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Gorst Back to Defend Title at Arcadia Arizona Open

Fedor Gorst (Matt Porinsky – CueSports International)

Playing in last year’s inaugural Arcadia Arizona Open in July, no one probably got a more scenic route of event’s unique format than Fedor Gorst.

In a tournament that foregoes longer races for two shorter sets and settles tied matches with spot shot shootouts, the young man from Moscow pretty much did it all. He opened competition by surviving a sudden-death shootout against American Michael Yednak, then followed up a second-set comeback in the championship match against Filipino Carlo Biado by executing perfect precision in the shootout, pocketing four straight balls to secure the title. This earned Gorst $12,000 for four days work and, equally important, automatic entry into this year’s Predator World 10-Ball Championships in Las Vegas.

“That made my life easier,” said Gorst with a laugh. “I don’t have to worry about being invited to the event, which is great.”

This weekend, the Russian is back in Tucson to defend his title at the second annual Open, which begins today at Casino Del Sol Resort and runs through Saturday evening. This 64-competitor, double-elimination event offers a roster of players which bring a smorgasbord of titles and experience – from rising young stars like the former world champion Gorst, World Pool Masters winner Alex Kazakis and reigning Kremlin Cup champion Tyler Styer to BCA Hall of Famers Ralf Souquet, Thorsten Hohmann and Mika Immonen, who has been experiencing a bit of a resurgence of late. The former U.S. Open 9-Ball champion capped off the 2021 season with a runner-up finish at the International Open’s bigfoot challenge and a top-five performance in the 9-ball event. He opened this season with a fourth-place finish at the Turning Stone Classic in New York.

“I pretty much proved to the pool world that I’m not some washed up ex-professional,” said Immonen at the International after being eliminated by Albin Ouschan. “I’m here and I still have a lot of motivation and a lot that I want to prove. I want to have another era of stuff like this.”

Ouschan will also be competing in Arizona this week, after the Austrian turned in one of the most decorated and lucrative seasons of his career last year. The 31-year-old started off 2021 battling bad rolls and even worse emotions to earn top honors at the inaugural Championship League Pool event in England, then returned to the island two months later to win his second World Pool Championship, coming from behind to defeat Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen in the finals. The Austrian finished off the year by turning in his best performance ever on American soil, winning the International Open over Dennis Orcollo.

Fellow countryman Mario He also finished 2021 strong, winning the inaugural FargoRate Ohio Open in October. After opening his fall with a top-10 finish at the U.S. Open Pool Championship in Atlantic City in September, He hopped in a car with fellow competitors Denis Grabe and Alex Kazakis and barnstormed the country, playing in tournaments and matches throughout the east coast. He turned in a top-three finish at the CSI Michigan Open and then landed in the final four of the Diamond Open in South Carolina before earning the Ohio title.

Also competing in this weekend’s Open is Naoyuki Oi, who for years has built a reputation for giving eccentric interviews but in recent months has been letting his cue stick do most of the talking. Oi finished second in the World 10-Ball Championships last fall and third at the U.S. Open Pool Championships the following week. The young man from Japan, who also notched top-10 finishes at the World Pool Masters and World Pool Championships, earned a career-high $59,890 in prize money last season.

With the event taking place on U.S. soil, there will not be a shortage of American talent competing in Tucson, with Mosconi Cup teammates Styer and Chris Reinhold scheduled to play as well as former U.S. Open 9-Ball champion Corey Deuel. Additionally, a strong contingent of Filipino players will be making the trip, including reigning U.S. Open Pool champion Carlo Biado, BCA Hall of Fame member Alex Pagulayan and Roberto Gomez Jr, who placed in the top three in four U.S. Pro Billiard Series events last year.

Live coverage of the Arcadia Arizona Open will be streamed for free on any device with Billiard TV or the World Billiard TV YouTube channel throughout the week. Follow @probilliardseries on social media for up-to-date information, or visit probilliardseries.com for the latest results and live brackets.

Turning Stone Classic XXXIV Day Three Underway

Tyler Styer

Day three is underway at the Turning Stone Classic XXXIV at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.

A couple early favorites are on the wrong side of the tournament bracket as both six time champion Johnny Archer and recent NBL 10-Ball Champion John Morra suffered losses on Friday. Archer dropped a 9-5 match to Tyler Styer and Morra lost a 9-4 match to Joss Tour Points leader Bucky Souvanthong. Souvanthong and Styer will face off this afternoon on the winner’s side of the tournament.

