Archive Page

Bergman over Van Boening Finishes Up International 9-Ball Open Day Four

Francos Sanchez-Ruiz (Erwin Dionisio)

Day four at the International 9-Ball Open got started with both of the Team USA Mosconi Cup hopefuls playing on neighboring tables. Corey Deuel and Max Eberle are battling to see who fills the final slot on the team. Yu-Lung Chang bested Max Eberle 11-7, while Corey won over Ri Teng Liu 11-8. Advantage Deuel? We all have to just wait for the announcement. 
 
Elsewhere, world #1 Joshua Filler notched up another win by taking down Denis Grabe 11-7. The feature match was Alex Kazakis versus James Aranas. Both men showed a few early-day arm struggles but Kazakis woke up first and won this one 11-6.
 
The second round of the day saw only four matches. The first to finish award for this round would go to Ruslan Chinahov of Russia, who only took a little over an hour to defeat Naoyuki Oi of Japan 11-4. Next to finish was our defending champion Jung-Lin Chang, who took care of business by winning 11-7 over Fedor Gorst.
 
Aloysius App and Roland Garcia kept it close throughout their match with rarely more than one game separating them. Yapp managed to be the last man standing when he won the hill-hill match to claim the win 11-10. Another tight one was the TV match between Albin Ouschan and Nick Ekonomopoulos. They also went head to head on every rack and wound up tied at 9 games apiece in their race to 11 games. Ouschan got to the hill first and won a brief safety battle for the 11-9 win.
 
The 2:30 session also had four matches. John Morra took down Marco Teutscher 11-6 and Denis Grabe won a tight one with Mika Immonen. The two champions were tied at 9 games apiece when Grabe took control of the next two racks to win 11-9. Our third match was not so close as James Aranas kept his hot game going and defeated Yu-Lung Chang 11-6.
 
The final match of the day session was Corey Deuel against Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz. Francisco began like a house on fire and went out to an 8-0 lead before Corey won eight racks of his own to tie us at 8 apiece. What began as a race to 11 was now a race to three.
 
After two more racks we were tied at nine games each. What a  battle this had become! Deuel broke and ran the next rack to be the first to ascend to the hill. In the next rack Deuel was running out before hanging the 7-ball in the corner. Sanchez-Ruiz ran the remaining three balls to stand beside Deuel atop the hill. The most dramatic match of the day had come down to a one-rack decider. Sanchez-Ruiz broke dry and Deuel was forced to play a safety when he could not get on the two ball. The safety war that ensued was won by Deuel when he finally gained a shot on the two ball. The cluster of  the five and six stopped his run and again he sought safety. Another war of safes began.This time it was Sanchez-Ruiz who got the first shot and he made the most of it, winning the rack and one of the most exciting  matches this reporter has seen in thirty years of watching tournament pool.
 
Coming back from the dinner break, six matches were scheduled for 6:30. The two winners side matches saw Ko Ping-Chung make quick work of Jayson Shaw 11-5 and Max Lechner having a slightly more comfortable 11-7 win over Dennis Orcollo than he did Wednesday night against Van Boening. On the one loss side, Chinahov, Chris Robinson, Aloysius Yapp and Albin Ouschan were all eliminated in 17th place. 
 
The 8:30 round featured Darren Appleton vs Joshua Filler. Despite Appleton struggling with the break, the match went 10-10 before a Filler safety left Appleton with no alternative but to try to tie up a ball. With Appleton failing to do so, Filler took ball in hand and ran out for the 11-10 win. Sanchez-Ruiz may have still been brimming with confidence from his win over Deuel, as he eliminated Denis Grabe in a quick 11-3 match. Other matches saw James Aranas eliminate John Morra and Alex Kazakis sending Thorsten Hohmann to the one loss side. 
 
