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Slovakia Stun Austria To Knock Defending Champs Out Of World Cup Of Pool

ROUND 1 RESULTS
Japan 7-1 Croatia
Czech Republic 7-4 Hungary
Austria 1-7 Slovakia

World Cup of Pool debutants Slovakia stunned defending champions Austria, knocking out the No.1 seeds with a brilliant 7-1 victory on the opening afternoon at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes.

Albin Ouschan and Mario He have reached the last three World Cup finals, lifting the trophy in 2017 and 2019. However, Jakub Koniar and Jaroslav Polach barely gave their opponents a chance as Slovakia proved exactly why they had been invited for the first time. A little luck along the way helped but Koniar and Polach looked calm at the table as they ran four of the seven racks won to advance to the second round.

“It is amazing,” said Koniar. “We had a little bit of luck in the beginning but with the 1-ball on the spot and winner breaks, you can even beat the best team in the world.

“We knew we could win. I have beaten Albin a few times, Jaro has won against both players in the Austrian Bundesliga, so we knew if we played our best game we could win.

“We practiced the break all last weekend together,” added Polach. “We played a hard break, the cue ball control was good, and we had a little bit of luck, but from 2-1 to 6-1 they weren’t at the table. In this game you can beat anybody in the world.”

Slovakia will face Czech Republic in the second round after a 7-4 success over Hungary for the Czechs.

“It will be a federal derby,” said Jaroslav. “We play every year something like the Mosconi Cup between Czech Republic and Slovakia. It hasn’t played last year because of Covid so now we will play one scotch doubles to see who is best!”

The event opened with Japanese favourite Naoyuki Oi, alongside debutant Masato Yoshioka, up against Croatian duo Philipp Stojanovic and Roberto Bartol.

Yoshioka earned his first appearance in the World Cup on the back of a fine run of form prior to the Covid-19 lockdown. A win in the Kansai Open in his homeland and a bronze medal at the World 10-Ball Championship helped him rise to Japanese No.1 and World No. 36.

In their opening match, he actually looked the more comfortable of the pair, his experienced partner struggling at times with cue-ball control. Croatia, though, were really struggling. Japan only ran out one rack, so even with the winner breaks format the Europeans had chances, but they were only able to take one of them and Japan eventually won 7-1, a result which meant TV viewers were treated to another colourful Oi interview.

“It was a very fast match today, the table was playing very quick with the new ball and the new cloth. It was difficult but my teammate was confident,” he said, before treating those watching to a victory dance. “In the next round it will be Russia, they have the World Champion, or Switzerland who are very good, they have strong players. But Japan will play to win.”

After Japan’s cruising first-round victory, the clash between Czech Republic (Petr Urban and Michal Gavenciak) and Hungary (Oliver Szolnoki and Vilmos Foldes) was a more attritional affair. The Czech team’s preparations were hit when Roman Hybler had to withdraw less than a week before the event, but Urban proved a worth deputy.

The first six racks were shared before the Czech team pulled ahead and moved to the hill at 6-3 up. Hungary fought back briefly but their campaign was ended when Urban and Gavenciak won the 11th for a 7-4 victory.

The World Cup of Pool continues from 5:30pm (UK time) this evening with three more first round matches; Russia will face Switzerland, Greece take on Serbia and Estonia are up against Belgium.

The World Cup of Pool is broadcast live globally including on Sky Sports, DAZN and Matchroom.Live. Full broadcast details can be found at matchroompool.com.

For all the latest news and announcements follow Matchroom Pool on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram.

Kaci’s Albania Among Latest Confirmed For World Cup Of Pool

Eklent Kaci’s Albanian team are among a number of nations now confirmed for the World Cup of Pool, which will take place this May 9-14 at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, live on Sky Sports.

Mosconi Cup winner Kaci will again be joined by Besar Spahiu after the pair defeated Russia at the 2019 World Cup before falling agonisingly short against Philippines, suffering a 7-5 defeat.

A host of European teams are now confirmed, as well as Kuwait (Omar Al-Shaheen and Bader Abdullah Alawadhi), and Australia, who will again be represented by Justin Sajich, this time partnered by Ivan Li.

Serge Das will return for Belgium alongside Kevin Lannoye, while Bosnia & Herzegovina will make their World Cup of Pool debut with Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Ajdin Piknjac. Philipp Stojanovic and Roberto Bartol will represent Croatia, while the Czech Republic pairing will be Roman Hybler and Michal Gavenciak.

Young Danish star Mickey Krause will make his debut in the Matchroom arena with Bahram Lotfy as the 20-year-old’s partner.

Estonia’s Denis Grabe and Mark Magi, who famously fell out after losing a hill-hill second round match at the last World Cup of Pool, will be hoping nothing comes between them this time around. Oliver Szolnoki and Vilmos Foldes are teaming up for Hungary and there’s a World Cup debut for Lithuania, represented by Pijus Labutis and Kęstutis Žadeikis.

The World Cup of Pool features 32 two-player teams and is played to a straight-knockout format, with a total prize fund of $250,000.

Team Austria (Albin Ouschan and Mario He) will defend their title in Milton Keynes, but competition will be tough with some of the biggest names in pool already confirmed. They include, three-times winners Philippines (Jeff De Luna and Roberto Gomez), USA (Skyler Woodward and Billy Thorpe), and Great Britain A (Jayson Shaw and Chris Melling).

The final teams will be announced shortly and the draw for the World Cup of Pool will be made soon after all teams have been confirmed. The World Cup of Pool will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, DAZN and Matchroom.Live, with further international broadcasters to be confirmed.

