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Filler Falls in Dramatic Upset, while Van Boening Also Crashes Out

Finland’s Casper Matikainen takes down the defending champion in wild day in Doha as 32 players set for a sprint to the World 9-ball crown.

 

Casper Matikainen

Finland’s Casper Matikainen came into his round of 64 match at the World 9-ball Championship today versus the defending champion and world number 1 Joshua Filler feeling relaxed and ready for battle. He figured the German great would bring his usual fire, but he also knew that Filler might also take his eye off the proverbial ball. After all, the 23 year old Finn wasn’t exactly the most feared name in a field of absolute monsters.

So even when the self-described “King” of pool jumped out to a 4-1 lead, Matikainen never lost hope, as Filler had gotten a few lucky rolls and wasn’t playing all that great, while the Finn had a few rolls go against him.

The mental strategy soon started to bear fruit for the cool-headed blonde. Slowly, and increasingly surely, Matikainen crawled even, and then took the lead while at the same time Filler started to get sloppy, lose focus and even showed some signs of panic. From 4-1 down Matikainen calmly won 9 out of the next ten frames.  After a brief hiccup on the hill that allowed Filler to claim two quick racks, the steady Finn held his nerve and closed out the biggest shock of the tournament so far, an 11-7 upset of the defending champion.

“He’s the world champion and he’s playing and I’m not there in the big tournaments and maybe he’s thinking it’s an easy win,” the 22 year old Matikainen said afterward.  “I felt that Joshua had the pressure because he’s the world champion and I was really relaxed at the table and that helped me and I just got it done.”

Matikainen’s massive win was but one huge result on a dramatic day in Doha that saw some of pool’s biggest names dumped out, while others were taken to the absolute limits. With the field now down to the final 32, the next two days promises to be one of the most exciting and fascinating Battle Royale’s of 9-ball we’ve seen in years.

America’s Shane Van Boening had come to Doha a heavy favorite this year and for good reason. His last three starts here ended with two runner ups and a spot in the semis last year. But several early mistakes against Taiwan’s Liu Ri Teng was all it took for the Taiwanese to grab a commanding lead at 10-4. The American mounted a valiant fight back, but the alternate break format meant the hole was too deep. Liu sent Van Boening packing in the round of 64 with a humbling 11-8 defeat.

After his runner up finish at the US Open in Las Vegas last April, former champion Wu Jiaqing figured to go far here in Doha. But Wu came up against fellow compatriot Xu Xiaocong, who is one of a slew of quality young talents coming out of China. Xu has impressed all week here and  against Wu he turned his game up several notches, crushing the former Boy Wonder 11-5.

The Taiwanese are almost sure to have one, possibly two players in the semis after tomorrow as Team Taipei looked absolutely marvelous today. It isn’t easy picking a favorite out of these world beaters but World 10-ball Champion Ko Ping Chung would probably be at the top of most punters betting sheets.  The slightly built and painfully shy 22 year old is clearly at the top of his game but he even he barely escaped in a harrowing match against Hungary’s talented Oliver Szolnoki.

Szolnoki, another bright European prospect, played the match of his young career and had “Little” Ko on the ropes, shooting out to a 7-3, then 8-5 lead. The fresh-faced Hungarian reached the hill first, but Ko then displayed the courage and guts that only champions can pull off.  In a nervy and tense sudden death rack, the Taiwanese made a series of surreal pressure shots to eek out the victory.

Little Ko’s older brother and two-time former world champion Pin Yi also won today, easily defeating Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama, 11-5. Fellow Taiwanese Chang Jung Lin, Chang Yu Lung, Lin Wu Kun and Kevin Chang all won their round of 64 matches today. In all seven Taiwanese made it through to the round of 32.

2016 World 9-ball champion Albin Ouschan of Austria looks to be in very fine form this year, as he easily defeated Taiwan’s Lin Ta Li 11-5.  Fellow Austrian Max Lechner continued his rise this year with an 11-4 win over Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis.

The Russian contingent also put in solid performances today. Veteran Ruslan Chinakhov took down American Corey Duel 11-3, while youngster Fedor Gorst stayed alive with an 11-8 win over Slovakia’s Jakub Koniar.

2012 World 9-ball Champion Darren Appleton has been quietly playing himself back into game shape over the last few months and his solid victory today over Albanian star and European Mosconi team member Eklent Kaci could be a portent for the rest of the field. The Englishman battled back from a 4-0 deficit, and then turned the screws on the Albanian for a quality 11-6 win. In his remarkable heyday from 2008 to 2015, Appleton famously grinded out championships by the truckload and that bulldog mentality definitely was on display this afternoon.

The Philippines had only three players in the final 64 but all three made it through today. 2017 World 9-ball champion Carlo Biado got taken to the limit by Qatari veteran Bashar Hussein, before breaking and running the last rack for an 11-10 win. Also winning today for the Team Pinoy were Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ignacio.

The Polish contingent has been getting stronger by the year and they showed their quality today with three of their stars pushing through to the final 32. Mieszko Fortunski, Wojciech Szewczyk, and Mateusz Sniegocki all won handily.

Also advancing today were the USA’s Billy Thorpe, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp, China’s Liu Haitao, Greece’s Alexander Kazakis, Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Estonia’s Dennis Grabe, England’s Chris Melling, Canada’s Alex Pagulayan, Qatar’s Waleed Majid, Vietnam’s Do The Kien, and Hong Kong’s young upstart Yip Kin Ling.

The penultimate day of the World 9-ball championship will be extremely busy as the field will be whittled down to the final four at the end of the days’ action.

Play on day 3, Monday, Dec. 16th will begin at 10am Doha time(GMT +3). All matches will be single elimination knockout race to 11, alternate break.

The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,00.

*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.

Fans around the world will be able to view live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.

Results Final 64

Casper Matikainen(FIN) 11 – 7 Joshua Filler(GER)
Yip Kin Ling(HKG) 11 – 5 John Morra(CAN)

Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 5 Lin Ta Li(TPE)
Denis Grabe(EST) 11 – 8 Marc Bijsterbosch(NED)

Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 9 Dang Jinhu(CHN)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 11 – 8 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)

Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 11 – 6 Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL)
Xu Xiaocong(CHN) 11 – 5 Wu Jiaqing(CHN)

Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 11 – 8 Radoslaw Babica(POL)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 11 – 9  Jalal Al Sarisi (VEN)

Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 11 – 7 Petri Makkonen(FIN)
Johann Chua(PHL) 11 – 5 Enrique Rojas(CHL)

Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 11 – 3 Karol Skowerski(POL)
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 11 – 9 Masato Yoshioka(JPN)

Billy Thorpe(USA) 11 – 6 Kong Dejing(CHN)
Carlo Biado(PHL) 11 – 10 Bashar Hussain(QAT)

Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 11 – 10  Oliver Szolnoki(HUN)
Lin Wu Kun(TPE) 11 – 7 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)

Maximilian Lechner(AUT) 11 – 4 Pijus Labutis(LTH)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)  11 – 3 Corey Duel(USA)

Chris Melling(ENG)  11 – 7 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Do The Kien(VET) 11 – 5 David Alcaide(ESP)

Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 11 – 6 Jang Moonseok(KOR)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 11 – 10 Ralf Souquet(GER)

Pin Yi Ko(TPE) 11 – 5 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 11 – 6 Stephen Holem(CAN)

Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 11 – 9  Xue Zhenqi(CHN)
Darren Appleton(ENG) 11 – 6 Eklent Kaci(ALB)

Fedor Gorst(RUS) 11 – 8 Jakub Koniar(SVK)
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 11 – 10 Tomasz Kaplan(POL)

Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 11 – 7 Ivar Saris(NED)
Liu Ri Teng(TPE) 11 – 8 Shane Van Boening(USA)

One loss side group matches
Winner moves on to final 64 KO stage. Loser is out

Group 1
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 4 Hasan Hwaidi(IRQ)
Bashar Hussain(QAT) 9 – 6 Jerico Bonus(PHL)

Group 2
Fedor Gorst(RUS) 9 – 2 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS) 9 – 3 Kong Bu Hong(HKG)

Group 3
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 1 Gerson Martinez(PER)
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 3 Saki Kanatlar(TRK)

Group 4
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 9 – 8 Matt Edwards(NZL)
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 1 Marc Vidal(ESP)

Group 5
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 9 – 8 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 5 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)

Group 6
Do The Kiem(VET)  9 – 6 Ali Alobaidli(QAT)
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 9 – 4 Ricky Yang(IND)

Group 7
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 6 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Liu Ri Teng(TPE) 9 – 1 Nadim Okbani(ALG)

Group 8
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 4 Hassan Shahada(JOR)
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 6 Abdullah Alyusef(KUW)

Group 9
Stephen Holem(CAN) 9 – 4 Khaled Alghamdi(KSR)
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 9 – 5 Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR)

Group 10
Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB) 9 – 5 Max Eberle(USA)
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 4 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)

Group 11
Karol Slowerski(POL) 9 – 4 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Eklent Kaci(ALB)  9 – 3 Ahmad Aldelaimi(KUW)

Group 12
Marc Bijsterbosch(NED) 9 – 5  Niels Feijen(NED)
Daminanos Giallourakis(GRE)  9 – 3 Abdullah Alshammari(KSR)

Group 13
Masato Yoshioka(JPN) 9 – 4 Clark Sullivan(NZE)
Xue Zhenqi(CHN) 9 – 7 Luis Lemus(GTM)

Group 14
Darren Appleton(ENG) 9 – 6 Richard Halliday(RSA)
Jakub Koniar(SLV) 9 – 3 Fayaz Hussain(MAL)

Group 15
Jang Moonseok(KOR) 9 – 2 Robbie Capito(HKG)
Corey Duel(USA) 9 – 8 Wang Can(CHN)

Group 16
Xu Xiaocong(CHN) 9 – 0 Mohamed El Raousti(ALG)
Lin Wu Kun(TPE) 9 – 3 Riccardo Sini(ITA)

32 Players Book Their Spots In The KO Rounds In A Roller Coaster First Day In Doha

Ko Ping-Chung

If the first day’s play of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship is any indication–and by all measures it certainly is just that–then fans around the world better be prepared for a wild roller coaster ride over the next three days.  Drama, upsets, nerves, revelations, suprises, excitement and downright brilliant 9-ball at the highest levels were all on display as play commenced in the 28th running of pool’s premier crown. And with a loaded field just getting warmed up, it’s only going to get better leading to the final on Tuesday.
 
With 64 matches played on 16 tables at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Day 1 saw 32 players book their spots in the final 64 knockout stage which begins Sunday.  None of the 96 players have yet to see the exits, but there were plenty of upsets, near upsets, and upstarts making their mark on pool’s biggest stage.
 
The top 32 seeds were given a bye in the first round of their groups, so these players only had to win one match to reach the single elimination knockout rounds.  Defending champion Joshua Filler of Germany did just that, but not before a shaky start which saw him tied at 4-4 in the race to 9 alternate break match against Qatari veteran Bashar Hussain. The World number one was never in trouble, though, and cruised to a 9-5 win.
 
2017 champion and runner up last year Carlo Biado of the Philippines didn’t fair as well as he got dumped over to the one loss side of his group with a shocking 9-3 loss to Chile’s Enrique Rojas. It was Rojas’ second straight victory of the day, the first coming over Kuwait’s Abdullah Alyusef. Rojas now books his well deserved spot in the Final 64 tomorrow.
 
