Archive Page

Upsets and Tight Finishes as Predator World 10-Ball Championship Narrows Down to Final 16

Shane Van Boening (JP Parmentier)

Heading into the third and final day of Predator World 10-ball Championship’s first phase, it appeared American Shane Van Boening and reigning World Pool and Billiards Association 9-ball champion Joshua Filler could be heading towards an afternoon showdown.
With both competitors working their ways through the one-loss side of the bracket, Filler had to survive Fedor Gorst of Russia while it appeared Van Boening had drawn the easier of the competitors: Gerson Martinez of Peru. With Van Boening leading Martinez 4-1 and Filler comfortably ahead of Gorst, 6-2, the duel between the prolific American and the rising, young German seemed inevitable.
That was until the wheels came off for Van Boening.
Plagued by a series of uncharacteristic misses along with an ineffective break, Van Boening watched as Martinez came from behind and won, 8-6, in front of a stunned crowd that had gathered to watch. The Van Boening loss was part of a topsy-turvy day of pool at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino as the tournament field narrowed down to the final 16 players.
“I didn’t feel comfortable. That’s all I can say,” said Van Boening. “Probably too tired. It’s been a long trip in Vegas.”
The South Dakotan struck early, capitalizing on a foul and scratch on the break by his opponent to build an early lead. Van Boening was at the table and appeared in position to increase his 5-3 lead but missed two makeable shots on the 4-ball not, but twice. Martinez tied the match at five games each then added a break and run to take the lead.
Meanwhile, Van Boening’s break refused to cooperate, failing to secure a shot on the 1-ball after his opening shot in the last three games that he broke – including what ultimately became the final rack of the match. After a brief safety exchange on the 1-ball, Van Boening attempted a one-rail kick in of the ball and left it in the pocket’s jaws. Taking deep breaths and playing cautiously, the Peruvian worked his way through the clinching rack for the victory.
Two hours later, the upset-mindEd Martinez was promptly eliminated from the tournament by Filler, 8-2.
Fellow American Skylar Woodward would meet a fate similar to Van Boening’s later in the afternoon.
Woodward began his day fending off a late charge by Naoyuki Oi of Japan, who erased a 6-3 deficit to force a deciding game that he ultimately lost, 8-7. Oi fought back to even with well-placed safeties and a break-and-run. The two battled to a 7-7 deadlock and Oi was at the table in the deciding game but missed a long shot on the 2-ball. Woodward would clear the table but not before making things interesting, as he missed position on the 8-ball. The rising star from Kentucky executed a flawless bank shot on the object ball to help clinch the game and the match.
Facing Li-Wen Lo on the same table, Woodward found a different result. He quickly found himself down 6-1 as he struggled with safety play while he opponent worked his way through racks. The reigning Derby City Classic Master of the Table tacked on a pair of racks to cut the deficit to 7-3 and appeared positioned to narrow the gap more in the 11th game but misplaced the cue ball for positioning on the 5-ball, losing the game and the match, 8-3.
The good news for United States pool fans is that Billy Thorpe and Tyler Styer are alive and doing well.
The undefeated Thorpe built an early 4-1 advantage and held on to defeat Marc Bijsterbosch of the Netherlands, 8-5. Trailing 5-2, Bijsterbosch used a dry break and a missed shot by his opponent to cut the deficit to 6-4. Thorpe tacked on a break and run to push his advantage back to three games and appeared to have the match locked up but left the 10-ball sitting in the jaws of the corner pocket. Thorpe broke and ran in the next game to clinch a spot in Thursday’s final 16. 
Bijsterbosch rebounded in the next match, defeating Mario He of Austria, 8-5, to advance to Thursday.
Styer had a bit more work to do in order to secure one of the remaining 16 spots, defeating Raymund Faraon, 8-1; John Morra, in a hill-hill match and Maximilian Lechner, 8-4.
Another player who remains undefeated of the eight remaining players is Ralf Souquet, who battled and survived a hill-hill match with Alex Kazakis of Greece, 8-7. Playing in his usual deliberate and analytical style, Souquet worked his way to a 7-3 lead but Kazakis fought back with victorious safety exchanges to tie the score. The young Greek, who won the EuroTour’s Ballazo Open last year, controlled the break in the deciding game but failed to pocket a ball. Souquet worked his way through the rack to secure the win. 
Kazakis was sent to the one-loss side of the bracket where he was easily defeated by Filler, 8-2.
Speaking of Filler, the young German played some of his best pool at a time when he needed it most, besting Fedor Gorst, 8-4; then overwhelming Martinez and Kazakis by matching, 8-2 scores.
The eight remaining undefeated players in the event include Souquet, Thorpe, Jayson Shaw, Diamond Las Vegas Open champion Niels Feijen, Ping-Chung Ko, Masato Yoshioka, Jung-Lin Chang and Johann Chua. Competitors from the one-loss side include Filler, Styer, Bijsterbosch, Alex Pagulayan, Denis Grabe, Pin-Yi Ko, Yu-Hsuan Cheng and Wojciech Szewczyk.
With the first phase of the tournament completed, the remaining 16 players will now enter the single-elimination portion of the event – with the race lengths also increasing from eight games to 10. Additionally, the player seedings will be re-drawn, with the eight players from the winner’s side matched with players from the one-loss side.
The Predator World 10-ball Championship is a presentation of CueSports International and sponsored by Predator Group. Predator Group is an international billiard industry leader with a focus on high-performance cues and shafts as well as bringing constant innovation and game-improving equipment to billiard players worldwide. The event is being hosted by the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino and broadcast live on YouTube by CSI Media, a subsidiary of Cue Sports International. For more information, visit
CueSports International (CSI) is an international billiards organization which produces the United States Open 8-ball, 10-ball, one pocket, bank pool and straight pool championships. CSI, which also operates national amateur pool leagues, has three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, the events division produces numerous amateur and professional events and the media department creates live video billiards content. For more information about CSI, visit or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
The Predator World 10-ball Championships are sponsored by:
Predator Cues:
Diamond billiard tables:
Omega Billiards:
Kamui Brand:

Filler and Chen Earn China Open Wins

Joshua Filler and Si Ming Chen (Photo courtesy of Alison Chang)

Joshua Filler and Si Ming Chen are your 2017 China Open Champions. 
Filler was the first champion to be crowned on Sunday, and he won the event in style. Facing a tough semi-final match against his countryman Thorsten Hohmann, the German youngster made it look easy with an 11-3 win. The other semi-final match saw Jung Lin Chang score an equally one sided 11-2 win over Yu-Hsuan Cheng in an all Chinese Taipei match.
The final match between Filler and Chang was another story of billiards youth facing off against an established player, and as has been the case all year, it was youth that won out. Filler scored an impressive 11-6 win over Chang for the biggest title of his young career.
The ladies final was an “all China” affair, as Si Ming Chen took on her rival Sha Sha Liu once again. The match started out looking like it might be another lopsided affair, but that quickly changed. Chen held an early 7-3 lead, but an unforced error by Chen was all the opportunity that Liu needed to make the match close. Liu fought back within one at 7-6, and tied the match at 8-8 to leave one game to determine a winner. In the end, Chen regained her composure and won the final game for the 9-8 and first place. 
Joshua Filler pocketed $40,000 for his win, while Chen took home $36,000 for her win in the ladies division. Combined with her win earlier this year at the Amway Cup, this win sets Chen up as the early favorite for 2017 Ladies Player of the Year.

Juszczyszyn wins 2nd Annual Gotham City Billiards 9-Ball Pro Classic

Hsu, Kai Lun, Konrad Juszczyszyn, Kevin Cheng and Gotham City Billiards Owner Kevin Buckley

