books

Some expected and not-so expected advances highlight Day One of the 128-entrant 9-ball event  

Surprises?

At the level of talent on display at this week’s (Oct. 28-Nov. 5) International Open in Norfolk, VA, it’s hard to single out any one match in the event’s opening round of play and call the result a surprise. One’s reaction to a given result will depend largely on an individual’s perception of the players involved and their own sense of how a match between them would play out. This, in turn, might reveal more about the person being surprised (or not) than it might about the match result.

As a random example from the International Open’s first event of the week, the $10,000-added One Pocket tournament won by T-Rex (Tony Chohan; see story elsewhere in our News). If you haven’t already seen the results, imagine the semifinal match between Sky Woodward and Fedor Gorst, won by Woodward. Surprised? 

Round one of the Open’s $50,000-added, 128-entrant 9-Ball tournament is over. We offer a short and not comprehensive list of matches from the round, and without looking it up through our links to the bracket, pick a winner, find the result and then determine whether it’s a surprise to you. An indication (J) identifies the player as a junior competitor. Results at the end of the report.

Tapei’s Hsieh Chia-Chen vs. Switzerland’s Dimitri Jungo (winner of last week’s American Straight Pool Championships in Virginia Beach)? Jesus Atencio vs. (J) Kashton Keeton? Earl Strickland vs. Taipei’s Hsuan Wei Kuo? Brandon Shuff vs. Russia’s Kristina Tkach, crowned as the Women’s 2022 Straight Pool Champion last week in Virginia Beach? Hunter Lombardo vs. Shane Wolford? BJ Ussery, Jr. vs. Chris Rienhold? Corey Deuel vs. Sharik Sayed? Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski (semifinalist at the Straight Pool Championships) vs. Matt Krah? Vietnam’s Brian Vu vs. (J) Payne McBride? Justin Martin vs. Lukas Fracasso-Verner (former J)? 

Among those whose victories in the opening round were not likely have been a surprise to anybody were: Jayson Shaw’s win over John Francisco, Spain’s David Alcaide (the last piece added to Europe’s Mosconi Cup team puzzle), who defeated USA’s Sullivan Clark 10-6, Sky Woodward’s victory (albeit, double-hill victory) over Italy’s Francesco Candela, Fedor Gorst’s win over Curucao’s Bryan Farah 10-7 and Joshua Filler’s shutout victory over USA’s Christopher Pyle. There are, of course, others who have advanced on the winners’ side, which, for purposes of brevity, we’ll restrict to those not listed above who are among the top 10 in our Money Leaderboard: Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, Greece’s Alex Kazakis, Austria’s Albin Ouschan and the Philippines’ Roberto Gomez.

Among the key matchups highlighting Round Two today (Tuesday, Nov. 1) will be 6 p.m. battles between Alex Kazakis and veteran US competitor Raymond Linares, junior competitor Joey Tate’s matchup against Kuwait’s Abdullah Alyousef, Sanchez-Ruiz versus Justin Martin,  Roberto Gomez against Alex Pagulayan and junior competitor Payne McBride taking on Straight Pool Championship runner-up, Mieszko Fortunski. At 8 p.m., Albin Oushcan will take on Thorsten Hohmann, David Alcaide faces Josh Roberts, Hungary’s Vilmos Foldes will go up against Taipei’s Ko Pin Yi, and the winner of the Strickland/Hsuan Wei Kuo match (revealed below) versus Taipei’s Hsieh Chia-Chen (all 8 p.m.). At 10 p.m., Round Two’s winners’ bracket will continue with Tony Chohan against last week’s Straight Pool Championship runner-up Wiktor Zielinski, Jayson Shaw will meet the winner of the Shuff/Tkach match (revealed below), Ralf Souquet will go up against BJ Ussery, Alex Pagulayan will take on Roberto Gomez and Sanchez-Ruiz will battle Justin Martin. 

(‘Surprise?’ results from above: Junior competitor Kashton Keeton defeated Jesus Atencio 10-6,  Strickland got by Wei Kuo 10-5, Taipei’s Chia-Chen sent Dimitri Jungo to the loss side 10-7, Shuff beat Tkach 10-8, Lombardo over Wolford 10-6. Ussery over Reinhold 10-9, Sayed downs Deuel 10-6, Fortunski gets by Krah 10-7, Junior competitor Payne McBride defeats Brian Vu 10-2 and Justin Martin moves on with a double hill win over Lukas Fracasso-Verner.) 

Fans can watch not only the featured table with full commentary, but also any other table at the event with the Accu-Stats PPV coverage. They can also follow all of the action online with real-time scoring and online brackets all week long.

PPV Coverage
One Pocket Stage One Online Brackets
One Pocket Stage Two Online Brackets
Big Foot 10-Ball Brackets
9-Ball Brackets
Real Time Scoring

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Switzerland downs Poland in 17th American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships

Dimitri Jungo

Jungo wins roller coast final vs. Zielinski/Tkach defeats Corr in Women’s event.

You had to be there.

As it’s been for a number of years, the annual American Straight Pool Championships, held this past week (Oct. 24-29) at Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA were not just about who beat who, by how much. Or the specifics of about how the male and female fields whittled down from 56 men and 15 women to Switzerland’s Dimitri Jungo, who won the Men’s event and Russia’s Kristina Tkach, who won the Women’s event; each, right after it was over, holding their 17th annual traditional clock and collecting their envelopes with $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

It was, too, about the gathering of world-class competitors, kicking back in the highly-congenial atmosphere of this country’s largest pool room, regaling each other with stories of past exploits, current battles in their individual matches and where they’re headed next. It’s a pool player knocked out of the competition early, preparing for this week’s International Open, about 20 miles away, by practicing one type of shot (a corner-to-corner, stop shot) for hours. Or a female competitor describing the dancing skills of two female friends in a long-ago moment after an event that had an entire table of people in stitches. It’s about the photos of all the US Open Champions crowned in the room, the commendations from 50+ years of pool players, and of course, scores aside, the quality of play.

