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Souquet Survives Strickland and Comebacks Galore at Predator World 10-ball Championship

Earl Strickland and Ralf Souquet (JP Parmentier)

The matchup looked like something right out of 1999, instead of 2019.
 
Earl Strickland and Ralf Souquet share a lot of common ground. Both have had long, decorated careers in pool that have resulted in multiple world championships as well as induction into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.
 
Tuesday afternoon, they shared center stage in the main arena of the Predator World 10-ball Championship in a winner’s side matchup, with Souquet taking advantage of a pair of late Strickland mistakes to wipe out a 6-4 deficit and win, 8-6, at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
 
Both worked to overcome some rust in the early stages. Strickland built an early 2-0 lead when Souquet failed to pocket a ball on the break in the first game and then missed a 6-ball in the second rack. The German said he felt good after opening warm ups but struggled with coldness in his hands as well as the speed of the cloth when the match began.
 
“I couldn’t get comfortable with the whole situation,” Souquet said.
 
Strickland appeared poised to increase his lead in the third game but missed a table-length shot on the 9-ball. The German tied the match in the fourth game and the two competitors split the next four games until Strickland used a break and run and a Souquet scratch on the break to jump out ahead 6-4 in a standing room and very pro-Strickland audience.
 
Down the stretch, Souquet regained control of the match in the same way that Strickland had obtained it: maximization of opponent mistakes. The German narrowed the deficit to 6-5 when Strickland fouled in the 11th game after attempting a combination shot with the 2-ball and pocketed the wrong ball, then added a break-and-run to tie the score. Souquet took the lead when Strickland deposited the cue ball into the side pocket on the break in the 13th game. 
 
“You have to hope for any chance that he gives you,” said Souquet. “He probably played a little better throughout the whole match. You just have to wait for a mistake. Maybe a scratch on the break or maybe he takes position for granted and you just have to go from there.”
 
Souquet saved his best break for last as he landed four balls – causing even Strickland to let out a “wow” from his chair. Souquet then closed out the rack and the match.
 
The German now advances to the final 16 on the winner’s side where he will face Alex Kazakis of Greece at 5:30 p.m. local time Wednesday. 
 
Competition opened Tuesday with eight matches on the winner’s side of the bracket, including Chris Melling using some stellar shooting along with some breaking struggles by opponent Toru Kuribayashi to cruise to an 8-1 victory. After trading the first two racks, the Englishman used the next three racks to stifle Kuribayashi with safety play then run out after his opponent provided an opening. Meanwhile, Kuribayashi struggled with his break, failing to pocket balls three times.
 
“I played nearly perfect. I didn’t miss a ball,” said Melling after the match. “My only mistake was when I scratched on the break.”
 
Tuesday’s late afternoon and early evening was reserved for the one-loss side of the bracket, with two sets of win-or-go-home matches taking place.
 
One of those who survived was Raymund Faraon, who trailed throughout his match with Fan Yang except at the most important time: the end. Using a handful of tactical safeties and some clutch shot-making, the Filipino overcame a 6-3 deficit to defeat the 2015 World Chinese 8-ball champion, 8-7.
 
With 120,000 spectators watching online in his native China, Yang used his powerful break shot and a couple of mistakes by Faraon to build a commanding 6-3 lead in a race to eight. Faraon tacked on two games to cut the deficit to 6-5 after Yang came to the table in both games and failed to clear the racks. After the two players traded breaks-and-runs to push the score to 7-6, Yang had the break and a chance to finish the match in the 14th game. However, Yang lost a safety exchange on the 1-ball and Faraon tied the score at seven games each.
 
History would repeat itself in the deciding game, with Faraon breaking and failing to find an open shot on the 1-ball. The Filipino played safe, pushing the cue ball to the opposite end of the table of the 1-ball with the 3-ball blocking the path. Yang missed his attempt at a jump shot and left Faraon the opening he needed for the victory.
 
Russia’s Fedor Gorst also staved off elimination with a comeback of his own, capitalizing on a handful of unforced errors by opponent Matt Edwards of New Zealand to erase a 6-2 deficit and win, 8-6. Trailing 6-5, Gorst was given an opportunity to tie the score when his opponent fouled on a jump shot attempt. It appeared the young Russian’s comeback attempt might be halted in the 13th game when he pushed a 3-ball right of the corner pocket, but was given new life when Edwards missed the 8-ball. The New Zealander had an opportunity to run out and tie the score in the following game but missed the 2-ball in the corner pocket.
 
The third day of the Predator World 10-ball Championship begins at 10 a.m. local time on Wednesday. The live broadcast feed gets underway at 12:30 p.m. with Mario He taking on Liu Cheng Cheh. The 3 p.m. match will be determined by the winners of earlier matches and the 5:30 p.m. match will involve Chris Melling facing Jung-Lin Chang in a winner’s side matchup. The 8 p.m. broadcast pairing will also be announced later in the day.
 
The Predator World 10-ball Championship is a presentation of CueSports International and sponsored by Predator Group. Predator Group is an international billiard industry leader with a focus on high-performance cues and shafts as well as bringing constant innovation and game-improving equipment to billiard players worldwide. The event is being hosted by the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and broadcast live on YouTube by CSI Media, a subsidiary of Cue Sports International. For more information, visit www.world10ball.com
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international billiards organization which produces the United States Open 8-ball, 10-ball, one pocket, bank pool and straight pool championships. CSI, which also operates national amateur pool leagues, has three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, the events division produces numerous amateur and professional events and the media department creates live video billiards content. For more information about CSI, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
 
The Predator World 10-ball Championships are sponsored by: Predator Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Omega Billiards and Kamui Brand.
 

Predator World 10-ball Championship Delivers Full House and Compelling Matches on First Day

Billy Thorpe – JP Parmentier

At many professional pocket billiards tournaments, the opening rounds sometimes have a bit of a perfunctory feel to them.
 