The 25th Jay “Swanee” Swanson Memorial 4k Added 9-ball Tournament Showcases Big Heart in Las Vegas

Corey Deuel and Shane Van Boening

A full field of 64 strong players came out to Griff’s in Las Vegas over the weekend of April 10th & 11th to compete in “The Swanee”. “The Swanee” is short for the Jay “Swanee” Swanson Memorial Tournament, and Griff’s hosted its 25th event.

The event attracted several stand out up and coming pros, and legendary road warriors that competed in the double elimination 4k added 9-ball tournament.  The event was free to spectators and available to view on live stream by a professional stream with commentary by BBTV via Griff’s Facebook page.

“Swanee” the player was a legendary, larger than life character who was known as the best player out of San Diego and one of the best in the nation. A towering “Gentle Giant” who was all heart and loved the excitement of competition and followed the action. The legend of Jay “Swanee” Swanson was huge. Unfortunately, “Swanee” had to quit the game after his doctor discovered that he had an enlarged heart and ultimately even he couldn’t contain it.

His legacy continues, and legends reflect back on great road stories and memories like Johnny Archer who respected how he always practiced hard and took the game seriously. After this weekend, even more new players will continue his legacy in remembering and participating in the 2021 Swanee. This event was run by Tim Kovacs and KPP (Kovacs Pool Promotions) and hosted by Mark Griffin, Gary Lutman and Griff’s staff.

All players played one another even with no jump cues allowed. Races to 8 on the winners side and races to 7 on the one-loss bracket. The finals was a race to 11 games. (The player had to win by two games, and if it went to 15-15, the match went to sudden death)

The event drew big names in the game, like Shane Van Boening, Vilmos Foldes, Warren Kiamco, Oscar Dominguez, Chris Robinson and Corey Deuel. The field was filled with a super strong field of talent with big heart.

Talent was deep in the field with 33 players rated 650 or higher with 17 over 700. On paper, Shane Van Boening came into the event as the favorite with an 817 Fargo.

It would be Shane’s old Mosconi Cup teammate, pro Corey Deuel who would stand out by going through the field to the hot-seat undefeated. Corey defeated Sergio Rivas, Oscar Dominguez, John Kocela, Nick De Leon, Danny Olson and Chris Robinson to earn his seat in the finals.

James Cabal, Daniel Sardoncillo, Manny Perez and Oscar Dominguez played solid finishing 9-12th.

Nick De Leon and Chris Lulek, both from team Arizona, had outstanding performances finishing 7-8th. Vilmos Foldes played outstanding throughout the event and knocked Chris Lulek out of the tournament 7-4, before running into a buzzsaw in Shane Van Boening on then TV table, losing 7-1.

Nick De Leon lost a well fought match against one of the favorites, Warren Kiamco, 7-4.

Warren was playing superb pool Saturday and all day Sunday before coming up short in a hill-hill thriller, getting defeated by the “South Dakota Kid” Shane Van Boening 7-6.

Shane would play another Mosconi Cup player, Chris Robinson, on the TV table for a chance to play Corey Deuel in the finals. Shane outperformed Chris in compelling fashion 7-3.

The stage was set, with all eyes on two top American players who have both represented the United States of America on one of pool’s largest stages – the Mosconi Cup. Both players embody all of the characteristics that “Swanee” would be proud of. Both of these players can play the game at the highest level and have heart, big heart.

In the finals…

All eyes were on the final match on the TV table… Corey Deuel vs Shane Van Boening.

Shane continued his hot play on the TV table while Corey played a solid set. Shane capitalized on a few key misses and jumped ahead at 9-6, before Corey closed the gap to two racks at  10 – 8. Corey’s late comeback came to an end with a scratch on the break, as Shane ran out the remaining balls and earned a hard fought victory capturing the 25th Swanee.

Griff’s etches the names of each years champion in a special plaque that has a picture of “Swanee”. This year, Shane Van Boening proved to have the biggest heart and dug the deepest to deliver a gritty win to become the 2021 “Swanee” Champion.

Griff’s had Simonis cloth and new Aramith Duramith Balls on every table. The tables played  perfectly straight and this event featured a special customized red Accu-rack produced by Outsville for this event.

Foldes wins nine on the loss side, downs Vilmont to defend his Andy Mercer Memorial title

Vilmos Foldes and Chad Vilmont

With Jimmy Mataya in the broadcast booth alongside POVPool’s Daniel Busch during the double elimination finals of the 30th Annual Andy Mercer Memorial, held over this past weekend (Feb. 21-23), viewers and listeners were rewarded with a combination of table savvy and street humor that made the broadcast almost as entertaining as the matches themselves. Sounding like a cross between the late Howard Cosell and Paul Harvey, while bearing a bit of ‘don’t mess with me’ edge to his commentary, Mataya would likely tell you how it all went down this way.

“Let me tell you something right now,” he might say. “These two kids knew what they were doin’ out there and put on one hell of a show, OK?”

The ‘kids’ to whom he hypothetically referred were the winner, Hungary’s Vilmos Foldes, the event’s defending champion, who won nine on the loss side to meet and defeat USA’s Chad Vilmont, who finished as runner-up, after he’d defeated six opponents, including two former champions of this event, to claim the hot seat. The $3,700-added event drew 64 entrants to Rum Runners in Las Vegas, NV.

Five of the event’s 17 former champions competed, and three of them finished among the top four – Foldes, Orcollo (2016), who finished third, and Warren Kiamco, who won it twice, in 1995 and 23 years later in 2018, and finished 4th this year. Also competing were Brian Parks, who won it in 2008 and finished in the tie for 7th, and Ernesto Dominguez, who won it in 2010 and finished this year in the tie for 33rd. Shane Van Boening, who’s won it five times, including four in a row from 2011-2014, did not compete.