Other winner’s side matches include Mika Immonen vs Joey Dupuis, Frankie Hernandez vs Abdullah Al Youssef and Fedor Gorst vs Demetrius Jelatis.

Upstate Al is streaming the event for free on his Facebook page and we are running online brackets and scoring using digitalpool.com.

Turning Stone Classic XXXIV Kicks Off Today

Earl Strickland (Karl Kantrowitz)

After two years away, the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour is back at the Turning Stone Casino Resort in Verona, NY for the Turning Stone Classic XXXIV.

The current health situation has kept some familiar names away, but the field is still littered with top 9-ball talent. Top players for this one include Jayson Shaw, Fedor Gorst, Tyler Styer, Earl Strickland, Johnny Archer, Thorsten Hohmann, Mika Immonen, Jeremy Sossei, Shaun Wilkie, Brandon Shuff and Frankie Hernandez.

The event kicks off at 4pm EST and will run until Sunday night.

Fan’s who can’t make it to Turning Stone can watch selected matches online as part of Upstate Al’s Free streaming coverage, and can watch online brackets and live scoring courtesy of AzBilliards.

Team Europe Runs Rampant and Closes In On Victory Over Team USA

Jayson Shaw (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Team Europe 9-5 Team USA

Jayson Shaw 5-2 Chris Reinhold
Shaw/Filler 5-2 Woodward/Styer
Eklent Kaçi 5-3 Shane Van Boening
Ouschan/Alcaide 5-1 Van Boening/Styer
David Alcaide 5-4 Jeremy Jones

Team Europe put in a dominant display to thump the USA 5-0 on the third day of the 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup to take a 9-5 lead going into the final day of action at Alexandra Palace, London, and only two away from retaining the title.

Jayson Shaw kept up his 100% record in singles action by dispatching the USA’s Chris Reinhold 5-2 to open the session. A break and run in the first rack set the tone of the match as the Eagle Eye started to build up steam and pull Europe back level at 5-5.

Shaw came into the 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup as the 2020 Predator MVP and the Scotsman joined forces with Joshua Filler for the first doubles match of the evening against the USA’s two stars of day two in Skyler Woodward and Tyler Styer. Shaw and Filler have become a formidable duo over the years as a doubles pairing and it was no different as they ran out 5-2 winners to put Europe back in the lead. Styer struggled at times as Filler went on to break in the last rack as Europe ran the rack to take control of the cup.

Eklent Kaçi delivered a huge European point against Shane Van Boening coming from 3-1 down to defeat the USA Vice Captain 5-3. The Albanian scratched in the fifth rack but within a few shots he was back at the table in what was ultimately the tide turning in the contest as Van Boening left the five hanging in the pocket gifting Kaçi his second rack. Van Boening got his angles wrong in the following rack with only three balls left on the table scratching as he cut the seven ball in for Kaçi to pull level. From there, Kaçi, playing in his fourth Mosconi Cup, won the next two racks to seal victory with a fluke 3-9 combo in the last rack.

Van Boening’s luck on day three was summed up in the opening rack of his doubles encounter with Styer against Albin Ouschan and David Alcaide as he played the six ball down the rail only for it to rattle back and put the USA 1-0 down. The fans had yet to see much of World Champion Ouschan and Alcaide, but they put on the performance of all performances clearing up for a 5-1 win and put Europe 8-5 up and three away from the title.

2019 World Pool Masters Champion Alcaide completed the whitewash session for Europe against the USA’s Captain Jeremy Jones to wrap up the evening in dramatic fashion. Jones led Alcaide at 4-3 when the Spaniard forced a final rack which is when one of the racks of a generation unfolded. Jones and Alcaide were locked in an intense safety battle with the experience of one pocket and three-cushion on strong display from both players when a fatal error was made by Jones. The American had already used his extension earlier in the rack when with only four balls left on the table, he asked for the cue ball to be cleaned, only to run out of time and give Alcaide ball in hand to secure Europe’s 5-0 session win.

“The first two days were rough. We got schooled. They showed us how to play smart and how to play with heart, so we had two reality checks on day one and that wasn’t enough. On day two, we got away with it by winning the last match. From there, we took over momentum, we are very relieved and very proud,” said Alex Lely, Europe’s Captain.

“The commitment and not taking anything for granted. There was a realisation that the Mosconi Cup is a different atmosphere. It’s about bottle, heart, and courage and doing it when you’re out there and being ready to get out in the arena. And if you’re not ready, everyone can get caught by the pressure.”