As the pros jockey early to either stay in stroke or get in stroke to avoid an early trip over to the one-loss side of the bracket, crowds are many times sparse until an event reaches the later stages.
 
This wasn’t the case when fellow Americans Billy Thorpe and Shane Van Boening squared off in the opening round of the Predator World 10-ball Championship Monday night. With the event being played right in the heart of the Billiard Congress of America Pool League championships, amateur players and fans began filling the arena more than an hour the match was scheduled to begin.
 
“I like a crowd myself,” said Thorpe. “It sparks a bit of a fire in me.”
 
The two competitors didn’t disappoint, combining for eight breaks and runs as Thorpe defeated his friend and roommate for the week, 8-4, at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The match was one of many tightly-contested pairings during the first act of this five-day, $100,000 added competition – with eight of the 32 first round matchups needing a deciding 15th game.
 
With two of the most decorated players in the United States squaring off, the matchup felt more like a quarterfinal or a semifinal match rather the beginning of the tournament. Van Boening and Thorpe split the first six games of the set, with each using two breaks-and-runs each along with effective safety play to maintain serve. The young man from Ohio edged ahead 4-3 when Van Boening left a 1-ball in the corner pocket’s jaws, then increased his lead to two games when he used a jump shot to run out in the eighth rack. The two competitors again traded breaks and runs for the next three games, with Thorpe maintaining a 6-5 lead.
 
“We broke well. I thought it might be different with the referees racking the balls with the template,” Thorpe said. “For a while I thought that it was going to be break and run the whole match.”
 
And it essentially was until the 12th game when Thorpe missed a 3-ball in the corner pocket.
 
“I really thought that I hit it good but the ball hopped on me,” Thorpe said.
 
Although Thorpe had left the window open for his friend, establishing position on the 4-ball would be a challenge thanks to two object balls providing cover. Van Boening pocketed the 3-ball then failed to land the 4-ball. Using a clutch jump shot, Thorpe pocketed the ball, cleared the table then added in one final break-and-run to clinch the victory.
 
Thorpe now heads to the second round where he will face Canadian John Morra Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. local time. Van Boening moves to the one-loss side where he will face Hunter Lombardo Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
 
Also advancing to the winner’s side second round is current World Pool and Billiards Association 9-ball champion Joshua Filler of Germany, who survived a scare from Fan Yang, 8-5.
 
Playing in one of the opening matches of the tournament, Filler opened competition with a break-and-run then failed to capitalize on a Yang dry break the following game. Yang took the lead in the race-to-eight set after Filler fouled on the break. The young German used a break-and-run and a missed 2-ball to take a 3-2 lead but gave his opponent an opportunity when he missed an 8-ball in the following game. The two split the next four games before Filler used two breaks-and-runs and a Yang foul to pull away and close out the match.
 
With the competition now equally divided into 32 winners and losers, Tuesday’s schedule begins at noon local time with eight matches on the winner’s side of the bracket – including Chris Melling meeting Toru Kuribayashi on the live broadcast table. A second round of winner’s side matches will begin at 2:30 p.m. in a matchup of BCA Hall of Famers as Earl Strickland takes on Ralf Souquet. Other matches of note in this timeslot include Alex Kazakis meeting Skylar Woodward and Pin-Yi Ko matching up with Alex Pagulayan. The evening session broadcast schedule includes Fan Yang matching up against Raymund Faraon at 5 p.m. and Fedor Gorst going up against Matt Edwards at 7:30 p.m.
 
The Predator World 10-ball Championship is a presentation of CueSports International and sponsored by Predator Group, one of the world’s premier cue makers and billiards accessory manufacturers. The event is being hosted by the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and broadcast live on YouTube by CSI Media, a subsidiary of Cue Sports International. The event is also sponsored by Diamond Billiards Products, Omega Billiards and Kamui Brand. For more information, visit www.world10ball.com
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international billiards organization which produces the United States Open 8-ball, 10-ball, one pocket, bank pool and straight pool championships. CSI, which also operates national amateur pool leagues, has three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, the events division produces numerous amateur and professional events and the media department creates live video billiards content. For more information about CSI, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

Germany and Japan Dumped Out of Betvictor World Cup of Pool

Team Estonia

Germany 6-7 Estonia
Japan 4-7 Hong Kong, China
Chinese Taipei 7–2 Romania
 
Germany and Japan were dumped out of the BetVictor World Cup of Pool on Wednesday afternoon as Estonia and Hong Kong, China upset the odds at the Morningside Arena, Leicester, live on Sky Sports, DAZN and networks worldwide.
 
There were no such problems for Chinese Taipei, however, as brothers Ko Pin Yi and Ko Ping Chung defeated Romania 7-2.
 
The first match of the day saw one of the pre-tournament favourites, Germany, take on Estonia, made up of Denis Grabe and Mark Magi. The German team comprised former World Cup winner Ralf Souquet and reigning World Champion Joshua Filler and were fancied by many to go all the way this year.
 
The teams exchanged the first eight racks, although at 1-1 Grabe snatched at the 9 to leave Souquet a cut which the former World Cup winner missed, giving Estonia a let off.
 
At 4-3 down and breaking, Magi made the tournament’s first golden break to bring the match level, and from there Estonia opened up a 4-6 lead. Germany pulled one back on their break, but at 6-5 Estonia looked to have a roadmap to the second round. However, Magi scratched to the middle pocket and the German’s took it to hill-hill.
 
At that stage Souquet and Filler took a toilet break, keeping Estonia in their chair to dwell on the mistake. When they returned, Souquet was breaking but they lost position on the 5 and it was Estonia who got the better of the safety, and eventually the rack, for a 7-6 win.
 
“We are delighted with the win,” said Grabe. “We beat one of the top seeds, Germany. We know Joshua Filler is the World Champion so it was a tough match but we played well and we are happy with the win.
 
“We know we are capable of playing really, really well. Last year we only lost 7-6 to the winners, China, so we know we can play against these guys.”
 