The USA’s Shane Van Boening is one of the favorites here this week, but he looked a bit cold early on in his match with young talented Chinese player Xu Xiaocong. Xu is part of a large crop coming from China’s youth movement and he had the American down three quarters of the way through their match.  But SVB pulled it together at the last minute and squeaked by the Chinese, 9-8. Xu will get one more chance on Sunday.
 
Fellow American and Mosconi teammate Billy Thorpe also booked his spot in the final 64 with a 9-5 win over Canada’s Stephen Holem.
 
It was a solid day for team Taiwan. World 10-ball Champion Ko Ping Chung went up against Myamar’s rising star Phone Myint Kyaw, who also goes by the moniker, Muang Muang. Kyaw is a player that pool fans will want to pay attention to. He’s a former snooker player who has been winning regularly on the brutally tough Chinese 8-ball circuit, and he just grabbed two gold medals in the Southeast Asian games in Manila.  His stroke is one of the most solid in the game and anyone who watches him play instantly can see the potential in this young man.
 
But of course, Ko is a young prodigy who has already proven his metal in American pool with his recent win at the World 10-ball in July in Vegas.  Little Ko didn’t have much trouble with Muang Muang, winning handily, 9-4.
 
Little Ko will join his older brother Pin Yi in the final 64, who defeated the always stingy Jalal Al Sarisi of Venezuela, 9-4.  Other Taiwanese cruising into the final 64 include Chang Jung Lin, Chang Yu Lung, and Kevin Cheng.
 
The Philippines is surprisingly unrepresented in Doha this year with only four players in the field. With Biado losing early it was up to Johann Chua and Jeffrey Ingacio to save the day for the Pinoys. Both looked the goods and nabbed spots in the final 64.
 
It was a mixed bag for the European Mosconio Cup team. Greece’s Alexander Kazakis is one of Europe’s top bets here this week and he qualified for the knockout round with an easy 9-5 win over Qatar’s Waleed Majid.  But Albania’s Eklent Kaci and former World 9-ball Champion Niels Feijen of the Netherlands weren’t so fortunate. Kaci lost big to the Netherlands’ Ivar Saris, who had earlier looked solid in a 9-6 win over Poland’s Karol Skowerski. Feijen went down to upstart Hong Konger Yip Kin Ling, 9-7, who took his spot in the Final 64 with his second  win of the day.
 
The surprises kept coming throughout the day. Lithuania’s Pijus Labutis first squeaked by Peru’s Gerson Martinez, 9-8. Then he took on former World 9-ball Champion Wu Jiaqing, and shocked the Chinese great with a 9-7 upset, and a spot in the knockout rounds.
 
Also booking a spot in the final 64 was Canada’s John Morra, who continued his return to fine form with a 9-8 win over Poland’s Mateusz Sniegocki. Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp showed that he’s clearly a dark horse to watch here in Doha with a 9-4 drubbing of China’s talented Dang Jinhu.  England’s Chris Melling came back from 6-2 down to defeat Vietnam’s Do The Kien, 9-7. Also advancing today were Japan’s Naoyuki Oi, Austria’s Max Lechner, China’s Lui Haitao, Estonia’s Dennis Grabe, Finland’s Petri Makkonen, Germany’s Ralf Souquet,  and Spaniards David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz.
 
Play on day 2 on Sunday, Dec. 14th will begin at 10am Doha time(GMT +3). The field will be whittled down to 64 players playing single elimination knockout race to 11.  The round of 64 will be completed in the first two session, and by the end of the day, the field will be down to the final 32. 
 
The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,00.
 
*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.
 
 
Results
 
Group 1
Bashar Hussain(QAT) 9 – 6 Hasan Hwaidi(IRQ)  
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 7 Jerico Bonus(PHL)
 
Group 2
Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)  9 – 5 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 9 – 6  Kong Bu Hong(CHN)
 
Group 3
Pijus Labutis(LTH) 9 – 8 Gerson Martinez (PER)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 7 Saki Kanatlar(TKY)
 
Group 4
Kong Dejing(CHN) 9 – 6 Matt Edwards(NZL)  
Jalal Al Sarsi(VEN)  9 – 7 Marc Vidal(SPN)
 
Group 5
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 5 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
Oliver Szolnoki(HUN) 9 – 3 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)
 
Group 6
Tomasz Kaplan(POL)  9 – 5 Ali Alobadili(QAT)
Do The Kien(VET) 9 – 3 Ricky Yang(IND) 
 
Group 7
Liu Ri Teng(TPE)  9 – 5 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 1 Nadim Okbani(ALG)
 
Group 8
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 1 Hassan Shhada(JOR)
Enrique Rojas(CHL) 9 – 7 Abdullah Alyusef(KUW)
 
Group 9
Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR) 9 – 3  Khaled Alghamdi(KSR)
Stephen Holem(CAN) 9 – 6 Casper Matikainen(FIN) 
 
Group 10
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 7 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Max Eberle(USA) 9 – 7 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
 
Group 11
Ivar Saris(NET) 9 – 6 Karol Skowerski(POL) 
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 – 1 Ahmad Aldelaimi(KUW)
 
Group 12
Damianos Giallourakis(GRE) 9 – 7 Marck Bijsterbosch(NED)  
Yip Kin Ling(HKG) 9 – 8 Abdulla Alshemari(KSR)
 
Group 13
Xue Zhenqi(CHN) 9 – 5 Clark Sullivan(NZE)
Masato Yoshioka(JPN) Luis Lemus(GUY)
 
Group 14
Jakub Koniar(SLV) 9 – 8 Darren Appleton(ENG) 
Richard Halliday(RSA) 9 – 4 Fayaz Ussain(MAL)
 
Group 15
Konrad Juszcayszyn(POL) 9 – 7 Robbie Capito(HKG) 
Jang Moonseok(KOR) 9 – 6 Wang Can(CHN)
 
Group 16
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 0 Mohamed El Raousti(ALG)
Xu Xiaocong(CHN) 9- 2  Riccardo Sini(ITL)
 
 
Winners Side Matches Day 1.
Winner is through to the Final 64, Loser goes to one loss side of their group for one more chance
 
 
 
Group 1
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 5 Bashar Hussain(QAT)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 8 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)
 
Group 2
Denis Grabe(EST) 9 – 7 Ruslan Chinakhov(RUS)
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 9 – 4 Fedor Gorst(RUS)
 
Group 3
Pijus Labutis(LTH) 9 – 7 Wu Jiaqing(CHN)  
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 4 Dang Jinhu(CHN)
 
Group 4
Kong Dejing(CHN) 9 – 6 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)
Pin Yi Ko(TPE) 9 – 5 Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN)
 
Group 5
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 5 Waleed Majid(QAT)
Oliver Szolnoki(HUN) 9 – 3 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
 
Group 6
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 6 Tomasz Kaplan(POL)
Chris Melling(ENG) 9 – 7 Do The Kien(VET)
 
Group 7
Johann Chua(PHL) 9 – 3 Liu Ri Teng(TPE)
Max Lechner(AUT) 9 – 6 Radoslaw Babica(POL)
 
Group 8
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 3 Lin Ta Li(TPE)
Enrique Rojas(CHL) 9 – 3 Carlo Biado(PHL)
 
Group 9
Chung Ko Ping(TPE) 9 – 4 Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR)
Billy Thorpe(USA) 9 – 5 Stephen Holem(CAN)
 
Group 10
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 9 – 8 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 3 Max Eberle(USA)
 
Group 11
Ivar Saris(NED) 9 – 4 Eklent Kaci(ALB)
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 1 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
 
Group 12
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 7 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)
Yip Kin Ling(HKG) 9 – 7 Niels Feijen(NED)
 
Group 13
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 8 Xue Zhenqi(CHN)
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 8 Masato Yoshioka(JPN)
 
Group 14
David Alcaide(ESP) 9 – 7 Jakub Koniar(SLV)
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 9 – 4 Richard Halliday(RSA)
 
Group 15
Konrad Juszcayszyn(POL) 9 – 8 Corey Deuel(USA)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 4 Jan Moonseok(KOR)
 
Group 16
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 5 Lin Wu Kun(TPE)
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 8 Xu Xiaocong(CHN)

The 28th WPA World 9-ball Championship Set For Break Off In Doha

Pia and Josh Filler at the 2018 World 9-Ball Championship

96 players from over 40 countries will battle for a ticket to pool’s pantheon of legends

For three decades it has been the sport of pool’s premier stamp of greatness. The WPA World 9-ball Championship is, for any player who captures this most coveted of crowns, an instant ticket to a pantheon of legends, a list of supreme talent signifying not just one singular accomplishment, but of eternal pool glory.

 
Just look at the list of names who have captured this crown; Strickland(’90, ’91, ’02),Hohmann(’03, ’13), Chao(’93, ’00), Reyes,  Okumura, Ortmann, Takahashi, Immonen, Archer, Varner, Souquet, Pagulayan, Wu, Alcano, Peach, Bustamante, Akagariyama, Appleton, Feijen, Ouschan, Biado,  Ko, and most recently Filler. Each and every one a superstar who, when they won, were at the top of their craft in a pool world always stacked with a slew of incredible and hungry talent. Nobody gets there by being lucky, nobody is handed the golden crown.
 
This is why for the past 30 years pool fans all over the world so eagerly await this annual slug fest of pool’s very best.  Drama, classic comebacks, amazing upsets, nervy action, brilliant pressure packed performances are always on full display.  And it will happen once more over the next week in Doha, Qatar, when once again the heavyweights of the pool world will gather for the 28th time to contest the most prestigious prize in pool.
 
2019 marks the tenth straight year that the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation(QBSF) has hosted the World 9-ball Championship. This year’s tournament has been scaled back somewhat, from 128 players down to 96, but that only means each match will more than likely feature showdowns between the greats, which means the margin for error will be even slimmer, and the pressure to perform will be even more immense from the beginning.  
 
The defending champion is World number 1 Joshua Filler, who by all accounts, is the favorite to become only the second man to ever win back-to-back World 9-ball crowns (Earl Strickland won in ’90 and ’91). The then 21 year old German arrived in Doha last year battle-ready and loaded with prodigious talent. Filler then clocked in a glorious week of pool, never tasting defeat, sometimes crushing opponents with breathtaking speed and total cue ball mastery, coming from behind in several pressure packed situations, and closing the door when it counted, as all champions do.  In the final he held off a furious fight back from the then defending champion Carlo Biado of the Philippines, to win his first world crown, 13-10.
 
While pool history is not kind to those trying to win back their title for the second straight year, Filler has so turned the pool world on its head that nobody would be surprised if he was standing on the winner’s podium again this year. But the German will be up against a Murderer’s Row of  pool talent who have gathered here in Doha, and each and everyone has their eyes on this prize.
 
One of the favorites this week has to be the American great Shane Van Boening. Like last year Van Boening, currently ranked number 2 in the world, is coming off a brilliant winning performance in the Mosconi Cup, and is positively brimming with confidence. The American has won just about everything there is to win in pool, except this event, and based on his showings the last few years here, the odds are saying that he is due to finally reach the mountain top. Just look at his recent results in Doha. Van Boening took runner up in 2015 and 2016. He skipped the 2017 championship, but last year he was once again on a serious roll, until he got taken down by Biado in the semis. For Van Boening, it’s not a matter of ‘if’, it’s simply a matter of ‘when.’
 
If you are looking to place your money on some other favorites, look no further than the Taiwanese contingent. World 10-ball champion and current world number 2 Ko Ping Chung leads a pack of world beaters from Taipei, which also includes heavy favorites Chang Jung Lin, Ko’s older brother Ko Pin Yi, Kevin Cheung, Chang Yu Lung and Wu Kun Lin. With this kind of talent in the field, it’s almost a certainty that at least one Taiwanese player will be in the final four.
 
