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Van Boening Stays on Track at US Open 8-Ball

Shane Van Boening

Shane Van Boening appears unstoppable as he continues to roll through the field at the CSI-produced US Open 8-Ball Championship at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He has calmly plowed the rest of the field under and now sits in the hot seat awaiting a final foe. Van Boening has shown (once again) that he is the master of shot-making and his cue ball control this week has left him the king of any layout he finds.

It is not like he hasn't had to face the heat. He certainly did not have an easy route to the final chair. His first victim this week was the aggressive Young Gun Jesse Engel. Engel gives no quarter to anyone and did put up a grand fight but still fell 8-5. Next was Corey Deuel. You could find folks willing to assert that Van Boening could not handle the 8-Ball game of Deuel. Deuel sees patterns as well as anyone and plays a simple and effective game that lends itself to clearing 8-Ball tables with ease. Van Boening made Deuel pay for every bad roll or impotent break and sent him packing 8-4.

Then he had to take on John Morra. Morra had just done away with two World Champions. He had dumped on both Daryl Peach (8-1) and Mika Immonen (8-4). So he had nothing to fear from Van Boening. SVB rode him down like a rented mule 8-2. Ko Pin-Yi did put up a nice fight. The multi-time World Junior Champion lasted to 8-6, better than most. Warren Kiamco would be next. Kiamco is another 'quiet' player who always seems to get himself an invite to the final days of tournaments. He seems to play just a notch or two better than his opponents and can raise his game to whatever level is required to win. Not against the SD Kid. He was crumbled 8-4. Finally, Van Boening rolled over dark horse favorite Walter Cheng 8-1 after Cheng had won his way all the way out to the hot seat match with more than impressive shot-making.

Now it all comes down to a single match between Carlo Biado and Walter Cheng to determine who has to go back into the cage with Van Boening. Both men are capable of winning on any given day, but Van Boening looks way too comfortable out there to feel threatened by whomever who comes into his yard.

Both the semi-final and final matches will be broadcast by TAR. Check out the schedule and then the action at AZBilliards continues with live scoring and live brackets as well.

Shane Van Boening Claims US Open 8-Ball Title

Shane Van Boening

Shane Van Boening has won the US Open 8-Ball Title by defeating Carlo Biado 13-11 in the finals at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Van Boening arrived in the finals unscathed, never having been defeated on his trip through the charts.

Carlo Biado had been on a roll of his own, defeating two-time World Champion Jia-Qing Wu 8-6. but he ran into another hot hand in the form of Jayson Shaw and very quickly found himself nearly snowballed at 8-.1. The drama for Biado had only begun to unfold. His first opponent on the one-loss side was none other than his friend and respected elder player Francisco Bustamante. The two countrymen fought it out to a squeaker with Biado sliding through 8-7.

Biado then had to get past both Sean Cheng and Warren Kiamco to progress. He dispatched them both with the identical scores of 8-6. All of that work just to have to face the man who had sent him left again as he had to take on Jayson Shaw as Shaw had lost to Walter Cheng 8-2.

Shaw, who had so dominated the first meeting of the two, never had a chance to breathe. Biado got his revenge in style with an 8-2 thrashing. He then had to face Walter Cheng to see who would get the final shot at Shane Van Boening.

Many westerners are not familiar with Cheng. He is a former Taiwanese 9-Ball and 10-Ball National Champion. All week he had been making any ball he could see. As we had seen throughout the tournament the break would play a huge role in the outcome of the match. Successful break shots lead to run outs.

When Cheng broke dry in the fourth rack Biado turned on all the burners and soon led 3-1. Biado then broke and ran the next rack to lead by three at 4-1. Cheng scratched on the next break. Biado cashed again; 5-1.

But hope was not lost for Cheng. Biado was on his way out in rack seven when he blew his shape and gave up ball in hand to Cheng. Cheng took that rack and then broke and ran the next to bring us to 5-3 for Biado.

Biado won the next to get very close to the final at 6-3. But then momentum changed chairs. Cheng broke dry the next rack but Biado could not cash the run and Cheng got the point. After a trade of break and runouts the score stood at 7-5 for Biado.

Cheng had one last chance in rack 13. Biado broke dry. Cheng ran all the way down to the last ball before the 8 ball when he left himself hooked. He was done. When he failed in his shot attempt, Biado comfortably ran out for an 8-5 win and the right to go up against Van Boening.