The second match saw a second unseeded team advance as the young duo of Lo Ho Sum and Yip Kin Ling took Hong Kong, China into the second round. They dumped Japan – Naoyuki Oi and Toru Kuribayashi – out 7-4.
 
The Japanese favourites stormed to a 3-0 lead but Hong Kong, China fought back to level the all-Asian affair. The 19-year-old Yip then executed a brilliant jump to bank the 3 as his side moved ahead for the first time. Japan hit back but from there it was all Hong Kong and the young pairing saw out the victory to advance to the second round.
 
Among the pre-tournament favourites were Chinese Taipei, and the Ko brothers Pin Yi and Ping Chung showed none of the issues suffered by some of the seeded teams as they dispatched Romania 7-2.
 
Having fallen behind in rack one, the Romanian duo Babken Melkonian and Ioan Ladanyi levelled after breaking in the second. Chinese Taipei, though, were on the hill before Romania could get their second rack and the comeback was over before it started, a mistake on the 8 gifting Chinese Taipei the rack, and the match.
 
The BetVictor World Cup of Pool continues with three more first round matches, including hosts Great Britain A against Tony Drago’s Malta.
 
The BetVictor World Cup of Pool is sponsored by Rasson Billiards, who supply the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator are the Official Cue of the event and Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip.

Global Stars Complete World Cup Of Pool Line-Up

Germany’s formidable pairing of Josh Filler and Ralf Souquet (JP Parmentier)

The final teams have been confirmed for the 2019 World Cup of Pool with powerhouse nations such as Philippines, Germany and Holland all set to compete at the Morningside Arena, Leicester this June 25-30.
 
Tickets are on sale now at www.matchroompool.com for pool’s biggest doubles event with the draw to be announced shortly.
 
A further 15 teams have been added to the line-up with the final nation to be the winner of a European qualifying event, which will take place over the weekend of June 1-2 at IDM Club in Bucharest, Romania.
 
US Open and World Champion Joshua Filler will again compete alongside Ralf Souquet for Germany, with another Mosconi Cup legend in Niels Feijen being joined by Marc Bijsterbosch for Holland. Alex Pagulayan teams up with John Morra to represent Canada, and Ko brothers Pin-Yi and Ping-Chung will be aiming to win Chinese Taipei’s second World Cup title.
 
Other Asian nations will include Japan (Naoyuki Oi and Toru Kuribayashi), Hong Kong (Lo Ho Sum and Yip Kin Ling Leo), Singapore (Aloysuis Yapp and Sharik Aslam Sayed) and three-time World Cup winners Philippines (Carlo Biado and Jeff De Luna).
 
European representation is completed by France (Alex Montpellier and Fabio Rizzi), Russia (Fedor Gorst and Ruslan Chinakhov) and Poland (Konrad Juszczyszyn and Mateusz Sniegocki).
Elsewhere South American Champions Chile will be represented by Enrique Rojas and Alejandro Carvajal, while there will also be teams from Brazil and Saudi Arabia, with players to be confirmed shortly.
 
2019 World Cup of Pool Confirmed Teams:
Albania               Eklent Kaci / Besar Spahiu
Australia            Justin Sajich / Danny Stone
Austria                Albin Ouschan / Mario He
Brazil                   TBC / TBC
Canada               Alex Pagulayan / John Morra
Chile                    Enrique Rojas / Alejandro Carvajal
China                   Wu Jiaqing / Liu Haitao
Chinese Taipei  Ko Pin-Yi / Ko Ping-Chung
Czech Republic Roman Hybler / Michal Gavenčiak
European Qualifier
Estonia               Denis Grabe / Mark Magi
Finland               Petri Makkonen / Mika Immonen
France                 Alex Montpellier / Fabio Rizzi
Germany            Joshua Filler / Ralf Souquet 
Great Britain A Jayson Shaw / Chris Melling
Great Britain B Mark Gray / Imran Majid
Greece                Alexander Kazakis / Nick Malaj
Holland               Niels Feijen / Marc Bijsterbosch
Hong Kong         Lo Ho Sum / Yip Kin Ling Leo
Italy                     Fabio Petroni / Daniele Corrieri
Japan                  Naoyuki Oi / Toru Kuribayashi
Malta                  Tony Drago / Clayton Castaldi
New Zealand     Matt Edwards / Simon Singleton
Philippines         Carlo Biado / Jeff De Luna
Poland                Konrad Juszczyszyn / Mateusz Sniegocki
Russia                 Fedor Gorst / Ruslan Chinakhov 
Saudi Arabia      TBC / TBC
Singapore           Aloysuis Yapp / Sharik Aslam Sayed
South Africa       Richard Halliday / Jason Theron
Spain                   David Alcaide / Francisco Sanchez Ruiz
Sweden              Marcus Chamat / Tomas Larsson
USA                     Shane Van Boening / Skyler Woodward
 
Tickets for the 2019 World Cup of Pool are on sale now priced at £5 for weekday afternoons and £10 for weekday evenings and weekend sessions. A season ticket is available for £75 with premium ticket packages available for weekend days including food and unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks.
 
The 2019 World Cup of Pool features 32 two-player teams battling for the $60,000 first prize from a total prize fund of $250,000. Matches are race to 7 in the first two rounds, race to 9 in the quarter and semi-finals and, for the first time, race to 11 in the final.
 
The 2019 World Cup of Pool is sponsored by the following partners: Iwan Simonis (Cloth), Saluc (Aramith Balls), Rasson (Table), Predator (cues), Kamui (chalk and tip).

Final 16 Set In Vegas For The WPA Players Championship

Carlo Biado (Photo courtesy JP Parmentier)

The Philippines' Johann Chua pretty much knew his run in the WPA Players Championship was over. Playing in a round of 32 match against Hall of Famer Mika Immonen and down 6-2 in a race to 7 alternate break match, there was little chance for the talented Filipino to come back.
 
