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Day Two Completes In Treviso

Szymon Kural

DAY TWO OF the Dynamic Billard Italian Open played out today (Saturday) at the Best Western Premium BHR Treviso Hotel. With 230 players and 20 tables, there are plenty of matches to get through and as a consequence the Italian Open is extended to four days, concluding on Monday evening with the live televised semi-finals and final.

There are 32 players remaining on the winner’s side of the bracket including Poland’s Szymon Kural who earlier this week triumphed in the WPA Predator World U19 Championship. The 18-year-old from Krakow went undefeated through that tournament, and after a brief pit stop in home town Krakow, hit the road bound for Treviso.

So far, he has three wins from three matches and defeated French No.1 Alex Montpelier 9-6 in the main arena to book his spot in the winners’ qualification round where he will face Alex Kazakis (Greece) at midday on Sunday.

Commented Kural; “It feels fine, nice, because again, I played very well. I beat a very good player and Alex also played very well. His break though, didn’t work so good and my break was a bit better so overall I’m happy and looking forward to playing Alex Kazakis tomorrow.

“I’m tired but I’ll fight till the end and we’ll see how that works. I will do my best as always and I will try to play my best pool. I’m feeling quite confident because four days ago I won the best title of my life – the World Junior Championship – so I’m confident and I’ll have a lot of fun,” he added.

Another Pole, Wiktor Zielinski, is still on course to usurp the No.1 spot from Francisco Sanchez Ruiz as he too finds himself in the winners’ qualification draw where he will face Tomasz Kaplan. Other big guns still undefeated include Mario He, Eklent Kaci, Niels Feijen, Ronni Regli, Dennis Grabe and veteran Ralf Souquet.

Jonas Souto

On the losers’ side of the draw, the final featured match was a cracker between another former WPA World Junior Champion in Spain’s Jonas Souto and experienced Romanian Babken Melkonyan. The Bucharest man played at a high level as he led throughout but struggled as the finishing line approached.

Souto’s break wasn’t working to any great effect and it was Melkonyan who reached the hill first at 8-6, having led 4-1 in the early stages.  A snooker from Souto saw Melkonyan escape but scratch in the process. With ball-in-hand, the Spaniard made hard work of it but soon found himself level at 8-8. Breaking for the match, Souto found something and delivered his best of the match and from there he ran out for a tight victory.

He said afterwards, “I don’t know how I won that! It was strange in the beginning as I didn’t make a miss and I was 4-1 down as he didn’t miss a ball. He was playing perfect and I managed to comeback under pressure and he missed a little bit more but he played unbelievable. I tried my best all the time and I won 9-8 but it was a difficult, tough match. I think I was breaking well but just didn’t get the rolls but in the last rack I had the luck and made the run out.

“At this Euro Tour, if you lose in the first or second rounds, you need a lot of energy for all those matches because there’s five or six of them to get through but I’ll give it my best and if I do, I do. And if not then it’s onto the next one,” he added.

Play continues tomorrow (Sunday) with the remainder of Losers’ Round Three, followed by two more Losers’ Side rounds, then the last 32 qualification matches on both sides of the bracket. Play commences at 9.00am.

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

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

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

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

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Longoni 9-Ball League – Poland Take Inaugural Title

Wiktor Zielinski and Wojciech Szewczyk

POLAND, COMPRISED OF Wiktor Zielinski and Wojciech Szewczyk, has won the first-ever Longoni 9-Ball League following an 11-5 victory over Spain in the final which took place at the BHR Best Western Hotel in Treviso, Italy. From an initial entry of 12 national teams based on Euro Tour rankings, the Polish duo, who were ever-present throughout the competition, had too much for their Spanish rivals, opening up a 7-1 lead, which despite a mini-comeback, proved too much for their opponents.

With current EuroTour rankings determining the selection of teams playing at any time during the course of the event, the regular Spanish duo of Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz and David Alcaide were forced to miss the final, as both are representing Europe in the Mosconi Cup. That allowed Jose Alberto Delgado and Jonas Souto to take the main stage in the final. However, despite trying to turn the match around at the mid-point, they didn’t have enough in the tank to upset the Poles.

Having arrived back from the World 8-Ball in the Caribbean on Wednesday, there was a possibility that tiredness could have played a part in the proceedings.

Commented Szewczyk, “We were aware that fatigue can be a factor here but both me and Wiktor are quite experienced. We know what to expect from our bodies and our mental game and we were as ready as possible for the final.