The final round of the night only held two matches with defending champion Chang Jung-Lin playing Alex Pagulayan and the last two remaining US players facing off with Justin Bergman battling Shane Van Boening. While Pagulayan made relatively quick work of Chang 11-4, Van Boening and Bergman engaged in another extended battle. Both players came out of their corners looking a little tired, but it was Bergman who took control and Van Boening struggling to find his "A-Game". . Bergman led the match by four racks at 10-6, before Van Boening came back to 10-9 with an open table to tie things at 10-10. Van Boening navigated the table, but left a tricky 8-ball that he was obviously not happy with. Van Boening settled for a long shot on the 9-ball and it proved to be his doom, as the ball never even challenged the pocket and Bergman cleaned up for the 11-9 win. 
 
You can follow the action all week long, with our online brackets and real time scoring. Select matches will also be streamed online as part of Accu-Stats PPV coverage of the event

Steinway Classic Boasts All-Star Field

The Steinway Classic is back at Steinway Billiards in Astoria New York, and this year’s event looks to be drawing a field of absolute top level talent. 
 
With one more day for players to register, the field already contains such notables as Dennis Orcollo, Shane Van Boening, Lee Vann Corteza, Alex Kazakis, James Aranas, Jayson Shaw, Mike Dechaine, Mika Immonen, Thorsten Hohmann and Yu-Lung Chang. Van Boening will be joined by at least two of his Mosconi Cup teammates as both Billy Thorpe and Tyler Styer are already registered to play. 
 
The three day event kicks off on Tuesday (October 15th) and runs for three days. Upstate Al is already set up and will be streaming PPV coverage of the event all three days. More information on the PPV stream is available at http://upstateal.live
 

Taiwan Dominates Qualifier 2 of the WPA Players Championship

The second Stage 1 Qualifier for the WPA Players Championship was dominated by Taiwan. Yu-Lung Chang, Ching-Shun Yang, and Ri Teng Liu, accompanied by USA's Max Eberle, have each advanced to the $50,000 added Stage 2 Main Event which begins Tuesday, April 16.
 
The WPA Players Championship is being staged at Griff’s Billiards in Las Vegas, April 12-19. The main event, with $50,000 added prize money, is limited to 64 players. 48 players where chosen by the WPA rankings and member federations to begin in the Stage 2 Main Event. The remaining 16 spots are being filled by four Stage 1 qualifier tournaments, one per day, held at Griff’s Billiards April 12-15. The top four finishers from each qualifier receive a paid spot in the Stage 2 Main Event which begins April 16.
 
The third Stage 1 Qualifier will be held Sunday, April 14 where another four players will advance to Stage 2.
 
ONLINE BRACKETS
The online tournament brackets can be found at www.CTSonDemand.com.
 
WATCH LIVE
The entire event is being streamed live by CSI media, a division of CueSports International (CSI). The production, complete with full-time commentary led by former World 8-Ball Champion, Karl Boyes, begins each day at noon pacific time. To watch live, visit www.playcsipool.com/watch-live.
 
The World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) is the international governing body for pocket billiards and is comprised of six member federations representing North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.  The WPA is the world-recognized body for sanctioning World Championship events.  It is also one of the three member organizations of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), representing the billiard disciplines of pool, snooker and carom.  For more information about the WPA, visit www.wpapool.com.
 
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader and is currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media.  CSI leagues manages the BCA Pool Leagueand USA Pool League, CSI events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI media creates live streaming and digital content.  Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is “shaping the future of pool.”  For more information about CSI or any of its divisions, visit www.playcsipool.com or find CueSports International on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

International 9-Ball Open Ready To Begin

The International 9-Ball Open is ready to begin with a field of 113 players and the field has definitely lived up to it's name with representatives from 25 different countries and almost every top professional player in the game today. Of the Fargo top 10 worldwide players, only Wu Jia Qing is not in this field. 