They literally came from all over the world, many of them in-country to prepare for the 41st Annual US Open 9-Ball Championships in about a week (Oct. 16-22). Some of them arrived not knowing a thing about the $15,000-added, Mosconi Cup ranking event known as the 2nd Annual Gotham City Billiards 9-Ball Pro Classic, held over the weekend of October 8-11. They communicated at the last minute with tour director Tony Robles, who had a few slots left open and was able to accommodate them. The event drew a full field of 64 and in the end, it was won by a Polish competitor, who was among those who knew nothing about it before they got here.
To facilitate a reader's ability to follow his exploits in the words ahead, his last name (Juszczyszyn) is pronounced 'Yuse-CHIS-chin;' first name, Konrad and he went undefeated through the field, downing the defending US Open 9-Ball Champion, Yu-Hsuan (Kevin) Cheng, twice.
As the event wound down to its final 16 players, they included three former US Open champions (Earl Strickland, Ralf Souquet, and Yu-Hsuan Cheng), eight players who finished among the top 25 in last year's Open, and the Gotham City Classic's defending champion, Mike Dechaine. Oh yeah, and the new guy who was on his way to winning it all.
Juszczyszyn advanced to face Dechaine in a winners' side semifinal as Cheng squared off against Hsu-Kai Lun (5th in last year's Open) in the other. Juszczyszyn and Dechaine locked up in a double hill battle that eventually sent Dechaine packing to the loss side. Cheng and Lun came within a game of double hill before Cheng finished it 10-8. In something of an epic battle, Juszczyszyn and Cheng fought back and forth to double hill before Juszczyszyn prevailed to sit in the hot seat.
Over on the loss side, where the tie for 13th place went to Souquet, Warren Kiamco, Jayson Shaw, and Mieszko Fortunski, Dechaine picked up Lee Van Corteza, who'd eliminated Thorsten Hohmann in the 9/12 matches, double hill, and John Morra in the 7/8 slots, 10-5. Hsu-Kai Lun drew Strickland, who'd defeated Roberto Gomez 10-4 and Dennis Orcollo, double hill.
Lun defeated Strickland 10-7, and in the quarterfinals, faced Dechaine, who'd finished Corteza 10-3. Though he would be down 2-6 in the middle stages of the quarterfinal, Lun fought back to eliminate Dechaine 10-7.
Countrymen Lun and Cheng, both from Chinese Tapei, battled fiercely in the semifinal that went double hill. Eventually, though, it was Cheng earning rights to a re-match against Juszczyszyn in the hot seat.
From the opening rack, the race-to-13 final between Juszczyszyn and Cheng set a repeating pattern. Cheng would win a single match, and then Juszczyszyn would respond by winning two. They did this six times, and with Cheng breaking at the start, it led to the match's only tie at 2-2. From there, that pattern spelled doom for Cheng, as it kept widening the gap between them.
The pattern broke in the final rack, with Juszczyszyn on the hill at 12-6, having completed his turn at the pattern with two in a row. At the table, wanting to put the 8-ball in the side pocket to move on to the 9-ball and win his seventh game, Cheng watched the cue ball travel a little further than he'd anticipated, leaving him up-table and off to the left a little. It was a thin cut. Cheng stroked firmly and the 8-ball dropped. But so did the cue ball in the far right corner. Juszczyszyn finished it, chalking up his first 'three in a row' to claim the event title.
Tour director Tony Robles, and the staff and commentators on AZBTv, which streamed the event all weekend, had high praise for Kevin and Isabel Buckley, the owners of Gotham City Billiards, who, in addition to providing the money-added, stayed 'on the hop' all weekend, adjusting room temperatures and responding to any and all issues that might in any way affect their guests. Robles also thanked sponsors the National Pool League (NAPL), Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards,, The DeVito Team, Billiards (Phil Cappelle), AZBilliards, and Billiards Digest.

$15,000 added Gotham City Classic

Tony Robles and his Predator Pro Am Tour are very excited to bring the 2nd Annual Gotham City 9-Ball Pro Classic to Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn N.Y. on October 8th – 10th. 
This event started as an $11,000 added open tournament last year, and was won by Mike Dechaine, who went undefeated and held off Warren Kiamco in the finals. 
This year features even more added money, with $15,000 in guaranteed added money and an expected first prize of $10,000 with a full field of 64 players. 
There are just a couple of spots left open in this star studded field with entries already received from Dechaine, Kiamco, Jayson Shaw, Shane Van Boening, Darren Appleton, Earl Strickland, Dennis Orcollo, Yu-Hsuan Cheng, Mika Immonen, Roberto Gomez, Ralf Souquet, Thorsten Hohmann, John Morra, Karl Boyes, Carlo Biado, Daryl Peach and David Alcaide.
While fans in the Brooklyn area will want to catch this event in person, Upstate Al and AzBTV will be streaming it out to the rest of the world via PPV all weekend long. 
All players must pay their entry online by Wednesday, September 28 at to guarantee their spot. Pros get first preference.
Players interested in securing one of the few remaining open spots in this event are urged to contact Tony Robles at as soon as possible. 

