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Dynamic Billiard Treviso Open Down to 134 Players

Ralf Souquet

Following a lengthy day’s play at the Dynamic Billard Treviso Open at the BHR Treviso Hotel in the northern Italian town, some of the field has been whittled down after upwards of 15 hours of intense play. Of a starting line-up of 204 players, 70 were eliminated from the competition, leaving 134 left to battle on day two, Sunday.

Wojciech Szewczyk, hot off a crowning victory at the recent World 10 Ball Championship, was one of the few big names to succumb in their opening match. He lost out 9-1 to a fired-up Elliot Sanderson, one of the five British players in the field. The Polish star recovered though, beating Sweden’s Kai Kraft by a similar scoreline to keep his hopes alive.

Germany’s Ralf Souquet, a recent European Championship gold medallist, fell to Jonas Souto, the young Spaniard and former WPA World Junior Champion. 9-7 was the scoreline. Like Szewczyk, Souquet followed it up with a 9-2 victory over Antonio Colucci (Italy).

Another German veteran, Oliver Ortmann, made a welcome return to the Euro Tour. A previous winner on 14 occasions, Ortmann went down in a hill-hill opening match at the hands of Admir Muho (Albania). However, he bounced back with a confident 9-1 win over Italian Valerio Castellano to take his place in Sunday’s line-up.

Elsewhere, the youngest competitor in the event, 12-year-old Maks Benko (Slovenia) survived a a great day to stay alive in the event. After losing his first match, he enjoyed a fine 9-2 win over France’s Stephane Herman to set up a game against highly experienced Finn, Petri Makkonen, on Sunday. Despite his age, the youngster looks a marvellous prospect for the future as he exuded confidence and exhibited some quality shot-making.

The tournament continues at 9.00 on Sunday morning with the remainder of the Losers Round 2 matches as well as Losers Round 3 and Winners’ Round 2 games. The tournament concludes on Monday evening with the televised final stages.

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

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Dynamic Billard Treviso Open Kicks Off This Weekend

Wojciech Szewczyk

The cream of European pool is gathered in the Northern Italian city of Treviso this weekend for the second event on the 2022 Dynamic Billard Euro Tour roster, the Treviso Open. Presented by BHR Treviso Hotel, who are hosting the event, as well as 5M Games, over 200 players will be in action, all chasing an elusive Euro Tour title over three days of compelling 9 ball action.

The tournament commences on Saturday 30th April, and concludes on the evening of Monday 2nd May.  This is a new time slot for the 2022 season, as the Tour looks to consolidate its new live television broadcast which currently shows the closing stages of each tournament to a host of countries across the continent.

It’s fair to say that in the last six months, European pool has belonged to the Poles as both Wiktor Zielinski and Wojciech Szewczyk have swept all before them in a bonanza of world-class competitions. The 21-year-old Zielinski started his run in November when he won this title in Treviso and then followed that up by winning the next Euro Tour event, the Lasko Open in February. Shortly after, Wiktor bested a strong international field to claim the Las Vegas Open, a Predator 10 Ball event.

For countryman Szewczyk, the reward for a life-time of hard work and perseverance paid off on 1st of April when he was crowned World 10-Ball Champion in Las Vegas, beating Christopher Tevez in the final to lift the title.

Commented Szewczyk, “It was the biggest achievement of my life, pool-wise and overall, I’d say and this can only improve my confidence here in Treviso. A Euro Tour tournament is something I’ve wanted to win for a long time already. I did the math and I’ve played over 50 Euro Tours in my life and haven’t come out on top yet.

“I know the World Championship is the biggest event, but the Euro Tour is still the one I really want to win. Las Vegas showed me that the work I’m putting in over the last months and years is in the right direction. I don’t think I made a big mental jump, rather the win was proof that my continuous work has been beneficial.

As to his prospects this week in Italy, he said, “It’s very important here to start strong and if you go through the first two rounds as a seeded player then you’re already in the winners’ qualification. If you lose quickly, though, then you have five matches ahead and there is a very good chance that if the draw is unlucky then you’re going to have to beat three great players just to qualify for the last 32 so if you have an early hiccup then it can cost you.”

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

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Szewczyk Survives to Win Predator World 10-Ball Championship

Wojciech Szewczyk

Things weren’t looking so great for Wojciech Szewczyk Friday evening. In fact, they were looking downright bad.

Facing defending champion Eklent Kaci in the semifinals of the World 10-Ball Championships, the 31-year-old from Poland had just watched his opponent break-and-run to build a 9-7 lead in a race to 10.

Approximately five hours later, Szewczyk was in the arena at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, letting out a primal yell and raising his fists in the air as the new World 10-Ball champion. Szewczyk had been close in major events before – including a runner-up finish at this year’s European Championships in men’s10-Ball and placing in the top-10 at the 2019 World 10-Ball Championships – so his championship is hardly a surprise. But, making the title more impressive is the route the Pole took, wiping away deficits in the semifinals against Kaci and the championship against young upstart Christopher Tevez of Peru to earn his first major and the $60,000 that comes with it.

Using a powerful and smashing break, Tevez had been pounding people on his path through the final stage of the event, beating David Alcaide 10-5 in the rond-of-32 and Darren Appleton in the quarterfinals. So, when the Peruvian jumped out to an early 3-1 on Szewczyk and was in the process of clearing the table again, it appeared that the finals could be yet another quick match.  Then Tevez left the 10-ball on the shelf of the corner pocket, quickly turning a possible 4-1 lead into a 3-2 score instead. Szewczyk took full advantage of the opening, using of a pair of unforced errors by his opponent to win four straight racks and build a 5-3 lead.