“The quality of play this year was just unbelievable,” founder and Chairman of the American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships, Peter Burrows told a packed arena at the conclusion of the Men’s event. “It’s why we come here every year.”

“(Jungo and Zeilinski) had a number of exquisite safety battles tonight that were really remarkable,” he added of the final match.

In his first time competing in these straight pool championships, Jungo revealed that it was only the second time that he had played the game competitively all year. He recalled being here in the US in 2001; a year he referenced as ‘9-11.’

“And now,” he said, shortly after claiming the Men’s title, “here I am, 18 years later.”

Though hesitant to single out one particular discipline as his ‘favorite,’ he admitted to an affection for straight pool that has lasted for a long time. He admits to playing it a lot more by himself than in competition.

“I like it,” he said. “When I play it alone, I can challenge myself.”

In the more-than-just-winning-or-losing department, he was impressed with the milieu associated with Q Master Billiards. He admitted to being enchanted by it and used a somewhat dated expression to describe it.

“I like the ‘groove’ here,” he said. “It’s like. . . pool, where it’s born. I feel like it’s home. The way they treat the people here is very special.”

“I was very comfortable here,” he added of the week he’d spent at the tables, moments after that week was over, “and I’m feeling good.”

As well he might have, having just won a tournament that at its start a week ago, had other competitors ‘pegged’ for the win; among the others – Jayson Shaw, Fedor Gorst, the surging-in-Europe Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, final European member of the 2022 Mosconi Cup Team, David Alcaide, Josh Filler and Filipino Lee Van Corteza, who would finish the Round Robin Phase of the event with the highest point differential (504) of the eight groups of seven players each. Jungo would finish third overall in that department at 460, behind Van Corteza and Josh Filler (498).

Jungo finished #1 in his seven-man group, downing Jasmin Ouschan, Corey Deuel, Bob Madenjian, Ed Culhane and countryman Michael Schneider (who would later introduce himself as the “other one from Switzerland.”) Jungo’s loss came at the stick of Darren Appleton.

Poland’s Wictor Zielinski, in the meantime, was #1 in his group, as well, downing his own list of top-ranked pros – Thorsten Hohmann, Ralf Souquet, Denis Grabe, Bart Czapla and the USA’s Pascal Dufresne, who, when he done competing, became a statistician for the event, seated behind a computer, using a 14:Straight Pool program he had written to input analytic data about each match he was able to witness. Zielinski’s loss in the Round Robin phase was to Finland’s Jani Uski.

All four of the event’s semifinalists – Jungo, Zielinski, Mario He and Mieszko Fortunski – were #1 in their Round Robin groups. They, along with the other four top competitors to come out of the Round Robin phase – Josh Filler, John Morra, Francisco Candela and Lee Van Corteza were awarded opening round byes as second- and third-place competitors (16 of them) squared off in the opening round of the single elimination phase of the event, racing to 150. Gone at the conclusion of that opening round were (among others) Jayson Shaw, Darren Appleton and Albin Ouschan. In the final 16 round, Lee Van Corteza, Ralf Souquet, Sanchez-Ruiz (downed by Zielinski), The Lion (Alex Pagulayan) and Carlo Biado (defeated by Jungo) were gone as well.

The quarterfinal matches saw Jungo eliminate Morra, Mario He defeat Lebanon’s Bader Alawadhi, Mieszko Fortunski get by David Alcaide in the closest match of the tournament 150-148, and Zielinski wave goodbye to Joshua Filler (not literally) in the most lopsided match of the single elimination phase, 150-38.

The racing-to-175 semifinals, which guaranteed that one of the finalists would be from Poland, saw Zielinski down Fortunski 175-55. Jungo joined him after defeating Austria’s Mario He 175-85.

As noted by Burrows earlier, the final match was a bit of a roller coaster ride. If you weren’t aware that fouls can send scores moving in the opposite direction, you might have been surprised if you stepped away when the score was tied at 55-55 and returned to find out it had backed up to 54-53 in favor of Jungo.

“(Zielinski) got out to a lead early,” noted Jungo. “but I made it to 67 (ahead by 14), and then, we had those safety battles in the middle; four or five of them.”

Zielinski kept fighting back and took the lead back at the 131-130 stage of the game, at which point, the scores went backwards again, to 129-128. Jungo re-established the lead and expanded it to 147-136. With 28 balls to go, he got them all. At 162-136, right after his break had left 14 on the table, with only 13 to go, Jungo ran the table to claim the title.

Kristina Tkach

After protracted absence since 2019, Ireland’s Karen Corr makes it to Women’s final

Ireland’s Karen Corr has been making her presence known on the women’s circuit since her somewhat unofficial return from an unofficial absence since 2019. She’d appeared on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour this year, finished 3rd at the WPBA’s Michigan Open (tied with Allison Fisher) and made an appearance at last week’s Sledgehammer Open, the 1st memorial tournament for Helena Thornfeldt. She ‘chose’ to record her highest return-finish in Virginia Beach at an event not without its favored competitors. Some were looking ahead almost from the start to a rematch between Tkach and the event’s defending champion, Kelly Fisher, who had matched up twice against each other at the Sledgehammer Open; Tkach taking the first in a winners’ side semifinal and Kelly, the second in the final.