But the pool gods started to conspire against the great Finn, and Chua slowly clawed his way into contention. As that happened, Immonen clearly began to lose his composure, which only imbued the Filipino with confidence.  Chua tied the match at 6, sending proceedings into overtime, where he won the next two to advance 8-6.
 
“I saw him getting frustrated when I started to come back and that gave me a lot of confidence,” a relieved Chua said afterward. “Once he started to miss and give up the table, I knew I was back in the match. I’m very happy to advance.”
 
As 16 pool stars moved on at Griffs Billiards in Vegas, and 16 others got the boot, the WPA Players Championship moved to the business end for the final two days. The round of 16 and quarterfinals will be held on Thursday, with the semis and finals being contested on Friday.
 
The Philippine contingent continued to impress in the $65,000 event.  2017 WPA World 9-ball champion Carlo Biado dueled with the USA’s Skylar Woodward, with the pair of stars splitting the first 10 racks. Biado then took advantage of a lucky safe and advanced with a 7-5 win.
 
“I got lucky,” Biado said, echoing the favorite line of the always humble Filipino greats. But as he well knew in this case, he wasn’t just being polite.
 
Hot shooting 26 year old James Aranas and Raymond Faroun also won, giving Filipinos 25% of the spots in the final 16.
 
The USA’s Shaun Wilkie continued to impress with his second straight convincing victory today. Wilkie took down Japan’s Toru Kuribayashi 7-5 to grab a spot in the final 16. The only other American to take his place in the final 16 was Shane Van Boening, after a 7-5 win over Poland’s Wojciech Szewczyk.
 
The Taiwanese contingent equaled that of their neighbors in east Asia as four Taiwan players advanced to the final 16. Kevin Cheng, Ko Ping Chung, Chang Yu Lung and veteran Yang Ching Shun all won their round of 32 matches.
 
Scotland’s Jayson Shaw put in another convincing performance, taking down the Philippines Jeff de Luna, 7-2. Albania’s Elkent Kaci went toe to toe with New Zealand’s resurgent Matt Edwards, before pulling away for a 7-5 win. Greece’s Nick Malaj and hall of famer Ralf Souquet also advanced.
 
Play in the WPA Players Championship continues on Thursday at 12 noon local time.
 
The format will be single elimination race to 7 (win by 2), with the semi-final and final being a race to 9 (win by 2). 
 
WPA Players Championship Payouts
1 – $10,000
2 – $7,000
3/4 – $5,000 ea.
5/8 – $3,000 ea.
9/16 – $1,500 ea.
17/32 – $400 ea.
 
Consolation Tournament Payouts
1 – $1,500
2 – $1,000
3/4 – $500 ea.
5/8 – $250 ea.
9/16 – $150 ea.
 
ONLINE BRACKETS
The online tournament brackets can be found at www.CTSonDemand.com.
 
WATCH LIVE
The entire event is being streamed live by CSI media, a division of CueSports International (CSI). The production, complete with full-time commentary led by former World 8-Ball Champion, Karl Boyes, begins each day at noon pacific time. To watch live, visit www.playcsipool.com/watch-live.
 
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the international governing body for pocket billiards and is comprised of six member federations representing North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The WPA is the world-recognized body for sanctioning World Championship events. It is also one of the three member organizations of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), representing the billiard disciplines of pool, snooker and carom. For more information about the WPA, visit www.wpapool.com.
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool Leagueand USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content. Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.” For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
 
The WPA Players Championship is made possible by the following sponsors:
Andy Billiard Cloth • Cyclop Balls • Diamond • Griff’s Billiards • HOW Tips • Predator • Master Billiard Chalk

32 Advance, 32 Out As Day 1 Of The WPA Players Championship Is Complete

Darren Appleton (Photo courtesy of JP Parmentier)

The first ever WPA Players Championship got underway at Griffs Billiards in Las Vegas on Tuesday, and the quality of the match ups on offer out of the box certainly didn’t disappoint. That’s because the 64 player field is one of the highest quality gatherings of pool’s current and rising stars. 
 
The format of the event is designed to offer plenty of excitement as well.   Matches through the quarterfinals are all race to 7, alternate break. In addition, the tournament is single elimination. Thus, every shot matters and one mistake early one can spell curtains even for pool’s biggest names.
 
This is exactly what befell world number two Alexander Kazakis in his opening round match against Japan’s Toru Kuribayashi. The Japanese veteran took advantage of several early errors by the Greek star and led throughout, eventually winning 7-2.
 
Two time world champion and two time US Open 9-ball champion Darren Appleton opened up proceedings with a tasty showdown against three time world champion Thorsten Hohmann.  Appleton, who’s had to take significant time away from the game in the last two years because of several family issues, looked like a renewed man today, and took down the German great, 7-5.
 
Defending US Open champion Jayson Shaw came to Vegas looking fit and ready to defend his title next week across town at the Mandalay Bay. Shaw cruised to an opening round win over Gerson Martinez, 7-3.
 
It was a good day from the Ko family from Taiwan. Two time world champion Ko Pin Yi and his younger brother Ko Ping Chung both won their matches. Compatriot Chang Jung Lin had high hopes coming into this event, but fell to Russia’s Maksim Dudanets of Russia, 7-3. Veterans Yang Ching Shun and Chang Yu Leung both notched victories today.
 
USA great Shane Van Boening led the American contingent and advanced with a 7-5 win over Kai Lun Hsu of Taiwan. Skylar Woodward advanced with a handy 7-2 win over Qatar’s Bashar Hussain.  Shawn Wilkie had to bear down against fellow American Billy Thorpe, and hung on to win 7-5. Corey Duel faced off with Mosconi foe Niels Feijen of the Netherlands and emerged victorious, 7-2.
 