After Tevez tacked on two wins thanks to a victorious safety exchange and a missed shot by his opponent, Szewczyck regained the lead thanks to successful jump and combination shots. He had a chance to open up a two-rack lead but missed a 10 ball of his own, handing the table and an easy shot back to his opponent. The two players traded racks for the next four games until Szewczyck scratched on the break in the 17th rack with the score tied 8-8. With the balls clustered on the table a safety exchange ensued, and when Tevez attempted a jump shot after a safety he scratched. Rather than attempt a run out, the crafty European tied the cue ball up in safeties and forced his opponent to foul three time in the game, an automatic loss which put the Pole on the hill at 9-8.

When Tevez broke in the 18th rack he pocketed a ball but again didn’t have an open shot at the 1 ball. The Peruvian initiated a safety exchange on the 1 ball, then missed a kick shot on the object ball that left an opening. Szewczyck used a combination shot on the 2 ball to methodically run out the rack to clinch the win. Overcome with emotion, he stared at the ceiling with his arms raised in victory then sat in his chair with a look of joy as well as relief.

The start of the semifinals was delayed by a couple of hours as the quarterfinals turned into a logjam, with multiple matches taking close to three hours to complete. Two of the competitors who were tangled in such long battles were defending champion Kaci and Szewczyck, who had both gutted out hill-hill thrillers. Kaci came from behind to defeat last year’s runner-up Naoyuki Oi, clearing the table in the deciding 19th rack with a run-out that included a lengthy safety battle on the 1 ball, a near scratch after pocketing the two and a table length cut on the 4 ball. A couple of tables away, Szewczyck was straining through a duel of his own, coming from behind to defeat Edgie Geronimo 10-9.

So, it only made sense that Kaci and Szewczyck face each other in the semifinal mere minutes after their quarterfinal matches concluded.

The two again found themselves in a topsy-turvy struggle that saw momentum turning over as frequently as the cards in the Rio’s casino. The 27-year-old from Poland struck early, taking advantage of Kaci failing to pocket a ball on the break as well as missing a shot and fouling to build an early 4-1 advantage. The Albanian then used a break-and-run followed by a victorious safety exchange to pull within 4-3, only to fail to pocket a ball on the break in the eighth rack. Szewczyck cleared the table to push his lead to 5-3, then watched as his opponent took advantage of a dry break and a missed 7 ball in the 10th rack by the Pole to tie the score.

After Szewczyck used a break-and-run to win two of the next three racks to take a 7-6 lead, Kaci came alive. He used a jump shot on the 1 ball in the 14th rack to run out and tie the match, cleared the table in the next game after his opponent jumped the cue ball off of the table on the break, then tacked on a break-and-run to build a 9-7 advantage and climb to within a game of advancing to the finals.

Just when it appeared Kaci was on his way to defending his title, the wheels came off. After Szewczyck won the 17thgame on a safety exchange, the young man from Poland tied the score in the next rack when his opponent failed to pocket a ball on the break. With the match now tied 9-9, it was Szewczyck’s turn to break and not land a ball in a pocket. With the rack clustered together, Kaci pocketed the 1 ball and then played safe on the 2 ball. His opponent would eventually land the 2 ball and knock the 3 ball up table for another safety. The Albanian kicked at the ball and missed completely, handing ball-in-hand to Szewczyck, who broke up a tied up 5 and 8 balls for the win, collapsing to the floor after pocketing the game-winning 10 ball.

The next semifinal matched Tevez against reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player Jayson Shaw, who had breezed through the event the entire week and continued to make things look easy in the early stages of the final day. Shaw opened the day with a 10-5 defeat of Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz in the round of 16 and qualified for the semifinals with a 10-4 victory against reigning European 10-ball champion Sanjin Pehlivanoic.

This time, it would be the unknown underdog Tevez who seemed to be in cruise control. He built an early 3-1 lead until Shaw used a pair of missed shots by his opponent to tie the score. As the match progressed, Tevez powerful break consistently pocketed balls while his opponent struggled with his opening shot throughout, as Shaw broke dry five times in eight attempts. The Peruvian capitalized, winning four straight racks to build a commanding 7-3 advantage until Shaw took advantage of a dry break and a missed shot by his opponent to win three straight and close the gap to 7-6. Tevez, who had shown no fear throughout the five-day tournament, pocketed four balls on the break in the 14th rack and ran out to increase his lead to 8-6 and then cleared the table again when Shaw again failed to pocket a ball on the break. Standing at the table with a chance to close out the match, Tevez again pocketed a ball on the break and closed out the match with a victorious safety exchange on the 1 ball.

The Predator World 10-Ball Championship ran March 28-April 1 and also taking place is The Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, which runs March 30-April 2.

The events coincide with the CueSports International Expo, which brings thousands of amateur pool players for the BCA Pool League World Championships as well as the USA Pool League National Championships.

Find the Predator World 10-Ball Championship brackets with live scores on the Predator Pro Billiard Series website.

The Predator World 10-Ball Championship is streamed for free on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.

Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the events.

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Zielinski Victorious at Alfa Las Vegas Open

Wiktor Zielinski and Esteban Robles

Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski received the full U.S. Pro Billiard Series experience on Saturday night.

Playing on the final day of the Alfa Las Vegas Open, he shut out Switzerland’s Dimitri Jungo 4-0 in the first set of the quarterfinals only to have Jungo defeat him by the same 4-0 score in the following frame. He survived back-to-back shootouts, first against Jungo and then against Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Mika Immonen in the semifinals. And in the finals against Aloysius Yapp, he looked like he’d miss his chance to snag the opening set only to have a fortunate roll toss it right back into his lap.

Through it all, the 21-year-old persevered, defeating Yapp in straight sets 4-3, 4-0 to win the Open at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, pocketing $30,000 and an automatic invitation into next year’s World 10-Ball Championships. Zielinski not only won, but did so in an event that was equal parts double-elimination tournament and endurance test, with a record 192 players competing over four days to crown a champion.