“I was lying awake until 5 am, which doesn’t usually happen, I had so many things to think about and maybe some things I started out telling the guys this morning I felt like I had made a mistake. I spoke out about some things where I felt we lacked and where I felt America was showing us how to do it. I said all that. I said listen, if we talk about going to war, if you really go to war, you look into each other’s eyes, Karl and I left the room and we expected them to talk. That helped. They spoke amongst each other; the leadership is now inside the group and not outside it.”

“It was a beautiful rack. There was a lot to learn in just that one rack. JJ has been around the block a couple of times; he made some great shots but Alcaide responded brilliantly.”

“I want them to be clinical and disciplined and get the job done.”

The 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup is Pool’s biggest rivalry as Europe and the USA meet over four days in a race to 11 points broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and networks worldwide including DAZN in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, USA, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Spain, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Poland. Final day begins at 6 pm UK time tomorrow. Find out where to watch in your country here.

The 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Aramith is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip, and Onboard Sportwear provide all Mosconi Cup apparel. Cazoo is the official title sponsor of the 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup.

USA Take Slender Lead At 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup

Team USA’s Skyler Woodward (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Team Europe 4-5 Team USA

Fans’ Choice Singles Match – Jayson Shaw 5-3 Shane Van Boening
Albin Ouschan 3-5 Skyler Woodward
Ouschan/Shaw 4-5 Van Boening/Woodward
Joshua Filler 3-5 Tyler Styer
David Alcaide/Eklent Kaći 5-4 Chris Reinhold/Jeremy Jones

Team USA take a slender one-point lead going into the third day of the 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup at Alexandra Palace, London at 5-4.

Van Boening raced into a quick two-nil lead breaking and running in the opener to set the early tone for the American. The USA vice-captain found himself having to cut the seven to run out the third rack after getting back to the table, but he failed to do so putting Shaw on the board at 2-1. Shaw was gifted the fifth rack which saw him hit the front for the first time in the match after Van Boening had scratched off the break leaving the Eagle Eye to clear up.

No sooner had Europe established a lead, the USA responded with Skyler Woodward downing World Champion Albin Ouschan despite the Austrian’s best efforts including making five off the break in the fourth rack at 2-1 down. Woodward was gifted an opportunity in the fifth rack after Ouschan left the one ball in the jaws of the pocket as it rattled around. The American tide was coming as Woodward rallied making a 2-9 combo to put him on the hill at 4-3 before closing it out for a huge point as Woodward avenged his World Pool Championship quarter-final defeat to Ouschan from earlier this year.

Ouschan and Shaw joined forces against Van Boening and Woodward in what promised to be an eyewatering third match of the evening and it proved to be just that as the Americans edged it in a hill-hill finish. The shot of the match came in the seventh rack as Woodward banked the three-ball slotting it between the seven and the eight and his delight was shown with a yelp of ‘BOOM’ and ‘MONEY’. The USA were pumped and fought off a late European charge to put the USA back in front at 4-3.

Tyler Styer’s first encounter of the night came against the imperious Joshua Filler where the contest ebbed and flowed before Styer got a tight grip on things to win 5-3. Filler made a 5-9 combo to level at one-all after the German left a brutal safety for Styer to contend with which eventually caused the ball in hand that gave Filler the leveler. The third rack was one of the most dramatic of the cup so far as Styer looked to be at ease at the table before missing the eight ball on three separate ocassions before it rolled into the centre pocket on the third attempt to lead 2-1. Styer rode his luck at times but made the most of it pulling through to get the better of Filler and give the USA a guarenteed lead going into day three.

David Alcaide and Eklent Kaçi mounted a huge comeback from 4-1 down to defeat USA Captain Jeremy Jones and Chris Reinhold to close out the last session of the day. Jones’ experience was proving to be vital for the USA duo as he took Reinhold under his wing to race into a 3-0 lead. At 3-1, Kaçi left the two-ball hanging in the pocket after cueing over the rail handing the USA a chance to be on the hill. Reinhold found himself at the table with only four balls left on the hill, but it proved to be a costly miss on the five ball to pull Europe to hill-hill. That moment proved to be the USA’s last say on the match as Alcaide and Kaçi pulled off the comeback of the evening.

“We dodged a bullet again. We were looking to go 6-3 behind but Reinhold missed the ball and Alcaide and Kaçi showed a lot of heart and spirit and snatched that set away. We are now trailing; we lost the session which hurts. We’re under the gun and we really need to step it up tomorrow,” said Europe Captain Alex Lely.

