Van Boening repeats as SBE 10-Ball Pro Players champion; Fisher takes Ladies 9-Ball

It was, by almost any measure, a sterling performance. Not only did Shane Van Boening win the Diamond Open 10-Ball Professional Players Championship at this year's Super Billiards Expo at the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison, NJ (April 4-7) for the second year in a row, becoming the first back-to-back champion, he did it by giving up only two, race-to-8 double sets through six matches. Van Boening has won this event four times, out of six tries, dating back to 2008. 

His opponent in the finals, Thorsten Hohmann, gave up only three sets to reach the finals and then gave up two more to finish in second place. The $10,000 guaranteed first-place-prize event  drew 61 of the nation's top pool players to the Super Billiards Expo's new location in Edison, NJ, after 19 years in the King of Prussia region of Pennsylvania.

The Diamond Women's Open 9-Ball Pro Players Championship, with its $5,000-guaranteed, first-place prize, drew 19 entrants and featured a single, race-to-11 format. It was won by Allison Fisher, whose four-match march to the finals (following an opening round bye) went through Mandi Capps 11-1, Grace Nakamura 11-2, Dawn Hopkins 11-6 and finally, Jia 11-6. 

The Open 10-Ball event's double-set format (races to 8, best two out of three, single elimination) created 60 matches, overall, with 20 of them requiring a third, deciding set. Any questions about the overall quality of this year's Open field could be answered with a list of the players eliminated by the two finalists, Van Boening and Hohmann. Van Boening went through Donnie Mills, Robb Saez, Ralf Souquet (to whom he gave up his first set), Darren Appleton, Warren Kiamco and finally, Hohmann, to whom Van Boening gave up the second of his two lost sets, in the finals. To reach those finals, Hohmann started things off with a 2-0 match victory over Efren Reyes, and followed that with wins over John Morra (giving up one set), Dennis Hatch (another set), Jayson Shaw, and Alex Pagalayun, before taking one and giving up two sets to Van Boening.

All four of the matches among the final eight players were won by 2-0 match scores; Van Boening over Appleton (8-6, 8-7), Kiamco defeating Corey Deuel (8-6, 8-7), Alex Pagalayun versus Jeremy Sossei (8-6, 8-1, Pagalayun), and Hohmann over Jayson Shaw (8-4, 8-7). Pagalayun was defeated 8-4 in the opening set of his semifinal match against Hohmann, but came back to reverse that score in a second set 8-4 win. Hohmann got right back on track to defeat him 8-3 in the deciding set. Van Boening dropped Kiamco into the tie for third place 8-6, 8-5.

Van Boening took the opening set of the final against Hohmann 8-6, but Hohmann fought back to edge out a double hill win in the second set. Van Boening picked up the pace a little and won the final set 8-4 to take home the $10,000, first-place prize.

The Women's event featured a total of four double hill matches, and finalist Li Jia was involved in two of them, back to back. She downed Jennifer Baretta that way in the second round, and followed up with a double hill win over Canadian Brittany Bryant. She moved on to one of the two semifinal matches against Sarah Rousey, who'd eliminated Morgan Steinman 11-7. She defeated Rousey 11-4 to move into the finals. Fisher, in the meantime, played a total of 42 games over three matches to meet Jia in the finals. She won 33 of them (78%). She gave up six to Jia in the finals to knock the overall average down by four points, but she took the title and its $5,000 guaranteed first-place prize.

Open Event
1st Shane Van Boening $10,000
2nd Thorsten Hohmann $5,000
3rd Warren Kiamco $3,300
Alex Pagalayun
5th Darren Appleton $1,800
Corey Deuel 
Jeremy Sossei 
Jayson Shaw
9th Ralf Souquet $800
Dennis Hatch
17th Robb Saez $300
Rajesh Vannala
John Morra

Ladies 9-Ball
1st Allison Fisher $5,000
2nd Li Jia $1,500
3rd Sarah Rousey $800
Dawn Hopkins
5th Morgan Steinman $650
Brittany Bryant
Grace Nakamura