Foldes got one match under his belt, a 6-0 shutout over Tres Kane, before running into a double hill fight versus Orcollo, that he lost. Orcollo advanced to defeat Jack Rippel and Brian Parks to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Chris Robinson. Vilmont, in the meantime, had opened his trek to the hot seat with three straight shutouts, over James Harling, Randy Kukla, and Joseph Crugnale, before he gave up three racks to Warren Kiamco in a winners’ side quarterfinal win. He faced Edgie Geronimo in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Orcollo sent Chris Robinson to the loss side 6-3, as Vilmont was busy surviving a double hill fight versus Geronimo. Vilmont claimed the hot seat 6-2 and sent Orcollo to a fateful semifinal against Foldes.

Vilmont, who’s been at the tables for “around 30 years,” was a little surprised and at the same time, not all that surprised to be in the hot seat in this particular field of players. He was asked, right after defeating Orcollo, if he had any particular mental preparation he employed for matches against some of this field’s tougher opponents.

“I just play my game. It doesn’t matter who I’m playing,” he said. “These guys have a lot of tools, but it comes down to me.”

“I’m getting old,” he added with a laugh. “I’m just happy to make the balls.”

On the loss side, Foldes had picked up, more or less, where he’d left off. He followed his defeat at the hands of Orcollo with his second 6-0 shutout, this one over Joey Chin. Foldes went on to defeat Trick Sixty, Joseph Crugnale and Lance Salazar, before eliminating Mark Jarvis 6-3 and Brian Parks 6-1 to draw Geronimo, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Chris Robinson picked up Kiamco, who, after his defeat at the hands of Vilmont, had survived a double hill fight against Mitch Ellerman and defeated Tommy Baker 6-4.

Foldes defeated Geronimo 6-3. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Kiamco, who in a ‘wily veteran’ vs. ‘young gun’ matchup against Chris Robinson had sent the youngster home with a shutout to remember him by. Foldes went on to eliminated Kiamco 6-3 in those quarterfinals, for a second shot at Orcollo in the semifinals.

They locked up in their second double hill fight in those semifinals. This time, though, Foldes moved on and Orcollo did not, ending his brief four-event-in-a-row winning streak that had begun with his victory at a Midnight Madness event of the Music City Classic, followed with his 9-Ball Banks and Master of the Table win at Derby City and most recently, concluded with his victory at the Texas 10-Ball Open (at which he defeated Warren Kiamco in the finals).

Foldes had that intangible ‘momentum’ working for him as he stepped into the true double elimination final against Vilmont and opened up a quick 4-1 lead in the opening set. Vilmont sandwiched a rack right in the middle of Foldes’ four. Vilmont, though, let everyone who was there know that it wasn’t over yet. He ran a three-pack to tie things at 4. They traded racks to the double hill 5-5 tie, before Foldes sealed the deal to force a second set.

Though Foldes would win the opening rack of the second set, Vilmont would record another three pack, before Foldes won two to tie; to include a 5-9 combination in the tying game. They traded racks to a 4-4 tie, before Vilmont reached the hill first, after Foldes scratched in the 9th rack. Vilmos came back to tie it to force a second double hill finish. Foldes finished it early with a 2-9 combination to successfully defend the Andy Mercer Memorial title.

Rum Runner owner Gino Hill and his brother, Gordie, along with their assistant, Mike Ganz thanked their staff and official event referee Jim Blakeman for their work, as well as Daniel Busch and his POVPool staff for their streaming of select matches throughout the weekend. Busch added thanks for POVPool sponsors JB Cases, Tiger Products, Luxe Electric Car and West State Billiards.

Eberle comes from the loss side to win 24th Annual Jay Swanson “Swanee” Memorial

Max Eberle, Ben Sutherland, Tom Kovacs and Chris Robinson

The first evidence AZBilliards documented about Max Eberle was his 9th-place finish in the ESPN Ultimate Challenge (Men’s Division) in February, 1999. The single-elimination event was won by Efren Reyes, with Dennis Hatch as the runner-up. Eberle shared his 9th place finish with Allen Hopkins, Alex Pagulayan, and Johnny Archer, among others. Moving into his 21st year as a cash-earning entrant in the AZBilliards database, Max Eberle began 2020 with a bit of a bang,  working his way through to a winners’ side semifinal and then, three matches on the loss side to meet and defeat ‘young gun’ Chris Robinson-Reinhold in the finals of the 24th Annual Jay Swanson “Swanee” Memorial on the weekend of January 18-19. The $3,000-added event drew 64 entrants to Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV.
 
The field included the event’s current champion, Vilmos Foldes, but did not include last year’s runner-up, Oscar Dominguez. Alex Pagulayan, two-time winner of the event in ’11 and ’12 was registered, but forfeited his first two matches. The ‘old school’ versus ’new school’ meeting in the finals had its origins in the event’s winners’ side semifinals, when Eberle, after victories over Avelino Arciaga (8-1), Mike Hutcheson (8-5), Chris McDaniel (Forfeit) and Mitch Ellerman (8-6), faced Alfonso Moreno, Jr. (it was Ellerman who’d  sent Foldes to the loss side). Robinson-Reinhold, in the meantime, got by Victor Cucuzza (8-4), Ronnie Wiseman (8-3), Ian Costello (8-6) and Anthony Ortega (8-6) to face Tuan Tran in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Eberle and Moreno, Jr. locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Moreno to the hot seat match and Eberle off on his three-match, loss-side trip back. Robinson-Reinhold and Tran came within a game of having their match go to double hill, as well, but Robinson-Reinhold pulled ahead near the end and won it 8-6 to join Moreno, Jr. in the battle for the hot seat. Robinson-Reinhold won that fight, decisively, 8-2 and waited in the hot seat for the return of Eberle.
 