It was a solid start for the always stingy team Philippines. World number 3 Carlo Biado  led the charge with an easy win over Ruben Bautista Escaler, 7-3. 2017 WPA World 9-ball champion joins James Aranas, Johann Chua, Raymond Faroun and Jeffrey De Luna in the final 32. Jeffrey Ignacio proved the lone loser for the Philippines today, losing to two time world champion, Mika Immonen, 7-5.
 
Other winners today include Albania’s Klenti Kaci, the Netherlands Marc Bijsterbosch, England’s Chris Melling, Germany’s Ralf Souquet and  Poland’s Wojciech Szewczyk.
 
In perhaps the most exciting match of the day, Japan’s Nayouki Oi went to the limit with young Russian Fedor Gorst. The match went into extra innings as neither player could get the two rack advantage needed to win. Oi took the sudden death rack to advance with a 10-9 win.
 
Play in the WPA Players Championship continues on Wednesday at 12 noon local time.
 
The format will be single elimination race to 7 (win by 2), with the semi-final and final being a race to 9 (win by 2). 
 
WPA Players Championship Payouts
 
1 – $10,000
2 – $7,000
3/4 – $5,000 ea.
5/8 – $3,000 ea.
9/16 – $1,500 ea.
17/32 – $400 ea.
 
Consolation Tournament Payouts
 
1 – $1,500
2 – $1,000
3/4 – $500 ea.
5/8 – $250 ea.
9/16 – $150 ea.
 
ONLINE BRACKETS
 
The online tournament brackets can be found at www.CTSonDemand.com.
 
WATCH LIVE
The entire event is being streamed live by CSI media, a division of CueSports International (CSI). The production, complete with full-time commentary led by former World 8-Ball Champion, Karl Boyes, begins each day at noon pacific time. To watch live, visit www.playcsipool.com/watch-live.
 
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the international governing body for pocket billiards and is comprised of six member federations representing North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
 
The WPA is the world-recognized body for sanctioning World Championship events. It is also one of the three member organizations of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), representing the billiard disciplines of pool, snooker and carom. For more information about the WPA, visit www.wpapool.com.
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool Leagueand USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content. Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.” For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
 
The WPA Players Championship is made possible by the following sponsors:
 
Andy Billiard Cloth • Cyclop Balls • Diamond • Griff’s Billiards • HOW Tips • Predator • Master Billiard Chalk

17 Year Old Hong Kong Native Capito Stuns Kaci To Reach Final 16

Robbie Capito

Up until the very last moments of the round of 32 today, this year’s World 9-ball Championship was notable for its lack of upsets that always seem to be a hallmark of this annual 9-ball extravaganza. That is until Robbie Capito decided he wasn’t going away quietly.
 
Robbie Capito? Yeah, don’t be surprised that you haven’t heard of him. Not many outside of his native Hong Kong have. But this cool headed and fearless 17 year old of Filipino descent pulled off what is easily the biggest upset of this year’s championship, and one of the biggest we have seen in years here in Doha, when he came back from certain defeat and took down the world number one, Klenti Kaci, 11-10, to move into the final 16.
 
Only minutes before, Capito looked like he would be exiting the Al Arabi Sports Club as unknown as he was when entered at the start of his match. He trailed the mighty Albanian 7-1. He then slowly clawed his way back into the match, but it didn’t quite seem enough. Down 10-8, surely the steady Kaci would close out the match and move into the round of 16 on Wednesday.
 
Capito, who had earlier defeated Lebanon’s Mazen Berjaoui in the round of 64, never gave up, and he tied the score at 10 all. Breaking in the final frame and clearly under duress, he held his nerve and closed out the rack to notch an unlikely win, and an even more unlikely spot in the final 16 at the World 9-ball Championship.
 
Capito, who speaks four languages and is still in high school, will now go on to face Germany’s Joshua Filler when the tournament resumes on Wednesday.(the tournament will have a day off on Tuesday as Qatar celebrates its National Day.)  The Hong Kong native will have to reach into his bag of tricks to stop the flashy young German, as Filler has looked unstoppable so far. The German played his trade marked fast and loose style in two easy wins so far, first against Greece’s Nikolas Malaj and then Vietnam’s Nguyen Anh Tuan.
 
If you like the youth movement in pool, you certainly want to pay attention to another 17 year old who has been turning heads this week. Like Capito, Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski is still in high school and can boast world class talent. The young Pole proudly displayed his formidable wares today in two solid wins, first against fellow Pole Tomasz Kaplan, and then the Philippines Johann Chua.
 
It will surely be fascinating to watch how Zielinski handles the likes of Albin Ouschan in the round of 16. The Austrian, who won this event in 2016, is playing top notch pool and looks impervious to the pressure. Ouschan’s two strong wins today showed he has the goods to go all the way this year.
 
Defending champion Carlo Biado stayed on track to defend his title, and he is also now the only Filipino left in the field.  After two wins today Biado will engage in a fascinating matchup in the last 16 against former world 9-ball champion, and China’s last hold out, Wu Jiaqing.
 
America’s Shane Van Boening continued his march through the field today with two steady wins. Van Boening played with his characteristic laid back style, but always on point when he needed to be. After losing in the final here in 2015 and 2016, the American seems to be carrying a bit of a chip on his shoulder.  It’s victory on nothing for Van Boening, and with the way he is performing now, he could be considered the favorite.
 
SVB, though, will first have to get through a red hot Chris Melling of England in a match that already has pool fans around the world salivating. Melling played in his usual swashbuckling in his two victories today but will have to step it up several notches to take down the determined Van Boening.
 
Corey Duel is the only other American remaining in the field. The veteran always plies his trade in characteristic quiet and laid back fashion and this week, these traits have served him well. Duel earned his spot in the final 16 with two workmanlike performances first against Canada’s John Morra and then versus Spain’s Francisco Diaz Pizarro.
 
Duel, though, hasn’t yet faced anything like what he will be up against on Wednesday when he matches wits with Taiwan’s Ko Pin Yi. Ko, who won the China Open this year and won this event in 2015, hammered compatriot Liu Ri Teng in the round of 64, 11-5, then did it one better to Korea’s Woo Seung Ryu, 11-4.
 