“Albin was having a hard time. It shows you what the Mosconi Cup can do to a payer in a race to five. There’s a lot of heat out there and today Albin got caught by that. When Filler came in, we were hoping we could pull it back and get some momentum in our corner. There were some rolls for Tyler, but he played well. When the session is lost and then in the last match our two boys come out against Chris and JJ. Without disrespecting Chris and JJ. We were really hoping and expecting them to get it. Chris and JJ played some good shots and put them under the game. They had the win in their hands. They bottled it and we capitalised on that. It’s the sort of momentum and big point that you hope to capitalise on.”

“It’s very pleasing anytime you win the session. That’s the goal each day. You must be happy. Underdog favourite doesn’t matter in the Mosconi Cup. We’re happy with the win. The talent level that kid (Skyler Woodward) has, not only the talent, but he also doesn’t always express it a lot, he is very knowledgeable when it comes down to pressure and when it comes to the shot. What I should do at the time meaning him, he knows. Last year we lost a lot of hill-hill matches and lags. We turned that around already.” said Jones.

The 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup is Pool’s biggest rivalry as Europe and the USA meet over four days in a race to 11 points broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and networks worldwide including DAZN in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, USA, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Spain, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Poland. Action continues at 6 pm UK time tomorrow. Find out where to watch in your country here.

The 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Aramith is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip, and Onboard Sportwear provide all Mosconi Cup apparel. Cazoo is the official title sponsor of the 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup.

2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup Finely Poised After Day One

Both Mosconi Cup Teams with referee John Leyman (Taka G Wu/Matchroom Multi Sport)

TEAM EUROPE 2-2 TEAM USA

Team Europe 2-5 Team USA
Ouschan/Kaći 4-5 Styer/Reinhold
Joshua Filler 5-2 Shane Van Boening
Alcaide/Shaw 5-0 Woodward/Jones

Team Europe and Team USA will head into day two of the 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup all square at two-all after the opening day of action at Alexandra Palace, London.

Team USA spearheaded by Jeremy Jones and Shane Van Boening took the opening team match in convincing style to settle any early nerves. Van Boening led by example with a break and run in the opening rack before Jones put a two-rack buffer between the two teams in the fourth rack. Europe struggled early,  as the USA pounced on errors and it was left up to two-time MVP Skyler Woodward to seal the first point of the tournament with the standout shot coming as he rifled in the one ball.

Jones called on Tyler Styer and Chris Reinhold in the first doubles match of the tournament and faced off against Albin Ouschan and Eklent Kaçi as it was decided in unbelievable fashion with things poised at hill-hill. The fourth rack was where momentum turned though, Kaçi left Ouschan tight on the rail with only three balls left on the table, and he failed to put away the seven. In truth, Europe struggled, and their woes continued in the last rack as Ouschan and Kaçi got their playing order mixed up leaving the USA to race into a 2-0 advantage overall.

Joshua Filler was making his Alexandra Palace debut despite it being his fourth Cazoo Mosconi Cup. The German has had many battles already though in that time against Team USA vice-captain Shane Van Boening and this match was going to be no different with the first rack going to the wire as Filler’s eight ball wiped its feet leaving the cue ball right in the pocket before he potted the nine.

The biggest reaction from the crowd on the night came in the fourth rack as Filler made the first golden break of the tournament as the seven kicked the nine ball in to put the Killer into a 3-1 lead. Europe Captain Alex Lely was wax lyrical about Filler’s capabilities in his programme notes and that the Killer ‘breathes fire’ and that assessment came true as he delivered an inch-perfect seven ball the full length of the table en route to a 4-2 lead. The 2021 World Cup of Pool champion completed a 5-2 victory in the following rack with a routine runout.

Europe seemed to garner confidence from Filler’s showing as David Alcaide and Jayson Shaw joined forces against Jones and Woodward and it proved to be the most emphatic result of the night in a 5-0 rout to make it 2-2 overall on day one. Shaw and Alcaide rallied with the pair coming out their shell in the second rack as Shaw delivered the shot of the night on the six. The Scotsman fired the six in the heart of the pocket before taking the cue ball up two rails to give Alcaide the ideal angle on the seven.