On the loss side, as the event moved into its first money rounds (13-16), Foldes, having won his first loss-side match 7-1 to KC Massey, continued to lurk. He’d win two more; to Chris McDaniel 7-5 and Tom Smith 7-3 before falling to Brian Begay 7-5. Begay would move on to face Eberle, coming over from his winners’ side semifinal fight. Tuan Tran picked up Ellerman, who, after his winners’ side quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Eberle had eliminated James Cabal 7-2 and Ian Costello 7-3.
 
Ellerman advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-4 win over Tran. Eberle earned the rematch with a 7-2 victory over Begay. Eberle downed Ellerman a second time, 7-5, in those quarterfinals and then, downed Moreno, Jr. 7-3 in the semifinals.
 
Eberle chalked up his first (recorded) major victory since he won the Derby City’s 14:1 Challenge in 2013. ‘Old School’ downed ‘New School’ (in the person of Chris Robinson-Reinhold) with a 10-6 victory in the finals.

CSI Is The Official Sponsor Of Team USA

Team USA to take on Team CSI in warm-up match at Griff’s Billiards
 
Matchroom Multi Sport are delighted to announce that CueSports International (CSI) will be the Official Sponsor of Team USA at the 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup, this November 25-28 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center, Las Vegas.
 
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 League and USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content. In addition to supporting Team USA at the partypoker Mosconi Cup, ‘Team CSI’ will take on Team USA in an official warm-up match to be staged at Griff’s Billiards, Las Vegas on Wednesday, November 20.
 
Team CSI will be made up of Karl Boyes, Vilmos Foldes, John Morra, Oscar Dominguez and Alex Pagulayan. The match will feature a mixture of race-to-five singles and doubles matches following the partypoker Mosconi Cup format with the winners to be the first team to win five matches.
 
Team USA vs Team CSI will be shown free on the Matchroom Pool YouTube page, www.youtube.com/MatchroomPool1 from 2pm PT on November 20.
 
Ozzy Reynolds, CEO of CSI, said: “We are honored to support Team USA and partner with our friends at Matchroom to stage the Team USA warm-up match. The Mosconi Cup is an important event in our industry. Each year, pool fans across the globe watch with anticipation, excitement and sometimes agony. It’s an event packed with pressure and intensity and we are very proud to be part of it.”
 
Emily Frazer, COO of Matchroom Multi Sport, said: “We are delighted that CSI will be supporting Team USA as they defend their partypoker Mosconi Cup title in Vegas and we are excited to work with CSI on staging USA’s warm-up match this year.
 
“USA were brilliant in London last year and helped give the fans one of the most memorable Mosconi Cups of all time. They look even stronger this year with each member of the team having had a great year and we know they will be ready to defend their title against Europe. Their warm-up match is an important part of preparations and we are grateful to CSI for their support of this event.”
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup will take place at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas this November 25-28, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
 
Limited tickets remain available now at www.mosconicup.com. Prices start at $48 per day with silver season tickets at $161. Additional gold seating has now been released with day tickets at $70 and a season ticket available for $239.
 
VIP Platinum packages are available priced $225 per day or $950 for all four days and include a breakfast buffet, unlimited drinks, VIP seating in the front three rows and much more.
 
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Saluc is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip and Ultimate Team Gear provide all partypoker Mosconi Cup apparel. CSI is the official sponsor of Team USA.

Draw Made For US Open 9-Ball Championship

The draw for the 43rd US Open 9-Ball Championship has been made, with Jayson Shaw to begin his defense against Marcus Weston at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas on Sunday, April 21.
 
The draw was seeded with a golf-style category system adopted, which took in rankings from across the pool world including WPA World Ranking, BCA Standings and Fargo Rating. As defending champion Shaw was seeded No.1, while five-time US Open champion Shane Van Boening is seeded second as the highest ranked American player.
 
Broadcast details for the 2019 US Open 9-Ball Championship will be announced shortly. Live rack-by-rack scoring will be available throughout the event at www.matchroompool.com thanks to Matchroom Multi Sport’s partnership with CueScore.
 
The draw, brackets and match schedule can be viewed now at https://cuescore.com/tournament/US+Open+9-ball+Championship/5185877
 
Note: Should any players featured in the draw not participate in the event, they will be replaced directly by the first player on the event waiting list to accept a spot in the tournament, irrespective of where the new player would have featured in any seeding category.
 
All matches at the US Open 9-Ball Championship takes place April 21-26 at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas. Matches are race to 11, winner breaks, except the final which is race to 13. The draw and match schedule for the first stage of the tournament is available now at www.matchroompool.com.
 
Tickets for the 43rd US Open 9-Ball Championship are still available at www.matchroompool.com from as little as $10 with VIP packages also available for the final three days of the tournament.
 
The tournament will be split into two stages with the full field playing double elimination down to the final 16 from Sunday April 21st until Tuesday April 23rd across multiple tables. From Wednesday April 24th until Friday April 26th the final 16 players will play straight knockout in the TV Arena in front of a global television audience.
 