China has yet to win a world 9-ball title but they usually put in a solid performance in Doha. Wu Qia Jing(who won the 2015 title playing under Chinese-Taipei) is once again in the field. Dang Jinhu and Liu Haitao also stand out among the  Chinese players.
 
Biado, World number four, leads the charge for a somewhat reduced Philippine contingent. He’ll be joined by World number 14 Johann Chua, Jeffrey Ignacio and several others.
 
After a several year absence, 2012 World 9-ball champion and Hall of Famer Darren Appleton has made his return. He’ll be joined by one other fellow Brit, Chris Melling.
 
One noticeable absence this year is Scotland’s Jayson Shaw, who has had to withdraw due to some health issues. But the rest of this year’s European Mosconi Cup team will be fully represented as 2014 World 9-ball Champion Niels Feijen of the Netherlands is joined by Greece’s Alexander Kazakis and Albania’s Eklent Kaci
 
Other former World 9-ball champions in the field include Austria’s Albin Ouschan, Germany’s Ralf Souquet, Thorsten Hohmann, Canadian-Filipino Alex Pagulayan, and Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama.
 
And, as always happens at the World 9-ball Championship, unknowns and newcomers are sure to shock the field with a few amazing upsets.
 
The first day’s play on Saturday, Dec. 14th will begin at 1pm Doha time(GMT +3). Players are divided into 16 groups playing double elimination, alternate break, race to 9 until the final 64, where all matches will be single elimination, alternate break, race to 11. The race to 13 final will take place on December 17th.
 
The winner of the 2019 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The total prize fund is $150,000.
 
*The 2019 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation in Doha, Qatar from December 10-17, 2019. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view live scoring, results, brackets and live streaming of many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform at esnooker.pl.  Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public.

17 Year Old Hong Kong Native Capito Stuns Kaci To Reach Final 16

Robbie Capito

Up until the very last moments of the round of 32 today, this year’s World 9-ball Championship was notable for its lack of upsets that always seem to be a hallmark of this annual 9-ball extravaganza. That is until Robbie Capito decided he wasn’t going away quietly.
 
Robbie Capito? Yeah, don’t be surprised that you haven’t heard of him. Not many outside of his native Hong Kong have. But this cool headed and fearless 17 year old of Filipino descent pulled off what is easily the biggest upset of this year’s championship, and one of the biggest we have seen in years here in Doha, when he came back from certain defeat and took down the world number one, Klenti Kaci, 11-10, to move into the final 16.
 
Only minutes before, Capito looked like he would be exiting the Al Arabi Sports Club as unknown as he was when entered at the start of his match. He trailed the mighty Albanian 7-1. He then slowly clawed his way back into the match, but it didn’t quite seem enough. Down 10-8, surely the steady Kaci would close out the match and move into the round of 16 on Wednesday.
 
Capito, who had earlier defeated Lebanon’s Mazen Berjaoui in the round of 64, never gave up, and he tied the score at 10 all. Breaking in the final frame and clearly under duress, he held his nerve and closed out the rack to notch an unlikely win, and an even more unlikely spot in the final 16 at the World 9-ball Championship.
 
Capito, who speaks four languages and is still in high school, will now go on to face Germany’s Joshua Filler when the tournament resumes on Wednesday.(the tournament will have a day off on Tuesday as Qatar celebrates its National Day.)  The Hong Kong native will have to reach into his bag of tricks to stop the flashy young German, as Filler has looked unstoppable so far. The German played his trade marked fast and loose style in two easy wins so far, first against Greece’s Nikolas Malaj and then Vietnam’s Nguyen Anh Tuan.
 
If you like the youth movement in pool, you certainly want to pay attention to another 17 year old who has been turning heads this week. Like Capito, Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski is still in high school and can boast world class talent. The young Pole proudly displayed his formidable wares today in two solid wins, first against fellow Pole Tomasz Kaplan, and then the Philippines Johann Chua.
 
It will surely be fascinating to watch how Zielinski handles the likes of Albin Ouschan in the round of 16. The Austrian, who won this event in 2016, is playing top notch pool and looks impervious to the pressure. Ouschan’s two strong wins today showed he has the goods to go all the way this year.
 
Defending champion Carlo Biado stayed on track to defend his title, and he is also now the only Filipino left in the field.  After two wins today Biado will engage in a fascinating matchup in the last 16 against former world 9-ball champion, and China’s last hold out, Wu Jiaqing.
 
America’s Shane Van Boening continued his march through the field today with two steady wins. Van Boening played with his characteristic laid back style, but always on point when he needed to be. After losing in the final here in 2015 and 2016, the American seems to be carrying a bit of a chip on his shoulder.  It’s victory on nothing for Van Boening, and with the way he is performing now, he could be considered the favorite.
 
SVB, though, will first have to get through a red hot Chris Melling of England in a match that already has pool fans around the world salivating. Melling played in his usual swashbuckling in his two victories today but will have to step it up several notches to take down the determined Van Boening.
 
Corey Duel is the only other American remaining in the field. The veteran always plies his trade in characteristic quiet and laid back fashion and this week, these traits have served him well. Duel earned his spot in the final 16 with two workmanlike performances first against Canada’s John Morra and then versus Spain’s Francisco Diaz Pizarro.
 
Duel, though, hasn’t yet faced anything like what he will be up against on Wednesday when he matches wits with Taiwan’s Ko Pin Yi. Ko, who won the China Open this year and won this event in 2015, hammered compatriot Liu Ri Teng in the round of 64, 11-5, then did it one better to Korea’s Woo Seung Ryu, 11-4.
 
The Taiwanese are proving yet again that they are arguably the world’s strongest pool playing nation with a quarter of the final 16. It will be an all Taiwan matchup when Lin Ta Li takes on world number two, Chang Jung Lin. Chang had struggled in the group stages but shook off the rust today and looked his old killer self. In the round of 32 he disposed of hall of famer Ralf Souquet, 11-6.
 
Lin Wu Kun’s beautiful cue action led him to the semi-finals here last year and this year he appears to feel he can get there again or even more. Lin had to scrape his way into the final 16 in an 11-10 nail biter against China’s Liu Haitao. 
 
Lin will face Finland’s suddenly red hot Petri Makkonen. The hard working Finn put in a tremendous effort today with wins over Filipino Jeffrey Ignacio, 11-9, then young Russian Fedor Gorst, 11-8.
 
World number six Niels Feijen has that same look he had when he marched to the crown here in 2014. The Dutchman looked untouchable in his two big wins today and he is admittedly confident and playing without pressure. In the round of 16 he’ll have to square off with his Mosconi Cup teammate Alex Kazakis. The Greek grinded out two tough wins today, first 11-10 over Poland’s Radislaw Babica, then over Finland’s Casper Matikainen, 11-9. 
 
After a day off where the country celebrates the Qatar National Day, play resumes on Wednesday, December 19 at 11am Doha time(GMT +3.)
 
The winner of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
Fans around the world can watch four tables on our free live stream which can be accessed via the live scoring page here; http://www.esnooker.pl/live/en/tsnew.php
 Click the tables where you see the word "Video" and you will be taken to Youtube to watch the match. Tables 1, 7,8,9. Please visit the WPA Facebook Page for more information.
 
To view the Final 64 bracket, please CLICK HERE.
 
*The 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 10-20, 2018. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
The WPA is on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
Media coverage of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship is being supported by the American Poolplayers Association(APA).   Join the World's Largest Pool League today at http://bit.ly/2G5vYZY.  Please visit join.poolplayers.com
 
 
 
Final 16 Matchups
December 19, 11am Doha Time(GMT +3)
 
Robbie Capito(HKG) vs. Joshua Filler(GER)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) vs. Wiktor Zielinski(POL)
 
Niels Feijen(NED) vs. Alexandros Kazakis(GRE)
Corey Duel(USA) vs. Ko Pin Yi(TPE)
 
Carlo Biado(PHL) vs. Wu Jiaqing(CHN)
Petri Makkonen(FIN) vs.  Lin Wu Kun((TPE)
 
Chris Melling(GBR) Shane Van Boening(USA)
Lin Ta Li(TPE) vs. Jung Lin Chang(TPE)
 
 
 
Final 32 Results
 
Robbie Capito(HKG) 11 -10 Ekent Kaci(ALB)   
Joshua Filler(GER) 11 – 6 Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET)   
 
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 8 Roland Garcia(PHL) 
Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 11 – 5 Johann Chua(PHL)
 
Niels Feijen(NED) 11 – 1 Mateusz Sniegocki(POL)
Alexandros Kazakis(GRE) 11 – 9 Casper Matikainen(FIN)  
 
 
Corey Duel(USA) 11 – 7 Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP) 
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 4 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)   
 
Carlo Biado(PHL) 11 – 7 Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL)
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 11 – 6  Toru Kuribayashi(JPN)
 
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 11 – 8 Fedor Gorst(RUS)
Lin Wu Kun((TPE) 11 – 10 Liu Haitao(CHN)   
 
Chris Melling(GBR) 11 -1 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)    
Shane Van Boening(USA)  11 – 7  Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN)
 
Lin Ta Li(TPE)  11 – 7 Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN)
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 6 Ralf Souquet(GER)   
 
 
 
Results Final 64
 
Ekent Kaci(ALB) 11 – 4 vs. Bing Chen Gao(CHN)
Robbie Capito(HKG) 11 – 4 Mazen Berjaoui(LEB)
 
Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET) 11 – 4 vs.Wang Can(CHN)
Joshua Filler(GER) 11 – 5  Nikolas Malaj(GRE)
 
Roland Garcia(PHL) 11 – 7 vs. Waleed Majid(QAT)
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 11 – 6 vs. Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE)
 
Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 11 – 4 vs. Tomasz Kaplan(POL)
Johann Chua(PHL) 11 – 2 vs. Phone Myint Kyaw(MYR)
 
Niels Feijen(NED) 11 – 4 vs. Bader Alawadhi(KUW)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) vs.11 – 5 Ko Ping Han(TPE)
 
Casper Matikainen(FIN) vs. 11 – 5 Takano Tomoo(JPN)
Alexandros Kazakis(GRE) vs. 11 – 10 Radoslaw Babica(POL)
 
Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP) vs. 11 – 10 Naoyuki Oi(JPN)
Corey Duel(USA) 11 – 6 John Morra(CAN)
 
Woo Seung Ryu(KOR) 11 – 8 vs. Konstantin Stepanov(RUS)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 11 – 5 vs. Liu Ri Teng(TPE)
 
Carlo Biado(PHL) 11 – 9  vs. Vitaliy Patsura(UKR)
Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL) vs. 11 – 7 Wen Lo Li(TPE)
 
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 11 – 4 Tomoya Iima((JPN)
Toru Kuribayashi(JPN) 11 – 7 Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz(ESP)
 
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 11 – 9 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL)
Fedor Gorst(RUS) 11 – 6 Wojciech Sroczynski(POL)
 
Liu Haitao(CHN) 11 – 6 Alex Pagulayan(CAN)
Lin Wu Kun((TPE) 11 – 4 Maximilian Lechner(AUT)
 
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 11 –  8 Ko Ping Chung(TPE)
Chris Melling(GBR) 11 – 8 Hsu Jui An(TPE)
 
Shane Van Boening(USA) 11 – 7 Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE)
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 11 – 10 Dang Jinhu(CHN)
 
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 11 – 9 Jeffrey De Luna(PHL)
Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN) 11 – 10 Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 
 
Ralf Souquet(GER) 11 – 6 Ruslan Chinahov(RUS)
Jung Lin Chang(TPE) 11 – 1 Omar Al Shaheen(KUW)

Judgement Day Casts Out The Weak As Fantastic Final 64 Gets Set To Do Battle

John Morra

Judgement Day at the 2018 World 9-ball Championship in Doha came and went in a flash, with just two sessions on the losers side of each of the 16 groups. And while there were the usual jangling nerves rattling throughout the cavernous Al Arabi Sports Club, one thing that was definitely missing from this year’s final day of the group stages was the complete lack of upsets.
 