“I am happy we can say it’s 2-2 now because it looked for a little bit that it could get out of hand. Josh got his win over Shane that kicked us into gear. Alcaide and Shaw played a hell of a match. It’s a lot like last year when we were looking to go down after a shirt foul and we ended up winning that session. We were looking to start well and start better than last year but we didn’t succeed but we ended up doing well so that’s important,” said Lely.

“What he (Filler) did well was knowing the importance of the match. He wasn’t feeling super comfortable. He showed grit and heart and endured the pressure. When he clinched the victory, we could all see how didn’t milk it but took it all in, he loves it.”

Lely: “There’s relief (in the European camp). The Americans played well they had us under the gun and they responded. We look forward to tomorrow.”

Jones was happy with his side’s first day: “You can put the greatest team America has ever had and 2-2 is fine on day one. You can’t win ir or lose it on day one, but you do not want to let things get out of hand. Shane and Skyler did their thing. Skyler came with a great out under pressure in the first match. It was good to see them get some table time.”

“We feel good. As far as things are, I think we will stick to what we have on paper. I have a feel for the table. One thing I must do is be honest with myself because I am playing myself now. Going into day two is feeling good,” added Jones.

The 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup is Pool’s biggest rivalry as Europe and the USA meet over four days in a race to 11 points broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and networks worldwide including DAZN in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, USA, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Spain, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Poland. Action continues at 6 pm UK time tomorrow. Find out where to watch in your country here.

The 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Aramith is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip, and Onboard Sportwear provide all Mosconi Cup apparel. Cazoo is the official title sponsor of the 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup.

Styer Returns To Team USA For Mosconi Cup

Tyler Styer will return to Team USA for the 2021 Mosconi Cup, at Alexandra Palace, London, December 7-10.

BUY YOUR MOSCONI CUP TICKETS HERE

Styer makes the USA Mosconi Cup team for a third year having been on the winning side in both 2018 during his rookie campaign and 2019 in Las Vegas. The Wisconsin native becomes Jeremy Jones’ fourth American pick joining Earl Strickland, Skyler Woodward, and vice-captain Shane Van Boening with one further player set to be announced this Friday.

“I am ready to get back to work and get ready to take it down again. It feels great. The whole experience not just playing but being there for the whole week with the guys and bonding together and going out there and doing what you love whilst representing your country, you cannot beat that,” said Styer.

The 2019 Kremlin Cup winner made his debut at Alexandra Palace in 2018: “It was pretty insane; the crowd is hostile but they’re incredibly knowledgeable. Of course, they’re trying to help the Europeans win but when you make a great shot or out, they still acknowledge great pool. Of course, they’re there to cheer on their guys but they just love to see great pool.”

“Being able to bring back a win on US soil for the first time in a while was pretty cool. Alexandra Palace was pretty special we went over there, and we were huge underdogs, it was hard to beat that one, but it was great to repeat it in 2019.”

“It’s the fans, the excitement, the short races, the uncertainty. You never know what is going to happen you could be four-nil up or down and things just change in a blink. You never know what is going to happen but that’s the excitement and that’s why everyone goes nuts in there.”

“It’s the only option (to take the Mosconi Cup trophy back to the USA) that’s what we are going for. I will be bitter if we take anything less than that obviously in respect to the Europeans if we don’t. We are going there to win and only to win. Try not to take anything else but that.” added Styer.

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW FOR THE 2021 MOSCONI CUP AT ALEXANDRA PALACE, LONDON! 

Ticket prices start from £30.00 per session with a whole host of ticket options available including VIP and new for 2021, Platinum VIP+ where fans can get up close table side at Alexandra Palace and experience a backstage tour hosted by a Mosconi Cup legend. There will be a limited amount of restricted view tickets available from £20 on a day ticket basis.

A range of ticket packages are available including a Season Ticket giving you access to all the action from only £105. We are also offering the full Mosconi experience with our VIP and Platinum VIP+ tickets which includes a meet and greet with one player from each team per day as well a whole host of other benefits including premium padded seating for extra comfort on the front row tables, a two-course buffet dinner, and unlimited drinks*.

See the Mosconi Cup in style with our exclusive VIP packages

VIP TICKETS

PLATINUM VIP+

Click here for the seating plan

BUY YOUR MOSCONI CUP TICKETS HERE

Final 16 set for American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships, Ladies finish opening Round Robin phase

Tyler Styer was the beneficiary of an Earl Strickland disqualification

Day Three of the 16th Annual American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships featured some surprises and the start of the first-ever Women’s division, featuring 15 of the world’s top female competitors. The day began with the final Round Robin matches in eight divisions of the Men’s copmpetition, which cut the initial field of 48 entrants in half. Of the 24 that remained, eight competitors were awarded an opening round bye in the single elimination phase, while the other 16 squared off for the right to advance to the final 16.