Not so fast. There were three round robin ‘flights’ with five players each, from which Corr, Tkach and Fisher emerged undefeated. Joining them in an opening, single-elimination round were Bethany Sykes (vs. Tkach), Dawn Hopkins (vs. Corr), Billie Billing (vs. Fisher) and Bean Hung, squaring off against Pia Filler. Racing to 80, Tkach allowed Sykes one ball, Hung gave up 23 to Filler, Fisher gave Billing 42, while Corr and Hopkins played the closest match; won by Corr 80-50.

The potential Fisher/Tkach final was still on, but not for long. In the semifinals, Tkach downed Hung 100-49, as Corr was likely surprising Kelly Fisher with a 100-36 win that put her in her first (recorded) final in two years.

Tkach has won the European straight pool championships twice, though like many others, it’s not a discipline that she gets to play that often.

“When I was very young, about 16 or 17, I played a full-year of straight pool every day,” she said, noting that her coach at the time was trying to get her to that oft-elusive first run of 100 balls, “but I was at a different level back then, too.”

“It is a game that you play maybe once a year,” she added, “but once you learn how to play it, it’s like riding a bicycle. Once you understand it, it’s really just about making balls.”

She got on the bike, made the balls and claimed the second American Women’s 14.1 Straight Pool Championship Title.

Many of the competitors who were in Virginia Beach over the past week have already moved on to Norfolk, VA, about 20 miles west of Q Master Billiards, to compete in Pat Fleming’s International Open, which began on Friday, Oct. 28 with a $10,000-added One Pocket tournament (to which many knocked out of the straight pool at Q Master Billiards migrated). The One Pocket will conclude today (Sunday, Oct. 30) and give way to the $50,000-added 9-Ball Tournament set to begin tomorrow (Monday, Oct. 31), which should make for an interesting Halloween night. Later in the week, the Junior International Championships will conclude their 2022 season with championship tournaments for the 18 & Under Boys and Girls divisions of the series.

And a final unofficial and unquoted word from Peter Burrows about the 18th Annual American 14.1 Straight Pool Tournament next year, which he has promised (with a little help from his friends) will be bigger and better with more players and more money.

“You have to be there!”

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Dynamic Billard Slovenian Open – Battle Royale Set For Sunday

Wiktor Zielinski

After a long day’s play, the Dynamic Billards Slovenian Open, held in the mountainous town of Lasko, is well underway. The winners’ side is down to the last 32 qualification round, whilst remaining players on the other side of the bracket have three full rounds to complete before the last 32 single elimination knock-out matches.

There are plenty of big guns who have gone two and zero including David Alcaide, Eklent Kaci, Joshua Filler, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Mario He, Wojciech Szewczyk and Niels Feijen. Also there is Wiktor Zielinski, who is having a hugely successful 12 months on the Euro Tour including winning last time the tour visited Lasko.

Zielinski enjoyed two wins to position himself in the winners’ qualification round heading into Sunday. Firstly, he peat Czech Petr Urban by 9-3 and then followed it up with a hard-fought 9-7 victory over Portuguese veteran Henrique Correia.

Commented Zielinski, “The first match I played near to perfection. I made a lot of break and runs and a lot of nice outs but in the second one I think I lost my confidence because I got the feeling that the cloth was a bit more slidey.

“It was very easy to overspin the ball so I lost position a few times and due to that I lost my confidence. But I’m still happy that I managed to win this match as Henrique missed a 100 per cent 9-ball for 8-7 up.

“Instead of that I was 8-7 up so I took a time out and probably he was thinking about it. He broke illegal and I took advantage of it for the win. It was very tough and a close one. I have two chances to qualify for the single elimination round and if I had lost this one, I think I’d have to win a few matches.

“It’ll be a normal day tomorrow. I’m trying to get my work done so it will be a normal day in the office. It’ll also be a long day tomorrow as you need to win four matches to reach the semi-finals so that will be tough.”

Thorsten Hohmann

From one of the younger stars of the Euro Tour to one still plying his trade, having won a host of international titles in a stellar career, Thorsten Hohmann also navigated the opening day, winning two from two to advance into the winners’ qualification.

Firstly, he beat veteran Andreja Klasovic by 9-3 on the main table and he followed that up with a 9-8 nail-biter against Austria’s Markus Pfistermuller.

Hohmann said, “My game is inconsistent and that showed in my last match. I had at least three or four misses that I’m not supposed to make at this level and it seems to happen too often. But I kept it together, used my opportunities, got a little lucky here and there at the end and I’m just super happy that I have two chances to qualify for the final stage tomorrow.

“I’m still very competitive and there are so many tournaments on the horizon that’s worth looking forward to so I want to play my game again. One factor is that I’m getting older, but I have some ideas of what I want to do. I have to be more structured when it comes to my training.

“I teach a lot in New York and that takes time away from my own practice and my focus on my own game. I’ve got to enjoy it as I get a bit too tight and when I was younger, I was more free and it was all fun, now it’s all serious and it seems like I can’t move. I’ve got to get more loose!

“I’ve played in a lot of Matchroom events in the arena and you guys put me on the TV table. I’ve had some good results – I finished fifth in the World Championship but just looking at all my matches, even the ones I won, there’s just too many unforced errors which you can’t make on that level. I believe that to win tournaments, you don’t have to make the ‘hero’ shots, you just have to reduce the unforced errors.

“I travelled half way round the world to be here but not just to participate. I want to do well and prove that I’ve still got it. I’ve never been the most consistent player in my career but I did have peaks so I just hope I can do it again, and I’m willing to work on my game,” added the German star.