After Yapp climbed onto the board in the first set with an opening rack win, Zielinski used a victorious safety exchange and a missed 2 ball from his opponent to jump out to a 2-1 advantage. Yapp snagged the next two games when he ran out the fourth rack after his opponent couldn’t pocket a ball on the break, then added a break-and-run but relinquished table control in the sixth game when he failed to pocket any balls on the break. Zielinski cleared the table to tie the match only to break dry again in the seventh game.

As Yapp worked his way through the rack, he appeared positioned to clear the table and snatch the set until he overran position on the 6 ball and played safe. Zielinski left an opening after a safety attempt of his own but watched as Yapp left the object in front of the side pocket, handing his opponent a routine shot and a 4-3 first set victory.

The second Set was all Zielinski, taking advantage of a Yapp miss, a victorious safety exchange and a break-and-run to build a commanding 3-0 lead. The young man from Singapore had one last chance to mount a comeback in the fourth rack but watched as the cue ball caromed off of another ball into the side pocket after he pocketed the 1 ball. Zielinski cleared the table then tossed his cue on the table and raised both arms in victory.

The three-time EuroTour champion earned the victory despite struggling with his break throughout the championship match, failing to pocket balls on the opening shot four times and scratching once.

Zielinski reached the finals by overcoming unforced errors and breaking struggles of his own to down a resurgent Mika Immonen in a shootout in the first semifinal match of the afternoon.

After Zielinski used a foul and scratch by Immonen in the first two games to take a 2-0 lead, the Hall of Famer tied the score by capitalizing on a dry break by his opponent in the third game then tacking on a break-and-run. As Immonen worked his way through the fifth rack, he misplayed position on the 4 ball then fouled when he failed to make contact with the ball. Zielinski cleared the table to grab a 3-2 lead then took advantage of an opening left by his opponent on a safety attempt in the following game to claim the set, 4-2.

The young man from Poland would struggle in the second set and Immonen took advantage, capitalizing on missed shots by his opponent in the first and fifth games and a dry break in the fourth rack to steal victories. Zielinski continued to battle, taking advantage of two Immonen breaks where he failed to pocket a ball to snag wins of his own. Standing at the table with a 3-2 advantage, the Hall of Famer broke and ran to send the match to an extra set shootout.

Immonen struggled in the spot shot extra frame, missing on his first and third attempts while Zielinski managed only one missed shot in three tries. The 49-year-old Immonen continued to apply pressure to his young opponent, making his fourth and final attempt and forcing Zielinski to either make his last attempt and secure the victory or miss and move on to sudden death. The young man from Poland calmly executed the shot, ending the match and sending Zielinski to the championship match to face Yapp.

Playing in the quarterfinals against Poland’s Mateusz Sniegocki, Yapp controlled the opening set from the start and cruised to a 4-1 victory. Sniegocki, a three-time winner on the EuroTour, was far from finished, taking advantage of a couple of openings and squeaking out a 4-3 win to force sudden-death shootout.

When Yapp and Sniegocki locked up to determine who would advance to the semifinals, it practically looked like two guys practicing free throws at the end of a basketball game. Neither one missed, as 10 ball after 10 ball continued to tumble into the corner pocket. They remained deadlocked after the opening innings, then remained tied after the first round of sudden death, then the third, and then the fifth. Finally, in the 11th frame of the set, Yapp successfully pocketed his ball and watched as his opponent blinked, handing the young man from Singapore the win.

As he advanced to the semifinals, Yapp had to be wondering who he may have upset in Warsaw to receive the draw he did. Waiting for him was Wojciech Szewczyk, a 27-year-old who twice won the European Pool Championships as a junior.

The Pole jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage in the first set thanks to a victorious safety exchange and a missed 4 ball by his opponent in the second rack. Yapp climbed onto the board in the third game after his opponent failed to pocket a ball on the break but lost control of the table in the next game when he lost a safety exchange with Szewczyk, who cleared the table to take a commanding 3-1 lead. Yapp tied the score with back-to-back victorious safety exchanges on the 1 ball but forfeited the table again when he failed to pocket a ball on the break. Szewczyk appeared positioned to clear the table but missed a cut shot on the 6 ball, handing Yapp the table and the victory, 4-3.

After Yapp won the first rack of the second set he scratched on the break in the next game, handing the table back to his opponent who tapped in a combination shot on the 10 ball to tie the score. Szewczyk added another rack after his opponent scratched after pocketing the 6 ball but misplayed a safety on the 1 ball in the next game that allowed Yapp to carom the cue ball from the 1 ball into the 10 ball and tie the score. Standing at the table with a chance to regain the lead, Yapp failed to pocket a ball on the break once again and watched as his opponent walked to the table and once again fired in a combination shot on the 10 ball to regain the lead. Yapp had the chance to tie the match after Szewczyk failed to pocket a ball on the break but misplayed position on the 6 ball, then lost a safety exchange on the ball which allowed his opponent to win the set and send the match to a shootout.

Shockingly, the player who had pocketed 11 consecutive spot shots in the previous match, missed his first attempt. Then he missed his third. Thankfully for him, Szewczyk was struggling as well, missing three straight shots down the stretch to hand Yapp the victory, 3-2.

Matches can be watched on Billiard TV and World Billiard TV, the official YouTube channel of CueSports International.

The Alfa Las Vegas Open takes place March 23-26. The Alfa Las Vegas Open is followed by the Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which runs March 28-April 1 and The Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, which runs March 30-April 2.

The events coincide with the CueSports International Expo, which brings thousands of amateur pool players for the BCA Pool League World Championships as well as the USA Pool League National Championships.