By evening the Round Robin phase had ended, but not before some creative decision-making had advanced Tyler Styer, who’d already finished 4th and been eliminated within his group. Late in the day, Earl Strickland was disqualified from the tournament when, after the match was over,  he reacted to some distractions that had occurred during his match against Albin Oushchan. Both had entered the final match of their Round Robin group with 4-0 records. The disqualification led to a ‘hole’ in the upcoming single elimination phase, and instead of moving a 4th player from the group into that spot (which would have been Michael Yednak), tournament officials compared the match records and ultimately, the point differentials of two of the eight 4th place finishers, advancing Tyler Styer to the final 24.

The Round Robin phase had finished with seven competitors going undefeated; Shane Van Boening, Wiktor Zielinski, Albin Ouschan, Michael Lechner, Aloysius Yapp, Mario He and Alex Kazakis. The eighth competitor to receive an opening round bye in the single elimination phase went to defending champion, Ruslan Chinakhov, who’d finished with the best record (4-1) in his Round Robin group.

High run honors for the Round Robin phase of the event (players must have a minimum run of 100 at the time they reach the number of balls designated for the win to proceed) went to Joshua Filler, who, in his match versus Pagulayan on Wednesday, ran to 213. Shane Van Boening’s run of 210 was the next highest run in his match versus Lee Van Corteza.

Brittany Bryant

Five women finish with 2-0 records on Day One of Ladies competition’s Round Robin phase

Two of the three groups of five women ended up with two women who went 2-0 on their first day of competition. Kelly Fisher downed Billie Billing 80-27 and Emily Duddy 80-10, while Monica Webb also defeated Billing, 80-58 and Mary Rakin Tam 80-52 to finish as the two undefeated women from Group A. Ashley Burrows and Brittany Bryant from Group C finished their first day undefeated; Burrows, downing Gail Eaton 80-49 and Bethany Sykes 80-44, while Bryant defeated Janet Atwell 80-62 and Bethany Sykes 80-53. Pia Filler was the only woman from Group B to finish undefeated. She downed April Larson 80-41 and Liz Taylor 80-38.

Action will begin for the ladies on Day Two of their Round Robin stage at noon.

Final 16 men will get underway at 10 a.m., tomorrow (Friday)

The 16 male competitors in the opening round of the tournament’s single elimination phase got underway last night (Thursday) at around 7:30 p.m. and finished before 11 p.m. The winners of the eight matches will meet the eight competitors who’d received byes as a result of their work in the Round Robin phase of the event.

Konrad Juszczyszyn defeated Corey Deuel 150-77 to face Albin Ouschan tomorrow. Also advancing were Joshua Filler, who defeated Tyler Styer 150-27 for the right to meet Alex Kazakis. John Morra got by Dennis Grabe 150-44 for the right to meet Wictor Zielinski. Mieszko Fortunski defeated Alex Paguluyan 150-27 (after which, as he collected his winnings, Pagulayan was heard to say that he was absolutely going to quit the sport). Fortunski will meet Aloysius Yapp in the morning.

Rounding out the advancing eight will be Fedor Gorst, whose 202-45 victory over Bader Alawadhi put him among the final 16 against Mario He. The Iceman, Mika Immonen, eliminated Darren Appleton 150-44 and will face Max Lechner. The Kaiser, Ralf Souquet, got by Mohammad Ali Beriaoui 150-114 and will face defending champion Ruslan Chinahov. Oliver Szolnoki def Thorsten Hohmann 150-125 to face Shane Van Boening.

The first eight matches will commence at 10 a.m. The event quarterfinals, scheduled for 1 p.m.  will (roughly) follow the 2nd Round Robin sets for the ladies at noon. 

Free streaming is available on the American 14.1 Facebook page, the AZBtv Facebook page and from Istreampool on Youtube. Online brackets are available at Cuescore.com. All matches are played on Diamond Pro-Am tables with Simonis 866 cloth and Predator balls. Corner pockets are 4.5” and the sides are 5”.

Pair of Early Scares on Day One of FargoRate Ohio Open

Tyler Styer (Courtesy Matt Porinsky)

Last weekend, American Tyler Styer was battling Albania’s Eklent Kaci in the championship match of the inaugural Predator Austria Open, falling to the reigning World 10-Ball champion in straight sets.