This means that the 64 players left in the competition, who begin a single elimination, race to 11 format on Monday at 10am Doha time(GMT +3), comprise the absolute best of the very best in professional pool. Over the next several days these greats of the game will duel it out for the most prestigious prize in the sport and a $40,000 top prize. If you are a fan of 9-ball pool, buckle up and get ready for the ride of your life.
 
A look at the players still standing tells us a lot about the state of pool, and where the world’s best practitioners come from. The Taiwanese lead the way with nearly 15% of the players left, 9 to be exact. Next up might be a surprise to some fans but not to those who follow the sport intimately: six players from Poland qualified, proof that the sport of pool in Poland is perhaps the most vibrant in the world at the moment.
 
The Philippines, Japan and China come in next with five players each. The Philippines is an interesting story because many Pinoy players stayed away from this year’s championship to play in boxer Manny Pacquiao’s event in his home town in the southern Philippines. If you are hard core fan that is no doubt a disappointing development. But the 5 Pinoy’s left, including defending champion Carlo Biado, all have a shot at going far.
 
The Japanese have put in their best showing in years, while the Chinese players have also looked strong. A Chinese player has never won a World 9-ball Championship.(Wu Jiaqing played for Chinese-Taipei when he won in 2005).
 
One of the most watched matches of the day came between the Philippines Roland Garcia, a runner up here last year, and American Billy Thorpe. The two stayed close throughout the first half of the match, splitting the first 8 racks. But Garcia pounced on several mistakes by Thorpe and then piled on the racks, winning 9-5.Garcia breathed a massive sigh of relief afterward because he had lost his very first match in Doha and had to win two straight to qualify.
 
In a battle of two former world champions, Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann took on China’s Wu Jiaqing. Wu jumped out to a big early lead, 6-2, before the German mounted a brief fight back. But Hohmann admittedly let the match slip away with too many unforced errors, as Wu advanced 9-6.
 
It was a proud day for the Kuwaitis who once again showed their prowess as a pool playing nation. Bader Alawadhi pulled off what could be the day’s biggest surprise when he shocked Spain’s David Alcaide, 9-7. Omar Alshaheen also booked his spot in the knockout rounds with a handy 9-6 win over Bosnia’s Sanjin Pehlivanovic.
 
It was also a good day for Finland. Petri Makkonen advanced with his second straight win, after taking down the always strong Chang Yu Leung, 9-6. Casper Matikainen put a halt to Filipino Marlon Manalo’s comeback with an easy 9-2 victory.
 
Austria’s former world champion Albin Ouschan struggled early but qualified with a 9 – 5 win over Myanmar’s Aung Moe Thu. Fellow Austrian Maximilian Lechner put an end to the hopes of South African Jason Theron, winning 9-5 after an early struggle.
 
Lebanon doesn’t often feature in the business end of things here, but Mazen Berjaoui held his nerve with a break and runout in the final frame to eliminate the USA’s Hunter Lombardo, 9-8.
 
Canada’s John Morra looked very strong in his 9-3 win over American Tommy Tokoph. Venezuela’s Jalal Al Sarisi(formerly Yousef), who went all the way to the quarterfinals last year, also qualified after handily beating the Netherland’s Ivar Saris, 9-6.
 
Monday’s action will be comprised of three sessions, with both the rounds of 64 and 32 being completed. The tournament will have a day off on December 18th due to it being the National Day of Qatar. The round of 16 and the quarterfinals will be held on December 19th, while the semis and final will take place on December 20th.
 
Play on Monday begins at 10am Doha time(GMT +3)
 
Fans around the world can watch four tables on our free live stream which can be accessed via the live scoring page here; http://www.esnooker.pl/live/en/tsnew.php
 Click the tables where you see the word "Video" and you will be taken to Youtube to watch the match. Tables 1, 7,8,9. Please visit the WPA Facebook Page for more information.
 
The winner of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
To view the Final 64 bracket, please CLICK HERE.
 
*The 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 10-20, 2018. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
The WPA is on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
Media coverage of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship is being supported by the American Poolplayers Association(APA).  Join the world’s largest pool league today. Please visit join.poolplayers.com
 
Day 3 Results.
 
Losers Side Matches. Losers are out. Winners qualify for the final 64 knockout stage.
 
Group 1
Vitaliy Patsura(UKR)   9 – 6 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Woo Seung Ryu(KOR) 9 – 3 Meshaal AL Murdhi(KUW)  
 
Group 2
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 7 Matt Edwards(NZL)  
Mazen Berjaoui(LEB) 9 – 8 Hunter Lombardo(USA)     
 
Group 3
Roland Garcia(PHL) 9 – 5 Billy Thorpe(USA)
Bader Alawadhi(KUW) 9 – 7 David Alcaide(ESP)
 
Group 4
Omar Alshaheen(KUW) 9 – 6 Sanjin Pehlivanovic(BOS)
Johann Chua Gonzales(PHL) 9 – 3 Jeong Young Hwa(KOR)
 
Group 5
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 6 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)
Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP)   9 – 5 Ahmed Tanvir(BAN)
 
Group 6
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 6 Satoshi Kawabata(JPN)
Ruslan Chinahov(RUS) 9 – 2 Abdullah Alenzi(KUW)
 
Group 7
Ko Ping Han(TPE) 9 – 7 Xu Xiacong(CHN)
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 9 – 5 Hayato Hijikata(JPN)
 
Group 8
Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN) 9 – 4 Roman Hybler(CZE)
Toru Kuribayashi(JPN) 9 – 6 Hasan Idan(IRQ)
 
Group 9
Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET) 9 – 5 Hoang Duong Quoc(VET)
Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 9 – 7 Sergey Lutsker(POL)
 
Group 10
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 9 – 2 Marlon Manalo(PHL)
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 6 Martin Daigle(CAN)
 
Group 11
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 6 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)
Maximilian Lechner(AUT) 9 – 5 Jason Theron(RSA)
 
Group 12
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 3 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
Wojciech Sroczynski(POL) 9 -3 Richard Halliday(RSA)
 
Group 13
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 9 – 6 Ivar Saris(NED)
Nikolaos Malaj(GRE) 9 – 8 Marek Kudlik(POL)
 
Group 14
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 6 Denis Grabe(EST)
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 6 Lo Ho Sum(HKG)
 
Group 15
Albin Ouschan(AUT) 9 – 5 Aung Moe Thu(MYR)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 3 Tommy Tokoph(USA)
 
Group 16
Bing Chen Gao(CHN) 9 – 7 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)
Wen Lo Li(TPE) 9 – 5 Kwon Hojun(KOR)

Pool’s Best Push Through To The Final 64

Jung Lin Chang

A veritable armada of pool’s biggest stars pushed their way through to the Final 64 knockout stage at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha today, as the business end of proceedings quickly started to take shape at the 2018 World 9-ball Championship.
 
It was a very busy day which saw 32 players qualify for the money rounds, and another 32 players see their dreams of glory come to a screeching halt.
 
Of course it was quite expected when the tournament began on Friday that over half the original field of 128 players from over 40 countries had no chance at actually winning the event. But the outcomes today were somewhat surprising in that we saw few of the upsets fans have come to expect in the group stages over the years. The only big name to fall by the wayside and get a pink slip was 2001 World 9-ball Champion and Hall of Famer Mika Immonen, who lost his second straight match in as many days.
 
Otherwise the day’s action saw one superstar and rising star after the next take their place in the final 64. When the field is filled at the end of the day’s play on Sunday, fans around the world can expect one of the finest runs to the gold in many years.
 
World number one Klenti Kaci hasn’t looked his sharpest so far. But the 19 year old Albanian did what he had to do in a steady 9-6 win over Kuwaiti Meshaal Al Murdhi.
 
Defending champion Carlo Biado of the Philippines seemed to be on cruise control in his 9-5 win over Russia’s Sergey Lutsker. Despite being the reigning 9-ball king, the Filipino great benefits from being so humble and so low key that he plays almost unnoticed.
 
The biggest winners Saturday in terms of countries was Taiwan, which saw a whopping seven of its players qualify for the round of 64.  2015 World 9-ball champion Ko Pin Yi looked the goods today as he handily beat Czech Republic’s Roman Hybler, 9-4. 2017 semi-finalist Lin Wu Kun grinded out a solid 9 – 7 victory over former champion Yukio Akagariyama of Japan. Ko’s younger brother Ko Ping Chung took a 9 – 6 win over Greece’s Nikolas Malai.  Hsieh Chia Chen beat Russian strongman Ruslan Chinhov 9-8 to make it through.vLui Ri Ten beat American Billy Thorpe 9-7 to make it through.
 
Taiwan’s biggest monster right now—and that is saying something– is surely Chang Jung Lin who is currently ranked number 2 in the world. Chang did win his second straight match to qualify today, but he once again had to go to the limit to get there. Chang blew an 8-5 lead to Greece’s Damianos Giallourakis and had to eke out victory with a nervy clear in the very last rack for a second straight 9-8 win.
 
The USA’s Shane Van Boening, who is one of the heavy favorites this week in Doha, didn’t have as easy a time today as he did on day one. But he was never in real trouble against Venezuelan veteran Jalal Al Sarisi, winning 9-7. SVB’s Mosconi Cup teammate Corey Duel played steady 9-ball and easily defeated Finland’s Petri Makkonen 9-4 to make the knockout stage.
 
World number six and 2014 champion Niels Feijen had another solid day, defeating Spain’s Francisco Diaz-Pizarro, 9-7. The Dutchman’s Mosconi teammate Albin Ouschan didn’t fare as well as he took a thumping from Poland’s Konrad Juszczyszyn, 9-4.  Juszczyszyn may not be a household name to pool fans but it should be noted that he is the current European 9-ball champion. Another Pole who scored a very big victory was Mateusz Sniegocki who took down a very tough Filipino, Jeffrey Ignacio, 9-5. Tomasz Kaplan made it three for Poland today with a win over South Africa’s Jason Theron.
 
It was good day for the Germans as both Ralf Souquet and Joshua Filler won their second straight matches to qualify for the final 64.  18 year old Russian Fedor Gorst continued to impress as he qualified with a handy 9-1 win over Jeong Young Hwa of Korea.
 
It was a very big day for the Japanese side as three players made it through with impressive wins. Takano Tomoo took down former world champion Wu Jiaqing 9-8. Naoyuki Oi was a 9 – 4 winner over Finland’s Casper Matikainen. And Tomoya Iima took a 9 – 7 win over Hoang Guong Quoc of Vietnam.
 
Other winners who qualified for the knockout rounds included the Philippines Jeffrey De Luna, Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp, Canada’s Alex Pagulayan, Myanmar’s talented Phone Myint Kyaw, Spain’s Fracisco Sanchez Ruiz, Greece’s Alex Kazakis, China’s Wang Can and Russia’s Konstantin Stepanov.
 
Chris Melling, the lone Brit in the field, again looked the goods as he easily beat South Africa’s Richard Halliday, 9-3. Qatar’s Waleed Majid also won his second straight to make it through, beating China’s Xu Xiacong, 9-6.
 