The Taiwanese are proving yet again that they are arguably the world’s strongest pool playing nation with a quarter of the final 16. It will be an all Taiwan matchup when Lin Ta Li takes on world number two, Chang Jung Lin. Chang had struggled in the group stages but shook off the rust today and looked his old killer self. In the round of 32 he disposed of hall of famer Ralf Souquet, 11-6.
 
Lin Wu Kun’s beautiful cue action led him to the semi-finals here last year and this year he appears to feel he can get there again or even more. Lin had to scrape his way into the final 16 in an 11-10 nail biter against China’s Liu Haitao. 
 
Lin will face Finland’s suddenly red hot Petri Makkonen. The hard working Finn put in a tremendous effort today with wins over Filipino Jeffrey Ignacio, 11-9, then young Russian Fedor Gorst, 11-8.
 
World number six Niels Feijen has that same look he had when he marched to the crown here in 2014. The Dutchman looked untouchable in his two big wins today and he is admittedly confident and playing without pressure. In the round of 16 he’ll have to square off with his Mosconi Cup teammate Alex Kazakis. The Greek grinded out two tough wins today, first 11-10 over Poland’s Radislaw Babica, then over Finland’s Casper Matikainen, 11-9. 
 
After a day off where the country celebrates the Qatar National Day, play resumes on Wednesday, December 19 at 11am Doha time(GMT +3.)
 
The winner of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
Fans around the world can watch four tables on our free live stream which can be accessed via the live scoring page here; http://www.esnooker.pl/live/en/tsnew.php
 Click the tables where you see the word "Video" and you will be taken to Youtube to watch the match. Tables 1, 7,8,9. Please visit the WPA Facebook Page for more information.
 
To view the Final 64 bracket, please CLICK HERE.
 
*The 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 10-20, 2018. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
The WPA is on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
Media coverage of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship is being supported by the American Poolplayers Association(APA).   Join the World's Largest Pool League today at http://bit.ly/2G5vYZY.  Please visit join.poolplayers.com
 
 
 
Final 16 Matchups
December 19, 11am Doha Time(GMT +3)
 
Robbie Capito(HKG) vs. Joshua Filler(GER)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) vs. Wiktor Zielinski(POL)
 
Niels Feijen(NED) vs. Alexandros Kazakis(GRE)
Corey Duel(USA) vs. Ko Pin Yi(TPE)
 
Carlo Biado(PHL) vs. Wu Jiaqing(CHN)
Petri Makkonen(FIN) vs.  Lin Wu Kun((TPE)
 
Chris Melling(GBR) Shane Van Boening(USA)
Lin Ta Li(TPE) vs. Jung Lin Chang(TPE)
 
 
 
Final 32 Results
 
Robbie Capito(HKG) 11 -10 Ekent Kaci(ALB)   
Joshua Filler(GER) 11 – 6 Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET)   
 
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 8 Roland Garcia(PHL) 
Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 11 – 5 Johann Chua(PHL)
 
Niels Feijen(NED) 11 – 1 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)
Alexandros Kazakis(GRE) 11 – 9 Casper Matikainen(FIN)  
 
 
Corey Duel(USA) 11 – 7 Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP) 
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 4 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)   
 
Carlo Biado(PHL) 11 – 7 Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL)
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 11 – 6  Toru Kuribayashi(JPN)
 
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 11 – 8 Fedor Gorst(RUS)
Lin Wu Kun((TPE) 11 – 10 Liu Haitao(CHN)   
 
Chris Melling(GBR) 11 -1 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)    
Shane Van Boening(USA)  11 – 7  Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN)
 
Lin Ta Li(TPE)  11 – 7 Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN)
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 6 Ralf Souquet(GER)   
 
 
 
Results Final 64
 
Ekent Kaci(ALB) 11 – 4 vs. Bing Chen Gao(CHN)
Robbie Capito(HKG) 11 – 4 Mazen Berjaoui(LEB)
 
Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET) 11 – 4 vs.Wang Can(CHN)
Joshua Filler(GER) 11 – 5  Nikolas Malaj(GRE)
 
Roland Garcia(PHL) 11 – 7 vs. Waleed Majid(QAT)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 6 vs. Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE)
 
Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 11 – 4 vs. Tomasz Kaplan(POL)
Johann Chua(PHL) 11 – 2 vs. Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR)
 
Niels Feijen(NED) 11 – 4 vs. Bader Alawadhi(KUW)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) vs.11 – 5 Ko Ping Han(TPE)
 
Casper Matikainen(FIN) vs. 11 – 5 Takano Tomoo(JPN)
Alexandros Kazakis(GRE) vs. 11 – 10 Radoslaw Babica(POL)
 
Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP) vs. 11 – 10 Naoyuki Oi(JPN)
Corey Duel(USA) 11 – 6 John Morra(CAN)
 
Woo Seung Ryu(KOR) 11 – 8 vs. Konstantin Stepanov(RUS)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 5 vs. Liu Ri Teng(TPE)
 
Carlo Biado(PHL) 11 – 9  vs. Vitaliy Patsura(UKR)
Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL) vs. 11 – 7 Wen Lo Li(TPE)
 
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 11 – 4 Tomoya Iima((JPN)
Toru Kuribayashi(JPN) 11 – 7 Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz(ESP)
 
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 11 – 9 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL)
Fedor Gorst(RUS) 11 – 6 Wojciech Sroczynski(POL)
 
Liu Haitao(CHN) 11 – 6 Alex Pagulayan(CAN)
Lin Wu Kun((TPE) 11 – 4 Maximilian Lechner(AUT)
 
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 11 –  8 Ko Ping Chung(TPE)
Chris Melling(GBR) 11 – 8 Hsu Jui An(TPE)
 
Shane Van Boening(USA) 11 – 7 Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE)
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 11 – 10 Dang Jinhu(CHN)
 
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 11 – 9 Jeffrey De Luna(PHL)
Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN) 11 – 10 Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 
 
Ralf Souquet(GER) 11 – 6 Ruslan Chinahov(RUS)
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 1 Omar Al Shaheen(KUW)

Judgement Day Casts Out The Weak As Fantastic Final 64 Gets Set To Do Battle

John Morra

Judgement Day at the 2018 World 9-ball Championship in Doha came and went in a flash, with just two sessions on the losers side of each of the 16 groups. And while there were the usual jangling nerves rattling throughout the cavernous Al Arabi Sports Club, one thing that was definitely missing from this year’s final day of the group stages was the complete lack of upsets.
 