 

With a field this stacked with talent, the first round already contains a number of marquee matches. The following matches are lined up for the first round…

 

Denis Grabe vs Naoyuki Oi
Johnny Archer vs Ralf Souquet
John Schmidt vs Yu-Lung Chang
Mitch Ellerman vs Albin Ouschan
Shane McMinn vs Jayson Shaw
Jani Siekkinen vs Carlo Biado
Oscar Dominguez vs Ruslan Chinakhov
Billy Thorpe vs Ko Pin-Yi

 

Matches begin at 10:30 Eastern Time on Sunday October 21st. Watch select matches with the online PPV coverage from Accu-Stats and follow all of the action at this year's event with our online coverage including real time scoring and live brackets

Dechaine comes out of ‘retirement’ to win SBE Open 10-Ball Pro Players Championship

Mike Dechaine – Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio

Aranas wins 32-entrant, Pro-Am BarBox Championships
 
He never actually left. Although “Fireball” Mike Dechaine has cut back, way back, on the number of tournaments in which he competes, he’s kept his hand in, so to speak. In fact, he’s won four of the last eight tournaments he’s entered – The Robert Dionne Memorial (NE 9-Ball Series) in January of 2017, the Gotham City Pro Classic in October, the New England 9-Ball Series’ Tour Championships just last month, and now, on the weekend of April 12-15, the $16,000-added Diamond Open 10-Ball Professional Players Championship, part of the annual Super Billiards Expo at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center IN Oaks, PA. Dechaine went undefeated through the field of 64, competing for $48K in prize money, and in the end, got by, in order, Thorsten Hohmann, Earl Strickland, and Jayson Shaw, before meeting and defeating Danny Olson in the finals.
 
According to Dechaine, being away from the sport and focused more on a regular job, has allowed him to approach the occasional tournaments in which he now participates with a different, if not downright better attitude. It’s an attitude, he said, that decreases the influence of expectations.
 
“I go into every tournament expecting to do well,” he explained, “but I think part of me winning these days is having a job now; a foundation (which) allows me to approach a tournament without expectations, (other than) just to enjoy myself and have fun.”
 
Aiding and abetting this somewhat new approach for the “Fireball” was an RV in which he and a group of friends were able to travel from Maine to Philadelphia in about six hours, and then, to stay, throughout the course of the weekend.
 
“The RV belonged to a friend of mine (John),” he said. “The (Greater Philadelphia Expo Center) was about 10 steps outside of the door, so we could come back, relax, take a nap if we wanted to. We had a blast.”
 
The indoor ‘blast’ got underway on Thursday, April 12. For both eventual finalists (Dechaine and Olson) the path to victory went through Thorsten Hohmann. Following a victory over Xavier Libby, Olson faced him in his second match and was sent to the loss side, from which he would eventually emerge as one of the eight loss-side finalists. Hohmann would go on to be among the eight winners’ side finalists. Dechaine, in the meantime, advanced on the winners’ side, defeating Lee Kang and Martin Daigle, before facing Tommy Kennedy, in what he (Dechaine) would describe later as his toughest match of the tournament.
 
“He played tremendous,” said Dechaine of Kennedy’s double hill effort. “The change was that his break started not working for him. I fought back and got lucky.”
 
The victory advanced Dechaine into a pool ‘dream team’ of eight final winners’ side competitors, including Shane Van Boening, Jayson Shaw, Skyler Woodward, Mika Immonen, Alex Pagulayan, Earl Strickland, and Hohmann, whom Dechaine met first.
 
On the losers’ side, Olson, following victories over first, Jorge Rodriguez, then Nick Charrette had to face Johnny Archer for the right to be among the losers’ side final eight. He defeated Archer, and joinEd Martin Daigle, John Morra, Jonathan Pinegar, Oscar Dominguez, Zion Zvi (who’d just eliminated Tommy Kennedy), Lee Vann Corteza and Roberto Gomez in the single elimination final 16.
 
Dechaine downed Hohmann 13-6, and then, faced Earl Strickland; a matchup that in bygone days might have seen a few ‘fireworks’ as the “Fireball” met the Pearl. Not this time around, however.
 
“Earl was a complete gentleman,” said Dechaine later. “It was good to see and it was fun to watch him.”
 