As well as the prize money, there are Tour ranking points on offer as well as world ranking points, so there is everything to play for. All Euro Tour tournaments are 9-ball and players compete in a double-elimination format, playing down to the last 32 competitors, and then single elimination until the finish. All matches are races to 9 racks with alternate break.

All the matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com as well as selected
matches on Facebook Live on the EPBF page. In addition, the semi-finals
and final, played out on Monday night, will be live or highlights on the
following television stations across Europe;

SportKlub HD – Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia,
Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece
Eyecons – Netherlands)
SportKlub – Poland
ORF – Austria
B1B Box – Bulgaria

Results, live scoring and draw are available at www.epbf.com

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Fulda Home Of European Open For Next Three Years in Festival of Pool

Matchroom is delighted to announce the European Open Pool Championship will return to the City of Fulda in Germany for the next three years with Pool’s leading promoter set to create a Festival of Pool in Thorsten Hohmann’s hometown in partnership with local government Fulda Die Sportstadt and the Deutsche Billard-Union.

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After the success of the inaugural European Open back in August, the 2023 Major will take place at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda from August 8-13 2023 with player entries set to open on Monday, 3 October at 2 pm UK time and spectator tickets from Friday, 7 October to Matchroom Pool Club Members.

The agreement will see the City, Federation, and local club SG Johannesberg benefit from Matchroom’s global exposure both digitally and linearly thanks to the sprawling TV coverage and over one million followers across social media in a partnership with the aim of growing pool and Fulda being the very heart of it as the home of the European Open.

As part of this, SG Johannesberg will run a German-only qualifier alongside the Deutsche Billard-Union with fans set to experience a unique festival-like atmosphere not only at the venue but across the city with special ticket packages set to be announced allowing access to not only the tournament but Fulda’s most loved attractions. Matchroom has also pledged to donate tournament equipment to the City to help push the sport further.

Player entries will open on Monday, 3 October with the entry fee only $250 for the 256 double-elimination tournament that was taken down by Albin Ouschan in 2022 against World Champion Shane Van Boening for a slice of the $200,000 prize fund.

Specator tickets will start from €15 per session with fans also given the opportunity to purchase a weekend pass to see all the weekend action for €40 or a season pass to enjoy every minute of the action for only €95. 

Major Oberbürgermeister/Lord Mayor Dr. Heiko Wingenfeld of Fulda: “I am delighted to hear that the European Open is to remain in Fulda.We are very happy with the outcome of the European Open event, not least because it was the first time that the event has been held at all and the first time it was held at this venue. The feedback from both players and fans was extremely positive.”

“We look forward to welcoming the players and fans to Fulda, the hometown of Thorsten Hohmann, in the coming three years. We are sure that we will play host to some very exciting events featuring the world’s best pool players and witnessed by numerous fans. Fans watching the events live and in person or via their TVs at home will see that Fulda is an attractive city where sport is really lived.”

The President of the Deutsche Billard-Union Helmut Biermann said: “As the federation with by far the largest number of active pool players in Europe, we followed Matchroom’s first pool event in Germany with interest. After the overwhelming success of the first European Open, we are now pleased that after a short open dialogue with Matchroom we have. We have managed to set up a fruitful co-operation for the future. We look forward to the challenge of working with such a respected partner for our mutual benefit and for the further progress of billiards in the future.”

Matchroom Multi Sport Managing Director Emily Frazer said: “We cannot wait to return to Fulda for not only next year but at least until 2025. The crowds came out in their droves over the six days to support the players new and old competing in the first international major pool tournament to hit Germany in over 30 years.”

“We strongly believe with thanks to the support of the Lord Mayor Heiko Wingenfeld, the Deutsche Billard-Union, and Hotel Esperanto, Fulda we can grow this event from strength to strength in the heart of Germany. I am so excited to see what we can continue to grow.”

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Fefilova Beats Fisher as Seybert’s Michigan Open Begins

Margaret Fefilova

Fedor Gorst, Kristina Tkach and Margaret Fefilova all made winning returns to the Predator US Pro Billiard Series at the Seybert’s Michigan Open on Wednesday, with Fefilova defeating Kelly Fisher 4-1, 4-3 in one of the best matches of the day.

Gorst, Tkach and Fefilova are all competing in their first Predator US Pro Billiards Series event since the ban on athletes from Russia and Belarus was lifted in the summer. The Seybert’s Michigan Open has divisions for both men and women and is played alongside the CSI Michigan State Championships at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

Gorst and Tkach both earned 2-0 wins in their opening matches to advance to Thursday’s play, when Gorst will face Tony Robles and Tkach will be up against Japan’s Kyoko Sone.

“It was a bit overwhelming at first because I haven’t been playing in big tournaments for a long, long time,” admitted Tkach after her 4-0, 4-1 win against Nicole Keeney. “I am very happy and excited to be participating again on the big stage.”

Fefilova also started the day with a 2-0 victory, against Lonnie Fox-Raymond. That pitted her against Fisher in the final match of Wednesday’s play on the TV table. Fisher, a three-time Pro Billiard Series champion, had also won 2-0 earlier in the day, with her victory coming against Canada’s Leanne Lini.

Fefilova won the first set 4-1 over Fisher, and in the second had it tied at 2-2 after a kick caused her opponent to scratch on the break. The 25-year-old was finding more success on her break than the Brit but an over-cut 9 gifted Fisher a 3-2 lead.

Safety was the order of the first half of the following rack but when Fefilova took on and missed a risky 5-ball bank, Fisher was at the table. She looked set to take the match to shootout, only to shock the crowd by missing the 10. The pressure and tension was telling as both players missed efforts at concluding the rack – some tougher than others – before Fefilova finally removed the final ball to tie the set at 3-3.