This means that the 64 players left in the competition, who begin a single elimination, race to 11 format on Monday at 10am Doha time(GMT +3), comprise the absolute best of the very best in professional pool. Over the next several days these greats of the game will duel it out for the most prestigious prize in the sport and a $40,000 top prize. If you are a fan of 9-ball pool, buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life.
 
A look at the players still standing tells us a lot about the state of pool, and where the world’s best practitioners come from. The Taiwanese lead the way with nearly 15% of the players left, 9 to be exact. Next up might be a surprise to some fans but not to those who follow the sport intimately: six players from Poland qualified, proof that the sport of pool in Poland is perhaps the most vibrant in the world at the moment.
 
The Philippines, Japan and China come in next with five players each. The Philippines is an interesting story because many Pinoy players stayed away from this year’s championship to play in boxer Manny Pacquiao’s event in his home town in the southern Philippines. If you are hard core fan that is no doubt a disappointing development. But the 5 Pinoy’s left, including defending champion Carlo Biado, all have a shot at going far.
 
The Japanese have put in their best showing in years, while the Chinese players have also looked strong. A Chinese player has never won a World 9-ball Championship.(Wu Jiaqing played for Chinese-Taipei when he won in 2005).
 
One of the most watched matches of the day came between the Philippines Roland Garcia, a runner up here last year, and American Billy Thorpe. The two stayed close throughout the first half of the match, splitting the first 8 racks. But Garcia pounced on several mistakes by Thorpe and then piled on the racks, winning 9-5.Garcia breathed a massive sigh of relief afterward because he had lost his very first match in Doha and had to win two straight to qualify.
 
In a battle of two former world champions, Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann took on China’s Wu Jiaqing. Wu jumped out to a big early lead, 6-2, before the German mounted a brief fight back. But Hohmann admittedly let the match slip away with too many unforced errors, as Wu advanced 9-6.
 
It was a proud day for the Kuwaitis who once again showed their prowess as a pool playing nation. Bader Alawadhi pulled off what could be the day’s biggest surprise when he shocked Spain’s David Alcaide, 9-7. Omar Alshaheen also booked his spot in the knockout rounds with a handy 9-6 win over Bosnia’s Sanjin Pehlivanovic.
 
It was also a good day for Finland. Petri Makkonen advanced with his second straight win, after taking down the always strong Chang Yu Leung, 9-6. Casper Matikainen put a halt to Filipino Marlon Manalo’s comeback with an easy 9-2 victory.
 
Austria’s former world champion Albin Ouschan struggled early but qualified with a 9 – 5 win over Myanmar’s Aung Moe Thu. Fellow Austrian Maximilian Lechner put an end to the hopes of South African Jason Theron, winning 9-5 after an early struggle.
 
Lebanon doesn’t often feature in the business end of things here, but Mazen Berjaoui held his nerve with a break and runout in the final frame to eliminate the USA’s Hunter Lombardo, 9-8.
 
Canada’s John Morra looked very strong in his 9-3 win over American Tommy Tokoph. Venezuela’s Jalal Al Sarisi(formerly Yousef), who went all the way to the quarterfinals last year, also qualified after handily beating the Netherland’s Ivar Saris, 9-6.
 
Monday’s action will be comprised of three sessions, with both the rounds of 64 and 32 being completed. The tournament will have a day off on December 18th due to it being the National Day of Qatar. The round of 16 and the quarterfinals will be held on December 19th, while the semis and final will take place on December 20th.
 
Play on Monday begins at 10am Doha time(GMT +3)
 
Fans around the world can watch four tables on our free live stream which can be accessed via the live scoring page here; http://www.esnooker.pl/live/en/tsnew.php
 Click the tables where you see the word "Video" and you will be taken to Youtube to watch the match. Tables 1, 7,8,9. Please visit the WPA Facebook Page for more information.
 
The winner of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
To view the Final 64 bracket, please CLICK HERE.
 
*The 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 10-20, 2018. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
The WPA is on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
Media coverage of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship is being supported by the American Poolplayers Association(APA).  Join the world’s largest pool league today. Please visit join.poolplayers.com
 
Day 3 Results.
 
Losers Side Matches. Losers are out. Winners qualify for the final 64 knockout stage.
 
Group 1
Vitaliy Patsura(UKR)   9 – 6 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Woo Seung Ryu(KOR) 9 – 3 Meshaal AL Murdhi(KUW)  
 
Group 2
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 7 Matt Edwards(NZL)  
Mazen Berjaoui(LEB) 9 – 8 Hunter Lombardo(USA)     
 
Group 3
Roland Garcia(PHL) 9 – 5 Billy Thorpe(USA)
Bader Alawadhi(KUW) 9 – 7 David Alcaide(ESP)
 
Group 4
Omar Alshaheen(KUW) 9 – 6 Sanjin Pehlivanovic(BOS)
Johann Chua Gonzales(PHL) 9 – 3 Jeong Young Hwa(KOR)
 
Group 5
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 6 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)
Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP)   9 – 5 Ahmed Tanvir(BAN)
 
Group 6
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 6 Satoshi Kawabata(JPN)
Ruslan Chinahov(RUS) 9 – 2 Abdullah Alenzi(KUW)
 