Find the Alfa Las Vegas Open brackets on the Predator Pro Billiard Series website.

The Alfa Las Vegas Open is streamed for free on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.
Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device
Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the next events.

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Immonen Stays Alive to Reach Final Day of Alfa Las Vegas Open

Mika Immonen

Early on, it appeared Mika Immonen couldn’t do anything wrong in his round-of-32 match against Chia-Chen Hsieh.

Then in the second half of the match, it seemed like he couldn’t do anything right.

But when the match reached the crucial phase, he was perfect.

Regardless of how it looked on that stat sheet, what matters is that the 49-year-old Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer punched his ticket to the final day round of 16 at the Alfa Las Vegas Open. Immonen battled back from a mistake-prone second set against Hsieh to win in a shootout, 2-0. He will now face Marc Bijsterbosch Saturday morning at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.

After suffering a third-round loss in a shootout to Wojciech Szewczyk on the winner’s side, Immonen rallied to qualify for the 64-player single-elimination phase with a shootout victory against Michael Schneider then took out Spain’s Jonas Souto in straight sets in the first round of single-elimination play. He then matched up with Hsieh, who took advantage of a missed 7 ball by his opponent to climb onto the scoreboard first. The two-time U.S. Open 9-Ball champion followed up the error with a victorious safety exchange, a successful combination shot on the 10 ball and a break-and-run to take the next three games. Hsieh added another rack after his opponent left an opportunity following a safety, but couldn’t get any closer as his opponent closed out the set, 4-2.

The second set was all Hsieh, who took advantage of two missed shots by his opponent then added a break-and-run to build a 3-0 advantage on his way to an easy 4-1 victory to force a shootout. Although Hsieh exhibited stellar shot making down the stretch in the second set, his ball pocketing was anything but during the deciding spot shot shootout as he missed three consecutive shots. Meanwhile, Immonen had suddenly found his stroke again, executing back-to-back cut shots to secure the win and advance to Saturday.

Qualifying for the final 16 is one more milestone for the former World 9-Ball champion during a  run of consistent and strong play over the last six months. After a top-five finish at the International Open in November, the Hall of Famer opened 2022 with a fourth-place finish at the Turning Stone Classic and a sixth-place performance in the Derby City Classic’s 9-ball division.

Meanwhile, on Thursday night, Carlo Biado was sent to the one-loss side of the bracket by another Hall of Famer attempting to jumpstart his career again – England’s Darren Appleton. Twenty-four hours later, after surviving a shootout against Avinash Pandey to reach the single-elimination phase, the reigning U.S. Open Pool champion was the one playing the role of spoiler as he sent reigning World Pool Masters champion Alex Kazakis packing in straight sets, 4-3, 4-2.

The Filipino built an early 2-0 advantage in the first set but left an opening in the third rack when he missed the 5 ball, allowing Kazakis to clear the table and narrow the deficit to 2-1. The Greek then failed to pocket a ball on the break in the fourth game, allowing Biado to clear the table and climb onto the hill, 3-1. Kazakis was far from finished, taking advantage of a victorious safety exchange and a Biado foul to tie the match, 3-3. Standing at the table with a chance to steal the first set, the Greek broke the balls and watched as the cue ball was kicked into the side pocket, handing his opponent the table and the match-winning rack.

It would be a common problem for Kazakis throughout the match, as he scratched on the break again in the second game of the second set after taking a 1-0 advantage then failed to pocket a ball on the break in the fourth rack after regaining the lead, 2-1. Biado tied the set, cleared the table in the fourth game to push his lead to 3-2, then closed out the set when his opponent again scratched while attempting a safety on the 1 ball.

The tournament shifted from double-elimination to the single-elimination second phase as afternoon transitioned into evening, leaving competitors battling for one of the 64 spots available in the knockout phase. One of those who failed to qualify for the single-elimination phase was American Skyler Woodward, who built an early 3-0 lead in his first set match again Roman Hybler of the Czech Republic only to watch his opponent win four consecutive games to snatch the frame, 4-3. Hybler continued to take advantage of open opportunities in the next frame, using two victorious safety exchanges and a missed 9 ball by his opponent to build a 3-0 lead. Woodward cut the lead to 3-2 thanks to a misplayed safety in the fifth rack, but the Kentuckian failed to pocket a ball on the break in the sixth game, handing Hybler the table and the match, 4-2.

Also eliminated from competition was five-time U.S. Open 9-Ball champion Shane Van Boening, who defeated Alex Pagulayan in a round-of-64 shootout, 4-2, only to fall in the next round to Yu-Lung Chang in a shootout, 4-2.

Competition resumes today at 10 a.m. local time with eight round-of-16 matches scheduled while the event’s four quarterfinal pairings are slated to begin at noon. The Open’s first semifinal match-up will follow at 2 p.m., the second is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and the tournament will conclude at 7 p.m. with the finals.

Matches can be watched on Billiard TV and World Billiard TV, the official YouTube channel of CueSports International.

The Alfa Las Vegas Open takes place March 23-26. The Alfa Las Vegas Open is followed by the Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which runs March 28-April 1 and The Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, which runs March 30-April 2.

The events coincide with the CueSports International Expo, which brings thousands of amateur pool players for the BCA Pool League World Championships as well as the USA Pool League National Championships.

Find the Alfa Las Vegas Open brackets with live scores on the Predator Pro Billiard Series website.

The Alfa Las Vegas Open is streamed for free on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.
Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device
Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the next events.

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Appleton Advances While Shaw Stunned on Day Two of Alfa Las Vegas Open

Darren Appleton

Of all of the vacation and convention destinations in the world, Las Vegas usually isn’t particularly kind to most of its visitors.