Billiards International Presents ESPN Billiards

Shane Van Boening (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

Pocket Billiard Champions, from around the world, go head-to-head in a three-day extravaganza of action packed professional pool.
The HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE CUP, MEN’S INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS, WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS, and TRICK SHOT MAGIC will be held September 20, 21, and 22 at the Official Host Site Trump Taj Mahal, Xanadu Theater, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, close to the cities of Philadelphia, Wilmington, Newark, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, DC.
The matches will be taped for ESPN/ESPN2 with a live audience for television broadcast that represents the highest viewed billiard programming on US network television. 
The events are widely considered the toughest tournaments to win in professional billiards.  Once each year, international champions are battling in short, sudden-death shootouts with pressure-cooker formats and the largest prize money in pool's special events.  And, the winners claim one of the most coveted titles in pool – Champion of Champions! FREE ADMISSION to the events in the Taj Majal Xanadu Theater on a first come, first seated basis and open to all ages.
On September 20 at 2pm, Trump Taj Mahal will host the WPBA sanctioned HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE which will highlight 2 accomplished women champions and Hall of Fame members contending for the title “Hall of Fame Challenge Cup Champion.”
Ewa Laurance (USA) is the holder of multiple World and US Open 9-ball titles, and has also won the Swedish, European and US National Championships in her 20 year plus, remarkable career.  A former #1 ranked player in the world, Ewa has received Player of the Year honors, been named WPBA Sportsperson of the Year and, in 2004, was inducted into the prestigious Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.
Vivian Villarreal (USA) is one of the most exciting players to watch and is nicknamed the “Texas Tornado.”  She has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s top women’s billiard players for the past 20 years and held the #1 world ranking five times. She has won a total of 19 WPBA Classic Tour titles and is the ESPN World Open Champion.
On September 20 at 3pm, Trump Taj Mahal will host the INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS presenting the top male players in the world:
Alex Pagulayan (Canada): 2016 Canadian Open Champion: 2016 Derby City Classic All Around Champion; 2016 Derby City Classic One Pocket Champion; 2015 3rd Annual Big Tyme Classic 9-ball Bar Table champion; 2015 3rd Annual Big Tyme Classic one pocket champion; 2015 Professional One Pocket Buffalo's Billiards 2000 Champion; 2015 DCC All-Around Champion; 2015 Derby City One Pocket champion;
Shane Van Boening (USA): 2016 US Open 8-Ball and 10-Ball Champion, 2015 World Masters Champion, 2015 US Bar Table Championship (9-Ball Division), 2015 Diamond “BIG Foot” 10-Ball Champion, 2012, 2013, and 2014 U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion, 2014 World Masters Champion, 2014 Derby City Classic 9-Ball Champion, 2012 and 2013 US Open 9-Ball Champion;
Yu-Hsuan Cheng (Taiwan):  2015 US Open 9-Ball Champion;
Jayson Shaw (Scotland):  2016 Derby City Classic “BIG Foot” 10-Ball Challenge Champion; 2016 Bergan Open 9-Ball Champion; 2016 Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open Champion; 2016 Predator Pro-Am Tour Stop 5 Open/Pro Division Champion; 2016 Predator Pro-Am Tour Stop 12 Open/Pro Division Champion; 3 time, Back-to-Back Turning Stone Classic Champion.
On September 21, at 3pm, Trump Taj Mahal presents the WPBA sanctioned TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS which will highlight the 4 most accomplished women champions contending for the title Champion of Champions:
Kelly Fisher (Ireland): Two-time winner of the Tournament of Champions, 2nd in the 2016 China Women’s Billiard World Champion, 2013 Amway Cup Champion, and 2012 WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Champion;
Allison Fisher (Great Britain): Over 80 professional titles including 2016 WPBA Masters Champion, 2013 Ultimate 10-Ball Championship Women’s Runner-Up, and 2011 and 2012 US Open 9-Ball Champion.