Group 7
Ko Ping Han(TPE) 9 – 7 Xu Xiacong(CHN)
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 9 – 5 Hayato Hijikata(JPN)
 
Group 8
Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN) 9 – 4 Roman Hybler(CZE)
Toru Kuribayashi(JPN) 9 – 6 Hasan Idan(IRQ)
 
Group 9
Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET) 9 – 5 Hoang Duong Quoc(VET)
Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 9 – 7 Sergey Lutsker(POL)
 
Group 10
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 9 – 2 Marlon Manalo(PHL)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 6 Martin Daigle(CAN)
 
Group 11
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 6 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)
Maximilian Lechner(AUT) 9 – 5 Jason Theron(RSA)
 
Group 12
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 3 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
Wojciech Sroczynski(POL) 9 -3 Richard Halliday(RSA)
 
Group 13
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 9 – 6 Ivar Saris(NED)
Nikolaos Malaj(GRE) 9 – 8 Marek Kudlik(POL)
 
Group 14
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 6 Denis Grabe(EST)
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 6 Lo Ho Sum(HKG)
 
Group 15
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 5 Aung Moe Thu(MYR)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 3 Tommy Tokoph(USA)
 
Group 16
Bing Chen Gao(CHN) 9 – 7 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)
Wen Lo Li(TPE) 9 – 5 Kwon Hojun(KOR)

2018 World Cup of Pool – Australia record first ever win at World Cup

The Australian team of James Delahunty and Justin Sajich

Finland (11) 7-3 Malaysia
Japan (10) 5-7 Sweden
Russia (15) 4-7 Australia
 
Two of the unseeded sides upset the applecart as they made their way into the second round of the 2018 World Cup of Pool against fancied opposition as three further round one matches took place at the Luwan Arena, Huangpu District in Shanghai.
 
The $250,000 tournament originated in 2006 and has since moved around the world before touching down in Shanghai. The World Cup features 32 pairs from across the globe including two from host nation China. Running from 15th to 20th May, the event is on live TV in over 100 countries around the world.
 
The Australian pair of James Delahunty and Justin Sajich became the first Australian team to win a match at the World Cup of Pool as they progressed at the expense of the fancied Russian pairing of Fedor Gorst and Ruslan Chinakhov.
 
A delighted Sajich said, “It was tough out there, we were nervous but we fought hard, kept it together and we managed to pull it off. I think we knew we were the underdogs, although we wouldn’t have admitted it to each other. We will go back to the pool hall before the next round. We have been practicing six hours a day since we got here.”
 
Delahunty was equally thrilled, “We knew it wouldn’t be an easy match and we had to play as well as we could and I think we performed pretty well. We didn’t miss many pots and that’s what we needed to do. We weren’t looking too far ahead in the draw but we will have to play well in the next round – it is on us again, if we play well then we give ourselves the best chance to win.”
 
Earlier, underdogs Sweden (Christian Sparrenloev-Fisher and Tomas Larsson) put in an equally fine performance to bring down the fancied Japanese duo of Naoyuki Oi and Toru Kuribayashi. The score was 7-5.
 
Fischer said, “We are really happy, of course. We knew we needed to play well to win it and we played okay. We know the Spanish players well, they are friends to us and we know we can beat them, we just need to play our game and anything can happen.”
 
Finally, in the opening match, Finland looked a bit shaky but still had too much for the Malaysian duo of Muhammad Almie and Darryl Chia.
 
Mika Immonen: “It wasn’t our best performance but we got through. We played better at the start of the match even though we were settling in. Then we gave them a little window, but they didn’t take it.
 
“We are looking forward to playing USA. We played them in the quarter-finals last year and we lost, but we are confident we can improve from this match. We will need to improve against USA because they are a formidable team. We are looking forward to that and avenging the loss from last year.”
 
Play continues on Thursday evening with the final first round match and two second round matches.
 
Rnd 1 China A (2) v Estonia
 
Rnd 2 Austria v Poland
Scotland v Holland
 
2018 World Cup of Pool sponsored by Iwan Simonis who supply the Official Cloth; the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc, and Predator is the Official Cue of the event.

Chua, Ignacio Banner Country’s Bid In Japan 10-Ball Tourney

Filipino pool masters Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ignacio

Filipino pool masters Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ignacio are leading the way for the country’s bid when the Kantuo Open 10-Ball Championships gets underway on Saturday, February 24, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.
 
"I will do my very best for flag and country," said the 25-years-old Malaysia Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist Chua, who beat compatriot Jundel Mazon, 11-2, to rule the 2017 All Japan 10-Ball Championship held in Hyogo, Japan last November.
 
Last October, Chua also finished second in the men’s division after losing to Taiwanese Liu Cheng-Chieh in the gold-medal match. Chua took home the KRW 15,000,000 runner-up purse in the 2017 Guri International 9-Ball Championship held at the Guri Sports Complex in Guri City in South Korea.
 
Former World Pool Championships semi-finalists Marlon "Marvelous" Manalo, ABC president and chairman of Barangay Malamig in Mandaluyong City had something to say:
 
"I believe they’re our strongest bets,” Manalo referring the impressive performance of Chua and Ignacio for performing great in the international competition in Japan, Korea and the United States. 
 
"I think we have a strong chance of winning the Kantuo Open 10-Ball Championships in Japan," added Manalo, Press Relation Officer (PRO) of League of Barangays of the Philippines who represents a membership of almost 42,000 barangays.
 
Last Sunday, February 18, 2018, the two Filipino pool sharks made a friendly exhibition match.
 
Meanwhile, Allison Fisher of Great Britain, Naoyuki Ooi, Toru Kuribayashi, Hijikata Hayato and Lo Li wen of Japan are among big names will be seeing in action in the Kantuo Open 10-Ball Championships.
 
After Tokyo, Japan, Chua is schedule to compete in Yogyakarta, Indonesia for another 10-ball Championships slated on March 3 to 11, 2018.