“You never consider it closed until it’s over but a 7-1 lead we were very happy about. We also saw a difference in the break which always gives you extra confidence so even if they steal a couple of racks, if you have that break advantage you know it will be harder for them to streak racks.”

The match itself was all Poland. With their break working for them while the Spaniards floundered, they lead 5-0 then 7-1 which seemed insurmountable for Delgado and Souto. However, they dug in and clawed their way back to 7-5 to give themselves a glimmer of hope.

That was to be their last contribution as the Polish duo came on strong down the stretch as the closed it out with an 11-5 victory.

For Zielinski, it was one in the win column after a heart-break loss in the World 8-Ball final earlier this week, “I just wanted to finally get a first place and after we took a big lead in the game, I was feeling quite confident that we could make it so I’m just happy that me and Wojciech managed to win.

“It will be tough to make the team next year as I will be defending two first places in a row and then a third place so it’s not going to be easy and I’m sure other Polish players will do well. We have a lotof great players so I was lucky that I could play with Wojciech all the way through,” he added,

Pierluigi Longoni of Longoni Cues was on hand to present the trophy to the winners and confirmed that the Longoni 9-Ball League would be back next year, starting at the opening Euro Tour event in Tallinn, Estonia in February.

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Dynamic Billard Italian Open – Zielinski Eyes Chance To Go To Number One

Wiktor Zielinski

THE FINAL EVENT of 2022 on the Dynamic Billard Euro Tour gets underway tomorrow, Friday, as 230 players representing 36 countries gather at the Best Western Premium BHR Treviso Hotel in the northern Italian city of Treviso for the Dynamic Billard Italian Open. With No.1 ranked player Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and No.3 Joshua Filler absent this week on Mosconi Cup duty, it gives the No.2, Wiktor Zielinski, the opportunity to usurp the top spot.

The 21-year-old Pole has just returned from a successful spell in the USA which culminated in a runners-up spot and silver medal at the WPA Predator World 8-Ball Championship which concluded earlier this week. In fact, European players occupied seven of the eight quarter-final spots in what was another terrific week for European pool.

Despite a recent gruelling schedule, Zielinski was full of the positives; “It definitely went well. The beginning of the trip was not so easy; 33rd place at the US Open and the same at the Ohio Open. But then everything started working for me. Even though I lost four big finals on this trip, I would have taken that blind. Overall, I was very happy with my results and I can only take positive things from it.”

With No.1 ranked player Francisco Sanchez Ruiz missing the Italian Open, it gives Zielinski the opportunity to move to No.1 but he needs to reach the last four here in Treviso to achieve that.

“As always, I will try my best to win the tournament. But this one will be tough I guess, because I always struggle for a couple of days with jetlag coming back from US. To be honest it would be nice to be Number One, but I’m not thinking about this that much.”

After Treviso, Zielinski can look forward to a well-earned rest after a highly-productive two months of competition, “I can’t wait to have some rest finally after this exhausting six-week trip around the US. I think going deep motivates me and boosts my confidence which is good for me. Trying to stay fresh is always tough as pool players have to travel almost every week.”

With 20 tables in operation this week, the tournament adds an extra day, commencing on Friday instead of the usual Saturday. Matches commence at 9.00am local time, with the semi-finals and the final taking place on Monday evening, 28th November.

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

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

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

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

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Sanchez-Ruiz Is Predator World 8-Ball Champion

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz continued a remarkable year by winning the Predator World 8-Ball Championship, defeating Wiktor Zielinski 10-6 in the final at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan.

A packed crowd saw the Spaniard, who has earned an army of new fans this week, add a first World Championship to the Derby City Classic, three EuroTours, World Cup and US Open he has won this year. He ascended to the top of the World rankings this year too, a position further cemented after this event.

The 30-year-old has enjoyed a year which, with the addition of a World title to his résumé, must be considered as one of the greatest of any player in the sport’s history.

“It has been an amazing year for me, especially this tournament, because I never won a World Championship,” said Sanchez-Ruiz, whose trophy and gold medal comes with a $60,000 winners’ prize.

“I have won a Junior World championship but not this kind of event. Last year I won my biggest title and now I became World Champion, I cannot believe it. My goal is to keep working and be better and better every day but to win a World Championship is a dream for everyone.

“I want to continue playing like this. I could feel in every single moment here that all the Puerto Rican’s were supporting me and I think that is why I came back. In the beginning I didn’t play super good but I made a couple of good racks which gave me extra confidence.