That meant Fefilova would break to win the match, and she kept Fisher away from the table with a brilliant runout to claim a big scalp and remain on the winners’ side of the women’s event.

“I knew to beat Kelly, a great opponent, I had to deliver my best game,” said Fefilova. “Every time I was at the table I had to deliver, that was my goal and I am happy with the win. I enjoyed being out there. When I go out to play I just feel grateful to be here, so it is a good feeling.”

Earlier in the day, Ukraine’s Vitaly Patsura defeated Tyler Styer 4-3, 4-3. “I didn’t show my best game because I was feeling the pressure playing on the TV table,” said Patsura. “I am happy to play the event which beautiful equipment in a beautiful arena.”

The 25-year-old recently beat Alex Pagulayan to win the Texas Open and a rematch awaited in Battle Creek after the Canadian had won in straight sets against Jeffrey Buna earlier in the day. Patsura took the first set but Pagulayan won the second to take the match to a shootout, which the Ukrainian won to move into Thursday evening’s winners’ qualification round. Pagulayan must now win three matches to reach the last 16.

The day’s final match of the men’s division on the TV table saw Thorsten Hohmann taking on German compatriot Moritz Neuhausen. Hohmann took the first set 4-1 and looked to be cruising to victory, in stroke and 3-0 up in the second. However, some awkward cueing at 3-1 required the bridge and resulted in a missed 5, which allowed Neuhausen to cut the lead to 3-2. The current World Under-19 Champion then kept Hohmann in his chair to tie the set at 3-3 with an impressive runout under pressure.

The deciding rack came down to the last three balls but a mis-played safety on the 8 by Hohmann left the youngster with a straight shot and an easy out to force the shootout. By then, momentum in the match had made a seismic shift, and it showed; Hohmann missed his first two from the spot while Neuhausen was perfect, even if his third and winning strike wobbled in the jaw before dropping.

Play continues from 10am local time on Thursday, with six more matches to be broadcast live on watchbilliard.tv and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.

Brackets and scores for the Men’s event can be found at https://probilliardseries.com/seyberts-michigan-open/

Brackets and scores for the Women’s event can be found at: https://probilliardseries.com/seyberts-michigan-womens-open/ 

The Seybert’s Michigan Open is streamed for free on Billiard TV,  the World Billiard TV YouTube channel and at Kozoom.com

Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device
Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the next events.

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Philippines Are Predator World Teams Champions

Rubilen Amit, Carlo Biado and Johann Chua

Philippines defeated Great Britain 3-0 in the final in Klagenfurt, Austria to be crowned 2022 Predator World Teams Champions, eight years after finishing runners-up the last time the event was staged.

The team of Rubilen Amit, Carlo Biado and Johann Chua won 4-3, 4-3, 4-1 against the British trio of Kelly Fisher, Jayson Shaw and Darren Appleton. Both Biado and Amit were part of the silver-medal winning team of 2014, when they lost to China in the final.

Philippines had reached this year’s final with a shootout victory over Germany, who fought back from 2-0 down to force the decider. Britain’s semi-final was against Chinese Taipei, who were defeated 3-1 with Shaw in practically good form for his nation.

The final was much closer than the scoreline might suggest; the first two sets – women’s singles and a men’s match contested by Shaw and Biado – both finished 4-3, before the victory was completed by Amit and Chua in a 4-1 mixed-doubles win over Fisher and Appleton.

“It feels amazing to be champions,” said Amit. “We’re, we’re very, very happy, and very and relieved. Finally, no more matches, we can rest and just enjoy it and enjoy Austria and Klagenfurt!

“Last time we placed 2nd and now we are finally the champions. I am very happy that I have Johann and Carlo as my teammates because they are awesome, they are very good players.”

Biado added: “Finally we made it. My job was to win in this event and with my team, and I want to thank them because we all played well. We have to celebrate now!”

The final’s first set went the way of Amit, but it would have been easier had she not missed the 7 at 3-2 up. Fisher made it with a great shot to the corner and then took a difficult 9 to the middle before rolling in the 10 to make it 3-3.

The Brit had the break but after she missed a 3-ball jump, control passed to Amit, who produced a solid run out to take the first set of the final.
Shaw had been imperious in the semi-final, beating Wu Kun Lin 4-0 and Chang Jung-Lin 4-1. He fired himself to a 2-0 set lead in no time against Biado, before the reigning US Open champion escaped a safety with a 1-ball bank to open the table and pull it back to 2-1.

A kick shot on the 3 opened up the next rack for Biado, who drew level at 2-2. He had the break next but with a chance to lead for the first time, snookered himself on the 7 and a hopeful double bank failed, allowing Shaw to steal the point.

Shaw came up dry on the hill. Biado made the 1 and went safe on the 2, but when Shaw’s reply went wrong, Biado was able to join his opponent on the hill.

The Filipino was put back in after a push out and what followed was a high-quality safety battle. A great kick from Shaw made the 2, but there was no shot on the 3. After a visit from Biado, Shaw made another great shot – a 3/8 carom – only to be left still without a shot on the 3. Biado’s failed jump finally gave Shaw an opening but there was still work to do and he caught the 10 coming back for position on the 9. Eagle Eye played safe but Biado produced a great bank down the length of the table to take Philippines within a set of the title.

Clearly, the team didn’t want to wait for their crowning moment. The doubles pair of Chua and Amit were quickly 2-0 ahead against Appleton and Fisher. Britain were up against it but produced a calm clearance to cut their deficit in half. The fourth rack went to Philippines, and after Appleton lost the cue ball and Fisher then missed the 5, the title belonged to the Philippines, and the winning 10 ball to Johann Chua.