US OPEN | ROUND ONE DRAW
 
Jayson Shaw vs. Marcus Westen
Tom Staveley vs.Jason Williams
Hunter Lombardo vs. Kosuke Tojo
Radwan Jameel R Sorouji vs. Tommy Tokoph
Naoyuki Oi vs. Marco Vignola
Alex Montpellier vs. Jason Klatt
Martin Daigle vs. Patrick Flemming
Angelo Salzano vs. Corey Deuel
Petri Makkonen vs. Marcel Price
Peter Busarac vs. Amar Kang
Franklin Hernandez vs. Ellis Brown
Paul Jaurez vs. Justin Bergman
James Aranas vs. Roderick Malone
Masato Yoshioka vs. Erik Hjorleifson
Stephen Folan vs. Jochen Kluge
Jon Demet vs. Toru Kurabayashi
Fedor Gorst vs. Gary Onomura
Stanley Walton vs. Paul Duell
Omar Al-Shaheen vs. David Dimmitt
Amer Al-Darbani vs. Mateusz Sniegoki
Dali Lin vs. Fabio Rizzi
Jason Hitzfeld vs. Jeremy Jones
Philipp Stojanovic vs. Steve Van Ness
Dalibor Nikolin vs. Francisco Sanchez Ruiz
(Kevin) Cheng Yu Hsuan vs. Christopher Lawson
Mohammed Ali N Al Eid vs. Ivo Aarts
Rodney Morris vs. Ken Kuwana
Deomark Alpajora vs. Radoslaw Babica
Marc Bijsterbosch vs. Ritchie Ogawa
Gary Urinoski vs. Danny Olson
Toan Nguyen vs. Bahram Lofty
Giuseppe Iacobucci vs. Ko Pin-Yi
Carlo Biado vs. Fahad Salem N Alharbi
Kenichi Uchigaki vs. Tyler Fleshman
Matt Edwards vs. Marco Penta
Hideaki Arita vs. Maksim Dudanets
Jeff De Luna vs. Torsten Schmitt
Chris Robinson vs. Rob Hart
Marco Teutscher vs. Raymund Faraon
Yip Kin Ling Leo vs. Dennis Orcollo
David Alcaide vs. Jorg Kellner
Blake Baker vs. Mitch Ellerman
Siming Chen vs. Mohamed Baabad
Jamal Oussi vs. Hoang Duong Quoc
Liu Haitao vs. Patrick Griess
Mike Stalk vs. John Schmidt
Justin Espinosa vs. Nguyen Phuc Long
Koh Yong Lee Randolph vs. Eklent Kaci
Ko Ping-Chung vs. Sami Koylu
Cole Gibbons vs. Brian Sanders
Brandon Shuff vs. Michael Yednak
Robert Hewings vs. Michael Dechaine
Konrad Juszczyszyn vs. John Chapman
Luis Guerrero vs. Hayato Hijikata
Kenny Loftis vs. Corey Harper
Michael Hutcheson vs. Thorsten Hohmann
Johnny Archer vs. Kurt Kobayashi
Konrad Piekarski vs. Roberto Gomez
Jani Siekkinen vs. Damian Pongpanik
Bora Anar vs. Alex Pagulayan
Sangin Pehlivanovic vs. Bryan Farah
Ching-Shun Yang vs. Milos Verkic
Kings Santy vs. Michael Delawder
Jason McClain vs. Alexander Kazakis
Joshua Filler vs. Matt Krah
Thomas Welle vs. David Anderson
Jalal Yousef vs. Henrik Larsson
Tom Griffith vs. Roman Hybler
Jeffery Ignacio vs. Lefteris Georgiou
James Davee vs. Kostas Koukiadakis
Hsu Kai-Lun vs. Adam King
Ralph Eckert vs. Mika Immonen
Wu Kun Lin vs. Kuo Szu-Ting
Kang Lee vs. Ernesto Dominguez
Darren Appleton vs. Terry Spalding
Patrick Holtz vs. Richard Halliday
Tyler Styer vs. Kelii Chuberko
Che-Wei Fu vs. Josh Roberts
John Barton vs. Zachary Bos
Johann Dominik Hiber vs. Wu Jiaqing
Dennis Grabe vs. Lee Heuwagen
Jeffrey Jimenez vs. Ronald Regli
Liu Ri Teng vs. Gwyn Spooner
Arnar Peterson vs. Chang Yu-Lung
Wang Can vs. Dejan Sipkovski
Jonathan Mcdowell Pakieto vs. Francisco Bustamante
Max Eberle vs. Robert Goddard
Florida Pro Tour vs. Aloysius Yapp
Skyler Woodward vs. Luu Minh Phuc
Stephen Holem vs. Imran Majid
Jason Theron vs. Katsuyuki Yamamoto
Stan Tourangeau vs. Ruslan Chinakov
Wojciech Szewczyk vs. Renato Camantigue
James Adams vs. Marek Kudlik
Brendan Ng vs. Paddy McLoughlin
Brian Parks vs. Niels Feijen
Chang Jung-Lin vs. Roland Stock
John Moody Sr vs. Adam Lilley
Nick Malaj vs. Dimitri Jungo
Francesco Candela vs. Tomasz Kaplan
Mario He vs. Michael Pruitt
Cheng-Chieh Liu vs. Tommy Kennedy
Vilmos Foldes vs. Marc Vidal Claramunt
Max K Reyes vs. Billy Thorpe
Dang Jin Hu vs. Ben Crawley
Jamie White vs. Tony Chohan
Gabe Owen vs. Gary Lutman
Elliot Sanderson vs. Robbie Capito
Warren Kiamco vs. Mark Showalter
Brendon Bektashi vs. Hsu Jui-An
Patrick Mannillo vs. Melinda Huang
Ryo Yokawa vs. Chris Melling
Ralf Souquet vs. Molrudee Kasemchaiyanan
Seiji Kuwajima vs. Simon Pickering
Earl Strickland vs. Pedro Botta
Steve Lingelbach vs. Dennis Hatch
Donny Mills vs. Eugene Villena
Mark Foster vs. Shaun Wilkie
Kim Laaksonen vs. Chris Alexander
Steven Lingafelter vs. Albin Ouschan
John Morra vs. Marco Spitzky
Adam Mscisz vs. Marlon Manalo
Alejandro Carvajal vs. Dustin Dixon
Philipps Yee vs. Johann Chua
Mieszko Fortunksi vs. Chris McDaniel
Robby Foldvari vs. Yukio Akagariyama
Manny Perez vs. Nicolas Charette
Abdullah Saeed O Alshammari vs. Shane van Boening