“After I won the Derby, everything changed in my mind, that was very important for me this year. It has been amazing, but now I am looking for the Mosconi Cup. I won a lot of tournaments but the most important thing was the first big one.”

The Spaniard got off to a perfect start in the final when Zielinski’s dry break left a nice layout for Sanchez-Ruiz, who took a 1-0 lead. The Pole leveled with Sanchez-Ruiz wasn’t able to execute a difficult bank for the 7, and he didn’t give up control of the table as he quickly reached 3-1. A dry break brought ‘FSR’ back to the table to make it 3-2. Zielinski wasn’t in his chair for long, however, and less than 40 minutes into the final was already halfway to the title at 5-2.

Sanchez-Ruiz was just as quick to join Zielinski on 5, taking advantage when his opponent missed the 11 to take out three racks and level the match. The Spaniard was in stroke and confident, and had the crowd behind him. He took the lead at 6-5 and didn’t look likely to surrender the table any time soon.

The event had been well supported all week, and for the final even standing room was at a premium. Those in attendance were being treated to a world-class display from Sanchez-Ruiz, who had won six in a row to lead 8-5 before two kicks on the cue ball meant he scratched on the break. Zielinski cleared for 8-6 but a scratch in the side pocket allowed Sanchez-Ruiz to the hill.

Zielinski had a final chance at 9-6 down but a missed bank brought the World No.1 to the table and it wasn’t long until the 8 was down and Sanchez-Ruiz was standing to hear his national anthem beamed across the arena.

The medal ceremony awarded bronze to Jayson Shaw, beaten 10-7 by Zielinski in the semi-finals, and Mario He, who also lost 10-7. The Austrian was defeated by Sanchez-Ruiz, who had also ended the hopes of Konrad Juszczyszyn, Robbie Capito and Fedor Gorst in the knockout stages.

The Predator Pro Billiard Series will return in 2023, starting with the Kamui World Women’s 9-Ball Championship in Atlantic City, NJ from January 19-22.

Brackets and scores can be found at www.probilliardseries.com

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter.

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Kural, Gnadeberg, Hong take home Predator World Junior Titles

Karl Gnadeberg, Xin Yu Hong and Szymon Kural

Szymon Kural, Karl Gnadeberg and Xin Yu Hong are celebrating being crowned World Champions after claiming gold in their respective divisions of the Predator World Juniors 9-Ball Championships at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan on Monday.

Poland’s Kural defeated Yuma Dorner of Germany 11-6 in the Under-19s final. That was after Gnadeberg of Estonia had won the Under-17s division, beating Lang Yi Li of Hong Kong, China 9-5 in their championship match.

Chinese Taipei’s Xin Yu Hong had the support of reigning World Women’s 10-Ball Champion Chou Chieh-Yu as she beat South Korea’s Kim Hyerim 9-4 to lift the Girls title. It was Kim’s second consecutive final defeat after she also took silver last year, when she lost to Austria’s Lina Primus, a bronze medalist this year.

Kural scored an 11-9 victory over Germany’s Dennis Laszkowski to reach the final, while Dorner was an emphatic 11-1 victor over Chinese Taipei’s Yi Hsuan Sun in his semi-final. At the age of 18, this was Kural’s last chance to win a World Junior title and he was delighted to take home the gold.

“I don’t have any words,” said Kural. “I am very excited and especially happy because last year I lost in the final but now to win in 2022 is super exciting, and I am very happy.

“My family will be really happy and I am looking forward to going back home and celebrating with my friends and family. I want to get better and better and play tournaments around the world.”

Gnadeberg took the Under-17 title with perhaps his best shot reserved for the very end of the final when he jumped the 8 to make the 6 and draw the cue back down for inch-perfect position on the 7.

“Kick wasn’t available, so I decided to bring the jump cue,” said the Estonian. “The only way I could make it was to bring a draw and I never actually did it before, but it came out perfectly and I was amazed.”

Finland’s Juri Narvola and Serbia’s Lazar Kostic took bronze in the Under-17s division, while those medals went to USA’s Bethany Tate and Austria’s 2021 World Girls Champion Lina Primus. The final was won by Hong, who defeated Kim 9-4 having earlier beaten Tate 9-2.

“I am very happy,” said Hong. “It was a warm feeling to have the whole team from Chinese Taipei supporting me. My next goal is to defend the title next year!’