The finals began as a slug-fest. Biado and Van Boening traded runouts until the score was at 2-2, but Van Boening broke Biado's serve in the next rack and then had a chance to stretch his lead as it was his break.  Even though he missed his second shot attempt, Biado failed to make him pay and played a conservative safe that failed. Van Boening ran down to the last ball before the 8 and missed. Biado got out but the out was ugly. He fought his speed control and still got out to tie the match at 3 apiece.

The match then saw the players trade break and runs an incredible 14 times in a row until the score lay at 10-10. It seemed that Biado was having an easier time at the table, but Van Boening was keeping right in step with him.

In rack 21, Biado was on a roll when he drew the cue ball into the side pocket. The scratch left Van Boening with an out and he cashed it. This left Van Boening only needing a break and run to earn his first major 8-Ball title. After making a ball on the break, Van Boening shocked the crowd by missing his first shot of the run and Biado ran out to tie things againat 11-11.

Rack 23 saw the pressure get to Biado again, as he ran to a tough shot in the side pocket, which he missed. Van Boening quickly ran out to take a 12-11 lead.

Rack 24 would be the final rack, as Van Boening crushed the rack and every ball had a pocket. He gave the crown one last bit of excitement when he overran shape on the 8-ball and was left with a shot similar to the one that Biado had missed a rack earlier. After sizing up the shot, Van Boening drained in like a hanger and Van Boening dropped to his knees with relief.

A tip of the AZB Hat to CSI for their production of the three main pro events. We will be bringing you news of all other CSI events in Las Vegas, including the BCAPL National Championships and the BEF National Championships, the WPA Artistic Pool World Championships and all other events as we receive results.


US Open 8-Ball Winding Down

Jayson Shaw

With only two days left to play at the Rio in Las Vegas, the CSI US Open 8-Ball Championship only has a few men left with the hopes of claiming the title.

The winner's bracket finds Jayson Shaw facing Walter Cheng and Warren Kiamco going up against Shane Van Boening. The winners of those two matches will contest the hot seat honors.

The one-loss side has a lot of power left as 10-Ball champ Rodney Morris will battle Oscar Dominguez, Chris Bartram will take on Ko Pin-Yi, Francison Bustamante will face Carlo Biado and Sean Cheng will find Mark Haddad at the ready.

These should all be stellar match-ups and you can watch the best at and follow all of the live scores and brackets here on AZB.

Pros Make 8-Ball Look Easy at CSI US Open in Vegas

John Morra is Kicking Butt and Taking Names

The top players at the US Open 8-Ball Championship make 8-Ball look like a kids game. If they make a ball on the break they run out and if they don't they sit and watch their opponents run out. Sure, sometimes the rack comes apart ugly and there is some strategy involved, but more times than not these fellows control the table with ease. They can shoot any ball in their suit and that makes it simple for them to rearrange clusters and nudge balls into position.

Those who control the cue ball with ease are always on the right side of the object ball to get to the next shot. They take care of any trouble on the table early and from there just clear the table. Perhaps more than any other game 8-Ball shows the chasm between the pros and their amateur counterparts. While the amateurs may visit the table two or three times each game the pros are usually only there once to get the job done.

It is the pros with effective breaks and often quiet confidence who are still alive on the winner's side. Today will provide some fantastic match-ups between the strong men of 8-Ball. World Champion Karl Boyes will take on Oscar Dominguez, Warren Kiamco will face Jin-Hu Dang while Sean Cheng will shoot against three-time World Junior Champion Ko Pin-Yi.

One match that could be very interesting is the one between Shane Van Boening and John Morra. Van Boening seems to be everyones favorite no matter what or whom he plays, but Morra will be ready to test him hard. Morra has already dispatched two former World Champions with ease, disposing of Daryl Peach 8-1 and Mika Immonen 8-4. To say he is playing well is the understatement of the week.

Other winner's matches include Ernesto Dominguez versus Jayson Shaw (Shaw a multi-time English Eight Ball {now known as Blackball} champion) and another World Champion, Jia-Qing Wu will face the hot hand of Carlo Biado. Walter Cheng takes on Chris Bartram and Mark Haddad will go up against Scott Frost.

There are also still 32 players alive on the one-loss side of the charts. Today will eliminate most of the field so there will be lots of drama to unfold.

You may watch the best action at and you may follow the live scoring and brackets on