After all, most of the city’s legendary and luxurious casinos certainly aren’t able to stay open because visitors keep breaking them with big jackpots. “The house always wins,” as the saying goes.

But the city has been particularly unlucky as of late for Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Darren Appleton, who was winless in his two previous visits to Vegas, posting back-to-back two-and-outs before heading home.

Competing in the fourth annual Alfa Las Vegas Open this weekend, it appears his luck might be starting to change. Appleton survived back-to-back shootouts – including a sudden-death thriller against reigning United States Open Pool champion Carlo Biado – to remain unbeaten in the four-day, 192-player tournament being held at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.

After an opening round bye and a 4-3 sudden death win against Duong Quoc Hoang, Appleton reached the third round where he faced off against Biado, who drew first blood when his opponent scratched on the break in the opening rack. The Hall of Famer tied the score when the Filipino failed to pocket a ball on the break in the next rack, then rattled off three more wins to seal the set, 4-1.

The following frame was practically a photo negative, as Biado capitalized on two openings left by his opponent to an early 2-0 lead before Appleton narrowed the deficit with a successful combination shot on the 10 ball in the third game. Appleton appeared to tie the set at two games each when he pocketed the 10 ball again on a combination shot, but he failed to call the 10 ball to be pocketed. What looked like a tied set resulted in Appleton essentially playing a safety on himself when the 10 ball was re-spotted, with the cue ball’s path to the 1 ball now blocked. After Appleton scratched during a safety exchange, Biado cleared the table and then added another rack to close out the set, 4-1.

After each player missed a ball in the first two innings of the shootout, both competitors executed back-to-back shots to send the set into sudden death. With the cue ball now moved back a diamond, Appleton again made back-to-back shots while Biado missed his attempt in the seventh inning to hand his opponent the victory.

Appleton will now face Pin-Yi Ko in the next round, who needed a shootout of his own to defeat Poland’s Mieszko Fortunski.

Hours earlier, Appleton’s friend and reigning Mosconi Cup Most Valuable Player Jayson Shaw wasn’t as fortunate.

Facing Dimitri Jungo of Switzerland, the two competitors battled throughout the first set, with Jungo taking an early 2-0 advantage after his opponent left openings in back-to-back games. Shaw snagged a pair of games to tie the score thanks to a successful combination shot on the 10 ball in the third rack and a Jungo miss in the next game, but handed the table back to his opponent when he scratched in the fifth game. Jungo had an opportunity to close out the set but failed to pocket a ball on the break in the sixth game, as Shaw won back-to-back racks to seal the victory, 4-3.

The Scotsman climbed onto the scoreboard first in the second set when his opponent scratched, but Jungo would claim the next two games thanks to an unforced error by his opponent and a successful carom shot on the 10 ball in the third rack. Shaw tied the score in the fourth game after his opponent missed the 10 ball, but a missed 3 ball in the following game would relinquish the table to Jungo for the remainder of the set, as he cleared the table and then broke-and-ran to secure the set, 4-2, and send the match to a sudden death shootout.

After both competitors pocketed their opening shot of the extra frame, Shaw missed on his second attempt. Meanwhile, Jungo remained perfect throughout the deciding set, successfully executing four straight shots to pull off the upset.

In other notable matches that took place, Poland’s Wojciech Szewczyk fought back from an opening round 4-1 loss to Mika Immonen to claim the second set, 4-2, and beat the Hall of Famer in a shootout, 3-1. Spain’s Jonas Souto, who upset Shane Van Boening the day before, continued his hot play with a straight sets victory against Daniel Schneider, 4-1, 4-3. Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski defeated fellow countryman Konrad Juszczyszyn in straight sets, 4-1, 4-1 and Alex Montpellier took down Ping Han Ko in a shootout, 3-2.

Play resumes Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. local time with notable matches including Corey Deuel facing Juszczyszyn, Shane Wolford meeting Oscar Dominguez and Hunter Lombardo meeting Chris Reinhold in one-loss side matches.

Matches can be watched on Billiard.TV and also on World Billiard TV, the official YouTube channel of CueSports International.

The Alfa Las Vegas Open takes place March 23-26. The Alfa Las Vegas Open is followed by the Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which runs March 28-April 1 and The Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, which runs March 30-April 2.

The events coincide with the CueSports International Expo, which brings thousands of amateur pool players for the BCA Pool League World Championships as well as the USA Pool League National Championships.

Find the Alfa Las Vegas Open brackets with live scores on the Predator Pro Billiard Series website.

The Alfa Las Vegas Open is streamed for free on Billiard TV and the World Billiard TV YouTube channel.
Go to Billiard TV to watch 24/7 Billiard Videos on any device
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Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships – Medal Round-Up And Table

After 11 days of play, the 42nd annual Dynamic Billards European Championships for Men, Women and Wheelchair users concluded on Saturday 12th March. With 15 separate events to contend for, nearly 200 athletes from across Europe came to the picturesque Slovenian town of Lasko.

In the end it was the German squad who topped the medal table with five gold, three silver and three bronze to total 11 medals overall. They were some distance ahead of Finland in second place who secured five medals – three gold, a silver and a bronze. In total, 21 different countries were among the medals.

Individually, there were four multi-medallists in the men’s divisions. Veteran Niels Feijen (NED) headed the table with a gold medal in the 9 ball plus two bronzes. Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH) grabbed a gold in the 10 ball plus a bronze in the 8 ball.  Poland’s Wojciech Szewczyk took two silvers in the 10 ball and team event respectively. Finally, Mario He of Austria took a silver and a bronze.