Dechaine won that match 13-1 and turned to face Jayson Shaw. In the losers’ side bracket, Olson, who’d defeated Daigle 13-5, and Morra 13-3, picked up Oscar Dominguez. Dechaine advanced to the finals with a 13-9 victory over Shaw. Olson joined him after defeating Dominguez 13-10.
 
Still at work enjoying himself and having fun, Dechaine stepped into his first major event final since last October, when he’d squared off against Yu-Lung Chang in the finals of the Gotham City Pro 9-Ball Classic (aka The Sharon ‘Sam’ Fagnoni Memorial).
 
“It was nerve-wracking being in the finals, of course,” he said, “but I was just trying to push through and play the best that I could.”
 
“Danny (Olson),” he added, “is an up-and-comer, and he’s going to be around for a while.”
 
Dechaine completed his undefeated run with a 13-10 victory over Olson. As he ponders his participation in future events, he is cognizant of the degree to which his somewhat lowered expectations have provided him with a key that might lead to further success.
 
“Focusing on one shot at a time,” he said. “Being the best that I can be.”
 
Pros and Amateurs mixed in Pro-Am Bar Box Tournament, won by Zoren James Aranas
 
“How good do you really think you are?” was the question posed on the Super Billiards Expo’s Web site Details and Registration page for the Pro-Am Barbox Championships.
 
“Take your best shot in this challenging 32-player event,” it suggested further.
 
And so they did. Though invited, there were no women among the single-elimination event’s 32-entrants. At stake was $10K in total prize money.
 
Zoren James Aranas went undefeated through five opponents to claim this event’s title, downing Jorge Rodriguez in the finals. Aranas got by Justin Martin, Shaun Wilkie and Benjamin Warblan to face Nathan Rose in the event semifinals. Rodriguez, in the meantime, had downed Cory Young, Jeff Jones and Nick Cipiti to draw Dee Adkins in the other semifinal.
 
In races to 6, best 2 out of 3 sets, Aranas advanced to the finals in two sets; 6-3, 6-1, over Rose. He was joined by Rodriguez, who’d been tested in his first match against Adkins, but hung on to win 6-5, and then eliminated him 6-4 in the second set.
 
Aranas won the first set of the finals 6-2. Rodriguez fought back in the second set to double hill. Aranas completed his undefeated run by finishing it.

Down to 8 in the American 14.1 Straight Pool Tournament

Albin Ouschan

Day 4 of the American 14.1 Straight Pool Tournament is now in the books from the fabulous Diamond Billiards in Midlothian VA.  Outstanding action in the first two rounds of the 24 man single elimination phase has reduced the field to 8 players heading into Saturday’s action.  The remaining players are Lee Van Corteza, Alex Pagulayan, Thorsten Hohmann, Albin Ouschan, Dennis Orcollo, Konrad Juszczyszyn, Brandon Shuff and Warren Kiamco.  Everyone remaining has produced the consistent high level form required to advance in this tournament, and making it to the winners circle will certainly demand continued flawless play.  
 
Prior to the start of the elimination phase, round robin play was completed.  Pagulayan, Corteza, and Juszczyszyn were the only players to go undefeated in their flights – another indication as to just how deep this tournament field was.  Notable players who failed to advance to the elimination round included Mika Immonen, Johnny Archer, Li Wen Lo, Max Eberle, and Chris Melling, this year’s George Fels Memorial 14.1 Tournament champion at Derby City.
 
In the 24 man elimination phase, all 8 flight winners received a bye while the remaining 16 players squared off in an effort to advance.  The firepower possessed by Jayson Shaw was on full display as he came back from a 123-44 deficit with a run of 81 balls to best Rodney Morris 125-123.  John Schmidt, who has severely cut back on his tournament play over the past several years, was nonetheless in classic form in defeating David Alcaide 125 to -2.  The results of the remaining matches were Tom Walter over Darren Appleton, Thorsten Holmann over Shawn Wilkie, Mario He over Ralf Souquet, Niels Feijen over Mike Davis, Dennis Grabe over Kai-Lun Hsu, and Corey Deuel over Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz.
 