Play continues on Sunday in Doha at the Al Arabi with the action beginning at 12pm local time(GMT +3.) All matches on Sunday will be do or die, losers side matches with the winners advancing to the knockout round and the losers going out of the event.
 
The winner of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
*The 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 10-20, 2018. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform. Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public. Please visit the WPA Facebook Page for more information.
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
Media coverage of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship is being supported by the American Poolplayers Association(APA).  Join the world’s largest pool league today. Please visit join.poolplayers.com
 
 
 
Results Losers Side Matches
 
Group 1
Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT) 9 – 4 Alejandro Carvajal(CHL)
Woo Seung Ryu(KOR) 9 – 3 Fayaz Hussain(MAL)
 
Group 2
Matt Edwards(NZL) 9 – 5 Ruslanov Stanimir(BUL)
Hunter Lombardo(USA) 9 – 7 Sami Koylu(TUR)
 
Group 3
Roland Garcia(PHL) 9 – 5 1 Ahmed Nizam Uddin(BAN)
David Alcaide(ESP) 9 – 2 Ahmed Aleqaly(JOR)
 
Group 4
Omar Alshaheen(KUW) 9 – 6 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Johann Chua Gonzales(PHL) 9 – 3 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
 
Group 5
Chang Yu Lung(TPE) 9 – 5 Israel Rota(PHL)
Ahmed Tanvir(BAN) 9 – 4 Fawaz Al Rashedi(KUW)
 
Group 6
Satoshi Kawabata(JPN) 9 – 4 Mika Immonen(FIN)
Abdullah Alenzi(KUW) 9 – 1 Vincent Halliday(RSA)
 
Group 7
4 Ko Ping Han(TPE) 9 – 4 Jakub Koniar(SVK)
Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE) 9 – 2 Ahmad Mohamad Silah(JOR)
 
Group 8
Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN) 9 – 6 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Hasan Idan(IRQ) 9 – 6 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
 
Group 9
Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET) 9 – 2 Llanos Jorge(ARG)
Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 9 – 8 Ameer Ali(IRQ)
 
Group 10
Marlon Manalo(PHL)  9 – 2 Ali Abdulhadi(QAT)
Martin Daigle(CAN) 9 – 3 Abdullah Falah(IRQ)
 
Group 11
Thorsten Hohmann(GER) 9 – 7 Takhti Zarekani(IRA)
Maximilian Lechner(AUS) 9 – 6 Jimmy Worung(NED)
 
Group 12
Ali Maghsoud(IRA) 9 – 8 Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
Wojciech Sroczynski(POL) 9 – 7 Maksim Dudanets(RUS)
 
Group 13
Ivar Saris(NED) 9 – 3 Robert Hart(USA)
Marek Kudlik(POL) 9 – 8 Oliver Szolnoki(HUN)
 
Group 14
Denis Grabe(EST) 9 – 2 Toh Lian Han(SIN)
Lin Ta Li(TPE) 9 – 8 Enrique Rojas(CHL)
 
Group 15
Aung Moe Thu(MYN) 9 – 3 Roberto Brillantes(PHL)
Thomas Tokoph(USA) 9 – 8 Kong Bu Hong
 
Group 16
Bing Chen Gao(CHN) 9 – 6 Mohammed Hassan(MAL)
Kwon Hojun(KOR) 9 – 4 Bashar Abdulmajeed(QAT)
 
 
 
Results Winners Side Matches
 
Group 1
Eklent Kaci(ALB) 9 – 6 Meshaal AL Murdhi(KUW)  
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 8 Vitaliy Patsura(UKR)   
 
Group 2
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 5 Mazen Berjaoui(LEB)   
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 6 Radoslaw Babica(POL) 
   
 
Group 3
Hsu Jui An(TPE) 9 – 1 Bader Alawadhi(KUW)
Lui Ri Teng(TPE) 9 – 7 Billy Thorpe(USA)   
 
Group 4
Fedor Ghorst(RUS) 9 – 1 Jeong Young Hwa(KOR)
Robbie Capito(HKG) 9 – 5 Sanjin Pehlivanovic(BOS)
 
 
Group 5
Niels Feijen(NED) 9 – 7 Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP)  
Corey Duel(USA) 9- 4 Petri Makkonen(FIN)
 
Group 6
Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE) 9 – 8 Ruslan Chinhov(RUS)  
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 5 Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL)   
 
Group 7
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 8  Hayato Hijikata(JPN)  
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 7 Xu Xiacong(CHN) 
 
 
Group 8
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 8 Toru Kurbayashi(JPN)    
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 4 Roman Hybler(CZE)
 
Group 9
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 5 Sergey Lutsker(RUS)    
Tomoya Iima(JPN) 9 – 7 Hoang Guong Quoc(VET)   
 
Group 10
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 6 Liu Haitao(CHN)  9 – 6 
Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 9 – 4 Casper Matikainen(FIN)  
 
Group 11
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 9- 5 Jason Theron(RSA)   
Takano Tomoo(JPN) 9 – 8 Wu Jiaqing(CHN)  
 
Group 12
Chris Melling(GBR) 9 – 3 Richard Halliday(RSA) 
Lin Wu Kun(TPE)  9 – 7 Yukio Akagariyama(JPN)    
 
Group 13
Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 9 – 6 Nikolas Malaj(GRE)   
Shane Van Boening(USA)  9 – 7 Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN)   
 
Group 14
Phone Myint Kyaw(MYN) 9 – 4 Lo Ho Sum(HKG)     
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS)  9 – 4 Dang Jinhu(CHN)  
 
Group 15
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 2 John Morra(CAN)
Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL) 9 – 4 Albin Ouschan(AUS)  
 
 
Group 16
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 –2 Wen Lo Li(TPE)   
Chang Jung Lin(TPE) 9 – 8 Damianos Giallourakis(GRE)   

Van Boening, Other Top Stars Cruise On Day One In Doha

Shane Van Boening

Shane Van Boening has never won a World 9-ball Championship. He did, of course, come ever so close, finishing runner up in 2015, and 2016. After skipping last year’s championship, however, there is a palpable sense in Doha that the American star is absolutely destined to finally grab the world crown in 2018.
 
Interestingly there are eight former World 9-ball Champions in this year’s field, all of them still highly capable of pulling off the impossible feat yet again. But nobody is yet talking about them. It’s the moniker ‘SVB’ who is on everyone’s lips.
 
Van Boening has admitted that he is playing his best pool perhaps ever. After a grueling six month training regime, he led Team USA to a thrilling victory in the Mosconi Cup last week. He showed up in Doha saying he intends to win, and that he is playing with zero pressure on his shoulders.
 
Fans in Doha, and the pro pool community itself seem to agree something is afoot. While most players played in the relative obscure quiet of the cavernous Al Arabi Sports Club on day 1 of this year’s championship, Van Boening’s time in the arena today actually drew a fair amount of watchers. Everyone and anyone who likes pro pool around here seems to feel something special is afoot. 
 
The American didn’t disappoint in his first outing, as he crushed Poland’s Marek Kudlik 9-1. Good breaking, solid potting, deft safeties all showed up in Van Boening’s arsenal today. Combined with his quiet confidence, SVB laid down an early marker stating that nothing short of victory in Doha will suffice.
 
As all 128 players saw action on the first day of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship, it’s clear, though, that Van Boening will have plenty of serious contenders just as eager and capable of taking the crown on December 20. This year’s field is positively stacked with ferocious talent, both young and not so young. With the Wiraka tables breaking fairly easily—wing ball down, 1 in or near the side pocket—it’s all going to come down to who can handle the almost impossible pressure. Pool fans are in for a real treat over the next six days.
 
In the group stages it’s all about just winning two matches, to make it through to the final 64, where the tournament becomes single knockout all the way to the final. Defending champion Carlo Biado of the Philippines had an easy time of it today, easily taking down Argentina’s Llanos Jorge, 9-3. The man who lost in last year’s final to Biado, fellow Filipino Roland Garcia, came into Doha one of the hottest players in Asia and with high expectations. Garcia, though, stumbled out of the blocks to Taiwan’s Hsu Jui An, 9-8. Garcia will move over to the one loss side of his group where he needs two wins to advance.
 
World number one Klenti Kaci came out looking tired against the always tough Chilean Alejandro Carvajal. The Albanian teen was down four racks early but battled back to clip Carvajal at the wire, 9-7.
 
Pool’s young guns get more numerous and more dangerous year after year. 21 year old German sensation Joshua Filler played his usual brand of solid, care free pool in a 9-6 win over Bulgaria’s Ruslanov Stanimir. 17 year old Russian Fedor Gorst handled the always tough Kuwaiti Omar Al Shaheen, winning 9-6. 17 year old Pole Wiktor Zielinski came in with some expectations on his shoulders but he fell to Japan’s Tomoya Iima, 9-7.
 
It was a good day for the USA Mosconi Cup team as both Billy Thorpe and Corey Duel notched victories, and moved with one win of making the final 64. Canada’s Alex Pagulayan, a winner in 2004, barely scraped by Lebanon’s Mohammad Berjaoui, 9 – 8.  Fellow Canadian John Morra has an easier time of it today, blanking the Philippines Roberto Brillantes, 9-0.
 
Taiwan’s Chang Jung Lin is considered one of the tournament favorites but he struggled mightily against Korea’s Kwon Hojun. Chang was actually down 6-2 at one point but stormed back and won at the wire, 9-8.
 
Chang was one of eight Taiwanese notching victory today, including 2015 champion Ko Pin Yi, Ko’s younger brother Ko Ping Chun, Hsieh Chia Chen and Lin Wu Kun.  The Ko’s actually have an even younger brother in the event, Ko Ping Han, but he lost to Japan’s  Hayato Hijikata.
 
The four European Mosconi Cup players on hand all won today. Besides Kaci, Austria’s Albin Ouschan continued to look rock solid with a 9-4 win over the USA’s Thomas Tokoph. The Netherlands’ Niels Feijen waltzed to victory with a neat 9-5 win over the always stingy Taiwanese Chang Yu Lung. Greece’s Alexander Kazakis barely got by Slovakia’s Jakub Koniar, 9-8.
 
England’s Chris Melling is someone people seem to be talking about as a possible champion, and the lone British representative on hand didn’t disappoint, winning easily over the Netherlands Marc Bijsterboch, 9-2.
 
Former world champion Wu Jiaqing of China cruised with a 9-1 win over the Netherlands’ Jimmy Worung. China went 5 out of six today with wins also by Dang Jinhu, Liu Haitao, Wan Can and Xu Xiacong.
 
Former world champion and hall of famer Ralf Souquet found victory today with a 9-3 win over the Maldives’ Mohammed Hassan.  But former world champion and fellow hall of famer Mika Immonen fell to Russia’s Ruslan Chinahov, 9-5.
 
Qatar’s favorite player made a splash today. Waleed Majid, who made it to the quarterfinals here in 2014, showed that he has clawed his way back into championship form with a 9-5 win over former US Open champion, Yu Hsuan “Kevin” Cheng.
 
Play continues on Saturday in Doha at the Al Arabi with the action beginning at 10am local time(GMT +3.) After the four sessions on Saturday, 32 players will be out and 32 players will be through to the final 64.
 