In the ladies’ events, it was the fast-improving Pia Filler of Germany who led the way. She collected gold medals in the 8 ball and the team competition as well as a silver in the straight pool. In total, seven other players collected two medals each. Amalia Matas (ESP), Oliwia Zalewska (POL), Tina Vogelmann (GER) and Eyllul Kibaroglu (TUR) all won a gold plus a bronze while Ana Gradisnik (SLO) took two silvers. The other two multi-medallist women were Line Kjorsvik (NOR) and Sara Rocha of Portugal.

In the wheelchair division, it was once again Finland’s Jouni Tahti who came out on top with two gold medals. The other gold was won by his long-time rival Henrik Larsson who also left with a silver and a bronze. Ireland’s Fred Dinsmore came close twice but had to settle for two silver medals and a bronze. The remaining double-medallist was Britain’s David Beaumont who collected a brace of bronzes.

MEDAL TABLE

Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Germany 5 3 3 11
2 Finland 3 1 1 5
3 Poland 1 2 1 4
4 Norway 1 1 4 6
5 Sweden 1 1 1 3
6 Bosnia Herzegovina 1 X 2 3
6 Netherlands 1 X 2 3
6 Spain 1 X 2 3
9 Turkey 1 X 1 2
10 Austria X 2 1 3
10 Ireland X 2 1 3
10 Slovenia X 2 1 3
13 Czech Republic X 1 X 1
14 Great Britain X X 2 2
14 Portugal X X 2 2
16 Belgium X X 1 1
16 Croatia X X 1 1
16 Denmark X X 1 1
16 Serbia X X 1 1
16 Slovakia X X 1 1
16 Switzerland X X 1 1

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Team Golds For Finland And Germany

Janni Siekkinen, Casper Matikainen, Jani Uski and Petri Makkonen

In the penultimate day at the Dynamic Billard European Pool Championships in Lasko, Slovenia, it was an evening of drama and excitement as the destination of the medals in the men’s and women’s team events was determined. And it was Finland in the men’s and Germany in the ladies’ who took the gold medals in a pair of thrilling finals.

In the men’s event, there were three matches playing simultaneously with the first team to achieve two wins carrying off the gold medals and the trophy. The featured match was on the TV table and involved Casper Matikainen (Finland) facing off against Daniel Maciol of Poland in 9-Ball.

The willowy Finn was always ahead of the game with some quality shot-making while his opponent never quite got to grips with the match. Matikainen had led 3-1 and 4-2, while the other two tables saw it at 3-3 in the 10-ball match between Petri Makkonen and Sebastian Batkowski, with the 8-ball encounter between Jani Uski and Wojciech Szewczyk also tied up at 3-3.

Always staying ahead of his opponent, Matikainen maintained his two-rack margin before leaping into a 6-3 lead. The Finn enjoyed some beneficial fortune as that became 7-3 and victory was in his grasp. At that same juncture, the other two games were in Poland’s favour as they led 6-4 in the 10-Ball encounter and 4-3 in the 8-Ball.

A fruitless break from Maciol gave the table back to Matikainen and with the balls spread nicely, he cleared up to reach the hill with a five-game cushion. Maciol relaxed a little as he won the next for 8-4 but in what was the final rack, Matikainen made an excellent bank on the 2 ball, leaving a difficult 3/9 combo but with a comfortable lead, he took it on and made it, giving the first of the three available points to Finland.

The focus now shifted to tables two and three as Petri Makkonen moved to the hill in the 10-ball match, having overcome a two-rack deficit to leave Finland within a rack of the gold medals. Makkonen, with the break, delivered an enormous shot to down three balls. Sucking down deep breaths to keep himself calm, Makkonen rattled the jaws with the 1 ball to give the table back to Batkowski as the 8-ball match moved to five racks each.

Makkonen though got back to the table and had a terrific opportunity to bring home the gold. The balls were all there for the Finn as he pocketed the orange 5 into the centre pocket. The 6 was down the rail and the 8, 9 and 10 all out in the open. The seasoned Finn composed himself and took them down as his two jubilant team mates ran into the arena to celebrate their first ever team gold medal.

Commented Matikainen, “It feels great! I have a really nice team with me and we all trust each other. We didn’t really think it was going to be this time but this feels really good. It was a good match for me in the final but throughout the tournament I think everybody played good.”

For Petri Makkonen it was a nerve-racking affair but potting the championship 10 ball was a supreme moment; “I was one rack down all the way until I was 6-4 down but I dug deep. I had a few hiccups but I overcame them. I saw Casper was winning and Uski was playing good so it was easy to play and I relaxed a little bit when I saw we were one up and Uski was 6-5 up.

“I played good, we played good and here’s the result. Watching your team mates winning and at the table really gives you energy and it’s much easier to overcome things in your own match. Relieved is the word and we got the result we wanted,” he added.

Final

Finland 2 – 0 Poland
Casper Matikainen 9 – 4 Daniel Maciol (9 Ball)
Petri Makkonen 8 – 7 Sebastian Batkowski (10 Ball)
Jani Uski v Wojciech Szewczyk (8 Ball) Did not complete

Semi Finals

Finland 2 – 0 Poland
Jani Uski 8 – 5 Diego Pedro Simon (8 Ball)
Casper Matikainen 9 – 7 Jonas Souto (9 Ball)
Petri Makkonen 8 – 1 Francisco Diaz Pizarro (10 Ball)

Poland 2 – 1 Denmark
Wojciech Szewczyk 8 – 5 Jeppe Thyde (8 Ball)
Daniel Maciol 9 – 3 Mickey Krause (9 Ball)
Sebastian Batkowski 5 – 8 Andreas Madsen (10 Ball)

Veronika Ivanovskaia, Melanie Subenguth, Tina Vogelmann and Pia Filler and German National Coach Tom Damm

In the women’s event it was Germany who prevailed with the winning duo of Pia Filler and Tina Vogelmann who defeated the Norwegian pairing of Line Kjorsvik and Nina Torvund via a deciding shootout after the two teams couldn’t be separated in regulation play. The format of the Dynamic Billards Women’s Team event saw two matches in 8 ball and 9 ball, with a shootout in operation should the two teams be tied at one match apiece.