In the round of 16, all the flight winners advanced with the exception of Yu-Lung Chang, who was beaten by Thorsten Hohmann.  The highlight match involved Albin Ouschan and Mario He, teammates who earlier this year won the 2017 World Cup of Pool representing Austria.  Mario jumped out to a 111-7 lead before Albin could get back to the table.  He proceeded to methodically run out to 125 and eliminate his teammate from the tournament.  Lee Van Corteza, seeking his third 14.1 tournament victory this year, used a 96 ball game ending run to eliminate Estonia’s Dennis Grabe.  Alex Pagulayan proved too much for Tom Walter to keep his impressive tournament run going, while Dennis Orcollo sent defending champion Niels Feijen packing.  Brandon Shuff prevented another Jason Shaw comeback win with a well-played 125-95 victory while Warren Kiamco eliminated Corey Deuel.  John Schmidt could not hold off Konrad Juszczyszyn as the 24 year old from Poland, who played the entire match from behind but was able to catch Schmidt at 119 and rolled on to victory.  Juszczyszyn is described by his traveling partner Dennis Grabe as a “fearless player willing to take on any shot”.
 
The quarter final matches are now set with Pagulayan vs Hohmann, Ouschan vs Orcollo, Juszczyszyn vs Shuff, and Corteza vs Kiamco.  Play begins at 11:00AM, followed by the semi-finals and final.  A quarter-final match along with both semi-finals matches and the finals will be available for viewing.  The link to the free stream is available on the Diamond Billiards Facebook page or  http://diamondbilliardsva.com/live-stream..
 
The American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship is sponsored by the Dorsey family, owners and operators of host Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls, and numerous private donors.
 

Ko and Kim Earn Player of the Year Awards

It was another tough year for picking the male AZBilliards Player of the Year. There were very good arguments to be made for both Shane Van Boening and Pin-Yi Ko. SVB had finished in the top ten in 88% of his tournaments and enjoyed over a half­dozen victories but Ko had won two World Championship titles in a single year. He is the current World Champion at both 10­-Ball and 9­-Ball. And, crucially, he defeated Van Boening in their head-­to-­head final match at the World 9-­Ball Championships. Ko won narrowly, 13­-11, but he won.
 
His dual­-championships are the first for any male player since Chia­-Ching Wu owned both the 8-­Ball and 9-­Ball titles in 2005. His quest began when he won the World 10­-Ball in February and then was complete after he won the World 9-­Ball in September. When combined with the two World Junior Championships that he won Ko is now a four­-time World Champion and he is just 26 years old.
 
Ko also partnered Yu-Lung Chang and won the World Cup of Pool in 2015. If there is any complaint to be made it is that he did not put himself in the arena often enough to satisfy his fans. His calendar for 2016 however, appears to be more active with Ko planning to attend the Turning Stone Classic XXV and the Derby City Classic as a starter.
 
Our female Player of the Year is a familiar name. Familiar because Ga-Young Kim just continues to excel. Kim once again leads the WPA Rankings and the AZB money leaderboard for all female players. She finished in the top ten in every event in which she competed and took home Championships in four of the eight events in which she played,
 
She had victories in the China Open, the Women’s Tournament of Champions, the All Japan Women’s Championship and the First Annual Tornado Open. She also stood atop the podium in second place at the WPBA Masters and in third at the Tornado Open Scotch Doubles Division. Her most disappointing finishes of the year were her 9th places at both the Women’s World 9­Ball Championships and the Amway World Open (formerly the Amway Cup).
 
Our congratulations to both of our new Players of the Year. Both players bring a touch of class to the table and represent our sport in the true style of a champion.

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 (PlayNAPL.com), Ozone Billiards, Delta-13 racks, Gothamcitytechnologies.com, PoolontheNet.com, Phil Cappelle of Billiards Press, and TheDevitoTeam.com. 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 – Finals – Ko Ping Chung vs Chang Yu Lung

2015 Steinway Classic – Hotseat – Ko Ping Chung vs Chang Yu Lung