In the Predator World 8-Ball Championship, Shane van Boening crashed out in the last 32 at the hands of Frenchman Alex Montpellier. The World 9-ball Champion had reached single elimination undefeated but struggled against an inspired Montpellier, who won 10-7, only to be eliminated himself in the last 16, losing 10-2 to last week’s Medalla Light Puerto Rico Open finalist Daniel Maciol.

The quarter-final line-up comprises Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, who has a chance to cap an incredible year with a world title. He’ll face Konrad Juszczyszyn in the last eight, which begins 10am on Tuesday morning. Maciol takes on Mario He, while an all-Polish quarter-final sees World 10-Ball Champion Wojciech Szewczyk up against Wiktor Zielinski.

Seven of the quarter-finalists are European, the exception being Canada’s Alex Pagulayan, who will face Jayson Shaw for a place in the semi-finals. Shaw beat Joshua Filler in a thrilling last 16 clash, having earlier beaten Jeffrey De Luna.

“It feels good to be in the quarter-finals,” said Shaw. “I was down 6-3 against De Luna but came back and played pretty well at the end. I knew against Filler that a couple of mistakes and you can lose real quick. I came with some good shots, some nice breaks and I am delighted to win.

“I’ll get a good sleep, come in tomorrow and if I can break well, 8-ball was my game growing up. I’ll have a good night’s rest and come tomorrow as prepared as I can be.”

The Predator World 8-Ball Championship concludes on Tuesday with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final all a race to 10.

Matches from the Predator World 8-Ball Championship are streamed from Table 1 on Billiard TV,  the World Billiard TV YouTube channel and at Kozoom.com. Table 2 has full coverage and commentary on the Predator Pro Billiard Series Facebook Page. All tables, including matches from the Predator World Juniors 9-Ball Championships, can be watch live for FREE at Kozoom.com

Brackets and scores can be found at www.probilliardseries.com

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter.

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Champions Advance On Day 2 of Predator World 8-Ball

Fedor Gorst

World No.1 Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz and current World Champions Shane Van Boening and Wojciech Szewczyk are all one win away from the last 32 single-elimination stage of the Predator World 8-Ball Championship at Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan.

Chang Jung-Lin, who is defending the title he won ten years ago, also remains on the winners’ side of the draw. The $250,000 event will award $60,000 to the new World Champion at the end of the event, which is part of the first annual Caribbean CueSports International Expo.

The World Juniors 9-Ball Championships will crown new World Champions in its Girls, Under-17s and Under-19s divisions on Monday, with all three finals to be broadcast live on the World Billiard TV YouTube Channel, Billiard TV, Zhibo.tv in China and on Liberty TV in Puerto Rico on Monday.

In the World 8-Ball Championship, Fedor Gorst will take on John Morra for a place in the last 32, with winners’ qualification matches set for 12 noon local time on Monday.

Gorst won 8-4 over Aloysius Yapp to move within one win of a place in the last 32. The pair split the first six racks before a break and run took Yapp ahead for the first time in the match at 4-3. However, he was forced to play safe in the next rack and Gorst was able to take out a 12/11 combo which opened the rack for the former World 9-Ball Champion.

A break and run saw Gorst restore his lead, and that advantage was extended to 6-4 with another runout. The hill was reached when Yapp, with few other options, scratched while attempting to masse on the 3. That meant Gorst was breaking for the match. The 12 went down on the break and he took care of the problem 9-ball early in his clearance, but he missed the 10 long. Yapp, though, then missed the 7 and the match belonged to Gorst.

Elsewhere, World 9-Ball Champion Van Boening earned progression to the winners’ qualification with an 8-3 win over Costa Rica’s Johnny Salas and will now face Wu Kun Lin for a place in the last 32. World 10-Ball Champion Wojciech Szewczyk defeated Hayato Hijikata 8-2 and faces Carlo Biado next, while WPA World No.1 Francisco-Sanchez Ruiz remained unbeaten with an 8-2 success over Max Lechner. Radoslaw Babica awaits the Spaniard on the winners’ side of the draw.

Puerto Rico’s Alan Rolon saw his World 8-Ball run come to an end at the hands of Wiktor Zielinski, despite having a vocal home crowd behind him. Alejandro Rodriguez is the last Puerto Rican standing and faces New Zealander Sullivan Clark tomorrow after banking the 8 for a hill-hill win over Florijan Maric which brought an eruption of joy from the large crowd which had gathered around his table late on Sunday evening.