Jasmin Ouschan (Austria): 2015 WPBA Masters Champion, 2013 European Straight Pool and 9-Ball Champion and 2012 European 10-Ball Champion;
Ga-Young Kim (South Korea): 2016 WPBA Rivers US Open Champion, 2015 Tornado Open 9-Ball Champion, 2015 Tournament of Champions.
On September 22 at 2pm, the Trump Taj Mahal welcomes the return of the highest rated pool tournament ever shown on ESPN, TRICK SHOT MAGIC.  Four of the most talented trick shot competitors in the world will compete for a sudden-death prize in television’s most exciting format:
Andy Segal (USA): #1 ranked in the world, 7 times ESPN Champion, 4 times World champion, 6 times Masters Champion and 2 times US Open Champion;
Gabi ”Mr. Perfect” Visiou (Romania): 2016 ACSISA US Open Trick Shot Championship runner up, 2015 WPA World Artistic Pool Champion and 4 times ESPN World Cup of Trick Shots Champion;
Florian Kohler (France): Current ESPN Trick shot Magic Champion, 2 times world cup of Tricks shots winner, Guinness Book Record holder for most important number of balls jumped in a minute (68 balls),  Most viewed pool Trick shots artist on the internet: half a billion views combined, and 2 times and youngest Artistic Cup winner;
Will DeYonkers (USA): 2016 ESPN Qualifier Champion, 2015 Masters Champion, 2015 UTS Runner Up and Current World Follow Champion.
The latter three events are each regarded as the supreme test of skill and imagination in billiards. The players are so evenly matched that any one player could beat the others on any given day.
The HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE, INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS and the TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS are 9-Ball with a format of two sets and, in the event of one set each, a one game, sudden-death tie-breaker.
TRICK SHOT MAGIC presents the greatest individual trick shots selected by each player which, then, must be completed by their opponent.  The sudden-death tie-breaker to decide a match requires an incredible eight rail bank shot onto the face of a $100 bill. All in all, the 4 events offer the wildest shootout of the year.
COME MINGLE WITH THE PROS: And, as if that weren't enough, for a few hours each evening, the pros will be practicing in the Xanadu Theater and be available for autographs to audience members and pool fans alike. You might also get tips on improving your game. 
Trump Taj Majal, the Official Host Site, is a 24-hour gaming and entertainment destination on Atlantic City’s world famous boardwalk.  When you decide to name your casino resort after one of the original Seven Wonders of the World, you are setting the architectural bar fairly high.  The landmark Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City lives up to its legendary name.  Unprecedented in craftsmanship, size and opulence, the awe-inspiring architectural masterpiece is a sight to behold.  Check into your palace away from home and enjoy luxurious accommodations, spectacular concerts and shows, thrilling gaming action, tempting gourmet and casual restaurants and a night life that never sleeps.  At the Trump Taj Mahal, the excitement goes on, and on, and on.  Located at 1000 Boardwalk at Virginia Avenue, the Taj Mahal offers 2010 rooms and suites plus more than 25 places to shop, eat, party and have fun.  Taj Mahal will make all three events in the Xanadu Theater ADMISSION FREE to pool fans of all ages.  Parking is available for a fee.
The trophies and winner checks will be presented by the Trump Taj Mahal. The tournaments are also sponsored by Aramith Tournament Balls, Simonis Cloth, Diamond Billiards, Executive Billiards Delta-13 Racks and Pool Dawg.
The 2016 events are produced by Billiards International.  For best seats, please arrive early for each tournament session.
Hotel rooms are available to make an enjoyable getaway at the spectacular at the Trump Taj Majal. Hotel reservations can be made online or by calling 609-449-1000.  Make your plans today to attend the HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE CUP, INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS, the TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS and, TRICK SHOT MAGIC, September 20, 21 and 22 at the Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City’s premier gaming destination.