Foldes goes undefeated, downing Dominguez twice, to win 23rd Annual ‘Swanee’ Memorial

Vilmos Foldes, TD Tim Kovacs and Oscar Dominguez

The annual Jay Swanson (‘Swanee’) Memorial has a way of drawing the country’s top pool talent to the West Coast, or thereabouts. Not that players need much of an incentive to play out there, but the list of previous winners includes players who are recognizable by their last or just a single name; Orcollo (2013, 2014), The Lion (2011, 2012), Parica (2010), and Archer (2008), for example. Last year (2018), Canada’s Erik Hjorliefson grabbed the title, though he did not compete this year. This year’s finalists, Hungarian Vilmos Foldes and West Coast native and West Coast Tour director Oscar Dominguez played in last year’s quarterfinals, won by Dominguez. This year, Foldes and Dominguez met twice, in the hot seat and finals, with Foldes winning both. The $3,000-added, 23rd Annual Jay Swanson Memorial, held on the weekend of February 23-24, drew 64 entrants to Griff’s Bar & Billiards in Las Vegas, NV.

Foldes’ path to the winners’ circle went through Butch Barba, Brian Begay, Peter Horton and Fach Garcia before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Bret Huth. The younger Dominguez (Oscar, with his father, Ernesto, moving in his general direction on the winners’ side) got by Jay Mulimbayan, Marshall Jung, Robin Figueroa and Ian Costello to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against ‘young gun’ Christopher Robinson-Reinhold, who’d just spoiled Oscar’s opportunity to play his father by defeating him 8-6 in a winners’ side quarterfinal (father and son would not have played, they never do; Ernesto always forfeiting matches in which he’s pitted against his son).
Foldes got into the hot seat match 8-4 over Huth. Oscar Dominguez joined him after an 8-2 victory over Robinson-Reinhold. Foldes took the first of his two against Dominguez 8-5 and claimed the hot seat.
Over on the loss side, Robinson-Reinhold picked up Nick DeLeon, who, after his defeat at the hands of Bret Huth in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had eliminated Tuan Tran 7-3 and Fach Garcia 7-1 to reach him. Huth, in the meantime, drew Mitch Ellerman, who was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that included the elimination of Ernesto Dominguez and Ian Costello, both 7-2.
Huth ended Ellerman’s run 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Robinson-Reinhold, who’d defeated DeLeon 7-5, as well. Robinson-Reinhold took one more step, shutting Huth out in those quarterfinals.
Oscar Dominguez, no doubt eager for a second shot at Foldes in the hot seat, got his chance with a 7-4 win over Robinson-Reinhold in the semifinals. Foldes, though, in a final race to 11, claimed the 23rd Annual Swanee Memorial title 11-8 over Dominguez.
Event representatives thanked Mark Griffin and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, JB Cases, Simonis Cloth and Discount Custom Apparel.

Gomez goes undefeated to take sixth stop on the Action Pool Tour

(l to r): Roberto Gomez, Raymond Walters (TD) & Chris Bruner

As fellow Filipino pool players competed in tournaments from Raleigh, NC (at the Doug Beasley Custom Cues 9-Ball Open) and Dallas/Ft. Worth (at the DFW 9-Ball Tour), Roberto Gomez landed in Midlothian, VA for the sixth stop on the Action Pool Tour. Gomez went undefeated through a field of 38 at the June 16-17 event, hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian.
 
Gomez is on track to have his best recorded earnings year, ever. To date, according to our records, his best earnings year was 11 years ago, in which, though he didn’t win an event, he did finish as runner-up in the WPA World Championships in the Philippines, sandwiched between winner Daryl Peach and third-place finisher, Vilmos Foldes. The runner-up finish earned him $40,000, $5,700 short of his total that year, and more than any single year’s earnings since he entered the AZBilliards database 13 years ago.
 
In addition to going undefeated, Gomez ended the weekend with a 73% winning game average, just shy of three out of every four games he played. The percentage was bolstered by a shutout against his hot seat opponent; a rarity at almost any level of the sport.
 
Gomez opened with what turned out to be one of his strongest challenges in the event; a 9-5 win over Soo Emmett. He followed that with a 9-2 win over Bethany Sykes, and a 9-4 win against Greg Sabins, which set him up to face Cameron Lawhorne in one of the winners’ side semifinals. In the meantime, Gomez’ separate opponents in the hot seat and finals – Scott Roberts and Chris Bruner – advanced to face each other in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Gomez sent Lawhorne to the loss side 9-3 and was joined in the hot seat match by Roberts, who’d defeated Bruner 9-5. Then came the hot seat shutout, which sent Roberts to the semifinals against Bruner and left Gomez in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Bruner started his brief trip to the finals against Sabins, who, following his defeat at the hands of Gomez, had downed Tuan Chau 9-7 and Cary Dunn 9-5. Lawhorne picked up Larry Kressel, who was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. Kressel had, most recently, eliminated one of the APT’s strongest players, Shaun Wilkie 9-3, and Mat LeMire 9-2.
 
Bruner downed Sabins 9-6, as Kressel was eliminating Lawhorne 9-2. Bruner then ended Kressel’s loss-side run (and weekend) with a 9-3 victory in the quarterfinals. Bruner completed his loss-side run with a 9-4 victory over Roberts in the semifinals.
 