All three divisions of the Predator World Juniors 9-Ball Championships are down to the semi-finals. In the girls division, Bethany Tate was delighted with her dramatic 9-8 win over Poland’s Dominica Pawelczyk.

“I feel on top of the world right now, especially with that out,” said Tate. “I went wrong on the 7-ball but I came back, it was crazy. I feel so jittery, it is hard to keep the emotions down. There is a lot of pressure when my family is watching me but knowing that they are there pushes me to do better.”

Tate will face Xin Yu Hong of Chinese Taipei for a place in the final, while Lina Primus will take on South Korea’s Kim Hyerim.

“I can’t wait to play the semi-finals,” said Primus, who won last year’s Girls title on home soil in Austria. “I am trying to give my best and of course I want to win it. I am relieved because there is a bit of pressure when you have to defend the title but tomorrow I will do what I do for every match and what I know is good for me and I hope that will work out. I can’t wait for tomorrow.”

In the Under-17s division, Jori Narvola defeated fellow Finnish junior Riku Rompannen 9-6 to set up a semi-final against Lang Yi Li of Hong Kong. Karl Gnadeberg of Estonia will face Serbia’s Lazar Kostic.

In the Under-19s division, Joey Tate was eliminated by Germany’s Yuma Dorner, who will face Yi Hsuan Sun of Chinese Taipei in the last four after the Asian junior defeated Dutchman Yannick Pongers 11-10.

The other semi-final will be contested between Germany’s Dennis Laszkowski and Szymon Kural. Laszkowski defeated Filipino Keane Derek Rota 11-3, while Kural was an 11-4 winner over Saudi Arabian Khalid Alghamdi.

Matches from the Predator World 8-Ball Championship are streamed from Table 1 on Billiard TV,  the World Billiard TV YouTube channel and at Kozoom.com. Table 2 has full coverage and commentary on the Predator Pro Billiard Series Facebook Page. All tables, including matches from the Predator World Juniors 9-Ball Championships, can be watch live for FREE at Kozoom.com

Brackets and scores can be found at www.probilliardseries.com

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter.

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Longoni 9-Ball League – Poland v Spain for The Title

Team Poland

FOLLOWING A YEAR of competition, the Inaugural Longoni 9-Ball League concludes next Friday 25th November when Poland takes on Spain in the championship match. Starting out in Lasko, Slovenia in February, there were 12 national teams split into four groups who have played down to the final two.

With current EuroTour rankings determining the selection of teams playing at any time during the course of the year, the dynamic Spanish duo of Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz and David Alcaide have led the way for their country. However, with both having been called up to represent Europe in the Mosconi Cup, it opens the window for the next two highest ranked players to step forward.

That means that Jose Alberto Delgado and Jonas Souto, who are ranked 17th and 37th on the EuroTour respectively, will be handed the golden opportunity of taking on Team Poland. Both Spaniards are playing well this year having both made it to the last 16 at the Tour stop in Slovenia and Souto making the same grade a few more times since.

They’re up against a formidable duo though, in Wiktor Zielinski and Wojciech Szewczyk, who are both enjoying stellar seasons. After the Polish pair came through a tough group consisting of Austria and Italy, they then beat a strong German side in the semi-finals and are surely now favourites to lift the Longoni 9-Ball League title.

Team Spain

The Longoni 9-ball league is a scotch doubles format involving 12 countries highest on the EuroTour rankings at the beginning of the year. The countries were split into four groups of three teams with each group winner proceeding to the semi-finals.

The winning team will receive €4,500 which includes prize money for wins in the group stages. The runners-up receive 2500 Euro plus group earnings and as with all the teams, the total prize money will be divided into match shares with one share for each team appearance.

The Final between Poland and Spain can be viewed live on the platform, TV. kozoom as well as on the Longoni 9 Ball League & EPBF Facebook pages
on Friday 25th November starting at approximately 9pm.

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Big Names Fall In Medalla Light Puerto Rico Open

Alex Kazakis

Alex Kazakis, Ko Ping Han and Chang Yu-Lung were among the big names knocked out of the Medalla Light Puerto Rico Open on the second day of play at the Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan, while the likes of Kelly Fisher, Margaret Fefilova and Chia Hua Chen are already into the last 16 of the Women’s event.