Wednesday afternoon at the FargoRate Ohio Open, Styer had to fight and scrap to avoid an early upset, winning an overtime shootout to defeat junior upstart Payne McBride in the opening round of the four-day event being held at the Roberts Centre in Wilmington.

To say that the matchup appeared lopsided on paper would be an understatement. Styer, who has a Kremlin Cup championship along with two appearances on the United States’ Mosconi Cup team on his resume, carried a 761 FargoRate into the tournament compared to McBride’s 562. The gap appeared evident in the opening set, as Styer used a break-and-run paired with missed shots and a dry break from his opponent to paint a 4-0 whitewashing.

The 15-year-old McBride, who competed on the U.S. team in last week’s World Junior 9-Ball Championships, wasn’t deterred. He opened the second set by winning a safety exchange on the 1 ball and clearing the opening rack then added another game when his opponent scratched after pocketing the 8 ball. After Styer stole a game to cut the lead to 2-1, the young boy from Indiana used a combination shot on the 10 ball and a pair of misses by his opponent in the fifth rack to close out the set, 4-1, and force deciding spot shots.

Both players missed in their first attempts but pocketed the spotted 10 ball on their second try. Styer made the third frame shot while his opponent pushed the ball wide of the pocket and Styer secured victory when McBride missed for the third time in four tries.

Later in the day, Roberto Gomez Jr. found himself in a similar battle with American Jeremy Seaman, who rallied in the second set before falling to the Filipino in a shootout.

Gomez jumped out to an early 3-0 advantage in the first set thanks to a successful combination shot on the 10 ball in the opening rack and a break-and-run in the third game. Seaman cut the lead to 3-1 after winning a lengthy safety exchange on the 1 ball, but failed to pocket a ball on the break in the following game, allowing his opponent to close out the rack and the set, 4-1.

Gomez’s fortunes turned almost immediately in the second set when he scratched on the break of the opening game. His opponent cleared the table and appeared positioned to take a 2-0 advantage before missing the 10 ball. Gomez attempted a table-length bank of the ball but inadvertently pocketed the ball into a pocket he did not call, allowed Seaman to come back to the table and punch in the spotted ball to increase his lead to 2-0. After Seaman used a combination shot to pocket the 10 ball and build a 3-0 advantage, Gomez was able to claw out a win and cut the deficit to 3-1. The Filipino appeared positioned to cut the lead further in the fifth rack but missed the 4 ball in the corner pocket, allowing Seaman to clear the table and send the match to an extra frame.

The extra session mirrored that of Styer and McBride early on, with both competitors missing their shots in the first inning but pocketing the balls in the following frame. When each player again missed in the third inning the spot shot competition reached sudden-death, which Gomez won by pocketing the ball in the fourth inning.

In other matches from the day, Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski defeated Russia’s Ruslan Chinahov in straight sets, 4-0, 4-2, and reigning World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis of Greece fell to Japan’s Naoyuki Oi.

Competition resumes Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. local time, with notable matches including Styer meeting Filipino Warren Kiamco and Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski taking on Mohammad Ali Berjaoui of Lebanon. Tournament coverage begins at noon on Billiard TV and also will be broadcast on the WorldBilliardTV YouTube channel.

The FargoRate Ohio Open is the fourth and final stop of the U.S. Pro Billiard Series, which features four open professional events between July and the end of the year. Created by Predator Group and amateur league operator CueSports International, these tournaments will run in tandem alongside of CSI league amateur events being held throughout the country. The winner of each competition receives a guaranteed spot in the $130,000-added 2022 Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which will be held March 28 through April 1 in Las Vegas at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

This competition was played on Predator Pro pool tables covered with Predator Arcadia performance cloth, with Predator Arcos II precision balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights.

For more information on the U.S. Pro Billiard Series or amateur leagues, visit www.playcsipool.com.

For the latest information on the Predator Pro Billiard Series action, follow @ProBilliardSeries on Facebook and Instagram. Watch replays on Billiard TV  or on the WorldBilliardTV YouTube channel.

Kaci and Fisher Go for the Kill in Klagenfurt

Eklent Kaci and Kelly Fisher

It is the final day of the Austria open in Klagenfurt, the first European event in the Probilliardseries. 4 women and 8 men left in the two respective tournaments, all 12 players with a chance to grab that 15K first prize and the honour of becoming the winner of the inaugural event on European soil.