Though Bruner would chalk up seven racks in the race-to-11 finals, making him Gomez’ toughest challenge, Gomez prevailed 11-7 to claim the APT title.
Steve Fleming, the APT’s current points leader, won the Second Chance event, which drew a short field of eight entrants. Fleming lost his opening round, and then, four on the loss side to challenge hot seat occupant Cameron Lawhorne. He defeated Lawhorne 6-2 to claim the Second Chance title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, as well as sponsors Kamui, Diamond Billiard Products, Viking Cues, Predator Cues, Tiger Products, Ozone Billiards, Aramith Balls, Simonis Cloth and George Hammerbacher Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for July 14-15, will be hosted by Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD.
 

Aranas, Fisher And Marks Victorious In Vegas

James Aranas, Kelly Fisher and Justin Marks (Photo courtesy Poolaction.tv)

Players from all over the globe arrived at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV for the First Annual Asian Culture Day pool tournament with a whopping $43,500 added to the prize fund. Billed as the opening event of the Efren Reyes Retirement Tour, it drew a star-studded field.
 
Tournament promoter Kenny Hsi pulled out all the stops and called in all his favors to put together this fabulous event in the relatively short time frame of ten weeks. With the advice and assistance of longtime WPBA touring pro and Tornado Open promoter, Vivian Villarreal, in addition to a countless number of volunteers, Kenny pulled together all the various sponsors and pieces for one of the most flawless inaugural events I’ve ever seen in my over forty years of involvement in the sport. Tournament sponsors included the Orleans Hotel and Casino, Caesars Entertainment, FaDa Vlogs YouTube, Aruze Gaming, Kovacs Pool Promotions and PoolActionTV.com.
 
Nevada is the only state in the country that has an officially designated day recognizing and celebrating the enormous Asian population in this state. Celebrations began with a Launch Party at the top of the Rio in the world famous Voodoo Lounge. This was continued the following evening in downtown Las Vegas at the Fremont Street Experience with a New Years Eve-style countdown to midnight. The Fremont Street Experience is also known all over the world for its overhead canopy and light show. Another major part of this celebration was in recognition of one of our own, BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer Efren Reyes. He was chosen to be the first recipient of the Asian Culture Day Lifetime Achievement Award. The governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, presented Efren with a beautiful etched art piece commemorating this award in a special ceremony. Congratulations, my friend!!!
 
Due to the fact that the announced dates for this tournament were inflexible and fairly “last minute,” the fields in the three divisions were relatively small as compared to the fields of other events that are set far in advance. In addition to the short time frame, 64 of the world’s greatest male players were in Shanghai, China this week competing in the annual World Cup of Pool. I’m sure they’ll be here next year!
 
Although the fields were smaller than usual for an event of this caliber, the level of talent was exceptional. I have never been to a tournament where nearly every single match was “televison table” quality. I also have never been to a pro event where there were no evening matches! I was told this was because of other happenings during the Asian Culture Day’s week long celebration. If you’re interested in seeing what else was going on, visit asiancultureday.com!
 
Being that this event was part of the celebration for Asian Culture Day, the field was a magnet for and included some of the greatest players from Asian countries such as China, South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines who were eager to participate to try to claim the titles for their countries. Stars from Europe, Canada and the United States rounded out the field.
 
There were three divisions in this event – pro men’s, pro women’s and amateur. The men’s division had 37 players, the women’s 23 and the amateurs 50. The amateurs played on seven foot tables while the pros played on nine footers. The format in the pro divisions was double elimination ten ball, call shot, alternate break with magic rack and races to nine.
 
Play began at noon on Wednesday and everywhere you looked, there were matches that you might see normally in a finals clash! Women’s world number one player, Chen Siming, drew Allison Fisher in the second round. With Allison leading the match and on the hill, 8-4, Siming charged back to tie it up but to Allison’s relief, she managed to take the win. After the match, Allison told me that this was the first time she had ever beaten the young 24 year old star!
 
A sampling of Wednesday’s action included wins by Vivian Villarreal over Jasmin Ouschan, Ga-Young Kim over Brittany Bryant and Karen Corr over Line Kjorsvik and then junior champ, Taylor Hansen. In two of the men’s division matches, Max Eberle prevailed over Donny Mills and James Aranas defeated Tony Chohan.
 
A sampling of Thursday’s action saw Ouschan over Erin McManus, Efren defeat Billy Thorpe, Aranas beat Ho Jun Lee and Ga-Young took down Vivian.
 
By Friday, many players had been eliminated. Steamrolling through the field, Efren beat Justin Bergman but was defeated in the next match by Chris Melling while Rita Chou defeated LoreeJon Hasson. Rita was then defeated by Siming who was methodically dispatching her opponents after losing to Allison in the second round.
 
Melling claimed his seat in a very exciting and well played hot seat match and sent Roberto Gomez west. There Roberto faced the young James Aranas. Still playing at a top level, Roberto led James 8-5 and then, with two balls left on the table, he underhit position leaving himself an extreme but makeable cut shot down the rail. Roberto missed the ball. James went on to win that game followed by the next three and survived being tossed out of the tournament. It had to be devastating for Roberto as he had been playing topnotch pool the entire event and then to be knocked out by a 1-2 punch.
 
After watching it happen, a thought popped into my head. As many players look back on their tournament titles, sometimes something occurs that seems to preordain the victory. I can look back at most of my titles and recognize a turning point which gave me the chance to win. I said to a friend that James might go on from here to win the whole thing instead of watching from the rail…
 
I also have to mention that I haven’t seen Efren as determined and focused in a very long time. I believe he really wanted to win this event and go out with a bang! Alas, it was not in the cards, as Efren finished a very respectable 5th-6th in a killer field.
 