“I am so happy and so proud,” said Chua. “It is my first medal from a World Championship, and I am so thankful and so happy to make it with this team. We knew our opponents are really tough, but we came here to enjoy it.”

In yesterday’s Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship semi final, Kelly Fisher had suffered a 9-4 defeat to eventual champion Chou Chieh-Yu. The opening set of the Chinese Taipei vs Great Britain semi-final threw up a repeat of that semi-final, and Fisher was able to exert a small amount of revenge with a 4-2 win.

Jayson Shaw was next up in men’s singles, facing Wu Kun Lin. The Scot is a ruthless operator and had his Eagle Eyes set on title, and wasting no time in dispatching Wu 4-0 as he produced a masterclass performance.

Taipei needed a response and Chang Jung-Lin alongside Chou brought it with a hill-hill win in mixed doubles against Fisher and Darren Appleton. That left Chang needed a win against Shaw to force a shootout, but the Brit brought his fine form from the earlier set against Wu to deliver a 4-1 win.
Rubilen Amit’s 4-2 women’s singles win against Pia Filler gave Philippines first blood in the second semi final. Biado then came from 2-1 down to reach the hill first against Thorsten Hohmann. A masse around the 2 then saw Biado escape from a safety and make the 1, playing a lot of draw to come back and make the 2. From there he ran the rack for a 4-2 set victory and to take Philippines to the hill of the match.

But Germany fought back; first the Fillers against Amit and Johann Chua, and then Joshua Filler in singles against Chua won 4-0 to force the fifth set shootout.

In the shootout, Biado and Joshua Filler both opened with successful shots from the right. Amit and Pia Filler then both made their shots from the left. Shooting from the right, Chua found the very heart of the pocket but Hohmann missed his. That afforded Biado a chance to take Philippines to the final, and he made no mistake from the spot.

Matches from the Predator World Teams Championship can be replaying in full on the World Billiard TV YouTube Channel.

The draw and brackets for the Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship can be seen here: https://probilliardseries.com/event/1677/.

The draw and brackets for the Predator World Teams Championship is at https://probilliardseries.com/event/1678/.

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the next events.

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Longoni 9-Ball League Semi-Final Line-Ups Set For Slovenia

The Longoni 9 Ball League reconvenes at the end of this month in Lasko in Slovenia and is now down to the semi-finals which both take place on 30th September. The event got underway in February at the same Slovenian venue and the event has featured 12 nations playing in four groups of three teams. The format is scotch doubles and the two representatives of each country have been the two highest ranked players on the Euro Tour prior to each round of matches.

With group play complete, there are four teams remaining and they compete in two semi-finals with the prize of a spot in the title match which takes place in Italy prior to the final Euro Tour event of the year. The opening match will see Spain take on Bosnia & Herzegovina in the first Longoni 9 Ball League semi-final which gets underway at 20:00 local time.

With the EuroTour rankings determining the players in each team during the course of season, the ever-reliable Spanish duo of Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz and David Alcaide have stayed at the top throughout. Ranked No.1 and No.8 respectively, they are, understandably, hot favourites for the title.

Standing in their way are Bosnia’s young talented team of Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Ajdin Piknjac who are currently ranked at No.25 and No.45. The pair have played all matches together and, in the process, have defeated two strong teams already in Greece and Norway. That means the Spaniards will need to come with their best to negotiate the tie.

With its scotch doubles format, the Longoni 9 Ball League now becomes a race to 9 for the semi-finals with alternate break and alternate breaker. The second semi-final, scheduled at 21:30 local time, features Poland against Germany.

Germany’s top ranked player, with a host of titles to his name this year including gold at the World Games, is Joshua Filler (ET ranked No.3) and he will be partnered by the improving Tobias Bongers (ET No.20) as they attempt to overcome the strong Polish pairing of Wiktor Zielinski and Wojciech Szewczyk.

Zielinski (ET No.2) and Szewczyk (No.10) have gelled perfectly over the two matches they’ve played, beating Austria and Italy in the group stage. Germany, however, have seen a change of personnel, as Filler and Thorsten Hohmann started the campaign but Bongers produced the better results on the EuroTour to take the spot and has not looked back.

Each team, having won their respective group, will now play for a place in November’s final and a shot at the first prize of 3900 Euro. Add that to the group earnings and the eventual champions will collect a cool 4500 Euro for playing four matches. The runners-up receive 2500 Euro plus group earnings and as with all the teams, the total prize money will be divided into match shares with one share for each team appearance.

Following the semi-finals, the final will take place on Friday 25th November in Treviso, Italy.
Matches can be viewed live on the free Kozoom platform, TV.kozoom as well as on the Longoni 9 Ball League & EPBF Facebook pages.

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Blockbuster Final Day Set For Predator World Teams Championship

Chang Jung-Lin

Great Britain will face Chinese Taipei and Germany will take on Philippines in an all-star line-up for the semi-finals of the Predator World Teams Championship in Klagenfurt, Austria.

Friday’s quarter-finals saw Great Britain beat Japan 3-0, Chinese Taipei knock out hosts Austria 3-1, Germany overcome Spain 3-1, and Philippines defeat Poland, also by 3 sets to 1.

It means Sunday’s semi-final line-up is littered with World Champions, and three more will be crowned by the end of the weekend, as well as another in the Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship.

Austria took center stage on the main feature table with a home crowd behind them. However, they lost the first set as ‘Rita’ Chieh-Yu Chou won 4-3 over Jasmin Ouschan; both players had earlier in the day qualified for the semi-finals of the Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship, which take place on Saturday.