A goliath match up between Ko Pin-Yi and Alex Kazakis would usually be reserved for the closing stages of any tournament, but here it was a match in the second round on the losers’ side of the draw. Ko had been beaten by Denis Grabe on the opening day but a 4-1, 4-0 win over another Estonian, Gert Gnadeberg, got the two-time World Champion up and running.

A shootout defeat to Jonas Souto Comino in the first winners’ round earlier in the day had sent Kazakis to the one-loss side and, like Ko, he now needed three wins to qualify for the straight-knockout last 32.

Ko looked certain to take the first set 4-1 but missed a straight 3 by going rail first in attempt to gain position on the 4. However, another chance presented itself and was taken in the sixth rack as Ko took the set 4-2.

The first two racks of set two were shared and it was Kazakis who had a clear opening in the third, only to miss the 1 to the side when a simple 2/10 was waiting. Ko took the gift but Kazakis was level again at 2-2 one rack later. The Greek was then able to lead for the first time when Ko missed the 9, but the Taiwanese leveled at 3-3 to move a rack away from victory.

Kazakis needed to hope for a chance as Ko broke on the hill, and he got one immediately as Ko struggled to find power with his break, leaving Kazakis a layout from which he took a clear path to the shootout.

In the tie break, neither player so much as clipped a jaw in their four regulation innings, forcing sudden death where it was Kazakis who blinked first. Ko had already taken a 5-4 shootout lead when the Greek missed his fifth shot to be eliminated from the tournament. Ko’s next opponent will be Tyler Styer.

However, Ko’s brother Ping Han is out of the event after suffering a shootout defeat to Puerto Rico’s Miguel Batista. The home player took the first set 4-3 before Ko fired back, only to lose 3-2 in the shootout. Another local favorite, USA’s Puerto Rico-born Tony Robles, awaits Batista in the next round.

With $100,000 in the prize pot of the 128-player Open, and $75,000 for the 64-player Women’s event, the Medalla Light Puerto Rico Open is the final stop of the 2022 Predator Pro Billiard Series and will be followed in Puerto Rico by the Predator World Junior 9-Ball Championships and Predator World 8-Ball Championship.

In the Women’s Open, eight of the last 16 are now known. Kelly Fisher defeated Kristina Tkach by shootout to reach the single-elimination stage, while Canada Open champion ‘Amber’ Chen was winner over Japan’s Yuki Hiraguchi. Pia Filler, Allison Fisher and Margaret Fefilova make it four Europeans already through.

The other four players to reach the last 16 undefeated are all from Asia, with Filipino speed-shooter Chezka Centeno and Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wan-Ling and Tzu-Chien Wei joining compatriot Chen in the last 16 draw.

The Open event moves to single elimination with 32 players remaining. Winners’ qualification matches commence at 10am local time with Fedor Gorst, Carlo Biado and Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz among those with two chances to qualify. Wiktor Zielinski, Roberto Gomez and Yukio Akagariyama are some of the experienced players who will have to win two matches on the losers’ side of the draw if they are to make it.

The Medalla Light Puerto Rico Open continues from 10am AST on Thursday with six more matches streamed from Table 1 on Billiard TV,  the World Billiard TV YouTube channel and at Kozoom.com. Table 2 has full coverage and commentary on the Predator Pro Billiard Series Facebook Page. All tables can be watch live for FREE at Kozoom.com

Brackets and scores can be found at www.probilliardseries.com

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter.

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Yapp wins 9-ball and 10-ball events at $10K-added, 3rd Annual Meucci Classic

Silviana Lu and Aloysius Yapp

Silviana Lu wins Ladies 9-ball

Yep, Yapp won ‘em both. And his girlfriend, Silviana Lu won the other one. 

The 3rd Annual Meucci Classic at Racks Billiards Sports Bar & Grill in Sanford, FL this past weekend (Nov. 10-13) gave Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp his third and fourth 2022 event victory, which added to his already-best (recorded with us) earnings year since we recorded his first two cash winnings in September of 2012, a week apart; a 17th place finish at the Party Poker World Cup of Pool in Quezon City in the Philippines (won by Mika Immonen) and a week+ later, a 33rd place finish at the China Open in Shanghai (won by Dennis Orcollo). 