Chang goes undefeated to win “truly international” 4th Annual Steinway Classic

Drawing on a strong field of players, many of whom had recently competed in the 40th Annual US Open 9-Ball Championships in Virginia, including winner Yu-Hsuan Cheng, and world champion Pin-Yi Ko, the 4th Annual Steinway Classic in New York drew the largest field of competitors, 92, in its history. Yu-Lung Chang defeated Ko Pin Chung twice to go undefeated and claim title to the $7,000-added event, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY, from November 1-3.
"It was our largest field, and the most competitive," said event director Tony Robles, "because it was truly an international event."
Though Yu-Hsuan Cheng, Pin-Yi Ko and four-time US Open champion Shane Van Boening entered the tournament among the highly favored competitors, all were eliminated early. Cheng went two and out, Ko finished in the tie for 9th place and Van Boening finished out of the money. 
Chang and Ko Pin Chung advanced to the winners' side semifinals; Chang, against Warren Kiamco and Ko, squaring off against Jayson Shaw. Chang and Kiamco battled to double hill before Chang advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Ko, who'd sent Shaw to the loss side 9-6. Chang took the first of two against Ko 9-7 and waited in the hot seat for his return.
Awaiting Shaw and Kiamco on the loss side were Nick Van Den Berg and Darren Appleton. Nick Van Den Berg had eliminated world champion Pin-Yi Ko 9-6 and Rodney Morris 9-4 to draw Shaw. Appleton had won two straight double hill matches, against Alex Kazakis and Francisco Felicilda, for the right to face Kiamco. Appleton had been down 2-7 to Felicilda, before rallying to win that match. Appleton and Shaw downed Kiamco and Van Den Berg, both 9-7, and advanced to the quarterfinals.
Shaw opened those quarterfinals with five straight racks, and though Appleton would split the final eight games with Shaw evenly, Shaw won it 9-4. Shaw's loss-side run came to end in the semifinals, with Ko eliminating him 9-5 for a second shot against countryman Chang. Chang punctuated his undefeated run with a 13-11 victory over Ko in the finals.
Predator Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Steinway Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League (, Ozone Billiards, Delta-13 racks,,, Phil Cappelle of Billiards Press, and Special thanks went out to event photographers Eli Ceballos, Karl Kantrowitz and to Robles' tour staff – William Finnegan, Mandy Wu, Ron Mason, Rob Omen, Irene Kim, Upstate AL of AZBTV (which streamed the event throughout the weekend), Dan Faraguna, Jim Gutierrez, Joe Wilson Torres, and (his) "amazing wife, Gail Robles."

2015 Steinway Classic – Ko Pin Yi vs Cheng Yu Hsuan

Yu-Hsuan Cheng Becomes First Chinese Taipei US Open Winner

Yu-Hsuan Cheng

When the final day began at the U.S. Open, there were only four men left in action. The first to fall away was Ralf Souguet who lost 11-6 to Haitao Liu.  The hot seat match was not much of a contest. Yu-Hsuan Cheng dominated the  match and Karl Boyes only rarely rose from his chair. The final result was 11-3 and Karl could do nothing but await his opportunity against Haitao Liu.
Boyes got a better start in this match and soon led 3-1.  But in the next rack Boyes scratched while shooting the one ball and Liu took that gift home to narrow the score to 3-2. Boyes fouled again in the 6th rack and again Liu capitalized to tie the score at three apiece. Liu scratched on the next break and Boyes ran the rack to lead 4-3 in the race to 11 games. From there, Liu grabbed the momentum and continued claiming racks until he led 9-4. Boyes won the next one to bring us to 9-5 and called for a 5-minute break. When play resumed Boyes appeared energized and committed. He broke and ran the next rack and then in game 18 he played a safe that caused Liu to make a bad hit and then he made a heroic bank on the 5-ball to claim the rack. The heightened aggression was paying off. 9-7 with Boyes breaking.  Boyes broke dry and left a wide-open table.
Liu was hearing the footsteps. He began to hesitate at the table, blew his position on the 4 ball, and that caused him to be so out of line on the 5 that he fouled the shot. When the 9 ball fell Boyes had pulled within a single game at 9-8. Boyes cleared the next table like it was routine and now stood tied with Liu at 9.
Here is where we need to tell you that in the semi-final and final of the U.S. Open you must win by two games, though there is a cap at 13 games (15 in the finals as it is a race to 13) so Boyes or Liu could win from the hill if the game were to become tied at 12.
Boyes broke and ran the next rack to get to the initial hill. He broke dry and everything had a pocket but some balls were close to others so shape would be crucial for Liu to claim this rack. Liu had a long opening shot and missed it. The footsteps in his ear were now ahead of him. Boyes approached the table like he owned it. He made the tough run look routine and won the match 11-9. This was a truly remarkable performance. The man had been down 9-4 and then denied his opponent another rack. He won 7 racks in a row. I see a Mosconi Cup in his near future.
Yu-Hsuan Cheng opened our final with a break and run but then broke dry in the second rack. Boyes took full advantage and we were tied at 1 in this race to thirteen (with the aforementioned win-by-two stipulation). Then the Cheng train began to roll. Racks began to fall for him and soon he led 4-1 before committing an illegal break where three balls failed to pass the side pocket. It mattered little. Cheng regained control of the table late in the rack and ran it out to lead 6-1. 
Then Cheng again hit an illegal break shot in rack 8. Boyes took that one to trail 6-2 and took a timeout. Boyes broke and ran the next rack and then the next went his way as well to bring us to 6-4. When he broke the next rack, the cueball nearly scratched but hung up in the corner leaving Cheng shooting deep out of the corner on a long 1 ball that he missed. Boyes made a nice run and had things in hand when he took an easy 8 ball for granted and hung it in the corner. Cheng increased his lead to 7-4. 
Boyes took the next rack (7-5) but then fouled on the 1 ball in the next rack and let Cheng out to 8-5. Boyes took one back in the next rack but then Cheng took the next and our score stood at 9-6. He then took the next two racks with just solid pool playing and led 11-6. Things had turned very dark for Karl Boyes. It would get no brighter. Cheng commanded the table from there and ran away with the games to win the 40th Annual U.S. Open 13-6.