Mario He levelled for his country with a 4-1 singles win against Wu Kun Lin, but siblings Jasmin and Albin Ouschan then suffered a 4-0 reversal to Chou and Chang Jung-Lin, before Chang completed the win with another 4-0, this time against He.

“In the women’s singles I didn’t play very well but in the doubles Chang Jung-Lin gave me a lot of power, he made me feel very comfortable,” said Chou.

Chang added: “I played well today but so did Rita. We have to support each othjer, trust each other and enjoy the match. On Sunday we hope to play better.”

Great Britian’s progression to the semi-finals, where they will meet Chinese Taipei, was completed in straight sets. Kelly Fisher won a hill-hill women’s singles tie against Yuki Hiraguchi 4-3, and Jayson Shaw dispatched Masato Yoshioka 4-1 in the men’s singles match. Victory was completed with a 4-2 mixed doubles win for Fisher and Darren Appleton over Hiraguchi and Toru Kuribayashi.

For Fisher, she believes the experience of playing alongside two elite-level team-mates, who also happen to be close friends, is helping elevate her individual game too.

“We have known each other for years and we all get on so well,” said Fisher, who plays in the semi-finals of the Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship on Saturday.

“They have so much testosterone between them, it’s no wonder they are champions. I think they might be helping me because they are gearing me up, they are really supportive and some of the shot selection, how men think compared to women, it is really amazing when you spend that time with them.

“I love teams, I wish we had more team events. We are here to win, and with the testosterone and ego you can see that, but win or lose we get on great and whatever happens we will give it 110%”

Sunday’s second semi-final will see Germany face Philippines after both teams registered 3-1 semi-final wins. Pia Filler got things started for Germany with a 4-2 win over Amalia Matas and Thorsten Hohmann continued the momentum by beating Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, also 4-2. Matas and David Alcaide kept Spain in it with an emphatic 4-0 success over husband and wife pairing Joshua and Pia Filler, but Joshua put that behind him and turned the scoreline around on Sanchez-Ruiz to avoid the shootout and send Spain to the last four.

Philippines are also guaranteed a medal after they defeated Poland 3-1. Rubilen Amit scored a 4-1 success over Oliwia Zalewska in the women’s singles set, but men’s World 10-Ball Champion Wojciech Szewczyk beat Carlo Biado 4-2 to level for Poland.

Szewczyk’s racks were the last won by Poland, however, as first Zaleska and Tomasz Kaplan and then Szewczyk suffered 4-0 defeats, to Amit and Johann Chua in doubles and Chua in singles.

“We are very happy that we are into the semi finals now,” said Amit. “I am glad that the boys played very well and we didn’t have to go through another shootout, because my heart couldn’t bare another shootout.”

Chua added: “Tomorrow we will practice, rest well and on Sunday we will come for you guys!”

The semi-finals and final all take place on Sunday, beginning at 9am local time. Matches will be streamed live and free on the World Billiard TV YouTube Channel, watchbilliard.tv and on Kozoom.com.

The draw and brackets for the Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship can be seen here: https://probilliardseries.com/event/1677/.

The draw and brackets for the Predator World Teams Championship is at https://probilliardseries.com/event/1678/.

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the next events.

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European Open Day 3 | Hometown Hero Hohmann Heads Home

Thorsten Hohmann (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

The inaugural European Open Pool Championship in Fulda, Germany at Hotel Esperanto hit the midway point as the field was reduced to the Last 64 live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live.

Schedule / Scores

Joshua Filler‘s encounter with wife Pia was the talk of the tournament as the pair met on the biggest stage for the first time live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook page. Joshua started out strongest to take the opening rack before Pia came back with her own rack to level at 1-1. The contest was played out in great spirit as the pair embraced before lagging with various applause and fist bumps keeping the atmosphere light-hearted despite a spot in the Last 64 resting on the match. It was Joshua who did steal the advantage though as he settled it in a 9-1 win.

Joshua and Pia Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Pia was back out in the Losers’ Qualification where she ran Chris Melling close up to 6-6 before Melling pulled through to book his place in the Last 64 and send Pia home. Other casualties included US Open runner-up Aloysius Yapp who lost out to Tyler Styer who had taken the inital initiative before Yapp pulled it back to 7-7. Mika Immonen was on the end to a 9-3 defeat to Dimitri Jungo to exit whilst Skyler Woodward faltered in a 9-4 loss to Bader Alawadhi. Alawadhi had been sent to the losers side by Jayson Shaw who came up trumps in a 9-1 win to book his own place in the Last 64.

“I played really good in that match a 9-1 win over a really good player. I tried to stay focused and I did just that. I prepared for about two months for this event. I prepared like I was going for a boxing fight really. I’ve been putting in a lot of time in on and off the table. I feel mentally a lot tougher than I did in previous events and I wasn’t really with it i if I am being honest. I am enjoying it so far.” – Jayson Shaw speaking to Phil Yates after beating Alawadhi

“It’s a really nice place (Fulda), the venue is super nice. The city is really nice too. It’s a good mix to have that around. You can go out and have a walk around. All in all it’s been a good start to the event,” Shaw added.

World Champion Shane Van Boening was made to sweat my Finland’s national champion Jani Uski as Van Boening ensured he remained blemish-free on the way to the Last 64 9-7 whilst it was a similar set of circumstances for Naoyuki Oi who side-stepped past Jan van Lierop 9-6. US Mosconi Cup hopeful Oscar Dominguez progressed with a 9-4 win over Daniel Maciol and 2021 World Pool Masters winner Alexander Kazakis overcame Tyler Styer in a hill-hill thriller to avoid the Losers side of the draw.”