So, the Meucci Classic was nowhere near his first rodeo. By the same token, Yapp’s presence outside of a fairly consistent group of world-travelling pool professionals had him flying under a lot of the US pool-playing radar until he showed up in the finals of the 2021 US Open 9-Ball Championships in Atlantic City and battled in the finals (unsuccessfully) against Carlo Biado. He became a much more consistently-present figure for the rest of the year, with appearances in (among others) the American 14:1 Straight Pool Championships (9th), the International 9-Ball Open (17th), the International Open’s Big Foot 10-Ball (3rd behind Joshua Filler and Mika Immonen) and a win on the Predator US Pro Billiard Series in Battle Creek, Michigan.

He’s cashed in 19 events this year, winning four of them, runner-up in two and 3rd in three. He won this year’s Michigan Open and the Sandcastle Open before heading to the eastern shores of Virginia where he finished 9th at this year’s International Open 9-Ball tournament and was 3rd for the second time at the Big Foot 10-Ball event; this time, behind the juggernaut known as Fedor Gorst and Joshua Filler. He shuffled off to Sanford, FL last weekend, where he went undefeated through seven opponents, downing Austria’s Max Lechner twice; double hill in the hot seat match and 9-5 in the finals of the $4,000-added, 121-entrant 9-Ball tournament.

Left in the good-company dust (among others) were Austria’s Wiktor Zielinski, Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski, Germany’s Moritz Neuhausen, Finland’s Mika Immonen, Austria’s Mario He, Greece’s Alex Kazakis and Estonia’s Denis Grabe. Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis finished the tournament with the distinction of having won the most consecutive matches, 10 of them on the loss side, before he was stopped by Lechner in the semifinals. Leading the American charge for the title was BJ Ussery, Jr., who finished 4th; an outstanding finish for the South/mid-Atlantic competitor. Also in the US lineup were local stalwarts Anthony Meglino, Donny Mills, Mike Delawder, Raymond Linares, Bobby Garza and 1992’s US Open 9-Ball Champion, Tommy Kennedy.

The 3rd Annual Meucci Classic’s $5,000-added, 63-entrant 10-Ball Tournament was a different story. Same ending, just a different story. The 10-Ball battles preceded and overlapped the 9-Ball battles, so Yapp availed himself of the six-opponent practice opportunity, with an extra ball in the game, and went undefeated. He got by Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn and two Americans, George Saunders and Alan Rolon Rosado, to advance to the 16-player, single-elimination phase of the event. Yapp was joined in the winners’ side advancement by Wiktor Zielinski, Bosnia/Herzegovina’s Sanjin Pehlivanovich, Dmitri Loukatos, Taipei’s Jung Lin Chan and Jeffrey DeLuna. BJ Ussery, Jr., who’d go on to finish fourth in the 9-Ball competition, advanced, as did Donny Mills. Joining them from the loss side were Adam Wheeler, Max Lechner, Pijus Labutis (who would not get the most consecutive win prize in this event), Jani Uski, Mika Immonen, Mario He, David Singleton and Denis Grabe.

Ussery would engage in the only double hill battle of the single-elimination’s first round, against Jani Uski, and it would knock him out of the 10-Ball competition. Three of the four quarterfinal matches went double hill; Immonen over Uski, Yapp over Labutis, and Grabe over Lechner. Zielinski downed Pehlivanovic 11-5.

Zielinski ‘iced’ the Iceman, allowing him only a single rack in one of the semifinal matches, while Yapp was a little busier, eliminating Grabe 11-7. Yapp claimed the 10-Ball title with a stingy 11-3 victory over Zielinski.

Indonesia’s Silviana Lu goes undefeated, winning 81% of her 37 games to claim Ladies title

In this, her first year as a cash-winning player in our AZBilliards database, Indonesia’s Silviana Lu has cashed in only two events. She finished in a tie for 5th place at the Asian Pool Federation’s 9-Ball Open, Women’s Division in August. A month later, she finished in the tie for 9th place at the WPBA’s Michigan Open. Her boyfriend, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp finished in the tie for 17th in the former event and won the latter.

She has recorded her first event victory with us as a result of going undefeated through a field of 27 entrants in the $1,000-added Ladies 9-Ball event. And she did so by defeating her six opponents with an 81% game-winning average (30-7), shutting out half of them and not allowing any of them to chalk up more than three against her; Nicolle Cuellar, who has Florida-area tour victories and cash finishes going back 10 years to the former Flamingo Tour.

Note to competitors looking to take advantage of the increased amount of money being offered at Scotch Doubles events across the country: In addition to the Fillers (Joshua and Pia) and the Fedor Gorst/Kristina Tkach pairing, you might want to watch out for the Yapp/Lu partnership.