The winner of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
*The 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 10-20, 2018. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform. Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public. Please visit the WPA Facebook Page for more information.
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
Media coverage of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship is being supported by the American Poolplayers Association(APA).  Join the world’s largest pool league today. Please visit join.poolplayers.com
 
Results Day 1
 
Group 1
Eklent Kaci(ALB) 9-7 Alejandro Carvajal(CHL)
Meshaal AL Murdhi(KUW) 9 – 5 Abdulatif Alfawal(QAT)
Aloysius Yapp(SIN) 9 – 3 Fayaz Hussain(MAL)
Vitaliy Patsura(UKR) 9 – 5 Woo Seung Ryu(KOR)
 
 
Group 2
Joshua Filler(GER) 9 – 6 Ruslanov Stanimir(BUL)
Mazen Berjaoui(LEB) 9 – 6 Matt Edwards(NZL)
Radoslaw Babica(POL) 9 – 5 Hunter Lombardo(USA)
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 7 Sami Koylu(TUR)
 
 
 
Group 3
Hsu Jui An(TPE) 9 – 8 Roland Garcia(PHL)
Bader Alawadhi(KUW) 9 – 1 Ahmed Nizam Uddin(BAN)
Billy Thorpe(USA) 9 – 4 Ahmed Aleqaly(JOR)
Lui Ri Teng(TPE) 9 – 1 David Alcaide(ESP)
 
 
 
Group 4
Fedor Ghorst(RUS) 9 – 6 Omar Alshaheen(KUW)
Jeong Young Hwa(KOR) 9 – 7 Mohammad Soufi(SYR)
Robbie Capito(HKG) 9 – 5 Wojciech Szewczyk(POL)
Sanjin Pehlivanovic(BOS) 9 – 7 Johann Chua Gonzales(PHL)
 
 
Group 5
Niels Feijen(NED) 9 – 5 Chang Yu Lung(TPE)
Francisco Diaz-Pizarro(ESP) 9 – 2 Israel Rota(PHL)
Corey Duel(USA) 9- 5 Ahmed Tanvir(BAN)
Petri Makkonen(FIN) 9 – 3 Fawaz Al Rashedi(KUW)
 
Group 6
Hsieh Chia Chen(TPE) 9 – 3 Satoshi Kawabata(JPN)
Ruslan Chinhov(RUS) 9 – 5 Mika Immonen(FIN)
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 7 Vincent Halliday(RSA)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 6 Abdullah Alenzi(KUW)
 
Group 7
Alexander Kazakis(GRE) 9 – 8  Jakub Koniar(SVK) 
Hayato Hijikata(JPN) 9 – 4 Ko Ping Han(TPE)
Xu Xiacong(CHN) 9 – Ahmad Mohamad Silah(JOR)
Waleed Majid(QAT) 9 – 5 Yu Hsuan Cheng(TPE)
 
Group 8
Alex Pagulayan(CAN) 9 – 8 Mohammad Berjaoui(LEB)
Toru Kurbayashi(JPN) 9 – 5 Sharik Aslam Sayed(SIN)
Roman Hybler(CZE) 9- 8 Mohammad Al Amin(BAN)
Ko Pin Yi(TPE) 9 – 4 Hasan Idan(IRQ)
 
Group 9
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 3 Llanos Jorge(ARG)
Sergey Lutsker(RUS) 9 – 8  Nguyen Anh Tuan(VET)
Tomoya Iima(JPN) 9 – 7 Wiktor Zielinski(POL) 
Hoang Guong Quoc(VET) 9 – 5 Ameer Ali(IRQ)
 
Group 10
Liu Haitao(CHN) 9 – 2 Ali Abdulhadi(QAT)
Wang Can(CHN) 9 – 6 Marlon Manalo(PHL)  
Casper Matikainen(FIN) 9 – 8 Martin Daigle(CAN)
Naoyuki Oi(JPN)  9 – 2 Abdullah Falah(IRQ)
 
Group 11
Jason Theron(RSA) 9 – 6 Thorsten Hohmann(GER)
Tomasz Kaplan(POL) 9 – 6 Takhti Zarekani(IRA)
Takano Tomoo(JPN) 9 – 7 Maximilian Lechner(AUS)
Wu Jiaqing(CHN) 9 – 1 Jimmy Worung(NED)
 
Group 12
Chris Melling(GBR) 9 – 2 Marc Bijsterboch(NED)
Richard Halliday(RSA) Ali Maghsoud(IRA)
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 6 Maksim Dudanets(RUS)
Lin Wu Kun(TPE) 9 – 5 Wojciech Sroczynski(POL)
 
Group 13
Ko Ping Chung(TPE) 9 – 6 Ivar Saris(NED)
Nikolas Malaj(GRE) 9 – 3 Robert Hart(USA)
Jalal Al Sarisi(VEN) 9 – 5 Oliver Szolnoki(HUN)
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 1 Marek Kudlik(POL)
 
Group 14
Phone Myint Kyaw(MYN) 9 – 3 Denis Grabe(EST) 
Lo Ho Sum(HKG) 9 – 3 Toh Lian Han(SIN) 
Konstantin Stepanov(RUS) 9 – 8  Enrique Rojas(CHL)
Dang Jinhu(CHN) 9 – 8 Lin Ta Li(TPE)
 
Group 15
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz(ESP) 9 – 6 Aung Moe Thu(MYN)
John Morra(CAN) 9 – 0 Roberto Brillantes(PHL)
Konrad Juszczyszyn(POL) 9 – 4 Kong Bu Hong(HKG)
Albin Ouschan(AUS) 9 – 4 Thomas Tokoph(USA)
 
Group 16
Ralf Souquet(GER) 9 – 3 Mohammed Hassan(MAL)
Wen Lo Li(TPE) 9 – 5 Bing Chen Gao(CHN)
Damianos Giallourakis(GRE) 9 – 7 Bashar Abdulmajeed(QAT) 
Chang Jung Lin(TPE) 9 – 8 Kwon Hojun(KOR) 

It’s Anyone’s Game In Doha

2017 World Champion Carlo Biado

One of the toughest fields in years is set to do battle as the 2018 World 9-ball Championship kicks off in Doha, Qatar, Friday.
 
(Doha, Qatar)–After the raucous excitement of the Mosconi Cup last week in London, the pool world is now braced for a completely different kind of intense and nervy action, as the 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship gets underway Friday at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.
 
If past years are any measure, there won’t be huge crowds in Doha. But, still, fans will be treated to an incredibly explosive field of the world’s very best pool players doing battle to see who will be crowned king of the 9-ball universe.
 
This will be the 9th straight year that the tiny Gulf country, through the government sanctioned Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation(QBSF),  has put its full backing behind the sport of pool’s most important event.
 
As is standard, the tournament will be run in two brutally difficult parts. The group stages will run from Dec. 14-17. The players will be broken up into 16 groups of 8 playing a race-to-9, alternate break, double elimination format.  Four players from each group will make up the final 64, which marks the start of the always tense and dramatic single elimination phase of the tournament.  Matches will then become race to 11, alternate break. The final, which takes place on December 20, will be a race to 13.
 
The defending champion is the Philippines' Carlo Biado, who became the first Filipino since Francisco Bustamante in 2010, and the fourth Filipino ever, to win the World 9-ball Championship. Biado won his first world title with a convincing win over fellow Filipino Roland Garcia in the final.
 
Only eight Filipinos make up a somewhat smallish contingent this year but we can rightfully expect one or more to go far in the event. Besides Biado, Pinoy cue fans should look out for Garcia. Just a few days ago the Pampanga native stormed through a stacked field of great Pinoy cueists to win the Manny Pacquiao Open in General Santos, Philippines. With a second place finish last year, and a hot hand this year, Garcia certainly looks like he has the goods to go all the way.
 
It seems most fans have their eye on the USA’s Shane Van Boening, and for very good reason. After Van Boening pocketed the winning 9-ball in last week’s Mosconi Cup in London, he has admitted that he has arrived in Doha literally brimming with confidence, and is playing under absolutely no pressure. And don’t forget, while Van Boening skipped last year’s event, in both 2015 and 2016 he lost in the finals. It’s no wonder that odds makers have made the American star their betting favorite.
 
Another almost surety for the final four will be one or more Taiwanese players, which sees 12 of its always prepared world class players in the field of 128. Look no further than red hot world number 2 Chang Jung Lin as a solid pick to take the crown. 2015 World 9-ball Champion and world number 5 Ko Pin Yi is always a threat. World number 7 Wu Kun Lin could surely make noise.
 
China has yet to win a world 9-ball title but they usually put in a solid performance in Doha. Wu Qia Jing(who won the 2015 title playing under Chinese-Taipei) is in the field. Dang Jinhu and Liu Haitao also stand out among the six Chinese players. Liu in particular will be looking to make amends from last year, when he fell overslept in his hotel room before his quarterfinal match and showed up to the arena 25 minutes late for his match, and suffered a humiliating disqualification to eventual winner Biado.
 
Surprisingly there is only one British player in this year’s field. Chris Melling, though, will gladly carry the weight of his country on his shoulders. The always exciting Melling has had a busy and fruitful year and feels he should be considered a top ten favorite to pull off a victory this week.
 
Over in mainland Europe, 2016 World 9-ball Champion Albin Ouschan of Austria is coming off a sensational week at the Mosconi Cup in London, and is sky high with confidence. World number one Klenti Kaci from Albania expects to improve on his semi-final finish last year.  Kaci is just 19 years old but he isn’t the only youngster from Europe that is looking to make their mark. 21 year old German sensation Joshua Filler is likely to go far. 18 year old Russian Fedor Gorst and 17 year old Pole Wiktor Zieliński could surely see themselves cause trouble. Poland, which has one of the world’s most thriving pool scenes, brings 8 quality players to this year’s big dance.
 
Other former World 9-ball champions in the field include Germany’s Ralf Souquet, Thorsten Hohmann(2 times), the Netherlands' Niels Feijen, Finland’s Mika Immonen, Canadian-Filipino Alex Pagulayan, and Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama.
 
The first day’s play on Friday, Dec. 14th will begin at 1pm Doha time(GMT +3)
 
The winner of the 2015 World 9-ball Championship will receive $30,000. The runner up will receive $15,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
*The 2018 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from December 10-20, 2018. The event is hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Fans around the world will be able to view many of the matches via the QBSF’s free live streaming platform. Multiple tables will be available to view online at no charge to the public. The WPA will provide more information regarding the live stream in the coming days. Please visit the WPA Facebook Page for more information.
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa
 
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com
 
The players will compete on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
Media coverage of the 2018 World 9-ball Championship is being supported by the American Poolplayers Association(APA).  Join the world’s largest pool league today. Please visit join.poolplayers.com

Shaw, Shane Go On The Offensive

Jayson Shawn (Photos courtesy of Bo Bader)

After an unpredictable day of world class pool, the 2016 WPA World 9-ball Championship has come down to the last 16 competitors. From here the pressure and drama is guaranteed to be ramped up, as the remaining players can suddenly see the golden prize, pool’s ultimate and most prestigious crown. The round of 16 and the quarterfinals will take place on Wednesday. The semi-finals and final will be held on Thursday.
 
And what a race to the mountain top of pool it will be. The final 16 still standing comprise an amazing mix of players from nearly every pool playing region. Some of those still present represent the current and old guard, while a slew of them embody the strong youth movement in the sport of pool. The only thing we know for sure is that we will crown a brand new champion come Thursday evening.
 
Great Britain’s Jayson Shaw today made an excellent case for some seriously good odds being placed on the affable Scotsman. Shaw came into this year’s championship playing the best pool of his career. In Doha, the 26 year old had to come from the loser’s side in the group stages, and in his first match in today’s round of 64, he was paired up against none other than defending champion Ko Pin Yi. 
 