Before a single ball has been struck on this final day, we know that pool is the winner. A triple-A production and a format designed to bring viewers all around the world to the edge of their seat. In the short sets to 4, 3-0 or 3-1 deficits are relatively easy to overcome. Every set is close and if the two sets are drawn, a shootout will be played.

And did we see a shootout?!?! In the first match of the day between the tournament favourite Kelly Fisher and Veronika Ivanovskaia, the two players were absolutely perfect for 5 minutes. It came down to a shootout and it was the most intense 5 minutes that we have had in the arena. Each responding to the pressure and making their shootout-shot. After 4 shots the cueball was moved back a diamond and it came down to a sudden death. Ivanovskaia made 6 in a row….Fisher made 7!

Fisher’s opponent in the final was to be decided in the match between Tkach and the revelation from Serbia, Borana Sarac. It turned out that there would be no rematch of the Michigan-final, where Tkach and Fisher met. Sarac beat her much heralded Moscovite opponent in two straight sets and would have an incredible opportunity to cement her place in history and shift her carreer into overdrive.

After the valaint display in the semi’s, many would have thought young Sarac could go all the way. Such was not the case. As they say “the lesson comes after the exam”. The confidence and decisiveness that have been characteristic for Sarac throughout the tournament deserted her in the final. And then, what other to expect than for Kelly Fisher’s experience and pure grit to overpower Sarac. Fisher’s performance in the final was an example of the saying that a chains strength is determined by its weakest link. Her form did not allow her to run away with the match. But by being acceptant of that and playing purely ball-for-ball, the two-time world champion crawled her way to the finish line. What a champion Kelly Fisher is, winning the first Probilliards stop in Europe, right after snapping off the previous stop in Michigan, USA.

In the mens division the days’ play commenced with the quarterfinals. When the smoke cleared after the noon-session, we read Van Lierop – Styer and Kaci – Sniegocki in the semi-finals. The surprise semi-finalist jan van Lierop had his breakthrough tournament. What a headstrong showing from the Dutchman, overcoming so many hurdles on the way to the semi-final. And so he did in the match with the American as well. In the first match on the TV-table, he had difficulty adjusting to the conditions, and the first set went astray. But he buckled down, got that cueball under control and managed to force a shootout decider.It turned out to be another cracker. The pressure was so thick, you could cut it and serve it as an afternoon snack. Man o man, did Jan come close to a major final. But alas, former Kremlin Cup winner Tyler Styer had one more pot in him than Jan. Styer would be Kaci’s opponent in the final. Because Kaci…Kaci…Kaci…won again in two straight sets. Exit Sniegocki, the ‘Snowball’ Sniegol got halted by the Albanian World 10-ball Champion.

Eklent Kaci, the World 10-ball champion and Tyler Styer, former winner of the Kremlin Cup and Mosconi Cup revelation in 2018 were to play the final. An early miss on the 2-ball in rack 1 by Styer kicked off Kaci’s last push to tournament victory. He ran away with first set with a score of 4 – 1. He played with a combination of ease and precision that we only get to see with absolute elite players who are on a run of form for an extended period of time. His cueball control is second to none, he breaks as hard as he is big and he has the temperament and patience of a sniper. Two major wins in the Probilliardseries by Eklent Kaci in a brief period of time and if the 22-year old keeps prioritizing his poolgame, he is expected to extend this streak well into 2022.

Action continues in Klagenfurt on Sunday the 10th of October with the final stages of the 2021 Predator WPA World 9-Ball Junior Championships. As always you can watch the feature table LIVE on BILLIARD TV https://streamstak.com/billiardtv/ , or watch all tables LIVE on KOZOOM https://www.kozoom.com/en/pool-billiard/

The Predator Austria Open and Austria Women’s Open are sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association and guaranteed prize funds of 52,000€ and 38,400€ respectively. The events take place alongside the Predator World Junior 9-Ball Championships at the Sportpark Klagenfurt in Klagenfurt, Austria from October 6th to 10th, 2021.

The Predator Pro Billiard Series, is a series of open/pro events held around the world to provide more opportunities for professional and aspiring pool players to compete in high-quality events, earn more income, sharpen their skills, and earn their way into the $125,000 added Predator World 10-Ball Championship held in Las Vegas each year as part of the CueSports International Expo.

These events will be played on Predator Pro tables covered with Predator Arcadia Performance Cloth, with Predator Arcos II balls, and under the Predator Arena billiard lights.

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