Lu’s trip to the winners’ circle went through Marge Soash (0), Cuellar (3), Palmoa Santana (1) and Jessica Human (1) to arrive at the hot seat match versus Jennifer Berzinski to whom she gave up two racks to claim the seat. Adriana Villar, who lost her opening match to Cuellar and won eight on the loss side (shutting out three and surviving a double hill match against Helene Caukin), challenged Lu in the finals. Lu shut her out to claim the event title.

In addition to the 218 participants in the three events (with some duplication), tour representatives thanked title sponsor Meucci Cues, the ownership and staff at Rack’s for their hospitality, Outsville, JB Cases, Carlos Sanchez productions, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore and Clutch Shot Billiards Apparel.

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Recapping The Special Year of Three-Time Predator Pro Billiard Series Fedor Gorst

Fedor Gorst

2022 has been a special year for Fedor Gorst, who has taken home his fair share of championship glory here in 2022. 

The 22-year-old started the year on a high note by emerging victorious in the 2022 Arcadia Arizona Open in January, which netted him $25,000. Gorst was also the winner of the inaugural Arcadia Open back in 2021.

Continuing with his strong year, Gorst was this year’s winner of the U.S. Open 10-Ball Championship to claim the main $9,100 prize. Gorst finished ahead of Lee Vann Corteza,  who pocketed $4,600 in prize money. 

It was not a surprise that after the Copper State launched legalized sports betting in September of last year, the odds for Gorst and several other sporting events got covered by the sportsbooks in Arizona. 

Big names like DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars and BetMGM and well, taking into consideration that these are the biggest names covering the Super Bowl 57 that will be taking place at State Farm Stadium (home of the Cardinals) in Glendale, Arizona on Feb. 12, it is clear that Gorst’s victory got backed-up by big names in the industry, while placing his own at the top.

Gorst’s incredible 2022 campaign continued into the month of October. 

The Moscow, Russia native was also victorious at the FargoRate Ohio Open. There, Gorst managed to get past legend Roberto Gomez to claim the $25,000 prize. It marked a milestone victory for Gorst, who also became the first man to win three Predator Pro Billiard championships.

Coming into this tournament, Gorst and 26-year-old Aloysius Yapp (the winner of the 2021 and 2022) were the two men to have won multiple titles in the Pro Billiards Series.

Gorst Eyes Unprecedented Fourth Title At Medalla Lite Puerto Rico Open

There isn’t much more for Gorst to prove this year. The 22-year-old has pieced together one of the greatest individual seasons in the Pro Billiards Series.

But of course, he can add even more to his special trophy room with a victory at the Medalla Lite Puerto Rico Open, the last scheduled tournament of the US Pro Billiard Series for 2022.

The Medalla Lite Puerto Rico Open will be held from Nov. 15-18 at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan. The event will be limited to 128 players, and the winner will take home the special grand prize of $100,000.

Gorst, Yapp & Gomez Headline Favorites For Medalla Lite Puerto Rico Open 

Gorst will be among the premier favorites to win the last tournament here in 2022. He has a whopping 639 points (320 in tournament points and 319 in FargoRate), and he’s finished top 10 in each of his last six tournaments.

The previously mentioned Yapp and Gomez should also be considered strong favorites to win the Medalla Lite Puerto Rico Open.

If there’s one person who can seriously push Gorst for that No. 1 ranking, it’s Yapp (second). He has 606 points (320 of them are tournament points). After finishing ninth in the 2021 Las Vegas Open, Yapp followed it up with a victory at the Michigan Open to claim the $12,000 prize.

Yapp finished second at this year’s Apex Wisconsin Open 2022, losing to 31-year-old Alex Kazakis (previously the No. 1 ranked player by the WPA). Yapp was also the runner-up at the 2022 Las Vegas Open, which was won by 21-year-old Wiktor Zielinski.

As previously noted, Yapp won this year’s CSI Michigan Open to win the $20,000 grand prize. He finished ninth at the FarGoGate Ohio Open, taking him $1,500 in winnings.

The No. 4 ranked Gomez is cruising with 506 total points, and he’s had four top-three finishes dating back to the 2021 Arizona Open (third at that tournament, second at both the Michigan and Ohio Open and second at this year’s FargoRate Ohio Open).

Gorst will certainly have a strong level of competition at the Medalla Lite Puerto Rico Open, no doubt. But if he can add a fourth title to his trophy room? It would make an already incredible 2022 season that much sweeter.