Shaw never flinched and looked as cool as the Al Arabi Sports Club air conditioning out on the TV table. Breaking well and playing excellent safeties, the Brit surprisingly waltzed to a comfortable 11-5 win over the fancied Taiwanese.
 
In the round of 32 Shaw then had to face another monster in the Philippines’ Dennis Orcollo, who had just come from behind to topple Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann, 11 – 8. Again, Shaw was unflappable, coming back from an early deficit to walk away with the match, 11-5.
 
The Scotsman certainly seems to have that winner’s air about him. Relaxed, focused and clearly having the time of his life, Shaw has all the tools in his bag to advance even further.
 
“I feel really calm out there,” Shaw said after disposing of Orcollo.  “I’m just taking it ball by ball, not thinking ahead, grinding away, stay down on the shot, put the cue straight through the shot, take my time, don’t let it affect me if I make a mistake or two.  I’m happy with my performance. Breaking good, safeties are good.  When the tournament started my goal was to get to the last 16, and I’ll just carry on from there. Now I’m there. I’m happy, really pleased.  Hopefully I can keep the momentum tomorrow and roll on again.”
 
If you’ve watched enough pool at this level, it quickly becomes clear that being able to let the inevitable stress roll off your back and play without a care in the world is a big  key to success.  Which means just because Shaw’s next opponent in the round of 16 is hardly a big name, that doesn’t tell him things will get any easier.
 
[photo id=45156|align=right]Ukraine’s Artem Koshovoj hasn’t even played much competitive pool in the last two years, as he’s been busy helping his family run their wall paper factory. But this break from the game seems to have served Koshovoj well. The Euro tour veteran only got an entry into this year’s World 9-ball Championship when he placed 5th in the European Championships this year.  He only spent two weeks practicing before coming to Doha.
 
Like Shaw, Koshovoj has been playing relaxed and carefree and today that approach saw him take down two heavyweights. He first defeated the Philippines Johann Chua, 11-8. He then cut down Taiwanese veteran Chang Jun Lin 11-7.
 
“Sometimes it’s better when you have a long rest and then you come back and play,” the Ukranian said afterward. “You are more fresh. I’m just playing my game and everything is going.  I don’t make many mistakes. I have no pressure. When you play all the tournaments, you have to show some results. But I come here just for playing. I hope tomorrow will be the same.”
 
Estonia’s Dennis Grabe also performed marvelously today. After crushing Poland’s  Mieszko Fortunski, 11-3, Grabe headed to the round of 32 to square off with 2005 World 9-ball Champion, Wu Jiaqing. The 26 year old Grabe was hardly in awe of the great Wu. He led throughout and confidently closed the door on a Wu fight back, winning impressively, 11-7.
 
Grabe, one of Europe’s bright young guns, will now square off with 2007 World 9-ball champion Daryl Peach of Great Britain. The “Dazzler” has found a renewed spark this week in Doha and has played some seriously solid 9-ball. Today Peach first beat China’s Li Hewen, 11-7, then manhandled Taiwan’s Lo Li Wen, 11-6.
 
One of the big favorites over the next two days has to be the USA’s Shane Van Boening. Van Boening, who was runner-up here last year, seems bent on taking it all the way this year. Except for one loss in the group stage, the American has played flawlessly, always leaving himself shots on the break and never letting his opponents into the match. Today he took down  Filipino veteran Warren Kiamco and then Taiwan’s Wu Kun Lin. 
 
Van Boeing will be a heavy favorite in his round of 16 match against Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen, who continued his surprising run today, first beating Spain’s  Francisco Pizzarro Diaz, 11-9, then the UAE’s Salah Al Remawi, 11-4.
 
Tuesday was a downright awful day for the always strong Philippine contingent, but Carlo Biado is now making a case for perhaps being the top player from one of the world’s best pool playing countries. After barely making it into the knockout rounds, Biado today played like a man on fire, crushing fellow Filipino Ramil Gallego, 11-5, then Korea’s Jeong Young Hwa, 11-4. 
 
[photo id=45157|align=right]Biado will square off with Ko Ping Chung, the younger brother of last year’s champion, Ko Pin Yi. Don’t be surprised if the boyish Ko goes all the way. The Taiwanese youngster is wildly talented, and some say even more so than his champion brother. Last year Ko made it all the way to the semi-finals where he lost to his older brother. With his big brother now out of the event, this could be the younger Ko’s turn to shine on the big stage. Certainly his matchup with Biado promises to be highly entertaining.
 
It’ll be an all-Austrian affair when Mario He takes on 2014 runner up Albin Ouschan. Ouschan played his typical steady game today while He went to the wire against Hall of Famer Ralf Souquet in the round of 32.
 
Another young European making a name for himself this year is Alexander Kazakis who had two solid wins today including an 11-6 win over China’s Liu Haitao. He’ll face another tough Chinese Chu Bing Jie who marched untouchable through today’s two rounds.
 
Chu’s countryman Dang Jin Hu also advanced today with wins over the Philippines Roberto Gomez and fellow Chinese Han Hao Xiang.  Dang will take on Taiwan’s Cheng Yu Hsuan, who barely escaped against Filipino Lee Van Corteza, 11-10 in the round of 64. A battle hardened Cheng then showed serious mettle in outlasting Konstantin Stepanov of Russia, 11-8.
 
Muhammad Bewi of Indonesia escaped into the round of 16, first with a well played 11-7 win over Britain’s Karl Boyes, then with a gutsy close against Singapore’s Toh Lian Han, 11-10. Bewi will face Canadian-Filipino veteran Alex Pagulayan, who in the last 18 months has found renewed passion for pool after several years away. Pagulayan, a true master of pool and winner of this event in 2004, played solid and steady in his two wins today.
 
Pagulayan’s approach to the game these days sums up the prevailing attitude that seems to produce winning runs in the biggest and most pressure packed tournament of them all; don’t get carried away. Just relax and try to have fun.
 
“I just play the game,” Pagulayan said after his comeback win against China’s Zhou Long in the round of 32. “ I don’t think about anything. It’s just another game. I just think one ball at a time.  I don’t know if my experience is an advantage. The young guys these days they play so good. You have to play good and get lucky. I won’t be here if I don’t think I can win it. But at the same time, I don’t want to pressure myself. It’s just another game. It’s not the end of the world if I lose. It’s not the end of the world if I win. Life goes on. “
 
The round of 16 and quarterfinals will take place on Wednesday beginning at 11am Doha time(GMT +3.) The semi-finals and final will be held on Thursday. All matches will be race to 11, alternate break. The Final will be race to 13, alternate break. 
 
**The 2015 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from July 30-August 4, 2016. The winner of the 2015 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.
 
The players will be competing on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.
 
The 2016 World 9-ball Championship is being hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.
 
Up to date brackets and live scoring can found at this link: 
http://www.online-brackets.com/view/user/wpc9ball/1010
 
The WPA will be on hand in Doha throughout this year’s World 9-ball Championship providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner. 
 
Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolbilliardassociation/
 
The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa   
 
 
 
LAST 16
Jayson Shaw (GBR) vs. Artem Koshovoj (UKR)   
Mario He (AUT) vs.  Albin Ouschan (AUT)   
 
Alex Pagulayan (CAN)  vs.  Muhammad Bewi (INA)  
Carlo Biado (PHL) vs. Ko Ping Chung (TPE)
 
Chu Bing Jie (CHN) vs. Alexander Kazakis (GRE)
Shane Van Boening (USA) vs. Omar Al Shaheen (KUW)  
 
Dennis Grabe (EST) vs. Daryl Peach (GBR)
Cheng Yu Hsuan (TPE)  vs. Dang Jin Hu (CHN)
 
RESULTS FINAL 64
 
Jayson Shaw (GBR) 11 – 5 Ko  Pin Yi (TPE) 
Dennis Orcollo (PHL) 11 – 8 Throsten Hohmann (GER)
 
Chang Jun Lin (TPE) 11 – 7 Satoshi Kawabata (JPN)
Artem Koshovoj (UKR) 11 – 9 Johan Chua (PHL) 
 
Ralf Souquet (GER) 11 – 3 Chu Hong Ming (TPE) 
Mario He (AUT) 11 – 9 Ruslan Chinakov (RUS) 
 
Francisco Sanchez (ESP) 11 – 8 Hamza M. Saeed (IRI)
Albin Ouschan (AUT) 11 – 7 Jeffery Ignacio (PHL)
 
Zhou Long (CHN) 11 – 7  Chang Yu Lung (TPE)
Alex Pagulayan (CAN) 11 – 8 Isral Nasution (INA)
 
Muhammad Bewi (INA) 11 – 7 Karl Boyes (GBR) 
Toh Lian Han (SIN) 11 – 6 MD Almin (BAN)
 
Carlo Biado (PHL) 11 – 5 Ramil Gallego (PHL)
Jeong Young Hwa (KOR) 11 – 9 David Alcaide (ESP)
 
Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GRE) 11 – 7 Jeffery Deluna (PHL)
Ko Ping Chung (TPE) 11 – 9 Wojciech Szewczyk (POL)
 
Liu Haitao (CHN) 11 – 4 Yukio Akagariyama (JPN)
Alexander Kazakis (GRE) 11 – 4 Oscar Dominguez (USA)
 
Chu Bing Jie (CHN) 11 – 3 Ahmed M. Saleh (JOR)
Karol Skowerski (POL) 11 – 7 Hsieh Chia Chen (TPE)
 
Shane Van Boening (USA) 11 – 7 Warren Kiamco (PHL)
Wu Kun Lin (TPE) 11 – 10 Abdul Rahman Al Amar (KSA)
 
Omar Al Shaheen (KUW) 11 – 9 Francisco Pizzarro Diaz (ESP)
Salah Al Remawi (UAE) 11 – 5 Roman Hybler (CZE)
 
Wu Jiaqing (CHN) 11 – 9 Niels Feijen (NED)
Dennis Grabe (EST) 11 – 3 Mieszko Fortunski (POL)
 
Daryl Peach (GBR) 11 – 7 Li Hewen (CHN)
Li Wen Lo (TPE) 11 – 10 Yang Ching Shun (TPE)
 
Cheng Yu Hsuan (TPE) 11 – 10 Lee Vann Corteza (PHL) 
Konstantin Stepanov (RUS) 11 – 8 Mateusz Sniegocki (POL) 
 
Dang Jin Hu (CHN) 11 – 7 Roberto Gomez (PHL)
Han Hao Xiang (CHN) 11 – 7 Ali Maghsoud (IRN)
 
RESULTS FINAL 32
 
Jayson Shaw (GBR) 11 – 6  Dennis Orcollo (PHL)  
Artem Koshovoj (UKR)   11 – 7 Chang Jun Lin (TPE)  
 
Mario He (AUT)  11 – 10 Ralf Souquet (GER)
Albin Ouschan (AUT)   11 – 6 Francisco Sanchez (ESP)  
 
Alex Pagulayan (CAN)   11 – 8 Zhou Long (CHN) 
Muhammad Bewi (INA) 11 – 10 Toh Lian Han (SIN)  
 
Carlo Biado (PHL) 11 – 4 Jeong Young Hwa (KOR)  
Ko Ping Chung (TPE)  11 – 6 Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GRE)  
 
Alexander Kazakis (GRE)  10 – 6 Liu Haitao (CHN)  
Chu Bing Jie (CHN) 11 – 3 Karol Skowerski (POL)   
 
Shane Van Boening (USA) 11 – 5  Wu Kun Lin (TPE)  
Omar Al Shaheen (KUW)  11 – 4 Salah Al Remawi (UAE)  
 
Dennis Grabe (EST) 11 – 7 Wu Jiaqing (CHN)
Daryl Peach (GBR) 11 – 5  Li Wen Lo (TPE)  
 
Cheng Yu Hsuan (TPE)  11 – 8 Konstantin Stepanov (RUS)  
Dang Jin Hu (CHN) 11 – 7  Han Hao Xiang (CHN)  

Pressure Becomes The Great Equalizer On Judgement Day

Omar Al Shaheen. photo by Bader

(Doha, Qatar)-Omar Al Shaheen knows that success in championship pool is as much about perseverance as it is about being an amazing shot maker.  Sometimes, when things aren’t going your way, you just have to be patient.  When your time finally does come, you have to be ready to grab the cherry.