Pagulayan wins Open 9-Ball, splits One-Pocket title with Jones at 3rd Annual Big Tyme Classic

Alex Pagulayan, Ray Hansen and Ruben Bautista (Photo courtesy of Pool Action TV)

Jones, Compton split 9-Ball Banks title, Villareal leads the Ladies, and Strickland takes Seniors


In a five-event, $10,000-added weekend that stretched from Thursday, May 28, until the early morning hours of Monday, May 31, a total of 250 entrants (with some duplication) battled for just over $29,000 in tournament prize money. Commencing with a 32-entrant, $2,000-added One-Pocket event on Thursday, the weekend moved on to a 32-entrant, $2,000-added 9-Ball Banks event on Friday. The 128-entrant, $5000-added main event, the Open 9-Ball Tournament, got underway on Friday, as well. On Sunday, 26 women competed in a $500-added Ladies Tournament, while 32 Seniors (55+) competed in a $500-added, Seniors tournament. All of which was hosted by Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, TX.


Alex Pagulayan came from deep on the loss side in the Open 9-Ball event to double dip Rueben Bautista in the finals. Skyler Woodward had sent him to the loss side in the early going, and he was able to avenge that early loss with a victory over Woodward in the quarterfinals. He completed his run with a win over Yu-Hsuan Cheng in the semifinals, and 7-2 and 7-3 double elimination wins over Bautista in the finals.


Pagulayan and Jeremy Jones opted out of playing a final in the One Pocket event, and split the $3,900 prize for the top two spots. Jones and Chip Compton did the same thing in the 9-Ball Banks tournament, splitting the same amount of money. The One Pocket and 9-Ball Banks events were single elimination tournaments, so the two who opted out of a final event in each, shared the event title.


Pagulayan defeated Daniel McKenney and Jeremy Jones eliminated Josh Roberts in the One Pocket semifinals. In the semifinals of the 9-Ball Banks, Jones downed John Morra, and Compton defeated Justin Hall.


Vivian Villareal went undefeated to capture the Ladies title, defeating Ricki Casper twice; once in the battle for the hot seat and again in the finals. In a similar fashion, Denis Strickland took home the Seniors title. He went undefeated and through Ronnie Wiseman twice. A 16-player Mini-tournament, held early in the proceedings, allowed two players – Charlie Bryant and Daniel McKenney – to split $800.


CSI Invitational 10-Ball Championship Matches Released on YouTube

CSI is pleased to announce that the 2014 CSI Invitational 10-Ball Championship matches have been released on the CSI YouTube channel.  Sixteen (16) matches featuring some of the best players in the world, all filmed in the Predator Arena, can be viewed in their entirety absolutely free!
The format consisted of four groups of four players each competing in a round robin format.  Each group contained one player from each region – North America, Europe, Philippines, and Taiwan.  The top finisher from each group moved into a single elimination finals bracket.  The groups were:
Group A
Shane Van Boening
Thorsten Hohmann
Warren Kiamco
Pin-Yi Ko
Group B
Mike Dechaine
Darren Appleton
Dennis Orcollo
Jung-Lin Chang
Group C
John Morra
Ralf Souquet
Efren Reyes
Ping-Chung Ko
Group D
Corey Deuel
Jayson Shaw
Francisco Bustamante
Yu-Hsuan Cheng
Watch all of this terrific action using the below links or visit for more information.
CSI Invitational 10-Ball Championship Playlist: 
CSI YouTube Channel: 
Don’t forget to “Subscribe” to the CSI YouTube channel to be notified about new content.