After defeating Switzerland 2-0 in their semi-final, the German pair had a tougher proposition against Norway. The first match to finish was Pia Filler’s 7-1 9-ball win over Torvund, leaving the medal destination resting on the other game of 8 ball. With a big lead though, Kjorsvik closed out a 6-2 victory over Vogelmann to leave a shoot-out decider, where the black ball rests on the spot, with and the cue ball positioned at the centre of the head-string.

It took 16 shots to separate the pair as Norway missed with the score at 7-7 and the Germans converted to give themselves team gold, breaking a run of two consecutive silver medals. As well as Vogelmann and Filler, who collected her second gold of the Championships, medals also went to team members Veronika Ivanovskaia and Melanie Suβenguth who had won the team’s winners’ qualification match, also against Norway.

Commented Vogelmann, “It’s amazing, I can’t believe it at this moment. I was sure we were well-prepared; we’re a good team and we have so many good players in Germany at the moment, many more than the four playing in this tournament. You have pressure because you know you want to win it and you can win it but I think we are a shoot-out monster team!”

Suβenguth added, “I’m very proud of the team and of course the final was very exciting to watch and I’m very happy we got the win.”

For Ivanovskaia who had played her part in the earlier rounds, it wasn’t an easy experience; “It was very nervy watching. There’s a lot of support between each other and a lot of belief in ourselves and they both played very good in the final.”

Finally, for Pia Filler, who is still alive in the 9-ball event which concludes on Saturday, it was another great day at the ECs; “It was my first time playing in the team event and I’m very proud of us, I think we did a really good job. I know the job for today was done very well but there’s another gold medal to be won and of course I’ll be trying my very best to win that too.”

Final

Germany 2 – 1 Norway
Pia Filler 7 – 1 Nina Torvund (9 Ball)
Tina Vogelmann 2 – 6 Line Kjorsvik (8 Ball)
Germany 8 – 7 Norway (Shoot Out)

Semi Finals

Germany 2 – 0 Switzerland
Tina Vogelmann 6 – 2 Claudia Von Rohr (8 Ball)
Pia Filler 7 – 2 Christine Feldmann (9 Ball)

Norway 2 – 0 Poland
Line Kjorsvik 6 – 1 Oliwia Zalewska (8 Ball)
Nina Torvund 7 – 3 Izabela Lacka (9 Ball)

The 2022 Dynamic Billards European Championship sees 15 separate events
across four disciplines – 8, 9 and 10 ball as well as straight pool –
plus the men’s and women’s team competitions. In total there are four
divisions; men, women, under 23 men and wheelchair users.

All matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com

Results, live scoring and draw are available at
www.epbf.com/tournaments/european-championships/

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Super Sanjin Takes 10 Ball Crown

Sanjin Pehlivanovic

Sanjin Pehlivanovic put on a classic display of 10 ball to claim the gold medal in the men’s division for Bosnia & Herzegovina at the Dynamic Billard European Championships in Lasko, Slovenia. The 20-year-old’s break was his main weapon as he delivered an impressive display to defeat Poland’s Wojciech Szewczyk by 8-5. Following a heart-breaking near miss last year in the final of the 9 Ball division, when he lost on the hill to Joshua Filler when victory was in his grasp, it was sweet redemption for Pehlivanovic and his joy in victory was fully manifested at the end.

“It feels incredible and I don’t know how to describe my emotions right now because six months ago I wanted it so badly and I had it but my emotions went too far. Of course, I’m really happy that I managed it this time. This whole tournament I was playing really well, holding my emotions and I only had one goal and I only came for what I left last year,” said an emotional Pehlivanovic after the match.

Pehlivanovic won the lag and delivered the first of what would be a succession of excellent break shots. Nudging the 8 away from the 4-ball, he then played a nice bank on the pink to set up the run out. A dry break from Szewczyk left the table open for his opponent but Pehlivanovic was forced to play safe on the 6-ball as it was too close to the 10 ball to pocket it. They exchanged safeties before Szewczyk pocketed the 6 in the wrong pocket following a bank. With Pehlivanovic back at the table, he cleared for a 2-0 lead.

Three balls on the break and a wide-open table looked promising for Pehlivanovic but he missed a difficult 1 ball and a good safety from Szewczyk saw his opponent scratch trying to bank his way out of trouble. With ball in hand, the Pole cleared the table for his first rack of the final.

Another missed bank from Szewczyk handed the initiative back to Sanjin but he slightly ran out of position and missed the 2 ball which fell into a non-nominated pocket. Szewczyk played a tight safety with three balls left on the table and his opponent’s hit-and-hope left it open for the run out as the score moved to 2-2.

Another crunching break from Pehlivanovic left him to play a safety on the 1 ball. They went back and forth before Szewczyk missed the 1 down table and with ball in hand, Pehlivanovic cleared for 3-2. Szewczyk ran out from the break in the next to level the match at 3-3, before Pehlivanovic did similar to regain the lead.

Szewczyk had a shot on the 1 ball in the next but with the 8-ball blocking its path to the corner pocket, he played a tidy carom. However, the cue ball followed the 8 in to give Pehlivanovic a real opportunity to increase his lead and he made no mistakes to move to 5-3. Then another fine run out from the break saw Pehlivanovic move to 6-3.

A great shot from Szewczyk followed the break as he pocketed the 2-ball and made a difficult position on the 3, opening up the rack. He ran out for 6-4 to keep his hopes alive. The Pole needed a slip up from his opponent in the next but another exemplary break from Sanjin put him into position to run the table and he obliged to reach the hill at 7-4.