Thorsten Hohmann‘s bid for hometown glory was ended by Karol Skowerski in a whitewash loss for the former World Champion. Hohmann had been left on the losers side of the draw early on after defeat to Senharip Azar and the German was up against it ever since before coming against Skowerski who was in no mood in letting the local man take a hold of things.

The Last 64 draw was made at the completion of play today – see the draw above.

Day 4 Streamed Matches Below 10 am (CEST)

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

10am – Joshua Filler (GER) vs Eklent Kaçi (ALB)

NB 11:30am – Alexander Kazakis (GRE) vs David Alcaide (ESP)

NB 1:00pm – Oscar Dominguez (USA) vs Tyler Styer (USA)

NB 2:30pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 4:00pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 6:30pm – TBC – Last 32

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

10am – Albin Ouschan (AUT) vs Bader Alawadhi (KUW)

NB 11:30am – Oliver Szolnoki vs Khalid Alghamdi (KSA)

NB 1:00pm – Mieszko Fortunski (POL) vs Lo Ho Sum (HKG)

NB 2:30pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 4:00pm – TBC – Last 32

NB 6:30pm – TBC – Last 32

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Tickets start from €15 for the day. Secure yours here

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Josh And Pia Filler To Meet In European Open Winners Qualification Round

Joshua Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Joshua and Pia Filler will meet in Winners Qualification tomorrow after the Posh and Becks of Pool overcame two matches apiece to make it through day two of the inaugural European Open Pool Championship at Hotel Esperanto, Fulda in Germany live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook/YouTube and Matchroom.Live.

Bracket / Scores

Joshua began his tournament with an emphatic 9-0 win over GJ Oyangoren in one of the opening encounters of the day to make the winners’ side whilst Pia came from behind to defeat Talal Abdullah Shaheen in a hill-hill finish. The stars were beginning to align as the evening got into full swing as Pia got her second W of the day, this time against Ramazan Akdag 9-6.

At the same time as Pia’s win, Joshua was under the cosh, and 5-0 down to fellow compatriot and former sparring partner Raphael Wahl. Wahl reached the hill first at 8-4 and it looked like he would get the better of Joshua like old times but the pair have had different paths since their juniors days. Joshua showed his grit and experience with over 100 fans crowding around their table to see the conclusion as the recent UK Open and World Pool Masters champion closed out an impressive comeback to steal it and meet his wife Pia for the first time at this level of the sport.

“I am super excited. I really wanted to play Josh in this tournament. I was fighting hard to get here and now here we are. I can’t wait.” – Pia Filler

Pia Filler (Taka Wu – Matchroom Multi Sport)

“That match was almost in jepordy. I knew she was winning and I was sown. I was more nervous then. We wanted to play each other. I gave it my best and luckily I won it. I was 6-1 down. I’ve known Raph since we were juniors. He won a few finals against me and I won a few against him. The atmosphere was crazy. I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it. I got luck on my side in the end. I am delighted to be through.” – Joshua Filler

“We just do business as usual. It’s no secret he’s the love of my life but tomorrow he will be my biggest rival for 90 minutes.” – Pia Filler

Tony Drago returned to the Nineball arena with a win over Ivan Nunez Perez 9-2 before losing out to Sanjin Pehlivanovic to be sent to the Losers side whilst the Bosnian moves into Winners’ Qualification tomorrow. Neils Feijen overcame  Harold Stolka and Flavian Glont to make lightwork of his day to meet José Alberto Delgado tomorrow for a spot in the Last 64.

There was no sign of jet lag for Nineball World No.1 and World Champion Shane Van Boening who beat Martin Breuer and Aref Awadi 9-1 and 9-0 respectively to barely break sweat and set up a Winners’ Qualification match live on the Matchroom Pool Facebook page with Jani Uski tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz fresh off the back of snapping off another EuroTour title on Monday beat Christian Prager and Ioan Ladanyi to be one away from the Last 64 and compatriot David Alcaide reached the same stage with wins over Fabian Breuer and Great Britain’s Benji Buckley.

Hometown favourite Thorsten Hohmann kept his tournament alive with a 8-2 win over Cyprus’ Antonis Brabin whilst German legend Ralf Souquet stayed alive after defeating Veronika Ivanovskaia 8-5 on the losers bracket.

Day 3 Streamed Matches Below 10 am (CEST)

Table 1 – Matchroom Pool Facebook / Matchroom.Live

10am – 319 – Chris Melling (GBR) vs Uwe Kaiser (GER) – Losers Round 3

NB 11:30am – Francisco Sanchez Ruiz vs Michael Schneider (SUI) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 1:00pm – Joshua Filler (GER) vs Pia Filler (GER) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 2:30pm – Shane Van Boening (USA) vs Jani Uski (FIN) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 4:00pm – TBC

NB 6:30pm – TBC

Table 2 – Matchroom Pool YouTube / Matchroom.Live

10am – Robbie Capito (HKG) vs Mika Van Berkel (NED) – Losers Round 3

NB 11:30 – Thorsten Hohmann (GER) vs Rattapol Sassmann (THA) – Losers Round 3

NB  1:00pm – Aleksa Pecelj (SRB) vs Ronald Regli (SUI) – Winners’ Qualification

NB 2:30pm – Jayson Shaw (GBR) vs Bader Alawadhi (KUW)  – Winners’ Qualification

NB 4:00pm – TBC

NB 6:30pm – TBC

The final two days are available on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and various other broadcasters worldwide including Matchroom.Live in relevant countries. See the full where to watch list here.

Tickets start from €15 for the day or €90 for the week. Secure yours here

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