 

Today at the Al Arabi Sports Club in Doha, that cherry came in the form of a brilliantly played match against former World 9-ball Champion Darren Appleton. Today was Judgement Day at the 2016 World 9-ball Championship, the last chance to make it into the Final 64, the knockout rounds and the real road to 9-ball glory. 

 

Of course Appleton, one of pool’s giants, was the heavy favorite. But the 23 year old Kuwaiti played flawlessly and completely carefee, while the Brit couldn’t find the measure of the break shot and looked tight. Al Shaheen won in a master class, 9-5, putting Appleton out, and himself in the money rounds of pool’s biggest event.

 

To understand just how Al Shaheen got to this point of being able to oust one of pool’s best players, it helps to look back over the last few days.  The talented and good looking youngster didn’t even have a spot in the tournament a few days ago. He entered the brutally tough qualifiers last week, reached the finals two times, only to lose to two top players. But as he was lamenting what could have been this year, he got the call that another player had dropped out and, as the leading point holder of the qualifiers, he got the very last spot in the world championship.

 

Al Shaheen then lost his very first match and was forced over to the losers’ side of his group bracket. But then the Kuwaiti found his groove, handily beating Sweden’s Marcus Chamat, to set up a showdown with Appleton. He suddenly realized all the tough competition and, yes, the losing, had prepared him for this moment.

“I think it’s good that I lost many times,” an ecstatic Al Shaheen said after disposing of Appleton. “In the qualifiers I lost three times, two of them in finals to very good players. In the group stages I lost my first match. So that’s four times. So now I can accept losing. And it was good practice. Today I just play my game and I am relaxed. Darren is a very good player and I feel very good right now.”

 

31 one other players left the Al Arabi with similar wide grins today as they booked their spots in the Final 64 which begins Tuesdaymorning here.  They  join the 32 players who qualified on Sunday in what is a brutally stellar  field of pool greats ready to do battle  over the next three days  for  pool’s most prestigious prize.

 

Leading the way, as usual, are the Taiwanese and the Filipinos. Taiwan brings 10 heavyweights into the knockout stages, including defending champion Ko Pin Yi, Chang Yu Lung and Chang Jun Lin. Filipino fans will have nine players to get behind  including Dennis Orcollo, Warren Kiamco, Lee Vann Corteza, Carlo Biado, Jeffrey De Luna and Johann Chua. Filipino Alex Pagulayan, who won the World 9-ball crown in 2004, plays out of Canada and also made it through to the knockout rounds.

 

It wouldn’t be surprising if China finally takes its first World 9-ball title. Former champion Wu Jiaqing(formerly Wu Chia Ching) is playing rock solid pool, while Lui Haitao has consistently been raising his game over the last few years. Six Chinese players will be featured in the Final 64.

 

Poland has proved this year that it could arguably be Europe’s leading pool country with four players qualifying. A slew of other Europeans make up the field as well. 

Perhaps the most notable statistic this year is the rise of the Middle Eastern players.  Six players from the Middle East have qualified for the knockout rounds, a first in the history of this prestigious event. Clearly having the World 9-ball Championship in Qatar for the last seven years has significantly helped the sport grow.

 

Judgement Day always brings with it plenty of jangling nerves and high drama as players wilt under the gravity of the circumstances. One small roll of the ball can spell the difference between a player going 2 games and out, and perhaps a run at a world title.  If there was ever a sport where whole careers rest on a razor’s  edge, pool is it.

 

The Philippines young Jeffrey Ingacio has given Pinoy fans high hopes for the young generation to make their mark, but he had to get very lucky in holding off tough Canadian Francis Crevier to advance, 9-7. 
 

Great Britain’s Jayson Shaw has played himself into being one of the top players in the world over the last six months, but today he had to come from way behind against a stingy Justin Campbell of Australia to qualify, 9-7. 
 

2007  World 9-ball Champion Daryl Peach had to go toe to toe with the Philippines Antonio Gabica, but the Brit prevailed 9-7 in a high quality match.

 

Bangladesh isn’t the first country to come to mind when one thinks of great pool players. Today, however, will stand as a monumental day in Bangladeshi cue sports history. 29 year old MD Alim became the first player from Bangladesh to make it to the knockout rounds of the World 9-ball Championship. Alim, who owns a business installing satellite TV services in Dhaka, was playing in his very first world championship this week. Today, he went to the wire with Italy’s Bruno Muratore and showed major league poise and skills in crossing the finish line to qualify.

 

Another player to look out for is Iran’s Ali Maghsoud. A few days ago Maghsoud took down the great Mika Immonen. Today the Iranian sucked up the massive pressure and beat Japan’s Hiroshi Takenaka, 9-7 to make his first Final 64.

 

Other Middle Eastern players continued to impress. Abdul Rahman Al Amar of Saudi Arabi continues to show maturity beyond expectations. Today he came from behind to win at the wire against Poland’s Konard Juszczyszym, 9-8, and move on to the money rounds.

 

Last year’s runner up Shane Van Boening again had the break mastered as he trounced the Philippines Francisco Felicilda, 9-3. Oscar Dominguez made it two Americans in the final 64 with a win today.

 

Other notable players bouncing back from defeats and advancing today include the Netherlands’ Niels Feijen, Germany’s Ralf Souquet, the Philippines Dennis Orcollo, Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama and Taiwan’s Chang Yu Lung. 
 

One particular match at the end of today’s play seemed to encapsulate the drama and pressure of Judgement Day to a “T.”  The Philippines Carlo Biado was not playing well and found himself down to Japan’s Hayato Hijikata, 7-4 in a race to 9. Hijikata pushed the score to 8-6, but with the finish line and a qualification in sight, the Japanese began to wilt and the match went to 8- 8 and a pressure packed one rack decider, with Hijikata breaking.

 

The Japanese sank a ball on the break and then proceeded to make a superb full table bank on the two, with an open table to the win. But just as Biado started to slink down in defeat in his chair, Hijikata missed a wide open shot on the 4-ball. The Filipino bounced out of his chair but even then his legs looked weak from the pressure. Biado held it together and cleared the table for an unlikely spot in the knockout stages.

 

“When he made that 2-ball, I just knew the match was over,” a seriously relieved Biado said after the match. “But then he missed the 4-ball and I knew this was my chance. My heart was beating and it was pressure.  Now that I won the match, I have a lot of confidence. I’m in the Final 64. Anything can happen, and anyone can win. May the best man win.”

 

Play in the first day of the group stages begins Tuesday at 10am(GMT +3). All matches now become race to 11, alternate break. The round of 64 and round of 32 will be played on Tuesday. The round of 16 and quarterfinals will be played on Wednesday. The Semi-finals and Finals will be played on Thursday. The final will be a race to 13, alternate break.

 

**The 2015 WPA World 9-ball Championship takes place at the Al Arabi Sports Club Sports Club in Doha, Qatar from July 30-August 4, 2016. The winner of the 2015 World 9-ball Championship will receive $40,000. The runner up will receive $20,000. The total prize fund is $200,000.

 

The players will be competing on Wiraka DYNASTY  Tables with Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color and using Aramith Tournament  Pro cup TV Pool Balls featuring the new Duramith Technology.

 

The 2016 World 9-ball Championship is being hosted by The Qatar Billiard and Snooker Federation(QBSF), and is sanctioned by the The World Pool Billiard Association, the governing body of the sport of pool.

 

Up to date brackets and live scoring can found at this link: 
http://www.online-brackets.com/view/user/wpc9ball/1010

 

The WPA will be on hand in Doha throughout this year’s World 9-ball Championship providing up to the minute information, live scoring, photographs and in depth articles with insights and analysis from WPA Press Officer Ted Lerner. 

 

Fans can interact with us through the WPA’s official Facebook Page for the event at this link;https://www.facebook.com/worldpoolbilliardassociation/

 

The WPA is also on Twitter; @poolwpa 

 

RESULTS DAY 3
Winners advance to the Final 64
Losers are out.

Group 1
Jeong Young Hwa(KOR) 9 – 1 Mazen Berjuai(LEB) 
Mario He(AUT) 9 – 4 Waleed Majid(QAT)

Group 2
Karol Skowerski(POL) 9 – 8 Petri Makkonen(FIN)
Jeffrey Ignacio(PHL) 9 – 7 Francis Crevier(CAN) 

Group 3
MD Alim(BAN) 9 – 8 Bruno Muratore(ITA) 
Omar Al Shaheen(KUW) 9 – 5 Darren Appleton(GBR)

Group 4
Daryl Peach(GBR) 9 – 7 Antonio Gabica(PHL)
Roberto Gomez(PHL) 9 – 3 Francisco Sanchez(ESP)

Group 5
Artem Koshovoj(UKR)9 – 8 Luong Chi Dong(VIE)
Yang Ching Shun(TPE)  9 – 6 John Morra(CAN)  

Group 6
Jeffrey De Luna(PHL) 9 – 1 Naoyuki Oi(JPN) 
Ali M Saeed Hamzaa(ERI) 9 -7 Wang Can(CHN)

Group 7
Irsal Nasution(INA) 9 – 5 Imran Majid(GBR) 
Dennis Orcollo(PHL)9 – 7 Christian Goetmann(GER) 

Group 8
Abdul Rahman Al Amar(KSA) 9 – 8 Konard Juszczyszym(POL)  
Jayson Shaw(GBR) 9 – 7 Justin Campbell(AUS) 

Group 9
Niels Feijen(NED) 9 – 3 Shaun Wilke(USA)   
Satoshi Kawabata(JPE) 9- 7 Jalal Yousef(VEN)

Group 10
Ali Maghsoud(IRN) 9 – 7 Hiroshi Takenaka(JPN)  
Mieszko Fortunski(POL) 9 – 5 Ruben Bautista(MEX)

Group 11
Wojciech Szewczyk(POL) 9 – 5 Skyler Woodward(USA) 
Ralf Souquet(GER)  9 – 7 Oliver Ortmann(GER)

Group 12
Muhammad Bewi(INA) 9 – 4 Nick Van Den Berg(NED) 
Carlo Biado(PHL) 9 – 8  Hayato Hijikata(JPN)

Group 13
Oscar Dominguez(USA) 9 – 6 Ali Al Obaidli(QAT)  
Mateusz Sniegocki(POL) 9 – 5 Ryu Ceung Woo(KOR)

Group 14
Yukio Akagariyama(JPN) 9 – 1 Marco Teutscher(NED)  
Shane Van Boening(USA) 9 – 3 Francisco Felicilda(QAT-PHL)

Group 15
Salah Eldeen Al Remawi(UAE)   9 – 5 Rogelio Selleca Sotero(PHL) 
Chang Yu Lung(TPE)  9 – 3 Abdulla Al Shemmari(KSA)

Group 16
Cheng Yu Hsuan(TPE) 9 – 3 Joshua Filler(GER)  
Ahmed Mohammad Salah(JOR)  9 – 5 Bashar Hussain(QAT)