Szewczyk wasn’t finished but with the racks running out he couldn’t afford a single mistake and an outstanding jump shot set up a clearance to get him to 7-5. That was his last visit as Pehlivanovic finished how he started with another superb break shot, followed by a run out to earn himself his first senior European Championship gold medal. For Szewczyk, a silver was his best ever effort and bronze medals went to beaten semi-finalists Niels Feijen (NED) and Roberto Bartol of Croatia.

“I’m trying always to think positive but it’s pool and you have many ups and downs so I’m just trying to stay positive, play my best game and hold my emotions which is the most important thing. Now I can breathe really good because these six months I’ve had flashbacks to the EC 9 Ball last year but I think it’s made me stronger,” added Pehlivanovic.

Final
Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH) 8 – 5 Wojciech Szewczyk (POL)

Semi Finals
Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH) 8 – 7 Niels Feijen (NED)
Wojciech Szewczyk (POL) 8 – 4 Roberto Bartol (CRO)

The 2022 Dynamic Billards European Championship sees 15 separate events across four disciplines – 8, 9 and 10 ball as well as straight pool – plus the men’s and women’s team competitions. In total there are four divisions; men, women, under 23 men and wheelchair users.

All matches can be viewed live at www.kozoom.com

Results, live scoring and draw are available at
www.epbf.com/tournaments/european-championships/

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Nineball World Rankings Update

Wiktor Zielinski celebrates with his team members

Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski secured the Euro Tour Lasko Open title beating Joshua Filler 9-7 in the final on Monday in Lasko, Slovenia, to move up to third on the 2023 Nineball World Rankings with the tournament counting towards Matchroom’s rankings which were launched earlier this year.

WORLD RANKINGS HERE

The tournament ran by the EPBF forms part of the 2022 Nineball schedule alongside eight Matchroom tournaments and tournaments run by other promoters that will contribute towards the 2023 Nineball World Rankings.

Eklent Kaçi gave a good account of himself as the 2021 Mosconi Cup winner reached the semi-finals which takes the Albanian up to World No.7. Filler’s run to the final in Slovenia meant the World Cup of Pool winner held his position on the 2023 Nineball World Rankings at No.2. It was a good week for Zielinski’s compatriot Wojciech Szewczyk who entered the rankings for the first-time level with Kaçi after a run to the semi-finals before defeat to Zielinski.

Money earned by players during Ranking Events, Major Events, and Blue Ribbon Events featured on the Nineball schedule will contribute to the standings on the 2023 Rankings as part of Matchroom’s goal to recognise Nineball as the primary discipline of pool worldwide as well as offering the chance for European and USA players the opportunity to qualify for the 2022 Mosconi Cup through the merit of their 2022 performances.

The Nineball World Rankings:

Event Status (subject to change and review on a yearly basis)

The Nineball World Rankings are open to any tournament recognised by Matchroom and given the approval of Matchroom and sanction of the WPA.

To be a part of the rankings, tournament organisers must follow the overall standards set out by the Nineball World Rankings to raise the profile of the sport. Whilst this will be flexible for 2022, the aim will be to standardise the professional rules of the game of Nineball producing fairness for players throughout all organised events as well as generating an easy understanding of the game: increasing awareness across the globe.

Read more on Zielinski’s win courtesy of the EPBF

Both players were in tip top form entering the final. In the first semi-final, Zielinski had defeated countryman Wojciech Szewczyk 9-7 in an excellent match that had seen him run out six times. In the other, a rampant Filler had too much for Kaci, finishing up a 9-5 winner.

The Polish player took the opening rack as well as the second, when Filler, who was going nicely, overran the cue ball with just the 7 and 9 on the table. His safety wasn’t tight enough and Zielinski took the last two balls.

A push out was required from Wiktor in the third game and he left a jump shot on the 2 ball on. He made an excellent attempt but was not rewarded with the position. A good safety saw Filler make contact but he left the pink 4 ball on and from there Zielinski advanced to 3-0.

Filler took the next as his push out to a jump shot paid dividends when his opponent left the 2 ball on and he cleared for 3-1. The Polish star restored his three-rack lead in the next, moving around the table with confidence.

A fast-paced break and run from Filler was just what he needed as he pegged the deficit back to two racks. Zielinski returned the favour in the next as he too ran out from the break to take his lead to 5-2. It was high-quality stuff from both players as Filler ran the next from the break. Trailing by two, he needed Zielinski to slip up somehow.

Filler got his chance in the next as Zielinski scratched on the break and with ball in hand, he ran out for 5-4 and really opened up the match. Sensing his opportunity, Joshua broke and ran the next to level the game. The pressure was back on Zielinski but he had the break in his favour in the race to 9 match.

With no clear pot on the 2 ball in the next, Zielinski played a nice snooker but Filler came with an almighty jump shot to cut the 2 into the centre pocket and set up the run out as he took the lead at 6-5. A missed 2/8 combination from Filler in the next got Zielinski back into the fray and his superior safety play prevailed as he restored parity at 6-6.

Zielinski came with another break and run and there was a feeling that winning the lag may be a telling factor in the destination of the trophy. There was no hanging around in the next as Joshua swiftly worked his way around the table to level at 7-7.

Another sledgehammer break from Zielinski set up a run out and Filler found himself breaking to stave off defeat. Having to play safe, Filler initially thought he’d got it but there was a gap between the 5 and 9 balls that allowed Zielinski to pocket the red 3. From there, he made no mistakes as he went through the balls to claim a superb win.

It was Zielinski’s second consecutive Dynamic Billard Euro Tour win – an amazing achievement that has only been accomplished twice before in 11 years. He can now look forward to Treviso, Italy in April and a chance to go one better.

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