But, I digress, so…back to the matches. On the ladies side, the two undefeated players, Kelly Fisher and Ga-Young, duked it out in the hot seat match. Kelly prevailed to claim her seat in the finals.
 
Saturday noon kicked off with the men’s hot seat match. The match featured Dennis Orcollo and Melling. After a spanking by Melling, Dennis headed to the other side to play the survivor of the one loss side. Chris would be in the finals.
 
On a side note, Erin McManus had told me earlier in the day that her good friend, Chris Melling, had been in Vegas celebrating a pal’s 40th birthday and had known nothing about this tournament and she had urged him to play as he could win!
 
Meanwhile, on the ladies side, Siming had fought her way through the one loss side after her defeat by Allison. After a long tough match the night before with Chou and leaving her in fourth place, Chen had made it to the semifinal match against Ga-Young.
 
The match began with a rocky start by Chen and exemplary play by Ga-Young, Siming was trailing 4-1. An unexpected miss by Kim allowed Chen some air and by mid-match, it was neck and neck. With momentum on her side, Chen closed out the match and marched into the finals. A very disappointed Ga-Young Kim finished in third place.
 
After surviving his match against Roberto, his day was not over. James had to defeat another young player who has having a great event – Vilmos Foldes. Vilmos has been honing his game playing on the Mezz West State Tour racking up victories and high finishes. It was another close hard fought match but James prevailed. Vilmos finished fourth – a great finish in a very tough field.
 
James now had to face Dennis Orcollo in the semifinals. The match was close but James Took it down 9-7 and advanced to the finals.
 
The ladies final match was first. Since this was true double elimination, Siming would have to defeat Kelly twice to win the event. At the start, the match was all Chen. Her powerful break combined with her flawless play rocketed her to an early lead. Kelly had struggled with her break most of the tournament and it was no different in the finals. She clawed her way back to 4-3.
 
To go ahead in the match 5-3, Siming missed a fairly routine 10 ball. The crowd gasped and Kelly leaped out of her chair to tie the match at four. Although still struggling with her break, she fought hard, taking the lead and managing to win most of the next few games with her great safety play and pocketing ability and reached the hill first. Siming, however, wasn’t going down without a fight. She clawed her way back and joined Kelly on the hill. Each player got to the table in the case game but it was Kelly Fisher who took the crown! Congratulations to Kelly for a well played victory!
 
There were no easy matches in this tournament. I’m sure Siming was very disappointed as, from what I’ve been told, she’s won just about everything in the past year or so! Great tournament, Siming!
 
The men’s final was highly anticipated as well. A young James Aranas, seeking his first international title, would have to defeat the very accomplished Chris Melling – twice! The race had been extended to 11 for the final matches.
 
Aranas won the first set 11-7 and the second one 11-6 to overcome the previously undefeated Melling. Both sets followed a very similar path. Starting each set with extremely close lags, each player won one and James jumped out to an early lead. Things didn’t go so well for Chris as, uncharacteristically but like Kelly, he struggled with his break. However, he still managed to knot the score after a few games. Even though both players displayed excellent shotmaking ability, James exploited his exceptional break by consistently running out or playing formidable safeties. Even when Melling broke and pocketed a ball or two, he couldn’t take advantage of it because he just didn’t have a good starting shot. Once after pocketing FIVE balls on the break, Chris was wedged between the ten and the rail with no shot! Consequently, most of the games in which Chris broke turned into safety battles with Chris on the kicking end. That, combined with a series of unlucky rolls opened the door for Aranas to dominate both matches. The only thing that kept Chris in the match was his world class and fearless kicking ability. As we all know, the balls knows who’s winning!!!
 
By winning this tournament, James has taken a giant leap to joining the ranks of the great Filipino superstars like Parica, Reyes, Bustamante and Orcollo. He displayed extraordinary poise and composure as he dismantled rack after rack and player after player with his exceptional play. Congratulations!!
 
During the week, I had a chance to spend some time with Chris Melling. A World English 8 Ball champ, Chris is mainly known in this country for his impressive come-from-behind victory in the finals of the Derby City Classic 9 Ball Championships over John Morra and his Mosconi Cup appearances. I know he has to be hugely disappointed. As an incredibly accomplished player in all facets of the game, I truly believe that this man will be back in the winner’s circle in the very near future. Keep your eye on him! Good tournament, Chris!
 
The amateur event was won by Justin Marks over Ray Skenandore. Randy Kukla was third and Ben Sutherland finished fourth. Congratulations to Justin for a great event! Good job, Ray!
 
I thoroughly enjoyed my opportunity to provide commentary for this event. Working alongside the always informative and accomplished player Jeremy Jones and special guest Allison Fisher was a real treat. The only thing better than watching the matches at home on the PATV stream is to have a front row seat from the booth! It was also a pleasure for me to interview old friends Allison Fisher and Kelly Fisher in post-game interviews.
 
Thanks again to tournament promoter Kenny Hsi for producing a fabulous event. Tournament Director Tim Kovacs of Kovacs Pool Promotions and ably assisted by his wife, Darcy, did a fantastic job of keeping the event running smoothly.
 
PoolActionTV.com would also like to thank our sponsors and fans for another fantastic event! Our sponsors include Steve Lomax Custom Cues, Kamui, John Barton of JB Cases, GoPlayPool.com, Mike Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, James Hanshew Custom Cues, Simonis and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS. Thanks for all your support!
 
Our next event is the Fourth Annual Buffalo’s Pro Classic and Professional One Pocket in Jefferson, LA. The world famous Buffalo’s Billiards is adding $2000 to the Nine Ball and $10,000 to the One Pocket! Dates are May 24-27th. Hope to see you there!!!